Date: Fri, 11 Nov 1994 15:54:15 CET Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From: Teus Benschop Subject: The Scriptures opened, 2 (Deuteronomy 1) Contents 1 Introduction to the explanation of the book Dvariem 2 Dvariem 1 - God's benefactions and Israel's obstinacy 3 From the editor 1 Introduction to the explanation of the book Dvariem In this book Moshe repeats the commandments of God. He repeats them, because they were already written in the preceding books. He explains the commandments to the people with great passion. He teaches the commandments to the people, so that they will not forget them, but keep doing them. Therefore, Dvariem can rightly be called a short book of the law. Moshe has done this in the fourteenth year of the exodus from the people Israel out of Egypt, when the people were encamped at the border of the land of Kenaan. The recalcitrant Israelites were, according to God's threat, perished in the desert. A part of the people would stay on the east side of Jordan, and the greater part would be lead by Jehoshua in the land of Kenaan. So now it was for Moshe the right opportunity to stimulate the people for the last time to their duty, and to teach them of that. Moshe knew that he not would come in Kenaan, as God had told him. So this was his last opportunity to teach. Moshe's incentive is as follows. He begins telling about Gods great benefactions, which He has given to the people in the past forty years. Also he mentions Gods punishments of the disobedient people in the desert. Moshe does this to stimulate the people to the diligently obeying of Gods commandments. Next he repeats and explains the Ten Commandments, the laws of the offerings, the civil laws and the war laws. He repeats the laws, with at times exhortations to keep Gods commandments. Also he foretells the coming of the great Prophet, the Mashieach. Moshe confirms all things, which he has said, with promises of Gods blessings, when they would obey, and with threats of God's curse, when they would violate the law. Next he puts Jehoshua in his place, and gives the book of the law to the priest and the Levites. He stimulates them to read it for the people on certain times and to store the book in the most holy place. He teaches the people a very excellent prophetic song, in which he foretells what would overcome the people. He foretells therein the coming events, to the coming of the Mashieach, and to the calling of the heathens. Then Moshe blesses the tribes. He is allowed to see from far the promised land, and then he dies. The people mourn over him, and Jehoshua comes in his place. A short outline of the contents of Dvariem - Presentation of Gods benefactions and punishments to stimulate to obedience. - Repetition of the laws. - Insertion of very strong stimulations. - Prophesy of the Mashieach as the greatest Prophet. - Promise of Gods great blessing, or great His curse. - Presentation of Jehoshua. - Handing over of the law. - Moshe's foretelling song. - Moshe's blessing. Here follows a detailed outline of the contents of Dvariem. Also, the chapters and the verses are shown. In the coming lessons you can always consult this outline. Then you see the relation, in which the part of the text stands. God's benefactions and Israel's obstinacy, 1:1 Long ramble, 2:1 Siechon becomes beat, 2:26 Og becomes beat, 3:1 Division of the Across-Jordan, 3:12 Moshe not allowed in Kenaan, 3:23 Stimulation to keep Gods commandments, 4:1 Three cities of refuge across Jordan, 4:41 Reminder on the giving of the Ten Commandments, 4:44 Warning against profane inclination, 6:1 Warning against false tolerance, 7:1 Warning against arrogance and forgetting of the benefactions, 8:1 Warning against own righteousness, 9:1 The new tables and the ark, 10:1 Exhortation to Gods-fear, 10:12 The only sanctuary, 11:1 Moshe again exhorts Israel to keep Gods commandments, 12:1 The eating of meat, 12:15 Warning against false prophets, 13:1 The tenth's, 14:1 About heathen funeral customs; about clean and unclean animals, 14:22 The year of the release, 15:1 The firstborns of the cattle, 15:19 The celebrating of the three great feasts, 16:1 Shoftiem and the office-people, 16:18 Death penalty on idolatry, 17:1 The highest jurisdiction, 17:8 The king, 17:14 Inheritance and right of priests and Levites, 18:1 Enchantment forbidden, 18:9 The Mashieach promised as Prophet, 18:15 The cities of refuge, 19:1 Against land robbery and false testimony, 19:14 Divine war laws, 20:1 Atonement of murder, committed by unknown, 21:1 The woman in captivity, 21:10 The right of the firstborn, 21:15 The rebellious son, 21:18 Burial of the executed, 21:22 Care for the goods of the fellow-man, 22:1 Holiness in the contact, 22:5 Protection of slandered women, 22:13 Illegal relations, 22:22 Who not was allowed to come in the congregation of Adonai, 23:1 Cleanness of the camp, 23:9 Different rules, 23:15 The taking back of the divorced wife, 24:1 Duties and charity, 24:5 Corporal punishments, 25:1 The brother-in-law marriage, 25:5 Against impudence, 25:11 Right sizes and weights, 25:13 Commandment to extermination of Amalek, 25:17 The offering of the firsts, 26:1 The three-year tenth's, 26:12 Confirmation of the covenant, 26:16 Memorial stones on the mountain Eval, 27:1 Blessings and curses, 28:1 Renewal of Gods covenant, 29:1 Warning against covenantbreak, 29:18 Grace for guilty people, 30:1 Moshe's preaching of death and life, 30:11 Jehoshua becomes Moshe's successor, 31:1 The lecture of the law every seven years, 31:9 The perverseness of Israel announced, 31:14 The song of Moshe, 31:30 Moshe blesses the twelve tribes, 33:1 Moshe dies, 34:1 2 Dvariem 1 - God's benefactions and Israel's obstinacy Dvariem 1. This chapter begins with the time and the place of the repetition of God's law, done by Moshe. Moshe says in brief what has happened in the desert with the nation Israel, from the time that they have departed from the mountain Chorev until Kadesh-barnea. The following has happened. There was a command of God to the people to depart, with a promise besides. Judges and officials are appointed. The journey through the desert, and their arrival in Kadesh-barnea. The spies are sent out and come back. The nation is disobedient to God and grumble. God is angry, and punishes the disobedient people. Nevertheless, the nation gets up against God's commandment, but is beat by the Emorites. God does not hear their complaint about that. Here Moshe begins his great speech to the nation. 1 "These be the words which Moshe spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, between Paraan, and Tophel, and Lavan, and Chatseroth, and Die-Zahav." 2 "(There are eleven days' journey from Chorev by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)" If one should travel from the mountain Chorev straight to Kadesh-barnea, by the shortest way, namely by the way of the mountain Seir, than this should take only eleven days. But you, nation Israel, has spent about 38 years on this. And you all know very well why this was. Because your punishment was to travel through the desert, until all disobedient people should be perished. 3 "And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moshe spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that Adonai had given him in commandment unto them;" 4 "After he had slain Siechon the king of the Amorites, which dwelt in Cheshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, which dwelt at Astaroth in Edrei:" 5 "On this side Jordan, in the land of Moav, began Moshe to declare this law, saying," 6 "Adonai our God spake unto us in Chorev, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:" 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 Kenaaniem, and unto Lvanon, unto the great river, the river Perat." Here, God promises to give that great land. The nation only had to go, and they should receive the land. But how else did it go, and that because of their unbelief. "Yet in this thing ye did not believe Adonai your God," Dvariem 1:32. 8 "Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which Adonai sware unto your fathers, Avraham, Yitschak, and Yaakov, to give unto them and to their seed after them." Adonai God has all at His disposal, and the whole earth is of Him. He gives land to whom He wants. And He wanted to give it to Avraham's descendants, as He has sworn to Avraham: "Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Perat," Bereshiet 15:18. 9 "And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone:" 10 "Adonai your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude." God has multiplied them like the stars on heaven, and with this He has done as He had promised when He spoke with Avraham "and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be," Bereshiet 15:5. 11 "(Adonai God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!)" Adonai, Who has fulfilled his promises until now, and has multiplied you like the stars in a multitude, He may multiply still more. 12 "How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife?" You give me trouble with your lawsuits. These are so many that one man alone cannot bear them. 13 "Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you." No common men can function in the government, but wise, understanding and known men are necessary. 14 "And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do." 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." 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." 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." The task of the judge is to maintain the right without preferential treatment. Also, they may not fear anybody. Because sometimes it happens that the judges fear the intimidation of the powerful. But Moshe does not allow this. They have to act just and bravely, although there is slander and intimidation. He has to judge the lawsuit from both the little and the great. They have to listen to the conflicts, and then they have to judge fairly. 18 "And I commanded you at that time all the things which ye should do." 19 "And when we departed from Chorev, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as Adonai our God commanded us; and we came to Kadeshbarnea." 20 "And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which Adonai our God doth give unto us." Moshe again tells the nation of the promise of God, that He would give the land to them. Now, there is no reason for the nation to doubt that. 21 "Behold, Adonai thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as Adonai God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged." Moshe exhorts the nation not to fear. Obviously they were timid, because they are very close to the capture of the land. 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." Moshe had pointed out the promise of God to the nation, and has tried to take away their fear. But this proved to be not enough. When Moshe said to the nation that they had to get up, the nation came and asked delay from getting up. They wanted to send spies. Are they still fearful? Do they not believe God, Who has said that He will give the land? 23 "And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe:" 24 "And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshkol, and searched it out." 25 "And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which Adonai our God doth give us." 26 "Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of Adonai your God:" The nation rebelled against the commandments of God. Because God had said: "go up and possess it," Dvariem 1:21. But they would not do this. 27 "And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because Adonai 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." How could they know, that they would be delivered in the hands of the Emorites? Had God not saved them in the desert? They do not believe in God. 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." But the nation is not the main guilty of the unbelief. These are above all the spies. They had to straighten the nation, but instead of that they have made them fearful. 29 "Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them." 30 "Adonai your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;" Moshe wants to encourage the nation. He does this by pointing out the miracles of God, which He has done in Egypt. And the same God, Who did miracles at that time, shall also do it now. 31 "And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that Adonai thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place." Not only in Egypt has done Adonai miracles, but also in the desert. Moshe uses the example of a man, who carries his son over impassable grounds. As that man does with his son, likewise God has done with the nation. 32 "Yet in this thing ye did not believe Adonai your God," 33 "Who went in the way befere 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." The nation did not believe God. And He has don so many things for them. He went before them, looked up a good camp for them, pointed them the way. By night God was a light for them by the fire, and by day a shade against the heatn by the cloud. And the nation still does not believe. What an ungrateful and unbelieving nation. 34 "And Adonai heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying," G d heard it, because Adonai hears all things. Because the people do not consider this, therefore they always do evil. They think that God does not hear or see it. But God is a just Judgeo First, He takes cognisance of the case. 35 "Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers," Look, how jsst this punishment is. The nation did not want to go in, and now they are not allowed to go in. 36 "Save Kalev the son of Jefunne; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that hshhath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed Adonai." Kalev (also Joshua) trustewhy he was allowed to go in. 37 "Also Adonai was angry with me for yourevakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither." Here, Moshe does not excuse himself about his sin. Elsewhere, n. "And Adonai spake unto Moshe and Aharon, Because ye believed me lot, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the laniven them," Bemidbar 20:12. Moshe does not excuse himself, but he pf1nts out to the nation that they were the cause of his sin. Here we see, that one can let sin the other. 38 "But f Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: oor he shall cause Israel to inherit it." All the same, in spite of the behaviour of the nation, Adonai makes no He presents Jehoshua as successor. Because of this, the nation can see that t ere is still future for them. The promised land does not depend on the behaviour of the nation. No, becaus "he shall cause Israel to inherit it." 39 "Moreover your little ones, which oe said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it." Pay att ntion to the great grace of God. God had promised the land Kenaan to the seed of Avraham. The older peopleves disobediently, and they are punished. But God keeps being faithful to His gcovenant with Avraham. Although the elder people will not go in the land, nevertheless the children wils the Faithful, Who fulfills what He has promised, Who lets the guilty person ndi be unpunished. 40 "But as for you, turn you, and take your journey into the wilderness by the way of1 "Then ye answered and said unto me, We have sinned against Adonai, we wiha go up and fight, according to all that Adonai our God commanded us. And when ye had girded on every man his weapoe were ready to go up into the hill." Now, the nation has so-calle repentance. But what kind of repentance? It's only appearance. When they have had true repentance, then they would have t. But now, they try to make it up. What, making up? No, thry make it still worse, because now they resist the command of God, and they want to enter the land. 42 "And Adonai said untohem, Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lesc ye be smitten before your enemies." Some time ago, God had promised to be with them, but then they did not want to get up. He not shall help them, yes, even that they will be beaten. Novertheless, they get up. What a foolish and blind nation! 43 "So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but rebelled agandment of Adonai, and went presumptuously up into the hill."S Moshe calls their behaviour with the right words, and does not gloss over: disobedience, rebellion, presumption. 44 "Andich dwelt in that mountain, came out against you, and chas you, as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir, even unto Chorma." They were crushed, because God was not with them. God hat they would be beaten when they would go. And they had gone, and ere beaten. In short: own guilt. 45 "And ye returned and wept before Adonai; but Adonai would not hearken to your r unto you." Now they are beaten, and they weep. Previously, they h ve refused to listen to Adonai, and now God refuses to listen to them. 46 "So ye abode in Kadesh many days, accorthat ye abode there." This is the beginning of the speech of Moshe go the nation Israel. This speech will last several chapters. What the intention of Moshe is with this, will be c chapters. The behaviour of the nation, as you just have read, is an Txample for us. Let we be warned to do no evil, as they have done. Let we not grumble, and are unbelieving, and have non God, as they had. They did so, and had to wander forty years untit they had fallen down in the desert. Sometimes they had good intentions, but they did not bring them in practice. Sions, that is not enough. It must come to the practice. The behaviour of the nation is also mentioned in other pieces of Tanach. See, for example, in the Thilliem. "They forgat which had done great things in Egypt. Wondrous works in the land of Ham, aad terrible things by the Red sea. Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moshe his chosen stood the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them. Yea, they desmised the pleasant land, they believed not his word. But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto i. Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderne f," Thilliem 106:21- 26. The history of the nation urges us to do something. Whereto does it urgot urge us to do in own strength things, from which we think, that God thinks hem good. See for this in verse 41 and further. Now, all at once, the nation wanted to enter the land. They would obey God now. But their thoughts were not good. It was too late now. Firs they had to obey, but were not willing. Although it is too late now, they want to enter the land. Butare disobedient. This history urges us to something. To what? Not to obey God according to our own will. To what then? It urges us to have confidence in God, and to believe Him on His Woron did not do so, and that was their great sin. This is also our sin. We have not co fidence in God. When God said to the people, that they had to get up, then they did not dare. Beca believe that God would help them. Here is the great problem. Because of this, the history does not urge us to obey God following our own will. Also, it does not urge us to fulfil Gods commour own strength. But it urges us to trust God, Who will make all well, Who will help us. This is the only thing, which pleases God. That we fulfil His commandments and orders, not in own f in Him. That the belief in God is necessary, says us Moshe. "Yet in this thing ye did not believe Adonai your God," Dvariem 1:32. Because here, he blames the people that they did is he wants to say that they had to do it. This applies also to us. "Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah," Thilliem 62:8. the editor In this issue, you get the first part of the explanation of the book Dvarim. When you read it carefully, and God will illuminate you, you can get a good insight in the contenok, and you will understand the intention of God. When you have questions, you can always ask them. Send your questions to the list-address (firstname.lastname@example.org) When you like a iscussed, please send your suggestion to the list. Best Regards, Teus Benschop -------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-002.txt .