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Deuteronomy Chapter 25
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Deuteronomy
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Flogging
25:1 A trial shall be an adversary proceeding where a verdict is handed down, acquitting the innocent and convicting the guilty.
25:2 If the guilty man has incurred the penalty of flogging, the judge shall make him lean over, and have him flogged with a fixed number of lashes for his crime.
25:3 Do not go beyond the limit and give him forty lashes. You may not give him a more severe flogging, striking him any more than this, since your brother will then be degraded in your presence.
25:4 Do not muzzle an ox when it is treading grain.

The Childless Brother-in-Law
25:5 When brothers live together, and one of them dies childless, the dead man's wife shall not be allowed to marry an outsider. Her husband's brother must cohabit with her, making her his wife, and thus performing a brother-in-law's duty to her.
25:6 The first-born son whom she bears will then perpetuate the name of the dead brother, so that his name will not be obliterated from Israel.
25:7 If the man does not wish to take his brother's wife, the sister-in-law shall go up to the elders in court, and declare, 'My brother-in-law refuses to perpetuate his brother's name in Israel, and will not consent to perform his brotherly duty with me.'
25:8 The elders of his city shall summon him and speak to him. If he remains firm, he must say, 'I do not want to take her.'
25:9 His sister-in-law shall then approach him before the elders, take off his shoe and spit toward his face. She shall then declare, 'This is what shall be done to the man who will not build up a family for his brother.'
25:10 The name of [that place] shall then be known in Israel as, 'the house [where] the shoe was removed.'

The Assailant
25:11 If a man is fighting with his brother, and the wife of one comes to defend her husband, grabbing his attacker by his private parts,
25:12 you must cut off her hand [if necessary, to save her victim] and not have any pity.

Weights and Measures
25:13 You must not keep in your pouch two different weights, one large and one small.
25:14 [Similarly], you must not keep in your house two different measures, one large and one small.
25:15 You must have a full honest weight and a full honest measure. If you do, you will long endure on the land that God your Lord is giving you.
25:16 Conversely, anyone who is dishonest and [has dishonest weights or measures] is repulsive to God your Lord.

Remembering Amalek
25:17 Remember what Amalek did to you on your way out of Egypt.
25:18 When they encountered you on the way, and you were tired and exhausted, they cut off those lagging to your rear, and they did not fear God.
25:19 Therefore, when God gives you peace from all the enemies around you in the land that God your Lord is giving you to occupy as a heritage, you must obliterate the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. You must not forget.



Commentary:

A trial shall be...
  The adversary proceeding is between the accused and the witnesses (Midrash HaGadol). Literally, 'When there is a dispute between men and they go to judgment.' Others say that the dispute is between the accused and the witnesses who must first warn him and try to dissuade him from committing the crime (HaKethav VeHaKabbalah).

make him lean over
  (Makkoth 22b; Rashi; Septuagint). Literally, 'make him fall,' or 'make him lie down.' Or, 'throw him down' (Targum).

Do not go beyond the limit...
  Thus, in practice, no more than 39 lashes could be given (Makkoth 22a; Sifri; Targum Yonathan; Josephus, Antiquities 4:8:21). Some dispute this, however, and maintain that a full 40 lashes are given (Rabbi Yehudah, Makkoth 22a).

husband's brother
  Yabham in Hebrew, a specific term denoting a childless man's brother, who has an obligation to marry his dead brother's wife.

perpetuate
  (Ramban). Expressed idiomatically by, 'shall stand up upon the name of his dead brother.' This does not, however, mean that he shall be named after the dead brother; cf. Ruth 3:13, 4:17, where the firstborn was not named after the dead husband (Ralbag; cf. Yevamoth 24a). The dead brother's property also eventually becomes that of the children born of this levirate union (Ibid.; Targum Yonathan; Midrash HaGadol; Bachya).

he must say
  (see Evven HaEzer 169:29).

shoe
  The right shoe (Yevamoth 104a). There are many laws regarding exactly how the special shoe used in this ceremony must be constructed (See Evven HaEzer 169:14-23).

Some say that the reason that his shoes are removed is so that he shall be like a mourner or one who is excommunicated (Hagahoth Maimonioth, Yibbum 4:8 #9; Beth Sh'muel 169:43). Others say that was done in order to humiliate the man (Moreh Nevukhim 3:49). According to others, it was to release any claim the brother may have had to the dead one's inheritance (Rashbam; Chizzkuni; cf. Ruth 4:7). Still another opinion states that it was to show that the woman was not free to remarry up to this time, and therefore had to perform such services for the man (Chinukh 599). Others say that it is as if she is pleading for the man to marry her (Paaneach Razah).

toward
  (Yevamoth 106b; Rashi).

that place
  (Gur Aryeh; cf. Yad, Yibbum 4:2). Or, 'That family shall be known ... as, 'the family of the one whose shoe was removed.' ' (Abarbanel). Or, 'That man's name shall be known as, 'the family man whose shoe was removed.' ' (Paaneach Razah). Some say, 'Let the name ...' making it part of the woman's statement (Abarbanel; Yad, Yibbum 4:7; cf. Yevamoth 106b).

with his brother
  So that there is no deadly intent. See next note this verse 'private parts'.

private parts
  Testicles (Ibn Ezra). The same is true if she does any act that might endanger the man's life.

if necessary...
  (Sifri; Yad, Rotze'ach 1:7,8). The same is true in any case where a person is attacking another with deadly intent. Anyone witnessing the act must maim or kill the assailant to save the victim (Ibid.).

According to others, however, it is speaking of a case where the woman has no deadly intent, and 'cutting off her hand' denotes that she must pay for the humiliation she caused her victim (Bava Kama 27a; Rashi). Some translate it, 'You shall reckon the cost of her act (hand)' (HaKethav VeHaKabbalah).

and not have any pity
  This is a negative commandment, not to have pity on an assailant (Sefer HaMitzvoth, Negative 293).

You must not keep
  See Leviticus 19:35,36. See Ezekiel 45:10-12, Micah 6:11, Proverbs 11:1.

pouch
  (Targum Yonathan; Septuagint). Kis in Hebrew. Or, 'Place of scales' (Ibn Ezra; Tur).

different
  (cf. HaKethav VeHaKabbalah).

Amalek
  See Exodus 17:8.

you must obliterate
  See Exodus 17:16.





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