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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Deuteronomy 29

 

 

Verse 1

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.

Ver. 1. Beside the covenant.] Which yet was also a covenant of grace, and the same with this in substance; only that at Horeb was made and delivered in a more legal manner, this in a more evangelical, as appears in the following chapter.


Verse 2

Deuteronomy 29:2 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;

Ver. 2. Moses called.] At several times it is like, these things were delivered, and not at once.


Verse 3

Deuteronomy 29:3 The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles:

Ver. 3. The signs and those great miracles.] None of all which wrought kindly upon them to effectual conversion, because God denied concourse and influence of his grace. Jeroboam had as great a miracle wrought before him in the drying up of his hand as St Paul at his conversion, yet was he not wrought upon, because the Spirit did not set it on.


Verse 4

Deuteronomy 29:4 Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.

Ver. 4. Yet the Lord hath not given you.] Nor is he bound to do, "but on whom he will he showeth mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth," i.e., he softeneth not. Till when, a man stands in the midst of means, as a stake in the midst of streams, unmoveable: yea, the more God forbids a sin, the more he bids for it. [Romans 7:8] {See Trapp on "Matthew 13:11"} {See Trapp on "Matthew 13:13"} {See Trapp on "Matthew 13:14"}


Verse 5

Deuteronomy 29:5 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.

Ver. 5. Your clothes.] {See Trapp on "Deuteronomy 8:4"}


Verse 6

Deuteronomy 29:6 Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I [am] the LORD your God.

Ver. 6. Ye have not eaten bread,] viz., Ordinary, {see Deuteronomy 2:6} but manna; et benefieium postulat officium.


Verse 9

Deuteronomy 29:9 Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.

Ver. 9. That ye may prosper.] Piety is the right and ready way to prosperity. Sulla, surnamed Felix, accounted it not the least part of his happiness that Metellus, surnamed Pius, was his friend. Godliness is the best friend to happiness.


Verse 10

Deuteronomy 29:10 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,

Ver. 10. Before the Lord.] Who seeth your inside also, and is intimo vestro vobis intimior.


Verse 11

Deuteronomy 29:11 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:

Ver. 11. From the hewer of thy wood.] The meanest amongst you, such as afterwards were the Gibeonites, who also by faith became covenanters, and are called Nethinims in Ezra and Nehemiah. They were made drawers of water to the temple, as a kind of punishment: God made it a mercy; for the nearer they were to the Church, the nearer they came to God.


Verse 16

Deuteronomy 29:16 (For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by;

Ver. 16. How we have dwelt.] And how hard is it to pass through Ethiopia, how much more to dwell there, and not to be discoloured! Sin is catching, and by the senses, those five ports of the soul, that old serpent oft winds himself into the heart. Ye have seen their abominations; oh that you would say, Satis est vidisse, &c. Now therefore, lest there should be, &c., Deuteronomy 29:18.


Verse 17

Deuteronomy 29:17 And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which [were] among them:)

Ver. 17. A root that beareth gall] An evil heart of unbelief, [Hebrews 3:12] a deceitful and deceived heart, [Jeremiah 17:9 Isaiah 44:20] that is ever either weaving spiders’ webs - i.e., loving vanity, seeking after leasing [Psalms 4:2] - or hatching cockatrice’ eggs, that is, acting mischief. [Isaiah 59:5] As in that first chaos were the seeds of all creatures; so in man’s heart, here therefore fitly called, a root of rottenness, of all sins. (a) Holy Bradford would never look upon any one’s lewd life with one eye, but presently reflect upon himself with the other, and say, In this my vile heart remains that sin, which without God’s special grace I should have committed as well as he.


Verse 19

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:

Ver. 19. When he heareth the words.] But feareth them no more than Behemoth doth the iron weapons, which are esteemed by him as straws. The presumptuous sinner, saith one, makes God a God of clouts, - one that, howsoever he speaks heavy words, will not do as he saith. Words are but wind, say they in Jeremiah. [Jeremiah 5:13] "God forbid," say they in the Gospel. [Luke 20:16] These things are but spoken in terrorem, thinks the practical atheist; bugbear words, devised on purpose to frighten silly people, &c. Ahab, after he was threatened with utter rooting out, begat fifty sons, as it were to cross God, and to try it out with him. So Thrasonical Lamech brags, and goes on to outdare God himself; "If Cain be avenged," &c. [Genesis 4:24] The old Italians were wont, in time of thunder, to shoot off their greatest ordinance, and to ring their greatest bells, to drown the noise of the heavens: like unto these are many frontless and flagitious persons. "But shall they escape by iniquity? In thine anger" - it is not more a prayer than a prophecy - "cast down the people, O God." [Psalms 56:7]

To add drunkenness to thirst.] To "add rebellion to sin." [Job 34:37] "To drink iniquity like water." [Job 34:7] His sin and his repentance run in a circle, as drunkenness and thirst do. He sins and cries God mercy, and says he will sin no more, and yet does it again the next day, till his heart be so hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, that at length he loseth all passive power of "recovering himself out of the snare of the devil, by whom he is taken alive at his pleasure." [2 Timothy 2:26]


Verse 20

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, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.

Ver. 20. The Lord will not spare him.] God cannot satisfy himself in threatening this heinous sin, as if the very naming of it had enraged his jealousy. Yea, when he threateneth it, he useth here no qualifications, as he doth in other cases, but is absolute in threatening, to show that he will be resolute in punishing. See the like in Isaiah 22:12-14, Ezekiel 24:13. It is better, therefore, to have a sore than a seared conscience; as a burning fever is more hopeful than a lethargy.


Verse 21

Deuteronomy 29:21 And the LORD shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law:

Ver. 21. And the Lord shall separate him unto evil.] Shall single him out as an object of his wrath; as the huntsman severeth out from the rest a stag to hunt for that day.


Verse 22

Deuteronomy 29:22 So that the generation to come of your children that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which the LORD hath laid upon it;

Ver. 22. When they see the plagues.] A presumptuous offender is a traitor to the state; "and one sinner destroyeth much good." [Ecclesiastes 9:18]


Verse 23

Deuteronomy 29:23 [And that] the whole land thereof [is] brimstone, and salt, [and] burning, [that] it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:

Ver. 23. And beareth not any grass.] As they say no ground doth where the great Turk hath once set his foot; such waste he makes, and such desolation he leaves behind him.

Like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah.] {See Trapp on "Genesis 19:24"} {See Trapp on "Genesis 19:25"}

Admah and Zeboim.] Which two cities, bordering on Sodom and Gomorrah, were the worse, and fared the worse, for their neighbourhood, as Hamath did for Damascus. [Zechariah 9:2] God overthrew them, and repented not. [Jeremiah 20:16]

And that the whole land thereof is brimstone and salt.] In the fire that consumed Sodom there was, it seemeth, admixed salt, to make the land barren, and to pickle up the people; brimstone also to keep down with its weight the fire, which of itself was light, and tended upwards.


Verse 26

Deuteronomy 29:26 For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and [whom] he had not given unto them:

Ver. 26. And whom he had not given unto them.] Or, Who had not given to them any portion. For "Can the vanities of the Gentiles give rain? or can the heavens give showers?" [Jeremiah 14:22] As Saul said, "Can the son of Jesse give you vineyards and olive-yards?" &c. [1 Samuel 22:7] So may God say to apostates, Can the world do for you as I can?


Verse 27

Deuteronomy 29:27 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book:

Ver. 27. All the curses.] This was accomplished, as is by Daniel acknowledged. {Daniel 9:11, &c.}


Verse 28

Deuteronomy 29:28 And the LORD rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as [it is] this day.

Ver. 28. And cast them into another land.] Cast them with a violence, with a vengeance; - in the Hebrew the word cast hath an extraordinary large letter ל; - "sling them out as out of a sling." [1 Samuel 25:29] {Hebrew Text Note}


Verse 29

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret [things belong] unto the LORD our God: but those [things which are] revealed [belong] unto us and to our children for ever, that [we] may do all the words of this law.

Ver. 29. The secret things belong.] This is one of those sixteen places which in the Hebrew are marked with a special note of regard. Eorum quae scire nec datur, nec fas est, licita est ignorantia. Scientiae appetentia, insaniae species, saith Calvin, out of Augustine.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 29:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/deuteronomy-29.html. 1865-1868.

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