Deuteronomy 1:10
The LORD your God has multiplied you, and, behold, you are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1:9-18 Moses reminds the people of the happy constitution of their government, which might make them all safe and easy, if it was not their own fault. He owns the fulfilment of God's promise to Abraham, and prays for the further accomplishment of it. We are not straitened in the power and goodness of God; why should we be straitened in our own faith and hope? Good laws were given to the Israelites, and good men were to see to the execution of them, which showed God's goodness to them, and the care of Moses.This appointment of the "captains" (compare Exodus 18:21 ff) must not be confounded with that of the elders in Numbers 11:16 ff. The former would number 78,600; the latter were 70 only.

A comparison between this passage and that in Exodus makes it obvious that Moses is only touching on certain parts of the whole history, without regard to order of time, but with a special purpose. This important arrangement for the good government of the people took place before they left Horeb to march direct to the promised land. This fact sets more clearly before us the perverseness and ingratitude of the people, to which the orator next passes; and shows, what he was anxious to impress, that the fault of the 40 years' delay rested only with themselves!

10. ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude—This was neither an Oriental hyperbole nor a mere empty boast. Abraham was told (Ge 15:5, 6) to look to the stars, and though they "appear" innumerable, yet those seen by the naked eye amount, in reality, to no more than three thousand ten in both hemispheres. The Israelites already far exceeded that number, being at the last census above six hundred thousand [Nu 26:51]. It was a seasonable memento, calculated to animate their faith in the accomplishment of other parts of the divine promise. No text from Poole on this verse. The Lord your God hath multiplied you,.... Which was the reason why he could not bear them, or the government of them was too heavy for him, because they were so numerous, and the cases brought before him to decide were so many:

and, behold, you are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude; whereby it appeared that the promise to Abraham was fulfilled, Genesis 15:5, they were now 600,000 men fit for war, besides women and children, and those under age, which must make the number of them very large.

The LORD your God hath {h} multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.

(h) Not so much by the course of nature, as miraculously.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. the Lord your God] See on Deuteronomy 1:6.

as the stars in heaven] So Deuteronomy 10:22; Deuteronomy 28:62; and Genesis 22:17; Genesis 26:4; Exodus 32:13, in contexts that otherwise betray the editorial hand. It is one of the many hyperboles in D and is not found in the parallel E, Exodus 18.Verse 10. - Notwithstanding the cruel oppression to which they were subjected in Egypt, the Israelites had so increased in numbers that they went out of the house of their bondage a mighty host. Ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude (cf. Genesis 15:5; Genesis 22:17). God had promised to Abraham that his seed should be as the stars of heaven for multitude; and Moses here reminds the people that this promise had been fulfilled. This is hardly to be regarded as the utterance of hyperbole. When God gave the premise to Abraham it was to the stars as seen by the patriarch, not as actually existing in the immensity of space, that reference was made; and as the number of stars which can be taken in with the naked eye does not exceed 3000, and as Israel at this time numbered more than 600,000, counting only the adult males (Numbers 2:32), - it might be literally said of them that they had been multiplied as the stars of heaven. The comparison, however, imported nothing more than that their numbers were very great. To the description of the ground to which the following addresses refer, there is appended an allusion to the not less significant time when Moses delivered them, viz., "on the first of the eleventh month in the fortieth year," consequently towards the end of his life, after the conclusion of the divine lawgiving; so that he was able to speak "according to all that Jehovah had given him in commandment unto them" (the Israelites), namely, in the legislation of the former books, which is always referred to in this way (Deuteronomy 4:5, Deuteronomy 4:23; Deuteronomy 5:29-30; Deuteronomy 6:1). The time was also significant, from the fact that Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, had then been slain. By giving a victory over these mighty kings, the Lord had begun to fulfil His promises (see Deuteronomy 2:25), and had thereby laid Israel under the obligation to love, gratitude, and obedience (see Numbers 21:21-35). The suffix in הכּתו refers to Moses, who had smitten the Amorites at the command and by the power of Jehovah. According to Joshua 12:4; Joshua 13:12, Joshua 13:31; Edrei was the second capital of Og, and it is as such that it is mentioned, and not as the place where Og was defeated (Deuteronomy 3:1; Numbers 21:33). The omission of the copula ו before בּאדרעי is to be accounted for from the oratorical character of the introduction to the addresses which follow. Edrei is the present Dra (see at Numbers 21:33). - In Deuteronomy 1:5, the description of the locality is again resumed in the words "beyond the Jordan," and still further defined by the expression "in the land of Moab;" and the address itself is introduced by the clause, "Moses took in hand to expound this law," which explains more fully the דּבּר (spake) of Deuteronomy 1:3. "In the land of Moab" is a rhetorical and general expression for "in the Arboth Moab." הואיל does not mean to begin, but to undertake, to take in hand, with the subordinate idea sometimes of venturing, or daring (Genesis 18:27), sometimes of a bold resolution: here it denotes an undertaking prompted by internal impulse. Instead of being construed with the infinitive, it is construed rhetorically here with the finite verb without the copula (cf. Ges. 143, 3, b). בּאר probably signified to dig in the Kal; but this is not used. In the Piel it means to explain (διασαφῆσαι, explanare, lxx, Vulg.), never to engrave, or stamp, not even here nor in Deuteronomy 27:8 and Habakkuk 2:2. Here it signifies "to expound this law clearly," although the exposition was connected with an earnest admonition to preserve and obey it. "This" no doubt refers to the law expounded in what follows; but substantially it is no other than the law already given in the earlier books. "Substantially there is throughout but one law" (Schultz). That the book of Deuteronomy was not intended to furnish a new or second law, is as evident as possible from the word בּאר.
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