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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 23

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-33

Exodus 23:1. Put not thine hand with the wicked, do not conspire or agree with them.

Exodus 23:3. Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man. The meaning of this and the former verse is, there shall be no respect of persons whether rich or poor, but an impartial consideration of the cause.

Exodus 23:4. If thou meet thine enemy’s ox. So far shalt thou be from revenging his injuries, that thou shalt render good to him for them. By doing this a man conquers enmity and gains his neighbour.

Exodus 23:8. The wise, or the open-eyed and quick-sighted. The righteous. The judgment of the righteous judge, that is, of them who were before such, and are inclined to be so, and probably would be so, were they not tempted with bribes. Or thus, the matters or causes of the righteous, which may be understood not of the judges, but of the parties pleading, whose righteous cause is by this means perverted by the judge, and a wrong sentence given.

Exodus 23:11. That the poor may eat, that which groweth spontaneously.

Exodus 23:12. On the seventh day thou shalt rest. This command is here repeated, lest any should think the weekly rest might cease when the whole year was consecrated to rest.

Exodus 23:13. Make no mention of the name of other gods; that is, with honour or delight, or without detestation.

Exodus 23:14. Keep a feast. The three feasts are illustrated in their proper places. Exodus 12:0. Leviticus 25:0. The males were commuted for one of a family. But the hope of the Jews to see the gentile world engrafted on their stock, and going to Jerusalem three times a year, is altogether unfounded. The Lord’s temple is spiritual, and shall be built on “the tops of the mountains.”

Exodus 23:15. None shall appear before me empty. None shall ever come at those times without some offering or other, for the support of the Levites, and of the worship of God.

Exodus 23:16 . The feast of harvest. Of wheat harvest, for the barley harvest was before this time. This feast was otherwise called Pentecost. The feast of ingathering. To wit, of all the rest of the fruits of the earth, as of the vines and olives. This was also called the feast of booths, and of tabernacles. All their three feasts had a respect to the harvest, which began in the passover, was carried on at the pentecost, and was fully completed and ended in this feast.

Exodus 23:19. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk. The words may be rendered, Thou shalt not seethe, or roast, (for the word bashal signifies to roast as well as boil, as is evident from Deuteronomy 16:7.) a kid, being or whilst it is in his mother’s milk, which it may be said to be, while it is suckled, and so may be understood of the passover, referred to in the preseding verse, in which a lamb or kid was used; and then the word bashal must be rendered roast. But it is more probable that the prohibition refers to the lamb or kid used at a common meal, which should not be taken too young from its dam; for sucklings might be offered in sacrifice. Leviticus 22:27. 1 Samuel 7:9.

Exodus 23:20. I send an Angel. Christ, the angel of the covenant, as may be gathered from the following words, and because the pardon of sin, which is a divine prerogative, is here ascribed to him, and God’s name is in him. Compare also Exodus 13:21; Exodus 14:19; Exodus 32:34. Acts 7:38-39. 1 Corinthians 10:9.

Exodus 23:25. Thy bread and thy water. All thy provisions, bread denoting any kind of meat, and water any kind of drink. 1 Samuel 25:11.

Exodus 23:26. The number of thy days I will fulfil. I will preserve thee so as thou shalt live as long as the course of nature and the temperament of thy body will permit.

Exodus 23:27. My fear. A great terror, or terror wrought by me.

Exodus 23:28. Hornets, properly so called, as may be gathered from Joshua 24:12. Deuteronomy 7:20. Hornets are of themselves very troublesome and mischievous; but these, it is very probable, were like those Egyptian flies, Exodus 8:21, of an extraordinary bigness and perniciousness. Nor is it strange that such creatures did drive many of those people from their habitations; for several heathen writers give us instances of people being driven from their seats by frogs, others by mice, others by bees and wasps.

Exodus 23:30 . By little and little I will drive them out. This gave the Canaanites time to fly. Our Saxon chronicle mentions a colony coming to the north of Ireland from Armenia, in five long ships, which many take to be expelled Canaanites. They found inhabitants it is said, in the north of Ireland, who advised them to settle in Scotland, promising to be their friends.

Exodus 23:31. Sea of the Philistines, the mediterranean. The desert, of Egypt or Arabia, which was obtained by David. Euphrates is often called the river, by way of eminence.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Exodus 23". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/exodus-23.html. 1835.
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