Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 29:22 - 29:22

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 29:22 - 29:22

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How thoroughly Moses was filled with the thought, that not only individuals, but whole families, and in fact the greater portion of the nation, would fall into idolatry, is evident from the further expansion of the threat which follows, and in which he foresees in the Spirit, and foretells, the extermination of whole families, and the devastation of the land by distant nations; as in Lev 26:31-32. Future generations of Israel, and the stranger from a distant land, when they saw the strokes of the Lord which burst upon the land, and the utter desolation of the land, would ask whence this devastation, and receive the reply, The Lord had smitten the land thus in His anger, because its inhabitants (the Israelites) had forsaken His covenant. With regard to the construction, observe that וְאָמַר, in Deu 29:22, is resumed in וְאָמְרוּ, in Deu 29:24, the subject of Deu 29:22 being expanded into the general notion, “all nations” (Deu 29:24). With וְרָאוּ, in Deu 29:22, a parenthetical clause is inserted, giving the reason for the main thought, in the form of a circumstantial clause; and to this there is attached, by a loose apposition in Deu 29:23, a still further picture of the divine strokes according to their effect upon the land. The nouns in Deu 29:23, “brimstone and salt burning,” are in apposition to the strokes (plagues), and so far depend upon “they see.” The description is borrowed from the character of the Dead Sea and its vicinity, to which there is an express allusion in the words, “like the overthrow of Sodom,” etc., i.e., of the towns of the vale of Siddim (see at Gen 14:2), which resembled paradise, the garden of Jehovah, before their destruction (vid., Gen 13:10 and Gen 19:24.).