Various Precepts to be holy, ver. 1, 2.
To honour parents and sabbaths, ver. 3.
To shun idolatry, ver. 4.
Duty to eat their peace - offering, ver. 5 - 8.
To leave gleanings for the poor, ver. 9, 10.
Not to steal, lie, swear falsely, or defraud, ver. 11 - 13.
Not to curse the deaf, or put a stumbling - block before the blind,
Not to judge unjustly, carry tales, or bear false witness, ver. 15, 16.
To reprove sinners, not to revenge themselves; to love their neighbours,
ver. 17, 18.
Not to mix different things, ver. 19.
Not to lie with their bond - maids, ver. 20 - 22.
Not to eat of the fruit of the land for four years, ver. 23 - 25.
Not to eat blood, use enchantments, or heathen customs, ver. 26 - 28.
Or prostitute their daughters, ver. 29.
To reverence God and his sanctuary, ver. 30.
Not to regard wizards, ver. 31.
To honour the aged, ver. 32.
Love and right the stranger, ver. 33, 34.
Do no injustice, ver. 34, 35, 36.
2: Be ye holy - Separated from all the forementioned defilements, and
entirely consecrated to God and obedient to all his laws. I am holy
- Both in my essence, and in all my laws, which are holy and just and good.
3: His mother - The mother is put first, partly because the
practice of this duty begins there, mothers, by perpetual converse, being
sooner known to their children than their fathers; and partly because this
duty is commonly neglected to the mother, upon whom children have not so
much dependence as they have upon their father. And this fear includes
the two great duties of reverence and obedience. And keep my sabbaths
- This is added, to shew, that, whereas it is enjoined to parents that they
should take care the sabbath be observed both by themselves and their
children, it is the duty of children to fear and obey their parents in this
matter. But that, if parents should neglect their duty herein, or by their
command, counsel, or example, draw them to pollute the sabbath, the children
in that case must keep the sabbath, and prefer the command of God before the
commands of their parents.
4: Idols - The word signifies such as are no Gods, or
nothings, as they are called, (1Co 8:4), many idols having no
being, but in the fancy of their worshippers, and all of them having no
virtue or power to do good or evil, (Isa 41:23).
5: At your own will - Or, according to your own pleasure, what
you think fit: For though this in general was required, yet it was left to
their choice to determine the particulars.
6: On the morrow - He speaks here of that sort of peace - offerings,
which were offered either by vow or freely for the obtaining of some mercy,
for the other sort, which was by way of gratitude for mercies received,
were to be eaten the same day.
10: I am the Lord your God - Who gave you all these things with a
reservation of my right in them, and with a charge of giving part of them
to the poor.
12: Ye shall not swear falsely - This is added, to shew how one sin
draws on another, and that when men will lye for their own advantage, they
will easily be induced to perjury. Profane the name - By any unholy use
of it. So it is an additional precept, thou shalt not abuse my holy name
by swearing either falsely or rashly.
14: Before the blind - To make them fall. Under these two
particulars are manifestly forbidden all injuries done to such as are
unable to right or defend themselves; of whom God here takes the more
care, because they are not able to secure themselves. Fear thy God
- Who both can and will avenge them.
15: The poor - So as through pity to him to give an unrighteous
16: Stand against the blood - In judgment as a false accuser or false
witness, for accusers and witnesses use to stand, whilst the judges sit in
courts of judicature.
17: Thou shalt not hate - As thou dost, in effect, if thou dost not
rebuke him. Thy brother - The same as thy neighbour, that is, every man.
If thy brother hath done wrong, thou shalt neither divulge it to others,
nor hate him, and smother that hatred by sullen silence; nor flatter him
therein, but shalt freely and in love, tell him of his fault.
And not suffer sin upon him - Not suffer him to lie under the guilt of any
sin, which thou by rebuking him, and thereby bringing him to repentance,
couldst free him from.
18: Thy neighbour - Every man, as plainly appears,
By comparing this place with (Le 19:34), where this law is
applied to strangers.
Because the word neighbour is explained by another man,(Le 20:10,Ro 13:8).
As thyself - With the same sincerity, though not equality of affection.
19: Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender - This was prohibited,
partly to restrain the curiosity and boldness of men, who might attempt to
amend or change the works of God, partly that by the restraint here laid
even upon brute - creatures men might be taught to abhor all unnatural lusts,
partly to teach the Israelites to avoid mixtures with other nations,
either in marriage or in religion, which also may be signified by the
20: She shall be scourged - Heb. There shall be a scourging,
which probably may belong to both of them, for
Both were guilty.
It follows, they shall not be punished with death, which may seem to
imply that they were to be punished by some other common and considerable
punishment, which scourging indeed was, but the paying of a ram was a small
penalty and very unsuitable to the greatness of the offence.
And the offering of the ram as a trespass offering for the sin against God,
is not inconsistent with making satisfaction other ways for the injury done
to men, but only added here as farther punishment to the man, either because
he only could do this, and not the woman, who being a bondwoman had nothing
of her own to offer. Or because his sex and his freedom aggravated his sin.
Not put to death - Which they should have been, had she been free,(De 22:23,24). The reason of this difference is not from any respect
which God gives to persons, for bond and free are alike to him, but
because bond - women were scarce wives, and their marriages were scarce
true - marriages, being neither made by their choice, but their masters
authority, nor continued beyond the year of release, but at her master's or
23: As uncircumcised - That is, As unclean, not to be eaten but cast
away. This precept was serviceable,
To the trees themselves, which grew the better and faster, being early
stript of those fruits, which otherwise would have drawn away much more
of the strength from the tree.
To men, both because the fruit then was less wholesome, and because
hereby men were taught to bridle their appetites; a lesson of great use
and absolute necessity in a holy life.
24: Holy - Consecrated to the Lord, as the first - fruits and tithes
were, and therefore given to the priests and Levites, (Nu 18:12,13,De 18:4)
yet so that part of them were communicated to the poor widows
and fatherless and strangers. See (De 14:28). To bless the Lord, by
whose power and goodness the trees bring forth fruit to perfection.
25: That it may yield the increase - That God may be pleased to give
his blessing, which alone can make them fruitful.
26: Any thing with the blood - Any flesh out of which the blood is
poured. Neither shall ye use enchantments - It was unpardonable in them,
to whom were committed the oracles of God, to ask counsel of the devil.
And yet worse in Christians, to whom the son of God is manifested, to
destroy the works of the devil. For Christians to have their nativities
cast, or their fortunes told, or to use charms for the cure of diseases, is
an intolerable affront to the Lord Jesus, a support of idolatry, and a
reproach both to themselves, and to that worthy name by which they are
called. Nor observe times - Superstitiously, esteeming some days lucky,
27: The corners of your heads - That is your temples, ye shall not
cut off the hair of your heads round about your temples. This the
Gentiles did, either for the worship of their idols, to whom young men
used to consecrate their hair, being cut off from their heads, as Homer,
Plutarch and many others write; or in funerals or immoderate mournings,
as appears from (Isa 15:2,Jer 48:37). And the like is to be thought
concerning the beard or the hair in the corner, that is, corners of the
beard. The reason then of this prohibition is because God would not have
his people agree with idolaters, neither in their idolatries, nor in their
excessive sorrowing, no nor so much as in the appearances of it.
28: Cuttings in your flesh - Which the Gentiles commonly did
both in the worship of their idols, and in their solemn mournings,(Jer 16:6).
29: Do not prostitute - As the Gentiles frequently did for
the honour of some of their idols, to whom women were consecrated, and
32: Rise up - To do them reverence when they pass by, for which end
they were obliged, as the Jews say, presently to sit down again when
they were past, that it might be manifest they arose out of respect to them.
Fear thy God - This respect is due to such, if not for themselves, yet for
God's sake, who requires this reverence, and whose singular blessing old
33: Vex him - Either with opprobrious expressions, or grievous
1, as to the matters of common right, so it reacheth to all strangers.
Or 2, as to church - privileges, so it concerns only those who were
Ye were strangers - And therefore are sensible of the fears, distresses,
and miseries of such, which call for your pity, and you ought to do to them,
as you desired others should do to you, when you were such.
35: In mete - yard - In the measuring of lands, or dry things, as
cloth, ribband. In measure - In the measuring liquid or such dry things
as are only contigious, as corn or wine.
36: A just ephah and a just hin - These two two measures are named as
most common, the former for dry, the latter for moist things, but under
them he manifestly comprehends all other measures.
37: Therefore - Because my blessings and deliverances are not
indulgences to sin, but greater obligations to all duties to God and men.