Deuteronomy 25

Laws About Humane Treatment — continued

These verses prescribe a limit to corporeal punishment: no more than forty lashes. Read Paul’s testimony in 2 Corinthians 11:24.

An ox could not be muzzled while threshing so that it could eat while working. Even animals were to be treated with fair consideration.

The law outlined in these verses was designed to insure the continuance of a family name. If two brothers were living together and one of them died without a son, the living brother was obligated to lie with his widowed sister-in-law to insure that a son would be born to carry on his dead brother’s name. Refusal to fulfill this obligation would bring shame on the living brother.

This law was intended to protect the ability of a man to father children. The actions of the woman in the illustration could result in injuring the ability of a man to father children.

These verses address the issue of having honest weights and measures. The underlying principle is the importance of being people of integrity. Read Amos 8:5, Micah 6:11, and Hosea 12:7 regarding the use of false measures.

These verses concern the treatment of the Amalekites (descendants of Amalek, Esau’s grandson) who had shown the Israelites no mercy or God no fear during the period of the wilderness wanderings. The Israelites were instructed to completely blot out the Amalekites. They were to show no mercy to these people who had shown no mercy to them. David later defeated but did not completely destroy the Amalekites (2 Samuel 1:1, approximately four hundred years after Moses spoke these words). These words were finally fulfilled during the reign of Hezekiah (see 1 Chronicles 4:41-43, approximately seven hundred years after Moses spoke these words).

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