Study Guide

Book of Deuteronomy Chapter 25

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Chapter 25

Laws, Laws, and More Laws

  • A guilty person can only receive forty lashes. Ouch.
  • An ox treading grain should be free to eat it and should not be muzzled. After all, it deserves something for the work it's doing.
  • If a man marries a woman and the man dies before they have a baby, the brother of the guy must marry the woman. Their firstborn child will count as the dead brother's child.
  • Weird, right? But wait, it gets better. If the brother refuses, his brother's wife is supposed to spit in his face and take his sandal.
  • Having trouble visualizing this scene? See When to Marry Your Sister-in-Law.
  • Yeah, it sounds nuts to us, but it was common in the ancient world and was designed to keep communities together. A messy business, that's for sure.
  • A woman who tries to help her husband in a fight and strikes another man below the belt will have her hand cut off. So much for self-defense class.
  • Be honest. Don't use false weights. (They're talking about the weight of grain or the volume of olive oil, or even the measure of precious metals like silver and gold.)
  • Punish the Amalekites for striking down the weak among you. The Amalekites are the perpetual enemies of Israel. Several passages in the Bible speak of annihilating these guys (see Numbers 24:20, 1 Samuel 15, 1 Chronicles 4:42-43). 
  • Do these verses push your buttons or at least make you a little curious? Check out our discussion of genocide in "Hot Button Issues and Current Cultural Debates."

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