21:1 If [one] be found a slain in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, [and] it be not known who hath slain him:
(a) This law declares how horrible murder is, seeing that because of one man a whole country will be punished, unless remedy is found. 21:4 And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough b valley, which is neither eared nor sown, and shall strike off the heifers neck there in the valley:
(b) That the blood shed of the innocent beasts in a solitary place, might make them abhor the fact. 21:8 Be merciful, c O LORD, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Israels charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them.
(c) This was the prayer, which the priests made in the audience of the people. 21:12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; d and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;
(d) Signifying that her former life must be changed before she could be joined to the people of God. 21:13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, e and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy f wife.
(e) As having renounced parents and country. 21:15 If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another g hated, and they have born him children, [both] the beloved and the hated; and [if] the firstborn son be hers that was hated:
(f) This was only allowed in the wars, otherwise the Israelites could not marry strangers.
(g) This declares that the plurality of wives came from a corrupt affection. 21:17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated [for] the firstborn, by giving him a h double portion of all that he hath: for he [is] the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn [is] i his.
(h) As much as to two of the others. 21:18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his k mother, and [that], when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
(i) Unless he is unworthy, as Reuben, Jacobs son, was.
(k) For it is the mothers duty also to instruct her children. 21:21 And all the men of his city shall l stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
(l) A death which was also appointed for blasphemers and idolaters: so that to disobey the parents is most horrible. 21:23 His body shall not remain m all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged [is] accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance.
(m) For Gods law is satisfied by his death, and nature abhors cruelty.