You shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the sabbath day.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Exodus 35:3. Ye shall kindle no fire — For any servile work; throughout your habitations — No, not for the service of the tabernacle, as for the heating of tools, or the melting of metals, or other things belonging to it; which being made for God’s service, and deserving and requiring all expedition, they might probably conceive that such work might be done upon that day. And here also, as often elsewhere, under one kind of work, lighting a fire, every other kind is comprehended and forbidden. It is justly observed by Mr. Scott here, “If the kindling of fires in general on the sabbath days be here understood to be prohibited, it must either be viewed as a mere temporary institution, to continue only during the time when the people were miraculously provided for in the wilderness; or that some exceptions were allowed in favour of the sick, infirm, and children, who must suffer extremely, at some seasons, even in warm climates, for want of fire; or that a fire which was burning might be kept up, though a fresh one might not be kindled.” It is remarkable that “the subsequent parts of Scripture give no light on this subject,” further than that, “among the various instances recorded of the Israelites being reproved, and individuals punished, for neglecting to sanctify the sabbath, this is not once mentioned. The modern Jews understand the prohibition literally, yet they use fires in various ways on the sabbath, but employ other persons to kindle them, or to keep them up.”Exodus 16:23.
Ex 35:1-35. Contributions to the Tabernacle.
1. Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel, &c.—On the occasion referred to in the opening of this chapter, the Israelites were specially reminded of the design to erect a magnificent tabernacle for the regular worship of God, as well as of the leading articles that were required to furnish that sacred edifice [Ex 35:11-19]. (See on Ex 25:1-40; Ex 27:1-21; Ex 30:1-31:18).
1. There are instances of temporary precepts both in the Old and New Testament, which yet are not in their places said to be so. Such were some of the precepts concerning the passover, Exodus 12:11, as is confessed. And such was that law of abstaining from things strangled, and blood, Ac 15.
2. This precept is nakedly proposed, and not called a perpetual statute, nor enjoined to be observed in their generations, as other precepts are, to whom those, or some like clauses, are frequently added.
3. The sabbath is rather a feast day than a fast day. And the Jews did make feasts, and invited guests upon the sabbath day, which could not probably be without kindling a fire. And, which is more considerable, Christ himself, who fulfilled all righteousness, and therefore would not have joined in the violation of the sabbath, went to one of those feasts, Lu 14. And the Corinthians, as they received the Lord’s supper upon that day, which none question, so they had their feasts, as is confessed and apparent from 1 Corinthians 11:21,22, &c.
4. The kindling of a fire was no greater hinderance to the religious observation of the sabbath, than other things which were allowed upon that day, such as the washing and dressing of themselves, eating and drinking, &c.
5. This prohibition doth not seem to concern the dressing of meat, as many understand it, by comparing this with Exodus 16:23, (which place I humbly conceive is misunderstood, as I have there intimated, for that was lawful to be done upon, their most solemn days, Exodus 12:16) but the service of the tabernacle, which is the subject of this chapter, and the occasion of these words; and the sense seems to be this, You shall kindle no fire for any handiwork throughout your habitation, no, not for the service of this tabernacle, for the heating of any tools, or the melting of any metals, or other things belonging to it, which being to be made for God’s service, and deserving and requiring all expedition, they might probably conceive that such work might be done upon that day. And here also, as oft elsewhere, under one kind, all the rest are comprehended and forbidden.
throughout your habitations; their private dwellings, but not the habitation of the Lord, or the house of the sanctuary; and on this score they allow of kindling a fire in Beth Moked (a), an apartment in the temple, where a fire was constantly kept for the priests that kept watch to warm themselves at.Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. An addition to the law of Exodus 31:12-17. The explicit prohibition is not found elsewhere in the OT.; but it is implied in Exodus 16:23.
in all your habitations] see on Exodus 12:20.Verse 3. - Ye shall kindle no fire. The kindling of fire in early times involved considerable labour. It was ordinarily affected by rubbing two sticks together, or twisting one round rapidly between the two palms in a depression upon a board. Fire only came after a long time. Moreover, as in the warm climate of Arabia and Palestine artificial warmth was not needed, fire could only have been kindled there for cooking purposes, which involved further unnecessary work, and had already been forbidden (Exodus 16:23). The Karaite Jews still maintain the observance of this precept to the letter, even in cold climates, as in that of the Crimea, and allow neither fire nor light in their houses on the sabbath day; but the Jews generally view the precept as having had only a temporary force, and have lights and fires, like other persons, even in Palestine. Strict Jews, however, still cook no food on the sabbath day.
CHAPTER 35:4-20 Exodus 34:33), he put a veil upon (before) his face, and only took it away when he went in before Jehovah to speak with Him, and then, when he came out (from the Lord out of the tabernacle, of course after the erection of the tabernacle), he made known His commands to the people. But while doing this, he put the veil upon his face again, and always wore it in his ordinary intercourse with the people (Exodus 34:34, Exodus 34:35). This reflection of the splendour thrown back by the glory of God was henceforth to serve as the most striking proof of the confidential relation in which Moses stood to Jehovah, and to set forth the glory of the office which Moses filled. The Apostle Paul embraces this view in 2 Corinthians 3:7., and lays stress upon the fact that the glory was to be done away, which he was quite justified in doing, although nothing is said in the Old Testament about the glory being transient, from the simple fact that Moses died. The apostle refers to it for the purpose of contrasting the perishable glory of the law with the far higher and imperishable glory of the Gospel. At the same time he regards the veil which covered Moses' face as a symbol of the obscuring of the truth revealed in the Old Testament. But this does not exhaust the significance of this splendour. The office could only confer such glory upon the possessor by virtue of the glory of the blessings which it contained, and conveyed to those for whom it was established. Consequently, the brilliant light on Moses' face also set forth the glory of the Old Covenant, and was intended both for Moses and the people as a foresight and pledge of the glory to which Jehovah had called, and would eventually exalt, the people of His possession.
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