Exodus 22:24
And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.
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22; 1 - 31 Judicial laws. - The people of God should ever be ready to show mildness and mercy, according to the spirit of these laws. We must answer to God, not only for what we do maliciously, but for what we do heedlessly. Therefore, when we have done harm to our neighbour, we should make restitution, though not compelled by law. Let these scriptures lead our souls to remember, that if the grace of God has indeed appeared to us, then it has taught us, and enabled us so to conduct ourselves by its holy power, that denying ungodliness and wordly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, Titus 2:12. And the grace of God teaches us, that as the Lord is our portion, there is enough in him to satisfy all the desires of our souls.Afflict - A word including all cold and contemptuous treatment. See Deuteronomy 10:18. Contrast the blessing, Deuteronomy 14:29. 6. If fire break out, and catch in thorns—This refers to the common practice in the East of setting fire to the dry grass before the fall of the autumnal rains, which prevents the ravages of vermin, and is considered a good preparation of the ground for the next crop. The very parched state of the herbage and the long droughts of summer, make the kindling of a fire an operation often dangerous, and always requiring caution from its liability to spread rapidly.

stacks—or as it is rendered "shocks" (Jud 15:5; Job 5:26), means simply a bundle of loose sheaves.

No text from Poole on this verse. And my wrath shall wax hot,.... Against those that afflict them, being so devoid of humanity, compassion, and tenderness, and so guilty of oppression and injustice, which are aggravated by the circumstances of the persons they ill treat, and therefore the more provoking to God:

and I will kill you with the sword; with the sword of death, says the Targum of Jonathan; it designs one of God's sore judgments, the sword of an enemy; the meaning is, that when such evils should become frequent among them, God would suffer a neighbouring nation to break in upon them in an hostile way, and put them to the sword; hence it follows:

and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless; be in the same circumstances with those they have injured, and therefore should consider not only the destruction that would come upon themselves, being cutoff by the sword, but the case of their families; and how, could they be sensible of it, they would like to have their wives and children used as they have used the widows and fatherless.

And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your {h} wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

(h) The just plague of God on the oppressors.

24. Those who had shewn heartlessness towards widows and orphans will perish in battle (cf. Isaiah 9:17), and their wives and children will become widows and orphans themselves.Verse 24. - I will kill you with the sword. It was, in large measure, on account of the neglect of this precept, that the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, and destruction of its inhabitants, was allowed to take place (Jeremiah 22:3-5). Your wives shall be widows, etc. A quasi-retaliation. They shall be exposed to the same sort of ill-usage as you have dealt out to other widows. The laws which follow, from Exodus 22:18 onwards, differ both in form and subject-matter from the determinations of right which we have been studying hitherto: in form, through the omission of the כּי with which the others were almost invariably introduced; in subject-matter, inasmuch as they make demands upon Israel on the ground of its election to be the holy nation of Jehovah, which go beyond the sphere of natural right, not only prohibiting every inversion of the natural order of things, but requiring the manifestation of love to the infirm and needy out of regard to Jehovah. The transition from the former series to the present one is made by the command in Exodus 22:18, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live;" witchcraft being, on the one hand, "the vilest way of injuring a neighbour in his property, or even in his body and life" (Ranke), whilst, on the other hand, employment of powers of darkness for the purpose of injuring a neighbour was a practical denial of the divine vocation of Israel, as well as of Jehovah the Holy One of Israel. The witch is mentioned instead of the wizard, "not because witchcraft was not to be punished in the case of men, but because the female sex was more addicted to this crime" (Calovius). תחיּה לא (shalt not suffer to live) is chosen instead of the ordinary יוּמת מות (shall surely die), which is used in Leviticus 20:27 of wizards also, not "because the lawgiver intended that the Hebrew witch should be put to death in any case, and the foreigner only if she would not go when she was banished" (Knobel), but because every Hebrew witch was not to be put to death, but regard was to be had to the fact that witchcraft is often nothing but jugglery, and only those witches were to be put to death who would not give up their witchcraft when it was forbidden. Witchcraft is followed in Exodus 22:19 by the unnatural crime of lying with a beast; and this is also threatened with the punishment of death (see Leviticus 18:23, and Leviticus 20:15-16).
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