Deuteronomy 33:19
They shall call the people to the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) They shall call the people unto the mountain.—Or, they shall give the mountain-call to the peoplesi.e., they shall call the tribes of Israel to Mount Moriah to offer the sacrifices of righteousness. (See 2Chronicles 30:11; 2Chronicles 30:18 for an illustration of this.)

Deuteronomy 33:19. They — Zebulun, of whom Moses takes more special notice. And so having despatched Issachar in two words, he returns to Zebulun. Shall call the people — The Gentiles, either those of Galilee, which was called Galilee of the Gentiles, who were their neighbours; or people of other nations with whom they had commerce, which they endeavoured to improve, in persuading them to worship the true God. The mountain — That is, to the temple, which Moses knew was to be seated upon a mountain. Sacrifices of righteousness — Such as God requires. Their trafficking abroad with heathen nations shall not make them forget their duty at home, nor shall their distance from the place of sacrifice hinder them from coming to it to discharge that duty. Of the abundance of the sea — They shall grow rich by the traffic of the sea, and shall consecrate themselves and their riches to God. Hid in the sand — Such precious things as either, 1st, Are contained in the sand of the sea and rivers, in which sometimes there is mixed a considerable quantity of gold and silver.

Or, 2d, Such as grow in the sea, or are fetched from the sandy bottom of it, as pearls, coral, ambergris. Or, 3d, Such as, being cast into the sea by shipwrecks, are cast upon the shore by the workings of the sea. This, however, Le Clerc refers, with Jonathan, to their enriching themselves by making glass of a kind of sand found upon their coasts. For the river Belus, famous for its glassy sands, of which alone glass was for a long time manufactured, was in the territories of the Zebulunites. These glassy sands are mentioned by several authors. But treasures hid in the sand, may import the same as sucking of the abundance of the seas — That is, enriching themselves by naval commerce.33:6-23 The order in which the tribes are here blessed, is not the same as is observed elsewhere. The blessing of Judah may refer to the whole tribe in general, or to David as a type of Christ. Moses largely blesses the tribe of Levi. Acceptance with God is what we should all aim at, and desire, in all our devotions, whether men accept us or not, 2Co 5:9. This prayer is a prophecy, that God will keep up a ministry in his church to the end of time. The tribe of Benjamin had their inheritance close to mount Zion. To be situated near the ordinances, is a precious gift from the Lord, a privilege not to be exchanged for any worldly advantage, or indulgence. We should thankfully receive the earthly blessings sent to us, through the successive seasons. But those good gifts which come down from the Father of lights, through the rising of the Sun of righteousness, and the pouring out of his Spirit like the rain which makes fruitful, are infinitely more precious, as the tokens of his special love. The precious things here prayed for, are figures of spiritual blessing in heavenly things by Christ, the gifts, graces, and comforts of the Spirit. When Moses prays for the good will of Him that dwelt in the bush, he refers to the covenant, on which all our hopes of God's favour must be founded. The providence of God appoints men's habitations, and wisely disposes men to different employments for the public good. Whatever our place and business are, it is our wisdom and duty to apply thereto; and it is happiness to be well pleased therewith. We should not only invite others to the service of God, but abound in it. The blessing of Naphtali. The favour of God is the only favour satisfying to the soul. Those are happy indeed, who have the favour of God; and those shall have it, who reckon that in having it they have enough, and desire no more.Unto the mountain - Compare Exodus 15:17.

Sacrifices of righteousness - Sacrifices offered in a righteous spirit, and therefore well pleasing to God (compare Psalm 4:5; Psalm 51:19).

Treasures hid in the sand - The riches of the seas in general. However, it is noteworthy that the sand of these coasts was especially valuable in the manufacture of glass; and glass was a precious thing in ancient times (compare Job 28:17). The murex from which the highly-prized purple dye was extracted, was also found here. A typical reference to the conversion of the Gentiles is strongly suggested by Isaiah 60:5-6, Isaiah 60:16; Isaiah 66:11-12.

19. shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand—Both tribes should traffic with the Phœnicians in gold and silver, pearl and coral, especially in murex, the shellfish that yielded the famous Tyrian dye, and in glass, which was manufactured from the sand of the river Belus, in their immediate neighborhood. They; either,

1. Zebulun and Issachar. Or rather,

2. Zebulun only, as the following matter shows; and it was Zebulun that Moses takes more special notice of, Deu 33:18, bringing in Issachar only by the by, in conjunction with him, or in opposition to him. And so having despatched Issachar in two words, he returns to Zebulun, a more active tribe.

The people, i.e. the Gentiles; either those of Galilee, which was called Galilee of the Gentiles, who were their neighbours; or people of other nations, with whom they had commerce, which they endeavoured to improve in persuading them to the true God, and his worship and service.

Unto the mountain, i.e. to the temple, which Moses knew was to be seated upon a mountain.

Sacrifices of righteousness, i.e. such as God requires and righteousness obligeth them to offer. Their trafficking abroad with heathen nations shall not make them forget or neglect their duty at home, nor shall their distance from the place of sacrifice hinder them from coming to it to discharge that duty.

They shall suck of the abundance of the seas; they shall grow rich by the traffic of the sea; and their riches shall not make them the worse, as they do others, but they shall consecrate themselves and their riches to the service of God.

Treasures hid in the sand; such precious things as either,

1. Are contained in the sand of the sea and rivers, in which sometimes there is mixed a considerable quantity of gold and silver. Or,

2. Such as grow in the sea, or are fetched from the sandy bottom of it, as pearls, coral, ambergris, &c. Or,

3. Such as being east into the sea by shipwreck are cast upon the shore by the workings of the sea, and thence taken either by merchants, or by the people that live upon the sea-coast. They shall call the people unto the mountain,.... To the mountain of the house of the sanctuary, as all the three Targums; to the temple built on a mountain, which Moses by a spirit of prophecy foresaw would be, to which the tribes of Zebulun and Issachar would not only come up themselves, though at the more distant parts of the land; but call and urge others, both Israelites and Gentiles, to do the same, partly by their example, and partly by persuasions and arguments; not the tribes of Israel that lay nearest them only, but the Heathens, the Tyrians and Sidonians, on whom they bordered, and the Gentiles in Galilee of the Gentiles, which were neighbours to them; a like instance see in Isaiah 2:2; and perhaps this may have respect to the times of Christ and his apostles, and to their being in those parts where the Gospel was preached, and many people were called, Matthew 4:13,

there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness; or true sacrifices, as the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem, in opposition to illegitimate ones, which were not according to the law, that had blemishes and defects in them, and to such as were gotten by robbery, or in an unlawful way; and may signify all righteous actions and good works done in faith, and from right principles, though not to be depended upon for a justifying righteousness before God; and all spiritual sacrifices, especially the sacrifices of praise for all blessings, and particularly for the righteousness of Christ; and these are to be offered in the church of God, and upon the altar, which sanctifies every gift, and from whence they come up with acceptance to God:

for they shall suck of the abundance of the sea; get a great deal of riches by trading at sea, and therefore under great obligations to offer sacrifices to the Lord, by whom they were prospered:

and of the treasure hid in the sand; as gold and silver, pearls and corals, and the like, extracted from thence; or riches buried there through shipwrecks; or it may design the great wealth and riches they got by glass made of sand, taken out of the river Belus, which washed the coast of the tribe of Zebulun, as many historians relate (z).

(z) Strabo. Geograph. l. 16. p. 521. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 19. Tacit. Hist. l. 5. c. 7.

They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for {n} they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.

(n) The tribe of Zebulun.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
19. lend upon usury] exact interest; the Eng. usury formerly meant like the Lat. usura no more than interest. Heb. neshek is lit. something bitten off; the denom. vb. is to take, or make one pay, interest.

usury of money, etc.] The loans were more frequently in kind.

19. They callThere they offer] Their markets for their trade with other tribes or peoples were also religious festivals, a combination characteristic of the Semitic world (as of others even in modern times) and illustrated at Sinai, Jerusalem, Bethel (vide Amos), Hierapolis and Mecca. The mountain may have been Carmel or Tabor; but the text is uncertain. LXX have a verb followed by and which suggests the Heb. yaḥdaw = together, instead of the awkwardly constructed har = mountain. Sacrifices of righteousness are of course the legal, due or fitting sacrifices. Sam. s. of truth.

abundance] This form of the Heb. term is found only here; but it occurs in Aram. The lit. meaning is flowing; render affluence, profusion (LXX πλοῦτος); all that the Phoenicians drew from the sea—their sea-borne trade and fisheries and possibly the dredging for sponges still carried on off ‘Athlit and Carmel.

of the seas] Plur. as often in poetry, Jdg 5:17, Genesis 49:13.

And the hidden treasures, etc.] The Heb. construction (confirmed by Sam.) is awkward, and perhaps we should read a finite vb instead of the participle hidden: and gather (or scrape, cp. Ar. safan) the hoards of the sand. The reference is either to the manufacture of glass which took place on the sands S. of ’Akka (Josephus, II. Bell. Jdg 10:2; Tacitus, Hist. Deuteronomy 33:7; Pliny, Hist. Nat. Deuteronomy 33:17, xxxvi. 65) or to the production of purple from the murex (Pliny, H.N. ix. 60–65) large quantities of the emptied shells of which are still found about Tyre.Joseph. - Deuteronomy 33:13. "Blessed of the Lord be his land, of (in) the most precious things of heaven, the dew, and of the flood which lies beneath, (Deuteronomy 33:14) and of the most precious of the produce of the sun, and of the most precious of the growth of the moons, (Deuteronomy 33:15) and of the head of the mountains of olden time, and of the most precious thing of the everlasting hills, (Deuteronomy 33:16) and of the most precious thing of the earth, and of its fulness, and the good-will of Him that dwelt in the bush: let it come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the crown of him that is illustrious among his brethren." What Jacob desired and solicited for his son Joseph, Moses also desires for this tribe, namely, the greatest possible abundance of earthly blessing, and a vigorous manifestation of power in conflict with the nations. But however unmistakeable may be the connection between these words and the blessing of Jacob (Genesis 49:22.), not only in the things desired, but even in particular expression, there is an important difference which equally strikes us, namely, that in the case of Jacob the main point of the blessing is the growth of Joseph into a powerful tribe, whereas with Moses it is the development of power on the part of this tribe in the land of its inheritance, in perfect harmony with the different times at which the blessings were pronounced. Jacob described the growth of Joseph under the figure of the luxuriant branch of a fruit-tree planted by the water; whilst Moses fixes his eye primarily upon the land of Joseph, and desires for him the richest productions. "May his land be blessed by Jehovah from (מן of the cause of the blessing, whose author was Jehovah; vid., Psalm 28:7; Psalm 104:3) the most precious thing of the heaven." מגד, which only occurs again in the Sol 4:13, Sol 4:16, and Sol 7:13, is applied to precious fruits. The most precious fruit which the heaven yields to the land is the dew. The "productions of the sun," and גּרשׁ, ἅπ. λεγ. from גּרשׁ, "the produce of the moons," are the fruits of the earth, which are matured by the influence of the sun and moon, by their light, their warmth. At the same time, we can hardly so distinguish the one from the other as to understand by the former the fruits which ripen only once a year, and by the latter those which grow several times and in difference months; and Ezekiel 47:12 and Revelation 22:2 cannot be adduced as proofs of this. The plural "moons" in parallelism with the sun does not mean months, as in Exodus 2:2, but the different phases which the moon shows in its revolution round the earth. מראשׁ (from the head), in Deuteronomy 33:15, is a contracted expression signifying "from the most precious things of the head." The most precious things of the head of the mountains of old and the eternal hills, are the crops and forests with which the tops of the mountains and hills are covered. Moses sums up the whole in the words, "the earth, and the fulness thereof:" everything in the form of costly good that the earth and its productions can supply. - To the blessings of the heaven and earth there are to be added the good-will of the Lord, who appeared to Moses in the thorn-bush to redeem His people out of the bondage and oppression of Egypt and bring it into the land of Canaan, the land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3:2.). The expression "that dwells in the bush" is to be explained from the significance of this manifestation of God as shown at Exodus 3, which shadowed forth a permanent relation between the Lord and His people. The spiritual blessing of the covenant grace is very suitably added to the blessings of nature; and there is something no less suitable in the way in which the construction commencing with וּרצון is dropped, so that an anakolouthon ensues. This word cannot be taken as an accusative of more precise definition, as Schultz supposes; nor is מן to be supplied before it, as Knobel suggests. Grammatically considered, it is a nominative to which the verb תּבואתה properly belongs, although, as a matter of fact, not only the good-will, but the natural blessings, of the Lord were also to come upon the head of Joseph. Consequently we have not יבוא (masc.), which רצון would require, but the lengthened poetical feminine form תּבואתה (vid., Ewald, 191, c.), used in a neuter sense. It, i.e., everything mentioned before, shall come upon Joseph. On the expression, "illustrious among his brethren," see at Genesis 49:26. In the strength of this blessing, the tribe of Joseph would attain to such a development of power, that it would be able to tread down all nations.
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