Deuteronomy 29:17
And you have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:)
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(17) Their abominations.—This word occurs here for the first time, but the verb appears in Deuteronomy 7:26 (“utterly detest “), and in Leviticus 11:11; Leviticus 11:13; Leviticus 11:43; Leviticus 20:25. In the later scriptures of the Old Testament this word “abomination” is frequently used to denote an idol.

Their idols.—Either “great blocks,” or as in the margin, a term of extreme contempt. (See Leviticus 26:30, where the word first occurs. ) It is a favourite term with the prophet Ezekiel, who uses it four times as often as other writers in the Old Testament.

29:10-21 The national covenant made with Israel, not only typified the covenant of grace made with true believers, but also represented the outward dispensation of the gospel. Those who have been enabled to consent to the Lord's new covenant of mercy and grace in Jesus Christ, and to give up themselves to be his people, should embrace every opportunity of renewing their open profession of relation to him, and their obligation to him, as the God of salvation, walking according thereto. The sinner is described as one whose heart turns away from his God; there the mischief begins, in the evil heart of unbelief, which inclines men to depart from the living God to dead idols. Even to this sin men are now tempted, when drawn aside by their own lusts and fancies. Such men are roots that bear gall and wormwood. They are weeds which, if let alone, overspread the whole field. Satan may for a time disguise this bitter morsel, so that thou shalt not have the natural taste of it, but at the last day, if not before, the true taste shall be discerned. Notice the sinner's security in sin. Though he hears the words of the curse, yet even then he thinks himself safe from the wrath of God. There is scarcely a threatening in all the book of God more dreadful than this. Oh that presumptuous sinners would read it, and tremble! for it is a real declaration of the wrath of God, against ungodliness and unrighteousness of man.Idols - See the margin, "dungy gods;" i. e. clods or stocks which can be rolled about (compare Leviticus 26:30). 10-29. Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God—The whole congregation of Israel, of all ages and conditions, all—young as well as old; menials as well as masters; native Israelites as well as naturalized strangers—all were assembled before the tabernacle to renew the Sinaitic covenant. None of them were allowed to consider themselves as exempt from the terms of that national compact, lest any lapsing into idolatry might prove a root of bitterness, spreading its noxious seed and corrupt influence all around (compare Heb 12:15). It was of the greatest consequence thus to reach the heart and conscience of everyone, for some might delude themselves with the vain idea that by taking the oath (De 29:12) by which they engaged themselves in covenant with God, they would surely secure its blessings. Then, even though they would not rigidly adhere to His worship and commands, but would follow the devices and inclinations of their own hearts, yet they would think that He would wink at such liberties and not punish them. It was of the greatest consequence to impress all with the strong and abiding conviction, that while the covenant of grace had special blessings belonging to it, it at the same time had curses in reserve for transgressors, the infliction of which would be as certain, as lasting and severe. This was the advantage contemplated in the law being rehearsed a second time. The picture of a once rich and flourishing region, blasted and doomed in consequence of the sins of its inhabitants, is very striking, and calculated to awaken awe in every reflecting mind. Such is, and long has been, the desolate state of Palestine; and, in looking at its ruined cities, its blasted coast, its naked mountains, its sterile and parched soil—all the sad and unmistakable evidences of a land lying under a curse—numbers of travellers from Europe, America, and the Indies ("strangers from a far country," De 29:22) in the present day see that the Lord has executed His threatening. Who can resist the conclusion that it has been inflicted "because the inhabitants had forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers. … and the anger of the Lord was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book"? What sorry tools they are, what senseless and ridiculous deities; so that you have great reason to value your God, and to cleave to him in covenant, and to take heed of such abominable idolatries. And ye have seen their abominations and their idols,.... Or, "their abominations, even their idols"; for the same are meant by both: it is common in Scripture to call the idols of the Gentiles abominations, without any other explanation of them; see 1 Kings 11:5; because they are abominable to God, and ought to be so to men: the word for idols has the signification of dung, and may be rendered dunghill gods, either referring to such that were bred and lived in dung, as the beetle, worshipped by the Egyptians, as Bishop Patrick observes; or which were as much to be loathed and abhorred as the dung of any creature:

wood and stone, silver and gold; these are the materials of which the idols they had seen in the several countries they had been in, or passed through, were made of; some of wood, others of stone cut out of these, and carved; others more rich and costly were made of massive gold and silver, and were molten ones; or the images of wood were glided with gold and silver:

which were among them; now these being seen by them in as they passed along, they might run in their minds, or be called to remembrance by them, and so they be in danger of being drawn aside to make the like, and worship them.

And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:)
17. abominations] Rather detestable things, not to ‘ebôth, as in Deuteronomy 7:25, but shiḳḳuṣîm, frequent in Jer. and Ezek. of idols, nowhere else in Deut., but the vb. from which it comes is found in Deuteronomy 7:26.

idols] Heb. gillulîm, a scornful term meaning either things gross or coarse, such as some forms of the root in Ar. mean (applied to dung, etc.), or things round or podgy, as from Heb. galal, to roll (cp. the nicknames ‘round-head’ and ‘rolling-pin’). In the Hex. only here and Leviticus 26:30 (H); Jeremiah 50:2; Jeremiah 50:39 times in Ezek. The gods of the heathen were mere blocks or boulders!

wood and stone] Deuteronomy 4:28, Deuteronomy 28:36; Deuteronomy 28:64.The covenant of the Lord embraced, however, not only the men of Israel, but also the wives and children, and the stranger who had attached himself to Israel, such as the Egyptians who came out with Israel (Exodus 12:38; Numbers 11:4), and the Midianites who joined the Israelites with Hobab (Numbers 10:29), down to the very lowest servant, "from thy hewer of wood to thy drawer of water" (cf. Joshua 9:21, Joshua 9:27).
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