Deuteronomy 32:39

39 "'See now that 1I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; 2I kill and I make alive; 3I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.

Deuteronomy 32:39 Meaning and Commentary

Deuteronomy 32:39

See now that I, [even] I, [am] he
Which words are directed to the people of God in their low estate, to look to Christ, and expect deliverance and salvation from him; or to their enemies that insult them, to the despisers, to look, and wonder, and perish, as they will, when the witnesses slain by them shall arise, and go up to heaven in their sight, ( Revelation 11:11-13 ) ; they are spoken by the Word and Son of God, to whom the Father has committed all judgment, and who will now rise up and execute it; so the Targum of Jonathan,

``when the Word of the Lord shall reveal himself to redeem his people, he will say to all people, see now''

and who will declare himself to be the great Jehovah, the self-existent Being, the eternal and immutable I AM; for this phrase is expressive of his existence, eternity, immutability, and sovereignty; and which the above Targum paraphrases thus,

``see now that I am he that have been, and am, and I am he that shall be,''

which, as it is a deciphering the word "Jehovah", is what is applied to Christ, ( Revelation 1:8 ) . The repeating the word "I", as it may denote the strong affection of the speaker, and the certainty of what he would do, so it may have respect to both sorts of persons the words are directed to, and to the several sorts of things to be done, hereafter related; signifying that it is the same I, that does the one, does also the other, kills and makes alive

and [there is] no god with me;
this the Redeemer and Saviour says elsewhere, ( Isaiah 44:6 ) ( 45:21 ) ; see ( Deuteronomy 32:12 ) ; there is but one God, and Christ the Word, with the Father and the Spirit, are that one God, ( 1 John 5:7 ) ; and there is no other with him; he is the true God, in opposition to all factitious and fictitious gods; he is not a made god, nor a god by office, nor by name and title only, but by nature the one, true, only, and living God; and so it may be most truly believed of him, that he is able to do, and will do, what he next says:

I kill, and I make alive;
I wound, and I heal: Christ is the sovereign disposer of life and death, of sickness and health, in a temporal sense; and in a spiritual sense he wounds and kills, by the law in the hand of his Spirit; and he heals and makes alive by his Gospel, as it is accompanied by his Spirit and grace also: this is by some referred to the resurrection from the dead, which will be by Christ the resurrection and the life, the earnest, exemplar, and efficient cause of it; so the Targum of Jerusalem,

``I am he that kills the living in this world, and quickens the dead in the world to come:''

but it refers to another resurrection previous to that, namely, the reviving of the witnesses after they have been slain three days; who, as they will be killed in a civil sense, in the same sense they will be quickened by the Spirit of life from Christ; that is, they will be raised from that very low estate into which they will be brought, into a glorious one, signified by their ascending up into heaven; which will be done by Christ when he takes to himself his great power, and reigns; then as he suffered his witnesses and people to be wounded and killed, he will make them alive, and heal them, and restore comforts and happiness to them, see ( Revelation 11:11 Revelation 11:12 ) ;

neither [is there any] that can deliver out of my hand;
for, at the same time that he saves his people, he will take their enemies into his hands, out of which there will be no escape; at this time seven thousand names of men, or men of name, will be slain, (See Gill on Revelation 11:13).

Deuteronomy 32:39 In-Context

37 Then he will say, 'Where are their gods, the rock in which they took refuge,
38 who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offering? Let them rise up and help you; let them be your protection!
39 "'See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
40 For I lift up my hand to heaven and swear, As I live forever,
41 if I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand takes hold on judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and will repay those who hate me.

Cross References 3

  • 1. Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 48:12
  • 2. 1 Samuel 2:6; 2 Kings 5:7
  • 3. Job 5:18; Hosea 6:1
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.