Deuteronomy 17:2
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
“If there is found among you, within any of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the LORD your God, in transgressing his covenant,

King James Bible
If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant,

American Standard Version
If there be found in the midst of thee, within any of thy gates which Jehovah thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that doeth that which is evil in the sight of Jehovah thy God, in transgressing his covenant,

Douay-Rheims Bible
When there shall be found among you within any of thy gates, which the Lord thy God shall give thee, man or woman that do evil in the sight of the Lord thy God, and transgress his covenant,

English Revised Version
If there be found in the midst of thee, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that doeth that which is evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant,

Webster's Bible Translation
If there shall be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant,

Deuteronomy 17:2 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Just as in its religious worship the Israelitish nation was to show itself to be the holy nation of Jehovah, so was it in its political relations also. This thought forms the link between the laws already given and those which follow. Civil order - that indispensable condition of the stability and prosperity of nations and states - rests upon a conscientious maintenance of right by means of a well-ordered judicial constitution and an impartial administration of justice. - For the purpose of settling the disputes of the people, Moses had already provided them with judges at Sinai, and had given the judges themselves the necessary instructions for the fulfilment of their duties (Exodus 18). This arrangement might suffice as long as the people were united in one camp and had Moses for a leader, who could lay before God any difficult cases that were brought to him, and give an absolute decision with divine authority. But for future times, when Israel would no longer possess a prophet and mediator like Moses, and after the conquest of Canaan would live scattered about in the towns and villages of the whole land, certain modifications and supplementary additions were necessary to adapt this judicial constitution to the altered circumstances of the people. Moses anticipates this want in the following provisions, in which he first of all commands the appointment of judges and officials in every town, and gives certain precise injunctions as to their judicial proceedings (Deuteronomy 16:18-17:7); and secondly, appoints a higher judicial court at the place of the sanctuary for the more difficult cases (Deuteronomy 17:8-13); and thirdly, gives them a law for the future with reference to the choice of a king (Deuteronomy 16:14-20).

Deuteronomy 16:18-20

Appointment and Instruction of the Judges. - Deuteronomy 16:18. "Judges and officers thou shalt appoint thee in all thy gates (place, see at Exodus 20:10), which Jehovah thy God shall give thee, according to thy tribes." The nation is addressed as a whole, and directed to appoint for itself judges and officers, i.e., to choose them, and have them appointed by its rulers, just as was done at Sinai, where the people chose the judges, and Moses inducted into office the persons so chosen (cf. Deuteronomy 1:12-18). That the same course was to be adopted in future, is evident from the expression, "throughout thy tribes," i.e., according to thy tribes, which points back to Deuteronomy 1:13. Election by majorities was unknown to the Mosaic law. The shoterim, officers (lit., writers, see at Exodus 5:6), who were associated with the judges, according to Deuteronomy 1:15, even under the previous arrangement, were not merely messengers and servants of the courts, but secretaries and advisers of the judges, who derived their title from the fact that they had to draw up and keep the genealogical lists, and who are mentioned as already existing in Egypt as overseers of the people and of their work (see at Exodus 5:6; and for the different opinions concerning their official position, see Selden, de Synedriis, i. pp. 342-3). The new features, which Moses introduces here, consist simply in the fact that every place was to have its own judges and officers, whereas hitherto they had only been appointed for the larger and smaller divisions of the nation, according to their genealogical organization. Moses lays down no rule as to the number of judges and shoterim to be appointed in each place, because this would depend upon the number of the inhabitants; and the existing arrangement of judges over tens, hundreds, etc. (Exodus 18:21), would still furnish the necessary standard. The statements made by Josephus and the Rabbins with regard to the number of judges in each place are contradictory, or at all events are founded upon the circumstances of much later times (see my Archologie, ii. pp. 257-8). - These judges were to judge the people with just judgment. The admonition in Deuteronomy 16:19 corresponds to the instructions in Exodus 23:6 and Exodus 23:8. "Respect persons:" as in Deuteronomy 1:17. To this there is added, in Deuteronomy 16:20, an emphatic admonition to strive zealously to maintain justice. The repetition of the word justice is emphatic: justice, and nothing but justice, as in Genesis 14:10, etc. But in order to give the people and the judges appointed by them a brief practical admonition, as to the things they were more especially to observe in their administration of justice, Moses notices by way of example a few crimes that were deserving of punishment (Deuteronomy 16:21, Deuteronomy 16:22, and Deuteronomy 17:1), and then proceeds in Deuteronomy 17:2-7 to describe more fully the judicial proceedings in the case of idolaters.

Deuteronomy 17:2 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

within any of thy gates The expression, `within any of thy gates,' denoted all residing in the cities, and all who went in and come out at the gates of them; so that it included the inhabitants of the whole land.

man

Deuteronomy 17:5 Then shall you bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, to your gates, even that man or that woman...

Deuteronomy 13:6 If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend...

Deuteronomy 29:18 Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turns away this day from the LORD our God...

in transgressing

Deuteronomy 4:23 Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image...

Deuteronomy 29:25 Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers...

Deuteronomy 31:20 For when I shall have brought them into the land which I swore to their fathers, that flows with milk and honey...

Leviticus 26:15,25 And if you shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that you will not do all my commandments...

Joshua 7:11,15 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing...

Joshua 23:16 When you have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods...

Judges 2:20 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said...

2 Kings 18:12 Because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed his covenant...

Jeremiah 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land...

Ezekiel 16:39 And I will also give you into their hand, and they shall throw down your eminent place, and shall break down your high places...

Hosea 6:7 But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.

Hosea 8:1 Set the trumpet to your mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant...

Hebrews 8:9,10 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt...

Cross References
Hebrews 10:28
Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses.

Exodus 22:20
"Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the LORD alone, shall be devoted to destruction.

Deuteronomy 13:6
"If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter or the wife you embrace or your friend who is as your own soul entices you secretly, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods,' which neither you nor your fathers have known,

2 Kings 21:3
For he rebuilt the high places that Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.

Job 31:28
this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I would have been false to God above.

Jeremiah 34:18
And the men who transgressed my covenant and did not keep the terms of the covenant that they made before me, I will make them like the calf that they cut in two and passed between its parts--

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