Deuteronomy 31:28
Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them.
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Deuteronomy 31:28-30. Gather unto me all the elders — It is probable that Moses, having spoken to the people what he was commanded, dismissed them again till he should write the following song; which having done, he summoned the elders (and people, Deuteronomy 31:30) to deliver to them from his own mouth what he had written. Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation — Pronounced himself, with an audible voice, to the representatives of the congregation, and afterward ordered to be repeated to the people of every tribe, the following song or hymn.

31:23-30 The solemn delivery of the book of the law to the Levites, to be deposited in, or rather by the side, of the ark, is again related. The song which follows in the next chapter is delivered to Moses, and by him to the people. He wrote it first, as the Holy Spirit taught him; and then spake it in the hearing of all the people. Moses tells them plainly, I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves. Many a sad thought, no doubt, it occasioned to this good man; but his comfort was, that he had done his duty, and that God would be glorified in their dispersion, if not in their settlement, for the foundation of God stands sure.How much more after my death - Hence, Deuteronomy 31:24 and the rest of the book (with the exception of the song, Deuteronomy 31:19) must be regarded as a kind of appendix added after Moses' death by another hand; though the Blessing Deuteronomy 33 is of course to be regarded as a composition of Moses. 26. Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark—The second copy of the law (see on [167]De 31:9) was deposited for greater security and reverence in a little chest beside the ark of the covenant, for there was nothing contained within it but the tables of stone (1Ki 8:9). Others think it was put within the ark, it being certain, from the testimony of Paul (Heb 9:4), that there were once other things inside the ark, and that this was the copy found in the time of Josiah (2Ki 22:8). No text from Poole on this verse.

Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers,.... The heads of the tribes, the princes, and all other inferior magistrates:

that I may speak these words in their ears; not the words of the law, but of the song which he was ordered to write, and is recorded in the following chapter:

and call heaven and earth to record against them; to bear witness of what he delivered to them, and to bear witness against them should they transgress the laws he gave them; and to bear witness that they had been faithfully cautioned against transgressing, and had been severely threatened, and the punishment plainly pointed out that should be inflicted on them in case of disobedience, so that they were left entirely without excuse.

Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your {n} officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them.

(n) As governors, judges and magistrates.

28. Assemble] Imperative Pl. See on Deuteronomy 31:12, and Deuteronomy 5:22.

elders of your tribes, etc.] LXX heads of your tribes, adding and your judges, and some LXX codd. also add elders. Cp. Deuteronomy 5:23, Deuteronomy 29:10 (9).

these words] Though this phrase usually refers to what precedes, it is more probable that here what follows, i.e. the Song, is meant, as indubitably is the case in Exodus 20:1.

Verse 28. - Call heaven and earth to record against them (cf. Deuteronomy 32:1). These words; the words of his charge, and especially the song he had composed, and which it would be the business of these officers to teach to the congregation. Deuteronomy 31:28Directly after handing over the book of the law, Moses directed the elders of all the tribes, together with the official persons, to gather round him, that he might rehearse to them the ode which he had written fore the people. The summons, "gather unto me," was addressed to the persons to whom he had given the book of the law. The elders and officers, as the civil authorities of the congregation, were collected together by him to hear the ode, because they were to put it in the mouth of the people, i.e., to take care that all the nation should learn it. The words, "I will call heaven and earth as witnesses against you," refer to the substance of the ode about to be rehearsed, which begins with an appeal to the heaven and the earth (Deuteronomy 32:1). The reason assigned for this in Deuteronomy 31:29 is a brief summary of what the Lord had said to Moses in Deuteronomy 31:16-21, and Moses thought it necessary to communicate to the representatives of the nation. "The work of your hands" refers to the idols (vid., Deuteronomy 4:28).
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