|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:10-26. The history of Israel in the wilderness is referred to in the new Testament as well as in the Old, for warning. God did great things for them. He gave them the law, and revived the ancient keeping of the sabbath day. Sabbaths are privileges; they are signs of our being his people. If we do the duty of the day, we shall find, to our comfort, it is the Lord that makes us holy, that is, truly happy, here; and prepares us to be happy, that is, perfectly holy, hereafter. The Israelites rebelled, and were left to the judgments they brought upon themselves. God sometimes makes sin to be its own punishment, yet he is not the Author of sin: there needs no more to make men miserable, than to give them up to their own evil desires and passions.
Verse 11. - I gave them my statutes, etc. Ezekiel recognizes, almost in the very language of Deuteronomy 30:16-20, as fully as the writers of Psalm 19. and 119. recognized, the excellence of the Law. A man who kept that Law in its fulness would have life in its fullest and highest sense. He was beginning, however, to recognize, as Jeremiah had (lone (Jeremiah 31:31), the powerlessness of the Law to give that life without the aid of something higher. The "new covenant" was already dawning on the mind of the scholar as on that of the master.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And I gave them my statutes,.... The precepts of his law, the law on Mount Sinai, of which there were not the like among other nations; nor were they given unto them, but were a special gift unto Israel, and greatly to be valued, Deuteronomy 4:8;
and showed them judgments: the nature, use, and excellency of the the necessity and advantage of observing them: the same as before, called "statutes", because appointed, fixed, and certain, being of inviolable and lasting obligation; and "judgments", being according to strict justice and equity: these, though they were originally written on man's heart, yet so obliterated by sin that there was need not only of their being afresh written and published, but of their being taught and made known; or of pointing out the use of them, and obligation to them:
which if a man do, he shall live in them; or "by them" (g); in the land of Canaan, enjoying all the blessings of a long and happy life: reference seems to be had to Leviticus 18:5. The Targum adds,
"in eternal life;''
but eternal life is not to be obtained by the works of the law, since no man can perfectly obey or fulfil it, but is the pure gift of the grace of God.
(g) "per ea", Junius & Tremellius, Polanus, Piscator; "propter ea", Pagninus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. which if a man do, he shall … five in them—not "by them," as though they could justify a man, seeing that man cannot render the faultless obedience required (Le 18:5; Ga 3:12). "By them" is the expression indeed in Ro 10:5; but there the design is to show that, if man could obey all God's laws, he would be justified "by them" (Ga 3:21); but he cannot; he therefore needs to have justification by "the Lord our righteousness" (Jer 23:6); then, having thus received life, he "lives," that is, maintains, enjoys, and exercises this life only in so far as he walks "in" the laws of God. So De 30:15, 16. The Israelites, as a nation, had life already freely given to them by God's covenant of promise; the laws of God were designed to be the means of the outward expression of their spiritual life. As the natural life has its healthy manifestation in the full exercise of its powers, so their spiritual being as a nation was to be developed in vigor, or else decay, according as they did, or did not, walk in God's laws.
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