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Deuteronomy - Chapter 29

Bible Study Notes
Deuteronomy 29:1-9 The Lord renews the covenant in Moab through Moses to the children of Israel. They saw all that the Lord did to the Egyptians, but has not given them the heart, eyes, and ears to understand. They have wandered for 40 years in the wilderness and their clothes and sandals have not worn out. They have not eaten bread or drank wine and strong drink. The Lord helped Israel defeat Sihon, king of Heshbon and Og, king of Bashan. Their land went to the Reubenites, Gadites, and half-tribe of the Manasites.

Notes: This covenant is distinct from the one made at Sinai. This other covenant is viewed by some interpreters as the Palestinian Covenant, which gave Israel the title to the land. However, the emphasis of these two chapters (29 and 30) is not on the land, but on the change of Israel’s heart. It was exactly this change of heart that the later prophets would term “the new covenant”. In response to Israel’s certain failure under the provisions of the Sinaitic Covenant, Moses anticipated the New Covenant under which Israel would be obedient to the Lord and finally reap his blessings.

Deuteronomy 29:10-17 The renewing of the covenant takes place to all those standing before the Lord, that He may be their God, and they may be His people. This applies to all that are not currently standing before the Lord, but all future followers of the Lord God. The warning was given not to imitate the evil they witnessed in Egypt, nor to the peoples of the land they were to possess. 

Notes: All of Israel, present and future, were to be bound by the stipulations of the covenant to obey God and be blessed. Thus they would be able to lead all nations to the blessedness of salvation.

Deuteronomy 29:18-29 The Lord warns against those whose heart turns away from Him, thinking there will be no consequences and safe in their stubborness. Instead, all the curses will settle upon them. In the day when God banishes the Israelites and their becomes desolate, the next generation will eventually ask why the Lord did this. The answer shall be because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord that they swore to keep.

Notes: root bearing poisonous and bitter fruit. If one Israelite goes astray, the sin is regarded as contagious, infecting other Israelite. 

While ch. 28 held out blessings and curses as alternatives, it is again clear that the author of Deuteronomy expects Israel to sin because they lack correct hearts, eyes, and ears toward God.

blot out his name from under heaven. The idolater would have no place among God’s people, because God would curse him and then kill him. This very strong language reveals how God feels about idolatry, which is forbidden in the Decalogue. The secret things . . . the things that are revealed. That which is revealed included the law with its promises and threats; consequently, that which is hidden only can refer to the specific way in which God will carry out his will in the future, which is revealed in his word and completed in his great work of salvation, in spite of the apostasy of his people.

secret things belong to the LORD our God. Not everything that is true of God has been revealed. That there are secret things anticipates the need to trust, obey, and be humble before God. What God has revealed is for the sake of obedience.

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