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THOU shalt not receive the voice of a lie: neither shalt thou join thy hand to bear false witness for a wicked person.

Ver. 1.  Lie, by countenancing calumny.  Judges must never do any thing which they know to be unjust, whatever the witnesses may assert.  The person who speaks against his neighbour, would injure him, if he had an opportunity.  Quintel.


--- Heb. "Thou shalt not raise a false report."  H.

2 Thou shalt not follow the multitude to do evil: neither shalt thou yield in judgment, to the opinion of the most part, to stray from the truth. 3 Neither shalt thou favour a poor man in judgment.

Ver. 3.  Favour.  Mercy would then be contrary to justice.  Ps. lxxi. 2.  S. Aug. q. 88.

4 If thou meet thy enemy's ox or ass going astray, bring it back to him.


5 If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lie underneath his burden, thou shalt not pass by, but shalt lift him up with him. 6 Thou shalt not go aside in the poor man's judgment. 7 Thou shalt fly lying. The innocent and just person thou shalt not put to death: because I abhor the wicked.


8 Neither shalt thou take bribes, which even blind the wise, and pervert the words of the just.

Ver. 8.  Bribes, which naturally induce the receiver to shew favour, and therefore cannot be too carefully avoided.  The Athenians put to death those who bribed the judges, and required the latter to restore ten-fold.  C.


9 Thou shalt not molest a stranger, for you know the hearts of strangers: for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Ver. 9.  The hearts.  You have experienced what sorrow and misery they feel.  M.


10 Six years thou shalt sow thy ground, and shalt gather the corn thereof.


11 But the seventh year thou shalt let it alone, and suffer it to rest, that the poor of thy people may eat, and whatsoever shall be left, let the beasts of the field eat it: so shalt thou do with thy vineyard and thy oliveyard.

Ver. 11.  Year.  Thus God was pleased to teach them to place entire confidence in him, and to compassionate the distress of the poor.  Most people suppose, that the sabbatic year commenced in autumn; as otherwise the land would have remained without any harvest two years.  This law began to be observed the 7th year after Josue crossed the Jordan.  Jerusalem was thrice besieged during the sabbatic years.  Jer. xxxiv. 8.  1 Mac. vi. 51.  See Josep. Ant. xii. 14. xiv. 28.  God blessed the 6th year, so that it produced as much as three.  Lev. xxv. 21.  C.


--- On the feast of tabernacles, (in September) at the beginning of the 7th year, Deuteronomy was to be read aloud to all the people, the Hebrew slaves might obtain their liberty, and if a person could not restore what he had borrowed, it was to be remitted for ever.  Deut. xv. and xxxi. 10.  T.


12 Six days thou shalt work: the seventh day thou shalt cease, that thy ox and thy ass may rest: and the son of thy handmaid and the stranger may be refreshed.
13 Keep all things that I have said to you. And by the name of strange gods you shall not swear, neither shall it be heard out of your mouth.

Ver. 13.  Name.  Hence it is supposed, the Jews had given abusive titles to the idols; as they call Beelzebub the god-fly, &c.  No respect was to be shewn to them.  C.

14 Three times every year you shall celebrate feasts to me.

Ver. 14.  Three.  Women are not here mentioned; but they are, Deut. xxxi. 12.  Children under 13 were exempted from the obligation, according to the Caraites.  Men from 20 to 60, not lawfully hindered, were bound to appear.  Levit. xxvii. 3.

15 Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread. Seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month of new corn, when thou didst come forth out of Egypt: thou shalt not appear empty before me.

Ver. 15.  Empty.  But shalt offer something in sacrifice, and for the support of the Levites, freely.  Deut. xvi. 10.  At the Passover, the first-fruits of barley were to be offered, as those of wheat would be ready at Pentecost.  The third feast was that of tabernacles, at the conclusion of the civil year.  Presents were to be made to God, in testimony of their submission to him; as they were to the kings of the east, by their subjects.  Tavernier, Perse. iv. 16.  See 1 K. x. 27.  1 Par. xviii. 2.


---  A sixtieth part of the fruits, at least, was carried to the temple.  They consisted of wheat, barley, grapes, figs, apricots, olives, and dates.  The king himself carried his basket, and when the solemn procession arrived at the temple, the Levites began to sing Ps. xxix. I will extol thee, O Lord, &c.  After which, the people repeated the words of Deut. xxvi. 3.; and having given their baskets to the priests, (v. 4,) recited parts of the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th verses.  C.


--- God.  Here the Sept. add, "For when I shall have cast the Gentiles from before thy face, and extended thy limits."


16 And the feast of the harvest of the firstfruits of thy work, whatsoever thou hast sown in the field. The feast also in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in all thy corn out of the field. 17 Thrice a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God.


18 Thou shalt not sacrifice the blood of my victim upon leaven, neither shall the fat of my solemnity remain until the morning.

Ver. 18.  Thou, &c.  This has a reference to the feast of the Passover, v. 15, (Onkelos) as well as the following verse.  C.


19 Thou shalt carry the firstfruits of the corn of thy ground to the house of the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not boil a kid in the milk of his dam.

Ver. 19.  Dam.  The paschal victim must not be so young as to be still suckled.  The Sam. subjoins, "Because that would be like immolating an animal found dead, and the God of Jacob hates it."  C.


--- Some imagine that this law alludes to a superstitious custom of the pagans, (Spencer Rit. ii. 8,) or it forbids eating animals while they are, as it were, all milk, not eight days old.  Rivet.


20 Behold I will send my angel, who shall go before thee, and keep thee in thy journey, and bring thee into the place that I have prepared.

Ver. 20.  Angel; my only son.  Philo.


--- S. Paul says, they tempted Jesus Christ, (1 Cor. x. 9,) who is styled, the angel of the covenant.  Mal. iii. 1.  Some apply this to Josue, others to S. Michael, who, from the cloud, conducted the army of Israel.  C.

21 Take notice of him, and hear his voice, and do not think him one to be contemned: for he will not forgive when thou hast sinned, and my name is in him.

Ver. 21.  Forgive.  Dimittet, as well as the Heb. and Sept., may signify, "he will not abandon."  H.


--- My name.  Moses, Josue, and still more our Saviour, acted in the name and by the authority of God the Father.

22 But if thou wilt hear his voice, and do all that I speak, I will be an enemy to thy enemies, and will afflict them that afflict thee.


23 And my angel shall go before thee, and shall bring thee in unto the Amorrhite, and the Hethite, and the Pherezite, and the Chanaanite, and the Hevite, and the Jebusite, whom I will destroy.


24 Thou shalt not adore their gods, nor serve them. Thou shalt not do their works, but shalt destroy them, and break their statues.
25 And you shall serve the Lord your God, that I may bless your bread and your waters, and may take away sickness from the midst of thee.

Ver. 25.  Waters, or all things necessary for your sustenance.

26 There shall not be one fruitless nor barren in thy land: I will fill the number of thy days.

Ver. 26.  Fruitless.  Heb. may also be, "miscarrying."


--- Days.  An untimely death was a judgment of God on the wicked, though sometimes he chooses to draw his elect quickly out of this dangerous world.  Wisd. iv. 11.


27 I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come: and will turn the backs of all thy enemies before thee.

Ver. 27.  Destroy.  Heb. "fill with consternation."

28 Sending out hornets before, that shall drive away the Hevite, and the Chanaanite, and the Hethite, before thou come in.

Ver. 28.  Hornets, or wasps.  Wisd. xii. 8.  Josue (xxiv. 12,) assures us this was verified.  Thus scorpions forced the Ethiopians to abandon their country, and flies and wasps drove away the Mysians and Phaselides.  See Bochart iv. 13.  The latter people were of Phœnician extraction, and probably fled before Josue.  Most of the Chanaanites withdrew into Africa; some perhaps into America.  C.


29 I will not cast them out from thy face in one year: lest the land be brought into a wilderness, and the beasts multiply against thee.

Ver. 29.  Beasts.  Herod the great killed many in hunting.  Josep. Bel. i. 16.   Two bears rushed upon the children, 4 K. ii. 24.  How much would they have increased in all the countries from the Euphrates to the Nile, had they been destitute of any other inhabitants but the Hebrews, (C.) many of whom perished in the desert!

30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, till thou be increased, and dost possess the land.


31 And I will set thy bounds from the Red Sea to the sea of the Palestines, and from the desert to the river: I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hands, and will drive them out from before you.

32 Thou shalt not enter into league with them, nor with their gods.


33 Let them not dwell in thy land, lest perhaps they make thee sin against me, if thou serve their gods: which undoubtedly will be a scandal to thee.

Ver. 33.  Scandal.  If you have any society with these nations, it will turn to your ruin, which was but too literally manifested afterwards.

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