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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Deuteronomy 1



Verses 1-5

Deuteronomy 1:1-5. Historical introduction to Deuteronomy 1:6 ff.: a compilation, perhaps intended to introduce the whole book.

Deuteronomy 1:1. beyond Jordan: therefore the writer dwelt W. of the Jordan; so Deuteronomy 1:5 and often, Deuteronomy 3:8; Deuteronomy 3:20; Deuteronomy 3:25.—Araban (lit. "waste region"): the low-lying valley of the Jordan, the Sea of Galilee and Dead Sea, extending from the Sea of Galilee to the Red Sea (Gulf of Akabah

Deuteronomy 1:2. Horeb in D and E = Sinai in J and P (see Deuteronomy 33:2).

Deuteronomy 1:3. From P: its P origin is revealed by the date note and the word translated "eleventh."

Deuteronomy 1:4. Sinon: Numbers 21:21*.—Og: p.64, Numbers 21:33*.—Amorites in E and D = Canaanites in J i.e. the pre-Israelite population of W. Palestine. Read (with LXX) "and at Edrei": Og had two royal residences.

Deuteronomy 1:5. began: the Heb. means "to undertake" or "set about a task."—this law: i.e. the D law which, however, begins at Deuteronomy 12. The word translated "law" (torah) means "instruction," though following the LXX (nomos) and Vulg. (lex) it is rendered by a word = "law" in most modern VSS. The Heb. word came to denote the authoritative teaching of prophets (1 Samuel 10:25, Isaiah 1:10*, etc.) and of priests (see Leviticus 10:11, etc.). In D and in writings of the D school it becomes a technical term for the D code (see Ezra (Cent. B), pp. 8ff.). The Jews use the word for the Pentateuch, but it never has that sense in the OT. See p. 121, Proverbs 3:1*.

Verses 6-8

Deuteronomy 1:6 to Deuteronomy 4:40. Moses' first discourse, based on JE in Ex. and Nu. though possessing peculiar features due to a Deuteronomic editor.

Deuteronomy 1:6 to Deuteronomy 3:29. Moses Reviews the Journey of the Israelites from Horeb.

Deuteronomy 1:6-8. The words suggest that the Israelites would be able to take possession of the land immediately they entered it; cf. Joshua, which describes such an entrance into Canaan. The more historical view is that given by Judges.

Deuteronomy 1:6. The Lord . . . spake: where? (cf. Exodus 33:1).

Deuteronomy 1:7. hill country, etc.: a common name for W. Palestine from its leading physical characteristics; Deuteronomy 1:4* (Amorties).—all the places, etc.: render, "all their bordering peoples" (or tribes).—Araban: I*. Here it means that part of it which stretched from S. of Sea of Galilee to some fifty miles S. of Dead Sea.—lowland: (pp. 31f.), the flat country of the Philistines.—South: Heb. Negeb, the technical term for the barren region S. of the Judæan mountains (p. 32). The writer's use of the word for S. shows that he lived W. of the Jordan.—the sea shore: i.e. the maritime plain to the N. of Philistia.—the land of the Canaanites: probably an interpolation.—Lebanon . . . Euphrates: the ideal boundaries N. and E.; Deuteronomy 11:24, cf. Joshua 1:4.

Deuteronomy 1:8. This oath is often mentioned by JE (Genesis 24:7, etc.) and in Dt. (Deuteronomy 3:5; Deuteronomy 6:10; Deuteronomy 6:18; Deuteronomy 6:23, etc.). The contents of the oath are expressly stated in Genesis 22:16 f. only (see Genesis 26:3 f. (J)

Verses 9-18

Deuteronomy 1:9-18—cf. Exodus 18:13-26* (E)). The idea of appointing judges to assist Moses is in Exodus 18:17-23 suggested by Jethro not, as here, by Moses himself. The parallel passage differs also as to the time. See Deuteronomy 16:18-20* and Deuteronomy 17:8-13*, where further provision is made for the administration of justice.

Deuteronomy 1:15. officers: Deuteronomy 16:18*.

Deuteronomy 1:16. a man and his brother: a Hebraism meaning "one man and another."—the stranger: better "sojourner" (p. 110, Leviticus 17:8 f.*). The Heb. word (ger) denotes an alien who has settled permanently among the Israelites. In the earlier codes he had no legal status, and was, therefore, liable to be oppressed and wronged; see Exodus 22:21; Exodus 23:9 (JE). In post-exilic times (P, etc.) he had become a naturalised Jew (i.e. a proselyte, the word used in the LXX), having the privileges and responsibilities of full citizenship; cf. Exodus 12:49 (P), Leviticus 24:22 (H), etc. See HSDB, Stranger. Heb. treated the alien much more humanely than Bab. law (Deuteronomy 15:12-18*).

Deuteronomy 1:17. God decides through the Urim and Thummim (Exodus 28:30, pp. 100f.). and through His laws.—In Deuteronomy 1:19-46 (from Horeb to Kadesh) the narrative interrupted by Deuteronomy 1:9-18 is resumed.

Verses 19-46

Deuteronomy 1:19. great and terrible wilderness (Deuteronomy 8:15); i.e. the desert of et-Tih between the peninsula of Sinai and S. Palestine.—as . . . commanded us: cf. Deuteronomy 1:7.

Deuteronomy 1:24. valley of Eshcol: Numbers 13:23*.

Deuteronomy 1:28. sons of the Anakim: Heb. "necked," i.e. "long-necked" people. The phrase means simply tall, giant-like folk. Anak is not a proper name (see Numbers 13:28).

Deuteronomy 1:32. Render, "Yet in spite of this utterance" (of mine), etc.

Deuteronomy 1:33. Exodus 13:21* (J) and Exodus 40:34-38* (P), cf. Numbers 9:15-22; Numbers 10:11 f., Numbers 14:14, Psalms 105:39 (see note in Cent.B).

Deuteronomy 1:35. of this evil generation: omit with LXX and Numbers 14:22 ff.; its omission is required by the sense and by Heb. grammar.

Deuteronomy 1:36. save Caleb: so D and J (Numbers 14:24); in P (Numbers 14:30) Joshua is added.—the land: i.e. Hebron and neighbourhood (Numbers 13:22 ff. (JE), Joshua 14:12-14).—the Lord (Yahweh): read, "me" (Heb. consonants identical).

Deuteronomy 1:37. According to D (see also Deuteronomy 3:26, Deuteronomy 4:21) Moses is prevented from entering Canaan on account of the people's disobedience at Kadesh in the second year of the Exodus, but according to P (Deuteronomy 32:50 f., Numbers 20:12; Numbers 27:13 f.) it is on account of his own presumption at the same spot thirty-seven years later when he struck the rock.

Deuteronomy 1:38. standeth before: the attitude of one who serves (see 1 Kings 10:8, cf. Exodus 33:11).

Deuteronomy 1:39. The verse should begin with, "But your children"; the foregoing words, absent from the LXX and superfluous for the sense, are taken from Numbers 14:31.

Deuteronomy 1:40. Red Sea: go LXX, Vulg.; Heb. "Sea of Reeds"; probably the Gulf of Akabah.

Deuteronomy 1:41-46. Numbers 14:39-45 (JE).


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 1:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 27th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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