Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 24:16 - 24:16

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 24:16 - 24:16

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Warning against Injustice. - Deu 24:16. Fathers were not to be put to death upon (along with) their sons, nor sons upon (along with) their fathers, i.e., they were not to suffer the punishment of death with them for crimes in which they had no share; but every one was to be punished simply for his own sin. This command was important, to prevent an unwarrantable and abusive application of the law which is manifest in the movements of divine justice to the criminal jurisprudence of the lane (Exo 20:5), since it was a common thing among the heathen nations - e.g., the Persians, Macedonians, and others - for the children and families of criminals to be also put to death (cf. Est 9:13-14; Herod. iii. 19; Ammian Marcell. xxiii. 6; Curtius, vi. 11, 20, etc.). An example of the carrying out of this law is to be found in 2Ki 14:6; 2Ch 25:4. In Deu 24:17, Deu 24:18, the law against perverting the right of strangers, orphans, and widows, is repeated from Exo 22:20-21, and Exo 23:9; and an addition is made, namely, that they were not to take a widow's raiment in pledge (cf. Lev 19:33-34).