|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
31:1-8 Moses assures Israel of the constant presence of God with them. This is applied by the apostle to all God's spiritual Israel, to encourage their faith and hope; unto us is this gospel preached, as well as unto them; he will never fail thee, nor forsake thee, Heb 13:5. Moses commends Joshua to them for a leader; one whose wisdom, and courage, and affection they had long known; one whom God had appointed to be their leader; and therefore would own and bless. Joshua is well pleased to be admonished by Moses to be strong and of good courage. Those shall speed well, who have God with them; therefore they ought to be of good courage. Through God let us do valiantly, for through him we shall do victoriously; if we resist the devil, he will flee from us.
Verse 1. - And Moses went; i.e. disposed or set himself. The meaning is not that he "went away" into the tent of teaching, as one of the Targums explains it (London Polyglot, tom. 4. p. 377), which does not agree with what follows; nor is "went" merely equivalent to "moreover;" nor is it simply redundant; - it intimates that the speaking was consequent on Moses having arranged, disposed, or set himself to speak (cf. Exodus 2:1; Joshua 9:4; Job 1:4).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Moses went and spake these words unto all Israel. The following words, even to the whole body of the people summoned together on this occasion. It seems that after Moses had made the covenant with them he was directed to, he dismissed the people to their tents, and went to his own, and now returned, having ordered them to meet him again, very probably at the tabernacle; with which agrees the Targum of Jonathan, he"went to the tabernacle of the house of doctrine;''though, according to Aben Ezra, he went to the each tribes separately, as they lay encamped; his words are these,"he went to every tribe and tribe, to acquaint them that he was about to die, and that they might not be afraid, and to strengthen their hearts;''he adds,"in my opinion he then blessed them, though their blessings are afterwards written;''which is not improbable.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
De 31:1-8. Moses Encourages the People and Joshua.
1. Moses went and spake—It is probable that this rehearsal of the law extended over several successive days; and it might be the last and most important day on which the return of Moses to the place of assembly is specially noticed. In drawing his discourse towards a conclusion, he adverted to his advanced age; and although neither his physical nor intellectual powers had suffered any decay (De 34:7), yet he knew, by a special revelation, that the time had arrived when he was about to be withdrawn from the superintendence and government of Israel.
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