Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 9:25 - 9:25

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 9:25 - 9:25

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After vindicating in this way the thought expressed in Deu 9:7, by enumerating the principal rebellions of the people against their God, Moses returns in Deu 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 Deu 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 Deu 10:1-11, how the Lord had not only renewed the tables of the covenant in consequence of this intercession (Deu 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 (Deu 10:6-11). With the words “thus I fell down,” in Deu 9:25, Moses returns to the intercession already briefly mentioned in Deu 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 Deu 1:46. The substance of the intercession in Deu 9:26-29 is essentially the same as that in Exo 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 Deu 9:12, Deu 9:13. אַל־תַּשְׁחֵת, “Destroy not Thy people and Thine inheritance,” says Moses, with reference to the words of the Lord to him: “thy people have corrupted themselves” (Deu 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. Deu 9:13); but let the Lord remember the fathers, the oath given to Abraham, which is expressly mentioned in Exo 32:13 (see at Deu 7:8), and not turn to the stiffneckedness of the people (קְשִׁי equivalent to עֹרֶף קְשֵׁה, Deu 9:13 and Deu 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 (Deu 9:28). The land whence Israel came out (“the land” = the people of the land, as in Gen 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. יְכֹלֶת מִבְּלִי recalls Num 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. Exo 6:6).