Leviticus 19:13
Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.
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(13) Thou shalt not defraud.—Here oppression by fraud and oppression by violence are forbidden. It is probably in allusion to this passage that John the Baptist warned the soldiers who came to him: “And he said to them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages” (Luke 3:14).

The wages of him that is hired.—From the declaration in the next clause, which forbids the retention of the wages over night, it is evident that the day labourer is here spoken of. As he is dependent upon his wages for the support of himself and his family, the Law protects him by enjoining that the earnings of the hireling should be promptly paid. This benign care for the labourer, and the denunciation against any attempt to defraud him, are again and again repeated in the Scriptures (Deuteronomy 24:14-15; Jeremiah 32:13; Malachi 3:5; James 5:4). Hence the humane interpretation which obtained of this law during the second Temple: “He who treats a hireling with harshness sins as grievously as if he hath taken away life, and transgresses five precepts.”

19:1-37 laws. - There are some ceremonial precepts in this chapter, but most of these precepts are binding on us, for they are explanations of the ten commandments. It is required that Israel be a holy people, because the God of Israel is a holy God, ver. 2. To teach real separation from the world and the flesh, and entire devotedness to God. This is now the law of Christ; may the Lord bring every thought within us into obedience to it! Children are to be obedient to their parents, ver. 3. The fear here required includes inward reverence and esteem, outward respect and obedience, care to please them and to make them easy. God only is to be worshipped, ver. 4. Turn not from the true God to false ones, from the God who will make you holy and happy, to those that will deceive you, and make you for ever miserable. Turn not your eyes to them, much less your heart. They should leave the gleanings of their harvest and vintage for the poor, ver. 9. Works of piety must be always attended with works of charity, according to our ability. We must not be covetous, griping, and greedy of every thing we can lay claim to, nor insist upon our right in all things. We are to be honest and true in all our dealings, ver. 11. Whatever we have in the world, we must see that we get it honestly, for we cannot be truly rich, or long rich, with that which is not so. Reverence to the sacred name of God must be shown, ver. 12. We must not detain what belongs to another, particularly the wages of the hireling, ver. 13. We must be tender of the credit and safety of those that cannot help themselves, ver. 14. Do no hurt to any, because they are unwilling or unable to avenge themselves. We ought to take heed of doing any thing which may occasion our weak brother to fall. The fear of God should keep us from doing wrong things, though they will not expose us to men's anger. Judges, and all in authority, are commanded to give judgment without partiality, ver. 15. To be a tale-bearer, and to sow discord among neighbours, is as bad an office as a man can put himself into. We are to rebuke our neighbour in love, ver. 17. Rather rebuke him than hate him, for an injury done to thyself. We incur guilt by not reproving; it is hating our brother. We should say, I will do him the kindness to tell him of his faults. We are to put off all malice, and to put on brotherly love, ver. 18. We often wrong ourselves, but we soon forgive ourselves those wrongs, and they do not at all lessen our love to ourselves; in like manner we should love our neighbour. We must in many cases deny ourselves for the good of our neighbour. Ver. 31: For Christians to have their fortunes told, to use spells and charms, or the like, is a sad affront to God. They must be grossly ignorant who ask, What harm is there in these things? Here is a charge to young people to show respect to the aged, ver. 32. Religion teaches good manners, and obliges us to honour those to whom honour is due. A charge was given to the Israelites to be very tender of strangers, ver. 33. Strangers, and the widows and fatherless, are God's particular care. It is at our peril, if we do them any wrong. Strangers shall be welcome to God's grace; we should do what we can to recommend religion to them. Justice in weights and measures is commanded, ver. 35. We must make conscience of obeying God's precepts. We are not to pick and choose our duty, but must aim at standing complete in all the will of God. And the nearer our lives and tempers are to the precepts of God's law, the happier shall we be, and the happier shall we make all around us, and the better shall we adorn the gospel.Leviticus 19:11 forbids injuries perpetrated by craft; Leviticus 19:13, those perpetrated by violence or power, the conversion of might into right. In Leviticus 19:13 "defraud" should rather be, oppress. 11-16. Ye shall not steal—A variety of social duties are inculcated in this passage, chiefly in reference to common and little-thought-of vices to which mankind are exceedingly prone; such as committing petty frauds, or not scrupling to violate truth in transactions of business, ridiculing bodily infirmities, or circulating stories to the prejudice of others. In opposition to these bad habits, a spirit of humanity and brotherly kindness is strongly enforced. The wages, Heb. the work, put for the wages, as Deu 24:15 Job 7:2 Jeremiah 22:13. Shall not abide with thee all night, because his urgent necessities require it for present subsistence.

Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him,.... Not defraud him secretly, nor rob him openly and by force, as Aben Ezra; not defraud him in buying and selling, in retaining wages due to him, and refusing to return to him what has been committed to trust, or to repay him what has been borrowed of him: the Vulgate Latin is, "thou shall not calumniate him", or get anything from him, by raising a calumny upon him; nor rob him by coming into his house, or entering into his fields, and taking away his goods, or his cattle without his will, and in a forcible manner; or by meeting him on the highway and demanding his money, and taking it from him:

the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning; unless he that is hired agrees to it; for then it may be kept two or three days, or a week, or for whatsoever time may be agreed upon between them: this must be understood of one that is hired by the day, whose wages are due at night, and who may want his money to buy food for his family, and therefore should not without his consent be detained from him; and not of one that is hired by the week, or by the year, whose wages are not due until the end of the week or year for which he is hired; and the Jewish writers (y) observe, that this Scripture speaks of a day hireling, or a day labourer, whose wages became due at night; as another Scripture, Deuteronomy 24:15; speaks of a night hireling, or a night labourer, whose hire is not due until the pillar of the morning arises, or the sun is up, and therefore it must be paid him before it goes down; to detain the wages of such, or defraud them of it, is a very crying sin; see Jeremiah 22:13.

(y) Vid. Misn. Bava Metzia, c. 9. sect. 11. & Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. Jarchi & Ben Gersom in loc.

Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.
13, 14. Cp. Deuteronomy 24:14-15; Malachi 3:5; James 5:4. Precepts expressed in 2nd pers. sing. against unjust dealing, and taking advantage of a neighbour’s infirmities. Though the deaf cannot hear, the curse must not be uttered, and the helpless condition of the blind calls for protection and the removal of stumblingblocks (cp. Deuteronomy 27:18). Cp. Job’s description of his conduct, ‘I was eyes to the blind’ (Job 29:15).

Verse 13. - Cheating and stealing are again forbidden, and, together with these, other forms of oppression although legal. The command to pay labourers their hire promptly - which covers also the case of paying tradesmen promptly - is repeated in Deuteronomy 24:14 (cf. James 5:4). Leviticus 19:13The Israelites were not to steal (Exodus 20:15); nor to deny, viz., anything entrusted to them or found (Leviticus 6:2.); nor to lie to a neighbour, i.e., with regard to property or goods, for the purpose of overreaching and cheating him; nor to swear by the name of Jehovah to lie and defraud, and so profane the name of God (see Exodus 20:7, Exodus 20:16); nor to oppress and rob a neighbour (cf. Leviticus 6:2), by the unjust abstraction or detention of what belonged to him or was due to him, - for example, they were not to keep the wages of a day-labourer over night, but to pay him every day before sunset (Deuteronomy 24:14-15).
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