Deuteronomy 29:1. These are the words of the covenant, which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.
That is the preamble, just as in legal documents there is usually some statement of the purport and intent of the indenture before the matter is proceeded with. These covenants with God are solemn things, and therefore are they given in a formal manner to strike attention, and command our serious thoughts.
Deuteronomy 29:2-4. And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land; the great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles: yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.
You saw all that, and yet did not see it; you saw the external work, but the internal lesson you did not perceive. A very mournful statement to make; but God’s servants are not sent to flatter man but to speak the truth, however painful the speaking of it may be.
Deuteronomy 29:5-6. And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot. Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am the LORD your God.
Either there had been means of frequent renewal of their garments, or else by a miracle these garments had never worn out; and the very shoes that they put upon their feet on the Passover night were on their feet still; if not the same yet still they were shod, though they trod the weary wilderness which well might have worn them till they were bare. “Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink:” — a nation of total abstainers for forty years. There was no bread in the wilderness for them, and there was no wine. It may have been obtained as a great luxury, as it probably was, for we have reason to believe that Nadab and Abihu were slain by fire before the Lord because they were drunken when they offered strange fire; but taking the whole people around, anything like wine had not crossed their lips for forty years, yet there they were, strong and healthy. “That ye may know that I am Jehovah your God.”
Deuteronomy 29:7. And when ye came unto this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, came out against us unto battle, and we smote them:
People not used to war either, and feeble folk, yet they smote the great kings and slew mighty kings, for the Lord was with them.
Deuteronomy 29:8-9. And we took their land, and gave it for an inheritance unto the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to the half tribe of Manasseh. Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.
This, then, was the covenant made with the nation, that God should be their God and he would prosper them: as he had done, so would he do: he would be their protector, defender, strength, and crown and joy.
Deuteronomy 29:10-11. Ye stand this day all of you before the LORD your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel, your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water:
This national covenant embraced all the great men, the captains, the wise men, all that were in authority, “your elders, and your officers.” It took in all their children, for it was a covenant according to the flesh, and their children according to the flesh are included. “Your wives,” too, for in this matter their was no sex. “The stranger also.” Here we poor Gentiles get a glimpse of comfort, even though from that old covenant we seem to be shut out. “Thy stranger that is in thy camp” is included. And the poorest, and those that performed the most menial service, were all to be made partakers of this covenant, “from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water.”
Deuteronomy 29:12-15. That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the LORD thy God, and into his oath, which the LORD thy God maketh with thee this day: that he may establish thee today for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; but with him that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day:
With the sick that were at home, with the generations that were not yet born, for this was intended to be a national covenant in perpetuity to their children and their children’s children to the end of time. Had they kept it so would it have stood.
Deuteronomy 29:16-17. (For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by; and ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:)
Now you have seen how they worshipped idols; you have seen that you may avoid; you have beheld their folly that you may escape from it.
Deuteronomy 29:18. Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;
For the worship of false gods is the cause of untold mischief and evil: wherever it is found it is a root that beareth gall and wormwood, and God would not have it in a single individual, man nor woman, nay, not in a single family or tribe.
Deuteronomy 29:19. And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:
For there were some who so hardened themselves against God that they said, “We shall have peace: let us do what we like: let us worship these idol gods more and more and more: let us add drunkenness and idolatry to our thirst.”
Deuteronomy 29:20. The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him,
Not light upon him, but lie upon him, rest there and stop there.
Deuteronomy 29:20-21. And the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven. And the LORD shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel,
As a huntsman separates a stag from the herd that he may hunt it all the day, so shall God with any idolater that should come amongst his people with whom he made a covenant that day. Oh, how God hates that anything should be worshipped by us but himself: how indignant is he if anywhere anything takes the supreme place in the human heart which ought to be occupied by God alone.
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Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 29". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
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