The Fifth Book of Moses, Called Deuteronomy

Chapter 32

Moses' song, which sets forth God's mercy and vengeance, 1-45. He exhorts them to set their hearts upon it, 46, 47. God sends him up to mount Nebo to see the land and to die, 48-52.

"Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak./
And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

My doctrine shall drop as the rain,/
my speech shall distill as the dew,/
as the small rain upon the tender herb,/
and as the showers upon the grass.

For I will publish the name of the LORD./
Ascribe greatness to our God.

"He is the Rock, his work is perfect,/
for all his ways are judgment./
A God of truth and without iniquity./
He is just and right.

They have corrupted themselves./
Their spot is not the spot of his children./
They are a perverse and crooked generation.

Do you thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise?/
Is he not your Father who has bought you?/
Has he not made you and established you?

Remember the days of old,/
consider the years of many generations./
Ask your father, and he will declare to you./
[Ask] your elders, and they will tell you.

When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance/
when he separated the sons of Adam,/
he set the bounds of the people/
according to the number of the children of Israel.

For the LORD'S portion is his people./
Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

10 "He found him in a desert land,/
and in the barren, howling wilderness./
He led him around, he instructed him,/
he kept him as the apple of his eye.

11 As an eagle stirs up her nest,/
flutters over her young,/
spreads abroad her wings, takes them,/
bears them on her wings,

12 So the LORD alone led him,/
and there was no strange god with him.

13 He made him ride on the high places of the earth./
He ate the increase of the fields./
He nourished him with honey out of the rock,/
and oil out of the flinty rock,

14 With butter of cows, and milk of sheep,/
with fat of lambs,/
and rams of the breed of Bashan and goats,/
with the finest of the wheat./
And you drank the pure blood of the grape.

15 "But Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked./
You have waxed fat, you have grown thick, you are covered with fatness./
Then he forsook God who made him/
and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.

16 They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods./
With abominations they provoked him to anger.

17 They sacrificed to devils, not to God,/
to gods which they did not know,/
to new gods who came newly up,/
whom your fathers did not fear.

18 Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful,/
and have forgotten God who formed you.

19 "And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them,/
because of the provoking of his sons and of his daughters.

20 And he said, 'I will hide my face from them./
I will see what their end will be,/
for they are a very perverse generation,/
children in whom there is no faith.

21 They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God./
They have provoked me to anger with their vanities./
And I will move them to jealousy with those who are not a people./
I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

22 For a fire is kindled in my anger,/
and shall burn to the lowest hell,/
consume the earth with her increase,/
and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

23 'I will heap mischiefs upon them./
I will spend my arrows upon them.

24 They shall be burnt with hunger and devoured with burning heat/
and with bitter destruction./
I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them,/
with the poison of serpents of the dust.

25 The sword outside and terror inside,/
shall destroy both the young man and the virgin,/
the nursing child also with the man of gray hairs.

26 I said, "I would scatter them into corners/
and I would make their remembrance to cease from among men,"

27 Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy,/
lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely,/
and lest they should say, "Our hand is high,/
and the LORD has not done all this."'

28 "For they are a nation void of counsel,/
neither is there any understanding in them.

29 O that they were wise, that they understood this,/
that they would consider their latter end!

30 How should one chase a thousand/
and two put ten thousand to flight,/
unless their Rock had sold them/
and the LORD had shut them up?

31 For their rock is not as our Rock,/
even our enemies themselves being judges.

32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom/
and of the fields of Gomorrah./
Their grapes are grapes of gall,/
their clusters are bitter.

33 Their wine is the poison of serpents/
and the cruel venom of asps.

34 "Is this not laid up in store with me/
and sealed up among my treasures?

35 To me belongs vengeance and recompense./
Their foot shall slide in due time,/
for the day of their calamity is at hand,/
and the things that shall come upon them make haste.

36 For the LORD shall judge his people/
and have compassion on his servants/
when he sees that their power is gone/
and there is no one shut up or left.

37 And he shall say, 'Where are their gods,/
their rock in whom they trusted,

38 Which ate the fat of their sacrifices/
and drank the wine of their drink-offerings?/
Let them rise up and help you/
and be your protection.

39 'See now that I, even I am he,/
and there is no god with me./
I kill and I make alive./
I wound and I heal./
There is no one who can deliver out of my hand.

40 For I lift up my hand to heaven,/
and say, "I live forever."

41 If I whet my glittering sword/
and my hand takes hold of judgment,/
I will render vengeance to my enemies/
and will recompense those who hate me.

42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood/
and my sword shall devour flesh,/
and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives/
from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy.'

43 "Rejoice, O nations, with his people,/
for he will avenge the blood of his servants,/
and will render vengeance to his adversaries,/
and will be merciful to his land and to his people."

44 And Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people—he and Joshua the son of Nun. 45 And Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel, 46 And he said to them, "Set your hearts to all the words which I testify among you this day, which you shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. 47 For it is not a vain thing for you, because it is your life, and through this thing you shall prolong your days in the land where you go over the Jordan to possess it."

48 And the LORD spoke to Moses that same day, saying, 49 "Ascend this mountain Abarim, to mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho, and behold the land of Canaan which I give to the children of Israel for a possession, 50 And die on the mountain where you go and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died on mount Hor and was gathered to his people, 51 Because you trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, and because you did not sanctify me in the midst of the children of Israel. 52 Yet you shall see the land before you, but you shall not go there to the land which I give the children of Israel."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Deuteronomy, Chapter 32[➚]


[v.4a] - "Rock" - This Rock is Christ. Also found in verses 15, 18, 30 and 31. See also the comment for Matthew 16:18. Reference, 1st Samuel 2:2; 2nd Samuel 22:2, 3, 32, 47, 23:3; Psalm 18:2, 31, 46, 61:2-4, 92:15; Isaiah 28:16, 32:2; 1st Corinthians 10:4; 1st Peter 2:6.

[v.4b] - "all his ways are judgment" - Reference, Revelation 15:3-4.

[v.7] - Text in square brackets added for implied meaning.

[v.17] - Quoted in 1st Corinthians 10:20.

[v.21] - Quoted in Romans 10:19.

[v.35] - Quoted in Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30.

[v.36a] - "and there is no one shut up or left" - From the Pulpit Commentary: "The words rendered 'shut up or left' are a proverbial expression for 'every one, men of all sorts' (1st Kings 14:10; 1st Kings 21:21; 2nd Kings 9:8; 2nd Kings 14:26); but how the words are to be rendered or explained is uncertain."

[v.36b] - Quoted in Hebrews 10:30.

[v.43] - Quoted in Romans 15:10; possibly quoted in Hebrews 1:6.

[v.51] - Reference, Numbers 20:8-13.