King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

Deuteronomy > Old Testament > Home

Deuteronomy 22

Of humanity towards brethren. (1-4) Various precepts. (5-12) Against impurity. (13-30)

Deuteronomy 22 Audio:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Of humanity towards brethren

1 Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother.

2 And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, or if thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it unto thine own house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother seek after it, and thou shalt restore it to him again.

3 In like manner shalt thou do with his ass; and so shalt thou do with his raiment; and with all lost thing of thy brother’s, which he hath lost, and thou hast found, shalt thou do likewise: thou mayest not hide thyself.

4 Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again.

Various precepts

5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

6 If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young:

7 But thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days.

8 When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence.

9 Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled.

10 Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.

11 Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.

12 Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself.

Against impurity

13 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her,

14 And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid:

15 Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel’s virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate:

16 And the damsel’s father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her;

17 And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city.

18 And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him;

19 And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days.

20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:

21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.

23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;

24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.

25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.

26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:

27 For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.

28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;

29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

30 A man shall not take his father’s wife, nor discover his father’s skirt.

« »

G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Pass by. Heb. “hide thyself,” pretending not to see it. — Brother. Any fellow creature. Ex. xxiii. 4. Lu. x. 30. C. — “We are very inhuman, not to shew as much concern for a man as the Jews do for a beast of burden.” S. Chrys. ser. 13. D.

Ver. 2. Not nigh, either in blood or in place, (C.) though the latter signification seems more applicable; as, if the person lived at too great a distance, it would suffice to inform him where he might find what he had lost; and, if the owner was unknown, the thing must be taken care of by him who finds it till he be discovered. D.

Ver. 3. If, &c. Heb. “thou must not hide thyself,” so as to pass it by, nor yet conceal it from the right owner. When a thing is certainly abandoned by him, it belongs to the person who seizes it first; but if it be only lost it, must surely be restored, if possible, (Grot. Jur. ii. 10,) as nature forbids us to take advantage of another’s misfortune. Cicero. — The Rabbins have corrupted this law, like so many others, by their evil interpretations. They pretend that a Jew must restore what he has found belonging to another true believer, if it have certain marks by which it may be known, but not if it belonged to a prevaricator or infidel. In the former supposition, they got the thing cried on a high stone near Jerusalem four times, and if the owner did not then claim his property, the finder might keep it. Seld. Jur. vi. 4. — The inhabitants of Cumæ condemned the next neighbour to restore what had been lost; as Hesiod (op. 348,) very well remarks, that things would not easily be lost, if the neighbours were not ill-disposed.

Ver. 4. With him. Heb. “thou shalt not hide thyself, but help him to lift up.” Ex. xxiii. 4.

Ver. 5. God. Some take this literally, as the contrary practice is contrary to decency, and might be attended with very pernicious consequences. All know what noise was occasioned by the action of Clodius, who put on women’s apparel, that he might be present with the Roman ladies at the feast of the good goddess. Yet others think that Moses here forbids some superstitious practices. S. Ambrose (ep. 69,) remarks, that in some of the mysteries of the idols, it was requisite for those present to change clothes in this manner, sacrum putatur. Lucian testifies, that men put on women’s clothes at the feasts of Bacchus. They did the like in those of Venus, while the women took men’s clothes in the festivals of Mars. Jul. Hirmic. c. 4. Maimon. — In the East, people honoured the moon, to which they attributed both sexes, and Venus in like manner. Josephus (iv.8,) believes that women are here prohibited to engage in warfare. Heb. “the vessels (armour) of man shall not be upon a woman.” Semiramis gained a great name by her martial exploits, and commanded all her subjects to dress like herself. Justin. i. — The Amazons were likewise very famous in war, and it is said that half the army of Bacchus was composed of women. Alb. Gentil maintains that Moses here condemns an abominable crime, which he did not wish to mention, at which the Book of Wisdom hints, (C. xiv. 26,) and which S. Paul condemns more explicitly. Rom. i. 26. Moses had already denounced death against the perpetrators of it; and surely the manner in which he now speaks, seems to forbid something more than simply putting on the garments of the other sex, for he, &c. C. — Yet that disorderly conduct deserved to be reprobated in strong terms, (H.) when it was not excused by some necessity or proper motive, such as actuated some holy virgins, S. Theodora, &c. T.

Ver. 6. Thou shalt not take, &c. This was to shew them to exercise a certain mercy even to irrational creatures; and by that means to train them up to a horror of cruelty; and to the exercise of humanity, and mutual charity one to another. Ch. — Some were of opinion that the person who could take the old bird on the nest might assure himself of good fortune, fecundity, &c. S. Thom. i. 2. q. 102. a. 6. Such superstition is reprehensible. Phocilides advises not to take all the young ones, nor the hen, in consideration of one’s having more birds. C.

Ver. 7. Time. Those who refrain from cruelty, even towards beasts, will be induced more easily to shew mercy to their fellow creatures, (Tert. c. Marc. ii.) and will draw down the blessings of God upon themselves. M.

Ver. 8. Battlement. This precaution was necessary, because all their houses had flat tops; and it was usual to walk and to converse together upon them. Ch. — King Ochozias had the misfortune to fall from the top of his house, (4 K. i. 2,) and David saw Bethsabee when he was walking on the roof of his palace, 2 K. xi. 2. Saul slept at the top of Samuel’s house, 1 K. ix. 25. See Jos. ii. 6. Mat. x. 27. H.

Ver. 9. Together. If wheat was sown in a vineyard, it would ripen much sooner than the grapes; and as the first-fruits of both were offered to the Lord, the owner would lose the profit which he had too greedily sought after, the place being esteemed both pure and impure at the same time. This mixture of seeds would also impoverish the land, so that it would be like a place defiled, and unfit for cultivation, Jansen. in Lev. xix. 19. Maimonides supposes that the practice of the Zabians is here reprobated. They sowed the land with corn and dry grapes, in honour of Ceres and Bacchus, (More. Nev. p. 3. c. 37,) who presided over the harvest and vintage among the pagans. Wm. of Paris. Leg. 13. — Moses might also, by this symbolical language, condemn unnatural connexions, as he perhaps does, v. 10.

Ver. 10. Plough. In Levit. xix. 19, this law is expressed, so as to forbid the procreation of mongrels. See Judg. xiv. 18. People who have treated on agriculture observe, that it is a pernicious practice to make animals of unequal size and speed work together. Colum. vi. 2. — S. Paul explains to us the mystical sense of this passage. Bear not the yoke together with infidels, 2 Cor. vi. 14. C. — Marry not with such. H. — Employ not in the sacred ministry the imprudent and wicked with those of a virtuous disposition. S. Greg. Mor. i. 16.

Ver. 11. Together. This is now lawful. But a virgin consecrated to God, must not dress like a married woman: the different states of life must not be confounded. S. Aug. c. Faust. vi. 9. D.

Ver. 12. Strings, Probably to gird the outer garment round the loins. See Num. xv. 38.

Ver. 14. Name. Heb. “and occasion reports against her to bring an evil name upon her,” (H.) that he may not have to return her dowry. For, according to many of the Rabbins, he might give her a bill of divorce, simply if he did not like her. Seld. Uxor. iii. 1, &c. — They allow the proof here specified, only with respect to a Hebrew woman between twelve and twelve and a half years old, during the period of her being espoused, but not taken home by her husband. The cause was to be tried before the 23 judges. Oftentimes only witnesses, probably matrons, were examined in defence of the woman. Josephus iv. 8. S. Ambrose (ep. 8. 64. ad Syagr.) highly disapproves of such unsatisfactory methods. The marks assigned by the law were commonly observed in Syria, Persia, &c. The Arab physicians speak of them. See Valesius, c. xxv. The age in which women were then married, the climate, &c. caused these indications to be more clear, and deposed for or against the fidelity of the bride. The mother had them entrusted to her care by the friends of the husband, who had kept watch at the door on the wedding night. M. Nachman, ap. Fagium.

Ver. 15. Her. It does not appear that the woman was present at the trial: she remained at her father’s, or rather at her husband’s house, till sentence was passed. C. — Heb. “then shall the father of the damsel and her mother take and produce the damsel’s virginity,” or the tokens of it.

Ver. 18. Beat him. Heb. “chastise.” Sept. may signify also, “reprimand him.” But (H.) Josephus says the husband was to receive 39 lashes; and Philo informs us that the woman might leave him, if she thought proper, though, if she were willing to stay, he had not the power to divorce her, v. 19.

Ver. 19. A hundred. Josephus only mentions 50. As it was presumed that the false accusation proceeded from a desire to defraud the woman of her dowry, the law obliged the husband to allow her double (C.) the usual sum. Yet this punishment, together with the scourging, was very inadequate to what the woman would have had to suffer if she had been condemned. H. — S. Augustine (q. 33,) is surprised at this decision, as in other cases calumny was subjected to the law of retaliation, or punished with death. This shews also that wives, among the Jews, were considered as little more than servants. C.

Ver. 21. Die. It was concluded that she had committed the sin after her espousal. If it had happened before, she was to receive only 25 sicles for a dowry; though, if she took an oath that violence had been offered to her, she was entitled to 50: which opinion of the Rabbins seems very equitable. Æschines (in Timarch.) relates, that a man at Athens punished the transgression of which his daughter had been guilty, while she was at home, by shutting her up with a horse, in order that she might be torn in pieces by the famished animal. C.

Ver. 22. Die. The man was to be strangled as well as the married woman; if she were espoused only, she was to be stoned. The daughter of a priest was burnt alive. Rabbins. C. See Lev. xx. 10.

Ver. 24. Wife. After the woman was espoused, (v. 23,) she was called a wife, and punished accordingly, if she proved unfaithful.

Ver. 25. Hold. Sept. “offering violence,” as also v. 28. H. — Die. Moses supposes that the woman in the field had made all possible resistance, and that the one in the city had, by silence at least, consented. But if the case were otherwise, the judges were to make all necessary inquiries, and pass sentence accordingly. C.

Ver. 29. Life. A law nearly similar occurs, Ex. xxii. 16, (H.) only there Moses speaks of seduction. M. — If the father or the woman refused their consent to the marriage, the person had only to pay 50 sicles; which the woman received, if her father was not alive. But if they consented, the person who had been condemned by the judge, was bound to marry the woman, how deformed soever. Seld. Uxor. i. 16. C.

Ver. 30. Covering. See Lev. xx. 11. A wife should be hidden from all but her husband. H.