Deuteronomy 22

Listen to Deuteronomy 22

Various Laws

1 "You 1shall not see your brother's ox or his sheep going astray and ignore them. You shall take them back to your brother.
2 And if he does not live near you and you do not know who he is, you shall bring it home to your house, and it shall stay with you until your brother seeks it. Then you shall restore it to him.
3 And you shall do the same with his donkey or with his garment, or with any lost thing of your brother's, which he loses and you find; you may not ignore it.
4 2You shall not see your brother's donkey or his ox fallen down by the way and ignore them. You shall help him to lift them up again.
5 "A woman shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak, 3for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.
6 "If you come across a bird's nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, 4you shall not take the mother with the young.
7 You shall let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, 5that it may go well with you, and that you may live long.
8 "When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you may not bring the guilt of blood upon your house, if anyone should fall from it.
9 6"You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest the whole yield be forfeited,[a] the crop that you have sown and the yield of the vineyard.
10 You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.
11 You shall not wear cloth of wool and linen mixed together.
12 7"You shall make yourself tassels on the four corners of the garment with which you cover yourself.

Laws Concerning Sexual Immorality

13 "If any man takes a wife and 8goes in to her and then hates her
14 and accuses her of misconduct and brings a bad name upon her, saying, 'I took this woman, and when I came near her, I did not find in her evidence of virginity,'
15 then the father of the young woman and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of her virginity to the elders of the city in the gate.
16 And the father of the young woman shall say to the elders, 'I gave my daughter to this man to marry, and he hates her;
17 and behold, he has accused her of misconduct, saying, "I did not find in your daughter evidence of virginity." And yet this is the evidence of my daughter's virginity.' And they shall spread the cloak before the elders of the city.
18 Then the elders of that city shall take the man and whip[b] him,
19 and they shall fine him a hundred shekels[c] of silver and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought a bad name upon a virgin[d] of Israel. And she shall be his wife. 9He may not divorce her all his days.
20 But if the thing is true, that evidence of virginity was not found in the young woman,
21 then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father's house, and 10the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has 11done an outrageous thing in Israel by whoring in her father's house. 12So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
22 13"If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. 14So you shall purge the evil from Israel.
23 "If there is a 15betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her,
24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor's wife. 16So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
25 "But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die.
26 But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor,
27 because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her.
28 17"If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found,
29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.
30 [e]18"A man shall not take his father's wife, so that he does not 19uncover his father's nakedness.[f]

Deuteronomy 22 Commentary

Chapter 22

Of humanity towards brethren. (1-4) Various precepts. (5-12) Against impurity. (13-30)

Verses 1-4 If we duly regard the golden rule of "doing to others as we would they should do unto us," many particular precepts might be omitted. We can have no property in any thing that we find. Religion teaches us to be neighbourly, and to be ready to do all good offices to all men. We know not how soon we may have occasion for help.

Verses 5-12 God's providence extends itself to the smallest affairs, and his precepts do so, that even in them we may be in the fear of the Lord, as we are under his eye and care. Yet the tendency of these laws, which seem little, is such, that being found among the things of God's law, they are to be accounted great things. If we would prove ourselves to be God's people, we must have respect to his will and to his glory, and not to the vain fashions of the world. Even in putting on our garments, as in eating or in drinking, all must be done with a serious regard to preserve our own and others' purity in heart and actions. Our eye should be single, our heart simple, and our behaviour all of a piece.

Verses 13-30 These and the like regulations might be needful then, and yet it is not necessary that we should curiously examine respecting them. The laws relate to the seventh commandment, laying a restraint upon fleshly lusts which war against the soul.

Cross References 19

  • 1. Exodus 23:4
  • 2. Exodus 23:5
  • 3. [Deuteronomy 18:12; Deuteronomy 25:16]
  • 4. Leviticus 22:28
  • 5. See Deuteronomy 4:40
  • 6. Leviticus 19:19
  • 7. Numbers 15:38; [Matthew 23:5]
  • 8. [2 Samuel 13:15]
  • 9. [Matthew 19:8, 9; Mark 10:11; Luke 16:18]
  • 10. [Deuteronomy 21:21]
  • 11. See Genesis 34:7
  • 12. See Deuteronomy 13:5
  • 13. Leviticus 20:10; [Ezekiel 16:38, 40; Ezekiel 23:45, 47; John 8:5]
  • 14. [See ver. 21 above]
  • 15. [Matthew 1:18, 19]
  • 16. [See ver. 21 above]
  • 17. Exodus 22:16, 17
  • 18. See Leviticus 18:8
  • 19. Deuteronomy 27:20; [Ruth 3:9; Ezekiel 16:8]

Footnotes 6

  • [a]. Hebrew become holy
  • [b]. Or discipline
  • [c]. A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams
  • [d]. Or girl of marriageable age
  • [e]. Ch 23:1 in Hebrew
  • [f]. Hebrew uncover his father's skirt

Chapter Summary


In this chapter are various laws, concerning care of a neighbour's cattle gone astray or in distress, and of anything lost by him, De 22:1-4, forbidding one sex to wear the apparel, of another, De 22:5 and the taking away of the dam with the young found in a bird's nest, De 22:6,7, ordering battlements to be made in a new house, De 22:8, prohibiting mixtures in sowing, ploughing, and in garments, De 22:9-11, requiring fringes on the four quarters of a garment, De 22:12, fining a man that slanders his wife, upon producing the tokens of her virginity, De 22:13-19 but if these cannot be produced, then orders are given that she be put to death, De 22:20-21, then follow other laws, punishing with death the adulterer and adulteress, and one that hath ravished a betrothed damsel, De 22:22-27, amercing a person that lies with a virgin not betrothed and she consenting, and obliging him to marry her, and not suffering him to divorce her, De 22:28-29 and another against a man's lying with his father's wife, De 22:30.

Deuteronomy 22 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.