Matthew Poole's Commentary
And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them.God, upon Mount Horeb, makes a covenant with Israel, Deu 5:1-5. The covenant or ten commandments is delivered to Moses in two tables, Deu 5:6-22. The Israelites desire that not God, but Moses, may speak to them, Deu 5:23-27; which God approves of, Deu 5:28-31. Moses exhorts them to obedience, with a pro mise of life, Deu 5:32,33.
Moses called all Israel, to wit, by their elders, who were to impart it to the rest.
The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.No text from Poole on this verse.
The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.With our fathers; either,
1. Not only with them, the word only being here understood, as it is Genesis 32:28 35:10 1 Samuel 8:7 Jeremiah 7:19 31:34 Matthew 9:13. Or,
2. Not at all with them. But then the word covenant is not here to be taken for the covenant of grace in general, for so it was made with their fathers, Exodus 2:24, but for this particular and mixed dispensation of the covenant at Sinai, as appears both by the foregoing and following words.
All of us here alive this day: he saith not, that all who made that covenant at Sinai are now alive, for many of them were dead, but that this covenant was made with all that are now alive, which is most true, for it was made with the elder sort of them in their own persons, and with the rest in their parents, who did covenant for them; for this phrase,
with us, is put exclusively as to their fathers, but not as to their posterity, as is evident from the nature of the covenant, Acts 2:39, and course of the story.
The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire,Not in a visible shape, which was utterly denied, Deu 4:12,15; but personally and immediately, not by the mouth or ministry of Moses; plainly and certainly, as when two men talk face to face; freely and familiarly, so as not to overwhelm and confound you. Compare Exodus 33:11 Numbers 12:8.
(I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to shew you the word of the LORD: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying,As a mediator or messenger between you, according to your desire, below, Deu 5:27. Compare Exodus 19:16, &c.; Exodus 20:19 Galatians 3:19.
The word of the Lord; not the ten commandments, which God himself uttered, but the following statutes and judgments.
I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.The ten commandments, delivered Exo 20, are here repeated with some small difference of words, but the sense is perfectly the same, and therefore the explication of them must be fetched thence.
Thou shalt have none other gods before me.No text from Poole on this verse.
Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:No text from Poole on this verse.
Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,No text from Poole on this verse.
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.No text from Poole on this verse.
Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.No text from Poole on this verse.
Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.Keep the sabbath day, to wit, in mind and memory, as it is Exodus 20:8. As God hath commanded thee, to wit, in
Exo 20, whither he directs them, and therefore he here omits the argument of the creation, which is urged there.
Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:No text from Poole on this verse.
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.No text from Poole on this verse.
And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.Remember that thou wast a servant, and therefore art highly obliged both to serve that God who redeemed thee, especially upon his own day, and not to grudge thy servants their rest upon that day.
Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.No text from Poole on this verse.
Thou shalt not kill.No text from Poole on this verse.
Neither shalt thou commit adultery.No text from Poole on this verse.
Neither shalt thou steal.No text from Poole on this verse.
Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.No text from Poole on this verse.
Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's.In Exo 20, the order is contrary, and thy neighbour’s house is put before his wife, whereby it is evident that Moses intended this but for one commandment, wherein the order of the words was an inconsiderable circumstance; for if this were two commandments, as some would have it, it would be altogether uncertain which is the ninth, and which the tenth commandment, seeing the one is first, Exo 20, and the other here.
These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.He added no more; he ceased for that time to speak immediately, and with that loud voice unto the people, for the rest were delivered to Moses, and by him communicated to the people. This he did to show the preeminence of that law above the rest, and its everlasting obligation.
And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders;No text from Poole on this verse.
And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.No text from Poole on this verse.
Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die.Why should we die? for though God hath for this season kept us alive to our admiration, yet we shall never be able to endure any further discourse from him in such a terrible manner, but shall certainly sink under the burden of it. Compare Genesis 16:13 Judges 6:22.
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?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.
Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spake unto me; and the LORD said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken.No text from Poole on this verse.
O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!Heb. Who will give them such an heart? This is spoken of God after the manner of men, to show that such a heart is desirable to him, and required by him; otherwise it is certain that God can give such a heart, and hath promised to give it, Jeremiah 32:40 Ezekiel 36:27. And if God will work, who can hinder him? Job 11:10.
Go say to them, Get you into your tents again.No text from Poole on this verse.
But as for thee, stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it.No text from Poole on this verse.
Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.Neither by superstitious additions to God’s commands, nor by a bold or profane rejection or contempt of any one of them.
Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.No text from Poole on this verse.