Devarim 9

1 Shema, Yisroel: Thou art to pass over Yarden today, to go in to possess Goyim greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and walled up to Shomayim,
2 A people great and tall, the Bnei Anakim, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the Bnei Anak!
3 Understand therefore this day, that Hashem Eloheicha is He which goeth over before thee; as a consuming eish He shall destroy them, and He shall bring them down before thy face; so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as Hashem hath said unto thee.
4 Speak not thou in thine lev, after that Hashem Eloheicha hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my tzedakah (righteousness) Hashem hath brought me in to possess this land; but for the wickedness of these Goyim Hashem doth drive them out from before thee.
5 Not for thy tzedakah, or for the yosher (uprightness) of thine lev, dost thou go to possess their land; but for the wickedness of these Goyim Hashem Eloheicha doth drive them out from before thee, and that He may perform the word which Hashem swore unto Avoteicha, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’akov.
6 Understand therefore, that Hashem Eloheicha giveth thee not this ha’aretz hatovah to possess it for thy tzedakah; for thou art an Am Kesheh Oref (a stiffnecked people).
7 Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst Hashem Eloheicha to wrath in the midbar; from the yom that thou didst depart out of Eretz Mitzrayim, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against Hashem.
8 Also in Chorev ye provoked Hashem to wrath, so that Hashem was angry with you to have destroyed you.
9 When I was gone up into the mount to receive the luchot ha’avanim, even the luchot HaBrit which Hashem cut with you, then I abode in the mount arba’im yom and arba’im lailah; I neither did eat lechem nor drink mayim;
10 And Hashem delivered unto me shnei luchot ha’avanim written with the etzba Elohim (finger of G-d); and on them was written according to all the words, which Hashem spoke with you in the mount out of the midst of the eish in the Yom HaKahal.
11 And it came to pass at the end of arba’im yom and arba’im lailah, Hashem gave me the shnei luchot ha’avanim, even the Luchot HaBrit.
12 And Hashem said unto me, Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Mitzrayim have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a massekhah (molten image).
13 Furthermore Hashem spoke unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is an Am Kesheh Oref (stiffnecked people):
14 Let Me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their shem from under Shomayim; and I will make of thee a nation mightier and greater than they.
15 So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with eish; and the shnei Luchot HaBrit were in my two hands.
16 And I looked, and, hinei, ye had sinned against Hashem Eloheicha, and had made you an egel massekhah (a molten calf); ye had turned aside quickly out of HaDerech (The Way) which Hashem had commanded you.
17 And I took the shnei haluchot, and cast them out of my two hands and broke them before your eyes.
18 And I fell down before Hashem, as at the first, arba’im yom and arba’im lailah; I did neither eat lechem, nor drink mayim, because of kol chattatchem ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of Hashem, to provoke Him to anger.
19 For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, wherewith Hashem was angry against you to destroy you. But Hashem listened unto me at that time also.
20 And Hashem was very angry with Aharon to have made him shmad; and I davened on behalf of Aharon also at that time.
21 And I took your sin, the egel which ye had made, and burned it with eish, and stamped it, and ground it very small, even until it was as small as dust; and I cast the dust thereof into the brook that descended out of the mount.
22 And at Taverah, and at Massah, and at Kivrot Hattaavah, ye provoked Hashem to wrath.
23 Likewise when Hashem sent you from Kadesh-Barnea, saying, Go up and possess ha’aretz which I have given you; then ye rebelled against the commandment of Hashem Eloheichem, and ye believed Him not, nor gave heed to His voice.
24 Ye have been rebellious against Hashem from the yom that I knew you.
25 Thus I fell down before Hashem arba’im hayom and arba’im halailah, as I fell down at the first; because Hashem had said He would destroy you.
26 I davened therefore unto Hashem, and said, Adonoi Hashem, destroy not Thy people and Thine inheritance, which Thou hast redeemed through Thy greatness, which Thou hast brought forth out of Mitzrayim with a yad chazakah.
27 Remember Thy avadim, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’akov; look not unto the stubbornness of this people, nor to their wickedness, nor to their sin;
28 Lest ha’aretz whence Thou broughtest us out say, Because Hashem was not able to bring them into ha’aretz which He promised them, and because He hated them, He hath brought them out to slay them in the midbar.
29 Yet they are Thy people and Thine nachalah, which Thou broughtest out by Thy koach hagadol and by Thy outstretched zero’a.

Devarim 9 Commentary

Chapter 9

The Israelites not to think their success came by their own worthiness. (1-6) Moses reminds the Israelites of their rebellions. (7-29)

Verses 1-6 Moses represents the strength of the enemies they were now to encounter. This was to drive them to God, and engage their hope in him. He assures them of victory, by the presence of God with them. He cautions them not to have the least thought of their own righteousness, as if that procured this favour at God's hand. In Christ we have both righteousness and strength; in Him we must glory, not in ourselves, nor in any sufficiency of our own. It is for the wickedness of these nations that God drives them out. All whom God rejects, are rejected for their own wickedness; but none whom he accepts are accepted for their own righteousness. Thus boasting is for ever done away: see Eph. 2:9, Eph. 2:11, Eph. 2:12 .

Verses 7-29 That the Israelites might have no pretence to think that God brought them to Canaan for their righteousness, Moses shows what a miracle of mercy it was, that they had not been destroyed in the wilderness. It is good for us often to remember against ourselves, with sorrow and shame, our former sins; that we may see how much we are indebted to free grace, and may humbly own that we never merited any thing but wrath and the curse at God's hand. For so strong is our propensity to pride, that it will creep in under one pretence or another. We are ready to fancy that our righteousness has got for us the special favour of the Lord, though in reality our wickedness is more plain than our weakness. But when the secret history of every man's life shall be brought forth at the day of judgment, all the world will be proved guilty before God. At present, One pleads for us before the mercy-seat, who not only fasted, but died upon the cross for our sins; through whom we may approach, though self-condemned sinners, and beseech for undeserved mercy and for eternal life, as the gift of God in Him. Let us refer all the victory, all the glory, and all the praise, to Him who alone bringeth salvation.

Chapter Summary


In this chapter the Israelites are assured of the ejection of the Canaanites, though so great and mighty, to make room for them, De 9:1-3, and they are cautioned not to attribute this to their own righteousness, but to the wickedness of the nations which deserved to be so treated, and to the faithfulness of God in performing his promise made to their fathers, De 9:4-6, and that it might appear that it could not be owing to their righteousness, it is affirmed and proved that they had been a rebellious and provoking people from their coming out of Egypt to that time, as was evident from their idolatry at Horeb; a particular account of which is given, and of the displeasure of the Lord at it, De 9:7-21, and of their murmurings, with which they provoked the Lord at other places, De 9:22-24, and the chapter is closed with an account of the prayer of Moses for them at Horeb, to avert the wrath of God from them for their making and worshipping the golden calf, De 9:25-29.

Devarim 9 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.