Deuteronomy 24

1 `When a man doth take a wife, and hath married her, and it hath been, if she doth not find grace in his eyes (for he hath found in her nakedness of anything), and he hath written for her a writing of divorce, and given [it] into her hand, and sent her out of his house,
2 and she hath gone out of his house, and hath gone and been another man's,
3 and the latter man hath hated her, and written for her a writing of divorce, and given [it] into her hand, and sent her out of his house, or when the latter man dieth, who hath taken her to himself for a wife:
4 `Her former husband who sent her away is not able to turn back to take her to be to him for a wife, after that she hath become defiled; for an abomination it [is] before Jehovah, and thou dost not cause the land to sin which Jehovah thy God is giving to thee -- an inheritance.
5 `When a man taketh a new wife, he doth not go out into the host, and [one] doth not pass over unto him for anything; free he is at his own house one year, and hath rejoiced his wife whom he hath taken.
6 `None doth take in pledge millstones, and rider, for life it [is] he is taking in pledge.
7 `When a man is found stealing a person, of his brethren, of the sons of Israel, and hath tyrannized over him, and sold him, then hath that thief died, and thou hast put away the evil thing out of thy midst.
8 `Take heed, in the plague of leprosy, to watch greatly, and to do according to all that the priests, the Levites, teach you; as I have commanded them ye observe to do;
9 remember that which Jehovah thy God hath done to Miriam in the way, in your coming out of Egypt.
10 `When thou liftest up on thy brother a debt of anything, thou dost not go in unto his house to obtain his pledge;
11 at the outside thou dost stand, and the man on whom thou art lifting [it] up is bringing out unto thee the pledge at the outside.
12 `And if he is a poor man, thou dost not lie down with his pledge;
13 thou dost certainly give back to him the pledge at the going in of the sun, and he hath lain down in his own raiment, and hath blessed thee; and to thee it is righteousness before Jehovah thy God.
14 `Thou dost not oppress a hireling, poor and needy, of thy brethren or of thy sojourner who is in thy land within thy gates;
15 in his day thou dost give his hire, and the sun doth not go in upon it, for he [is] poor, and unto it he is lifting up his soul, and he doth not cry against thee unto Jehovah, and it hath been in thee -- sin.
16 `Fathers are not put to death for sons, and sons are not put to death for fathers -- each for his own sin, they are put to death.
17 `Thou dost not turn aside the judgment of a fatherless sojourner, nor take in pledge the garment of a widow;
18 and thou hast remembered that a servant thou hast been in Egypt, and Jehovah thy God doth ransom thee from thence; therefore I am commanding thee to do this thing.
19 `When thou reapest thy harvest in thy field, and hast forgotten a sheaf in a field, thou dost not turn back to take it; to the sojourner, to the fatherless, and to the widow, it is; so that Jehovah thy God doth bless thee in all the work of thy hands.
20 `When thou beatest thine olive, thou dost not examine the branch behind thee; to the sojourner, to the fatherless, and to the widow, it is.
21 `When thou cuttest thy vineyard, thou dost not glean behind thee; to the sojourner, to the fatherless, and to the widow, it is;
22 and thou hast remembered that a servant thou hast been in the land of Egypt; therefore I am commanding thee to do this thing.

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.

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

Young's Literal Translation is in the public domain.