Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 19:14 - 19:14

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 19:14 - 19:14

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The prohibition against Removing a Neighbour's Landmark, which his ancestors had placed, is inserted here, not because landmarks were of special importance in relation to the free cities, and the removal of them might possibly be fatal to the unintentional manslayer (as Clericus and Rosenmüller assume), for the general terms of the prohibition are at variance with this, viz., “thy neighbour's landmark,” and “in thine inheritance which thou shalt inherit in the land;” but on account of the close connection in which a man's possession as the means of his support stood to the life of the man himself, “because property by which life is supported participates in the sacredness of life itself, just as in Deu 20:19-20, sparing the fruit-trees is mentioned in connection with the men who were to be spared” (Schultz). A curse was to be pronounced upon the remover of landmarks, according to Deu 27:17, just as upon one who cursed his father, who led a blind man astray, or perverted the rights of orphans and widows (cf. Hos 5:10; Pro 22:28; Pro 23:10). Landmarks were regarded as sacred among other nations also; by the Romans, for example, they were held to be so sacred, that whoever removed them was to be put to death.