Lectionary Calendar
Friday, June 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 9

Benson's Commentary of the Old and New TestamentsBenson's Commentary


A.M. 2553. B.C. 1451.

A promise of Canaan, Deuteronomy 9:1-3 . A caution not to ascribe this to their own merit, Deuteronomy 9:4-6 . A rehearsal of their various rebellions, Deuteronomy 9:7-24 ; and of Moses’s intercession for them, Deuteronomy 9:25-29 .

Verses 1-2

Deuteronomy 9:1-2. This seems to be a new discourse, delivered at some distance of time from the former, probably on the next sabbath day. This day That is, shortly, within a little time, the word day being often put for time. To possess nations That is, the land of those nations. Mightier than thyself This he adds that they might not trust to their own strength, but wholly rely upon God’s help for the conquering them, and after the work was done, might ascribe the glory of it to God alone, and not to themselves. Who can stand This seems to have been a proverb used in those times.

Verse 3

Deuteronomy 9:3. As a consuming fire Before whom thine enemies shall be as easily consumed as stubble before the flames. So shalt thou drive them out quickly Not the whole seven nations, whom he said (Deuteronomy 7:22,) God would drive out by little and little, but so many as to make a settlement for them in Canaan.

Verse 5

Deuteronomy 9:5. Not for thy righteousness Neither for thy upright heart nor holy life, the two things which God, above all others, regards. Here, therefore, all merit in them is excluded: and they are given to know that, although the Canaanites were expelled for their national wickedness, they were not settled in their room for their righteousness. And surely they, who did not deserve this earthly Canaan, could not merit the kingdom of glory. To perform the word To show my faithfulness in accomplishing that promise which I graciously made and confirmed with my oath.

Verse 7

Deuteronomy 9:7. Stiff-necked Rebellious and perverse, and so destitute of all pretence to righteousness. And thus our gaining possession of the heavenly Canaan must be ascribed to God’s power and grace, and not to our own might or merit. In him we must glory, and not in ourselves.

Verse 8

Deuteronomy 9:8. Also in Horeb ye provoked the Lord Rather, even in Horeb; for there is an emphasis in this. Even when your miraculous deliverance out of Egypt was fresh in your memories; when God had but newly manifested himself to you, and delivered you the law in so stupendous and awful a manner, and with such visible displays of his divine majesty; when he had just taken you into covenant with himself, and was actually conferring still further mercies upon you.

Verse 10

Deuteronomy 9:10. With the finger of God Immediately and miraculously, which was done not only to procure the greater reverence to the law, but also to signify that it is the work of God alone to write this law upon the table of men’s hearts. In the day of the assembly That is, when the people were gathered by God’s command to the bottom of mount Sinai, to hear and receive God’s ten commandments from his own mouth.

Verse 14

Deuteronomy 9:14. Let me alone Stop me not by thy intercession: desist from all prayer and pleading in their behalf.

Verse 17

Deuteronomy 9:17. I brake them before your eyes Not by an unbridled passion, but it zeal for God’s honour, and by the direction of God’s Spirit; to signify to the people that the covenant between God and them, contained in those tables, was broken, and that they were now cast out of God’s favour, and could expect nothing from him but fiery indignation.

Verse 21

Deuteronomy 9:21. I cast the dust thereof into the brook That there might be no monument nor remembrance of the calf left.

Verse 25

Deuteronomy 9:25. I fell down In a way of humiliation and supplication, on your behalf. Forty days The same forty that were mentioned Deuteronomy 9:18, as appears by comparing this with the account given in Exodus, where this history is more fully related, and where this is related to have been done twice only. See Exodus 32:10; Exodus 33:5.

Verses 26-29

Deuteronomy 9:26-29. Redeemed through thy greatness The greatness of thy power and goodness, which appeared most eminently in that work. Remember thy servants Abraham, &c. That is, thy promise made and sworn to them. They are thy people Whom thou hast chosen to thyself out of all mankind.

Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 9". Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rbc/deuteronomy-9.html. 1857.
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