Deuteronomy 1

Listen to Deuteronomy 1

The Command to Leave Horeb

1 These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel beyond the Jordan in the wilderness, in 1the Arabah opposite 2Suph, between 3Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab.
2 It is eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to 4Kadesh-barnea.
3 5In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the people of Israel according to all that the LORD had given him in commandment to them,
4 after 6he had defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and 7Og the king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth and in 8Edrei.
5 Beyond the Jordan, 9in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to explain this law, saying,
6 "The LORD our God said to us in Horeb, 10'You have stayed long enough at this mountain.
7 Turn and take your journey, and go to 11the hill country of the Amorites and to all their neighbors in 12the Arabah, 13in the hill country and in the lowland and in the Negeb and 14by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.
8 See, I have set the land before you. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, 15to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their offspring after them.'

Leaders Appointed

9 "At that time 16I said to you, 'I am not able to bear you by myself.
10 The LORD your God has multiplied you, and behold, 17you are today as numerous as the stars of heaven.
11 18May the LORD, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times as many as you are and bless you, 19as he has promised you!
12 20How can I bear by myself the weight and burden of you and your strife?
13 21Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.'
14 And you answered me, 'The thing that you have spoken is good for us to do.'
15 So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, 22and set them as heads over you, commanders of thousands, commanders of hundreds, commanders of fifties, commanders of tens, and officers, throughout your tribes.
16 And I charged your judges at that time, 'Hear the cases between your brothers, and 23judge righteously between a man and his brother or the alien who is with him.
17 24You shall not be partial in judgment. You shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for 25the judgment is God's. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall 26bring to me, and I will hear it.'
18 And I commanded you at that time all the things that you should do.

Israel's Refusal to Enter the Land

19 "Then we set out from Horeb and 27went through all that great and terrifying wilderness that you saw, on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, as the LORD our God commanded us. And 28we 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, the LORD your God has set the land before you. Go up, take possession, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has told you. 29Do not fear or be dismayed.'
22 Then all of you came near me and said, 'Let us send men before us, that they may explore the land for us and bring us word again of the way by which we must go up and the cities into which we shall come.'
23 The thing seemed good to me, and 30I took twelve men from you, one man from each tribe.
24 And 31they turned and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshcol and spied it out.
25 And they took in their hands some of the fruit of the land and brought it down to us, and brought us word again and said, 'It is a good land that the LORD our God is giving us.'
26 "Yet you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the LORD your God.
27 And 32you murmured in your tents and said, 'Because the LORD 33hated us he has brought us out of the land of Egypt, 34to give us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.
28 Where are we going up? 35Our brothers have made our hearts melt, saying, 36"The people are greater and taller than we. The cities are great and fortified up to heaven. And besides, we have seen 37the sons of the Anakim there."'
29 Then I said to you, 'Do not be in dread or afraid of them.
30 The LORD your God who goes before you 38will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes,
31 and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the LORD your God 39carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.'
32 Yet in spite of this word 40you did not believe the LORD your God,
33 41who went before you in the way 42to seek you out a place to pitch your tents, in fire by night and in the cloud by day, to show you by what way you should go.

The Penalty for Israel's Rebellion

34 "And the LORD heard your words and was angered, and he swore,
35 43'Not one of these men of this evil generation shall see the good land that I swore to give to your fathers,
36 44except Caleb the son of Jephunneh. He shall see it, and to him and to his children I will give the land on which he has trodden, because he has wholly followed the LORD!'
37 Even with me 45the LORD was angry on your account and said, 'You also shall not go in there.
38 46Joshua the son of Nun, 47who stands before you, he shall enter. 48Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.
39 And as for 49your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who today 50have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there. And to them I will give it, and they shall possess it.
40 But as for you, 51turn, and journey into the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea.'
41 "Then you answered me, 52'We have sinned against the LORD. We ourselves will go up and fight, just as the LORD our God commanded us.' And every one of you fastened on his weapons of war and thought it easy to go up into the hill country.
42 And the LORD said to me, 53'Say to them, Do not go up or fight, 54for I am not in your midst, lest you be defeated before your enemies.'
43 So I spoke to you, and you would not listen; but you rebelled against the command of the LORD and 55presumptuously went up into the hill country.
44 56Then the Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you and chased you 57as bees do and beat you down in Seir as far as 58Hormah.
45 And you returned and wept before the LORD, but the LORD did not listen to your voice or give ear to you.
46 So 59you remained at Kadesh many days, the days that you remained there.

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.

Cross References 59

  • 1. Deuteronomy 3:17
  • 2. [Numbers 21:14]
  • 3. 1 Samuel 25:1
  • 4. Deuteronomy 2:14; Deuteronomy 9:23; Numbers 13:26; Numbers 32:8; Numbers 34:4
  • 5. [Numbers 33:38]
  • 6. See Numbers 21:21-32
  • 7. See Numbers 21:33-35
  • 8. Deuteronomy 3:1, 10; Joshua 12:4; Joshua 13:12
  • 9. Deuteronomy 29:1
  • 10. Deuteronomy 2:3; [Exodus 19:1; Numbers 10:11]
  • 11. [Numbers 13:29]
  • 12. [See ver. 1 above]
  • 13. Joshua 9:1
  • 14. Joshua 9:1
  • 15. Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:14, 15; Genesis 15:18; Genesis 17:7, 8; Genesis 26:3, 4; Genesis 28:13, 14; Genesis 50:24
  • 16. Numbers 11:14; [Exodus 18:18]
  • 17. [Deuteronomy 10:22; Deuteronomy 28:62]; See Genesis 15:5
  • 18. [2 Samuel 24:3]
  • 19. Genesis 12:2; Genesis 22:17; Genesis 26:3, 24
  • 20. [1 Kings 3:8, 9]
  • 21. [Exodus 18:21; Numbers 11:16, 17]
  • 22. Exodus 18:25
  • 23. Deuteronomy 16:18; John 7:24
  • 24. Deuteronomy 16:19; Exodus 23:2, 3; Leviticus 19:15; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Proverbs 24:23; Proverbs 28:21; Malachi 2:9; James 2:1, 9
  • 25. 2 Chronicles 19:6; [Exodus 21:6]
  • 26. Exodus 18:22, 26
  • 27. Deuteronomy 8:15; Deuteronomy 32:10; Jeremiah 2:6; [Numbers 10:12]
  • 28. See ver. 2
  • 29. Deuteronomy 31:8; Joshua 1:9
  • 30. Numbers 13:3
  • 31. See Numbers 13:22-27
  • 32. Psalms 106:25; See Numbers 14:1-4
  • 33. Deuteronomy 9:28
  • 34. [Joshua 7:7]
  • 35. Joshua 14:8
  • 36. Deuteronomy 9:1, 2; See Numbers 13:28-33
  • 37. See Numbers 13:22
  • 38. Deuteronomy 3:22; Exodus 14:14, 25; Joshua 10:14, 42; Joshua 23:3, 10; [Nehemiah 4:20]
  • 39. Deuteronomy 32:11, 12; Exodus 19:4; Isaiah 46:3, 4; Isaiah 63:9; Hosea 11:3
  • 40. Psalms 106:24; Jude 5
  • 41. See Exodus 13:21
  • 42. Numbers 10:33
  • 43. See Deuteronomy 2:15; Numbers 14:20-30
  • 44. Numbers 14:30; Joshua 14:9
  • 45. Deuteronomy 4:21; Deuteronomy 32:51; Deuteronomy 34:4; Numbers 20:12; Numbers 27:13, 14; [Psalms 106:32]
  • 46. Deuteronomy 31:3, 7; Exodus 24:13; [1 Samuel 16:22]
  • 47. Deuteronomy 31:3, 7; Exodus 24:13; [1 Samuel 16:22]
  • 48. Deuteronomy 31:7, 23; Numbers 27:18-20
  • 49. Numbers 14:3, 31
  • 50. Isaiah 7:15, 16
  • 51. Deuteronomy 2:1; Numbers 14:25
  • 52. Numbers 14:40
  • 53. Numbers 14:42
  • 54. [Deuteronomy 31:17]
  • 55. Numbers 14:44
  • 56. Numbers 14:45
  • 57. [Psalms 118:12; Isaiah 7:18]
  • 58. See Numbers 21:3
  • 59. Numbers 20:1, 22; Judges 11:17

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