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).”

Deuteronomy 11:13-15: God Promises to Bless Israel’s Obedience

Verse 13:  And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken (Deut. 11:22; 6:17) diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, (Deut. 10:12) to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul…

 

Verse 14:  That (Lev. 26:4; Deut. 28:12) I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, (Joel 2:23; James 5:7) the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.

[Rain early, יוֹרֶה[1]]  More correctly, seasonable (Grotius, Vatablus, Fagius, Junius and Tremellius), timely (Syriac), at the time of sowing (Grotius):  with the sowing completed, for the sake of germination.  This is done in October, which is the beginning of the year (Munster, Fagius, Vatablus, Malvenda).  It is thus designated, either from הוֹרָה, to teach, inasmuch as it, as it were, teaches and instructs the earth so that it might bring forth fruit (Munster, Fagius, Vatablus).  It descends slowly, gradually instructing the earth, as a man instills doctrine in a disciple (Hebrews in Malvenda).  Or, from throwing:  either, because at the time that it falls, the seed is cast in and united with the soil; or, because it is hurled with force from the clouds.  Others:  from רָוָה, to saturate, because it saturates the land (certain interpreters in Malvenda).

[And the latter, וּמַלְקוֹשׁ]  With the crop fully matured (Grotius).  It falls in March, since the crop is now more fully grown (Munster, Fagius, Vatablus).  It is thus designated, either from the filling of the grain-ears, from מָלֵא, to fill, and קַשׁ, a stalk, or an ear; or from לָקַשׁ, which signifies to be late, especially in a Chaldaism (Fagius, Vatablus); or, as if clipping and cutting down the crop, that is, by ripening it, so that it might be reaped (Hebrews in Malvenda).

The rain of your land, i.e. which is needful and sufficient for your land; or which is proper to your land, not common to Egypt, where, as all authors agree, there is little or no rain.  The first rain and the latter rain; the first fell in seed time, to make the corn spring, the other a little before harvest, to ripen it.  See Jeremiah 5:24; Joel 2:23; Amos 4:7; James 5:7.

 

Verse 15:  (Ps. 104:14) And I will send (Heb. give[2]) grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest (Deut. 6:11; Joel 2:19) eat and be full.



[1] יוֹרֶה/early is derived from the verbal root יָרָה , to throw or cast.

[2] Hebrew:  וְנָתַתִּי.

Deuteronomy 11:10-12: Moses Exhorts Them to Obedience by the Excellency of the Promised Land

Verse 10:  For the land, whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, (Zech. 14:18) where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs…

[Not as the land of Egypt…where with seed cast, etc., אֲשֶׁ֤ר תִּזְרַע֙]  In which thou wast sowing (Chaldean).  Others:  thou castest seed, in the present tense (Vatablus).

[וְהִשְׁקִ֥יתָ בְרַגְלְךָ֖]  And thou shalt irrigate, or, thou wast irrigating, or, thou art irrigating, in, or with, thy foot [thus nearly all interpreters]:  or, in accordance with thy help (Samaritan Version), or, through the weariness of thy foot (Munster), or, by walking (Dutch), or, according to thy pleasure (certain interpreters in the Dutch).  Question 1:  What is it to irrigate by the foot?  Response:  The foot is taken for labor (Rabbi Salomon in Fagius).  Thus Genesis 30:30.[1]  As elsewhere diligent labor is signified by the hand, Psalm 128:2[2] (Ainsworth); that is to say, by the labor of the feet, since water is carried (Menochius, Lapide), or drawn off (Lapide, Junius, Piscator); by rushing in different directions with the feet (Menochius) in order to irrigate:  even with a mattock or hoe, which is fixed to the foot, and, moved by the office of the foot, it opens and closes courses of water.  To which, digging by the labor of the foot has regard, by which labor iron is pressed down hard so that it might cleave the clods (Lorinus[3] out of Cajetan).  I watched in the gardens vegetable-growers, while they draw off through their furrows unto the vegetables, by the intervention of the foot, either stopping the water, or diverting it elsewhere (Menochius).  Irrigation was performed by the foot, that is, with an instrument (either pushed/thrust, or rolled) driven by feet or hands (Tirinus out of Bonfrerius).  What it is to irrigate with the foot is best explained by Philo (if I am not mistaken, in his book On the Life of Moses), Ὥσπερ ἡ ἕλιξ, τὸ ὑδρηλὸν ὄργανον, ἔχει·  κατὰ γὰρ μέσον αὐτῆς γεγόνασι βαθμοί τινες, ὧν ὁ γεοπόνος, ὅταν ἐθελήσῃ ποτίσαι τὰς ἀρούσας, ἐπιβαίνει μὲν, περιολισθαίνει δ᾽ ἀναγκαίως.  Ὑπὲρ δὴ τοῦ μὴ πίπτειν συνεχῶς πλησίον ἐχυροῦ τινος τῇ χερσὶ περιδράττεται, οὗ ἐνειλημμένος τὸ ὅλον σῶμα ἀπηώρηκεν αὐτοῦ·  ἀντὶ μὲν γὰρ ποδῶν χερσὶν, ἀντὶ δὲ χερῶν ποσὶ χρῆται·  ἵσταται μὲν γὰρ ἐστὶ χειρῶν, δι᾽ ὧν εἰσιν αἱ τράξεις·  πράτται δ᾽ ἐν ποσὶν, ἐφ᾽ ὧν εἰκὸς ἵστασθαι, Which is a sort of water-machine, called a helix, in the midst of which are certain rungs, which a farmer, when he wants to water the fields, climbs, and then unavoidably sinks down:  and, so that he might not continuously fall, he takes hold of a certain post with his hands, by which he supports his whole body.  At the same time the feet perform the office of the hands, and the hands of the feet:  for he stands upon his hands, to which it belongs to work; and he works with his feet, to which it belongs to stand (Grotius).  Question 2:  In what is the comparison made?  Response:  The land of Canaan is preferred to Egypt, 1.  in fertility (certain interpreters in Gerhard’s Deuteronomy 686).  Indeed, the land of Canaan was not simply preferred to Egypt (for the latter was very fertile, Genesis 13), but in a qualified sense, that is, if they should live holily.  Therefore, the fertility of the land of Canaan depended more on the favor of God and piety of the inhabitants, than on the nature of the location (Fagius, Gerhard).  Whence amazing things today are narrated concerning its sterility, squalor, etc. (Fagius).  2.  In the manner of the irrigation of the land.  Either, 1.  Because it was more advantageous and convenient to look for rain from heaven, than to draw waters through furrows; for the latter is of the labor of man, but the former is of the Divine blessing (Estius).  All lands are made fertile by a laborer; the land of Canaan, by the Lord Himself, who seeks and selects it (Hebrews in Fagius).  Rain water is better than other waters (Lorinus), than the muddy and marshy water of Egypt (Gerhard).  Or, 2.  Because Egypt was irrigated by human work and much labor:  But the land of Israel drinks water from heaven with no labor (Munster, Fagius, Vatablus, Malvenda).  Objection:  But the land of Egypt, inundated by the Nile, brought forth fruit with far less labor than other regions:  and this was observed in it and praised in Diodorus Siculus’ Historical Library[4] 1, in the chapter concerning Egypt,[5] Such fertility, says he, …elsewhere agriculture is practiced with great labor and expense; in Egypt alone with slight labor and cost.  In Herodotus’ Histories 2 “Euterpe”, Those (the Egyptians) secure fruit out of all things without very much work.  The same thing in Pliny’s Natural History 18:18.  Response 1:  Although these things be true, yet they have other inconveniencies, on account of which the method of irrigation by rain appears to be preferred.  As, 1.  that Egypt is completely flat, so that it is not able to be irrigated by the Nile; while the land of Canaan is partly mountainous, partly level, and to this extent more pleasant.  2.  That in the entire time of the summer (which is especially opportune for walking and recreations) the Nile overflows all, and the Egyptians are shut up in their houses.  3.  The same inundation occupies the time of the grape harvest (see Ecclesiasticus 24:27[6]); for which reason wines either are not there, or are not at all of good quality (Bonfrerius).  Response 2:  The irrigation of the Nile is twofold, 1.  spontaneous, 2.  laborious, both in those places to which the inundation did not reach (which were considerable), and in the places from which the Nile had receded.  Because that slime, which the Nile leaves behind, even if it be moist enough, that it might be able to receive seed cast in, and for some amount of time to nurture and nourish it, yet somewhat afterwards, with the moisture drawn out by the heat of the Sun, hardened overmuch, neither could it hatch the seeds, except it be irrigated again.  For which irrigation those ditches drawn to that place are sufficient, by which the Nile is drawn off into various parts throughout the whole of Egypt (Tirinus out of Bonfrerius).  Mention is made of these ditches by Justinus[7] in his Of Phillipic Histories[8] 2, Suetonius[9] in his Lives of the Twelve Cæsars “Augustus” 30, Diodorus Siculus in his Historical Library 1 “Concerning Egypt” (Bonfrerius); and most recently by Dux Radzivillius, an eye-witness.  Out of these ditches, therefore, with water drawn by machines, the fields, having been sown with seed, were to be frequently irrigated (Tirinus).  Outside of the time of the inundation of the Nile the parched land of Egypt is moistened by waters brought from the Nile by much labor (Munster, Fagius, Vatablus).  Response 3:  The scope of Moses was not to teach that this irrigation was superior to that of Egypt, but to show to the Israelites the necessity of obedience to the commandments of God, since the land of Canaan would not be made fertile by a deliberate or laborious irrigation of the Nile, but by the rains of heaven, which God promised only to the obedient.  That this is the scope the entire context shows (Gerhard’s Deuteronomy 691).  Question 3:  Whether sowing was done in Egypt before the inundation of the Nile (as the words of the text seem to express [Bonfrerius, Gerhard]), or after that, as nearly all the profane authors testify, Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, Pliny in his Natural History 5:9, Cicero in his Concerning the Nature of the Gods 2, and Andreas Thevetus[10] as an eye-witness in his Cosmography of the East 2:1?  For if sowing should precede the inundation, the sowing, vanishing beneath the water, would rot.  Response:  The sowing followed the spontaneous irrigation, but preceded the laborious irrigation (Gerhard).  Now, concerning the latter the text speaks (Bonfrerius).

Thou sowedst…and wateredst it with thy foot, etc.:  i.e. With great pains and labour of thy feet, partly by going up and down to fetch water and disperse it, and partly by digging furrows with thy foot, and using engines for distributing the water, which engines they thrust with their feet.  For though the river Nilus did once in a year overflow the grounds, and made them fruitful, yet ofttimes it failed or scanted them, and then they were put to great pains about their ground; and when it did overflow sufficiently, and left its mud upon the earth, yet that mud was in a little time hardened, and needed another watering and much digging and labour both of the hands and feet, especially in places something higher or more remote from that river; which inconvenience Canaan was free from.

 

Verse 11:  (Deut. 8:7) But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven…

A land of hills and valleys; and therefore much more healthful than Egypt was, which as it was enriched, so it was annoyed with Nilus, which overflowed the land in summer time, and thereby made the country both unpleasant and, which is much worse, unhealthful.  And health being the greatest of all outward blessings, Canaan must therefore needs be a more desirable habitation than Egypt, which is the thing here implied.

[Expecting rains from heaven, לִמְטַ֥ר הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם תִּשְׁתֶּה־מָּֽיִם׃]  To the rain, or, according to the rain, of the heavens thou shalt drink waters (Malvenda, Vatablus, Montanus, Oleaster, Chaldean, Pagnine), or, it shall drink, or it imbibes (Junius and Tremellius), namely, the land of Egypt (certain interpreters in Vatablus).  It is in the third person, feminine[11] (Bonfrerius out of Jerome and the Septuagint, Ainsworth, Dutch).  Drinking (Syriac, Arabic, Munster); with the waters of heaven it is irrigated (Tigurinus).  Question:  Are there no rains in Egypt?  Responses:  That Egypt was never rained upon thought Plato in Epinomis, Pliny in his Panegyric to Trajan,[12] Strabo, Herodotus, Philo in his Life of Moses 1.  2.  Thevetus, an eye-witness, relates that it did rain there sometimes.  3.  Rain either were non-existent, or rare and meager, falling after the likeness of dew, and that in winter, and in maritime places (Bonfrerius).  Egypt owes nothing to the rains and to heaven, says Pliny in his Panegyric…the herb prays not to Jove for rain, Tibullus[13] (Gataker).

Drinketh water of the rain of heaven which is more honourable, because this comes not from man’s art or industry, but immediately from God’s power and goodness; more easy, being given thee without thy charge or pains; more sweet and pleasant, not hindering thy going abroad upon thy occasions, as the overflow of Nilus did, whereby the Egyptians were confined in a great measure to their several houses; more safe and healthful, being free from that mud which attends upon the waters of Nilus; and more certain too, the former and the latter rain being promised to be given to them in their several seasons, upon condition of their obedience, which condition, though it may seem a clog and inconvenience, yet indeed was a great benefit, that by their own necessities and worldly interest they should be obliged to that obedience, upon which their happiness depended both for this life and for the next.

 

Verse 12:  A land which the LORD thy God careth for (Heb. seeketh[14]):  (1 Kings 9:3) the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.

[He watches over (thus the Syriac, Tigurinus, similarly the Septuagint, Samaritan Text), דֹּרֵשׁ[15]He seeks (Chaldean, Pagnine, Vatablus); he seeks from it (Samaritan Version); He cares for (Junius and Tremellius, Vatablus, Ainsworth, similarly the Arabic); He directs His attention toward it (Munster).

Land which the Lord careth for, to wit, in a special manner, watering it immediately as it were by his own hand, without man’s help, and giving peculiar blessings to it, which Egypt enjoys not.

[His eyes]  That is, so that He might see if it lack anything (Vatablus).

The eyes of the Lord are always upon it, to give it the rain and other blessings proper to the several seasons.  But all these mercies, and the fruitfulness of the land consequent upon them, were suspended upon their disobedience, as it here follows.  And therefore it is not at all strange that some later writers decry the land of Canaan as in great part a barren soil, which is so far from affording any ground to question the Divine authority of the Holy Scriptures, in which its fruitfulness is declared, that it doth much more confirm it, this being but an effect of that threatening that God would turn a fruitful land into barrenness for the wickedness of those that dwell in it, Psalm 107:34, and elsewhere; and the wickedness of the Israelites in succeeding ages being notorious, it is but just and fit that the barrenness of their land should be as evident and infamous.



[1] Genesis 30:30b:  “…and the Lord hath blessed thee at my foot (לְרַגְלִי):  and now when shall I provide for mine own house also?”

[2] See also Genesis 31:42; Haggai 1:11; Job 10:3.

[3] Johannes Lorinus, or Jean Lorin (1559-1634) was a French Jesuit; he wrote several Biblical commentaries, including commentaries on Ecclesiastes, Wisdom of Solomon, Psalms, Acts, Jude, and Leviticus.

[4] Diodorus Siculus (c. 90-c. 30 BC), a Greek historian, wrote the massive Bibliotheca Historia in forty books.  Unhappily, only fifteen books have survived.

[5] That is, Historical Library 1:1:36.

[6] Ecclesiasticus 24:25-27:  “He filleth all things with his wisdom, as Phison and as Tigris in the time of the new fruits.  He maketh the understanding to abound like Euphrates, and as Jordan in the time of the harvest.  He maketh the doctrine of knowledge appear as the light, and as Geon in the time of vintage.”

[7] Junianus Justinus was a Roman historian of the third century.

[8] Historiarum Philippicarum.

[9] Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (c. 75- c. 130) was a Roman historian.

[10] Andreas Thevetus (1516-1590) was a French explorer and cosmographer.

[11] Formally, the second person, masculine, singular and the third person, feminine, singular are the same.

[12] Gaius Plinius Cæcilius Secundus (61-112), or Pliny the Younger, was a lawyer and natural philosopher, eventually serving as imperial governor of Bithynia-Pontus.  He was also an orator of some renown; his only surviving oration is the Panegyricus Traiani.

[13] Albius Tibullus (c. 54-19 BC) was a writer of Latin poems and elegies.  Two volumes of his poetry survive.

[14] Hebrew:  דֹּרֵשׁ.

[15] דָּרַשׁ signifies to seek, or to resort to.

2 Peter 1 Outline

The apostle, saluting the Christians, admonisheth them of the gifts and promises of the gospel, and their tendency to promote a godly life, 1-4.  He exhorteth them to add to their faith such virtues as would make it fruitful, 5-9, and thereby to make their calling and election sure, 10, 11.  He is careful to remind them hereof, knowing his dissolution to be near, 12-15, and urgeth the evidence of what he had seen and heard in the holy mount in confirmation of Christ’s second coming, together with the word of prophecy, which he recommendeth to their regard, 16-21.

Argument of 2 Peter

It cannot be denied, but that some question there hath been, both about the penman and the authority of this Epistle.  The former hath been questioned, because of the difference of the style of this from that of the former Epistle.  But, to say nothing of a great likeness of style in both, observed by some; why might not the same person see fit on different occasions, and according to the different things he wrote about, to change his way of writing?  Or why may not the Holy Ghost use his instruments in what way he please, and not only dictate to them the matter they are to write, but the expression and phrase?  Why must an infinite and sovereign Agent be bound up, and confined to the parts and qualifications of the men he inspired?  And if we set aside the judgment of several councils and fathers, (which yet might go far,) two great arguments may be drawn from the first chapter, to prove Peter to be the penman of this Epistle.  One from the inscription of it, where we have both his names, Simon and Peter, prefixed to it.  Another from verse 16, where he affirms himself to have been present with Christ at his transfiguration; from whence we may well argue, that none having ever ascribed it to John, and James being dead before, (though if he had been alive, it cannot be imagined that he should put Peter’s name to any epistle of his own writing,) and there being none but they two present with our Lord at that time besides Peter, Matthew 17:1, none but he could be the writer of it.  And indeed, as some observe, if this Epistle be not Peter’s, when his name is set to it, it is so far from being canonical, that it is not fit so much as to be reckoned among the apocryphal books, having so great a lie in the front of it.  As for the authority of it, there can be no doubt of that if Peter were the writer, when nothing concurs in it repugnant to other parts of Scripture, or unbecoming the grace and style of an apostle.  And though some of the ancients have questioned it, yet many more have acknowledged it; nor was it ever numbered among apocryphal writings.  And its not being found in the first Syriac version, can but argue its being questioned by some, not its being rejected by all.  It seems to be written to the Jews of the dispersion, as the former was, which appears by 2 Peter 3:1, 2, where he mentions the former written to them; and this was written not long before his death, 2 Peter 1:14.  The scope of it is, partly to call to their remembrance the truths he had preached among them, that so, when they should be destitute of the apostles’ preaching to them, yet they might remember the pure doctrine they had learned of them, 2 Peter 1:12, 15, and might thereby be fortified against the errors of false teachers, 2 Peter 2:1; and partly to persuade and stir them up to diligence in holiness and constancy in the faith.  As in his First Epistle he had exhorted them to patience under the tyranny of persecutors, lest they should yield to them; so in this he exhorts them to perseverance in the truth of the gospel, against the deceptions of heretics, lest they should be seduced by them, 2 Peter 2, and continue in holiness, notwithstanding the profaneness of scoffers, 2 Peter 3.

Deuteronomy 11:1-9: Moses Exhorts Them to Obedience by Rehearsing God’s Works

Verse 1:  Therefore thou shalt (Deut. 10:12; 30:16, 20) love the LORD thy God, and (Zech. 3:7) keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.

[Keep thou His precepts, etc.]  Thou shalt keep His charge,[1] that is, those things which He commanded thee to keep.  חֻקּוֹת/statutes pertain to rites; מִשְׁפָּטִים/judgments, to the court; מִצְוֹת/precepts, to morals (Drusius, Malvenda).

 

Verse 2:  And know ye this day:  for I speak not with your children which have not known, and which have not seen (Deut. 8:5) the chastisement of the LORD your God, (Deut. 5:24) his greatness, (Deut. 7:19) his mighty hand, and his stretched out arm…

[Know ye this dayAnd finally, know ye; that is, show by deed and in reality that ye understand and keep it in memory (Vatablus, Malvenda)

Know ye, i.e. acknowledge and consider it with diligence and thankfulness.

[Those things which your sons do not know, who did not see, etc.,כִּי׀ לֹ֣א אֶת־בְּנֵיכֶ֗ם אֲשֶׁ֤ר לֹֽא־יָדְעוּ֙ וגו״]  [They render it variously.]  Some render it with a parenthesis, in this manner; And know this day (for I do not address your sons, or, speak with your sons [as it is supplied by Pagnine, Munster, Ainsworth, the Dutch], who did not learn, nor see) the chastening, etc.  The reason for this parenthesis is rendered in verse 7, why He would address them, and not their children.  Thus one of the learned men of the Hebrews (Vatablus, thus Ainsworth).  Others render it without a parenthesis; And know this day that those miracles shall not be for the future, so that your sons might see them, but ye have seen them, namely, the chastening, etc.  Thus the other learned Hebrews (Vatablus).  Know ye this day that these things were not conducted before your children (Castalio).  Others make it a great hyperbaton[2] all the way unto verse 7:  And ye shall recognize this day that, not your sons, who did not know…the instruction of Jehovah, etc.but your eyes are those that have seen (Malvenda).  Others:  Know ye this day that not unto your sons is this address, who did not know, etc. (Syriac).  Others:  And ye shall know that not unto your sons (understand, do these things have regard), who have not known, etc. (Malvenda).  Know ye from this day that the work falls not upon your sons, who did not know, etc. (Arabic).  And ye shall know this day that not your sons, understand, were able to know this.  אֶת[3] is able also to be the article of a nominative[4] (Malvenda).  Others:  Not with your sons, supply, either, does the Lord make this covenant (Oleaster), or, were these things done (Bonfrerius).

[The discipline, מוּסַר[5]The punishment, that is, by which methods He would instruct you (Vatablus).  The correction, by which men are restrained or governed, whether by word, or by deed (Malvenda, Ainsworth).

 

Verse 3:  (Ps. 78:12; 135:9) And his miracles, and his acts, which he did in the midst of Egypt unto Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and unto all his land…

 

Verse 4:  And what he did unto the army of Egypt, unto their horses, and to their chariots; (Ex. 14:27, 28; 15:9, 10; Ps. 106:11) how he made the water of the Red sea to overflow them as they pursued after you, and how the LORD hath destroyed them unto this day…

[How they overspread them, etc., אֲשֶׁ֙ר הֵצִ֜יף[6]Who caused to overflow (Chaldean, Oleaster, Junius and Tremellius, Ainsworth).  Others:  how He caused to overflow (Samaritan Text, Syriac, similarly the Septuagint).  Others:  when He caused to overflow, etc. (Vatablus); when He shall cause to bury, etc. (Arabic).

[Unto the present day]  That is to say, Their strength was diminished in such a way that it is yet infirm (Vatablus).

Unto this day:  The effect of which destruction continueth to this day, in their weakness and fear, and our safety from all their further attempts against us.

 

Verse 5:  And what he did unto you in the wilderness, until ye came into this place…

 

Verse 6:  And (Num. 16:1, 31; 27:3; Ps. 106:17) what he did unto Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben:  how the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their households, and their tents, and all the substance that was in their possession (or, living substance which followed them; Heb. was at their feet[7]), in the midst of all Israel…

[Whom it devoured, אֲשֶׁ֙ר פָּצְתָ֤ה[8]Which opened, etc. (Malvenda); when, אֲשֶׁר/which in the place of כַּאֲשֶׁר/when (Vatablus).

[With their houses and tents[9]]  Either, 1.  and, in the place of, that is; for those living in tents have no houses (Drusius).  Or, 2.  house, in the place of, family and domestics (thus Onkelos and Jonathan and Ibn Ezra in Drusius).  See Numbers 16:32 (Malvenda).

[The substance which they had, וְאֵ֤ת כָּל־הַיְקוּם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּרַגְלֵיהֶ֔ם]  All the substance which was at their feet (Samaritan Text, Montanus, Pagnine), or, which was under their feet, that is, under their power; as in Psalm 8:6 (Munster, Oleaster).  By their feet (Ainsworth); or, which was in their accumulation (Samaritan Version); or, which was in their possession (English); or, which they had (Tigurinus, Vatablus); present (Vatablus); which was with them (Onkelos and Jonathan in Drusius); τὴν ὑπόστασιν, the substance (by which word they render מוֹבָא, the entrance, in Ezekiel 43:11,[10] and כִּנְעָה, the bundle, in Jeremiah 10:17[11] [Grotius]), τὴν μετ᾽ αὐτῶν, that is with them (Drusius).  Others:  which is for their sake (Ibn Ezra in Drusius).  Thus they explain in Genesis 33:14, to the foot of the boys, that is, for the boys’ sake.[12]  Therefore, in Genesis 30:30, at my foot, that is, for my sake.[13]  Thus, at the foot of the work, that is, for the work’s sake.[14]  All the living bodies which were following them (Junius and Tremellius, English).  And all the men that were with them (Arabic).  Whatever remained that was having regard unto them (Dutch).  Whatever pertained to them, while they stood on their feet (Syriac).

In their possession, Heb. at their feet, i.e. under their power, Psalm 8:6, which followed them, or belonged to them.

 

Verse 7:  But (Deut. 5:3; 7:19) your eyes have seen all the great acts of the LORD which he did.

[Your eyes, כִּ֤י עֵֽינֵיכֶם֙]  Since your eyes, etc. (Vatablus, Pagnine).  Because (Malvenda).  You are able to translate it, But, if you join it to the end of the parenthesis of the second preceding verse (Vatablus).

[They have seen]  Hebrew:  seeing,[15] understanding, were (Vatablus).

Your eyes, etc.:  All of them had seen some, and some of them had seen all the great things done in Egypt, and at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness.

 

Verse 8:  Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that ye may (Josh. 1:6, 7) be strong, and go in and possess the land, whither ye go to possess it…

 

Verse 9:  And (Deut. 4:40; 5:16; Prov. 10:27) that ye may prolong your days in the land, (Deut. 9:5) which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give unto them and to their seed, (Ex. 3:8) a land that floweth with milk and honey.



[1] Deuteronomy 11:1a:  “Therefore thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and keep his charge (וְשָׁמַרְתָּ֣ מִשְׁמַרְתּ֗וֹ), and his statutes (וְחֻקֹּתָיו), and his judgments (וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו), and his commandments (וּמִצְוֹתָיו), alway.”

[2] That is, a change in the normal grammatical order of words.

[3] Deuteronomy 11:2a:  “And know ye this day: for not with your children (אֶת־בְּנֵיכֶ֗ם) which have not known…”

[4] Although normally the accusative marker.

[5] מוּסַר is derived from the verbal root יָסַר, to discipline or chasten.

[6] צוּף, to flow, in the Hiphil conjugation, signifies to cause to flow.

[7] Hebrew:  וְאֵ֤ת כָּל־הַיְקוּם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּרַגְלֵיהֶ֔.

[8] פָּצָה signifies to open.

[9] Hebrew:  וְאֶת־בָּתֵּיהֶ֖ם וְאֶת־אָהֳלֵיהֶ֑ם.

[10] Ezekiel 43:11a:  “And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof (וּמוֹבָאָיו; καὶ τὴν ὑπόστασιν αὐτοῦ, and the substance of it, in the Septuagint, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof…”

[11] Jeremiah 10:17:  “Gather up thy wares (כִּנְעָתֵךְ; τὴν ὑπόστασίν σου, thy substance, in the Septuagint) out of the land, O inhabitant of the fortress.”

[12] Genesis 33:14b:  “…and I will lead on softly, according to the foot (לְרֶגֶל) of the cattle which is before me and according to the foot (וּלְרֶגֶל) of the children…”

[13] Genesis 30:30b:  “…and the Lord hath blessed thee at my foot (לְרַגְלִי):  and now when shall I provide for mine own house also?”

[14] See 1 Thessalonians 5:13.

[15] Hebrew:  הָרֹאֹת.

Prolegomena to 2 Peter

It is to be asked, 1.  concerning the Authority of this Epistle, concerning which it appears that formerly it was doubted by some, as Eusebius testifies[1] (Gerhard).  And Didymus rejects it, but out of manifest error, and ignorance of that passage, 2 Peter 3:6, 7, 13 (Gomar).  But many more received it as Canonical (Gerhard), among whom were Jerome (Gerhard, Gomar), Origen[2] (Gerhard), Athanasius, Gregory Naziazus,[3] Augustine, Ruffinus, and also the Council of Laodicea,[4] the Third Council of Carthage,[5] and two Roman Councils[6] (Gomar).  There is nothing here adverse to the remaining Canonical books:  neither is there alleged any sufficiently weighty reason to doubt of it (Gerhard).  This Epistle breathes the same Divine authority and majesty with the other, and manifests itself, 2 Peter 1:1, 14, 16 (Gomar).  2.  Concerning the Author.  That Peter is the author of this Epistle is proven, 1.  by the inscription, 2 Peter 1:1 (Gerhard); if it be false, this Epistle shall not even have a place among the Apocryphal books, on account manifest impudence of lying (Gomar).  2.  By a comparison with 2 Peter 1:16 (Gerhard, Hammond).  For there were only three witnesses of that transfiguration:  James, John, and Peter.  Now, the author of this Epistle was not James; it is evident that he was already long dead:[7]  nor John, to whom no one ever attributed this.  Therefore, it was Peter (Gerhard).  3.  By a comparison with 2 Peter 3:1, in which mention is made of his former Epistle.  4.  From the fact that the Ancients attribute it to Peter.  Thus the Council of Laodicea’s canon 59, the Third Council of Carthage’s canon 47, Epiphanius, Jerome, etc. (Gerhard).  [Nevertheless, what others object is not wanting:]  1.  Already formerly many of the Ancients believed that this Epistle was not Peter’s, because at that time many of the Churches did not receive it.  [To which a response has already been given.]  2.  The language here is quite diverse from the first Epistle, which Eusebius and Jerome acknowledge (Grotius).  Responses:  1.  A diversity of style does not prove that the Author was different, both, because the style of the same writer is able to be diverse according to the diversity of subject matter or age (Gomar, thus Gerhard); and, because the Holy Spirit is not bound to the style of the Writer (Gomar).  2.  In both epistles the style is the same (Gerhard, Gomar), even a mode of expression peculiar to Peter, that is, πτωτικὸν, connected to the grammatical cases, by which all things are mutually interconnected in sentences hardly distinct (Gomar).  In both there is a skillful brevity conjoined with the highest majesty, as the Magdeburgians[8] observe (Gerhard).  [This is the second objection.]  3.  In the ancient books of the Syrians this Epistle is wanting (Grotius).  Response:  But it is present in a Syrian codex, a manuscript held at Oxford, published in the Year 1630.[9]  In the next place, Ephrem[10] and Damascenus,[11] Syrians, produce testimonies from this Epistle as genuine (Gerhard).  4.  I would add another argument why this Epistle does not appear to belong to Peter.  Peter met with death under Nero:  But this Epistle, or the Epistle, as we suppose, subjoined to this, which constitutes the third chapter, was written after the destruction of Jerusalem.  For no Christian believed that the last day of the World was going to come until after the overthrow of the Jewish state had come.  But, that shortly after this the destruction of the World was going to follow, appeared to the judgment of many, as we said on 2 Thessalonians 2 and elsewhere.  But this Author wants Christians to be patient still in the expectation of that day, if perhaps it might arrive later than hoped for:  That this is a sign of the great patience of God, who yet wills that many of the Jews and Gentiles be converted to Himself (Grotius).  Response:  That single fulcrum of this argument is weak, namely, that it was written after the destruction of Jerusalem, and what is subjoined for the proof of that, that this Author prescribes to them patience in expectation of the last day.  He does indeed treat of the end of the world, 2 Peter 3:7, yet not as drawing nigh.  But those things concerning the Advent of the day of the lord as a thief, etc., have regard that judgment against the Jews, as it has often been said (Hammond).  I think that the Author of this Epistle is Simeon, or Simon, Bishop of Jerusalem after the death of James, and the successor and imitator of that same James, whose Epistle we have.  For it is evident that he had lived after the destruction of Jerusalem unto the times of Trajan,[12] and then was crucified for the name of Christ[13] (Grotius).  [These things concerning the author.  3.  Concerning the time:]  Peter wrote this epistle shortly before his death, as it is gathered from 2 Peter 1:14 (Gerhard, Hammond), and shortly before the War and Destruction of the Jews.  Whence it is gathered that this was the occasion for writing, that he might confirm Christians under the cross and groaning over the delay of their liberation, etc. (Hammond).  The Argument and Scope of the Epistle is gathered from 2 Peter 1:12, 13, 15; 3:1, 2, and it is, both, that he might for them recall those things into memory which he had preached to them with the living voice; and, that he might rouse them to constancy in the faith (Gerhard).



[1] Ecclesiastical History 3:3.

[2] Origen (c. 185-c. 254) succeeded Clement of Alexandria as the head of the catechetical school in Alexandria.  He was perhaps the greatest scholar of his age.

[3] Gregory of Nazianzus (330-389) was Archbishop of Constantinope, and a doctor of the Church, known as the Trinitarian Theologian.  His Orations included two against Julian the Apostate.

[4] The Council of Laodicea (363-364) was a regional synod, composed of about thirty members.  This Council restricted the readings in the church to the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments.  Although the genuineness of Canon 60 has been questioned by some, it specifies 2 Peter as included in the New Testament.

[5] The Third Council of Carthage (397) issued canon on the Scripture, which specified 2 Peter as included.

[6] The Council of Rome in 382 met under the authority of Pope Damasus to discuss the succession of the see of Constantinople.  This Council has been historically and traditionally associated with a discussion of the Canon of Scripture.  What other Roman Council might be in view is difficult to determine.

[7] See Acts 12:1, 2.

[8] The Magdeburg Centuries is an ecclesiastical history covering the first one thousand and three hundred years of the Church, which was compiled by certain Lutheran scholars in Magdeburg, known as the Centuriators of Magdeburg, led by Matthias Flacius Illyricus.  It is a pioneering work in ecclesiastical history, which aims to show the substantial uniformity of the faith of God’s people throughout the centuries, while tracing the parallel development of Antichristian Romanism.

[9] This manuscript is in the Bodleian Library at Oxford; it was first published by Edward Pococke in 1630.

[10] Ephrem the Syrian (c. 306-373) was a deacon and teacher, and prolific author, composing hymns and works of theology and exegesis in the Syriac language.  He was held in universal esteem in the Church, but he is reckoned by many as the most significant of the Syriac-speaking Fathers.

[11] John Damascenus (c. 676-c. 760) was a monk of St. Sabas, near Jerusalem.  He is remembered for his piety of life, writings, and compilation of chants in the eastern style.  His Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith is a systematic summary of the teaching of the early Church Fathers, and heavily influential in later Eastern theology.

[12] Trajan was Emperor from 98 to 117.

[13] Simeon of Jerusalem was the second Bishop of Jerusalem, serving from circa 65 to 107.

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