Deuteronomy 31:19

19 "Now therefore write 1this song and 2teach it to the people of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be 3a witness for me against the people of Israel.

Deuteronomy 31:19 Meaning and Commentary

Deuteronomy 31:19

Now, therefore, write ye this song for you
Which was now dictated by the Lord, and given to Moses and Joshua to write, which is recorded in ( Deuteronomy 32:1-43 ) :

and teach it the children of Israel;
teach them by it, instructing them in the meaning of it: thus it was usual in ancient times to write things in verses, that they might be the more pleasingly attended to and regarded, and be longer retained in memory; and especially this practice was used with children, and still is:

put it in their mouths;
oblige them to get it by heart, or lay it up in their memories, and repeat it frequently, that it may be familiar to them, and not be forgotten by them:

that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel;
when in times to come they shall call to mind how in this song they were cautioned against such and such sins, and what they were threatened with should befall them on account of them, and how all things have come to pass exactly as foretold in it; which would be a testimony for God of his goodness to them, of his tender care of them, and concern for them, in the previous cautions he gave them; and of his foreknowledge of future events; and a testimony against them for their ingratitude and other sins.

Deuteronomy 31:19 In-Context

17 Then my anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they will be devoured. And many evils and troubles will come upon them, so that they will say in that day, 'Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?'
18 And I will surely hide my face in that day because of all the evil that they have done, because they have turned to other gods.
19 "Now therefore write this song and teach it to the people of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the people of Israel.
20 For when I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to give to their fathers, and they have eaten and are full and grown fat, they will turn to other gods and serve them, and despise me and break my covenant.
21 And when many evils and troubles have come upon them, this song shall confront them as a witness (for it will live unforgotten in the mouths of their offspring). For I know what they are inclined to do even today, before I have brought them into the land that I swore to give."

Cross References 3

  • 1. See Deuteronomy 32:1-43
  • 2. [2 Samuel 1:18]
  • 3. ver. 21, 26
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.