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Exodus 23:2

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil - Be singular. Singularity, if in the right, can never be criminal. So completely disgraceful is the way of sin, that if there were not a multitude walking in that way, who help to keep each other in countenance, every solitary sinner would be obliged to hide his head. But רבים rabbim, which we translate multitude, sometimes signifies the great, chiefs, or mighty ones; and is so understood by some eminent critics in this place: "Thou shalt not follow the example of the great or rich, who may so far disgrace their own character as to live without God in the world, and trample under foot his laws." It is supposed that these directions refer principally to matters which come under the eye of the civil magistrate; as if he had said, "Do not join with great men in condemning an innocent or righteous person, against whom they have conceived a prejudice on the account of his religion," etc.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 1-3

These four commands, addressed to the conscience, are illustrations of the ninth commandment, mainly in reference to the giving of evidence in legal causes. Compare 1 Kings 21:10; Acts 6:11.

Exodus 23:2

This verse might be more strictly rendered, “Thou shalt not follow the many to evil; neither shalt thou bear witness in a cause so as to incline after the many to pervert justice.”

Exodus 23:3

Countenance - Rather, show partiality to a man‘s cause because he is poor (compare Leviticus 19:15).

These four commands, addressed to the conscience, are illustrations of the ninth commandment, mainly in reference to the giving of evidence in legal causes. Compare 1 Kings 21:10; Acts 6:11.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
In the law of Moses are very plain marks of sound moral feeling, and of true political wisdom. Every thing in it is suited to the desired and avowed object, the worship of one only God, and the separation of Israel from the pagan world. Neither parties, friends, witnesses, nor common opinions, must move us to lessen great faults, to aggravate small ones, excuse offenders, accuse the innocent, or misrepresent any thing.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 63

[The articles in this section are from Special Testimony to Battle Creek Church, 3 (1896). This article, pages 3-18.]

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 230

The Lord has said: “Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations.” Exodus 31:13. None should disobey His command in order to escape persecution. But let all consider the words of Christ: “When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another.” Matthew 10:23. If it can be avoided, do not put yourselves into the power of men who are worked by the spirit of antichrist. Everything that we can do should be done that those who are willing to suffer for the truth's sake may be saved from oppression and cruelty. 9T 230.1

Christ is our example. The determination of antichrist to carry out the rebellion he began in heaven will continue to work in the children of disobedience. Their envy and hatred against those who obey the fourth commandment will wax more and more bitter. But the people of God are not to hide their banner. They are not to ignore the commandments of God and, in order to have an easy time, go with the multitude to do evil. 9T 230.2

The Lord encourages all who seek Him with the whole heart. He gives them His Holy Spirit, the manifestation of His presence and favor. But those who forsake God in order to save their lives will be forsaken by Him. In seeking to save their lives by yielding the truth, they will lose eternal life. 9T 230.3

The night of trial is nearly spent. Satan is bringing in his masterly power because he knoweth that his time is short. The chastisement of God is upon the world to call all who know the truth to hide in the cleft of the Rock and view the glory of God. The truth must not be muffled now. Plain statements must be made. Unvarnished truth must be spoken, in leaflets and pamphlets, and these must be scattered like the leaves of autumn. 9T 230.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 647

Christ is ashamed of His professed followers. Wherein do we bear any resemblance to Him? Wherein does our dress conform to the Bible requirements? I do not want the sins of the people upon me, and I will give the trumpet a certain sound. For years I have borne a plain and decided testimony upon this subject, in print and upon the speaker's stand. I have not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God. I must be clear of the blood of all. The fact that worldliness and pride bear almost universal sway is no excuse for one Christian to do as others do. God has said: “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.” 4T 647.1

Do not, my sisters, trifle longer with your own souls and with God. I have been shown that the main cause of your backsliding is your love of dress. This leads to the neglect of grave responsibilities, and you find yourselves with scarcely a spark of the love of God in your hearts. Without delay, renounce the cause of your backsliding, because it is sin against your own soul and against God. Be not hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Fashion is deteriorating the intellect and eating out the spirituality of our people. Obedience to fashion is pervading our Seventh-day Adventist churches and is doing more than any other power to separate our people from God. I have been shown that our church rules are very deficient. All exhibitions of pride in dress, which is forbidden in the word of God, should be sufficient reason for church discipline. If there is a continuance, in face of warnings and appeals and entreaties, to still follow the perverse will, it may be regarded as proof that the heart is in no way assimilated to Christ. Self, and only self, is the object of adoration, and one such professed Christian will lead many away from God. 4T 647.2

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 401.1

Commandments Not to Be Ignored in Order to Have an Easy Time—Christ is our example. The determination of Antichrist to carry out the rebellion he began in heaven will continue to work on the children of disobedience. Their envy and hatred against those who obey the fourth commandment will wax more and more bitter. But the people of God are not to hide their banner. They are not to ignore the commandments of God, and in order to have an easy time go with the multitude to do evil. They should be careful not to condemn their brethren in the faith who are steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.... 3SM 401.1

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