« AnteriorContinuar »
The Lord's Covenant
with the Israelites.
b Num. 21. 24; ch.
(42) that the slayer might flee thither, a Josh. 20. 8. which is by the bank of the river Arnon, which should kill his neighbour una
even unto mount Sion, which is wares, and hated him not in times past;
Hermon, (49) and all the plain on this and that fleeing unto one of these cities
side Jordan eastward, even unto the sea he might live: (43) namely, Bezer in
of the plain, under the d springs of the wilderness, in the plain country, of
Pisgah. the Reubenites; and Ramoth in Gilead, of the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan,
CHAPTER V.-(1) And Moses called of the Manassites.
Num. 21. 23; ch. all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O (14) And this is the law which Moses
Israel, the statutes and judgments set before the children of Israel :
which I speak in your ears this day, (45) these are the testimonies, and the
that ye may learn them, and I keep, statutes, and the judgments, which a ch. 8. 17. and do them. (2) - The LORD our God Moses spake unto the children of Israel,
made a covenant with us in Horeb. after they came forth out of Egypt,
(3) The LORD made not this covenant (46) on this side Jordan, in the valley
1 Heb. keep to do with our fathers, but with us, even us, over against Beth-peor, in the land of
who are all of us here alive this day. Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt
(4) The LORD talked with you face to at Heshbon, whom Moses and the chil
face in the mount out of the midst of dren of Israel .smote, after they were
the fire, (5) (I stood between the LORD come forth out of Egypt: (47) and they
and you at that time, to shew you the possessed his land, and the land of Og
word of the Lord: for ye were afraid by king of Bashan, two kings of the Amor
reason of the fire, and went not up
into ites, which were on this side Jordan to
the mount;) saying, ward the sun rising; (48) from Aroer,
(6) f I am the LORD thy God, which
e Ex. 19. 5.
1 Ex. 20. 2, &c.;
Lev. 26.1; Ps. 81.
(43) Bezer is as yet unidentified.
The statutes and judgments. The religious Ramoth in Gilead, though famous in the history ordinances and institutions, and the general require. of Israel as the scene of Ahab's death and of the ments. The mention of these is prefixed to the Decaanointing of Jehu (1 Kings xxi. and 2 Kings ix.), is also logue, of which they are only the application—to a as yet unknown.
special people under special circumstances. More preGolan has given a name to the district of Gaulon. cisely, the words apply rather to what follows the Decaitis. But it is as yet also unknown. We may hope | logue than to the Ten Commandments themselves. (See that when the survey of Eastern Palestine is concluded, chap. vi. 1.) these ancient sites will be recovered.
(2) The Lord our God made a covenant
with us in Horeb.-It must never be forgotten SECOND DISCOURSE.
that the Law is a covenant in its very form. (See Note (41—49) These words form an introduction to the on verse 6.) second discourse, which occupies the larger portion of (3) Not with our fathers, but with us.the book—from chap.v. 1 to the end of chap. xxvi. There That is, according to the usage of the Hebrew language in is no real break between. The present introduction drawing contrasts, not only with our fathers (who actually differs from what we find in chap. i. 1. There is no inti- heard it), but with us also, who were in the loins of our mation that this portion of Deuteronomy was a repetition fathers, and for whom the covenant was intended no of what had been delivered between Sinai and Kadesh- less than for them; and, in fact, every man who was barnea. What follows is said to have been spoken in above forty-two at the time of this discourse might the land of Sihon and Og, after the conquest by Israel. actually remember the day at Sinai. (46) On this side Jordan.-Literally, on the other
(4) The Lord talked with you face to face. side. The same expression in verse 47 is defined by
-Yet they saw no manner of similitude (chap. iv. 12), the addition, “ toward the sun-rising:
i.e., no visible form ; but the very words of God reached
their ears. The whole passage (verses 44–49) may be editorial,
So in Exod. xx. 22, “ Ye have seen that I and added by Joshua in Canaan. But there is no neces.
have talked with you from heaven.” sity for this view.
(5) In this verse a colon seems too large a stop after (48) Mount Sion.-See Note on chap. iii. 9.
"the word of the Lord.” Perhaps it should rather be
read thus : “I stood between Jehovah and you at that V.
time (for ye were afraid by reason of the fire), and ye
went not up into the mount.” The cause of their not This chapter contains a recapitulation of the Deca. logue itself and of the circumstances of its delivery. going up into the mount was not their fear, but the The repetition of the Ten Commandments is the true
express prohibition of Jehovah, as may be seen by
Exod. xix. beginning of the Deuteronomy, as their first delivery is the beginning of the Law itself.
(6) I am the Lord thy God. It should never be
forgotten that this sentence is an integral part of the (1) And Moses called all Israel, and said.- Decalogue, and also the first part. The declaration of What follows is thus presented to us as an actual ex- Divine relationship, with all that it implies—the covehortation, not merely a portion of a book.
nanted adoption of Israel by Jehovah-precedes all the
& Ex. 34. 7.
brought thee out of the land of Egypt, 1 Heb., sereants. the seventh day is the è sabbath of the from the house of bondage. (7) Thou
LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do shalt have none other gods before me.
any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy (8) Thou shalt not make thee any gra
daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy ven image, or any likeness of any thing
maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine that is in heaven above, or that is in the
ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy earth beneath, or that is in the waters
stranger that is within thy gates; that beneath the earth: (9) thou shalt not
thy manservant and thy maidservant bow down thyself unto them, nor serve
may rest as well as thou.
(15) And rethem : for I the LORD thy God am a o Jer. 32. 18. member that thou wast a servant in the jealous God, « visiting the iniquity of
land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy the fathers
God brought thee out thence through a third and fourth generation of them that
mighty hand and by a stretched out hate me, (10) 6 and shewing mercy unto
arm : therefore the LORD thy God comthousands of them that love me and • Gen. 2. 2; Heb. manded thee to keep the sabbath day. keep my commandments.
(16) Honour thy father and thy mother, (11) Thou shalt not take the name of
as the LORD thy God hath commanded the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD
thee; that thy days may be prolonged, will not hold him guiltless that taketh
and that it may go well with thee, in his name in vain.
the land which the LORD thy God giveth (12) Keep the sabbath day to sanctify
thee. it, as the LORD thy God hath com
(17) « Thou shalt not kill. manded thee. (13) Six days thou shalt
(18) • Neither shalt thou commit adullabour, and do all thy work: (14) but
d Matt. 5. 21.
e Luke 18. 20.
requirements of the Law. The Law is, therefore, prima- (12—15) The language of this commandment is identi. rily a covenant in the strictest sense.
cal with the form it takes in Exodus only so far as the (7) Thou shalt have none other gods before 13th and 14th verses are concerned ; and even here the me.-Literally, upon my face, in addition to my pre- special mention of the ox and the ass is confined to sence; or, as Rashi says, “in any place where I am, that Deuteronomy. The introduction and the close of the is, in the whole world.' Whither shall I go from Thy command, which gives the reason for it, are different Spirit, or whither shall I flee from Thy face?” Idols here. The reason drawn from the creation is not men. are, at the very best, only masks which man puts upon tioned ; the reason drawn from the exodus is. This the face of God, insulting to His dignity, and tending fact illustrates the observation that in Deuteronomy we to conceal Him from our view.
find “the Gospel of the Pentateuch.” If for the
exodus of Israel we substitute here “the exodus of (8,9). These two verses should be closely connected, Christ, which He accomplished at Jerusalem,” not so according to the idiom of the original, “ Thou shalt not much by His death as by His resurrection, we have make to thyself any of these things for the purpose of a reason for keeping not the Sabbath, but the Lord's bowing down to them or worshipping them."
It is worth while to observe that the Israelites had (9) Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon express authority given them to enforce the observance the children. There are no sins which so surely of the Sabbath upon Gentiles, when these could be reentail penal consequences upon succeeding generations garded as “strangers within their gates.” The words as the abominations of idolatry. All idolatry means Isa. lvi. 6 seem to show that “strangers” who "took the degradation of the Divine image in man. But it is hold of the covenant" of Jehovah were expected to not meant here that the soul of the son shall die for the “ keep His sabbath from polluting it.” For an example father. The penalty extends only “ to them that hate of its enforcement, see Nehemiah xiii. 16, 20, 21. me."
If any difficulty is felt at the variation of the form of (10) Them that love me.-We have an echo of the commandment from that which we have in Exodus, this commandment in the words of our Saviour: “If it should be observed, first, that the command itself is ye love me, keep my commandments” (John xiv. 15). not altered, as appears by verses 13, 14, compared with The promise of His presence with us throngh the Exod. xx. 9, 10; and secondly, that in this exhorta* other Comforter" compensates for the absence of any tion Moses calls Israel to hear the statutes and judg. visible image. As love in this verse is practical, so is ments which he, as their mediator, commands them, and hatred in the previous verse. To hate God is to dis. that he is free to enforce them by such reasons as may obey His commandments.
seem to him best. (11) Take ... in vain.–Literally, Thou shalt not (16) That it may go well with thee .-In put the name of Jehovah thy God to vanity: i.e., to this form St. Paul cites the commandment in the anything that is false, or hollow, or unreal. Primarily, Epistle to the Ephesians (chap. vi. 2, 3). As to what it is false swearing that is forbidden here; but the ex. may be made of this promise, see a Note on chap. xxii. tension of the principle to vain and rash swearing, or the 7, and a quotation from the Talmud on the point. light use of the Name without real cause, is sufficiently (17—20) The wording of these four commandments is obvious.
the same with that of Exod. xx.
Recited by Moses.
a Rom. 13.9.
(19) a Neither shalt thou steal.
flesh, that hath heard the voice of the (20) Neither shalt thou bear false wit
living God speaking out of the midst of ness against thy neighbour.
the fire, as we have, and lived ? (27) Go (21) Neither shalt thou desire thy
thou near, and hear all that the LORD neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou
our God shall say: and e speak thou uncovet thy neighbour's house, his field,
to us all that the LORD our God shall or his manservant, or his maidservant, Rom. 7.7. speak unto thee; and we will hear it, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is
and do it. thy neighbour's.
(28) And the LORD heard the voice of (22) These words the LORD spake unto
your words, when ye spake unto me; all your assembly in the mount out of
and the LORD said unto me, I have the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and
heard the voice of the words of this of the thick darkness, with a great • Ex, 19. 19. people, which they have spoken unto voice: and he added no more. And he
thee: they have well said all that they wrote them in two tables of stone, and
have spoken. (29) that there were such delivered them
an heart in them, that they would fear came to pass,
me, and keep all my commandments out of the midst of the darkness, (for
always, that it might be well with them, the mountain did burn with fire,) that a ch. 4. 33. and with their children for ever! ye came near unto me, even all the
(30) Go say to them, Get you into your heads of your tribes, and your elders ;
tents again. (31) But as for thee, stand (24) and ye said, Behold, the LORD our
thou here by me, and I will speak unto God hath shewed us his glory and his
thee all the commandments, and the greatness, and we have heard his voice
statutes, and the judgments, which thou out of the midst of the fire : we have 1 Heb., add to hear. shalt teach them, that they may do seen this day that God doth talk with
them in the land which I give them to man, and he d liveth. (25) Now therefore
(32) Ye shall observe to do why should we die ? for this great fire
Therefore as the LORD your God hath will consume us: if we 1 hear the voice
commanded you : ye shall not turn aof the Lord our God any more, then we
side to the right hand or to the left. shall die. (26) For who is there of all
(33) Ye shall walk in all the ways which
• Ex. 20. 19.
(21) His field.-These words are not found in (28—31) And the Lord heard the voice of your Exod. xx.
The children of Israel had now become, or words ...-The Divine comment on the words of were just about to become, landowners; hence the the people is recorded only in Deuteronomy; but addition is appropriate in this place. There is also in order to obtain a complete record of it, we must another slight
verbal alteration. One word only is used refer to chap. xviii. 18, 19. It will appear by comfor “ covet” in Exod. xx. 17; here two are employed. parison of the two passages that the promise of the The idea of the one is to “delight in,” and the other to prophet like unto Moses was given at this very time: “lust after.”
"They have well said all that they have spoken. I (22) He added no more—i.e., He spoke no more will raise them up a prophet from among their brethin this manner; or, there were only ten commandments. ren, like unto thee, and will put my words
in His So verse 25 : “If we add to hear”-i.e., in this fashion. mouth.” It is not a little remarkable that He who
gave the Law from Sinai " in blackness and darkness (23—27) The speech of the elders to Moses is more and tempest” should, on that very day, acknowledge fully and exactly described here than in Exod. xx., the need of a different form of teaching for His where it is briefly summarised as expressing the mind people, and should promise it then and there. But of the whole people.
it must not be forgotten that He "whose voice then
shook the earth” is the very_same Person who (25) Why should we die ?—The instinctive dread “speaketh from heaven” now. He who pronounced of death awakened by the Divine presence, and espe- the Law in the letter writes it on the heart by His cially by the declaration of the Divine law, bears Spirit. The Angel of the covenant and the Prophet eloquent testimony to the truth that man was made to like unto Moses are one. He who gave the Law on bear the Divine likeness, and to live a holy life.
Sinai died under it on Calvary, and provided for its (26) For who is there of all flesh, that hath observance for ever. heard.-A famous passage in the Talmud makes all (29) O that there were such an heart in them. nations hear the words of the Law, every people in -Literally, Who will give that there shall be this heart its own language. The thought is remarkable as bring- in them, to fear me, and to keep all my commandments ing out a further analogy between the revelation at all the days ? He who asked the question has also Sinai and the revelation on the Day of Pentecost, when supplied the answer : 'I will put my laws in their every man heard in his own language the wonderful hearts, and in their minds will I write them.” Or, works of God.
more exactly, in Heb. viii, 10, “Giving my laws into
22. 37; Mark 12.
the LORD your God hath commanded |1 Heb, pass over. (3) Hear therefore, O Israel, and you, that ye may live, and that it may
observe to do it; that it may be well be well with you, and that ye may pro
with thee, and that ye may increase long your days in the land which ye
mightily, as the Lord God of thy
fathers hath promised thee, in the land
a ch. 10:22; Matt. that floweth with milk and honey. CHAPTER VI.- (1) Now these are the
(4) Hear, O Israel : the LORD our God commandments, the statutes, and the
is one LORD: (5) and a thou shalt love judgments, which the Lord your God
the LORD thy God with all thine heart, commanded to teach you, that ye might
and with all thy soul, and with all thy do them in the land whither ye I go to
might. (6) And these words, which I possess it: (2) that thou mightest fear
command thee this day, shall be in thine the LORD thy God, to keep all his sta
heart: (7) and thou shalt teach them tutes and his commandments, which I
diligently unto thy children, and shalt command thee, thou, and thy son, and
talk of them when thou sittest in thine thy son's son, all the days of thy life;
house, and when thou walkest by the and that thy days may be prolonged.
way, and when thou liest down, and
ch. 11. 18.
2 Heb., rchet, or,
their understanding, I will also write them upon their (3) That ye may increase mightily ... in hearts.” The need of a Mediator like themselves was the land.-The position of Israel in the land, and well stated by the people; it was also met by Him who their continuance therein, depended entirely on their said, “ They have well said all that they have spoken.” fulfilment of the purpose for which they were brought
there—the observance of the Law of Jehovah, as it VI.
applied to their peculiar situation.
(4, 5) Hear, O Israel . . .-These two verses are FIRST PORTION OF THE COMMENTARY ON THE LAW (chaps. vi.-xi.).
styled by our Lord "the first and great command
ment” in the Law. The first words of the Talmud (1) These are the commandments, the statutes, concern the hours when this form should be recited and the judgments, which the Lord ... com- in daily morning or evening prayer-" Hear, O Israel : manded ... that ye might do them in the Jehovah our God is one Jehovah." The unity of land.-After the Decalogue itself has been recapitu. Jehovah, as opposed to the belief in "gods many lated, Moses proceeds to apply its principles to the and lords many,” is the key-note of the Jewish faith. conduct of Israel in the promised land. The first "We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in part of the application is more general, and concerns Unity.” But this truth, though visible in the Old the relation of Israel to Jehovah, who has brought Testament by the light of the New, was not expli. them from Egypt through the wilderness to the citly revealed until it came forth in history, when promised land. This portion concludes with chap. xi. the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the The precepts that follow are particular, and concern world, and both sent the Holy Spirit to represent the land of Israel viewed as the seat of (1) the worship Him in the Church. and (2) the kingdom of Jehovah. But the whole dis- (5) With all thine heart, and with all thy course, from chap. iv. 44 to the end of chap. xxvi., soul, and with all thy might.—The word “heart” is presented to us as one unbroken whole. (See has been taken both as thought” and “affection.” Introduction for a complete analysis.)
Hence, perhaps, the four terms, “ heart, mind, soul, The commandments.-Literally, this is the com- and strength,” which we find in St. Mark xii. 30. mandment, the statutes, and the judgments. The Rashi says upon the expression "all thy heart”
commandment” is the duty imposed on Israel by the " with both natures (the good and evil nature). covenant of the ten words—its application to their “With all thy soul” he expounds thus : “Even though daily lives. This application includes (1) statutes, He take it (thy life) from thee.” And “with all thy religious ordinances, or institutions; and (2) judg. might” he paraphrases in a truly practical and characments, requirements, actual rules of behaviour. The teristic fashion, “ With all thy money, for you sometwo words “statutes” and “judgments,” in the ori- times find a man whose money is dearer to him than ginal, may sometimes represent two aspects of the his life (or body).” Or, as an alternative, “ in every same thing. For example, the Passover is an or.
condition which He allots to thee, whether prosperity dinance, or “statute,” or, as we should say, an“ insti. or chastisement. And so He says in David, ‘will tution.” The rules for its observance are “judg- take the cup of salvation (deliverances), and I will call ments,” or requirements. The thing itself is per. on the name of the Lord' (Ps. cxvi. 13); and again. manent; the rules for its observance may vary. It 'I shall find trouble and heaviness, and I will call was originally eaten standing, and in haste. But after on the name of the Lord'" (verses 3, 4.) It is an Israel was at rest, it was eaten by them reclining, and interesting illustration of the passage, thongh the in an attitude of repose. Again, the moral law as a verbal connection on which it is based will not whole was eternal ; but its application to the life hold. of Israel was very different from its application to (7) And thou shalt teach them diligently.ourselves. The word here rendered “commandments” The same Jewish commentator remarks that there should is now commonly employed by the Jews to signify be no hesitation in answering anything that a man any religious duty or good work.
might ask. Had this system of education been carried They are to Remember
God in the Promised Land.
when thou risest up. (8) And thou shalt |a ch. 8. 9, 10, &c. Lord thy God be kindled against thee, bind them for a sign upon thine hand,
and destroy thee from off the face of and they shall be as frontlets between
the earth. (9) And thou shalt write
(16) • Ye shall not tempt the LORD them upon the posts of thy house, and 1 Heb., donemen. your God, das ye tempted him in on thy gates.
Massah. (17) Ye shall diligently keep (10) And it shall be, when the LORD
the commandments of the LORD your thy God shall have brought thee into
God, and his testimonies, and his stathe land which he sware unto thy
tutes, which he hath commanded thee. fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to 14.10. 12, 20 & (18) And thou shalt do that which is Jacob, to give thee great and goodly
right and good in the sight of the cities, which thou buildedst not, (l) and
LORD: that it may be well with thee, houses full of all good things, which
and that thou mayest go in and possess thou filledst not, and wells digged,
the good land which the LORD sware which thou diggedst not, vineyards and
unto thy fathers, (19) to cast out all olive trees, which thou plantedst not;
thine enemies from before thee, as the a when thou shalt have eaten and be
Lord hath spoken. full; (12) then beware lest thou forget
(20) And when thy son asketh thee ? in the LORD, which brought thee forth out
time to come, saying, What mean the of the land of Egypt, from the house
testimonies, and the statutes, and the of l bondage. (13) Thou shalt • fear the
judgments, which the Lord our God LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt
hath commanded you ? (21) then thou swear by his name. (14) Ye shall not go 2 Heb., to morrow. shalt say unto thy son, We were after other gods, of the gods of the
Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt; and the people which are round about you;
Lord brought us out of Egypt with a (15) (for the LORD thy God is a jealous
mighty hand: (22) and the Lord shewed God among you) lest the anger of the 3 Heb, eril. signs and wonders, great and 3 sore,
c Matt. 4. 7.
d Ex. 17. 2.
on from the first, the history of Israel would have As ye tempted him in Massah.– How did been very different from what it is.
they tempt Him in Massah? By raising the unbeliev. (8) And thou shalt bind them .. .-From this ing question, “ Is the Lord among us, or not ?" (Exod. precept the Jews derive the use of the Tephillin, the xvii. 7). Even by the side of Satan upon the giddy pin. portions of the Law which they bind upon the head nacle of the Temple, our Saviour refused to doubt the or arm when about to pray.
care of Jehovah. He would not throw Himself from
thence into the arms of the angels to escape Satan, but (10—13) The song of Moses supplies a prophetic com. “He endured as seeing Him who is invisible.” To this ment upon this in chap. xxxii. 15 : “ Jeshurun waxed fat, standard of action Israel was called in face of the and kicked ... then he forsook God.” “ In all time powers of evil. But it was not always realised. of our wealth, good Lord, deliver us.”
(18) And that thou mayest go in and possess.
-This should be taken with what follows, “ Possess," so (13) Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and as “to cast out all thine enemies from before thee” serve him.-Literally, Jehovah thy God thou shalt (verse 19). There was no question now whether Israel fear, and him shalt thou serve : i.e., Him only, as trans- should pass the Jordan; but how far the conquest of lated by the LXX., and cited by our Lord in His Canaan would be completed, or within what period of temptation. It is remarkable that all His answers to time, depended upon their faithfulness to His decrees. the tempter were taken not only from Deuteronomy, That it was delayed by their disobedience is clear from but from one and the same portion of Deuteronomy- Judges ii. 20—23. chaps. v.—x. inclusive—the portion which applies the (20) What mean the testimonies, and the principles of the Decalogue to Israel's life.
statutes, and the judgments. These three words And shalt swear by his name.-Comp. Exod. appear for the first time together in the introduction xxiii. 13. “Make no mention of the name of other gods.” to this discourse (chap. iv. 45). The Law, or Torah, The principle was not unknown to the patriarchs. includes charges, and institutions, and requirements. Laban appealed to the "God of Nahor,” but “ Jacob The Decalogue itself is primarily the Torah; the charge sware by the fear of his father Isaac” (Gen. xxxi. 53). which follows may come under the head of “testimony." (Comp. Jer. v. 7: “ Thy children have forsaken me, and The “statutes” and “judgments" more properly desworn by no-gods.")
scribe the contents of the chapters from chaps. xi.- xxvi. (15) From off the face of the earth.-Literally, inclusive. of the ground. Absolute extermination is threatened (21) The Lord brought us out of Egypt.by the fire of His jealousy.
The simple explanation of the obligations of the Law (16) Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God. given in these verses is based upon the message of - In the LXX., “ Thou shalt not tempt," and so where Jehovah to Israel from Sinai, in Exod. xix. 3–6: “Ye our Lord used it against the tempter (Matt. iv. and have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I Luke iv.).
bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto my.