Deuteronomy 16:20
That which is altogether just shall you follow, that you may live, and inherit the land which the LORD your God gives you.
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16:18-22 Care is taken for the due administration of justice. All personal regards must be laid aside, so that right is done to all, and wrong to none. Care is taken to prevent following the idolatrous customs of the heathen. Nothing belies God more, or tends more to corrupt the minds of men, than representing and worshipping, by an image, that God, who is an almighty and eternal Spirit, present every where. Alas! even in gospel days, and under a better dispensation, established upon better promises, there is a tendency to set up idols, under one form or another, in the human heart.These verses are closely connected in subject with the following chapter, and introduce certain directions for the administration of justice and the carrying on of the civil government of the people in Canaan. During the lifetime of Moses, he himself, especially inspired and guided by God, was sufficient, with the aid of the subordinate judges (compare Exodus 18:13 ff), for the duties in question. But now that Moses was to be withdrawn, and the people would soon be scattered up and down the land of Canaan, regular and permanent provision must be made for civil and social order and good government.18-20. Judges and officers shalt thou make—These last meant heralds or bailiffs, employed in executing the sentence of their superiors.

in all thy gates—The gate was the place of public resort among the Israelites and other Eastern people, where business was transacted and causes decided. The Ottoman Porte derived its name from the administration of justice at its gates.

That which is altogether just, Heb. righteousness, righteousness, i.e. nothing but righteousness in all causes and times, and to all persons equally. Compare Isaiah 26:7. That which is altogether just shalt thou follow,.... Or "justice", "justice" (a), strict justice, and nothing else:

that thou mayest live and inherit the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee; that is, continue in the possession of it.


That which {k} is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

(k) The magistrate must constantly follow the tenor of the law, and in noting decline from justice.

20. That which is altogether just] Heb. righteousness, righteousness.

follow] Not only desire but indefatigably hunt after; cp. Deuteronomy 13:14, inquire, make search and seek diligently.

that thou mayest live, etc.] See note on Deuteronomy 4:1 and introd. to this passage.Verse 20. - That which is altogether just; literally, justice, justice. The repetition of the word is for the sake of emphasis, as in Genesis 14:10, "pits, pits," equal to full of pits. In connection with the Feast of Tabernacles also, he simply enforces the observance of it at the central sanctuary, and exhorts the people to rejoice at this festival, and not only to allow their sons and daughters to participate in this joy, but also the man-servant and maid-servant, and the portionless Levites, strangers, widows, and orphans. After what had already been stated, Moses did not consider it necessary to mention expressly that this festal rejoicing was also to be manifested in joyous sacrificial meals; it was enough for him to point to the blessing which God had bestowed upon their cultivation of the corn, the olive, and the vine, and upon all the works of their hands, i.e., upon their labour generally (Deuteronomy 16:13-15), as there was nothing further to remark after the instructions which had already been given with reference to this feast also (Leviticus 23:34-36, Leviticus 23:39-43; Numbers 29:12-38).
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