|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:9-18 Moses reminds the people of the happy constitution of their government, which might make them all safe and easy, if it was not their own fault. He owns the fulfilment of God's promise to Abraham, and prays for the further accomplishment of it. We are not straitened in the power and goodness of God; why should we be straitened in our own faith and hope? Good laws were given to the Israelites, and good men were to see to the execution of them, which showed God's goodness to them, and the care of Moses.
Verse 12. - Moses appeals to the good sense of the people themselves: How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife? Cumbrance: this is a just rendering of the Hebrew word מֹרֲח, from טָרַח, which, though it occurs only in the Hiphil in Hebrew, in the sense of to cast down (Job 17:11), probably was in use also in the Kal, in the sense of to lay upon, to encumber, which is the meaning of the cognate Arabic followed by . Burden (שָּׁא, from נָשָׂא, to lift up, to carry, to bear), something lifted up and carried, a load or burden. Strife: (רִיב) here, not mere contention, but litigation, suit-at-law. Some understand all these three, of troubles and burdens laid upon Moses, by his being called upon to compose differences, and adjust competing claims among the people. But other burdens besides these came upon him as the leader of the nation; and it seems best, therefore, to understand the first two of troubles and burdens generally.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife? His meaning is, that he could not hear and try all their causes, and determine all their law suits, and decide the strifes and controversies which arose between them; it was too heavy for him, and brought too much trouble and incumbrance upon him.
Deuteronomy 1:12 Parallel Commentaries
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