|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:1-10 The camp was to be cleansed. The purity of the church must be kept as carefully as the peace and order of it. Every polluted Israelite must be separated. The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable. The greater profession of religion any house or family makes, the more they are obliged to put away iniquity far from them. If a man overreach or defraud his brother in any matter, it is a trespass against the Lord, who strictly charges and commands us to do justly. What is to be done when a man's awakened conscience charges him with guilt of this kind, though done long ago? He must confess his sin, confess it to God, confess it to his neighbour, and take shame to himself; though it go against him to own himself in a lie, yet he must do it. Satisfaction must be made for the offence done to God, as well as for the loss sustained by the neighbour; restitution in that case is not enough without faith and repentance. While that which is wrongly gotten is knowingly kept, the guilt remains on the conscience, and is not done away by sacrifice or offering, prayers or tears; for it is the same act of sin persisted in. This is the doctrine of right reason, and of the word of God. It detects hypocrites, and directs the tender conscience to proper conduct, which, springing from faith in Christ, will make way for inward peace.
Verse 6. - Shall commit any sin that men commit. Literally, "[one] of all the transgressions of men," i.e., the wrongs current amongst men. To do a trespass against the Lord. This qualifies the former expression, and restricts its reference to the sins mentioned in Leviticus 6:2, 8, 5, viz., wrongs done to the property of another. Such wrongs, perhaps because they were considered legitimate as long as they were not found out, were taken up by the Lord himself as involving a trespass against his own righteousness.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Speak unto the children of Israel,.... Put them in mind of the following law, that they observe it; and which is here repeated, because of two new things in it, as Jarchi observes, the one relates to confession, teaching that there is no fifth part nor trespass offering by witnesses, till a man confesses the thing; and the other is, concerning taking anything away by violence from a proselyte, which is to be given to the priests; see the original law in Leviticus 6:1,
when a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit; or, "any of the sins of men" (e), which are commonly done by men, and men are subject to through the infirmity of the flesh, and the temptations of Satan; or "any sin against man" (f), so some, as this referred to is expressly said to be, Numbers 5:7,
to do a trespass against the Lord; for every sin against man is also against the Lord, being a breach of his command; as David's sin against Uriah was a sin against the Lord, Psalm 51:4; though the Jews understand it particularly of lying and swearing falsely, appealing to God, and calling him to be a witness to a falsehood; and so the Targum of Onkelos seems to interpret it:
and the person be guilty; and knows he is so, and even knew it when he took an oath to the contrary; see Leviticus 6:3.
(e) "ex omnibus peccatis hominis", Montanus. (f) "Ex omnibus peccatis contra hominem", Tigurine version; so Patrick.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6-8. When a man or a woman shall commit any sin that men commit, to do a trespass against the Lord—This is a wrong or injury done by one man to the property of another, and as it is called "a trespass against the Lord," it is implied, in the case supposed, that the offense has been aggravated by prevaricating—by a false oath, or a fraudulent lie in denying it, which is a "trespass" committed against God, who is the sole judge of what is falsely sworn or spoken (Ac 5:3, 4).
and that person be guilty—that is, from the obvious tenor of the passage, conscience-smitten, or brought to a sense and conviction of his evil conduct. (See on Le 6:2). In that case, there must be: first, confession, a penitential acknowledgment of sin; secondly, restitution of the property, or the giving of an equivalent, with the additional fine of a fifth part, both as a compensation to the person defrauded, and as a penalty inflicted on the injurer, to deter others from the commission of similar trespasses. (See on Ex 22:1). The difference between the law recorded in that passage and this is that the one was enacted against flagrant and determined thieves, the other against those whose necessities might have urged them into fraud, and whose consciences were distressed by their sin. This law also supposes the injured party to be dead, in which case, the compensation due to his representatives was to be paid to the priest, who, as God's deputy, received the required satisfaction.
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