Deuteronomy 32:20

20 And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.

Deuteronomy 32:20 Meaning and Commentary

Deuteronomy 32:20

And he said, I will hide my face from them
Now the Lord proceeds to pass sentence on the Jews for their ill treatment of his Son, and of his followers; which respects judgments that should come upon them, both spiritual and temporal, or corporeal; the former lies in ( Deuteronomy 32:20 Deuteronomy 32:21 ) , and the latter in ( Deuteronomy 32:22-25 ) ; and this the Lord said in his own heart and mind, decreed and determined it within himself, and declared it in his word by his prophets, as here and in other places: and this first part of the sentence denotes the withdrawing of the gracious presence of God, and the manifestation of his favour, from the people of the Jews, his dislike and contempt of them, having taken out from among them the remnant according to the election of grace, the disciples and followers of Christ; and the removal of the Gospel, and the ordinances of it, from them, the means of light and knowledge, joy and comfort, and the giving of them up to blindness and hardness of heart, which continues to this day; they have a vail of darkness and ignorance upon their hearts while reading the books of the Old Testament, which will be done away when they turn to the Lord, and not before; likewise this was fulfilled when all the symbols of the divine Presence were removed, when the temple was destroyed, and all things in it, or carried away; and this house, which was formerly the house of God, and where he dwelt, was left desolate by him; and it is remarkable, that a little before the destruction of Jerusalem, a voice was heard in the temple, "let us go hence", as Josephus relates F26:

I will see what their end [shall be]:
their destruction, called in the New Testament "the end of the world"; the end of the Jewish church state and commonwealth: this the Lord said, not as ignorant what it should be, or when it would be; but the sense is, either that he would cause them and others to see it, when he should bring wrath upon them to the uttermost; or that he would look upon it with pleasure and delight, which would be an aggravation of their punishment, ( Proverbs 1:26 ) ;

for they [are] a very froward generation;
men of perverse spirits, of a contrary and contradictory temper and disposition, who pleased not God, and were contrary to all men; as well as contradicted and blasphemed the Gospel of Christ, were men of distorted principles in religion, implicated and inconsistent, they wresting the Scriptures to their own destruction; and were obstinate, stubborn, and inflexible in their notions and practices, and that to the last, which was their ruin:

children in whom [is] no faith;
for though they had faith in one God, in the Scriptures of the Old Testament as the word of God, in the law of Moses, and in a future state, the resurrection of the dead, and judgment to come; especially the Pharisees, the greater part of the Jews; yet though they were the children of Abraham, and would be thought to be the children of God, they had no faith in Jesus, the true Messiah; him they disbelieved and rejected; and as their fathers could not enter into the land of Canaan, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness, because of unbelief; so these were cast out of the land, and from the Lord, because of their unbelief in the rejection of the Messiah. Aben Ezra observes, that it may be interpreted there is no men of faithfulness, or no faithful men among them, as in ( Psalms 12:1 ) ; they were a faithless generation, covenant breakers, broke their covenant with God, and therefore he rejected them.


F26 De Bello Jud. l. 6. c. 5. sect. 3.

Deuteronomy 32:20 In-Context

18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.
19 And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.
20 And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
21 They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
22 For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.