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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 23

Hawker's Poor Man's CommentaryPoor Man's Commentary

Verse 1


This Chapter, like the two before it, contains an explanation in detail of the law given on Mount Sinai. The precepts against false witness, and false judgment, are enlarged upon: those relating to the regulation of conduct towards enemies and strangers are explained. Some observations, in respect to the observance of the Sabbath, are also added; and the renewal of God's promises to be with his people through the wilderness, and conduct them safe to Canaan, are subjoined.

Exodus 23:1

1 Samuel 24:9 ; 2 Samuel 16:3; 2 Samuel 16:3 .

Verse 2

For the propriety of this, see the gospel. Matthew 7:13-14 .

Verse 3

This is a beautiful precept. Hence in our courts of judicature, the figure of justice is painted blind, as if to show, that strict justice respects not persons. Acts 10:34 .

Verses 4-9

All these are so many repeated commands of one and the same rule of equity, and which the Lord Jesus hath given a full commentary of. Matthew 7:12 .

Verse 5

Job 24:3 ; Deuteronomy 22:1-4 ; Proverbs 25:21-22; Proverbs 25:21-22 .

Verses 10-13

These verses contain a precept, in which there is much signification. The seventh year, like the seventh day of the week, was sacred, and therefore was to be a sabbath of rest. And it had several very interesting points intended by it. As first: It served to keep up, in the mind of God's people, their sure dependence upon God. He would provide even when there was no tillage. 2ndly, It pointed out their state under God: that they were but tenants, and not the Lords of the soil. The earth is the Lord's. And 3dly, It proved that sweet scripture, Deuteronomy 8:15-16 .

Verses 14-17

Those seasons were - in the spring, summer, and autumn, namely, the feast of the Passover, that of Pentecost, and that of Tabernacles. It is worthy observation, that in after ages, under the gospel state, the Lord Jesus was crucified on the one; namely, the Passover, which that solemn service typified: and the Holy Ghost descended during the commemoration of the other; namely, the feast of Pentecost, which confirmed also that great ordinance of God. See Matthew 26:2 ; Acts 2:1-2 .

Verse 18

Is there not a gospel sense here under a Jewish covering? Doth it not mean to say, that no leaven of ours must be mingled with the sacrifice of Jesus's blood and righteousness. Observe the expression: The Lord calls it my sacrifice. See 1 Corinthians 5:7 ; Galatians 5:2-4 .

Verse 19

Sweet presentation to the Lord as much as to say, Lord, it is all thine, and of thine own do I offer thee. - Perhaps this precept of not seething a kid in its mother's milk was added to prevent that heathenish custom, which, it is said some nations observed, who, at their harvest feast, performed this cruel and superstitious deed, by way of being lucky, as they called it, in the next year's harvest. I stop the Reader to ask , whether the idle and sinful practice, among some of our countrymen, of drinking to the apple-trees at Christmas, until, not unfrequently, many of them are drunk at the revel, did not originate from such a Pagan institution?

Verse 20

Reader! call to mind at the reading of this verse, what Jesus said, Moses wrote of me; an d then determine for yourself, whether this were not he of whom Moses and the Prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth! See Malachi 3:1 ; Isa 63:9 ; 1 Corinthians 10:4 , etc.

Verse 21

Genesis 15:18; Genesis 15:18 ; Numbers 14:11 ; John 1:18 .

Verse 22

This was the original covenant promise. See Genesis 12:2-3 .

Verse 23

Exodus 33:2 .

Verse 24

Deu_12:2-3; Deu_12:31-32 .

Verses 25-26

Deuteronomy 28:1-14 .

Verse 27

Deuteronomy 11:25; Deuteronomy 11:25 .

Verse 28

May not these hornets be spiritually considered as the stings of a guilty conscience? Deuteronomy 7:20 .

Verses 29-30

Deuteronomy 7:22 . Is there not also a spiritual sense with respect to the attainments of the believer? Proverbs 4:18 .

Verse 31

Joshua 1:3-4 .

Verses 32-33

Are not many things in these precepts of a spiritual tendency? There can be no amity between the works of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit. See 2 Corinthians 6:15-18 .

Verse 33


Though, through the merciful bounty of a covenant God in Christ, I dare not seek justification before God, by the deeds of the law, yet as the grace of God, which bringeth salvation, hath taught me to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, may that grace enable me, to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world! And may all my life, and conversation prove, that though I work not for life, yet by his grace enabling me I am working from life, even the hidden life which is with Christ in God, that when Christ who is my life shall appear, I may also appear with him in glory.

Reader! I would charge it upon your conscience, as upon my own, to be frequently examining the heart concerning these things. Oh! let us be very jealous, with a godly jealousy over those springs of action, and keep the heart with all diligence, and more especially beg of God to keep it for us, who alone can keep it, for out of it are the issues of life.

Dearest Jesus! let the view presented to me of thy presence going before thy people, however short and transient the view, revive in my heart everything that is tender and affectionate, humble and obedient, to the remembrance of thee, and of thy dear name. Lord! may I never lose sight of thee under this glorious character of the Angel of the Covenant going before me. May I rejoice in that sweet assurance that God my Father's name is in thee; that thou wilt, by little, and little, drive out the corruptions of my heart before thee; that thou wilt subdue the whole of them at length by the conquests of thy grace; that thou wilt safely conduct me through the whole of this wilderness state, and I shall at last, under thy power, arrive at the heavenly Canaan, to see thy face, and dwell with thee forever. Oh! when will the shadows of the night pass, and the day break from my beloved!

Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Exodus 23". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/exodus-23.html. 1828.
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