At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood.These verses are closely connected with the preceding chapter, and state very briefly the results of the intercession of Moses recorded in Deuteronomy 9:25-29. The people are reminded that all their blessings and privileges, forfeited by apostasy as soon as bestowed, were only now their own by a new and most unmerited act of grace on the part of God, won from Him by the self-sacrificing mediation of Moses himself Deuteronomy 10:10.
Deuteronomy 10:1-5. The order for making the ark and tabernacle was evidently given before the apostasy of the people (Exodus 25ff); but the tables were not put in the ark until the completion and dedication of the tabernacle Exodus 40. But here as elsewhere (compare the Deuteronomy 9:1 note) Moses connects transactions closely related to each other and to his purpose without regard to the order of occurrence.
And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark.
And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand.
And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.
And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the LORD commanded me.
And the children of Israel took their journey from Beeroth of the children of Jaakan to Mosera: there Aaron died, and there he was buried; and Eleazar his son ministered in the priest's office in his stead.There Aaron died - i. e., while the people were encamped in Mosera or Moseroth. In Deuteronomy 32:50; as well as in Numbers 20:25 ff Mount Hor is assigned as the place of Aaron's death. It is plain then that Moserah was in the neighborhood of Mount Hor. The appointment of Eleazar to minister in place of Aaron, is referred to as a proof of the completeness and fulness of the reconciliation effected between God and the people by Moses. Though Aaron was sentenced to die in the wilderness for his sin at Meribah, yet God provided for the perpetuation of the high priesthood, so that the people would not suffer. Compare Deuteronomy 9:20 and note.
From thence they journeyed unto Gudgodah; and from Gudgodah to Jotbath, a land of rivers of waters.
At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day.At that time - i. e., that of the encampment at Sinai, as the words also import in Deuteronomy 10:1. Throughout the passage the time of the important events at Sinai is kept in view; it is reverted to as each incident is brought forward by Moses, alluded to sufficiently for his purpose, and dismissed.
Moses is evidently here speaking of the election by God of the tribe of Levi at large, priests and others also, for His own service.
Wherefore Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the LORD is his inheritance, according as the LORD thy God promised him.
And I stayed in the mount, according to the first time, forty days and forty nights; and the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also, and the LORD would not destroy thee.
And the LORD said unto me, Arise, take thy journey before the people, that they may go in and possess the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give unto them.
And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,After these emphatic warnings against self-righteousness the principal topic is resumed from Deuteronomy 6, and this division of the discourse is drawn to a conclusion in the next two chapters by a series of direct and positive exhortations to a careful fulfillment of the duties prescribed in the first two of the Ten "Words."
What doth the Lord thy God require ... - A noteworthy demand. God has in the Mosaic law positively commanded many things. However, these relate to external observances, which if need be can be enforced. But love and veneration cannot be enforced, even by God himself. They must be spontaneous. Hence, even under the law of ordinances where so much was peremptorily laid down, and omnipotence was ready to compel obedience, those sentiments, which are the spirit and life of the whole, have to be, as they here are, invited and solicited.
To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?
Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD'S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.
Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.
Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.On "circumcision" see Genesis 17:10. This verse points to the spiritual import of circumcision. Man is by nature "very far gone from original righteousness," and in a state of enmity to God; by circumcision, as the sacrament of admission to the privileges of the chosen people, this opposition must be taken away ere man could enter into covenant with God. It was through the flesh that man first sinned; as it is also in the flesh, its functions, lusts, etc., that man's rebellion against God chiefly manifests itself still. It was fitting therefore that the symbol which should denote the removal of this estrangement from God should be worked in the body. Moses then fitly follows up the command "to circumcise the heart," with the warning "to be no more stiff-necked." His meaning is that they should lay aside that obduracy and perverseness toward God for which he had been reproving them, which had led them into so many transgressions of the covenant and revolts from God, and which was especially the very contrary of that love and fear of God required by the first two of the Ten Commandments. The language associated with circumcision in the Bible distinguishes the use made of this rite in the Jewish religion from that found among certain pagan nations. Circumcision was practiced by some of them as a religious rite, designed (e. g.) to appease the deity of death who was supposed to delight in human suffering; but not by any, the Egyptians probably excepted, at all in the Jewish sense and meaning.
The grounds on which circumcision was imposed as essential by the Law are the same as those on which Baptism is required in the Gospel. The latter in the New Testament is strictly analogous to the former under the Old; compare Colossians 2:11-12.
For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.
Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.
He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.
Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the LORD thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude.