Deuteronomy 1

1 These [are] the words which Moses hath spoken unto all Israel, beyond the Jordan, in the wilderness, in the plain over-against Suph, between Paran and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Di-Zahab;
2 eleven days' from Horeb, the way of mount Seir, unto Kadesh-Barnea.
3 And it cometh to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month hath Moses spoken unto the sons of Israel according to all that Jehovah hath commanded him concerning them;
4 after his smiting Sihon king of the Amorite who is dwelling in Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan who is dwelling in Ashtaroth in Edrei,
5 beyond the Jordan, in the land of Moab, hath Moses begun to explain this law, saying:
6 `Jehovah our God hath spoken unto us in Horeb, saying, Enough to you -- of dwelling in this mount;
7 turn ye and journey for you, and enter the mount of the Amorite, and unto all its neighbouring places, in the plain, in the hill-country, and in the low country, and in the south, and in the haven of the sea, the land of the Canaanite, and of Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Phrat;
8 see, I have set before you the land; go in and possess the land which Jehovah hath sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them, and to their seed after them.
9 `And I speak unto you at that time, saying, I am not able by myself to bear you;
10 Jehovah your God hath multiplied you, and lo, ye [are] to-day as the stars of the heavens for multitude;
11 Jehovah, God of your fathers, is adding to you, as ye [are], a thousand times, and doth bless you as He hath spoken to you.
12 `How do I bear by myself your pressure, and your burden, and your strife?
13 Give for yourselves men, wise and intelligent, and known to your tribes, and I set them for your heads;
14 and ye answer me and say, Good [is] the thing which thou hast spoken -- to do.
15 `And I take the heads of your tribes, men, wise and known, and I appoint them heads over you, princes of thousands, and princes of hundreds, and princes of fifties, and princes of tens, and authorities, for your tribes.
16 And I command your judges at that time, saying, Hearkening between your brethren -- then ye have judged righteousness between a man, and his brother, and his sojourner;
17 ye do not discern faces in judgment; as the little so the great ye do hear; ye are not afraid of the face of any, for the judgment is God's, and the thing which is too hard for you, ye bring near unto me, and I have heard it;
18 and I command you, at that time, all the things which ye do.
19 `And we journey from Horeb, and go [through] all that great and fearful wilderness which ye have seen -- the way of the hill-country of the Amorite, as Jehovah our God hath commanded us, and we come in unto Kadesh-Barnea.
20 `And I say unto you, Ye have come in unto the hill-country of the Amorite, which Jehovah our God is giving to us;
21 see, Jehovah thy God hath set before thee the land; go up, possess, as Jehovah, God of thy fathers, hath spoken to thee; fear not, nor be affrighted.
22 `And ye come near unto me, all of you, and say, Let us send men before us, and they search for us the land, and they bring us back word [concerning] the way in which we go up into it, and the cities unto which we come in;
23 and the thing is good in mine eyes, and I take of you twelve men, one man for a tribe.
24 `And they turn and go up to the hill-country, and come in unto the valley of Eshcol, and spy it,
25 and they take with their hand of the fruit of the land, and bring down unto us, and bring us back word, and say, Good is the land which Jehovah our God is giving to us.
26 `And ye have not been willing to go up, and ye provoke the mouth of Jehovah your God,
27 and murmur in your tents, and say, In Jehovah's hating us He hath brought us out of the land of Egypt, to give us into the hand of the Amorite -- to destroy us;
28 whither are we going up? our brethren have melted our heart, saying, A people greater and taller than we, cities great and fenced to heaven, and also sons of Anakim -- we have seen there.
29 `And I say unto you, Be not terrified, nor be afraid of them;
30 Jehovah your God, who is going before you -- He doth fight for you, according to all that He hath done with you in Egypt before your eyes,
31 and in the wilderness, where thou hast seen that Jehovah thy God hath borne thee as a man beareth his son, in all the way which ye have gone, till your coming in unto this place.
32 `And in this thing ye are not stedfast in Jehovah your God,
33 who is going before you in the way to search out to you a place for your encamping, in fire by night, to shew you in the way in which ye go, and in a cloud by day.
34 `And Jehovah heareth the voice of your words, and is wroth, and sweareth, saying,
35 Not one of these men of this evil generation doth see the good land which I have sworn to give to your fathers,
36 save Caleb son of Jephunneh -- he doth see it, and to him I give the land on which he hath trodden, and to his sons, because that he hath been fully after Jehovah.
37 `Also with me hath Jehovah been angry for your sake, saying, Also, thou dost not go in thither;
38 Joshua son of Nun, who is standing before thee, he goeth in thither; him strengthen thou; for he doth cause Israel to inherit.
39 `And your infants, of whom ye have said, For a prey they are, and your sons who have not known to-day good and evil, they go in thither, and to them I give it, and they possess it;
40 and ye, turn for yourselves, and journey toward the wilderness, the way of the Red Sea.
41 `And ye answer and say unto me, We have sinned against Jehovah; we -- we go up, and we have fought, according to all that which Jehovah our God hath commanded us; and ye gird on each his weapons of war, and ye are ready to go up into the hill-country;
42 and Jehovah saith unto me, Say to them, Ye do not go up, nor fight, for I am not in your midst, and ye are not smitten before your enemies.
43 `And I speak unto you, and ye have not hearkened, and provoke the mouth of Jehovah, and act proudly, and go up into the hill-country;
44 and the Amorite who is dwelling in that hill-country cometh out to meet you, and they pursue you as the bees do, and smite you in Seir -- unto Hormah.
45 `And ye turn back and weep before Jehovah, and Jehovah hath not hearkened to your voice, nor hath he given ear unto you;
46 and ye dwell in Kadesh many days, according to the days which ye had 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

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 Commentaries