« הקודםהמשך »
days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan, to possess
it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: that thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him; for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
And Moses and the priests the Levites spake unto all Israel, saying, Take heed, and hearken, O Israel; this day thou art become the people of the LORD thy God.
This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments; thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice : and the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; and to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.
Thou shalt therefore obey the voice of the LORD thy God, and do his commandments and his statutes, which I command thee this day.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
As many of the people were either not born, or too
young, to understand the covenant which was made with their fathers at Horeb, the LORD vouchsafed to renew it with them, and Moses was the mediator as in the beginning. All those were included, who were under the necessity of heing absent.
Or the same day that the covenant was made, Moses charged the people to build an altar to the Lord, and write upon the stones that composed it, tle words of the law, and directed, that as soon as they had passed over Jordan, the twelve tribes should divide themselves into two parties, one to stand on moont Gerazim, the other on mount Ebal (which was so near to each other, that nothing but a valley, about 200 paces wide, parted them) and there to pronounce a particular form of blessing on those that kept the covenant, and of cursing on those that broke it: and we have in our Church a ceremony answerable to this, a commination or denouncing of God's vengeance against sinners, pronourced every year, on the first day of Lent, commonly called Ash-Wednesday, when suitable prayers are read, and as in the original appointment at mount Gerazim, all the people answer Amen, by which they acknowledge the Divine justice of the denunciation (which is collected from the Scriptures), and the necessity of a. voiding those vices, to which the curse of God is due.
We find that the Lord encouraged the Israelites to be obedient, by promises of great blessings; and deterred them from disobedience by severe threatenings; and gave great hopes of mercy to the penitent; so that no motive was wanting to incline them to keep the covenant.
How comfortable was the solemn assurance they received, that they were become the people of the LORD their God! How awful the thought, that they had bound themselves to keep all His commandments! This obligation was a very extensive one; for the law of
Moses consisted, as we find, of numberless, articles. The chief end of the ceremonial precepts was, as we have before observed, to prefigure the person and transactions of the MesSIAH; of the political precepts, to keep them a separate nation; and the moral were in general suited to all mankind. This law was perfectly adapted to the condition of the Israelites; but it was very burdensome, and gave no certain hopes of eternal happiness. The Christian Covenant is greatly superior to it, as is proved by the writings of the New Testament: in studying of which, we shall find ample cause to be thankful to God for making us partakers of the better Covenant. In the mean time, let us treasure up in our mind the religious and moral injunctions which Moses gave to the Israelites ; for they will be found very applicable to Christians, who are become the peculiar people of God.
MOSES ENCOURAGETH JOSHUA AND THE ISRAELITES
TO CONFIDE IN GOD,
From Deut. Chap. xxxi. And Moses went, and spake these words unto all Israel.
And he said unto them, I am an hundred and twenty, years old this day ; I can no more go out and come in ; also the Lord hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.
The LORD thy God, he will go over before thee, and he will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt possess them; and Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the Lord hath said. Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be
afraid of them for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth
go with thee, he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.
And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good cou. rage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.
And the LORI, he it is that doth go before thee, he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee : fear not, neither be dismayed.
And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests, thu sons of Levi which bare the ark of the covenant oi the Lo I, and unto all the elders of Israel.
And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, when all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy Gon, in the place which he shall choose; thou shalt read this law before all Israel, in their hearing.
Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn and fear the Lord your
God, and observe to do all the words of this Jaw; and that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your Gon, as long as ve live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold thy days approach that thou myst die: call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge. And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the con. gregation.
1 And the LORD appeared in the tabernacle in a pillar
of a cloud: and the pillar of the cloud stood over the door of the tabernacle.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, and this people will rise up, and go after the gods of the strangers of the land whither they go to be amongst them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them : Then
my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my
face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befal them; so that they will say
in that day, Are not these evils come upon us becaus: our God is not amongst us?
And I will surely hide my face in that day, for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods. Now therefore write
you, and teach it the children of Israel ; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.
For when I shall have brought them into the land, which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break
my covenant. And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them, as a witness ; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed; for I know their imagination which they go about, even now before I have brought them into the land which I sware.
Moses therefore wrote the song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.