on Leviticus 26 :15
If ye shall despise my statutes - abhor my judgments - As these words, and others of a similar import, which point out different properties of the revelation of God, are frequently occurring, I Judge it best to take a general view of them, once for all, in this place, and show how they differ among themselves, and what property of the Divine law each points out.
1. Statutes. חקת chukkoth, from חק chak, to mark out, define, etc. This term seems to signify the things which God has defined, marked, and traced out, that men might have a perfect copy of pure conduct always before their eyes, to teach them how they might walk so as to please him in all things, which they could not do without such instruction as God gives in his word, and the help which he affords by his Spirit.
2. Judgments. שפטים shephatim, from שפט shaphat, to distinguish, regulate, and determine; meaning those things which God has determined that men shall pursue, by which their whole conduct shall be regulated, making the proper distinction between virtue and vice, good and evil, right and wrong, justice and injustice; in a word, between what is proper to be done, and what is proper to be left undone.
3. Commandments. מצות mitsvoth, from צוה tsavah, to command, ordain, and appoint, as a legislator. This term is properly applied to those parts of the law which contain the obligation the people are under to act according to the statutes, judgments, etc., already established, and which prohibit them by penal sanctions from acting contrary to the laws.
4. Covenant. ברית berith, from בר bar, to clear, cleanse, or purify; because the covenant, the whole system of revelation given to the Jews, was intended to separate them from all the people of the earth, and to make them holy. Berith also signifies the covenant-sacrifice, which prefigured the atonement made by Christ for the sin of the world, by which he purifies believers unto himself, and makes them a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Besides those four, we may add the following, from other places of Scripture.
5. Testimonies. עדות edoth, from עד ad, beyond, farther, besides; because the whole ritual law referred to something farther on or beyond the Jewish dispensation, even to that sacrifice which in the fullness of time was to be offered for the sins of men. Thus all the sacrifices, etc., of the Mosaic law referred to Christ, and bore testimony to him who was to come.
6. Ordinances. משמרות mishmaroth, from שמר shamar, to guard, keep safe, watch over; those parts of Divine revelation which exhorted men to watch their ways, keep their hearts, and promised them, in consequence, the continual protection and blessing of God their Maker.
7. Precepts. פקודים pikkudim, from פקד pakad, to overlook, take care or notice of, to visit; a very expressive character of the Divine testimonies, the overseers of a man's conduct, those who stand by and look on to see whether he acts according to the commands of his Master; also the visitors, because God's precepts are suited to all the circumstances of human life; some are applicable in adversity, others in prosperity; some in times of temptation and sadness, others in seasons of spiritual joy and exultation, etc., etc. Thus they may be said to overlook and visit man in all times, places, and circumstances.
8. Truth. אמת emeth, from אם am, to support, sustain, confirm; because God is immutable who has promised, threatened, commanded, and therefore all his promises, threatenings, commandments, etc., are unalterable and eternal. Error and falsity promise to direct and sustain, but they fail. God's word is supported by his own faithfulness, and it supports and confirms them who conscientiously believe it.
9. Righteousness. צדקה tsedakah, from צדק which, though not used as a verb in the Hebrew Bible, seems to convey, from its use as a noun, the idea of giving just weight or good measure, see Leviticus 19:36. This is one of the characters which is attributed to the revelation God makes of himself; (see Psalm 119:137-144); and by this the impartiality of the Divine testimonies is pointed out. God gives to all their due, and his word distributes to every man according to his state, circumstances, talents, graces, etc.; to none too much, to none too little, to all enough.
10. Word Of Jehovah. דבר יהוה debar Yehovah, from דבר, dabar, to drive, lead, bring forward, hence to bring forward, or utter one's sentiments; so the word of God is what God has brought forth to man from his own mind and counsel; it is a perfect similitude of his own righteousness, holiness, goodness, and truth. This Divine law is sometimes expressed by: -
11. אמרה imrah, speech or word, variously modified from אמר amar, to branch out, because of the interesting details into which the word of God enters in order to instruct man and make him wise unto salvation, or, as the apostle expresses it, "God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake unto the fathers by the prophets," πολυμερως και πολυτροπως, in many distinct parcels, and by various tropes or figures; a curious and elegant description of Divine revelation; Hebrews 1:1.
12. All these collectively are termed the Law תורה torah, or תורת יהוה torath Yehovah, the law of the Lord, from ירה yarah, to direct, set straight and true, as stones in a building, to teach and instruct, because this whole system of Divine revelation is calculated to direct men to the attainment of present and eternal felicity, to set them right in their notions concerning the supreme God, to order and adjust them in the several departments of civil and religious society, and thus to teach and instruct them in the knowledge of themselves, and in the true knowledge of God. Thus those who receive the truth become the city of the living God - the temple of the Most High, built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit. To complete this description of the word law, See the note on Exodus 12:49, where other properties of the law of God are specified.
on Leviticus 26 :15
on Leviticus 26 :15
26:15 Break my covenant - Break your part of that covenant made between me and you, and thereby discharge me from the blessings promised on my part.