You shall not be affrighted at them: for the LORD your God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.
for the Lord thy God is among you: in the tabernacle, in the holy of holies, which was in the midst of them, and besides would give proof of his powerful presence among them, in protecting them, and destroying their enemies:Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)21. Thou shalt not be affrighted] This, combined with the verb be afraid (Deuteronomy 7:18), is found in Pl. passages.
in the midst of thee] Deuteronomy 6:15.
great God and … terrible] Cp. Deuteronomy 10:17, Deuteronomy 28:58, the same epithets of the wilderness Deuteronomy 1:19, Deuteronomy 8:15, and of Jehovah’s deeds Deuteronomy 10:21. Terrible, in E, Genesis 28:17 of the presence of God; nowhere else before D, for Exodus 34:10 is editorial, but very frequent in post-deuteronomic writings.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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