Deuteronomy 28:58
If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD;
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(58, 59) See Note on Deuteronomy 25:2-3.

This glorious and fearful name, the Lord thy God.—The first Note of the Decalogue is here referred to, as the great curse of the Law draws to its close. It is no light matter when the Almighty says to any people or to any person, “I am Jehovah thy God.” They who are His must obey Him, love Him, and acknowledge Him. He will not be mocked. Never did He in all history “assay to go and take Him a nation” from the midst of other nations as he took Israel. Hence these tremendous consequences.

Of long continuance.—Eighteen hundred years have they lasted, and seem to be breaking out afresh now (1882) as though they were in full force. “To chastise thee permanently is their mission” (Rashi).

28:45-68 If God inflicts vengeance, what miseries his curse can bring upon mankind, even in this present world! Yet these are but the beginning of sorrows to those under the curse of God. What then will be the misery of that world where their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched! Observe what is here said of the wrath of God, which should come and remain upon the Israelites for their sins. It is amazing to think that a people so long the favourites of Heaven, should be so cast off; and yet that a people so scattered in all nations should be kept distinct, and not mixed with others. If they would not serve God with cheerfulness, they should be compelled to serve their enemies. We may justly expect from God, that if we do not fear his fearful name, we shall feel his fearful plagues; for one way or other God will be feared. The destruction threatened is described. They have, indeed, been plucked from off the land, ver. 63. Not only by the Babylonish captivity, and when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans; but afterwards, when they were forbidden to set foot in Jerusalem. They should have no rest; no rest of body, ver. 65, but be continually on the remove, either in hope of gain, or fear of persecution. No rest of the mind, which is much worse. They have been banished from city to city, from country to country; recalled, and banished again. These events, compared with the favour shown to Israel in ancient times, and with the prophecies about them, should not only excite astonishment, but turn unto us for a testimony, assuring us of the truth of Scripture. And when the other prophecies of their conversion to Christ shall come to pass, the whole will be a sign and a wonder to all the nations of the earth, and the forerunner of a general spread of true christianity. The fulfilling of these prophecies upon the Jewish nation, delivered more than three thousand years ago, shows that Moses spake by the Spirit of God; who not only foresees the ruin of sinners, but warns of it, that they may prevent it by a true and timely repentance, or else be left without excuse. And let us be thankful that Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, by being made a curse for us, and bearing in his own person all that punishment which our sins merit, and which we must otherwise have endured for ever. To this Refuge and salvation let sinners flee; therein let believers rejoice, and serve their reconciled God with gladness of heart, for the abundance of his spiritual blessings.Fifth series of judgments. The uprooting of Israel from the promised land, and its dispersion among other nations. Examine the marginal references.

Deuteronomy 28:58

In this book - i. e. in the book of the Law, or the Pentateuch in so far as it contains commands of God to Israel. Deuteronomy is included, but not exclusively intended. So Deuteronomy 28:61; compare Deuteronomy 27:3 and note, Deuteronomy 31:9.

53-57. And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body—(See 2Ki 6:29; La 4:10). Such were the dreadful extremities to which the inhabitants during the siege were reduced that many women sustained a wretched existence by eating the flesh of their own children. Parental affection was extinguished, and the nearest relatives were jealously, avoided, lest they should discover and demand a share of the revolting viands. Name, i. e. thing or person, to wit, this glorious God. Names are oft put for things, as 1 Kings 5:3 Psalm 20:1 95:1 Acts 4:12 Ephesians 1:21; and for persons, as Acts 1:15 Revelation 3:4.

If thou wilt not observe to do all the words this law, that are written in this book,.... Of Deuteronomy, in which there is a repetition of the laws before delivered, and an addition of some new ones; all which were to be so observed as to be done, to this end:

that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name of the Lord thy God; or that it might appear that the fear of God was before their eyes, and in their hearts, by their obedience to his law; that they had a proper awe and reverence of him, who is glorious in his titles and attributes, and whose name Jehovah is holy and reverend; and who, as the covenant God of his people, is to, be feared for his goodness sake.

If thou wilt not observe to do {u} all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD;

(u) For he that offends in one, is guilty of all, Jas 2:10

58. observe to do] See on Deuteronomy 28:1.

all the words of this law] Heb. of this Tôrah, see on Deuteronomy 1:5, Deuteronomy 31:9. In Deuteronomy 17:19, Deuteronomy 29:29 (28), Deuteronomy 31:12, Deuteronomy 32:46, with the same, or a similar, formula preceding; also in Deuteronomy 27:3; Deuteronomy 27:8; Deuteronomy 27:26.

that are written in this book] Cp. Deuteronomy 28:61, Deuteronomy 17:18, Deuteronomy 29:20 f., Deuteronomy 29:27 (Deuteronomy 29:19 f., Deuteronomy 29:26), Deuteronomy 30:10. The Law, therefore, was already written down. As pointed out in the note on Deuteronomy 17:18, such a statement may well have belonged to the original D, discovered in the Temple in 621; but it is not compatible with the other representation, hitherto prevalent, that the exhortations and laws were spoken by Moses, nor with the statement in Deuteronomy 31:9, that he wrote the law when this discourse was finished. As Driver says, this v. ‘betrays the fact that Deuteronomy was from the first a written book.’

fear this glorious and fearful name] Cp. Nehemiah 9:5, Psalm 72:19, 1 Chronicles 29:13, Isaiah 63:12. In J, Exodus 33:18 God’s glory is parallel to His Name. For fear this name see Micah 6:9 (on one reading), Malachi 4:2, Isaiah 59:19, Psalm 61:5 (6). Cp. Leviticus 24:11. This list (containing as it does Micah 6:9) is not sufficient to prove, as Berth, suggests, a late date for our passage.

58–68. Still Further Development of the Curses

After a fresh statement of the condition on which they will be inflicted, viz. Israel’s disobedience to the law (Deuteronomy 28:58), diseases are again threatened with the sore diminution of the people (Deuteronomy 28:59-62); and their banishment is predicted and utter despair (Deuteronomy 28:63-67). God shall bring them again to Egypt, where when they seek to sell themselves no man shall buy them (Deuteronomy 28:68).—In the substance of this section there is nothing incompatible with a pre-exilic date or with the ideas and principles of D. But some of the phraseology may possibly be post-exilic.

Verses 58-68. - Fifth group. Even these fearful calamities would not be the consummation of their punishment. If they should be obstinate in their rebellion; if they would not observe to do all that the Law delivered by Moses enjoined on them if they ceased to reverence and obey Jehovah, their God; - then should come upon them the curse in full measure, and long-continued chastisement should show how grievous had been their sin. Verse 58. - This book. Not the Book of Deuteronomy, which was not then written, but the Book of the Law, the Torah, delivered by Moses to Israel from God; and of which he had been, in his addresses to the people, recapitulating some of the principal points (cf. vers. 60, 6l). That thou mayest fear, etc. It was not mere outward observance of the Law, not the mere "doing" of what was enjoined that was required, but the doing of it heartily and sincerely in the fear of the Lord, in the fear of him who had revealed himself to them by the glorious and awful Name, Jehovah, their God (cf. Leviticus 24:11). Deuteronomy 28:58The fifth and last view. - And yet these horrible calamities would not be the end of the distress. The full measure of the divine curse would be poured out upon Israel, when its disobedience had become hardened into disregard of the glorious and fearful name of the Lord its God. To point this out, Moses describes the resistance of the people in Deuteronomy 28:58; not, as in Deuteronomy 28:15 and Deuteronomy 28:45, as not hearkening to the voice of the Lord to keep all His commandments, which he (Moses) had commanded this day, or which Jehovah had commanded (Deuteronomy 28:45), but as "not observing to do all the words which are written in this book, to fear the glorified and fearful name," (viz.) Jehovah its God. "This book" is not Deuteronomy, even if we should assume that Moses had not first of all delivered the discourses in this book to the people and then written them down, but had first of all written them down and then read them to the people (see at Deuteronomy 31:9), but the book of the law, i.e., the Pentateuch, so far as it was already written. This is evident from Deuteronomy 28:60, Deuteronomy 28:61, according to which the grievous diseases of Egypt were written in this book of the law, which points to the book of Exodus, where grievous diseases occur among the Egyptian plagues. In fact, Moses could not have thought of merely laying the people under the obligation to keep the laws of the book of Deuteronomy, since this book does not contain all the essential laws of the covenant, and was never intended to form an independent book of the law. The infinitive clause, "to fear," etc., serves to explain the previous clause, "to do," etc., whether we regard the two clauses as co-ordinate, or the second as subordinate to the first. Doing all the commandments of the law must show and prove itself in fearing the revealed name of the Lord. Where this fear is wanting, the outward observance of the commandments can only be a pharisaic work-righteousness, which is equivalent to a transgress of the law. But the object of this fear was not to be a God, according to human ideas of the nature and working of God; it was to be "this glorified and fearful name," i.e., Jehovah the absolute God, as He glories Himself and shows Himself to be fearful in His doings upon earth. "The name," as in Leviticus 24:11. נכבּד in a reflective sense, as in Exodus 14:4, Exodus 14:17-18; Leviticus 10:3.
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