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Commentary Special

March 29

Reading for Today:

  • Deuteronomy 19:1–20:20
  • Psalm 38:1-8
  • Proverbs 12:23-25
  • Luke 4:31-44


Deuteronomy 20:1 do not be afraid. When Israelites went into battle, they were never to fear an enemy’s horses or chariots because the outcome of a battle would never be determined by mere military strength. The command not to be afraid was based on God’s power and faithfulness, which had already been proved to Israel in their deliverance from Egypt.

Deuteronomy 20:5–8 Let him go and return to his house. Four exemptions from service in Israel’s volunteer army were cited to illustrate the principle that anyone whose heart was not in the fight should not be there. Those who had other matters on their minds or were afraid were allowed to leave the army and return to their homes, since they would be useless in battle and even influence others to lose courage (v. 8).

Proverbs 12:23 conceals. Unlike the fool who makes all hear his folly, the wise person is a model of restraint and humility, speaking what he knows at an appropriate time (see 29:11).

Luke 4:38 Simon’s wife’s mother. Peter was married (1 Cor. 9:5), though no details about his wife are given anywhere in Scripture. a high fever. Matthew 8:14, 15 and Mark 1:30, 31 also report this miracle. But only Luke, the physician, remarks that the fever was “high” and makes note of the means Jesus used to heal her (v. 39).

DAY 29: What did the law warn about bringing false witness against another person?

In Deuteronomy 19:15, the law required that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.” More than one witness was necessary to convict a man of a crime. This principle was to act as a safeguard against the false witness who might bring an untruthful charge against a fellow Israelite. By requiring more than one witness, greater accuracy and objectivity was gained (Deut. 17:6;Matt. 18:15–17; 2 Cor. 13:1).

However, it was possible that “a false witness [might rise] against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing” (v. 16). In some cases, there would only be one witness who brought a charge against someone. When such a case was taken to the central tribunal of priests and judges for trial, and upon investigation the testimony of the witness was found to be false, the accuser received the punishment appropriate for the alleged crime (v. 19). Others looking on would be taught to “hear and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you” (v. 20). When the fate of the false witness became known in Israel, it would serve as a deterrent against giving false testimony in Israel’s courts.

In Israel, the principle of legal justice (called lex talionis, “law of retaliation”) or “eye for eye” (v. 21) was given to encourage appropriate punishment of a criminal in cases where there might be a tendency to be either too lenient or too strict (Ex. 21:23–25; Lev. 24:17–22). Jesus confronted the Jews of His day for taking this law out of the courts and using it for purposes of personal vengeance (Matt. 5:38–42).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214,