Deuteronomy 10:7
From thence they journeyed unto Gudgodah; and from Gudgodah to Jotbath, a land of rivers of waters.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
10:1-11 Moses reminded the Israelites of God's great mercy to them, notwithstanding their provocations. There were four things in and by which the Lord showed himself reconciled to Israel. God gave them his law. Thus God has intrusted us with Bibles, sabbaths, and sacraments, as tokens of his presence and favour. God led them forward toward Canaan. He appointed a standing ministry among them for holy things. And now, under the gospel, when the pouring forth of the Spirit is more plentiful and powerful, the succession is kept up by the Spirit's work on men's hearts, qualifying and making some willing for that work in every age. God accepted Moses as an advocate or intercessor for them, and therefore appointed him to be their prince and leader. Moses was a type of Christ, who ever lives, pleading for us, and has all power in heaven and in earth.There Aaron died - i. e., while the people were encamped in Mosera or Moseroth. In Deuteronomy 32:50; as well as in Numbers 20:25 ff Mount Hor is assigned as the place of Aaron's death. It is plain then that Moserah was in the neighborhood of Mount Hor. The appointment of Eleazar to minister in place of Aaron, is referred to as a proof of the completeness and fulness of the reconciliation effected between God and the people by Moses. Though Aaron was sentenced to die in the wilderness for his sin at Meribah, yet God provided for the perpetuation of the high priesthood, so that the people would not suffer. Compare Deuteronomy 9:20 and note.6-9. the children of Israel took their journey from Beeroth of the children of Jaakan to Mosera—So sudden a change from a spoken discourse to a historical narrative has greatly puzzled the most eminent biblical scholars, some of whom reject the parenthesis as a manifest interpolation. But it is found in the most ancient Hebrew manuscripts, and, believing that all contained in this book was given by inspiration and is entitled to profound respect, we must receive it as it stands, although acknowledging our inability to explain the insertion of these encampment details in this place. There is another difficulty in the narrative itself. The stations which the Israelites are said successively to have occupied are enumerated here in a different order from Nu 33:31. That the names of the stations in both passages are the same there can be no doubt; but, in Numbers, they are probably mentioned in reference to the first visit of the Hebrews during the long wandering southwards, before their return to Kadesh the second time; while here they have a reference to the second passage of the Israelites, when they again marched south, in order to compass the land of Edom. It is easy to conceive that Mosera (Hor) and the wells of Jaakan might lie in such a direction that a nomadic horde might, in different years, at one time take the former first in their way, and at another time the latter [Robinson]. Either,

1. From that place, and that either from Mosera, last mentioned, or from Bene-jaakan; for relatives many times in Scripture belong to the remoter antecedent. Or,

2. From that time; for this particle sometimes notes not place, but time, as 2 Kings 2:21 Isaiah 65:20. So the meaning is, at, or about that time, as it is Deu 10:8, which being considered, may serve to clear the great difficulty discoursed upon the last verse concerning the seeming contradiction of this place and Numbers 33:1,32.

From thence they journeyed unto Gudgodah,.... Which Jarchi takes to be the same with Horhagidgad, and so do most; see Numbers 33:32, but Aben Ezra says it is not, but is a general name, including Zalmonah, Punon, and Oboth, places the Israelites came to after they removed from Mount Hor, where Aaron died; see Numbers 33:41.

and from Gudgodah to Jotbath, a land of rivers of waters; which the above writer takes to be the same with Beer, the well, Numbers 21:16 and by this description of it, it was a place where there was much water.

From thence they journeyed unto Gudgodah; and from Gudgodah to Jotbath, a land of rivers of waters.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. From thence they journeyed] E’s formula, Numbers 21:12-13.

Gudgodah to Jotbathah] P, Numbers 33:32 f.; Hor-haggidgad and Yoṭbathah—unknown. Both names are possibly derived from the character of the landscape. Ar. ‘gadgad’ is hard, level ground; and Yoṭbah, or Yoṭbathah, is probably goodliness or pleasantness: a land of brooks of water. On all these names Doughty’s remarks (Ar. Des. i. 49) are instructive:

‘Here a word of the camping grounds of Moses: all their names we may never find again in these countries,—and wherefore? Because they were a good part passengers’ names and without land-right they could not remain in the desert, in the room of the old herdsmen’s names. There is yet another kind of names, not rightly of the country, not known to the Beduins, which are caravaners’ names. The caravaners passing in haste, with fear of the nomads, know not the wide wilderness without their landmarks; nor even in the way, have they a right knowledge of the land names. What wonder if we find not again some which are certainly caravaners’ names in the old itineraries.’

Deuteronomy 10:7And the Israelites owed to the grace of their God, which was turned towards them once more, through the intercession of Moses, not only the restoration of the tables of the covenant as a pledge that the covenant itself was restored, but also the institution and maintenance of the high-priesthood and priesthood generally for the purpose of mediation between them and the Lord.

(Note: Even Clericus pointed out this connection, and paraphrased Deuteronomy 10:6 and Deuteronomy 10:7 as follows: "But when, as I have said, God forgave the Hebrew people, He pardoned my brother Aaron also, who did not die till the fortieth year after we had come out of Egypt, and when we were coming round the borders of the Edomites to come hither. God also showed that He was reconciled towards him by conferring the priesthood upon him, which is now borne by his son Eleazar according to the will of God." Clericus has also correctly brought out the fact that Moses referred to what he had stated in Deuteronomy 9:20 as to the wrath of God against Aaron and his intercession on his behalf, or rather that he mentioned his intercession on behalf of Aaron in that passage, because he intended to call more particular attention to the successful result of it in this. Hengstenberg (Dissertations, vol. ii. pp. 351-2) has since pointed out briefly, but very conclusively, the connection of thought between Deuteronomy 10:6, Deuteronomy 10:7, and what goes before and follows. "Moses," he says, "points out to the people how the Lord had continued unchangeable in His mercy notwithstanding all their sins. Although they had rendered themselves unworthy of such goodness by their worship of the calf, He gave them the ark of the covenant with the new tables of the law in it (Deuteronomy 10:1-5). He followed up this gift of His grace by instituting the high-priesthood, and when Aaron died He caused it to be transferred to his son Eleazar (Deuteronomy 10:6, Deuteronomy 10:7). He set apart the tribe of Levi to serve Him and bless the people in His name, and thus to be the mediators of His mercy (Deuteronomy 10:8, Deuteronomy 10:9). In short, He omitted nothing that was requisite to place Israel in full possession of the dignity of a people of God." There is no ground for regarding Deuteronomy 10:6, Deuteronomy 10:7, as a gloss, as Capellus, Dathe, and Rosenmller do, or Deuteronomy 10:6-9 as "an interpolation of a historical statement concerning the bearers of the ark of the covenant and the holy persons generally, which has no connection with Moses' address," as Knobel maintains. The want of any formal connection is quite in keeping with the spirit of simplicity which characterizes the early Hebrew diction and historical writings. "The style of the Hebrews is not to be tried by the rules of rhetoricians" (Clericus).)

Moses reminds the people of this gracious gift on the part of their God, by recalling to their memory the time when Aaron died and his son Eleazar was invested with the high-priesthood in his stead. That he may transport his hearers the more distinctly to the period in question, he lets the history itself speak, and quotes from the account of their journeys the passage which supplied the practical proof of what he desires to say. Instead of saying: And the high-priesthood also, with which Aaron was invested by the grace of God notwithstanding his sin at Sinai, the Lord has still preserved to you; for when Aaron died, He invested his son with the same honour,

(Note: "In the death of Aaron they might discern the punishment of their rebellion. But the fact that Eleazar was appointed in his place, was a sign of the paternal grace of God, who did not suffer them to be forsaken on that account" (Calvin).)

and also directed you to continue your journey-he proceeds in the following historical style: "And the children of Israel took their journey from the wells of the sons of Jaakan to Mosera: there Aaron died, and there he was buried; and Eleazar his son became priest in his stead. And from thence they journeyed unto Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbath, a land of water-brooks." The allusion to these marches, together with the events which had taken place at Mosera, taught in very few words "not only that Aaron was forgiven at the intercession of Moses, and even honoured with the high-priesthood, the medium of grace and blessing to the people of God (e.g., at the wells of Bene-jaakan) until the time of his death; but also that through this same intercession the high-priesthood was maintained in perpetuity, so that when Aaron had to die in the wilderness in consequence of a fresh sin (Numbers 20:12), it continued notwithstanding, and by no means diminished in strength, as might have been feared, since it led the way from the wells to water-brooks, helped on the journey to Canaan, which was now the object of their immediate aim, and still sustained their courage and their faith" (Schultz). The earlier commentators observed the inward connection between the continuation of the high-priesthood and the water-brooks. J. Gerhard, for example, observes: "God generally associates material blessings with spiritual; as long as the ministry of the word and the observance of divine worship flourish among us, God will also provide for our temporal necessities."_

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