Deuteronomy 32:18

18 You were unmindful of 1the Rock that bore[a] you, and you 2forgot the God who gave you birth.

Deuteronomy 32:18 Meaning and Commentary

Deuteronomy 32:18

Of the rock [that] begat thee thou art unmindful
The same with the rock of salvation, ( Deuteronomy 32:15 ) ; repeated and expressed in different words, that their wretched ingratitude might be taken notice of and observed: begetting is ascribed to this rock, as regeneration is to Christ, ( 1 John 2:29 ) ; and was true of some among the Jews: some choose to render the words, "the rock of thy kindred" F11; being a near kinsman, a brother through his incarnation, which aggravated their unmindfulness of him:

and hast forgotten God that formed thee:
for the rock they were unmindful of and forgot is the true God and eternal life, the essential Word of God, as both the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem interpret it; him the Jewish nation forgot; they forgot the characters given of him in the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament; and therefore they knew him not when he came and fulfilled the voices of the prophets they were ignorant of in condemning him: hence they were unmindful of his person, his offices, his works, his benefits, and the great salvation by him; as indeed too many are that call themselves Christians: some observe that the word here used signifies bringing forth children with pain, and so way respect the bitter sorrows and sufferings of Christ, sometimes expressed by a word F12 which signifies the pains of women in childbirth, ( Acts 2:24 ) ; and called the travail of his soul, ( Isaiah 53:11 ) ; and so a further aggravation of their ingratitude, that they should forget him that suffered so much, at least on account of some of them; for, those he endured to bring forth children unto God, or to gather together the children of God, scattered abroad both in Judea and in the whole world, ( John 11:51 John 11:52 ) .


F11 (Kdly rwu) "rupem cognationis tuae", i.e. "fratrum tuorum", Van Till; see Rom. ix. 4, 5.
F12 (Kllxm) "parturientis te", Montanus; "parturitorem tuum", Van Till.

Deuteronomy 32:18 In-Context

16 They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods; with abominations they provoked him to anger.
17 They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, whom your fathers had never dreaded.
18 You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth.
19 "The LORD saw it and spurned them, because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters.
20 And he said, 'I will hide my face from them; I will see what their end will be, For they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faithfulness.

Cross References 2

  • 1. 2 Samuel 22:47; Psalms 89:26; Psalms 95:1
  • 2. Isaiah 17:10; Jeremiah 2:27, 32; Hosea 8:14

Footnotes 1

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