Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 4:32 - 4:32

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 4:32 - 4:32

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But in order to accomplish something more than merely preserving the people from apostasy by the threat of punishment, namely, to secure a more faithful attachment and continued obedience to His commands by awakening the feeling of cordial love, Moses reminds them again of the glorious miracles of divine grace performed in connection with the election and deliverance of Israel, such as had never been heard of from the beginning of the world; and with this strong practical proof of the love of the true God, he brings his first address to a close. This closing thought in Deu 4:32 is connected by כִּי (for) with the leading idea in Deu 4:31. “Jehovah thy God is a merciful God,” to show that the sole ground for the election and redemption of Israel was the compassion of God towards the human race. “For ask now of the days that are past, from the day that God created man upon the earth, and from one end of the heaven unto the other, whether so great a thing has ever happened, or anything of the kind has been heard of:” i.e., the history of all times since the creation of man, and of all places under the whole heaven, can relate no such events as those which have happened to Israel, viz., at Sinai (Deu 4:33; cf. Deu 4:12). From this awfully glorious manifestation of God, Moses goes back in Deu 4:34 to the miracles with which God effected the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt. “Or has a god attempted (made the attempt) to come and take to himself people from people (i.e., to fetch the people of Israel out of the midst of the Egyptian nation), with temptations (the events in Egypt by which Pharaoh's relation to the Lord was put to the test; cf. Deu 6:22 and Deu 7:18-19), with signs and wonders (the Egyptian plagues, see Exo 7:3), and with conflict (at the Red Sea: Exo 14:14; Exo 15:3), and with a strong hand and outstretched arm (see Exo 6:6), and with great terrors?” In the three points mentioned last, all the acts of God in Egypt are comprehended, according to both cause and effect. They were revelations of the omnipotence of the Lord, and produced great terrors (cf. Exo 12:30-36).