Deuteronomy 32:40

40 For 1I lift up my hand to heaven and swear, As I live forever,

Deuteronomy 32:40 Meaning and Commentary

Deuteronomy 32:40

For I lift up my hand to heaven
Which is a gesture used in swearing, ( Genesis 14:22 ) , and is ascribed to a divine Person, ( Ezekiel 20:5 ) ; and particularly to Christ the angel, that is so wonderfully described, ( Revelation 10:1-5 ) ; though sometimes it is used, as Aben Ezra observes, to excite the attention of hearers, but here it signifies swearing; and so the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem paraphrase it,

``I have lift up my hands with an oath to heaven;''

and to the same sense is the Septuagint version:

and say, I live for ever;
which is the form of an oath; when men swear, they are to swear, the Lord liveth, or to swear by the living God, and him only, ( Jeremiah 4:2 ) ; and when the Lord swears in this manner, he swears by his life, by himself, because he can swear by no greater; and his form of swearing is, "as truly as I live, saith the Lord", ( Numbers 14:21 Numbers 14:28 ) ; so the above angel is said to swear by him that liveth for ever and ever, ( Revelation 10:6 ) ; and since Christ is the living God, without beginning of days, and end of life, and lives for evermore, he may be thought to swear by himself, by his own life, which is for ever; and as the oath of the Lord is used in condescension by him, to confirm the faith of his people in the immutability of his counsel and promises, and to ascertain unto them the sure performance of them; so it is also used to assure wicked men of the certain performance of his threatenings; and it is as if Christ here said, as sure as I am the living God, and do and shall live for ever, I will most certainly do the things which next follow.

Deuteronomy 32:40 In-Context

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.
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh-- with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the long-haired heads of the enemy.'

Cross References 1

  • 1. See Genesis 14:22