Deuteronomy 1:9-18

9 At that time I said to you, "I am unable by myself to bear you.
10 The Lord your God has multiplied you, so that today you are as numerous as the stars of heaven.
11 May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, increase you a thousand times more and bless you, as he has promised you!
12 But how can I bear the heavy burden of your disputes all by myself?
13 Choose for each of your tribes individuals who are wise, discerning, and reputable to be your leaders."
14 You answered me, "The plan you have proposed is a good one."
15 So I took the leaders of your tribes, wise and reputable individuals, and installed them as leaders over you, commanders of thousands, commanders of hundreds, commanders of fifties, commanders of tens, and officials, throughout your tribes.
16 I charged your judges at that time: "Give the members of your community a fair hearing, and judge rightly between one person and another, whether citizen or resident alien.
17 You must not be partial in judging: hear out the small and the great alike; you shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God's. Any case that is too hard for you, bring to me, and I will hear it."
18 So I charged you at that time with all the things that you should do.

Deuteronomy 1:9-18 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO DEUTERONOMY

This book is sometimes called "Elleh hadebarim", from the words with which it begins; and sometimes by the Jews "Mishneh Torah", the repetition of the law; and so in the Syriac version, with which agrees the Arabic title of it; and when the Greeks, and we after them, call it "Deuteronomy", it is not to be understood of a second, a new, or another law, but of the law formerly delivered, but now repeated, and also more largely explained; to which are likewise added several particular laws, instructions, and directions; all which were necessary, on account of the people of Israel, who were now a new generation, that either were not born, or not at an age to hear and understand the law when given on Mount Sinai; the men that heard it there being all dead, excepting a very few; and these people were also now about to enter into the land of Canaan, which they were to enjoy as long as they kept the law of God, and no longer, and therefore it was proper they should be reminded of it; and besides, Moses was now about to leave them, and having an hearty desire after their welfare, spends the little time he had to be with them, by inculcating into them and impressing on them the laws of God, and in opening and explaining them to them, and enforcing them on them, which were to be the rule of their obedience, and on which their civil happiness depended. And sometimes the Jews call this book "the book of reproofs", because there are in it several sharp reproofs of the people of Israel for their rebellion and disobedience; and so the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem begin it by calling it the words of reproof which Moses spake That this book was written by Moses there can be no doubt, from De 1:1, 31:4,9,24, only the eight last verses, which give an account of his death, and of his character, were wrote by another hand, equally inspired by God, as either Eleazar the priest, as some, or Samuel the prophet, as others; or, as it is the more commonly received opinion of the Jews, Ezra; though it is highly probable they were wrote by Joshua his successor. This book was written and delivered by Moses, at certain times in the last month of his life, and towards the close of the fortieth year of the children of Israel's coming out of Egypt. And that it is of divine authority need not be questioned, when the several quotations out of it are observed, as made by the apostles of Christ, in Ac 3:22, Ro 12:19 Heb 10:30, Ga 3:10 out of \De 18:15 32:35,36 27:26\ and by our Lord himself, Mt 18:16 from De 19:15. Yea, it is remarkable, that all the passages of Scripture produced by Christ, to repel the temptations of Satan, are all taken out of this book, Mt 4:7,10 compared with De 8:3, 6:10,13, and the voice from heaven, directing the apostles to hearken to him, refers to a prophecy of him in De 18:15.

\\INTRODUCTION TO DEUTERONOMY 1\\

The time and place when the subject matter of this book was delivered to the Israelites are observed by way of preface, De 1:1-5, and it begins with reminding them of an order to them to depart from Mount Horeb, and pass on to the land of Canaan, which the Lord had given them, De 1:6-8, and with observing the very great increase of their number, which made it necessary for Moses to appoint persons under him to be rulers over them, whom he instructed in the duty of their office, De 1:9-18, and he goes on to observe, that when they were come to the mountain of the Amorites, they were bid to go up and possess the land; but, instead of that, they desired men might be sent to search the land first, which was granted, De 1:19-23, and though these men upon their return brought of the fruits of the land, and a good report of it, particularly two of them; yet being discouraged by the report of the rest, they murmured, distrusted, and were afraid to enter, though encouraged by Moses, De 1:24-33, which caused the Lord to be angry with them, and upon it threatened them that they should die in the wilderness, and only two of them should ever see and enjoy the land, and therefore were bid to turn and take their journey in the wilderness, De 1:34-40, but being convinced of their evil, they proposed to go up the hill, and enter the land, which they attempted against the commandment of the Lord, but being repulsed by the Amorites, they fled with great loss, to their great grief, and abode in Kadesh many days, De 1:41-46.

Deuteronomy 1:9-18 In-Context

7 Resume your journey, and go into the hill country of the Amorites as well as into the neighboring regions—the Arabah, the hill country, the Shephelah, the Negeb, and the seacoast—the land of the Canaanites and the Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.
8 See, I have set the land before you; go in and take possession of the land that I swore to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their descendants after them."
9 At that time I said to you, "I am unable by myself to bear you.
10 The Lord your God has multiplied you, so that today you are as numerous as the stars of heaven.
11 May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, increase you a thousand times more and bless you, as he has promised you!
12 But how can I bear the heavy burden of your disputes all by myself?
13 Choose for each of your tribes individuals who are wise, discerning, and reputable to be your leaders."
14 You answered me, "The plan you have proposed is a good one."
15 So I took the leaders of your tribes, wise and reputable individuals, and installed them as leaders over you, commanders of thousands, commanders of hundreds, commanders of fifties, commanders of tens, and officials, throughout your tribes.
16 I charged your judges at that time: "Give the members of your community a fair hearing, and judge rightly between one person and another, whether citizen or resident alien.
17 You must not be partial in judging: hear out the small and the great alike; you shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God's. Any case that is too hard for you, bring to me, and I will hear it."
18 So I charged you at that time with all the things that you should do.
19 Then, just as the Lord our God had ordered us, we set out from Horeb and went through all that great and terrible wilderness that you saw, on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, until we reached Kadesh-barnea.
20 I said to you, "You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the Lord our God is giving us.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.