Notes for Deut 17:1LEB

The Hebrew word תּוֹעֵבָה (toevah, "an abomination"; cf. NAB) describes persons, things, or practices offensive to ritual or moral order. See M. Grisanti, NIDOTTE 4:314–18; see also the note on the word "abhorrent" in Deut 7:25LEB.


Notes for Deut 17:2LEB


"does the evil in the eyes of YAHWEH your God."


Notes for Deut 17:3LEB

The MT reads "and to the sun," thus including the sun, the moon, and other heavenly spheres among the gods. However, Theodotion and Lucian read "or to the sun," suggesting perhaps that the sun and the other heavenly bodies are not in the category of actual deities.

"which I have not commanded you." The words "to worship" are supplied in the translation for clarification.


Notes for Deut 17:4LEB

"an abomination" (תּוֹעֵבָה); see note on the word "offensive" in v. 1.


Notes for Deut 17:5LEB


"stone them with stones so that they die" (KJV similar); NCV "throw stones at that person until he dies."


Notes for Deut 17:7LEB

"the hand of the witnesses." This means the two or three witnesses are to throw the first stones (cf. NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).

"the hand of all the people."


Notes for Deut 17:8LEB

"between blood and blood."

"between claim and claim."

"between blow and blow."


Several Greek recensions add "to place his name there," thus completing the usual formula to describe the central sanctuary (cf. Deut 12:5-18LEB; Deut 16:6LEB). However, the context suggests that the local Levitical towns, and not the central sanctuary, are in mind.


Notes for Deut 17:12LEB

"who acts presumptuously not to listen" (cf. NASB).


Notes for Deut 17:15LEB

The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, indicated in the translation by the words "without fail."

"your brothers," but not referring to siblings (cf. NIV "your brother Israelites"; NLT "a fellow Israelite"). The same phrase also occurs in v. 20.

"your brothers." See the preceding note on "fellow citizens."


Notes for Deut 17:16LEB

"in order to multiply horses." The translation uses "do so" in place of "multiply horses" to avoid redundancy (cf. NAB, NIV).


Notes for Deut 17:17LEB

"must not multiply" (cf. KJV, NASB); NLT "must not take many."


Notes for Deut 17:18LEB

Or "instruction." The LXX reads here τὸ δευτερονόμιον τοῦτο (to deuteronomion touto, "this second law"). From this Greek phrase the present name of the book, "Deuteronomy" or "second law" (i.e., the second giving of the law), is derived. However, the MT’s expression מִשְׁנֶה הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת (mishneh hattorah hazzot) is better rendered "copy of this law." Here the term תּוֹרָה (torah) probably refers only to the book of Deuteronomy and not to the whole Pentateuch.

The Hebrew term סֵפֶר (sefer) means a "writing" or "document" and could be translated "book" (so KJV, ASV, TEV). However, since "book" carries the connotation of a modern bound book with pages (an obvious anachronism) it is preferable to render the Hebrew term "scroll" here and elsewhere.


Notes for Deut 17:20LEB

"upon his kingship." Smr supplies כִּסֵא (kise’, "throne") so as to read "upon the throne of his kingship." This overliteralizes what is a clearly understood figure of speech.


Notes for Deut 18:1LEB

The MT places the terms "priests" and "Levites" in apposition, thus creating an epexegetical construction in which the second term qualifies the first, i.e., "Levitical priests." This is a way of asserting their legitimacy as true priests. The Syriac renders "to the priest and to the Levite," making a distinction between the two, but one that is out of place here.

Of his inheritance. This is a figurative way of speaking of the produce of the land YAHWEH will give to his people. It is YAHWEH’s inheritance, but the Levites are allowed to eat it since they themselves have no inheritance among the other tribes of Israel.


Notes for Deut 18:2LEB

"he" (and throughout the verse).

"brothers," but not referring to actual siblings. Cf. NASB "their countrymen"; NRSV "the other members of the community."


Notes for Deut 18:3LEB

"judgment"; KJV, NASB, NRSV "the priest’s due."


Notes for Deut 18:4LEB

"the firstfruits of your…" (so NIV).


Notes for Deut 18:5LEB

Smr and some Greek texts add "before YAHWEH your God" to bring the language into line with a formula found elsewhere (Deut 10:8LEB; 2 Chr 29:11LEB). This reading is not likely to be original, however.


Notes for Deut 18:6LEB

"according to all the desire of his soul."

Or "sojourning." The verb used here refers to living temporarily in a place, not settling down.


Notes for Deut 18:8LEB

Presumably this would not refer to a land inheritance, since that was forbidden to the descendants of Levi (v. 1). More likely it referred to some family possessions (cf. NIV, NCV, NRSV, CEV) or other private property (cf. NLT "a private source of income"), or even support sent by relatives (cf. TEV "whatever his family sends him").


Notes for Deut 18:10LEB

"who passes his son or his daughter through the fire." The expression "pass…through the fire" is probably a euphemism for human sacrifice (cf. NAB, NIV, TEV, NLT). See also Deut 12:31LEB.

"a diviner of divination" (קֹסֵם קְסָמִים, qosem qésamim). This was a means employed to determine the future or the outcome of events by observation of various omens and signs (cf. Num 22:7LEB; Num 23:23LEB; Josh 13:22LEB; 1 Sam 6:2LEB; 1 Sam 15:23LEB; 1 Sam 28:8LEB; etc.). See M. Horsnell, NIDOTTE 3:945–51.

"one who causes to appear" (מְעוֹנֵן, onen). Such a practitioner was thought to be able to conjure up spirits or apparitions (cf. Lev 19:26LEB; Judg 9:37LEB; 2 Kgs 21:6LEB; Isa 2:6LEB; Isa 57:3LEB; Jer 27:9LEB; Mic 5:11LEB).

"a seeker of omens" (מְנַחֵשׁ, ménakhesh). This is a subset of divination, one illustrated by the use of a "divining cup" in the story of Joseph (Gen 44:5LEB).

"a doer of sorcery" (מְכַשֵּׁף, mikhashef). This has to do with magic or the casting of spells in order to manipulate the gods or the powers of nature (cf. Lev 19:26–31LEB; 2 Kgs 17:15LEB–17LEB; 2 Kgs 21:1–7LEB; Isa 57:3-5LEB; etc.). See M. Horsnell, NIDOTTE 2:735–38.


Notes for Deut 18:11LEB

"a binder of binding" (חֹבֵר חָבֶר, khover khaver). The connotation is that of immobilizing ("binding") someone or something by the use of magical words (cf. Ps 58:6; Isa 47:9, 12).

"asker of a [dead] spirit" (שֹׁאֵל אוֹב, shoel ov). This is a form of necromancy (cf. Lev 19:31; Lev 20:6LEB; 1 Sam 28:8-9; Isa 8:19LEB; Isa 19:3LEB; Isa 29:4LEB).

"a knowing [or "familiar"] [spirit]" (יִדְּעֹנִי, yiddéoniy), i.e., one who is expert in mantic arts (cf. Lev 19:31LEB; Lev 20:6LEB, Lev 27LEB; 1 Sam 28:3-9LEB; 2 Kgs 21:6LEB; Isa 8:19LEB; Isa 19:3LEB).

"a seeker of the dead." This is much the same as "one who conjures up spirits" (cf. 1 Sam 28:6–7LEB).


Notes for Deut 18:12LEB

"these abhorrent things." The repetition is emphatic. For stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy, the same term used earlier in the verse has been translated "detestable" here.

The translation understands the Hebrew participial form as having an imminent future sense here.


Notes for Deut 18:15LEB

The MT expands here on the usual formula by adding "from among you" (cf. Deut 17:15LEB; Deut 18:18LEB; Smr; a number of Greek texts). The expansion seems to be for the purpose of emphasis, i.e., the prophet to come must be not just from Israel but an Israelite by blood.

"from your brothers," but not referring to actual siblings. Cf. NAB "from among your own kinsmen"; NASB "from your countrymen"; NRSV "from among your own people." A similar phrase occurs in v. 17.


Notes for Deut 18:16LEB

The Hebrew text uses the collective singular in this verse: "my Yahweh…lest I die."


Notes for Deut 18:19LEB

"will seek from him"; NAB "I myself will make him answer for it"; NRSV "will hold accountable."

"he"; the referent (the prophet mentioned in v. 18) has been specified in the translation for clarity.


Notes for Deut 18:20LEB

Or "commanded" (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV).


Notes for Deut 18:21LEB

"in your heart."

"know the word which YAHWEH has not spoken." The issue here is not understanding the meaning of the message, but distinguishing a genuine prophetic word from a false one.


Notes for Deut 18:22LEB

"the word," but a predictive word is in view here. Cf. NAB "his oracle."

"does not happen or come to pass."

"that is the word which YAHWEH has not spoken."


Notes for Deut 19:2LEB

These three cities, later designated by Joshua, were Kedesh of Galilee, Shechem, and Hebron (Josh 20:7–9LEB).


Notes for Deut 19:3LEB



Notes for Deut 19:4LEB

"and this is the word pertaining to the one who kills who flees there and lives."

"who strikes his neighbor without knowledge."

"yesterday and a third (day)" (likewise in v. 6). The point is that there was no animosity between the two parties at the time of the accident and therefore no motive for the killing. Cf. NAB "had previously borne no malice"; NRSV "had not been at enmity before."


Notes for Deut 19:5LEB

"his neighbor" (so NAB, NIV); NASB "his friend."

"and he raises his hand with the iron."

"the iron slips off."


"his neighbor."

"he"; the referent (the person responsible for his friend’s death) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

"and live."


Notes for Deut 19:6LEB

"and overtake him, for the road is long."

"smite with respect to life," that is, fatally.

"no judgment of death."


Notes for Deut 19:8LEB


"he said to give to your ancestors." The pronoun has been used in the translation instead for stylistic reasons.


Notes for Deut 19:9LEB

"all this commandment." This refers here to the entire covenant agreement of the Book of Deuteronomy as encapsulated in the Shema (Deut 6:4–5LEB).

"commanding"; NAB "which I enjoin on you today."

You will add three more cities. Since these are alluded to nowhere else and thus were probably never added, this must be a provision for other cities of refuge should they be needed (cf. v. 8). See P. C. Craigie, Deuteronomy (NICOT), 267.


Notes for Deut 19:10LEB

"innocent blood must not be shed." The Hebrew phrase דָּם נָקִי (dam naqiy) means the blood of a person to whom no culpability or responsibility adheres because what he did was without malice aforethought (HALOT 224 s.v דָּם 4.b).

"and blood will be upon you" (cf. KJV, ASV); NRSV "thereby bringing bloodguilt upon you."



Notes for Deut 19:11LEB

"his neighbor."

"rises against him and strikes him fatally."


Notes for Deut 19:12LEB

The גֹאֵל הַדָּם (goel haddam, "avenger of blood") would ordinarily be a member of the victim’s family who, after due process of law, was invited to initiate the process of execution (cf. Num 35:16–28). See R. Hubbard, NIDOTTE 1:789–94.


Notes for Deut 19:13LEB

Purge out the blood of the innocent. Because of the corporate nature of Israel’s community life, the whole community shared in the guilt of unavenged murder unless and until vengeance occurred. Only this would restore spiritual and moral equilibrium (Num 35:33LEB).


Notes for Deut 19:14LEB

"border." Cf. NRSV "You must not move your neighbor’s boundary marker."

"which they set off from the beginning."

The Hebrew text includes "to possess it." This phrase has been left untranslated to avoid redundancy.


Notes for Deut 19:15LEB

"rise up" (likewise in v. 16).

"may stand."


Notes for Deut 19:16LEB

"violent" (חָמָס, khamas). This is a witness whose motivation from the beginning is to do harm to the accused and who, therefore, resorts to calumny and deceit. See I. Swart and C. VanDam, NIDOTTE 2:177–80.

Or "rebellion." Rebellion against Yahweh’s law is in view (cf. NAB "of a defection from the law").


Notes for Deut 19:17LEB

The appositional construction ("before YAHWEH, that is, before the priests and judges") indicates that these human agents represented YAHWEH himself, that is, they stood in his place (cf. Deut 16:18–20LEB; Deut 17:8–9LEB).


Notes for Deut 19:18LEB

"his brother" (also in the following verse).


Notes for Deut 19:19LEB

"you will burn out" (בִּעַרְתָּ, biarta). Like a cancer, unavenged sin would infect the whole community. It must, therefore, be excised by the purging out of its perpetrators who, presumably, remained unrepentant (cf. Deut 13:6LEB; Deut 17:7LEB, Deut 21:21LEB; Deut 22:21–24LEB; Deut 24:7LEB).


Notes for Deut 19:21LEB

This kind of justice is commonly called lex talionis or "measure for measure" (cf. Exod 21:23–25LEB; Lev 24:19–20LEB). It is likely that it is the principle that is important and not always a strict application. That is, the punishment should fit the crime and it may do so by the payment of fines or other suitable and equitable compensation (cf. Exod 22:21LEB; Num 35:31LEB). See T. S. Frymer-Kensky, "Tit for Tat: The Principle of Equal Retribution in Near Eastern and Biblical Law," BA 43 (1980): 230-34.


Notes for Deut 20:1LEB

"horse and chariot."



Notes for Deut 20:2LEB

The reference to the priest suggests also the presence of the ark of the covenant, the visible sign of Yahweh’s presence. The whole setting is clearly that of "holy war" or "Yahweh war," in which Yahweh himself takes initiative as the true commander of the forces of Israel (cf. Exod 14:14–18LEB; Exod 15:3–10LEB; Deut 3:22LEB; Deut 7:18–24LEB; Deut 31:6-8LEB).

"and he will say to the people." Cf. NIV, NCV, CEV "the army"; NRSV, NLT "the troops."


Notes for Deut 20:4LEB

Or "to save you" (so KJV, NASB, NCV); or "to deliver you."


Notes for Deut 20:5LEB

"people" (also in vv. 8, 9).

"Who [is] the man" (also in vv. 6, 7, 8).

The Hebrew term חָנַךְ (khanakh) occurs elsewhere only with respect to the dedication of Solomon’s temple (1 Kgs 8:63LEB = 2 Chr 7:5LEB). There it has a religious connotation which, indeed, may be the case here as well. The noun form (חָנֻכָּה, khanukah) is associated with the consecration of the great temple altar (2 Chr 7:9LEB) and of the postexilic wall of Jerusalem (Neh 12:27LEB). In Maccabean times the festival of Hanukkah was introduced to celebrate the rededication of the temple following its desecration by Antiochus IV Epiphanes (1 Macc 4:36–61LEB).

"another man."


Notes for Deut 20:7LEB

"Who [is] the man."


Notes for Deut 20:8LEB

"his brother’s."



Notes for Deut 20:9LEB

The Hebrew text includes "to the people," but this phrase has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.

"princes of hosts."


Notes for Deut 20:11LEB

"if it answers you peace."

"become as a vassal and will serve you." The Hebrew term translated slaves (מַס, mas) refers either to Israelites who were pressed into civil service, especially under Solomon (1 Kgs 5:27LEB; 1 Kgs 9:15-21LEB; 1 Kgs 12:18LEB), or (as here) to foreigners forced as prisoners of war to become slaves to Israel. The Gibeonites exemplify this type of servitude (Josh 9:3–27LEB; cf. Josh 16:10LEB; Josh 17:13LEB; Judg 1:28LEB, Judg 30–35LEB; Isa 31:8LEB; Lam 1:1LEB).


Notes for Deut 20:13LEB

"to your hands."


Notes for Deut 20:16LEB

The antecedent of the relative pronoun is "cities."

"any breath."


Notes for Deut 20:17LEB

The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation seeks to reflect with "utterly." Cf. CEV "completely wipe out."

The Hebrew verb refers to placing persons or things so evil and/or impure as to be irredeemable under Yahweh’s judgment, usually to the extent of their complete destruction. See also the note on the phrase "the divine judgment" in Deut 2:34LEB.

Hittite. The center of Hittite power was in Anatolia (central modern Turkey). In the Late Bronze Age (1550–1200 b.c.) they were at their zenith, establishing outposts and colonies near and far. Some elements were obviously in Canaan at the time of the Conquest (1400–1350 b.c.).

Amorite. Originally from the upper Euphrates region (Amurru), the Amorites appear to have migrated into Canaan beginning in 2200 b.c. or thereabouts.

Canaanite. These were the indigenous peoples of the land of Palestine, going back to the beginning of recorded history (ca. 3000 b.c.). The OT identifies them as descendants of Ham (Gen 10:6LEB), the only Hamites to have settled north and east of Egypt.

Perizzite. This probably refers to a subgroup of Canaanites (Gen 13:7; 34:30).

Hivite. These are usually thought to be the same as the Hurrians, a people well-known in ancient Near Eastern texts. They are likely identical to the Horites (see note on "Horites" in Deut 2:12LEB).

The LXX adds "Girgashites" here at the end of the list in order to list the full (and usual) complement of seven (see note on "seven" in Deut 7:1LEB).

Jebusite. These people inhabited the hill country, particularly in and about Jerusalem (cf. Num 13:29LEB; Josh 15:8LEB; 2 Sam 5:6; 24:16LEB).


Notes for Deut 20:18LEB

"to do according to all their abominations which they do for their gods."


Notes for Deut 20:19LEB

"to fight against it to capture it."

"you must not destroy its trees by chopping them with an iron" (i.e., an ax).

"you may eat from them." The direct object is not expressed; the word "fruit" is supplied in the translation for clarity.

"to go before you in siege."


Notes for Deut 20:20LEB

"however, a tree which you know is not a tree for food you may destroy and cut down."

"[an] enclosure." The term מָצוֹר (matsor) may refer to encircling ditches or to surrounding stagings. See R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 238.


Notes for Deut 21:1LEB

"slain [one]." The term חָלָל (khalal) suggests something other than a natural death (cf. Num 19:16LEB; Num 23:24LEB; Jer 51:52LEB; Ezek 26:15LEB; Ezek 30:24LEB; Ezek 31:17–18LEB).

The Hebrew text includes "to possess it," but this has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.

"struck," but in context a fatal blow is meant; cf. NLT "who committed the murder."


Notes for Deut 21:2LEB

"surrounding the slain [one]."


Notes for Deut 21:3LEB

"slain [one]."


Notes for Deut 21:4LEB

The combination "a wadi with flowing water" is necessary because a wadi (נַחַל, nakhal) was ordinarily a dry stream or riverbed. For this ritual, however, a perennial stream must be chosen so that there would be fresh, rushing water.

The unworked heifer, fresh stream, and uncultivated valley speak of ritual purity – of freedom from human contamination.


Notes for Deut 21:5LEB

"the priests, the sons of Levi."

"by their mouth."

"every controversy and every blow."


Notes for Deut 21:6LEB

"slain [one]."

"wadi," a seasonal watercourse through a valley.


Notes for Deut 21:7LEB

"our eyes." This is a figure of speech known as synecdoche in which the part (the eyes) is put for the whole (the entire person).

"seen"; the implied object (the crime committed) has been specified in the translation for clarity.


Notes for Deut 21:8LEB

"Atone for."

"and do not place innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel."


Notes for Deut 21:9LEB

"in the eyes of" (so ASV, NASB, NIV).


Notes for Deut 21:10LEB

"gives him into your hands."


Notes for Deut 21:11LEB

"the prisoners." The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy.


Notes for Deut 21:12LEB

This requirement for the woman to shave her head may symbolize the putting away of the old life and customs in preparation for being numbered among the people of YAHWEH. The same is true for the two following requirements.


Notes for Deut 21:13LEB

"she is to…remove the clothing of her captivity" (cf. NASB); NRSV "discard her captive’s garb."

"sit"; KJV, NASB, NRSV "remain."

"go unto," a common Hebrew euphemism for sexual relations.


Notes for Deut 21:14LEB

"send her off." The Hebrew term שִׁלַּחְתָּה (shillakhtah) is a somewhat euphemistic way of referring to divorce, the matter clearly in view here (cf. Deut 22:19LEB, Deut 22:29LEB; Deut 24:1LEB, 3; Jer 3:1LEB; Mal 2:16LEB). This passage does not have the matter of divorce as its principal objective, so it should not be understood as endorsing divorce generally. It merely makes the point that if grounds for divorce exist (see Deut 24:1–4LEB), and then divorce ensues, the husband could in no way gain profit from it.

The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates by the words "in any case."

The Hebrew text includes "for money." This phrase has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.

Or perhaps "must not enslave her" (cf. ASV, NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); "[must not] be tyrannical over."

You have humiliated her. Since divorce was considered rejection, the wife subjected to it would "lose face" in addition to the already humiliating event of having become a wife by force (Deut 21:11–13LEB). Furthermore, the Hebrew verb translated "humiliated" here (עָנָה, ’anah), commonly used to speak of rape (cf. Gen 34:2LEB; 2 Sam 13:12-32LEB; Judg 19:24LEB), likely has sexual overtones as well. The woman may not be enslaved or abused after the divorce because it would be double humiliation (see also E. H. Merrill, Deuteronomy [NAC], 291).


Notes for Deut 21:15LEB

"one whom he loves and one whom he hates." For the idea of שָׂנֵא (sane’, "hate") meaning to be rejected or loved less (cf. NRSV "disliked"), see Gen 29:31-33LEB; Mal 1:2–3LEB. Cf. A. Konkel, NIDOTTE 3:1256–60.

"both the one whom he loves and the one whom he hates." On the meaning of the phrase "one whom he loves and one whom he hates" see the note on the word "other" earlier in this verse. The translation has been simplified for stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy.


Notes for Deut 21:16LEB

"when he causes his sons to inherit what is his."

"the hated."


Notes for Deut 21:17LEB

See note on the word "other" in v. 15.

"measure of two." The Hebrew expression פִּי שְׁנַיִם (piy shénayim) suggests a two-thirds split; that is, the elder gets two parts and the younger one part. Cf. 2 Kgs 2:9LEB; Zech 13:8LEB. The practice is implicit in Isaac’s blessing of Jacob (Gen 25:31–34LEB) and Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim (Gen 48:8–22LEB).

"his generative power" (אוֹן, ’on; cf. HALOT 22 s.v.). Cf. NAB "the first fruits of his manhood"; NRSV "the first issue of his virility."


Notes for Deut 21:18LEB

"and he does not listen to them."


Notes for Deut 21:20LEB

The LXX and Smr read "to the men," probably to conform to this phrase in v. 21. However, since judicial cases were the responsibility of the elders in such instances (cf. Deut 19:12LEB; Deut 21:3-6LEB; Deut Deut 25:7–8LEB) the reading of the MT is likely original and correct here.


Notes for Deut 21:21LEB

The Hebrew term בִּעַרְתָּה (bi’artah), here and elsewhere in such contexts (cf. Deut 13:5LEB; Deut 17:7-12LEB; Deut 19:19LEB; Deut 21:9LEB), suggests Yahweh’s anger which consumes like fire (thus בָעַר, ba’ar, "to burn"). See H. Ringgren, TDOT 2:203–4.

Some LXX traditions read הַנִּשְׁאָרִים (hannish’arim, "those who remain") for the MT’s יִשְׂרָאֵל (yisra’el, "Israel"), understandable in light of Deut 19:20LEB. However, the more difficult reading found in the MT is more likely original.


Notes for Deut 21:22LEB



Notes for Deut 21:23LEB

The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates by "make certain."

"hung," but this could convey the wrong image in English (hanging with a rope as a means of execution). Cf. NCV "anyone whose body is displayed on a tree."

The idea behind the phrase cursed by God seems to be not that the person was impaled because he was cursed but that to leave him exposed there was to invite the curse of Yahweh upon the whole land. Why this would be so is not clear, though the rabbinic idea that even a criminal is created in the image of Yahweh may give some clue (thus J. H. Tigay, Deuteronomy [JPSTC], 198). Paul cites this text (see Gal 3:13) to make the point that Christ, suspended from a cross, thereby took upon himself the curse associated with such a display of divine wrath and judgment (T. George, Galatians [NAC], 238–39).


Notes for Deut 22:1LEB

"you must not see," but, if translated literally into English, the statement is misleading.

"brother’s" (also later in this verse). In this context it is not limited to one’s siblings, however; cf. NAB "your kinsman’s."

"hide yourself."

The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with the words "without fail."


Notes for Deut 22:2LEB

"your brother" (also later in this verse).

"is not." The idea of "residing" is implied.

"and you do not know him."

"it"; the referent (the ox or sheep mentioned in v. 1) has been specified in the translation for clarity.


Notes for Deut 22:3LEB

"your brother" (also in v. 4).

"you must not hide yourself."


Notes for Deut 22:4LEB

"you must not see." See note at 22:1.

"and (must not) hide yourself from them."

The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with "be sure."

"help him to lift them up." In keeping with English style the singular is used in the translation, and the referent ("the animal") has been specified for clarity.


Notes for Deut 22:5LEB

"a man’s clothing."

The Hebrew term תּוֹעֵבָה (toevah, "offense") speaks of anything that runs counter to ritual or moral order, especially (in the OT) to divine standards. Cross-dressing in this covenant context may suggest homosexuality, fertility cult ritual, or some other forbidden practice.


Notes for Deut 22:6LEB

"and the mother sitting upon the chicks or the eggs."

"sons," used here in a generic sense for offspring.


Notes for Deut 22:7LEB

The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation seeks to reflect with "be sure."


Notes for Deut 22:8LEB

Or "a parapet" (so NAB, NIV, NRSV); KJV "a battlement"; NLT "a barrier."

"that you not place bloodshed in your house."


Notes for Deut 22:9LEB

"set apart." The verb קָדַשׁ (qadash) in the Qal verbal stem (as here) has the idea of being holy or being treated with special care. Some take the meaning as "be off-limits, forfeited," i.e., the total produce of the vineyard, both crops and grapes, have to be forfeited to the sanctuary (cf. Exod 29:37LEB; Exod 30:29LEB; Lev 6:18LEB, 27; Num 16:37–38LEB; Hag 2:12LEB).


Notes for Deut 22:11LEB

The Hebrew term שַׁעַטְנֵז (shaatnez) occurs only here and in Lev 19:19. HALOT 1610-11 s.v. takes it to be a contraction of words (שַׁשׁ [shash, "headdress"] + עַטְנַז [’atnaz, "strong"]). BDB 1043 s.v. שַׁעַטְנֵז offers the translation "mixed stuff" (cf. NEB "woven with two kinds of yarn"; NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT "woven together"). The general meaning is clear even if the etymology is not.


Notes for Deut 22:12LEB

"twisted threads" (גְּדִלִים, gédilim) appears to be synonymous with צִיצִת (tsitsit) which, in Num 15:38, occurs in a passage instructing Israel to remember the covenant. Perhaps that is the purpose of the tassels here as well. Cf. KJV, ASV "fringes"; NAB "twisted cords."


Notes for Deut 22:13LEB

"goes to her," a Hebrew euphemistic idiom for sexual relations.

"hate." See note on the word "other" in Deut 21:15LEB. Cf. NAB "comes to dislike"; NASB "turns against"; TEV "decides he doesn’t want."


Notes for Deut 22:14LEB

"deeds of things"; NRSV "makes up charges against her"; NIV "slanders her."

"brings against her a bad name"; NIV "gives her a bad name."

"drew near to her." This is another Hebrew euphemism for having sexual relations.


Notes for Deut 22:15LEB

In light of v. 17 this would evidently be blood-stained sheets indicative of the first instance of intercourse. See E. H. Merrill, Deuteronomy (NAC), 302–3.


Notes for Deut 22:16LEB

"hated." See note on the word "other" in Deut 21:15LEB.


Notes for Deut 22:17LEB

"they will spread the garment."


Notes for Deut 22:18LEB



Notes for Deut 22:19LEB

"for he"; the referent (the man who made the accusation) has been specified in the translation to avoid confusion with the young woman’s father, the last-mentioned male.

"brought forth a bad name."


Notes for Deut 22:21LEB

The Hebrew term נְבָלָה (névalah) means more than just something stupid. It refers to a moral lapse so serious as to jeopardize the whole covenant community (cf. Gen 34:7LEB; Judg 19:23LEB; Judg 20:6LEB, 10; Jer 29:23LEB). See C. Pan, NIDOTTE 3:11–13. Cf. NAB "she committed a crime against Israel."

"burn." See note on Deut 21:21LEB.


Notes for Deut 22:22LEB

"lying with" (so KJV, NASB), a Hebrew idiom for sexual relations.

"a woman married to a husband."

"burn." See note on the phrase "purge out" in Deut 21:21LEB.


Notes for Deut 22:23LEB


"lies with."


Notes for Deut 22:24LEB



"burn." See note on the phrase "purge out" in Deut 21:21LEB.


Notes for Deut 22:25LEB

"found," also in vv. 27, 28.

"lay with" here refers to a forced sexual relationship, as the accompanying verb "seized" (חָזַק, khazaq) makes clear.

"the man who lay with her, only him."


Notes for Deut 22:26LEB

"his neighbor."


Notes for Deut 22:27LEB

"he"; the referent (the man who attacked the woman) has been specified in the translation for clarity.


Notes for Deut 22:28LEB

"lies with."


Notes for Deut 22:30LEB

Beginning with 22:30, the verse numbers through 23:25 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 22:30 ET = 23:1 HT, 23:1 ET = 23:2 HT, 23:2 ET = 23:3 HT, etc., through 23:25 ET = 23:26 HT. With 24:1 the verse numbers in the ET and HT are again the same.

"take." In context this refers to marriage, as in the older English expression "take a wife."

This presupposes either the death of the father or their divorce since it would be impossible for one to marry his stepmother while his father was still married to her.

"uncover his father’s skirt" (so ASV, NASB). This appears to be a circumlocution for describing the dishonor that would come to a father by having his own son share his wife’s sexuality (cf. NAB, NIV "dishonor his father’s bed").