Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
None shut up, or left - A proverbial phrase (compare 1 Kings 14:10) meaning perhaps "married and single," or "guarded and forsaken," but signifying generally "all men of all sorts."Exodus 34:13 Psalm 106:28 1 Corinthians 10:20.
Let them help you, if they can do it. Compare Judges 10:14 Jeremiah 2:28. Leviticus 3:11; and to the drink offerings of wine, which were of a sweet savour to God, and with respect to which wine is said to cheer him, Numbers 15:7. Now New Testament worship and services are here expressed in Old Testament language, which is not unusual; see Isaiah 56:7; and signify the best of the sacrifices and services of true believers in Christ, presenting their souls and bodies unto him as a holy, living, acceptable sacrifice, which is but their reasonable service; offering their sacrifices of prayer and praise unto him through Christ; doing all good works in his name and strength, and all acts of beneficence in love to him and his people, with which sacrifices he is well pleased; yea, cheerfully laying down their lives as victims in his cause, when called unto it. Now these words are a taunt at the Protestant doctrine of the acceptance of the service and sacrifices of believers in Christ, through him, and for his sake, and not for any merit or worthiness in them:
let them rise up and help you; their God and their rock, Jehovah the Father, their covenant God, and his Son the rock of their salvation, in whom they trust; and so they will arise and help them in this time of extreme distress; though they may seem as asleep, and to take no notice of the sad estate of saints, they will arise in wrath and indignation at their enemies, and deliver them out of their hands; the Spirit of life from God shall be sent to bring to life the slain witnesses, and Christ will rise up in the exertion of his kingly power; he will take to himself his great power, and reign, and destroy them that destroyeth the earth, Revelation 11:11,
and be your protection; or "let him be your hiding place" (x); that is, the rock in whom they trusted, and so he is, and will be "an hiding place the wind, and a covert from the storm", Isaiah 32:2; not only from the wrath and justice of God, but from the rage and fury of men; Christ will protect and defend his people against all their enemies, and in his own time will deliver them from them; who, in answer to these taunts and derisions, rises up, and thus he says, as follows.Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)38. Let them be a covert above you] So LXX, etc.; Heb. let it.Deuteronomy 32:32 is neither co-ordinate nor subordinate to that in Deuteronomy 32:31. To render it as subordinate would give no intelligible meaning; and the supposition that it is co-ordinate is precluded by the fact, that in that case Deuteronomy 32:32 and Deuteronomy 32:33 would contain a description of the corruptions of the heathen. The objections to this view have been thus expressed by Schultz with perfect justice: "It is priori inconceivable, that in so short an ode there should be so elaborate a digression on the subject of the heathen, seeing that their folly is altogether foreign to the theme of the whole." To this we may add, that throughout the Old Testament it is the moral corruption and ungodliness of the Israelites, and never the vices of the heathen, that are compared to the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Israelites who were forsaken by the Lord, were designated by Isaiah (Isaiah 1:10) as a people of Gomorrah, and their rulers as rulers of Sodom (cf. Isaiah 3:9); the inhabitants of Jerusalem were all of them like Sodom and Gomorrah (Jeremiah 23:14); and the sin of Jerusalem was greater than that of Sodom (Ezekiel 16:46.). The only sense in which the "for" in Deuteronomy 32:32 can be regarded as co-ordinate to that in Deuteronomy 32:31, is on the supposition that the former gives the reason for the thought in Deuteronomy 32:30, whilst the latter serves to support the idea in Deuteronomy 32:30. The order of thought is the following: Israel would have been able to smite its foes with very little difficulty, because the gods of the heathen are not a rock like Jehovah; but Jehovah had given up His people to the heathen, because it had brought forth fruits like Sodom, i.e., had resembled Sodom in its wickedness. The vine and its fruits are figurative terms, applied to the nation and its productions. "The nation was not only a degenerate, but also a poisonous vine, producing nothing but what was deadly" (Calvin). This figure is expanded still further by Isaiah 5:2. Israel was a vineyard planted by Jehovah, that it might bring forth good fruits, instead of which it brought forth wild grapes (vid., Jeremiah 2:21; Psalm 80:9.; Hosea 10:1). "Their vine" is the Israelites themselves, their nature being compared to a vine which had degenerated as much as if it had been an offshoot of a Sodomitish vine. שׁדמת, the construct state of שׁדמת, floors, fields. The grapes of this vine are worse than wild grapes is snake-poison. Tannin: see Exodus 7:9-10. Pethen: the asp or adder, one of the most poisonous kinds of snake, whose bite was immediately fatal (vid., Rosenmller, bibl. Althk. iv. 2, pp. 364ff.). These figures express the thought, that "nothing could be imagined worse, or more to be abhorred, than that nation" (Calvin). Now although this comparison simply refers to the badness of Israel, the thought of the penal judgment that fell upon Sodom lies behind. "They imitate the Sodomites, they bring forth the worst fruits of all impiety, they deserve to perish like Sodom" (J. H. Michaelis).
The description of this judgment commences in Deuteronomy 32:34. Israel had deserved for its corruption to be destroyed from the earth (Deuteronomy 32:26); yet for His name's sake the Lord would have compassion upon it, when it was so humiliated with its heavy punishments that its strength was coming to an end.
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