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Chapter 23

Exodus 23 Commentary

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Exodus 23:1-9 meaning

The LORD explains statutes that specify how to deal justly with one’s neighbor. The Israelites were to treat all people justly regardless of their station in life: rich and poor, citizen and stranger, friend and enemy.

Exodus 23:10-13 meaning

The LORD expands on the concept of the Sabbath to include a Sabbath year. The Israelites were to be very diligent in keeping the Sabbath day as well as the Sabbath year, and they were strongly warned to completely eliminate any conversation about other gods.

Exodus 23:14-19 meaning

The LORD establishes three feasts—the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of the Harvest, and the Feast of the Ingathering. Added to the discussion are laws concerning how to worship during the feasts. They were designed to give the people times to share the bounty of the LORD with Him, with one another, and with the poor. There is much more discussion about these feasts in the book of Leviticus.

Exodus 23:20-23 meaning

The last section of the Book of the Covenant serves as its conclusion. Though it contains further emphasis on obedience, it concentrates on what the LORD promised to do on Israel's behalf. This is typical of Suzerainty treaties at the time. Specifically, the LORD promised an "angel" to guide them to the Promised Land and to defeat their enemies along the way if they would obey God's voice.

Exodus 23:24-33 meaning

The LORD promised that His people would see His blessings while living in the Promised Land. These blessings and successes, however, were contingent on the people’s unwavering obedience and faithfulness to the LORD.