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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 10

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary


Deuteronomy 5-11. Moses’ Second Address.— This contains laws ( Deuteronomy 5:6-21) and (mainly) exhortation based on the fundamental conception of Yahweh’ s uniqueness. This discourse had probably an independent origin, but it is exceedingly homogeneous, and conforms throughout with the type of composition characteristic of D. Many of the best scholars, including Driver, regard Deuteronomy 5-26 with Deuteronomy 28 as one continuous composition, not improbably (they think) the original D code.

Deuteronomy 6-11. Consists of a lengthy homily based on the first commandment ( Deuteronomy 5:6). Israel is to worship and serve Yahweh alone.

Verses 1-11

Deuteronomy 9:7 b – Deuteronomy 10:11 (or Deuteronomy 10:9). Narrative of the legislation on Mount Horeb; for the purpose apparently of illustrating Deuteronomy 9:7 a. This historical survey suddenly thrust into a hortatory context closely resembles Deuteronomy 1-3, and is thought by Horst and Bertholet to be by the same author. They agree with Steuernagel (who, however, says its closest affinities are with Deuteronomy 5) in holding it to be an interpolation here. But surely the history in this section is didactic and therefore hortatory. Deuteronomy 10:6 f. is, however, evidently an editorial addition. The narrative in Deuteronomy 9:7 b, ff. follows JE ( Exodus 24:12 f; Exodus 32:10; Exodus 32:15; Exodus 32:19; Exodus 34:1).

Deuteronomy 10:1-3 . Follows Exodus 34:1 f., Exodus 34:4 (JE), adding the allusion to the Ark, which, according to Exodus 37:1-10 (P), was made by Bezalel— a proof that D is independent of P and at times even of JE.

Deuteronomy 9:6 f. A fragment of a lost itinerary, perhaps from E ( Numbers 33:31-33 (P)). These verses are obviously an interpolation.

Deuteronomy 9:6 . there: i.e. at Moserah; according to the fuller account in Numbers 20:22-29 (P) Aaron died on Mount Hor. The Levitical priesthood characteristic of D (see Deuteronomy 17:9; Deuteronomy 17:18, etc.) is here implied. If with Dillmann and Driver we refer Deuteronomy 9:6 f. to E and Deuteronomy 9:8 f. to JE we have evidence of the existence of the Levitical and even of the Aaronic (see Deuteronomy 9:6) priesthood about 800 B.C. The duties imposed upon the Levites in Deuteronomy 9:8 belong exclusively to the Aaronites in P (see Numbers 4:1 f; Numbers 3:10; Numbers 6:23). The words unto this day prove that the writer knew nothing of the Priestly Code or of Ezekiel 40-48.

Deuteronomy 9:9. The Levites are to be supported out of the Temple gifts (see Deuteronomy 12:12, Deuteronomy 14:27; Deuteronomy 14:29, and especially Deuteronomy 18:1 f.; cf. Joshua 13:14; Joshua 13:33). They are often commended to the practical sympathy of Israel, but more especially the disestablished Levites (“ the Levites” ) of the local sanctuaries ( Deuteronomy 18:1-8 *).

Deuteronomy 9:10 (render, “ And I, even I, had stayed” ) summarises Deuteronomy 9:18 f., Deuteronomy 9:11 concluding the Horeb narrative, though it is doubtful whether Deuteronomy 9:10 f. belongs to what precedes (Dillmann, Driver) or to what follows (Bertholet). Perhaps it should be omitted.

Verses 12-22

Deuteronomy 10:12 to Deuteronomy 11:32 . Resumes Moses’ second address interrupted by the long didactic narrative of Deuteronomy 9:7 b Deuteronomy 10:11.

Deuteronomy 10:12-22 – Deuteronomy 11 . Reasons why Israel should fear and serve Yahweh.

Deuteronomy 10:12 . Cf. Micah 6:8.

Deuteronomy 10:16 . Physical circumcision implied consecration of the entire man to Yahweh. The verb “ to circumcise” came thus to be used figuratively of the heart ( Deuteronomy 2:30 *) as here (so Deuteronomy 30:6, Jeremiah 4:4), of the lips ( Exodus 6:12), of the ear ( Jeremiah 6:10).

Deuteronomy 10:17 . God of gods and Lord of lords: one form of the Heb. superlative, i.e. the greatest God, lord ( Deuteronomy 3:24 *).— reward: better, “ bribe” (see Deuteronomy 16:19, Deuteronomy 27:25, Exodus 23:8).

Deuteronomy 10:18 . Render, “ securing justice for the orphan and widow and loving the sojourner” (see Deuteronomy 1:16 *), etc. The three classes mentioned were specially exposed to injustice through bribery, social influence, etc. They are often, therefore, along with the Levites ( Deuteronomy 10:9 *) described as objects of pity and help.

Deuteronomy 10:21 . praise: i.e. object of praise ( Jeremiah 17:14).

Deuteronomy 10:22 . Omit with. The Heb. construction ( beth essentiae) implies that they went down as (not with) seventy persons.— threescore and ten persons: i.e. all the Israelites in Egypt at the time. In Exodus 1:5 (F) it covers all the descendants of Jacob (including Joseph, his sons etc.). In Genesis 46 (P) the two traditions are combined.

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 10". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/deuteronomy-10.html. 1919.
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