1 If a man marries a woman and she does not please him because he has found something offensive#tn Heb “nakedness of a thing.” The Hebrew phrase עֶרְוַת דָּבָר (’ervat davar) refers here to some gross sexual impropriety (see note on “indecent” in Deut 23:14). Though the term usually has to do only with indecent exposure of the genitals, it can also include such behavior as adultery (cf. Lev 18:6-18; 20:11, 17, 20-21; Ezek 22:10; 23:29; Hos 2:10). in her, then he may draw up a divorce document, give it to her, and evict her from his house. 2 When she has left him#tn Heb “his house.” she may go and become someone else’s wife. 3 If the second husband rejects#tn Heb “hates.” See note on the word “other” in Deut 21:15. her and then divorces her,#tn Heb “writes her a document of divorce.” gives her the papers, and evicts her from his house, or if the second husband who married her dies, 4 her first husband who divorced her is not permitted to remarry#tn Heb “to return to take her to be his wife.” her after she has become ritually impure, for that is offensive to the Lord.#sn The issue here is not divorce and its grounds per se but prohibition of remarriage to a mate whom one has previously divorced. You must not bring guilt on the land#tn Heb “cause the land to sin” (so KJV, ASV). which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.
5 When a man is newly married, he need not go into#tn Heb “go out with.” the army nor be obligated in any way; he must be free to stay at home for a full year and bring joy to#tc For the MT’s reading Piel שִׂמַּח (simmakh, “bring joy to”), the Syriac and others read שָׂמַח (samakh, “enjoy”). the wife he has married.
6 One must not take either lower or upper millstones as security on a loan, for that is like taking a life itself as security.#sn Taking millstones as security on a loan would amount to taking the owner’s own life in pledge, since the millstones were the owner’s means of earning a living and supporting his family.
7 If a man is found kidnapping a person from among his fellow Israelites,#tn Heb “from his brothers, from the sons of Israel.” The terms “brothers” and “sons of Israel” are in apposition; the second defines the first more specifically. and regards him as mere property#tn Or “and enslaves him.” and sells him, that kidnapper#tn Heb “that thief.” must die. In this way you will purge#tn Heb “burn.” See note on the word “purge” in Deut 19:19. evil from among you.
Respect for Human Dignity
8 Be careful during an outbreak of leprosy to follow precisely#tn Heb “to watch carefully and to do.” all that the Levitical priests instruct you; as I have commanded them, so you should do. 9 Remember what the Lord your God did to Miriam#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. along the way after you left Egypt.
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.#tn Heb “his pledge.” This refers to something offered as pledge of repayment, i.e., as security for the debt. 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.#tn Heb “his pledge.” 12 If the person is poor you may not use what he gives you as security for a covering.#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.” 13 You must by all means#tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation seeks to reflect with “by all means.” 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#tn Or “righteous” (so NIV, NLT). deed by the Lord your God.
14 You must not oppress a lowly and poor servant, whether one from among your fellow Israelites#tn Heb “your brothers,” but not limited only to actual siblings; cf. NASB “your (+ own NAB) countrymen.” or from the resident foreigners who are living in your land and villages.#tn Heb “who are in your land in your gates.” The word “living” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. 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.
16 Fathers must not be put to death for what their children#tn Heb “sons” (so NASB; twice in this verse). Many English versions, including the KJV, read “children” here. do, nor children for what their fathers do; each must be put to death for his own sin.
17 You must not pervert justice due a resident foreigner or an orphan, or take a widow’s garment as security for a loan. 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. 19 Whenever you reap your harvest in your field and leave some unraked grain there,#tn Heb “in the field.” 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.#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). 20 When you beat your olive tree you must not repeat the procedure;#tn Heb “knock down after you.” the remaining olives belong to the resident foreigner, orphan, and widow. 21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard you must not do so a second time;#tn Heb “glean after you.” they should go to the resident foreigner, orphan, and widow. 22 Remember that you were slaves in the land of Egypt; therefore, I am commanding you to do all this.