Chapter 29

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1 These are the woordes of the Couenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the Couenant which he made with them in Horeb.

2 And Moses called vnto all Israel, and said vnto them, Yee haue seene all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt vnto Pharaoh, and vnto all his seruants, and vnto all his land;

3 The great temptations which thine eyes haue seene, the signes and those great miracles:

4 Yet the Lord hath not giuen you an heart to perceiue, and eyes to see, and eares to heare, vnto this day.

5 And I haue led you fourtie yeres in the wildernes: your clothes are not waxen old vpon you, and thy shooe is not waxen old vpon thy foot.

6 Ye haue not eaten bread, neither haue you drunke wine, or strong drink: that yee might knowe that I am the Lord your God.

7 And when yee came vnto this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon, and Og the King of Bashan, came out against vs vnto battell, and wee smote them.

8 And wee tooke their lande, and gaue it for an inheritance vnto the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to the halfe tribe of Manasseh.

9 Keepe therefore the wordes of this Couenant and doe them, that yee may prosper in all that ye doe.

10 Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God: your captaines of your tribes, your Elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel,

11 Your litle ones, your wiues, and thy stranger that is in thy campe, from the hewer of thy wood, vnto the drawer of thy water:

12 That thou shouldest enter into Couenant with the Lord thy God, and into his othe which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day:

13 That he may establish thee to day for a people vnto himselfe, and that hee may be vnto thee a God, as he hath said vnto thee, and as he hath sworne vnto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Iacob.

14 Neither with you onely doe I make this couenant and this othe:

15 But with him that standeth here with vs this day before the Lord our God, and also with him that is not here with vs this day:

16 (For ye know how we haue dwelt in the land of Egypt, and how we came thorow the nations which ye passed by.

17 And ye haue seene their abominations, and their idoles, wood, and stone, siluer, and gold, which were among them.)

18 Lest there should be among you man or woman, or familie, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day frō the Lord our God, to goe and serue the gods of these nations: lest there should bee among you a root that beareth gall and wormewood,

19 And it come to passe when he heareth the wordes of this curse, that hee blesse himselfe in his heart, saying, I shall haue peace, though I walke in the imagination of mine heart, to adde drunkennesse to thirst:

20 The Lord wil not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord, and his ielousie shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this booke shall lie vpon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from vnder heauen.

21 And the Lord shall separate him vnto euill, out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the Couenant, that are written in this booke of the Law:

22 So that the generation to come of your children, that shall rise vp after you, and the stranger that shall come from a farre land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which the Lord hath layd vpon it;

23 And that the whole land thereof is brimstone and salt, and burning, that it is not sowen, nor beareth, nor any grasse groweth therein, like the ouerthrow of Sodome, and Gomorah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the Lord ouerthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:

24 Euen al nations shal say, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus vnto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger?

25 Then men shall say, Because they haue forsaken the Couenant of the Lord God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them foorth out of the land of Egypt.

26 For they went and serued other gods, & worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not giuen vnto them.

27 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against this land, to bring vpon it all the curses, that are written in this booke.

28 And the Lord rooted them out of their land, in anger and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.

29 The secret things belong vnto the Lord our God: but those things which are reuealed belong vnto vs, and to our children for euer, that wee may doe all the words of this Law.

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Commentary for Deuteronomy 29

Moses calls Israel's mercies to remembrance. (1-9) The Divine wrath on those who flatter themselves in their wickedness. (10-21) The ruin of the Jewish nation. (22-28) Secret things belong unto God. (29)1-9 Both former mercies, and fresh mercies, should be thought on by us as motives to obedience. The hearing ear, and seeing eye, and the understanding heart, are the gift of God. All that have them, have them from him. God gives not only food and raiment, but wealth and large possessions, to many to whom he does not give grace. Many enjoy the gifts, who have not hearts to perceive the Giver, nor the true design and use of the gifts. We are bound, in gratitude and interest, as well as in duty and faithfulness, to keep the words of the covenant.

10-21 The national covenant made with Israel, not only typified the covenant of grace made with true believers, but also represented the outward dispensation of the gospel. Those who have been enabled to consent to the Lord's new covenant of mercy and grace in Jesus Christ, and to give up themselves to be his people, should embrace every opportunity of renewing their open profession of relation to him, and their obligation to him, as the God of salvation, walking according thereto. The sinner is described as one whose heart turns away from his God; there the mischief begins, in the evil heart of unbelief, which inclines men to depart from the living God to dead idols. Even to this sin men are now tempted, when drawn aside by their own lusts and fancies. Such men are roots that bear gall and wormwood. They are weeds which, if let alone, overspread the whole field. Satan may for a time disguise this bitter morsel, so that thou shalt not have the natural taste of it, but at the last day, if not before, the true taste shall be discerned. Notice the sinner's security in sin. Though he hears the words of the curse, yet even then he thinks himself safe from the wrath of God. There is scarcely a threatening in all the book of God more dreadful than this. Oh that presumptuous sinners would read it, and tremble! for it is a real declaration of the wrath of God, against ungodliness and unrighteousness of man.

22-28 Idolatry would be the ruin of their nation. It is no new thing for God to bring desolating judgments on a people near to him in profession. He never does this without good reason. It concerns us to seek for the reason, that we may give glory to God, and take warning to ourselves. Thus the law of Moses leaves sinners under the curse, and rooted out of the Lord's land; but the grace of Christ toward penitent, believing sinners, plants them again in their land; and they shall no more be pulled up, being kept by the power of God.

29 Moses ends his prophecy of the Jews' rejection, just as St. Paul ends his discourse on the same subject, when it began to be fulfilled, #Ro 11:33|. We are forbidden curiously to inquire into the secret counsels of God, and to determine concerning them. But we are directed and encouraged, diligently to seek into that which God has made known. He has kept back nothing that is profitable for us, but only that of which it is good for us to be ignorant. The end of all Divine revelation is, not to furnish curious subjects of speculation and discourse, but that we may do all the words of this law, and be blessed in our deed. This, the Bible plainly reveals; further than this, man cannot profitably go. By this light he may live and die comfortably, and be happy for ever.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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