|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
17:19-27 The prophet was to lay before the rulers and the people of Judah, the command to keep holy the sabbath day. Let them strictly observe the fourth command. If they obeyed this word, their prosperity should be restored. It is a day of rest, and must not be made a day of labour, unless in cases of necessity. Take heed, watch against the profanation of the sabbath. Let not the soul be burdened with the cares of this world on sabbath days. The streams of religion run deep or shallow, according as the banks of the sabbath are kept up or neglected. The degree of strictness with which this ordinance is observed, or the neglect shown towards it, is a good test to find the state of spiritual religion in any land. Let all; by their own example, by attention to their families, strive to check this evil, that national prosperity may be preserved, and, above all, that souls may be saved.
Verse 21. - Take heed to yourselves; rather, Take heed heartily, conscientiously; literally, in your souls. So in Malachi (Malachi 2:15, 16), "Take heed in your spirit" (not, "to your spirit," as Authorized Version).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thus saith the Lord, take heed to yourselves,.... That ye sin not against the Lord, by breaking the sabbath, and so bring wrath and ruin upon yourselves: or "to your souls" (a); to the inward frame of them, that they be in disposition for the work of that day; and that they be wholly engaged therein, even all the powers and faculties of them; and that they be not taken up in thoughts and cares about other things:
and bear no burden on the sabbath day; as no worldly thoughts and cares should, cumber the mind, and lie heavy thereon, to the interruption of spiritual exercises of religion; so neither should any weight or burden be borne by the body, or carried from place to place; as not by themselves, so neither by their servants, nor by their cattle, nor in carts and wagons, nor by any instrument whatever; in short, all servile work was forbidden:
nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; to be unloaded and sold there, as wine, grapes, figs, and fish, were, in the times of Nehemiah, Nehemiah 13:15.
(a) "in animabus vestris", Calvin, Montanus, Schmidt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
21. Take heed to yourselves—literally, "to your souls." Maurer explains, "as ye love your lives"; a phrase used here to give the greater weight to the command.
sabbath—The non-observance of it was a chief cause of the captivity, the number of years of the latter, seventy, being exactly made to agree with the number of Sabbaths which elapsed during the four hundred ninety years of their possession of Canaan from Saul to their removal (Le 26:34, 35; 2Ch 36:21). On the restoration, therefore, stress was especially laid on Sabbath observance (Ne 13:19).
Jerusalem—It would have been scandalous anywhere; but in the capital, Jerusalem, it was an open insult to God. Sabbath-hallowing is intended as a symbol of holiness in general (Eze 20:12); therefore much stress is laid on it; the Jews' gross impiety is manifested in their setting God's will at naught, in the case of such an easy and positive command.
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