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, do not be unequally yoked

Read Deuteronomy 22:8-12 at Bible Gateway.

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

(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.)

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

Today we are looking at the prohibition of unlike mixtures:

“You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. You shall not wear a garment of different sorts, such as wool and linen mixed together.” Deu 22:10-11

Once again, while these two commands are in separate paragraphs in our English Bibles, they are combined in a single paragraph according to the Lord, since there is no paragraph division following verse 10. Also, the English translation of verse 11 makes it sound as if the prohibition is against any mixture, the example being wool and linen. In Hebrew Bible in English states it a little differently:

Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. Thou shalt not wear a mingled stuff, wool and linen together. Deu 22:10-11 HBE

The “such as” indicating an example is not in the Hebrew. Do not wear a wool and linen blend fabric. I wear cotton and linen blend fabrics with a clear conscience. I wear a wool sweater with a linen belt in the same outfit with a clear conscience. So here we have a prohibition against yoking together that which is unlike: the ox and donkey at the plow, or weaving wool and linen fibers together to make the fabric of a garment. This brings to mind:

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.” 2 Cor 6:14-16

Do not unequally yoke an ox and donkey together at the plow. Do not unequally yoke wool and linen fibers together in the fabric of a garment. And if you would preserve the sanctity of marital intimacy, and the integrity of the next generation, do not be unequally yoked together, believers with unbelievers, in the marriage covenant!

Continued: deuteronomy 22:8-12, tzitzit and adultery


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