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Deuteronomy 24:8--25:4

Respect for Human Dignity

24:8 Be careful during an outbreak of leprosy to follow precisely 1  all that the Levitical priests instruct you; as I have commanded them, so you should do. 24:9 Remember what the Lord your God did to Miriam 2  along the way after you left Egypt.

24:10 When you make any kind of loan to your neighbor, you may not go into his house to claim what he is offering as security. 3  24:11 You must stand outside and the person to whom you are making the loan will bring out to you what he is offering as security. 4  24:12 If the person is poor you may not use what he gives you as security for a covering. 5  24:13 You must by all means 6  return to him at sunset the item he gave you as security so that he may sleep in his outer garment and bless you for it; it will be considered a just 7  deed by the Lord your God.

24:14 You must not oppress a lowly and poor servant, whether one from among your fellow Israelites 8  or from the resident foreigners who are living in your land and villages. 9  24:15 You must pay his wage that very day before the sun sets, for he is poor and his life depends on it. Otherwise he will cry out to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty of sin.

24:16 Fathers must not be put to death for what their children 10  do, nor children for what their fathers do; each must be put to death for his own sin.

24:17 You must not pervert justice due a resident foreigner or an orphan, or take a widow’s garment as security for a loan. 24:18 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I am commanding you to do all this. 24:19 Whenever you reap your harvest in your field and leave some unraked grain there, 11  you must not return to get it; it should go to the resident foreigner, orphan, and widow so that the Lord your God may bless all the work you do. 12  24:20 When you beat your olive tree you must not repeat the procedure; 13  the remaining olives belong to the resident foreigner, orphan, and widow. 24:21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard you must not do so a second time; 14  they should go to the resident foreigner, orphan, and widow. 24:22 Remember that you were slaves in the land of Egypt; therefore, I am commanding you to do all this.

25:1 If controversy arises between people, 15  they should go to court for judgment. When the judges 16  hear the case, they shall exonerate 17  the innocent but condemn 18  the guilty. 25:2 Then, 19  if the guilty person is sentenced to a beating, 20  the judge shall force him to lie down and be beaten in his presence with the number of blows his wicked behavior deserves. 21  25:3 The judge 22  may sentence him to forty blows, 23  but no more. If he is struck with more than these, you might view your fellow Israelite 24  with contempt.

25:4 You must not muzzle your 25  ox when it is treading grain.

1 tn Heb “to watch carefully and to do.”

2 sn What the Lord your God did to Miriam. The reference is to Miriam’s having contracted leprosy because of her intemperate challenge to Moses’ leadership (Num 12:1-15). The purpose for the allusion here appears to be the assertion of the theocratic leadership of the priests who, like Moses, should not be despised.

3 tn Heb “his pledge.” This refers to something offered as pledge of repayment, i.e., as security for the debt.

4 tn Heb “his pledge.”

5 tn Heb “may not lie down in his pledge.” What is in view is the use of clothing as guarantee for the repayment of loans, a matter already addressed elsewhere (Deut 23:19-20; 24:6; cf. Exod 22:25-26; Lev 25:35-37). Cf. NAB “you shall not sleep in the mantle he gives as a pledge”; NRSV “in the garment given you as the pledge.”

6 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation seeks to reflect with “by all means.”

7 tn Or “righteous” (so NIV, NLT).

8 tn Heb “your brothers,” but not limited only to actual siblings; cf. NASB “your (+ own NAB) countrymen.”

9 tn Heb “who are in your land in your gates.” The word “living” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

10 tn Heb “sons” (so NASB; twice in this verse). Many English versions, including the KJV, read “children” here.

11 tn Heb “in the field.”

12 tn Heb “of your hands.” This law was later applied in the story of Ruth who, as a poor widow, was allowed by generous Boaz to glean in his fields (Ruth 2:1-13).

13 tn Heb “knock down after you.”

14 tn Heb “glean after you.”

15 tn Heb “men.”

16 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the judges) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

17 tn Heb “declare to be just”; KJV, NASB “justify the righteous”; NAB, NIV “acquitting the innocent.”

18 tn Heb “declare to be evil”; NIV “condemning the guilty (+ party NAB).”

19 tn Heb “and it will be.”

20 tn Heb “if the evil one is a son of smiting.”

21 tn Heb “according to his wickedness, by number.”

22 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the judge) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

23 tn Heb “Forty blows he may strike him”; however, since the judge is to witness the punishment (v. 2) it is unlikely the judge himself administered it.

24 tn Heb “your brothers” but not limited only to an actual sibling; cf. NAB) “your kinsman”; NRSV, NLT “your neighbor.”

25 tn Heb “an.” By implication this is one’s own animal.

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