Deuteronomy 32:36

36 The LORD will vindicate his people and relent concerning his servants when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free.[a]

Deuteronomy 32:36 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
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.
English Standard Version (ESV)
36 For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants, when he sees that their power is gone and there is none remaining, bond or free.
New Living Translation (NLT)
36 “Indeed, the LORD will give justice to his people, and he will change his mind about his servants, when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free.
The Message Bible (MSG)
36 Yes, God will judge his people, but oh how compassionately he'll do it. When he sees their weakened plight and there is no one left, slave or free,
American Standard Version (ASV)
36 For Jehovah will judge his people, And repent himself for his servants; When he seeth that [their] power is gone, And there is none [remaining], shut up or left at large.
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
36 The LORD will judge his people and have compassion on his servants when he sees that their strength is gone and that no one is left, neither slaves nor free people.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
36 The Lord will indeed vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants when He sees that [their] strength is gone and no one is left-slave or free.
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
36 The LORD will judge his people. He'll show tender love to those who serve him. He will know when their strength is gone. He'll see that no one at all is left.

Deuteronomy 32:36 Meaning and Commentary

Deuteronomy 32:36

For the Lord shall judge his people
The true church and members of it, in opposition to the false and apostate church; his chosen and covenant people, whom he gave to Christ, and who are redeemed by his blood, and effectually called by his grace; the people he shall call out of Babylon, or preserve from the corruptions of it before its fall; and who are the objects of his love and delight; a distinct, peculiar, and special people, near unto him, and all righteous: these he will judge at this time, distinguish between them and the followers of antichrist; he will take their cause in hand, and plead it, and do justice to them; he will right their wrongs and injuries, and take vengeance on their enemies; he will protect and defend them, reign and rule over them. Now will be the time, when the witnesses slain are raised, that he will take to himself his great power and reign, and the time of the dead when they will be judged, and a reward given to his servants and prophets, to his saints, and all that fear his name; and when he will destroy them that have destroyed the earth, ( Revelation 11:17 Revelation 11:18 ) ; so the Targum of Jonathan interprets this of the word of the Lord that shall judge his people in mercy:

and repent himself for his servants;
by whom are meant not only the ministers of the Gospel, his witnesses that prophesy in sackcloth, and who will be slain when they have finished their testimony; but all that are effectually called by grace, who though they have been the servants of sin, and the vassals of Satan, yet by the grace of God become the servants of God and of righteousness; dislike and cast off their old masters; readily, willingly, and cheerfully, take upon them the yoke of Christ, and freely obey him, constrained by his love, and influenced by views of interest in him: and so serve him without any selfish views, owning that, when they have done all they can, they are but unprofitable servants: now for or on account of these he will repent himself, because of the evils he has suffered to come upon them, being moved with pity, and compassion to them in their miserable circumstances, as they will be in when the witnesses his servants will be slain; not that, properly speaking, repentance is in God; he never changes his mind, counsel, and purposes; he never alters his love, his choice, nor his covenant; or repents of his gifts, and calling of special grace; though he is sometimes said to repent of outward good things he has bestowed, or promised to bestow conditionality; and of evils he has threatened or inflicted; yet this is only to be understood of a change of his outward dealings and dispensations with men, according to his changeable will; and this will be the case now with respect to his servants, whom he will have suffered to be slain, and lie unburied; but repenting or changing his manner of conduct to them will revive them, and cause them to ascend to heaven; see ( Revelation 11:11 Revelation 11:12 ) ;

when he seeth that [their] power is gone;
not the hand and power of the enemy, going and prevailing over them, and strong upon them, as the Targum of Jonathan and Jarchi; but rather the hand and power of the righteous, as the Targum of Jerusalem; and respects not their internal power and strength, which they have not in themselves, but in Christ; though the exertion of that power, and the exercise of their graces, as faith, and hope, and love, will be greatly declined; but their external power, and protection which they had from Protestant princes; they being removed, and others not like them succeeding, or apostatizing to the church of Rome: the outward court or national establishments are a fence and protection to the inward court worshippers, or servants of God; when that shall be given to the Gentiles, the Papists, as it will, ( Revelation 11:2 ) ; the power or hand, the protecting sheltering hand of the saints, will be gone, and they will become a prey to their adversaries:

and [there is] none shut up or left;
a phrase used to express the miserable state and condition of a people, when none are left, but all are carried off, or cut off, and destroyed, and there is none to help them; see ( 1 Kings 14:10 ) ( 21:21 ) ( 2 Kings 9:8 ) ( 14:26 ) ; when there are none shut up in garrisons, and left there to defend a people; or there are none shut up in prison, or any left to till the ground; which is sometimes the case when a nation is conquered, and the greater part are carried captives; but it denotes such a general destruction, that there are none remaining any where, and thus it will be at the slaying of the witnesses. This passage has respect to their dead bodies, which will not be shut up in graves, nor any left to bury them, ( Revelation 11:9 ) . There will scarcely be a professor of religion, or any that will appear to favour the witnesses slain in any respect; there will be

``none to support and uphold,''

as the Targum of Jerusalem; not to support and uphold the true religion, or to help the people of God in these their distresses: and when the Lord shall see all this, he will look upon them with an eye of pity and compassion; he will repent for his servants, according to the multitude of his tender mercies; and will plead their cause, and judge them, and will put on the garments of vengeance, and repay fury and recompense to his and their enemies, ( Isaiah 59:15-18 ) ; who will insultingly say as follows.

Deuteronomy 32:36 In-Context

34 “Have I not kept this in reserve and sealed it in my vaults?
35 It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.”
36 The LORD will vindicate his people and relent concerning his servants when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free.
37 He will say: “Now where are their gods, the rock they took refuge in,
38 the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offerings? Let them rise up to help you! Let them give you shelter!

Cross References 4

  • 1. Hebrews 10:30*
  • 2. Amos 7:3
  • 3. Leviticus 26:43-45; Deuteronomy 30:1-3; Judges 2:18; Psalms 90:13; Psalms 102:13; Psalms 103:13; Psalms 106:45; Psalms 135:14; Joel 2:14
  • 4. 1 Kings 14:10; 1 Kings 21:21; 2 Kings 9:8

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "and they are without a ruler or leader"
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