Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 19:15 - 19:15

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 19:15 - 19:15

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

The Punishment of a False Witness. - To secure life and property against false accusations, Moses lays down the law in Deu 19:15, that one witness only was not “to rise up against any one with reference to any crime or sin, with every sin that one commits” (i.e., to appear before a court of justice, or be accepted as sufficient), but everything was to be established upon the testimony of two or three witnesses. The rule laid down in Deu 17:6 and Num 35:30 for capital crimes, is raised hereby into a law of general application (see at Num 35:30). קוּם (in Deu 19:15), to stand, i.e., to acquire legal force. - But as it was not always possible to bring forward two or three witnesses, and the statement of one witness could not well be disregarded, in Deu 19:16-18 Moses refers accusations of this kind to the higher tribunal at the sanctuary for investigation and decision, and appoints the same punishment for a false witness, which would have fallen upon the person accused, if he had been convicted of the crime with which he was charged. סָרָה בֹּו לַעֲנֹות, “to testify against his departure,” sc., from the law of God, not merely falling away into idolatry (Deu 13:6), but any kind of crime, as we may gather from Deu 19:19, which would be visited with capital punishment.