Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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Scripture Passage

      Deuteronomy - Chapter 25 (Contemporary English Version)
    1. Suppose you and someone else each accuse the other of doing something wrong, and you go to court, where the judges decide you are guilty. If your punishment is to be beaten with a whip, one of the judges will order you to lie down, and you will receive the number of lashes you deserve.
    2. (SEE 25:1)
    3. Forty lashes is the most that you can be given, because more than that might make other Israelites think you are worthless.
    4. Don't muzzle an ox while it is threshing grain.
    5. Suppose two brothers are living on the same property, when one of them dies without having a son to carry on his name. If this happens, his widow must not marry anyone outside the family. Instead, she must marry her late husband's brother, and their first son will be the legal son of the dead man.
    6. (SEE 25:5)
    7. But suppose the brother refuses to marry the widow. She must go to a meeting of the town leaders at the town gate and say, "My husband died without having a son to carry on his name. And my husband's brother refuses to marry me so I can have a son."
    8. The leaders will call the living brother to the town gate and try to persuade him to marry the widow. But if he doesn't change his mind and marry her,
    9. she must go over to him while the town leaders watch. She will pull off one of his sandals and spit in his face, while saying, "That's what happens to a man who won't help provide descendants for his dead brother."
    10. From then on, that man's family will be known as "the family of the man whose sandal was pulled off."
    11. If two men are fighting, and the wife of one man tries to rescue her husband by grabbing the other man's private parts,
    12. you must cut off her hand. Don't have any mercy.
    13. Don't try to cheat people by having two sets of weights or measures, one to get more when you are buying, and the other to give less when you are selling.
    14. (SEE 25:13)
    15. If you weigh and measure things honestly, the LORD your God will let you enjoy a long life in the land he is giving you.
    16. But the LORD is disgusted with anyone who cheats or is dishonest.
    17. People of Israel, do you remember what the Amalekites did to you after you came out of Egypt?
    18. You were tired, and they followed along behind, attacking those who could not keep up with the others. This showed that the Amalekites have no respect for God.
    19. The LORD your God will help you capture the land, and he will give you peace. But when that day comes, you must wipe out Amalek so completely that no one will remember they ever lived.

Deuteronomy - Chapter 25

Entered: February 20, 2007
Take disputes to court. Do not muzzle an ox while treading the grain. A man's brother is responsible to take his wife if he dies. If two men are fighting, one man's wife must not intervene and grab the other by his genitals. You must not carry two sets of weights.

Entered: September 17, 2012

Six unrelated regulations are given in this chapter. The first concerns a dispute between two men that could not be settled between them. The dispute was to be taken to court for settlement by a judge and the punishment of the guilty party was to be overseen by the judge to assure it was not overly severe. Flogging was the prescribed punishment and the number of lashes was to match the crime.

A second regulation required proper treatment of oxen. They were not to be kept from the benefit of their labor but were to be allowed to eat some of the grain they were treading. The Apostle Paul applied this regulation to ministers of the gospel saying they should reap a benefit from their labor in the gospel by receiving pay for their labor from those who were recipients of that labor.

The lengthiest section in the chapter deals with two regulations relating to the ability to produce heirs. Preserving the family name and property was important. It was important enough that God set aside a regulation that forbid a man from marrying his divorced or widowed sister-in-law and actually required it under specific conditions. Those conditions were when two brothers shared the same property they had jointly inherited from their father and one of them died without a male heir. Under these conditions the surviving brother was required to marry the widow for the purpose of producoing a male heir who would be named after the deceased brother. If the surviving brother refused to marry the widow, she could take it before the elders of the city. The regulation immediately following had a similar purpose. Severe punishment was to be given a woman who stepped in to rescue her husband, who was involved in a fight with another man, by grabbing hold of the other man's genitals potentially threatening his ability to produce children and thus an heir.

The next regulation had to do with just weights. A person was not to carry two sets of weights so that when it suited them an unfair weight could be used to gain an unfair profit. And finally a regulation was given requiring the Israelites to "blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven" once they were settled in their new land and had rest from fighting their enemies.