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Bible Commentaries

James Gray's Concise Bible Commentary

Deuteronomy 29

 

 

Verses 1-20

THE PALESTINIAN COVENANT

The subject of these chapters is new and exceedingly important, containing what is called the Palestinian covenant.

Note that while the land was unconditionally given to Abraham and his seed in what we call the Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 13:15; Genesis 15:7), yet it was under another and conditional one that Israel ultimately entered the land under Joshua. It is this covenant that is recorded in the present chapters.

This was utterly violated by the nation, for which reason the latter was first disrupted (1 Kings 12), and then altogether cast out of the land (2 Kings 17:1-8; 2 Kings 24:1; 2 Kings 25:11). But this covenant unconditionally promises a national restoration of Israel yet to be accomplished, in accordance with the original promise to Abraham (Genesis 15:18). It will be then, and not till then, that Israel will possess the whole land. This she has never done hitherto.

THE NEED OF EYE SALVE

The first of these chapters is simply an introduction to the covenant fully declared in the following one. We would not pause in its consideration were it not for the spiritual truth of verse 4, which we would emphasize.

Great as the events were which the Israelites had seen in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet, they had made no lasting impression on them. The reason was that they lacked the divine wisdom to apprehend them.

Do not pass this verse without comparing the passages in the Old and New Testaments, which throw light upon it. These are indicated in the margin of your Bible (Isaiah 6:9-10; Isaiah 63:17; Matthew 16:17; John 8:43; Acts 28:26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:9-14; Ephesians 1:15-23; Ephesians 4:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12; 1 Peter 1:10-12; Revelation 2:29; Revelation 3:18).

THE TERMS OF THE COVENANT (Deuteronomy 30)

The Scofield Bible analyzes the Palestinian covenant into seven parts:

1. Deuteronomy 30:1. Dispersion for disobedience (compare Deuteronomy 28:63-68 and Genesis 15:18) 2. Deuteronomy 30:2. Future repentance while in dispersion 3. Deuteronomy 30:3. Return of the Lord (compare Amos 9:9-14; Acts 15:14-17) 4. Deuteronomy 30:5. Restoration to the land (compare Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:3-8; Ezekiel 37:21-25) 5. Deuteronomy 30:6. National conversion (compare Hosea 2:14-16; Romans 11:26-27) 6. Deuteronomy 30:7. Judgment on Israel’s oppressors (compare Isaiah 14:1-2; Joel 3:1-8; Matthew 25:31-46) Deuteronomy 30:9. National prosperity (compare Amos 9:11-14) We are not to suppose that the promises were fulfilled by Israel’s restoration from the Babylonian captivity. It will be recalled that she was not then scattered “among all the nations” or “unto the utmost parts of heaven.” Moreover, when God recalled them from Babylon, they were not all brought back nor multiplied above their fathers (Deuteronomy 30:5), nor were their hearts circumcised to love the Lord (Deuteronomy 30:6).

It may be said that there was a foreshadowing of the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecy at that time, but nothing more. The complete accomplishment is yet to come. Israel is yet to be converted to Jesus Christ as her Messiah, and returned to her land in accordance with what all the prophets teach.

QUESTIONS

1. Name and distinguish between the two covenants mentioned.

2. How many of the Scripture references have you examined under the paragraph “The Need of Eye Salve”?

3. Name the seven features of the Palestinian covenant.

4. Why was not the restoration from Babylon the fulfillment of these promises?

5. When will they be fulfilled?

 


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Bibliography Information
Gray, James. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 29:4". The James Gray's Concise Bible Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jgc/deuteronomy-29.html. 1897-1910.

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