|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 31. - And ye shall be holy men unto me. Ye shall not be as other men, but "an holy nation, a peculiar people;" and therefore your separateness shall be marked by all manner of laws and regulations with respect to meats and drinks, designed to keep you free from every uncleanness. One such law then follows - Law against eating the flesh of an animal killed by another. The blood of such an animal would not be properly drained from it. Some would remain in the tissues, and thence the antrum would be unclean; again, the carnivorous beast which "tore" it would also be unclean, and by contact would impart of its uncleanness to the other. Ye shall cast it to the dogs, is probably not intended to exclude the giving or selling of it to an Mien, if one were at hand, according to the permission accorded in Deuteronomy 14:21; but points simply to the mode whereby the flesh was to be got rid of, if aliens were not at hand, or if they declined to eat the animals. Dogs were so unclean that they might be fed on anything. Their chief use was to be scavengers (2 Kings 9:35, 36).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And ye shall be holy men unto me,.... They were so by God's act of election, not special and particular, but general and national; choosing and separating them to be an holy people to him, above all the people on the face of the earth, and in a ceremonial sense they observing laws and appointments of God of this kind; which is the sense here intended, as appears by what follows: all men, and so these Israelites, ought to be holy in a moral sense, and some are holy in a spiritual and evangelical sense, being made holy by the Spirit of God; of these the Apostle Peter speaks, in allusion to this, and such like passages, 1 Peter 2:9.
neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; or in the house, as Jarchi notes; but the Scripture, as he observes, speaks of the place where it is more usual for beasts to tear, and so Aben Ezra; otherwise what is torn elsewhere, or by whatsoever accident it is bruised and maimed, was not to be eaten: ye shall cast it to the dogs: for even a stranger was not to eat of it, or if he did he was unclean, and was obliged to wash his clothes, and bathe himself, Leviticus 17:15 and yet Jarchi interprets this figuratively of such as are like dogs, meaning the Gentiles, whom the Jews used to call so, see Matthew 15:26. An Heathen poet gives instructions perfectly agreeable to this law;"do not (says he) eat flesh fed upon by beasts, but leave the remains to the swift dogs (o).''
(o) &c. Phocylides, ver. 136, 137.
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