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In this chapter we have certain laws respecting moral conduct, in the tenderness required to be shown to the brute creation: of distinction in apparel: and of the deportment towards the married and unmarried women, together with special laws for particular cases.
The law given by Moses carries with it in every precept the most decisive evidences of its coming from GOD, for the whole speaks in a language not to be mistaken. But while I beg the Reader to notice this, I would beg of him also to remark with me, how JESUS in his commentary on the law of his servant Moses, carries up the precept to the gospel standard, in his unequalled manner. Here Moses is enjoined to point out the mercy to the brethren of Israel and their cattle. There, the LORD JESUS points out the mercy he would have shown to our enemies. See Matthew 5:43-40.5.48 .
Probably this precept was meant to distinguish GOD'S people from their idolatrous neighbours, among whom, and probably for the gratification of their lusts, the distinction of the sex in their dress was not preserved. And it is possible, it might have a further object of a religious and spiritual nature. The apostle seems to have the same idea in view, when he speaks of the different dresses of the sexes in his Epistle to the Corinthians. 1 Corinthians 11:12-46.11.13 .
All I would desire the Reader to remark with me upon this precept is this, that if a gracious GOD judged it proper, to give such a demonstration of his mercy, over all his works, so as to issue a precept to his people to be merciful; what an argument is this for believers in JESUS to repose themselves with full confidence on a GOD so gracious and merciful. Doth GOD take care for oxen? saith the apostle: or to use an higher authority; If GOD so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more shall he not clothe you, O ye of little faith! Matthew 6:30 .
So sacred in the sight of GOD was the shedding of blood. No doubt, in all these precepts, the grand object was, to keep in view the blood of atonement by the LORD JESUS.
Similar commands we meet with in Leviticus 19:19 . Certainly there must have been somewhat of a spiritual meaning couched under these things; and what more likely to be intended by it, than that the heart should not be sown with diverse doctrine's: that the man who plows spiritually, should not mingle anything idolatrous with the true worship of the GOD of Israel: and put not on the woollen garment of his own poor righteousness, with the linen robe of GOD'S righteousness. Precious JESUS! do I not see in this, a clear reference that the Souls of thy people, may never mingle ought of their own, with the perfect and complete robe of thy salvation; which, like the garment that covered thy sacred body in the days of thy flesh, was without seam, wove from the top throughout. John 19:23 . And LORD, far be it from me, to make fringes to thy vesture, or fancy my poor offerings can add to thy complete glory, in the great work of salvation! 1 Corinthians 3:11-46.3.13 .
It is interesting to behold, how great provision the LORD was pleased to make, in order that the Israel of GOD, should be as distinguished among the unclean nations around them, as the LORD had distinguished them from others by his grace. And if we consider the perpetual tenderness which the LORD manifested towards them, to keep them from spiritual fornication, we shall only be led to honour yet more the jealousy of GOD over his people. Hosea 3:3 .
Some of the laws in this book of Leviticus, were before given: Leviticus 20:10 . The repetition in this place, only serves to intimate their importance. And it is a very solemn consideration, equally important to be regarded under the New Testament as under the Old, that while marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled, whoremongers and adulterers GOD will judge. Hebrews 13:4 .
HOLY SPIRIT of truth! enable me to see the precious designs of thy blessed will, in the compassion thou hast manifested by those precepts of tenderness, by which thy people are to show their affection to their brethren, in their regard to whatever is theirs. And as the one great character by which they are known, is, that they dwell alone, and are not reckoned among the nations: may I never mingle anything with the garment of JESUS'S righteousness, but be found wholly the LORD'S, both, towards him and all that are in the world. LORD, keep my soul chaste and inviolable to thee, and spotless among men. Oh! preserve me blameless to the day of thy coming, and may I walk in love, as CHRIST also hath loved me and given himself for me, an offering and a sacrifice to GOD, for a sweet smelling savour: but fornication and all uncleanness, let it not be once named, as becometh a saint of JESUS; and may the peace of GOD, rule in my heart, to the which I am also called, and be thankful.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 22". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany