Deuteronomy 9:12
And the LORD said unto me, Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image.
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(12) Arise, get thee down.—The words recorded here and in Deuteronomy 9:13-14, are given at length in Exodus 32:7, &c. Moses’ intercession at that time is recorded also.

9:7-29 That the Israelites might have no pretence to think that God brought them to Canaan for their righteousness, Moses shows what a miracle of mercy it was, that they had not been destroyed in the wilderness. It is good for us often to remember against ourselves, with sorrow and shame, our former sins; that we may see how much we are indebted to free grace, and may humbly own that we never merited any thing but wrath and the curse at God's hand. For so strong is our propensity to pride, that it will creep in under one pretence or another. We are ready to fancy that our righteousness has got for us the special favour of the Lord, though in reality our wickedness is more plain than our weakness. But when the secret history of every man's life shall be brought forth at the day of judgment, all the world will be proved guilty before God. At present, One pleads for us before the mercy-seat, who not only fasted, but died upon the cross for our sins; through whom we may approach, though self-condemned sinners, and beseech for undeserved mercy and for eternal life, as the gift of God in Him. Let us refer all the victory, all the glory, and all the praise, to Him who alone bringeth salvation.Also in Horeb - Rather, "even in Horeb." The time and circumstances made the apostasy at Horeb particularly inexcusable. 12-29. Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people … have corrupted themselves—With a view to humble them effectually, Moses proceeds to particularize some of the most atrocious instances of their infidelity. He begins with the impiety of the golden calf—an impiety which, while their miraculous emancipation from Egypt, the most stupendous displays of the Divine Majesty that were exhibited on the adjoining mount, and the recent ratification of the covenant by which they engaged to act as the people of God, were fresh in memory, indicated a degree of inconstancy or debasement almost incredible. No text from Poole on this verse.

And the Lord said unto me,.... The omniscient God, who knew what was doing in the camp of Israel, though Moses did not, of which he informs him:

arise, get thee down quickly from hence; from the mount where he was; and the word "arise" does not suppose him to be sitting or lying along, neither of which postures would have been suitable, considering in whose presence he was; but is only expressive of urgency and haste of his departure; it is not used in Exodus 32:7.

for thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt, have corrupted themselves; their way, as the Targum of Jonathan; that is, by idolatry, than which nothing is more corrupting and defiling; the Lord calls them not his people, but the people of Moses, being highly displeased with them; and ascribes their coming out of Egypt to Moses the instrument, and not to himself, as if he repented of bringing them from thence:

they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them: it being but about six weeks ago, that the command forbidding idolatry, the sin they had fallen into, had been given them:

and they have made them a molten image; the image of a calf made of melted gold.

And the LORD said unto me, Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have {h} corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image.

(h) As soon as man declines from the obedience of God, his ways are corrupt.

12. Taken from E, Exodus 32:7-8 a (on which see notes) with the addition of quickly from here and the substitution of brought forth (D’s favourite expression) for brought up; and the omission of calf.

corrupted themselves] Deuteronomy 4:16; Deuteronomy 4:25, Deuteronomy 31:29 also Pl. passages: while the Sg. passages use one form of the verb only in the sense to destroy: Deuteronomy 4:31, Deuteronomy 10:10, Deuteronomy 20:19-20 : cp. Deuteronomy 9:26.

the way] See on Deuteronomy 5:33. Here the particular reference is to the 2nd commandment.

a molten image] Heb. a molten (thing), Exodus 32:4; Exodus 32:8 molten calf. Steuern. takes this v. as another doublet superfluous before 13, and, along with Deuteronomy 9:10 when compared with the expanded Heb. text of Exodus 32:7-9 (of which the LXX omits parts), illustrative of the manner in which an editor expanded parallel passages with each other’s contents. But the superfluity of the v. is not so apparent. Some mention of the molten image seems necessary here.

Verses 12-14. - (Cf. Exodus 32:7-10.) Let me alone; literally, Desist from me, i.e. Do not by pleadings and entreaties attempt to prevent me; in Exodus 32:10 the expression used is, "Let me rest; leave me in quiet (הַנָּיחָה לִי); cease to urge me." Deuteronomy 9:12When Moses went up the mountain, and stayed there forty days, entirely occupied with the holiest things, so that he neither ate nor drank, having gone up to receive the tables of the law, upon which the words were written with the finger of God, just as the Lord had spoken them directly to the people out of the midst of the fire, - at a time, therefore, when the Israelites should also have been meditating deeply upon the words of the Lord which they had but just heard, - they acted so corruptly, as to depart at once from the way that had been pointed out, and make themselves a molten image (comp. Exodus 31:18-32:6, with chs. Deuteronomy 24:12-31:17). "The day of the assembly," i.e., the day on which Moses gathered the people together before God (Deuteronomy 4:10), calling them out of the camp, and bringing them to the Lord to the foot of Sinai (Exodus 19:17). The construction of the sentence is this: the apodosis to "when I was gone up" commences with "the Lord delivered unto me," in Deuteronomy 9:10; and the clause, "then I abode," etc., in Deuteronomy 9:9, is a parenthesis. - The words of God in Deuteronomy 9:12-14 are taken almost word for word from Exodus 32:7-10. הרף (Deuteronomy 9:14), the imperative Hiphil of רפה, desist from me, that I may destroy them, for לּי הנּיחה, in Exodus 32:10. But notwithstanding the apostasy of the people, the Lord gave Moses the tables of the covenant, not only that they might be a testimony of His holiness before the faithless nation, but still more as a testimony that, in spite of His resolution to destroy the rebellious nation, without leaving a trace behind, He would still uphold His covenant, and make of Moses a greater people. There is nothing at all to favour the opinion, that handing over the tables (Deuteronomy 9:11) was the first beginning of the manifestations of divine wrath (Schultz); and this is also at variance with the preterite, נתן, in Deuteronomy 9:11, from which it is very evident that the Lord had already given the tables to Moses, when He commanded him to go down quickly, not only to declare to the people the holiness of God, but to stop the apostasy, and by his mediatorial intervention to avert from the people the execution of the divine purpose. It is true, that when Moses came down and saw the idolatrous conduct of the people, he threw the two tables from his hands, and broke them in pieces before the eyes of the people (Deuteronomy 9:15-17; comp. with Exodus 32:15-19), as a practical declaration that the covenant of the Lord was broken by their apostasy. But this act of Moses furnishes no proof that the Lord had given him the tables to declare His holy wrath in the sight of the people. And even if the tables of the covenant were "in a certain sense the indictments in Moses' hands, accusing them of a capital crime" (Schultz), this was not the purpose for which God had given them to him. For if it had been, Moses would not have broken them in pieces, destroying, as it were, the indictments themselves, before the people had been tried. Moses passed over the fact, that even before coming down from the mountain he endeavoured to mitigate the wrath of the Lord by his intercession (Exodus 32:11-14), and simply mentioned (in Deuteronomy 9:15-17) how, as soon as he came down, he charged the people with their great sin; and then, in Deuteronomy 9:18, Deuteronomy 9:19, how he spent another forty days upon the mountain fasting before God, on account of this sin, until he had averted the destructive wrath of the Lord from Israel, through his earnest intercession. The forty days that Moses spent upon the mountain, "as at the first," in prayer before the Lord, are the days mentioned in Exodus 34:28 as having been passed upon Sinai for the perfect restoration of the covenant, and for the purpose of procuring the second tables (cf. Deuteronomy 10:1.).
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