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As Moses had now nearly concluded everything relating to the precepts; he enjoins the people in this chapter to adopt a means of keeping alive in their remembrance the great things of GOD'S law, by writing it upon stones. And the chapter is concluded in aiming to impress the whole still more upon their minds, by causing the Levites to pronounce curses upon all that disobeyed the divine commands.
If the Reader will recollect, similar methods of perpetuating the law of GOD, were observed after the delivery on Mount Sinai. Exodus 24:4 .
I beg the Reader not to overlook the plainness to be observed in the building of this altar: nothing of human art or labour was to be joined with it, nor any human tool to pollute it. And as CHRIST is our altar, was not this manifestly teaching that his purity would be sullied, if we bring to it anything of our own to mingle with it? He is the stone cut out of the mountain without hands: Daniel 2:34 .
The feast of peace-offerings, carried with it a token of the peace and amity between GOD and his people. The feast of the LORD'S Supper in the Gospel Church is to the same amount, for it is a feast upon a sacrifice, in token that JESUS hath made our peace in the blood of his cross: he is our passover, sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast. 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 .
The repeated charges and cautions given, imply the vast importance of the thing itself. Deuteronomy 30:11-15 .
The Mount Ebal, and the Mount Gerizzim, stood near each other, a valley being between them. It is worthy remark, that in the Gospel state, when JESUS went up into the mountain, it was only to bless his people. The tribes were divided in six to each, for blessing the people, and for pronouncing the curses. Perhaps they both had an allusion to the Gospel state, for the law is our schoolmaster unto CHRIST: and ministers are by the terrors of the law to persuade men. 2 Corinthians 5:11 .
Probably from the number of Israel, many Levites was engaged in this service.
I detain not the Reader with observations concerning the several curses here pronounced, or entering into the particulars of them. It is enough to remark, that they express their several sentences of condemnation to the several breaches of the law: and as the law pronounceth a curse upon everyone that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them; it is evident that, as all men have sinned, and come short of GOD'S glory, so all men come under the sentence of condemnation. But what a precious thought is it to the true believers in CHRIST, that though condemned in ourselves by reason of sin, we are freed from the curse by virtue of the righteousness and obedience of JESUS! CHRIST hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.
How sweet and refreshing to my soul are the views of JESUS, as the high priest and altar, and offering of my heart, in the moment that I read the solemn charges of GOD'S law, and the dreadful penalty of disobedience. My soul indeed cannot but subscribe with full consent to GOD'S justice, in all these sentences of curses on the breach of his holy law; while my heart flies to the gracious offer of mercy in JESUS. And in the very moment I am constrained to say Amen, to every tittle of GOD'S righteous law, Oh! how precious is it, dearest JESUS, to view thee as the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. Thou art the altar my soul would flee to, for thou art my great deliverance, when both law and justice challenge me before GOD. Be thou my GOD, my guide, my peace, my joy, and my consolation forever!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 27". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27