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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Deuteronomy 12



Verse 1

Deuteronomy 12:1 These [are] the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.

Ver. 1. These are the statutes.] Here Moses begins to comment upon the second commandment of the law. {See Trapp on "Deuteronomy 6:1"}

Verse 2

Deuteronomy 12:2 Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:

Ver. 2. Ye shall utterly destroy.] This clause of this law is judicial, peculiar only to the Jews, saith a grave interpreter; as being chiefly intended to prevent their worshipping God in any other place than that one that he had appointed, to which we in the days of the gospel are not tied. See Deuteronomy 12:5-6. It was a temporary ordinance, saith another, and a part of Moses’s polity, now abrogate.

Verse 3

Deuteronomy 12:3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.

Ver. 3. And ye shall hew down.] As was here done notably in King Edward VI’s days, notwithstanding the withstandings of the rude rabble, which more regarded commotioners than commissioners, and were more guided by rage than by right, &c. (a) So that as one Mr Body, a commissioner, was pulling down images in Cornwall, he was suddenly stabbed into the body, by a priest, with a knife.

Verse 4

Deuteronomy 12:4 Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God.

Ver. 4. Ye shall not do so.] As wicked Ahaz did, [2 Chronicles 28:24] by the advice and help of Uriah, that turn-coat, [2 Kings 16:10-12] who had once passed for a faithful witness, [Isaiah 7:2] but afterwards proved a factor for the devil.

Verse 5

Deuteronomy 12:5 But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, [even] unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:

Ver. 5. And thither shalt thou come.] In token of a holy communion with God.

Verse 6

Deuteronomy 12:6 And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks:

Ver. 6. Heave offerings of your hands.] For none might appear empty handed before the Lord.

Verse 7

Deuteronomy 12:7 And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.

Ver. 7. And there ye shall eat before the Lord.] Lo, this ye shall have of God’s hand, as a recompense of all your charge and pains, ye shall feast before him with joy. This made those good souls go bodily on "from strength to strength"; though they took many a weary step, yet their comfort was, that they should "every one of them in Zion appear before the Lord." [Psalms 84:7] This was the sweetmeats of that feast; other dainty dishes there might be, but this was the banquet.

Verse 9

Deuteronomy 12:9 For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the LORD your God giveth you.

Ver. 9. For ye are not as yet come to the rest.] No more are any of us indeed, till we come to that "rest which remaineth for the people of God." [Hebrews 4:3; Hebrews 4:8-10] The ark was transportative till settled in Solomon’s temple; so till we come to heaven, are we in continual unrest.

Verse 10

Deuteronomy 12:10 But [when] ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and [when] he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;

Ver. 10. So that ye dwell in safety.] Having peace both external and internal, of country and of conscience. (a)

Verse 11

Deuteronomy 12:11 Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:

Ver. 11. Your choice vows.] Your voluntary vows, and of your choicest commodities, the very best of the best.

Verse 12

Deuteronomy 12:12 And ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that [is] within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you.

Ver. 12. And ye shall rejoice.] No one duty is more pressed in both the Testaments, than this of rejoicing in the Lord always, but specially in his immediate services. And the contrary is complained of in Malachi 2:13, and sorely threatened in Deuteronomy 28:47.

Verse 13

Deuteronomy 12:13 Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings in every place that thou seest:

Ver. 13. Take heed.] See Deuteronomy 11:16, Leviticus 17:4.

Verse 14

Deuteronomy 12:14 But in the place which the LORD shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee.

Ver. 14. But in the place.] This taught them unity and uniformity in divine worship; as also that there was but one only way to obtain pardon of their sin, and acceptance of their services, viz., by Jesus Christ, of whom their tabernacle and temple was a type.

Verse 15

Deuteronomy 12:15 Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee: the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the roebuck, and as of the hart.

Ver. 15. According to the blessing.] God allows his not only a sufficiency, but an honest affluency, so they keep within the bounds of their ability.

Verse 16

Deuteronomy 12:16 Only ye shall not eat the blood; ye shall pour it upon the earth as water.

Ver. 16. Only ye shall not eat.] {See Trapp on "Genesis 9:4"}

Verse 19

Deuteronomy 12:19 Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth.

Ver. 19. That thou forsake not the Levite.] But look to his livelihood; since, Ad tenuitatem beneficiorum necessario sequitur ignorantia sacerdotum; small allowances make either ignorant or negligent ministers. (a)

Verse 20

Deuteronomy 12:20 When the LORD thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.

Ver. 20. Thou mayest eat flesh.] Only it is noted as a fault to "feed without fear." [ 1:12] And flesh mongers are taxed by Solomon. Nos etiam animas incarnavimus, saith an ancient, complaining of the arrogance of his times.

Verse 22

Deuteronomy 12:22 Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat them: the unclean and the clean shall eat [of] them alike.

Ver. 22. Even as the roebuck,] i.e., As common and profane meats; for these creatures were rejected for sacrifice.

Verse 25

Deuteronomy 12:25 Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do [that which is] right in the sight of the LORD.

Ver. 25. Thou shalt not eat it.] Who can ever think any commandment of God to be light or little, when this of not eating the blood is charged with so much strictness? The minutula of the law, as well as the magnalia, must be carefully heeded and practised.

Verse 26

Deuteronomy 12:26 Only thy holy things which thou hast, and thy vows, thou shalt take, and go unto the place which the LORD shall choose:

Ver. 26. Go unto the place.] Far off though it be, yet go thou must thither with thy sacrifices; though at home thou mayest kill and eat for thine own repast and refreshing.

Verse 28

Deuteronomy 12:28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest [that which is] good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.

Ver. 28. And with thy children after thee.] Whose comfort they that seek not, are peremptores potius quam parentes, rather parricides than parents. (a)

Verse 32

Deuteronomy 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

Ver. 32. Thou shalt not add thereto.] To add anything to the Word of God, saith Theodoret, is bold madness; but to open those things by the Word, that in the Word are more darkly delivered, is both lawful and laudable.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 12:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

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