Deuteronomy 17:12

12 Anyone who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the LORD your God is to be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel.

Read Deuteronomy 17:12 Using Other Translations

And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.
The man who acts presumptuously by not obeying the priest who stands to minister there before the LORD your God, or the judge, that man shall die. So you shall purge the evil from Israel.
Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must die. In this way you will purge the evil from Israel.

What does Deuteronomy 17:12 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Ver. 12 And the man that will do presumptuously
The judge of the country court that makes his application to that at Jerusalem for information and direction; if, after all, he is conceited in his own opinion, and rejects theirs, and is obstinate, and will not be guided and directed, but will take his own way, and pursue his own sense of things, and act according to that:

and will not hearken to the priest that standeth to minister there
before the Lord thy God;
the priests of the tribe of Levi, of whom the court generally consisted, ( Deuteronomy 17:9 ) , priest for priests; though some think the high priest is meant, to whom the character very well agrees; but he was not always at the head of the sanhedrim, nor indeed a member of it, unless he had the proper qualifications; see ( Deuteronomy 18:18 )

or unto the judge; or judges; (See Gill on Deuteronomy 17:9). L'Empereur F7 thinks, that the supreme senate, or grand sanhedrim, was twofold, according to the diversity of ecclesiastic and political matters; since where it treats of the supreme senators, or chief persons in the court, the priest is manifestly distinguished from the judge (i.e. priests or judges); now the man that has asked advice of them, and will not be directed by it, but takes his own way, this being so great a contempt of, and insult upon, the great senate of the nation:

even that man shall die;
and this was by strangling, for so the rebellious older, as such an one is called, was to die according to the Misnah F8; and it is said F9, that the death spoken of in the law absolutely (without specifying what kind of death) is strangling:

and thou shall put away the evil from Israel;
the evil man that is rebellious against the supreme legislature of the nation, and the evil of contumacy he is guilty of, deterring others from it by his death.


F7 In Misn. Middoth, c. 5. sect. 3.
F8 Sanhedrin, c. 10. sect. 2.
F9 Maimon. Issure Biah, c. 1. sect. 6.
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