Exodus 21* Laws respecting servants. (1-11) Judicial laws. (12-21)Judicial laws. (22-36)1-11 The laws in this chapter relate to the fifth and sixthcommandments; and though they differ from our times and customs,nor are they binding on us, yet they explain the moral law, andthe rules of natural justice. The servant, in the state ofservitude, was an emblem of that state of bondage to sin, Satan,and the law, which man is brought into by robbing God of hisglory, by the transgression of his precepts. Likewise in beingmade free, he was an emblem of that liberty wherewith Christ,the Son of God, makes free from bondage his people, who are freeindeed; and made so freely, without money and without price, offree grace. 12-21 God, who by his providence gives and maintains life, byhis law protects it. A wilful murderer shall be taken even fromGod's altar. But God provided cities of refuge to protect thosewhose unhappiness it was, and not their fault, to cause thedeath of another; for such as by accident, when a man is doing alawful act, without intent of hurt, happens to kill another. Letchildren hear the sentence of God's word upon the ungrateful anddisobedient; and remember that God will certainly requite it, ifthey have ever cursed their parents, even in their hearts, orhave lifted up their hands against them, except they repent, andflee for refuge to the Saviour. And let parents hence learn tobe very careful in training up their children, setting them agood example, especially in the government of their passions,and in praying for them; taking heed not to provoke them towrath. Through poverty the Israelites sometimes sold themselvesor their children; magistrates sold some persons for theircrimes, and creditors were in some cases allowed to sell theirdebtors who could not pay. But "man-stealing," the object ofwhich is to force another into slavery, is ranked in the NewTestament with the greatest crimes. Care is here taken, thatsatisfaction be made for hurt done to a person, though death donot follow. The gospel teaches masters to forbear, and tomoderate threatenings, #Eph 6:9|, considering with Job, Whatshall I do, when God riseth up? #Job 31:13,14|. 22-36 The cases here mentioned give rules of justice then, andstill in use, for deciding similar matters. We are taught bythese laws, that we must be very careful to do no wrong, eitherdirectly or indirectly. If we have done wrong, we must be verywilling to make it good, and be desirous that nobody may lose byus.
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