And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the LORD commanded me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I . . . put the tables in the ark which I (had) made; and there they be.—Or, and they were there, or they continued there. According to the narrative in Exodus, the ark in which the tables ultimately remained was made afterwards. The English reader must not be misled by the word “had” in “I had made.” There is no pluperfect in Hebrew. The time of an action is determined not so much by the form of the verb as by its relation to the context. “I put the tables in the ark which I made, and they remained there,” is the literal sense. “I made” may very well mean “I caused to be made,” and refers to the ark which Bezaleel constructed under Moses’ directions.Deuteronomy 9:25-29. The people are reminded that all their blessings and privileges, forfeited by apostasy as soon as bestowed, were only now their own by a new and most unmerited act of grace on the part of God, won from Him by the self-sacrificing mediation of Moses himself Deuteronomy 10:10.
Deuteronomy 10:1-5. The order for making the ark and tabernacle was evidently given before the apostasy of the people (Exodus 25ff); but the tables were not put in the ark until the completion and dedication of the tabernacle Exodus 40. But here as elsewhere (compare the Deuteronomy 9:1 note) Moses connects transactions closely related to each other and to his purpose without regard to the order of occurrence.
and came down from the mount; with the two tables in his hand as before, one in one hand, and the other in the other hand:
and put the tables in the ark which I had made; or ordered to be made:
and there they be, as the Lord commanded me; there they were when Moses rehearsed what is contained in this book, on the plains of Moab, about thirty eight years after the putting them, into it; and there they continued to be when the ark was brought into Solomon's temple, 1 Kings 8:9 and there they were as long as the ark was in being; which may denote the continuance of the law in the hands of Christ under the Gospel dispensation as a rule of walk and conversation to his people.And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the LORD commanded me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. And I turned and came down from the mount] So Deuteronomy 9:15 and Exodus 32:15, E, but of Moses’ first descent with the tables.
and put the tables in the ark] This also certainly from the original form of E; see above, general note on Deuteronomy 10:1-3. P, Exodus 40:20 has put the testimony in the ark.
and there they be] Whether this is said in accommodation to the date of the speaker, or as still true of the writer’s time in the seventh century, is uncertain. See above, the general note on Deuteronomy 10:1-3. All that is certain is that such was the fact till at least the time of Solomon, cp. 1 Kings 8:9.Deuteronomy 9:7, by enumerating the principal rebellions of the people against their God, Moses returns in Deuteronomy 9:25. to the apostasy at Sinai, for the purpose of showing still further how Israel had no righteousness or ground for boasting before God, and owed its preservation, with all the saving blessings of the covenant, solely to the mercy of God and His covenant faithfulness. To this end he repeats in Deuteronomy 9:26-29 the essential points in his intercession for the people after their sin at Sinai, and then proceeds to explain still further, in Deuteronomy 10:1-11, how the Lord had not only renewed the tables of the covenant in consequence of this intercession (Deuteronomy 10:1-5), but had also established the gracious institution of the priesthood for the time to come by appointing Eleazar in Aaron's stead as soon as his father died, and setting apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant and attend to the holy service, and had commanded them to continue their march to Canaan, and take possession of the land promised to the fathers (Deuteronomy 10:6-11). With the words "thus I fell down," in Deuteronomy 9:25, Moses returns to the intercession already briefly mentioned in Deuteronomy 9:18, and recalls to the recollection of the people the essential features of his plea at the time. For the words "the forty days and nights that I fell down," see at Deuteronomy 1:46. The substance of the intercession in Deuteronomy 9:26-29 is essentially the same as that in Exodus 32:11-13; but given with such freedom as any other than Moses would hardly have allowed himself (Schultz), and in such a manner as to bring it into the most obvious relation to the words of God in Deuteronomy 9:12, Deuteronomy 9:13. אל־תּשׁחת, "Destroy not Thy people and Thine inheritance," says Moses, with reference to the words of the Lord to him: "thy people have corrupted themselves" (Deuteronomy 9:12). Israel was not Moses' nation, but the nation and inheritance of Jehovah; it was not Moses, but Jehovah, who had brought it out of Egypt. True, the people were stiffnecked (cf. Deuteronomy 9:13); but let the Lord remember the fathers, the oath given to Abraham, which is expressly mentioned in Exodus 32:13 (see at Deuteronomy 7:8), and not turn to the stiffneckedness of the people (קשׁי equivalent to ערף קשׁה, Deuteronomy 9:13 and Deuteronomy 9:6), and to their wickedness and sin (i.e., not regard them and punish them). The honour of the Lord before the nations was concerned in this (Deuteronomy 9:28). The land whence Israel came out ("the land" equals the people of the land, as in Genesis 10:25, etc., viz., the Egyptians: the word is construed as a collective with a plural verb) must not have occasion to say, that Jehovah had not led His people into the promised land from incapacity or hatred. יכלת מבּלי recalls Numbers 14:16. Just as "inability" would be opposed to the nature of the absolute God, so "hatred" would be opposed to the choice of Israel as the inheritance of Jehovah, which He had brought out of Egypt by His divine and almighty power (cf. Exodus 6:6).
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