Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 4:19 - 4:19

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 4:19 - 4:19


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They were not to allow themselves to be torn away (נִדַּח) to worship the stars of heaven, namely, by the seductive influence exerted upon the senses by the sight of the heavenly bodies as they shone in their glorious splendour. The reason for this prohibition is given in the relative clause, “which Jehovah thy God hath allotted to all nations under the whole heaven.” The thought is not, “God has given the heathen the sun, moon, and stars for service, i.e., to serve them with their light,” as Onkelos, the Rabbins, Jerome, and others, suppose, but He has allotted them to them for worship, i.e., permitted them to choose them as the objects of their worship, which is the view adopted by Justin Martyr, Clemens Alex., and others. According to the scriptural view, even the idolatry of the heathen existed by divine permission and arrangement. God gave up the heathen to idolatry and shameful lusts, because, although they knew Him from His works, they did not praise Him as God (Rom 1:21, Rom 1:24, Rom 1:26).