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Deuteronomy 22

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Laws Concerning Preservation of Life

22:1 When you see 1  your neighbor’s 2  ox or sheep going astray, do not ignore it; 3  you must return it without fail 4  to your neighbor. 22:2 If the owner 5  does not live 6  near you or you do not know who the owner is, 7  then you must corral the animal 8  at your house and let it stay with you until the owner looks for it; then you must return it to him. 22:3 You shall do the same to his donkey, his clothes, or anything else your neighbor 9  has lost and you have found; you must not refuse to get involved. 10  22:4 When you see 11  your neighbor’s donkey or ox fallen along the road, do not ignore it; 12  instead, you must be sure 13  to help him get the animal on its feet again. 14 

22:5 A woman must not wear men’s clothing, 15  nor should a man dress up in women’s clothing, for anyone who does this is offensive 16  to the Lord your God.

22:6 If you happen to notice a bird’s nest along the road, whether in a tree or on the ground, and there are chicks or eggs with the mother bird sitting on them, 17  you must not take the mother from the young. 18  22:7 You must be sure 19  to let the mother go, but you may take the young for yourself. Do this so that it may go well with you and you may have a long life.

22:8 If you build a new house, you must construct a guard rail 20  around your roof to avoid being culpable 21  in the event someone should fall from it.

Illustrations of the Principle of Purity

22:9 You must not plant your vineyard with two kinds of seed; otherwise the entire yield, both of the seed you plant and the produce of the vineyard, will be defiled. 22  22:10 You must not plow with an ox and a donkey harnessed together. 22:11 You must not wear clothing made with wool and linen meshed together. 23  22:12 You shall make yourselves tassels 24  for the four corners of the clothing you wear.

Purity in the Marriage Relationship

22:13 Suppose a man marries a woman, has sexual relations with her, 25  and then rejects 26  her, 22:14 accusing her of impropriety 27  and defaming her reputation 28  by saying, “I married this woman but when I had sexual relations 29  with her I discovered she was not a virgin!” 22:15 Then the father and mother of the young woman must produce the evidence of virginity 30  for the elders of the city at the gate. 22:16 The young woman’s father must say to the elders, “I gave my daughter to this man and he has rejected 31  her. 22:17 Moreover, he has raised accusations of impropriety by saying, ‘I discovered your daughter was not a virgin,’ but this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity!” The cloth must then be spread out 32  before the city’s elders. 22:18 The elders of that city must then seize the man and punish 33  him. 22:19 They will fine him one hundred shekels of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, for the man who made the accusation 34  ruined the reputation 35  of an Israelite virgin. She will then become his wife and he may never divorce her as long as he lives.

22:20 But if the accusation is true and the young woman was not a virgin, 22:21 the men of her city must bring the young woman to the door of her father’s house and stone her to death, for she has done a disgraceful thing 36  in Israel by behaving like a prostitute while living in her father’s house. In this way you will purge 37  evil from among you.

22:22 If a man is caught having sexual relations with 38  a married woman 39  both the man who had relations with the woman and the woman herself must die; in this way you will purge 40  evil from Israel.

22:23 If a virgin is engaged to a man and another man meets 41  her in the city and has sexual relations with 42  her, 22:24 you must bring the two of them to the gate of that city and stone them to death, the young woman because she did not cry out though in the city and the man because he violated 43  his neighbor’s fiancĂ©e; 44  in this way you will purge 45  evil from among you. 22:25 But if the man came across 46  the engaged woman in the field and overpowered her and raped 47  her, then only the rapist 48  must die. 22:26 You must not do anything to the young woman – she has done nothing deserving of death. This case is the same as when someone attacks another person 49  and murders him, 22:27 for the man 50  met her in the field and the engaged woman cried out, but there was no one to rescue her.

22:28 Suppose a man comes across a virgin who is not engaged and overpowers and rapes 51  her and they are discovered. 22:29 The man who has raped her must pay her father fifty shekels of silver and she must become his wife because he has violated her; he may never divorce her as long as he lives.

22:30 (23:1) 52  A man may not marry 53  his father’s former 54  wife and in this way dishonor his father. 55 

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1 tn Heb “you must not see,” but, if translated literally into English, the statement is misleading.

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

3 tn Heb “hide yourself.”

4 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with the words “without fail.”

5 tn Heb “your brother” (also later in this verse).

6 tn Heb “is not.” The idea of “residing” is implied.

7 tn Heb “and you do not know him.”

8 tn Heb “it”; the referent (the ox or sheep mentioned in v. 1) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

9 tn Heb “your brother” (also in v. 4).

10 tn Heb “you must not hide yourself.”

11 tn Heb “you must not see.” See note at 22:1.

12 tn Heb “and (must not) hide yourself from them.”

13 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with “be sure.”

14 tn Heb “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.

15 tn Heb “a man’s clothing.”

16 tn 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.

17 tn Heb “and the mother sitting upon the chicks or the eggs.”

18 tn Heb “sons,” used here in a generic sense for offspring.

19 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation seeks to reflect with “be sure.”

20 tn Or “a parapet” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV); KJV “a battlement”; NLT “a barrier.”

21 tn Heb “that you not place bloodshed in your house.”

22 tn Heb “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 29:37; 30:29; Lev 6:18, 27; Num 16:37-38; Hag 2:12).

23 tn 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.

24 tn Heb “twisted threads” (גְּדִלִים, gÿdilim) 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.”

25 tn Heb “goes to her,” a Hebrew euphemistic idiom for sexual relations.

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

27 tn Heb “deeds of things”; NRSV “makes up charges against her”; NIV “slanders her.”

28 tn Heb “brings against her a bad name”; NIV “gives her a bad name.”

29 tn Heb “drew near to her.” This is another Hebrew euphemism for having sexual relations.

30 sn 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.

31 tn Heb “hated.” See note on the word “other” in Deut 21:15.

32 tn Heb “they will spread the garment.”

33 tn Heb “discipline.”

34 tn Heb “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.

35 tn Heb “brought forth a bad name.”

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

37 tn Heb “burn.” See note on Deut 21:21.

38 tn Heb “lying with” (so KJV, NASB), a Hebrew idiom for sexual relations.

39 tn Heb “a woman married to a husband.”

40 tn Heb “burn.” See note on the phrase “purge out” in Deut 21:21.

41 tn Heb “finds.”

42 tn Heb “lies with.”

43 tn Heb “humbled.”

44 tn Heb “wife.”

45 tn Heb “burn.” See note on the phrase “purge out” in Deut 21:21.

46 tn Heb “found,” also in vv. 27, 28.

47 tn Heb “lay with” here refers to a forced sexual relationship, as the accompanying verb “seized” (חָזַק, khazaq) makes clear.

48 tn Heb “the man who lay with her, only him.”

49 tn Heb “his neighbor.”

50 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the man who attacked the woman) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

51 tn Heb “lies with.”

52 sn 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.

53 tn Heb “take.” In context this refers to marriage, as in the older English expression “take a wife.”

54 sn 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.

55 tn Heb “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”).



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