Exodus 23

Exodus 23


You shall not spreadI a falseII report.III

Notes on verse 1a

I “spread” = nasa. This is to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively. So it could be to carry, take, or arise. It could also be bring forth, advance, accept.
II “false” = shav. Perhaps from the same as sho (ruin, desolation, storm; from a root that means rushing over – hence a storm and hence devastation). This is emptiness, false, worthless, deceit. It can also refer to evil, guile, idolatry, or something being in vain.
III “report” = shema. 18x in OT. From shama (hear, call, consent, or consider; implies listening intelligently, giving attention; obedience and action are often implied). This is something that is heart like a report, speech, fame, rumor, or fame.

You shall not joinIV handsV with the wickedVI to actVII as a maliciousVIII witness.IX 

Notes on verse 1b

IV “join” = shith. This is to place, set, bring, appoint, consider, bring, array or look.
V “hands” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
VI “wicked” = rasha. This is to be wicked, guilty, make trouble, do wrong. It can also be condemn, guilty, inflict punishment. This verb implies disturbing or violating.
VII “act” = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
VIII “malicious” = chamas. From chamas (to violate, do violence, to wrong; implies mistreatment). This is violence, cruelty, damage, wrong, injustice, or unrighteous. Violence implies a wrong done. The term is also used to describe unjust gain.
IX “witness” = ed. From ud (to admonish, repeat, duplicate, testify, restore, record, relieve). This is a witness, testimony, or one who records testimony. It can also refer to a prince.

2 You shallX not followXI a majorityXII in wrongdoing;XIII

Notes on verse 2a

X “shall” = hayah. Same as “act” in v1. See note VII above.
XI “follow” = achar. From achar (to remain behind, linger, continue, be behind, or delay; can also imply procrastination). This is after or the last part, following.
XII “majority” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.
XIII “wrongdoing” = ra’. From ra’a’ (to be evil, bad, afflict; properly, to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces; figuratively, to cause something to be worthless; this is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense; that which displeases, to do harm or mischief, to punish or vex). This is bad, disagreeable, that which causes pain, misery, something having little or no value, something that is ethically bad, wicked, injury, calamity. This refers to anything that is not what it ought to be – a natural disaster, a disfigurement, an injury, a sin.

when you bear witnessXIV in a lawsuit,XV you shall not sideXVI withXVII the majority so as to pervert justice;XVIII nor shall you be partialXIX to the poorXX in a lawsuit.

Notes on verses 2b-3

XIV “bear witness” = anah. This is answer, respond, announce, sing, shout, or testify. It means to pay attention, which implies responding and, by extension, starting to talk. Used in a specific sense for singing, shouting, testifying, etc.
XV “lawsuit” = rib. From rib (properly to toss or grapple; used figuratively to mean wrangling and so for arguments, complaints, or disputes; used in a legal setting for pleading or defending a case). This is strife or dispute – whether a personal one or one in a court of law.
XVI “side” = natah. This is to stretch or spread out, to extend, or bend. In can also imply moral deflection.
XVII “with” = achar. Same as “follow” in v2. See note XI above.
XVIII “pervert justice” = natah. Same as “side” in v2. See note XVI above.
XIX “be partial” = hadar. 7x in OT. This may mean to swell in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could be honor, pride, respected, to adorn, claim honor. It could also refer to crooked or rough terrain. Additionally, it can refer to showing partiality or deference.
XX “poor” = dal. From dalal (to be low, hang, fade, be emptied, become poor, be oppressed). This is lean, weak, needy, poor. Properly, it is one who is dangling.

4 When you come uponXXI your enemy’sXXII oxXXIII or donkeyXXIV going astray,XXV you shall bring it back.XXVI

Notes on verse 4

XXI “come upon” = paga. This is to meet or happen, whether unintentionally or of violence. It can also be plead, spare, reach, or intercede.
XXII “enemy’s” = oyeb. From ayab (to hate or be hostile to). This is a foe or enemy as one that you are hostile to.
XXIII “ox” = shor. Perhaps from shur (to travel, turn, journey; travelling like a prostitute or a merchant). This is bull, ox, head of cattle, cow.
XXIV “donkey” = chamor. From chamar (to be red, blush). This is a male donkey.
XXV “going astray” = taah. This is to wander, deceive, seduce, vacillate. It is to stray in a literal or figurative sense.
XXVI “bring…back” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.” The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”

When you seeXXVII the donkey of one who hatesXXVIII you lyingXXIX under its burdenXXX and you would hold backXXXI from setting it free,XXXII you must help to set it free.XXXIII

Notes on verse 5

XXVII “see” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
XXVIII “hates” = sane. This is to hate, an enemy. It is a personal hatred and not an abstract one.
XXIX “lying” = rabats. This is crouched like an animal, lie down, lie stretch out, rest, sit, brood, lurk.
XXX “burden” = massa. Related to “spread” in v1. From nasa (see note I above). This is burden, bearing, load, utterance, tribute, prophecy, desire, song.
XXXI “hold back” = chadal. This is properly to be flabby – it implies, to stop, fall, end, rest, leave alone, forsake, or desist. Figuratively this can be lacking or idle.
XXXII “setting…free” = azab. To loosen, relinquish, permit, forsake, fail, leave destitute.
XXXIII “must help to set…free” = azab + azab. Same as “setting…free” in v5. See note XXXII above. It is an infinite absolute like “bring…back” in v4. See note XXVI above.

You shall not pervert the justiceXXXIV due to your poorXXXV in their lawsuits. Keep farXXXVI from a falseXXXVII charge,XXXVIII

Notes on verses 6-7a

XXXIV “justice” = mishpat. From shaphat (to judge, defend, pronounce judgment, condemn, govern). This is a verdict or formal sentence whether from humans or from God. It includes the act of judging as well as the place that judging takes place, the suit itself, and the penalty. Abstractly, this is justice, which includes the rights of the participants.
XXXV “poor” = ebyon. From abah (to consent, obey, want, yield, accept). This is needy, poor, beggar. Someone who is wanting.
XXXVI “keep far” = rachaq. This is to widen, become distant, cast, or remove. It can be in a literal or figurative sense.
XXXVII “false” = sheqer. This is deception, lie, or disappointment. It can also be something that is vain or wrongfully.
XXXVIII “charge” = dabar. From dabar (to speak, declare, discuss). This is speech, a word, a matter, an affair, charge, command, message, promise, purpose, report, request. It is a word, which implies things that are spoken of in a wide sense.

and do not killXXXIX the innocentXL and those in the right,XLI for I will not acquitXLII the guilty.XLIII 

Notes on verse 7b

XXXIX “kill” = harag. This is to strike with deadly intent so it can be kill, destroy, murder, or put to death.
XL “innocent” = naqiy. From naqah (to be empty, cleanse, acquit; to be clean in a literal or figurative sense). This is blameless, innocent, free from punishment, or clear.
XLI “those in the right” = tsaddiq. From the same as tsedeq (rightness, righteousness, just cause, vindication; that which is right in a natural, moral, or legal sense; abstractly equity; figuratively prosperity). This is just, innocent, righteous, righteous one, or lawful.
XLII “acquit” = tsadeq. Related to “those in the right” in v7. From tsedeq (see note XLI above). This is being just or righteousness. It refers to right in a moral or legal sense. So, it can be doing justice, clearing oneself, or turning to righteousness.
XLIII “guilty” = rasha. Same as “wicked” in v1. See note VI above.

8 You shall takeXLIV no bribe,XLV for a bribe blinds the officials,XLVI and subvertsXLVII the causeXLVIII of those who are in the right.

Notes on verse 8

XLIV “take” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
XLV “bribe” = shochad. From shachad (to give a present, reward, or bribe; to donate or hire). This is a present, reward, or bribe. It is some kind of donation positive or negative.
XLVI “officials” = piqqeach. 2x in OT. From paqach (open, as opening one’s senses, particularly eyes; figuratively, being watchful). This is seeing or clear-sighted. Figuratively, it can mean wise.
XLVII “subverts” = salaph. 7x in OT. This is to twist, wrench, overthrow, ruin.
XLVIII “cause” = dabar. Same as “charge” in v7. See note XXXVIII above.

9 You shall not oppressXLIX a resident alien;L you knowLI the heartLII of an alien, for you were aliens in the landLIII of Egypt.LIV

Notes on verse 9

XLIX “oppress” = lachats. 19x in OT. This is to press or squeeze. Figuratively, it is oppress, afflict, or distress.
L “resident alien” = ger. From gur (to abide or sojourn; to leave the road to lodge or for any other reason). This is sojourner, guest, stranger, foreigner.
LI “know” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
LII “heart” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
LIII “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
LIV “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egypt.

10 For sixLV yearsLVI you shall sowLVII your land and gather inLVIII its yield;LIX 11 but the seventhLX year you shall let it restLXI and lie fallow,LXII

Notes on verses 10-11a

LV “six” = shesh. This is six. Figuratively, it can be a surplus since it is one more than the number of fingers on the hand.
LVI “years” = shanah. From shana (to change, alter). This is a year, age, old. It can also mean yearly.
LVII “sow” = zara. This is to sow or scatter seed, conceive or yield. It can also refer to a sower. Figuratively, this can refer to other forms of dissemination.
LVIII “gather in” = asaph. This is to gather, assemble, or bring. It can also mean to take away, destroy, or remove.
LIX “yield” = tebuah. From bo (to come in, go in, enter). This is produce, increase or gain – can be literal or figurative.
LX “seventh” = shebii. From sheba (seven – the number of perfection/sacred fullness). This is seventh.
LXI “let…rest” = shamat. 9x in OT.  This is to allow something to drop, release, stumble, upset, let alone, remit, lose.
LXII “lie fallow” = natash. Properly, this is to beat or pound as when something is beaten in order to expand or disperse. It can be leave, abandon, allow, neglect, spread, fall, or thrust out.

so that the poorLXIII of your peopleLXIV may eat;LXV and what they leaveLXVI the wildLXVII animalsLXVIII may eat.

Notes on verse 11b

LXIII “poor” = ebyon. Same as “poor” in v6. See note XXXV above.
LXIV “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
LXV “eat” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
LXVI “what they leave” = yether. From yathar (to jut over, remain behind, preserve, to excel). This is a remainder or excess. It can imply abundant or superiority. Additionally, it can be cord a free-hanging rope.
LXVII “wild” = sadeh. This is literally field, ground, soil, or land. It can be used to mean wild like a wild animal.
LXVIII “animals” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.

You shall doLXIX the sameLXX with your vineyard,LXXI and with your olive orchard.LXXII

Notes on verse 11c

LXIX “do” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
LXX “same” = ken. Perhaps from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
LXXI “vineyard” = kerem. This is a vineyard, garden, vines, or a vintage.
LXXII “olive orchard” = zayit. This is olive tree, grove, or other parts of the olive tree like the branch or berry.

12 Six daysLXXIII you shall do your work,LXXIV but on the seventh day you shall rest,LXXV so that your ox and your donkey may have relief,LXXVI and your homeborn slaveLXXVII and the resident alien may be refreshed.LXXVIII 

Notes on verse 12

LXXIII “days” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
LXXIV “work” = maaseh. Related to “do” in v11. From asah (see note LXIX above). This is a word – any action whether positive or negative. It can also be a transaction, construction, activity, property, or something that is produced.
LXXV “rest” = shabat. This is to rest, stop, repose, cease working. By implication, it is to celebrate.
LXXVI “have relief” = nuach. This is to rest, calm, camp, free, place, remain, satisfy, settle, station, or wait. It is rest and so implies settling down in a literal or figurative sense. This is perhaps the root verb of the name “Noah.”
LXXVII “homeborn slave” = ben + amah. Literally, “child of your female servant.” Ben is from banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense. Amah is female servant or slave, handmaid.
LXXVIII “be refreshed” = naphash. Related to “heart” in v9. 4x in OT. See note LII above.

13 Be attentiveLXXIX to allLXXX that I have said to you. Do not invokeLXXXI the namesLXXXII of otherLXXXIII gods;LXXXIV do not let them be heardLXXXV on your lips.LXXXVI

Notes on verse 13

LXXIX “be attentive” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
LXXX “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
LXXXI “invoke” = zakar. This is to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention.
LXXXII “names” = shem. May be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
LXXXIII “other” = acher. Related to “follow” in v2. From achar (see note XI above). This is following, next, strange, other.
LXXXIV “gods” = elohim.
LXXXV “heard” = shama. Related to “report” in v1. See note III above.
LXXXVI “lips” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.

14 ThreeLXXXVII timesLXXXVIII in the year you shall hold a festivalLXXXIX for me. 15 You shall observeXC the festivalXCI of unleavened bread;XCII

Notes on verses 14-15a

LXXXVII “three” = shalosh. This is three, fork, three times.
LXXXVIII “times” = regel. This is foot, endurance, or journey. It is a foot as the means of walking and so it implies a step or a greater journey. It can be used euphemistically for private parts.
LXXXIX “hold a festival” = chagag. 16x in OT. This is feast, celebrating a festival, making a pilgrimage. Properly, it means going in a circle or marching in sacred procession. It implies giddiness and dancing. It can also mean reeling to and fro.
XC “observe” = shamar. Same as “be attentive” in v13. See note LXXIX above.
XCI “festival” = chag. Related to “hold a festival” in v14. From chagag (see note LXXXIX above). This is a feast, a sacrifice as part of a festival, or the gathering of the festival.
XCII “unleavened bread” = matstsah. From matsats (to drain out). This is unleavened bread – bread that is sweet rather than becoming sour with the flavor of yeast. Can also be used to refer to the festival of Passover, the staple food of which is commonly transliterate matzoh from this word.

as I commandedXCIII you, you shall eat unleavened bread for sevenXCIV days at the appointed timeXCV in the monthXCVI of Abib,XCVII for in it you came outXCVIII of Egypt.

Notes on verse 15b

XCIII “commanded” = tsavah. This is to charge, command, order, appoint, or enjoin. This is the root that the Hebrew word for “commandment” comes from (mitsvah).
XCIV “seven” = sheba. Related to “seventh” in v11. See note LX above.
XCV “appointed time” = moed. From yaad (to appoint, assemble or gather selves, agree). This is a meeting, assembly, fixed time. It can be used for a festival or feast. It can also refer to a meeting place.
XCVI “month” = chodesh. From chadash (to renew, repair). This refers to a new moon. It can also mean monthly.
XCVII “Abib” = Abib. 8x in OT. This is a young ear or green head of grain. It is also the name of a month – Abib.
XCVIII “came out” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.

No one shall appearXCIX beforeC me empty-handed.CI 16 You shall observe the festival of harvest,CII of the first fruitsCIII of your labor,CIV of what you sow in the field.CV

Notes on verses 15c-16a

XCIX “appear” = raah. Same as “see” in v5. See note XXVII above.
C “before” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
CI “empty-handed” = reqam. 16x in OT. From riq (this is to be empty or to make empty; also vanity, emptiness, something worthily, in vain); from ruq (to pour out in a literal or figurative sense, hence, to be or make empty). This is emptily, empty-handed, without cause, in vain, ineffectually, or undeservedly.
CII “harvest” = qatsiyr. From qatsar (to cut down, be short, reap, curtail; used especially for harvesting grass or grain; figuratively, to be discouraged or grieve). This is branch, harvest, one who harvests. Properly, this means severed, reaped. It is the crop being harvested, the time of harvest or the one who harvests. It can also be a bough.
CIII “first fruits” = bikkurim. 18x in OT. From bakar (to bear fruit, be firstborn, firstling, that which opens the womb, give the birthright to). This is first fruits – fruit that ripens earliest.
CIV “labor” = maaseh. Same as “work” in v12. See note LXXIV above.
CV “field” = sadeh. Same as “wild” in v11. See note LXVII above.

You shall observe the festival of ingatheringCVI at the endCVII of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. 17 Three timesCVIII in the year all your malesCIX shall appear beforeCX the LordCXI God.CXII

Notes on verses 16b-17

CVI “ingathering” = asiph. Related to “gather in” in v10. 2x in OT. From asaph (see note LVIII above). This is harvest, ingathering.
CVII “end” = yatsa. Same as “came out” in v15. See note XCVIII above.
CVIII “times” = paam. From paam (to move, trouble; to tap in a regular rhythm; to agitate). This is a beat, stroke, footstep, or occurrence.
CIX “males” = zakur. Related to “invoke” in v13. 4x in OT. From zakar (see note LXXXI above). This is a male, whether a human or an animal.
CX “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v15. See note C above.
CXI “Lord” = Adonai. From adon (lord, master, owner); root means to rule or be sovereign. This is the actual Hebrew word for Lord used (in a different form) of humans and (in the present form) of God. It means someone who is in control.
CXII “God” = YHVH. Related to “act” in v1. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (see note VII above). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.

18 You shall not offerCXIII the bloodCXIV of my sacrificeCXV with anything leavened,CXVI or let the fatCXVII of my festival remainCXVIII until the morning.CXIX

Notes on verse 18

CXIII “offer” = zabach. This is slaughtering an animal, generally for the purpose of sacrifice. It can mean kill or offer.
CXIV “blood” = dam. Perhaps from damam (to cease, be or become mute, silent, still, cut off, hold peace, be astonished, die). This is blood, bloodshed, bloodguilt, lifeblood, and death. It is used for people and animals. More often blood from a wound or the blood of the innocent. Used figuratively for violence or for wine. Closely tied to life and death.
CXV “sacrifice” = zabach. Related to “offer” in v18. From zabach (see note CXIII above). This is a slaughter, offering, or sacrifice.
CXVI “leavened” = chamets. 13x in OT. From chamets (be or taste sour, fermented, harsh; dyed or of a dazzling color; cruelty). This is leaven or something leavened. It can refer to bread or extortion.
CXVII “fat” = cheleb. This is fat, finest, marrow. It is fat in a literal or figurative sense. It refers to the richest or best part.
CXVIII “remain” = lun. This is to stay somewhere, usually for the night. It can mean abide, dwell, or endure. By implication, it can mean staying somewhere permanently. Taken in a negative sense, this would mean obstinance, particularly verbal. So, it can also mean murmur, grudge, or complaining.
CXIX “morning” = boqer. From baqar (to seek, plow, break forth, admire, care for). This refers to the break of day. So it is dawn, early, morning, or morrow.

19 The choicestCXX of the first fruits of your groundCXXI you shall bringCXXII into the houseCXXIII of the LordCXXIV your God.CXXV

Notes on verse 19a

CXX “choicest” = reshit. From rosh (head, captain, or chief; excellent or the forefront; first in position or in statue or in time). This is beginning, first place, highest rank, chief thing.
CXXI “ground” = adamah. From the same as adam (man, humankind); perhaps from ‘adom (to be red). This is ground, earth, soil as red, or land.
CXXII “bring” = bo. Related to “yield” in v10. See note LIX above.
CXXIII “house” = bayit. Related to “homeborn slave” in v12. Probably from banah (see note LXXVII above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
CXXIV “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “God” in v17. See note CXII above.
CXXV “God” = Elohim. Same as “gods” in v13. See note LXXXIV above.

You shall not boilCXXVI a kidCXXVII in its mother’sCXXVIII milk.CXXIX

Notes on verse 19b

CXXVI “boil” = bashal. This is to boil up, roast, or bake. It can also mean ripen, produce, or seethe.
CXXVII “kid” = gedi. 16x in OT. From the same as gadah (a bank or border of a river or stream). This is a young goat.
CXXVIII “mother’s” = em. This is a mother as binding a family together or a breeding female animal. It could be mother in a literal or figurative sense.
CXXIX “milk” = chalab. Related to “fat” in v18. Perhaps from the same as cheleb (see note CXVII above). This is milk or cheese or suckling.

20 CXXXI am going to sendCXXXI an angelCXXXII in front ofCXXXIII you,

Notes on verse 20a

CXXX {untranslated} = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
CXXXI “send” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
CXXXII “angel” = malak. This is a messenger, an angel, or a deputy of some kind. Can be used for human messengers literally or for prophets, priests, or teachers as messengers of God. Also used for supernatural messengers i.e. angels.
CXXXIII “in front of” = paneh. Same as “before” in v15. See note C above.

to guardCXXXIV you on the wayCXXXV and to bring you to the placeCXXXVI that I have prepared.CXXXVII 

Notes on verse 20b

CXXXIV “guard” = shamar. Same as “be attentive” in v13. See note LXXIX above.
CXXXV “way” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.
CXXXVI “place” = maqom. From qum(to arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide; rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action; standing in a figurative sense). This is a standing, which is to say a spot or space a place. It can also refer to a locality or a physical/mental condition. HaMaqom is also a Jewish name for God – the place, i.e. the Omnipresent One.
CXXXVII “prepared” = kun. Related to “same” in v11. See note LXX above.

21 Be attentive toCXXXVIII him and listenCXXXIX to his voice;CXL do not rebelCXLI against him, for he will not pardonCXLII your transgression;CXLIII for my name is inCXLIV him.

Notes on verse 21

CXXXVIII “to” = paneh. Same as “before” in v15. See note C above.
CXXXIX “listen” = shama. Same as “heard” in v13. See note LXXXV above.
CXL “voice” = qol. This is a sound, used often for human voices. Also used when God speaks or angels, animals or instruments. It can be a cry or a noise, thunder or earthquakes and so on.
CXLI “rebel” = marar. 13x in OT. This is to be bitter, embittered, weep, troubled.
CXLII “pardon” = nasa. Same as “spread” in v1. See note I above.
CXLIII “transgression” = pesha. From pasha (to rebel, offend, quarrel; making a break from proper authority so can also refer to an apostate). This is transgression, rebellion, or sin. It could be a revolt on a national scale or an individual moral one.
CXLIV “in” = qereb. Perhaps from qarab (to come near or approach). This is among, in the midst, before, the center It is the inward part, whether literal or figurative. It can also be used for the heart, the site of thoughts and feelings. This word is also used as a technical term for the entrails of the animals who are sacrificed.

22 But if you listen attentivelyCXLV to his voice and do all that I say,CXLVI then I will be an enemyCXLVII to your enemies and a foeCXLVIII to your foes.CXLIX

Notes on verse 22

CXLV “listen attentively” = shama + shama. Same as “heard” in v13. See note LXXXV above. It is an infinite absolute like “bring…back” in v4. See note XXVI above.
CXLVI “say” = dabar. Related to “charge” in v7. See note XXXVIII above.
CXLVII “be an enemy” = ayab. Related to “enemy’s” in v4. 1x in OT. See note XXII above.
CXLVIII “foe” = tsur. Related to “Egypt” in v9. See note LIV above.
CXLIX “foes” = tsarar. This is to bind, restrict, narrow, be cramped, an adversary.

23 When my angel goesCL in front ofCLI you, and brings you to the Amorites,CLII the Hittites,CLIII the Perizzites,CLIV

Notes on verse 23a

CL “goes” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
CLI “in front of” = paneh. Same as “before” in v15. See note C above.
CLII “Amorites” = Emori. From amar (to speak, say, answer, command, promise, report). This is Amorite or Emori, perhaps meaning talkers.
CLIII “Hittites” = Chitti. From cheth (Heth or Cheth; one of Canaan’s sons from whom perhaps the Hittites descend) OR from hatat (terror, lacking strength or courage); perhaps from hata (to seize; often used of coals from a fire). This is Hittite – perhaps meaning terrors or terrible. See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Hittite.html#.XyMgpp5KhPY
CLIV “Perizzites” = Perizzi. Perhaps from perazi (rural area, unwalled land); from the same as perazah (rural, village without walls, open country); from the same as paraz (root may mean to separate; perhaps warriors, chieftan, or throng). This is Perizzite, perhaps meaning rural or wild one.

the Canaanites,CLV the Hivites,CLVI and the Jebusites,CLVII and I blot them out,CLVIII 

Notes on verse 23b

CLV “Canaanites” = Knaaniy. From Kanaan (Canaan, his descendants, and the land where they settled; perhaps meaning lowlands, describing their land or subjugated in reference to being conquered by Egypt); from kana (to be humble, subdue; properly, bend the knee). This is Canaanite, which in some instances would imply a peddler or sometimes used in place of Ishmaelite. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canaan
CLVI “Hivites” = Chivvi. Probably from the same as chavyah (life-giving, which implies the place where one lives like a village or place where one camps); probably from the same as Chavvah (Eve, life-giver); from chavah (show, tell, live, declare). This is Hivite, perhaps meaning villagers or tent villagers.
CLVII “Jebusites” = Yebusi. From yebus (threshing place; one of the former names of Jerusalem); from bus (to trample down, tread in a literal or figurative sense; to loathe, pollute, squirm). This is Jebusite, meaning treaders or threshers.
CLVIII “blot…out” = kachad. This is to hide or conceal or destroy. It can also refer to doing secret actions or secret speech.

24 you shall not bow downCLIX to their gods,CLX or worshipCLXI them, or followCLXII their practices,CLXIII but you shall utterly demolishCLXIV them and break their pillarsCLXV in pieces.CLXVI 

Notes on verse 24

CLIX “bow down” = shachah. This is to bow down, make a humble entreaty, to do homage to royalty or to God.
CLX “gods” = elohim. Same as “gods” in v13. See note LXXXIV above.
CLXI “worship” = abad. This is to work, serve, or compel. It can describe any kind of work or service (including religious devotion).  Also, till or cultivate. Used causatively, it can mean to enslave or keep in bondage.
CLXII “follow” = asah. Same as “do” in v11. See note LXIX above.
CLXIII “practices” = maaseh. Same as “work” in v12. See note LXXIV above.
CLXIV “utterly demolish” = haras + haras. This is to break down, throw down, ruin, overthrow, or destroy. It is breaking down in pieces. It is an infinite absolute like “bring…back” in v4. See note XXVI above.
CLXV “pillars” = matstsebah. From natsab (to station, appoint, establish, take a stand). This is literally something that is stationed. So, it could refer to a column, a stump, some kind of image or idol, or a garrison.
CLXVI “break…in pieces” = shabar + shabar. This is break, collapse, destroy, break in pieces, tear. It is bursting in a literal or figurative sense. It is an infinite absolute like “bring…back” in v4. See note XXVI above.

25 You shall worship the LordCLXVII your God,CLXVIII and I will blessCLXIX your breadCLXX and your water;CLXXI and I will take sicknessCLXXII awayCLXXIII from amongCLXXIV you. 

Notes on verse 25

CLXVII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “God” in v17. See note CXII above.
CLXVIII “God” = Elohim. Same as “gods” in v13. See note LXXXIV above.
CLXIX “bless” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.
CLXX “bread” = lechem. From lacham (to eat, feed on). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.
CLXXI “water” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
CLXXII “sickness” = machaleh. 6x in OT. From chalah (to be worn; hence, being weak, sick, or afflicted; to grieve or, positively, to flatter or entreat). This is a sickness or infirmity.
CLXXIII “take…away” = sur. This is to turn aside in a literal or figurative sense – to depart, decline, rebel, remove, or withdraw.
CLXXIV “among” = qereb. Same as “in” in v21. See note CXLIV above.

26 No one shall miscarryCLXXV or be barrenCLXXVI in your land; I will fulfillCLXXVII the numberCLXXVIII of your days. 

Notes on verse 26

CLXXV “miscarry” = shakol. This is a loss from death in a literal or figurative sense. It can specifically refer to a loss of children, whether a miscarriage, being barren, or not having children more broadly.
CLXXVI “barren” = aqar. 12x in OT. From the same as eqer (stock, member, offshoot; figuratively, could be a descendant or someone who is transplanted like an immigrant who takes up permanent residence); from aqar (to uproot, pluck out, dig out by the roots, to hamstring; figuratively, to exterminate). This is barrenness or a woman who is barren.
CLXXVII “fulfill” = male. This is fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate. It is fill in a literal or figurative sense.
CLXXVIII “number” = mispar. From the same as sepher (writing itself or something that is written like a document, book, letter, evidence, bill, scroll, or register); from saphar (to tally or record something; to enumerate, recount, number, celebrate, or declare). This is a number, whether definite or symbolic – could be innumerable, few, abundance. It can also be a tally or account – or a narration.

27 I will send my terrorCLXXIX in front ofCLXXX you, and will throw into confusionCLXXXI all the people against whom you shall come, and I will makeCLXXXII all your enemies turn their backsCLXXXIII to you. 

Notes on verse 27

CLXXIX “terror” = emah. 17x in OT. From the same as ayom (dreadful, frightful, awesome). This is terror, fright, horror, fearsome, idol.
CLXXX “in front of” = paneh. Same as “before” in v15. See note C above.
CLXXXI “throw into confusion” = hamam. 14x in OT. This is being noisy, confused, thrown into confusion, trouble, cause a commotion, disturb, rout, damage, destroy.
CLXXXII “make” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
CLXXXIII “backs” = oreph. This is the back of the neck – also used for stiff-necked. It is also used for the back more generally in a literal or figurative sense.

28 And I will send the pestilenceCLXXXIV in front ofCLXXXV you, which shall drive outCLXXXVI the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from beforeCLXXXVII you. 29 I will not drive them out from beforeCLXXXVIII you in oneCLXXXIX year, orCXC

Notes on verses 28-29a

CLXXXIV “pestilence” = tsirah. 3x in OT. From the same as tsaraat (leprosy, a mark); from tsara (to have leprosy). This is hornet or wasp.
CLXXXV “in front of” = paneh. Same as “before” in v15. See note C above.
CLXXXVI “drive out” = garash. This is to cast out or expel. It can be to exile someone or to divorce them.
CLXXXVII “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v15. See note C above.
CLXXXVIII “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v15. See note C above.
CLXXXIX “one” = echad. Perhaps from achad (to unify, continue on a path; figuratively, to gather one’s thoughts). This is the number one, first, united. It can also be alone, altogether, a certain, a few.
CXC “or” = pen. Related to “before” in v15. Perhaps from panah (see note C above). This is lest, if, or.

the land would becomeCXCI desolateCXCII and the wild animals would multiplyCXCIII against you. 30 LittleCXCIV by little I will drive them out from beforeCXCV you, until you have increasedCXCVI and possessCXCVII the land. 

Notes on verses 29b-30

CXCI “become” = hayah. Same as “act” in v1. See note VII above.
CXCII “desolate” = shemamah. From shamem (to be appalled, astonished; to stun or devastate, be destitute). This is a devastation, ruin, or waste.
CXCIII “multiply” = rab. Same as “majority” in v2. See note XII above.
CXCIV “little” = me’at. From ma’at (being or becoming small, decrease, diminish, pare off). This is a little or few, lightly little while, very small matter.
CXCV “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v15. See note C above.
CXCVI “increased” = parah. This is to bear fruit, grow, be fruitful, increase. It is bearing fruit in a literal or figurative sense.
CXCVII “possess” = nachal. From nachalah (properly something that was inherited; can mean occupancy generally or, more particularly, an heirloom or an estate; can be an inheritance, gift, possession, or portion). This is to gain as a possession, divide for inheritance. Also, to occupy for any reason.

31 I will setCXCVIII your bordersCXCIX from the RedCC SeaCCI to the sea of the Philistines,CCII

Notes on verse 31a

CXCVIII “set” = shith. Same as “join” in v1. See note IV above.
CXCIX “borders” = gebul. Perhaps from gabal (to border, twist like rope). This is boundary, limit, coast, space. Properly, it is a line that is twisted, which implies a boundary and, by extension, the boundaries of a territory or other enclosed space.
CC “Red” = suph. Perhaps from Egyptian twfi (reeds). This is reeds or rushes. It can be used particularly to refer to papyrus, or a flag. See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Dictionary/sa/sa-p-pfin.html#.XzHCuChKhPY
CCI “Sea” = yam. Root may mean to roar. This is the sea, often referring to the Mediterranean. It comes from the root in the sense of the roar of crashing surf. This word is sometimes used for rivers or other sources of water. It can mean to the west or to the south.
CCII “Philistines” = Pelishti. From Pelesheth (Philistia); from palash (to mourn, wallow, maybe roll in). This is Philistines. Their name may mean “griever” or “burrower” or “weakener.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Philistine.html.

and from the wildernessCCIII to the Euphrates;CCIV for I will hand overCCV to you the inhabitantsCCVI of the land, and you shall drive them out beforeCCVII you. 

Notes on verse 31b

CCIII “wilderness” = midbar. Related to “charge” in v7 & “say” in v22. From dabar (see note XXXVIII above). This is mouth or speech. It can also be desert or wilderness. Additionally, it can be used for a pasture to which one drives cattle.
CCIV “Euphrates” = nahar. From nahar (to flow, sparkle, be cheerful). This is a stream, river, or flood. Particularly used for the Nile or Euphrates. Figuratively, this can mean prosperity.
CCV “hand over” = natan + yad. Natan is the same as “make” in v27. See note CLXXXII above. Yad is the same as “hands” in v1. See note V above.
CCVI “inhabitants” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
CCVII “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v15. See note C above.

32 You shall makeCCVIII no covenantCCIX with them and their gods.CCX 33 They shall not liveCCXI in your land, orCCXII they will make you sinCCXIII against me; for if you worship their gods,CCXIV it will surely be a snareCCXV to you.

Notes on verses 32-33

CCVIII “make” = karat. This is to cut down, cut off, or make a covenant (idiom for making a covenant is “to cut a covenant”). It can also mean to destroy, fail, or consume.
CCIX “covenant” = berit. Perhaps from barah (to eat, choose, make clear); perhaps from bar (grain, wheat); from bara (to select, purify, cleanse, test, brighten, polish). This is a compact, covenant, alliance, treaty, or league.
CCX “gods” = elohim. Same as “gods” in v13. See note LXXXIV above.
CCXI “live” = yashab. Same as “inhabitants” in v31. See note CCVI above.
CCXII “or” = pen. Same as “or” in v29. See note CXC above.
CCXIII “make…sin” = chata. This is properly to miss, and so figuratively it is used for sinning, bearing the blame. It implies a forfeiture or loss of something.
CCXIV “gods” = elohim. Same as “gods” in v13. See note LXXXIV above.
CCXV “snare” = moqesh. From yaqosh (ensnare, lay bait, lure, trapper; to snare literally or figuratively). This is bait, barb, snare, trap; a noose or hook to trap animals in a literal or figurative sense.

Image credit: An Egyptian painting from a nameless grave from around 1448-1422 BCE.

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