Deuteronomy 30:4
If any of your be driven out to the outmost parts of heaven, from there will the LORD your God gather you, and from there will he fetch you:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) If any of thine be driven out.—In the LXX., “If thy dispersion be.”

Unto the outmost parts of heaven.—The LXX. version of these words is traceable in Matthew 24:31, “From the one end of heaven to the other.”

Deuteronomy 30:4. If any of thine be driven out unto the out-most parts of heaven — This part of the prophecy has been fulfilled; they have been thus driven away. From thence will the Lord gather thee — Not the widest and most distant dispersion of any of thy tribes shall cause them to be finally lost.

But God, upon the before-mentioned condition, will so order it that you shall in the most material instances recover your ancient state. Nehemiah pleads this promise in his prayer for the restoration of Jerusalem, Nehemiah 1:8-9. And it was in part fulfilled when Cyrus issued a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, that all the Jews might return, if they pleased, into their own land, Ezra 1:1-5. But the promise is generally considered as having a further view; and as respecting their restoration to their own country in the latter days, after this their long and last dispersion. The Jews themselves apply it to their present condition, being of opinion that God hath appointed a time for their deliverance, and that if they repent he will shorten the days of their banishment. But, as we have just observed, they must also believe in Jesus of Nazareth, as the true Messiah, before they be restored.30:1-10 In this chapter is a plain intimation of the mercy God has in store for Israel in the latter days. This passage refers to the prophetic warnings of the last two chapters, which have been mainly fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and in their dispersion to the present day; and there can be no doubt that the prophetic promise contained in these verses yet remain to come to pass. The Jewish nation shall in some future period, perhaps not very distant, be converted to the faith of Christ; and, many think, again settled in the land of Canaan. The language here used is in a great measure absolute promises; not merely a conditional engagement, but declaring an event assuredly to take place. For the Lord himself here engages to circumcise their hearts; and when regenerating grace has removed corrupt nature, and Divine love has supplanted the love of sin, they certainly will reflect, repent, return to God, and obey him; and he will rejoice in doing them good. The change that will be wrought upon them will not be only outward, or consisting in mere opinions; it will reach to their souls. It will produce in them an utter hatred of all sin, and a fervent love to God, as their reconciled God in Christ Jesus; they will love him with all their hearts, and with all their soul. They are very far from this state of mind at present, but so were the murderers of the Lord Jesus, on the day of Pentecost; who yet in one hour were converted unto God. So shall it be in the day of God's power; a nation shall be born in a day; the Lord will hasten it in his time. As a conditional promise this passage belongs to all persons and all people, not to Israel only; it assures us that the greatest sinners, if they repent and are converted, shall have their sins pardoned, and be restored to God's favour.Will turn thy captivity - Will change or put an end to thy state of captivity or distress (compare Psalm 14:7; Psalm 85:2; Jeremiah 30:18). The rendering of the Greek version is significant; "the Lord will heal thy sins."

The promises of this and the following verses had no doubt their partial fulfillment in the days of the Judges; but the fact that various important features are repeated in Jeremiah 32:37 ff, and in Ezekiel 11:19 ff, Ezekiel 34:13 ff, Ezekiel 36:24 ff, shows us that none of these was regarded as exhausting the promises. In full analogy with the scheme of prophecy we may add that the return from the Babylonian captivity has not exhausted their depth. The New Testament takes up the strain (e. g. in Romans 11), and foretells the restoration of Israel to the covenanted mercies of God. True these mercies shall not be, as before, confined to that nation. The "turning again of the captivity" will be when Israel is converted to Him in whom the Law was fulfilled, and who died "not for that nation only," but also that he might "gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad" John 11:51-52. Then shall there be "one fold and one shepherd" John 10:16. But whether the general conversion of the Jews shall be accompanied with any national restoration, any recovery of their ancient prerogatives as the chosen people; and further, whether there shall be any local replacement of them in the land of their fathers, may be regarded as of "the secret things" which belong unto God Deuteronomy 29:29; and so indeed our Lord Himself teaches us Acts 1:6-7.

CHAPTER 30

De 30:1-10. Great Mercies Promised unto the Penitent.

1-10. when all these things are come upon thee, … and thou shalt return … then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity—The hopes of the Hebrew people are ardently directed to this promise, and they confidently expect that God, commiserating their forlorn and fallen condition, will yet rescue them from all the evils of their long dispersion. They do not consider the promise as fulfilled by their restoration from the captivity in Babylon, for Israel was not then scattered in the manner here described—"among all the nations," "unto the utmost parts of heaven" (De 30:4). When God recalled them from that bondage, all the Israelites were not brought back. They were not multiplied above their fathers (De 30:5), nor were their hearts and those of their children circumcised to love the Lord (De 30:6). It is not, therefore, of the Babylonish captivity that Moses was speaking in this passage; it must be of the dispersed state to which they have been doomed for eighteen hundred years. This prediction may have been partially accomplished on the return of the Israelites from Babylon; for, according to the structure and design of Scripture prophecy, it may have pointed to several similar eras in their national history; and this view is sanctioned by the prayer of Nehemiah (Ne 1:8, 9). But undoubtedly it will receive its full and complete accomplishment in the conversion of the Jews to the Gospel of Christ. At the restoration from the Babylonish captivity, that people were changed in many respects for the better. They were completely weaned from idolatry; and this outward reformation was a prelude to the higher attainments they are destined to reach in the age of Messiah, "when the Lord God will circumcise their hearts and the hearts of their seed to love the Lord." The course pointed out seems clearly to be this: that the hearts of the Hebrew people shall be circumcised (Col 2:2); in other words, by the combined influences of the Word and spirit of God, their hearts will be touched and purified from all their superstition and unbelief. They will be converted to the faith of Jesus Christ as their Messiah—a spiritual deliverer, and the effect of their conversion will be that they will return and obey the voice (the Gospel, the evangelical law) of the Lord. The words may be interpreted either wholly in a spiritual sense (Joh 11:51, 52), or, as many think, in a literal sense also (Ro 11:1-36). They will be recalled from all places of the dispersion to their own land and enjoy the highest prosperity. The mercies and favors of a bountiful Providence will not then be abused as formerly (De 31:20; 32:15). They will be received in a better spirit and employed to nobler purposes. They will be happy, "for the Lord will again rejoice over them for good, as He rejoiced over their fathers."

No text from Poole on this verse. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven,.... As many of them are in this remote island of ours, Great Britain, reckoned formerly the uttermost part of the earth, as Thule, supposed to be Schetland, an isle belonging to Scotland, is said to be (m); See Gill on Deuteronomy 28:49; and as some of them are thought to be in America, which Manasseh Ben Israel (n) had a firm belief of:

from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee; whose eye is omniscient, and reaches every part of the world; and whose arm is omnipotent, and none can stay it, or turn it back. The Targum of Jonathan is,"from thence will he bring you near by the hands of the King Messiah.''

(m) "Ultima Thule", Virgil. Georgic. l. 1. v. 30. Seneca Medea, Acts 2. in fine. (n) Spes Israelis, sect. 38.

If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of {c} heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he {d} fetch thee:

(c) Even to the worlds end.

(d) And bring you into your country.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. If any of thine outcasts] quoted in Nehemiah 1:9; cp. above Deuteronomy 30:1 (driven), Deuteronomy 28:64, and in another sense Deuteronomy 22:1.Verses 4, 5. - Consequent on this deliverance would be the gathering of Israel from all the places of the dispersion and their return to possess the land which their fathers possessed, in greater numbers than their fathers were. This last statement suggests doubt as to the literal interpretation of this prediction, for, as Keil remarks, "If there is to be an increase in the num-bet of the Jews when gathered out of their dispersion into all the world, above the number of their fathers, and therefore above the number of the Israelites in the time of Solomon and the first monarchs of the two kingdoms, Palestine will never furnish room enough for a nation multiplied like this." The reference in the following verse to a spiritual renewal suggests the inquiry whether the reference here is not to such a gathering and restoration of Israel as that which St. Paul describes in Romans 11, when the branches that had been broken from the olive tree shall be again grafted into it, and all Israel shall be saved after the fullness of the Gentiles shall be, brought in. To Moses, and indeed to all the Old Testament prophets and saints, the Israel of God presented itself as a nation dwelling in a land given to it by God; but as the national Israel was the type of the spiritual Israel, and as Canaan was the type of the spiritual kingdom of God, the full import of what is said concerning the former is only to be perceived when it is viewed as realized in the latter. Certain it is that it was on this principle that the apostles interpreted the fulfillment of the Old Testament declarations concerning Israel, of which the explanation given by St. James of Amos 9:11, 12 may be noted as an instructive example (Acts 15:15-17). If the rebuilding of the ruined tabernacle of David is to be effected by "the residue of men" being brought to "seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom his Name is called," we need not shrink from interpreting this prophecy of Moses as referring to the restoration of Israel by the bringing in of Jew and Gentile into the one fold under the one Shepherd, the Shepherd of Israel (John 9:16). "Gods which God had not assigned them" (vid., Deuteronomy 4:19). "All the curses," etc., are the curses contained in Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Leviticus 26:14-38. - Those who give the answer close their address in Deuteronomy 29:29 with an expression of pious submission and solemn admonition. "That which is hidden belongs to the Lord our God (is His affair), and that which is revealed belongs to us and our children for ever, to do (that we may do) all the words of this law." That which is revealed includes the law with its promises and threats; consequently that which is hidden can only refer to the mode in which God will carry out in the future His counsel and will, which He has revealed in the law, and complete His work of salvation notwithstanding the apostasy of the people.

(Note: What the puncta extraordinaria above (ע)ד וּלבנינוּ לנוּ mean, is uncertain. Hiller's conjecture is the most probable, "that they are intended to indicate a various reading, formed by the omission of eleven consonants, and the transposition of the rest עולם והנגדלות (at magnalia saeculi sunt);" whereas there is no foundation for Lightfoot's notion, that "they served as a warning, that we should not wish to pry with curiosity into the secret things of God, but should be content with His revealed will," - a notion which rests upon the supposition that the points are inspired.)

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