Exodus 23:20-33

God’s Angel to Prepare the Way

20 “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.
21 Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him.
22 If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you.
23 My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out.
24 Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces.
25 Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you,
26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.
27 “I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run.
28 I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way.
29 But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you.
30 Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.
31 “I will establish your borders from the Red Sea[a] to the Mediterranean Sea,[b] and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you.
32 Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods.
33 Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you.”

Images for Exodus 23:20-33

Exodus 23:20-33 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 23

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 23:20-33 In-Context

18 “Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast. “The fat of my festival offerings must not be kept until morning.
19 “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God. “Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.
20 “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.
21 Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him.
22 If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you.
23 My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out.
24 Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces.
25 Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you,
26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.
27 “I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run.
28 I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way.
29 But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you.
30 Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.
31 “I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you.
32 Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods.
33 Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you.”

Cross References 29

  • 1. S Genesis 16:7; Exodus 14:19; Exodus 32:34
  • 2. Exodus 15:17
  • 3. Numbers 14:11; Deuteronomy 18:19; Jeremiah 13:15
  • 4. Deuteronomy 29:20; 2 Kings 24:4; Lamentations 1:17
  • 5. Numbers 17:10; Deuteronomy 9:7; Deuteronomy 31:27; Joshua 24:19; Psalms 25:7; Psalms 78:8,40,56; Psalms 106:33; Psalms 107:11; 1 John 5:16
  • 6. S Exodus 3:15
  • 7. S Exodus 15:26
  • 8. S Genesis 12:3; Isaiah 41:11; Jeremiah 30:20; Deuteronomy 30:7
  • 9. ver 20; Numbers 13:29; Numbers 21:21; Joshua 3:10; Joshua 24:8,11; Ezra 9:1; Psalms 135:11
  • 10. S Exodus 20:5
  • 11. Leviticus 18:3; Leviticus 20:23; Deuteronomy 9:4; Deuteronomy 12:30-31; Jeremiah 10:2
  • 12. Exodus 34:13; Numbers 33:52; Deuteronomy 7:5; Deuteronomy 12:3; Judges 2:2; 2 Kings 18:4; 2 Kings 23:14
  • 13. Leviticus 26:1; Deuteronomy 16:22; 1 Kings 14:23; 2 Kings 3:2; 2 Kings 10:26; 2 Kings 17:10; 2 Chronicles 14:3; Isaiah 27:9
  • 14. Deuteronomy 6:13; Matthew 4:10
  • 15. Leviticus 26:3-13; Deuteronomy 7:12-15; Deuteronomy 28:1-14
  • 16. S Exodus 15:26
  • 17. Leviticus 26:3-4; Deuteronomy 7:14; Deuteronomy 28:4; Malachi 3:11
  • 18. S Genesis 15:15; Deuteronomy 4:1,40; Deuteronomy 32:47; Psalms 90:10; Job 5:26
  • 19. S Genesis 35:5; S Exodus 15:14; Deuteronomy 2:25
  • 20. S Exodus 14:24; Deuteronomy 7:23
  • 21. 2 Samuel 22:41; Psalms 18:40; Psalms 21:12
  • 22. Deuteronomy 7:20; Joshua 24:12
  • 23. Exodus 33:2; Exodus 34:11,24; Numbers 13:29; Deuteronomy 4:38; Deuteronomy 11:23; Deuteronomy 18:12; Joshua 3:10; Joshua 24:11; Psalms 78:55
  • 24. Deuteronomy 7:22
  • 25. Joshua 23:5
  • 26. S Genesis 2:14; Deuteronomy 34:2; Ezra 4:20; Genesis 15:18
  • 27. Deuteronomy 7:24; Deuteronomy 9:3; Joshua 21:44; Joshua 24:12,18; Psalms 80:8
  • 28. S Genesis 26:28; Exodus 34:12; Deuteronomy 7:2; Joshua 9:7; Judges 2:2; 1 Samuel 11:1; 1 Kings 15:19; 1 Kings 20:34; Ezekiel 17:13
  • 29. S Exodus 10:7; Deuteronomy 7:16; Psalms 106:36

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "the Sea of Reeds"
  • [b]. Hebrew "to the Sea of the Philistines"