Deuteronomy 24

Deuteronomy 24

Laws Concerning Divorce

24 “When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house, and if she goes and becomes another man’s wife, and the latter man hates her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter man dies, who took her to be his wife, then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination before the LORD. And you shall not bring sin upon the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance.

Miscellaneous Laws

“When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be liable for any other public duty. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife whom he has taken.

“No one shall take a mill or an upper millstone in pledge, for that would be taking a life in pledge.

“If a man is found stealing one of his brothers of the people of Israel, and if he treats him as a slave or sells him, then that thief shall die. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

“Take care, in a case of leprous disease, to be very careful to do according to all that the Levitical priests shall direct you. As I commanded them, so you shall be careful to do. Remember what the LORD your God did to Miriam on the way as you came out of Egypt.

“When you make your neighbor a loan of any sort, you shall not go into his house to collect his pledge. You shall stand outside, and the man to whom you make the loan shall bring the pledge out to you. And if he is a poor man, you shall not sleep in his pledge. You shall restore to him the pledge as the sun sets, that he may sleep in his cloak and bless you. And it shall be righteousness for you before the LORD your God.

“You shall not oppress a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers or one of the sojourners who are in your land within your towns. You shall give him his wages on the same day, before the sun sets (for he is poor and counts on it), lest he cry against you to the LORD, and you be guilty of sin.

“Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin.

“You shall not pervert the justice due to the sojourner or to the fatherless, or take a widow’s garment in pledge, but you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this.

“When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over them again. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not strip it afterward. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this.


Deuteronomy 24 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Just as God showed compassion on you, now you are to show compassion to others.

The last half of Deuteronomy 24 is a “put you in your place” kind of chapter. It is a call to remember who we were before Christ. It’s a series of laws that give practicality to loving God and loving people. What is the summarized message?

  • When dealing with your neighbors (literally anyone, as Jesus confirms in the Good Samaritan parable) you should always exercise integrity.
  • Do not be greedy, but rather, generous and compassionate. Then people will have gratitude and see that you are a follower of God.
  • Remember the poor and treat them with honor and respect.
  • Each person is responsible for his or her own sins (see commentary on Deuteronomy 5).
  • Treat foreigners and orphans as if they were your own.

After stating these specific social laws, God then gives the “why” for anyone that would still have questions. He instructs His people to remember.

Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God set you free; that is why I have given you this command.

Deuteronomy 24:18 GNB

Sometimes remembering is all it takes to shake us from complacency and selfishness. That neighbor, stranger, orphan, foreigner, and poor person used to be YOU! Spiritually, we were all poor, wretched orphans and God adopted us into His family as His own through the blood of Christ. If you have experienced that grace and forgiveness in your life and you remember who you used to be, then naturally you will follow God’s lead and show mercy and integrity toward others. These principles not only pertain to spiritual matters, but they cross over into how we live socially and relationally. Does this describe you today? Are you remembering your former life as you minister to those in need?

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments