Deuteronomy 33:29
Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.
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(29) Thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee.—See Psalm 66:3 : “Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves (i.e., lie) unto thee.” The idea is, that the enemies of the conqueror will hasten to throw themselves at his feet, protesting that they were always his friends. (Compare Shimei’s repentance on the occasion of David’s return to Jerusalem, 2Samuel 19:18.)

Deuteronomy 33:29. Happy art thou, O Israel — Wanting words sufficiently to express their happiness, he breaks out into admiration of it. Who is like unto thee? — So highly favoured as thou art? O people, saved of the Lord — Preserved, protected, and provided for by Omnipotence. Surely this is a privilege of which no nation can boast but yourselves. The shield of thy help — By whom thou art sufficiently guarded against all assailants; and the sword of thy excellency — Or, thy most excellent sword; that is, thy strength, and the author of all thy past or approaching victories. Those in whose hearts is the excellence of holiness, have God himself for their shield and sword. They are defended by the whole armour of God: his word is their sword, and faith their shield. And thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee — Who said they would destroy thee: or, at least, that they would never submit: and thou shalt tread upon their high places — Their strongholds, palaces, and temples. Thus shall the God of peace tread Satan under the feet of all believers, and that shortly.

33:26-29 None had such a God as Israel. There is no people like the Israel of God. What is here said of the church of Israel is to be applied to the spiritual church. Never were people so well seated and sheltered. Those who make God their habitation, shall have all the comforts and benefits of a habitation in him, Ps 91:1. Never were people so well supported and borne up. How low soever the people of God are at any time brought, everlasting arms are underneath them, to keep the spirit from sinking, from fainting, and their faith from failing. Divine grace is sufficient for them, 2Co 12:9. Never were people so well commanded. Thus believers are more than conquerors over their spiritual enemies, through Christ that loved them. Never were people so well secured and protected. Israel shall dwell in safety alone. All who keep close to God, shall be kept safe by him. Never were people so well provided for. Every true Israelite looks with faith to the better country, the heavenly Canaan, which is filled with better things than corn and wine. Never were people so well helped. If in danger of any harm, or in want of any good, they had an eternal God to go to. Nothing could hurt those whom God helped, nor was it possible the people should perish who were saved by the Lord. Never were people so well armed. Those in whose hearts is the excellency of holiness, are defended by the whole armour of God, Eph 6. Never were people so well assured of victory over their enemies. Thus shall the God of peace tread Satan under the feet of all believers, and shall do it shortly, Ro 16:20. May God help us to seek and to set our affections on the things above; and to turn our souls from earthly perishing objects; that we may not have our lot with Israel's foes in the regions of darkness and despair, but with the Israel of God, in the realms of love and eternal happiness.Be found liars unto thee - Perhaps rather, "cringe before thee." The verb means to show a feigned or forced obedience: see the marginal references.

Tread upon their high places - i. e., occupy the commanding positions in their land, and so have it in subjection.

28. the fountain of Jacob—The posterity of Israel shall dwell in a blessed and favored land. Saved by the Lord, the giver and preserver of all that excellency, that glory, safety, and happiness, which thou hast above all other people, which thou dost not obtain either by or for thy own wisdom, or strength, or goodness.

The sword of thy excellency, or, thy most excellent sword, i.e. thy strength and the author of all this, past or approaching victories.

Shall be found liars unto thee, i.e. shall be deceived, as to all their vain hopes and confidences of destroying thee or saving themselves, whether grounded upon their own numbers, and valour, and strong holds, or upon old prophecies and predictions of success, or upon their idols. Or, shall lie unto thee, i.e. shall submit themselves to thee, though it be done but feignedly and by constraint, as this phrase is used, Psalm 18:44 66:3 81:15. Possibly this may design the lies and frauds which the Gibeonites would use to deceive them, Joshua 9:4.

Thou shalt tread upon their high places, i.e. thou shalt subdue their greatest princes, and their strongest holds, Deu 32:13, and their idols, temples, and worship.

Happy art thou, O Israel,.... This is the conclusion of the blessing on Israel summed up in a few words; they having God to be their God, and having so many good things promised them, and in sight of them; being now got through, the wilderness, and on the borders of the land of Canaan; as all such must be happy, whose covenant God is the Lord; since they must be beloved of him, chosen by him, and blessed with all spiritual blessings; and in the faith, hope, and view of eternal happiness:

who is like unto thee? for an interest in the favour of God, for a share in the blessings of goodness, for a good God, a good land, and good laws; for wisdom and knowledge, for riches and honour, for holiness and happiness:

O people saved by the Lord; redeemed by him out of Egypt, preserved in the wilderness, saved from many dangers and enemies, and now brought near to the land of Canaan. The Targum of Jonathan is,"saved or redeemed in the name of the word of the Lord:''by whom the spiritual Israel of God are redeemed from all their sins, from the curses of the law, and out of the hand of all their enemies; and are and will be completely saved in soul and body, with an everlasting salvation:

the shield of thy help; that, is, the Lord, by whom they are saved; he is the shield that protects them; the shield of faith and of salvation, which faith lays hold on and makes use of for its defence, and who is the help of his people in all times of trouble:

and who is the sword of thy excellency; to destroy their enemies, and whereby they would be raised to that excellency and glory they were in the land of Canaan:

and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; who threatened what they would do unto them, but were not able: or "shall lie unto thee" (o), be in such dread and fear as to tell lies to save themselves, and pretend to be what they were not, as the Gibeonites did, of whom Jarchi interprets this passage:

and thou shall tread upon their, high places; be possessed of their cities and fortresses, built on an eminence; see Deuteronomy 32:13; all the three Targums, and so Jarchi, interpret it of treading on the necks of their kings, which was fulfilled, Joshua 10:24.

(o) "mentientur", Montanus, Tigurine version; "mentiuntur", Cocceius.

Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and {s} thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.

(s) Your enemies for fear shall lie and pretend to be in subjection.

29. The metre here is irregular, the first line is overloaded, the third too short, but the text is mostly confirmed by the Versions.

shield] God as shield, Genesis 15:1, Psalm 3:3 (4), Psalm 18:2; Psalm 18:30 (3, 31), Psalm 84:11 (12).

that is] So Heb.; but omit with Sam. LXX.

excellency] The same word as in Deuteronomy 33:26, but here in the passive sense of being exalted.

come to thee fawning] Or cringing. Psalm 18:44 (45), Psalm 66:3, Psalm 81:15 (16).

Verse 29. - "This concluding verse comprehends the whole blessing. Israel is to be congratulated and praised because, through the true God, it has unparalleled protection, salvation, and triumph" (Herxheimer). Thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; literally, shall feign unto thee; i.e. shall pretend to be thy friends, in order to obtain favor with thee. The verb conveys the idea of fawning upon a person with a feigned humility and submissiveness (cf. Psalm 18:44; Psalm 66:2; Psalm 81:15). Thou shalt tread upon their high places; i.e. shalt wholly subdue them and triumph over them (cf. Deuteronomy 32:13); "crees eorum in montibus positas, loca eorum inaccessa victor calcabis, its potieris; qua ipsa phrasi Amos 4:13, Micah 1:3, superbe incedens victor describitur" (Rosenmüller).

Deuteronomy 33:29"Hail to thee, O Israel! who is like thee, a people saved in the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who (is) the sword of thine eminence. Thine enemies will deny themselves to thee, and thou ridest upon their heights." "Saved;" not merely delivered from danger and distress, but in general endowed with salvation (like Zechariah 9:9; see also Isaiah 45:17). The salvation of Israel rested in the Lord, as the ground out of which it grew, from which it descended, because the Lord was its help and shield, as He had already promised Abraham (Genesis 15:1), and "the sword of his eminence," i.e., the sword which had fought for the eminence of Israel. But because the Lord was Israel's shield and sword, or, so to speak, both an offensive and defensive weapon, his enemies denied themselves to him, i.e., feigned friendship, did not venture to appear openly as enemies (for the meaning "feign," act the hypocrite, see Psalm 18:45; Psalm 81:16). But Israel would ride upon their heights, the high places of their land, i.e., would triumph over all its foes (see at Deuteronomy 32:13).
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