Exodus 22:27
For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he cries to me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.
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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.The law regarding pledges is expanded, Deuteronomy 24:6, Deuteronomy 24:10-13. 26, 27. If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge, &c.—From the nature of the case, this is the description of a poor man. No Orientals undress, but, merely throwing off their turbans and some of their heavy outer garments, they sleep in the clothes which they wear during the day. The bed of the poor is usually nothing else than a mat; and, in winter, they cover themselves with a cloak—a practice which forms the ground or reason of the humane and merciful law respecting the pawned coat. No text from Poole on this verse. For that is his covering only,.... All that he has to cover him, the only covering he has when he lies down to sleep; and therefore should be restored to him by the time of sunset, at which time he returns from his labour; and after some refreshment retires to his bed for rest, when his covering will be necessary:

it is his raiment for his skin; which is next to his skin, and covers his naked body, as it is when he lies down to sleep; and therefore if not returned, he must lie naked without any covering, which to deprive him of would be cruel: Jarchi interprets this covering of his shirt, but it rather means his bed clothes: the Septuagint version calls it the clothes of his shame, what cover and hide the shame of nakedness:

wherein shall he sleep? what shall he have to sleep in if this is detained from him? nothing at all; or it may be read without an interrogation, wherein he should sleep, or was used to sleep:

and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me; and complains of ill usage, that he has nothing to cover him in the night season, when he lies down to sleep, which is very uncomfortable, as well as unhealthful and dangerous:

that I will hear; his cry and complaint, take notice of it, and resent the usage of him:

for I am gracious; or merciful; and therefore everything cruel and uncompassionate is disagreeable, and even abominable to him, and he will take care in his providence that the injured person shall be redressed and the injurer punished.

For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he {i} crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.

(i) For cold and necessity.

27. wherein, &c.] i.e. wherein else can he sleep?

gracious] see on Exodus 34:6; and cf. Exodus 33:19.Verse 27. - Wherein shall he sleep? The outer garment worn by the ancient Hebrews was like that of the modern Bedouins - a sort of large woollen shawl or blanket, in which they enveloped the greater part of their persons. It serves the Bedouins, to the present time, as robe by day, and as coverlet by night. When he crieth unto me. Compare ver. 23. If the law is broken, and the man cry unto the Lord, he will hear, and avenge him. The Israelites were not to offer sacrifice to foreign deities; but a foreigner himself they were not only to tolerate, but were not to vex or oppress him, bearing in mind that they also had been foreigners in Egypt (cf. Exodus 23:9, and Leviticus 19:33-34). - Whilst the foreigner, as having no rights, is thus commended to the kindness of the people through their remembrance of what they themselves had experienced in Egypt, those members of the nation itself who were most in need of protection (viz., widows and orphans) are secured from humiliation by an assurance of the special care and watchfulness of Jehovah, under which such forsaken ones stand, inasmuch as Jehovah Himself would take their troubles upon Himself, and punish their oppressors with just retribution. ענּה to humiliate, includes not only unjust oppression, but every kind of cold and contemptuous treatment. The suffix in אתו (Exodus 22:23) refers to both אלמנה and יתום, according to the rule that when there are two or more subjects of different genders, the masculine is employed (Ges. 148, 2). The כּי before אם expresses a strong assurance: "yea, if he cries to Me, I will hearken to him" (see Ewald, 330b). "Killing with the sword" points to wars, in which men and fathers of families perish, and their wives and children are made widows and orphans.
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