Deuteronomy
Introduction 1-9 Reconciliation of Innocent Blood 10-14 The Captured Woman 15-17 The Right of the Firstborn 18-21 The Rebellious and Disobedient Son 22-23 Burial of a Hanged Person
Introduction

This is a special chapter, which also forms a whole in the five sections of which it consists. We find here the holiness of life and personal rights, seen from all angles. We also discover a nice overview of God’s plans with His people. There are also spiritual applications to make.


Reconciliation of Innocent Blood

1“If a slain person is found lying in the open country in the land which the LORD your God gives you to possess, [and] it is not known who has struck him, 2then your elders and your judges shall go out and measure [the distance] to the cities which are around the slain one. 3It shall be that the city which is nearest to the slain man, that is, the elders of that city, shall take a heifer of the herd, which has not been worked and which has not pulled in a yoke; 4and the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with running water, which has not been plowed or sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley. 5Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the LORD your God has chosen them to serve Him and to bless in the name of the LORD; and every dispute and every assault shall be settled by them. 6All the elders of that city which is nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley; 7and they shall answer and say, ‘Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see [it]. 8Forgive Your people Israel whom You have redeemed, O LORD, and do not place the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of Your people Israel.’ And the bloodguiltiness shall be forgiven them. 9So you shall remove the guilt of innocent blood from your midst, when you do what is right in the eyes of the LORD.

Here it is about someone who has died a violent death, while the perpetrator is unknown. The scene of the crime is the open country, not a city. The first murder in the history of mankind also occurs in the field (Gen 4:88Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.). If no perpetrator is known, in society everyone normally goes unpunished. For God this is not so. For Him it is certain that there is guilt and to that awareness the people must come. One of them is a murderer. The people must learn to see that guilt as their guilt.

The blood that has been shed is innocent blood (verses 9-109So you shall remove the guilt of innocent blood from your midst, when you do what is right in the eyes of the LORD.10“When you go out to battle against your enemies, and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take them away captive,) in the sense that one does not know who the perpetrator is. Yet there is guilt, because it happened among the people. The whole land is involved (verses 1,81“If a slain person is found lying in the open country in the land which the LORD your God gives you to possess, [and] it is not known who has struck him,8Forgive Your people Israel whom You have redeemed, O LORD, and do not place the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of Your people Israel.’ And the bloodguiltiness shall be forgiven them.). To reconcile the guilt of the land (verse 88Forgive Your people Israel whom You have redeemed, O LORD, and do not place the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of Your people Israel.’ And the bloodguiltiness shall be forgiven them.), a sacrifice must be brought. God provides a means by which the general guilt of people and land will be removed. As long as crime is not punished, justice is not satisfied. If the perpetrator can’t be traced, the guilt that rests on the land and the people must be removed in another way. The general guilt of the individual’s act can also be seen in Joshua 7 (Jos 7:11But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the LORD burned against the sons of Israel.; 2Sam 21:1-21Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the presence of the LORD. And the LORD said, “It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.”2So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them (now the Gibeonites were not of the sons of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites, and the sons of Israel made a covenant with them, but Saul had sought to kill them in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah).).

In Deuteronomy 19 a provision has been made for manslaughter in which the manslayer is known (Deu 19:1-131“When the LORD your God cuts off the nations, whose land the LORD your God gives you, and you dispossess them and settle in their cities and in their houses,2you shall set aside three cities for yourself in the midst of your land, which the LORD your God gives you to possess.3You shall prepare the roads for yourself, and divide into three parts the territory of your land which the LORD your God will give you as a possession, so that any manslayer may flee there.4“Now this is the case of the manslayer who may flee there and live: when he kills his friend unintentionally, not hating him previously—5as when [a man] goes into the forest with his friend to cut wood, and his hand swings the axe to cut down the tree, and the iron [head] slips off the handle and strikes his friend so that he dies—he may flee to one of these cities and live;6otherwise the avenger of blood might pursue the manslayer in the heat of his anger, and overtake him, because the way is long, and take his life, though he was not deserving of death, since he had not hated him previously.7Therefore, I command you, saying, ‘You shall set aside three cities for yourself.’8“If the LORD your God enlarges your territory, just as He has sworn to your fathers, and gives you all the land which He promised to give your fathers—9if you carefully observe all this commandment which I command you today, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in His ways always—then you shall add three more cities for yourself, besides these three.10So innocent blood will not be shed in the midst of your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, and bloodguiltiness be on you.11“But if there is a man who hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and rises up against him and strikes him so that he dies, and he flees to one of these cities,12then the elders of his city shall send and take him from there and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.13You shall not pity him, but you shall purge the blood of the innocent from Israel, that it may go well with you.). In this chapter a provision is made in case the murderer is not known. To work reconciliation for the shed blood, a heifer’s neck must be broken by the elders and these elders must wash their hands above the heifer. During this washing of hands, the elders, as representatives of the people, have to declare themselves innocent of this shed blood. Then they must ask the LORD to keep his redeemed people innocent.

There is no reconciliation in the usual sense of the word here. Nothing happens with the blood of the heifer. It is rather a reconciliation through justice. The heifer dies instead of the unknown murderer, through which the land cleansed of guilt (cf. Num 35:3333So you shall not pollute the land in which you are; for blood pollutes the land and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it.).

The prophetic application is what will happen to Israel later on. Israel will see that it is guilty of the death of the Lord Jesus (Zec 12:1010“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.). Not those who then live have literally killed Him. They are literally innocent, but as a people they are guilty of blood. Thus the people, represented in the elders, stand in the valley: personally innocent, but guilty as a whole. The fact that it has to happen in a valley symbolically indicates humiliation about what happened among them.

The heifer is brought “down to a valley with running water, which has not been plowed or sown”. The running water speaks of the never-ending grace of God. The fact that has not been plowed or sown indicates the absence of any human work or any human effort with the hope of a future result. The work that God does for reconciliation is exclusively the result of His grace without any contribution from man.

The laying on of the hands is the identification with the murderer present in their midst, although he is unknown. By the sacrifice, the people are freed from the guilt that rests on them. The judgment strikes the heifer and not the guilty people as a whole. They wash their hands as a sign of identification with the sacrifice (Psa 26:66I shall wash my hands in innocence,
And I will go about Your altar, O LORD,
; 73:1313Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
And washed my hands in innocence;
) and not like Pilate, who didn’t want to have anything to do with the sacrifice (Mt 27:2424When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see [to that] yourselves.”).

Both the murdered and the heifer represent the Lord Jesus. The murdering of the Lord Jesus (Acts 7:5252Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become;) is the result of His rejection by man. Giving Christ as a means of reconciliation is the answer of God’s grace. This can be seen on the cross. There man has brought Christ and at the same time God gives Him as reconciliation.

There is also an application to the church. Evil that is present in a local church affects all the people of God. The borders of the land do not apply to the church of God. Yet not all the people are dealing with it. This is done by the ‘cities’ closest to them, and not everyone, but the elders and judges who represent the element of responsibility. It is important to know where the first spiritual responsibility lies. There has to be ‘measured’ who has the first responsibility.

Someone can only deal with evil if there is no guilt on their own hands. Only then can there be identification in the awareness that the whole people are guilty. It is concern brothers who are closest in a spiritual sense. They can engage in it. They are brothers who, as priests, are accustomed to being in God’s presence. They are not only concerned with serious evil as murder, but with “every assault” (verse 55Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the LORD your God has chosen them to serve Him and to bless in the name of the LORD; and every dispute and every assault shall be settled by them.). For such believers, it is important that the priestly and the judicial element are in balance.


The Captured Woman

10“When you go out to battle against your enemies, and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take them away captive, 11and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her and would take her as a wife for yourself, 12then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails. 13She shall also remove the clothes of her captivity and shall remain in your house, and mourn her father and mother a full month; and after that you may go in to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. 14It shall be, if you are not pleased with her, then you shall let her go wherever she wishes; but you shall certainly not sell her for money, you shall not mistreat her, because you have humbled her.

This section (verses 10-1410“When you go out to battle against your enemies, and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take them away captive,11and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her and would take her as a wife for yourself,12then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails.13She shall also remove the clothes of her captivity and shall remain in your house, and mourn her father and mother a full month; and after that you may go in to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.14It shall be, if you are not pleased with her, then you shall let her go wherever she wishes; but you shall certainly not sell her for money, you shall not mistreat her, because you have humbled her.) and the following section (verses 15-1715“If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other unloved, and [both] the loved and the unloved have borne him sons, if the firstborn son belongs to the unloved,16then it shall be in the day he wills what he has to his sons, he cannot make the son of the loved the firstborn before the son of the unloved, who is the firstborn.17But he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; to him belongs the right of the firstborn.) both deal with marriage and the particular relationship between man and woman. In both sections it is about the relationship between God and His people that is presented in the Bible as a marriage relationship.

The first section is about the marriage between an Israelite man and a woman from a foreign people imprisoned in the war. This cannot be a woman from the nations of Canaan (Deu 20:16-1816Only in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes.17But you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite and the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, as the LORD your God has commanded you,18so that they may not teach you to do according to all their detestable things which they have done for their gods, so that you would sin against the LORD your God.), but from one of the nations outside of the land (Deu 20:1515Thus you shall do to all the cities that are very far from you, which are not of the cities of these nations nearby.). By marrying her he becomes her husband instead of her master. In this way, the woman enters into the rights of a daughter of Israel. The man may not therefore just send her away if he is no longer pleased with her (cf. Exo 21:88If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people because of his unfairness to her.). God has allowed that someone sends away his wife. That is because of the hardness of man’s heart, for “from the beginning it has not been this way” (Mt 19:7-87They *said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND [her] AWAY?”8He *said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.). He also connects to this consent various command for the protection of the woman.

Before the Israelite can take the captured woman to be his wife, various conditions must also be met. It should not be just an excitement of lust. When he comes home, she shall shave her head, trim her nails and remove her former clothes. Everything that has made her attractive in her previous state and has characterized her, must be disposed of.

The woman’s long hair indicates the place she has in creation in relation to the man (1Cor 11:1515but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering.). She indicates with it that she wants to be submissive and devoted to the man. If she cuts it off, she says she will not take that place. For the captured woman, cutting her hair is giving up the previous relationship. She lets it grow in the new relationship into which she now has come. She may also mourn for a month the previous relationship from which she was removed. She gets the time to dislodge from it. That too is a gracious provision from God.

In the prophetic application, this section (verses 10-1410“When you go out to battle against your enemies, and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take them away captive,11and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her and would take her as a wife for yourself,12then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails.13She shall also remove the clothes of her captivity and shall remain in your house, and mourn her father and mother a full month; and after that you may go in to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.14It shall be, if you are not pleased with her, then you shall let her go wherever she wishes; but you shall certainly not sell her for money, you shall not mistreat her, because you have humbled her.) precedes the previous section (verses 1-91“If a slain person is found lying in the open country in the land which the LORD your God gives you to possess, [and] it is not known who has struck him,2then your elders and your judges shall go out and measure [the distance] to the cities which are around the slain one.3It shall be that the city which is nearest to the slain man, that is, the elders of that city, shall take a heifer of the herd, which has not been worked and which has not pulled in a yoke;4and the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with running water, which has not been plowed or sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley.5Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the LORD your God has chosen them to serve Him and to bless in the name of the LORD; and every dispute and every assault shall be settled by them.6All the elders of that city which is nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley;7and they shall answer and say, ‘Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see [it].8Forgive Your people Israel whom You have redeemed, O LORD, and do not place the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of Your people Israel.’ And the bloodguiltiness shall be forgiven them.9So you shall remove the guilt of innocent blood from your midst, when you do what is right in the eyes of the LORD.). As said, the relationship between God and Israel is compared with that of man and wife (Eze 16:1-141Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,2“Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations3and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem, “Your origin and your birth are from the land of the Canaanite, your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.4As for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water for cleansing; you were not rubbed with salt or even wrapped in cloths.5No eye looked with pity on you to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you. Rather you were thrown out into the open field, for you were abhorred on the day you were born.6“When I passed by you and saw you squirming in your blood, I said to you [while you were] in your blood, ‘Live!’ Yes, I said to you [while you were] in your blood, ‘Live!’7I made you numerous like plants of the field. Then you grew up, became tall and reached the age for fine ornaments; [your] breasts were formed and your hair had grown. Yet you were naked and bare.8“Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, you were at the time for love; so I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness. I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine,” declares the Lord GOD.9“Then I bathed you with water, washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil.10I also clothed you with embroidered cloth and put sandals of porpoise skin on your feet; and I wrapped you with fine linen and covered you with silk.11I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your hands and a necklace around your neck.12I also put a ring in your nostril, earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head.13Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your dress was of fine linen, silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, honey and oil; so you were exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty.14Then your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you,” declares the Lord GOD.). In that relationship there is an engagement time, a time of disconnecting from the old state, here a month. This happened when God redeemed Israel from Egypt and accepted it to His people (Jer 2:22“Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD,
“I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth,
The love of your betrothals,
Your following after Me in the wilderness,
Through a land not sown.
).

But a time has come when God could no longer is pleased with her. In verse 1414It shall be, if you are not pleased with her, then you shall let her go wherever she wishes; but you shall certainly not sell her for money, you shall not mistreat her, because you have humbled her., it is not commented on whose fault it is. In the break that has come between God and His people, this is no question. The fact that God no longer is pleased with her is entirely due to Israel’s behavior. He sent her away because of her unfaithfulness that culminated in the rejection of His Son, which is evident in the picture of verses 1-91“If a slain person is found lying in the open country in the land which the LORD your God gives you to possess, [and] it is not known who has struck him,2then your elders and your judges shall go out and measure [the distance] to the cities which are around the slain one.3It shall be that the city which is nearest to the slain man, that is, the elders of that city, shall take a heifer of the herd, which has not been worked and which has not pulled in a yoke;4and the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with running water, which has not been plowed or sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley.5Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the LORD your God has chosen them to serve Him and to bless in the name of the LORD; and every dispute and every assault shall be settled by them.6All the elders of that city which is nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley;7and they shall answer and say, ‘Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see [it].8Forgive Your people Israel whom You have redeemed, O LORD, and do not place the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of Your people Israel.’ And the bloodguiltiness shall be forgiven them.9So you shall remove the guilt of innocent blood from your midst, when you do what is right in the eyes of the LORD..

God did not sell His people, but did let them go where they themselves wanted to go. But He has not given up His rights to His people. This is discussed in the following section (verses 15-1715“If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other unloved, and [both] the loved and the unloved have borne him sons, if the firstborn son belongs to the unloved,16then it shall be in the day he wills what he has to his sons, he cannot make the son of the loved the firstborn before the son of the unloved, who is the firstborn.17But he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; to him belongs the right of the firstborn.).


The Right of the Firstborn

15“If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other unloved, and [both] the loved and the unloved have borne him sons, if the firstborn son belongs to the unloved, 16then it shall be in the day he wills what he has to his sons, he cannot make the son of the loved the firstborn before the son of the unloved, who is the firstborn. 17But he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; to him belongs the right of the firstborn.

Having two women is not according to God’s thoughts. Yet God, through something created by sin, can teach us something about the relationship He has with the two peoples to which He has committed Himself: Israel and the church. Because the bond of marriage is inseparable and the relationship in marriage is that of love, the picture of marriage is suitable to understand these relationships.

In the example we see a man who has two wives. One wife is loved by him, the other is unloved. Each of the wives has borne him sons. This is now about the right of the firstborn. In this, the man may not be led by his natural feelings. If the firstborn son is the son of the unloved wife, he must give him the right of the firstborn. He is entitled to the double potion of the inheritance. In this case, the man may not give that double portion to the son of the beloved.

When we apply this to the relationship God has with His earthly people, Israel, and His heavenly people, the church, we see the following. God had to reject His earthly people, as verse 1414It shall be, if you are not pleased with her, then you shall let her go wherever she wishes; but you shall certainly not sell her for money, you shall not mistreat her, because you have humbled her. indicates. It has been given the place of the unloved (cf. Hos 1:6,8-96Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the LORD said to him, “Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I would ever forgive them.8When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and gave birth to a son.9And the LORD said, “Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God.”
).

After He rejected His earthly people, another people took their place. This people are a people from the nations that are not God’s people, but are now accepted by Him to be His people (Rom 9:2525As He says also in Hosea, “I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’ And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’”). With this, God has established similar relationships. The church is now God’s beloved.

That does not mean that God has rejected Israel forever. The firstborn is the son of the unloved and he gets the right of the firstborn. God will also fulfil all the promises He has made to this people. They get their double part.

In Jacob and his two wives – Lea and Rachel – we see an illustration. Jacob works for Rachel and gets Lea. After that he works for Rachel and also gets her. Thus the Lord Jesus came for Israel and He received the church. But he will also have Israel, as Jacob received Rachel. Israel has the oldest rights. The people are now the unloved wife, but soon the people will again become the beloved wife and will have the rights that are in connection with the Firstborn, the Lord Jesus, Who was born from her.

The church is now connected with the Lord Jesus (2Cor 11:22For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you [as] a pure virgin.). Can He find His pleasure in us? God also allows the Christian testimony to go its own way; as a whole, He no longer is pleased with it. Yet God continues to recognize in that Christian testimony what this principle of first birth represents: in the midst of this Christian testimony is “the church of the firstborn” (Heb 12:2323to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of [the] righteous made perfect,). God will always continue to acknowledge what He Himself has worked in it.


The Rebellious and Disobedient Son

18“If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother, and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them, 19then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his hometown. 20They shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ 21Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall remove the evil from your midst, and all Israel will hear [of it] and fear.

Both with Israel and the church the important thing is a remnant. That remnant will repent and receive the blessing of the firstborn. The whole will have the character of “a rebellious and disobedient son”. They don’t want to obey and will be judged. As the parents have to do with the rebellious son, so does God deal with stubborn confessors.

In this section it is about an extraordinary contempt for God’s commandment to honor the parents. All the men of the city must stone the rebellious son to death. This son is a picture of the wicked mass of the people who will die in judgment.

The remnant, which is miserable and poor, is reconciled, while the whole of the firstborn son once called out of Egypt by God (Exo 4:2222Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Israel is My son, My firstborn.) will perish. The same applies to the church. Those who belong to the church bear the name ‘son’, but God cannot recognize them as such if they do not separate themselves from evil (2Cor 6:17-1817“Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.18“And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.).


Burial of a Hanged Person

22“If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.

In these verses we have a third aspect of the cross of Calvary: the death of the Lord Jesus as the Accursed, “for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”” (Gal 3:1313Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—). Cross reveals
1. the guilt of man, because he brought Him to the cross (verses 1-91“If a slain person is found lying in the open country in the land which the LORD your God gives you to possess, [and] it is not known who has struck him,2then your elders and your judges shall go out and measure [the distance] to the cities which are around the slain one.3It shall be that the city which is nearest to the slain man, that is, the elders of that city, shall take a heifer of the herd, which has not been worked and which has not pulled in a yoke;4and the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with running water, which has not been plowed or sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley.5Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the LORD your God has chosen them to serve Him and to bless in the name of the LORD; and every dispute and every assault shall be settled by them.6All the elders of that city which is nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley;7and they shall answer and say, ‘Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see [it].8Forgive Your people Israel whom You have redeemed, O LORD, and do not place the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of Your people Israel.’ And the bloodguiltiness shall be forgiven them.9So you shall remove the guilt of innocent blood from your midst, when you do what is right in the eyes of the LORD.);
2. God’s grace for man (verses 10-1310“When you go out to battle against your enemies, and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take them away captive,11and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her and would take her as a wife for yourself,12then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails.13She shall also remove the clothes of her captivity and shall remain in your house, and mourn her father and mother a full month; and after that you may go in to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.);
3. That God has to leave Him when He makes Him a curse (verses 22-2322“If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree,23his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.).

The remnant has earned nothing. There exists “a remnant according to [God’s] gracious choice” of God (Rom 10:55For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness.). In itself it is nothing better than the wicked mass. It owes everything to Him Who has become a curse. They will see on Him “Whom they have pierced” (Zec 12:1010“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.) and that is their salvation.

Verse 2323his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance. prescribes that a hanged person must be buried. This also happened to the Lord Jesus. The spiritual application of this to us is important. Our old man must be buried. We testify of this in baptism (Rom 6:4a4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.). We must constantly take this into account throughout our lives. The question is: Do we make true what we confessed in baptism? Nothing more of the old man should become visible in our lives (Rom 6:66knowing this, that our old self was crucified with [Him], in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;). God no longer wants to see anything of the curse. The grave is locked above us and nothing more of our old life should become visible.

God wants to see in our lives the new, that we walk in newness of life (Rom 6:4b4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.). God has more pleasure in us if we behave as true firstborn sons, which is the case if we would understand more of the curse that God has pronounced on and exercised on the Lord Jesus.


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