Deuteronomy 32:43
Rejoice, O you nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful to his land, and to his people.
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(43) Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people.[9]—This is cited by St. Paul to show that the Gentiles must also “glorify God for His mercy” in sending Jesus Christ. But it is not wholly fulfilled yet. “If the fall of God’s people was the wealth of the world . . . what will the receiving of them be. but life from the dead?” (See Romans 11:12; Romans 11:15; Romans 15:10.)

[9] The LXX. have a longer version of this verse, “Rejoice, ye heavens, with Him, and let all the angels of God worship Him (Hebrews 1:7); Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with His people, and let all the sons of God be strong in Him; for,” &c.

And will be merciful unto.—Literally, will reconcile or make atonement for His land, the land of His people, or for the land of His people. He will cleanse, forgive, and be merciful to it. The very last words speak of local restoration of the land to the people, and the people to the land. Of no other land has He said “The land is mine” “Israel” alone is called His “firstborn.”

Deuteronomy 32:43. Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people — So the Seventy, a translation followed by St. Paul, (Romans 15:10,) where this passage is quoted, and where we are directed to consider it as a prediction of the bringing in of the Gentiles to share the privileges of the gospel, and become one church of God in conjunction with the Jews. Or, if it be translated more literally, according to the Hebrew, Rejoice, O ye nations, (or Gentiles) his people; that is, being now his people, the sense will be much the same. Either way the words seem evidently to relate to the last great deliverance of the Jews, and their conversion to Christianity, and the bringing in of the fulness of the Gentiles, which undoubtedly will be the completion of the divine dispensations, and will spread peace and happiness over all the earth. He therefore calls upon all the nations of the earth to rejoice in prospect of this great event, which they had all reason to do, considering the singular advantages which all nations would enjoy at that time and upon that occasion.32:39-43 This conclusion of the song speaks, 1. Glory to God. No escape can be made from his power. 2. It speaks terror to his enemies. Terror indeed to those who hate him. The wrath of God is here revealed from heaven against them. 3. It speaks comfort to his own people. The song concludes with words of joy. Whatever judgments are brought upon sinners, it shall go well with the people of God.Rejoice, O ye nations, with His people - Some prefer the marginal rendering.

In this profound passage, there is shadowed forth the purpose of God to overrule:

(1) the unbelief of the Jews to the bringing in of the Gentiles; and

(2) the mercy shown to the Gentries to the eventual restoration of the Jews (compare Romans 11:25-36).

The Song closes as it began Deuteronomy 32:1-3, with an invitation to praise. It has reached, through a long series of divine interpositions, its grandest theme in this call to the Gentiles, now pagan no more, to rejoice over God's restored people, the Jews.

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. With his people. This translation is justified by St. Paul, Romans 15:10, the particle with being oft understood, as Leviticus 26:42. He calls upon the nations to rejoice and bless God for his favours, and especially for the last wonderful deliverance which shall be given to the Jews when they shall be converted unto the gospel in the last days, which they have all reason to do, not only kern that duty of sympathy which they owe to all people, and especially to God’s ancient people, whereby they are to rejoice with them that rejoice, but because of that singular advantage and happiness which all nations will have at that time, and upon that occasion. Or, Rejoice, O ye Gentiles, his people; i.e. O you Gentiles, who once were not God’s people, but now are his people, do you rejoice for God’s mercies to the Jews his ancient people, bless God for their conversion and salvation. Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people,.... Or, "rejoice, ye nations", who are "his" people; so Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it; the Gentiles, who are the Lord's chosen and covenant people, redeemed and called, and the fulness of them now brought in, and so matter of great rejoicing; or rather, as the Septuagint, which is approved and confirmed by the Apostle Paul, "rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people", Romans 15:10; and as it is there applied to the then state of the Christian church, when Jews and Gentiles were incorporated and united together; so here it respects future time, when, as the fulness of the Gentiles will be brought in, so the Jews will be converted, and the "loammi", Hosea 1:9, will be taken off from them, and they will be reckoned among the people of God; and Jews and Gentiles will be joined together in the same Gospel church state, and so are called upon to rejoice in their common salvation, and in their common blessings and privileges, and particularly for what follows:

for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries; by his servants are meant the martyrs of Jesus, whose blood has been shed by antichrist, and the antichristian powers, his adversaries; as the blood of the Waldenses in the valleys of Piedmont, the Albigenses in Spain, and the Petrobrussians in France, the Bohemians in Germany, the Wickliffites, Lollards and the "martyrs" in Queen Mary's days in England, with many others; and when inquisition is made for blood, the blood of those will be found out, and vengeance rendered for it:

and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people: or "will atone for" (z), expiate, cleanse, and purge both land and people; clear the whole earth, which is the Lord's, from Mahometanism, Paganism, and Popery, and cover it with the knowledge of the Lord by the everlasting Gospel, which will be preached to all nations; and particularly the land of Canaan, laid under an anathema or curse, as threatened, Malachi 4:6; under which it has lain ever since the destruction of it by the Romans, and has ever since been inhabited by Pagans, Mahometans, and Papists; and, though once a land flowing with milk and honey, has been turned into a barren wilderness, and will thus remain, and Jerusalem, its metropolis, trodden down by the Gentiles, until their times are fulfilled; which now will be, and then it will be restored to its former fruitfulness and fertility, Luke 21:24; and will be inhabited by the converted Jews, to whom the Lord will be pacified, upon the foot or Christ's atonement, which now will be made known and applied unto them, with the full and free pardon of all their sins, Romans 11:25; and thus ends this most excellent and wonderful song, which is of such a large extent and compass, as to reach from the beginning of the Jewish nation, and before it, to the conversion of the Jews in the latter day; an history of more than four thousand years already; and how long more is yet to come before all in it is fulfilled no man call say.

(z) "propitiabitur", Pagninus, Montanus; "expiabit", Vatablus; "expiat", Junius & Tremellius.

Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the {u} blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.

(u) Where the blood of God's people is shed for their sins or trial of their faith, he promises to avenge it.

43. For this LXX gives eight lines, part quoted in Romans 15:10.

Sing] Heb. harnînû, the most ringing of the vbs with this meaning.

assoils] Covers, or clears, from guilt, cp. Deuteronomy 21:8.

the land of His people] So Sam., LXX, etc., doubtless rightly. Heb. as in R.V.Verse 43. - "As this song commenced with an appeal to heaven and earth to give glory to the Lord (vers. 1-3), so it very suitably closes with an appeal to the heathen to rejoice with his people on account of the acts of the Lord" (Keil). Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people. The Authorized Version here follows the LXX., εὐφράνθητε ἔθνη μετὰ τοῦ λαοῦ αὐτοῦ, and so St. Paul cites the passage in Romans 15:10. The Jewish interpreters generally render, Praise his people, O nations; and this several Christian interpreters adopt. But as Rosenmüller remarks, it is the Divine righteousness manifested in the vindication of his people from their enemies that is to be celebrated, and not the people themselves, as what follows shows. Here as elsewhere the nations and the people are in contrast. The 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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