Notes on the Bible, by Albert Barnes, , at sacred-texts.com
In this and the next chapter certain particular rights and duties, domestic, social, and civil, are treated. The cases brought forward have often no definite connection, and seem selected in order to illustrate the application of the great principles of the Law in certain important events and circumstances.
These four verses contain only one sentence, and should be rendered thus: If a man hath taken a wife, etc., and given her a bill of divorcement and Deu 24:2 if she has departed out of his house and become another man's wife; and Deu 24:3 if the latter husband hates her, then Deu 24:4 her former husband, etc.
Moses neither institutes nor enjoins divorce. The exact spirit of the passage is given in our Lord's words to the Jews', "Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives" Mat 19:8. Not only does the original institution of marriage as recorded by Moses Gen 2:24 set forth the perpetuity of the bond, but the verses before us plainly intimate that divorce, while tolerated for the time, contravenes the order of nature and of God. The divorced woman who marries again is "defiled" Deu 24:4, and is grouped in this particular with the adulteress (compare Lev 18:20). Our Lord then was speaking according to the spirit of the law of Moses when he declared, "Whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery" Mat 19:9. He was speaking too not less according to the mind of the prophets (compare Mal 2:14-16). But Moses could not absolutely put an end to a practice which was traditional, and common to the Jews with other Oriental nations. His aim is therefore to regulate and thus to mitigate an evil which he could not extirpate.
Compare Exo 22:25-26.
Compare Deu 21:14; and Exo 21:16.
Compare Exo 22:25-27.
Righteousness unto thee - Compare Deu 6:25 note.
A caution addressed to earthly judges. Among other Oriental nations the family of a criminal was commonly involved in his punishment (compare Est 9:13-14). In Israel it was not to be so; compare marginal references.
Compare the marginal references. The motive assigned for these various acts of consideration is one and the same Deu 24:18, Deu 24:22.