Deuteronomy 32:38
Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.
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32:26-38 The idolatry and rebellions of Israel deserved, and the justice of God seemed to demand, that they should be rooted out. But He spared Israel, and continues them still to be living witnesses of the truth of the Bible, and to silence unbelievers. They are preserved for wise and holy purposes and the prophecies give us some idea what those purposes are. The Lord will never disgrace the throne of his glory. It is great wisdom, and will help much to the return of sinners to God, seriously to consider their latter end, or the future state. It is here meant particularly of what God foretold by Moses, about this people in the latter days; but it may be applied generally. Oh that men would consider the happiness they will lose, and the misery they will certainly plunge into, if they go on in their trespasses! What will be in the end thereof? Jer 5:31. For the Lord will in due time bring down the enemies of the church, in displeasure against their wickedness. When sinners deem themselves most secure, they suddenly fall into destruction. And God's time to appear for the deliverance of his people, is when things are at the worst with them. But those who trust to any rock but God, will find it fail them when they most need it. The rejection of the Messiah by the Jewish nation, is the continuance of their ancient idolatry, apostacy, and rebellion. They shall be brought to humble themselves before the Lord, to repent of their sins, and to trust in their long-rejected Mediator for salvation. Then he will deliver them, and make their prosperity great.Repent himself for - Rather, have compassion upon. The verse declares that God's judgment of His people would issue at once in the punishment of the wicked, and in the comfort of the righteous.

None shut up, or left - A proverbial phrase (compare 1 Kings 14:10) meaning perhaps "married and single," or "guarded and forsaken," but signifying generally "all men of all sorts."

32. vine of Sodom … grapes of gall—This fruit, which the Arabs call "Lot's Sea Orange," is of a bright yellow color and grows in clusters of three or four. When mellow, it is tempting in appearance, but on being struck, explodes like a puffball, consisting of skin and fiber only. i.e. To whom you offered sacrifices and oblations after the manner of the Gentiles. See Exodus 34:13 Psalm 106:28 1 Corinthians 10:20.

Let them help you, if they can do it. Compare Judges 10:14 Jeremiah 2:28.

Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings,.... Alluding to the fat of the sacrifices under the law, which was claimed by the Lord as his, and represented as his food, Leviticus 3:11; and to the drink offerings of wine, which were of a sweet savour to God, and with respect to which wine is said to cheer him, Numbers 15:7. Now New Testament worship and services are here expressed in Old Testament language, which is not unusual; see Isaiah 56:7; and signify the best of the sacrifices and services of true believers in Christ, presenting their souls and bodies unto him as a holy, living, acceptable sacrifice, which is but their reasonable service; offering their sacrifices of prayer and praise unto him through Christ; doing all good works in his name and strength, and all acts of beneficence in love to him and his people, with which sacrifices he is well pleased; yea, cheerfully laying down their lives as victims in his cause, when called unto it. Now these words are a taunt at the Protestant doctrine of the acceptance of the service and sacrifices of believers in Christ, through him, and for his sake, and not for any merit or worthiness in them:

let them rise up and help you; their God and their rock, Jehovah the Father, their covenant God, and his Son the rock of their salvation, in whom they trust; and so they will arise and help them in this time of extreme distress; though they may seem as asleep, and to take no notice of the sad estate of saints, they will arise in wrath and indignation at their enemies, and deliver them out of their hands; the Spirit of life from God shall be sent to bring to life the slain witnesses, and Christ will rise up in the exertion of his kingly power; he will take to himself his great power, and reign, and destroy them that destroyeth the earth, Revelation 11:11,

and be your protection; or "let him be your hiding place" (x); that is, the rock in whom they trusted, and so he is, and will be "an hiding place the wind, and a covert from the storm", Isaiah 32:2; not only from the wrath and justice of God, but from the rage and fury of men; Christ will protect and defend his people against all their enemies, and in his own time will deliver them from them; who, in answer to these taunts and derisions, rises up, and thus he says, as follows.

(x) "absconsio", Pagninus, Montanus; "latibulum", Tigurine version; "latebra", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.
38. Let them be a covert above you] So LXX, etc.; Heb. let it.

Deuteronomy 32:38The Lord would then convince His people of the worthlessness of idols and the folly of idolatry, and bring it to admit the fact that He was God alone. "Then will He say, Where are their gods, the rock in whom they trusted; who consumed the fat of their burnt-offerings, the wine of their libations? Let them rise up and help you, that there may be a shelter over you! See now that I, I am it, and there is no God beside Me: I kill, and make alive; I smite in pieces, and I heal; and there is no one who delivers out of My hand." ואמר might be taken impersonally, as it has been by Luther and others, "men will say;" but as it is certainly Jehovah who is speaking in Deuteronomy 32:39, and what Jehovah says there is simply a deduction from what is addressed to the people in Deuteronomy 32:37 and Deuteronomy 32:38, there can hardly be any doubt that Jehovah is speaking in Deuteronomy 32:37, Deuteronomy 32:38, as well as in Deuteronomy 32:34, Deuteronomy 32:35, and therefore that Moses simply distinguishes himself from Jehovah in Deuteronomy 32:36, when explaining the reason for the judgment foretold by the Lord. The expression "their gods," relates, not to the heathen, but to the Israelites, upon whom the judgment had fallen. The worthlessness of their gods had become manifest, namely, of the strange gods or idols, which the Israelites had preferred to the living God (vid., cf. Deuteronomy 32:16, Deuteronomy 32:17), and to which they had brought their sacrifices and drink-offerings. In Deuteronomy 32:38, אשׁר is the subject, - the gods, who consumed the fat of the sacrifices offered to them by their worshippers (the foolish Israelites), - and is not to be taken as the relative with זבחימו, as the lxx, Vulg., and Luther have rendered it, viz., "whose sacrifices they (the Israelites) ate," which neither suits the context nor the word חלב (fat), which denotes the fat portions of the sacrificial animals that were burned upon the altar, and therefore presented to God. The wine of the drink-offerings was also poured out upon the altar, and thus given up to the deity worshipped. The handing over of the sacrificial portions to the deity is described here with holy irony, as though the gods themselves consumed the fat of the slain offerings, and drank the wine poured out for them, for the purpose of expression this thought: "The gods, whom ye entertained so well, and provided so abundantly with sacrifices, let them now arise and help you, and thus make themselves clearly known to you." The address here takes the form of a direct appeal to the idolaters themselves; and in the last clause the imperative is introduced instead of the optative, to express the thought as sharply as possible, that men need the protection of God, and are warranted in expecting it from the gods they worship: "let there be a shelter over you." Sithrah for sether, a shelter or defence.
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