-The laws of the land continue to roll along in this descriptive chapter. Disputes between men that go to court shall come before the judges to decide their case. They are the ones who justify the righteous and condemn the wicked without partiality (Deuteronomy 16:18-20). If the wicked man deserved to be beaten, he had to lie down and be whipped in the presence of the righteous with the number of stripes according to his guilt up to 40 times, but no more than that. A fellow countryman, even though condemned, was not to be degraded beyond that in the society (Deuteronomy 25:1-3).
-Additional commands are then given. The muzzling of the ox while he was threshing had agricultural value, which Paul picks up on in the New Testament to have significance to rightful compensation and fairness. The oxen were used in these ancient times to tread out the grain on the threshing floor. He had poles attached to him so he could pull a large millstone around and around while his hooves pressed down and trampled the grain separating the kernels from the chaff. At the same time, the millstone would grind the grain into flour. To muzzle the ox would be to keep it from eating while it was working hard for the people’s benefit. *Application* Two principles here are worth considering. Don’t treat people unjustly when you have the opportunity to bless them, and it is reasonable to expect compensation for the labor that you indeed perform for others (Deuteronomy 24:15; 25:4, 2 Corinthians 9:10, 1 Timothy 5:17-18, ideas came from NASB Life Application Study Bible, Zondervan: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1995, p. 317).
-The protocol for taking a deceased brother’s wife to propagate and carry on the family name is detailed in the following verses (Deuteronomy 25:5-6). There are some interesting concepts that the nation of Israel was to follow if the brother of the deceased were to reject the departed’s wife. She could go to the elders of the town telling them her plight, since she was very dependent in this culture on a bread winner for the family, and his unwillingness to perform his familial duties. In the sight of the elders she was to pull off her brother-in-law’s sandal and spit in his face, declaring, “Thus it is done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.” And that man will be dubiously labelled, “The house of him whose sandal is removed (Deuteronomy 25:7-10).” Another interesting and graphic law revolved around a wife getting into a struggle in support of her husband. If she grabbed and seized the enemy’s genitals, her hand was to be cut off and shown no pity (Deuteronomy 25:11-12). All I can about that is WOW, the Bible is a detailed reality book is it not?
-Differing weights and measures are prohibited in the society in an attempt to keep justice and impartiality. Abiding by this law will prolong their days in the land according to the LORD. “For everyone who does these things, everyone who acts unjustly is an abomination to the LORD your God (Deuteronomy 25:13-16).”
-The last section exhorts the children of Israel to “remember what Amalek did” to them along their way when they came out of from Egypt. Amalek met them on the way and attacked their stragglers at the rear when they were faint and weary. Amalek “did not fear God.” Therefore, God commands them when they have been given peace from all their surrounding enemies and they are secure in the land that they “shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” And, they were not to forget this command (Deuteronomy 25:17-19).
-*Application* Justice remains the theme as we contemplate this evocative chapter. God’s just judgment is what we deserve; His grace is a precious gift that we can receive when we believe and repent.
Verse to Memorize: Deuteronomy 25:16