Deuteronomy 33:25 MEANING

Deuteronomy 33:25
(25) Thy shoes shall be iron and brass.--Perhaps we should rather read, thy bars shall be iron and brass. The word here rendered "shoes" in the Authorised Version does not occur elsewhere. The nearest word to it means "locks" or "fastenings." It is also uncertain whether the whole sentence belongs to the blessing of Asher, or to all Israel. It seems most likely that, as Asher's territory was at the northern end of Palestine, close to the pass by which the most formidable invaders must enter in, an assurance is here given that the frontier of Israel should be safe. "Iron" and "brass" are mentioned together in connection with gates and bars in Psalm 107:16; Isaiah 45:2. But they are not usually connected with "shoes" in the Old Testament.

And as thy days, so shall thy strength be.--The word for "strength" does not occur elsewhere in the Old Testament, but the Targums and the LXX., and other authorities, seem to agree in its interpretation, and the form of the word points to this meaning, "strength," so that there is little doubt as to its correctness. But the meaning of the clause is variously given by Jewish authorities. "Thy strength in old ago shall be as the strength of thy youth;" or, "As thou spendest thy days (in doing the will of the Holy One or not), so shall thy strength be."

33:24,25 All shall be sanctified to true believers; if their way be rough, their feet shall be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. As thy days, so shall thy strength be. The day is often in Scripture put for the events of the day; it is a promise that God would graciously and constantly support under trials and troubles, whatever they were. It is a promise sure to all the spiritual seed of Abraham. Have they work allotted? They shall have strength to do it. Have they burdens appointed? They shall have strength, and never be tempted above what they are able to bear.Thy shoes shall be iron and brass,.... Either they should have such an abundance of these metals, that they could if they would have made their shoes of them; but that is not usual; though it is said of Empedocles (g) the philosopher, that he wore shoes of brass, which was very singular; and some think that this tribe, because of the abundance of these metals, used to stick their shoes with iron and brass nails at the bottom of them, as country people, soldiers, and travellers in various nations do; but the true sense seems to be, that the land that fell to this tribe, and on which they trod, should yield much iron and brass; as in Carmel, a mountain on the borders of it, brass was taken, as says Hesychius; and Zidon is by Homer (i) said to abound with brass, which belonged to this tribe; and Sarepta, another city in it, had its name from which signifies to melt, from the melting of these metals in it; see Deuteronomy 8:9; though some Jewish writers take the sense to be, that the land of Asher was so strongly fortified as if it had been enclosed with walls of brass and iron, or the gates of its cities were shut up with bolts and bars of iron and brass, as Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Melech observe; so the Arabic:

and as thy days, so shall thy strength be; the same in old age as in youth; which is the sense of the Latin Vulgate version, and all the Targums: such were the vigour and strength of. Moses himself, Deuteronomy 34:7; and so may denote a renewal of youth, like that of eagles; and, in a spiritual sense, a revival of the graces of the Spirit of God, as to the exercise of them, and an increase of spiritual strength, so that the inward man is renewed day by day; and may also denote such a measure of strength given, as is proportioned to the events that daily befall, or to the services and sufferings men are called unto; see 1 Corinthians 10:13.

(g) Laert. in Vit. Empedocl. l. 8. p. 613. Aelian. Var. Hist. l. 12. c. 32. (i) Odyss. 15. l. 424.

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