Deuteronomy 1:29
Then I said to you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them.
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(29) Dread not, neither be afraid of them . . .—The reminder that “Jehovah went before them” did not avail, for they had already chosen men to go before them.

1:19-46 Moses reminds the Israelites of their march from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea, through that great and terrible wilderness. He shows how near they were to a happy settlement in Canaan. It will aggravate the eternal ruin of hypocrites, that they were not far from the kingdom of God. As if it were not enough that they were sure of their God before them, they would send men before them. Never any looked into the Holy Land, but they must own it to be a good land. And was there any cause to distrust this God? An unbelieving heart was at the bottom of all this. All disobedience to God's laws, and distrust of his power and goodness, flow from disbelief of his word, as all true obedience springs from faith. It is profitable for us to divide our past lives into distinct periods; to give thanks to God for the mercies we have received in each, to confess and seek the forgiveness of all the sins we can remember; and thus to renew our acceptance of God's salvation, and our surrender of ourselves to his service. Our own plans seldom avail to good purpose; while courage in the exercise of faith, and in the path of duty, enables the believer to follow the Lord fully, to disregard all that opposes, to triumph over all opposition, and to take firm hold upon the promised blessings.The plan of sending the spies originated with the people; and, as in itself a reasonable one, it approved itself to Moses; it was submitted to God, sanctioned by Him, and carried out under special divine direction. The orator's purpose in this chapter is to bring before the people emphatically their own responsibilites and behavior. It is therefore important to remind them, that the sending of the spies, which led immediately to their complaining and rebellion, was their own suggestion.

The following verses to the end of the chapter give a condensed account, the fuller one being in Numbers 13-14, of the occurrences which led to the banishment of the people for 40 years into the wilderness.

28. the cities are great, and walled up to heaven—an Oriental metaphor, meaning very high. The Arab marauders roam about on horseback, and hence the walls of St. Catherine's monastery on Sinai are so lofty that travellers are drawn up by a pulley in a basket.

Anakims—(See on [112]Nu 13:33). The honest and uncompromising language of Moses, in reminding the Israelites of their perverse conduct and outrageous rebellion at the report of the treacherous and fainthearted scouts, affords a strong evidence of the truth of this history as well as of the divine authority of his mission. There was great reason for his dwelling on this dark passage in their history, as it was their unbelief that excluded them from the privilege of entering the promised land (Heb 3:19); and that unbelief was a marvellous exhibition of human perversity, considering the miracles which God had wrought in their favor, especially in the daily manifestations they had of His presence among them as their leader and protector.

No text from Poole on this verse. Then I said unto you, dread not, neither be afraid of them. With such like words he had exhorted and encouraged them before the spies were sent, and he still uses the same, or stronger terms, notwithstanding the report that had been made of the gigantic stature and walled cities of the Canaanites. This speech of Moses, which is continued in the two following verses, is not recorded in Numbers 14:5, it is only there said, that Moses and Aaron fell on their faces, but no account is given of what was said by either of them. Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them.
29. Dread not, neither be afraid] See on Deuteronomy 1:21. Numbers 14:9 has only the second verb and in a less emphatic form. Neither be afraid (lo-ta‘arsûn) not elsewhere in prose. But see Deuteronomy 31:6.Verses 29-40. - Moses endeavored to rouse the drooping courage of the people, and persuade them to go up by reminding them that God, who was with them, would go before them, and fight for them as he had often done before; but without success, so that God was angry with them, and forbade their entrance into Canaan. This is not mentioned in Numbers, probably because Moses' appeal was unsuccessful. The whole of that generation was bound to fall in the wilderness, except Caleb and Joshua; only their children should enter the Promised Land. Verses 29, 30. - Moses exhorts the people not to be afraid, as if they had to encounter these terrible enemies solely in their own strength; for Jehovah their God was with them and would go before them, as he had gone before them hitherto, to protect them and strike down their enemies. Everything had been done on the part of God and Moses to bring Israel speedily and safely to Canaan. The reason for their being compelled to remain in the desert for forty years was to be found exclusively in their resistance to the commandments of God. The discontent of the people with the guidance of God was manifested at the very first places of encampment in the desert (Numbers 11 and 12); but Moses passed over this, and simply reminded them of the rebellion at Kadesh (Numbers 13 and 14), because it was this which was followed by the condemnation of the rebellious generation to die out in the wilderness.

Deuteronomy 1:19-25

"When we departed from Horeb, we passed through the great and dreadful wilderness, which ye have seen," i.e., become acquainted with, viz., the desert of et Tih, "of the way to the mountains of the Amorites, and came to Kadesh-Barnea" (see at Numbers 12:16). הלך, with an accusative, to pass through a country (cf. Deuteronomy 2:7; Isaiah 50:10, etc.). Moses had there explained to the Israelites, that they had reached the mountainous country of the Amorites, which Jehovah was about to give them; that the land lay before them, and they might take possession of it without fear (Deuteronomy 1:20, Deuteronomy 1:21). But they proposed to send out men to survey the land, with its towns, and the way into it. Moses approved of this proposal, and sent out twelve men, one from each tribe, who went through the land, etc. (as is more fully related in Numbers 13, and has been expounded in connection with that passage, Deuteronomy 1:22-25). Moses' summons to them to take the land (Deuteronomy 1:20, Deuteronomy 1:21) is not expressly mentioned there, but it is contained implicite in the fact that spies were sent out; as the only possible reason for doing this must have been, that they might force a way into the land, and take possession of it. In Deuteronomy 1:25, Moses simply mentions so much of the report of the spies as had reference to the nature of the land, viz., that it was good, that he may place in immediate contrast with this the refusal of the people to enter in.

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