christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

deuteronomy 22:8-12, fencing your roof

Read Deuteronomy 22:8-12 at Bible Gateway.

Previously: deuteronomy 21:10-22:7 chiastic structure

(Please review the teaching tools of scripture, especially the Hebrew paragraph divisions and chiastic structures. The paragraphs marked by an “s” at their close are weak paragraphs, which indicate a change of facet but not a change of theme or topic. The paragraphs marked by a “p” at their close are strong paragraphs, which indicate the completion of a theme or topic.)

All the paragraphs contained in the explanation of Do not commit adultery are weak paragraphs, so instead of using the strong paragraph divisions to break up our sections, as we have done with the other commandments, we will use common theme to break up our sections. Deu 22:8-12 is the second section explaining the seventh commandment, Do not commit adultery. The seventh commandment is explained in Deu 21:10-23:14, and this is my summary of it. The Hebrew paragraph divisions are:

Deu 22:8-9 {s} Preventing bloodguilt and defilement
Deu 22:10-11 {s} Prohibition of unlike mixtures
Deu 22:12 {s} You shall wear tzitzit on the four corners of your clothing

These have a common theme? We will do as before and look at each paragraph one by one:

Deu 22:8-9 {s} Preventing bloodguilt and defilement

“When you build a new house, then you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you may not bring guilt of bloodshed on your household if anyone falls from it. You shall not sow your vineyard with different kinds of seed, lest the yield of the seed which you have sown and the fruit of your vineyard be defiled.” Deu 22:8-9

In our English Bibles, these two verses are separated into separate paragraphs, because to human logic, these two commands are about two different topics. But according to God, since both of these verses are together in a single paragraph, they are teaching a single topic. The glaring omission of a paragraph division after the end of vs. 8 is crying out to us to solve the puzzle! Not only that, but when we do come to a paragraph division, because it is a weak division, we must assume that God is still teaching us about His overall theme, which has been Do not commit adultery!

Now, first vs. 8: When you build a new house, you shall fence your roof so that no one falls from it. Going back to PaRDeS, going beyond the pashat or direct meaning, what happens when a man marries a woman? He begins to build a new house, does he not? Together they are building a new household, a new family. The most basic principle of the command is the man is to build a fence around his new house, his new family, to prevent someone from falling and perishing because he has fallen. It might interest you to know, that the verb “falls” is Strong’s H5307, naphal. This is the same root as nephilim, the “fallen ones” of Gen 6. Why where the nephilim fallen? They were fallen away from God and obedience to His ways. I believe that at the drash level of interpretation, the man is to build a fence around his new household, his new family, to prevent them and others because of their influence, from falling away from God, from the path of life, so that he or his household does not incur bloodguilt because of it. What is the fence?

And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” Gen 18:17-19

“And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” Gen 26:4-5

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deu 6:4-9

But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. Gal 3:23-25

I can tell you by experience that our six- year- olds and ten- year- olds and sixteen- year- olds need the law of God, which is the law of love after all, for it is God’s ordained tutor to bring children to mature faith in Christ Jesus. Because while you might have an established faith in Christ Jesus, your six- year- old or perhaps your sixteen- year- old does not! There is your fence, men! Build it strong to support life!

Continued: deuteronomy 22:8-12, strengthening your vineyard


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