Deuteronomy 21:15-17; The Right of the Firstborn; This law restrains men from disinheriting their eldest sons out of mere caprice, and without just provocation; It shows Providence commonly sides with the weakest; The great householder wisely gives to each His dividend of comfort; if one had the honour to be the beloved wife, it often proved that the other had the honour to be the mother of the first-born; No son should be abandoned by his father till he manifestly appear to be abandoned of God, which is hard to say of any while there is life. B.C. 1451

The Right of the Firstborn. B. C. 1451. Deuteronomy 21:15-17 15 If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated:   16 Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the Continue Reading

Deuteronomy 21:10-14; The Case of Captive Women; The Gospel permits not him that has one wife to take another, for from the beginning it was not so; The Gospel forbids looking upon a woman, though a beautiful one, to lust after her, and commands the mortifying and denying of all irregular desires, though it be as uneasy as the cutting off a right hand; so much does our holy religion, more than that of the Jews, advance the honour and support the dominion of the soul over the body, the spirit over the flesh, consonant to the glorious discovery it makes of life and immortality, and the better hope. B.C. 1451

The Case of Captive Women. B. C. 1451. Deuteronomy 21:10-14 10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive,   11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;   12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her Continue Reading

Deuteronomy 21:1-9; Undetected Murder; The providence of God has sometimes wonderfully brought to light these hidden works of darkness, and by strange occurrences the sin of the guilty has found them out, insomuch that it has become a proverb, “Murder will out;” But it is not always so; now and then the devil’s promises of secrecy and impunity in this world are made good; yet it is but for a while: there is a time coming when secret murders will be discovered; the earth will disclose her blood [Isa. 26:21], upon the inquisition which justice makes for it; and there is an eternity coming when those that escaped punishment from men will lie under the righteous judgment of God; a day of judgment, to require that which is past, Eccl. 3:15. B.C. 1451

D E U T E R O N O M Y CHAPTER 21 In this chapter provision is made, I. For the putting away of the guilt of blood from the land, when he that shed it had fled from justice, ver. 1-9. II. For the preserving of the honour of a captive maid, ver. 10-14. III. For the securing of the right of a first-born son, though he were not a favourite, ver. 15-17. IV. For the restraining and punishing of a rebellious son, ver. 18-21. V. For the Continue Reading

Deuteronomy 20:10-20; Proclamations of War; Directions Concerning War; They must not make a descent upon any of their neighbours till they had first given fair notice, by a public manifesto, or remonstrance, stating the ground of their quarrel with them; In dealing with the worst of enemies, the laws of justice and honour must be observed; and, as the sword must never be taken in hand without cause, so not without cause shown; War is an appeal, in which the merits of the cause must be set forth; God’s grace in dealing with sinners: though He might most justly and easily destroy them, yet, having no pleasure in their ruin, He proclaims peace, and beseeches them to be reconciled; so that those who lie most obnoxious to His justice, and ready to fall as sacrifices to it, if they make Him an answer of peace, and open to Him, upon condition that they will be tributaries and servants to Him, shall not only be saved from ruin, but incorporated with His Israel, as fellow-citizens with the saints. B.C. 1451

Proclamations of War; Directions Concerning War. B. C. 1451. Deuteronomy 20:10-20 10 When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it.   11 And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee.   12 And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war Continue Reading

Deuteronomy 20:1-9; Directions Concerning War; Persons Excused from War; This chapter settles the militia, and establishes the laws and ordinances of war; The presence of God with them; Fear is catching, and in an army is of most pernicious consequence; We must take heed that we fear not the fear of those that are afraid, Isa. 8:12; Some make the fearfulness and faintheartedness here supposed to arise from the terrors of an evil conscience, which would make a man afraid to look death and danger in the face. B.C. 1451

D E U T E R O N O M Y CHAPTER 20 This chapter settles the militia, and establishes the laws and ordinances of war, I. Relating to the soldiers. 1. Those must be encouraged that were drawn up to battle, ver. 1-4. 2. Those must be dismissed and sent back again whose private affairs called for their attendance at home (ver. 5-7), or whose weakness and timidity unfitted them for service in the field, ver. 8, 9. II. Relating to the enemies Continue Reading

Deuteronomy 19:14-21; False Witnesses; Here is a statute for the preventing of frauds and perjuries; for the divine law takes care of men’s rights and properites, and has made a hedge about them; Such a friend is it to human society and men’s civil interest; A law against frauds; An express law to posterity not to remove those land-marks which were thus fixed at first; The invading of any man’s right, and taking to ourselves that which is not our own, by any fraudelent arts or practices, as by forging, concealing, destroying, or altering deeds and writings, or by shifting hedges, meer-stones, and boundaries; A law against perjuries, which enacts two things:- A single witness should never be admitted to give evidence in a criminal cause; That a false witness should incur the same punishment which was to have been inflicted upon the person he accused. B.C. 1451

False Witnesses. B. C. 1451. Deuteronomy 19:14-21 14 Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.   15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall Continue Reading

Deuteronomy 19:1-13; The Cities of Refuge; Here Moses comes more fully to press the duties of righteousness between man and man; This chapter relates to the sixth commandment “Thou shalt not kill”; Cities of Refuge; The New Testament represents the sin of murder as more heinous and more dangerous than even this law does. 1 John 3:15, You know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him; Those that flee to Christ from their sins shall be safe in Him, but not those that expect to be sheltered by Him in their sins; Salvation itself cannot save such: divine justice will fetch them even from the city of refuge, the protection of which they are not entitled to. B.C. 1451

D E U T E R O N O M Y CHAPTER 19 The laws which Moses had hitherto been repeating and urging mostly concerned the acts of religion and devotion towards God; but here he comes more fully to press the duties of righteousness between man and man. This chapter relates, I. To the sixth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," ver. 1-13. II. To the eighth commandment, "Thou shalt not steal," ver. 14. III. To the ninth commandment, "Thou shalt not Continue Reading

Deuteronomy 18:15-22; The Great Prophet; False Prophets; That there should come a prophet, great above all the prophets, by whom God would make known Himself and His will to the children of men more fully and clearly than ever He had done before; He is the light of the world, as prophecy was of the Jewish Church, John 8:12; He is the Word, by whom God speaks to us, John 1:1; Heb. 1:2; This command not to fear a false prophet implies that a true prophet, who proved his commission by clear and undeniable proofs, was to be feared, and it was at their peril if they offered him any violence or put any slight upon him. B.C. 1451

The Great Prophet; False Prophets. B. C. 1451. Deuteronomy 18:15-22 15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;   16 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.   Continue Reading

Deuteronomy 18:9-14; Idolatrous Customs of the Canaanites; Was it possible that a people so blessed with divine institutions should ever admit the brutish and barbarous inventions of men and devils?; One would wonder that such arts and works of darkness, so senseless and absurd, so impious and profane, could be found in a country where divine revelation shone so clearly; yet we find remains of them even where Christ’s holy religion is known and professed; such are the powers and policies of the ‘rulers of the darkness of this world;’ But let those give heed to fortune-tellers, or go to wizards for the discovery of things secret, that use spells for the cure of diseases, are in any league or acquaintance with familiar spirits, or form a confederacy with those that are–let them know that they can have no fellowship with God while thus they have fellowship with devils; Those were fools indeed who would go to consult the father of lies when they had such a ready way of consulting the God of Truth. B.C. 1451

Idolatrous Customs of the Canaanites. B. C. 1451. Deuteronomy 18:9-14 9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.   10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,   11 Or a charmer, or a Continue Reading

Deuteronomy 18:1-8; Maintenance of the Levites; The rights and revenues of the Church are settled; Care is taken that the Priests entangle not themselves with the affairs of this life, nor enrich themselves with the wealth of this world; they have better things to mind; “The Lord is their inheritance;” Note, Those that have God for their inheritance, according to the new Covenant, should not be greedy of great things in the world, neither gripe what they have nor grasp at more, but look upon all present things with the indifference which becomes those that believe God to be all-sufficient. B.C. 1451

D E U T E R O N O M Y CHAPTER 18 In this chapter, I. The rights and revenues of the church are settled, and rules given concerning the Levites' ministration and maintenance, ver. 1-8. II. The caution against the idolatrous abominable customs of the heathen is repeated, ver. 9-14. III. A promise is given them of the spirit of prophecy to continue among them, and to centre at last in Christ the great prophet, ver. 15-18. IV. Wrath Continue Reading