Deuteronomy 32

The song Moses spoke
 31:30  And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended.
 1 ¶ Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
.2  My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:
 3  Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.
.4  He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
.5  They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.
 6  Do ye thus requite [repay] the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?
   1 - Speak The speech is called a song in verse 32. It is in poetry and may have been spoken.
   The first "song of Moses was after crossing the sea." ex15.
   2 - Doctrine The song was intended as instruction.
   2 - Rain ... dew Compare ps07206.
   4 - Rock Notice the "rock" qualities. It represents the leader of the Hebrew theocracy 30 times in the OT. Here it is used for Yahweh and it appears four more times in this chapter. Also see 1sa0202, ps01802, ps01914, ha0112.
  4 - Judgment Rather "justice."
  4 - Truth Meaning "faithful" rather than good doctrine.
  5 - Corrupted themselves The Hebrew is unclear but apparently a comparison between the perfect God and the imperfect people.
  5 - Their spot "This is an allusion to the marks which idolaters inscribe on their foreheads or their arms with paint or other substances, in various colors and forms – straight, oval, or circular, according to the favorite idol of their worship." (JFB Commentary). Compare re1316.
  5 - Perverse and crooked Compare the statement by Christ mt1604, mt1717
Note for verse 4: He is the Rock--a word expressive of power and stability. The application of it in this passage is to declare that God had been true to His covenant with their fathers and them. Nothing that He had promised had failed; so that if their national experience had been painfully checkered by severe and protracted trials, notwithstanding the brightest promises, that result was traceable to their own undutiful and perverse conduct; not to any vacillation or unfaithfulness on the part of God. (JFB Commentary).
.7 ¶ Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.
 8  When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.
 9  For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.
.10  He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.
.11  As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:
 12  So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.
.13  He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock;
.14  Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.
  8 - Divided Portions of the land of Canaan were allotted to the tribes. See ge1005 also verses 25 and 32 of that chapter.
  8 - When the Most High gave the nations their heritage, separating into groups the children of men, he had the limits of the peoples marked out, keeping in mind the number of the children of Israel. (BBE)
  11 - Eagle He develops our character. Compare ex1904.
  12 - The Lord alone We have no other source of blessings and life.
  13 - Ride ... high am0413. A promise for God's end-time people to claim is5814.
  14 - Butter Rather "curdled milk. It was a symbol of abundance (jb2017, ge1808, jg0525, 2sa1729).
  14 - Butter from his cows and milk from his sheep, with fat of lambs and sheep of Bashan, and goats, and the heart of the grain; and for your drink, wine from the blood of the grape. (BBE). 
.15 ¶ But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
.16  They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.
.17  They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.
.18  Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.
  15 - Jeshrun Means "the upright one," a term applied to Israel de3305.
  17 - Sacrificed ... new gods This wicked practice of people offering children as sacrifices crept in gradually ps10637.
  17 - Came newly up Or "lately arrived." Compare is4415, also jg0508.
  17 - Fathers feared not They had accepted the ways of the wicked, or perhaps they did not know about the gods because they had not yet appeared. See how "feared" is used in je0212, ez3210.
  18 - Rock ... forgotten See verse 4. The word, forgotten, may mean "neglected."
  18 - Formed thee See ex1905,6, je0227, 1co0415, phm10, ga0419.
.19 ¶ And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.
 20  And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
.21  They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
.22  For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
  19 - Abhorred Rather "spurned," or "despised." See the verb in pr0130, pr0512, pr1505, la0206.
  20 - Froward They had turned against the true God and had no faith in Him.
  21 - Jealousy God could not accept their rebellion as would a husband whose wife had rejected him. The Apostle Paul refers to this verse to turning to the Gentiles with the gospel after the Jewish rejection of Christ ro1019, 1th0215, mt2143,44.
  22 - Hell Literally, "the depths of Sheol" or the grave and may mean total extinction as described for Satan ez2815-19. See on pr1511, ps08613.
  22 - Fire Representing calamities ez3008 or divine wrath je1514, je1704
.23  I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.
 24  They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust.
 25  The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.
.26 ¶ I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men:
 27  Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, and lest they should say, Our hand is high, and the LORD hath not done all this.
  24 - Arrows Compare ps00712, ps03802, ps09105, la0312, ez0516.
  24 - Burnt with hunger Literally, "the wastings of hunger."
  24 - Burning heat Literally, "the firebolt." See the Hebrew word in ps07848, so0806, hk0305.
  27 - Feared God isn't afraid but uses human emotions to help us understand. See nu1413, ex3212.
.28  For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.
 29  O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!
.30  How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?
 31  For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.
 32  For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter:
.33  Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.
  28 - Void of counsel Better "perishing from counsel." The advice from the evil shepherds was leading them to death.
.34  Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures?
.35  To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.
.36  For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.
 37  And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted,
.38  Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.
  35 - Vengeance and recompence It is good that we do not need to pay back those who hurt us. See the term in ro1219, he1030.
  35 - Day of their calamity Applied to literal Babylon is4707, is5106, and to spiritual Babylon re1808, re1810, re1817.
  36 - Judge his people Or defend them je5034. Compare ge3006, ps05401, pr3109.
  36,37 When ... power is gone... where are their gods? Jesus applied this principle to the woman caught in adultery. jn0810.
.39 ¶ See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.
 40  For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever.
.41  If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.
 42  I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy.
.43  Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.
  39 - I even I He speaks emphatically as in ho0514, is4311, is5112.
  41 - Vengeance See he1030.
  43 - Rejoice ... nations The Hebrew word for "nations" is gowy which also means "people" or "Gentiles" or "heathen."
 44 ¶ And Moses came and spake all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he, and Hoshea the son of Nun.
 45  And Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel:
 46  And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.
 47  For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.
  44 - He and Hoshea That is "... and Joshua." The statement like the one in de3130.
 48  And the LORD spake unto Moses that selfsame day, saying,
.49  Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession:
 50  And die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as  Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people:
 51  Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel.
 52  Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel.
  52 - Not go thither A great disappointment for Moses. See de0137, de0325, he1113.
Deuteronomy home
Commentary home