Deuteronomy 10:22
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.
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(22) Thy fathers went down.—The simple and natural form of this allusion conveys a strong impression of the truth of the facts. If the marvellous increase of Israel in the time allowed by the sacred narrative presents a difficulty, we must remember that the Bible consistently represents the multiplication as the fulfilment of a Divine promise, and not purely natural. But the testimony of the First Book of Chronicles must not be overlooked. The genealogy of Judah, given in the second and fourth chapters of that book, discloses a very extensive multiplication, a good deal of which must lie within the period of the sojourning in Egypt. The family of Hezron is particularly to be noticed. Of a certain descendant of Simeon it is written (1Chronicles 4:27), “And Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters; but his brethren had not many children, neither did all their family multiply like to the children of Judah.” (!) Modern calculations are perhaps not quite adequate to deal with such a rate of increase as this. (See also the Note on Deuteronomy 32:8.)

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.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.

16. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart—Here he teaches them the true and spiritual meaning of that rite, as was afterwards more strongly urged by Paul (Ro 2:25, 29), and should be applied by us to our baptism, which is "not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God" [1Pe 3:21]. No text from Poole on this verse.

Thy fathers went down into Egypt with seventy persons,.... That is, in all; for there were not seventy besides Jacob and the patriarchs his sons, but with them; see Genesis 46:26 and now the Lord thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude; as he promised they should be, Genesis 15:5. 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.
22. Thy fathers went down, etc.] A.V. and R.V. miss both the emphatic order of the original and an idiom in it. Translate, Seventy persons did thy fathers go down into Egypt, but now, etc. The number is found elsewhere only in P, Genesis 46:27, Exodus 1:5, and this verse is regarded as derived from P and therefore a late addition to D. Yet this round number may have been a common tradition once found in JE; and indeed P treats it as an accepted fact, to which he has to reconcile his other data. ‘The number 70 is not invented by P, since he puts it together in Genesis 46:8-27 only with trouble and difficulty’ (Cornill, Einleitung, 35 f.). There remains, however, the term nephesh for person, very characteristic of, though not confined to, P. With the whole v., cp. Deuteronomy 26:5.

made thee as the stars, etc.] See on Deuteronomy 1:10.

Verse 22. - Among other marvelous acts toward Israel, was one done in Israel itself; they, whoso fathers went down to Egypt only seventy in number (Genesis 46:26, 27), had, notwithstanding the cruel oppression to which they were subjected there, grown to a nation numberless as the stars (cf. Genesis 22:17; Deuteronomy 1:10; Nehemiah 9:23).

Deuteronomy 10:22One marvel among these great and terrible acts of the Lord as to be seen in Israel itself, which had gone down to Egypt in the persons of its fathers as a family consisting of seventy souls, and now, notwithstanding the oppression it suffered there, had grown into an innumerable nation. So marvellously had the Lord fulfilled His promise in Genesis 15:5. By referring to this promise, Moses intended no doubt to recall to the recollection of the people the fact that the bondage of Israel in a foreign land for 400 years had also been foretold (Genesis 15:13.). On the seventy souls, see at Genesis 46:26-27.
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