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Bible Commentaries

Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Deuteronomy 25

Verses 1-2

Scourging is named as a penalty in Leviticus 19:20. The beating here spoken of would be on the back with a rod or stick (compare Proverbs 10:13; Proverbs 19:29; Proverbs 26:3).

Verse 3

The Jews to keep within the letter of the law fixed 39 stripes as the maximum (compare the marginal reference.). Forty signifies the full measure of judgment (compare Genesis 7:12; Numbers 14:33-34); but the son of Israel was not to be lashed like a slave at the mercy of another. The judge was always to be present to see that the Law in this particular was not overpassed.

Verse 4

Compare the marginal references. In other kinds of labor the oxen were usually muzzled. When driven to and fro over the threshing-floor in order to stamp out the grain from the chaff, they were to be allowed to partake of the fruits of their labors.

Verses 5-10

The house ... - Equivalent to “the house of the barefooted one.” To go barefoot was a sign of the most abject condition; compare 2 Samuel 15:30.

Verse 12

This is the only mutilation prescribed by the Law of Moses, unless we except the retaliation prescribed as a punishment for the infliction on another of bodily injuries Leviticus 24:19-20. The act in question was probably not rare in the times and countries for which the Law of Moses was designed. It is of course to be understood that the act was willful, and that the prescribed punishment would be inflicted according to the sentence of the judges.

Verses 13-19

It was not after the spirit or mission of the Law to aim at overcoming inveterate opposition by love and by attempts at conversion (contrast Luke 9:55-56). The law taught God’s hatred of sin and of rebellion against Him by enjoining the extinction of the obstinate sinner. The Amalekites were a kindred people Genesis 36:15-16; and living as they did in the peninsula of Sinai, they could not but have well known the mighty acts God had done for His people in Egypt and the Red Sea; yet they manifested from the first a persistent hostility to Israel (compare Exodus 17:8, and note; Numbers 14:45). They provoked therefore the sentence here pronounced, which was executed at last by Saul (1 Samuel 15:3 ff).

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 25". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/deuteronomy-25.html. 1870.