|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:1-21 Moses tells the people of Israel how God had given them three distinguishing privileges, which were their honour, and figures of those spiritual blessings in heavenly things, with which God has in Christ blessed us. Here is election; The Lord hath chosen thee. He did not choose them because they were by their own acts a peculiar people to him above other nations, but he chose them that they might be so by his grace; and thus were believers chosen, Eph 1:4. Here is adoption; Ye are the children of the Lord your God; not because God needed children, but because they were orphans, and needed a father. Every spiritual Israelite is indeed a child of God, a partaker of his nature and favour. Here is sanctification; Thou art a holy people. God's people are required to be holy, and if they are holy, they are indebted to the grace God which makes them so. Those whom God chooses to be his children, he will form to be a holy people, and zealous of good works. They must be careful to avoid every thing which might disgrace their profession, in the sight of those who watch for their halting. Our heavenly Father forbids nothing but for our welfare. Do thyself no harm; do not ruin thy health, thy reputation, thy domestic comforts, thy peace of mind. Especially do not murder thy soul. Do not be the vile slave of thy appetites and passions. Do not render all around thee miserable, and thyself wretched; but aim at that which is most excellent and useful. The laws which regarded many sorts of flesh as unclean, were to keep them from mingling with their idolatrous neighbours. It is plain in the gospel, that these laws are now done away. But let us ask our own hearts, Are we of the children of the Lord our God? Are we separate from the ungodly world, in being set apart to God's glory, the purchase of Christ's blood? Are we subjects of the work of the Holy Ghost? Lord, teach us from these precepts how pure and holy all thy people ought to live!
Verse 21. - (Cf. Leviticus 17:15; Exodus 23:19; Exodus 34:26.) The stranger that is in thy gates. "The uncircumcised stranger that is in thy cities ' (Targum), i.e. "a heathen who takes upon him that he will serve no idol, with the residue of the commandments which were commanded to the sons of Noah, but is not circumcised nor baptized (Maimonides, 'Issure Biah,' Deuteronomy 14. § 7)" (Ainsworth). Alien; a foreigner, one not resident in the land of Israel.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Ye shall not eat of anything that dieth of itself,.... This law is repeated from Leviticus 17:15; see Gill on Leviticus 17:15,
thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; not to the proselyte of righteousness, for he might not eat of it any more than an Israelite, and if he did, he was obliged to wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and was unclean until the evening, as in Leviticus 17:15 but to a proselyte of the gate, who took upon him, as Jarchi observes, not to serve idols, one that has renounced idolatry, but has not embraced the Jewish religion; such an one might eat of things that died of themselves, or were not killed in a proper manner. The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan call him an uncircumcised stranger or proselyte, who had not submitted to circumcision, as the proselyte of righteousness did:
or thou mayest sell it unto an alien; an idolater, one that was neither a proselyte of righteousness nor of the gate, an entire alien from the commonwealth of Israel; one that was occasionally in the land of Canaan, or was travelling in it or through it, to such an one it might be sold:
for thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God; separated from all others, and devoted to his service, and therefore must live on clean, food and good meat, and not eat what others might:
thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk; this is the third time this law is mentioned; refer to the notes; see Gill on Exodus 23:19; see Gill on Exodus 34:26; the reason of which repetition, the Jewish writers say (s), is, that it is once said to forbid the eating it, a second time to forbid any use of it or profit by it, and a third time to forbid the boiling of it.
(s) Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Kiddushin, c. 2. sect. 9.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
21. Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself—(See on Le 17:15; Le 22:8).
thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates—not a proselyte, for he, as well as an Israelite, was subject to this law; but a heathen traveller or sojourner.
Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk—This is the third place in which the prohibition is repeated [Ex 23:19; 34:26]. It was pointed against an annual pagan ceremony (see on Ex 23:19; Ex 34:26).
[De 14:22-29. Law of the Tithe].
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