Deuteronomy 7:16
And thou shalt consume all the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them: neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) Thou shalt consume (literally, eat up) all the people which the Lord thy God shall deliver thee.—When delivered to Israel, they are delivered for execution; but the time of delivery is in the hand of Jehovah. (Comp. the words of Caleb and Joshua in Numbers 14:9 : “They are bread for us: their shadow is departed from them, and the Lord is with us.”)

7:12-26 We are in danger of having fellowship with the works of darkness if we take pleasure in fellowship with those who do such works. Whatever brings us into a snare, brings us under a curse. Let us be constant to our duty, and we cannot question the constancy of God's mercy. Diseases are God's servants; they go where he sends them, and do what he bids them. It is therefore good for the health of our bodies, thoroughly to mortify the sin of our souls; which is our rule of duty. Yet sin is never totally destroyed in this world; and it actually prevails in us much more than it would do, if we were watchful and diligent. In all this the Lord acts according to the counsel of his own will; but that counsel being hid from us, forms no excuse for our sloth and negligence, of which it is in no degree the cause. We must not think, that because the deliverance of the church, and the destruction of the enemies of the soul, are not done immediately, therefore they will never be done. God will do his own work in his own method and time; and we may be sure that they are always the best. Thus corruption is driven out of the hearts of believers by little and little. The work of sanctification is carried on gradually; but at length there will be a complete victory. Pride, security, and other sins that are common effects of prosperity, are enemies more dangerous than beasts of the field, and more apt to increase upon us.There seems to be here not so much as a reference to the plagues inflicted miraculously by God on Egypt (compare Exodus 15:26), as to the terrible diseases with which, above other countries, Egypt was infested. Compare Deuteronomy 28:27, Deuteronomy 28:35. It is not without significance that Egypt, which represents in Scripture the world as contrasted with the Church, should thus above other lands lie under the power of disease and death. 15. the evil diseases of Egypt—(See Ex 15:26). Besides those with which Pharaoh and his subjects were visited, Egypt has always been dreadfully scourged with diseases. The testimony of Moses is confirmed by the reports of many modern writers, who tell us that, notwithstanding its equal temperature and sereneness, that country has some indigenous maladies which are very malignant, such as ophthalmia, dysentery, smallpox, and the plague. An occasion of sin and utter destruction. See Exodus 23:33 34:12 Judges 2:3.

And thou shall consume all the people which the Lord thy God shall deliver thee,.... All the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, which the Lord should deliver into their hands; them they were not to spare, but utterly destroy men, women, and children:

thine eye shall have no pity upon them; See Gill on Deuteronomy 7:2,

neither shall thou serve their gods, for that will be a snare unto thee; which will bring into utter ruin and destruction; see Exodus 23:33.

And thou shalt consume all the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; {g} thine eye shall have no pity upon them: neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee.

(g) We should not be merciful when God commands severity.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. consume] Lit. eat up, a common figure, JE, Numbers 22:4.

shall deliver] See on Deuteronomy 7:2.

The rest of the v. Steuern. takes as an addition, because the theme of Deuteronomy 7:12-16 is what Jehovah does; and this, a warning for Israel, breaks the course of the thought. But this is to impute too fine a logic to such a discursive writer.

thine eye shall not pity them] Deuteronomy 13:8, Deuteronomy 19:13; Deuteronomy 19:21, Deuteronomy 25:12, all Sg.; elsewhere in Hex. only in the edit. passage, Genesis 45:20, and with a different object, but common in Ezek., of God’s eye on the people, and also found in Jer. and other post-deuteronomic writings. Cp. Deuteronomy 7:2, thou shalt not pity them, with another vb.

neither shalt thou serve their gods … snare unto thee] Similarly in edit. Exodus 23:33; Exodus 34:12. See note on former.

Verses 16-26. - The heathen they were utterly to extirpate from the land which God was about to give them; mighty as these nations were, they were not to be afraid of them, for God would be with his people, and would deliver these nations, with their kings, into their hands. Not all at once, however, should the former occupants of the country be driven out; this should be done by degrees, lest, the land being suddenly depopulated, the wild animals would increase too much, so as to be a source of danger and trouble to the settlers; but ultimately they should be utterly destroyed, and with them all the objects and implements of their idolatrous worship. Verse 16. - And thou shalt consume; literally, eat, devour (וְאָכַלְתָּ). Unless they consumed them as one consumes food, they would be a snare to them, by tempting them to join in their idolatry. Deuteronomy 7:16This mercy flowed from the love of God to Israel, and the love was manifested in blessing and multiplying the people. The blessing is then particularized, by a further expansion of Exodus 23:25-27, as a blessing upon the fruit of the body, the fruits of the field and soil, and the rearing of cattle. שׁגר, see Exodus 13:12. צאן עשׁתּרת only occurs again in Deuteronomy 28:4, Deuteronomy 28:18, Deuteronomy 28:51, and certainly signifies the young increase of the flocks. It is probably a Canaanitish word, derived from Ashtoreth (Astharte), the female deity of the Canaanites, which was regarded as the conceiving and birth-giving principle of nature, literally Veneres, i.e., amores gregis, hence soboles (Ges.); just as the Latin poets employ the name Ceres to signify the corn, Venus for love and sexual intercourse, and Lucina for birth. On Deuteronomy 7:14 and Deuteronomy 7:15, see Exodus 23:26. In Deuteronomy 7:15, the promise of the preservation of Israel from all diseases (Exodus 15:26, and Exodus 23:25) is strengthened by the addition of the clause, "all the evil diseases of Egypt," by which, according to Deuteronomy 28:27, we are probably to understand chiefly the malignant species of leprosy called elephantiasis, and possibly also the plague and other malignant forms of disease. In Egypt, diseases for the most part readily assume a very dangerous character. Pliny (h. n. xxvi. 1) calls Egypt the genitrix of contagious pestilence, and modern naturalists have confirmed this (see Hengstenberg, Egypt and the Books of Moses, p. 215; and Pruner, Krankheiten des Orients, pp. 460ff.). Diseases of this kind the Lord would rather bring upon the enemies of Israel. The Israelites, on the other hand, should be so strong and vigorous, that they would devour, i.e., exterminate, all the nations which their God would give into their hands (cf. Numbers 14:9). With this thought Moses reverts with emphasis to the command to root out the Canaanites without reserve, and not to serve their gods, because they would become a snare to them (see Exodus 10:7); and then in Deuteronomy 7:17-26 he carries out still further the promise in Exodus 23:27-30 of the successful subjugation of the Canaanites through the assistance of the Lord, and sweeps away all the objections that a weak faith might raise to the execution of the divine command.
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