Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, May 29th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 4

Geneva Study BibleGeneva Study Bible

Verse 1

4:1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to {a} do [them], that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.

(a) For this doctrine stands not in bare knowledge, but in practice of life.

Verse 2

4:2 Ye shall {b} not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye {c} diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

(b) Think not to be more wise than I am.

(c) God will not be served by halves, but will have full obedience.

Verse 3

4:3 Your {d} eyes have seen what the LORD did because of Baalpeor: for all the men that followed Baalpeor, the LORD thy God hath destroyed them from among you.

(d) God’s judgments executed on other idolaters ought to serve for our instruction, read Numbers 25:3-4.

Verse 4

4:4 But ye that did {e} cleave unto the LORD your God [are] alive every one of you this day.

(e) And were not idolaters.

Verse 6

4:6 Keep therefore and do [them]; for this [is] your {f} wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation [is] a wise and understanding people.

(f) Because all men naturally desire wisdom, he shows how to attain it.

Verse 7

4:7 For what nation [is there so] great, who [hath] God [so] {g} nigh unto them, as the LORD our God [is] in all [things that] we call upon him [for]?

(g) Helping us, and delivering us out of all dangers, as in 2 Samuel 7:23.

Verse 9

4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and {h} keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;

(h) He adds all these words, to show that we can never be careful enough to keep the law of God and to teach it to our posterity.

Verse 11

4:11 And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain {i} burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness.

(i) The law was given with fearful miracles, to declare both that God was the author of it, and also that no flesh was able to abide the rigour of the same.

Verse 13

4:13 And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to {k} perform, [even] ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.

(k) God joins this condition to his covenant.

Verse 15

4:15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no {l} manner of similitude on the day [that] the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:

(l) Signifying, that destruction is prepared for all who make any image to represent God.

Verse 19

4:19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, [even] all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath {m} divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.

(m) He has appointed them to serve man.

Verse 20

4:20 But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the {n} iron furnace, [even] out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as [ye are] this day.

(n) He has delivered you out of most miserable slavery and freely chosen you for his.

Verse 22

4:22 But I must die in this land, I must not go over Jordan: but {o} ye shall go over, and possess that good land.

(o) Moses good affection appears in that while he himself is deprived of such an excellent treasure, he does not envy those who must enjoy it.

Verse 24

4:24 For the LORD thy God [is] a {p} consuming fire, [even] a jealous God.

(p) To those that come not to him with love and reverence, but rebel against him.

Verse 25

4:25 When thou shalt beget children, and children’s children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall {q} corrupt [yourselves], and make a graven image, [or] the likeness of any [thing], and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger:

(q) Meaning by this all superstition and corruption of the true service of God.

Verse 26

4:26 I {r} call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong [your] days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.

(r) Though men would abuse you, yet the insensible creatures will be witnesses of your disobedience.

Verse 27

4:27 And the LORD shall {s} scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you.

(s) So that his curse will make his former blessings ineffectual.

Verse 29

4:29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find [him], if thou seek him with all thy {t} heart and with all thy soul.

(t) Not with outward show or ceremony, but with a true confession of your faults.

Verse 31


(For the LORD thy God [is] a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he {u} sware unto them.

(u) To certify to them even more the assurance of their salvation.

Verse 32

4:32 For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and {x} [ask] from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been [any such thing] as this great thing [is], or hath been heard like it?

(x) Man’s negligence is partially the cause for his ignorance of God.

Verse 34

4:34 Or hath God assayed to go [and] take him a nation from the midst of [another] nation, by {y} temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

(y) By so manifest proofs that none could doubt of it.

Verse 35

4:35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest {z} know that the LORD he [is] God; [there is] none else beside him.

(z) He shows the reason why God did these miracles.

Verse 37

4:37 And because {a} he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power out of Egypt;

(a) Freely, and not because they deserved it.

Verse 40

4:40 Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may {b} go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong [thy] days upon the earth, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, for ever.

(b) God promises reward not for our merits, but to encourage us, and to assure us that our labour will not be lost.

Verse 45

4:45 These [are] the {c} testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which Moses spake unto the children of Israel, after they came forth out of Egypt,

(c) The articles and points of the covenant.

Verse 49

4:49 And all the plain on this side Jordan eastward, even unto {d} the sea of the plain, under the springs of Pisgah.

(d) That is, the salt sea.

Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gsb/deuteronomy-4.html. 1599-1645.
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