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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Deuteronomy 29

Verse 1

DEUTERONOMY - CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

Verse 1:

The text does not describe a new covenant in addition to one already in existence. It denotes a renewal and reaffirmation of the original covenant made on Mount Horeb.

Note the contrast: in the covenant on Horeb, sacrifices were offered and the people were sprinkled with blood, see Exodus 24:3-8. In -Moab, no sacrifices were offered and no blood was sprinkled. This affirms that the covenant made on Horeb was still in effect.

Verses 2-9

Verses 2-9:

The text is a reminder of the manifestations of Jehovah’s Deity and power, in Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and their preservation during their forty years’ wilderness wandering. During this period, their physical needs were supplied, without labor on their part. Their shoes and clothing did not become worn and frayed. There was food in abundance for their needs.

Verse 6 does not mean that they had no bread nor wine during the wilderness wandering. Both bread and wine were a part of their sacrificial offerings at the Tabernacle. It implies that they did not go through the ordinary process of planting, harvesting, and processing these things.

The text is also an indictment of Israel for their spiritual dullness, and for their inability and unwillingness to acknowledge Jehovah’s hand in their deliverance and wilderness provision.

Compare verses 7, 8 with Deuteronomy 2:26 to Deuteronomy 3:17.

Verses 10-13

Verse 10-13:

All Israel was included in the covenant God made with Israel in Horeb, and which He renewed in the plains of Moab: the rulers and the ruled, the free and the slave.

"Enter into covenant," a strong phrase denoting not merely a formal agreement, but a thorough understanding and commitment.

"Into his oath:" a covenant was ratified or confirmed with an oath, Genesis 26:28; Exodus 22:11; Hebrews 6:17. Scripture on occasion refers to God’s covenant as His oath, 1 Chronicles 16:15-18; Hebrews 7:28.

The purpose of the covenant: to establish Israel as the exclusive property and people of Jehovah; and to establish Jehovah as the God of Israel.

Verses 14-20

Verses 14-20:

The text affirms that the covenant at Horeb was not only to those who lived at that time, but it extended to all future generations in Israel. It includes a warning against any individual, family, or tribe in Israel forsaking Jehovah to serve the gods of the heathen.

"Gall," rosh, "venem, a poisonous herb," a generic term referring to poisonous roots and bitter fruits. Gesenius considered it to be the poppy; Celsius to be the hemlock, and it is so rendered in Hosea 10:4.

"Wormwood," laanah, a species of bitter plant similar to sagebrush. Absinthe derives its flavor from the oil of this plant.

The text implies that a bitter spirit is the result of one’s forsaking the true God and going into idolatry.

The text affirms that no future generation will be spared the judgment of God upon apostasy. The curses enumerated in this book (chapter 28) will cleave unto the one who foresees God.

Verses 21-29

Verses 21-29:

The text is Moses’ prophetic warning of what would later happen to Israel when the nation turned from Jehovah to the gods of their heathen neighbors. The Books of Kings and Chronicles give the history of such kings as Jeroboam I, Ahab, Manasseh, and others who sold out to idols, and led Israel to partake of their worship. The judgments of Assyrian and Babylonian captivity resulted in the devastation of the Land itself, as a dramatic testimony of God’s judgment upon their sins.

The greatest devastation of Israel’s Land came about following the Jews’ rejection of Jesus as Messiah. For centuries the Land was barren and desolate, mute witness of Divine Judgment poured out upon the rebellious nation.

Compare verse 23 with Genesis 19:23-29.

"Secret things" refers to God’s eternal purpose of the ages. This is known only unto Himself. Some of His purpose He has chosen to reveal to man. But that portion of His purpose which He has not revealed belong to Himself, and man is to leave those things with him, cp. Matthew 24:36.

God has chosen to reveal some portions of His eternal purpose, in His written Word. The reason: that men might learn and put into practice His law.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 29". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/deuteronomy-29.html. 1985.