Deuteronomy 17:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
and it is told you and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently, and if it is true and certain that such an abomination has been done in Israel,

King James Bible
And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and inquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:

American Standard Version
and it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, then shalt thou inquire diligently; and, behold, if it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel,

Douay-Rheims Bible
And this is told thee, and hearing it thou hast inquired diligently, and found it to be true, and that the abomination is committed in Israel:

English Revised Version
and it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, then shalt thou inquire diligently, and, behold, if it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel;

Webster's Bible Translation
And it shall be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and inquired diligently, and behold, it is true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:

Deuteronomy 17:4 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 17:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

enquired

Deuteronomy 13:12-14 If you shall hear say in one of your cities, which the LORD your God has given you to dwell there, saying...

Deuteronomy 19:18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness...

Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.

John 7:51 Does our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he does?

Cross References
Deuteronomy 17:3
and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden,

Deuteronomy 17:5
then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones.

Deuteronomy 22:20
But if the thing is true, that evidence of virginity was not found in the young woman,

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