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Yer. 30. Deut. 16. 18.
z Ver. 29.
a 2 Sam. 12. 6. Prov. 6. 31. Luke 19.8.
a man or a wounan; the ox shall be stoned, and his or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox,
20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, he shall give for the "ransom of his life whatsoever with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be is laid upon him. surely punished.
31 Whether he have gored a son, or have gored 21 Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be he shall not be punished : for he is his money. done unto him.
22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, 32 If the ox shall push a man-servant or maidso that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief servant, he shall give unto their master thirty follow; he shall be surely punished, according as shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned. the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he 33 And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall pay as the rjudges determine.
shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an 23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt ass fall therein; give life for life,
34 The owner of the pit shall make it ygood, and 24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, give money unto the owner of them; and the dead foot for foot,
beast shall be his. 25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, 35 And if one man's ox hurt another's, that he stripe for stripe.
then they shall sell the live ox, and divide the 26 And if a man smite 'the eye of his servant, or money of it; and the dead ox also they shall divide. the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him 36 Or if it be known that the ox hath used to go free for his eye's sake.
*push in time past, and his owner hath not kept him 27 And if he smite out his man-servant's tooth, or in; he shall surely pay ox for ox; and the dead his maid-servant's tooth; he shall let him go free shall be his own. for his tooth's sake. 28 It'an ox gore a man or a woman, that they
CHAPTER XXII. die; then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten ; but the owner of the ox The laws of this chapter relate, I. To the eighth commandment, concerning theft,
(v. 1-4;) Trespass by cattle. (v. 5:) Damage liy fire, (v. 6;) Trusts, (v.7 shall be quit:
13 ;) Borrowing cattle, (v. 14, 15,) or money, v. 25-27. 11. To the seventh com
mandment. Against fornication, (v. 16, 17:) Bestiality, v, 19. III To the first 29 But if the ox were wont to push with his horn
table, torbidding witchcraft, (v. 18;) Idolatry, v. 20; Commanding to offer the in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, first fruita, v. 29, 30. IV. To the poor, v. 21-24. v. To the civil government,
v. 28. VI. To the peculiarity of the Jewish nation, v. 31. and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed
F a man shall steal an ox, or a *sheep, and kill it, owner also shall be put to death.
30 If there be laid on him a sum of money, then and four asheep for a sheep. arenged.
. LEY. 24. 20. Deut. 19. 21. Matt. 5. 38. Zech. 11. 12, 13. Matt. 26. 15. Phil. 2.7. y c. 22. 6, 14. 6 Eph. 6. 9. * Col. i. 1. Gen. 9. 5. c. 30. 12. Prov. 13.8.
5. Direction is given what should be done, if a servant died following laws in this chapter, that he does, for our sakes, by his master's correetion. This servant must not be an Israel I Cor. 9. 9, 10. The Israelites are here directed what to do. ite, but a Gentile slave, as the negroes to our planters; and it 1. In case of hurt done by oxen, or any other brute creature; is supposed that he smite him with a rod, and not with any for the law, doubtless, was designed to extend to all parallel thing that was likely to give a mortal wound; yet, if he died cases. (1.) As an instance of God's care of the life of man, under his hand, he should be punished for his cruelty, at the (though forfeited a thousand times into the hands of divine jusdiscretion of the judges, upon consideration of circumstances, tice,) and in token of his detestation of the sin of murder; if an v. 20. But if he continued a day or two after the correction ox killed any man, woman, or child, the ox was to be stoned, given, the master was supposed to suffer enough by losing his
And because the greatest honour of the inferior servant, v. 21. Our law makes the death of a servant, by his creatures is to be serviceable to man, the criminal is denied master's reasonable beating of him, but chumce-medley. Yet that honour, his flesh shall not be eaten. Thus God would keep let all masters take heed of tyrannizing over their servants ; up in the minds of his people a rooted abhorrence of the sin of the Gospel teaches them even to forbear, and moderate threat- murder, and every thing that was barbarous. (2.) To make enings, (Eph. 6. 9,) considering, with holy Job, What shall I men careful that none of their cattle might do hurt, but that, by do, when God riseth up ? Job 31, 13—15.
all means possible, mischief might be prevented; if the owner V. 22–36. Observe here,
of the beast knew that he was mischievous he must answer for I. The particular care which the law took of women with the hurt done, and, according as the circumstaňces of the case child, that no hurt should be done them, which might occasion proved him to be more or less accessary, he must either be put their miscarrying. The law of nature obliges us to be very to death, or ransom his life with a sum of money, v. 29–32. tender in that case, lest the tree and fruit be destroyed together, Some of our ancient books make this felony, by the common law v. 22, 23. Women with child, who were thus taken under the of England, and give this reason, " The owner, by suffering special protection of the law of God, if they live in his fear, his beast to go at liberty, when he knew it to be mischievous, may still believe themselves under the special protection of the shows that he was very willing that hurt should be done. providence of God, and hope that they shall be saved in child- Note, It is not enough for us not to do mischief ourselves, but bearing. On this occasion comes in that general law of reta we must take care that no mischief be done by those whom it liation, which our Saviour refers 10, Matt. 5. 38, An eye for an is in our power to restrain, whether man or beast. eye. Now, I. The execution of this law is not hereby put into 2. In case of hurt done to oxen, or other cattle. If they fall the hands of private persons, as if every man might avenge into a pit, and perish there, he that opened the pit must make himself; which would introduce universal confusion, and make good the loss, v. 33, 34. Note, We must take heed, not only of men like the fishes of the sea. The tradition of the elders doing that which will be hurtful, but of doing that which may seems to have put this corrupt gloss upon it; in opposition to It is not enough not to design and devise mischief, but which, our Saviour commands us to forgive injuries, and not to we must contrive to prevent mischief; else we become accesmeditate revenge, Matt. 5. 39. 2. God often executes it in the sary to our neighbours' damage: mischief done in malice is the course of his providence, making the punishment, in many great trangression ; but mischief done through negligence, and cases, to answer to the sin, as Judg. 1. 7. Is.33. 1. Hab. 2. 13. for want of due care and consideration, is not without fauli, but Matt. 26. 52. 3. Magistrates ought to have an eye to this ought to be reflected upon with regret, according as the degree rule, in punishing offenders, and doing right to those that are of the mischief is : especially we must be careful that we do injured. Consideration must be had of the nature, quality, and nothing to make ourselves accessary to the sins of others, by degree, of the wrong done, that reparation may be made to the laying an occasion of offence in our brother's way, Rom. 14. 13. party injured, and others deterred from doing the like ; either If cattle fight, and one kill another, the owners shall equally an eye shall go for an eye, or the forfeited eye shall be share in the loss, v.35. Only, if the beast that had done the redeemed by a sum of money.
Note, He that does wrong harm was known to the owner to have been mischievous, he must expect, one way or other, to receive according to the shall answer for the damage, because he ought either to have wrong he has done, Col. 3. 25. God sometimes brings men's killed him, or kept him up, v. 36. The determinations of these violent dealings upon their own heals, (Ps. 7. 16;) and magis- cases carry with them the evidence of their own equity, and trates are in this the ministers of his justice, that they are give such rules of justice as were then, and are still, in use, for avengers, (Rom. 13, 4,) and they shall not bear the sword in the deciding of similar controversies that arise between man dain.
and man. But I conjecture that these cases might be specified, II. The care God took of servants ; if their masters maimed rather than others, (though some of them seem minute,) bethem, though it was only striking out a tooth, that should be cause they were then cases in fact actually depending before their discharge, v. 26, 27. This was intended, 1. To prevent Moses; for, in the wilderness where they lay closely encamped, their being abused , masters would be careful not to offer them and had their flocks and herds among them, such mischiefs as any violence, lest they should lose their service. 2. To com these last mentioned were likely enough to occur. That which fort them, if they were abused; the loss of a limb should be the we are taught by these laws, is, that we be very careful to do gaining of their liberty, which would do something toward no wrong, either directly or indirectly; but that, if we have balancing both the pain and disgrace they underwent. Nay, done wrong, we must be very willing to make satisfaction, and III. Does God iake care for oxen? Yes, it appears, by the
desirous that nobody may lose by us. Vol. I.-28
( 217 )
b Job 24. 14. Joel 2.9. Matt. 24. 43.
c Num. 35. 27.
d Jer. 16. 18. Rev. 18. 6.
e c. 21.31
NOTES TO CHAPTER XXII.
2 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smit- | manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to ten, that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. be his, the cause of both parties shall come / before
3 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, blood shed for him; for he should make full resti- he shall pay double unto his neighbour. tution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for 10 If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or his theft.
an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, 4 If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it ; whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall drestore 11 Then shall an soath of the Lord be between double,
them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his 5 If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be neighbour's goods ; and the owner of it shall aceaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in cept thereof, and he shall not make it good, another man's field; of the best of his own field, 12 And if it be stolen from him, he shall make and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution unto the owner thereof. crestitution.
13 If it be torn in pieces, then let him bring it 6 If fire break out and catch in thorns, so that for witness, and he shall not make good that which the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, was torn. be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire 14 And if a man borrow aught of his neighbour, shall surely make restitution.
and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof being not 7 If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money with it, he shall surely make it good. or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man's 15 But if the owner thereof be with it, he shall house; if the chief be found, let him pay double. not make it good: if it be an hired thing, it came
8 If the thief be not found, then the master of the for his hire. house shall be brought unto the judges,to see whether 16 And if a man entice a maid that is not behe have put his hand unto his neighbour's goods. trothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her
9 For all manner of trespass, whether it be for to be his wife. ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto
f Dept. 25. 1. 2 Chr. 19. 10. & Heb. 6. 16. A Deut. 22. 28, 29.
valuable consideration; and if a special confidence be reposed V.1-6. Here are the laws,
in the person they are lodged with; in case these goods be 1. Concerning theft, which are these ; (1.) If a man steal stolen or lost, perish or be damaged, if it appear that it was any cattle, (in which the wealth of those times chiefly con not by any fault of the trustee, the owner must stand to the sisted,) and they be found in his custody, he must restore loss; otherwise, he that has been false to his trust must be double, v. 4. Thus he must both satisfy for the wrong, and compelled to make satisfaction. The trustee must aver his suffer for the crime. But it was afterward provided, that, if innocence upon oath before the judges, if the caso was such the thief were touched in conscience, and voluntarily confessed as afforded no other proof, and they were to determine the it, before it was discovered or inquired into by any other, then matter according as it appeared. This teaches us, (1.) That he should only make restitution of what he had stolen, and add we ought to be very careful of every thing we are intrusted to it a fifth part, Lev. 6. 4,5. (2.) If he had killed or sold the with; as careful of it, though it be another's, as if it were our sheep or ox he had stolen, and thereby persisted in his crime, own. It is unjust and base, and that which all the world he must restore five ocen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep, cries shame on, to betray a trust. (2.) That there is such a (v. 1;) more for an ox than for a sheep, because the owner, general failing of truth and justice upon earth, as gives too beside all the other profit, lost the daily labour of his ox. This much occasion to suspect men's honesty, whenever it is their law teaches us, thai fraud and injustice, so far from enriching interest to be dishonest. (3.) That an oath for confirmation men, will impoverish them: if we unjustly get and keep that is an end of strife, Heb. 6. 16. It is called an oath for the which is another's, it will not only waste itself, but it will Lord, (v. 11,) because to Him the appeal is made, not only as consume that which is our own. (3.) If he was not able to to a Witness of truth, but as to an Avenger of wrong and make restitution, he must be sold for a slave, v. 3. The court falsehood. Those that had offered injury to their neighbour by
of judgment was to do it, and it is probable that the person doing any unjust thing, yet, it might be hoped, had not so far . robbed had the money. Thus with us, in some cases, felons debauched their consciences as to profane an oath of the
are transported into plantations where alono Englishmen know Lord, and call the God of truth to be Witness to a lie : perjury
2. Concerning trespass, v. 5. He that wilfully put his have prevented.
much as it is rendering evil for good; we should much rather
wrong, and a recompense to her that had suffered wrong, yet V.7-15. These laws are,
there was an express reservation for the father's power; if 1. Concerning trusts, v. 7–13. If a man deliver goods, he denied his consent, it must be no marriage. suppose to a carrier, to be conveyed, or to a warehouse keep 2. A law which makes witchcraft a capital crime, v. 18. er, to be preserved, or cattle to a farmer, to be fed, upon a Witchcraft not only gives that honour to the devil which is due
put to death.
i Lev. 20. 27. Deut. 18. 10. 1 Sam. 28. 3, 9. Rev. 22. 15. k Lev. 18. 23, 25. I Delt. 13. 1, U. m Lev. 19. 33. Zech. 7. 10. n Deut. 21. 17. P. 94, 6, 7. ls. 1. 17. Ex. 22. 7. Jam. 1. 27. o Jer. 15.8. 18. 21. Lam. 5. 3.
him, he shall *pay money according to the dowry 26 If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment of virgins.
to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the 18 'I'hou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
sun goeth down : 19 Whosoever lieth with ka beast shall surely he 27 For that is his covering only; it is his raiment
for his skin : wherein shall he sleep? and it shall 20 He that sacrificeth unto 'any god, save unto come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will the LORD only, he shall be utierly destroyed. hear;" for I am 'gracious.
21 Thou shalt neither vex a "stranger, nor oppress 28 Thou shalt not revile the tgods, nor curse him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. the ruler of thy people. 22 Yeshall not afflictany "widow,or fatherless child. 29 Thou shalt not delay to offer fthe first of thy
23 If thou atflict them in any wise, and they cry ripe fruits," and of thy liquors :s the first-born of thy at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry:
osons shalt thou give unto me. 24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill 30 Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen and you with the sword; and your wives shall be with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his widows," and your children fatherless.
dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me. 25 If thou lend money to any of my people 31 And ye shall - be holy men unto me: neither that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of ybeasts in the usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury. field ; ye shall cast it to the dogs.
5. 7. Ps. 15. 5. Ez. 18.8, 17. q Deut. 24. 6, &c. Job 22. 6. Tver. 23. 2 Chr 30. 9. ! Acts 23. 3, 5. Jude 8. tor, judge. thy fulness. 1 Mic. 7. 1
Stear, oc. 13. 2. te Lev. 22. 27. - Lev. 19. 2. y Lev. 22. 8. Ez. 4. 14. 44, 31. to God alone, but bids defiance to the Divine Providence, cry of the poor against them, which God will hear. Nay, wages war with God's governmeni, and puts his work into the [2.] He will severely reckon with those that do oppress them; deval's hand, expecting him to do good and evil, and so making though they escape punishment from men, God's righteous him, indeed, the God of this world; justly, therefore, was it judgments will pursue and overtake them, v. 24. Men that punished with death, especially among a people that were have a sense of justice and honour will espouse the injured blessed with a divine revelation, and cared for by Divine cause of the weak and helpless; and shall not the righteous Providence above any people under the sun. By our law, God do it? Observe the equity of the sentence here passed consulting, covenanting with, invocating, or employing, any upon those that oppress the widows and fatherless; their wives evil spirit, to any intent whatsoever, and exercising any shall become widows, and their children fatherless; and the enchantinent, charm, or sorcery, whereby hurt shall be done to Lord is known by these judgments, which he sometimes exeany person whatsoever, is made felony, without benefit of cutes still. clergy; also pretending to tell where goods, lost or stolen, may V. 25–31. Here is, be found, or the like, is an iniquity punishable by the judge, 1. A law against extortion, in lending. (1.) They must and the second offence with death. The justice of our law not receive usury for money from any that borrowed for neherein, is supported by the law of God here.
cessity, (v. 25,) as in that case, Neh. 5. 5, 7. And such 3. Únnatural abominations are here made capital; such provision the law made for the preserving of estates to beasts in the shape of men as are guilty of them are unfit to their families by the year of jubilee, that a people who had live ; v. 19, Whosoever lies with a beast shall die.
little concern in trade could not be supposed to borrow money, 4. [dolatry is also made capital, v, 20. God having declared but for necessity, and therefore it is generally forbidden himself jealous in this matter, the civil powers must be jealous among themselves : but to a stranger they were allowed to in it loo, and utterly destroy those persons, families, and places lend upon usury, whom yet they might not oppress: this law, of Israel, that worshipped any god, save the Lord : this law therefore, in the strictness of it, seems to have been peculiar might have prevented the woful apostacies of the Jewish to the Jewish state; but, in the equity of it, it obliges us to nation, in aftertimes, if those that should have executed it had show mercy to those of whom we might take, and to be connot been ringleaders in the breach of it.
tent to share with those we lend to, in loss, as well as profit, if 5. A caution against oppression; because those who were Providence cross them; and, upon this condition, it seems as empowered to punish other crimes were themselves most in dan- lawful to receive interest for my money, which another takes ger of this, God takes the punishing of it into his own hands. pains with, improves, and runs the hazard of in husbandry.
(1.) Strangers must noi be abused, (v. 21,) not wronged in (2.) They must not take a poor man's bed-clothes in pawn; judgment by the magistrates, not imposed upon in contracts, but, if they did, must rostore them by bedtime, v. 26, 27. nor must any advantage be taken of their ignorance or neces Those who lie soft and warın themselves, should consider the sity; no, nor must they be taunted, trampled upon, treated hard and cold lodging of many poor people, and not do any with contempt, or upbraided with being strangers; for all these thing to make bad worse, or to add affliction to the afflicted. were vexatious, and would discourage strangers from coming 2. A law against the contempt of authority ; (v. 28,) Thou to live among them, or would strengthen their prejudices shall not revile the gods, that is, the judges and magistrates, against their religion, to which, by all kind and gentle for their executing of these laws; they must do their duty, methods, they should endeavour to proselyte them. The whoever suffer by it ; magistrates ought not to fear the reason given why they should be kind to sirangers, is, “Ye reproach of men, or their revilings, but to despise them as were strangers in Egypt, and knew what it was to be vexed long as they keep a good conscience; but they that do revile and oppressed there." Note, [1.] Humanity is one of the them for their being a terror to cvil works and workers, reflect laws of religion, and obliges us particularly to be tender of upon God himself, and will have a great deal to answer for, those that lie most under disadvantages and discouragements, another day. We find those under a black character, and a and to extend our compassionate concern to strangers, and heavy doom, that despise dominion and speak evil of dignities, those to whom we are not under the obligations of alliance or Jude 8. Princes and magistrates are our fathers, whom the acquaintance. Those that are strangers to us are known to fifth commandment obliges us to honour, and forbids us to God, and he preserves them, Ps. 146. 9. (2.) Those that revile. St. Paul applies this law to himself, and owns that he profess religion should study to oblige strangers, that they may ought not to speak evil of the ruler of his people; no, not thereby recommend religion to their good opinion; and take though the ruler was then his most unrighteous persecutor heed of doing any thing that may tempi them to think ill of it, Acts 23.
5. See Ec. 10. 20. or its professors, 1 Pet, 2. 12. [3.] Those that have them 3. A law concerning the offering of the first-fruits to God, selves been in poverty and distress, if Providence enrich and
v. 29, 30. It was appointed before, (ch. 13.) and it is here enlarge them, ought to show a particular tenderness toward repeated; The first-born of thy sons shalt thou give unto me; those that are now in such circumstances as they were in and much more reason have we to give ourselves, and all wo formerly, doing now by thern as they then wished to be done by: have, to God, who
spared not his own Son, but delivered him up (2) Widows and fatherless must not be abused; (v. 22,) for us all. The first ripe of their com they must not delay to Ye shall not afflice them, that is, “ Ye shall comfort and assist offer; there is danger, if we delay our duty, lest we wholly thein, and be ready upon all occasions to show them kindness." omit it; and, by slipping the first opportunity, in expectation In making just demands froin them, their condition must be of another, we suffer Satan to cheat is of all our time. Let considered, who have lost those that should deal for them, and not young people delay to offer to God the first-fruits of their protect them; they are supposed to be unversed in business, time and strength, lest their delays come, at last, to be denials, destitute of advice, timorous, and of a tender spirit, and through the deceitfulness of sin, and the more convenient sea. therefore must be treated with kindness and compassion; no son they promise themselves, never arrive. Yet it is provided, advantage must be taken against them, nor any hardship put that the firstlings of their cattle should not be dedicated to upon them, which a husband or a father would have sheltered God till they were past seven days old, for then they began to them from. For, (1.) God takes particular cognizance of be good for something. Note, God is the first and best, and their caso, v. 23. Having no one else to complain and appeal therefore must have the first and best. to, they will cry unto God, and he will be sure to hear them; 4. A distinction put between the Jews and all other people ; for his law and his providence are guardians to the widows Ye shall be holy men unto me; and one mark of that honourable and fatherless, and if men do not pity them, and will not hear distinction is appointed in their diet, which was, that they them, he will. Note, It is a great comfort to those who are should not eat any flesh that was torn of beasts, (v. 31,) not only injured and oppressed by men, that they have a God to go to, because it was unwholesome, but because it was paltry, and who will do more than give them the hearing; and it ought to base, and covetous, and a thing below those who were holy men be a terror to those who are oppressive, that they have the unto God, to eat the leavings of the beasts of prey. We that are
e Matt. 5. 44.
lying under his burden, tand wouldest forbear to
help him; thou shalt surely help with him. This chapter continues and concludes the acts that passed in the first session (if I
6 Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor may so call it) upou mount Sinai. Here are, I. Some laws of universal obligaciou, relating especially to the ninth commandment, against bearing false witness, Sin his cause. (v. 1,) and giving false judgment, v. 2, 3, 6–8. Also a law of doing good to our enemies, (v. 4, 5,) and not oppressing strangers, v. 9. 11. Some laws peculiar to 7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the the Jews. The salbatical year, (s. 10, 11, the three animual feasts, Albo innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not with some laws pertaining therelo. II. Gracious promises of the completing of
justify sthe wicked. would couduct them through the wilderness, (v.20--24.) That he would prosper All they had, (v. 25, 2.) that he woull put them in possession of Canaan, v.
8 And thou shalt take ano gift; for the gift 27–31. But they must not mingle themselves with the nations, v. 32, 33.
blindeth Sthe wise, and perverteth the words of the HOU shalt not *raise a false areport : put not righteous.
9 Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for 'ye teous witness.
know the "heart of a stranger, seeing ye were stran2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil: gers in the land of Egypt. neither shalt thou tspeak in a cause to decline after 10 And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and many to wrest judgment.
shalt gather in the fruits thereof: 3 Neither shalt thou countenance a poor dman 11 But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest in his cause.
and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: 4 If thou meet thine enemy's "ox or his ass going and what they leave, the beasts of the field shall astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vine
5 If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee yard, and with thy "olive-yard. or, receive. a Ps. 15. 3. Prov. 19.5. Eph. 4. 25. c 1 Kings 19. 10. Job 31.
A Prov. 17. 23. ls. 33. 15. g the seeing. 94.1 ansicer, d ver. 6.
I or, wilt thou cease to help him, or,
i Matt. 18.33. Heb. 2. 17, 18. | soul. Lev. 25. 3, 1. 26.34. Tor, oliveand wouldest cease to leave thy business for him, thou shalı surely leave it to join sanctified to God, must not be curious in our diet; but we must (3.) Neither must they pervert judgment, in prejudice to a be conscientious, not feeding ourselves without fear, but eating poor man, nor suffer him to be wronged, because he had not and drinking by rule, the rule of sobriety, to the glory of God. wherewithal to right himself; in such cases, the judges them
selves must become advocates for the poor, as far as their cause NOTES TO CHAPTER XXIII.
was good and honest; v. 6, “Thou shalt not urest the judgment V.1-9. Here are,
of the poor; remember they are thy poor, bone of thy bone, thy I. Cautions concerning judicial proceedings ; it was not poor neighbours, thy poor brethren, let them not, therefore, fare enough that they had good laws, betier than ever any nation the worse for being poor." had, but care must be taken for the due administration of justice (4.) They must dread the thoughts of assisting or abetting according to those laws.
a bad cause ; v. 7, “Keep thee far from a fruse matter; do not 1. The witnesses are here cautioned, that they neither occa- only keep thee free from it, nor think it enough to say, thou art sion an innocent man to be indicted, by raising a false report of unconcerned in it, but keep thee far from it, dread it as a danhim, and setting common fame against him, nor assist in the gerous snare. The innocent and righteous thou wouldest not, prosecution of an innocent man, or one whom they do not know for all the world, slay with thine own hands; keep thee thereto be guilty, by putting their hand in swearing, as witnesses fore from a false maiter, for thou know est not but it may end in against him, v. 1. Bearing false witness against a man, in a that; and the righteous God will not leave such wickedness to matter that touches his life, has in it all the guilt of lying, per- go unpunished. I will not justify the wicked, that is, “I will jury, malice, theft, murder, with the additional stains of colouring condemn him that unjustly condemns others." Judges themall with a pretence of justice, and involving many others in the selves are accountable to ihe great Judge. same guilt. There is scarcely any one act of wickedness that (5.) They must not take bribes, v. 8. They must not only a man can possibly be guilty of, which has in it a greater com- not be swayed by a gift to give an unjust judgment, either to plication of villanies than this has. Yet the former part of this condemn the innocent, or acquit the guilty, or adjudge a man's caution is to be extended to common conversation, and not only right from him; but they must not so much as take a gitt, lest to judicial proceedings; so thai slandering and backbiting are a it should have a bad influence upon them, and overrule them, species of false witness bearing; a man's reputation lios as much contrary to their intentions, for it has a strange tendency to at the mercy of every company, as his estate or life does at the blind those that otherwise would do well. mercy of a judge or jury; so that he who raises, or knowingly (6.) They must not oppress a stranger, v. 9. Though aliens spreads, a false report against his neighbour, especially if the might not inherit lands among them, yet they must have justice report be made to wise and good men, whose esteem one would done them, must peaceably enjoy their own, and be righted if desire to enjoy, sins as much against the laws of truth, justice, they were wronged, though they were strangers to the commonand charity, as a false witness does, with this further mischief, wealth of Israel. It is an instance of the equity and goodness of that he leaves it not in the power of the person injured to right our law, that if an alien be tried for any crime except treason, himself. That which we translate, Thou shalt not raise, the the one half of his jury, if he desire it, shall be foreigners; they margin reads, Thou shalt not receive, a false report; for some-call it a trial per medietatem linguæ, a kind provision that strantimes the receiver, in this case, is as bad as the thief; and a gers may not be oppressed. The reason here given is the backbiting tongue would not do so much mischief as it does, if it same with that, (ch. 22. 21,) Ye were strangers; which is hero were not countenanced. Sometimes we cannot avoid hearing a elegantly enforced, Ye know the heart of a stranger; ye know false report, but we must not receive it, that is, we must not something of the griefs and fears of a stranger, by sad experihear it with pleasure and delight, as those that rejoice in ini-ence, and therefore, being delivered, can the more easily put quity; nor give credit to it, as long as there remains any cause your souls into their souls' stead, to question the truth of it. This is charity to our neighbour's II. Commands concerning neighbourly kindnesses; we must good name, and doing as we would be done by.
be ready to do all good offices, as there is occasion for any body, 2. The judges are here cautioned not to pervert judgment. yea, even for those who have done us ill offices, v. 4, 5. The
(1.) They must not be overruled, either by might or multi-command of loving our enemies, and doing good to ihem that tude, to go against their consciences in giving judgment, v. 2. hate us, is not only a new, but an old commandment, Prov. 25. With the Jews, causes were tried by a bench of Justices, and 21, 22. Infer from hence, 1. If we must do this kindness for an judgment given according to the majority of votes; in which enemy, much more for a friend, though an enemy only is mencase, every particular justice must go according to truth, as it tioned, because it is supposed that a man would not be unneighappeared io him upon the strictest and most impartial inquiry, bourly to any, unless such as he has a particular spleen against. though the multitude of the people, and their outeries, or the 2. If it be wrong not to prevent our enemy's loss and damage, sentence of the rabbim, (we translate it many,) tho more how much worse is it to occasion harm and loss to him, or any Ancient and honourable of the justices, went the other way. thing he has. 3. If we must bring back our neighbours' cattle Therefore (as with us) among the Jews, the junior upon the when they go astray, much more must we endeavour, by prubench voted first, that he might not be swayed or overruled by dent admonitions and instructions, to bring back our neighbours the authority of the senior. Judges must not respect the per- themselves, when they go astray in any sinful path. See Jam. sons either of the parties, or of their fellow-judges. The former 5. 19. And if we must endeavour to help up a fallen ass, much part of this verse also gives a general rule for all, as well as more should we endeavour, by comforts and encouragements, judges, not to follow a multitude to do evil. General usage will to help up a sinking spirit, saying to them that are of a fearful never excuse us in a bad pra e; nor is the broad way ever heart, Be strong. We must seek the relief and welfare of the better or safer, for its being tracked and crowded. We others as our ou'n, Phil. 2. 4. If thou sayesi, Behold, uc know must inquire what we ought to do, not what the majority do; it not, doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? See because we must be judged by our Master, not by our fellow- Prov. 24. 11, 12. servants; and it is too great a compliment, to be willing to go V. 10–19. Here is, to hell for company.
I. The institution of the sabbatical year, v. 10, 11. Every (2.) They must not pervert judgment, no, not in favour of a seventh year the land was to rest; they mist not plough or sove poor man, v. 3. Right must in all cases take place, and wrong it at the beginning of the year, and then they could not expect must be punished, and justice never biassed, nor injury connived any great harvest at the end of the year; but what the earth did at, under pretence of charity and compassion, if a poor man produce of itself should be caten from hand to meuth, and not be a bail man, and do a bad thing, it is foolish pity to let him laid up. Now this was designed, 1. To show what a plentiful fare the better for his poverty, Deut. 1. 16, 17.
land that was into which God was bringing them that so
12 Six days thou shall do thy work, and on the 17 Three times in the year all thy males shall seventh day thou shalt rest ; that thine ox and appear before the Lord God. thine ass may rest, and the son of thine handmaid is Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice and the stranger may be refreshed.
with leavened bread; neither shall the lat of my 13 And in all things that I have said unto you, sacrifice remain until the morning. be kcircumspect: and make no mention of the 19 The first of the first-fruits of thy land thou name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of shalt bring into the house of the Lord thy God. thy mouth.
Thou shalt not see the ma kid in his mother's milk. '14 Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me 20 Behold, I send an "Angel before thee, to keep in the year.
thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place 15 Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened which I have prepared. bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven 21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed him not; for he will not pardon your transgresof the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from sions : for my name is in hím. Egypt; and none shall appear before me empty:) 22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and
16 And the feast of harvest, the first-fruits of do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy 'unto thy labours which thou hast sown in thy field; and thine enemies, and an 'adversary unto thine adverthe feast of ingathering, which is in the end of saries. the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours 23 For mine Angel Pshall go before thee, and out of the field.
bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, * Deat. 4. 9. Eph. 5. 15. ( Josh, 23. 7. P. 16. 4. Hos. 2. 17. * or, feasi. m c. 31. . GOD. 12. 3. Deut. v. 7. Zech. 2. 8. tor, I will afflict them that afflict thee. 26. - ls.63. 9.
P c. 33. 2. Josh. 5.13. numerous a people could have rich maintenance out of the pro V. Some particular directions are here given about the three duce of so small a country, without foreign trade, and yet could feasts, though not so fully as afterward. 1. As to the passover, spare the increase of every seventh year. 2. To remind them it was not to be offered with leavened bread, for at that feast all of their dependence upon God their great Landlord, and their leaven was to be cast out, nor was the fat of it to remain until obligation to use the fruit of the land as he should direct. Thus the morning, lest it should become offensive, v. 18. 2. At the he would try their obedience in a matter that nearly touched their feast of pentecost, when they were to begin their harvest, they interest. Afterward we find that their disobedience to this must bring the first of their first-fruits to God, by the pious command was a forfeiture of the promises, 2 Chr. 36. 21. presenting of which the whole harvest was sanctified, v. 19. 3. To teach them a confidence in the Divine Providence, while 3. At the feast of ingathering, as it is called, (v. 16,) they they did their duty; that, as the sixth day's inanna served for must give God thanks for the harvest mercies they had received, two days' meat, so the sixth year's increase should serve for two and must depend upon him for the next harvesi, and must not years' subsistence. Thus they must learn not to take though think to receive benefit by that superstitious usage of some of for their life, Mait. 6. 25. If we are prudent and diligent in the Gentiles, who, it is said, at the end of their harvest, seethed our affairs, we may trust Providence to furnish us with the a kid in its dam's milk, and sprinkled that milk-poltage, in bread of the day in its day.
a magical way, upon their gardens and fields, to make them II. The repetition of the law of the fourth commandment con more fruitful next year. But Israel must abhor such foolish cerning the weekly sabbath, v. 12. Even in the year of rest, customs. they must not think that the sabbath day was laid in common V. 20—33. Three gracious promises are here made to with the other days, but, even that year, it must be religiously Israel, to engage them to their duty, and encourage them in it; observed; yet thus some have endeavoured to take away the and each of the promises has some needful precepts and observation of the sabbath, by pretending that every day must cautions joined to it. be a sabbath day.
I. It is here promised that they should be guided and kept in III. All manner of respect to the gods of the heathen is here their way through the wilderness to the land of promise, Behold, strictly forbidden, v. 13. A general caution is prefixed to this, I send an Angel before thee, (v. 20,) mine Angel, (v. 23,) a which has reference to all these precepts; In all things that created angel, say some, a minister of God's providence, have said unto you, be circumspect. We are in danger of employed in conducting and protecting the camp of Israel; missing our way on the right hand and on the left, and it is at thai it might appear that God iook a particular care of them, our peril if we do, therefore we have need to look about us. A he appointed one of his chief servants to make it his business man may ruin himself through mere carelessness, but he cannot to attend them, and see that they wanted for nothing. Others save himself without great care and circumspection : particu- suppose it to be the Son of God, the Angel of the covenant: lariy, since idolatry was a sin which they were much addicted for the Israelites in the wilderness are said to tempt Christ; to, and would be greaty tempted to, they must endeavour to and we may as well suppose him God's Messenger, and the blot out the remembrance of the gods of the heathen, and must Church's Redeemer, before his incarnation, as the Lamb slain disuse and forget all their superstitious forms of speech, and from the foundation of the world. And we may the rather think never mention them but with detesiation. In Christian schools he was pleased to undertake the deliverance and conduct of and academics, (for it is in vain to think of reforming the play- Israel, because they were typical of his great undertaking. It houses,) it were to be wished that the names and stories of the is promised that this blessed Angel should keep them in the way, heathen deities, or demons rather, were not so commonly and though it lay through a wilderness first, and afterward through familiarly used as they are, even with intimations of respect, their enemies' country ; thus God's spiritual Israel shall be and sometimes with forms of invocation. Surely we have not kept through the wilderness of this carih, and from the insults so learned Christ.
of the gates of hell. It is also promised that he should bring IV. Their solemn religious attendance on God in the place them into the place which God had not only designed, but which he should choose, is here strictly required, v. 14–17. prepared for them; and thus Christ has prepared a place for 1. Thrice a year, all their males must come together in a holy his followers, and will preserve them to it, for he is faithful to Convocation, that they might the better know and love one him that appointed him. another, and keep up their communion as a dignified and The precept joined with this promise, is, that they be peculiar people. 2. They must come together before the Lord, observant of, and obedient to, this Angel whom God would (4.17,) to present themselves before him, looking toward the send before them; (v. 21,) “ Beware of him, and obey his voice place where his honour dwelt, and to pay their homage to him in every thing, provoke him not in any thing, for it is at your as their great Lord, from and under whom they held all their peril if you do, he will visit your iniquity.” Note, 1. Christ is enjoyments. 3. They must feast together before the Lord, the Author of salvation to those only that obey him. The ealing and drinking together, in token of their joy in God, and word of command is, Hear ye him, Matt. 17. 5. Observe what their grateful sense of his goodness to them; for a feast is he hath commanded, Matt. 28. 20. 2. Our necessary dependmade for laughter, Ec. 10. 19. Oh what a good Master do ence upon the divine power and goodness should awe us into we serve, who has made it our duty to rejoice before him, who obedience. We do well to take heed of provoking our Protector feasts his servants when they are in waiting? Never let and Benefactor ; because, if our Defence depart from us, and religion be called a melancholy thing, when its solemn services the streams of his goodness be cut off, we are undone. Therefore are solemn fearls. 4. They must not appear before God "Beware of him, and carry it toward him with all possible ciply, . 15. Some free-will offering or other they must bring, reverence and caution. Fear the Lord and his goodness." in token of their respect and gratitude to their great Benefactor. 3. arist will be faithful to those who are faithful to him, and As then they were not allowed to come empty-handed, so now will espouse their cause who adhere to his ; (v.22,) I will be an we must not come to worship God empty-hearted; our souls Adversary to thine adversaries. The league shall be offensive must be filled with grace, with pious and devout affections; and defensive, like that with Abraham, I will bless him that holy desires toward him, and dedications of ourselves to him; blesseth thee, and curse him that curseth thee. Thus is God for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 5. The passover, pleased to twist his interests and friendships with his people's. pentecost, and feast of tabernacles, in spring, summer, and It is promised that they should have a comfortable settlement autumn, were the three times appointed for their attendance; in the land of Canaan, which they hoped now, (though it proved not in the midst of their harvest, because then they were otherwise,) within a few months, io be in the possession of, otherwise employed; so that they had no reason to say that ». 24–26." Observe, 1. How reasonable the conditions of this he made them to serve with an offering, or wearied them with promise are-only that they should serve their own God, who incense,
was indeed the only true God, and not the gods of the nations,