Deuteronomy 32:8
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel.

New Living Translation
When the Most High assigned lands to the nations, when he divided up the human race, he established the boundaries of the peoples according to the number in his heavenly court.

English Standard Version
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.

New American Standard Bible
"When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, When He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the sons of Israel.

King James Bible
When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance and divided the human race, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the people of Israel.

International Standard Version
When the Most High gave nations as their inheritance, when he separated the human race, he set boundaries for the people according to the number of the children of God.

NET Bible
When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided up humankind, he set the boundaries of the peoples, according to the number of the heavenly assembly.

New Heart English Bible
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the children of men, he set the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When the Most High gave nations their land, when he divided the descendants of Adam, he set up borders for the tribes corresponding to the number of the sons of Israel.

JPS Tanakh 1917
When the Most High gave to the nations When He separated the children of men, He set the borders of the peoples According to the number of the children of Israel.

New American Standard 1977
“When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
            When He separated the sons of man,
            He set the boundaries of the peoples
            According to the number of the sons of Israel.

Jubilee Bible 2000
when the most High caused the Gentiles to be inherited, when he separated the sons of men, he set the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel.

King James 2000 Bible
When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

American King James Version
When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

American Standard Version
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, When he separated the children of men, He set the bounds of the peoples According to the number of the children of Israel.

Douay-Rheims Bible
When the Most High divided the nations: when he separated the sons of Adam, he appointed the bounds of people according to the number of the children of Israel.

Darby Bible Translation
When the Most High assigned to the nations their inheritance, When he separated the sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the peoples According to the number of the children of Israel.

English Revised Version
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, When he separated the children of men, He set the bounds of the peoples According to the number of the children of Israel.

Webster's Bible Translation
When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

World English Bible
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the children of men, he set the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel.

Young's Literal Translation
In the Most High causing nations to inherit, In His separating sons of Adam -- He setteth up the borders of the peoples By the number of the sons of Israel.
Study Bible
The Song of Moses
7"Remember the days of old, Consider the years of all generations. Ask your father, and he will inform you, Your elders, and they will tell you. 8"When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, When He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the sons of Israel. 9"For the LORD'S portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.…
Cross References
Acts 17:26
From one man He made every nation of men, to inhabit the whole earth; and He determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands.

Numbers 23:9
"As I see him from the top of the rocks, And I look at him from the hills; Behold, a people who dwells apart, And will not be reckoned among the nations.

Deuteronomy 33:28
"So Israel dwells in security, The fountain of Jacob secluded, In a land of grain and new wine; His heavens also drop down dew.

Psalm 74:17
You have established all the boundaries of the earth; You have made summer and winter.

Micah 2:5
"Therefore you will have no one stretching a measuring line For you by lot in the assembly of the LORD.
Treasury of Scripture

When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

Most

Numbers 24:16 He has said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge …

Psalm 7:17 I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing …

Psalm 50:14 Offer to God thanksgiving; and pay your vows to the most High:

Psalm 82:6 I have said, You are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

Psalm 91:1 He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under …

Psalm 92:8 But you, LORD, are most high for ever more.

Isaiah 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Daniel 4:17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the …

Daniel 5:18 O you king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom, …

Acts 7:48 However, the most High dwells not in temples made with hands; as …

divided

Genesis 10:25 And to Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in …

Genesis 11:9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there …

Psalm 115:16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD's: but the earth has he …

Acts 17:26 And has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all …

he set

Genesis 10:15 And Canaan begat Sidon his first born, and Heth,

Genesis 15:18-21 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, To your …

(8, 9) Comp. Deuteronomy 21:16.

"when the Most High made nations to inherit,

When He parted the sons of Adam,

He set the bounds of the peoples,

According to the number of the sons of Israel.

For the portion of Jehovah is His people,

Jacob the cord [7] of His inheritance"

[7] i.e., limit.

The allusion is to the dispersion from Babel (Genesis 10, 11). The Jews were accustomed to reckon seventy nations and languages in that dispersion. Seventy members of Jacob's household went down into Egypt. And literally they interpret this passage to mean that in dividing the lands to the peoples, Jehovah left room for His own, so that they might inherit the promised land without any undue pressure upon other nations. It is noticeable that the children of Lot and Esau were carefully preserved from disturbance by Israel (Deuteronomy 2). But this is the bare literal interpretation. The true meaning of the passage is given by St. Paul in his speech at Athens: "He determined (for all nations) times before appointed, and the setting of the boundaries of their habitation, that they might seek the Lord." The nations were so disposed in the world, and so developed, that each might have its opportunity of seeking Jehovah, in due season, through contact with His people--"if, as was certainly not impossible, they might feel after Him and find Him, who is not far from any one of us. For we are even His offspring." Hence He appoints our inheritance. With some such thought as this, the LXX. translate the latter half of Deuteronomy 32:8, "He set the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the angels of God" The chosen people were to be His messengers to the nations. He chose Israel for His own portion, that through them He might inherit the world. And yet in the face of this glorious calling and mission, the undutiful behaviour of Israel was their one great blot. They had only to accept the position already prepared for them, and they refused!

Verses 8, 9. - From the very beginning, when God first allotted to the nations a place and a heritage, he had respect in his arrangements to the sons of Israel, who were his portion, and had as it were kept their interest in view in all that he appointed and ordered. According to the number of the children of Israel. When the Most High portioned out to the nations the heritage of each, he reserved for Israel, as the people of his choice, an inheritance proportioned to its numbers. The LXX. has "according to the number of the angels of God," an arbitrary departure from the original text, in accommodation, probably, to the later Jewish notion of each nation having its guardian angel. The Lord's portion is his people (cf. Exodus 15:16; Exodus 19:5; 1 Samuel 10:1; Psalm 78:71). The lot of his inheritance; literally, the cord, etc., the allusion being to the measuring of land by a cord, equivalent to the portion by measure which Jehovah allotted to himself as his inheritance (cf. Psalm 16:6). When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance,.... In the times of Noah and his sons, in the days of Peleg, who had his name (that is "Division") from thence, Genesis 10:25; "the Most High" is a well known and proper, epithet of God; the dividing of the earth to the several nations of it, and giving to everyone their part and portion to possess and inherit, was the work of God; for though it was done by the sons of Noah, yet by the order, appointment, and direction of the Most High, who rules in heaven and in earth, Genesis 10:32; men might not and did not take what they pleased, or seize on as much as they could, but each had their parcel allotted and portioned out to them, by the Lord himself; so the Targum of Jonathan."when by lot the Most High divided the world to the people that sprung from the sons of Noah:"

when he separated the sons of Adam; one from another; distinguished by the persons from whom they descended, by the tribes and nations to which they belonged, and by the countries they inhabited; for though they descended from Noah and his sons, they were the sons of Adam, the first man: or rather "the children of men", as the wicked of that generation were called, in distinction from the sons of God, or his people and worshippers; and may have respect to the separation of them at Babel, where their languages were confounded, and they were scattered about, and some went into one part of the world, and some into another, according to the appointment and direction of divine Providence; so the builders of Babel are called, and this was what befell them, Genesis 11:5; which sense the above Targum confirms,"when he separated the writings, the languages of the children of men in the generation of the division:''

he set the bounds of the people; or nations, the seven nations of the land of Canaan; he pitched upon and fixed the land they should inherit, and settled the bounds of it, how far it should reach, east, west, north and south:

according to the number of the children of Israel: the sense is, that such a country was measured out and bounded, as would be sufficient to hold the twelve tribes of Israel, when numerous, and their time was come to inhabit it; and which, in the mean while was put into the hands of Canaan and his eleven sons to possess; not as their proper inheritance, but as tenants at will, until the proper heirs existed, and were at an age, and of a sufficient number to inherit; in which may be observed the wise disposition of divine Providence, to put it into the hands of a people cursed of God, so that to take it from them at any time could not have the appearance of any injustice in it; and their enjoying it so long as they did was a mercy to them, for so long they had a reprieve: now here was an early instance of the goodness of God to Israel, that he should make such an early provision of the land flowing with milk and honey for them, even before they were in being, yea, before their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, existed; as early as the days of Noah; and yet, ungrateful as they were despised and set at nought his Son, the rock of salvation, when sent unto them: thus the heavenly inheritance, typified by the land of Canaan, was not only promised, but prepared, provided, secured, and reserved for the spiritual Israel of God, before the foundation of the world, from all eternity, and which is appointed according to their number; there is room enough in it for them all, though they are many; in it are many mansions for the many sons to be brought to glory. 8, 9. When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance—In the division of the earth, which Noah is believed to have made by divine direction (Ge 10:5; De 2:5-9; Ac 17:26, 27), Palestine was reserved by the wisdom and goodness of Heaven for the possession of His peculiar people and the display of the most stupendous wonders. The theater was small, but admirably suited for the convenient observation of the human race—at the junction of the two great continents of Asia and Africa, and almost within sight of Europe. From this spot as from a common center the report of God's wonderful works, the glad tidings of salvation through the obedience and sufferings of His own eternal Son, might be rapidly and easily wafted to every part of the globe.

he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel—Another rendering, which has received the sanction of eminent scholars, has been proposed as follows: "When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam and set the bounds of every people, the children of Israel were few in numbers, when the Lord chose that people and made Jacob His inheritance" (compare De 30:5; Ge 34:30; Ps 105:9-12).32:7-14 Moses gives particular instances of God's kindness and concern for them. The eagle's care for her young is a beautiful emblem of Christ's love, who came between Divine justice and our guilty souls, and bare our sins in his own body on the tree. And by the preached gospel, and the influences of the Holy Spirit, He stirs up and prevails upon sinners to leave Satan's bondage. In ver. 13,14, are emblems of the conquest believers have over their spiritual enemies, sin, Satan, and the world, in and through Christ. Also of their safety and triumph in him; of their happy frames of soul, when they are above the world, and the things of it. This will be the blessed case of spiritual Israel in every sense in the latter day.
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