Deuteronomy 1

1 These are the words which Moses said to all Israel on the far side of Jordan, in the waste land in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran on the one side, and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab on the other.
2 It is eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea.
3 Now in the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses gave to the children of Israel all the orders which the Lord had given him for them;
4 After he had overcome Sihon, king of the Amorites, ruling in Heshbon, and Og, king of Bashan, ruling in Ashtaroth, at Edrei:
5 On the far side of Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses gave the people this law, saying,
6 The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, You have been long enough in this mountain:
7 Make a move now, and go on your way into the hill-country of the Amorites and the places near it, in the Arabah and the hill-country and in the lowlands and in the South and by the seaside, all the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.
8 See, all the land is before you: go in and take for yourselves the land which the Lord gave by an oath to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to their seed after them.
9 At that time I said to you, I am not able to undertake the care of you by myself;
10 The Lord your God has given you increase, and now you are like the stars of heaven in number.
11 May the Lord, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times greater in number than you are, and give you his blessing as he has said!
12 How is it possible for me by myself to be responsible for you, and undertake the weight of all your troubles and your arguments?
13 Take for yourselves men who are wise, far-seeing, and respected among you, from your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.
14 And you made answer and said to me, It is good for us to do as you say.
15 So I took the heads of your tribes, wise men and respected, and made them rulers over you, captains of thousands and captains of hundreds and captains of fifties and captains of tens, and overseers of your tribes.
16 And at that time I gave orders to your judges, saying, Let all questions between your brothers come before you for hearing, and give decisions uprightly between a man and his brother or one from another nation who is with him.
17 In judging, do not let a man's position have any weight with you; give hearing equally to small and great; have no fear of any man, for it is God who is judge: and any cause in which you are not able to give a decision, you are to put before me and I will give it a hearing.
18 And at that time I gave you all the orders which you were to do.
19 Then we went on from Horeb, through all that great and cruel waste which you saw, on our way to the hill-country of the Amorites, as the Lord gave us orders; and we came to Kadesh-barnea.
20 And I said to you, You have come to the hill-country of the Amorites, which the Lord our God is giving us.
21 See now, the Lord your God has put the land into your hands: go up and take it, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has said to you; have no fear and do not be troubled.
22 And you came near to me, every one of you, and said, Let us send men before us to go through the land with care and give us an account of the way we are to go and the towns to which we will come.
23 And what you said seemed good to me, and I took twelve men from among you, one from every tribe;
24 And they went up into the hill-country and came to the valley of Eshcol, and saw what was there.
25 And taking in their hands some of the fruit of the land, they came down again to us, and gave us their account, saying, It is a good land which the Lord our God is giving us.
26 But going against the order of the Lord your God, you would not go up:
27 And you made an angry outcry in your tents, and said, In his hate for us the Lord has taken us out of the land of Egypt, to give us up into the hands of the Amorites for our destruction.
28 Where are we going up? Our brothers have made our hearts feeble with fear by saying, The people are greater and taller than we are, and the towns are great and walled up to heaven; and more than this, we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.
29 Then I said to you, Have no fear of them.
30 The Lord your God who goes before you will be fighting for you, and will do such wonders as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;
31 And in the waste land, where you have seen how the Lord was supporting you, as a man does his son, in all your journeying till you came to this place.
32 But for all this, you had no faith in the Lord your God,
33 Who goes before you on your way, looking for a place where you may put up your tents, in fire by night, lighting up the way you are to go, and in a cloud by day.
34 And the Lord, hearing your words, was angry, and said with an oath,
35 Truly, not one of this evil generation will see that good land which I said I would give to your fathers,
36 But only Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, he will see it; and to him and to his children I will give the land over which his feet have gone, because he has been true to the Lord with all his heart.
37 And, in addition, the Lord was angry with me because of you, saying, You yourself will not go into it:
38 Joshua, the son of Nun, your servant, he will go into the land: say to him that he is to be strong, for he will be Israel's guide into their heritage.
39 And your little ones, who, you said, would come into strange hands, your children, who now have no knowledge of good or evil, they will go into that land, and to them I will give it and it will be theirs.
40 But as for you, go back, journeying into the waste land by the way of the Red Sea.
41 Then you said to me, We have done evil against the Lord, we will go up to the attack, as the Lord our God has given us orders. And arming yourselves every one, you made ready to go up without care into the hill-country.
42 And the Lord said to me, Say to them, Do not go up to the attack; for I am not among you, and you will be overcome by those who are against you.
43 This I said to you, but you gave no attention and went against the orders of the Lord, and in your pride went up into the hill-country.
44 And the Amorites who were in the hill-country came out against you and put you to flight, rushing after you like bees, and overcame you in Seir, driving you even as far as Hormah.
45 And you came back, weeping before the Lord; but the Lord gave no attention to your cries and did not give ear to you.
46 So you were kept waiting in Kadesh for a long time.

Deuteronomy 1 Commentary

Chapter 1

This book repeats much of the history and of the laws contained in the three foregoing books: Moses delivered it to Israel a little before his death, both by word of mouth, that it might affect, and by writing, that it might abide. The men of that generation to which the law was first given were all dead, and a new generation was sprung up, to whom God would have it repeated by Moses himself, now they were going to possess the land of Canaan. The wonderful love of God to his church is set forth in this book; how he ever preserved his church for his own mercies sake, and would still have his name called upon among them. Such are the general outlines of this book, the whole of which shows Moses' love for Israel, and marks him an eminent type of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us apply the exhortations and persuasions to our own consciences, to excite our minds to a believing, grateful obedience to the commands of God.

The words Moses spake to Israel in the plains of Moab, The promise of Canaan. (1-8) Judges provided for the people. (9-18) Of the sending the spies-God's anger for their unbelief and disobedience. (19-46)

Verses 1-8 Moses spake to the people all the Lord had given him in commandment. Horeb was but eleven days distant from Kadesh-barnea. This was to remind them that their own bad conduct had occasioned their tedious wanderings; that they might the more readily understand the advantages of obedience. They must now go forward. Though God brings his people into trouble and affliction, he knows when they have been tried long enough. When God commands us to go forward in our Christian course, he sets the heavenly Canaan before us for our encouragement.

Verses 9-18 Moses reminds the people of the happy constitution of their government, which might make them all safe and easy, if it was not their own fault. He owns the fulfilment of God's promise to Abraham, and prays for the further accomplishment of it. We are not straitened in the power and goodness of God; why should we be straitened in our own faith and hope? Good laws were given to the Israelites, and good men were to see to the execution of them, which showed God's goodness to them, and the care of Moses.

Verses 19-46 Moses reminds the Israelites of their march from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea, through that great and terrible wilderness. He shows how near they were to a happy settlement in Canaan. It will aggravate the eternal ruin of hypocrites, that they were not far from the kingdom of God. As if it were not enough that they were sure of their God before them, they would send men before them. Never any looked into the Holy Land, but they must own it to be a good land. And was there any cause to distrust this God? An unbelieving heart was at the bottom of all this. All disobedience to God's laws, and distrust of his power and goodness, flow from disbelief of his word, as all true obedience springs from faith. It is profitable for us to divide our past lives into distinct periods; to give thanks to God for the mercies we have received in each, to confess and seek the forgiveness of all the sins we can remember; and thus to renew our acceptance of God's salvation, and our surrender of ourselves to his service. Our own plans seldom avail to good purpose; while courage in the exercise of faith, and in the path of duty, enables the believer to follow the Lord fully, to disregard all that opposes, to triumph over all opposition, and to take firm hold upon the promised blessings.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO DEUTERONOMY

This book is sometimes called "Elleh hadebarim", from the words with which it begins; and sometimes by the Jews "Mishneh Torah", the repetition of the law; and so in the Syriac version, with which agrees the Arabic title of it; and when the Greeks, and we after them, call it "Deuteronomy", it is not to be understood of a second, a new, or another law, but of the law formerly delivered, but now repeated, and also more largely explained; to which are likewise added several particular laws, instructions, and directions; all which were necessary, on account of the people of Israel, who were now a new generation, that either were not born, or not at an age to hear and understand the law when given on Mount Sinai; the men that heard it there being all dead, excepting a very few; and these people were also now about to enter into the land of Canaan, which they were to enjoy as long as they kept the law of God, and no longer, and therefore it was proper they should be reminded of it; and besides, Moses was now about to leave them, and having an hearty desire after their welfare, spends the little time he had to be with them, by inculcating into them and impressing on them the laws of God, and in opening and explaining them to them, and enforcing them on them, which were to be the rule of their obedience, and on which their civil happiness depended. And sometimes the Jews call this book "the book of reproofs", because there are in it several sharp reproofs of the people of Israel for their rebellion and disobedience; and so the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem begin it by calling it the words of reproof which Moses spake That this book was written by Moses there can be no doubt, from De 1:1, 31:4,9,24, only the eight last verses, which give an account of his death, and of his character, were wrote by another hand, equally inspired by God, as either Eleazar the priest, as some, or Samuel the prophet, as others; or, as it is the more commonly received opinion of the Jews, Ezra; though it is highly probable they were wrote by Joshua his successor. This book was written and delivered by Moses, at certain times in the last month of his life, and towards the close of the fortieth year of the children of Israel's coming out of Egypt. And that it is of divine authority need not be questioned, when the several quotations out of it are observed, as made by the apostles of Christ, in Ac 3:22, Ro 12:19 Heb 10:30, Ga 3:10 out of \De 18:15 32:35,36 27:26\ and by our Lord himself, Mt 18:16 from De 19:15. Yea, it is remarkable, that all the passages of Scripture produced by Christ, to repel the temptations of Satan, are all taken out of this book, Mt 4:7,10 compared with De 8:3, 6:10,13, and the voice from heaven, directing the apostles to hearken to him, refers to a prophecy of him in De 18:15.

\\INTRODUCTION TO DEUTERONOMY 1\\

The time and place when the subject matter of this book was delivered to the Israelites are observed by way of preface, De 1:1-5, and it begins with reminding them of an order to them to depart from Mount Horeb, and pass on to the land of Canaan, which the Lord had given them, De 1:6-8, and with observing the very great increase of their number, which made it necessary for Moses to appoint persons under him to be rulers over them, whom he instructed in the duty of their office, De 1:9-18, and he goes on to observe, that when they were come to the mountain of the Amorites, they were bid to go up and possess the land; but, instead of that, they desired men might be sent to search the land first, which was granted, De 1:19-23, and though these men upon their return brought of the fruits of the land, and a good report of it, particularly two of them; yet being discouraged by the report of the rest, they murmured, distrusted, and were afraid to enter, though encouraged by Moses, De 1:24-33, which caused the Lord to be angry with them, and upon it threatened them that they should die in the wilderness, and only two of them should ever see and enjoy the land, and therefore were bid to turn and take their journey in the wilderness, De 1:34-40, but being convinced of their evil, they proposed to go up the hill, and enter the land, which they attempted against the commandment of the Lord, but being repulsed by the Amorites, they fled with great loss, to their great grief, and abode in Kadesh many days, De 1:41-46.

Deuteronomy 1 Commentaries