Deuteronomy 29:26
For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given to them:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) Whom he had not given.—The latter clause may be a change from plural to singular. “They went and served other gods, gods whom they knew not, and none of whom gave them any portion.”

Deuteronomy 29:26. Whom he had not given — For their worship, but had divided unto all nations, for their use and service. So he speaks here of the sun, and moon, and stars, which were the principal gods worshipped by the neighbouring nations.29:22-28 Idolatry would be the ruin of their nation. It is no new thing for God to bring desolating judgments on a people near to him in profession. He never does this without good reason. It concerns us to seek for the reason, that we may give glory to God, and take warning to ourselves. Thus the law of Moses leaves sinners under the curse, and rooted out of the Lord's land; but the grace of Christ toward penitent, believing sinners, plants them again in their land; and they shall no more be pulled up, being kept by the power of God.The description is borrowed from the local features of the Dead Sea and its vicinity. The towns of the vale of Siddim were fertile and well watered (compare Genesis 13:10) until devastated by the wrath of God Genesis 19:24-25. The ruin of Israel and its land should be of the like sort (compare Leviticus 26:31-32; Psalm 107:34; Zephaniah 2:9). The desolate state of Palestine at present, and the traces of former fertility and prosperity, are attested by every traveler. 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"? i.e. Whom God had not given or divided to them, as their portion, or for their worship, but hath divided them unto all nations, as it is said, Deu 4:19, not for their worship, but for their use and service. So he speaks here of the sun and moon and stars, which were the principal gods worshipped by the neighbouring nations. Or, to whom none hath given this, i.e. that they should be worshipped, or, to whom no worship belongs. So this is an argument against idolatry. Or,

who had not given unto them, to wit, any thing: it is an ellipsis of the accusative, which is very frequent: gods known to them by no benefits received from them, as they had from their God, whom therefore it was the greater folly and ingratitude to forsake. For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them,.... As did all Israel, in the times of Solomon, and the ten tribes under Jeroboam, and other succeeding kings of Israel; and the two tribes in the times of Ahaz, and especially of Manasseh, when they worshipped all the host of heaven; see 1 Kings 11:33,

gods whom they knew not; to whom they, as well as their fathers before them, were strangers and approved not of them; and of whose power and goodness they had no experience, and of which there never were any instances; yet such was their stupidity, as to leave their God, the only true God, of whom they had many proofs in both respects, and worship these idols, which had never been profitable and serviceable to them on any account:

and whom he hath not given unto them; which version seems not to afford a good sense; for to what people soever has God, the true God, given other gods to worship, which this seems to imply, though he had not given or allowed any to them? Onkelos paraphrases it, "did not do them good"; which Jarchi explains, the gods they chose them did not impart to them any inheritance, or any portion; for the word used signifies to divide, or part a portion or inheritance; now the Lord God did divide to Israel the land of Canaan for an inheritance, but these idols had never divided anything to them, and had been in no instance profitable or advantageous to them; and therefore it was madness and folly in them to worship them, as well as great ingratitude to the Lord their God, who had done such great and good things for them; for so the words may be rendered, "and did not impart" or "divide to them" (g) anything; that is, not anyone of them did; for the verb is singular.

(g) "qui nihil impertitus est eis", Pagninus; "et quorum nullus impertitus fuerat eis quidquem", Piscator; "neque partitus est ipsis", Cocceius.

For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given unto them:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. went and served] See Deuteronomy 29:18; on whom they knew not cp. Deuteronomy 8:3; Deuteronomy 8:16, Deuteronomy 11:28; on given or allotted see note on Deuteronomy 4:19.Verse 26. - Gods... whom he had not given unto them (cf. Deuteronomy 4:19). "For the Lord will not forgive him (who thinks or speaks in this way); but then will His anger smoke (break forth in fire; vid., (Psalm 74:1), and His jealousy against that man, and the whole curse of the law will lie upon him, that his name may be blotted out under heaven (vid., Deuteronomy 25:19; Exodus 17:14). "The Lord will separate him unto evil from all the tribes, - so that he will be shut out from the covenant nation, and from its salvation, and be exposed to destruction - according to all the curses of the covenant." Although the pronominal suffix refers primarily to the man, it also applies, according to Deuteronomy 29:18, to the woman, the family, and the tribe. "That is written," etc., as in Deuteronomy 28:58, Deuteronomy 28:61.
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