Deuteronomy 1:34
And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and swore, saying,
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(34) Was wroth, and sware.—See Psalm 95:11, “I sware in my wrath, that they should not enter into my rest.”

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.

34-36. the Lord heard the voice of your words, and was wroth—In consequence of this aggravated offense (unbelief followed by open rebellion), the Israelites were doomed, in the righteous judgment of God, to a life of wandering in that dreary wilderness till the whole adult generation had disappeared by death. The only exceptions mentioned are Caleb and Joshua, who was to be Moses' successor. The voice of your words, to wit, your murmurings, your unthankful, impatient, distrustful, and rebellious speeches and carriages. And the Lord heard the voice of your words,.... Of their murmurings against Moses and Aaron, and of their threatenings to them, Joshua and Caleb, and of their impious charge of hatred of them to God for bringing them out of Egypt, and of their rash wishes that they had died there or in the wilderness, and of their wicked scheme and proposal to make them a captain, and return to Egypt again:

and was wroth, and sware; by his life, himself; see Numbers 14:28,

saying; as follows.

And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying,
34. the voice of your words] So Deuteronomy 1:28 and not elsewhere.

34. and was wroth] Heb. wayyiḳṣoph, Deuteronomy 9:19 and twice in P, but not elsewhere of God in Pent. The causative form to provoke God only in Deuteronomy 9:7 f., Deu 9:32.

and sware] See on Deuteronomy 1:8.

34–40. God’s Anger and Judgements

Provoked by the people’s words (Deuteronomy 1:34) God swore none should see the good land (Deuteronomy 1:35) but Kaleb, son of Yephunneh; because he had fully followed Jehovah, to him and his children it should be given (Deuteronomy 1:36). Even with Moses was God angry for the people’s sake, saying, Thou shalt not come in thither (Deuteronomy 1:37); Joshua shall lead Israel to their heritage (Deuteronomy 1:38); and the people’s children possess it (Deuteronomy 1:39). Those addressed must turn back into the wilderness towards the Red Sea (Deuteronomy 1:40).—The parallel account, Numbers 14:10 a Numbers 14:39, is divided (somewhat precariously) between JE and P. In Jeremiah , Deuteronomy 1:11-24; Deuteronomy 1:31 (?) Jehovah asks how long the people are to despise Him. He will smite and disinherit them, making of Moses himself a greater nation. Moses argues that other peoples will then say Jehovah is unable to carry Israel to the Land; and pleads His revealed mercy. Jehovah pardons, yet decrees that all who have seen His power but have not obeyed shall perish: only Kaleb who hath fully followed and his seed shall possess it, also the people’s little ones shall be brought in. In P, Deuteronomy 1:10 a, Deuteronomy 1:26-30; Deuteronomy 1:32-39 a, the divine glory descends on the tent of meeting and Jehovah asks how long He is to bear with this evil congregation whose murmuring He has heard. All from 20 years old and upwards shall perish except Kaleb and Joshua. This sentence is then expanded, and the spies who have brought an evil report are struck with the pestilence.

All these accounts agree in attributing to the people’s unbelief, after the report of the spies, a sentence of death on the adult generation, characteristically defined by P. The differences are (1) the usual distinctions of language (see notes below); (2) D and P omit Moses’ argument given by JE; P substitutes the descent of the glory of God; (3) JE and D except Kaleb front the doom, P Kaleb and Joshua (but an addition to D Deuteronomy 1:37-38 also excepts Joshua); (4) P alone (as usual) associates Aaron with Moses; (5) the addition to D extends God’s anger to Moses for the people’s sake; JE, on the contrary, declares God will make of Moses a greater people; while P (see on Deuteronomy 1:37) attributes Moses’ exclusion from the land to his own sin on an occasion 37 years after the present episode. Part of the analysis of Numbers 14 being precarious and the integrity of Deuteronomy 1:36-39 being doubtful we cannot say whether these differences of fact are reconcilable. Yet their coincidence with the distinctions of style and religious feeling among the three documents cannot be ignored; and the probability remains that here as elsewhere we have more or less independent traditions of the same event. Since Calvin, who in his harmony of the four last Bks of the Pent. removes Deuteronomy 1:37-38 from its context to a connection with Numbers 20:1-13, the explanation has been offered that the deuteronomic. passage is not chronological; but even this arbitrary act of literary criticism does not meet the difficulty of the statement that Jehovah was angry with Moses for the people’s sake.Verse 34. - And the Lord heard the voice of your words, and he was wroth, and sware, etc. (comp. Numbers 14:21-24). "Whither shall we go up? Our brethren (the spies) have quite discouraged our heart" (המס, lit., to cause to flow away; cf. Joshua 2:9), viz., through their report (Numbers 13:28-29, Numbers 13:31-33), the substance of which is repeated here. The expression בּשּׁמים, "in heaven," towering up into heaven, which is added to "towns great and fortified," is not an exaggeration, but, as Moses also uses it in Deuteronomy 9:1, a rhetorical description of the impression actually received with regard to the size of the towns.

(Note: "The eyes of weak faith or unbelief saw the towns really towering up to heaven. Nor did the height appear less, even to the eyes of faith, in relation, that is to say, to its own power. Faith does not hide the difficulties from itself, that it may not rob the Lord, who helps it over them, of any of the praise that is justly His due" (Schultz).)

"The sons of the Anakims:" see at Numbers 13:22.

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