Deuteronomy 9:25
Thus I fell down before the LORD forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first; because the LORD had said he would destroy you.
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(25) Thus I fell down . . .—Literally, And I fell down before Jehovah forty days and forty nights, as 1 had fallen down (originally on the fortieth day) when the Lord said He would destroy you: i.e., when He told Moses of the calf.

Deuteronomy 9:25. I fell down — In a way of humiliation and supplication, on your behalf. Forty days — The same forty that were mentioned Deuteronomy 9:18, as appears by comparing this with the account given in Exodus, where this history is more fully related, and where this is related to have been done twice only. See Exodus 32:10; Exodus 33:5.

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.See the marginal reference. Taberah was the name of a spot in or near the station of Kibroth-hattaavah, and accordingly is not named in the list of encampments given in Numbers 33:16. The separate mention of the two is, however, appropriate here, for each place and each name was a memorial of an act of rebellion. The instances in this and the next verse are not given in order of occurrence. The speaker for his own purposes advances from the slighter to the more heinous proofs of guilt. 25. Thus I fell down before the Lord forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first—After the enumeration of various acts of rebellion, he had mentioned the outbreak at Kadesh-barnea, which, on a superficial reading of this verse, would seem to have led Moses to a third and protracted season of humiliation. But on a comparison of this passage with Nu 14:5, the subject and language of this prayer show that only the second act of intercession (De 9:18) is now described in fuller detail. Forty days and forty nights; the same mentioned before, Deu 9:18, as appears,

1. By comparing this with Exodus, where this history is more fully related, and where this is said to be done twice only.

2. By the occasion and matter of Moses’s prayer here following, which is the same with the former.

3. By the words here following,

as I fell down at first, which show that this was the second time of his so doing.

Thus I fell down before the Lord forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first,.... Which Jarchi says are the selfsame said above, Deuteronomy 9:18, but doubled or repeated, because of the order of his prayer. The words "at the first" are not in the text; and, as before observed, we do not read that Moses fell down at the first forty days he was in the mount, unless it can be thought he did, Exodus 32:11, wherefore this falling down seems to be as he fell down at the second forty days; and so this was a third forty days, according to the Jewish writers, and of which opinion were Dr. Lightfoot and others; See Gill on Exodus 34:28,

because the Lord had said he would destroy you; threatened them with destruction, and seemed as if it was his intention to destroy them; nay, even after Moses's first prayer, though he bid him go and lead the people on, yet he declared that he would visit their sin upon them, Exodus 32:34.

Thus I fell down before the LORD {o} forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first; because the LORD had said he would destroy you.

(o) By which is signified that God requires earnest continuance in prayer.

25. So I fell down, etc.] Having recounted in Deuteronomy 9:22-24 the accumulated burdens of the people’s sins (there is therefore no need to doubt the originality of these verses, as Steuernagel does) under which he fell down, the speaker returns to the fact of his falling; and in—

Verse 25-29. - Having enumerated these instances of the rebelliousness of the people, Moses reverts to the apostasy at Sinai, in order still more to impress on the minds of the people the conviction that not for any righteousness or merit of theirs, but solely of his own grace, was God fulfilling to them his covenant with their fathers. Verse 25. - Thus I fell down before the Lord forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first; rather, the forty days and forty nights in which I fell down. The reference is to the intercession before Moses came down from the mount, described in Exodus 32:11-13. (For the form of the expression, cf. Deuteronomy 1:46.) Deuteronomy 9:25After vindicating in this way the thought expressed in Deuteronomy 9:7, by enumerating the principal rebellions of the people against their God, Moses returns in Deuteronomy 9:25. to the apostasy at Sinai, for the purpose of showing still further how Israel had no righteousness or ground for boasting before God, and owed its preservation, with all the saving blessings of the covenant, solely to the mercy of God and His covenant faithfulness. To this end he repeats in Deuteronomy 9:26-29 the essential points in his intercession for the people after their sin at Sinai, and then proceeds to explain still further, in Deuteronomy 10:1-11, how the Lord had not only renewed the tables of the covenant in consequence of this intercession (Deuteronomy 10:1-5), but had also established the gracious institution of the priesthood for the time to come by appointing Eleazar in Aaron's stead as soon as his father died, and setting apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant and attend to the holy service, and had commanded them to continue their march to Canaan, and take possession of the land promised to the fathers (Deuteronomy 10:6-11). With the words "thus I fell down," in Deuteronomy 9:25, Moses returns to the intercession already briefly mentioned in Deuteronomy 9:18, and recalls to the recollection of the people the essential features of his plea at the time. For the words "the forty days and nights that I fell down," see at Deuteronomy 1:46. The substance of the intercession in Deuteronomy 9:26-29 is essentially the same as that in Exodus 32:11-13; but given with such freedom as any other than Moses would hardly have allowed himself (Schultz), and in such a manner as to bring it into the most obvious relation to the words of God in Deuteronomy 9:12, Deuteronomy 9:13. אל־תּשׁחת, "Destroy not Thy people and Thine inheritance," says Moses, with reference to the words of the Lord to him: "thy people have corrupted themselves" (Deuteronomy 9:12). Israel was not Moses' nation, but the nation and inheritance of Jehovah; it was not Moses, but Jehovah, who had brought it out of Egypt. True, the people were stiffnecked (cf. Deuteronomy 9:13); but let the Lord remember the fathers, the oath given to Abraham, which is expressly mentioned in Exodus 32:13 (see at Deuteronomy 7:8), and not turn to the stiffneckedness of the people (קשׁי equivalent to ערף קשׁה, Deuteronomy 9:13 and Deuteronomy 9:6), and to their wickedness and sin (i.e., not regard them and punish them). The honour of the Lord before the nations was concerned in this (Deuteronomy 9:28). The land whence Israel came out ("the land" equals the people of the land, as in Genesis 10:25, etc., viz., the Egyptians: the word is construed as a collective with a plural verb) must not have occasion to say, that Jehovah had not led His people into the promised land from incapacity or hatred. יכלת מבּלי recalls Numbers 14:16. Just as "inability" would be opposed to the nature of the absolute God, so "hatred" would be opposed to the choice of Israel as the inheritance of Jehovah, which He had brought out of Egypt by His divine and almighty power (cf. Exodus 6:6).
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