Deuteronomy 10:15
Only the LORD had a delight in your fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.
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(15) Only.—“The whole world belongs to Jehovah, and for all that He chose thy fathers above all people.”

Deuteronomy 10:15. To love them — He shows that God had no particular obligation to their fathers, any more than to other persons and people, all being equally his creation, and that his choice of them out of and above all others, proceeded only from his good pleasure.10:12-22 We are here taught our duty to God in our principles and our practices. We must fear the Lord our God. We must love him, and delight in communion with him. We must walk in the ways in which he has appointed us to walk. We must serve him with all our heart and soul. What we do in his service we must do cheerfully, and with good will. We must keep his commandments. There is true honour and pleasure in obedience. We must give honour to God; and to him we must cleave, as one we love and delight in, trust in, and from whom we have great expectations. We are here taught our duty to our neighbour. God's common gifts to mankind oblige us to honour all men. And those who have themselves been in distress, and have found mercy with God, should be ready to show kindness to those who are in the like distress. We are here taught our duty to ourselves. Circumcise your hearts. Cast away all corrupt affections and inclinations, which hinder you from fearing and loving God. By nature we do not love God. This is original sin, the source whence our wickedness proceeds; and the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be; so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God, Ro 8:5-9. Let us, without delay or reserve, come and cleave to our reconciled God in Jesus Christ, that we may love, serve, and obey him acceptably, and be daily changed into his image, from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord. Consider the greatness and glory of God; and his goodness and grace; these persuade us to our duty. Blessed Spirit! Oh for thy purifying, persevering, and renewing influences, that being called out of the state of strangers, such as our fathers were, we may be found among the number of the children of God, and that our lot may be among the saints.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."

Deuteronomy 10:12

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.

10-22. Moses here resumes his address, and having made a passing allusion to the principal events in their history, concludes by exhorting them to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully. He shows that God had no particular reason nor obligation to their fathers any more than to other persons or people, all being equally his creatures, and that his choice of them out of and above all others proceeded only from God’s good pleasure and free love. Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them,.... Though the heavens and the earth, and all the inhabitants of them are the Lord's by creation, yet he had a special regard unto, and a peculiar complacency in, the fathers of the Israelites, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; from whence arose some particular expressions of love to them, signified by various acts of kindness done them, and promises made unto them:

and he chose their seed after them, even you above all the people, as it is this day; to be a special people to him, to enjoy civil and religious privileges greater than any other; and particularly to have his law given to them, his tabernacle and worship set up among them, which were at this time, and which gave them the preference to all other nations; see Deuteronomy 4:7.

{g} 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.

(g) Although he was Lord of heaven and earth, he chose no one but you.

15. Only] Heb. raḳ. The use of this restrictive adverb with disjunctive force—a sharp word with the sound of a wrench in it—is found in many O.T. writings, but is particularly frequent in Deut., occurring no less than 20 times, and in deuteronomic passages elsewhere. It is prefixed to clauses which limit, qualify, condition, or offer contrasts to, what has preceded them. The exact meaning varies according to the context, and therefore it is transl. by different English adverbs or conjunctions in R.V. It introduces exceptions to, or reservations upon statements of fact, only or but (Deuteronomy 2:28; Deuteronomy 2:35; Deuteronomy 2:37, Deuteronomy 3:11; Deuteronomy 3:19), or laws, notwithstanding, only (better, saving that), but (Deuteronomy 12:15-16; Deuteronomy 12:23; Deuteronomy 12:26, Deuteronomy 15:23, Deuteronomy 17:16, Deuteronomy 20:14; Deuteronomy 20:20); or a different law for different circumstances, but (Deuteronomy 20:16); or an indispensable condition to a command or promise, only, if only (Deuteronomy 4:9, Deuteronomy 15:5); or an antithesis to what precedes, only (= nevertheless, as here); or a purely assertive statement, as if singling out the fact asserted and putting it beyond doubt, surely, only (Deuteronomy 4:6, Deuteronomy 28:13; Deuteronomy 28:33).

had a delight in] See on Deuteronomy 7:7, set his love upon you.

to love] See on Deuteronomy 6:5.

chose] See on Deuteronomy 7:6.

even you] The only Pl. in this section, 12–15. It is explicable either by the attraction of the following Pls., or as a later insertion, and this is supported by its abruptness; even is not expressed in the text.In Deuteronomy 10:8, Moses returns to the form of an address again, and refers to the separation of the tribe of Levi for the holy service, as a manifestation of mercy on the part of the Lord towards Israel. The expression "at that time" is not to be understood as relating to the time of Aaron's death in the fortieth year of the march, in which Knobel finds a contradiction to the other books. It refers quite generally, as in Deuteronomy 9:20 and Deuteronomy 10:1, to the time of which Moses is speaking here, viz., the time when the covenant was restored at Sinai. The appointment of the tribe of Levi for service at the sanctuary took place in connection with the election of Aaron and his sons to the priesthood (Exodus 28 and 29), although their call to this service, instead of the first-born of Israel, was not carried out till the numbering and mustering of the people (Numbers 1:49., Deuteronomy 4:17., Deuteronomy 8:6.). Moses is speaking here of the election of the whole of the tribe of Levi, including the priests (Aaron and his sons), as is very evident from the account of their service. It is true that the carrying of the ark upon the march through the desert was the business of the (non-priestly) Levites, viz., the Kohathites (Numbers 4:4.); but on solemn occasions the priests had to carry it (cf. Joshua 3:3, Joshua 3:6, Joshua 3:8; Joshua 6:6; 1 Kings 8:3.). "Standing before the Lord, to serve Him, and to bless in His name," was exclusively the business of the priests (cf. Deuteronomy 18:5; Deuteronomy 21:5, and Numbers 6:23.), whereas the Levites were only assistants of the priests in their service (see at Deuteronomy 18:7). This tribe therefore received no share and possession with the other tribes, as was already laid down in Numbers 18:20 with reference to the priests, and in Numbers 18:24 with regard to all the Levites; to which passages the words "as the Lord thy God promised him" refer. - Lastly, in Deuteronomy 10:10, Deuteronomy 10:11, Moses sums up the result of his intercession in the words, "And I stood upon the mount as the first days, forty days (a resumption of Deuteronomy 9:18 and Deuteronomy 9:25); and the Lord hearkened to me this time also (word for word, as in Deuteronomy 9:19). "Jehovah would not destroy thee (Israel)." Therefore He commanded Moses to arise to depart before the people, i.e., as leader of the people to command and superintend their removal and march. In form, this command is connected with Exodus 34:1; but Moses refers here not only to that word of the Lord with the limitation added there in Exodus 34:2, but to the ultimate, full, and unconditional assurance of God, in which the Lord Himself promised to go with His people and bring them to Canaan (Exodus 34:14.).
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