|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 30. - Seven days it shall be with its dam. See Leviticus 22:27. The main object is that the darn may have during that time the natural relief derivable from suckling its off-spring. On the eighth day thou shalt give it me. Some analogy may be traced between this proviso and the law of circumcision. Birth was viewed as an unclean process, and nothing was fit for presentation to God excepting after an interval.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep,.... That is, with the firstborn, which were to be set apart to the Lord; and so the Targum of Jonathan paraphrases it,"the firstborn of thine oxen, and of thy sheep;''for having spoken of the firstborn of men, the Scripture proceeds to speak of the firstborn of cattle, great and small, the separation of which was enjoined in one and the same precept, Exodus 13:2,
seven days it shall be with his dam; whether it be a calf or a lamb; before it was seven days old it was not to be taken from it, and given to the Lord:
on the eighth day thou shall give it me; that is, they might do it then, but not before; yet they were not obliged to bring it exactly on that day, but they might do it any time within the month, and at a month's end they were obliged to redeem it, that is, give the priest the sum of five shekels for it, Numbers 18:16. The Jewish canon runs thus (n);"how long are Israelites bound for the bringing of the firstborn, i.e. before they offer it to the priest? in small cattle thirty days, in large cattle fifty days.''
(n) Misn. Becorot, c. 4. sect. 1.
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