21:1 If [one] be found a slain in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, [and] it be not known who hath slain him:
(a) This law declares how horrible murder is,
seeing that because of one man a whole country will be punished, unless remedy
the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough b
valley, which is neither eared nor sown, and shall strike off the heifer's
neck there in the valley:
(b) That the blood shed of the innocent beasts in
a solitary place, might make them abhor the fact.
Be merciful, c O LORD, unto thy people
Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of
Israel's charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them.
(c) This was the prayer, which the priests made
in the audience of the people.
Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; d
and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;
(d) Signifying that her former life must be
changed before she could be joined to the people of God.
21:13 And she shall put the raiment of her
captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, e
and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go
in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy f
(e) As having renounced parents and country.
(f) This was only allowed in the wars, otherwise
the Israelites could not marry strangers.
21:15 If a man have two
wives, one beloved, and another g hated,
and they have born him children, [both] the beloved and the hated; and [if] the
firstborn son be hers that was hated:
(g) This declares that the plurality of wives
came from a corrupt affection.
21:17 But he shall
acknowledge the son of the hated [for] the firstborn, by giving him a h
double portion of all that he hath: for he [is] the beginning of his strength;
the right of the firstborn [is] i his.
(h) As much as to two of the others.
(i) Unless he is unworthy, as Reuben, Jacob's
21:18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son,
which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his k
mother, and [that], when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
(k) For it is the mother's duty also to
instruct her children.
And all the men of his city shall l
stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you;
and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
(l) A death which was also appointed for
blasphemers and idolaters: so that to disobey the parents is most horrible.
21:23 His body shall not
remain m all night upon the tree, but
thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged [is] accursed
of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for]
(m) For God's law is satisfied by his death,
and nature abhors cruelty.