Deuteronomy 29:25
Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt:
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29:22-28 Idolatry would be the ruin of their nation. It is no new thing for God to bring desolating judgments on a people near to him in profession. He never does this without good reason. It concerns us to seek for the reason, that we may give glory to God, and take warning to ourselves. Thus the law of Moses leaves sinners under the curse, and rooted out of the Lord's land; but the grace of Christ toward penitent, believing sinners, plants them again in their land; and they shall no more be pulled up, being kept by the power of God.The description is borrowed from the local features of the Dead Sea and its vicinity. The towns of the vale of Siddim were fertile and well watered (compare Genesis 13:10) until devastated by the wrath of God Genesis 19:24-25. The ruin of Israel and its land should be of the like sort (compare Leviticus 26:31-32; Psalm 107:34; Zephaniah 2:9). The desolate state of Palestine at present, and the traces of former fertility and prosperity, are attested by every traveler. 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"? No text from Poole on this verse. Then men shall say,.... The answer that will be returned to the above questions will be this

because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers: breakers of covenants with men are always reckoned among the worst of men, see Romans 1:31; and especially breakers of covenant with God, and with such a God as the God of Israel was, so good, so kind, and gracious; and of such a covenant he made with them, in which so many good things were promised unto them, on condition of their obedience; as the continuance in, such a land they dwelt in, with an abundance of privileges, civil and religious: and this covenant God of theirs was the God of their fathers also; and it was always reckoned an heinous sin among the Heathens to forsake the gods of their ancestors; see Jeremiah 2:11,

which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt; which is another aggravation of their breach of the covenant the Lord made with them; it being made with them by that God, and at that time, when he in so wonderful a manner, with such mighty power, and a outstretched arm, and in great kindness and tenderness to them, brought then, out of hard bondage and most wretched slavery in Egypt.

Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt:
25. Then men shall say, etc.] Similarly Jeremiah 22:8 f. The phrase, forsook the covenant occurs there, 1 Kings 19:10; 1 Kings 19:14 and Daniel 11:30, but not elsewhere in Deut. (forget is used instead); though Deuteronomy 28:20 has forsaking me, cp. Deuteronomy 31:16, Deuteronomy 32:15."That there may not be among you," etc.: this sentence may be easily explained by introducing a thought which may be easily supplied, such as "consider this," or "do not forget what ye have seen, that no one, either man or woman, family or tribe, may turn away from Jehovah our God." - "That there may not be a root among you which bears poison and wormwood as fruit." A striking image of the destructive fruit borne by idolatry (cf. Hebrews 12:15). Rosh stands for a plant of a very bitter taste, as we may see from the frequency with which it is combined with לענה, wormwood: it is not, strictly speaking, a poisonous plant, although the word is used in Job 20:16 to denote the poison of serpents, because, in the estimation of a Hebrew, bitterness and poison were kindred terms. There is no other passage in which it can be shown to have the meaning "poison." The sense of the figure is given in plain terms in Deuteronomy 29:19, "that no one when he hears the words of this oath may bless himself in his heart, saying, I will prosper with me, for I walk in the firmness of my heart." To bless himself in his heart is to congratulate himself. שׁרירוּת, firmness, a vox media; in Syriac, firmness, in a good sense, equivalent to truth; in Hebrew, generally in a bad sense, denoting hardness of heart; and this is the sense in which Moses uses it here. - "To sweep away that which is saturated with the thirsty:" a proverbial expression, of which very different interpretations have been given (see Rosenmller ad h. l.), taken no doubt from the land and transferred to persons or souls; so that we might supply Nephesh in this sense, "to destroy all, both those who have drunk its poison, and those also who are still thirsting for it" (Knobel). But even if we were to supply ארץ (the land), we should not have to think of the land itself, but simply of its inhabitants, so that the thought would still remain the same.
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