Moses probably recorded the size of Og's "king-sized" bed "nine cubits," or 13 and a half feet, v. Some writers have argued that the Hebrew word 'eres means "sarcophagus" rather than "bed. His bed, or "bedstead," probably contained "iron" decorations, since at this time iron was a precious metal. The division of the land of these "two Amorite kings," between two and one-half Israelite tribes "the Reubenites," "Gadites," and the "half-tribe of Manasseh"; cf.
This extensive portion of real estate was part of the land God had promised to Abraham. The "Geshurites" and the "Maacathites" v.
Moses' earlier description of this conquest stressed Israel's role in taking this land Num. Moses encouraged Joshua, his successor, to take courage on the basis of all that God had done for Israel thus far, especially in defeating Sihon and Og "Do not fear them"; vv. A better translation of verse 22 is "… for Yahweh [the covenant-keeping God] your Elohim [strong One], He [emphatic] is the one fighting for you. Moses was so eager to "see" the Promised Land, that he requested special permission to enter it—even if for just a brief visit "I also pleaded with the L ORD "; vv.
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Speak to Me no more of this matter"; v. God did, however, allow Moses to view the land from a good vantage point "the top of Pisgah [Mt. Nebo]"; v. These prayers contribute to a profile of Moses as a type or model figure that is anticipatory of later figures in the biblical tradition. The primary components of this profile show Moses as a suffering servant [here], teacher see discussion of , intercessor see ch. God charged Moses with encouraging Joshua further "charge Joshua and encourage him and strengthen him"; v.
It is much easier to live by sight human or carnal power than by faith in God's promises godly or spiritual power. Moses turned in his address, in this chapter, from contemplating the past to an exhortation for the future. This section is the climax of his first speech. The author of the treaty is named 1, 2, 5, 10 , reference is made to the preceding historical acts, the treaty stipulations are mentioned, the appeal is made for Israel to obey, the treaty sanctions, blessing and cursing, are referred to, witnesses are mentioned 26 , and the obligation to transmit the knowledge of the treaty to the next generation is stated While these elements in the Near Eastern treaty are not set out in a rigid legal form, but are woven into a speech without regard for strict formality, they can be clearly discerned.
His central purpose in this section is to draw out the chief ideas of the Sinai narratives, Exodus 19— These chief ideas are: the Torah as wisdom vv. Moses urged the Israelites to "listen to" v. The Hebrew verb translated "to hear" occurs frequently in Deuteronomy. The judgments set precedent for future action e. Moses used the illustration of the recent seduction of the Israelites by the Midianites "the case of Baal-peor" , and God's consequent plague Num.
Moses' appeal rested on the promises of life "that you may live"; v. He also referred to the praise that would come on the Israelites from other peoples for the Israelites' obedience "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people," v. Though they were perceived in highly anthropomorphic terms, they also were thought to be so busy and preoccupied with their own affairs that they could scarcely take notice of their devotees except when they needed them.
To counter this difficulty would require great care and so Moses urged such care, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen [v. They had never literally seen their God, but they had seen what God had done. The emphasis in this section is on the supernatural character of the revelation of God's Law. Human beings did not invent Israel's Law. A holy God had revealed it. It was special revelation: "the things which your eyes have seen … the L ORD spoke to you from the midst of the fire … He declared to you His covenant". Consequently the Israelites were to "fear" i. In Deuteronomy, Moses often reminded the parents that they, not the priests or other religious leaders, bore the primary responsibility for spiritually educating their children vv.
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God will hold divorced and preoccupied parents responsible for the vagrants of the world today who never knew the instruction and the love and the concern and the communication from parents. What a responsibility parenthood is! Rather, the one table was a duplicate of the other. In establishing treaties the sovereign had one copy of the treaty and the vassal the other, and each deposited his copy at his own sanctuary.
Kline, Treaty, 13ff. Fearing God is becoming so acutely aware of His moral purity and omnipotence that one is genuinely afraid to disobey Him. Fearing God also includes responding to Him in worship, service, trust, obedience, and commitment. Because God did not reveal Himself in any physical "form," He forbade the Israelites from making any "likeness" of Him as an aid to worship vv.
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They were not to worship any heavenly bodies for this purpose, either "sun," "moon," "stars," "host of heaven"; v. Christians may not face the temptation to represent God in wood or stone, but we must be careful about thinking we can contain or limit Him, or fully comprehend Him. Even though we in the Church Age have received much revelation about God, we cannot fully grasp all there is to appreciate about Him.
Evidently the thought of God, bringing the Israelites out of Egypt, "the iron furnace," in order to bring them into the land v.
Though the 'furnaces' of the OT world could not be heated sufficiently to make molten iron, artisans had learned to use bellows to make the hottest fire then known; and they knew that the hottest fire they could produce was necessary for their iron productions. Rather, bringing Israel out of Egypt was like bringing her out of an iron-smelting furnace—the heavy bondage of Egypt with its accompanying difficulties and tensions being likened to the hottest fire then known.
Israel was to learn from Moses' personal failure "So watch yourselves, that you do not forget the covenant," v. Even Moses was excluded from the land of Canaan i. Clearly, Moses will be in heaven, but he forfeited his earthly inheritance. Not entering Canaan does not necessarily mean one is not born again. God disinherited them, and they wandered in the wilderness for forty years.
THE ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS
The "consuming fire" metaphor refers to the manifestation of God's glory that burns in judgment all that is impure cf. God's "jealousy" is His zeal for righteousness that springs from His holiness. He would not tolerate Israel's allegiance to any other god. The connotation of pettiness that is present in the English word "jealousy" is absent from the Hebrew idea. This warning has proved prophetic, in that Israel did indeed apostatize "act corruptly," turn to idolatry , and experience all the consequences Moses warned against here.
The nation's present scattered condition, as a result of her dispersion by the Romans, is only one of several scatterings that Israel has experienced v. This has yet to take place during Israel's present dispersion, but it will happen Zech. Yahweh is a holy judge who zealously yearns for the welfare of His chosen people v. The promise that God would "not fail" or "destroy" His people, or "forget [His] covenant" with them, indicates the extent of His love for Israel Rom.
Outside Deuteronomy e.
Within Deuteronomy the reference is always to Yahweh's judging activity. The background here is again that of the extra-biblical treaties. Heaven and earth and other natural phenomena were part of the Hittite pantheon and functioned actively as treaty witnesses cf. Moran, Bib[lica] 43, , f. Moses' three rhetorical questions vv. In this manner the glorious splendor of the King contributes to His aura of majesty and power and is thereby persuasive of His dignity and authority. Almost without exception the theophanic revelation was in the form of fire and its opposite, darkness Deut.
On the other hand, the fire represented His immanence, the possibility of His being known even if in only a limited way cf. Israel's repentance, following apostasy, was to be wholehearted "with all your heart and all your soul"; v. The "heart" refers to the seat of one's intellect and will cf.
Israel was not to miss the point "He is God; there is no other besides Him"; v. The articulation of God's motivation in His great redemptive and saving acts for Israel—as being His love for them "because He loved … therefore He chose … He personally [lit. It was precisely because of his love and choice that he acted to redeem. Rather, it was because they were his people by virtue of having been descended from the patriarchs, the objects of his love and choice, that he was moved to save them and enter into covenant with them.
They are prosaic in form, but poetic in their evocation of the marvelous acts of God. God has demonstrated that He loves man from the very first of Genesis, but, up to this point, He hasn't said anything about it. This is the first time He mentions it. The earliest reference to Israel's "election" in Deuteronomy is in verse 37 cf. God "chose" the Israelites for special blessing because of His love for them, not because He foresaw that they would be a great example to all other people, or because He knew that they would love Him in return.
In fact, they failed to do both of these things. Nor does national election guarantee the physical salvation of every member of the nation. What national election does guarantee is that God's purpose s for choosing the nation will be accomplished and that the elect nation will always survive as a distinct entity. It guarantees the physical salvation of the nation and, in the case of Israel, even a national salvation.
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It is the national election of Israel that is the basis of Israel's status as the Chosen People. This whole address by Moses — , and especially the exhortation to observe the Law faithfully , is one of the greatest revelations of God's character in the Old Testament. The address builds to a climax, as every great sermon does. The total impression which God and Moses intended must have been awe and humble gratitude in the hearts of the Israelites.
It was on the basis of such historical interventions, in fact, that Yahweh's claim as Sovereign could be made. The best way to motivate people to obey God is to expound His character and conduct positively , as Moses did here. Note too that Moses appealed to the self-interest of the Israelites: "… that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long on the land …" v.
Having completed his address that reminded the Israelites to look backward and remember God's faithfulness so they would remain faithful in the future, Moses next turned to a reminder of what God's will for His chosen people involved. He prefaced this second speech with instruction concerning cities of refuge in the land. It may seem strange that Moses included the record of his appointment of Bezer, Ramoth, and Golan as the three "cities of refuge" "safe towns," CEV east of the Jordan— at this point in Deuteronomy cf.