1611 King James Version (KJV)


Chapter 4

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1 Nowe therefore hearken, O Israel, vnto the Statutes, and vnto the Iudgments which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may liue, and goe in and possesse the lande, which the Lord God of your fathers giueth you.

2 Ye shall not adde vnto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that ye may keepe the Commaundements of the Lord your God, which I command you.

3 Your eyes haue seene what the Lord did because of Baal Peor: for all the men that followed Baal Peor, the Lord thy God hath destroyed them from among you.

4 But yee that did cleaue vnto the Lord your God, are aliue euery one of you this day.

5 Behold, I haue taught you Statutes, and Iudgements, euen as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so, in the land whither ye goe to possesse it.

6 Keepe therefore, and doe them; for this is your wisedome and your vnderstanding in the sight of the nations, which shall heare all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and vnderstanding people.

7 For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh vnto them, as the Lord our God is in all things, that we call vpon him for?

8 And what nation is there so great, that hath Statutes and Iudgements so righteous, as all this Law which I set before you this day?

9 Onely take heed to thy selfe, and keepe thy soule diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes haue seene, and lest they depart from thy heart all the dayes of thy life: but teach them thy sonnes, & thy sonnes sonnes:

10 Specially, the day that thou stoodst before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said vnto mee, Gather me the people together, and I will make them heare my wordes, that they may learne to feare mee all the dayes that they shall liue vpon the earth, and that they may teach their children.

11 And ye came neere and stood vnder the mountaine, and the mountaine burnt with fire vnto the midst of heauen, with darkenes, cloudes, and thicke darkenesse.

12 And the Lord spake vnto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voyce of the words, but saw no similitude, onely ye heard a voyce.

13 And he declared vnto you his couenant, which he commanded you to performe, euen ten cōmandements, and he wrote them vpon two tables of stone.

14 And the Lord commanded me at that time, to teach you Statutes, and Iudgements, that yee might doe them in the land whither ye goe ouer to possesse it.

15 Take ye therfore good heed vnto your selues, (for ye saw no maner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake vnto you in Horeb, out of the midst of the fire)

16 Lest yee corrupt your selues, and make you a grauen image, the similitude of any figure, the likenes of male, or female,

17 The likenesse of any beast that is on the earth, the likenes of any winged foule that flieth in the aire,

18 The likenesse of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likenesse of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth:

19 And lest thou lift vp thine eyes vnto heauen, and when thou seest the sun, and the moone, and the starres, euen all the hoste of heauen, shouldest be driuen to worship them, and serue them, which the Lord thy God hath diuided vnto all nations vnder the whole heauen.

20 But the Lord hath taken you, and brought you foorth out of the yron fornace, euen out of Egypt, to bee vnto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.

21 Furthermore, the Lord was angry with mee for your sakes, and sware that I should not goe ouer Iordan, and that I should not goe in vnto that good land which the Lord thy God giueth thee for an inheritance.

22 But I must die in this lande, I must not goe ouer Iordan: but ye shall goe ouer and possesse that good land.

23 Take heed vnto your selues, lest ye forget the couenant of the Lord your God, which hee made with you, and make you a grauen image, or the likenes of any thing which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee.

24 For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, euen a iealous God.

25 When thou shalt beget children, and childrens children, and shalt haue remained long in the land, and shal corrupt your selues, & make a grauen image, or the likenes of any thing, and shall doe euil in the sight of the Lord thy God, to prouoke him to anger:

26 I call heauen and earth to witnesse against you this day, that ye shall soone vtterly perish from off the land whereunto you goe ouer Iordan, to possesse it: yee shall not prolong your dayes vpon it, but shall vtterly bee destroyed.

27 And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you.

28 And there ye shall serue gods, the worke of mens hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor heare, nor eate, nor smell.

29 But if from thence thou shalt seeke the Lord thy God, thou shalt finde him, if thou seeke him with all thy heart, and with all thy soule.

30 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come vpon thee, euen in the latter dayes, if thou turne to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient vnto his voice:

31 (For the Lord thy God is a mercifull God) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the couenant of thy fathers, which he sware vnto them.

32 For aske now of the dayes that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man vpon earth, and aske from the one side of heauen vnto the other, whether there hath bene any such thing as this great thing is, or hath bene heard like it?

33 Did euer people heare the voyce of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and liue?

34 Or hath God assayed to goe and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signes, and by wonders, and by warre, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretehed out arme, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know, that the Lord hee is God; there is none else besides him.

36 Out of heauen hee made thee to heare his voice, that he might instruct thee: and vpon earth hee shewed thee his great fire, and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire.

37 And because he loued thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mightie power out of Egypt:

38 To driue out nations from before thee, greater and mightier then thou art, to bring thee in, to giue thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day.

39 Know therefore this day, & consider it in thine heart, that the Lord hee is God in heauen aboue, and vpon the earth beneath: there is none else.

40 Thou shalt keepe therefore his Statutes, and his Commandements, which I command thee this day; that it may goe well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy dayes vpon the earth, which the Lord thy God giueth thee, for euer.

41 Then Moses seuered three cities on this side Iordan, toward the Sunne rising:

42 That the slayer might flee thither, which should kill his neighbour vnawares, and hated him not in times past, and that fleeing vnto one of these cities he might liue:

43 Namely, Bezer in the wildernesse, in the plaine countrey of the Reubenites; and Ramoth in Gilead of the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, of the Manassites.

44 And this is the Law which Moses set before the children of Israel:

45 These are the Testimonies, and the Statutes, and the Iudgements, which Moses spake vnto the children of Israel, after they came foorth out of Egypt;

46 On this side Iordan in the valley ouer against Beth-Peor, in the land of Sihon King of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon, whom Moses and the children of Israel smote, after they were come foorth out of Egypt.

47 And they possessed his land, and the land of Og king of Bashan, two kings of the Amorites, which were on this side Iordan toward the sun rising,

48 From Aroer, which is by the banke of the riuer Arnon, euen vnto mount Sion, which is Hermon,

49 And all the plaine of this side Iordan Eastward, euen vnto the sea, of the plaine vnder the springs of Pisgah.

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Commentary for Deuteronomy 4

Earnest exhortations to obedience, and dissuasives from idolatry. (1-23) Warnings against disobedience, and promises of mercy. (24-40) Cities of refuge appointed. (41-49)1-23 The power and love of God to Israel are here made the ground and reason of a number of cautions and serious warnings; and although there is much reference to their national covenant, yet all may be applied to those who live under the gospel. What are laws made for but to be observed and obeyed? Our obedience as individuals cannot merit salvation; but it is the only evidence that we are partakers of the gift of God, which is eternal life through Jesus Christ, Considering how many temptations we are compassed with, and what corrupt desires we have in our bosoms, we have great need to keep our hearts with all diligence. Those cannot walk aright, who walk carelessly. Moses charges particularly to take heed of the sin of idolatry. He shows how weak the temptation would be to those who thought aright; for these pretended gods, the sun, moon, and stars, were only blessings which the Lord their God had imparted to all nations. It is absurd to worship them; shall we serve those that were made to serve us? Take heed lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God. We must take heed lest at any time we forget our religion. Care, caution, and watchfulness, are helps against a bad memory.

24-40 Moses urged the greatness, glory, and goodness of God. Did we consider what a God he is with whom we have to do, we should surely make conscience of our duty to him, and not dare to sin against him. Shall we forsake a merciful God, who will never forsake us, if we are faithful unto him? Whither can we go? Let us be held to our duty by the bonds of love, and prevailed with by the mercies of God to cleave to him. Moses urged God's authority over them, and their obligations to him. In keeping God's commandments they would act wisely for themselves. The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom. Those who enjoy the benefit of Divine light and laws, ought to support their character for wisdom and honour, that God may be glorified thereby. Those who call upon God, shall certainly find him within call, ready to give an answer of peace to every prayer of faith. All these statutes and judgments of the Divine law are just and righteous, above the statutes and judgments of any of the nations. What they saw at mount Sinai, gave an earnest of the day of judgment, in which the Lord Jesus shall be revealed in flaming fire. They must also remember what they heard at mount Sinai. God manifests himself in the works of the creation, without speech or language, yet their voice is heard, #Ps 19:1,3|; but to Israel he made himself known by speech and language, condescending to their weakness. The rise of this nation was quite different from the origin of all other nations. See the reasons of free grace; we are not beloved for our own sakes, but for Christ's sake. Moses urged the certain benefit and advantage of obedience. This argument he had begun with, ver. #1|, That ye may live, and go in and possess the land; and this he concludes with, ver. #40|, That it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee. He reminds them that their prosperity would depend upon their piety. Apostacy from God would undoubtedly be the ruin of their nation. He foresees their revolt from God to idols. Those, and those only, shall find God to their comfort, who seek him with all their heart. Afflictions engage and quicken us to seek God; and, by the grace of God working with them, many are thus brought back to their right mind. When these things are come upon thee, turn to the Lord thy God, for thou seest what comes of turning from him. Let all the arguments be laid together, and then say, if religion has not reason on its side. None cast off the government of their God, but those who first abandon the understanding of a man.

41-49 Here is the introduction to another discourse, or sermon, Moses preached to Israel, which we have in the following chapters. He sets the law before them, as the rule they were to work by, the way they were to walk in. He sets it before them, as the glass in which they were to see their natural face, that, looking into this perfect law of liberty, they might continue therein. These are the laws, given when Israel was newly come out of Egypt; and they were now repeated. Moses gave these laws in charge, while they encamped over against Beth-peor, an idol place of the Moabites. Their present triumphs were a powerful argument for obedience. And we should understand our own situation as sinners, and the nature of that gracious covenant to which we are invited. Therein greater things are shown to us than ever Israel saw from mount Sinai; greater mercies are given to us than they experienced in the wilderness, or in Canaan. One speaks to us, who is of infinitely greater dignity than Moses; who bare our sins upon the cross; and pleads with us by His dying love.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Deuteronomy 4

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