And Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he, and Hoshea the son of Nun.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(44) He, and Hoshea the son of Nun.—Why should Joshua be called Hoshea in this place? His name was apparently changed to Joshua at the time when he entered the promised land with the eleven others who searched it out (Numbers 13:8; Numbers 13:16). Now that he is about to lead Israel to the conquest, we are once more reminded of his change of name, and that the “salvation of Jehovah” was to be manifested through him. Possibly the change of name was also at this time confirmed to him. Compare the case of Jacob, whose change of name to Israel was twice made the subject of a Divine communication (Genesis 32:28; Genesis 35:10). Compare also what was said to him when about to enter into Egypt: “God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob.”
We are assured by the mention of Hoshea in this place that the Joshua appointed to succeed Moses is the same person who was faithful among the spies.
It is also possible that this mention of Hoshea may be Joshua’s first mention of himself in the sacred writings. After the close of the song, the remainder of Deuteronomy is not covered by Moses’ signature. It belongs to Joshua, or else the author is unknown.Deuteronomy 32:44. He and Hoshea — Or Joshua. Probably Moses spoke it to as many as could hear him, while Joshua, in another assembly, at the same time delivered it to as many as his voice would reach. Thus Joshua, as well as Moses, would be a witness against them, if ever they forsook God.Hoshea, or Joshua, who is here joined with Moses in this action, because though Moses only spake the words, yet Joshua consented to them; and, it may be, afterwards repeated them; this being not a song to be sung once for all, but a standing monument, which was written and kept for future use, Deu 31:22, &c., and to be repeated again and again upon solemn occasions, which Joshua and other magistrates were to take care of. Deuteronomy 31:28; The Targum of Jonathan says, he came from the tabernacle, the house of instruction:
and spake all the words of this song in the ears of the people; which is observed both before and after the reading of it, to show the certainty of it, and how punctually and faithfully he had delivered it:
he, and Hoshea the son of Nun; the same with Joshua, whose name at first was Hoshea, Numbers 13:16, probably Joshua read the song to one part of the people, while Moses read it to the other.And Moses came and spake all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he, and Hoshea the son of Nun.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)44. Concluding Note. Can hardly be from the same editorial hand as Deuteronomy 31:30. It is probable from the opening words, And Moses came, that this is a fragment from the end of a narrative of divine instructions given to Moses regarding the Song, such as we find in Deuteronomy 31:16-22 (cp. Exodus 19:7; Exodus 24:3); and indeed LXX repeats Deuteronomy 31:22 before it. Its position here is another sign of the editorial re-arrangements which the materials composing these chs. have undergone. Notice the non-deuter. phrase the people, not all Israel. For this Song LXX has this Law, probably an inadvertence. Hoshea‘ (Numbers 13:8; Numbers 13:16, P) is a clerical error (by omission of one jot!) for Yehoshua‘ or Joshua, which is confirmed by all the versions. The addition of Joshua agrees with the Pl. write ye of Deuteronomy 31:19.Verses 44-47. - Moses, having composed this song, came, accompanied by Joshua, and they together spoke it in the hearing of the people; after which Moses took occasion to urge upon them anew the importance of keeping the commandments of God. Verse 44. - Hoshea the son of Nun. Moses invariably writes this name Jehoshuah (Jehovah is help; cf. Numbers 13; Deuteronomy 31:3, 7, 14, 20, etc.). The use of Hoshea here is due to the fact that this account is part of the supplement added by another writer to the writing of Moses. 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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