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Old 15th January 2020, 09:29 PM
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Default Exodus 23

[Exodus 23]
{23:1} “You shall not accept a lying voice. Neither shall you join your hand so as to give false testimony on behalf of the impious.

Lying is intrinsically evil an always immoral (CCC#1753). The gravity of this lie depends on the degree of the matter.

{23:2} You shall not follow the crowd in doing evil. Neither shall you go astray in judgment, by agreeing with the majority opinion, apart from the truth.

Truth does not depend on the opinion of the others or on popularity. If only you know and agree that 2 + 2 = 4 and the rest of the world disagrees with you and believes that 2 + 2 = 5. Only you are correct and the rest of the world is wrong. If only you know and agree that lying is intrinsically evil and always immoral and the rest of the world disagrees with you and believes that lying is not always immoral. Only you are correct and the rest of the world is wrong. Each act stands on its own and has an inherent moral meaning before God. On the day of our personal judgement we'll be before God (the rest of the world will not judge us, but God) and we'll be not saved based on popularity but on our sincere faithfulness to our Lord.

{23:3} Likewise, you shall not show pity in judgment of the poor.

We shall not be respecter of persons, or have favoritism with persons (Acts 10:34). We shall not have a double-moral treating the wealthy good and treating the poor bad.

{23:4} If you come across an ox or a donkey of your enemy, which has gone astray, lead it back to him.
{23:5} If you see the donkey of one who hates you, fallen under its burden, you shall not pass by without lifting it up with him.

The golden rule: "Whatsoever that you wish that men would do to you, do so also to them" (Matthew 7:12) (See also Tobit 4:16).

{23:6} You shall not deviate in judgment of the poor.

Keep in mind that we all humans are made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, we have such dignity.

{23:7} You shall flee from lies. The innocent and the just you shall not kill. For I shun the impious.

Killing an innocent person is murder. The life of the person must be respected since conception to natural death.

{23:8} Neither shall you accept bribes, which blind even the prudent and subvert the words of the just.

Performing illicit acts can lead to vices and graver sins.

{23:9} You shall not harass a sojourner, for you know the life of a newcomer. For you yourselves also were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

Everything belongs to God first, including ourselves and other persons who have been made in His image and likeness.

{23:10} For six years, you shall sow your land and gather its produce.
{23:11} But in the seventh year, you shall release it and cause it to rest, so that the poor of your people may eat. And whatever remains, let the beasts of the field eat it. So shall you do with your vineyard and your olive grove.

This is what was called the Sabbatical year for the Jewish people of the time. A reflection of the six days of creation written in the book of Genesis.

{23:12} For six days, you shall work. On the seventh day, you shall cease, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the newcomer and the son of your handmaid may be refreshed.

The Sabbath [day].

{23:13} Preserve all that I have said to you. And by the names of foreign gods you shall not swear; neither shall these be heard from your mouth.

Perseverance in being faithful to the Lord. There is no such thing as once having fellowship with the Lord, we can be assured of our salvation regardless of our acts.

{23:14} Three times in each year, you shall celebrate feasts to me.
{23:15} You shall keep the solemnity of unleavened bread. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, just as I instructed you, at the time of the month of new grain, when you departed from Egypt. You shall not appear empty-handed in my sight,
{23:16} for it is the solemnity of the harvest of the first-fruits of your work, of whatever you have sown in the field. Likewise, it is a solemnity at the end of the season, when you will have gathered in all your crops from the field.
{23:17} Three times a year, all your males shall appear before the Lord your God.

Feast of the unleavened bread and first-fruits were later known as Pentecost.

{23:18} You shall not immolate the blood of my victim over leaven, nor shall the fat of my solemnity remain until morning.
{23:19} You shall carry the first grain of the land to the house of the Lord your God. You shall not cook a young goat in the milk of its mother.
{23:20} Behold, I will send my Angel, who will go before you, and preserve you on your journey, and lead you into the place that I have prepared.

This could be the Guardian Angel of Israel.

{23:21} Heed him, and hear his voice, and do not hold him in disregard. For he will not release you when you have sinned, and my name is in him.
{23:22} But if you listen to his voice and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies, and I will afflict those who afflict you.
{23:23} And my Angel will go before you, and he will bring you to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Canaanite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, whom I will crush.
{23:24} You shall not adore their gods, nor worship them. You shall not do their works, but you shall destroy them and break apart their statues.

Breaking apart statues of their idols or gods represents renouncing to idolatry.

{23:25} And you shall serve the Lord your God, so that I may bless your bread and your waters, and so that I may take away sickness from your midst.
{23:26} There will not be fruitless or barren ones in your land. I will fill up the number of your days.
{23:27} I will send my terror to run ahead of you, and I will kill all the people to whom you will enter. And I will turn the backs of all your enemies before you,
{23:28} sending wasps ahead, so that they will put to flight the Hivite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, before you enter.
{23:29} I will not cast them out from your face in one year, lest the land be reduced to a wilderness and the wild beasts increase against you.
{23:30} I will expel them little by little from your sight, until you have expanded and may possess the land.
{23:31} Then I will set your limits to be from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Palestinians, and from the desert all the way to the river. I will deliver into your hands the inhabitants of the land, and I will cast them out from your sight.

Delimitations of countries are the will of God (as long as they were done according to such will of God), at least for a time in this world.

{23:32} You shall not enter into a pact with them, nor with their gods.
{23:33} They may not live on your land, lest perhaps they may cause you to sin against me, if you serve their gods, which certainly would be a temptation for you.”

We shall not enter into any sin which is a type of idolatry for that is going against the will of God.
John 3:27; John 15:5; Matthew 19:26
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