Deuteronomy 25

 

כִּי־יִהְיֶה רִיב בֵּין אֲנָשִׁים וְנִגְּשׁוּ אֶל־הַמִּשְׁפָּט וּשְׁפָטוּם וְהִצְדִּיקוּ אֶת־הַצַּדִּיק וְהִרְשִׁיעוּ אֶת־הָרָשָׁע   25:1

Deut. 25:1 “When there would be a controversy between men and they will come near to the judge, and they will judge them, and justify the righteous one and condemn the wicked one,

There are nine verses in this chapter containing second-person pronouns (you and your).  All of them are singular, thus referring to the entire congregation as a body.

וְהָיָה אִם־בִּן הַכֹּות הָרָשָׁע וְהִפִּילֹו הַשֹּׁפֵט וְהִכָּהוּ לְפָנָיו כְּדֵי רִשְׁעָתֹו בְּמִסְפָּר   25:2

Deut. 25:2 then it shall be, if the wicked one deserves to be beaten, then the judge shall have him lie down and have him beaten before him sufficiently for the abundance of his wickedness.”

אַרְבָּעִים יַכֶּנּוּ לֹא יֹסִיף פֶּןיֹסִיף לְהַכֹּתוֹ עַלאֵלֶּה מַכָּה רַבָּה וְנִקְלָה אָחִיךָ לְעֵינֶיךָ   25:3

Deut. 25:3 “He may direct him forty strokes, not more, lest he add more strokes to his beating over these, and your brother would be dishonored in your eyes.”

לֹא־תַחְסֹם שֹׁור בְּדִישֹׁו   25:4

Deut. 25:4 “You shall not muzzle an ox during his treading of corn.”

כִּי־יֵשְׁבוּ אַחִים יַחְדָּו וּמֵת אַחַד מֵהֶם וּבֵן אֵין־לֹו לֹא־תִהְיֶה אֵשֶׁת־הַמֵּת הַחוּצָה לְאִישׁ זָר יְבָמָהּ   25:5

יָבֹא עָלֶיהָ וּלְקָחָהּ לֹו לְאִשָּׁה וְיִבְּמָהּ

Deut. 25:5 “When brothers shall dwell together and one of them should die and there should be no son for him, the wife of the deceased shall not be situated abroad with a strange man; her brother-in-law shall go in by her and take her for his wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law with her.”                                                                                                           [Return to Gene. 38:9]

וְהָיָה הַבְּכֹור אֲשֶׁר תֵּלֵד יָקוּם עַל־שֵׁם אָחִיו הַמֵּת וְלֹא־יִמָּחֶה שְׁמֹו מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל   25:6

Deut. 25:6 “And it shall be, the first born that she will bear shall continue over the name of his deceased brother, so his name shall not be blotted out from Israel.”

וְאִם־לֹא יַחְפֹּץ הָאִישׁ לָקַחַת אֶת־יְבִמְתֹּו וְעָלְתָה יְבִמְתֹּו הַשַּׁעְרָה אֶל־הַזְּקֵנִים וְאָמְרָה מֵאֵין יְבָמִי   25:7

לְהָקִים לְאָחִיו שֵׁם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא אָבָה יַבְּמִי

Deut. 25:7 “But should the man not desire to take his sister-in-law, then his sister-in-law shall go up to her city to the elders and say, ‘My brother-in-law refuses to raise up a name for his brother in Israel; he is not willing to perform the duty of a brother-in-law,’

וְקָרְאוּ־לֹו זִקְנֵי־עִירֹו וְדִבְּרוּ אֵלָיו וְעָמַד וְאָמַר לֹא חָפַצְתִּי לְקַחְתָּהּ   25:8

Deut. 25:8 and the elders of his city shall call for him and speak to him, but should he stand firm and say, ‘I do not desire to take her,’

נִגְּשָׁה יְבִמְתֹּו אֵלָיו לְעֵינֵי הַזְּקֵנִים וְחָלְצָה נַעֲלֹו מֵעַל רַגְלֹו וְיָרְקָה בְּפָנָיו וְעָנְתָה וְאָמְרָה כָּכָה יֵעָשֶׂה   25:9

לָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יִבְנֶה אֶת־בֵּית אָחִיו

Deut. 25:9 then his sister-in-law shall come near to him for the eyes of the elders and draw off his shoe from his foot and spit in his face, and she shall answer and say, ‘In this manner shall it be done to the man who will not build up the house of his brother.’”

וְנִקְרָא שְׁמֹו בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל בֵּית חֲלוּץ הַנָּעַל   25:10

Deut. 25:10 “And his name shall be called in Israel ‘House of the Removed Shoe.’”

What a strange set of laws expressed by vss. 25:7 to 25:10!  Could this reflect a custom of the times?  Or was Moses (or the Lord) then establishing this custom?

כִּי־יִנָּצוּ אֲנָשִׁים יַחְדָּו אִישׁ וְאָחִיו וְקָרְבָה אֵשֶׁת הָאֶחָד לְהַצִּיל אֶת־אִישָּׁהּ מִיַּד מַכֵּהוּ וְשָׁלְחָה יָדָהּ   25:11

וְהֶחֱזִיקָה בִּמְבֻשָׁיו

Deut. 25:11 “When men shall strive together, one with the other, and the wife of one should approach to help her husband escape from the hand of who is striking him, and would stretch her hand out and take hold of his private parts,

וְקַצֹּתָה אֶת־כַּפָּהּ לֹא תָחֹוס עֵינֶךָ   25:12

Deut. 25:12 then you shall cut off her hand.  Your eye shall not pity.”

What if the man is about to kill her husband?  Are there no mitigating circumstances to be considered?  What if a man, say a brother, does the same thing?  Would his hand be cut off as well?

לֹא־יִהְיֶה לְךָ בְּכִיסְךָ אֶבֶן וָאָבֶן גְּדֹולָה וּקְטַנָּה   25:13

Deut. 25:13 “You shall not have a double weight standard, greater and lesser, in your bag.”

לֹא־יִהְיֶה לְךָ בְּבֵיתְךָ אֵיפָה וְאֵיפָה גְּדֹולָה וּקְטַנָּה   25:14

Deut. 25:14 “You shall not have false measures, greater and lesser, in your house.”

אֶבֶן שְׁלֵמָה וָצֶדֶק יִהְיֶה־לָּךְ אֵיפָה שְׁלֵמָה וָצֶדֶק יִהְיֶה־לָּךְ לְמַעַן יַאֲרִיכוּ יָמֶיךָ עַל הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר־   25:15

יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ

Deut. 25:15 “Yours shall be a perfect and right weight; yours shall be a perfect and right measure, so that your days may be long on the land that the Lord, your God, will be giving you.”

כִּי תֹועֲבַת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ כָּל־עֹשֵׂה אֵלֶּה כֹּל עֹשֵׂה עָוֶל   25:16

Deut. 25:16 “For everyone doing these things, everyone doing wrong, is an abomination of the Lord, your God.”

Verses 25:13 to 25:16 are already included in Levi. 19:35 and 19:36 (commandments 283 and 284).

זָכֹור אֵת אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂה לְךָ עֲמָלֵק בַּדֶּרֶךְ בְּצֵאתְכֶם מִמִּצְרָיִם   25:17

Deut. 25:17 “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way at your coming out of Egypt,

אֲשֶׁר קָרְךָ בַּדֶּרֶךְ וַיְזַנֵּב בְּךָ כָּל־הַנֶּחֱשָׁלִים אַחַרֶיךָ וְאַתָּה עָיֵף וְיָגֵעַ וְלֹא יָרֵא אֱלֹהִים   25:18

Deut. 25:18 how he met you on the way and struck the rearmost among you, all the feeble behind you, when you were faint and weary, so he did not fear God.”

וְהָיָה בְּהָנִיחַ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְךָ מִכָּל־אֹיְבֶיךָ מִסָּבִיב בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה־אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה   25:19

לְרִשְׁתָּהּ תִּמְחֶה אֶת־זֵכֶר עֲמָלֵק מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם לֹא תִּשְׁכָּח

Deut. 25:19 “Thus it shall be with the Lord, your God, giving rest to you from all your enemies from the surroundings, in the land that the Lord, your God, will be giving you, an inheritance to possess it, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under the heavens -- you must not forget!”

This verse answers the puzzle about the destruction of Amalek raised in Exod. 17:14.  Refer also to Numb. 24:20.

Torah Commandments in this Chapter

549. When judging between a righteous one and a wicked one, the judge shall

        direct lashes for the latter sufficient for the degree of his wickedness.   V. 25:1, 25:2

550. No more than forty lashes shall be permitted for punishment in a dispute

        before the judge.   25:3

551. You shall not muzzle an ox working in a corn crop.   V. 25:4

552. The laws of the surviving brother-in-law shall be observed.   V. 25:5 - 25:10

553. If a woman grabs the private parts of a man fighting with her husband, you shall

        cut off her hand.   V. 25:11, 25:12

554. You shall not forget to blot out the memory of Amalek.   V. 25:19

 

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