Deuteronomy 17 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Deuteronomy 17)
17:1 Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the LORD thy God [any] bullock, or sheep, wherein is a blemish, [or] any evilfavouredness: for that [is] an abomination unto the LORD thy God.

(a) You shall not serve God for selfish means as the hypocrites do.

17:2 If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or b woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant,

(b) Showing that the crime cannot be excused by the frailty of the person.

17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not c commanded;

(c) By which he condemns all religion and serving of God which God has not commanded.

17:7 The hands of the d witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the e people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.

(d) By which they declared that they testify the truth.
(e) To signify a common consent to maintain God's honour and true religion.

17:9 And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the f judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:

(f) Who will sentence as the priests counsel him by the Law of God.

17:11 According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, g thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, [to] the right hand, nor [to] the left.

(g) You shall obey their sentence that the controversy may have an end.

17:12 And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to h minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.

(h) So long as he is the true minister of God, and pronounces according to his word.

17:15 Thou shalt in any wise set [him] king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: [one] from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a i stranger over thee, which [is] not thy brother.

(i) Who is not from your nation, lest he change true religion into idolatry, and bring you to slavery.

17:16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to k Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.

(k) To avenge their injuries and to take their best horses from them; (1 Kings 10:28).

17:17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart l turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.

(l) From the Law of God.

17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this m law in a book out of [that which is] before the n priests the Levites:

(m) Meaning, Deuteronomy.
(n) He shall cause it to be written by them, or he shall write it by their example.

17:20 That his heart be not lifted up above his o brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, [to] the right hand, or [to] the left: to the end that he may prolong [his] days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

(o) By which is meant that kings should love their subjects as nature causes one brother to love another.