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Harmony of the Law - Volume 3
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Deuteronomy 25

Deuteronomy 25:4

4. Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn

4. Non obligabis os bovi trituranti.

 

4. Thou shalt not muzzle the ox. This passage, indeed, properly belongs to the Supplements of the Commandment, but, since it is a confirmation of the foregoing decree, it seemed fit to connect them; especially because its faithful expositor, Paul, declares, that God had no other design in delivering it than that the laborer should not be defrauded of his just hire, (1 Corinthians 9:10;) for, when he is speaking of the maintenance to be afforded to the ministers of the Gospel, he adduces it. in proof of his case. And, lest any should object that there is a difference between oxen and men, he adds, that God does not care for oxen, but that it was said for the sake of those that labor. Meanwhile, we must bear in mind, that men are so instructed in equity, that they are bound to exercise it even towards the brute animals; for well does Solomon magnify the injustice, whereby our neighbor is injured, by the comparison; “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast.” (Proverbs 12:10.) The sum is, that we should freely and voluntarily pay what is right, and that every one should be strict with himself as to the performance of his duty; for, if we are bound to supply subsistence to brute animals, much less must we wait for men to be importunate with us, in order that they may obtain their due.

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