Deuteronomy 22:7

7 You may take the young, but be sure to let the mother go, so that it may go well with you and you may have a long life.

Read Deuteronomy 22:7 Using Other Translations

But thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days.
You shall let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, that it may go well with you, and that you may live long.
You may take the young, but let the mother go, so that you may prosper and enjoy a long life.

What does Deuteronomy 22:7 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Deuteronomy 22:7

But thou shall in any wise let the dam go, and take the young
to thee
Or "in letting go, let go", or "in sending, send away" {a}; that is, willingly, certainly, entirely, frequently, always; so the Jewish canons F2,

``if anyone lets her go, and she returns, even four or five times, he is obliged to let her go, as it is said, "in letting go, let go";''

nay, Maimonides says F3, even a thousand times; the canon proceeds,

``if anyone says, lo, I take the dam and let go the young, he is obliged to let her go; if he takes the young, and returns them again to the nest, and after that returns the dam to them, he is free from letting her go;''

that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days;
the Targum of Jonathan is,

``that it may be well with thee in this world, and thou mayest prolong thy days in the world to come:''

the same blessing that is promised to observers of the fifth command, which is one of the weightier matters of the law, is made to this; which the Jews say F4 is but as the value of a farthing, or of little account in comparison of others; wherefore, as Fagius rightly observes {e}, God, in bestowing such rewards, has regard not to the works of men, but to his own grace and kindness; for what merit can there be in letting go or preserving the life of a little bird?


FOOTNOTES:

F1 (xlvt xlv) "dimittendo dimittes", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus; so Ainsworth.
F2 Misn. Cholin, c. 12. sect. 3.
F3 In Misn. ib.
F4 Misn. ib. sect. 5.
F5 In loc.
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