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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Deuteronomy 13

Deuteronomy 12-26, 28. A code of laws (Deuteronomy 1-26) followed by promises to the obedient and threats of punishment for the rest (Deuteronomy 28): see Introd., p. 231. The great Deuteronomic law of one sanctuary is taught or implied in Deuteronomy 12:1 to Deuteronomy 19:13 and hardly in any other part of Dt. This section may, therefore, represent essentially the original Deuteronomic code (see Introd.).

Verses 1-18

Deuteronomy 12:29 to Deuteronomy 13:1 . Yahwism must be kept free from all taint of Canaanite heathenism when Israel has entered Canaan. The danger would arise from the ancient belief that everyone should worship the god of the country in which he resides. D is an uncompromising Yahwist.

Deuteronomy 12:32 to Deuteronomy 13:18 . Three classes of seducers to idolatry to be put to death. ( a) The false prophet ( Deuteronomy 12:32 to Deuteronomy 13:5). ( b) The friend or relative ( Deuteronomy 13:5-11). ( c) Worthless Israelites ( Deuteronomy 13:12-18). In the last case the seducers and the city seduced shall be devoted ( Deuteronomy 2:34 *) In the Heb. Deuteronomy 12:32 rightly begins Deuteronomy 13.

Deuteronomy 13:1. Dreams are one medium of prophetic inspiration, especially in E ( Numbers 12:6, Joel 2:28); but it is not of the highest kind ( Jeremiah 23:28).

Deuteronomy 13:2. A false prophet may foretell what really comes to pass. In Deuteronomy 18:22 he is known by the fact that what he foretells does not come to pass. On the other hand, the word of the true prophet is fulfilled ( Jeremiah 28:9). What stamps the prophet as false in the present context is the doctrine.

Deuteronomy 13:6. Read (with LXX Sam.) “ If thy brother the son of thy father” (=a half-brother) “ or the son of thy mother” (=a full brother), see Genesis 27:29, Psalms 50:20. In a polygamous (non-polyandrous) state of society (see Deuteronomy 21:15) the same man has often two or more wives. In the East the woman never marries a second time.

Deuteronomy 13:9 . The convicting witness, however nearly related to the culprit, must begin the punishment.

Deuteronomy 13:10 . See Exodus 8:26. Stoning is the only form of capital punishment recognised in Heb. law. Perhaps it originated in the desire of avoiding blood-shedding (see Deuteronomy 12:23-25, Deuteronomy 21:22 *, Genesis 4:10 *).

Deuteronomy 13:13 . base fellows: lit. “ sons of worthlessness;” “ sons of” in Heb. means persons possessing the quality of (see Oent. B on Psalms 79:11). Even if the Heb. word for the latter (Belial) is a proper name for the Babylonian Pluto (so Cheyne, Hommel, see Proverbs 6:12 *) the phrase bears the same sense (see Cent. B on Psalms 10:15).

Deuteronomy 13:15 . See Deuteronomy 23:4.

Deuteronomy 13:16 . every whit: better, “ as a whole offering,” ( cf. mg.) . The Heb. word is used in Deuteronomy 33:10; it does not occur in Deuteronomy 13:6.— a heap: Heb. tel ( cf. Tel el-kebir = “ the great hill” ); see Joshua 8:28 (Ai), Jeremiah 49:2 (Rabbah). cf. Isaiah 17:1; Isaiah 25:2, Jeremiah 30:18.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 13". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/deuteronomy-13.html. 1919.