Exodus 23:13
Pay close attention to everything I have said to you. You must not invoke the names of other gods; they must not be heard on your lips.
CircumspectionJ. W. Burn.Exodus 23:13
Circumspection NeededExodus 23:13
Sabbaths and FeastsJ. Orr Exodus 23:10-20


1. The Sabbatic year (vers. 10, 11). Every seventh year the land was to lie fallow, and what it spontaneously produced was to be a provision for the poor, and for the beasts of the field. There was connected with the ordinance a special promise of unusual fertility in the sixth year - of such plenty as would make the nation independent of a harvest in the seventh (Leviticus 25:21, 22). The Sabbatic year was

(1) A period of rest for the land. Even nature requires her seasons of rest. Only thus will she yield to man the best of her produce. The seventh year's rest was an agricultural benefit.

(2) A period of rest for the labourer. It gave him time for higher employment. Moses enjoined that the whole law should be read on this year at the feast of Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 31:10, 14). This may have been designed to teach, "that the year, as a whole, should be much devoted to the meditation of the law, and engaging in services of devotion" (Fairbairn).

(3) A merciful provision for the poor. It laid an arrest on man's natural selfishness, and taught beneficence and consideration for the needy. It showed that if man cared not for the poor, God did.

(4) It was a test of obedience. It would test conclusively whether the people were disposed to obey God, or would be ruled only by their own wills. In point of fact, the ordinance was not kept. It proved to be too high and Divine a thing for covetous and selfish dispositions. The neglect of it commenced very early, and lasted till the period of the captivity (2 Chronicles 36:21).

(5) A periodical reminder that the land, and everything that grew upon it, belonged to God. Had the Israelites observed the ordinance, the recurrent plenty of the sixth year would, like the double supply of manna on the sixth day in the wilderness, have been a visible witness to them of the supernatural presence of Jehovah in their midst.

2. The weekly Sabbath (ver. 12). The invaluable seventh day's rest was also to be sacredly observed by the nation. Well-kept Sabbaths have much to do with national prosperity.

II. FEASTS. The stated festivals were three (vers. 14 17). The design in their appointment was to commemorate mercies, to keep alive the memory of national events, to foster a sense of unity in the people, to quicken religious life, to furnish opportunities of public worship. They afforded a means of strengthening the bond between the people and Jehovah, promoted brotherly intercourse, infused warmth and gladness into religious service, and were connected with a ritual which taught the worshippers solemn and impressive lessons. The feasts were: -

1. The Passover - here called "the feast of unleavened bread" (vers. 15-18). It commemorated the great National Deliverance (see on Exodus 12.). The use of unleavened bread was a call to spiritual purity (1 Corinthians 5:8). The blood was offered (ver. 18) as an ever-renewed atonement for sin. The "fat" of the sacrifice betokened the consecration of the best.

2. Pentecost - here called "the feast of harvest, the first-fruits of thy labours" (ver. 16). Its primary reference was agricultural. It was a recognition of God in the gift of the harvest. It besought his blessing upon the labours of the field. It consecrated to him the first-fruits (ver. 19) of what he had given (two wave-loaves, Leviticus 23:17). In the dedication of the wave-loaves, as in the weekly presentation of the shewbread in the tabernacle (Exodus 25:30), there was further symbolised the dedication to God of the life which the bread nourished. Fitly, therefore, was this day chosen for the presentation to God of the first-fruits of his Church (Acts 2.).

3. The feast of Tabernacles - "the feast of ingathering" (ver. 16). This was the feast of the completed harvest, when the corn, the wine, and the oil, had all been gathered in. During the seven days of the feast the people dwelt in booths, in commemoration of their wanderings in the wilderness. The dwelling in booths was a symbol also of their present pilgrim condition on earth, as "strangers and sojourners" (Psalm 39:12). The precept in ver. 19, which seems related to this feast, - "Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk," had probably reference to some harvest superstition. On its moral lessons, see Deuteronomy 14:21. - J.O.

Be circumspect.
I. IN GENERAL. "In all things." Moses is drawing to the close of these precepts, and looking back upon them, he says — "Be circumspect." The original suggests —

1. That we should be fully awake to the importance of the Divine commands.

(1)Give them intelligent and reverent examination.

(2)Store them up in the memory.

(3)Study them in their beneficent operation.

2. That we should be on our guard against temptations to break the Divine commands. Temptations are




3. That we should be careful "to remember His commandments to do them."

(1)There is a danger lest an exaggerated estimate of human weakness should lead to despair on the one hand, and recklessness on the other.

(2)God would not command the impossible.

(3)There is "grace to help in time of need."

II. IN PARTICULAR, "make no mention," etc. Because —

1. That would be uncircumspect in the first and greatest commandment.

2. That would be to forfeit the help promised to the circumspect.

3. That would be to yield to a tendency to be uncircumspect in everything. Christians —

1. "Watch and pray, lest ye enter rote, temptation."

2. Live so as "to adorn the doctrine of God your Saviour m all things.

(J. W. Burn.)

The mysterious perturbation of a ship's compass is reported in a scientific journal. It appears that the compass of the ship Penguin, recently anchored off Australia, was deflected fifty-five degrees, and had a dip of eighty-three degrees. After the ship left the anchorage and proceeded on her voyage the disturbance ceased. At two miles from the point the variation was quite normal. The captain spent a day in investigating the phenomenon. He passed two or three times over the point where he had anchored, and found that whenever the ship crossed it, the compass was disturbed as before, and recovered when at a distance of two miles in any direction. This satisfied him that the centre of the submarine disturbance was limited to a circle of less than two miles magnetic minerals at the sea bottom. The journal reporting his observation says: "Great as is the gain to the navigator to be thus warned of a formidable danger in certain places, it lays upon him the imperative duty of being always on his guard against such sources of disaster elsewhere, and of promptly reporting any new magnetic disturbance, as he would a rock or shoal.!" Similar vigilance is necessary on the part of every voyager through life.

Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Hivite, Hivites, Jebusites, Moses, Perizzites
Euphrates River, Mount Sinai, Red Sea, Sea of the Philistines
Careful, Circumspect, Gods, Guard, Heed, Invoke, Lips, Mention, Minds, Mouth, Names, Note
1. Of slander, false witness, and partiality
4. Of charitableness
6. Of justice in judgment
8. Of taking bribes
9. Of oppressing a stranger
10. Of the year of rest
12. Of the Sabbath
13. Of idolatry
14. Of the three feasts
18. Of the blood and the fat of the sacrifice
20. An angel is promised, with a blessing, if they obey him

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Exodus 23:13

     1165   God, unique
     5164   lips
     8799   polytheism

The Feast of Ingathering in the End of the Year
'And the feast of harvest, the first-fruits of thy labours, which them hast sown In thy field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.' --EXODUS xxiii. 16. The Israelites seem to have had a double beginning of the year--one in spring, one at the close of harvest; or it may only be that here the year is regarded from the natural point of view--a farmer's year. This feast was at the gathering in of the fruits, which was
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Wesley Clothes French Prisoners
Monday, October 1 (Bristol).--All my leisure time, during my stay at Bristol, I employed in finishing the fourth volume of "Discourses"; probably the last which I shall publish. Monday, 15--l walked up to Knowle, a mile from Bristol, to see the French prisoners. About eleven hundred of them, we are informed, were confined in that little place, without anything to lie on but a little dirty straw, or anything to cover them but a few foul thin rags, either by day or night, so that they died like rotten
John Wesley—The Journal of John Wesley

The Consecration of Joy
'And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 34. Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord. 35. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 36. Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord; on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Wonderful.
Isaiah ix:6. HIS name shall be called "Wonderful" (Isaiah ix:6). And long before Isaiah had uttered this divine prediction the angel of the Lord had announced his name to be Wonderful. As such He appeared to Manoah. And Manoah said unto the angel of Jehovah, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honor. And the angel of Jehovah said unto Him "why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is Wonderful" (margin, Judges xiii:17-18). This angel of Jehovah, the Person who
Arno Gaebelein—The Lord of Glory

The Lord's Prayer.
(Jerusalem. Thursday Night.) ^D John XVII. ^d 1 These things spake Jesus; and lifting up his eyes to heaven [the action marked the turning of his thoughts from the disciples to the Father], he said, Father, the hour is come [see pp. 116, 440]; glorify thy Son, that the son may glorify thee: 2 even as thou gavest him authority over all flesh, that to all whom thou hast given him, he should give eternal life. [The Son here prays for his glorification, viz.: resurrection, ascension, coronation, etc.,
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Parable of the Good Samaritan.
(Probably Judæa.) ^C Luke X. 25-37. ^c 25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and made trial of him, saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? [For the term lawyer see pp. 313, 314, The lawyer wished to make trial of the skill of Jesus in solving the intricate and difficult question as to how to obtain salvation. Jesus was probably teaching in some house or courtyard, and his habit of giving local color to his parables suggests that he was probably in or near Bethany, through
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Appendix viii. Rabbinic Traditions About Elijah, the Forerunner of the Messiah
To complete the evidence, presented in the text, as to the essential difference between the teaching of the ancient Synagogue about the Forerunner of the Messiah' and the history and mission of John the Baptist, as described in the New Testaments, we subjoin a full, though condensed, account of the earlier Rabbinic traditions about Elijah. Opinions differ as to the descent and birthplace of Elijah. According to some, he was from the land of Gilead (Bemid. R. 14), and of the tribe of Gad (Tanch. on
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Second Series of Parables - the Two Parables of Him who is Neighbour to Us: the First, Concerning the Love That, Unasked, Gives in Our
THE period between Christ's return from the Feast of the Dedication' and His last entry into Jerusalem, may be arranged into two parts, divided by the brief visit to Bethany for the purpose of raising Lazarus from the dead. Even if it were possible, with any certainty, chronologically to arrange the events of each of these periods, the variety and briefness of what is recorded would prevent our closely following them in this narrative. Accordingly, we prefer grouping them together as the Parables
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Love in the Old Covenant.
"A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another."-- John xiii. 34. In connection with the Holy Spirit's work of shedding abroad the love of God in our hearts, the question arises: What is the meaning of Christ's word, "A new commandment I give unto you"? How can He designate this natural injunction, "To love one another," a new commandment? This offers no difficulty to those who entertain the erroneous view that during His ministry on earth Christ established a new and higher religion,
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Palestine Eighteen Centuries Ago
Eighteen and a half centuries ago, and the land which now lies desolate--its bare, grey hills looking into ill-tilled or neglected valleys, its timber cut down, its olive- and vine-clad terraces crumbled into dust, its villages stricken with poverty and squalor, its thoroughfares insecure and deserted, its native population well-nigh gone, and with them its industry, wealth, and strength--presented a scene of beauty, richness, and busy life almost unsurpassed in the then known world. The Rabbis never
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

Exhortations to those who are Called
IF, after searching you find that you are effectually called, I have three exhortations to you. 1. Admire and adore God's free grace in calling you -- that God should pass over so many, that He should pass by the wise and noble, and that the lot of free grace should fall upon you! That He should take you out of a state of vassalage, from grinding the devil's mill, and should set you above the princes of the earth, and call you to inherit the throne of glory! Fall upon your knees, break forth into
Thomas Watson—A Divine Cordial

The Blessing of Jacob Upon Judah. (Gen. Xlix. 8-10. )
Ver. 8. "Judah, thou, thy brethren shall praise thee; thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies; before thee shall bow down the sons of thy father. Ver. 9. A lion's whelp is Judah; from the prey, my son, thou goest up; he stoopeth down, he coucheth as a lion, and as a full-grown lion, who shall rouse him up? Ver. 10. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto Him the people shall adhere." Thus does dying Jacob, in announcing
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

In the Temple at the Feast of Tabernacles.
(October, a.d. 29.) ^D John VII. 11-52. ^d 11 The Jews therefore sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? [It was now eighteen months since Jesus had visited Jerusalem, at which time he had healed the impotent man at Bethesda. His fame and prolonged obscurity made his enemies anxious for him to again expose himself in their midst. John here used the word "Jews" as a designation for the Jerusalemites, who, as enemies of Christ, were to be distinguished from the multitudes who were in doubt
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Concerning Justification.
Concerning Justification. As many as resist not this light, but receive the same, it becomes in them an holy, pure, and spiritual birth, bringing forth holiness, righteousness, purity, and all those other blessed fruits which are acceptable to God: by which holy birth, to wit, Jesus Christ formed within us, and working his works in us, as we are sanctified, so are we justified in the sight of God, according to the apostle's words; But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in
Robert Barclay—Theses Theologicae and An Apology for the True Christian Divinity

Scriptures Showing the Sin and Danger of Joining with Wicked and Ungodly Men.
Scriptures Showing The Sin And Danger Of Joining With Wicked And Ungodly Men. When the Lord is punishing such a people against whom he hath a controversy, and a notable controversy, every one that is found shall be thrust through: and every one joined with them shall fall, Isa. xiii. 15. They partake in their judgment, not only because in a common calamity all shares, (as in Ezek. xxi. 3.) but chiefly because joined with and partakers with these whom God is pursuing; even as the strangers that join
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Gen. xxxi. 11
Of no less importance and significance is the passage Gen. xxxi. 11 seq. According to ver. 11, the Angel of God, [Hebrew: mlaK halhiM] appears toJacob in a dream. In ver. 13, the same person calls himself the God of Bethel, with reference to the event recorded in chap. xxviii. 11-22. It cannot be supposed that in chap xxviii. the mediation of a common angel took place, who, however, had not been expressly mentioned; for Jehovah is there contrasted with the angels. In ver. 12, we read: "And behold
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

How to Make Use of Christ as the Truth, when Error Prevaileth, and the Spirit of Error Carrieth Many Away.
There is a time when the spirit of error is going abroad, and truth is questioned, and many are led away with delusions. For Satan can change himself into an angel of light, and make many great and fairlike pretensions to holiness, and under that pretext usher in untruths, and gain the consent of many unto them; so that in such a time of temptation many are stolen off their feet, and made to depart from the right ways of God, and to embrace error and delusions instead of truth. Now the question is,
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

A Discourse of Mercifulness
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7 These verses, like the stairs of Solomon's temple, cause our ascent to the holy of holies. We are now mounting up a step higher. Blessed are the merciful . . '. There was never more need to preach of mercifulness than in these unmerciful times wherein we live. It is reported in the life of Chrysostom that he preached much on this subject of mercifulness, and for his much pressing Christians to mercy, he was called of many, the alms-preacher,
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

The Development of the Earlier Old Testament Laws
[Sidenote: First the principle, and then the detailed laws] If the canon of the New Testament had remained open as long as did that of the Old, there is little doubt that it also would have contained many laws, legal precedents, and ecclesiastical histories. From the writings of the Church Fathers and the records of the Catholic Church it is possible to conjecture what these in general would have been. The early history of Christianity illustrates the universal fact that the broad principles are
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

The Best Things Work for Good to the Godly
WE shall consider, first, what things work for good to the godly; and here we shall show that both the best things and the worst things work for their good. We begin with the best things. 1. God's attributes work for good to the godly. (1). God's power works for good. It is a glorious power (Col. i. 11), and it is engaged for the good of the elect. God's power works for good, in supporting us in trouble. "Underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deut. xxxiii. 27). What upheld Daniel in the lion's den?
Thomas Watson—A Divine Cordial

The book of Exodus--so named in the Greek version from the march of Israel out of Egypt--opens upon a scene of oppression very different from the prosperity and triumph in which Genesis had closed. Israel is being cruelly crushed by the new dynasty which has arisen in Egypt (i.) and the story of the book is the story of her redemption. Ultimately it is Israel's God that is her redeemer, but He operates largely by human means; and the first step is the preparation of a deliverer, Moses, whose parentage,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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