Deuteronomy 30

Listen to Deuteronomy 30

Repentance and Forgiveness

1 1"And 2when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and 3you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God has driven you,
2 and 4return to the LORD your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul,
3 then the LORD your God 5will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you, and he will 6gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you.
4 7If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there he will take you.
5 And the LORD your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, that you may possess it. 8And he will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers.
6 And 9the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, 10so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
7 And the LORD your God will put all these curses on your foes and enemies who persecuted you.
8 And you shall again obey the voice of the LORD and keep all his commandments that I command you today.
9 11The LORD your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your cattle and in the fruit of your ground. 12For the LORD will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers,
10 when you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that are written in this Book of the Law, when you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

The Choice of Life and Death

11 "For this commandment that I command you today 13is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.
12 14It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?'
13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?'
14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
15 "See, 15I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.
16 If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God[a] that I command you today, 16by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules,[b] then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.
17 But if 17your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them,
18 18I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, 19blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,
20 loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice 20and holding fast to him, for 21he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in 22the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them."

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Deuteronomy 30 Commentary

Chapter 30

Mercies promised to the repentant. (1-10) The commandment manifest. (11-14) Death and life set before them. (15-20)

Verses 1-10 In this chapter is a plain intimation of the mercy God has in store for Israel in the latter days. This passage refers to the prophetic warnings of the last two chapters, which have been mainly fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and in their dispersion to the present day; and there can be no doubt that the prophetic promise contained in these verses yet remain to come to pass. The Jewish nation shall in some future period, perhaps not very distant, be converted to the faith of Christ; and, many think, again settled in the land of Canaan. The language here used is in a great measure absolute promises; not merely a conditional engagement, but declaring an event assuredly to take place. For the Lord himself here engages to "circumcise their hearts;" and when regenerating grace has removed corrupt nature, and Divine love has supplanted the love of sin, they certainly will reflect, repent, return to God, and obey him; and he will rejoice in doing them good. The change that will be wrought upon them will not be only outward, or consisting in mere opinions; it will reach to their souls. It will produce in them an utter hatred of all sin, and a fervent love to God, as their reconciled God in Christ Jesus; they will love him with all their hearts, and with all their soul. They are very far from this state of mind at present, but so were the murderers of the Lord Jesus, on the day of Pentecost; who yet in one hour were converted unto God. So shall it be in the day of God's power; a nation shall be born in a day; the Lord will hasten it in his time. As a conditional promise this passage belongs to all persons and all people, not to Israel only; it assures us that the greatest sinners, if they repent and are converted, shall have their sins pardoned, and be restored to God's favour.

Verses 11-14 The law is not too high for thee. It is not only known afar off; it is not confined to men of learning. It is written in thy books, made plain, so that he who runs may read it. It is in thy mouth, in the tongue commonly used by thee, in which thou mayest hear it read, and talk of it among thy children. It is delivered so that it is level to the understanding of the meanest. This is especially true of the gospel of Christ, to which the apostle applies it. But the word is nigh us, and Christ in that word; so that if we believe with the heart, that the promises of the Messiah are fulfilled in our Lord Jesus, and confess them with our mouth, we then have Christ with us.

Verses 15-20 What could be said more moving, and more likely to make deep and lasting impressions? Every man wishes to obtain life and good, and to escape death and evil; he desires happiness, and dreads misery. So great is the compassion of the Lord, that he has favoured men, by his word, with such a knowledge of good and evil as will make them for ever happy, if it be not their own fault. Let us hear the sum of the whole matter. If they and theirs would love God, and serve him, they should live and be happy. If they or theirs should turn from God, desert his service, and worship other gods, that would certainly be their ruin. There never was, since the fall of man, more than one way to heaven; which is marked out in both Testaments, though not with equal clearness. Moses meant that same way of acceptance, which Paul more plainly described; and Paul's words mean the same obedience, on which Moses more fully treated. In both Testaments the good and right way is brought near, and plainly revealed to us.

Cross References 22

  • 1. Deuteronomy 11:26-28; Leviticus 26:40-42
  • 2. See Deuteronomy 28
  • 3. Deuteronomy 4:29-31; See 1 Kings 8:47-50
  • 4. Nehemiah 1:9; Isaiah 55:7; Lamentations 3:40; Joel 2:12, 13
  • 5. Psalms 126:1, 4
  • 6. Jeremiah 32:37; Ezekiel 34:13; Ezekiel 36:24
  • 7. Deuteronomy 28:64; Nehemiah 1:9
  • 8. Zephaniah 3:19, 20; See Deuteronomy 28:63
  • 9. [Jeremiah 31:33; Jeremiah 32:39, 40; Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:26, 27]; See Deuteronomy 10:16
  • 10. ver. 16
  • 11. Deuteronomy 28:11
  • 12. Zephaniah 3:19, 20; See Deuteronomy 28:63
  • 13. [Isaiah 45:19; Isaiah 48:16]
  • 14. [Romans 10:6-8]
  • 15. [Deuteronomy 11:26; Deuteronomy 32:47]
  • 16. ver. 6; See Deuteronomy 6:5
  • 17. Deuteronomy 29:18
  • 18. See Deuteronomy 4:26
  • 19. ver. 1
  • 20. See Deuteronomy 10:20
  • 21. Psalms 27:1; Psalms 66:9; John 11:25
  • 22. See Deuteronomy 1:8

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Septuagint; Hebrew lacks If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God
  • [b]. Or his just decrees

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains some gracious promises of the conversion of the Jews in the latter day, of their calling things to mind that have befallen them, of their repentance, and the circumcision of their hearts to love the Lord, of the return of them to their own land, and of the great increase of them, and of their enjoyment of plenty of good things, De 30:1-10; in it is an account of the Gospel, or word of faith, which at this time should be brought near to the Jews, and be received by them, De 30:11-14; and for the present Moses desires them to consider what he now set before them, and what would be the consequences of receiving or rejecting it, and so what it would be most proper for them to make choice of, De 30:15-20.

Deuteronomy 30 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.