Deuteronomy 22


לֹא־תִרְאֶה אֶת־שׁוֹר אָחִיךָ אוֹ אֶת־שֵׂיוֹ נִדָּחִים וְהִתְעַלַּמְתָּ מֵהֶם הָשֵׁב תְּשִׁיבֵם לְאָחִיךָ׃   22:1

Deut. 22:1   “You shall not see oxen of your kinsman, or his sheep, wandering, and hide yourself from them; you shall surely return them to your kinsman.”

וְאִם־לֹא קָרוֹב אָחִיךָ אֵלֶיךָ וְלֹא יְדַעְתּוֹ וַאֲסַפְתּוֹ אֶל־תּוֹךְ בֵּיתֶךָ וְהָיָה עִמְּךָ עַד דְּרֹשׁ אָחִיךָ אֹתוֹ   22:2 וַהֲשֵׁבֹתוֹ לוֹ׃

Deut. 22:2   “And if your kinsman is not near to you or you do not know him, then you shall bring it inside your house and it shall be with you until your kinsman seeks it out, when you shall return it to him.”

וְכֵן תַּעֲשֶׂה לַחֲמֹרוֹ וְכֵן תַּעֲשֶׂה לְשִׂמְלָתוֹ וְכֵן תַּעֲשֶׂה לְכָל־אֲבֵדַת אָחִיךָ אֲשֶׁר־תֹּאבַד מִמֶּנּוּ וּמְצָאתָהּ   22:3 לֹא תוּכַל לְהִתְעַלֵּם׃

Deut. 22:3   “And with his ass you shall do the same, and you shall do the same with his garment, and you shall do the same for everything lost of your kinsman; what might be lost of his and you were to find, you shall not keep hidden.”

לֹא־תִרְאֶה אֶת־חֲמוֹר אָחִיךָ אוֹ שׁוֹרוֹ נֹפְלִים בַּדֶּרֶךְ וְהִתְעַלַּמְתָּ מֵהֶם הָקֵם תָּקִים עִמּוֹ׃   22:4

Deut. 22:4   “You shall not see an ass of your kinsman, or his oxen, fallen on the way, and hide yourself from them; you shall surely help to lift up with him.”

לֹא־יִהְיֶה כְלִי־גֶבֶר עַל־אִשָּׁה וְלֹא־יִלְבַּשׁ גֶּבֶר שִׂמְלַת אִשָּׁה כִּי תוֹעֲבַת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ כָּל־עֹשֵׂה אֵלֶּה׃   22:5

Deut. 22:5   “There shall not be on a woman an article of a man, and a man shall not put on the garment of a woman; for whoever will be doing these is an abomination of the Lord, your God.”

This is an important statement about transvestites and other cross dressers.  Another abominable act showing disrespect for the Lord!

כִּי יִקָּרֵא קַן־צִפּוֹר לְפָנֶיךָ בַּדֶּרֶךְ בְּכָל־עֵץ אוֹ עַל־הָאָרֶץ אֶפְרֹחִים אוֹ בֵיצִים וְהָאֵם רֹבֶצֶת   22:6 עַל־הָאֶפְרֹחִים אוֹ עַל־הַבֵּיצִים לֹא־תִקַּח הָאֵם עַל־הַבָּנִים׃

Deut. 22:6   “Should a bird's nest of young ones or eggs be encountered before you on the way, in any tree or on the ground, and the mother bird will be perched on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother bird on the young.”

שַׁלֵּחַ תְּשַׁלַּח אֶת־הָאֵם וְאֶת־הַבָּנִים תִּקַּח־לָךְ לְמַעַן יִיטַב לָךְ וְהַאֲרַכְתָּ יָמִים׃   22:7

Deut. 22:7   “You shall in any case send the mother bird away, then you may take the young for yourself, so that it will be well for you and you may prolong days.”

These two verses, 22:6 and 22:7 are the ones that provide some support for my contention regarding meat and milk relating to Exod. 23:19, Exod. 34:26, and Deut. 14:21.

כִּי תִבְנֶה בַּיִת חָדָשׁ וְעָשִׂיתָ מַעֲקֶה לְגַגֶּךָ וְלֹא־תָשִׂים דָּמִים בְּבֵיתֶךָ כִּי־יִפֹּל הַנֹּפֵל מִמֶּנּוּ׃   22:8

Deut. 22:8   “When you will build a new house, then you shall make a parapet for your roof so you would not bring bloodshed on your house if the faller would fall from it.”

לֹא־תִזְרַע כַּרְמְךָ כִּלְאָיִם פֶּן־תִּקְדַּשׁ הַמְלֵאָה הַזֶּרַע אֲשֶׁר תִּזְרָע וּתְבוּאַת הַכָּרֶם׃   22:9

Deut. 22:9   “You shall not sow your vineyard with diverse seed, lest the ripe fruit of the seed that you will have sown would be forbidden, as well as the increase of the vineyard.”

The meaning behind this statute is unclear.  Could the diverse seed be of two kinds of grapes, or of grapes and some other fruit?  I presume a vineyard is intended only for grapes.  So does this verse refer to two kinds of grape seed?  Why would the product be forbidden?  Is this a practical or a moral statute?  Can a farmer or vintner separate the result of two different planted seeds, or must he be left with the mingled product, which would perhaps be useless or not fit for general use (the general meaning of the word (תִּקְדַּשׁ) whose root is translated as “forbidden”)?  Extending the uncertainty of this verse, the use of the Hebrew word I have translated as “forbidden” adds more ambiguity.  Normally the root word means to sanctify, to consecrate, to be holy, to dedicate, to hallow, or to be set apart (from the mundane or profane).  The implication of this translation – forbidden, which is the only one that applies here, is that there may be something holy about mingled things.  In other verses we learn more about the prohibition of mingling different things (see Levi. 19:19 for example).  Moreover, we have been told repeatedly throughout Leviticus that the flour and flour products of the meal offering are always to be mingled with oil.  Is this for practical reasons or for a more subtle holy reason?

On another equally interesting note, we see from this verse that the increase of the vineyard (תְבוּאַת הַכָּרֶם) is not the same as the fruit of the seed (הַמְלֵאָה הַזֶּרַע), as they are separately identified here.  Then to what does the increase refer?  This is of vital significance because the third-year tithe (see Deut. 26:12) is based on the increase.  As I see this, the increase most probably means the amount over the harvest of the previous year.  Thus the harvest tithe is based on the new produce, not on the entire harvest.  Of equal importance is the result that, if I am right, no tithe may be given for a forbidden product.

לֹא־תַחֲרֹשׁ בְּשׁוֹר־וּבַחֲמֹר יַחְדָּו׃   22:10

Deut. 22:10   “You shall not plow with an ox and with an ass together.”

This statute would seem to have a valid and obvious practical reason behind it, even a spiritual one.  For the practical reason, the ass would probably fight the ox’s attempt to move the plow forward.  For the spiritual reason, the ox is a sacrificial animal, the ass is not.  As I’m of the opinion that the Torah is less about practical matters and more of holy matters, I prefer the latter reason. 

Permit me some pontification here:  The Torah is God’s message to us, and is of utmost and profound significance.  In it God tells us how to be holy, which is what He demands of us.  It is our sacred duty to struggle to understand that message and all its subtle implications.  But see my remarks about these two verses after the next verse.

לֹא תִלְבַּשׁ שַׁעַטְנֵז צֶמֶר וּפִשְׁתִּים יַחְדָּו׃   22:11

Deut. 22:11   “You shall not wear a garment of wool and of linen fibers mingled together.”

Here’s a novel thought, as applied to the three previous verses:  Perhaps the prohibitions against mingling are intended to be symbolic of the non-mingling of Jews with other peoples.

גְּדִלִים תַּעֲשֶׂה־לָּךְ עַל־אַרְבַּע כַּנְפוֹת כְּסוּתְךָ אֲשֶׁר תְּכַסֶּה־בָּהּ׃   22:12

Deut. 22:12   “You shall make twisted threads for yourself on the four corners of your garment with which you will cover yourself.”

This verse, along with Numb. 15:38, is the basis for the tsitsith, the garment of fringes called the arba confoth (four corners), that the observant Jew wears, as well as for the tallith that is worn during worship services.

To offer the first of two observations at this point, I would ask what is meant by the four corners?  What kind of garment has four corners?  A robe, which I believe was the most common men’s clothing in the scribe’s day, would have two corners, if any.  I suppose a large rectangular cloth with a hole in the middle could be worn over the shoulders to serve as a robe (with the open sides tied or otherwise closed).  It would have four corners.  On or near the ground?  If so, they would very quickly get dirty.  What if they were covered by the folds of the cloth?  Was that permissible?  I presume that they don’t have to show.  Maybe we’re being told something about the garment that would be worn once the Israelites had settled in Canaan.

The second observation also involves a simple question:  If an orthodox Jew wears an arba confoth, why does he also need to wear a tallith during services?  This practice seems to me to be an example of over-observance, something that is discouraged in the bible.

Incidentally, if you had clicked the link above back to Numb. 15:38 (which says something similar to this verse), you would have discovered that there the number of corners is omitted.  It just says “the corners.”

כִּי־יִקַּח אִישׁ אִשָּׁה וּבָא אֵלֶיהָ וּשְׂנֵאָהּ׃   22:13

Deut. 22:13   “Should a man take a wife and go in to her, then hate her,

וְשָׂם לָהּ עֲלִילֹת דְּבָרִים וְהוֹצִיא עָלֶיהָ שֵׁם רָע וְאָמַר אֶת־הָאִשָּׁה הַזֹּאת לָקַחְתִּי וָאֶקְרַב אֵלֶיהָ   22:14 וְלֹא־מָצָאתִי לָהּ בְּתוּלִים׃

Deut. 22:14   and would attribute wanton acts to her and bring out an evil name upon her and say, ‘I took this woman and came near to her and I did not find her tokens of virginity,’

Tokens of virginity must be blood stains on the sheet or on her garment.  I see a minor problem with this.  What if the woman is near her menstruation time and she sheds some blood, but is not a virgin?

וְלָקַח אֲבִי (הַנַּעַר) [הַנַּעֲרָה] וְאִמָּהּ וְהוֹצִיאוּ אֶת־בְּתוּלֵי (הַנַּעַר) [הַנַּעֲרָה] אֶל־זִקְנֵי הָעִיר   22:15 הַשָּׁעְרָה׃

Deut. 22:15   then the father shall take the damsel, with the mother, and they shall bring out the tokens of virginity of the damsel to the elders of the city at the gate,

The misspellings indicated in this verse in the two sets of parentheses will be discussed following v. 22:29.  The remaining eleven identical misspellings in the ensuing verses will not be corrected in the Hebrew.  I will show them highlighted, however, in white (one case in orange).

וְאָמַר אֲבִי הַנַּעַר אֶל־הַזְּקֵנִים אֶת־בִּתִּי נָתַתִּי לָאִישׁ הַזֶּה לְאִשָּׁה וַיִּשְׂנָאֶהָ׃   22:16

Deut. 22:16   and the father of the damsel shall say to the elders, ‘I gave My daughter to this man for a wife and he hates her,

וְהִנֵּה־הוּא שָׂם עֲלִילֹת דְּבָרִים לֵאמֹר לֹא־מָצָאתִי לְבִתְּךָ בְּתוּלִים וְאֵלֶּה בְּתוּלֵי בִתִּי וּפָרְשׂוּ הַשִּׂמְלָה   22:17 לִפְנֵי זִקְנֵי הָעִיר׃

Deut. 22:17   and behold, he attributes wanton acts saying, ‘I did not find your daughter’s tokens of virginity,’ yet these are the tokens of virginity of my daughter,’ and they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city.”

וְלָקְחוּ זִקְנֵי הָעִיר־הַהִוא אֶת־הָאִישׁ וְיִסְּרוּ אֹתוֹ׃   22:18

Deut. 22:18   “And the elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him.”

וְעָנְשׁוּ אֹתוֹ מֵאָה כֶסֶף וְנָתְנוּ לַאֲבִי הַנַּעֲרָה כִּי הוֹצִיא שֵׁם רָע עַל בְּתוּלַת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלוֹ־תִהְיֶה לְאִשָּׁה   22:19 לֹא־יוּכַל לְשַׁלְּחָהּ כָּל־יָמָיו׃

Deut. 22:19   “And they shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver and give to the father of the damsel because he had brought out an evil name on a virgin of Israel, and she shall be his wife; he shall not try to send her away all his days.”

This is the only time the word is spelled correctly.  So I’ve highlighted it in a different color.

וְאִם־אֱמֶת הָיָה הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה לֹא־נִמְצְאוּ בְתוּלִים ולַנַּעַר׃   22:20

Deut. 22:20   “But if this thing is true, the tokens of virginity are not found for the damsel,

וְהוֹצִיאוּ אֶת־ הנער הַנַּעֲרָה אֶל־פֶּתַח בֵּית־אָבִיהָ וּסְקָלוּהָ אַנְשֵׁי עִירָהּ בָּאֲבָנִים וָמֵתָה כִּי־עָשְׂתָה   22:21 נְבָלָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל לִזְנוֹת בֵּית אָבִיהָ וּבִעַרְתָּ הָרָע מִקִּרְבֶּךָ׃

Deut. 22:21   then they shall bring the damsel out to the door of the house of her father and the men of her city shall slay her with stones so she will die, because she had done wickedness in Israel, being the harlot of the house of her father; thus shall you put away the evil from your midst.”

כִּי־יִמָּצֵא אִישׁ שֹׁכֵב עִם־אִשָּׁה בְעֻלַת־בַּעַל וּמֵתוּ גַּם־שְׁנֵיהֶם הָאִישׁ הַשֹּׁכֵב עִם־הָאִשָּׁה וְהָאִשָּׁה   22:22 וּבִעַרְתָּ הָרָע מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל׃

Deut. 22:22   “Should a man be found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both of them shall die, the man who laid with the woman and the woman; thus you shall put away the evil from Israel.”

The couple, seemingly voluntarily, must be committing adultery.

כִּי יִהְיֶה נַּעַר בְתוּלָה מְאֹרָשָׂה לְאִישׁ וּמְצָאָהּ אִישׁ בָּעִיר וְשָׁכַב עִמָּהּ׃   22:23

Deut. 22:23   “When there will be a virgin damsel betrothed to a man, and another would find her in the city and lay with her,

וְהוֹצֵאתֶם אֶת־שְׁנֵיהֶם אֶל־שַׁעַר הָעִיר הַהִוא וּסְקַלְתֶּם אֹתָם בָּאֲבָנִים וָמֵתוּ אֶת־ הנער עַל־דְּבַר   22:24 אֲשֶׁר לֹא־צָעֲקָה בָעִיר וְאֶת־הָאִישׁ עַל־דְּבַר אֲשֶׁר־עִנָּה אֶת־אֵשֶׁת רֵעֵהוּ וּבִעַרְתָּ הָרָע מִקִּרְבֶּךָ׃

Deut. 22:24   then you shall bring both of them out to the gate of that city, and stone them with stones so they will die, the damsel for the reason that she did not scream in the city, and the man for the reason that he humbled the betrothed of his neighbor; thus shall you put away the evil from your midst.”

Either there’s something wrong here or the woman doesn’t matter and has no rights.  Presumably, the words, “another would find her,” in v. 22:23 imply the damsel was raped.  “There should be an exception noted if the man threatened the damsel so she was too frightened to scream.  No such note!  They both die and that’s it.  No compensation or consideration for the victim.  The implication must be that she had no right being in the city if she was betrothed.  I fear this turns my stomach.

וְאִם־בַּשָּׂדֶה יִמְצָא הָאִישׁ אֶת־ הַנַּעַר הַמְאֹרָשָׂה וְהֶחֱזִיק־בָּהּ הָאִישׁ וְשָׁכַב עִמָּהּ וּמֵת   22:25 הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר־שָׁכַב עִמָּהּ לְבַדּוֹ׃

Deut. 22:25   “But if the man would have found the damsel who is betrothed in a field and the man would have used force with her and lain with her, then only the man who had lain with her shall die.”

ולַנַּעַר וְלַנַּעֲרָה לֹא־תַעֲשֶׂה דָבָר אֵין לַנַּעַר חֵטְא מָוֶת כִּי כַּאֲשֶׁר יָקוּם אִישׁ עַל־רֵעֵהוּ וּרְצָחוֹ נֶפֶש   22:26ׁ כֵּן הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה׃

Deut. 22:26   “And you shall do nothing to the damsel; there would be no deadly sin for the damsel, as when a man would rise up against his neighbor and slay him; this matter is rightly deadly.”

Do nothing to the damsel?  Isn’t she (or her betrothed or her father) entitled to compensation at the very least for the soiling of her reputation?  There’s at least a fair chance that she will no longer be desired as a wife.  Moreover, what if the force mentioned in the preceding verse wasn’t in evidence?  What then?  And how is the force defined?  What if he held a knife to her throat and hid it later?  What if he simply threatened her verbally?  Should the damsel then die also?

כִּי בַשָּׂדֶה מְצָאָהּ צָעֲקָה הַנַּעַר הַמְאֹרָשָׂה וְאֵין מוֹשִׁיעַ לָהּ׃   22:27

Deut. 22:27   “For he found her in a field, the betrothed damsel screamed, but there was no deliverer for her.”

כִּי־יִמְצָא אִישׁ הַנַּעַר בְתוּלָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא־אֹרָשָׂה וּתְפָשָׂהּ וְשָׁכַב עִמָּהּ וְנִמְצָאוּ׃   22:28

Deut. 22:28   “Should a man find a virgin damsel who is not betrothed and take hold of her and lie with her, and they would be found,

וְנָתַן הָאִישׁ הַשֹּׁכֵב עִמָּהּ לַאֲבִי הַנַּעַר חֲמִשִּׁים כָּסֶף וְלוֹ־תִהְיֶה לְאִשָּׁה תַּחַת אֲשֶׁר עִנָּהּ  22:29 לֹא־יוּכַל שַׁלְּחָהּ כָּל־יָמָיו׃

Deut. 22:29   then the man who laid with her shall give to the father of the damsel fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be for a wife to him, for the sake that he had humbled her; he shall not try to send her away all his days.”

From v. 22:15 to the end of this chapter the Hebrew word for damsel appears 13 times, and 12 of those times it seems to be misspelled.  In those 12 times, it appears in the masculine form, meaning a young man, rather than the feminine form, meaning a damsel.  In every case, the word should be in the feminine form.  I find it difficult to imagine that the scribe was so careless as to misspell the same word 12 times in 15 verses, forgetting a heh at the end of the word.  If not for the one time the word is spelled correctly (v. 22:19), I would conclude that the scribe was trying to suggest a hint about the girl in each case.  In the verse where it is spelled correctly, it appears in the phrase “the father of the damsel.”  But in this verse (v. 22:29 above) the word appears misspelled but is present in a phrase identical to the one in v. 22:19.  So I’m unable to conclude anything consistent about the misspellings other than that there is a reasonable probability that they are not accidental.

Torah Commandments in this Chapter

499. You shall return anything lost by your kinsman to him.    V. 22:1 - 22:3

500. You shall not keep hidden anything your kinsman loses.    V. 22:1 - 22:3

501. You shall help your kinsman to lift his burdened fallen animal.    V. 22:4

502. A woman shall not wear anything of a man's.    V. 22:5

503. A man shall not wear anything of a woman's.    V. 22:5

504. You shall not take a mother bird perched on its young or

        eggs in the nest.    V. 22:6

505. You shall drive away the mother bird before taking its eggs or

        chicks from its nest.    V. 22:7

506. When building a house you shall put a parapet around the roof.    V. 22:8

507. You shall not sow your vineyard with diverse seed.    V. 22:9

508. You shall not pull your plow with two different kinds of animals.    V. 22:10

509. You shall not wear a garment of wool and of linen fibers mingled

        together.    V. 22:11

510. You shall make twisted threads on the four corners of the garment

        with which you cover yourself.    V. 22:12

511. The procedures regarding a hateful husband and his virgin wife

        shall be followed.    V. 22:13 - 22:21

512. The statutes regarding rape shall be obeyed.    V. 22:23 - 22:29


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