Of the Rock that begat you you are unmindful, and have forgotten God that formed you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Of the Rock that begat thee.—“The Rock hath begotten thee forgetful, and thou hast forgotten God that travailed with thee” is another possible translation of this verse. The expression in the second clause is found also in Psalm 90:2 (a prayer of Moses), “Before the mountains were brought forth, while Thou wast yet in travail with earth and world, and from eternity unto eternity Thou art God!” The word which I have rendered “forgetful” is usually taken as a verb. But the verb is not found elsewhere (i.e., it is invented for the sake of this passage), and the word may not impossibly be an adjective.Deuteronomy 32:18-19. Of the Rock that begat thee — Of God, one of whose titles this is; or of Christ, the rock that is said to have followed the Israelites in the wilderness, (1 Corinthians 10:4,) of which they drank, and whom they tempted. Moses still speaks in the prophetic style, representing what appeared present to his prophetic view as if it had already happened. The provoking of his sons and daughters — Such they were by calling and profession. Daughters are here expressly named, because the women were notoriously guilty of provoking God by idolatry. Thus we read, (Jeremiah 7:18,) “The women knead dough to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings to other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.” And again, (Jeremiah 44:15,) “The women burned incense to other gods.” And in Ezekiel 8:14, “The women sat weeping for Tammuz.”Of the Rock, i.e. of God, one of whose titles this is, above, Deu 32:4 Isaiah 44:8; or of Christ, who is called the Rock, 1 Corinthians 10:4, whom the Israelites are said to have tempted, there, Deu 32:9.
That begat thee, i.e. who hath adopted you to be his people, and hath showed as much care and kindness to you as if he had begotten you. Deuteronomy 32:15; repeated and expressed in different words, that their wretched ingratitude might be taken notice of and observed: begetting is ascribed to this rock, as regeneration is to Christ, 1 John 2:29; and was true of some among the Jews: some choose to render the words, "the rock of thy kindred" (k); being a near kinsman, a brother through his incarnation, which aggravated their unmindfulness of him:
and hast forgotten God that formed thee: for the rock they were unmindful of and forgot is the true God and eternal life, the essential Word of God, as both the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem interpret it; him the Jewish nation forgot; they forgot the characters given of him in the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament; and therefore they knew him not when he came and fulfilled the voices of the prophets they were ignorant of in condemning him: hence they were unmindful of his person, his offices, his works, his benefits, and the great salvation by him; as indeed too many are that call themselves Christians: some observe that the word here used signifies bringing forth children with pain, and so way respect the bitter sorrows and sufferings of Christ, sometimes expressed by a word (l) which signifies the pains of women in childbirth, Acts 2:24; and called the travail of his soul, Isaiah 53:11; and so a further aggravation of their ingratitude, that they should forget him that suffered so much, at least on account of some of them; for, those he endured to bring forth children unto God, or to gather together the children of God, scattered abroad both in Judea and in the whole world, John 11:51.Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)18. Rock] See on Deuteronomy 32:4; God, Heb. ’El. The predicates used of Him are generally interpreted as if attributing to Him the functions both of father and mother. But the first vb. is more usually in the O.T. of the mother, and is rightly rendered here by R.V. marg. bare; the second, gave thee birth, is rather was in travail with thee; cp. Numbers 11:12.Verse 18. - Moses here returns to the thought of ver. 15, for the purpose of expressing it with greater force, and also of leading on to the description he is about to give of the Lord's acts towards the nation who had so revolted from him. Thou art unmindful; LXX., ἐγκατέλιπες: Vulgate, dereliquisti. The Hebrew word שָׁיָה occurs only here, and the meaning is doubtful. From the rendering of the versions, it would seem to be allied to the Arabic , saha, oblitus est. That formed thee; literally, that brought thee forth or caused thee to be born; "qui te eduxit ex utero materno" (Jarchi. Cf. for the use of the verb, Psalm 29:9). In the Samaritan Codex, מהלל, "who hath glorified or praised thee," is the reading, instead of מחלל; and this the Syriac also expresses. The other versions, however, support the Masoretic reading.
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