Deuteronomy 32:35-41

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.[a]
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!
39 “See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.
40 I lift my hand to heaven and solemnly swear: As surely as I live forever,
41 when I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand grasps it in judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and repay those who hate me.

Deuteronomy 32:35-41 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO DEUTERONOMY 32

This chapter contains the song mentioned and referred to in the former, the preface to it, De 32:1-3; the character of the divine and illustrious Person it chiefly respects, De 32:4; the ingratitude of the people of the Jews to him, who were a crooked and perverse generation, aggravated by his having bought, made, and established them, De 32:5,6; and which is further aggravated by various instances of divine goodness to them, first in providing and reserving a suitable country for them, at the time of the division of the earth to the sons of men, with the reason of it, De 32:7-9; then by what the Lord did for them in the wilderness, De 32:10-12; after that in the land of Canaan, where they enjoyed plenty of all good things, and in the possession of which they were, when the illustrious Person described appeared among them, De 32:13,14; and then the sin of ingratitude to him, before hinted at, is fully expressed, namely, lightly esteeming the rock of salvation, the Messiah, De 32:15; nor could they stop here, but proceed to more ungodliness, setting up other messiahs and saviours, which were an abomination to the Lord, De 32:16; continuing sacrifices when they should not, which were therefore reckoned no other than sacrifices to demons, and especially the setting up of their new idol, their own righteousness, was highly provoking; and by all this they clearly showed they had forgot the rock, the Saviour, De 32:17,18; wherefore, for the rejection of the Messiah and the, persecution of his followers, they would be abhorred of God, De 32:19; who would show his resentment by the rejection of them, by the calling of the Gentiles, and by bringing the nation of the Romans upon them, De 32:20,21; whereby utter ruin and destruction in all its shapes would be brought upon them, De 32:22-25; and, were it not for the insolence of their adversaries, would be entirely destroyed, being such a foolish and unwise people, which appears by not observing what the enemies of the Messiah themselves allow, that there is no rock like him, whom they despised, De 32:26-31; which enemies are described, and the vengeance reserved for them pointed out, De 32:32-35; and the song closed with promises of grace and mercy to the Lord's people, and wrath and ruin to his and their enemies, on which account all are called upon to rejoice in the latter day, De 32:36-43; and this song being delivered by Moses, the people of Israel are exhorted seriously to attend to it, it being of the utmost importance to them, De 32:44-47; and the chapter is concluded with a relation of Moses being ordered to go up to Mount Nebo and die, with the reason of it, De 32:48-52.

Deuteronomy 32:35-41 In-Context

33 Their wine is the venom of serpents, the deadly poison of cobras.
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!
39 “See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.
40 I lift my hand to heaven and solemnly swear: As surely as I live forever,
41 when I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand grasps it in judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and repay those who hate me.
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood, while my sword devours flesh: the blood of the slain and the captives, the heads of the enemy leaders.”
43 Rejoice, you nations, with his people,for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people.

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Cross References 21

  • 1. S ver 41; S Genesis 4:24; S Jeremiah 51:6
  • 2. S Genesis 30:2; S Exodus 32:34; S Psalms 54:5; S Romans 12:19*; Hebrews 10:30*
  • 3. Psalms 17:5; Psalms 35:6; Psalms 37:31; Psalms 38:16; Psalms 66:9; Psalms 73:2,18; Psalms 94:18; Psalms 121:3; Proverbs 4:19; Jeremiah 23:12
  • 4. Ezekiel 7:8-9
  • 5. Hebrews 10:30*
  • 6. Amos 7:3
  • 7. 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
  • 8. 1 Kings 14:10; 1 Kings 21:21; 2 Kings 9:8
  • 9. Judges 10:14; Jeremiah 2:28; Jeremiah 11:12
  • 10. Numbers 25:1-2; Jeremiah 11:12; Jeremiah 44:8,25
  • 11. Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 44:7; Isaiah 46:4; Isaiah 48:12
  • 12. S ver 12; Isaiah 45:5
  • 13. 1 Samuel 2:6
  • 14. 1 Samuel 2:6; 2 Kings 5:7; Psalms 68:20; John 11:25-26
  • 15. Exodus 15:26; Job 5:18; Job 15:11; Psalms 147:3; Isaiah 6:10; Isaiah 19:22; Isaiah 30:26; Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah 57:18; Jeremiah 33:6; Hosea 6:1; Malachi 4:2; 1 Peter 2:24
  • 16. Job 9:12; Job 10:7; Psalms 7:2; Psalms 50:22; Isaiah 43:13; Daniel 4:35; Hosea 5:14
  • 17. S Genesis 14:22
  • 18. S Genesis 21:33; Revelation 1:18
  • 19. Judges 7:20; Psalms 7:12; Psalms 45:3; Isaiah 27:1; Isaiah 34:6; Isaiah 66:16; Jeremiah 12:12; Ezekiel 21:9-10
  • 20. ver 35; Psalms 149:7; Jeremiah 46:10; Nahum 1:2
  • 21. Psalms 137:8; Jeremiah 25:14; Jeremiah 50:29; Jeremiah 51:24,56

Footnotes 1

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