Deuteronomy 24

 

כִּי־יִקַּח אִישׁ אִשָּׁה וּבְעָלָהּ וְהָיָה אִם־לֹא תִמְצָא־חֵן בְּעֵינָיו כִּי־מָצָא בָהּ עֶרְוַת דָּבָר וְכָתַב לָהּ סֵפֶר   24:1

כְּרִיתֻת וְנָתַן בְּיָדָהּ וְשִׁלְּחָהּ מִבֵּיתֹו

Deut. 24:1 “When a man should take a wife and marry her, then it shall be, if she does not find favor in his eyes because he has found a blemish of concern in her, and he would write a bill of divorce to her and deliver into her hand and send her from his house,

וְיָצְאָה מִבֵּיתֹו וְהָלְכָה וְהָיְתָה לְאִישׁ־אַחֵר   24:2

Deut. 24:2 and should she depart from his house and go and be for another husband,

וּשְׂנֵאָהּ הָאִישׁ הָאַחֲרֹון וְכָתַב לָהּ סֵפֶר כְּרִיתֻת וְנָתַן בְּיָדָהּ וְשִׁלְּחָהּ מִבֵּיתֹו אֹו כִי יָמוּת הָאִישׁ   24:3

הָאַחֲרֹון אֲשֶׁר־לְקָחָהּ לֹו לְאִשָּׁה

Deut. 24:3 and the second husband should hate her and write a bill of divorce to her and deliver into her hand and send her from his house, or if the second husband who took her to him for a wife should die,

לֹא־יוּכַל בַּעְלָהּ הָרִאשֹׁון אֲשֶׁר־שִׁלְּחָהּ לָשׁוּב לְקַחְתָּהּ לִהְיֹות לֹו לְאִשָּׁה אַחֲרֵי אֲשֶׁר הֻטַּמָּאָה כִּי־   24:4

תֹועֵבָה הִוא לִפְנֵי יְהוָה וְלֹא תַחֲטִיא אֶת־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה

Deut. 24:4 her first husband who sent her away would not be able to take her to be his wife afterward, by which she would be defiled, for it is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not cause to sin the land of inheritance that the Lord, your God, will be giving you.”

כִּי־יִקַּח אִישׁ אִשָּׁה חֲדָשָׁה לֹא יֵצֵא בַּצָּבָא וְלֹא־יַעֲבֹר עָלָיו לְכָל־דָּבָר נָקִי יִהְיֶה לְבֵיתֹו שָׁנָה אֶחָת   24:5

וְשִׂמַּח אֶת־אִשְׁתֹּו אֲשֶׁר־לָקָח

Deut. 24:5 “When a man will take a new wife, he shall not go out with the army and he shall not be required for any business; he shall be exempt for his household one year, and he shall cheer his wife whom he took.”

לֹא־יַחֲבֹל רֵחַיִם וָרָכֶב כִּי־נֶפֶשׁ הוּא חֹבֵל   24:6

Deut. 24:6 “No one shall take a pledge of mills or millstones, for one would be pledging a life.”

כִּי־יִמָּצֵא אִישׁ גֹּנֵב נֶפֶשׁ מֵאֶחָיו מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהִתְעַמֶּר־בֹּו וּמְכָרֹו וּמֵת הַגַּנָּב הַהוּא וּבִעַרְתָּ הָרָע   24:7

מִקִּרְבֶּךָ

Deut. 24:7 “Should a man be found kidnapping a person from his brethren, from the children of Israel, and deal with him as merchandise and sell him, then that thief shall die; thus shall you put away the evil from your midst.”

This verse repeats commandment 57 contained in Exod. 21:16.

הִשָּׁמֶר בְּנֶגַע־הַצָּרַעַת לִשְׁמֹר מְאֹד וְלַעֲשֹׂות כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־יֹורוּ אֶתְכֶם הַכֹּהֲנִים הַלְוִיִּם כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִם   24:8

תִּשְׁמְרוּ לַעֲשֹׂות

Deut. 24:8 “Beware to take great heed because of the plague of malignancy and to do according to all that the priests, the Levites, shall teach you; you shall heed to do as I have commanded them.”

Moses made very clear in Leviticus 13 and 14 the instructions for dealing with malignancies.  His warning in this verse seems unnecessary, but we may conclude, as we have before, that Moses was rather concerned about the future obedience of the Lord’s assembly.

זָכֹור אֵת אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְמִרְיָם בַּדֶּרֶךְ בְּצֵאתְכֶם מִמִּצְרָיִם   24:9

Deut. 24:9 “Remember what the Lord, your God, did to Miriam on the way at your coming out of Egypt.”

כִּי־תַשֶּׁה בְרֵעֲךָ מַשַּׁאת מְאוּמָה לֹא־תָבֹא אֶל־בֵּיתֹו לַעֲבֹט עֲבֹטֹו   24:10

Deut. 24:10 “Should you give a loan of anything to your neighbor, you shall not go in to his house to fetch his pledge.”

בַּחוּץ תַּעֲמֹד וְהָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה נֹשֶׁה בֹו יֹוצִיא אֵלֶיךָ אֶת־הַעֲבֹוט הַחוּצָה   24:11

Deut. 24:11 “You shall stand on the outside and the man to whom you are lending shall bring forth the pledge to you outside.”

וְאִם־אִישׁ עָנִי הוּא לֹא תִשְׁכַּב בַּעֲבֹטֹו   24:12

Deut. 24:12 “And if he is a poor man, you shall not sleep with his pledge.”

הָשֵׁב תָּשִׁיב לֹו אֶת־הַעֲבֹוט כְּבֹא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְשָׁכַב בְּשַׂלְמָתֹו וּבֵרֲךֶךָּ וּלְךָ תִּהְיֶה צְדָקָה לִפְנֵי יְהוָה    24:13

אֱלֹהֶיךָ

Deut. 24:13 “You shall surely return the pledge to him when the sun sets so he may sleep in his garment and bless you, and it shall be your righteousness before the Lord, your God.”

לֹא־תַעֲשֹׁק שָׂכִיר עָנִי וְאֶבְיֹון מֵאַחֶיךָ אֹו מִגֵּרְךָ אֲשֶׁר בְּאַרְצְךָ בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ   24:14

Deut. 24:14 “You shall not oppress a poor and needy hired servant who is of your brethren or of your sojourner who will be in your land within your gates.”

בְּיֹומֹו תִתֵּן שְׂכָרֹו וְלֹא־תָבֹוא עָלָיו הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ כִּי עָנִי הוּא וְאֵלָיו הוּא נֹשֵׂא אֶת־נַפְשֹׁו וְלֹא־יִקְרָא   24:15

עָלֶיךָ אֶל־יְהוָה וְהָיָה בְךָ חֵטְא

Deut. 24:15  “You shall give his wage on his day, and not let the sun set on it, for he is poor, and because of it he would be sustaining his life, so he would not call to the Lord because of you, that it would be a sin by you.”

I imagine that this verse will apply only in that time and to situations in which the hired servant and the master agree to pay daily.  Would Moses, despite his divine spirit, have foreseen that weekly, biweekly, and monthly pay schedules would someday be implemented?  Nowadays most hired workers would not get paid daily.  Obvious exceptions would be day laborers and professional repair or personal service personnel, especially those hired by an individual.  In many of these situations, the payment would be in the form of a check or credit card, which would not be available immediately in any case.  Observing this commandment nowadays (with the probable exception being for day laborers) would be at best inconvenient and at worst, troublesome to both the payer and payee.

לֹא־יוּמְתוּ אָבֹות עַל־בָּנִים וּבָנִים לֹא־יוּמְתוּ עַל־אָבֹות אִישׁ בְּחֶטְאֹו יוּמָתוּ   24:16

Deut. 24:16 “Fathers shall not be put to death because of children, and children shall not be put to death because of fathers.  They shall be put to death, each by his own sins.”

                                                                                                                         [Return to 2Kin. 14:6]

If I understand this verse correctly, it conveys at least one very important message.  Moses was saying to the people that the Lord is responsible for visiting the sins of the fathers upon the sons to the third generation (see Exod. 34:7).  It is not the responsibility of the people.  In other words, the visiting is not to be accomplished by the hand of a human, but by God alone.  And as far as the first part of the verse is concerned, it adds another important message.  Parents shall not be punished (at least by death) for their children’s sins.

The sages seem to have understood this verse differently.  They see it prohibiting relatives from testifying in a court case.  Perhaps it may imply this, but it says specifically parents and children, not other relatives.  I imagine the sages must have taken the admonition contained in this verse in a general way rather than literally.  However, I find it difficult to derive a general meaning from this verse when it uses the word death three times and repeats that fathers and children shall each be put to death by their own sins.

לֹא תַטֶּה מִשְׁפַּט גֵּר יָתֹום וְלֹא תַחֲבֹל בֶּגֶד אַלְמָנָה   24:17

Deut. 24:17 “You shall not take away the due of an orphaned stranger, and you shall not take a pledge of the garment of a widow.”

וְזָכַרְתָּ כִּי עֶבֶד הָיִיתָ בְּמִצְרַיִם וַיִּפְדְּךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ מִשָּׁם עַל־כֵּן אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ לַעֲשֹׂות אֶת־הַדָּבָר   24:18

הַזֶּה

Deut. 24:18 “And you shall remember when you were a slave in Egypt and the Lord, your God, redeemed you from there; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing.”

כִּי תִקְצֹר קְצִירְךָ בְשָׂדֶךָ וְשָׁכַחְתָּ עֹמֶר בַּשָּׂדֶה לֹא תָשׁוּב לְקַחְתֹּו לַגֵּר לַיָּתֹום וְלָאַלְמָנָה יִהְיֶה    24:19

לְמַעַן יְבָרֶךְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכֹל מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיךָ

Deut. 24:19 “When you will reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow, so that the Lord, your God, may bless you in all the work of your hands.”

כִּי תַחְבֹּט זֵיתְךָ לֹא תְפָאֵר אַחֲרֶיךָ לַגֵּר לַיָּתֹום וְלָאַלְמָנָה יִהְיֶה   24:20

Deut. 24:20 “When you will beat your olive tree, you shall not glean after yourself; it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.”

כִּי תִבְצֹר כַּרְמְךָ לֹא תְעֹולֵל אַחֲרֶיךָ לַגֵּר לַיָּתֹום וְלָאַלְמָנָה יִהְיֶה   24:21

Deut. 24:21 “When you will gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean after yourself; it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.”

וְזָכַרְתָּ כִּי־עֶבֶד הָיִיתָ בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם עַל־כֵּן אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ לַעֲשֹׂות אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה   24:22

Deut. 24:22 “And you shall remember when you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing.”

Torah Commandments in this Chapter

534. A man may not remarry his ex-wife if she had married another and

        was divorced again or her second husband dies.    V. 24:1 - 24:4

535. A man newly married shall not go to the army or be required for any

        business for one year.    V. 24:5

536. A mill or millstone shall not be taken for collateral for a loan.    V. 24:6

537. You shall not enter a man's house to get collateral for a loan.    V. 24:10

538 . You shall wait outside a borrower's house to get collateral for a loan

        from him.    V. 24:11

539. If a borrower is poor, you shall not keep his collateral overnight.    V. 24:12

540. You shall return a poor borrower's collateral at sunset.    V. 24:13

541. You shall pay the wage of a poor hired servant before sunset.    V. 24:14, 24:15

542. Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children.    V. 24:16

543. Children shall not be put to death because of their fathers.    V. 24:16

544. Fathers or children shall each be put to death for their own sins.    V. 24:16

545. You shall not take a garment as collateral from a widow.    V. 24:17

546. If you forget a sheaf when you are reaping your harvest, you shall not

        go back to get it.    V. 24:19

547. When you beat your olive tree, you shall not glean after yourself.   V. 24:20

548. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean

        after yourself.    V. 24:21

549. You shall leave a forgotten sheaf, olive tree gleanings, and vineyard

        gleanings for the stranger, the orphan, and the widow.    V. 24:19 - 24:21

 

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