Deuteronomy 12:28-32: Summary of Worship Principles

Verse 28:  Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, (Deut. 12:25) that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.


Verse 29:  When (Ex. 23:33; Deut. 19:1; Josh. 23:4) the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them (Heb. inheritest, or, possesses them[1]), and dwellest in their land…

Whither thou goest to possess them; of which phrase see Deuteronomy 9:1; 11:23.


Verse 30:  Take heed to thyself (Deut. 7:16) that thou be not snared by following them (Heb. after them[2]), after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.

[Beware lest thou imitate, etc., פֶּן־תִּנָּקֵשׁ֙ אַחֲרֵיהֶ֔ם[3]]  [They vary.]  Lest thou shouldst ensnare thyself by following them (Vatablus, Arabic); lest though shouldst stumble (Chaldean); lest thou shouldst be stumbled (Montanus), shouldst strike against (Samaritan Text), shouldst stray (Syriac); lest thou shouldst be taken (Malvenda).  He has regard both to the object of worship, and to the mode of worship and to ceremonies; lest the true God be worshipped with ceremonies similar to those used by the Canaanites in the worship of their gods (Bonfrerius).

Snared; drawn into their sin and ruin.  After that they be destroyed; i.e. by following the example they left, when their persons are destroyed.  That thou inquire not after their gods, through curiosity to know their gods, and the manner of the worship, lest thy vain and foolish mind be seduced by its speciousness or newness.


Verse 31:  (Deut. 12:4; Lev. 18:3, 26, 30; 2 Kings 17:15) Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God:  for every abomination to the LORD (Heb. abomination of the Lord[4]), which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for (Lev. 18:21; 20:2; Deut. 18:10; Jer. 32:35; Ezek. 23:37) even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.

[Not similarly to Jehovah]  That is, thou shalt not so insult God, by worshipping strange gods together with Him (Vatablus).

[Abomination]  That which He especially detests (Vatablus).  More truly a sacrilege than a sacred thing, Curtius’ History of Alexander the Great[5] 4.  A bloody religion of rites, and crime in the place of its remedy, Justinus’ Of Phillipic Histories 18 (Grotius).

Shalt not do so unto the Lord; either, 1.  Not offer him that indignity and injury to worship other gods together with him.  Or rather, 2.  Not worship him in such manner as they worshipped their gods, to wit, by offering thy children to him, as they did to their gods, as it here follows, or by their own devices or superstitions, as is implied, verse 32.


Verse 32:  What thing soever I command you, observe to do it:  (Deut. 4:2; 13:18; Josh. 1:7; Prov. 30:6; Rev. 22:18) thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

[This only do]  Hebrew:  thou shalt observed (keep thou) to do[6] (Malvenda).  Take heed lest thou do what He forbids, and that thou doest that which He decrees and commands.  Thus a certain interpreter distinguished (Drusius).

[1] Hebrew:  וְיָרַשְׁתָּ֣ אֹתָ֔ם.

[2] Hebrew:  אַחֲרֵיהֶם.

[3] נָקַשׁ, to strike or thrust, in the Niphal conjugation, signifies to be thrust.

[4] Hebrew:  תּוֹעֲבַ֙ת יְהוָ֜ה.

[5] Quintus Curtius Rufus (d. 53) was a Roman and a historian.  Historiæ Alexandri Magni is his only surviving work.

[6] Hebrew:  תִשְׁמְר֖וּ לַעֲשׂ֑וֹת.

Deuteronomy 12:17-27: Israel Commanded to Adhere to God’s Commandments in Worship, Part 2

Verse 17:  Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand…

[Thou shalt not be able to eat, etc.]  It is an exception; that is to say, any flesh indeed do I permit to thee, so that thou mightest sacrifice and eat at home; but those things which thou wert obliged, or didst desire, to offer to God, unto the place appointed carry thou either them, or the money with which thou wouldst exchange them (Vatablus).

[The tithe]  But the tithes were allotted to the Levites, Numbers 18:21 (Gerhard).  Response:  There were a variety of tithes (namely, four kinds [Gerhard]).  Concerning which see on Leviticus 19:24 (Bonfrerius).  1.  The Levitical Tithe, which was granted in its entirety to the Levites.  2.  The secondary Tithe, which was separated after the first, to be used in these feasts (Bonfrerius on verse 7).  Concerning this tithe, Deuteronomy 12:12, 17, and especially Deuteronomy 14:22, and Jerome on Ezekiel 45, who calls it δευτεροδεκάτην, the second tithe; and Joseph in his Antiquities of the Jews 4:8, ταῖς δεκάταις ταῖς δυσὶν, etc., that is, beyond the two Tithes, which I previously said were to be paid each year, one for the Levites, the other for feasts, the third also in the third year, gather ye; and Theodoret in Questions on the Octateuch, question 10 on Deuteronomy:  so that Lyra in vain denies this (Bonfrerius, Gerhard).  3.  The Tithe of the Tithe, which belonged to the priests.  And, 4.  the triennial Tithe, also in the third year (Gerhard).  [Others thus explain this:]  No Tithes plainly:  for the Levite were eating the ordinary Tithes, and all the domestics the anniversary Tithes, before the Lord, verse 18, but yet others were eating the triennial Tithes even in their gates, Deuteronomy 14:28, 29; 26:12 (thus Malvenda out of Junius, Gerhard).  Therefore, the command concerning not eating Tithes within their gates is universal (Gerhard).

Thou; either, 1.  Thou, O Levite; or rather, 2.  Thou, O Israelite, whom he distinguisheth from the Levite, verse 18, accordingly as the following particulars agree to the one or to the other of you.  Within thy gates, i.e. in your private habitations, here opposed to the place of God’s worship, verse 18.  The tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil.  Here seems to be a great difficulty, not yet sufficiently observed nor cleared by interpreters.  There were divers kinds of tithes:  1.  The tithes given to the Levites out of all, of which Numbers 18:21, 24; Deuteronomy 14:22; Nehemiah 10:31.  2.  The tithe of those tithes, which were to be given by the Levites to the priests, of which Numbers 18:26, 28; Nehemiah 10:38.  3.  The third year’s tithe, of which Deuteronomy 14:28.  To which some add another tithe, which they call the second tithe, which they say was taken after the Levites’ tithe was laid by.  Now each of these hath its difficulty.  It seems this place cannot be understood, 1.  Of the Levites’ tithe; partly, because it might seem a great and wholly superfluous trouble to carry all their tithes up to Jerusalem, and to carry them back to their several habitations for their use; partly, because those were holy to the Lord, Leviticus 27:30, and not to be eaten by the people, Leviticus 27:31; whereas these belonged principally to the people, the Levites being only taken in as accessories to eat with them, as it is here, Deuteronomy 12:18; and partly, because those might be eaten in every place, as it is expressly affirmed, Numbers 18:31.  Nor, 2.  Of the tithe of the tithe, which was the priest’s; and neither Levites nor others might eat of it, except they were of or in the priest’s household.  Nor, 3.  Of the third year’s tithe, because that was to be eaten within their gates, Deuteronomy 14:28, 29, as this was not.  I do therefore humbly conceive that this is meant of the second tithe, spoken of Deuteronomy 14:22; and that this was the very same tithe with that third year’s tithe, with this only difference, that in the third year they were to eat them together with the Levites within their gates, Deuteronomy 14:28, 29, but in the two first years they were to eat them, together with the Levites also, in the place of God’s worship, as it is prescribed here and Deuteronomy 14:23.  And that it is one and the same tithe which is spoken of Deuteronomy 14:22, and 14:28, seems more than probable, both because they are called by the same name, all the tithe of their increase, and because that Deuteronomy 14:28 manifestly looks back to that verse 22, and because otherwise every third year the Israelites were to pay three several tithes one after another, which Scripture no where affirms, and it seems to make the people’s burdens and the Levites’ provisions too great.  For the objection taken from Deuteronomy 26:12, 13, it shall be considered in its place.  And the reason of that difference of place, and why the same tithes were eaten for two years together in Jerusalem, and the third in their own gates, seems to be this, that in the two first years there was a more special regard had to the Levites, who were very much conversant in Jerusalem, where those tithes were then eaten, and in the third year there is a respect had to the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are mentioned as joint sharers with the Levites in this third year’s tithe, whose occasions and obligations of coming to Jerusalem were not so many nor strong as those of the Levites, and therefore they were to be found generally within their gates, where these were to be eaten.  And whereas the objection made before against the chargeable and useless carrying of the first tithes to Jerusalem might be applied here, it is answered there, and it is provided, that when they lived at a great distance from Jerusalem they might turn it into money and bestow it there, Deuteronomy 14:24-26, which both confirms the objection as to the first tithe, for which no such provision was made, and answers it as to this, where such a remedy is expressed.  And whereas it may be pleaded on the behalf of the first, or the Levitical tithe, that those tithes were brought to Jerusalem, and that there were storehouses or chambers in the temple appointed for the receiving of the tithes, 2 Chronicles 31:5, 6, 11, 12; Nehemiah 10:37, 38; 12:44, it may be answered, that those chambers, being only thirty-eight in number, and each of them, except two, but six cubits broad and twelve cubits long, were altogether incapable of all those tithes, and seem principally, if not solely, appointed for the priests’ tithes, and not for all them neither, but only for so much of them as would serve for the use and necessity of those priests and Levites too that were in the actual ministration.

[The firstlings]  But the firstlings were yielded entirely to the priests, Numbers 18:17.  Responses:  1.  They understand it of firstlings spotted, etc., and therefore to be redeemed (certain interpreters in Lyra).  This does not satisfy; for then the price of the redemption belonged to the priests (Lyra, Gerhard).  2.  Others:  of the second-born, which were firstlings, not absolutely, but with respect to the owner of the animal (Bonfrerius, Gerhard).  3.  Others:  of the firstling females, which, even if they were not dedicated to God by a peculiar consecration, yet God willed that they be brought to Him in a certain inferior manner, and that they be used for His honor, by immolating them according to the rite of peace-offerings, and also by consuming them in sacred feasts, as it is able to be gathered out of Deuteronomy 14:23 (Bonfrerius, thus Gerhard, Menochius).

The firstlings of thy herds, or of thy flock.  As the tithes now mentioned were not the Levitical, but second tithes, as hath been discoursed; so these firstlings do not seem to be the first firstlings, which being appropriated to the Levites were not to be eaten by any of the people, except those of or in the Levites’ families, but the second firstlings, which were the first which the owner could dispose of, and which, in conformity to the second tithes, he is required to set apart for this use.

[And all things which thou hast vowed]  But the votive offerings were yielded to the priests, Numbers 18:14, and that wholly (Bonfrerius).  Response:  This is true concerning real vows, which were made absolutely to God; but not concerning vows made with a limitation to a certain use, for example, if a person should vow anything unto the poor, etc., it is to be paid (Bonfrerius, Gerhard).

[And the first-fruits[1]]  But the first-fruits were also owed to the priests.  Response:  This is able to be taken, either, 1.  of the first-fruits of the fruits in the fourth year, Leviticus 19:23, 24 (Bonfrerius).  This does not satisfy; for those appear to fall to the priests (Gerhard).  [Concerning which see many more things in the Author.]  Or, 2.  of certain voluntary first-fruits.  For, 1.  with regard to the voluntary oblations they had already begun to practice.  2.  Perhaps that, and the first-fruits, is to be taken exegetically, in this manner, which thou mightest freely will to offer, that is, the voluntary first-fruits, etc. (Bonfrerius, Gerhard).


Verse 18:  (Deut. 12:11, 12; 14:23) But thou must eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates:  and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto.


Verse 19:  (Deut. 14:27; Ecclus. 7:31[2]) Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest (Heb. all thy days[3]) upon the earth.

Take heed lest a worldly mind and self-love make thee rob the Levites of their dues, as afterwards the ungodly Jews did.  See Malachi 3:8.


Verse 20:  When the LORD thy God shall enlarge thy border, (Gen. 15:18; 28:14; Ex. 34:24; Deut. 11:24; 19:8) as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.

When the Lord shall enlarge thy border, which will make it inconvenient and impossible to do what now thou dost, and because of the narrow bounds of thy camp canst conveniently do, to wit, to bring all the cattle thou usest to the tabernacle, which it seems probable they did, to prevent their eating of blood.  Compare Leviticus 17:3; 1 Samuel 14:34.

[What things thy soul desireth, בְּכָל־אַוַּ֥ת נַפְשְׁךָ֖]  According to all the lust of thy soul.  The ב/in is put in the place of כ, according to, as in verse 15[4] (Piscator).


Verse 21:  If the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the LORD hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.

[If it be far off]  It is an extension and amplification of that which he had said in verse 13; that is to say, I appoint the same thing, although it be far, etc. (Bonfrerius).

[Thou shalt kill[5]]  זָבַח, to slaughter for sacrifice, here is simply to slaughter (Fagius, Gerhard).  In the desert, when the Tabernacle was ready to hand, they were daily sacrificing peace-offerings, and thus the eating of flesh was not wanting to them (if they were clean):  But in Canaan the eating of flesh is allowed to them in all places, even if they were not sanctified by oblation (Fagius out of Munster).

Be too far from thee; in which case, being obliged to carry their sacrifice to the place of worship, that the blood might be there poured forth, etc., they might think themselves obliged, for the same reason, to carry their other cattle thither to be killed.  They are therefore released from all such obligations, and left at liberty to kill them at home, whether they lived nearer to that place, or further from it; only the latter is here mentioned, as being the matter of the scruple, and as containing the former in it.  As I have commanded thee; in such manner as the blood may be poured forth, as above, verse 16, and below, verse 24.


Verse 22:  (Deut. 12:15) Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat them:  the unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike.

[As the roe]  That is, as profane and common food, without any regard to sanctity.  Thus Deuteronomy 15:22, 23 (Ainsworth).  It is liable to doubt whether it was lawful to feed upon things for sacrifice, abstention from which was able to appear to be for the honor of God (Bonfrerius, Menochius).

As the roebuck and the hart; as common or unhallowed food, though they be of the same kind with the sacrifices which are offered to God.  The unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike, because there was no holiness in such meat for which the unclean might be excluded from it.


Verse 23:  (Deut. 12:16) Only be sure (Heb. be strong[6]) that thou eat not the blood:  (Gen. 9:4; Lev. 17:11, 14) for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.

[Of this alone beware, רַ֣ק חֲזַ֗ק]  Only strengthen thyself (Montanus).  Be thou strong, that thou eat not, etc. (Vatablus).  Pay very careful attention (Septuagint); that is, resolutely abstain from the eating of blood (Vatablus).  Only with strength take precautions (Samaritan Text).  Nevertheless be thou encouraged (Chaldean).  But, on the other hand, in this be thou strengthened (Arabic).  Only hold fast, cling, that is, persist steadfastly in this resolution (Malvenda).  The precept is not newly given by Moses, but is repeated from antiquity, Genesis 9:4 (Grotius).

[The blood is for the soul]  Hebrew:  the blood is the soul,[7] that is, the seat of the soul.  Because the life is nourished and preserved by the blood, he calls the life the soul (Vatablus).  He understands the animal life, which depends upon purer blood or spirits (Fagius).  See what things are on Genesis 9:4 (Bonfrerius).

The blood is the life; of which see on Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:11.  The animal life depends upon the blood.

[The soul with the flesh]  That is, the flesh with the blood (Grotius).


Verse 24:  Thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it upon the earth as water.


Verse 25:  Thou shalt not eat it; (Deut. 4:40; Is. 3:10) that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, (Ex. 15:26; Deut. 13:18; 1 Kings 11:38) when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD.


Verse 26:  Only thy (Num. 5:9, 10; 18:19) holy things which thou hast, and (1 Sam. 1:21, 22, 24) thy vows, thou shalt take, and go unto the place which the LORD shall choose…

[But those things which, etc.]  Concerning these, verse 17 (Bonfrerius, Munster).

The holy things, mentioned before, verses 6, 11, 17, which thou hast consecrated to God.


Verse 27:  And (Lev. 1:5, 9, 13; 17:11) thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the LORD thy God:  and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the LORD thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh.

[And thou shalt offer oblations, etc.[8]]  A distinction is made here between burnt-offerings (in which the flesh with the blood is burned and consumed) and other sacrifices (in which the blood is not burned, but is poured out upon the altar [certain interpreters in Malvenda]).

[The flesh and the blood]  That is, of flesh and blood (Vatablus):  of which the flesh and blood is offered (the Chaldean in Vatablus).

[Of the sacrificial victims, וְדַם־זְבָחֶ֗יךָ]  But the blood of the victims (Arabic, similarly the Septuagint, Samaritan Text), or, of the sacrifices (Ainsworth), supply, other[9] (Junius and Tremellius, Pagnine):  a Synecdoche of genus (Piscator).  Of the peace-offerings, the flesh of which was eaten by the owners; Leviticus 7:15 (Ainsworth).

[Thou shalt eat the flesh]  That is, of the peace-offerings, Leviticus 7:15 (Ainsworth).  That which is not burned, nor belonging to the priests, thou shalt eat (Gerhard).

Thou shalt eat the flesh:  Excepting what shall be burned to God’s honour, and given to the priest according to his appointment.

[1] Deuteronomy 12:17b:  “…nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering (וּתְרוּמַת; et primitias, and the first-fruits, in the Vulgate) of thine hand…”

[2] Ecclesiasticus 7:31:  “Fear the Lord, and honor the priest; and give him his portion, as it is commanded thee; the firstfruits, and the trespass offering, and the gift of the shoulders, and the sacrifice of sanctification, and the firstfruits of the holy things.”

[3] Hebrew:  כָּל־יָמֶ֖יךָ.

[4] Deuteronomy 12:15a:  “Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, according to all the lust (בְּכָל־אַוַּ֙ת) of thy soul, according to the blessing (כְּבִרְכַּת) of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee…”

[5] Hebrew:  וְזָבַחְתָּ.

[6] Hebrew:  חֲזַק.

[7] Hebrew:  הַדָּ֖ם ה֣וּא הַנָּ֑פֶשׁ.

[8] Deuteronomy 12:27a:  “And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings (עֹלֹתֶיךָ; oblationes/oblations, in the Vulgate), the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the Lord thy God…”

[9] That is, of the other sacrifices.

Deuteronomy 12:5-16: Israel Commanded to Adhere to God’s Commandments in Worship, Part 1

Verse 5:  But unto the place which the LORD your God shall (Deut. 12:11; 26:2; Josh. 9:27; 1 Kings 8:29; 2 Chron. 7:12; Ps. 78:68) choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come…

[Unto the place]  Which he does not express; 1.  because it is the method of revelation, that it be rendered more explicit by the succession of time (Fagius).  2.  Because God rested in many places, as in Gilgal,[1] Shiloh,[2] Nob,[3] etc. (Chizkuni in Fagius).

[His name]  That is, the Ark, which is also thus called in Jeremiah 7:12, whence He was giving responses to the people, and was hearing the one calling upon Him; it was a sign of His presence; whence it is called God, the King of glory, the face of God, etc., Psalm 24:8, 10; 95:6; 105:4; etc. (Vatablus).  Rather, His name signifies the invocation and worship of the name of God (Malvenda).

To put his name there, i.e. to set up his worship there, or which he shall call by his name, as his house, or dwelling-place, etc., to wit, where the ark should be, the tabernacle, or temple; which was first Shiloh, Joshua 18:1, next and especially Jerusalem.

[And He shall dwell in it, ye shall come, לְשִׁכְנ֥וֹ תִדְרְשׁ֖וּ וּבָ֥אתָ שָֽׁמָּה׃]  To inhabit it, ye shall seek, and ye shall come thither (Montanus).  So that He might put His name there, and He shall inhabit it, ye shall seek, etc. (Munster).  But this place, which He would choose, and dwell there (or, that He might dwell [Pagnine]), ye shall seek, etc. (Tigurinus).  Concerning that place which He would choose, etc., concerning His habitation, I say, inquire ye.  The preposition אֶל and ל here mean concerning;[4] thus Deuteronomy 12:30 (Piscator).  Unto the place…even unto His habitation shall ye seek (Ainsworth).  In the place, etc., in His habitation seek Him (Junius and Tremellius).  His domicile seek ye, and unto it go ye forth (Syriac, similarly the Arabic, Chaldean).


Verse 6:  And (Lev. 17:3, 4) thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your (Deut. 12:17; 14:22, 23; 15:19, 20) tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks…

The sacrifices were wisely appropriated to that one and public place, partly for the security of the true religion, and for the prevention of idolatry and superstition, which otherwise might more easily have crept in; and partly to signify that their sacrifices were not accepted for their own worth, but by God’s gracious appointment, and for the sake of God’s altar, by which they were sanctified, and for the sake of Christ, whom the altar did manifestly represent.  Of tithes, see below on verse 17.  Heave-offerings, i.e. your first-fruits, to wit, of the earth, as of corn and wine and oil and other fruits, as plainly appears by comparing this place with Deuteronomy 18:4; 26:2, where these are commanded to be brought thither; and seeing here is an exact and particular enumeration of all such things, and these cannot be put under any of the other branches, these must needs be intended here, the rather because the other kind of first-fruits, to wit, of the herds and flocks, are here expressly mentioned.  And these are called here the heave-offerings of their hand, because the offerer was first to take these into his hands, and to heave them before the Lord, (as other places tell us,) and then to give them to the priest, as appears from Deuteronomy 18:3, 4; 26:4.  Your free-will offerings; even for your voluntary oblations, which were not due by my prescription, but only by your own choice and voluntary engagement:  you may choose what kind of offering you please to vow and offer, but not the place where you shall offer them.  The firstlings of your herds and of your flocks; either, 1.  The holy firstlings or firstborn, as appears by Numbers 18, where they are commanded to be brought to this one place here designed, and to be offered upon God’s altar, Numbers 18:17.  It is objected by some, that those were given to the priests, Numbers 18:18, but these were to be eaten by the people here, Deuteronomy 12:7.  But that the next verse doth not say, but only in general, there shall ye eat, to wit, such of the offerings mentioned in verse 6 as they were allowed to eat, but not such as were the priest’s peculiar, for these they might not eat, nor all there expressed; for it is evident they might not eat any of the burnt-offerings, nor some parts of the other sacrifices, which are here mentioned.  Or, 2.  The second births, which were the people’s first-born, or the first which they could eat of, which they were to eat before the Lord by way of acknowledgment of his favour in giving them to them and all their succeeding births.  See more on Deuteronomy 12:17.


Verse 7:  And (Deut. 14:26) there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and (Deut. 12:12, 18; Lev. 23:40; Deut. 16:11, 14, 15; 26:11; 27:7) ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.

[And ye shall eat in the sight of God]  That is, of those things which it was lawful for laymen to eat (Menochius out of Lapide, Malvenda).  Or, in the city where the Tabernacle is ye shall celebrate your solemn feasts and banquets, three times in the year (Tirinus out of Bonfrerius).

There; not in the most holy place, wherein only the priests might eat, Numbers 18:10, but more generally in places allowed to the people for this end in the holy city.  Ye shall eat, to wit, your part of the things mentioned Deuteronomy 12:6.  Before the Lord, i.e. in the place of God’s presence, where God’s sanctuary shall be.

[In all things upon which ye would place your hand[5] (thus the Chaldean, Samaritan Text, Ainsworth, similarly the Septuagint, Syriac, Arabic, Oleaster)]  Eating of everything unto which ye would apply your hand (Junius and Tremellius).  I translate it, in every thing unto which it is permitted to you to extend your hand, that is, in all flesh of the sacrifices which it is lawful for you to eat (Piscator).

[In which He would bless (thus the Samaritan Text, Montanus, Ainsworth, similarly Junius and Tremellius), אֲשֶׁ֥ר בֵּֽרַכְךָ֖]  Because He shall bless (Chaldean); that He might bless (Syriac); as He blessed (Septuagint); as He hath granted to thee (Arabic).

All that ye put your hand unto; either to bestow your pains and labour upon it; or, to take and use or enjoy it.  The sense is, You thus doing shall be blessed and enabled to rejoice, or to take comfort in all your labours and enjoyments, which otherwise would be accursed to you.  We have the same phrase below, Deuteronomy 12:18; 15:10.


Verse 8:  Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, (Judg. 17:6; 21:25) every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.

[Ye shall not do what we]  That is, Ye shall not offer sacrifices in whatever places, but in one (Grotius after Munster, Fagius, Estius).  It was first Shiloh,[6] then Jerusalem.  In the meantime this Law was left off, because there was no definite place for the sacred tent (Grotius).  But I prefer to take this universally of ceremonies, which in the desert were not observed, neither were able to be observed.  See Amos 5:25 (Bonfrerius, Menochius).  Compare Deuteronomy 12:11 and Numbers 28:6 (Malvenda).  In the desert it was permitted to offer voluntary oblations (not likewise those owed) in whatever place one might please (certain Hebrews in Fagius).

[What appears right to him]  As far as offerings are concerned:  for, even if one Law of oblations always was from the beginning prescribed by God, it was not able to be observed to the full extent in the ambulatory camp of the Israelites, or to be exacted from them with the full force of the law; as the antithesis in verse 11 demonstrates.  See Numbers 28:6 (Junius).

Here; where the inconveniency of the place, and the uncertainty of our abode in and removal from several places, would not permit exact order in sacrifices, and feasts, and ceremonies, which therefore God was pleased then to dispense with; but, saith he, he will not do so there.  Every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes; not that universal liberty was given to all persons to worship whom and how they listed, but that in many things their unsettled condition gave every one opportunity to do so if he thought good.


Verse 9:  For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the LORD your God giveth you.

[To the rest]  To the place where there shall be rest from enemies (Drusius).


Verse 10:  But when (Deut. 11:31) ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety…


Verse 11:  Then there shall be (Deut. 12:5, 14, 18, 21, 26; 14:23; 15:20; 16:2, etc.; 17:8; 18:6; 23:16; 26:2; 31:11; Josh. 18:1; 1 Kings 8:29; Ps. 78:68) a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows (Heb. the choice of your vows[7]) which ye vow unto the LORD…

[That His name might be in it, לשַׁכֵּ֤ן שְׁמוֹ֙ שָׁ֔ם]  That He might cause His name to dwell there (Montanus, Syriac, similarly the Samaritan Text, Junius and Tremellius); that His name might be invoked (Septuagint); that He might set His majesty there (Chaldean); that He might cause His splendor to dwell in it (Arabic).

His name, i.e. his majesty and glory, his worship and service, his special and gracious presence, and the tokens of it.

[And the first-fruits[8]]  תְּרוּמָה/heave-offering is a term with a broad spectrum of meaning:  but here it signifies voluntary oblations, not votive, for concerning these it follows.  See Leviticus 7:16 (Grotius).

[The principal]  Hebrew:  the choice of your vows; inasmuch as vows are to be fulfilled out of better things (Munster, Fagius, Vatablus, Junius).  All your best vows (Ainsworth).

All your choice vows, Heb. the choice of your vows. i.e. your select or chosen vows were to be perfect, whereas superfluous or deflective creatures were accepted in freewill offerings, as appears from Leviticus 22:21-23.


Verse 12:  And (Deut. 12:7) ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as (Deut. 10:9; 14:29) he hath no part nor inheritance with you.

Your daughters:  Hence it appears, that though the males only were obliged to appear before God in their solemn feasts, Exodus 23:17, yet the women also were permitted to come, as they did.  See Judges 21:19, 21; 1 Samuel 1:3, 7, 21-23.


Verse 13:  (Lev. 17:4) Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings in every place that thou seest…

[Thy burnt-offerings]  Under these understand the other sorts of sacrifices (Menochius out of Bonfrerius).  For the reasoning is the same for all (Bonfrerius).

Thy burnt offerings:  Nor the other things mentioned above, this one and most eminent kind being put for all the rest, as is usual; for being all expressed before, it was needless to repeat them again.  In every place that thou seest, to wit, with complacency and approbation, which thou thinkest very fit and proper for such a work, as one might possibly judge of some high places, or groves, or gardens.


Verse 14:  (Deut. 12:11) But in the place which the LORD shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee.


Verse 15:  Notwithstanding (Deut. 12:21) thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee:  (Deut. 12:22) the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, (Deut. 14:5; 15:22) as of the roebuck, and as of the hart.

[But if…thou desirest to eat, רק֩ בְּכָל־אַוַּ֙ת נַפְשְׁךָ֜]  Only (nevertheless [Junius and Tremellius, Ainsworth, similarly the Chaldean]; but [Septuagint]; notwithstanding [Samaritan Text]) in all the longing of thy soul; it is a Hebraism:  absolutely as thou shalt desire, and as much as may please (Vatablus, Malvenda).  The Hebrews say that this sense lies hidden, that nothing is to be offered except what is altogether desirable (Munster).

[Kill and eat[9]]  In Acts 10:13, θῦσον καὶ φάγε, kill and eat.  זָבַח, θύειν, is ritually to cut the veins of the neck.  Now, this is commanded so that they might do it concerning tame animals, not concerning wild animals, such as the stag or roe, upon which, killed in whatever way, it was lawful to feed (Grotius).

Thou mayest kill and eat flesh, to wit, for thy common use and food.  In all thy gates, i.e. thy cities or dwellings.  Whatsoever thy soul lusteth after; what you shall desire either for quantity or quality, provided always you observe the laws given you elsewhere about avoiding excess and uncleanness in the things you eat.

[According to the blessing]  A Hebraism:  proportionately to the means which the Lord has given to thee (Vatablus).

Which he hath given thee, according to thy quality and estate; whereby he manifestly condemns those who profusely and riotously spend other men’s money, and live at a rate which their consciences know to be much above their ability; which certainly is an ungodly and unrighteous, though too common, practice.

[Whether unclean, etc.]  That is, for sacrifice, not for private use:  thus Deuteronomy 12:22 (Malvenda).  [The Vulgate refers these things to the flesh to be eaten; thus the Syriac, which was unclean, and which was clean (similarly Oleaster).  But others refer these things to the men eating (which is more correct [Grotius]):]  The unclean and the clean shall eat, or, shall be able to eat, of it, as the roe, and as the stag (Montanus, similarly the Septuagint, Chaldean, Samaritan Text, Arabic, Pagnine, likewise Munster, Junius and Tremellius, Tigurinus, Ainsworth, Malvenda).  In the desert, if anyone had a desire to eat, he was compelled to slaughter it before the door of the Tabernacle; whence it follows that it was not lawful for the unclean to eat.  For the sacrifices of the peace-offerings, because they are holy, are only suited to the clean.  Therefore, He permits two things to those introduced into the land at the present time.  The one is, that He makes a law concerning the eating of profane flesh, that is, flesh not offered on the altar:  the other, that it was also lawful for the unclean to eat (Fagius).  Flesh is twofold:  1.  profane, which they call תַּאֲוַת נָפֶשׁ, the desire of the soul; 2.  holy, that is, for sacrifice (Fagius).

[As the roe and stag]  For they are clean animals (namely, for private uses), but they are not offered to the Lord (Vatablus, Malvenda):  that is to say, ye are able to eat roes and stags (Vatablus).  Thou art able to feed upon any flesh permitted for eating, although not for sacrifice; like the roe, etc. (Malvenda).

The unclean, who is forbidden to eat of holy meats, Leviticus 7:20.  May eat thereof, to wit, of any sort of creatures, even of those sorts which are offered to God in sacrifices, which are as free to your use as the roebuck and the hart, which were not accepted in sacrifice, Leviticus 22:19; yet were clean beasts, Deuteronomy 14:5; and therefore here is a tacit exception of unclean beasts.


Verse 16:  (Gen. 9:4; Lev. 7:26; 17:10; Deut. 15:23; 12:23, 24) Only ye shall not eat the blood; ye shall pour it upon the earth as water.

[Thou shalt pour]  And thou shalt cover it over, in such a way that it might not be seen (Grotius).

[As water]  That is, as a profane thing, and with no sacred rite (Menochius out of Bonfrerius).

[1] See Joshua 4:19; 9:6; 10:6; 14:6.

[2] See Johua 18.

[3] See 1 Samuel 21:1; 22:9, 11, 19.

[4] Deuteronomy 12:5:  “But unto (אֶל) the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation (לְשִׁכְנוֹ) shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come…”

[5] Hebrew:  וּשְׂמַחְתֶּ֗ם בְּכֹל֙ מִשְׁלַ֣ח יֶדְכֶ֔ם.

[6] Joshua 18:1; Judges 18:31.

[7] Hebrew:  מִבְחַ֣ר נִדְרֵיכֶ֔ם.

[8] Deuteronomy 12:11b:  “…your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering (וּתְרֻמַת; et primitias, and the first-fruits, in the Vulgate) of your hand, and all your choice vows…”

[9] Hebrew:  תִּזְבַּ֣ח׀ וְאָכַלְתָּ֣.

2 Peter 1:2: Apostolic Benediction, Part 1

Verse 2:  (Dan. 4:1; 6:25; 1 Pet. 1:2; Jude 2) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord…

[Grace, etc.]  Namely, of God (Zegers), or heavenly (Tirinus).

[In, etc., ἐν ἐπιγνώσει τοῦ Θεοῦ]  Ἐπίγνωσις is knowledge and experience, and it is sometimes called ἐπίγνωσις τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ, the knowledge of the Son of God, Ephesians 4:13, sometimes ἐπίγνωσις τοῦ Θεοῦ, the knowledge of God, as in Colossians 1:10.  In a manuscript ἡμῶν/our is wanting (Grotius).

[In the acknowledgement (that is, through the acknowledgement [Piscator, Estius]; that is to say, Grace…be multiplied through faith, by which ye acknowledged Him, etc. [Estius, similarly Gerhard], or, together with knowledge, so that, with knowledge increasing from day to day, that is, your faith, at the same time with it the other gifts of God might increase in you [certain interpreters in Estius], grace and peace:  for the more the goodness of Christ and of God is known, the more also it is adored and honored [Menochius]) of God, (namely, the Father [Menochius]) and of Jesus our Lord (Beza, etc.)]  Faith is the saving acknowledgement of God and of Christ, John 17:3, through which we are both made partakers of divine grace, and remain and are preserved in grace, out of which also peace arises, Romans 5:1 (Gerhard).

Through the knowledge of God; or acknowledgment, i.e. faith, whereby we are made partakers of all the saving graces of the Spirit; and whereby being justified, we are at peace with God, Romans 5:1.  And of Jesus our Lord; there being no saving knowledge of God, or faith in him, but by Christ.

Deuteronomy 12:1-4: God Prohibits the Introduction of Foreign Worship Practices into His Worship

Verse 1:  (Deut. 6:1) These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, (Deut. 4:10; 1 Kings 8:40) all the days that ye live upon the earth.


Verse 2:  (Ex. 34:13; Deut. 7:5) Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess (or, inherit[1]) served their gods, (2 Kings 16:4; 17:10, 11; Jer. 3:6) upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree…

[All the places]  That is, those things which are in all the places (Drusius).  For this precept there is a threefold rationale:  1.  for the detestation of idolmania; 2.  so that the Israelites might not be incited to similar worship; 3.  because for that people there was going to be one place and one Temple (Estius).

[Leafy (thus the Septuagint, Chaldean, Samaritan Text), רַעֲנָן[2]Green (Ibn Ezra in Munster, Pagnine, Oleaster, Junius and Tremellius).  The nations were wont to perform their sacred rites under trees, indeed to consecrate those very trees to their gods, the laurel to Apollo, the olive to Minerva, the oak to Jove, the myrtle to Venus, etc. (Malvenda out of Pliny’s Natural History 12:1).

All the places; temples, chapels, altars, groves, as appears from other scriptures.  The Gentiles used to employ the high mountains for their idolatry; (see Isaiah 57:5, 7; Ezekiel 6:13; Hosea 4:13;) and as they consecrated divers trees to their false gods, so they worshipped these under them.


Verse 3:  And (Num. 33:52; Judg. 2:2) ye shall overthrow (Heb. break down[3]) their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.

Their pillars, upon which their images were set.  The names of them, i.e. all the memorials of them, and the very names given to the places from the idols.


Verse 4:  (Deut. 12:31) Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God.

[Not thus]  That is to say, Ye shall not worship Him wherever ye please (Vatablus, Drusius); just as we, wherever the Ark abides, offer sacrifices (Oleaster).  Some saints were worshipping God in the high places, undoubtedly by a special dispensation (Bonfrerius, Menochius).

Ye shall not do so:  i.e. Not worship him in several places, mountains, groves, etc., which sense is evident from the following opposition.

[1] Hebrew:  יֹרְשִׁים.

[2] רַעֲנָן, fresh or green, is derived from the verbal root רָעַן, to be fresh or green.

[3] Hebrew:  וְנִתַּצְתֶּם.

Deuteronomy 12 Outline

They are commanded to destroy all the places of idolatry, 1-3; and must worship God in his own place, and after his will, 4-15.  The eating of blood prohibited, 16.  Where and how they should eat the tithe, 17, 18.  The Levite not to be forsaken, 19.  They may eat flesh clean or unclean any where, 20-22; but not the blood, 23-25.  Holy things to be eaten at the altar of the Lord, 26-28.  They are forbidden to inquire after the heathen worship, 29, 30; or to worship the true God as they, 31; but to keep to the law in their worship, 32.

Deuteronomy 11:26-32: The Doctrine of the Two Ways, of Blessing and of Cursing

Verse 26:  (Deut. 30:1, 15, 19) Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse…

[Behold, רְאֵה]  See thou, a singular in the place of the plural, see ye.  Let every one of you see.  With this word the fourth Section of the book begins (Vatablus).

Behold, I set before you:  I propose them to your minds and to your choice.


Verse 27:  (Deut. 28:2) A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day…

[If ye obey, אשֶׁ֣ר תִּשְׁמְע֗וּ]  When ye hear, or, obey (Montanus, Samaritan Text).  Others:  if ye hear (thus the Septuagint, Chaldean, Syriac, Arabic, Junius and Tremellius, Ainsworth).  Thus  אֲשֶׁרis sometimes taken.  Compare 1 Kings 8:31[1] with 2 Chronicles 6:22[2] (Ainsworth).


Verse 28:  And a (Deut. 28:15) curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

Other gods, which ye have not known:  Which you have no acquaintance with, nor experience of their power or wisdom or goodness, as you have had of mine.


Verse 29:  And it shall come to pass, when the LORD thy God hath brought thee in unto the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put (Deut. 27:12, 13; Josh. 8:33) the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Ebal.

[Thou shalt put the blessing]  Hebrew:  thou shalt give the blessing,[3] that is, thou shalt pronounce, or, thou shalt take care that it be pronounced (Gerhard, Ainsworth).  A thing is said to be given, when it is said or pronounced; as in Deuteronomy 13:1, 2; Job 36:3[4] (Ainsworth); Proverbs 9:9, give to the wise, that is, teach wisdom (Gerhard).  Others thus:  thou shalt put the blessing, that is, the blessing men; likewise, the curse, that is, cursing men (Menochius, Tirinus out of Bonfrerius, thus the Targum[5] in Drusius).  Compare Deuteronomy 27:12, 13; Joshua 8:33 (Gerhard).  Six blessing Tribes were standing on mount Gerizim, six cursing Tribes on mount Ebal; and (so much I gather out of Deuteronomy 27) the Priests, stationed before the Ark between the two mountains, were going before both in the blessings (to which those who were on Gerizim were responding with Amen), and in the curses (to which those who were on Ebal were responding with Amen).  But concerning these things see more on Deuteronomy 27 (Bonfrerius).

[Upon mount Gerizim[6]]  Or, toward the mount; as in Exodus 9:22,[7] עַל signifies toward heaven (Ainsworth).  Or, before, near, at the mount; see Psalm 1:3.[8]  The priests turned themselves toward the mountain, with the people crowded around (Hebrews and Masius and others in Gerhard).  Note here that Gerizim and Ebal are two neighboring mountains, or, rather, two ridges of the same mountain (Bonfrerius).  The mountain was the tallest of all Samaria, having two peaks, Gerizim and Ebal (Gerhard).  It was near Shechem, as is evident out of Judges 9:6, 7, and out of Brochardus[9] and Adrichomius, who saw all these things with their own eyes (Bonfrerius).  They were in Samaria, says the Babylonian Talmud Sotah 7.  There in mount Gerizim was the temple of the Samaritans, 2 Maccabees 6:2;[10] John 4:20, 21; Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews 11:8 (Ainsworth).  Therefore, Jerome and Eusebius err, who fix these mountains near Gilgal and Jericho.  Objection:  If these mountains were so far from Gilgal, how are they in the next verse said to be מ֚וּל הַגִּלְגָּ֔ל , over against Gilgal?  Responses:  1.  With good reason it can be doubted whether it is that Gilgal of Joshua 4 and 5.  2.  It does not say that Shechem, or those mountains, are over against Gilgal, but rather the champaign in which the Canaanites were dwelling (Bonfrerius).  3.  מוּל, over against, is used of regions far distant.  See Deuteronomy 1:1[11] (Malvenda).

Thou shalt put the blessing; Hebrew, thou shalt give, i.e. speak or pronounce, or cause to be pronounced.  So the word to give is used, Deuteronomy 13:1, 2; Job 36:3; Proverbs 9:9.  This is more particularly expressed Deuteronomy 27:12, 13; Joshua 8:33, whither I refer the reader.


Verse 30:  Are they not on the other side Jordan, by the way where the sun goeth down, in the land of the Canaanites, which dwell in the champaign over against Gilgal, (Gen. 12:6; Judg. 7:1) beside the plains of Moreh?

[Which are]  Hebrew:  are they not?[12]  The Hebrews ask what they wish to affirm (Vatablus).

[After the way]  That is, on the side of the royal way which proceeds unto the setting of the Sun (Vatablus).

Over against Gilgal; looking towards Gilgal, though at some considerable distance from it, as this particle is sometimes used.

[Which is near the valley, etc., אֵ֖צֶל אֵלוֹנֵ֥י מֹרֶֽה׃[13]Near Elon Moreh:  concerning which see what things are on Genesis 12:6[14] (Malvenda, Bonfrerius).  Near the fields, or rather, the plains (Vatablus), or trees, or oaks (some interpreters in Malvenda).


Verse 31:  (Deut. 9:1; Josh. 1:11) For ye shall pass over Jordan to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God giveth you, and ye shall possess it, and dwell therein.


Verse 32:  And ye shall observe (Deut. 5:32; 12:32) to do all the statutes and judgments which I set before you this day.

[See that ye fulfill]  Hebrew:  keep ye,[15] that is, in your heart and memory.  Do ye, that is, in your external works (Hebrews in Fagius).

[1] 1 Kings 8:31a:  “If (אֵת֩ אֲשֶׁ֙ר) any man trespass against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear…”

[2] 2 Chronicles 6:22a:  “If (אִם) a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear…”

[3] Hebrew:  וְנָתַתָּ֤ה אֶת־הַבְּרָכָה֙.

[4] Job 36:3:  “I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe (אֶתֵּן, or, will give) righteousness to my Maker.”

[5] Thus Onkelos.

[6] Hebrew:  עַל־הַ֣ר גְּרִזִ֔ים.

[7] Exodus 9:22a:  “And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward (עַל) heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt…”

[8] Psalm 1:3a:  “And he shall be like a tree planted beside (עַל) the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season…”

[9] Brochardus was a thirteenth century Dominican friar.  He lived in the monastery on Mount Sion for ten years.  He wrote a valuable description of those regions (Desciptio Terræ Sanctæ).

[10] 2 Maccabees 6:2:  “And to pollute also the temple in Jerusalem, and to call it the temple of Jupiter Olympius; and that in Garizim, of Jupiter the Defender of strangers, as they did desire that dwelt in the place.”

[11] Deuteronomy 1:1:  “These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against (מוֹל) the Red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab.”

[12] Hebrew:  הֲלֹא־הֵ֜מָּה.

[13] אֵלוֹן/elon signifies a terebinth tree.

[14] Genesis 12:6:  “And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh (אֵל֣וֹן מוֹרֶ֑ה, or, Elon Moreh).  And the Canaanite was then in the land.”

[15] Hebrew:  וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם.

Deuteronomy 11:18-25: God Renews the Promise of the Land upon Their Obedience

Verse 18:  Therefore (Deut. 6:6; 32:46) shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and (Deut. 6:8) bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.

[Hang them[1]]  See what things are on Deuteronomy 6:8 (Menochius).


Verse 19:  (Deut. 4:9, 10; 6:7) And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.


Verse 20:  (Deut. 6:9) And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates…


Verse 21:  That (Deut. 4:40; 6:2; Prov. 3:2; 4:10; 9:11) your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, (Ps. 72:5; 89:29) as the days of heaven upon the earth.

[That He would give to them]  Namely, in their posterity, who are reckoned the same as their parents (Grotius).

[As long as heaven overhangs the earth]  Hebrew:  as the days of heaven upon the earth,[2] that is, according to the measure, or duration, of the days of heaven upon the earth (Fagius, Vatablus); that is, perpetually (Vatablus, Drusius).  As long as the world shall endure; for by the decree of God, Genesis 8:22, so long shall be the days of heaven (Ainsworth).

As the days of heaven upon the earth:  i.e. As long as this visible world lasts, whilst the heaven keeps its place and continues its influences upon earth, until all these things be dissolved.  Compare Psalm 72:5; 81:15; 89:29; Jeremiah 33:25.


Verse 22:  For if (Deut. 11:13; 6:17) ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and (Deut. 10:20; 30:20) to cleave unto him…

[If ye keep]  In your heart, as in Luke 2:51 (Grotius).

[And do]  In action (Grotius).


Verse 23:  Then will the LORD (Deut. 4:38; 9:5) drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall (Deut. 9:1) possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.


Verse 24:  (Josh. 1:3; 14:9) Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours:  (Gen. 15:18; Ex. 23:31; Num. 34:3, etc.) from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.

[Every place]  Not absolutely (as the Rabbis dream from this place), but from what follows it is restricted to the bounds assigned to them (Menochius, Tirinus out of Bonfrerius).  Every place that ye are going to tread upon from the desert to Lebanon (Oleaster).  Even indeed upon condition (Tirinus out of Bonfrerius).

Every place; not absolutely, as if the Jews should be lords of all the world, as the rabbins fondly conceit; but in the Promised Land, as it is restrained in the following words.  Shall be yours, either by possession, or by dominion, to wit, upon condition of your obedience.

[From the desert]  Namely, of Sin;[3] that is, on the South side (Vatablus, Malvenda):  or, of Paran[4] (Ainsworth).

From the wilderness, to wit, of Sin, on the south side.

[And from Lebanon, וְהַלְּבָנוֹן]  And to Libanus (Malvenda), in the place of, and to Lebanon (Ainsworth).

And Lebanon; and from Lebanon; or, and to Lebanon, which was the northern border.

[From the river, etc.]  Hebrew:  from the river, the river Euphrates.[5]  That doubling signifies that the river was most famous (Vatablus).  From the river.  Euphrates is thus called antonomastically,[6] therefore he adds the exegesis, that is, from the river Euphrates (Malvenda).  In the time of Solomon, the dominion of the Hebrews was extended unto Euphrates, but not before (Vatablus).

The river Euphrates on the east.  So far their right of dominion extended, but that their sins cut them short; and so far Solomon extended his dominion.

[Unto the western sea (thus the Septuagint, Chaldean), הָאַחֲרוֹן[7]Hindermost, or, latter (Samaritan Text, Malvenda).  Because it was toward the West.  For the East is the anterior part of the world; the West, the posterior; the South, on the right hand, Psalm 89:12;[8] and the North, on the left hand.  Which four parts are called by these names in Job 23:8, 9[9] (Ainsworth).  It is called the last sea, because the limits of the Holy Land extend to it (Fagius, Vatablus).  Thus Deuteronomy 34:2[10] (Vatablus).  Compare Joshua 1:4 and 23:4 (Malvenda out of Junius).  It is called the great sea, with respect to the pools, lakes, etc., which they also call seas (Vatablus out of Fagius).

Unto the uttermost sea; the western or midland sea; Heb. the hindermost sea; for the eastern part of the world being generally esteemed the foremost, and the southern on the right hand, Psalm 89:12, and consequently the northern on the left hand, the western part must needs be behind.  Of these bounds of the land see Genesis 10:19; 15:18; Exodus 23:31; Joshua 1:3, 4.


Verse 25:  (Deut. 7:24) There shall no man be able to stand before you:  for the LORD your God shall (Deut. 2:25) lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, (Ex. 23:27) as he hath said unto you.

[Your terror]  See Deuteronomy 2:25 (Vatablus).

[1] Deuteronomy 11:18a:  “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind (וּקְשַׁרְתֶּם; suspendite, hang ye, in the Vulgate) them for a sign upon your hand…”

[2] Hebrew:  כִּימֵ֥י הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃.

[3] See Exodus 16:1; 17:1; Numbers 33:11, 12.

[4] See Genesis 21:21; Numbers 10:12; 12:16; 13:3; Deuteronomy 1:1.

[5] Hebrew:  מִן־הַנָּהָ֣ר נְהַר־פְּרָ֗ת.

[6] That is, a title or epithet is used instead of the proper name.

[7] אַחֲוֹן signifies coming after or behind.

[8] Psalm 89:12:  “The north and the south (וְיָמִין, and the right hand) thou hast created them…”

[9] Job 23:8, 9:  “Behold, I go forward (קֶדֶם, or, east), but he is not there; and backward (וְאָחוֹר, or, and west), but I cannot perceive him:  On the left hand (שְׂמֹאול, or, north), where he doth work, but I cannot behold him:  he hideth himself on the right hand (יָמִין, or, south), that I cannot see him…”

[10] Deuteronomy 34:2:  “And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost (הָאַחֲרוֹן) sea…”

Deuteronomy 11:16, 17: God Warns of Idolatry

Verse 16:  Take heed to yourselves, (Deut. 29:18; Job 31:27) that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and (Deut. 8:19; 30:17) serve other gods, and worship them…

[That it be not deceived (thus the Chaldean, Samaritan Text, Arabic, similarly Junius and Tremellius), פֶּ֥ן יִפְתֶּ֖ה[1]Lest it be fooled (Montanus); lest it be broadened (Septuagint); lest it be charmed (Syriac).

That your heart be not deceived by the specious pretenses of idolaters, who will plead the general consent of all nations, except yours, in the worship of creatures, and that they worship the creatures only for God’s sake, and as they are glorious works of God, whom they worship in and by them; which, and the like arguments, being commonly alleged by heathens for their idolatries, as their own writers declare, might possibly seduce an unwary Israelite; and therefore they are here cautioned against such deceit, and withal it is implied, that if a man’s mind be corrupted and deceived, so as he believes idolatry to be lawful, this will not excuse him in the sight of God.


Verse 17:  And then (Deut. 6:15) the LORD’S wrath be kindled against you, and he (1 Kings 8:35; 2 Chron. 6:26; 7:13) shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest (Deut. 4:26; 8:19, 20; 30:18; Josh. 23:13, 15, 16) ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.

Heaven is compared sometimes to a bottle, Job 38:37, which may be either stopped or opened; sometimes to a great storehouse, wherein God lays up his treasures of rain, Job 38:22; Psalm 33:7, the doors whereof God is said to open when he gives rain, and to shut when he withholds it.  See 1 Kings 8:35; 2 Chronicles 6:26; 7:13.

[1] פָּתָה signifies to be simple or open-minded, or to be deceived.

2 Peter 1:1: Salutation

[AD 66]  Verse 1:  Simon (or, Symeon,[1] Acts 15:14) Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained (Rom. 1:12; 2 Cor. 4:13; Eph. 4:5; Tit. 1:4) like precious faith with us through the righteousness (Gr. of our God and Savior,[2] Tit. 2:13[3]) of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ…

[Simon, Συμεὼν]  Other books read Σίμων/Simon[4] (Grotius, Beza).  But this is just the same.  For the latter is the Hebrew name שִׁמְעוֹן/Shimon; the former is modified out of the Hebrew into a more Grecian form, as out of יֵשׁוּעַ, YESHUA or JESU, Ἰάσων/Jason.  Thus 1 Maccabees 2:65,[5] in Greek Συμεὼν/Symeon, in Latin Simon (Grotius).

[A servant (in a manner, both common, with respect to the obedience of the faith and love; and particular, with respect to the preaching of the Gospel, as in Romans 1:1; Philippians 1:1 [Gomar]) and an Apostle, etc.]  That is to say, not just any sort of servant, but an Apostle (Estius).  Now, I think that the title of the Epistle was Simon, a servant, etc., just as both James and Jude write; but that those that wished to make this Epistle more noteworthy and marketable added, Peter and an Apostle, and in 2 Peter 3:15 our beloved brother unto the name of Paul.  I believe that it is going to be discoved to be so, if anyone should find exemplars of this Epistle more ancient than we now have (Grotius).  But this is a trifling conjecture, supported by not one Codex, etc. (Hammond).

A servant and an apostle; i.e. such a servant as is likewise an apostle.  The former agrees to all gospel ministers generally, the latter is a title of a greater eminency; and so he intimates, that he wrote to them not merely as an ordinary minister, but in the authority of an apostle, an officer of the highest degree in the church.

[To those, etc., τοῖς ἰσότιμον ἡμῖν λαχοῦσι πίστιν ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος Ἰησοῦ Χριστου]  To them that equally precious (or, like, or equal [Erasmus, Gataker], or, coequal [Vulgate]:  Thus ἴση δωρεὰ, a like gift, Acts 11:17 [Gerhard]:  Thus he calls it, not with respect to measure [Gomar, similarly Estius]; for to one it is said in the New Testament, thy faith is great,[6] and to another, it is small,[7] etc.:  but to the object, for the same promises and mysteries have been set forth through faith to all (Estius):  or, with respect to God and the fruit of that, or justification and salvation, as the following words demonstrate [Gomar]; for one and the same Christ by this faith is to [all] believers Wisdom, Righteousness, etc., 1 Corinthians 1:30 [Beza]:  The faith of all Christians tends unto the same honor, namely, of eternal life [Grotius]) with us (either, 1.  Apostles, who nevertheless are superiors in office [certain interpreters in Gerhard]:  or, 2.  Jews, born and living in Judea [others in Gerhard, similarly Estius]:  Ἰσότιμον, equally precious, ἰσόμετρον, of like measure, ἰσόπεδον, of an even surface, are words pleasing to the more elegant Greeks, of which sort there are not a few in the Maccabees[8] [Grotius]) faith have been appointed (that is, they obtained by lot, as it were [Piscator, Gerhard], that is, freely and without merit [Gerhard, similarly Estius], as the word is taken in Acts 1:17;[9] Ephesians 1:11;[10] Colossians 1:12,[11] as inheritances fell to the Israelites, Joshua 13, to which place there is an allusion here [Gerhard]:  Or, they obtained, that is, to whom it has been granted to have faith [Estius]; who profess the same faith, unto which they are called by the favor of God [Menochius]:  Λαγχάνειν is in the place of to receive also in the Wisdom of Solomon[12] [Grotius]) through (or, unto [Illyricus]) the righteousness of God, etc. (Piscator, Beza, Erasmus, Pagnine, Castalio, most interpreters in Estius, etc.), ἐν/in in the place of διὰ/through (Piscator), so that the sense might be that Faith was granted to these through the righteousness, etc. (Estius), that is, either, 1.  through the merits of Christ (certain interpreters in Estius, similarly Menochius):  or, 2.  through mercy, which often goes by the name of righteousness (certain interpreters in Estius), as in Psalm 40:10; 51:14; 143:1, 2; Isaiah 56:1; Matthew 6:1, 2;[13] 2 Corinthians 9:10 (Gerhard).  Or, 3.  through the fidelity and veracity of God in keeping promises (Vorstius, thus Beza, Piscator).  Thus righteousness is taken in Romans 3:25, 26 (Piscator).  A part of righteousness, among other things, is to stand to promises.  Christ, and God through Christ, promised eternal life to those believing upon Him, namely, by that faith which has obedience as a companion.  Doubtlessly He shall furnish it.  Here, before the word σωτῆρος/Savior the article has been omitted, plainly as in Titus 2:13 (Estius).  Others:  with the righteousness, etc. (Estius, Gerhard, Gomar), ἐν/in in the place of σὺν/with, as in Acts 7:38;[14] 2 Peter 1:5[15] (Gerhard), so that the sense might be that Faith is given with righteousness, that is, with righteousness accompanying it, for we are justified by faith (Estius).  He shows that the Faith of all is ἰσότιμον, equally precious (Gerhard, Gomar), from the object, which is the righteousness of Christ, begotten through the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, but imputed to us by faith (Gerhard); that is to say, And ye have obtained faith, and with it the righteousness of God and Christ unto justification and salvation (Gomar).  Moreover, by this circumlocution he understands, either, 1.  the Gentiles, as taken in unto the same faith and hope of salvation with the Jews (certain interpreters in Estius), from which they had been previously separated, Ephesians 2:12, 13, whom He also promised are to be called, Ephesians 2:13, 17-19 (certain interpreters in Gomar); or, 2.  the dispersed Jews (Gomar, thus Estius), to whom the former Epistle was written, 1 Peter 1:1, and hence the second, 2 Peter 3:1 (Gomar), whom he makes equal in faith and calling to the Apostles and first believing inhabitants of Judea (Estius, similarly Gomar).  Or, 3.  all believers in general (others in Estius), primarily indeed the Jews, yet secondarily the Gentiles mixed with them, as it is evident out of 1 Peter 2:10, etc. (Gerhard).  There is a manifest testimony of the divinity of Christ in those words, τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος, of our God and Savior, which are to be read conjointly, because there is only one article (Beza, similarly Piscator).  It does not hinder that ἡμῶν/our is repeated:[16]  for this is familiar to the Hebrews.  Thus John 20:28.[17]  Nevertheless, in 2 Peter 1:11[18] and 3:18,[19] in which two names are attributed to Christ, the ἡμῶν/our is not repeated (Piscator).

Like precious faith; not in respect of the degree or strength of it, but in respect of the object, Christ, and the benefits that come by it, justification, sanctification, adoption, etc., in which respect the faith of the weakest believer is as precious as that of the strongest.  With us; either with us apostles, or with us Jewish Christians, born or inhabiting in Judea.  Through the righteousness of God; the Greek preposition which we render through, may likewise be rendered with, as 2 Peter 1:5; Acts 7:38, in the church, that is, with the church; and so the sense is either, 1.  Through the righteousness, i.e. truth and faithfulness, of Christ in his promises, whereof the faith of the saints was an effect:  or, 2.  Through the righteousness of Christ, as the meritorious cause of their faith:  or, 3.  With the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, and made theirs upon their believing.  They had obtained like precious faith as the apostles themselves and others had, together with the righteousness of Christ, an interest in which always accompanies faith, Romans 4:22.  And our Saviour Jesus Christ:  there being but one article in the Greek, these words are to be understood conjunctly, the particle and being but an explicative, and the sense is:  Through the righteousness of our God, even our Saviour Jesus Christ, who is God:  see the like, 2 Peter 1:11; 3:18; John 20:28; Titus 2:13.

[1] Greek:  Συμεὼν/Symeon.

[2] Greek:  τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος.

[3] Titus 2:13:  “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (τοῦ μεγάλου Θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ)…”

[4] The Textus Receptus reads Σίμων/Simon, but the majority of Byzantine manuscripts read Συμεὼν/Symeon.

[5] 1 Maccabees 2:65:  “And behold, I know that your brother Simon is a man of counsel, give ear unto him alway:  he shall be a father unto you.”

[6] See, for example, Matthew 8:10; 15:28.

[7] See, for example, Matthew 6:30; 8:26; 14:31.

[8] See, for example, 2 Maccabees 8:3:  “And that he would have compassion upon the city, sore defaced, and ready to be made even with the ground (ἰσόπεδον); and hear the blood that cried unto him…”  2 Maccabees 8:30:  “Moreover of those that were with Timotheus and Bacchides, who fought against them, they slew above twenty thousand, and very easily got high and strong holds, and divided among themselves many spoils more, and made the maimed, orphans, widows, yea, and the aged also, equal (ἰσομοίρους) in spoils with themselves.”

[9] Acts 1:17:  “For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part (ἔλαχε τὸν κλῆρον) of this ministry.”

[10] Ephesians 1:11:  “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance (ἐκληρώθημεν), being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will…”

[11] Colossians 1:12:  “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance (τοῦ κλήρου) of the saints in light…”

[12] Wisdom of Solomon 8:19:  “For I was a witty child, and had (ἔλαχον) a good spirit.”

[13] Matthew 6:1, 2:  “Take heed that ye do not your alms (ἐλεημοσύνην/pity, in the great majority of Byzantine manuscripts; δικαιοσύνην/righteousness, in Codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus) before men, to be seen of them:  otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.  Therefore when thou doest thine alms (ἐλεημοσύνην), do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men.  Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”

[14] Acts 7:38a:  “This is he, that was in (ἐν/with) the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers…”

[15] 2 Peter 1:5:  “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to (ἐν/with) your faith virtue; and to (ἐν/with) virtue knowledge…”

[16] 2 Peter 1:1b:  “…through the righteousness of our God and our Saviour (τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν) Jesus Christ…”  Although the Textus Receptus has the second ἡμῶν/our, it is not found in the overwhelming number of Byzantine manuscripts.

[17] John 20:28:  “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God (Ὁ Κύριός μου καὶ ὁ Θεός μου).”

[18] 2 Peter 1:11:  “For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ).”

[19] 2 Peter 3:18a:  “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ).”