Exodus 34:19
All that opens the matrix is mine; and every firstling among your cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) All that openeth the matrix is mine.—Comp. Exodus 13:12, where the sanctification of the firstborn and the law of redemption had already been declared. For the exact mode of redemption sanctioned, see Numbers 18:15-16.

34:18-27 Once a week they must rest, even in ploughing time, and in harvest. All worldly business must give way to that holy rest; even harvest work will prosper the better, for the religious observance of the sabbath day in harvest time. We must show that we prefer our communion with God, and our duty to him, before the business or the joy of harvest. Thrice a year they must appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel. Canaan was a desirable land, and the neighbouring nations were greedy; yet God says, They shall not desire it. Let us check all sinful desires against God and his glory, in our hearts, and then trust him to check all sinful desires in the hearts of others against us. The way of duty is the way of safety. Those who venture for him never lose by him. Three feasts are here mentioned: 1. The Passover, in remembrance of the deliverance out of Egypt. 2. The feast of weeks, or the feast of Pentecost; added to it is the law of the first-fruits. 3. The feast of in-gathering, or the feast of Tabernacles. Moses is to write these words, that the people might know them better. We can never be enough thankful to God for the written word. God would make a covenant with Israel, in Moses as a mediator. Thus the covenant of grace is made with believers through Christ.An expansion of Exodus 34:12. The unfaithfulness of the nation to its covenant with Yahweh is here for the first time spoken of as a breach of the marriage bond. The metaphor is, in any case, a natural one, but it seems to gain point, if we suppose it to convey an allusion to the abominations connected with pagan worship, such as are spoken of in Numbers 25:1-3.9, 10. he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us—On this proclamation, he, in the overflowing benevolence of s heart, founded an earnest petition for the Divine Presence being continued with the people; and God was pleased to give His favorable answer to Moses' intercession by a renewal of His promise under the form of a covenant, repeating the leading points that formed the conditions of the former national compact. Heb. And (for that is, as the particle and is oft used; the words following here, and Exodus 34:20, being a particular explication of the general sentence in the beginning of this verse)

all thy cattle which (a particle oft understood)

shall be born male, (as it is also explained Exodus 13:12) the

opening, or,

whatsoever (to wit, of the male kind)

openeth the matrix (which word is fitly understood out of the former member; which is very usual) of ox or (and put for or, as it is oft done) sheep. All that openeth the matrix is mine,.... Or "the womb", and therefore to be sanctified, and set apart for his use: this also was declared, and the law concerning it given, at the time of their coming out of Egypt, and here repeated; see Gill on Exodus 13:2, Exodus 13:12. All that openeth the matrix is mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
19. and all, &c.] Something must be out of order: since the first born of cattle are included among ‘all that first openeth the womb,’ ‘mine’ cannot logically be the predicate of and all &c. Perhaps (Di.) thou shalt sanctify (Deuteronomy 15:19), or sacrifice, unto me has fallen out after ‘sheep.’ There is a similar inexactness in Exodus 13:12.

20b. appear before me] read probably see my face. See on Exodus 23:15 b.Verses 19, 20. - All that openeth the matrix is mine, etc. This is a repetition of the command given in Exodus 13:12, 13, which had not been inserted in the "Book of the Covenant." It is again enjoined in Leviticus 27:26, 27. None shall appear before me empty. Repeated from Exodus 23:15. To recall the duties of the covenant once more to the minds of the people, the Lord repeats from among the rights of Israel, upon the basis of which the covenant had been established (ch. 21-23), two of the leading points which determined the attitude of the nation towards Him, and which constituted, as it were, the main pillars that were to support the covenant about to be renewed. These were, first, the warning against every kind of league with the Canaanites, who were to be driven out before the Israelites (Exodus 34:11-16); and, secondly, the instructions concerning the true worship of Jehovah (Exodus 34:17-26). The warning against friendship with the idolatrous Canaanites (Exodus 34:11-16) is more fully developed and more strongly enforced than in Exodus 23:23. The Israelites, when received into the covenant with Jehovah, were not only to beware of forming any covenant with the inhabitants of Canaan (cf. Exodus 23:32-33), but were to destroy all the signs of their idolatrous worship, such as altars, monuments (see Exodus 23:24), and asherim, the idols of Astarte, the Canaanitish goddess of nature, which consisted for the most part of wooden pillars (see my Comm. on 1 Kings 14:23), and to worship no other god, because Jehovah was called jealous, i.e., had revealed Himself as jealous (see at Exodus 20:5), and was a jealous God. This was commanded, that the Israelites might not suffer themselves to be led astray by such an alliance; to go a whoring after their gods, and sacrifice to them, to take part in their sacrificial festivals, or to marry their sons to the daughters of the Canaanites, by whom they would be persuaded to join in the worship of idols. The use of the expression "go a whoring" in a spiritual sense, in relation to idolatry, is to be accounted for on the ground, that the religious fellowship of Israel with Jehovah was a covenant resembling the marriage tie; and we meet with it for the first time, here, immediately after the formation of this covenant between Israel and Jehovah. The phrase is all the more expressive on account of the literal prostitution that was frequently associated with the worship of Baal and Astarte (cf. Leviticus 17:7; Leviticus 20:5-6; Numbers 14:33, etc.). We may see from Numbers 25:1. how Israel was led astray by this temptation in the wilderness.
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