Deuteronomy 10 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Deuteronomy 10)

Verse 2

[2] And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark.

I will write on the tables — Tho' the tables were broken, because they broke his commandment, they were now renewed, in proof that his wrath was turned away. And thus God's writing his law in our inward parts, is the surest proof of our reconciliation to him.

Verse 6

[6] And the children of Israel took their journey from Beeroth of the children of Jaakan to Mosera: there Aaron died, and there he was buried; and Eleazar his son ministered in the priest's office in his stead.

This following history comes in manifestly by way of parenthesis, as may appear from Deuteronomy 10:10, where he returns to his former discourse; and it seems to be here inserted as an evidence of God's gracious answer to Moses's prayers, and of his reconciliation to the people, notwithstanding their late and great provocation. For, saith he, after this they proceeded by God's guidance in their journeys, and though Aaron died in one of them, yet God made up that breach, and Eleazar came in his place, and ministered as priest, one branch of which office was to intercede for the people.

Verse 8

[8] At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day.

At that time — About that time, that is, when I was come down from the mount, as was said, Deuteronomy 10:5.

To stand before the Lord — A phrase used concerning the prophets, 1 Kings 17:1; 18:15, this being the posture of ministers. Hence the angels are said to stand, 2 Chronicles 18:18; Luke 1:19.

To bless — The people, by performance of those holy ministrations for the people, and giving those instructions to them, to which God's blessing was promised; and this they did in God's name, that is, by command, and commission from him.

Verse 9

[9] Wherefore Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the LORD is his inheritance, according as the LORD thy God promised him.

The Lord is his inheritance — That is, the Lord's portion, namely, tithes and offerings, which belong to God, are given by him to the Levites for their subsistence, from generation to generation.

Verse 11

[11] And the LORD said unto me, Arise, take thy journey before the people, that they may go in and possess the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give unto them.

Take thy journey before the people — 'Twas fit that he who had saved them from ruin by his intercession, should have the conduct and command of them. And herein he was a type of Christ, who, as he ever lives to make intercession for us, so has all power in heaven and in earth.

Verse 12

[12] And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,

What doth he require — By way of duty and gratitude for such amazing mercies.

Verse 14

[14] Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD's thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.

The heaven — The airy and starry heaven.

The heaven of heavens — The highest or third heaven, called the heaven of heavens for its eminency.

All that therein is — With all creatures and all men, which being all his, he might have chosen what nation he pleased to be his people.

Verse 15

[15] Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.

To love them — He shews that God had no particular obligation to their fathers, any more than to other persons or people, all being equally his creatures, and that his choice of them out of and above all others, proceeded only from God's good pleasure.

Verse 16

[16] Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

Circumcise — Rest not in your bodily circumcision, but seriously set upon that substantial work which is signified thereby: cleanse your hearts from all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, fitly compared to the foreskin, which if not cut off, made persons profane, unclean and odious in the sight of God.

Verse 17

[17] For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:

Regardeth not persons — Whether Jews or Gentiles, but deals justly and equally with all sorts of men; and as whosoever fears and obeys him shall be accepted, so all incorrigible transgressors shall be severely punished, and you no less than other people: therefore do not flatter yourselves as if God would bear with your sins because of his particular kindness to you or to your fathers.

Verse 18

[18] He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.

He doth execute — That is, plead their cause, and give them right against their potent adversaries, and therefore he expects you should do so too.

Verse 20

[20] Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.

To him shalt thou cleave — With firm confidence, true affection, and constant obedience.

Verse 21

[21] He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.

Thy praise — The object and matter of thy praise, as Exodus 15:2, whom thou shouldest ever praise.