Deuteronomy 25 Commentary
The opening statement emphasizes the need for justice in the community. As stated, justice is convicting the guilty and acquitting the innocent. Injustice on the other hand would be convicting the innocent while acquitting the guilty. Our society is guilty of the latter.
For cases that deserved beating, the guilty would be flogged no more than 40 lashes. We are reminded of the flogging that the LORD Jesus suffered. You would guess he received the maximum number of lashes possible. The Apostle Paul received this kind of punishment on several occasions. 2 Corinthians 11verse 24.
The New Testament has several references to this chapter.
Verse 4 was referenced by the apostle Paul to indicate the need for workers in the LORD’S field to be supported. “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain”
Verses 5 and 6 are probably the subject of an argument that the teachers of the law and Sudducees presented to Jesus. It’s about seven brothers married to one woman – technically made possible because of the regulation in this chapter. Matthew 22 verse 25.
We may think of this law as one meant to protect the woman. Loss of a husband meant loss of support and personal worth. It also meant loss of wealth as property was largely held by men. A detailed look at laws like this would reveal a deeper sense of justice. The law was sensitive enough to understand the peculiar circumstances that the woman found herself in. It is beautiful!
Hitting a man below the belt disqualifies one from the boxing match. A woman who literally seizes an assailant ‘below the belt’ in an attempt to rescue her husband suffers the worst punishment – amputation of her hand. The severity of the punishment points to the sanctity of sexuality. It must be treated as such – not even when there appears to be a justification for crossing the boundaries. That is what makes pornography such an evil. It desecrates the sanctity of sexuality by exposing what should not be exposed.
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