|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
32:26-38 The idolatry and rebellions of Israel deserved, and the justice of God seemed to demand, that they should be rooted out. But He spared Israel, and continues them still to be living witnesses of the truth of the Bible, and to silence unbelievers. They are preserved for wise and holy purposes and the prophecies give us some idea what those purposes are. The Lord will never disgrace the throne of his glory. It is great wisdom, and will help much to the return of sinners to God, seriously to consider their latter end, or the future state. It is here meant particularly of what God foretold by Moses, about this people in the latter days; but it may be applied generally. Oh that men would consider the happiness they will lose, and the misery they will certainly plunge into, if they go on in their trespasses! What will be in the end thereof? Jer 5:31. For the Lord will in due time bring down the enemies of the church, in displeasure against their wickedness. When sinners deem themselves most secure, they suddenly fall into destruction. And God's time to appear for the deliverance of his people, is when things are at the worst with them. But those who trust to any rock but God, will find it fail them when they most need it. The rejection of the Messiah by the Jewish nation, is the continuance of their ancient idolatry, apostacy, and rebellion. They shall be brought to humble themselves before the Lord, to repent of their sins, and to trust in their long-rejected Mediator for salvation. Then he will deliver them, and make their prosperity great.
Verse 29. - Oh that they were wise, that they understood this; rather, If they were wise they would understand this. They would consider their latter end! i.e. the end to which they were going, the inevitable issue of the course they were taking.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
O that they were wise,.... These are not the words of God, and so no instances of mere velleities, and unsuccessful wishes in him, and as arguing a power in man to make himself wise if he would; but of Moses, under a spirit of prophecy, foreseeing the ignorance and stupidity of the above persons; or as representing a true believer in Christ, in the times in which such men should live; for the person speaking is one that had faith in Christ, the rock of salvation, and built upon him alone for it; and who had enemies on that account, as appears from Deuteronomy 32:31, and these words are spoken not of the Jews, with whom this song has no more concern, unless it be in what respects, their conversion in the latter day; but of false Christians, Pelagians, Arians, &c. whose language and character are expressed in Deuteronomy 32:28, and contain a pathetic wish that they might have wisdom to see their follies, errors, and mistakes, and renounce them: or, "if they were wise" (k); as they are not, and their tenets show it:
that they would understand this; namely what follows:
that they would consider their latter end; either the latter end of the Jews; had they wisdom, they would understand and observe that the displeasure of God against them, and his destruction of them, was for their lightly esteeming the rock of salvation, as Arians do; and for setting up their own righteousness, in opposition to the righteousness of Christ, as do Pelagians and Arminians; and were they wise, they would be hereby cautioned against such notions; and though imbibed by them, would relinquish them; as they may justly fear some such like end will be theirs: for if God does not give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth their end must be miserable; since the errors they embrace and profess are what the apostle calls "damnable heresies"; who, denying the Lord that bought them, bring on themselves swift destruction; and whose judgment, he says, lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not, 2 Peter 2:1.
(k) "o si sapcrent", Tigurine version; "si sapuissent", Vatablus; "si saperent", Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
29. Oh, … that they would consider their latter end—The terrible judgments, which, in the event of their continued and incorrigible disobedience, would impart so awful a character to the close of their national history.
Deuteronomy 32:29 Parallel Commentaries
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