[1451 BC] Verse 1: These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel (Josh. 9:1, 10; 22:4, 7) on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea (or, Zuph), between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Di-zahab.
[These are the words, אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים] What then are these words? Responses: 1. Those which were written in the preceding books (thus Oleaster). But the limitation of the passage opposes, in which all the forementioned things are not written or announced (Bonfrerius). 2. Those things that follow in this book (Menochius, Tirinus, Bonfrerius).
These be the words: These are the laws, counsels, and admonitions delivered by Moses from God to Israel, which are here repeated for the instruction and obligation of those who by reason of their tender years were uncapable either of understanding them, or of entering into covenant with God.
[Unto all Israel] Namely, unto the Elders and Princes (Gerhard after Lyra). Some maintain that it was done by a miracle, that the voice of Moses was able to be heard by so many thousands (thus Tostatus, Bonfrerius, Tirinus in Gerhard).
Unto all Israel, to wit, by the heads or elders of the several tribes, or others, who were to communicate these discourses to all the people in several assemblies.
[Across Jordan, בְּעֵבֶר] Thus it was with respect to the Holy Land and Jerusalem (Menochius, Vatablus). Others: on this side Jordan (the Chaldean and Chizkuni in Fagius). בְּעֵבֶר signifies both across and on this side (Vatablus).
[In the wilderness-plain, בּמִּדְבָּ֡ר בָּֽעֲרָבָה֩] In the desert, in the field, or plain [thus most interpreters]: in the desert towards the West (Septuagint); in the desert, in the borders (Oleaster). In the plain of Moab, Numbers 22:1 (Munster, Fagius, Malvenda, Ainsworth, a great many interpreters in Bonfrerius). But it is objected that separated locations are mentioned here, between Paran and Tophel, etc. They respond that ב/in is put in the place of בִּשְׁבִיל, because of, so that the sense might be, Because they provoked God in the desert. Now, he makes particular mention of seven places, where especially there was sin. In the plain, where they had joined themselves to Baal-peor; at the Red Sea; etc. (thus the Chaldean in Munster and Fagius). But this is an invention of the Rabbis. I do not here understand the plain of Moab (for who would say that that plain was over against the Red Sea, between Paran, etc.?), but the vast wilderness of Arabia, in which they wandered for forty years. The Septuagint translates it, in the wilderness towards the West; which was its situation with respect to Moab. But that plain is never called a desert; and דִּבֶּר, he spake, is to be translated, which he had spoken previously, and repeated in the fields of Moab (Bonfrerius).
[Over against the Red Sea, מ֙וֹל ס֜וּף] Opposite, or before, or over against, Suph (Oleaster, Malvenda, Syriac, Pagnine, Montanus, Chaldean, Junius and Tremellius). But what is Suph? 1. The Red Sea, יַם־סוּף (Lyra, Menochius, Bonfrerius, Munster, Fagius, Vatablus, Oleaster, likewise the Septuagint, the Chaldean and Tigurinus in Bonfrerius, Ainsworth, Arabic). In the plain of the Red Sea (the Scholiast of Aquila and Symmachus in Nobilius). In the plain opposite to the Read Sea (Samaritan Text). But that was too far distant from this plain. They render it, therefore, towards the front of Suph: that is, the place was opposite to the Red Sea (Malvenda); or, some bay of the Red Sea comes toward this part (Oleaster). But I understand these things of mount Horeb (where these things were spoken), the situation of which is here described. For it was in that part of the desert that slopes toward the Red Sea: and on the other side was Paran, Numbers 10:12, and Hazeroth, Numbers 11:35, etc. (Bonfrerius). 2. To others סוּף/Suph is a region full of seaweed, and abounding in rushes and reeds, at the Dead Sea (Malvenda out of Junius, Piscator); near Jordan, and towards the desert of Arabia. Thus Numbers 21:14 (Ainsworth). 3. It is able to be translated, opposite the boundary, or border, namely, of the land. For that place was the border of diverse kingdoms (Oleaster).
[Between Paran] Concerning which Genesis 14:6 (Malvenda).
[And Tophel and Laban] These do not occur elsewhere, neither are they found among the stations of Israel, Numbers 33 (Fagius, Vatablus). They are the proper names of places, although others are put in the place of them in Numbers. This desert had various names from the adjacent places (Hebrews in Fagius and Vatablus). It is thought that Tophel was afterwards called Pella, and Laban afterwards called Libias (Malvenda, Ainsworth).
[Where there was much gold] The Septuagint translates it, goldmines (Bonfrerius); which perhaps were there (Malvenda in the Hebrews).
[Hebrew: וְדִ֥י זָהָֽב] It signifies an abundance of gold (Bonfrerius). To others it is the proper name of a place (thus Tigurinus, Cajetan, Oleaster and a great many interpreters in Bonfrerius, Hebrews in Fagius and Vatablus).
In the plain; either, 1. In the vast desert of Arabia. But that is no where called a plain. Or rather, 2. In the plain of Moab, as may appear by comparing this with Deuteronomy 1:5; Numbers 22:1; Deuteronomy 34:8. Objection: That was far from the Red Sea here mentioned. Answer: The wordסוּף /suph here used doth not signify the Red Sea, which is commonly called יַם־סוּף, jam suph, and which was at too great a distance; but some other place now unknown to us, (as also most of the following places are,) so called from the reeds, or flags, or rushes (which that word signifies) that grew in or near it; which reason of the name being common to other places with the Red Sea, it is not strange if they got the same name. Compare Numbers 21:14. Paran; not that Numbers 10:12, which there and elsewhere is called the wilderness of Paran, and which was too remote; but some other place called by the same name, than which nothing more usual. Tophel and Laban; places not mentioned elsewhere. Hazeroth; of which see Numbers 11:35; 33:17, 18. And these places seem to be the several bounds and limits not of the whole country of Moab, but of the plain of Moab, where Moses now was, and spake these words.
Verse 2: (There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir [Num. 13:26; Deut. 9:23] unto Kadesh-barnea.)
[Eleven days] Understanding, it is passed, or, after these things (that is, after the Law was given at Sinai) it was passed. Objection: But they spent many days in that journey. See Numbers 11-13. Responses: 1. Moses had regard only to the days of travel, not to the days in which they stood still in their stations. 2. Or he contemplates not the journey of the Israelites, but he explains the distance in a general way. But perhaps the former is closer to the truth. For it was not a journey of eleven days, but even shorter, as Adrichomius testifies. Yet it is not strange that they spent eleven days in it, to whom were so many hindrances by herds, etc. (Bonfrerius). He says this so that they might understand how quickly they could have arrived in Canaan, if they had not rebelled (Lyra, Bonfrerius, Ainsworth, Malvenda, similarly Junius, Piscator).
There are eleven days’ journey, etc.: This is added to show that the reason why the Israelites in so many years were advanced no further from Horeb than to these plains, was not the great distance of the places or length of the way, which was but a journey of eleven days at most, but because of their rebellions, as is mentioned before and repeated in this book.
[From Horeb] It is the same as Sinai (Lyra, Ibn Ezra and Eusebius and a great many in Drusius). Or Sinai is the name of the desert; Horeb, of the mountain (certain interpreters in Drusius, thus Oleaster). Or Horeb is the name of a place near to mount Sinai, where the Israelites camped that year (Gerundensis in Drusius). Horeb is a mountain very near to Sinai, and it is used in the place of Sinai (certain interpreters in Fagius).
Horeb, or Sinai, the place where the law was given, which is promiscuously called by both those names.
[By the way, דֶּרֶךְ] In the place of בְּדֶרֶךְ, by the way (Gerhard), that is, by passing along the mountain, etc. (Vatablus).
[Of Mount Seir] Mount here is in the place of mountains, or a mountainous region (Ainsworth, Malvenda, Gerhard); which sort Seir inhabited, Malachi 1:3 (Ger.). See Genesis 14:6 and 36:8, 9. Thus we often read, in mount Ephraim, in the mountain of Judah, etc. (Malvenda).
Mount Seir, or Mount Edom, i.e. the mountainous country of Seir, which was first possessed by the Horims, and afterwards by the Edomites, Deuteronomy 2:12. Kadesh-barnea was not far from the borders of Canaan. See Genesus 16:14; Numbers 13:26.
[1451 BC] Verse 3: And it came to pass (Num. 33:38) in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them…
[In the eleventh month] A little before his death (which occurred on the seventh day of the twelfth month, Deuteronomy 34; Joshua 1; 4 [Malvenda]), so that their memories might be more strongly impressed (Lyra).
In the fortieth year, etc.: This was but a little before his death.
[All things which the Lord had commanded, כְּכֺל וגו״] According to all things, etc. (Pagnine, Vatablus, Hebrews); entirely, or altogether, as He had commanded. Moses does not speak except the thing committed to him by the Lord: therefore so many times in this book he repeats and inculcates, just as Jehovah had commanded (Vatablus).
Verse 4: (Num. 21:24, 33) After he had slain Sihon the king of the Amorites, which dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, which dwelt at Astaroth (Num. 21:33; Josh 13:12) in Edrei…
[He smote] Understand, either, Moses smote (Gerhard); or rather, God (Vatablus, Gerhard).
[In Astaroth] They are exceedingly tall mountains, so called because sheep (which are called Astaroth) in great numbers fed there (Fagius). See what things we have on Judges 2:13 (Grotius).
Og: His palace or mansion-house was at Astaroth, and he was slain at Edrei, Numbers 21:33; of both these places, see Genesis 14:5; Joshua 13:31.
Verse 5: On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law, saying…
[He began (thus Munster, Pagnine, Oleaster, Ainsworth [similarly the Arabic and most interpreters])] He began to declare, that is, he declared. Thus, Jesus began to say, Luke 12:1, in the place of, He said, Matthew 16:6; and, they began to pluck, Matthew 12:1, in the place of, they were plucking, Luke 6:1 (Ainsworth).
[הוֹאִיל מֹשֶׁה בֵּאֵר] He was willing to explain (Montanus); it pleased Moses to declare (Junius and Tremellius). Moses was willing (was pleased), and he explained (certain interpreters in Vatablus). For the language signifies to be willing and to begin (Vatablus).
[To explain, בֵּאֵר] Here we have it that this book is an Elucidation of the Law (Fagius).
[1491 BC] Verse 6: The LORD our God spake unto us (Ex. 3:1) in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long (see Ex. 19:1; Num. 10:11) enough in this mount…
[It is sufficient for you that ye remained in this mount (similarly in the Samaritan Text, Arabic)] Enough and more ye have remained, or dwelt (Syriac, Junius and Tremellius). For they dwelt there nearly a year; Exodus 19:1, compared with Numbers 10:11 (Junius, Ainsworth).
In this mount: Of Horeb, where they continued about a year’s space, Exodus 19:1; Numbers 10:11, 12.
Verse 7: Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto (Heb. all his neighbours), in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates.
[Return] Not that they themselves, but rather their fathers, had been in the Land of promise (Lyra).
[Hebrew: פְּנוּ] Turn yourselves (Bonfrerius, Menochius, Oleaster, Malvenda), namely, unto the straight way, from which they turned towards mount Horeb. Look towards (verbatim: face ye [Malvenda]); that is to say, Prepare yourselves for the journey which had been interrupted (Menochius).
[And come, וּסְעוּ לָכֶם] Move, or set out, for yourselves (Malvenda, Oleaster). It is a pleonasm (Piscator): or, that is to say, this shall result in your advantage (Gerhard).
[Unto the mount of the Amorites] Mount here is in the place of the mountainous land of the Amorites (Vatablus, Gerhard); which closed up the borders of the Promised Land (Gerhard). Others: near the mount, that is, unto Kadesh-Barnea; which place or city is near the mount where the Amorites dwell. Compare verses 20 and 44 (Bonfrerius, Menochius).
[Which are near, וְאֶל־כָּל־שְׁכֵנָיו] And unto all the neighboring places of it (Vatablus, Oleaster) [similarly all interpreters]; that is, which are near to it (Vatablus). Unto all the neighbors of it (Arabic, Montanus); or, unto all the habitations, or cohabitators, of it (Oleaster). The borders of the Promised Land are here designated (Bonfrerius, Lyra, Tirinus, Menochius). Compare those borders with Deuteronomy 2:11, 24 (Vatablus). See on Genesis 15 (Bonfrerius).
[Over against the south] Hebrew: in the south, namely, with respect to the Promised Land (Bonfrerius). Therefore, when he says, the fields, the mountains, and the lower places against the south, he describes the southern side. Then he adds in their own order the borders on the West, North, and East (Malvenda).
[And near the shore of the sea (thus the Samaritan Text), וּבְחוֹף הַיָּם] A singular in the place of a plural; and on the shores of the sea, on which, that is, are harbors (Vatablus). In the port of the sea (Montanus, similarly the Chaldean, Junius and Tremellius); the maritime coast (Arabic, Syriac, Septuagint).
[The land of the Canaanite, אֶרֶץ] אֶל/unto is wanting (Vatablus, Gerhard), posited in the place of ב/in, or unto: which is to be repeated out of what precedes (Gerhard).
To the mount of the Amorite, i.e. to the mountainous country where the Amorites dwelt, which is opposed to the plain here following, where others of them dwelt. And this is the first mentioned, because it was in the borders of the land: see below, verses 19 and 20. The divers parts or bounds of the land are here mentioned.
Verse 8: Behold, I have set (Heb. given) the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, (Gen. 12:7; 15:18; 17:7, 8; 26:4; 28:13) Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.
[Behold] Hebrew: See, in the place of see ye (Vatablus).
[To you, לִפְנֵיכֶם] Before your face (Vatablus, similarly the Syriac, Piscator); thus Genesis 13:9 and 34:10: that is to say, It is lawful for you to possess it (Vatablus).
Before you, Heb. before your faces; it is open to your view, and to your possession; there is no impediment in the way. See of this phrase Genesis 13:9; 34:10.
 Jerome Olivier (or de Oleastro) was a Portuguese Dominican monk who flourished during the mid-sixteenth century. He was widely esteemed within his order for his abilities in theology, Greek, and Hebrew.
 Jacobus Bonfrerius (1573-1642) joined the order of the Jesuits in 1592. He enjoyed a long tenure as a professor of the Scriptures and Hebrew at Douay, France. He wrote The Pentateuch of Moses, Illuminated with Commentary (Pentateuchus Mosis Commentario Illustratus).
 The Italian John Stephen Menochius (1576-1656) joined the Society of Jesuits at an early age. His superiors in the order, recognizing his academic abilities, set him apart for training in the exposition of Holy Scripture. His Commentarii in Sacram Scripturam displays great learning and sound judgment.
 James Tirinus (1580-1636) was a Flemish Jesuit priest. His abilities as a commentator are displayed in his Commentaria in Sacram Scripturam.
 John Gerhard (1582-1637) was an eminent Lutheran divine. He held the position of Professor of Divinity at Jena (1616), and he was four times the Rector of the same. He wrote a Commentary on Deuteronomy, as well as Commentarius super Epistolam ad Ebræos: in quo Textus Declaratur, Quæstiones Dubiæ Solvuntur, Observationes Eruuntur et Loca in Speciem Pugnantia Concilantur.
 Nicholas de Lyra (1270-1340) was born to Jewish parents, but he converted to Christianity. He entered the Franciscan Order and became a teacher of some repute in Paris. His Postilla in Vetus et Novum Testamentum demonstrate remarkable ability and a commitment to the literal sense of the Scripture.
 Alonso Tostado, or Tostatus (c. 1400-1455), was a Spanish, Roman Catholic churchman and scholar. He was trained in philosophy, theology, civil and canon law, Greek, and Hebrew; and wrote commentaries on Genesis through 2 Chronicles and the Gospel of Matthew.
 עֵבֶר, a region across, is derived from the verbal root עָבַר, to pass over.
 Precious little is known about the French commentator, Rabbi Chizkiyah ben Manoach Chizkuni. However, his commentary on the Torah, written around the year 1250, survives. Chizkuni reveals his commitments both to the interpretive tradition of the rabbis and to the literal meaning of the text.
 Thomas Malvenda (1566-1628) was a Spanish Dominican. Within his order, he was widely regarded for his abilities in philosophy and divinity. His exegetical labors are preserved in his Commentaria in Sacram Scripturam à Genesi ad Ezechielem.
 Henry Ainsworth (1571-1622) was an English Nonconformist, Separatist, and early Congregationalist. Ainsworth served a group of English Nonconformists in Amsterdam; he held the office of Doctor. Darling’s evaluation of his works of Biblical criticism: “He was profoundly learned in Hebrew and Rabbinical literature, and on that account his annotations have always been held in great esteem.” Cyclopædia Bibliographica: A Library Manual of Theological and General Literature, 2 vols. (London: 1859) 34. He composed annotations upon the Pentateuch, Psalms, and the Song of Solomon.
 Deuteronomy 1:1a: “These be the words which Moses spake (דִּבֶּר) unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea…”
 Pagnine (1466-1541) was an Italian Dominican. He was gifted as a Hebraist, exegete, and preacher. He was commissioned by Pope Leo X to produce a new Latin translation of the Scripture.
 Benedict Arias Montanus (1527-1598) was a Spanish Benedictine Monk. He attended the Council of Trent, and he was heavily involved in the production of the Polyglot Bible.
 Francis Junius (1545-1602) was a Huguenot divine of great learning. He suffered the varied fortunes of his people; but he had the opportunity to study in Geneva, and he was eventually appointed Professor of Divinity at Leiden (1592). He labored with Tremellius in the production of their famous Latin Version of the Old Testament. He is also remembered for his disputations with Jacob Arminius.
 John Immanuel Tremellius (1510-1580) converted from Judaism to Christianity and quickly embraced the principles of the Reformation. He taught Hebrew at Strasburg (1541) and at Cambridge (succeeding Paul Fagius in 1549), and served as Professor of Old Testament at Heidelberg (1561).
 Leo Jud (1482-1542) was a co-laborer of Ulrich Zwingli during the time of the Swiss Reformation. His translation work might be his most important contribution to the reformation of Zurich. He labored with other divines to produce a vernacular version for the Swiss people, and he produced a Latin version of the Old Testament, usually known as “Tigurinus”, which would be translated, “of Zurich”.
 Aquila of Sinope produced his Greek version of the Old Testament in the second century of the Christian era. Aquila’s translation champions the cause of Judaism against Christianity in matters of translation and interpretation. The product is woodenly literalistic.
 Symmachus (second century) produced a Greek translation of the Old Testament, which survives only in fragments. Symmachus’ work is characterized by an apparent concern to render faithfully the Hebrew original, to provide a rendering consistent with the rabbinic exegesis of his time, and to set forth the translation in simple, pure, and elegant Septuagint-style Greek.
 Flaminius Nobilius (d. 1590) was a Roman Catholic text critic, who labored in the reconstruction of the Itala, the Old Latin version.
 John Piscator (1546-1626) was a learned Protestant divine. He held the position of Professor of Divinity at Herborn (1584). His German version was the first, complete and independent, since that of Martin Luther. Through his career, his views changed from those of the Lutherans to those of the Calvinists, and from those of the Calvinists to those of the Arminians. He remains widely regarded for his abilities as a commentator (Commentarii in Omnes Libros Veteris et Novi Testamenti).
 Numbers 21:14: “Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the Lord, What he did in the Red sea (אֶת־וָהֵ֣ב בְּסוּפָ֔ה, perhaps a proper name), and in the brooks of Arnon…”
 Pella was located just north of the River Jabbok.
 Libias was located on east of the Jordan, opposite Jericho.
 Deuteronomy 1:1b: “…between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Di-zahab (וְדִי זָהָב; ubi auri est plurimum, where there was much gold, in the Vulgate).” דַּי signifies a sufficiency; זָהָב, gold.
 Thomas Cajetan (1469-1534) was an Italian cardinal and one of the more able opponents of the Reformation. His commentary on the Pentateuch, In Quinque Libros Mosis, is likely the work here cited.
 Christian Adrichomius (1533-1585), a Roman priest, wrote an important geography of Palestine (Theatrum Terræ Sanctæ et Biblicarum Historiarum).
 Abraham Ibn Ezra (c. 1089-1164) was a renowned Spanish Rabbi. At the heart of his work is his commentary on the Hebrew Bible. He commented on all of the books, with the exception of Chronicles, and his exegesis manifests a commitment to the literal sense of the text.
 Eusebius (c. 267-338) was Bishop of Cæsarea, author of that famous Ecclesiastical History, and supporter of Constantine the Great.
 John Drusius (1550-1616) was a Protestant scholar; he excelled in Oriental studies, Biblical exegesis, and critical interpretation, as is evident from his Annotationes in Pentateuchum, Josuam, Judices, Ruth, Samuelem, Estheram, Jobum, Coheleth, seu Ecclesiasten, Prophetas Minores, Ecclesiasticum, Tobit, 1 Librum Machabæorum and Notæ Majores in Genesin, Exodum, Leviticum, et Priora 18 Capita Numerorum. He served as Professor of Oriental Languages at Oxford (1572), at Louvain (1577), and at Franeker (1585).
 Moses Gerundensis (1194-c. 1270) was reckoned in his early teens as one of the great Spanish, Talmudic authorities. His commentary upon the Torah is characterized by careful philology, faithfulness to traditional rabbinic interpretation, an unswerving belief in the miraculous, and even a measure of Kabbalistic mysticism.
 Deuteronomy 1:2: “(There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb, the way (דֶּרֶךְ) of mount Seir unto Kadesh-barnea.)”
 See, for example, Joshua 20:7.
 עַשְׁתָּרוֹת/sheep may be related to עַשְׁתֹּרֶת/Ashtoreth, goddess of fertility.
 l)ayF, in the Hiphil conjugation, signifies to be willing, or to undertake.
 llaxf, in the Hiphil conjugation, signifies to begin.
 Hebrew: רַב־לָכֶ֥ם שֶׁ֖בֶת בָּהָ֥ר הַזֶּֽה.
 Hebrew: וְאֶל־כָּל־שְׁכֵנָיו.
 פָּנָה signifies to turn, and is related to פָּנֶה/face.
 נָסַע signifies to set out, to journey.
 שָׁכֵן, neighbor or dweller, is derived from the verbal root שָׁכַן, to dwell.
 Deuteronomy 1:7: “Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto (וְאֶל) all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain (בָּעֲרָבָה), in the hills (בָהָר), and in the vale (וּבַשְּׁפֵלָה), and in the south (וּבַנֶּגֶב), and by the sea side (וּבְחוֹף הַיָּם), the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates.”
 Deuteronomy 1:8a: “Behold, I have set the land before you (לִפְנֵיכֶם)…”
 Genesis 13:9: “Is not the whole land before thee (לְפָנֶיךָ)? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.”
 Genesis 34:10: “And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you (לִפְנֵיכֶם); dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein.”