Deuteronomy 29:20
The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie on him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.
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(20) Shall smoke.—Comp. Psalm 80:4; Psalm 74:1. Mount Sinai was altogether “on a smoke” because the Lord descended on it in fire.

Shall lie upon him.—As the beasts lie down in their lairs. The only other place which we can at all compare with this is the difficult expression in Genesis 4:7, “Sin lieth at the door.”

Deuteronomy 29:20-21. His jealousy shall smoke against that man — Shall burn and break forth like flame and smoke from a furnace. None shall be punished more exemplarily than those who abuse the goodness of God, and turn his grace into wantonness. Shall blot out his name — Shall destroy his person and the remembrance of him from among men, suffering no posterity to survive him, to perpetuate his name or memory. Shall separate him unto evil — Unto some exemplary plague; he will make him a monument of his displeasure to the whole land. According to all the curses of the covenant — For the covenant made with them, though a covenant of grace, had curses as well as blessings belonging to it, however averse the person here referred to might be to believe it.29:10-21 The national covenant made with Israel, not only typified the covenant of grace made with true believers, but also represented the outward dispensation of the gospel. Those who have been enabled to consent to the Lord's new covenant of mercy and grace in Jesus Christ, and to give up themselves to be his people, should embrace every opportunity of renewing their open profession of relation to him, and their obligation to him, as the God of salvation, walking according thereto. The sinner is described as one whose heart turns away from his God; there the mischief begins, in the evil heart of unbelief, which inclines men to depart from the living God to dead idols. Even to this sin men are now tempted, when drawn aside by their own lusts and fancies. Such men are roots that bear gall and wormwood. They are weeds which, if let alone, overspread the whole field. Satan may for a time disguise this bitter morsel, so that thou shalt not have the natural taste of it, but at the last day, if not before, the true taste shall be discerned. Notice the sinner's security in sin. Though he hears the words of the curse, yet even then he thinks himself safe from the wrath of God. There is scarcely a threatening in all the book of God more dreadful than this. Oh that presumptuous sinners would read it, and tremble! for it is a real declaration of the wrath of God, against ungodliness and unrighteousness of man.Compare on the thought Jeremiah 23:17. The secret and presumptuous sinner is meant who flatters himself that all is well and will be well with him, since he follows his own devices and prospers. Compare Psalm 73:11 ff.

To add drunkenness to thirst - The sense is probably: "Himself, drinking iniquity like water, Job 15:16, he corrupts and destroys others who are thirsting for it or prone to it."

The sense of the whole passage from Deuteronomy 29:16 onward to Deuteronomy 29:20 may be exhibited thus: "Ye have seen the abominations of idolatry among the pagan. Do you therefore look diligently that there be no secret idolater among you; a root of bitterness to all about him. Let there be no one, I say, who when he hears the curses of the Law against this sin, flatters himself, saying within himself, 'All will be well, for I walk unmolested in my own self-chosen path; ' and thus acting, not only takes his own fill of sin, but destroys likewise every tempted brother within his reach, for the Lord will not spare him," etc.

10-29. Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God—The whole congregation of Israel, of all ages and conditions, all—young as well as old; menials as well as masters; native Israelites as well as naturalized strangers—all were assembled before the tabernacle to renew the Sinaitic covenant. None of them were allowed to consider themselves as exempt from the terms of that national compact, lest any lapsing into idolatry might prove a root of bitterness, spreading its noxious seed and corrupt influence all around (compare Heb 12:15). It was of the greatest consequence thus to reach the heart and conscience of everyone, for some might delude themselves with the vain idea that by taking the oath (De 29:12) by which they engaged themselves in covenant with God, they would surely secure its blessings. Then, even though they would not rigidly adhere to His worship and commands, but would follow the devices and inclinations of their own hearts, yet they would think that He would wink at such liberties and not punish them. It was of the greatest consequence to impress all with the strong and abiding conviction, that while the covenant of grace had special blessings belonging to it, it at the same time had curses in reserve for transgressors, the infliction of which would be as certain, as lasting and severe. This was the advantage contemplated in the law being rehearsed a second time. The picture of a once rich and flourishing region, blasted and doomed in consequence of the sins of its inhabitants, is very striking, and calculated to awaken awe in every reflecting mind. Such is, and long has been, the desolate state of Palestine; and, in looking at its ruined cities, its blasted coast, its naked mountains, its sterile and parched soil—all the sad and unmistakable evidences of a land lying under a curse—numbers of travellers from Europe, America, and the Indies ("strangers from a far country," De 29:22) in the present day see that the Lord has executed His threatening. Who can resist the conclusion that it has been inflicted "because the inhabitants had forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers. … and the anger of the Lord was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book"? Shall smoke, i.e. shall burn and break forth with flame and smoke as it were from a furnace. Compare Psalm 18:8.

Blot out his name from under heaven, i.e. destroy his person and memory from amongst men. Then the Lord will not spare him,.... Have no mercy upon him, nor forgive him, being an hardhearted, impenitent, stubborn, and obstinate sinner, as well as guilty of the grossest and most provoking sin, as idolatry is:

but then the anger of the Lord, and his jealousy, shall smoke against that man; or, "the nose of the Lord shall smoke" (f); alluding to an angry, wrathful, furious man, whose brain being heated, and his passions inflamed, his breath steams through his nostrils like smoke; it denotes the vehement anger, the greatness of God's wrath and indignation against such a person, and his burning zeal or jealousy for his own honour and glory injured by the idolater:

and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him: for as he that offends in one point is guilty of all, and especially in such a principal point as this, which concerns the being and worship of God; so he makes himself liable to all the curses of the law, which shall not only come upon him, but abide on him; and there is no person clear of them but by redemption through Christ, who, by being made a curse for his people, has redeemed them from the curse of the law:

and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven; he shall have no name in Israel, not in the church, and among the people of God, from whom he is to be excommunicated; shall have no name and place in the earth, being cut off from the land of the living; and shall have no name or fame after his death, his memory shall rot and perish; and he shall appear to have no name in the book of life; see Psalm 69:28.

(f) "fumabit nasus Domini", Montanus.

The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.
20. the Lord will not consent to pardon him] There are two vbs as in Deuteronomy 1:26 q.v.

his jealousy
] See on Deuteronomy 4:24; with this and the vb. smoke cp. Deuteronomy 32:21 f., Psalm 74:1.

shall lie] Or crouch, cp. Genesis 4:7. But LXX and Targ. read cleave unto, perhaps rightly.

blot out his name, etc.] Deuteronomy 7:2, Deuteronomy 9:14.Verses 20, 21. - Though the sinner fancies all is well with him, and is hardened in his iniquity, and is leading others astray by his example, the Lord will not suffer him to rest in impunity, but will send on him terrible punishments. The anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke, i.e. shall break forth in destructive fire (cf. Psalm 74:1: Isaiah 65:5; Psalm 18:8). The Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven (cf. Deuteronomy 25:19; Exodus 17:14). The Lord shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, - so that, excluded from the covenant nation, and placed beyond the sphere over which rests the salvation of the Lord, they will be exposed to destruction - according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law; rather, as in the margin, is written; the participle agrees with "covenant." This covenant Moses made not only with those who are present, but with all whether present or not; for it was to embrace not only those who were living then, but their descendants also, to become a covenant of blessing for all nations (cf. Acts 2:39, and the intercession of Christ in John 17:20).
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