On-Line Bible Lessons

Deuteronomy - Chapter 17, Lesson 2


Pastor Ovid Need

In this lesson we will look at the judicial aspect of the laws discused in the previous lesson. He has pointed out the violation of God's law, making the God of heaven a second rate god among gods. Our Lord held this as a very serious offence as He places 17:1 right between 16:21, 22 and 17:2, 3. My, how we need to see these things as God sees them.

1. What was required before someone could be accused of the above violations of God's law, vv. 4-6?

(1) ______________________________________

(2) ___________________________________.

If it was found to be true they were to be stoned, v. 5. This not only removed the sin, but would cause others to fear and depart from sin, Prov. 8:13. Far from doing away with Deut. 17:6-13 our Lord emphasized and established it for His Church. Paul takes this and applies this principle IN both OT and NT. The covenant breaker was/is to be dealt with.

2. Verses 8-13 covers this very practical application of the law which is covered thoroughly in the NT. Here we have what kind of a matter or controversy, v. 8a? ____________________

a. The individuals who have the controversy are to do what, v. 9. 11? ________________

b. We have already seen what kind of men these judges were to be. Therefore, what kind of sen­tence would they render, v. 11a (Ex. 18:20-22)? _______________________________________

c. As we follow this principle of b) through, to disregard or disobey the judgment of these judges would be to disregard who? _____________________________________________________

d. To disregard their judgment was called what, v. 12? _______________________________

e. What was the result if those who had the controversy disregarded the judgment, v. 12b?

f. Why was the penalty so swift and stiff, v. 13? ________________________________

The people of the congregation did not go to the Canaanites nor to the Egyptians to obtain justice, rather they had to keep it within the congregation. Here, alone, would be the true justice as the judgment was rendered according to God's Law-Word. As with the rest of the law, Christ did not set aside this requirement of Deut. 17:8-13. Rather, He enforced it and Paul ap­plies it to the NT congregation of the Lord, the Church. We will start with Paul's usage of it and then look at the basic law as Christ gave it to us, based upon Deut. 27:8-13.

3. What is Paul upset about in I Cor. 6:1-7 (v. 1)? __________________________________

a. What does he tell the ones who have a controversy that they should be doing, v. 5?

b. He points out that it is a shame before God, fellow believers and the unsaved to go outside of the congregation. If fraud has taken place within the congregation, where is it to be settled?

Here Paul has made a practical application of Deut. 17:8-13. Also, he has applied the law as regiven by the Law Maker, Matt. 18:15-17. Let's use fraud as an example.

4. If one Christian defrauds another, what is to be done? The one who has been frauded out of his possessions is to do what, Matt. 18:15?



a. If this doesn't work, then what, v. 16 (See Deut. 17:6; 19:15)? ___________________

b. If this doesn't work, and the one who did the theft doesn't make it right, then what is to be done, v. 17a?

As we have already seen, the elder (or group of men appointed to hear such matters) would be a godly man well instructed in the law-word of God, I Tim. 3; Titus 1. The godly men pass the judgment according to the law-word of God, yet the guilty party of the controversy won't obey the judgment. At this point the guilty party can be treated as a heathen man and a publican, v. 17b, even taken to civil court. This is a godly function of that court, to protect private property.

5. This also is put into practice by Paul in I Cor. 5. The guilty person who would not repent (according to Prov. 28:13, 14) was to be removed from the church, 4-7. Paul did not restrict this removal to fornicators, but covered just about every hardened violator of God's law you can think of, v. 10, 11. How many sins can you name from this passage?

a. Paul goes even further. We have seen this in previous lessons (1-4,etc.). What are we to do with the one who refuses to be instructed from God's word and repent, I Cor. 5:5 (Deut. 17:12b)?

b. When it reaches this stage, it is no longer a private matter. It is to be done before all. Why, I Tim. 5:20; Titus 1:13 (Deut. 17:13)? ________________________________________________

The person is now to be treated as a heathen man and a publican. One of the purposes of civil government is to provide justice and to protect from the lawbreaker, Rom. 13:3, 4 (See "Christ-Caesar, Where is the Line Drawn?").

Back to our fraud. As the unrepentant sinner is now treated as a heathen man and a publican, he can now be taken before the civil judicial system to find relief.

What about a person outside of the Covenant People Congregation who committed the theft? If he will appear before the Church, then these steps should be followed. If he will not, then take him before the civil authorities. This is why God ordained them to protect the godly from the evil motives of the ungodly.

6. A person may say, "Boy, I Cor. 6:1-7 is harsh. It looks like the Church would work with the person rather than exposing and removing them". Remember, one man, then witnesses, confronted the sinner. The key word would be unrepentant. When confronted with his sin, if the person had a sincere desire to correct the problem, (scripturally), then what did our Lord say, Matt. 18;15b?

Our Lord gives us the outline of what is to be done in this situation (as with all situations). To say, "That's too harsh, we don't see it that way", is to be presumptuous. Presumption is prevalent today. People not only ignore but many times completely avoid what God says in His word about a particular matter. Then we presume that He will take care of us anyway and work it all out. The law of God is quite clear on this. Acting presumptuously has the vengeance of God upon it, Deut. 17:12; Heb. 10:28-31. God help us to get back to doing it His way, regardless of how we feel about it. What would be the result if the principle of Deut. 17:5, 6; I Cor. 5:6-13 and I Tim. 5:20 were followed today? Do you suppose this is a reason there is no reverence for God or His Word today, even among His people? There is no fear of God before their eyes.

7. As this is obeyed (I Cor. 5:13; I Tim. 5:20) in our day, and there is no repentance in the heart of the guilty, what does the Lord then become to that person, Heb. 10:26-31; 12:29?

We will look a little more at this as it is given again in Deut. 19:15 "for any iniquity or for any sin." We will see more on this witness later (19-1; 22-1). God holds this matter of the wit­ness very important as He said it at least twice here in Deut. and many times in the NT.

One more thing on judges and officers before we move on. Elections by the majority were un­known under Moses' law. The indication is appointment according to godly ability although Keil takes this back to Ex. 5 where the officers were already established over the people when they were still in Egypt (see Ex. 4:29). All of this placed the final civil, judicial authority with the law of God.

Follow the context. The matter is taken to the local civil authority, judge and if they are unable to discern the matter then they, the local judge, will take it to the superior court. Now, notice this was not a court of appeal, and it did not overturn the local (godly) judge, but only acted in cases where the lower court did not trust itself to give a godly verdict.

"The sentence was to be founded upon the Thorah, upon the law which the priests had to teach, v. 12. No one was to resist in pride, to refuse to listen to the priest or to the judge. Resis­tance to the priest took place when any one was dissatisfied with his interpretation of the law; to the judge, when any one was discontented with the sentence that was passed on the basis of the law. Such refractory conduct was to be punished with death, as rebellion against God, in whose name the right had been spoken (chapter I.17) (Keil on Deut. pg. 384)." This is quite strong, yet the Lord God had chosen this man (Deut. 18:5, etc.) to apply God's Word to the situation, and when they refused to hear him, it was refusing to hear the Lord Himself.

Now Moses moves to the third area, the choosing of the king, vv. 14-15. Moses knew what their desire would be and this is exactly what happened, I Sam. 8:5. The Lord did not require a king as He did judges and officers, nor was He against having a king as long as the king was a man whom He had chosen and not the people. Evidently, there would be a way in which He would point out who God had chosen, then it was up to the people to respect that desire of God when they set the king over themselves.

8. What was the main restriction here in establishing a king which would include being a man whom the Lord God had chosen, v. 15?


a. What was one of the main causes of God's judgment against them, Hos. 8 (esp. v.4)?

We see here that the Lord God is very concerned about what kind of civil rulers His people set up over themselves. The indication here for the king is an election, "chose", whereas the judges were appointed, or "shalt thou make."

9. What are the three restrictions placed upon this king, vv. 16-17?



In Moses time there would have been a grave danger of going back to Egypt, therefore, any­thing which would draw them back was forbidden, Heb. 11:15. This principle today prohibits such things as "Christian Rock". It would be a reminder of the old life of heathenism.

a. Why was (2) forbidden, v. 17? _____________________________________________________

Also (1) would be a sign of physical strength. A foot soldier is inferior to a horse soldier. By Israel being forbidden to multiply horses this left her dependent upon the Lord her God when horsemen came against her. Horses would lead to the attitude of Judges 7:2. A very good example of this in action is found in Judges 4. The chariots were the peak of the world's power yet by Israel being restricted from them they had to depend upon God's power to overcome the strength of the world. They could not go back to the world's means of power.

10. Further instructions are given for this king. What are they, vv. 18-19?
a. Why, v. 19? _______________________________________________________________________
b. What will be the results, vv. 19-20?


In conclusion here, let us be reminded that if we will do v. 19 we also will see the results of vv. 19-20.