Deuteronomy 9:4-6

4 After the LORD your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The LORD has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is going to drive them out before you.
5 It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the LORD your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
6 Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.

Deuteronomy 9:4 in Other Translations

KJV
4 Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee.
ESV
4 "Do not say in your heart, after the LORD your God has thrust them out before you, 'It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,' whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out before you.
NLT
4 “After the LORD your God has done this for you, don’t say in your hearts, ‘The LORD has given us this land because we are such good people!’ No, it is because of the wickedness of the other nations that he is pushing them out of your way.
MSG
4 But when God pushes them out ahead of you, don't start thinking to yourselves, "It's because of all the good I've done that God has brought me in here to dispossess these nations." Actually it's because of all the evil these nations have done.
CSB
4 When the Lord your God drives them out before you, do not say to yourself, 'The Lord brought me in to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.' Instead, the Lord will drive out these nations before you because of their wickedness.

Deuteronomy 9:4-6 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO DEUTERONOMY 9

In this chapter the Israelites are assured of the ejection of the Canaanites, though so great and mighty, to make room for them, De 9:1-3, and they are cautioned not to attribute this to their own righteousness, but to the wickedness of the nations which deserved to be so treated, and to the faithfulness of God in performing his promise made to their fathers, De 9:4-6, and that it might appear that it could not be owing to their righteousness, it is affirmed and proved that they had been a rebellious and provoking people from their coming out of Egypt to that time, as was evident from their idolatry at Horeb; a particular account of which is given, and of the displeasure of the Lord at it, De 9:7-21, and of their murmurings, with which they provoked the Lord at other places, De 9:22-24, and the chapter is closed with an account of the prayer of Moses for them at Horeb, to avert the wrath of God from them for their making and worshipping the golden calf, De 9:25-29.

Deuteronomy 9:4-6 In-Context

2 The people are strong and tall—Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: “Who can stand up against the Anakites?”
3 But be assured today that the LORD your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the LORD has promised you.
4 After the LORD your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The LORD has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is going to drive them out before you.
5 It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the LORD your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
6 Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.
7 Remember this and never forget how you aroused the anger of the LORD your God in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against the LORD.
8 At Horeb you aroused the LORD’s wrath so that he was angry enough to destroy you.

Cross References 10

  • 1. S Deuteronomy 8:17
  • 2. 2 Kings 16:3; 2 Kings 17:8; 2 Kings 21:2; Ezra 9:11
  • 3. S Exodus 23:24; S Lev 18:21,24-30; Deuteronomy 18:9-14
  • 4. S Ephesians 2:9; Titus 3:5
  • 5. Deuteronomy 18:9
  • 6. S Leviticus 18:25
  • 7. Deuteronomy 4:38; Deuteronomy 11:23
  • 8. S Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:15; Genesis 15:7; Genesis 17:8; Genesis 26:4
  • 9. Ezekiel 36:32
  • 10. ver 13; S Exodus 32:9; Deuteronomy 31:27; Acts 7:51
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