Deuteronomy 25

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Read Deuteronomy 25

25 When people have a dispute, they are to take it to court and the judgeswill decide the case, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty. If the guilty person deserves to be beaten, the judge shall make them lie down and have them flogged in his presence with the number of lashes the crime deserves, but the judge must not impose more than forty lashes. If the guilty party is flogged more than that, your fellow Israelite will be degraded in your eyes.

Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.

If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her. The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel.

However, if a man does not want to marry his brother’s wife, she shall go to the elders at the town gate and say, “My husband’s brother refuses to carry on his brother’s name in Israel. He will not fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to me.” Then the elders of his town shall summon him and talk to him. If he persists in saying, “I do not want to marry her,” his brother’s widow shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, take off one of his sandals, spit in his face and say, “This is what is done to the man who will not build up his brother’s family line.” 10 That man’s line shall be known in Israel as The Family of the Unsandaled.

11 If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, 12 you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.

13 Do not have two differing weights in your bag—one heavy, one light. 14 Do not have two differing measures in your house—one large, one small. 15 You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 16 For the Lord your God detests anyone who does these things, anyone who deals dishonestly.

17 Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. 18 When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God.19 When the Lord your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!

Go Deeper

As a society, we are familiar with the legal principles of innocence until proven guilty, acquittal of the innocent, and punishment for the guilty. God’s punishment for the guilty described in verse 2 may seem harsh compared to punishments handed down in today’s judicial system, but scripture tells us our God is just and demands action for wrongdoing. This is not the first time we learn of a just God imposing consequences. From the beginning, when God created Adam and Eve in His image and gave them free will, God has imposed consequences and justice for wrongdoing. When the serpent in Genesis 3 deceived Adam and Eve, and they broke the one rule God gave them, God imposed punishment. God does not act out of vindictiveness. Without His justice, evil would prevail and sin would run rampant.

In his justice, God prescribed appropriate punishment that fit the level of the crime, as verses 2 and 3 illustrate. An individual found guilty was sentenced to a beating, an obsolete punishment absent from our modern correctional justice system.. The number of lashes ordered for the punishment could not exceed 40, and they had to be administered in the presence of the judge. God made this command to prevent excessive punishment, proof of His justice and fairness. 

We learn in verses 13-16 that God called the Israelites to use the same weights and measures for buying and selling. God calls His people to be fair and honest in business dealings. We, too, are called to be honest and committed to the truth, not only in our business dealings but in our everyday life. We are a sinful people who may at times find ourselves tempted to be dishonest, but with dishonesty comes consequences.  

Justice for all people was established through the cross. As theologian John Koessler of Moody Bible Institute observes, “This is the peculiar justice of the cross. It is God meeting His own righteous demands through the person and work of God the Son, Jesus Christ.”

In other words, God pronounced everyone “not guilty” when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect life on earth for 33 years and then be beaten and nailed to a cross to die for our sins in our place. Jesus was buried and raised from the dead so that we may know God, invite Him to dwell in us through the Holy Spirit, and live with Him for eternity. Until the day comes when we join our Father in eternity, though, we continue to live in a broken world where justice is essential.  

As we go throughout our day, let’s thank God for His Son’s ultimate payment for our sins and let our actions today reflect those of Christ.


  1. God forgives our sins. There is nothing He doesn’t know about us, nor any action He won’t forgive. In spite of His omniscience, we are to humble ourselves and confess our sin.  What sin do you need to tell God about?
  2. Do you agree that God is just and fair? Why or why not?
  3. God’s people are called to be honest. What actions can you take to make honesty a character trait in every aspect of your life?

By the Way

Another topic that is mentioned in Deut. 25 pertains to Levirate marriage. You can delve into the Messiah’s diverse ancestry by reading Tamar’s story in Genesis 38 and this commentary from

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5 thoughts on “Deuteronomy 25”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    What a chapter! Reading through the first few verses instructing the punishment of a guilty person sentenced to be flogged, I was reminded of the innocence of Jesus who received a terrible, painful scourging to publicly humiliate him. After the scourging his death would then be carried out by crucifixion. In these weeks leading up to Easter, I want to press pause and sit in the anguish of my sin and what it cost the Savior. Isaiah 53:5 says “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” These stripes are in direct reference to the lashes Jesus received because of our sin. This is weighing heavily on my heart as it should. I’m confessing the sin of apathy as often I can recognize sin but not take actions to be done with it. Anyone else?

  2. These last few chapters are Moses getting the people ready for what is to come but also to help them to REMEMBER what was and how they got out. They were required to follow these laws so that their future and blessings were assured. When they cheated others, they were just cheating themselves. Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. We do the same over and over. Not remembering and thinking we just keep a little for ourselves and then give the rest away when God said give it all. Our lives are full of blessings but all we seem to dwell on is the problems. Is your glass half full or half empty? My glass is overflowing with difficulties on the side is my choice this morning. Now ask me later this afternoon again after I interact with the world. I so desire beyond all I can ask or think to be in a constant state of overflowing. Pray much!!!

    Thank You God for that overflow of You in my life. Thank You when the world puts forth itself I can turn up my prayers to You, my praise to You or speaking about You turns down the noise of the world around. God I depend on You!! Continue to show me people through Your love goggles, and help me to not speak my words but what You want me to say to be a blessing for their lives. YWHW You are my breath life!! In Jesus name amen

    1. My glass is full and overflowing with blessing with difficulties on the side was what I was trying to articulate. Comma’s are important.

  3. Jeffrey Armstrong

    I wish I was as spiritually mature as Ella and Amy, but instead I’m simply left with the curiosity as to why verse 11 needed to be included! Was this situation so common that Abraham thought “We really need to address this and put a stop to it!” If not, it seems really random and unlikely.

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