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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Deuteronomy 1



1Moses' speech in the end of the fortieth year;
6briefly rehearsing the history of God's sending them from Horeb;
14of giving them officers;
19of sending the spies to search the land;
34of his anger for their incredulity;
41and disobedience.

Verse 1
These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab.
on this
Numbers 32:5,19,32; 34:15; 35:14; Joshua 9:1,10; 22:4,7
Red sea
or, Zuph. Or rather, Suph. This could not have been the Red Sea, not only because the word yam, "sea," is not joined with it as usual, but because they were now east of Jordan, and farther from the Red Sea than ever. It seems to be the same which is called Suphah in Nu 21:14; which must necessarily signify some place in or adjoining to the plains of Moab, and not far from the Jordan and Arnon. Ptolemy mentions a people called Sophonites that dwelt in Arabia Petræa, who may have taken their name from this place.
Paran, Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab, seem to have been either places or cities not far from the plains of Moab; for it is evident that Paran and Hazeroth could not have been those near the Red sea, and not far from Horeb.
33:2; Genesis 21:21; Numbers 10:12; 12:16; 13:3,26; 1 Samuel 25:1; Habakkuk 3:3
Numbers 11:35; 33:17,18

Verse 2
(There are eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)
by the way
44; 2:4,8; Numbers 20:17-21
Leviticus 2:14; 9:23; Numbers 13:26; 32:8; Joshua 14:6

Verse 3
And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them;
Numbers 20:1; 33:38

Verse 4
After he had slain Sihon the king of the Amorites, which dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, which dwelt at Astaroth in Edrei:
2:26-37; 3:1-11; Numbers 21:21-35; Joshua 12:2-6; 13:10-12; Nehemiah 9:22; Psalms 135:11; 136:19,20

Verse 5
On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law, saying,
to declare
4:8; 17:18,19; 31:9; 32:46

Verse 6
The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:
in Horeb
5:2; Exodus 3:1; 17:6
Ye have
Exodus 19:1,2; Numbers 10:11-13

Verse 7
Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates.
the mount
Genesis 15:16-21; Exodus 23:31; Numbers 34:3-12; Joshua 24:15; Amos 2:9
all the places
Heb. all his neighbours. in the plain.
11:11; Joshua 10:40; 11:16,17
the great
11:24; Joshua 1:4; 2 Samuel 8:3; 1 Chronicles 5:9; 18:3

Verse 8
Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.
Heb. given. which.
Genesis 12:7; 13:14,15; 15:16,18; 17:7,8; 22:16-18; 26:3,4; 28:13,14

Verse 9
And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone:
I am not
Exodus 18:18; Numbers 11:11-14,17

Verse 10
The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.
your God
10:22; 28:62; Genesis 15:5; 22:17; 28:14; Exodus 12:37; 32:13; Numbers 1:46; 1 Chronicles 27:23; Nehemiah 9:23
ye are this day
This was the promise made by God to Abraham, (Ge 15:5, 6,) which Moses considers now as amply fulfilled. Many suppose the expression to be hyperbolical; and others, no friends to revelation, think it a vain, empty boast, because the stars, in their apprehension, amount to innumerable millions. But, as this refers to the number of stars that appear to the naked eye, which only amount to about 3,010 in both hemispheres, the number of the Israelites far exceeded this; for independently of women and children, at the last census, they amounted to more than 600,000.

Verse 11
(The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!)
make you
2 Samuel 24:3; 1 Chronicles 21:3; Psalms 115:14
and bless you
Genesis 15:5; 22:17; 26:4; 49:25; Exodus 32:13; Numbers 6:27; 22:12

Verse 12
How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife?
9; Exodus 18:13-16; Numbers 11:11-15; 1 Kings 3:7-9; Psalms 89:19; 2 Corinthians 2:16; 3:5

Verse 13
Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.
Heb. Give.
Exodus 18:21; Numbers 11:16,17; Acts 1:21-23; 6:2-6

Verse 15
So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes.
I took
16:18; Exodus 18:25,26
Heb. gave.
Ephesians 4:11
captains over thousands
Numbers 31:14; 1 Samuel 8:12; 17:18; 22:7

Verse 16
And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.
27:11; 31:14; Numbers 27:19; 1 Thessalonians 2:11; 1 Timothy 5:21; 6:17
16:18,19; Exodus 23:2,3,7,8; Leviticus 19:15; 2 Samuel 23:3; 2 Chronicles 19:6-10; Psalms 58:1; John 7:24
the stranger
10:18,19; 24:14; Exodus 22:21; 23:9; Leviticus 24:22

Verse 17
Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.
shall not
10:17; 16:19; Leviticus 19:15; 1 Samuel 16:7; 2 Samuel 14:14; Proverbs 24:23; Luke 20:21; Acts 10:34,35; Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; James 2:1,3,9; 1 Peter 1:17
respect persons
Heb. acknowledge faces. That is, let not the bold, daring countenances of the rich or mighty induce you to give an unrighteous decision; and let not the abject look of the poor man induce you either to favour him in an unrighteous cause, or to give judgment against him at the demand of the oppressor.
ye shall hear
Exodus 23:3,6,7; 1 Samuel 12:3,4; Job 22:6-9; 29:11-17; 31:13-16; Psalms 82:3,4; Proverbs 22:22,23; Jeremiah 5:28,29; Amos 5:11,12; Micah 2:1-3; 3:1-4; 7:3,4; James 2:2-4,5
ye shall not
1 Kings 21:8-14; Job 31:34; Proverbs 29:25; Jeremiah 1:17; Matthew 22:16; Mark 12:14; 1 Thessalonians 2:4
the judgment
2 Chronicles 19:6
the cause
17:8-10; Exodus 18:18,22,26

Verse 18
And I commanded you at that time all the things which ye should do.
4:5,40; 12:28,32; Matthew 28:20; Acts 20:20,27

Verse 19
And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the LORD our God commanded us; and we came to Kadeshbarnea.
8:15; 32:10; Numbers 10:12; Jeremiah 2:6
we came
2; Numbers 13:26

Verse 20
And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the LORD our God doth give unto us.
the mountain

Verse 21
Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.
fear not
20:1; Numbers 13:30; 14:8,9; Joshua 1:9; Psalms 27:1-3; 46:1,7,11; Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 43:1,2; Luke 12:32; Hebrews 13:6

Verse 22
And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.
We will send
The people proposed this measure through unbelief; Moses, mistaking their motive, approved of it; and God, being justly displeased, permitted them to follow their own counsel, which proved injurious to them only through their sin and folly.
Numbers 13:1-20

Verse 23
And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe:
Numbers 13:3-33

Verse 24
And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out.
Numbers 13:21-27; Joshua 2:1,2

Verse 26
Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God:
Numbers 14:1-4; Psalms 106:24,25; Isaiah 63:10; Acts 7:51

Verse 27
And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.
The Lord hated us
9:28; Exodus 16:3,8; Numbers 14:3; 21:5; Matthew 25:24; Luke 19:21

Verse 28
Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.
Heb. melted.
20:8; *marg:; Exodus 15:15; Joshua 2:9,11,24; *marg:; Joshua 14:8; Isaiah 13:7; Ezekiel 21:7
The people
9:1,2; Numbers 13:28-33
That is, with very high walls, which could not be easily scaled. Harmer says, high walls are still to be seen in Arabia, and are deemed a sufficient defence against the Arabs, who scarcely ever attempt to plunder except on horseback. The monastery on Mount Sinai, and the convent of St. Anthony in Egypt, are surrounded with a very high wall, without gates; the persons and things being taken up and let down through an opening in the upper part, by means of a pulley and a basket. This kind of walling is a sufficient defence.
we have seen
9:2; Joshua 11:22; 15:14; Judges 1:10,20; 2 Samuel 21:16-22

Verse 29

Deuteronomy href="/desk/?q=de+1:21&sr=1">Deuteronomy 1:21

Verse 30
The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;
he shall
20:1-4; Exodus 14:14,25; Joshua 10:42; 1 Samuel 17:45,46; 2 Chronicles 14:11,12; 32:8; Nehemiah 4:20; Psalms 46:11; Isaiah 8:9,10; Romans 8:31,37
Exodus 7:1-25; 15:1-27; Psalms 78:11-13,43-51; 105:27-36

Verse 31
And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.
in the wilderness
Exodus 16:1-17; Nehemiah 9:12-23; Psalms 78:14-28; 105:39-41
bare thee
32:11,12; Exodus 19:4; Numbers 11:11,12,14; Isaiah 40:11; 46:3,4; 63:9; Hosea 11:3,4; Acts 13:18; *marg:

Verse 32
Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God,
2 Chronicles 20:20; Psalms 78:22; 106:24; Isaiah 7:9; Hebrews 3:12,18,19; Jude 1:5

Verse 33
Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day.
Who went
Exodus 13:21; Numbers 10:33; Psalms 77:20; Ezekiel 20:6
in fire
Exodus 13:21,22; 14:19,20,24; 40:34-38; Numbers 9:15-22; 10:11,12; 14:14; Nehemiah 9:12; Psalms 78:14; 105:39; Isaiah 4:5,6; Zechariah 2:5

Verse 34
And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying,
and sware
2:14,15; Numbers 14:22-30; 32:8-13; Psalms 95:11; Ezekiel 20:15; Hebrews 3:8-11

Verse 36
Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD.
Numbers 13:6,30; 26:65; 32:12; 34:19; Joshua 14:6-14; Judges 1:12-15
wholly followed
Heb. fulfilled to go after.
Numbers 14:24

Verse 37
Also the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither.
3:23-26; 4:21; 34:4; Numbers 20:12; 27:13,14; Psalms 106:32,33

Verse 38
But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.
Numbers 13:8,16; 14:30,38; 26:65
which standeth
Exodus 17:9-14; 24:13; 33:11; 1 Samuel 16:22; Proverbs 22:29
encourage him
3:28; 31:7,8,14,23; Numbers 27:18-23; Joshua 1:1,6-9

Verse 39
Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.
your little
Numbers 14:3,31
which in
Isaiah 7:15,16; Jonah 4:11; Romans 9:11; Ephesians 2:3

Verse 40
But as for you, turn you, and take your journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.
Numbers 14:25

Verse 41
Then ye answered and said unto me, We have sinned against the LORD, we will go up and fight, according to all that the LORD our God commanded us. And when ye had girded on every man his weapons of war, ye were ready to go up into the hill.
We have sinned
Numbers 14:39,40-45; 22:34; Proverbs 19:3

Verse 42
And the LORD said unto me, Say unto them, Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies.
Go not up
Numbers 14:41,42
for I am not
Leviticus 26:17; Joshua 7:8-13; 1 Samuel 4:2,10; Isaiah 30:17; 59:1,2; Hosea 9:12

Verse 43
So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD, and went presumptuously up into the hill.
but rebelled
Isaiah 63:10; Acts 7:51; Romans 8:7,8
went presumptuously up
Heb. ye were presumptuous and went up.
Numbers 14:44

Verse 44
And the Amorites, which dwelt in that mountain, came out against you, and chased you, as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir, even unto Hormah.
chased you
When bees are provoked or disturbed, the whole swarm attack and pursue whatever annoys them, with great courage and fury, and sometimes are a most formidable enemy. They were so troublesome in some districts of Crete, that, according to Pliny, the inhabitants were actually compelled to forsake their homes. Ælian reports, that some places in Scythia were formerly inaccessible on account of the numerous swarms of bees with which they were infested. Mr. Park relates, that some of his associates imprudently attempted to rob a numerous hive which they found in their way. The exasperated little animals rushed out to defend their property, and attacked them with so much fury, that they quickly compelled the whole company of men, horses, and asses, to scamper off in all directions, The horses were never recovered, and a number of the asses were so severely stung, that they died the next day.
28:25; 32:30; Psalms 118:12; Isaiah 7:18
unto Hormah
Numbers 14:45; 21:3

Verse 45
And ye returned and wept before the LORD; but the LORD would not hearken to your voice, nor give ear unto you.
Psalms 78:34; Hebrews 12:17

Verse 46
So ye abode in Kadesh many days, according unto the days that ye abode there.
Numbers 14:25,34; 20:1,22; Judges 11:16,17


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 1:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, November 28th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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