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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Deuteronomy 9



1Moses dissuades them from the opinion of their own righteousness, by rehearsing their several rebellions.

Verse 1
Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven,
to pass
3:18; 11:31; 27:2; Joshua 1:11; 3:6,14,16; 4:5,19
this day
The Hebrew hyyom, "this day," frequently denotes, as here, this time. They had come, 38 years before this, nearly to the verge of the promised land, but were not permitted, because of their unbelief and rebellion, at that day or time, to enter; but this time they shall certainly pass over. This was spoken in the eleventh month of the fortieth year of their journeying; and it was on the first month of the following year they passed over: and during this interval Moses died.
4:38; 7:1; 11:23
1:28; Numbers 13:22,28-33

Verse 2
A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak!
Who can stand
7:24; Exodus 9:11; Job 11:10; Daniel 8:4; 11:16; Nahum 1:6

Verse 3
Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee.
6; Matthew 15:10; Mark 7:14; Ephesians 5:17
goeth over
1:30; 20:4; 31:3-6; Joshua 3:11,14; Micah 2:13; Revelation 19:11-16
a consuming fire
4:24; Isaiah 27:4; 30:27,30,33; 33:14; Nahum 1:5,6; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Hebrews 12:29
he shall
7:1,2,16,23,24; Exodus 23:29-31; Isaiah 41:10-16; Romans 8:31

Verse 4
Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee.
Speak not
5; 7:7,8; 8:17; Ezekiel 36:22,32; Romans 11:6,20; 1 Corinthians 4:4,7; Ephesians 2:4,5; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:3-5
for the wickedness
12:31; 18:12; Genesis 15:16; Leviticus 18:24,25

Verse 5
Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Not for
Though the Canaanites were expelled for their wickedness, it does not follow, that the Israelites were established in their room on account of any distinguished virtue, or because they deserved it. On many occasions, it may be seen in the history of the world, that God punishes the wicked by the instrumentality of other men, who are as wicked as themselves. Not the Israelites' righteousness, but the wickedness of the inhabitants, and the promise of God to their fathers, was the cause of their obtaining Canaan.
Titus 3:5
that he may
Genesis 12:7; 13:15; 15:7; 17:8; 26:4; 28:13; Exodus 32:13; Ezekiel 20:14; Micah 7:20; Luke 1:54,55; Acts 3:25; 13:32,33; Romans 11:28; 15:8

Verse 6
Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.
3,4; Ezekiel 20:44
giveth thee
Moses repeats this a third time, that, if it were possible, he might root out of the Israelites the opinion of their own deserts, before God rooted out the Canaanites from their country.
a stiff-necked
13; 10:16; 31:27; Exodus 32:9; 33:3; 34:9; 2 Chronicles 30:8; 36:13; Psalms 78:8; Isaiah 48:3,4; Ezekiel 2:4; Zechariah 7:11,12; Acts 7:51; Romans 5:20,21

Verse 7
Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the LORD thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the LORD.
In order to destroy the opinion which the Israelites had of their own righteousness, it was necessary to call to mind some of their most notorious provocations and rebellions, which Moses exhorts them to preserve in their mind, as a means to keep them humble.
8:2; Ezekiel 16:61-63; 20:43; 36:31; 1 Corinthians 15:9; Ephesians 2:11; 1 Timothy 1:13-15
from the day
31:27; 32:5,6; Exodus 14:11; 16:2; 17:2; Numbers 11:4; 14:1-10; 16:1-35; Numbers 20:2-5; 21:5; 25:2; Nehemiah 9:16-18; Psalms 78:8-72; 95:8-11

Verse 8
Also in Horeb ye provoked the LORD to wrath, so that the LORD was angry with you to have destroyed you.
Also in Horeb
Or rather, "Even at Horeb," for there is a peculiar emphasis here, even there where they had lately received the law, attended with the most astonishing appearances and circumstances.
Exodus 32:16; Psalms 106:19-22

Verse 9
When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water:
I was
Exodus 24:12,15,18
the tables
15; Exodus 31:18; 34:28; Jeremiah 31:31,32; Galatians 4:24
then I
Exodus 24:18; 34:28; 1 Kings 19:8; Matthew 4:2
I neither
18; 1 Kings 13:8,9; 2 Kings 6:22

Verse 10
And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.
the Lord
Exodus 31:18
written with
10:4; Matthew 12:28; Luke 11:20; 2 Corinthians 3:3; Hebrews 8:10
all the words
4:10-15; 5:6-21; 18:16; Exodus 19:17-19; 20:1-18

Verse 11
And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the LORD gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant.
the tables of the covenant
9; Numbers 10:33; Hebrews 8:6-10; 9:4

Verse 12
And the LORD said unto me, Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image.
Exodus 32:7,8
4:16; 31:29; 32:5; Genesis 6:11,12; Jude 1:10
are quickly
16; Judges 2:17; Psalms 78:57; Hosea 6:4; Galatians 1:6

Verse 13
Furthermore the LORD spake unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
I have
Genesis 11:5; 18:21; Exodus 32:9,10; Psalms 50:7; Jeremiah 7:11; 13:27; Hosea 6:10; Malachi 3:5
6; 10:16; 31:27; 2 Kings 17:14

Verse 14
Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven: and I will make of thee a nation mightier and greater than they.
Let me
Exodus 32:10-13; Isaiah 62:6,7; Jeremiah 14:11; 15:1; Luke 11:7-10; 18:1-8; Acts 7:51
29:20; Exodus 32:32,33; Psalms 9:5; 109:13; Proverbs 10:7; Revelation 3:5
and I will
Numbers 14:11,12

Verse 15
So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with fire: and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands.
I turned
Exodus 32:14,15-35
the mount
4:11; 5:23; Exodus 9:23; 19:18; Hebrews 12:18

Verse 16
And I looked, and, behold, ye had sinned against the LORD your God, and had made you a molten calf: ye had turned aside quickly out of the way which the LORD had commanded you.
I looked
Exodus 32:19; Acts 7:40,41

Verse 17
And I took the two tables, and cast them out of my two hands, and brake them before your eyes.
cast them
Moses might have done this through distress and anguish of spirit, on beholding their abominable idolatry and dissolute conduct; or probably he did it emblematically, and perhaps by the direction of God; intimating thereby, that as by this act of his the tables were broken in pieces, on which the Law of God was written, so they, by their present conduct, had made a breach in the covenant, and broken the laws of their Maker and Sovereign.

Verse 18
And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
I fell down
The transgressions of the people rendered this second forty days' fasting necessary to Moses. Their pardon was indeed in some sense obtained before he ascended the mount; yet probably much of the time which he spent there was employed in supplication: and when he descended the second time, with the tables of the law in his hands, the pardon was, as it were, ratified and sealed.
9; Exodus 32:10-14; 34:28; 2 Samuel 12:16; Psalms 106:23

Verse 19
For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, wherewith the LORD was wroth against you to destroy you. But the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also.
For I
8; Exodus 32:10,11; Nehemiah 1:2-7; Luke 12:4,5
But the
10:10; Exodus 32:14; 33:17; Psalms 99:6; 106:23; Amos 7:2,3,5,6; James 5:16,17

Verse 20
And the LORD was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same time.
Exodus 32:2-5,21,35; Hebrews 7:26-28

Verse 21
And I took your sin, the calf which ye had made, and burnt it with fire, and stamped it, and ground it very small, even until it was as small as dust: and I cast the dust thereof into the brook that descended out of the mount.
I took
Exodus 32:20; Isaiah 2:18-21; 30:22; 31:7; Hosea 8:11
the brook
This was the stream which flowed from the rock that Moses smote with his rod, (Ex 17:6,) and to which the Psalmist alludes in Ps 78:16-20; 105:41. Philo relates, that upon Moses' striking the rock, the water poured out like a torrent, affording not only a sufficient quantity for allaying their present thirst, but to fill their water vessels, to carry with them on their journey.

Verse 22
And at Taberah, and at Massah, and at Kibrothhattaavah, ye provoked the LORD to wrath.
Numbers 11:1-5
Exodus 17:7
Numbers 11:4,34

Verse 23
Likewise when the LORD sent you from Kadeshbarnea, saying, Go up and possess the land which I have given you; then ye rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God, and ye believed him not, nor hearkened to his voice.
1:19-33; Numbers 13:1-33
ye rebelled
Numbers 14:1-4,10-41; Isaiah 63:10
ye believed
1:32,33; Psalms 78:22; 106:24,25; Hebrews 3:18,19; 4:2

Verse 24
Ye have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you.
6,7; 31:27; Acts 7:51

Verse 25
Thus I fell down before the LORD forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first; because the LORD had said he would destroy you.

Verse 26
I prayed therefore unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, destroy not thy people and thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed through thy greatness, which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
Exodus 32:11-13; 34:9; Numbers 14:13-19; Psalms 99:6; 106:23; Jeremiah 14:21
thine inheritance
1 Kings 8:51
which thou hast redeemed
29; 32:9; Psalms 74:1,2; Isaiah 63:19
which thou hast brought forth
7:8; 13:5; 15:15; 21:8; 26:7,8; Exodus 15:13; 2 Samuel 7:23; Nehemiah 1:10; Psalms 77:15; 107:2; Isaiah 44:23; Micah 6:4; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 9:12; Revelation 5:9

Verse 27
Remember thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; look not unto the stubbornness of this people, nor to their wickedness, nor to their sin:
Exodus 3:6,16; 6:3-8; 13:5; 32:13; Jeremiah 14:21
look not
Exodus 32:31,32; 1 Samuel 25:25; Psalms 78:8; Proverbs 21:12; Isaiah 43:24,25; Jeremiah 50:20; Micah 7:18,19

Verse 28

the land: Genesis 41:57; Exodus 6:6-8; 1 Samuel 14:25

Because: Deuteronomy 32:26, Deuteronomy 32:27; Exodus 32:12; Numbers 14:15, Numbers 14:16; Joshua 7:7-9; Psalm 115:1, Psalm 115:2; Isaiah 43:25; Isaiah 48:9-11; Jeremiah 14:7-9; Ezekiel 20:8, Ezekiel 20:9, Ezekiel 20:14; Daniel 9:18, Daniel href="/desk/?q=da+9:19&sr=1">Daniel 9:19

Verse 29
Yet they are thy people and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest out by thy mighty power and by thy stretched out arm.
Yet they
26; 4:20; 1 Kings 8:15; Nehemiah 1:10; Psalms 95:7; 100:3; Isaiah 63:19
which thou
26; 4:34


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

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 9:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

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