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Deu 17:1 You must not sacrifice to Yahweh your God an ox or a sheep in which is a blemish or anything imperfect, for that is an abomination to Yahweh your God-
This looked ahead to the unblemished character of the Lord Jesus (1 Cor. 5:7). The offering of sacrifices "without blemish" uses a word which is used about Abraham and Noah being "without blemish" (AV "perfect") before God (Gen. 6:9; 17:1). Although the word is used about the sacrifices, it is really more appropriate to persons- "you shall be perfect with Yahweh your God" (Dt. 18:13), "serve Him in sincerity (s.w. "without blemish")" (Josh. 24:14). The idea, therefore, was that the offerer was invited to see the animal as representative of himself. Our lives too are to be as "living sacrifices" (Rom. 12:1). And yet in practical terms, no animal is without blemish. They were to give the best they could, and God would count it as without blemish; as He does with us. David frequently uses the term in the Psalms about himself and the "upright", even though he was far from unblemished in moral terms.

Deu 17:2 If there is found in the midst of you, within any of your gates which Yahweh your God gives you, a man or woman who does that which is evil in the sight of Yahweh your God in transgressing His covenant-
Like Paul in his time of dying, Moses in Deuteronomy saw the importance of obedience, the harder side of God; yet he also saw in real depth the surpassing love of God, and the grace that was to come, beyond Law. This appreciation reflected Moses' mature grasp of the Name / characteristics of God. He uses the name "Yahweh" in Deuteronomy over 530 times, often with some possessive adjective, e.g. "Yahweh thy God" [AV- i.e. you singular], or "Yahweh our God". He saw the personal relationship between a man and his God. Jacob reached a like realization at his peak.

Deu 17:3 and has gone and served other gods and worshipped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the army of the sky, which I have not commanded-
Moses told Israel this when they had carried the star of Remphan and the tabernacle of Moloch through the wilderness, and had taken the idols of Egypt with them (Ez. 20:7,8). Joshua had to appeal to that generation to put away their idols. We see here how Moses was talking on one level, but the people were completely on another.

Deu 17:4 and it is told you and you have heard of it, then you must inquire diligently-
Reports of wrong doing cannot all, therefore, be shrugged off as gossip which we don't want to hear. That can be a lazy response. The far harder response is to do as asked here, to "inquire diligently" and establish facts.

Behold, if it is true and certain that such abomination is done in Israel-
Moses knew that such idolatry was ongoing in Israel as he spoke. But it is left an open question as to why he did nothing further than lament it at the end of Deuteronomy. Perhaps he reflected God's great enthusiasm for Israel at this time, for He did not behold iniquity in Jacob (Num. 23:21), and presents Himself in Jeremiah as having fallen totally in love with Israel in the wilderness, wishing not to see their unfaithfulness. 

Deu 17:5 then you must bring forth that man or that woman who has done this evil thing to your gates, even the man or the woman, and you shall stone them to death with stones-
The use of stoning (Dt. 13:10; 17:5; 21:21; 22:21,24) was to show their connection with the death of the apostate. It was to also make them realize that any attempt to deny the saving work of God in bringing them out of Egypt, or attempt to reverse it by returning them to bondage, was worthy of death (Dt. 13:10). We note that false teaching, enticing others to sin, is seen as the most serious kind of sin. The New Testament teaching about church discipline takes a similar approach; moral weakness of individuals was tolerated, although criticized; but those teaching such behaviour were condemned. Stoning resulted in the covering of the body with the dust of the earth, as if recognizing that the death being brought about was also to be the fate of all under the curse in Eden.  

Deu 17:6 At the mouth of two or three witnesses shall he who is to die be put to death. At the mouth of one witness he must not be put to death-
Insisting on more than one witness before accepting the truth of an allegation meant that gossip and slander were limited; and Jesus applies this principle to dealing with disputes within His church (Mt. 18:16). Although His teaching about not condemning our brethren meant that He didn't advocate as it were 'putting to death', but rather stern rebuke and damage limitation. Those who served other gods had to die on the testimony of two or three witnesses. This idea is twice alluded to in the New Testament in the context of making the decision to cease fellowship with someone (Mt. 18:16; 2 Cor. 13:1). The implication is that death under the Old Covenant pointed forward to first century church discipline under the New Covenant. But we must note that the reason for this was serving other gods and wilful departing from covenant relationship with the Lord- not minor reasons.

Deu 17:7 The hand of the witnesses must be first on him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall put away the evil from the midst of you-
There is stress upon close family members were to be the first to slay apostate members whose apostacy they had reported (Dt. 13:9; 17:7). They were being taught that they had to love God far more than family, and the Lord Jesus continued this teaching (Mt. 10:37). 

Deu 17:8 If there arises a matter too hard for you in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within your gates, then go up to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose-
Judging between "blood and blood" may refer to judging whether between murder and manslaughter. The sanctuary was intended to be a point of national focus, and this reflects God's great interest in unity amongst His people. But God never stated that He had chosen a place in Israel, at least not [arguably] until the time of David. Israel were simply not responsive enough to enable all His intended plans to come about, and therefore so much of the law was not possible of complete fulfilment as intended.

Deu 17:9 and come to the priests the Levites and to the judge who shall be in those days and ask. They shall show you the sentence of judgment-
David and Solomon appear to have concentrated all judgment in themselves, setting themselves up effectively as both king and priest, for the "judge" was to be a priest. Jehoshaphat reformed this by placing the power of judgment in the hands of a group of Levites, priests and heads of families as the higher court in Jerusalem (2 Chron. 19:5-8). But still Jehoshaphat didn't appoint a singular senior judge, as required in Dt. 17:9. We note from Dt. 19:17 that this singular priestly supreme judge is called "Yahweh", because he was to be Yahweh's supreme representative when it came to judgment. But it seems even the best kings of Judah preferred to keep that office in their own power.

Deu 17:10 You must do according to the sentence which they shall show you from that place which Yahweh shall choose, and you must observe to do according to all that they shall teach you-
LXX "And thou shalt act according to the thing which they shall report to thee out of the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, and thou shalt observe to do all whatsoever shall have been by law appointed to thee". The idea may be that their judgment was based upon God's law, but they would ask Him for wisdom as to how to interpret it, and they in turn would "report" that in making judgments. And yet it seems that the priesthood failed to be just judges, as the prophets very often lament the corrupt judiciary in the same context as complaining of a corrupt priesthood. They didn't judge according to God's revealed word, nor seek His guidance; but judged according to their own vested interests. Just as we can today.

Deu 17:11 according to the law which they shall teach you and according to the judgment which they shall tell you, that you shall do. You must not turn aside from the sentence which they shall show you-
The system of judges proposed by Jethro didn't really work, because Moses again felt the burden was too great for him (see on Num. 11:11), and so the 70 Spirit filled elders were appointed (Num. 11:16). But this too didn't really work; because in Dt. 17:11; 21:5 we seem to read of the priests effectively being the judges, under the direct control of Moses and Aaron. The simple truth was that there was hardly a wise man amongst them.

To the right hand or to the left-
The wall of water on their right hand and left when they crossed the Red Sea is twice emphasized (Ex. 14:22,29). It is alluded to later, when they are urged to not depart from God's way, not to the right hand nor left (Dt. 5:32; 17:11,20; 28:14). We passed through the Red Sea when we were baptized (1 Cor. 10:1,2). We were set upon a path which is walled up to keep us within it. And we are to remain in that path upon which we were set. To turn aside from it would be as foolish as Israel turning away from their path and trying to walk into the walls of water.

Deu 17:12 The man who does presumptuously in not listening to the priest who stands to minister there before Yahweh your God, or to the judge, that man shall die, and you must put away the evil from Israel-
“The evil one” in the Old Testament was always “the evil man in Israel” (Dt. 17:12; 19:19; 22:21–24 cp. 1 Cor. 5:13) – never a superhuman being, not any personal, superhuman Satan.

Deu 17:13 All the people shall hear and fear and do no more presumptuously-
David however did act presumptuously, and yet lived- by grace. 2 Sam. 12:9 says that he "despised the word of Yahweh". Indeed, David "despised the commandment (word) of the Lord... you despised me" (2 Sam. 12:9,10). David learnt that his attitude to God's word was his attitude to God- for the word of God, in that sense, was and is God. The fact that he is condemned for having "despised the commandment of the Lord" in his sin with Bathsheba indicates that David knew all along what God's will really was. The fact that the flesh took over does not in any way mitigate his responsibility in this. This is a direct quote from the Law's definition of the sin of presumption: "The soul that does anything presumptuously... because he has despised the word of the Lord... that soul shall utterly be cut off" (Num. 15:30,31). Knowing David’s emotional nature and also the fact that he did not completely turn away from God afterwards, we would have expected a quicker repentance if it had been a passing sin of passion. It would therefore seem reasonable to assume that the sin was of presumption rather than passion. In his prosperity he had said “I shall never be moved” and he was determined that he couldn’t be (Ps. 30:6). Hearing those words from Nathan must have struck real fear into David- he was being incriminated for the supreme sin of presumption, for which there was no provision of sacrifice or repentance. It is a mark of his faith and knowledge of God as the God of love, that He is willing to go on to confess his sin, in the hope of forgiveness. "You desire not sacrifice; else would I give it" (Ps. 51:16) was spoken by David more concerning this sin of presumption for which there was no sacrifice prescribed, rather than about the actual sin of adultery. However, we must not get the impression that David was a hard, callous man. Everything we know about him points to him be a big hearted, warm softie. David's sin with Bathsheba was in that sense out of character. Yet such is the stranglehold of sin that even he was forced to act with such uncharacteristic callousness and indifference to both God and man in order to try to cover his sin.

Deu 17:14 When you have come to the land which Yahweh your God gives you and shall possess it, and dwell therein and say, I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me-
Moses often reminds them that he knows they will turn away from the Covenant he had given them (e.g. Dt. 30:1; 31:29). Here he shows that he knew that one day they would want a king, even though God was their king. He had such sensitivity to their weakness and likely failures, and in some areas he makes concessions to them.

"Drive out" is s.w. "possess". We must note the difference between the  Canaanite peoples and their kings being "struck" and their land "taken" by Joshua-Jesus; and the people of Israel permanently taking possession. This is the difference between the Lord's victory on the cross, and our taking possession of the Kingdom. Even though that possession has been "given" to us. The word used for "possession" is literally 'an inheritance'. The allusion is to the people, like us, being the seed of Abraham. The Kingdom was and is our possession, our inheritance- if we walk in the steps of Abraham. But it is one thing to be the seed of Abraham, another to take possession of the inheritance; and Israel generally did not take possession of all the land (Josh. 11:23 13:1; 16:10; 18:3; 23:4). The language of inheritance / possession is applied to us in the New Testament (Eph. 1:11,14; Col. 3:24; Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Pet. 1:4 etc.). Israel were promised: "You shall possess it" (Dt. 30:5; 33:23). This was more of a command than a prophecy, for sadly they were "given" the land but did not "possess" it. They were constantly encouraged in the wilderness that they were on the path to possessing the land (Dt. 30:16,18; 31:3,13; 32:47), but when they got there they didn't possess it fully.

Deu 17:15 you must surely set him king over yourselves whom Yahweh your God shall choose; one from among your brothers you shall set king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother-
It was God's wish that Israel would not have a human king; hence His sorrow when they did (1 Sam. 10:19-21). Yet in the Law, God foresaw that they would want a human king, and so He gave commandments concerning how he should behave (Dt. 17:14,15). These passages speak of how Israel would choose to set a King over themselves, and would do so. Yet God worked through this system of human kings; hence the Queen of Sheba speaks of how God had set Solomon over Israel as King, and how he was king on God's behalf (2 Chron. 9:8). Israel set a king over themselves; but God worked with this, so that in a sense He set the King over them.

Deu 17:16 Only he must not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, so that he may multiply horses, because Yahweh has said to you, You shall not go back that way again-
See on Dt. 16:21. Moses commands any future king not to send God's people to Egypt to buy horses because he could see that this would tempt them to go back to Egypt permanently. There are many other example of this kind of thing (Dt. 14:24; 15:18; 17:17-19; 18:9; 20:7,8). The point is that Moses had thought long and hard about the ways in which Israel would be tempted to sin, and his words and innermost desire were devoted to helping them overcome. Glorious ditto for the Lord Jesus whom he typified (Dt. 18:18). Note that the king was warned not to get horses for himself from Egypt because the very act of sending Israelites back into Egypt might tempt them to return there; we are to be sensitive to the spiritual effect our actions may have upon others.

Israel were told three times that Saul would have many chariots (1 Sam. 8:11,12). If they were spiritually aware, they would have realized that by multiplying horses and chariots, he was going to be a King who ruled in studied disobedience to the Mosaic Law (Dt. 17:16-21). They were given the spiritual potential to grasp this. But they were already hard bitten in their rebellion, and this potential spiritual help went unheeded (although God still gave it to them potentially, even at a time when it seemed pointless. He is so ever willing to coax His people back!).

The degree to which God wanted Israel to conceive of Him in terms of Angels is shown by carefully considering the command for Israel not to have chariots (Dt. 17:16 cp. Is. 2:7). As this form of transport became increasingly popular, it must have seemed as crazy as Christians being told not to possess motor cars. There must have therefore been a highly significant teaching behind it. Was the purpose of it to make Israel look to the Angel-cherubim chariots of God? The word for 'cherubim' carries the idea of a chariot; the notion of horsemen corresponds with the Angel horse riders of Zechariah and Revelation.

Ex. 14:13 could appear to be prophecy: “The Egyptians… you shall see them again no more for ever”. But it is understood as a command not to return to Egypt in Dt. 17:16- and because of Israel turning back to Egypt in their hearts, they would be taken there again (Dt. 28:68). So we must be prepared to accept that what may appear to be prophecy is in fact commandment, which we have the freewill to obey or disobey.  Ez. 43:7 likewise is more command than prediction: “The house of Israel shall no more defile my holy name” (RV). It isn’t saying ‘this is a prophecy that they will not do this’- for they did. Rather is it a plea, a command, that they are not to do this any more.  

Moses adds a whole series of apparently 'minor' commands which were designed to make obedience easier to the others already given. Thus he tells them in Deuteronomy not to plant a grove of trees near the altar of God - because he knew this would provoke the possibility of mixing Yahweh worship with that of the surrounding world (Dt. 16:21). Likewise he commands any future king not to send God's people to Egypt to buy horses because he could see that this would tempt them to go back to Egypt permanently (Dt. 17:16). There are many other example of this kind of thing (Dt. 14:24; 15:18; 17:17-19; 18:9; 20:7,8). The point is that Moses had thought long and hard about the ways in which Israel would be tempted to sin, and his words and innermost desire were devoted to helping them overcome. Glorious ditto for the Lord Jesus.  

Deu 17:17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, so that his heart will not turn away; neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold-
See on Dt. 20:14. This has strong relevance to Solomon. He did multiply silver, gold, horses and wives; his heart was turned away (:16,17= 2 Chron. 9:20).  Yet this passage says that if he studied the Law all his life, this would not happen, and also his heart would not be "lifted up above his brethren" (:20). Solomon's whipping of the people and sense of spiritual and material superiority (2 Chron. 10:11; Ecc. 1:16;  2:7,9) shows how his heart was lifted up. Yet Solomon knew the Law, despite his explicit disobedience to the commands concerning wives, horses etc. But his knowledge of the word didn't bring forth the true humility which it was intended to. Solomon assumed he wasn't proud; he assumed God’s word was having its intended effect upon him, when it wasn’t. Such spiritual assumption is a temptation for every child of God. God’s intention that the king of Israel should personally copy out all the commandments of the Law was “to the end that his heart will not be raised up above his brothers”- i.e. reflecting upon the many requirements of the Law would’ve convicted the King of his own failure to have been fully obedient, and therefore his heart would be humbled. And soon after this statement, we are hearing Moses reminding Israel that Messiah, the prophet like unto Moses, was to be raised up (Dt. 18:18). Human failure, and recognition of it, prepares us to accept Christ.

They had left Egypt with great riches of silver and gold, and this is "your silver and gold" which was to be multiplied even more (Dt. 8:13). The multiplication of Abraham's seed promised to him clearly meant not simply numerical multiplication, but material multiplication too. That is the sense too in Lev. 26:9; Dt. 30:5. We wonder why God gave them all this blessing, knowing that it would lead to such spiritual temptation and failure. We wonder why He gives so many of His people today the same huge blessings, however unappreciated they are. One simple answer is that it is because He loves us with all the love of a father for his children; He rejoiced to multiply them (Dt. 28:63). The king of Israel was warned in the same words not to multiply silver and gold lest his heart turn away (Dt. 17:17). The idea may be that we are to leave God to multiply our silver and gold if He wishes, and not set our heart to doing so.

Deu 17:18 When he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he must write for himself a copy of this law in a book, out of that which is before the priests, the Levites-
LXX "And when he shall be established in his government, then shall he write for himself this repetition of the law into a book by the hands of the priests the Levites". 'Writing for himself by the hands of the priests' could mean that as the kings were illiterate, the priests were to guide their hands in copying out the law. Perhaps "this law" refers specifically to the laws in this section warning the king. Solomon must have copied out these laws, and yet right from the time he wrote them out, he specifically disobeyed them all. Solomon was a classic example of where knowledge of God's law alone will not save anyone, unless it enters into the heart. 

Deu 17:19 It shall be with him and he must read from it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear Yahweh his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them-
The word so often used for "keeping" / "diligently observing" Yahweh's commandments is from the word meaning a thorn hedge; the idea originally was to hedge in. Taking this too literally led Judaism to all their endless fences around the law, i.e. forbidding this or that because it might lead to doing that or this, which in turn would then lead to breaking an actual commandment. And those various fences become elevated to the level of commandments. But this is not the idea. We are indeed to hedge ourselves in ("take heed to yourself", Dt. 11:16; 12:13,19,30,32 s.w.), so that we may keep / hedge ourselves in to keep the commandments of God (Lev. 18:4,5,26,30; 19:19,37; 20:8,22; 22:9,31; 25:18; 26:3; Num. 28:2;   Dt. 7:11,12; 8:1,11 [s.w. "beware"]; 10:13; 11:1,8,22,32; 12:1; 13:4,18; 15:5,9 ["beware"]; 17:19; 19:9; 23:9 ["keep yourself"]; 24:8; 26:16-18; 27:1; 28:1,9,13; 29:9; 30:10,16; 31:12; 32:46). And without falling into the legalism of Judaism, self discipline does require a degree of fencing ourselves in to the one way. Thus the man struggling with alcoholism avoids the supermarket where alcohol is pushed in front of the eyes of the shoppers; the married woman struggling with attraction to another man makes little laws for herself about avoiding his company. And if we do this, then the Lord will "keep" us, will hedge us in to keeping His way (s.w. Num. 6:24).

Deu 17:20 Thus his heart will not be raised up above his brothers, and he will not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, so that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel-
The victory of the Lord Jesus is described as Him 'prolonging his days' (Is. 53:10), in allusion back to the way Dt. 17:20 teaches that the King of Israel must study the word all the days of his life, with the result that he would "prolong his days". The almost unbelievable victory of the man Christ Jesus against every aspect of the flesh was due to His saturation with the spirit of God's word. 

God’s intention that the king of Israel should personally copy out all the commandments of the Law was so that “his heart be not lifted up above his brethren” (Dt. 17:20)- i.e. reflecting upon the many requirements of the Law would’ve convicted the King of his own failure to have been fully obedient, and therefore his heart would be humbled. And soon after this statement, we are hearing Moses reminding Israel that Messiah, the prophet like unto Moses, was to be raised up (Dt. 18:18). Human failure, and recognition of it, prepares us to accept Christ. To this end, God worked through Israel’s weakness, time and again. He even used it as a path towards His provision of Messiah. God wanted to speak to them directly, but in their weakness they asked that He not do this. Instead of giving up with them, as a Father whose children say they don’t want to hear His voice… instead God goes on to tell Moses: “They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren [a prophecy applied to Christ in the New Testament]… and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him” (Dt. 18:17,18).