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The Huge Significance of Sins of Omission (Deuteronomy 22)

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CHAPTER 22 May 5 
Various Laws
You must not see your brother’s ox or his sheep go astray and hide yourself from them; you must surely bring them again to your brother. 2If your brother isn’t near to you, or if you don’t know him, then you shall bring it home to your house and it shall be with you until your brother seeks after it, and you shall restore it to him. 3So you must do with his donkey and with his garment and with every lost thing of your brother’s, which he has lost and you have found; you must not keep it to yourself. 4You must not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fallen down by the way and hide yourself from them; you shall surely help him to lift them up again. 5A woman must not wear men’s clothing neither should a man put on women’s clothing, for whoever does these things is an abomination to Yahweh your God. 6If a bird’s nest happens to be before you in the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the hen sitting on the young or on the eggs, you must not take the hen with the young. 7You must surely let the hen go, but the young you may take to yourself, that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days. 8When you build a new house you must make a battlement for your roof, so that you don’t bring blood on your house if anyone falls from there. 9You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest the whole fruit be forfeited, the seed which you have sown, and the increase of the vineyard. 10You shall not plough with an ox and a donkey together. 11You shall not wear mixed stuff, wool and linen together. 12You shall make yourselves fringes on the four borders of your garment with which you cover yourself.
Marriage Laws
13If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and hates her 14and accuses her of shameful things and brings up an evil name on her and says, I took this woman and when I came near to her I didn’t find in her the tokens of virginity, 15then shall the father of the young woman and her mother take and bring forth the tokens of the young woman’s virginity to the elders of the city in the gate. 16The young woman’s father shall tell the elders, I gave my daughter to this man to wife and he hates her, 17and behold, he has accused her of shameful things saying, ‘I didn’t find in your daughter the tokens of virginity’, and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. They shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. 18The elders of that city must take the man and chastise him 19and they shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought up an evil name on a virgin of Israel, and she shall be his wife; he may not divorce her all his days. 20But if this thing is true, that the tokens of virginity were not found in the young woman, 21then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house and the men of her city must stone her to death with stones, because she has done folly in Israel, to play the prostitute in her father’s house. So you shall put away the evil from the midst of you. 22If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they must both of them die, the man who lay with the woman and the woman. So you shall put away the evil from Israel. 23If there is a young woman who is a virgin pledged to be married to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her, 24then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you must stone them to death with stones; the woman, because she didn’t cry, being in the city, and the man, because he has humbled his neighbour’s wife. So you shall put away the evil from among you. 25But if the man finds the woman who is pledged to be married in the field, and the man forces her and lies with her, then the man only who lay with her must die, 26but to the woman you shall do nothing; there is in the woman no sin worthy of death. For as when a man rises against his neighbour and kills him, even so is this matter; 27for when he found her in the field, the betrothed woman cried and there was none to save her. 28If a man finds a woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and lays hold on her and lies with her and they are found, 29then the man who lay with her must give to the woman’s father fifty shekels of silver and she shall be his wife, because he has humbled her; he may not put her away all his days. 30A man must not take his father’s wife, and shall not uncover his father’s skirt.


22:1 One theme of Deuteronomy is the way in which Moses visualizes commonplace daily incidents which he could foresee occurring in Israel's daily life: here, coming across a stray animal on the way home from work; the man cutting down the tree and the axe head flying off and hitting someone; finding a dead body in a lonely field; a man with two wives treating one as his favourite; seeing your neighbour struggling to lift up his sick animal; coming across a bird's nest and being tempted to take the mature bird as well as the chicks home for supper; being tempted not to bother building a battlement around the flat roof of your  new house; the temptation to take a bag with you and fill it up with your neighbour's grapes; the need to have weapons which could be used for covering excrement (Dt. 19:5; 21:1,15; 22:1,2,4,6,8; 23:13,24,25; 24:5,6,10,15,19; 25:11,13). The sensitivity of Moses was just fantastic! His eager imagination of His people in daily life, his understanding of their everyday temptations so superbly typifies that of our Lord.