|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:12-21 God, who by his providence gives and maintains life, by his law protects it. A wilful murderer shall be taken even from God's altar. But God provided cities of refuge to protect those whose unhappiness it was, and not their fault, to cause the death of another; for such as by accident, when a man is doing a lawful act, without intent of hurt, happens to kill another. Let children hear the sentence of God's word upon the ungrateful and disobedient; and remember that God will certainly requite it, if they have ever cursed their parents, even in their hearts, or have lifted up their hands against them, except they repent, and flee for refuge to the Saviour. And let parents hence learn to be very careful in training up their children, setting them a good example, especially in the government of their passions, and in praying for them; taking heed not to provoke them to wrath. Through poverty the Israelites sometimes sold themselves or their children; magistrates sold some persons for their crimes, and creditors were in some cases allowed to sell their debtors who could not pay. But man-stealing, the object of which is to force another into slavery, is ranked in the New Testament with the greatest crimes. Care is here taken, that satisfaction be made for hurt done to a person, though death do not follow. The gospel teaches masters to forbear, and to moderate threatenings, Eph 6:9, considering with Job, What shall I do, when God riseth up? Job 31:13,14.
Verse 17. - He that curseth his father, etc. Blasphemy against God, and imprecations upon parents, were the only two sins of the tongue which the law expressly required to be punished with death (Leviticus 24:16). In later times analogy was held to require that "cursing the ruler of the people" (Exodus 22:28) should be visited with the same penalty (2 Samuel 19:22; 1 Kings 2:8, 9, 46). The severity of the sentence indicates that in God' s sight such sins are of the deepest dye.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he that curseth his father, or his mother,.... Though he does not smite them with his hand, or with any instrument in it, yet if he smites them with his tongue, reviles and reproaches them, speaks evil of them, wishes dreadful imprecations upon them, curses them by the name explained, as the Targum of Jonathan calls it, by the name Jehovah, wishing the Lord would curse them, or that his curse might light upon them, see Proverbs 20:20,
shall surely be put to death; or be killed with casting stones on him, as the Targum of Jonathan, or with stoning; so Jarchi, who observes, that wherever it is said, "his blood be upon him", it is meant of stoning, as it is of the man that curses his father or his mother, Leviticus 20:9 which was after this manner, the place of stoning was two cubits high, to which the malefactor with his hands bound was brought; from whence one of the witnesses against him cast him down headlong, of which, if he did not die, then they took up stones and cast on him, and if he died not through them, then all Israel came and stoned him; that is, the multitude upon the spot: this verse in the Septuagint version follows Exodus 21:15, with which it agrees, both respecting the same persons.
Exodus 21:17 Parallel Commentaries
Exodus 21:17 NIV
Exodus 21:17 NLT
Exodus 21:17 ESV
Exodus 21:17 NASB
Exodus 21:17 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible