|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:9-17 Those only who lay their hands to the plough of duty, shall have them strengthened with the promises of mercy: those who avoid their fathers' faults have the curse turned into a blessing. Those who believed the promises, were to show their faith by their works, and to wait the fulfilment. When God is displeased, he can cause trade to decay, and set every man against his neighbour; but when he returns in mercy, all is happy and prosperous. Surely believers in Christ must not trifle with the exhortation to put away lying, and to speak every man peace with his neighbour, to hate what the Lord hates, and to love that wherein he delights.
Verse 16. - These are the things. To secure the fulfilment of the promise of good, they must do the will of God (Zechariah 7:9. etc.). Truth. This was to be observed in all conversation and transactions with their neighbours. St. Paul quotes this injunction (Ephesians 4:25). Execute the judgment of truth and peace; literally, judge ye truth and the judgment of peace. So the Septuagint and Vulgate. Practise perfect equity in judgments, and so decide, according to truth and justice, as to secure peace and concord between the parties concerned. In your gates. Where the judges sat, and justice was administered (Deuteronomy 16:18; Deuteronomy 21:19; see note on Amos 5:10).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
These are the things that ye shall do,.... Which were duties incumbent on them, and which it became them to perform, under a sense of the favours bestowed on them, to show their gratitude to God, and that they might glorify him:
Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; not using deceit, prevarication, and lying, Ephesians 4:25 and it becomes every man under the Gospel dispensation, according to the gift he has received, to speak, publish, and declare the truth of the Gospel, to the edification of others:
execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates; that is, execute true judgment, as in Zechariah 7:9 do justice between man and man, without respect of persons; the issue of which will be peace between the contending parties: and this was to be done in their "gates", because there their courts of judicature were kept.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16, 17. The promised blessings are connected with obedience. God's covenanted grace will lead those truly blessed by it to holiness, not licentiousness.
truth to … neighbour—not that the truth should not be spoken to foreigners too; but He makes it an aggravation of their sin, that they spared not even their brethren. Besides, and above all outward ordinances (Zec 7:3), God requires truth and justice.
judgment of … peace—Equitable decisions tend to allay feuds and produce peace.
gates—the place where courts of judicature in the East were held.
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