New Defender's Study Bible Notes
22:8 unto the judges. The word “judges” here and in Exodus 22:9 is elohim, the Hebrew word for “God.” It is a plural noun, and is sometimes rendered “gods” (e.g., Psalm 82:1). These judges were authorized to enforce God’s law and thus were considered, when sitting in judgment, as representing Him. See the reference by the Lord Jesus in John 10:34,35.
22:17 dowry. The “dowry” was money given to provide security for a wife in event of a future divorce.
22:18 witch. Witchcraft was another capital crime (see also Leviticus 20:27), for if found to be real it involved willing submission to control by demonic spirits, under the authority of Satan himself. Satan is irrevocably opposed to God’s redemptive plan for the world, and such occultic liaisons would constitute deadly danger to God’s purpose for Israel.
22:19 beast. Bestiality was another sin punishable by death. So was any form of sexual perversion (Leviticus 20:10-23).
22:20 unto any god. The sin of idolatry–worshipping false gods–was as inimical to the plan of the true God as witchcraft, and very similar to it. As the Apostle Paul noted: “The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God” (I Corinthians 10:20).
22:25 usury. The lending of money to fellow Israelites at interest was prohibited, not only to the poor but to anyone (Deuteronomy 23:20).