Deuteronomy Chapter 17 Star Chart: Clockwise from when a king (Cepheus) "sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom ... he shall (red radius pen) (Castor) write him a copy ("deuteronomy") of this (solar) law in a (lunar white) book out of that which is before the (Gemini) priests the Levites" (17:18) (360° may represent one month) till "it shall be with him, and he shall (lunar eyeballs) read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the (Shekinah) Lord his God, to keep all the words of this (two lunar table) law and these statutes, to do them: That his (solar golden) heart be not lifted up above his (Gemini & Perseus) brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right (lunar) hand, or to the left (lunar hand): to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his (Gemini) children (360°), in the midst of Israel." (17:18-20) is 30 years (a generation -- 360°/12 months per year = 30 years) .

From this verse it has been inferred that the crown of Israel was designed to be hereditary, and this is very probable; for long experience has proved to almost all the nations of the world that hereditary succession in the regal government is, on the whole, the safest, and best calculated to secure the public tranquility. Since a generation is usually 30 years, He shall write him a duplicate of this law; translated by the Septuagint, deuteronomy. From this version both the Vulgate Latin and all the modern versions have taken the name of this book. Out of that which is before the priests the Levites - It is likely this means, that the copy which the king was to write out was to be taken from the autograph kept in the tabernacle before the Lord, from which, as a standard, every copy was taken and with which doubtless every copy was compared; and it is probable that the priests and Levites had the revising of every copy that was taken off, in order to prevent errors from creeping into the sacred text.

A King Must Read the Bible Every Day

17:1 Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the (Shekinah) Lord thy God any (Taurus) bullock, or (Aries) sheep, wherein is blemish, or any evilfavouredness: for that is an abomination unto the (Shekinah) Lord thy God.

typical of the unblemished and immaculate Lamb of God, who, being without sin, offered himself without spot to God, and so could take away the sins of others by the sacrifice of himself; see Leviticus 22:18,

2 If there be found among you, within any of thy (solar or lunar) gates which the (Shekinah) Lord thy God giveth thee, (Castor) man or (Pollux) woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the (lunar eyeballs) sight of the (Shekinah) Lord thy God, in transgressing his covenant,

3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;

4 And it be told thee, and thou hast (lunar ears) heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:

5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy (solar or lunar) gates, even that (Castor) man or that (Pollux) woman, and shalt (lunar) stone them with (lunar) stones, till they die.

6 At the (lunar open) mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the (lunar open) mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.

At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death,.... The idolater found guilty was to be stoned; two witnesses were sufficient to prove a fact, if three the better, but, on the testimony of one, sentence might not be pronounced. Aben Ezra observes, that some say, if two witnesses contradict two other, a third turns the scale and determines the matter; and others say, that two who are wise men will do, and three of others; and because it is said "at the mouth" of these witnesses, it is concluded, that a testimony should be verbal and not written;

7 The (lunar) hands of the (Ophiuchus & Hercules) witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the (lunar) hands of all the (Gemini) people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.

The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death,.... Of everyone of them, as Aben Ezra; they were to cast the first stone at him, which would be a further trial and confirmation of their testimony; for if they readily and without reluctance first began the stoning of the idolater, it would not only show their zeal for the honour of the divine Being, but an unconsciousness of guilt in their testimony, and be an encouragement to others to proceed with safety:
and afterwards the hands of all the people; should be employed in taking up stones, and casting at him until he was dead:

so thou shall put the evil away from among you; both the evil man and the evil committed by him, which by this means would be prevented from spreading, seeing by his death others would be deterred from following his example; as well as the evil of punishment, which otherwise would have come upon the nation, had they connived at so gross an iniquity.


8 If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between (red radius) blood and (red radius) blood, between (red radius) plea and (red radius) plea, and between (red radius) stroke and (red radius) stroke, being matters of controversy within thy (solar or lunar) gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the (Shekinah) Lord thy God shall choose;

If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment,.... This is spoken to inferior judges in cities in the country, who sometimes might have cases too wonderful and mysterious, as the word signifies, or secret and hidden, such as were out of their reach and beyond their capacity, and so be very difficult for them to determine what should be done:
between blood and blood; that is, whether a man is guilty of shedding innocent blood or not; when such a case is depending between a person charged with it and the relatives of the deceased, or between a man slayer and the avenger of blood, and the question is, whether he may have the benefit of a city of refuge or not, and there are some circumstances attending it which make it difficult how to determine:

between plea and plea; of the plaintiff on one side and of the defendant on the other, and both have so much to say in their own cause, that it is hard to decide which is in the right and which is in the wrong, whether in capital or pecuniary cases; it chiefly if not solely respects civil things in controversy:

and between stroke and stroke; blow or wound which one man received from another, and for which he commences a suit of law upon it, Exodus 21:18 or for assault and battery; and so Aben Ezra interprets it of blows and bruises; but the Jewish writers generally interpret it of the plague, or stroke of leprosy; so the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem; but the examination of such a case did not belong to the civil magistrate, but to a priest; nor was such a person had up to Jerusalem to be searched, but was shut up in a house until further evidence could be got; and, besides, the signs of the leprosy are so distinctly given, that at waiting a proper time, there was seldom or ever any difficulty about determining it:

being matter of controversy within thy gates; or what are matters of controversy about anything else; for the phrase is general, as Aben Ezra observes, and takes in everything in which anything difficult might occur; so Jarchi interprets it of things which the wise men of a city are divided about; one pronounces a person or thing unclean, another clean, one condemning and another justifying, and so far rightly; for this respects not controversies between men, that may be brought into courts of judicature, but controversies or divisions arising in these courts upon them, between the judges themselves, they not agreeing in their opinions:

then shalt thou arise and get thee up into the place which the Lord thy God shall choose; to Jerusalem, to the great sanhedrim or court of judicature, to which the inferior judges were to apply themselves, in matters of moment and difficulty, for instruction, information, and direction; it being supposed that in such a court such like cases may have been brought before them, and they were expert and understanding in them.

9 And thou shalt come unto the (Gemini) priests the (Ophiuchus & Hercules) Levites, and unto the (Cepheus) judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:

10 And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the (Shekinah) Lord shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee:

11 According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right (lunar) hand, nor to the left (lunar hand).

12 And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the (Shekinah) Lord thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.

13 And all the (Gemini) people shall (lunar ears) hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.

14 When thou art come unto the land which the (Shekinah) Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a (Cepheus) king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;

15 Thou shalt in any wise set him (Cepheus) king over thee, whom the (Shekinah) Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy (Gemini) brethren shalt thou set (Cepheus) king over thee: thou mayest not set a (Perseus) stranger over thee, which is not thy (Gemini) brother.

Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee whom the Lord thy God shall choose,.... The Jews take this to be a command to set a king over them: whereas it is only a permission in case they should desire and determine on having one, as God foresaw they would; and this with a limitation and restriction to appoint none but whom God should choose, and which was their duty and interest to attend unto; for none could choose better for them, and was what he had a right unto, and it became them to submit to it, since he was their King in a civil and special sense, and another was only his viceregent; accordingly we find, when they expressed their desire to have a king in the time of Samuel, and it was granted, though not without some resentment, the Lord chose their first king for them, Saul, and, after him, David, and even Solomon, David's son; and though, in later times, they appointed kings without consulting him, it is complained of, Hosea 8:4 hence this clause is prefaced in the Targum of Jonathan,
"ye shall seek instruction from the Lord, and after set him king, &c.''which was to be done by the mouth of a prophet, or by Urim, as Aben Ezra observes:

one from among thy brethren shall thou set king over thee: that is, one of their own nation, an Israelite, a brother both by nation and religion:

thou mayest not set a stranger over thee that is not thy brother; one of another nation, that is not of the family of Israel, as Aben Ezra notes, even not an Edomite, though called sometimes their brother; and Herod, who was an Idumean, was set up, not by them, but by the Romans; now in this their king was a type of the King Messiah, of whom it is said, "their nobles shall be of themselves", Jeremiah 30:21

One from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee - It was on the ground of this command that the Jews proposed that insidious question to our Lord, Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, Or No? Matthew 22:17; for they were then under the authority of a foreign power. Had Christ said Yes, then they would have condemned him by this law; had he said No, then they would have accused him to Caesar.

16 But he shall not multiply (Aries or Taurus) horses to himself, nor cause the (Gemini) people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply (Aries or Taurus) horses: forasmuch as the (Shekinah) Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.

17 Neither shall he multiply (Gemini) wives to himself, that his (lunar) heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself (lunar) silver and (solar) gold.

Neither shall he multiply wives - For this would necessarily lead to foreign alliances, and be the means of introducing the manners and customs of other nations, and their idolatry also. Solomon sinned against this precept, and brought ruin on himself and on the land by it; see 1 Kings 11:4.

18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the (Cepheus) throne of his kingdom, that he shall (red radius) write him a copy of this (solar) law in a (lunar) book out of that which is before the (Ophiuchus & Hercules) priests the Levites:

He shall write him a copy of this law - mishneh hattorah hazzoth, an iteration or duplicate of this law; translated by the Septuagint, το δευτερονομιον τουτο this deuteronomy. From this version both the Vulgate Latin and all the modern versions have taken the name of this book; and from the original word the Jews call it Mishneh. See the preface to this book.
Out of that which is before the priests the Levites - It is likely this means, that the copy which the king was to write out was to be taken from the autograph kept in the tabernacle before the Lord, from which, as a standard, every copy was taken and with which doubtless every copy was compared; and it is probable that the priests and Levites had the revising of every copy that was taken off, in order to prevent errors from creeping into the sacred text.

19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the (Shekinah) Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:

And it shall be with him, etc. - It was the surest way to bring the king to an acquaintance with the Divine law to oblige him to write out a fair copy of it with his own hand, in which he was to read daily. This was essentially necessary, as these laws of God were all permanent, and no Israelitish king could make any new law, the kings of this people being ever considered as only the vice-gerents of Jehovah.

20 That his heart be not lifted up above his (Gemini) brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right (lunar) hand, or to the left (lunar hand): to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his (Gemini) children, in the midst of Israel.

He, and his children, in the midst of Israel - From this verse it has been inferred that the crown of Israel was designed to be hereditary, and this is very probable; for long experience has proved to almost all the nations of the world that hereditary succession in the regal government is, on the whole, the safest, and best calculated to secure the public tranquillity.

Next Lesson: Ancient Jewish Marriage Customs | Back to Home | Email Us