Deuteronomy 17 Bible Commentary

John Darby’s Synopsis

(Read all of Deuteronomy 17)
The pains taken and instruments used to preserve blessing and maintain relationship with God

Verse 18 [from Chapter 16] begins a new subject: the pains taken, and the instruments used, to preserve the blessing and execute the judgments necessary to that effect. The thought is still to maintain the people in relationship with God alone. They were to appoint judges and officers in their gates. Whatever led to idolatry was forbidden; he who enticed them to it was to be stoned (chap. 17). If the matter were too hard, they were to come to the priests and the judges, and the people were to abide by their judgment.

The people's desire for a king anticipated

The case of the people desiring a king is anticipated; and they are told that he must be of the people, and not act so as to open the way for intercourse with Egypt, nor so as to lead the people to idolatry; but he is to write a copy of the book of the law with his own hand, and read therein all the days of his life, being subject to it, so as not to despise his brethren.