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THE PENTATEUCH

GENESIS ---EXODUS--- LEVITICUS 1.1-7.38 --- 8.1-11.47 --- 12.1-16.34--- 17.1-27.34--- NUMBERS 1-10--- 11-19--- 20-36--- DEUTERONOMY 1.1-4.44 --- 4.45-11.32 --- 12.1-29.1--- 29.2-34.12 --- THE BOOK OF JOSHUA --- THE BOOK OF JUDGES --- PSALMS 1-17--- ECCLESIASTES --- ISAIAH 1-5 --- 6-12 --- 13-23 --- 24-27 --- 28-35 --- 36-39 --- 40-48 --- 49-55--- 56-66--- EZEKIEL --- DANIEL 1-7 ---DANIEL 8-12 ---

NAHUM--- HABAKKUK---ZEPHANIAH ---ZECHARIAH --- THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW ---THE GOSPEL OF MARK--- THE GOSPEL OF LUKE --- THE GOSPEL OF JOHN --- THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES --- 1 CORINTHIANS 1-7 --- 8-16 --- 2 CORINTHIANS 1-7 --- 8-13 -- -GALATIANS --- EPHESIANS --- COLOSSIANS --- 1 THESSALONIANS --- 2 THESSALONIANS --- 1 TIMOTHY --- 2 TIMOTHY --- TITUS --- HEBREWS 1-6 --- 7-10 --- 11-13 --- JAMES --- JOHN'S LETTERS --- REVELATION

--- THE GOSPELS

Commentary on Deuteronomy part 4

By Dr Peter Pett BA BD (Hons-London) DD

Chapters 29 The Final Postscript.

Having reproclaimed the covenant of Sinai (5.1-30) in his great speech in the plains of Moab, but expounding it as a people's treaty (6-26), and having probably seen to the commencement of the recording of it in writing, Moses now calls for a true response to it in this follow-up speech. They had by now had time to consider all that he had spoken and to respond accordingly. The constant references to what has previously been said confirms the direct connection of this chapter with what has gone before.

The covenant at Sinai had been the official covenant, where all the provisions for ensuring their relationship with God had been included, including the setting up of the Sanctuary and the priesthood. It had been very much both declarative and ritualistic, although it had certainly demanded a response. The reproclamation in the plains of Moab (1.5-29.1) had deliberately been made as a 'popular' version, a people's covenant, with the emphasis on what the people themselves had to do, and a call for their response. Without the Sinai covenant, on which it relied for all cult stipulations, it was incomplete. But it was more personal to the people. Would they now respond to it?

These two chapters, 29-30, are thus a summary statement, referring back to what he has said and calling for response to it. This chapter contains within it all the essentials of the requirement for covenant response; the pre-history (29.2-8), the call for commitment (29.9, 12-13), the description of the prospective responders to the covenant (29.10-15), the warning against turning to any other Overlord (29.16-21), the curses which will fall on the whole nation for such disobedience if unchecked (29.22-23), the witnesses who would be against them if they did (29.24-28). The full details of the future are secret, and have been withheld, but what God requires of them has been made plain. It has been given to them within the covenant so that they will do it (29.29).

But, even if they do fail, chapter 30 then describes the future possibility of a way back. Even then if there is true repentance Yahweh will restore them (30.1-9). But this too will depend on response to the covenant (30.10). For this covenant is not hidden and unreachable. It is not a secret. It is open before them (30.11-14). The choice is with them whether they choose life or death with all the consequences resulting from each (30.15-20).

A Quick Resume Of Their History (29.2-8).

In the light of the covenant which he had given (29.1), he began by a quick reminder of their reasons for confidence in Yahweh, and of why they should be grateful to Him so that they should respond accordingly. He cited four things, Yahweh's deliverance from Egypt (compare 1.30; 4.20, 34, 37; 5.6, 15; 6.12, 21-22; 7.8, 18; 11.3-4; 20.1; 26.8), His care in the wilderness (see 8.2-4; compare 1.31), the crushing defeats of Sihon and Og (see 1.4 2.24-3.17 4.45-46; 31.4), and their reception of the land which had once belonged to those kings. He feared that they had not yet really laid hold of these lessons by faith. They had failed to really take in what the past should have taught them.

How quickly we too forget so easily all the He has done for us.

Note that while mention of the deliverance from Egypt appears all through his previous covenant speeches, the details of the care in the wilderness came only in the second speech, while the emphasis on Sihon and Og came only in the first speech, demonstrating that both are in mind in this summary which has the whole book in mind seen as a whole.

Analysis using the words of Moses: