Deuteronomy 21:10-23

Domestic Relations

10 “When you go out to battle against your enemies, and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take them away captive, 11 and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her and would take her as a wife for yourself, 12 then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and [g]trim her nails. 13 She shall also [h]remove the clothes of her captivity and shall remain in your house, and mourn her father and mother a full month; and after that you may go in to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. 14 It shall be, if you are not pleased with her, then you shall let her go [i]wherever she wishes; but you shall certainly not sell her for money, you shall not [j]mistreat her, because you have humbled her.

15 “If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other [k]unloved, and both the loved and the [l]unloved have borne him sons, if the firstborn son belongs to the [m]unloved, 16 then it shall be in the day he [n]wills what he has to his sons, he cannot make the son of the loved the firstborn before the son of the [o]unloved, who is the firstborn. 17 But he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the [p]unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that [q]he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; to him belongs the right of the firstborn.

18 “If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother, and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them, 19 then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city [r]at the gateway of his hometown. 20 They shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.’21 Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall remove the evil from your midst, and all Israel will hear of it and fear.

22 “If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is [s]accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance.

Lest anyone think the commandment to honor your father and mother was just for fun, this shows that God takes family very seriously.

Not only should a man treat His wife with respect, whether He chooses to love her or not, she should not be mistreated, even if she was “only” a captive from another land.

And on top of that, if a son does not listen to his parents, the penalty was death. Now, this wasn’t just, “hey, I don’t want to clean my room today”, it was a pattern of continual and persistent rebellion. The punishment was death, but the reward for honoring your parents is a long life. Family is a big deal to God, closer than any friend, and we need to value and honor those closest to us, and never take them for granted.

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