Deuteronomy 24:17

17 Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge.

Deuteronomy 24:17 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
17 Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless; nor take a widow's raiment to pledge:
English Standard Version (ESV)
17 "You shall not pervert the justice due to the sojourner or to the fatherless, or take a widow's garment in pledge,
New Living Translation (NLT)
17 “True justice must be given to foreigners living among you and to orphans, and you must never accept a widow’s garment as security for her debt.
The Message Bible (MSG)
17 Make sure foreigners and orphans get their just rights. Don't take the cloak of a widow as security for a loan.
American Standard Version (ASV)
17 Thou shalt not wrest the justice [due] to the sojourner, [or] to the fatherless, nor take the widow's raiment to pledge;
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
17 Never deprive foreigners and orphans of justice. And never take widows' clothes to guarantee a loan.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
17 Do not deny justice to a foreign resident [or] fatherless child, and do not take a widow's garment as security.
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
17 Do what is right and fair for outsiders and for children whose fathers have died. Suppose a widow borrows something from you. And she offers to give you her coat until she pays you back. Don't take it.

Deuteronomy 24:17 Meaning and Commentary

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.

Deuteronomy 24:17 In-Context

15 Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin.
16 Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin.
17 Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge.
18 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this.
19 When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Exodus 22:22; Job 6:27; Job 24:9; Job 29:12; Psalms 10:18; Psalms 82:3; Proverbs 23:10; Ezekiel 22:7
  • 2. S Exodus 22:21; S Exodus 23:2; S Deuteronomy 10:18; Deuteronomy 1:17; Deuteronomy 10:17-18; Deuteronomy 16:19
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.