Deuteronomy 33:19
They shall call the people unto 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.

Deuteronomy 33:19Zebulun and Issachar. - "Rejoice, Zebulun, at thy going out; and, Issachar, at thy tents. Nations will they invite to the mountain; there offer the sacrifices of righteousness: for they suck the affluence of the seas, and the hidden treasures of the sand." The tribes of the last two sons of Leah Moses unites together, and, like Jacob in Genesis 49:13, places Zebulun the younger first. He first of all confirms the blessing which Jacob pronounced through simply interpreting their names as omnia, by calling upon them to rejoice in their undertakings abroad and at home. "At thy tents" corresponds to "at thy going out" (tents being used poetically for dwellings, as in Deuteronomy 16:7); like "sitting" to "going out and coming in" in 2 Kings 19:27; Isaiah 37:28; Psalm 139:2; and describes in its two aspects of work and production, rest and recreation. Although "going out" (enterprise and labour) is attributed to Zebulun, and "remaining in tents" (the comfortable enjoyment of life) to Issachar, in accordance with the delineation of their respective characters in the blessing of Jacob, this is to be attributed to the poetical parallelism of the clauses, and the whole is to be understood as applying to both in the sense suggested by Graf, "Rejoice, Zebulun and Issachar, in your labour and your rest." This peculiarity, which is founded in the very nature of poetical parallelism, which is to individualize the thought by distributing it into parallel members, has been entirely overlooked by all the commentators who have given a historical interpretation to each, referring the "going out" to the shipping trade and commercial pursuits of the Zebulunites, and the expression "in thy tents" either to the spending of a nomad life in tents, for the purpose of performing a subordinate part in connection with trade (Schultz), or to the quiet pursuits of agriculture and grazing (Knobel). They were to rejoice in their undertakings at home and abroad; for they would be successful. The good things of life would flow to them in rich abundance; they would not make them into mammon, however, but would invite nations to the mountain, and there offer sacrifices of righteousness. "The peoples" are nations generally, not the tribes of Israel, still less the members of their own tribes. By the "mountain," without any more precise definition, we are not to understand Tabor or Carmel any more than the mountain land of Canaan. It is rather "the mountain of the Lord's inheritance" (Exodus 15:17), upon which the Lord was about to plant His people, the mountain which the Lord had chosen for His sanctuary, and in which His people were to dwell with Him, and rejoice in sacrificial meals of fellowship with Him. To this end the Lord had sanctified Moriah through the sacrifice of Isaac which He required of Abraham, though it had not been revealed to Moses that it was there that the temple, in which the name of the Lord in Israel would dwell, was afterwards to be built. There is no distinct or direct allusion to Morah or Zion, as the temple-mountain, involved in the words of Moses. It was only by later revelations and appointments on the part of God that this was to be made known. The words simply contain the Messianic thought that Zebulun and Issachar would offer rich praise-offerings and thank-offerings to the Lord, from the abundant supply of earthly good that would flow to them, upon the mountain which He would make ready as the seat of His gracious presence, and would call, i.e., invite the nations to the sacrificial meals connected with them to delight themselves with them in the rich gifts of the Lord, and worship the Lord who blessed His people thus. For the explanation of this thought, see Psalm 22:28-31. Sacrifice is mentioned here as an expression of divine worship, which culminated in sacrifice; and slain-offerings are mentioned, not burnt-offerings, to set forth the worship of God under the aspect of blessedness in fellowship with the Lord. "Slain-offerings of righteousness' are not merely outwardly legal sacrifices, in conformity with the ritual of the law, but such as were offered in a right spirit, which was well-pleasing to God (as in Psalm 4:6; Psalm 51:21). It follows as a matter of course, therefore, that by the abundance of the seas we are not merely to understand the profits of trade upon the Mediterranean Sea; and that we are still less to understand by the hidden treasures of the sand "the fish, the purple snails, and sponges" (Knobel), or "tunny-fish, purple shells, and glass' (Ps. Jon.); but that the words receive their best exposition from Isaiah 60:5-6, Isaiah 60:16, and Isaiah 66:11-12, i.e., that the thought expressed is, that the riches and treasures of both sea and land would flow to the tribes of Israel.
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