|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:1-33 Laws concerning the priests and sacrifices. - In this chapter we have divers laws concerning the priests and sacrifices, all for preserving the honour of the sanctuary. Let us recollect with gratitude that our great High Priest cannot be hindered by any thing from the discharge of his office. Let us also remember, that the Lord requires us to reverence his name, his truths, his ordinances, and commandments. Let us beware of hypocrisy, and examine ourselves concerning our sinful defilements, seeking to be purified from them in the blood of Christ, and by his sanctifying Spirit. Whoever attempts to expiate his own sin, or draws near in the pride of self-righteousness, puts as great an affront on Christ, as he who comes to the Lord's table from the gratification of sinful lusts. Nor can the minister who loves the souls of the people, suffer them to continue in this dangerous delusion. He must call upon them, not only to repent of their sins, and forsake them; but to put their whole trust in the atonement of Christ, by faith in his name, for pardon and acceptance with God; thus only will the Lord make them holy, as his own people.
Verse 28. - A lesson of charity is added. A young animal and its mother are not to be killed (though reference is specially made to sacrifice, the general word, not the sacrificial term, for slaying is used) on the same day, just as the kid is not to be seethed in its mother's milk (Exodus 23:19; Deuteronomy 14:21), nor the mother bird be taken from the nest with the young (Deuteronomy 22:6). Thus we see that the feelings of the human heart arc not to be rudely shocked by an act of apparent cruelty, even when no harm is thereby done to the object of that act. Mercy is to be taught by forbidding anything which may blunt the sentiment of mercy in the human heart.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And whether it be cow or ewe,.... Or "an ox or sheep" (f), for this law, as Aben Ezra says, respects both male and female, and neither the one nor the other with their young might be slain; though Jarchi says, the custom is concerning the female, for it is forbidden to slay the dam and its son, or daughter; but it is not the custom concerning males, wherefore it is lawful to slay the father and the son:
ye shall not kill it and her young both in one day; or, "it and its son" (g), the young, whether of a cow or ewe, and whether it be male or female; though Gersom observes, that this law takes place only in the dam and its female young, and not in the father and the son; for it is not manifest, in many animals, who is their father, wherefore he is not guilty of stripes, if the father and his son are slain in one day, even though it is known it is its father: the reason of the law seems to be, to encourage mercy and pity, and to discourage cruelty: hence the Targum of Jonathan is,"and my people, the children of Israel, as our Father is merciful in heaven, so be ye merciful on earth: a cow, or a sheep, &c.''
(f) "bovem vel pecus", Pagninus, Montanus, &c. (g) "ipsum et filium ejus", Pagninus, Montanus, &c.
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