|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:5-32 The command to bring ALL the sacrifices to the door of the tabernacle, was now explained with reference to the promised land. As to moral service, then, as now, men might pray and worship every where, as they did in their synagogues. The place which God would choose, is said to be the place where he would put his name. It was to be his habitation, where, as King of Israel, he would be found by all who reverently sought him. Now, under the gospel, we have no temple or altar that sanctifies the gift but Christ only: and as to the places of worship, the prophets foretold that in every place the spiritual incense should be offered, Mal 1:11. Our Saviour declared, that those are accepted as true worshippers, who worship God in sincerity and truth, without regard either to this mountain or Jerusalem, Joh 4:21. And a devout Israelite might honour God, keep up communion with him, and obtain mercy from him, though he had no opportunity of bringing a sacrifice to his altar. Work for God should be done with holy joy and cheerfulness. Even children and servants must rejoice before God; the services of religion are to be a pleasure, and not a task or drudgery. It is the duty of people to be kind to their ministers, who teach them well, and set them good examples. As long as we live, we need their assistance, till we come to that world where ordinances will not be needed. Whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, we are commanded to do all to the glory of God. And we must do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to the Father through him. They must not even inquire into the modes and forms of idolatrous worship. What good would it do them to know those depths of Satan? And our inward satisfaction will be more and more, as we abound in love and good works, which spring from faith and the in-dwelling Spirit of Christ.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But unto the place which the Lord your God,.... The Targum of Jonathan is, that the Word of the Lord your God:
shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there; to place his tabernacle, set up his worship, take up his residence, and cause the Shechinah, or his divine Majesty, to dwell there, as the next clause explains it; out of what tribe it should be chosen, and where it should be, is not said. Maimomides (b) gives three reasons for it; he says there are three great mysteries why the place is not clearly, but obscurely mentioned;1) lest the Gentiles should seize upon it, and make war for the sake of it, supposing this place to be the end of the law; 2) lest they in whose hands the place then was should by all means waste and destroy it; 3) which is the chief, lest every tribe should desire to have it in its own lot and jurisdiction; and so strifes might arise among them on account of it, as happened to the priesthood:
even unto his habitation shall ye seek; the temple at Jerusalem is meant, where the Lord took up his dwelling, and whither men were to come and seek unto him by prayer and supplication for whatsoever they needed, and to inquire of him in matters doubtful, and they wanted counsel in:
and thither thou shall come: with sacrifices of every sort, where they were to be slain and offered to the Lord, and become acceptable to him, as is more largely declared in the following part of this chapter.
(b) Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 45. p. 475.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose … to put his name there … thou shalt come—They were forbidden to worship either in the impure superstitious manner of the heathen, or in any of the places frequented by them. A particular place for the general rendezvous of all the tribes would be chosen by God Himself; and the choice of one common place for the solemn rites of religion was an act of divine wisdom, for the security of the true religion. It was admirably calculated to prevent the corruption which would otherwise have crept in from their frequenting groves and high hills—to preserve uniformity of worship and keep alive their faith in Him to whom all their sacrifices pointed. The place was successively Mizpeh, Shiloh, and especially Jerusalem. But in all the references made to it by Moses, the name is never mentioned. This studied silence was maintained partly lest the Canaanites within whose territories it lay might have concentrated their forces to frustrate all hopes of obtaining it; partly lest the desire of possessing a place of such importance might have become a cause of strife or rivalry amongst the Hebrew tribes, as about the appointment to the priesthood (Nu 16:1-30).
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