|<< Deuteronomy 30 >>|
Barnes' Notes on the Bible
1And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
The rejection of Israel and the desolation of the promised inheritance were not to be the end of God's dispensations. The closing words of the address therefore are words of comfort and promise. Compare marginal reference and Deuteronomy 4:29 ff; 1 Kings 8:46-50.
The chastisements of God would lead the nation to repent, and thereupon God would again bless them.
2And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
3That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
Will turn thy captivity - Will change or put an end to thy state of captivity or distress (compare Psalm 14:7; Psalm 85:2; Jeremiah 30:18). The rendering of the Greek version is significant; "the Lord will heal thy sins."
The promises of this and the following verses had no doubt their partial fulfillment in the days of the Judges; but the fact that various important features are repeated in Jeremiah 32:37 ff, and in Ezekiel 11:19 ff, Ezekiel 34:13 ff, Ezekiel 36:24 ff, shows us that none of these was regarded as exhausting the promises. In full analogy with the scheme of prophecy we may add that the return from the Babylonian captivity has not exhausted their depth. The New Testament takes up the strain (e. g. in Romans 11), and foretells the restoration of Israel to the covenanted mercies of God. True these mercies shall not be, as before, confined to that nation. The "turning again of the captivity" will be when Israel is converted to Him in whom the Law was fulfilled, and who died "not for that nation only," but also that he might "gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad" John 11:51-52. Then shall there be "one fold and one shepherd" John 10:16. But whether the general conversion of the Jews shall be accompanied with any national restoration, any recovery of their ancient prerogatives as the chosen people; and further, whether there shall be any local replacement of them in the land of their fathers, may be regarded as of "the secret things" which belong unto God Deuteronomy 29:29; and so indeed our Lord Himself teaches us Acts 1:6-7.
4If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
5And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
6And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
Circumcise thine heart - Compare Deuteronomy 10:16 note; Jeremiah 32:39; Ezra 11:19.
7And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.
8And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.
9And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:
10If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
11For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
Ignorance of the requirements of the law cannot be pleaded Deuteronomy 30:10-14; hence, Deuteronomy 30:15-20 life and death, good and evil, are solemnly set before the people for their own choice; and an earnest exhortation to choose the better part concludes the address.
Deuteronomy 30:11-14. "The righteousness which is of faith" is really and truly described in these words of the Law; and, under Paul's guidance (see marginal references) we affirm was intended so to be. For the simplicity and accessibility which Moses here attributes to the Law of God neither is nor can be experimentally found in it except through the medium of faith; even though outwardly and in the letter that Law be written out for us so "that he may run that readeth," and be set forth in its duties and its sanctions as plainly as it was before the Jews by Moses. The seeming ease of the commandment, and yet its real impossibility to the natural man, form part of the qualifications of the Law to be our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ.
Not hidden from thee - Rather, not too hard for thee, as in Deuteronomy 17:8.
Neither is it far off - Compare Luke 17:21.
12It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
13Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
The paraphrase of this verse in the Jerusalem Targum is noteworthy, and should be compared with Paul's rendering in Romans 10:7 : "Neither is the law beyond the great sea, that thou shouldest say, Oh that we had one like Jonah the prophet who could descend into the depths of the sea and bring it to us!"
14But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
In thy mouth, and in, thy heart - Compare Deuteronomy 6:6; Deuteronomy 11:18-20.
15See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
16In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
17But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
18I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
20That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
That thou mayest love the Lord - Compare Deuteronomy 6:5. Love stands first as the essential and only source of obedience.
He is thy life - Or, "that" (i. e., "to love the Lord") "is thy life;" i. e., the condition of thy life and of its prolongation in the promised land. Compare Deuteronomy 4:40; Deuteronomy 32:47.