Exodus 23:21
Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) My name is in him.—God and His Name are in Scripture almost convertible terms. He is never said to set His Name in a man.

23:20-33 It is here promised that they should be guided and kept in their way through the wilderness to the land of promise, Behold, I send an angel before thee, mine angel. The precept joined with this promise is, that they be obedient to this angel whom God would send before them. Christ is the Angel of Jehovah; this is plainly taught by St. Paul, 1Co 10:9. They should have a comfortable settlement in the land of Canaan. How reasonable are the conditions of this promise; that they should serve the only true God; not the gods of the nations, which are no gods at all. How rich are the particulars of this promise! The comfort of their food, the continuance of their health, the increase of their wealth, the prolonging their lives to old age. Thus hath godliness the promise of the life that now is. It is promised that they should subdue their enemies. Hosts of hornets made way for the hosts of Israel; such mean creatures can God use for chastising his people's enemies. In real kindness to the church, its enemies are subdued by little and little; thus we are kept on our guard, and in continual dependence on God. Corruptions are driven out of the hearts of God's people, not all at once, but by little and little. The precept with this promise is, that they should not make friendship with idolaters. Those that would keep from bad courses, must keep from bad company. It is dangerous to live in a bad neighbourhood; others' sins will be our snares. Our greatest danger is from those who would make us sin against God.An Angel - See Exodus 3:2, Exodus 3:8; Joshua 5:13; Isaiah 63:9. 21. my name is in him—This angel is frequently called Jehovah and Elohim, that is, God. He will not pardon your transgressions, i.e. he will severely punish you for them, by a common meiosis, as Exodus 20:7. Understand, if you continue obstinate in your sins.

My name is in him, Heb. is in his inward parts, i.e. is intimately united to him, according to John 14:11,

I am in the Father, and the Father in me. It not only signifies that he acts in his name, and by his power and authority, which even the apostles did, and other ministers of the gospel do, and therefore it is unreasonable to think no more is ascribed to this Angel; but that his Divine nature or essence is in him, whence he is called the Lord our Righteousness, Jeremiah 23:6; and God, who will not give his glory to another, Isaiah 42:8, hath given it to Christ, that all men should honour the Son even as they honour the Father, John 5:23, which never was nor can be said of any angel without blasphemy. Add to this, that the word name is oft put for the thing or being, whether it be human or Divine, as is manifest from Deu 28:58 Psalm 20:1 115:1 Isaiah 30:27 Acts 1:15 Revelation 3:4 11:13. And so it must be here, because this name is not said to be given to him, as it would be, if it were properly taken; but to be in him; or in his inwards, which agrees well to the Divine nature or essence, but not to the mere name. Beware of him,.... Of his face or countenance; observe his looks towards you in a providential way, whether frowning or smiling; observe his directions and instructions, laws and commands:

and obey his voice; hearken to what he says, and cheerfully, readily, and punctually do as he orders:

provoke him not; by unbelief, by murmurings and complaints, by unbecoming words and actions, by transgressing his commands, and acting contrary to his will:

for he will not pardon your transgressions: or suffer them to pass unchastised and uncorrected, but will, as he did, take vengeance on their inventions, and on them because of them, though he forgave their iniquities; for that he was such an Angel as could forgive sin, which none but God can do, is evident; because it would be absurd to say he will not pardon, if he could not pardon their transgressions, see Matthew 9:6,

for my name is in him; the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father; the nature and perfections of God are in the Word and Son of God, and so his name Jehovah, which is peculiar to him; Christ is Jehovah our righteousness: or "though my name is in him" (m); as Abendana and others, his name the Lord God, gracious and merciful, pardoning iniquity, transgression and sin, as afterwards proclaimed in him; and yet, notwithstanding this, he would not clear the guilty, or suffer the Israelites to go unpunished, if they offended him: the Targum of Onkelos is,"or in my name is his word,''he is my ambassador and speaks in my name.

(m) "quamvis nomen menum", Drusius.

Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my {m} name is in him.

(m) I will give him my authority, and he will govern you in my name.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. A warning against disobedience.

hearken unto his voice] Cf. Exodus 15:26, Exodus 19:5.

be not rebellious (or defiant) against him] Numbers 20:24, Psalm 78:40 al.

my name
] The manifestation of My being. The ‘name’ is almost objective reality; it is almost a personal manifestation of Jehovah (DB. v. 641a): cf. Psalm 20:1; Psalm 54:3, Deuteronomy 12:5, &c.; and esp. Isaiah 30:27. The ‘angel’ is Jehovah Himself ‘in a temporary descent to visibility for a special purpose’ (McNeile). Cf. on Exodus 3:2 : also Exodus 33:2; DB. v. 638 f.; and G. A. Smith, The Twelve Prophets, ii. 310–319.Verse 21. - Provoke him not. On the disobedience of the Israelites to this precept, see Numbers 14:11; Psalm 78:17, 40, 56, etc. My name is in him. God's honour he will not give to another. He does not set His Name in a man. The angel, in whom was God's Blame, must have been co-equal with God - one of the Persons of the Blessed Trinity. The Fundamental Rights of Israel in its Religious and Theocratical Relation to Jehovah. - As the observance of the Sabbath and sabbatical year is not instituted in Exodus 23:10-12, so Exodus 23:14-19 do not contain either the original or earliest appointment of the feasts, or a complete law concerning the yearly feasts. They simply command the observance of three feasts during the year, and the appearance of the people three times in the year before the Lord; that is to say, the holding of three national assemblies to keep a feast before the Lord, or three annual pilgrimages to the sanctuary of Jehovah. The leading points are clearly set forth in Exodus 23:14 and Exodus 23:17, to which the other verses are subordinate. These leading points are משׁפּטים or rights, conferred upon the people of Israel in their relation to Jehovah; for keeping a feast to the Lord, and appearing before Him, were both of them privileges bestowed by Jehovah upon His covenant people. Even in itself the festal rejoicing was a blessing in the midst of this life of labour, toil, and trouble; but when accompanied with the right of appearing before the Lord their God and Redeemer, to whom they were indebted for everything they had and were, it was one that no other nation enjoyed. For though they had their joyous festivals, these festivals bore the same relation to those of Israel, as the dead and worthless gods of the heathen to the living and almighty God of Israel.

Of the three feasts at which Israel was to appear before Jehovah, the feast of Mazzoth, or unleavened bread, is referred to as already instituted, by the words "as I have commanded thee," and "at the appointed time of the earing month," which point back to chs. 12 and 13; and all that is added here is, "ye shall not appear before My face empty." "Not empty:" i.e., not with empty hands, but with sacrificial gifts, answering to the blessing given by the Lord (Deuteronomy 16:16-17). These gifts were devoted partly to the general sacrifices of the feast, and partly to the burnt and peace-offerings which were brought by different individuals to the feasts, and applied to the sacrificial meals (Numbers 28 and 29). This command, which related to all the feasts, and therefore is mentioned at the very outset in connection with the feast of unleavened bread, did indeed impose a duty upon Israel, but such a duty as became a source of blessing to all who performed it. The gifts demanded by God were the tribute, it is true, which the Israelites paid to their God-King, just as all Eastern nations are required to bring presents when appearing in the presence of their kings; but they were only gifts from God's own blessing, a portion of that which He had bestowed in rich abundance, and they were offered to God in such a way that the offerer was thereby more and more confirmed in the rights of covenant fellowship. The other two festivals are mentioned here for the first time, and the details are more particularly determined afterwards in Leviticus 23:15., and Numbers 28:26. One was called the feast of Harvest, "of the first-fruits of thy labours which thou hast sown in the field," i.e., of thy field-labour. According to the subsequent arrangements, the first of the field-produce was to be offered to God, not the first grains of the ripe corn, but the first loaves of bread of white or wheaten flour made from the new corn (Leviticus 23:17.). In Exodus 34:22 it is called the "feast of Weeks," because, according to Leviticus 23:15-16; Deuteronomy 16:9, it was to be kept seven weeks after the feast of Mazzoth; and the "feast of the first-fruits of wheat harvest," because the loaves of first-fruits to be offered were to be made of wheaten flour. The other of these feasts, i.e., the third in the year, is called "the feast of Ingathering, at the end of the year, in the gathering in of thy labours out of the field." This general and indefinite allusion to time was quite sufficient for the preliminary institution of the feast. In the more minute directions respecting the feasts given in Leviticus 23:34; Numbers 29:12, it is fixed for the fifteenth day of the seventh month, and placed on an equality with the feast of Mazzoth as a seven days' festival. השּׁנה בּצאת does not mean after the close of the year, finito anno, any more than the corresponding expression in Exodus 34:22, השּׁנה תּקוּפת, signifies at the turning of the year. The year referred to here was the so-called civil year, which began with the preparation of the ground for the harvest-sowing, and ended when all the fruits of the field and garden had been gathered in. No particular day was fixed for its commencement, nor was there any new year's festival; and even after the beginning of the earing month had been fixed upon for the commencement of the year (Exodus 12:2), this still remained in force, so far as all civil matters connected with the sowing and harvest were concerned; though there is no evidence that a double reckoning was carried on at the same time, or that a civil reckoning existed side by side with the religious. בּאספּך does not mean, "when thou hast gathered," postquam collegisti; for בּ does not stand for אחר, nor has the infinitive the force of the preterite. On the contrary, the expression "at thy gathering in," i.e., when thou gatherest in, is kept indefinite both here and in Leviticus 23:39, where the month and days in which this feast was to be kept are distinctly pointed out; and also in Deuteronomy 16:13, in order that the time for the feast might not be made absolutely dependent upon the complete termination of the gathering in, although as a rule it would be almost over. The gathering in of "thy labours out of the field" is not to be restricted to the vintage and gathering of fruits: this is evident not only from the expression "out of the field," which points to field-produce, but also from the clause in Deuteronomy 16:13, "gathering of the floor and wine-press," which shows clearly that the words refer to the gathering in of the whole of the year's produce of corn, fruit, oil, and wine.

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