Deuteronomy 5:26
For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the middle of the fire, as we have, and lived?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Deuteronomy 5:26. Flesh — Is here put for a man in his frail, corruptible, and mortal state.5:23-33 Moses refers to the consternation caused by the terror with which the law was given. God's appearances have always been terrible to man, ever since the fall; but Christ, having taken away sin, invites us to come boldly to the throne of grace. They were in a good mind, under the strong convictions of the word they heard. Many have their consciences startled by the law who have them not purified; fair promises are extorted from them, but no good principles are fixed and rooted in them. God commended what they said. He desires the welfare and salvation of poor sinners. He has given abundant proof that he does so; he gives us time and space to repent. He has sent his Son to redeem us, promised his Spirit to those who pray for him, and has declared that he has no pleasure in the ruin of sinners. It would be well with many, if there were always such a heart in them, as there seems to be sometimes; when they are under conviction of sin, or the rebukes of providence, or when they come to look death in the face. The only way to be happy, is to be holy. Say to the righteous, It shall be well with them. Let believers make it more and more their study and delight, to do as the Lord God hath commanded.These verses contain a much fuller narrative of the events briefly described in Exodus 20:18-21. Here it is important to call attention to the fact that it was on the entreaties of the people that Moses had taken on him to be the channel of communication between God and them. God approved Deuteronomy 5:28 the request of the people, because it showed a feeling of their own unworthiness to enter into direct communion with God. The terrors of Sinai had done their work; they had awakened the consciousness of sin. 23-28. And … ye came near unto me—(See on [117]Ex 20:19). Flesh is here put for man in his frail, corruptible, and mortal state, as Matthew 16:17 1 Corinthians 15:50 Ephesians 6:12 Hebrews 2:14. For who is there of all flesh,.... What man was there in any age, that was ever heard of or can be named:

that hath heard the voice of the living God; who lives in and of himself, and is the author and giver of life to all his creatures, whereby he is distinguished from and is opposed unto the lifeless deities of the Gentiles; and which makes him and his voice heard the more awful and tremendous, and especially as

speaking out of the midst of the fire: which was the present case:

as we have, and lived? of this there never was the like instance; for though some had seen God and lived, as Jacob did, and therefore called the name of the place where he saw him Penuel, Genesis 32:30, and Moses had heard the voice of the angel of the Lord out of a bush, which seemed to be burning, and was not consumed, Exodus 3:2, yet none ever heard the voice of the Lord out of real fire, and particularly expressing such words as he did, but the Israelites. Zoroastres, the founder of the Magi among the Persians, and of their religion, seems to have had respect to this, and to have applied falsely this to himself, which belonged to Moses and the people of Israel; for it is said (k),"one reason the Persians have fire in so much veneration is, because they say that Zoroastres, being caught up to heaven, did not see God, but heard him speaking with him out of the midst of fire.''

(k) Hyde Hist. Relig. Vet. Pers. c. 8. p. 160.

For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. flesh] Emphatic; it cannot endure immediate contact with spirit (Isaiah 31:3).

the living God] Rather, a living God, cp. Deuteronomy 4:33. The phrase always occurs in the O.T. without the article even when as in 1 Samuel 17:26; 1 Samuel 17:36, and Jeremiah 23:36 it is the living God who is meant. In Jeremiah 10:10 it is indefinite as here. These are all the instances of this form. Kindred forms in Joshua 3:10 indefinite; Hosea 2:1, 2 Kings 19:4; 2 Kings 19:16 definite.In vv. 6-21, the ten covenant words are repeated from Exodus 20, with only a few variations, which have already been discussed in connection with the exposition of the decalogue at Exodus 20:1-14. - In Deuteronomy 5:22-33, Moses expounds still further the short account in Exodus 20:18-21, viz., that after the people had heard the ten covenant words, in their alarm at the awful phenomena in which the Lord revealed His glory, they entreated him to stand between as mediator, that God Himself might not speak to them any further, and that they might not die, and then promised that they would hearken to all that the Lord should speak to him (Exodus 20:23 -31). His purpose in doing so was to link on the exhortation in vv. 32, 33, to keep all the commandments of the Lord and do them, which paves the way for passing to the exposition of the law which follows. "A great voice" (Exodus 20:22) is an adverbial accusative, signifying "with a great voice" (cf. Ges. 118, 3). "And He added no more:" as in Numbers 11:25. God spoken the ten words directly to the people, and then no more; i.e., everything further He addressed to Moses alone, and through his mediation to the people. As mediator He gave him the two tables of stone, upon which He had written the decalogue (cf. Exodus 31:18). This statement somewhat forestalls the historical course; and in Deuteronomy 9:10-11, it is repeated again in its proper historical connection.
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