Exodus 22:31
And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.
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(31) Ye shall be holy men unto me.—Compare Exodus 19:6. The holiness really desired was holiness of heart and spirit. Outward ordinances could not effect this; but, to keep the thought perpetually before- men’s minds, a network of external obligations was devised, whereof a specimen is given in the law which follows. The flesh of an animal torn by a carnivorous beast would be doubly unclean: (1) By contact with the unclean carnivorous beast; and (2) through not having all the blood properly drained from it. It was therefore not to be eaten by a Hebrew.

Ye shall cast it to the dogsi.e., ye shall do this rather than eat it. The flesh might probably be given, or even sold, to an alien. (Compare Deuteronomy 14:21.)

Exodus 22:31. Ye shall be holy unto me — And one mark of that honourable distinction is appointed in their diet, which was, that they should not eat any flesh that was torn of beasts — Both because the blood was not duly taken out of it, and because the clean beast was ceremonially defiled by the touch of the unclean.

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 sanctification of the nation was emphatically symbolized by strictness of diet as regards both the kind of animal, and the mode of slaughtering. See Leviticus 11; 17. 28. gods—a word which is several times in this chapter rendered "judges" or magistrates.

the ruler of thy people—and the chief magistrate who was also the high priest, at least in the time of Paul (Ac 23:1-5).

Ye shall be holy, i.e. separated from all filthiness, both moral and ceremonial.

Neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts; partly, because the blood was not taken out of it; partly, because the clean beast was ceremonially defiled by the touch of the unclean; and partly, to beget in them a detestation of cruelty, even in the beasts, and much more in men.

And ye shall be holy men unto me,.... They were so by God's act of election, not special and particular, but general and national; choosing and separating them to be an holy people to him, above all the people on the face of the earth, and in a ceremonial sense they observing laws and appointments of God of this kind; which is the sense here intended, as appears by what follows: all men, and so these Israelites, ought to be holy in a moral sense, and some are holy in a spiritual and evangelical sense, being made holy by the Spirit of God; of these the Apostle Peter speaks, in allusion to this, and such like passages, 1 Peter 2:9.

neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; or in the house, as Jarchi notes; but the Scripture, as he observes, speaks of the place where it is more usual for beasts to tear, and so Aben Ezra; otherwise what is torn elsewhere, or by whatsoever accident it is bruised and maimed, was not to be eaten: ye shall cast it to the dogs: for even a stranger was not to eat of it, or if he did he was unclean, and was obliged to wash his clothes, and bathe himself, Leviticus 17:15 and yet Jarchi interprets this figuratively of such as are like dogs, meaning the Gentiles, whom the Jews used to call so, see Matthew 15:26. An Heathen poet gives instructions perfectly agreeable to this law;"do not (says he) eat flesh fed upon by beasts, but leave the remains to the swift dogs (o).''

(o) &c. Phocylides, ver. 136, 137.

And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it {l} to the dogs.

(l) And so have nothing to do with it.

Verse 31. - And ye shall be holy men unto me. Ye shall not be as other men, but "an holy nation, a peculiar people;" and therefore your separateness shall be marked by all manner of laws and regulations with respect to meats and drinks, designed to keep you free from every uncleanness. One such law then follows - Law against eating the flesh of an animal killed by another. The blood of such an animal would not be properly drained from it. Some would remain in the tissues, and thence the antrum would be unclean; again, the carnivorous beast which "tore" it would also be unclean, and by contact would impart of its uncleanness to the other. Ye shall cast it to the dogs, is probably not intended to exclude the giving or selling of it to an Mien, if one were at hand, according to the permission accorded in Deuteronomy 14:21; but points simply to the mode whereby the flesh was to be got rid of, if aliens were not at hand, or if they declined to eat the animals. Dogs were so unclean that they might be fed on anything. Their chief use was to be scavengers (2 Kings 9:35, 36).

Exodus 22:31As the whole nation sanctified itself to the Lord in the sanctification of the first-born, the Israelites were to show themselves to be holy men unto the Lord by not eating "flesh torn to pieces in the field," i.e., the flesh of an animal that had been torn to pieces by a wild beast in the field. Such flesh they were to throw to the dogs, because eating it would defile (cf. Leviticus 17:15).
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