Exodus 23:26
There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in your land: the number of your days I will fulfill.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren.—Abortions, untimely births, and barrenness, when they exceeded a certain average amount, were always reckoned in the ancient world among the signs of God’s disfavour, and special expiatory rites were devised for checking them. Conversely, when such misfortunes fell short of the ordinary average, God’s favour was presumed. The promises here made confirm man’s instinctive feeling.

The number of thy days I will fulfil.—Comp. Exodus 20:12. Long life is always regarded in Scripture as a blessing. (Comp. Psalm 55:23; Psalm 90:10; Job 5:26; Job 42:16-17; 1Kings 3:11; Isaiah 65:20; Ephesians 6:3, &c.)

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.I will cut them off - The national existence of the Canaanites was indeed to be "utterly" destroyed, every trace of their idolatries was to be blotted out, no social contact was to be held with them while they served other gods, nor were alliances of any kind to be formed with them. (See Deuteronomy 7; Deuteronomy 12:1-4, Deuteronomy 12:29-31.) But it is alike contrary to the spirit of the divine law, and to the facts bearing on the subject scattered in the history, to suppose that any obstacle was put in the way of well disposed individuals of the denounced nations who left their sins and were willing to join the service of Yahweh. The spiritual blessings of the covenant were always open to those who sincerely and earnestly desired to possess them. See Exodus 20:10; Leviticus 19:34; Leviticus 24:22. 21. my name is in him—This angel is frequently called Jehovah and Elohim, that is, God. Here was a double mercy. God gave them strength both to conceive, and to retain the conception till the natural and proper time of bringing forth came.

The number of thy days I will fulfil; I will preserve thee so as thou shalt live as long as the course of nature and temper of thy body will permit, when evil men shall not live out half their days, Psalm 55:23. There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren in the land,.... There shall be no abortions or miscarriages, nor sterility or barrenness, either among the Israelites, or their cattle of every kind, so that there should be a great increase, both of men and beasts:

the number of thy days I will fulfil; which was fixed for each of them, in his eternal purposes and decrees; or what, according to the temperament of their bodies and the course of nature, which, humanly speaking, it might be supposed they would arrive unto; or generally the common term of human life, which, in the days of Moses, was threescore years and ten, or fourscore, see Job 14:5, it may be considered whether any respect is had to the time of their continuance in the land of Canaan, the term of which was fixed in the divine mind, or the fulness of time in which the Messiah was to come.

There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 26. - There shall nothing out their young, nor be barren in thy land. This blessing could not have followed upon godly living in the way of natural sequence, but only by Divine favor and providential care. It would have rendered them rich in flocks and herds beyond any other nation. The number of thy days I will fulfil. There shall be no premature deaths. All, both men and women, shall reach the term allotted to man, and die in a good old age, having fulfilled their time. Godly living, persisted in for several generations, might, perhaps, produce this result. Relation of Jehovah to Israel. - The declaration of the rights conferred by Jehovah upon His people is closed by promises, through which, on the one hand, God insured to the nation the gifts and benefits involved in their rights, and, on the other hand, sought to promote that willingness and love which were indispensable to the fulfilment of the duties incumbent upon every individual in consequence of the rights conferred upon them. These promises secured to the people not only the protection and help of God during their journey through the desert, and in the conquest of Canaan, but also preservation and prosperity when they had taken possession of the land.

Exodus 23:20-27

Jehovah would send an angel before them, who should guard them on the way from injury and destruction, and bring them to the place prepared for them, i.e., to Canaan. The name of Jehovah was in this angel (Exodus 23:21), that is to say, Jehovah revealed Himself in him; and hence he is called in Exodus 33:15-16, the face of Jehovah, because the essential nature of Jehovah was manifested in him. This angel was not a created spirit, therefore, but the manifestation of Jehovah Himself, who went before them in the pillar of cloud and fire, to guide and to defend them (Exodus 13:21). But because it was Jehovah who was guiding His people in the person of the angel, He demanded unconditional obedience (Exodus 23:21), and if they provoked Him (תּמּר for תּמר, see Exodus 13:18) by disobedience, He would not pardon their transgression; but if they followed Him and hearkened to His voice, He would be an enemy to their enemies, and an adversary to their adversaries (Exodus 23:22). And when the angel of the Lord had brought them to the Canaanites and exterminated the latter, Israel was still to yield the same obedience, by not serving the gods of the Canaanites, or doing after their works, i.e., by not making any idolatrous images, but destroying them (these works), and smiting to pieces the pillars of their idolatrous worship (מצבת does not mean statues erected as idols, but memorial stones or columns dedicated to idols: see my Comm. on 1 Kings 14:23), and serving Jehovah alone. Then would He bless them in the land with bountiful provision, health, fruitfulness, and length of life (Exodus 23:23-26). "Bread and water" are named, as being the provisions which are indispensable to the maintenance of life, as in Isaiah 3:1; Isaiah 30:20; Isaiah 33:16. The taking away of "sickness" (cf. Exodus 15:26) implied the removal of everything that could endanger life. The absence of anything that miscarried, or was barren, insured the continuance and increase of the nation; and the promise that their days should be fulfilled, i.e., that they should not be liable to a premature death (cf. Isaiah 65:20), was a pledge of their well-being.

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