Deuteronomy 24:17

Deuteronomy 24:17

Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, [nor] of
the fatherless
Who are unable to defend themselves, and have but few, if any, to take their part; and therefore particular care should be taken by judges and civil magistrates to do them justice, or God will require it of them:

nor take a widow's raiment to pledge;
nor anything else, as her ox or cow, ( Job 24:3 ) ; according to the Jewish canons F18, of a widow, whether she is poor or rich, a pledge is not taken; the reason given for which is, that it would raise an ill suspicion, and cause an evil report of her among her neighbours F19; and which is suggested by the Targum of Jonathan

``neither shall any of you take for a pledge the raiment of a widow, lest wicked neighbours should arise, and bring an evil report upon her, when ye return the pledge unto her.''

But no doubt a poor widow is meant, and the design of the law is mercy to her, and that she might not be distressed by taking that from her she needed.


F18 Misn. Bava Metzia, c. 9. sect. 13.
F19 Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Bava Metzia, c. 9. sect. 13.