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Deuteronomy 22:1-8

Context
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.

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.”



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