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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Deuteronomy 1

Verses 1-5

Deuteronomy 1:1-5 . Historical introduction to Deuteronomy 1:6 ff.: a compilation, perhaps intended to introduce the whole book.

Deuteronomy 1:1 . beyond Jordan: therefore the writer dwelt W. of the Jordan; so Deuteronomy 1:5 and often, Deuteronomy 3:8; Deuteronomy 3:20; Deuteronomy 3:25.— Araban (lit. “ waste region” ): the low-lying valley of the Jordan, the Sea of Galilee and Dead Sea, extending from the Sea of Galilee to the Red Sea (Gulf of Akabah

Deuteronomy 1:2 . Horeb in D and E = Sinai in J and P (see Deuteronomy 33:2).

Deuteronomy 1:3 . From P: its P origin is revealed by the date note and the word translated “ eleventh.”

Deuteronomy 1:4 . Sinon: Numbers 21:21 *.— Og: p.64, Numbers 21:33 *.— Amorites in E and D = Canaanites in J; i.e. the pre-Israelite population of W. Palestine. Read (with LXX) “ and at Edrei” : Og had two royal residences.

Deuteronomy 1:5 . began: the Heb. means “ to undertake” or “ set about a task.”— this law: i.e. the D law which, however, begins at Deuteronomy 12. The word translated “ law” ( torah) means “ instruction,” though following the LXX ( nomos) and Vulg. ( lex) it is rendered by a word = “ law” in most modern VSS. The Heb. word came to denote the authoritative teaching of prophets ( 1 Samuel 10:25, Isaiah 1:10 *, etc.) and of priests (see Leviticus 10:11, etc.). In D and in writings of the D school it becomes a technical term for the D code (see Ezra (Cent. B), pp. 8ff.). The Jews use the word for the Pentateuch, but it never has that sense in the OT. See p. 121, Proverbs 3:1 *.

Verses 6-8

Deuteronomy 1:6 to Deuteronomy 4:40. Moses’ first discourse, based on JE in Ex. and Nu. though possessing peculiar features due to a Deuteronomic editor.

Deuteronomy 1:6 to Deuteronomy 3:29 . Moses Reviews the Journey of the Israelites from Horeb.

Deuteronomy 1:6-8 . The words suggest that the Israelites would be able to take possession of the land immediately they entered it; cf. Joshua, which describes such an entrance into Canaan. The more historical view is that given by Judges.

Deuteronomy 1:6 . The Lord . . . spake: where? ( cf. Exodus 33:1).

Deuteronomy 1:7 . hill country, etc.: a common name for W. Palestine from its leading physical characteristics; Deuteronomy 1:4 * ( Amorties) . all the places, etc.: render, “ all their bordering peoples” (or tribes).— Araban: I*. Here it means that part of it which stretched from S. of Sea of Galilee to some fifty miles S. of Dead Sea.— lowland: (pp. 31f.), the flat country of the Philistines.— South: Heb. Negeb, the technical term for the barren region S. of the Judæ an mountains (p. 32). The writer’ s use of the word for S. shows that he lived W. of the Jordan.— the sea shore: i.e. the maritime plain to the N. of Philistia.— the land of the Canaanites: probably an interpolation.— Lebanon . . . Euphrates: the ideal boundaries N. and E.; Deuteronomy 11:24, cf. Joshua 1:4.

Deuteronomy 1:8. This oath is often mentioned by JE ( Genesis 24:7, etc.) and in Dt. ( Deuteronomy 3:5; Deuteronomy 6:10; Deuteronomy 6:18; Deuteronomy 6:23, etc.). The contents of the oath are expressly stated in Genesis 22:16 f. only (see Genesis 26:3 f. (J)

Verses 9-18

Deuteronomy 1:9-18 cf. Exodus 18:13-26 * ( E)) . The idea of appointing judges to assist Moses is in Exodus 18:17-23 suggested by Jethro not, as here, by Moses himself. The parallel passage differs also as to the time. See Deuteronomy 16:18-20 * and Deuteronomy 17:8-13 *, where further provision is made for the administration of justice.

Deuteronomy 1:15 . officers: Deuteronomy 16:18 *.

Deuteronomy 1:16 . a man and his brother: a Hebraism meaning “ one man and another.”— the stranger: better “ sojourner” (p. 110, Leviticus 17:8 f.*). The Heb. word ( ger) denotes an alien who has settled permanently among the Israelites. In the earlier codes he had no legal status, and was, therefore, liable to be oppressed and wronged; see Exodus 22:21; Exodus 23:9 (JE). In post-exilic times (P, etc.) he had become a naturalised Jew ( i.e. a proselyte, the word used in the LXX), having the privileges and responsibilities of full citizenship; cf. Exodus 12:49 (P), Leviticus 24:22 (H), etc. See HSDB, Stranger. Heb. treated the alien much more humanely than Bab. law ( Deuteronomy 15:12-18 *).

Deuteronomy 1:17. God decides through the Urim and Thummim ( Exodus 28:30, pp. 100f.). and through His laws.— In Deuteronomy 1:19-46 (from Horeb to Kadesh) the narrative interrupted by Deuteronomy 1:9-18 is resumed.

Verses 19-46

Deuteronomy 1:19 . great and terrible wilderness ( Deuteronomy 8:15); i.e. the desert of et-Tih between the peninsula of Sinai and S. Palestine.— as . . . commanded us: cf. Deuteronomy 1:7.

Deuteronomy 1:24 . valley of Eshcol: Numbers 13:23 *.

Deuteronomy 1:28 . sons of the Anakim: Heb. “ necked,” i.e. “ long-necked” people. The phrase means simply tall, giant-like folk. Anak is not a proper name (see Numbers 13:28).

Deuteronomy 1:32 . Render, “ Yet in spite of this utterance” (of mine), etc.

Deuteronomy 1:33 . Exodus 13:21 * (J) and Exodus 40:34-38 * (P), cf. Numbers 9:15-22; Numbers 10:11 f., Numbers 14:14, Psalms 105:39 (see note in Cent.B).

Deuteronomy 1:35 . of this evil generation: omit with LXX and Numbers 14:22 ff.; its omission is required by the sense and by Heb. grammar.

Deuteronomy 1:36 . save Caleb: so D and J ( Numbers 14:24); in P ( Numbers 14:30) Joshua is added.— the land: i.e. Hebron and neighbourhood ( Numbers 13:22 ff. (JE), Joshua 14:12-14).— the Lord (Yahweh): read, “ me” (Heb. consonants identical).

Deuteronomy 1:37 . According to D (see also Deuteronomy 3:26, Deuteronomy 4:21) Moses is prevented from entering Canaan on account of the people’ s disobedience at Kadesh in the second year of the Exodus, but according to P ( Deuteronomy 32:50 f., Numbers 20:12; Numbers 27:13 f.) it is on account of his own presumption at the same spot thirty-seven years later when he struck the rock.

Deuteronomy 1:38 . standeth before: the attitude of one who serves (see 1 Kings 10:8, cf. Exodus 33:11).

Deuteronomy 1:39 . The verse should begin with, “ But your children” ; the foregoing words, absent from the LXX and superfluous for the sense, are taken from Numbers 14:31.

Deuteronomy 1:40 . Red Sea: go LXX, Vulg.; Heb. “ Sea of Reeds” ; probably the Gulf of Akabah.

Deuteronomy 1:41-46 . Numbers 14:39-45 (JE).

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 1". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/deuteronomy-1.html. 1919.