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Song of Solomon
Deuteronomy 33 COMMENTARY (Matthew Henry)
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Matthew Henry's Commentary
the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death.
33:1-5 To all his precepts, warnings, and prophecies, Moses added a solemn blessing. He begins with a description of the glorious appearances of God, in giving the law. His law works like fire. If received, it is melting, warming, purifying, and burns up the dross of corruption; if rejected, it hardens, sears, pains, and destroys. The Holy Spirit came down in cloven tongues, as of fire; for the gospel also is a fiery law. The law of God written in the heart, is a certain proof of the love of God shed abroad there: we must reckon His law one of the gifts of his grace.
And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand
a fiery law for them.
Yea, he loved the people; all his saints
in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet;
shall receive of thy words.
Moses commanded us a law,
the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob.
And he was king in Jeshurun, when the heads of the people
the tribes of Israel were gathered together.
Let Reuben live, and not die; and let
his men be few.
33:6-23 The order in which the tribes are here blessed, is not the same as is observed elsewhere. The blessing of Judah may refer to the whole tribe in general, or to David as a type of Christ. Moses largely blesses the tribe of Levi. Acceptance with God is what we should all aim at, and desire, in all our devotions, whether men accept us or not, 2Co 5:9. This prayer is a prophecy, that God will keep up a ministry in his church to the end of time. The tribe of Benjamin had their inheritance close to mount Zion. To be situated near the ordinances, is a precious gift from the Lord, a privilege not to be exchanged for any worldly advantage, or indulgence. We should thankfully receive the earthly blessings sent to us, through the successive seasons. But those good gifts which come down from the Father of lights, through the rising of the Sun of righteousness, and the pouring out of his Spirit like the rain which makes fruitful, are infinitely more precious, as the tokens of his special love. The precious things here prayed for, are figures of spiritual blessing in heavenly things by Christ, the gifts, graces, and comforts of the Spirit. When Moses prays for the good will of Him that dwelt in the bush, he refers to the covenant, on which all our hopes of God's favour must be founded. The providence of God appoints men's habitations, and wisely disposes men to different employments for the public good. Whatever our place and business are, it is our wisdom and duty to apply thereto; and it is happiness to be well pleased therewith. We should not only invite others to the service of God, but abound in it. The blessing of Naphtali. The favour of God is the only favour satisfying to the soul. Those are happy indeed, who have the favour of God; and those shall have it, who reckon that in having it they have enough, and desire no more.
is the blessing
of Judah: and he said, Hear, LORD, the voice of Judah, and bring him unto his people: let his hands be sufficient for him; and be thou an help
from his enemies.
And of Levi he said,
thy Thummim and thy Urim
with thy holy one, whom thou didst prove at Massah,
whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah;
Who said unto his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own children: for they have observed thy word, and kept thy covenant.
They shall teach Jacob thy judgments, and Israel thy law: they shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt sacrifice upon thine altar.
Bless, LORD, his substance, and accept the work of his hands: smite through the loins of them that rise against him, and of them that hate him, that they rise not again.
of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him;
and the LORD
shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.
And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD
his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath,
And for the precious fruits
by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon,
And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills,
And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and
the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let
come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him
separated from his brethren.
the firstling of his bullock, and his horns
the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they
the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they
the thousands of Manasseh.
And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents.
They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck
the abundance of the seas, and
treasures hid in the sand.
And of Gad he said, Blessed
he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head.
And he provided the first part for himself, because there,
a portion of the lawgiver,
seated; and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judgments with Israel.
And of Dan he said, Dan
a lion's whelp: he shall leap from Bashan.
And of Naphtali he said, O Naphtali, satisfied with favour, and full with the blessing of the LORD: possess thou the west and the south.
And of Asher he said,
blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil.
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.
iron and brass; and as thy days,
none like unto the God of Jeshurun,
rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky.
33:26-29 None had such a God as Israel. There is no people like the Israel of God. What is here said of the church of Israel is to be applied to the spiritual church. Never were people so well seated and sheltered. Those who make God their habitation, shall have all the comforts and benefits of a habitation in him, Ps 91:1. Never were people so well supported and borne up. How low soever the people of God are at any time brought, everlasting arms are underneath them, to keep the spirit from sinking, from fainting, and their faith from failing. Divine grace is sufficient for them, 2Co 12:9. Never were people so well commanded. Thus believers are more than conquerors over their spiritual enemies, through Christ that loved them. Never were people so well secured and protected. Israel shall dwell in safety alone. All who keep close to God, shall be kept safe by him. Never were people so well provided for. Every true Israelite looks with faith to the better country, the heavenly Canaan, which is filled with better things than corn and wine. Never were people so well helped. If in danger of any harm, or in want of any good, they had an eternal God to go to. Nothing could hurt those whom God helped, nor was it possible the people should perish who were saved by the Lord. Never were people so well armed. Those in whose hearts is the excellency of holiness, are defended by the whole armour of God, Eph 6. Never were people so well assured of victory over their enemies. Thus shall the God of peace tread Satan under the feet of all believers, and shall do it shortly, Ro 16:20. May God help us to seek and to set our affections on the things above; and to turn our souls from earthly perishing objects; that we may not have our lot with Israel's foes in the regions of darkness and despair, but with the Israel of God, in the realms of love and eternal happiness.
The eternal God
refuge, and underneath
the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy
Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob
upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew.
thou, O Israel: who
like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who
the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.
Courtesy of Open Bible
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