Deuteronomy Chapter 32 Continued
Verses 26-38: The idolatry and rebellions of Israel deserved, and the justice of God seemed to demand, that they should be rooted out. But He spared Israel, and continues them still to be living witnesses of the truth of the Bible, and to silence unbelievers. They are preserved for wise and holy purposes and the prophecies give us some idea what those purposes are. The Lord will never disgrace the throne of his glory. It is great wisdom, and will help much to the return of sinners to God, seriously to consider their latter end, or the future state. It is here meant particularly of what God foretold by Moses, about this people in the latter days; but it may be applied generally. Oh that men would consider the happiness they will lose, and the misery they will certainly plunge into, if they go on in their trespasses! What will be in the end thereof? (Jer. 5:31). For the Lord will in due time bring down the enemies of the church, in displeasure against their wickedness. When sinners deem themselves most secure, they suddenly fall into destruction. And God’s time to appear for the deliverance of his people, is when things are at the worst with them. But those who trust to any rock but God, will find it fail them when they most need it. The rejection of the Messiah by the Jewish nation, is the continuance of their ancient idolatry, apostasy, and rebellion. They shall be brought to humble themselves before the Lord, to repent of their sins, and to trust in their long-rejected Mediator for salvation. Then he will deliver them, and make their prosperity great.
Deuteronomy 32:26 “I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men:”
Or could have said, or might have said. That is, determined and resolved, as it was in his power, and in right and justice might have done what follows.
“I would scatter them into corners”: Rather, I would utterly disperse them. Were it not that I apprehended the provocation of the enemy. That I should be provoked to wrath when the enemy ascribed the overthrow of Israel to his own prowess and not to my judgments (compare Deut. 9:28-29; Ezek. 20:9, 20:14; 20:22).
“I would make the remembrance of them cease from among men”: As of the Amalekites, Moabites, Midianites, Edomites, Chaldeans, and others, whose names as well as nations are no more. This is what the enemies of the Jews plotted and conspired to do (Psalm 83:4). And what God could and might have done, but has not. The Jews continue to this day a distinct people, though it is now over 1900 years since the destruction of their city and temple, and their dispersion in the various parts of the world.
This is a continuation of the song of Moses from the last lesson. Moses was encouraging them to realize who God was and worship Him, and no other. We left off in the last lesson telling of the terrible things that would happen to them, if they became unfaithful to God.
Deuteronomy 32:27 “Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, [and] lest they should say, Our hand [is] high, and the LORD hath not done all this.”
“Our hand is high”: Military arrogance. The only thing that would prevent the Lord from permitting the complete destruction of His people would be His concern that the Gentiles might claim for themselves the honor of victory over Israel.
The reason God would not totally destroy them at this point, is because the enemy would not give God credit for the destruction. Israel deserved to be destroyed, but God would not do that because of the preservation of the name of the LORD, even among the heathen people. The heathen would think it was by their great strength, if God allowed them to totally destroy them.
Deuteronomy 32:28 “For they [are] a nation void of counsel, neither [is there any] understanding in them.”
That have not wisdom to direct themselves, nor discretion to desire and receive counsel from others, but rashly and madly go on in those courses which will certainly ruin them.
“Neither is there any understanding in them”: Of divine and spiritual things, of the Scriptures, and the doctrines of them. Of the person of Christ, and his divine perfections, or they would never deny his deity. Of the righteousness of God, of that which is required in the law, and revealed in the Gospel, or they would never set up a righteousness of their own for justification. And of themselves, their unrighteousness, impurity, and impotence to that which is good. Or they would never so strongly assert the purity of human nature, and the power of man’s freewill.
Israel had walked with God, and yet they did not understand who He is. They were void of good counsel as well. They would not listen to Moses now, and certainly would not listen when he was gone.
Deuteronomy 32:29 “O that they were wise, [that] they understood this, [that] they would consider their latter end!”
That they understood this; rather, if they were wise they would understand this.
“That they would consider their latter end”: The terrible judgments, which, in the event of their continued and incorrigible disobedience, would impart so awful a character to the close of their national history.
Their understanding was darkened. It is difficult to believe that they could have seen so many miracles, and yet doubt the God that brought the miracles. They had not considered what might happen to them in the end. It reminds me of people today who are not walking with God. I wonder if they ever consider that hell awaits them?
Deuteronomy 32:30 “How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?”
This is said for the conviction of the Pagan Romans of their folly in behaving strangely. Attributing to their gods what belonged to the true God. For since the Jews were more numerous than they, both in Judea, in the times of Titus Vespasian, when the country was subdued by him. Which, allowing the phrase to be hyperbolical, was like one to a thousand, and two to ten thousand. Now since this was what was promised to the Jews in case of obedience, that they should in this manner chase their enemies (Lev. 26:8). It cannot be accounted for that they should in like manner be chased by their enemies, as threatened (Isa. 30:17).
“Except their rock had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up”: That is, unless the Lord, who was their rock and fortress, and in whom they should have trusted as such, had forsaken them, and given them up into their enemies’ hands. Shut up as they were in the city of Jerusalem in the times of Titus. It is a plain case that this was of God, and not owing to the idols of the Gentiles (see Psalm 44:9).
If Israel would repent and live for God, there is no limit to what they could do with the LORD leading them. One and the LORD are a majority, no matter how large that majority is. Since they had been unfaithful to Him, He has left them helpless. The “Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up”.
Deuteronomy 32:31 “For their rock [is] not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves [being] judges.”
“Rock … rock”: A contrast between the gods of the nations (“rock”), and Israel’s true God (“Rock”). Israel could smite its foes with very little difficulty because of the weakness of their gods, who are not like the Rock Jehovah.
They have traded the Rock (Jesus Christ), for an earthly rock that has no power. They will lose without the Rock.
Deuteronomy 32:32 “For their vine [is] of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes [are] grapes of gall, their clusters [are] bitter:”
“The vine of Sodom”: Employing the metaphor of a vineyard, its grapes and its wine, the wickedness of Israel’s enemies was described as having its roots in Sodom and Gomorrah, the evil cities destroyed by God as recorded in (Gen. 19:1-29).
Everything they do will fail, without the blessings of the LORD upon them. Even their grape juice will be as bitter as gall. The problem with the things they will produce, is that they are fleshly things.
Deuteronomy 32:33 “Their wine [is] the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.”
An expression of the same import with the former, signifying their fruits or works to be most depraved and pernicious (Rev. 17:2), and so resembling the poison of dragons.
“The cruel venom of asps”: The venom of asps is called cruel, because it is accounted the most subtile and acute of all poisons, instantly penetrating into the vital parts.
The snake mentioned here is one which has a deadly bite. Any of that venom would kill a man. Wine made for earthly purposes, can cause great grief and sometimes death.
Verses 34-38: The possibility of compassion is implied as the poet turns his attention to the “impending doom” which would come upon those enemies of Israel who God would employ as His instruments of judgment (verses 34-35). God could use the foreign nations to execute judgment on His own people (Isa. 10:5; 39:6-7; 44:28); yet they would remain responsible for their acts (verse 35 is quoted in Rom. 12:19 and Heb. 10:30).
Deuteronomy 32:34 “[Is] not this laid up in store with me, [and] sealed up among my treasures?”
“Sealed up among my treasures”: The wicked acts of Israel’s enemies were known to God and are stored up in His storehouse. At the proper time, God will avenge. Paul uses this image in (Rom. 2:4-5).
We love to share in the blessings of God’s treasures. Most of us do not want to admit that God has wrath stored up for the disobedient as well.
Deuteronomy 32:35 “To me [belongeth] vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in [due] time: for the day of their calamity [is] at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.”
“Vengeance, and recompence”: The manner and timing of the repayment of man’s wickedness is God’s prerogative. This principle is reaffirmed in the New Testament in (Rom. 12:19; Heb. 10:30).
The problem with retaliation is that it can start an endless cycle. Human beings cannot be trusted to exact proper “vengeance, and recompense” (Psalm 94:1; Rom. 12:19; Heb. 10:30). The manner and timing in which wickedness is repaid is God’s alone.
Romans 12:19 “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
Their evil ways will be their downfall. Unfaithfulness to the LORD will bring calamity upon them from the LORD Himself.
Romans 2:5 “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;”
Deuteronomy 32:36 “For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that [their] power is gone, and [there is] none shut up, or left.”
This is the promise that the Lord will judge Israel as a nation, but that the nation is composed of righteous and wicked. God actually helps the righteous by destroying the wicked. “His servants” are the righteous, all who in the time of judgment are faithful to the Lord (compare Mal. 3:16 – 4:3). The Lord has judged Israel, not to destroy the nation, but to punish the sinners and show the folly of their false gods (verses 37-38). At the same time, the Lord has always shown compassion for those who have loved and obeyed Him.
If the people will not repent for themselves, then the LORD will repent for them. When He judges His people and they are found wanting, their power is taken away. Perhaps this is a promise of the Messiah. He will come and pay the penalty for all of sinful mankind.
Deuteronomy 32:37 “And he shall say, Where [are] their gods, [their] rock in whom they trusted,”
Not the Lord shall say to Israel, upbraiding them with their idols and their idolatries. The Lord, before he delivers his people, will first convince them of their former folly in forsaking him and following idols. He will find an occasion from that miserable and hopeless condition into which their idols have brought them, to upbraid them with it.
“Their rock in whom they trusted?” That is, it shall be said to the people of God, when in the low estate before described, and which will make it still more distressing. It shall be said to them by their enemies in a sneering way, where is the Lord their God they boasted of, and the rock of salvation in whom they trusted? Which agrees with other passages of Scripture (Psalm 42:3). The persons insulted and upbraided are the Protestant witnesses at the time of their being slain. When “they that dwell upon the earth, shall rejoice over them” (Rev. 11:10). They are such who are true believers in the God and Father of Christ, as their God and Father in Christ, who of his own free grace has blessed them with all spiritual blessings in him. And who trust in Christ the rock alone for justification before God, for acceptance with him, and for their whole salvation. Rejecting the Popish notion of justification by works, the doctrines of merit, and of works of more than required, and the like. Who now will be taunted at, and triumphed over, saying, where is the God of the Protestants they gloried in, as being on their side? And where is their rock on which they say the church is built, and not on Peter?
This is the LORD showing the utter worthlessness of the false gods.
Deuteronomy 32:38 “Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, [and] drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, [and] be your protection.”
Alluding to the fat of the sacrifices under the law, which was claimed by the Lord as his, and represented as his food (Lev. 3:11). And to the drink offerings of wine, which were of a sweet savor to God, and with respect to which wine is said to cheer him (Num. 15:7). Now New Testament worship and services are here expressed in Old Testament language, which is not unusual (see Isa. 56:7). And signify the best of the sacrifices and services of true believers in Christ, presenting their souls and bodies unto him as a holy, living, acceptable sacrifice, which is but their reasonable service. Offering their sacrifices of prayer and praise unto him through Christ. Doing all good works in his name and strength, and all acts of beneficence in love to him and his people, with which sacrifices he is well pleased.
“Let them rise up and help you”: Their God and their rock, Jehovah the Father, their covenant God, and his Son the rock of their salvation, in whom they trust. And so they will arise and help them in this time of extreme distress. Though they may seem as asleep, and to take no notice of the sad estate of saints, they will arise in wrath and indignation at their enemies, and deliver them out of their hands. The Spirit of life from God shall be sent to bring to life the slain witnesses, and Christ will rise up in the exertion of his kingly power.
“And be your protection”: Or “let him be your hiding place”. That is, the rock in whom they trusted, and so he is, and will be “a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the storm” (Isa. 32:2). Not only from the wrath and justice of God, but from the rage and fury of men. Christ will protect and defend his people against all their enemies, and in his own time will deliver them from them. Who, in answer to these taunts and derisions, rises up, and thus he says, as follows.
Idols and false gods are nothings. They have no power to help anyone at any time. They are made by the imaginations of men.
Verses 39-44: These verses contain the vindication and vengeance of God. “There is no god with me (“beside Me”). The false gods are impotent; only Yahweh can “kill, and … make alive … wounded and … heal.” “I lift up my hand to heaven” symbolizes the making of an oath, which is introduced by the formula that follows, God declares that He will “render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me”. Even though Israel’s enemies had been instrumental in the execution of God’s judgment on Israel, they themselves would eventually experience the wrath of God for their evil acts.
Verses 39-43: This conclusion of the song speaks:
(1) Glory to God. No escape can be made from his power.
(2) It speaks terror to his enemies. Terror indeed to those who hate him. The wrath of God is here revealed from heaven against them.
(3) It speaks comfort to his own people. The song concludes with words of joy. Whatever judgments are brought upon sinners; it shall go well with the people of God.
Deuteronomy 32:39 “See now that I, [even] I, [am] he, and [there is] no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither [is there any] that can deliver out of my hand.”
“I even I, am he”: After showing the worthlessness of false gods (verses 37-38), this declaration of the nature of God was presented in contrast to show that the God of Israel is the living God, the only One who can offer help and protection to Israel. He has the power of life and death with regard to Israel (compare 1 Sam. 2:6; 2 Kings 5:7), and the power to wound and heal them (compare Isa. 30:26; 57:17-18; Jer. 17:14; Hosea 6:1).
The LORD God has the power of life and death. He needs no help from another. He is the Almighty. God may wound them in chastisement to cause them to return to Him. He is also their Healer. God holds the power of life and death in His hands. He says who lives and who dies. He has our time numbered, as He has the hairs of our head. Only God has this great control. This shows the utter uselessness of false gods.
Verses 40-42: I lift up my hand”: God takes an oath to bring vengeance on His enemies. Here (as in Exodus 6:8; Num. 14:28), the hand is used anthropomorphically of God, who can swear by no greater that His eternal Self (compare Isa. 45:23; Jer. 22:5; Heb. 6:17).
Deuteronomy 32:40 “For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever.”
Which is a gesture used in swearing (Gen. 14:22). And is ascribed to a divine Person (Ezek. 20:5). And particularly to Christ the angel, that is so wonderfully described (Rev. 10:1).
“And say, I live for ever”: Which is the form of an oath. When men swear, they are to swear, the Lord liveth, or to swear by the living God, and him only (Jer. 4:2). And when the Lord swears in this manner, he swears by his life, by himself, because he can swear by no greater. And his form of swearing is, “as truly as I live, saith the Lord” (Num. 14:21). So the above angel is said to swear by him that liveth for ever and ever (Rev. 10:6).
God is the great I AM. He is the One who eternally exists. He is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. “Lifting up the hand to heaven” is a sign of taking an oath. God swore by His own name, because there was none greater.
Deuteronomy 32:41 “If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.”
That is, I will do it as sure as I live. A glittering sword is a sword drawn, the blade of it drawn out of the scabbard, cleaned and polished, whetted and made sharp, that it may more easily penetrate and pierce. Whetting the sword is a preparation for doing execution with it; and is a warning, a giving notice of it. As girding: the sword on the thigh also is ascribed to Christ (Psalm 45:3).
“And my hand take hold on judgment”: In order to execute it. The allusion is to the laying hold on the instruments of justice and death, as the glittering sword before mentioned, and arrows afterwards. And may have respect to the four sore judgments, or at least to some of them, which the Lord will execute on mystical Babylon (Ezek. 14:21).
“I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and I will reward them that hate me”: His enemies that hate him, and will not have him to rule over them, are the followers of antichrist, who has his name from his opposition to Christ, his hatred of him, and enmity against him. The vengeance Christ will render, as a righteous reward to those his enemies, is expressed by destroying antichrist with the breath of his mouth. By the beast going into perdition; and by leading them captive who have led others. By killing them with the sword who have killed others with it; by pouring out the vials of his wrath on them. By giving them the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. By smiting them with the sword that comes out of his mouth, and by bringing upon them death, mourning, and famine, and burning them with fire. All which he will most surely render unto them (2 Thess. 2:8; Rev. 19:15).
The glittering sword, usually indicated the sword was polished and ready for battle. Whet is a form of sharpening the sword for battle as well. It is God’s judgement whether vengeance is to be meted out or not.
Deuteronomy 32:42 “I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; [and that] with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revengers upon the enemy.”
Signifying, that by various judgments he would bring upon them, which, like arrows, would come suddenly, fly swiftly, and pierce deeply. There would be a prodigious effusion of blood like that in (Rev. 14:20). So that these arrows, which cause it, being plunged and soaked, and covered in it, may be said to be intoxicated with it, just as the sword is said to be bathed and filled with blood (Isa. 34:5). Which prophecy respects the same vengeance of Christ on the selfsame enemies of his as here. And as the whore of Rome is said to be drunken with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus, the arrows of her destruction are represented in just retaliation as drunk with her blood (Rev. 17:6).
“And my sword shall devour flesh”: The flesh of kings, of captains, of mighty men, of horses, and of them that sit on them the flesh of all men, bond and free, small and great (Rev. 19:18). That is, shall destroy great multitudes of men.
“And that with the blood of the slain, and of the captives”: That is, his arrows should be drunk not only with the blood of these that were wounded and killed, but of the captives. Who commonly are spared, but in this case should not, their blood should be shed. It may be rendered, “because of the blood of the slain”. Because of the blood of the saints whom they have killed, and carried captive, and who have died in prisons.
“From the beginning of revenges upon the enemy”: Or “of the enemy”; that is, from the time the enemy began to oppress the saints, and take revenge on them, and shed their blood. All that blood shall be found in them that has been from the beginning shed, and charged to their account, and revenged on them. Just as the blood of all the righteous, from the beginning of the world, was brought upon the Jews (Matt. 23:35). And the captains and generals of their armies, which will be brought to Armageddon, and there destroyed (see Psalm 68:21).
This shows the action of the vengeance.
Deuteronomy 32:43 “Rejoice, O ye nations, [with] his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, [and] to his people.”
“Rejoice, O ye nations with his people”: As a result of the execution of God’s vengeance, all nations will be called upon to praise with Israel the Lord who will have provided redemptively for them in Christ and also provided a new beginning in the Land. This atonement for the Land is the satisfaction of God’s wrath by the sacrifice of His enemies in judgment. The atonement for the people is by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross (compare Psalm 79:9). Paul quotes this passage in (Rom. 15:10), as does the writer of Hebrews (1:6).
Paul quotes this verse when he calls “ye nations” to unite with Jewish believers in praising God (Rom. 15:10).
God will not let those go unpunished, who have killed his servants. God will avenge their blood. We see what happens to the people according to their relationship with Israel.
Genesis 12:3 “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
God is always merciful to His own. He may punish them, but He will come right back and forgive them, and start them out again.
Verses 44-47: Here is the solemn delivery of this song to Israel, with a charge to mind all the good words Moses had said unto them. It is not a trifle, but a matter of life and death. Mind it, and you are made for ever; neglect it, and you are for ever undone. Oh that men were fully persuaded that religion is their life, even the life of their souls!
Deuteronomy 32:44 “And Moses came and spake all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he, and Hoshea the son of Nun.”
To the people, as the Greek version. The heads of the people being gathered together according to his order (Deut. 31:28). The Targum of Jonathan says, he came from the tabernacle, the house of instruction.
“And spake all the words of this song in the ears of the people”: Which is observed both before and after the reading of it, to show the certainty of it, and how punctually and faithfully he had delivered it.
“He, and Hoshea the son of Nun”: The same as Joshua, whose name at first was Hoshea (Num. 13:16). Probably Joshua read the song to one part of the people, while Moses read it to the other.
“Hoshea” is the same as Joshua. Joshua listened to the words of the song along with the people. It is so simple. God will bless them, as long as they are faithful. If they are not faithful, terrible times come to them until they repent.
Deuteronomy 32:45 “And Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel:”
Finished all he had to say to them from the Lord, whether by way of precept, moral, civil, and ceremonial or in the form of a song.
Deuteronomy 32:46 “And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.”
By way of exhortation.
“Set your hearts to all the words which I testify among you this day”: It was not enough to hear them, but they were to lay them up in their hearts, and retain them in their memories. And not only so, but reflect on them in their minds, and closely apply to the consideration of them. And get the true knowledge and sense of them, and put it in practice.
“Which ye shall command your children to observe, to do all the words of this law”: Which shows that the exhortation does not respect the song only, but the whole law delivered in this book. Which they were not only to attend to themselves, but to transmit to their children. And enjoin them the observance of, that so religion might be perpetuated in their posterity.
One more time at the end of the song, Moses encourages the people to listen carefully to the message and keep it in their hearts. They must learn it well and teach it to their children, if they are to be blessed of God.
Deuteronomy 32:47 “For it [is] not a vain thing for you; because it [is] your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong [your] days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.”
“It is your life”: Moses reiterated to Israel that obedience to the Lord’s commands was to be the key to her living long in the land that God had prepared and called for this song to be a kind of national anthem which the leaders should see is frequently repeated to animate the people to love and obey God.
This message is not to be taken casually. It is a matter of life and death. God has kept His promise to give them the Promised Land. It will be up to them, to keep it through their faithfulness to God.
Verses 48-52: Because Moses did not obey God at the “waters of Meribah-Kadesh”, God would not let him enter the Promised Land (3:23-26; Num. 20:10-13). Nevertheless, he is remembered throughout Scripture for his faithful service (Exodus 33:11; Num. 12:6-8; Heb. 3:1-6; 11:23-29).
Now Moses had done his work, why should he desire to live a day longer? God reminds him of the sin of which he had been guilty, for which he was kept from entering Canaan. It is good for the best of men to die repenting the infirmities of which they are conscious. But those may die with comfort and ease, whenever God calls for them, notwithstanding the sins they remember against themselves. Who have a believing prospect, and a well-grounded hope of eternal life beyond death.
Verses 32:48 – 34:12: The anticipation of and record of Moses’ death (32:48-52; 34:1-12), bracket the recording of Moses’ blessing given to Israel before his death. This literary unit was composed and added to the text after the death of Moses.
Deuteronomy 32:48 “And the LORD spake unto Moses that selfsame day, saying,”
On which he finished the reading of the law, and the above song, which was the seventh of Adar or February. According to the Targum of Jonathan, the day he died on. According to the Egyptian Calendar, it was the sixteenth of that month (see Deut. 34:5).
As soon as the song was over, the LORD spoke to Moses.
Deuteronomy 32:49 “Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, [unto] mount Nebo, which [is] in the land of Moab, that [is] over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession:”
“Mount Nebo”: A peak in the Abarim range of mountains to the east of the north end of the Dead Sea, from where Moses would be able to see across to the Promised Land, which he was not permitted to enter.
The LORD will let Moses see the land of promise from the top of the mountain. This is just over from Jericho, where the children of Israel will enter into the Promised Land. Mount Nebo is possibly the highest point.
Deuteronomy 32:50 “And die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people:”
“Gathered unto thy people”: An idiom for death (see Gen. 25:8, 17; 35:29; 49:33; Num. 20:24, 26; 31:2).
Moses will look at the Promised Land and die. He will have finished his task on the earth, and God will call him home. “Being gathered unto thy people” means that he will enter into his heavenly rest. He will die on the mountain top, as Aaron had died on the mountain top.
Deuteronomy 32:51 “Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel.”
By their unbelief, doubting whether God would give water or not to such a rebellious people. And by giving way to passion and wrathful expressions: and this was done;
“At the waters of Meribah-Kadesh”: So called, to distinguish it from another Meribah, where also there was a contention on account of water (Num. 20:13).
“In the wilderness of Zin”: Where Kadesh was, and further describes and distinguishes this place. Of the one we read in (Exodus 17:7). And of the other, which is here referred to (in Num. 20:1).
“Because ye sanctified me not in, the midst of the children of Israel”: Through their unbelief and disagreeable behavior, they sanctified him not themselves, and gave no honor to him. Nor were the cause of his being sanctified by the Israelites. And this was the reason why Moses and Aaron might not enter into the land of Canaan (Num. 20:12).
This is speaking of the time, when Moses struck the Rock the second time to get water, when God had told him to speak to the Rock. That Rock symbolized the LORD. He was crucified once for the sins of the world. To strike the Rock twice meant that the work Jesus did was not sufficient.
Deuteronomy 32:52 “Yet thou shalt see the land before [thee]; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel.”
Which Jarchi interprets, afar off. And so does Noldius. He saw it at a distance, as the Old Testament saints saw the things promised afar off. And were persuaded of them, though they did not enjoy them (Heb. 11:13).
“But thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel”: The land of Canaan was a gift of God to Israel. Into which they were not to be introduced by Moses, but by Joshua. Signifying that eternal life, or the heavenly Canaan, is the gift of God through Christ, the antitype of Joshua. And not to be obtained by the works of the law.
God rewards him for his leading of the people by allowing him to see the Promised Land. He will not let him go over in the Promised Land, because of his trespass of striking the Rock twice. Anger caused the trespass. We do know that God still loved Moses and carried his spirit into heaven, because Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus at the transfiguration.
Matthew 17:3 “And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.”
Deuteronomy Chapter 32 Continued
1. What is this lesson a continuation of?
2. What was the reason God would not totally destroy them for their unfaithfulness?
3. Israel is a nation void of ________.
4. Their understanding was ______________.
5. What was difficult to believe about the Israelites?
6. How do the Israelites remind the author of people today?
7. One, and the LORD, are a ____________.
8. Who is the Rock?
9. Who had they traded the Rock for?
10. Their vine is of the vine of __________.
11. The snake, mentioned in verse 33, is one with a __________ bite.
12. Most of us do not want to admit that God has _________ stored up for the disobedient.
13. Unfaithfulness to God, will bring ___________.
14. The _________ shall judge His people.
15. Who will come and pay the penalty for all mankind?
16. What had their worthless false gods done?
17. Idols and false gods are ____________.
18. Who has the power of life and death?
19. What are some names that show the eternity of God?
20. “Lifting up the hand to heaven” is a sign of what?
21. What does the glittering sword indicate?
22. What is verse 42 showing?
23. Who is the same as “Hoshea”?
24. What does Moses try to tell them, one more time, at the end of the song?
25. How will they be able to keep the Promised Land?
26. Where did the LORD tell Moses to go?
27. What will Moses be able to do from here?
28. What does the statement “being gathered to thy people” mean?
29. Why will Moses not enter the Promised Land?
30. The Rock symbolized the _________.