Deuteronomy 17

Deuteronomy 17


“You must not sacrificeI to the LordII your GodIII an oxIV or a sheepV

Notes on verse 1a

I “sacrifice” = zabach. This is slaughtering an animal, generally for the purpose of sacrifice. It can mean kill or offer.
II “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
III “God” = Elohim.
IV “ox” = shor. Perhaps from shur (to travel, turn, journey; travelling like a prostitute or a merchant). This is bull, ox, head of cattle, cow.
V “sheep” = seh. Perhaps from sha’ah (to make a loud noise or crash, devastate, rush). This is a lamb, sheep, or goat – a part of a flock.

that hasVI a defect,VII anythingVIII seriously wrong,IX for that is abhorrentX to the Lord your God.

Notes on verse 1b

VI “has” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v1. See note II above.
VII “defect” = mum. This is a blemish or defect, whether in a literal sense or a moral one.
VIII “anything” = kol + dabar. Kol is from kalal (to complete). This is all or every. Dabar is from dabar (to speak, declare, discuss). This is speech, a word, a matter, an affair, charge, command, message, promise, purpose, report, request. It is a word, which implies things that are spoken of in a wide sense.
IX “seriously wrong” = ra’. From ra’a’ (to be evil, bad, afflict; properly, to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces; figuratively, to cause something to be worthless; this is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense; that which displeases, to do harm or mischief, to punish or vex). This is bad, disagreeable, that which causes pain, misery, something having little or no value, something that is ethically bad, wicked, injury, calamity. This refers to anything that is not what it ought to be – a natural disaster, a disfigurement, an injury, a sin.
X “abhorrent” = toebah. Perhaps from ta’ab (to abhor or morally detest). This is something that instills one with moral contempt or disgust. It can mean abhorrence and is often in reference to idolatry or idols.

“If there is foundXI amongXII you, in oneXIII of your townsXIV that the Lord your God is givingXV you,

Notes on verse 2a

XI “found” = matsa. This is to find, catch or acquire. It can also mean to come forth or appear. Figuratively, this can mean to meet or be together with.
XII “among” = qereb. Perhaps from qarab (to come near or approach). This is among, in the midst, before, the center It is the inward part, whether literal or figurative. It can also be used for the heart, the site of thoughts and feelings. This word is also used as a technical term for the entrails of the animals who are sacrificed.
XIII “one” = echad. Perhaps from achad (to unify, continue on a path; figuratively, to gather one’s thoughts). This is the number one, first, united. It can also be alone, altogether, a certain, a few.
XIV “towns” = shaar. May be related to sha’ar (to calculate or reckon; may come from a root that means to open up or split). This is a gate, door, or other opening like a port.
XV “giving” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.

a manXVI or womanXVII who doesXVIII what is evilXIX in the sightXX of the Lord your God

Notes on verse 2b

XVI “man” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
XVII “woman” = ishshah. Related to “man” in v2. From ish (see note XVI above). This is woman, wife, or female.
XVIII “does” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
XIX “evil” = ra’. Same as “seriously wrong” in v1. See note IX above.
XX “sight” = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).

and transgressesXXI his covenantXXII by goingXXIII to serveXXIV

Notes on verses 2c-3a

XXI “transgresses” = abar. This is to pass over or cross over. It is used for transitions, whether literal or figurative. It can also mean to escape, alienate, or fail. This is the root verb from which “Hebrew” is drawn.
XXII “covenant” = berit. Perhaps from barah (to eat, choose, make clear); perhaps from bar (grain, wheat); from barar (to select, purify, cleanse, test, brighten, polish). This is a compact, covenant, alliance, treaty, or league.
XXIII “going” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
XXIV “serve” = abad. This is to work, serve, or compel. It can describe any kind of work or service (including religious devotion).  Also, till or cultivate. Used causatively, it can mean to enslave or keep in bondage.

otherXXV godsXXVI and worshipingXXVII them—whether the sunXXVIII or the moonXXIX

Notes on verse 3b

XXV “other” = acher. From achar (to be behind, delay, be late, procrastinate, continue). This is following, next, strange, other.
XXVI “gods” = elohim. Same as “God” in v1. See note III above.
XXVII “worshiping” = shachah. This is to bow down, make a humble entreaty, to do homage to royalty or to God.
XXVIII “sun” = shemesh. This is sun or toward the east. Its root may mean being brilliant. Figuratively, this could be a ray or an arch.
XXIX “moon” = yareach. Perhaps from the same as yerach (month). This is moon.

or anyXXX of the hostXXXI of heaven,XXXII which I have forbiddenXXXIII— 

Notes on verse 3c

XXX “any” = kol. Same as “anything” in v1. See note VIII above.
XXXI “host” = tsaba. From tsaba (to wage war, serve, assemble, fight, perform, muster, wait on). This is a large group of persons (used figuratively for a group of things). It implies a campaign literally as with army, war, warfare, battle, company, soldiers. Can also be used figuratively for hardship or for worship.
XXXII “heaven” = shamayim. Root may mean being lofty. This is sky, the air, or heaven. It is in a dual noun form so this might refer to the part of the sky where the clouds move on the one hand and the part beyond that where the sun, moon, and stars are on the other hand.
XXXIII “forbidden” = lo + tsavah. Tsavah is to charge, command, order, appoint, or enjoin. This is the root that the Hebrew word for “commandment” comes from (mitsvah).

and if it is reportedXXXIV to you or you hearXXXV of it, and you make a thoroughXXXVI inquiry,XXXVII

Notes on verse 4a

XXXIV “reported” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
XXXV “hear” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
XXXVI “thorough” = yatab. This is to be good or pleasing, joyful. It can also mean doing good in an ethical sense or be beautiful, happy, successful, or right.
XXXVII “make…inquiry” = darash. This is seek, ask, inquire, care for. Generally it means following in pursuit or following as part of a search, which implies seeking or asking. Also used specially to mean worship.

andXXXVIII the chargeXXXIX is provedXL

Notes on verse 4b

XXXVIII {untranslated} = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
XXXIX “charge” = dabar. Same as “anything” in v1. See note VIII above.
XL “proved” = kun. Properly, this means in a perpendicular position. So, it is set up in a literal sense – establish, fix, fasten, prepare. In a figurative sense, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous.

trueXLI that such an abhorrent thing has occurredXLII in Israel,XLIII 

Notes on verse 4c

XLI “true” = emet. From aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This is firmness or stability. Figuratively, it is faithfulness, truth, or trustworthiness. This is the same root that “amen” comes from.
XLII “occurred” = asah. Same as “does” in v2. See note XVIII above.
XLIII “Israel” = Yisrael. Related to “God” in v1. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + El (see note III above). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.

then you shall bring outXLIV to your gatesXLV that man or that woman who has committedXLVI this crime,XLVII and you shall stoneXLVIII the man or woman to death.XLIX 

Notes on verse 5

XLIV “bring out” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
XLV “gates” = shaar. Same as “towns” in v2. See note XIV above.
XLVI “committed” = asah. Same as “does” in v2. See note XVIII above.
XLVII “crime” = dabar + ra’. Dabar is the same as “anything” in v1. See note VIII above. Ra’ is the same as “seriously wrong” in v1. See note IX above.
XLVIII “stone” = saqal + eben. Saqal is properly, this means being weighty. However, it is used for stoning someone (to death) or for removing stones. Eben is a stone, weight, or mason. It is part of the word “Ebenezer.”
XLIX “death” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.

On the evidenceL of twoLI or threeLII witnessesLIII the death sentenceLIV shall be executed;LV a person must not be put to deathLVI on the evidence of only one witness. 

Notes on verse 6

L “evidence” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
LI “two” = shenayim. From sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple.
LII “three” = shalosh. This is three, fork, three times.
LIII “witnesses” = ed. From ud (to admonish, repeat, duplicate, testify, restore, record, relieve). This is a witness, testimony, or one who records testimony. It can also refer to a prince.
LIV “death sentence” = mut. Same as “death” in v5. See note XLIX above.
LV “executed” = mut. Same as “death” in v5. See note XLIX above.
LVI “put to death” = mut. Same as “death” in v5. See note XLIX above.

The handsLVII of the witnesses shall beLVIII the firstLIX raised against the person to execute the death penalty and afterwardLX the hands of allLXI the people.LXII

Notes on verse 7a

LVII “hands” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
LVIII “be” = hayah. Same as “has” in v1. See note VI above.
LIX “first” = rishon. From rishah (beginning or early time); from rosh (head, captain, or chief; excellent or the forefront; first in position or in statue or in time). This is first, former, ancestor, beginning, ranked first.
LX “afterward” = acharon. Related to “other” in v3. From achar (see note XXV above). This is end, last, coming behind, to loiter, later. It can also refer to the west.
LXI “all” = kol. Same as “anything” in v1. See note XXX above.
LXII “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.

So you shall purgeLXIII the evilLXIV from your midst.LXV

“If a judicialLXVI decisionLXVII

Notes on verses 7b-8a

LXIII “purge” = baar. This is to burn, consume, heat, remove. It can also be to consume by a fire or through eating, being brutish or wasting.
LXIV “evil” = ra’. Same as “seriously wrong” in v1. See note IX above.
LXV “midst” = qereb. Same as “among” in v2. See note XII above.
LXVI “judicial” = mishpat. From shaphat (to judge, defend, pronounce judgment, condemn, govern). This is a verdict or formal sentence whether from humans or from God. It includes the act of judging as well as the place that judging takes place, the suit itself, and the penalty. Abstractly, this is justice, which includes the rights of the participants.
LXVII “decision” = dabar. Same as “anything” in v1. See note VIII above.

is too difficultLXVIII for you to make betweenLXIX one kind of bloodshedLXX and another,LXXI, LXXII

Notes on verse 8b

LXVIII “is too difficult” = pala. From pele (wonder, miracle, wonderful, marvelous thing). This is to be extraordinary, to arise, to be great or accomplish.
LXIX “between” = bayin. From bin (to discern, consider, attend to; distinguishing things in one’s mind or, more generally, to understand). This is among, between, interval.
LXX “one kind of bloodshed” = dam. Perhaps from damam (to cease, be or become mute, silent, still, cut off, hold peace, be astonished, die). This is blood, bloodshed, bloodguilt, lifeblood, and death. It is used for people and animals. More often blood from a wound or the blood of the innocent. Used figuratively for violence or for wine. Closely tied to life and death.
LXXI “another” = dam. Same as “one kind of bloodshed” in v8. See note LXX above.
LXXII {untranslated} = bayin. Same as “between” in v8. See note LXIX above.

one kind of legal rightLXXIII and another,LXXIV orLXXV one kind of assaultLXXVI and anotherLXXVII

Notes on verse 8c

LXXIII “one kind of legal right” = din. This is to judge, defend, dispute, govern, quarrel, plead.
LXXIV “another” = din. Same as “one kind of legal right” in v8. See note LXXIII above.
LXXV {untranslated} = bayin. Same as “between” in v8. See note LXIX above.
LXXVI “one kind of assault” = nega. From naga (touch, reach, arrive, come near, strike; touching for any reason including sexual or violent). This is a blow or stroke, wound, sore, mark plague. It can refer to someone with leprosy or to dress.
LXXVII “another” = nega. Same as “one kind of assault” in v8. See note LXXVI above.

any such mattersLXXVIII of disputeLXXIX in your towns—then you shall immediatelyLXXX go upLXXXI

Notes on verse 8d

LXXVIII “matters” = dabar. Same as “anything” in v1. See note VIII above.
LXXIX “dispute” = rib. From rib (properly to toss or grapple; used figuratively to mean wrangling and so for arguments, complaints, or disputes; used in a legal setting for pleading or defending a case). This is strife or dispute – whether a personal one or one in a court of law.
LXXX “immediately” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
LXXXI “go up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.

to the placeLXXXII that the Lord your God will choose,LXXXIII whereLXXXIV you shall consultLXXXV with

Notes on verses 8-9a

LXXXII “place” = maqom. Related to “immediately” in v8. From qum(see note LXXX above). This is a standing, which is to say a spot or space a place. It can also refer to a locality or a physical/mental condition. HaMaqom is also a Jewish name for God – the place, i.e. the Omnipresent One.
LXXXIII “choose” = bachar. This is to choose, appoint, try, excellent.
LXXXIV {untranslated} = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
LXXXV “consult” = darash. Same as “make…inquiry” in v4. See note XXXVII above.

the LeviticalLXXXVI priestsLXXXVII and the judgeLXXXVIII who is in office in those days;LXXXIX they shall announceXC to you the decision in the case.XCI 

Notes on verse 9b

LXXXVI “Levitical” = Leviyyi. From Levi (Levi; perhaps meaning “attached”; Jacob’s son, his tribe, and descendants); perhaps from lavah (to join, twine, unite, remain, borrow, lend). This is Levite or levitical.
LXXXVII “priests” = kohen. This is literally the one who officiates i.e. the priest. This is where the Jewish last name “Cohen” (and its variants) comes from.
LXXXVIII “judge” = shaphat. Related to “judicial” in v8. See note LXVI above.
LXXXIX “days” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
XC “announce” = nagad. Same as “reported” in v4. See note XXXIV above.
XCI “case” = mishpat. Same as “judicial” in v8. See note LXVI above.

10 Carry outXCII exactlyXCIII the decision that they announce to you from the place that the Lord will choose, diligently observingXCIV everythingXCV they instructXCVI you. 

Notes on verse 10

XCII “carry out” = asah. Same as “does” in v2. See note XVIII above.
XCIII “exactly” = peh. Same as “evidence” in v6. See note L above.
XCIV “diligently observing” = shamar + asah. Shamar is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something. Asah is the same as “does” in v2. See note XVIII above.
XCV “everything” = kol. Same as “anything” in v1. See note XXX above.
XCVI “instruct” = yarah. This is to throw, shoot, be stunned. It is to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach. This is the same root that “Jerusalem” and “Torah” draw from.

11 You must carry outXCVII, XCVIII the lawXCIX that they interpretC for you or the rulingCI that they announceCII to you;

Notes on verse 11a

XCVII “do” = asah. Same as “does” in v2. See note XVIII above.
XCVIII {untranslated} = peh. Same as “evidence” in v6. See note L above.
XCIX “law” = torah. Related to “instruct” in v10. From yarah (see note XCVI above). This is law, instruction, teaching, or statute. It can also refer to the first five books of the Bible – the Torah.
C “interpret” = yarah. Same as “instruct” in v10. See note XCVI above.
CI “ruling” = mishpat. Same as “judicial” in v8. See note LXVI above.
CII “announce” = amar. This is to speak, say, answer, command, promise, report.

do not turn asideCIII from the decision that they announceCIV to you, either to the rightCV or to the left.CVI 

Notes on verse 11b

CIII “turn aside” = sur. This is to turn aside in a literal or figurative sense – to depart, decline, rebel, remove, or withdraw.
CIV “announce” = nagad. Same as “reported” in v4. See note XXXIV above.
CV “right” = yamin. May be from yamam (to go or choose the right, use the right hand; to be physically fit or firm). This can mean right hand, right side, or south. Since most people are right-handed, the metaphorical usage of this word presumes that the right hand is stronger and more agile. Thus, it is the instrument of power and action.
CVI “left” = semol. Perhaps from the same as simlah (mantle, clothes, wrapper); perhaps from semel (image, figure, likeness). This is left, left side, or north as the part that is dark.

12 As for anyoneCVII who presumesCVIII to disobeyCIX the priest appointedCX to ministerCXI there

Notes on verse 12a

CVII “anyone” = ish. Same as “man” in v2. See note XVI above.
CVIII “presumes” = asah + zadon. Asah is the same as “does” in v2. See note XVIII above. Zadon is 11x in OT. From zud (to cook, boil up, or seethe; figuratively, it can mean to act with arrogance or insolence, to be rebellious).  This is arrogance, presumptuousness, a proud person.
CIX “disobey” = bilti + shama. Bilti is from balah (to grow old, wear out, consume, waste, enjoy, fail, decay). This is nothing, not, lest, or except. From its root, it means “a failure of” – used for negative particles. Shama is the same as “hear” in v4. See note XXXV above.
CX “appointed” = amad. This is to stand up in a literal or figurative sense. So it can be establish, continue, endure, take a stand, act, be a servant, stand still, remain, stand against an enemy.
CXI “minister” = sharat. This is ministering, serving, or waiting on. It can refer to one offering service as a worshipper or one serving as a servant.

to the LordCXII your God or the judge, that personCXIII shall die. So you shall purge the evil from Israel. 13 All the people will hear and be afraidCXIV and will not act presumptuouslyCXV again.

Notes on verses 12b-13

CXII “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “Lord” and “has” in v1. From the same as YHVH (see note II above). This is a secondary spelling of the Lord, the name of the God of Israel. It has the same meaning.
CXIII “person” = ish. Same as “man” in v2. See note XVI above.
CXIV “be afraid” = yare. This is to fear, be afraid, dreadful. It can also refer to fearful reverence – to fear in a moral sense is to say to revere, respect.
CXV “act presumptuously” = zud. Related to “presumes” in v12. 10x in OT. See note CVIII above.

14 “When you have comeCXVI into the landCXVII that the LordCXVIII your God is giving you and have taken possessionCXIX of it and settledCXX in it,

Notes on verse 14a

CXVI “come” = bo. Same as {untranslated} in v9. See note LXXXIV above.
CXVII “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
CXVIII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note II above.
CXIX “take possession” = yarash. This is inheriting or dispossessing. It refers to occupying or colonizing – taking territory by driving out the previous inhabitants and living there instead of them. By implication, it can mean to seize or rob, to expel, ruin, or impoverish.
CXX “settled” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.

and you say,CXXI ‘I will setCXXII a kingCXXIII over me, like all the nationsCXXIV that are aroundCXXV me,’ 

Notes on verse 14b

CXXI “say” = amar. Same as “announce” in v11. See note CII above.
CXXII “set” = sim. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.
CXXIII “king” = melek. From malak (to be or become king or queen, to rise to the throne, to be crowned; by implication, to take counsel). This is king or royal.
CXXIV “nations” = goy. From the same root as gevah (the back, person, or body); related to gev (among); related to gaah (to rise up). This is nation or people. Often used to refer to Gentiles or foreign nations. It can also be used figuratively for a group of animals. This is where the Yiddish “goy” comes from.
CXXV “around” = sabib. From sabab (turning around, going around; to surround, cast, walk, fetch; to revolve or border in a literal or figurative sense). This is a circuit or a circle. It could refer to an environment, one’s neighbors, or a circular path round about.

15 you may indeed setCXXVI over you a king whom the LordCXXVII your God will choose. One ofCXXVIII your own communityCXXIX you may set as king over you;

Notes on verse 15a

CXXVI “indeed set” = sim + sim. Same as “set” in v14. See note CXXII above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
CXXVII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note II above.
CXXVIII “of” = qereb. Same as “among” in v2. See note XII above.
CXXIX “community” = ach. This is brother, kindred, another, other, like. It is literally brother, but it can also be someone who is similar, resembling, or related to.

you are not permittedCXXX to putCXXXI a foreignerCXXXII over you, who is not of your own community. 

Notes on verse 15b

CXXX “permitted” = yakol. This is to be able, endure, overcome, prevail.
CXXXI “put” = natan. Same as “giving” in v2. See note XV above.
CXXXII “foreigner” = ish + nokri. Ish is the same as “man” in v2. See note XVI above. Nokri is from neker (strange; to act foreign or strange; to disguise; can also be misfortune or unexpected calamity); from nakar (to recognize, examine, take notice, show, scrutinize). This is foreign, alien, stranger, extraordinary, adulteress. It is strange in many different senses – foreign, not being one’s relative, different, wonderful, relating to adultery.

16 Even so,CXXXIII he must not acquire manyCXXXIV horsesCXXXV for himself or returnCXXXVI the people to EgyptCXXXVII

Notes on verse 16a

CXXXIII “even so” = raq. From the same as raq (thin, surely, only); perhaps from raqaq (to spit). This is but, except, at least. In the sense of being thin, it figuratively refers to some kind of limit.
CXXXIV “acquire many” = rabah. This is increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.
CXXXV “horses” = sus. Root may mean to skip as in jump for joy. This is a crane or a swift bird. It is also a horse as leaping.
CXXXVI “return” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”
CXXXVII “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egypt.

in order to acquire moreCXXXVIII horses, since the LordCXXXIX has said to you, ‘You must never return that wayCXL again.’CXLI 

Notes on verse 16b

CXXXVIII “acquire more” = rabah. Same as “acquire many” in v16. See note CXXXIV above.
CXXXIX “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note II above.
CXL “way” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.
CXLI “again” = yasaph. This is to add, increase, continue, exceed.

17 And he must not acquire many wivesCXLII for himself or else his heartCXLIII will turn away;CXLIV also silverCXLV and goldCXLVI he must not acquire in great quantityCXLVII for himself. 

Notes on verse 17

CXLII “wives” = ishshah. Same as “woman” in v2. See note XVII above.
CXLIII “heart” = lebab. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
CXLIV “turn away” = sur. Same as “turn aside” in v11. See note CIII above.
CXLV “silver” = keseph. From kasaph (to long for, be greedy; to become pale). This is silver or money.
CXLVI “gold” = zahab. Root may mean to shimmer. This is gold or something that has the color of gold like oil. It can also refer to a clear sky – to good weather.
CXLVII “acquire in great quantity” = rabah + meod. Rabah is the same as “acquire many” in v16. See note CXXXIV above. Meod is perhaps from the same as uwd (firebrand, a poker). This is very, greatly, exceedingly. It can also mean vehemence, force, abundance.

18 WhenCXLVIII he has takenCXLIX the throneCL of his kingdom,CLI

Notes on verse 18a

CXLVIII {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “has” in v1. See note VI above.
CXLIX “taken” = yashab. Same as “settled” In v14. See note CXX above.
CL “throne” = kisse. From the same as kese (full moon); perhaps from kasah (to cover, conceal, overwhelm; to cover as clothes do or to hide a secret). This is throne – a seat that is covered or has a canopy. Thus, it is a seat that conveys authority.
CLI “kingdom” = mamlakah. Related to “king” in v14. From the same as melek (see note CXXIII above). This is kingdom, dominion, sovereignty, rule. It can also refer to the realm.

he shall writeCLII for himself a copyCLIII of this law on a scrollCLIV in the presenceCLV of the Levitical priests. 

Notes on verse 18b

CLII “write” = kathab. This is to inscribe, write, record, or decree.
CLIII “copy” = mishneh. Related to “two” in v6. From shanah (see note LI above). This is double, second, next, duplicate. It can also be second in rank or age.
CLIV “scroll” = sepher. Perhaps from saphar (to tally or record something; to enumerate, recount, number, celebrate, or declare). This can be writing itself or something that is written like a document, book, letter, evidence, bill, scroll, or register.
CLV “presence” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.

19 It shall remainCLVI with him, and he shall readCLVII in it all the days of his life,CLVIII so that he may learnCLIX

Notes on verse 19a

CLVI “remain” = hayah. Same as “has” in v1. See note VI above.
CLVII “read” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
CLVIII “life” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.
CLIX “learn” = lamad. Properly, this refers to goading (using a pointed stick to guide or prod one’s flock). By implication, it means teaching or instructing.

to fearCLX the LordCLXI his God, diligently observing all the wordsCLXII of this law and these statutes,CLXIII 

Notes on verse 19b

CLX “fear” = yare. Same as “be afraid” in v13. See note CXIV above.
CLXI “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note II above.
CLXII “words” = dabar. Same as “anything” in v1. See note VIII above.
CLXIII “statutes” = choq. From chaqaq (to inscribe, carve, or decree; a lawmaker; literally, this is engraving, but it implies enacting a law because laws were carved into stone or metal). This is statute, boundary, condition, custom, limit, ordinance It is something that is prescribed or something that is owed.

20 neitherCLXIV exaltingCLXV himselfCLXVI above other members of the communityCLXVII norCLXVIII turning aside

Notes on verse 20a

CLXIV “neither” = bilti. Same as “disobey” in v12. See note CIX above.
CLXV “exalting” = rum. This is to rise or raise, to be high literally or figuratively. So it can also mean to exalt or extol.
CLXVI “himself” = lebab. Same as “heart” in v17. See note CXLIII above.
CLXVII “members of the community” = ach. Same as “community” in v15. See note CXXIX above.
CLXVIII “nor” = bilti. Same as “disobey” in v12. See note CIX above.

from the commandment,CLXIX either to the right or to the left, so that he and his descendantsCLXX may reign longCLXXI over his kingdom inCLXXII Israel.

Notes on verse 20b

CLXIX “commandment” = mitsvah. Related to “forbidden” in v3. From tsavah (see note XXXIII above). This is a commandment, law, ordinance obligation, or tradition. It is something commanded whether by God or by a human authority. This term is sometimes used collectively to refer to the Law.
CLXX “descendants” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
CLXXI “reign long” = arak + yom. Literally, “may prolong his days.” Arak is to continue, lengthen prolong, delay, or endure. It is being long or causing something to be long in a literal or figurative sense. Yom is the same as “days” in v9. See note LXXXIX above.
CLXXII “in” = qereb. Same as “among” in v2. See note XII above.

Image credit: “Evil Eye” by Mr. Greenjeans, 2006.

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