Deuteronomy 24

1 If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house,
2 and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man,
3 and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies,
4 then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the LORD. Do not bring sin upon the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.
5 If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.
6 Do not take a pair of millstones—not even the upper one—as security for a debt, because that would be taking a person’s livelihood as security.
7 If someone is caught kidnapping a fellow Israelite and treating or selling them as a slave, the kidnapper must die. You must purge the evil from among you.
8 In cases of defiling skin diseases,[a] be very careful to do exactly as the Levitical priests instruct you. You must follow carefully what I have commanded them.
9 Remember what the LORD your God did to Miriam along the way after you came out of Egypt.
10 When you make a loan of any kind to your neighbor, do not go into their house to get what is offered to you as a pledge.
11 Stay outside and let the neighbor to whom you are making the loan bring the pledge out to you.
12 If the neighbor is poor, do not go to sleep with their pledge in your possession.
13 Return their cloak by sunset so that your neighbor may sleep in it. Then they will thank you, and it will be regarded as a righteous act in the sight of the LORD your God.
14 Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns.
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.
20 When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow.
21 When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow.
22 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.

Deuteronomy 24 Commentary

Chapter 24

Of divorce. (1-4) Of new-married persons, Of man-stealers, Of pledges. (5-13) Of justice and generosity. (14-22)

Verses 1-4 Where the providence of God, or his own wrong choice in marriage, has allotted to a Christian a trial instead of a help meet; he will from his heart prefer bearing the cross, to such relief as tends to sin, confusion, and misery. Divine grace will sanctify this cross, support under it, and teach so to behave, as will gradually render it more tolerable.

Verses 5-13 It is of great consequence that love be kept up between husband and wife; that they carefully avoid every thing which might make them strange one to another. Man-stealing was a capital crime, which could not be settled, as other thefts, by restitution. The laws concerning leprosy must be carefully observed. Thus all who feel their consciences under guilt and wrath, must not cover it, or endeavour to shake off their convictions; but by repentance, and prayer, and humble confession, take the way to peace and pardon. Some orders are given about pledges for money lent. This teaches us to consult the comfort and subsistence of others, as much as our own advantage. Let the poor debtor sleep in his own raiment, and praise God for thy kindness to him. Poor debtors ought to feel more than commonly they do, the goodness of creditors who do not take all the advantage of the law against them, nor should this ever be looked upon as weakness.

Verses 14-22 It is not hard to prove that purity, piety, justice, mercy, fair conduct, kindness to the poor and destitute, consideration for them, and generosity of spirit, are pleasing to God, and becoming in his redeemed people. The difficulty is to attend to them in our daily walk and conversation.

Cross References 29

  • 1. Deuteronomy 22:13
  • 2. ver 3; 2 Kings 17:6; Isaiah 50:1; Jeremiah 3:8; Malachi 2:16; Matthew 1:19; Matthew 5:31*; Matthew 19:7-9; Mark 10:4-5
  • 3. Jeremiah 3:1
  • 4. S Deuteronomy 20:7
  • 5. S Exodus 22:22
  • 6. S Exodus 21:16
  • 7. 1 Corinthians 5:13*
  • 8. S Deuteronomy 17:9
  • 9. Leviticus 13:1-46; S Leviticus 14:2
  • 10. S Numbers 12:10
  • 11. Exodus 22:25-27
  • 12. S Exodus 22:26
  • 13. Exodus 22:26
  • 14. S Exodus 22:27
  • 15. Deuteronomy 6:25; Psalms 106:31; Daniel 4:27
  • 16. Leviticus 19:13; Leviticus 25:35-43; Deuteronomy 15:12-18; Job 24:4; Proverbs 14:31; Proverbs 19:17; Amos 4:1; 1 Timothy 5:18
  • 17. S Leviticus 25:35; Jeremiah 22:13
  • 18. S Leviticus 19:13; Matthew 20:8
  • 19. S Exodus 22:23; Deuteronomy 15:9; S Job 12:19; James 5:4
  • 20. S Numbers 26:11; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chronicles 25:4; Jeremiah 31:29-30; Ezekiel 18:20
  • 21. Exodus 22:22; Job 6:27; Job 24:9; Job 29:12; Psalms 10:18; Psalms 82:3; Proverbs 23:10; Ezekiel 22:7
  • 22. S Exodus 22:21; S Exodus 23:2; S Deuteronomy 10:18; Deuteronomy 1:17; Deuteronomy 10:17-18; Deuteronomy 16:19
  • 23. S Deuteronomy 15:15
  • 24. S Leviticus 19:9; Leviticus 23:22
  • 25. Deuteronomy 10:19; Deuteronomy 27:19; Ezekiel 47:22; Zechariah 7:10; Malachi 3:5
  • 26. ver 20; Deuteronomy 14:29
  • 27. S Deuteronomy 14:29; Proverbs 19:17; Proverbs 28:27; Ecclesiastes 11:1
  • 28. Leviticus 19:10
  • 29. ver 18

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The Hebrew word for "defiling skin diseases" , traditionally translated “leprosy,” was used for various diseases affecting the skin.

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains various laws concerning divorces, De 24:1-4; the discharge of a newly married man from war and business, De 24:5; about taking pledges, De 24:6,10-13; man stealing, De 24:7; the plague of leprosy, De 24:8,9; and giving servants their hire in due time, De 24:14,15; concerning doing justice in capital cases, and towards the stranger, fatherless, and widow, De 24:16-18; and of charity to the poor, in allowing them the forgotten sheaf, and the gleanings of their oliveyards and vineyards, De 24:19-22.

Deuteronomy 24 Commentaries

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