Moses exhorted his fellow Israelites to help preserve his brother’s life by taking care of his brother’s property. Lost property was to be returned to his brother. This included his brother’s livestock, which was many Israelites’ livelihood.
Moses prohibited wearing clothes of the opposite sex.
Moses trains the people to recognize the sanctity of life by encouraging them to care for a lower form of God’s creation—a mother bird along with its young. Though possibly designed to preserve a source of food supply, it serves as a principle to care for and preserve life, both human and animal.
Moses told the Israelites to make a parapet on their roof whenever they build a new house in order to protect the life of his neighbor.
Moses prohibited the mixture of seed, plow animals, and clothes.
Moses described the steps to be taken when a husband falsely accused his wife of not having been a virgin at the time of marriage. He also described what to do if these accusations were true.
Moses condemns adultery. If a man has sexual intercourse with a married woman, both of them shall die.
Moses described what to do about sexual infidelity committed by a virgin who was engaged to be married.
Moses gave the law designed to protect an unengaged virgin who may have been a victim of rape.
In this last case, Moses prohibited a man from marrying a woman who was formerly his father’s wife and was possibly his stepmother.
The book of Deuteronomy is the fifth and last book of the Torah (“law”). It continues the story of the first 4 books and picks up exactly where the book of Numbers ends (with the people on the plain of Moab). Therefore, as we set the context for the book of Deuteronomy, it is important that we briefly summarize the theme of the previous books to see how the story of God unfolds.
Genesis describes God’s plan to bless the Israelites and the world through one man named Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3). Exodus focuses on God’s loving act by which He rescued the Israelites from Egypt in order to have a covenant relationship with them. Once the children of Israel are redeemed, Leviticus instructs them to live a holy life that reflects the life of their covenant redeemer (cf. Lev. 19). Since the first generation of the Israelites failed to obey God wholeheartedly, the book of Numbers displays a strong contrast between God’s faithfulness and the nation’s failure. That is why the book of Deuteronomy reiterates and expands on the covenant to a new generation of Israelites poised to enter and conquer the Promised Land. The message of the book is centered around two key terms: love and loyalty (Deut. 6:4-5).
Outline of Deuteronomy:
I. Introduction: Moses will explain the law (1:1 – 5)
II. Moses’ First Sermon – a Recounting of the LORD’s Faithfulness (1:6 – 4:43)
III. Introduction to Second Sermon on expositing the Law (4:43 – 49)
IV. Moses’ Second Sermon – an Exposition of the Law Given at Mt. Sinai (5:1 – 26:19)
V. Script for Covenant Renewal Ceremony Once they enter the land (27:1 – 29:1)
VI. Moses’ Third Sermon – a Call to Obedience (29:2 – 30:20)
VII. The Last Acts of Moses (31:1 – 34:12)
Deuteronomy 22 continues the exposition of the Ten Commandments. Verses 1 – 8 continue the discussion of the sixth commandment that commands a respect for the sanctity of human life (“You shall not murder” (Deuteronomy 5:17)). Starting in v. 13 through Deuteronomy 23:18, Moses discusses laws that relate to the seventh commandment (“You shall not commit adultery” Deuteronomy 5:18).
The chapter contains several practical situations that might occur in Israel and the rules concerning how to handle them in light of the commandments. The Suzerain (Ruler) God prescribed all these laws to help His vassals (Israel) live righteously before Him.
Deuteronomy 22 can be outlined as follows: