Deuteronomy 4:27
And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and you shall be left few in number among the heathen, where the LORD shall lead you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) And the Lord shall scatter you.—Our familiarity with this fact in history must not blind us to its force when uttered as a prophecy. The fact that the Jews were taken captive for idolatry, and dispersed for the rejection of JESUS, is a remarkable proof that the real reason why they were brought into Canaan, and kept there, was to be witnesses for Jehovah.

4:24-40 Moses urged the greatness, glory, and goodness of God. Did we consider what a God he is with whom we have to do, we should surely make conscience of our duty to him, and not dare to sin against him. Shall we forsake a merciful God, who will never forsake us, if we are faithful unto him? Whither can we go? Let us be held to our duty by the bonds of love, and prevailed with by the mercies of God to cleave to him. Moses urged God's authority over them, and their obligations to him. In keeping God's commandments they would act wisely for themselves. The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom. Those who enjoy the benefit of Divine light and laws, ought to support their character for wisdom and honour, that God may be glorified thereby. Those who call upon God, shall certainly find him within call, ready to give an answer of peace to every prayer of faith. All these statutes and judgments of the Divine law are just and righteous, above the statutes and judgments of any of the nations. What they saw at mount Sinai, gave an earnest of the day of judgment, in which the Lord Jesus shall be revealed in flaming fire. They must also remember what they heard at mount Sinai. God manifests himself in the works of the creation, without speech or language, yet their voice is heard, Ps 19:1,3; but to Israel he made himself known by speech and language, condescending to their weakness. The rise of this nation was quite different from the origin of all other nations. See the reasons of free grace; we are not beloved for our own sakes, but for Christ's sake. Moses urged the certain benefit and advantage of obedience. This argument he had begun with, ver. 1, That ye may live, and go in and possess the land; and this he concludes with, ver. 40, That it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee. He reminds them that their prosperity would depend upon their piety. Apostacy from God would undoubtedly be the ruin of their nation. He foresees their revolt from God to idols. Those, and those only, shall find God to their comfort, who seek him with all their heart. Afflictions engage and quicken us to seek God; and, by the grace of God working with them, many are thus brought back to their right mind. When these things are come upon thee, turn to the Lord thy God, for thou seest what comes of turning from him. Let all the arguments be laid together, and then say, if religion has not reason on its side. None cast off the government of their God, but those who first abandon the understanding of a man.Compare with these verses Leviticus 26:33-40, and Deuteronomy 28:64 ff. 26. I call heaven and earth to witness against you—This solemn form of adjuration has been common in special circumstances among all people. It is used here figuratively, or as in other parts of Scripture where inanimate objects are called up as witnesses (De 32:1; Isa 1:2). No text from Poole on this verse. And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations,.... As they were by both captivities; the ten tribes were dispersed among the cities of the Medes, and the two tribes throughout the empire of Babylon:

and ye shall be left few in number among the Heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you; or be "men of number" (i), so few that they might be easily numbered; which intimates that it should be other wise with them than when in Egypt; there they were multiplied and increased the more they were afflicted, but in these captivities they should be greatly diminished.

(i) "viri numeri", Montanus, Drusius.

And the LORD shall {s} scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you.

(s) So that his curse will make his former blessings ineffectual.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
27. few in number] Heb. idiom men of a number, easily counted, instead of being innumerable, as the stars in heaven for multitude.Verse 27. - Few in number; literally, men of number, i.e. that may be counted; few as compared with the heathen among whom they should be dispersed (Genesis 34:30). Shall lead you. The verb here (נִהֵג, Piel of נָהַג) is frequently used in the sense of conducting gently and kindly (Isaiah 49:10; Isaiah 63:14; Psalm 48:14; Psalm 78:52); but it also means to drive, to carry off, to convey forcibly (Exodus 14:25; Genesis 31:26; Exodus 10:13; Psalm 78:26); the connection shows that it is in the latter sense it is to be taken here. Dispersed among the heathen, they, who had dishonored God by making an image to represent him, should be compelled to do service to mere dead idols, the work of men's hands, which not only could not hear or see, as God can, but also could not-perform even such animal functions as eating and smelling (Psalm 115:4-7; Jeremiah 10:3-9). These idols are called "gods" by Moses, because they were so counted by those who worshipped them; elsewhere he stigmatizes them as "abominations," things to be loathed and abhorred (שִׁקּוּצִים, Deuteronomy 27:15; Deuteronomy 29:17). As had been their sin, so should be their punishment; as they had dishonored God, so should they be themselves dishonored; as they had worshipped by an image him who is spirit and without form, they should be made to sink down to an utterly materialized worship, that of mere idols, the work of men's hands; as they had apostatized from the one holy and true God, they should be degraded to become the servants of abominations, objects of loathing and abhorrence (Jeremiah 16:13; Acts 7:42). God, however, would not utterly cast them off: if, in their misery and degradation, they should repent and turn again to him and seek him sincerely and earnestly, they should find him; for he is a merciful God, and mindful of the covenant which he swam unto their fathers (cf. Leviticus 26:39, etc.). The bringing of Israel out of Egypt reminds Moses of the end, viz., Canaan, and leads him to mention again how the Lord had refused him permission to enter into this good land; and to this he adds the renewed warning not to forget the covenant or make any image of God, since Jehovah, as a jealous God, would never tolerate this. The swearing attributed to God in Deuteronomy 4:21 is neither mentioned in Numbers 20 nor at the announcement of Moses' death in Numbers 27:12.; but it is not to be called in question on that account, as Knobel supposes. It is perfectly obvious from Deuteronomy 3:23. that all the details are not given in the historical account of the event referred to. כּל תּמוּנת פּסל, "image of a form of all that Jehovah has commanded," sc., not to be made (Deuteronomy 4:16-18). "A consuming fire" (Deuteronomy 4:24): this epithet is applied to God with special reference to the manifestation of His glory in burning fire (Exodus 24:17). On the symbolical meaning of this mode of revelation, see at Exodus 3:2. "A jealous God:" see at Exodus 20:5.
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