The Meaning of Exodus 23:19 Explained

Exodus 23:19

KJV: The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.

YLT: the beginning of the first-fruits of thy ground thou dost bring into the house of Jehovah thy God; thou dost not boil a kid in its mother's milk.

Darby: The first of the first-fruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of Jehovah thy God. Thou shalt not boil a kid in its mother's milk.

ASV: The first of the first-fruits of thy ground thou shalt bring into the house of Jehovah thy God. Thou shalt not boil a kid in it mother's milk.

What does Exodus 23:19 Mean?

Verse Meaning

The commentators have accounted for the prohibition against boiling a kid (young lamb) in its mother"s milk in many different ways. Some scholars believe it was the opposition to commingling life and death, a source of life and its product, or Israel and the nations, that was the basis for this prohibition (cf. Leviticus 22:27-28; Deuteronomy 22:6). [1] Another view is that it was a way of specifying that only weaned animals were acceptable as sacrifices (cf. Exodus 34:18-26). [2] The most popular explanation is that this was a pagan practice that showed disrespect for the God-given relationship between parent and offspring. [3] The Ras Shamra tablets have shown that boiling sacrificial kids in their mother"s milk was a common ritual practice among the Canaanites. [4] This ordinance is the basis for the separation strict Jews make in their diet by not mixing dairy and meat products. Observant Jews even provide separate equipment and kitchens for the preparation of these dishes.

Context Summary

Exodus 23:18-33 - Promise Of Entrance Into Canaan
This Angel must have been the Lord himself, for Stephen said expressly that the Angel was with Moses at the burning bush, where Jehovah revealed Himself, and the very ground was holy. Besides, we are told here that God's Name-i.e., His nature-was in Him. The Son of God, therefore, must have been the leader of that pilgrim-host, preceding the march, and preparing for their needs.
Notice that God would also send the hornet before His people, Exodus 23:28. The Presence, which is an Angel for God's children, becomes a hornet to the rebellious and ungodly. To one it is a savor of life, and to the other of death. The sun that bleaches linen white, tans the hands that expose it; the cloud which is light to Israel is thick darkness to Egypt. Grieve not the Holy One, who will overcome your enemies and satisfy your soul with goodness, if you will obey His voice. [source]

Chapter Summary: Exodus 23

1  Of slander, false witness, and partiality
4  Of charitableness
6  Of justice in judgment
8  Of taking bribes
9  Of oppressing a stranger
10  Of the year of rest
12  Of the Sabbath
13  Of idolatry
14  Of the three feasts
18  Of the blood and the fat of the sacrifice
20  An angel is promised, with a blessing, if they obey him

What do the individual words in Exodus 23:19 mean?

The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of Yahweh your God Not You shall boil a young goat in milk of its mother -
רֵאשִׁ֗ית בִּכּוּרֵי֙ אַדְמָ֣תְךָ֔ תָּבִ֕יא בֵּ֖ית יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ לֹֽא־ תְבַשֵּׁ֥ל גְּדִ֖י בַּחֲלֵ֥ב אִמּֽוֹ ס

רֵאשִׁ֗ית  The  first 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular construct
Root: רֵאשִׁית  
Sense: first, beginning, best, chief.
בִּכּוּרֵי֙  of  the  firstfruits 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: בִּכּוּרִים  
Sense: first-fruits.
אַדְמָ֣תְךָ֔  of  your  land 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular construct, second person masculine singular
Root: אֲדָמָה 
Sense: ground, land.
תָּבִ֕יא  you  shall  bring 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Imperfect, second person masculine singular
Root: בֹּוא 
Sense: to go in, enter, come, go, come in.
בֵּ֖ית  into  the  house 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: בַּיִת 
Sense: house.
יְהוָ֣ה  of  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ  your  God 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct, second person masculine singular
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).
תְבַשֵּׁ֥ל  You  shall  boil 
Parse: Verb, Piel, Imperfect, second person masculine singular
Root: בָּשַׁל  
Sense: to boil, cook, bake, roast, ripen, grow ripe.
גְּדִ֖י  a  young  goat 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: גְּדִי  
Sense: kid, young male goat.
בַּחֲלֵ֥ב  in  milk 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: חָלָב  
Sense: milk, sour milk, cheese.
אִמּֽוֹ  of  its  mother 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: אֵם  
Sense: mother.
ס  - 
Parse: Punctuation