Deuteronomy 33:3

3 Surely it is you who love the people; all the holy ones are in your hand. At your feet they all bow down, and from you receive instruction,

Read Deuteronomy 33:3 Using Other Translations

Yea, he loved the people; all his saints are in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words.
Yes, he loved his people, all his holy ones were in his hand; so they followed in your steps, receiving direction from you,
Indeed, he loves his people; all his holy ones are in his hands. They follow in his steps and accept his teaching.

What does Deuteronomy 33:3 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Deuteronomy 33:3

Yea, he loved the people
The people of Israel, of which his giving the law to them in such a glorious manner was an instance, and was a distinguishing blessing which other nations were not favoured with, see ( Deuteronomy 4:6 Deuteronomy 4:8 ) ( Psalms 147:19 Psalms 147:20 ) ( Romans 9:4 ) ; how much more is the love of God shown to his spiritual Israel and special people, by giving them his Gospel, the precious truths, promises, and ordinances of it, and, above all, in giving them his Son to be the Redeemer and Saviour of them, as revealed therein! these he embraces in his arms and in his bosom, as the word here signifies; admitting them to great nearness and familiarity with him, to commune with Father, Son, and Spirit, to a participation of all the blessings of grace here, and to the enjoyment of glory hereafter:

all his saints [are] in thy hand;
not the sons of Levi, who were round about the ark, as Aben Ezra interprets it; rather all the people of Israel, who were chosen to be an holy people to the Lord above all people, and who were the care of his providence, protected by his power, and guided with his right hand; and were in a wonderful manner kept and preserved by him, both at the time of the giving of the law, and in their passage through the wilderness; it is eminently true of the chosen people of God, who are given to Christ, and made his care and charge, as all such who are sanctified and set apart by God the Father are, they are preserved in Christ, ( Jude 1:1 ) ; and these are sanctified in and by Christ, and by the Spirit of Christ, and so may be truly called his saints; and they are in the hands of Christ, as dear to him as his right hand, highly valued by him, held in his right hand; they are in his possession, are his peculiar people, portion, and inheritance, they are at his dispose, under his guidance and direction; and are in his custody and under his protection, and where they are safe from every enemy, and can never be snatched, taken, or removed from thence; see ( John 10:28 John 10:29 ) ; here they are put by the Father, as an instance of his love to them, and care of them, though not without the consent and desire of the Son, and this was done in eternity, when they were chosen in him:

and they sat down at thy feet;
which may respect the position of the Israelites at the bottom of Mount Sinai, while the law was giving, which may be said to be the feet of the Lord, he being on the top of the mount, see ( Exodus 19:17 Exodus 19:18 ) ( 24:10 ) ; all the Targums interpret it of the feet of the cloud of glory, they pitching their tents where that rested, ( Numbers 9:17 Numbers 9:18 ) ; some think it an allusion to scholars sitting at the feet of their masters to receive instructions from them, see ( Acts 22:3 ) ; so the disciples and followers of Christ sit at his feet, attending on his word and ordinances with calmness and serenity of mind, with much spiritual pleasure and delight, and where they continue and abide; and which may denote their modesty and humility, their subjection to his ordinances, and readiness to receive his doctrines, and their perseverance in them, see ( Mark 5:15 ) ( Luke 10:39 ) ( Song of Solomon 2:3 ) ; the word signifies, in the Arabic language, to sit down at a table F5, and so the word is used in the Arabic version of ( Matthew 8:11 ) ( Luke 11:37 ) ; and the ancient manner being reclining, the guests might be said to sit at the feet of each, especially at the feet of the master; so Christ sits at his table, and his people with him at his feet, ( Song of Solomon 1:12 ) ;

[everyone] shall receive of thy words;
of the words of the law, as the Israelites, who heard them and promised obedience to them, ( Exodus 24:7 ) ; and would hear and receive them again, ( Joshua 8:34 Joshua 8:35 ) ; and so Christ's disciples, everyone of them that hath heard and learned of the Father, and comes to him, and believes in him, receives the words or doctrines given him by the Father, ( John 17:8 ) ; so as to understand them, approve of them, love them, believe them, and act according to them; these they receive into their hearts as well as into their heads, with all readiness, gladness, and meekness; even everyone of the persons before described or loved by the Lord, are in the hands of Christ and sitting at his feet.


FOOTNOTES:

F5 Hence (akt) , "a table", with the Talmudists. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 42. 1. Pesach. fol. 110. 2. Kiddushin, fol. 81. 1.
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