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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 10

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-22

Deuteronomy 10:6 . Mosera: there Aaron died. In Numbers 20:28; Numbers 33:38-39, we read that Aaron died in mount Hor, which was seven days’ journey from Moseroth. This place is full of difficulties. Why are Aaron and Levi mentioned here at all? Because they were the guardians of the ark, and of the tables mentioned above; and because the Lord had pardoned Aaron. The difficulty respecting the place of Aaron’s death is thus accounted for by some that Israel, intimidated by the advantages king Arad had gained over them, Numbers 21:0., made a retrograde movement towards Egypt, and came twice to the same place, which is not improbable. Consequently, they understand mount Hor to be situate in the district of Mosera. Others distinguish Beroth-bene-Jaakan from Bene-Jaakan, and Mosera from Moseroth, because Moseroth-bene-Maakan is Kadesh, the thirty second encampment; but Bene-Jaakan was the twenty seventh encampment. Numbers 33:31. Therefore from this place they came to Mosera, or mount Hor, where Aaron died. So far Poole’s Synopsis of the critics. But Kennicott, confident of a defect in the Hebrew copy, follows the Samaritan pentateuch, which clears up all the difficulty. He translates the passage as under. “And the children of Israel journeyed from Moseroth, and pitched in Bene-Jaakan: from thence they journeyed, and pitched in Hagidgad: from thence they journeyed, and pitched in Jothathah, a land of rivers of water: from thence they journeyed, and pitched in Ebronah: from thence they journeyed, and pitched in Ezion-Gaber: from thence they journeyed, and pitched in the wilderness of Zin, which is Kadesh: from thence they journeyed, and pitched in mount Hor, and there Aaron died.” Thus the whole is harmonized to entire satisfaction.

Deuteronomy 10:8 . The Lord separated the tribe of Levi. The service of the sanctuary would be better done by a select order of men. The firstborn of all Israel would have been too numerous for the work, and they could not have been spared from their duties at home. This smallest tribe was a figure of the church, which is a royal priesthood.


Moses having spoken freely of Israel’s sin; proceeds now to treat of their restoration. He marks the great mercy of God in restoring the broken tables of the law. Fallen man, haughty in mind, and actuated by a daring spirit of independence and self-love, opposes the restraints of passion, and refuses submission to any authority less than divine. Hence the penal statutes of all christian nations should be modelled after the divine code, that the wicked may fear a greater punishment than the magistrate can inflict.

But this most singular circumstance of both the tables lying broken on the ground, and profanely thrown aside, though written with the finger of God, should remind us how we have profanely trampled all the ten words of heaven under our feet, and caused the fire of God’s anger so to burn as ought to cause the sinner exceedingly to fear and quake. And let us never cease to mourn for past folly, and pray the Lord to renew and restore to us a fair copy of his law, by writing it on our hearts.

The tables being restored, Moses marks next, that Aaron and Levi were restored, for all Israel by the revolt of the calf had forfeited their covenant. Unless we have a ministry provided to nourish and feed our souls with wholesome food, we can neither abide in Christ, nor retain the law. They who by negligence slight the ordinances of God, slight the author of the ordinances; and he is jealous of his glory and of his people’s affections.

The legislator of Israel having rehearsed the leading transactions of the desert, and filled his soul, while speaking, with the grandeur and glory of the moral, the civil, and ceremonial code, sums up the whole in the sublimest language and most impressive applications. And now Israel, what doth the Lord. require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to love him with all thy heart and soul. Scorning a mere ceremonial service, a congregational purity, he directs that all obedience should proceed from love; that circumcision should be that of the heart, Romans 2:28; and that the elders should execute judgment and afford protection to the widow, the orphan and the stranger. In a word, that obedience should in every view be spiritual and holy. His mind, in a moment, seems to be filled with the end of the law; to transport itself to evangelical times, and to associate with Christ when expounding this law on the mount to the multitudes. Let all men aim at love, which is the end of the commandments; and let ministers especially, after unfolding the purity of the precept, lead the sinner to the hope set before him; and enforce compliance by the grandeur of God. Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens are the Lord’s, the earth and all its fulness.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 10". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/deuteronomy-10.html. 1835.
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