Deuteronomy 28:64
And the LORD shall scatter you among all people, from the one end of the earth even to the other; and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known, even wood and stone.
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(64) And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people.—Fulfilled, literally, in this last dispersion.

Thou shalt serve other gods.—We do not know of Israel’s falling into actual idolatry in dispersion, except in Egypt (Jeremiah 44:17), and possibly in Babylon (Ezekiel 14:22-23. Comp. Deuteronomy 33:25). But they were slaves to the worshippers of other gods.

Deuteronomy 28:64. The Lord shall scatter thee among all people — According to Nehemiah, (Nehemiah 1:8-9,) these words were fulfilled in the Babylonish captivity; but they have been far more amply fulfilled since the great dispersion of the Jews by the Romans. “What people have been scattered so far and wide as they? And where is the nation that is a stranger to them, or to which they are strangers? They swarm in many parts of the East, are spread through most of the countries of Europe and Africa, and there are several families of them in the West Indies. They circulate through all parts, and are, as one may say, the brokers of the whole world.” — Bp. Newton.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.

64. the Lord shall scatter thee among all people—There is, perhaps, not a country in the world where Jews are not to be found. Who that looks on this condition of the Hebrews is not filled with awe, when he considers the fulfilment of this prophecy? No text from Poole on this verse. And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even to the other,.... Which refers to their present dispersion, being now, more or fewer, in all parts of the world, east, west, north, and south:

and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone: it may be observed, that the phrase, "which either thou nor fathers have known", is fitly added here, which is not used of them, Deuteronomy 28:36; and well agrees with the idols of the Papists, their images of the Virgin Mary, and saints departed, made of wood and stone, which were such the fathers of the Jews never knew; just as it is said of the host, the consecrated wafer, the breaden god honoured by antichrist, that it is "a god who his fathers knew not", Daniel 11:38; the apostles and ancient fathers of the church. Now in Popish countries the Jews have often been prevailed upon to change, or at least dissemble their religion, and embrace Popery: and have worshipped images of wood and stone. The author of the history of their calamities and sufferings owns this;"multitudes (he says (p)) in Spain and Portugal forsook the law of Moses, and joined the Papists, pretending at least to be of their religion.''

He makes mention of sixteen thousand at one time (q), and some, he say (r),"that were driven out of Spain, came into Italy, where the young men pressed with famine could not bear it, and changed their religion, and began to worship images that they might have to satisfy their hunger; and the Papists used to go about with a crucifix in one hand, and a piece of bread in the other, promising the bread to those that would worship the crucifix; and so many famishing persons forsook the law of Moses, and mixed with them:''and to this day the convents of monks and nuns in Spain are full of them; and most of their canons, inquisitors, and bishops, are Jews (s). The Targum of Jonathan indeed, to clear them from idolatry itself, gives another sense of these words, paraphrasing them,"ye shall pay tribute to the worshippers of idols.''

(p) Shebet Judah, p. 108, 154, 312, 313, 338, 339. (q) Ibid. p. 312. (r) Ibid. sect. 56. p. 327. (s) See Addison's present State of the Jews, c. 3. p. 3o, 31. Dr. Newton ut supra, (Prophesies, vol. 1. Dissert. 7.) sect. 15. p. 197.

And the LORD shall {y} scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.

(y) Signifying that it is a singular gift from God to be in a place where we may worship God purely and declare our faith and religion.

64. Cp. Deuteronomy 4:27 f., in the Pl. address. From the one end, etc., Deuteronomy 13:7 (8). On other gods, etc., Deuteronomy 13:6 (7); wood and stone, Deuteronomy 4:28.Verse 64. - Those of them that survived the plagues that should come upon them, and the horrors of the siege, should be scattered amongst all nations to the ends of the earth, and there subjugated to the utmost indignities and sufferings. The 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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