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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Deuteronomy 30

Verses 1-20

Deuteronomy 30:5 . The Lord thy God will bring thee into the land, when thou art penitent, by the marvellous munificence of Darius, and of Cyrus his nephew. What a luminous vision of future things! The Jews and many christians hope for a second gathering in the latter day. See notes on the last ten chapters of Ezekiel.

Deuteronomy 30:6 . Circumcise thy heart, to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart. Love, perfect love, is the consummation of the law. Here is proof that the temporal blessings of the law were figures of blessings spiritual and eternal. When this law is written on the heart, we are made partakers of the divine nature, the life of God in the soul of man, on which the second death hath no power.

Deuteronomy 30:11 . It is not hid from thee. Here Moses preached the gospel to the fathers, as St. Paul demonstrates. Romans 10:8.

Deuteronomy 30:19 . I call heaven and earth to record. Here the man of God closes his evangelical ministry in the true sublime of sentiment and language. He closes all his precepts, and all conditions, in hope that the grace which was nigh would lead them to the perfect love of God, and all the glory of his kingdom.


These hard sentences and dreadful denunciations are not irreversible, where repentance succeed the revolt. Daniel in Babylon, and other good men no doubt joined in his design, fasted and wept before the Lord, and a remnant of Israel was restored. But the modern Jews, now long dispersed, are still hardened and impenitent. They still abide in unbelief, and therefore till repentance in some sort shall be given them, they cannot inherit the promises.

Moses, seeing the people awfully impressed with the complicated terrors of the covenant, being conscious of their weakness and depravity, graciously encourages them to obedience by promising the aids of grace. The Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed after thee, to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart; he will cleanse it from the filth and pollution of sin, and so fill it with his pure and perfect love, that the new heart shall be more inclined to obedience than the old one was to revolt. The effusions of grace shall also be coëval with the duration of the covenant, and shall extend to the children throughout all generations.

What is happier still, the grace requisite to know and conform to the divine will, is neither distant nor difficult to obtain. The Hebrew for pardon and peace had neither to climb up into heaven, nor to descend into the deep; but simply to believe in the expected Messiah. The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart. If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. What a favour that God has adapted salvation to the weakness and indigence of man; he has but to ask and receive, to believe and be saved; for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. Over the gentiles there were a covering and a veil. Isaiah 25:7. They had to seek the Lord, if haply they might find him. Acts 17:27. But on us the beams of revelation have shone with meridian brightness.

God having therefore placed salvation within the reach of the Jew, having provided atonement for his sin, and grace adequate to obedience; he could on the fairest ground of equity call heaven and earth to record that he had set before them life and death, a blessing and a curse. He could call upon them to choose life; for he has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.

Moses, like our blessed Lord, perfectly understood the scope and design of all the precepts. He comprised them all in one word; that is, LOVE. He in whose heart the love of God is shed abroad, would neither kill nor hurt his neighbour. On the contrary, he seeks to do him all the good in his power. Love worketh no ill to its neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. May the Lord write it on every heart.

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Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 30". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1835.