The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Deuteronomy 1

Deu 1:1

Heb title: "Ha debarim" = "These the words". See Lesson, Pentateuch, Hebrew titles.

See Lesson, D source, problems.

ALL ISRAEL: Characteristic of Deut. The message of God was to the whole nation, "the whole family which I brought up out of Egypt" (Amo 3:1).

Deu 1:2

It was an 11-day journey, which nevertheless took 40 years (v 3) due to the disobedience of Israel! Such a ct: Why so long? Moses begins to explain in v 3.

Deu 1:3

The rest of Deu explains why it took Israel 40 years to make an 11-day journey...

Deu 1:6

YOU HAVE STAYED LONG ENOUGH AT THIS MOUNTAIN: The wilderness journeys were no haphazard wanderings: cp Deu 2:3 with Deu 2:7,14 -- they were long enough to complete purging. (However, this "long enough" was until "20th day, 2nd month, 2nd year" of Num 10:11.)

Deu 1:22

LET US SEND MEN AHEAD TO SPY OUT THE LAND: An example of unbelief: God had already sent spies into the land, who had found it eminently suitable.

Deu 1:25

Although God approved of the request, Moses sees that request as an evidence of lack of faith.

Deu 1:26

Why did they rebel? Because they did not trust God (v 32). The rebels actually went so far as to appoint a leader to take them back to Egypt (Neh 9:17).

Deu 1:28

What a responsibility "ecclesial representatives" have!

Deu 1:36

FOLLOWED... WHOLEHEARTEDLY: Lit, "filled himself with the LORD".

Deu 1:38

ENCOURAGE HIM: "God employs His people to encourage one another. He did not say to an angel, 'Gabriel, my servant Joshua is about to lead my people into Canaan -- go, encourage him.' God never works needless miracles; if His purposes can be accomplished by ordinary means, He will not use miraculous agency. Gabriel would not have been half so well fitted for the work as Moses. A brother's sympathy is more precious than an angel's embassy. The angel would better know the Master's bidding than the people's temper. An angel would never have experienced the hardness of the road, nor seen the fiery serpents, nor led the stiff-necked multitude in the wilderness as Moses had done. ¶ "We should be glad that God usually works for man by man. It forms a bond of brotherhood, and being mutually dependent on one another, we are fused more completely into one family.

"Brethren, labour to help others, and especially strive to encourage them. Talk cheerily to the young and anxious enquirer, lovingly try to remove stumblingblocks out of his way. When you find a spark of grace in the heart, kneel down and blow it into a flame. Leave the young believer to discover the roughness of the road by degrees, but tell him of the strength which dwells in God, of the sureness of the promise, and of the charms of communion with Christ. Aim to comfort the sorrowful, and to animate the desponding. Speak a word in season to him that is weary, and encourage those who are fearful to go on their way with gladness" (CHS).
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