|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22; 1 - 31 Judicial laws. - The people of God should ever be ready to show mildness and mercy, according to the spirit of these laws. We must answer to God, not only for what we do maliciously, but for what we do heedlessly. Therefore, when we have done harm to our neighbour, we should make restitution, though not compelled by law. Let these scriptures lead our souls to remember, that if the grace of God has indeed appeared to us, then it has taught us, and enabled us so to conduct ourselves by its holy power, that denying ungodliness and wordly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, Titus 2:12. And the grace of God teaches us, that as the Lord is our portion, there is enough in him to satisfy all the desires of our souls.
Verse 20. - Law against sacrificing to false gods. Sacrifice was the chief act of worship; and to sacrifice to a false god was to renounce the true God. Under a theocracy this was rebellion, and rightly punished with temporal death. In ordinary states it would be no civil offence, and would be left to the final judgment of the Almighty. Utterly destroyed. Literally, "devoted;" but with the meaning of "devoted to destruction."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He that sacrificeth unto any god,.... To Elohim, to strange gods, to the idols of the people, as the Targum of Jonathan; to the Egyptian deities, to the gods of the Moabites, Amorites, Edomites, Canaanites, Philistines, or any other: Aben Ezra says the word Elohim comprehends angels; and by the exceptive clause it is plain it takes in all that had been, were, or ever would be the objects of idolatrous worship, especially the sun, moon, and stars, the principal objects of worship in those days:
save unto the Lord only; the true and living God; Jehovah, the self-existent, immutable, and eternal Being; the Creator of all things, the possessor of heaven and earth, the most high God, and the only one: sacrificing takes in all the acts of service performed to an idol as to the true God, as offering incense, pouring out a libation, as well as slaying and burning an animal as Jarchi observes: he shall be utterly destroyed; be accursed, anathematized, devoted to destruction, as the word used signifies: the Targum of Jonathan is,"he shall be killed with the sword, and his goods consumed,''not only lose his life but his substance, and so be destroyed in body and estate.
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