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Deuteronomy 13:12 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— If thou shalt hear tell concerning one of thy cities, which Jehovah thy God giveth thee to dwell there, saying,
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— If thou shalt hear [say] in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “If you hear in one of your cities, which the LORD your God is giving you to live in, [anyone] saying [that]
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— If thou shalt hear, in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— If in one of thy cities, which Jehovah thy God hath given thee to dwell there, thou hearest, saying,
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— When thou shalt hear—in one of thy cities, which Yahweh thy God is giving unto thee to dwell there—saying:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— 'When thou hearest, in one of thy cities which Jehovah thy God is giving to thee to dwell there, [one] saying,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— If in one of thy cities, which the Lord thy God shall give thee to dwell in, thou hear some say:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— If thou shalt heare [say] in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath giuen thee to dwell there, saying,
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And if in one of thy cities which the Lord God gives thee to dwell therein, thou shalt hear men saying,
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— If thou shalt hear [say] in one of thy cities, which Yahweh thy Elohim hath given thee to dwell there, saying,

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
If x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
thou shalt hear 8085
{8085} Prime
שָׁמַע
shama`
{shaw-mah'}
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
[say] in one 259
{0259} Prime
אֶחָד
'echad
{ekh-awd'}
A numeral from H0258; properly united, that is, one; or (as an ordinal) first.
of thy cities, 5892
{5892} Prime
עִיר
`iyr
{eer}
From H5782 a city (a place guarded by waking or a watch) in the widest sense (even of a mere encampment or post).
which x834
(0834) Complement
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
יְהֹוָה
Y@hovah
{yeh-ho-vaw'}
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
thy lhm אֱלֹהִים 430
{0430} Prime
אֱלֹהִים
'elohiym
{el-o-heem'}
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
hath given 5414
{5414} Prime
נָתַן
nathan
{naw-than'}
A primitive root; to give, used with great latitude of application (put, make, etc.).
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
thee to dwell 3427
{3427} Prime
יָשַׁב
yashab
{yaw-shab'}
A primitive root; properly to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication to dwell, to remain; causatively to settle, to marry.
z8800
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
there, x8033
(8033) Complement
שָׁם
sham
{shawm}
A primitive particle (rather from the relative H0834); there (transfered to time) then; often thither, or thence.
saying, 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8800
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Deuteronomy 13:12-18

_ _ Certain men, the children of Belial — lawless, designing demagogues (Judges 19:22; 1 Samuel 1:16; 1 Samuel 25:25), who abused their influence to withdraw the inhabitants of the city to idol-worship.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Deuteronomy 13:12-18

_ _ Here the case is put of a city revolting from its allegiance to the God of Israel, and serving other gods.

_ _ I. The crime is supposed to be committed, 1. By one of the cities of Israel, that lay within the jurisdiction of their courts. The church then judged those only that were within, 1 Corinthians 5:12, 1 Corinthians 5:13. And, even when they were ordered to preserve their religion in the first principles of it by fire and sword to propagate it. Those that are born within the allegiance of a prince, if they take up arms against him, are dealt with as traitors, but foreign invaders are not so. The city that is here supposed to have become idolatrous is one that formerly worshipped the true God, but had now withdrawn to other gods, which intimates how great the crime is, and how sore the punishment will be, of those that, after they have known the way of righteousness, turn aside from it, 2 Peter 2:21. 2. It is supposed to be committed by the generality of the inhabitants of the city, for we may conclude that, if a considerable number did retain their integrity, those only that were guilty were to be destroyed, and the city was to be spared for the sake of the righteous in it; for will not the Judge of all the earth do right? No doubt he will. 3. They are supposed to be drawn to idolatry by certain men, the children of Belial, men that would endure no yoke (so it signifies), that neither fear God nor regard man, but shake off all restraints of law and conscience, and are perfectly lost to all manner of virtue; these are those that say, “Let us serve other gods,” that will not only allow, but will countenance and encourage, our immoralities. Belial is put for the devil (2 Corinthians 6:15), and the children of Belial are his children. These withdraw the inhabitants of the city; for a little of this old leaven, when it is entertained, soon leavens the whole lump.

_ _ II. The cause is ordered to be tried with a great deal of care (Deuteronomy 13:14): Thou shalt enquire and make search. They must not proceed upon common fame, or take the information by hearsay, but must examine the proofs, and not give judgment against them unless the evidence was clear and the charge fully made out. God himself, before he destroyed Sodom, is said to have come down to see whether its crimes were according to the clamour, Genesis 18:21. In judicial processes it is requisite that time, and care, and pains, be taken to find out the truth, and that search be made without any passion, prejudice, or partiality. The Jewish writers say that, though particular persons who were idolaters might be judged by the inferior courts, the defection of a city was to be tried by the great Sanhedrim; and, if it appeared that they were thrust away to idolatry, two learned men were sent to them to admonish and reclaim them. If they repented, all would be well; if not, then all Israel must go up to war against them, to testify their indignation against idolatry and to stop the spreading of the contagion.

_ _ III. If the crime were proved, and the criminals were incorrigible, the city was to be wholly destroyed. If there were a few righteous men in it, no doubt they would remove themselves and their families out of such a dangerous place, and then all the inhabitants, men, women, and children, must be put to the sword (Deuteronomy 13:15), all the spoil of the city, both shop-goods and the furniture of houses, must be brought into the marketplace and burned, and the city itself must be laid in ashes and never built again, Deuteronomy 13:16. The soldiers are forbidden, upon pain of death, to convert any of the plunder to their own use, Deuteronomy 13:17. It was a devoted thing, and dangerous to meddle with, as we find in the case of Achan. Now, 1. God enjoins this severity of show what a jealous God he is in the matters of his worship, and how great a crime it is to serve other gods. Let men know that God will not give his glory to another, nor his praise to graven images. 2. He expects that magistrates, having their honour and power from him, should be concerned for his honour, and use their power for terror to evil doers, else they bear the sword in vain. 3. The faithful worshippers of the true God must take all occasions to show their just indignation against idolatry, much more against atheism, infidelity, and irreligion. 4. It is here intimated that the best expedient for the turning away of God's anger from a land is to execute justice upon the wicked of the land (Deuteronomy 13:17), that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger, which was ready to break out against the whole nation, for the wickedness of that one apostate city. It is promised that, if they would thus root wickedness out of their land, God would multiply them. They might think it impolitic, and against the interest of their nation, to ruin a whole city for a crime relating purely to religion, and that they should be more sparing of the blood of Israelites: “Fear not the” (says Moses), “God will multiply you the more; the body of your nation will lose nothing by the letting out of this corrupt blood.” Lastly, Though we do not find this law put in execution in all the history of the Jewish church (Gibeah was destroyed, not for idolatry, but immorality), yet for the neglect of the execution of it upon the inferior cities that served idols God himself, by the army of the Chaldeans, put it in execution upon Jerusalem, the head city, which, for is apostasy from God, was utterly destroyed and laid waste, and lay in ruins seventy years. Though idolaters may escape punishment from men (nor is this law in the letter of it binding now, under the gospel), yet the Lord our God will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgements. The New Testament speaks of communion with idolaters as a sin which, above any other, provokes the Lord to jealousy, and dares him as if we were stronger than he, 1 Corinthians 10:21, 1 Corinthians 10:22.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Joshua 22:11-34 And the children of Israel heard say, Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh have built an altar over against the land of Canaan, in the borders of Jordan, at the passage of the children of Israel. ... And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad called the altar [Ed]: for it [shall be] a witness between us that the LORD [is] God.
Judges 20:1 Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was gathered together as one man, from Dan even to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, unto the LORD in Mizpeh.
Judges 20:2-17 And the chief of all the people, [even] of all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand footmen that drew sword. ... And the men of Israel, beside Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men that drew sword: all these [were] men of war.
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Jsh 22:11. Jg 20:1, 2.

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