View Deuteronomy 13 in the note window.
Enticers to idolatry to be stoned, ver. 1 - 11.
Idolatrous cities to be entirely destroyed, ver. 12 - 18.
1: A dreamer of dreams - One that pretends God hath revealed himself
to him by visions or dreams. Giveth a sign or wonder - That is, shall
foretell some strange and wonderful thing.
3: Thou shalt not hearken to that prophet - Not receive his doctrine,
though the sign come to pass. For although when such a sign or wonder
foretold did not follow or come to pass, it was a sign of a false
prophet, yet when it did come to pass, it was no sufficient sign of a
true one, especially, in such a case. There are many things, which may be
wrought by evil spirits, God so permitting it for wise and just reasons,
not only for the trial of the good, but also for the punishment of ungodly
men. Proveth you - That is, trieth your faith and love and obedience.
To know - Namely, judicially, or in a publick manner, so as both you and
others may know and see it, that so the justice of his judgments upon you
may be more evident and glorious.
5: To thrust - This phrase notes the great force and power of
seducers to corrupt men's minds. So shalt thou put the evil away - Thou
shalt remove the guilt, by removing the guilty.
6: The son of thy mother - This is added, to restrain the
signification of the word brother, which is often used generally for one
near a - kin, and to express the nearness of the relation, the mother's,
side being usually the ground of the most fervent affection. Thy
daughter - Thy piety must overcome both thy affection, and thy compassion
to the weaker sex. The father and mother are here omitted, because they
are sufficiently contained in the former examples.
8: Conceal him - That is, smother his fault, hide or protect his
person, but shalt accuse him to the magistrate, and demand justice upon him.
9: Thou shalt kill him - Not privately, which pretence would have
opened the door to innumerable murders, but by procuring his death by the
sentence of the magistrate. Thou shalt cast the first stone at him, as
the witness was to do.
13: Children of Belial - It signifies properly persons without yoke,
vile and wretched miscreants, lawless and rebellious, that will suffer no
restraint, that neither fear God, nor reverence man. From among
you - That is, from your church and religion. It notes a separation from
them, not in place (as appears by their partnership with their fellow
citizens both in the sin and punishment) but in heart, doctrine and worship.
14: Enquire - This is, meant of the magistrate, to whose office this
properly belongs, and of whom he continues to speak in the same manner,
thou, (De 13:15,16).
The Jewish writers say, the defection of a city is to be tried by the
great sanhedrim. If it appear, that they are thrust away to idolatry, they
send two learned men, to admonish them. If they repent, all is well: is
not, all Israel must go up and execute this sentence. Tho' we do not
find this law put in execution, in all the history of the Jewish
church, yet for neglecting the execution of it on inferior cities, God
himself by the army of the Chaldeans, executed it on Jerusalem, the
head city, which was utterly destroyed, and lay in ruins for seventy years.
15: The inhabitants - Namely, all that are guilty, not the innocent
part, such as disowned this apostacy, who doubtless by choice, at least
upon warning, would come out of so wicked a place. Utterly - The very
same punishment which was, inflicted upon the cities of the cursed
Canaanites, to whom having made themselves equal in sin, it is but
just God should equal them in punishment.
16: For the Lord - For the satisfaction of God's justice, the
maintainance of his honour and authority, and the pacification of his
offended majesty. It shall not be built - It shall be an eternal
monument of God's justice, and terror to after ages.
17: Multiply thee - So thou shalt have no loss of thy numbers by
cutting off so many people.