|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
23:20-33 It is here promised that they should be guided and kept in their way through the wilderness to the land of promise, Behold, I send an angel before thee, mine angel. The precept joined with this promise is, that they be obedient to this angel whom God would send before them. Christ is the Angel of Jehovah; this is plainly taught by St. Paul, 1Co 10:9. They should have a comfortable settlement in the land of Canaan. How reasonable are the conditions of this promise; that they should serve the only true God; not the gods of the nations, which are no gods at all. How rich are the particulars of this promise! The comfort of their food, the continuance of their health, the increase of their wealth, the prolonging their lives to old age. Thus hath godliness the promise of the life that now is. It is promised that they should subdue their enemies. Hosts of hornets made way for the hosts of Israel; such mean creatures can God use for chastising his people's enemies. In real kindness to the church, its enemies are subdued by little and little; thus we are kept on our guard, and in continual dependence on God. Corruptions are driven out of the hearts of God's people, not all at once, but by little and little. The precept with this promise is, that they should not make friendship with idolaters. Those that would keep from bad courses, must keep from bad company. It is dangerous to live in a bad neighbourhood; others' sins will be our snares. Our greatest danger is from those who would make us sin against God.
Verse 33. - They shall not dwell in the land. This law did not, of course, affect proselytes; nor was it considered to preclude the continuance in the land of the enslaved Gibeonites. It forbade any Canaanite communities being suffered to remain within the limits of Palestine on friendly terms with the Hebrews. The precaution was undoubtedly a wise one.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They shall not dwell in thy land,.... The land of Canaan, given by God for an inheritance, and now would be in the possession of the Israelites; and therefore were not to suffer the old inhabitants to dwell with them in it, at least no longer than they could help it; they were to do all they could to root them out:
lest they make thee sin against me; by their ill examples and persuasions, drawing them into idolatry, than which there is no greater sin against God, it being not only contrary to his law, his mind, and will, but directly against his nature, being, perfections, and glory:
for if thou serve their gods, or "for thou wilt serve" (t); this would be the consequence of their dwelling in the land, they would draw the Israelites into the worship of their idols, to which they were naturally prone; and should they commit idolatry:
it will surely be a snare unto thee: idolatry would be the cause of their ruin and destruction, they would be snared by it, as fishes in a net, or birds and beasts by traps and gins; or "for it will be a snare" (u), that is, the Canaanites dwelling among them would be a snare to draw them into their idolatry, and go into ruin.
(t) "quia servies", Malvenda. (u) "quia erit", Pagninus, Montanus, Drusius.
Exodus 23:33 Parallel Commentaries
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