Thou shalt not curse the deaf
Who are naturally so, born deaf, or become so through some accident, and cannot hear what is objected to them, and they are cursed for; and so cannot reply in their own defence, and remove the calumny cast upon them, if it be such which is the cause of their being cursed; and therefore there is something mean and base as well as wicked in cursing such: the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan render it, "him that heareth not", and respects any absent person who is not within the hearing of the curse, and so equally incapable of answering for himself as a deaf man: Gersom observes, that this is a caution not to curse any Israelite; for if we are cautioned, says he, not to curse a deaf man who hears not, and therefore cannot be moved at it, much less should we curse him that is not deaf, from whence quarrels and fightings arise:
nor put a stumblingblock before the blind:
to cause him to fall; and in this negative is implied, that a man should be serviceable and helpful to the blind as much as may be; as to lead, and guide, and direct them in the way, and not put them out of it, as well as not do anything to cause them to stumble in it; Jarchi and Ben Gersom interpret this figuratively, of ignorant persons imposed upon by the bad advice of others: on the other hand, agreeably to this sense, Job says, he was "eyes to the blind", ( Job 29:15 ) ; gave good advice to the ignorant, instructed them what ways and methods to take to do themselves justice, or obtain it, which otherwise they knew not:
but shalt fear thy God:
who, as Aben Ezra observes, can punish thee by making thee deaf and blind also; by striking them with deafness and blindness at once; wherefore the awe and fear of God should be on persons, and make them cautious and fearful how they abused those in such circumstances:
I [am] the Lord;
the Lord God, omnipresent and omniscient, that hears when the deaf are cursed, though they do not; and sees the stumblingblocks laid before the blind, and knows who laid them, though they do not, and will revenge such abuses and injuries: the apostle seems to have respect to this law in ( Romans 14:13 ) ( 1 Corinthians 8:9 1 Corinthians 8:13 ) .