|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
23:1-8 We ought to value the privileges of God's people, both for ourselves and for our children, above all other advantages. No personal blemishes, no crimes of our forefathers, no difference of nation, shuts us out under the Christian dispensation. But an unsound heart will deprive us of blessings; and a bad example, or an unsuitable marriage, may shut our children from them.
Verse 7. - It was to be otherwise with the Edomite and the Egyptian; though the former had refused permission to the Israelites to pass through their land, and the latter had oppressed and wronged the nation, yet as the former were connected with Israel by a bond of kindred - for he is thy brother - and the latter had received Israel to sojourn in their land, where, notwithstanding the oppression which clouded the later times of their sojourn, they had reaped many benefits, they were not to abhor these nations or place them under a ban of perpetual exclusion; descendants in the third generation of an Edomite or Egyptian might be naturalized in Israel. Vers. 9-11 - When the people went forth to war, all impurity and defilement was to be kept out of their camp. When the host goeth forth; literally, when thou goest forth as a camp or host. As in the wilderness the camp was to be kept pure (Numbers 5:2, etc.), so also in the future, when they went out to war, all defilement was to be removed from their host. Every wicked thing; rather, every evil thing, evil in the sense of blemish or uncleanness (cf. Deuteronomy 17:1).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou shall not abhor an Edomite,.... Or an Idumean, the descendants of Esau, whose name was Edom, Genesis 25:30 the Targum of Jonathan adds, "that comes to be made a proselyte"; he was not to be rejected with abhorrence, because of the old grudge between Jacob and Esau, and which was become national in their posterity:
for he is thy brother; the Israelites and the Edomites were nearest akin to each other of all the nations; for Jacob and Esau were own brothers by father's and mother's side, yea, were twin brothers; the relation was very near:
thou shall not abhor an Egyptian; that comes to be made a proselyte also, as the same Targum; though the Israelites were so ill used by them, their lives made bitter with hard bondage, and their male infants slain by them, and they for a long time refused their liberty to depart:
because thou wast a stranger in his land: and at first received many favours and kindnesses from them, being supported and supplied with provisions during a long famine; and had one of the richest and most fruitful parts of the country assigned them to dwell in; and old favours were not to be forgotten, though they had been followed with great unkindness and cruelty.
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