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Deuteronomy 1

1 These be the wordes which Moses spake vnto all Israel, on the other syde Iordayne in the wildernesse and in the feldes by the red see, betwene Phara ad Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Disahab
2 .xij. dayes iurney from Horeb vnto Cades bernea, by the waye that leadeth vnto mount Seir.
3 And it fortuned the first daye of the .xi. moneth in the fortieth yere, that Moses spake vnto the childern of Israel acordinge vnto all that the Lorde had geuen him in commaundment vnto them,
4 after that he had smote Sihon the kynge of the Amorites which dwelt in Hesbon, and Og kinge of Basan which dwelt at Astaroth in Edrei.
5 On the other syde Iordayne in the londe of Moab, Moses begane to declare this lawe saynge:
6 the Lorde oure God spake vnto us in Horeb sayenge: Ye haue dwelt longe ynough in this mount:
7 departe therfore and take youre iurney and goo vnto the hilles of the Amorites and vnto all places nye there vnto: both feldes, hilles and dales: and vnto the south and vnto the sees syde in the londe of Canaan, and vnto libanon: euen vnto the greate ryuer Euphrates.
8 Beholde, I haue set the londe before you: goo in therfore and possesse the londe which the Lord sware vnto youre fathers Abraham, Isaac and Iacob, to geue vnto them and their seed after them.
9 And I sayde vnto yov the same season: I am not able to bere you myselfe alone.
10 For the Lorde youre God hath multiplyed you: so that ye are this daye as the starres of heauen in numbre
11 (the Lorde god of youre fathers make you a thousande tymes so many moo as ye are, and blesse you as he hath promysed you)
12 how (sayde I) can I myselfe alone, beare the combraunce, charge and stryffe that is amonge you:
13 brynge therfore men of wisdome and of vnderstondinge and expert knowne amonge youre trybes, that I maye make them ruelars ouer you.
14 And ye answered me and sayed: that which thou hast spoken is good to be done.
15 And then I toke the heedes of youre trybes, men of wysdome and that were expert, and made them ruelers ouer you: captaynes ouer thousandes and ouer hundredes ouer fyftye and ouer ten, and officers amonge youre trybes.
16 And I charged youre Iudges the same tyme sayenge: heare youre brethern and iudge righteously betwene euery man and his brother and the straunges that is with him.
17 Se that ye knowe no man in Iudgement: but heare the small as well as the greate and be afrayed of no man, for the lawe is Gods. And the cause that is to harde for you, brynge vnto me and I will heare it.
18 And I commaunded you the same season, all the thinges which ye shulde doo.
19 And then we departed from Horeb and walked thorow all that greate and terreble wildernesse as ye haue sene alonge by the waye that ledeth vnto the hilles of the Amorites, as the Lorde oure God commaunded us, and came to Cades bernea.
20 And there I sayed vnto you: Ye are come vnto the hilles of the Amorites, which the Lorde oure God doth geue vnto us.
21 Beholde the Lorde thi God hath sett the londe before the, goo vpp and conquere it, as the Lorde God of thy fathers sayeth vnto the: feare not, nether be discoraged.
22 And then ye came vnto me euery one and sayed: Let us sende men before us, to serche us out the londe and to brynge us worde agayne, both what waye we shall goo vpp by, and vnto what cities we shall come.
23 And the sayenge pleassed me well and I toke .xij. men of you, of euery trybe one.
24 And they departed and went vp in to the hye contre and came vnto the ryuer Escoll, and serched it out,
25 and toke of the frute of the londe in their hondes and brought it doune vnto us and brought us worde agayne and sayde: it is a good lande which the Lorde oure God doeth geue us.
26 Notwithstondinge ye wolde not consente to goo vpp, but were dishobedient vnto the mouth of the Lorde youre God,
27 ad murmured in youre tentes and sayde: because the Lorde hateth us, therfore he hath brought us out of the londe of Egipte, to delyuer us in to the handes of the Amorites and to destroye us.
28 How shall we goo vpp? Oure brethern haue discoraged oure hartes sayenge: the people is greater and taller than we, ad the cities are greatte and walked euen vpp to heauen, and moreouer we haue sene the sonnes of the Enakimes there.
29 And I sayed vnto you: dreade not nor be afrayed of the:
30 The Lorde youre God which goeth before you, he shall fyghte for you, acordynge to all that he dyd vnto you in Egipte before youre eies
31 ad in the wildernesse: as thou hast sene how that the Lorde thy God bare the as a man shulde beare his sonne, thorow out all the waye which ye haue gone, vntill ye came vnto this place.
32 And yet for all this sayenge ye dyd not beleue the Lorde youre God
33 which goeth the waye before you, to serche you out a place to pitche youre tentes in, in fyre by nyght, that ye myghte se what waye to go and in a cloude by daye.
34 And the Lorde herde the voyce of youre wordes and was wroth and swore sayenge,
35 there shall not one of these men of this frowarde generacion se that good londe which I sware to geue vnto youre fathers,
36 saue Caleb the sonne of Iephune, he shall se it, and to him I will geue the londe which he hath walked in ad to his childern, because he hath contynually folowed the Lorde.
37 Likewise the Lorde was angrye with me for youre sakes sayenge: thou also shalt not go in thiter.
38 But Iosua the sone of Nun which stondeth before the, he shall go in thither. Bolde him therfore for he shall deuyde it vnto Israel.
39 Moreouer youre childern which ye sayed shulde be a praye, and youre sonnes which knowe nether good nor bad this daye, they shall goo in thither ad vnto them I will geue it, ad they shall enioye it.
40 But as for you, turne backe and take youre iurneye in to the wildernesse: euen the waye to the reed see.
41 Than ye answered and sayed vnto me: We haue synned agenst the Lorde: we will goo vp and fyghte, acordinge to all that the Lorde oure God comaunded us. And whe ye had gyrde on euery man his wepons of warre and were ready to goo vp in to the hilles,
42 the Lorde sayed vnto me: saye vnto the, se that ye go not vp and that ye fighte not, for I am not amoge you: lest ye be plaged before youre enemies.
43 And whe I told you ye wold not heare: but disobeyed the mouth of the Lorde, and went presumptously vp in to the hilles.
44 The the Amorites which dwelt in those hilles, came out agenst you and chased you as bees doo, and hewed you in Seir, eue vnto Horma.
45 And ye came agayne and wepte before the Lorde: but the Lorde wolde not heare youre voyce nor geue you audience.
46 And so ye abode in Cades aloge season, acordinge vnto the tyme that ye there dwelt.

Deuteronomy 1 Commentary

Chapter 1

This book repeats much of the history and of the laws contained in the three foregoing books: Moses delivered it to Israel a little before his death, both by word of mouth, that it might affect, and by writing, that it might abide. The men of that generation to which the law was first given were all dead, and a new generation was sprung up, to whom God would have it repeated by Moses himself, now they were going to possess the land of Canaan. The wonderful love of God to his church is set forth in this book; how he ever preserved his church for his own mercies sake, and would still have his name called upon among them. Such are the general outlines of this book, the whole of which shows Moses' love for Israel, and marks him an eminent type of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us apply the exhortations and persuasions to our own consciences, to excite our minds to a believing, grateful obedience to the commands of God.

The words Moses spake to Israel in the plains of Moab, The promise of Canaan. (1-8) Judges provided for the people. (9-18) Of the sending the spies-God's anger for their unbelief and disobedience. (19-46)

Verses 1-8 Moses spake to the people all the Lord had given him in commandment. Horeb was but eleven days distant from Kadesh-barnea. This was to remind them that their own bad conduct had occasioned their tedious wanderings; that they might the more readily understand the advantages of obedience. They must now go forward. Though God brings his people into trouble and affliction, he knows when they have been tried long enough. When God commands us to go forward in our Christian course, he sets the heavenly Canaan before us for our encouragement.

Verses 9-18 Moses reminds the people of the happy constitution of their government, which might make them all safe and easy, if it was not their own fault. He owns the fulfilment of God's promise to Abraham, and prays for the further accomplishment of it. We are not straitened in the power and goodness of God; why should we be straitened in our own faith and hope? Good laws were given to the Israelites, and good men were to see to the execution of them, which showed God's goodness to them, and the care of Moses.

Verses 19-46 Moses reminds the Israelites of their march from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea, through that great and terrible wilderness. He shows how near they were to a happy settlement in Canaan. It will aggravate the eternal ruin of hypocrites, that they were not far from the kingdom of God. As if it were not enough that they were sure of their God before them, they would send men before them. Never any looked into the Holy Land, but they must own it to be a good land. And was there any cause to distrust this God? An unbelieving heart was at the bottom of all this. All disobedience to God's laws, and distrust of his power and goodness, flow from disbelief of his word, as all true obedience springs from faith. It is profitable for us to divide our past lives into distinct periods; to give thanks to God for the mercies we have received in each, to confess and seek the forgiveness of all the sins we can remember; and thus to renew our acceptance of God's salvation, and our surrender of ourselves to his service. Our own plans seldom avail to good purpose; while courage in the exercise of faith, and in the path of duty, enables the believer to follow the Lord fully, to disregard all that opposes, to triumph over all opposition, and to take firm hold upon the promised blessings.

Chapter Summary


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.


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 Commentaries

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