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Bible Commentaries

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible
Deuteronomy 30

 

 

Verses 1-10

The rejection of Israel and the desolation of the promised inheritance were not to be the end of God‘s dispensations. The closing words of the address therefore are words of comfort and promise. Compare marginal reference and Deuteronomy 4:29 ff; 1 Kings 8:46-50.

The chastisements of God would lead the nation to repent, and thereupon God would again bless them.

Deuteronomy 30:3

Will turn thy captivity - Will change or put an end to thy state of captivity or distress (compare Psalm 14:7; Psalm 85:2; Jeremiah 30:18). The rendering of the Greek version is significant; “the Lord will heal thy sins.”

The promises of this and the following verses had no doubt their partial fulfillment in the days of the Judges; but the fact that various important features are repeated in Jeremiah 32:37 ff, and in Ezekiel 11:19 ff, Ezekiel 34:13 ff, Ezekiel 36:24 ff, shows us that none of these was regarded as exhausting the promises. In full analogy with the scheme of prophecy we may add that the return from the Babylonian captivity has not exhausted their depth. The New Testament takes up the strain (e. g. in John 11:51-52. Then shall there be “one fold and one shepherd” John 10:16. But whether the general conversion of the Jews shall be accompanied with any national restoration, any recovery of their ancient prerogatives as the chosen people; and further, whether there shall be any local replacement of them in the land of their fathers, may be regarded as of “the secret things” which belong unto God Deuteronomy 29:29; and so indeed our Lord Himself teaches us Acts 1:6-7.

Deuteronomy 30:6

Circumcise thine heart - Compare Deuteronomy 10:16 note; Jeremiah 32:39; Ezra 11:19.


Verses 11-20

Ignorance of the requirements of the law cannot be pleaded Deuteronomy 30:10-14; hence, Deuteronomy 30:15-20 life and death, good and evil, are solemnly set before the people for their own choice; and an earnest exhortation to choose the better part concludes the address.

Deuteronomy 30:11-14. “The righteousness which is of faith” is really and truly described in these words of the Law; and, under Paul‘s guidance (see marginal references) we affirm was intended so to be. For the simplicity and accessibility which Moses here attributes to the Law of God neither is nor can be experimentally found in it except through the medium of faith; even though outwardly and in the letter that Law be written out for us so “that he may run that readeth,” and be set forth in its duties and its sanctions as plainly as it was before the Jews by Moses. The seeming ease of the commandment, and yet its real impossibility to the natural man, form part of the qualifications of the Law to be our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ.

Deuteronomy 30:11

Not hidden from thee - Rather, not too hard for thee, as in Deuteronomy 17:8.

Neither is it far off - Compare Luke 17:21.

Deuteronomy 30:13

The paraphrase of this verse in the Jerusalem Targum is noteworthy, and should be compared with Paul‘s rendering in Romans 10:7: “Neither is the law beyond the great sea, that thou shouldest say, Oh that we had one like Jonah the prophet who could descend into the depths of the sea and bring it to us!”

Deuteronomy 30:14

In thy mouth, and in, thy heart - Compare Deuteronomy 6:6; Deuteronomy 11:18-20.

Deuteronomy 30:20

That thou mayest love the Lord - Compare Deuteronomy 6:5. Love stands first as the essential and only source of obedience.

He is thy life - Or, “that” (i. e., “to love the Lord”) “is thy life;” i. e., the condition of thy life and of its prolongation in the promised land. Compare Deuteronomy 4:40; Deuteronomy 32:47.

 


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Bibliography Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 30:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/deuteronomy-30.html. 1870.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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