You must not strip your vineyard bare or gather its fallen grapes. Leave them for the poor and the sojourner. I am the LORD your God.
I. THAT THE FEAR OF GOD WILL SURELY LEAD TO THE LOVE OF MAN. That piety which begins and ends in acts of devotion is one that may be reasonably suspected: it is not of the scriptural order. True piety is in consulting the will of the heavenly Father (Matthew 7:21), and his will is that we should love and be kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32). Philanthropy is a word which may not have its synonym in the Old Testament, but the Hebrew legislator was not ignorant of the idea, and the Hebrew people were not left without incitement to the thing itself. Hence these injunctions to leave some corn in the corners of their fields, and the scattered ears for the reaping and gleaning of the poor (verse 9); to leave also some clusters of grapes which had been overlooked for needy hands to pluck (verse 10); to take no advantage of the weaker members of their society, the deaf and the blind (verse 14); and to show kindness to the stranger (verse 34).
II. THAT CONSIDERATENESS IS A GRACE WHICH IS PECULIARLY PLEASING TO GOD. The Jews were expressly enjoined to
(1) show kindness to the poor (verse 10);
(2) to be careful of those who suffered from bodily infirmity (verse 14);
(3) to interest themselves in the stranger (verses 33, 34).
There is something particularly striking in the commandment that they were to refrain from cursing the deaf. Even though there might be no danger of giving positive pain and exciting resentment, yet they were not to direct harsh words against any one of their more unfortunate brethren. This legislation for the weak and the necessitous presents a very pleasant aspect of the Law. It also reminds us of some truths which come home to ourselves. We may observe:
1. That power is apt to be tyrannical. The history of nations, tribes, individuals, is the history of assertion and assumption. The strong have ever shown themselves ready to take advantage of the weak. Hence the oppression and cruelty which darken the pages of human history.
2. That God would have us be just to one another. In most cases, if not in all, we can take no credit for our superior strength, and build no claim on it. In many cases, if not in most, we can impute no blame to others for their weakness: the unfortunate are not necessarily the undeserving, and we have no right to make them suffer.
3. But beyond this, God would have us be specially kind to the necessitous because they are reedy. Here are these statutes in respect of the poor, the afflicted, and the stranger. The devotional Scriptures speak more fully of this sacred duty (Psalm 41:1, 2; Psalm 62:13; 112:9, etc.). The prophets utter their voice still more forcibly (Isaiah 58:6-8; Ezekiel 18:7; Nehemiah 5:10-12; Jeremiah 22:16; Amos 4:1, etc.). Our Lord has, with strongest emphasis, commended to us considerateness toward the weak and helpless (Matthew 10:42; Matthew 18:6, 10, 14; Matthew 25:34-40, etc.). His apostles spoke and wrote in the same strain (Romans 12:15; 1 Corinthians 12:26, etc.). But that which, above everything, should lead us to be considerate toward the poorer and weaker members of our community is the thought that to do so is so truly and emphatically Divine. God himself has ever been acting on this gracious principle. He interposed to save the children of Israel because they were weak and afflicted. Again and again he stretched out his arm of deliverance, saving them from the strong and the mighty of the earth. On this Divine principle he deals with us all. He "knows our frame, and remembers that we are dust." "Like as a father pities his children, so he pities them that fear him." Our Saviour dealt with exquisite considerateness in all his relations to his undiscerning and unappreciative disciples; and now he is dealing with gracious forbearance toward us in all the weakness, poverty, shortcoming of our service. We are never so much like our merciful Master as when we speak and act considerately toward those who are poorer, weaker, and more helpless than ourselves. - C.
Basil (375) imposed upon them for seven years the ecclesiastical penalties fixed for adultery; his celebrated letter on the subject proves that, in the Church "a custom equivalent to a law, and handed down by holy men" had been established against such marriages; it was in his time probably that the Septuagint (in Deuteronomy 27:23) received the interpolation found in the Vatican copy of that version, "Cursed be he who lies with his wife's sister"; and similar views were enforced by the emperors Constantius and , Honorius, Theodosius II., and , and by all the leaders of the Greek and Latin Church: the only notable exception is Diodorus, bishop of Tarsus; but he was indignantly opposed by his contemporary St. Basil, who declared that such marriages are indeed permitted to the Jews because they are under the law and all its ceremonial enactments, but not to the free Christians, and asked how the offspring of the two sisters would be related to each other, whether they should be called cousins or brothers, since by a deplorable "confusion" they could claim both names. In England those marriages were forbidden in 1603 by the Convocation of the province of Canterbury in a Canon which has never been formally ratified by Parliament. Dispensations were, however, readily granted in the Roman Church; and since the last century many Protestant theologians and jurists, and among the first those of the pietistic schools, as Philip Jacob Spener, declared marriage with the deceased wife's sister unobjectionable, since the prohibition is not unequivocally enjoined in the Bible. It was disapproved of by the Karaites; but among the bulk of the Jews it has at all times not only been tolerated but encouraged.
1. To walk constantly in the obedience of God's law (ver. 4).
None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him.1. God the institutor of marriage (ver. 6).
2. Faith in Christ not commanded in the law (ver. 5).
3. Of the several kinds of kindred by consanguinity or affinity.
4. Of the computation of the degrees of consanguinity.(1) Consanguinity is a communicating in blood, derived from one stock.(2) Affinity is a respective alliance and kindred which comes in by marriage.(3) A line is a collection of persons coming from the stock.(4) And it is threefold: the right line Ascending, as the father, grandfather; or descending, as the son, &c.; or collateral above, as the father's brother — or in the middle, as brother, sister, uncle's children — or below, as brother's son or daughter, and their sons and daughters.(5) A degree is the distance of persons from the stock.(6) In the right line ascending or descending, there are as many degrees as generations and persons.(7) In the collateral line there are as many degrees as persons.(8) In the collateral line the prohibition is extended to the fourth degree.(9) In the right line ascending and descending, the impediment is perpetual when they are alive or dead, as grounded upon the law of nature.(10) The same degrees are forbidden ascending and descending by the like analogy.(11) The same degrees are restrained by the like analogy in both sexes.(12) Where the degree further off is forbidden, the nearer are inclusively interdicted.
5. Of the computation of the degrees of affinity.(1) In what degree of consanguinity the husband is distant, in the same degree of affinity the wife is removed, because man and wife are one flesh.(2) One person added to another by carnal copulation changes the kind of affinity, not the degree: as the brother's wife is of affinity in the second degree, and first kind; if after she marry another husband, he is in the same degree of affinity, but in the second kind.(3) There are three kinds of affinity — the near, middle, and remote: as the brother's wife is in the first kind, the brother's wife's second husband in the second, the second husband's second wife in the third.(4) Affinity in the first kind is a perpetual impediment.(5) Between such as are of kindred in blood to the husband, and them that are of kin to the wife, there is no affinity to hinder marriage: as, two brothers may marry two sisters.(6) In the degrees of affinity ascending and descending in the right line, the prohibition is infinitely extended without any limitation: as, it is not lawful to marry the wife's daughter's daughter, and so downward, nor the wife's mother, or grandmother, and so upward.(7) In the collateral line, affinity is restrained to the third degree, as to uncle's wife, who is in the same degree of affinity that her husband is in consanguinity.(8) Of the agreements and differences between the degrees of consanguinity and affinity.(1) Agreement.
(a) (b) (c) (a) (b) (c) 6. Marriage of divers wives successively, lawful, though not together (ver. 18). 7. The Scripture most pure, even when it makes mention of impure and obscene things. (A. Willet, D. D.)
(b) (c) (a) (b) (c) 6. Marriage of divers wives successively, lawful, though not together (ver. 18). 7. The Scripture most pure, even when it makes mention of impure and obscene things. (A. Willet, D. D.)
(c) (a) (b) (c) 6. Marriage of divers wives successively, lawful, though not together (ver. 18). 7. The Scripture most pure, even when it makes mention of impure and obscene things. (A. Willet, D. D.)
6. Marriage of divers wives successively, lawful, though not together (ver. 18). 7. The Scripture most pure, even when it makes mention of impure and obscene things. (A. Willet, D. D.)
6. Marriage of divers wives successively, lawful, though not together (ver. 18).
7. The Scripture most pure, even when it makes mention of impure and obscene things.
(A. Willet, D. D.)
2. Against the monstrous sin of adultery (ver. 20).
3. Against the unnatural and most abominable sin of bestiality (ver. 23).
4. To profit by other men's examples, and to be warned by their punishments (ver. 25).
5. God not partial in His judgments, and therefore no man should presume (ver. 28).
(A. Willet, D. D.)
(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.)
(H. Cowles, D. D.).
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