Exodus 23

Listen to Exodus 23
1 1"You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a 2malicious witness.
2 You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice,
3 3nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit.
4 4"If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him
5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.
6 5"You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in his lawsuit.
7 6Keep far from a false charge, and 7do not kill the innocent and righteous, for 8I will not acquit the wicked.
8 9And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.
9 10"You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

Laws About the Sabbath and Festivals

10 11"For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield,
11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat. You shall do likewise with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard.
12 12"Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed.
13 13"Pay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods, nor let it be heard on your lips.
14 14"Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me
15 15You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of 16Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. 17None shall appear before me empty-handed.
16 You shall keep 18the Feast of Harvest, of the firstfruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall keep the 19Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor.
17 20Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord GOD.
18 21"You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, or let the fat of my feast remain until the morning.
19 "The best of the 22firstfruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God. 23"You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.

Conquest of Canaan Promised

20 24"Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared.
21 Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; 25do not rebel against him, 26for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him
22 "But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then 27I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.
23 28"When my angel goes before you and brings you 29to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out,
24 you shall 30not bow down to their gods nor serve them, 31nor do as they do, but 32you shall utterly overthrow them and break their 33pillars in pieces.
25 You 34shall serve the LORD your God, and 35he[a] will bless your bread and your water, and 36I will take sickness away from among you.
26 37None shall miscarry or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the 38number of your days.
27 I will send 39my terror before you and will throw into 40confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.
28 And 41I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from before you.
29 42I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you.
30 Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land.
31 43And I will set your border from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates, for 44I will give the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you.
32 45You shall make no covenant with them and their gods.
33 They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against me; for if you serve their gods, 46it will surely be a snare to you."

Images for Exodus 23

Exodus 23 Commentary

Chapter 23

Laws against falsehood and injustice. (1-9) The year of rest, The sabbath, The three festivals. (10-19) God promises to conduct the Israelites to Canaan. (20-33)

Verses 1-9 In the law of Moses are very plain marks of sound moral feeling, and of true political wisdom. Every thing in it is suited to the desired and avowed object, the worship of one only God, and the separation of Israel from the pagan world. Neither parties, friends, witnesses, nor common opinions, must move us to lessen great faults, to aggravate small ones, excuse offenders, accuse the innocent, or misrepresent any thing.

Verses 10-19 Every seventh year the land was to rest. They must not plough or sow it; what the earth produced of itself, should be eaten, and not laid up. This law seems to have been intended to teach dependence on Providence, and God's faithfulness in sending the larger increase while they kept his appointments. It was also typical of the heavenly rest, when all earthly labours, cares, and interests shall cease for ever. All respect to the gods of the heathen is strictly forbidden. Since idolatry was a sin to which the Israelites leaned, they must blot out the remembrance of the gods of the heathen. Solemn religious attendance on God, in the place which he should choose, is strictly required. They must come together before the Lord. What a good Master do we serve, who has made it our duty to rejoice before him! Let us devote with pleasure to the service of God that portion of our time which he requires, and count his sabbaths and ordinances to be a feast unto our souls. They were not to come empty-handed; so now, we must not come to worship God empty-hearted; our souls must be filled with holy desires toward him, and dedications of ourselves to him; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Verses 20-33 It is here promised that they should be guided and kept in their way through the wilderness to the land of promise, Behold, I send an angel before thee, mine angel. The precept joined with this promise is, that they be obedient to this angel whom God would send before them. Christ is the Angel of Jehovah; ( 1 Corinthians. 10:9 ) a comfortable settlement in the land of Canaan. How reasonable are the conditions of this promise; that they should serve the only true God; not the gods of the nations, which are no gods at all. How rich are the particulars of this promise! The comfort of their food, the continuance of their health, the increase of their wealth, the prolonging their lives to old age. Thus hath godliness the promise of the life that now is. It is promised that they should subdue their enemies. Hosts of hornets made way for the hosts of Israel; such mean creatures can God use for chastising his people's enemies. In real kindness to the church, its enemies are subdued by little and little; thus we are kept on our guard, and in continual dependence on God. Corruptions are driven out of the hearts of God's people, not all at once, but by little and little. The precept with this promise is, that they should not make friendship with idolaters. Those that would keep from bad courses, must keep from bad company. It is dangerous to live in a bad neighbourhood; others' sins will be our snares. Our greatest danger is from those who would make us sin against God.

Cross References 46

  • 1. [Leviticus 19:11; Psalms 15:3; Psalms 101:5]
  • 2. Deuteronomy 19:16-18; Psalms 35:11; [1 Kings 21:10, 13; Matthew 26:59-61; Acts 6:11, 13]
  • 3. Leviticus 19:15; [Deuteronomy 1:17]
  • 4. [Deuteronomy 22:1, 4; Proverbs 25:21; Matthew 5:44; Romans 12:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:15]
  • 5. Deuteronomy 27:19; Ecclesiastes 5:8; Isaiah 10:1, 2; Jeremiah 5:28, 29; Malachi 3:5
  • 6. [See ver. 1 above]
  • 7. Deuteronomy 27:25; [Proverbs 17:26]
  • 8. Exodus 34:7
  • 9. Deuteronomy 16:19; [1 Samuel 8:3; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Psalms 26:10; Proverbs 17:23; Isaiah 1:23; Isaiah 5:23; Isaiah 33:15]
  • 10. See Exodus 22:21
  • 11. Leviticus 25:3, 4
  • 12. See Exodus 20:9
  • 13. Deuteronomy 4:9; Joshua 22:5; Joshua 23:7; Hosea 2:17; Zechariah 13:2
  • 14. ver. 17; Exodus 34:23; Deuteronomy 16:16
  • 15. See Exodus 12:15
  • 16. Exodus 13:4
  • 17. Exodus 34:20; Deuteronomy 16:16
  • 18. Exodus 34:22; See Leviticus 23:9-21
  • 19. Deuteronomy 16:13; See Leviticus 23:34-44
  • 20. [See ver. 14 above]
  • 21. Exodus 12:8; Exodus 34:25; Leviticus 2:11
  • 22. Exodus 34:26; Leviticus 2:12; Leviticus 23:10, 17; Numbers 18:12, 13; Deuteronomy 26:2, 10; Nehemiah 10:35; Ezekiel 44:30
  • 23. Exodus 34:26; Deuteronomy 14:21
  • 24. Exodus 14:19; Exodus 33:2, 14; Joshua 5:13, 14; Joshua 6:2; Isaiah 63:9
  • 25. Psalms 78:40, 56
  • 26. [Exodus 32:34; Exodus 34:7; Numbers 14:35; Joshua 24:19]
  • 27. Genesis 12:3; Deuteronomy 30:7; Jeremiah 30:20
  • 28. [See ver. 20 above]
  • 29. See Exodus 13:5
  • 30. Exodus 20:5
  • 31. Leviticus 18:3; Deuteronomy 12:30, 31
  • 32. Exodus 34:13; Numbers 33:52; Deuteronomy 7:5, 25; Deuteronomy 12:3
  • 33. See Deuteronomy 16:22
  • 34. Deuteronomy 6:13; Deuteronomy 10:12, 20; Deuteronomy 11:13; Deuteronomy 13:4; Joshua 22:5; Matthew 4:10
  • 35. Deuteronomy 7:13; Deuteronomy 28:5, 8
  • 36. Exodus 15:26; Deuteronomy 7:15
  • 37. Deuteronomy 7:14
  • 38. [Job 5:26; Psalms 55:23]
  • 39. Deuteronomy 2:25; Joshua 2:9
  • 40. Deuteronomy 7:23
  • 41. Deuteronomy 7:20; Joshua 24:12
  • 42. Deuteronomy 7:22
  • 43. Genesis 15:18; Numbers 34:3; Deuteronomy 11:24; Joshua 1:4; [1 Kings 4:21, 24; Psalms 72:8]
  • 44. Joshua 21:44; Judges 1:4; Judges 11:21
  • 45. Exodus 34:12, 15; Deuteronomy 7:2
  • 46. Exodus 34:12; Deuteronomy 7:16; Joshua 23:13; Judges 2:3; Psalms 106:36

Footnotes 1

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains several laws, chiefly judicial, relating to the civil polity of Israel, as concerning witness borne and judgment made of cases in courts of judicature, without any respect to poor or rich, and without the influence of a bribe, Ex 23:1-3,6-8, concerning doing good to an enemy in case any of his cattle go astray, or fall under their burden, Ex 23:4,5, and of the oppression of a stranger, Ex 23:9, and then follow others concerning the sabbath of the seventh year, and of the seventh day, with a caution against the use of the names of idols, Ex 23:10-13, next are laws concerning the appearance of all their males at the three feasts, Ex 23:14-17, and concerning the slaying of the sacrifice of the passover, and bringing the first of the firstfruits of the land, Ex 23:18,19 and then a promise is made of sending an angel to them to bring them into the land of Canaan, where they should carefully avoid all idolatry, and show a just indignation against it, and serve the Lord, and then it would be well with them, Ex 23:20-26, and particularly it is promised, that the Lord would send his fear, and his hornets, before them, to destroy the inhabitants of the land, and drive out the rest by little and little, until they should possess the utmost borders of it, which are fixed, Ex 23:27-31, and the chapter is concluded with a direction not to make a covenant with these people, or their gods, nor suffer them to dwell among them, lest they should be a snare unto them, Ex 23:32,33.

Exodus 23 Commentaries