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Deu 32:1 Give ear, you heavens, and I will speak. Let the earth hear the words of my mouth-
The echoes of Deuteronomy in the Lord’s goodbye speeches shouldn’t be missed; for Moses at this time truly was a superb type of the Lord Jesus. Deuteronomy concludes with two songs of Moses, one addressed to the Father (Dt. 32), and the other to his people (Dt. 33). It is apparent that the Lord’s final prayer in Jn. 17 is divisible into the same two divisions- prayer to the Father, and concern for His people. It has been observed that the prayer of Jn. 17 is also almost like a hymn- divided into seven strophes of eight lines each. It would appear to be John’s equivalent to the record in Mk. 14:26 of a hymn being sung at the end of the Last Supper.

The lives of both Moses and the Lord ended with a farewell discourse and prayer. Not only do the words of the Lord consciously allude to Moses’ words in Deuteronomy, but John’s comments do likewise. John’s comment that “Jesus knowing that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world…” (Jn. 13:1) is without any doubt referring to the well known [at the time he was writing] Jerusalem Targum on Dt. 32: “And when the last end of Moses the prophet was at hand, that he should be gathered from the world…”. 

Significantly, the Pentateuch begins with the account of the creation of “heaven and earth” and concludes with Moses appealing to the “heavens and earth” of Israel (Dt. 32:1; 33:28). This is not to say that Genesis 1 and 2 only recount the creation of Israel; but it was probably understood by early readers and hearers as God’s account of the creation of the land on which Israel found themselves living. For an observer on the earth / land of Israel, the impression is given that the whole of creation came into existence on account of Israel. The stars etc. came into existence to give light on the earth / land of Israel; just as in the new creation, all things likewise “are” for our sakes, even if the rest of the world benefits too.

Let’s remember that under inspiration, Moses wrote Genesis, presumably during the 40 years wandering. He therefore wrote it in a context- of explaining things to Israel as they stumbled through that wilderness, wondering who they were, where they came from, where they were headed. This explains why there are so many links within the Pentateuch- e.g. the Spirit “flutters” over the waters in Gen. 1:2, just as God like an eagle [a symbol of the Spirit] “flutters” over Israel in bringing about their creation as a nation (Dt. 32:1). The point is that what God did at creation, He can do at any time. As He made the waters “swarm” in Gen. 1:20, so He made the waters of the Nile “swarm” with frogs (Ex. 7:28) in order to save His people from a no-hope, chaotic, disordered, hopeless situation. The command to subject the animals in Eden [the land promised to Abraham?] corresponds to later commands to subject the tribes living in the land (Gen. 1:28 = Num. 32:22,29; Josh. 18:1). The “fear and dread” of humans which fell on the animals after the flood is clearly linkable with the “fear and dread” which was to come upon the inhabitants of Canaan due to the Israelites (Gen. 9:2 = Dt. 1:21; 3:8; 11:25).


Deu 32:2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall condense as the dew, as the small rain on the tender grass, as the showers on the herb-
This reads in LXX as a commandment to accept the teaching of Moses in this song: "Let my speech be looked for as the rain, and my words come down as dew".


Deu 32:3 For I will proclaim the name of Yahweh. Ascribe greatness to our God-
See on 1 Cor. 10:4; Jn. 17:8. Moses is asking them to glorify God as he had done, inviting them to make his life path that of every Israelite: "For I have called on the name of the Lord: assign ye greatness to our God" (LXX). Yet Israel came to glorify Moses as a person, as religious people do, without seeing the reality of this invitation to be like Moses personally. Paul grasped this, and says that we each with unveiled face have seen a greater glory than Moses saw; thus inviting us to be like Moses but to see even far greater glory (2 Cor. 3:18).

"Proclaim the Name" (Ex. 33:19; 34:5) is the same phrase used about 'calling upon the Name' (e.g. Dt. 28:10). The calling out / proclamation of Yahweh's Name, in the Gospel and ultimately in the declaration of the Name on the cross (Jn. 17:26), elicits a desire to call that Name upon us, which we initially do through baptism into that Name. And like Moses, we in turn proclaim the Name to others (Dt. 32:3 s.w.).  

"I have proclaimed the name of the Lord" (Dt. 32:3 LXX) was surely in Christ's mind in His goodbye prayer of Jn. 17:26; and those words are in the context of Moses' song, which roundly exposed Israel's future apostacy. The character, the fundamental personality of God, is declared through appreciating human weakness and apostacy. Christ's words of Jn.17:26 were likewise in the context of revealing apostacy and future weakness. Thus through recognition of sin we come to know God; this is the fundamental message of Ezekiel and other prophets. Through knowing our own sinfulness we know the righteousness of God, and vice versa. Thus properly beholding the righteousness of God as displayed on the cross ought to convict us of our sinfulness, as it did the people who saw it in real life (they "smote upon their breasts" in repentance, cp. Lk. 18:13).  As Christ declared God's Name just before His death (Jn. 17:26), so did Moses (Dt. 32:3 LXX).  Moses saw at the end of his life that there was no third way: it was either complete dedication and salvation, or rebellion and condemnation. See on Dt. 28:58.

The Lord told the Father that He had given the disciples His words, “and they have received them” (Jn. 17:8). This is evident allusion to the editorial comment in Dt. 33:3 about how all Israel received God’s words through Moses. Likewise “I manifested Your name… they have kept Your word” (Jn. 17:6,26) = “I will proclaim the name of the Lord… they have observed thy word” (Dt. 32:3; 33:9). One marvels at the way the Lord’s mind linked together so much Scripture in the artless, seamless way in which He did.

The Lord Jesus fed off the majesty of the Name of Yahweh (Mic. 5:4)- this was how inspirational He found the things of the Name. To fear the Name of Yahweh was to “observe to do all the words of this law” (Dt. 28:58). Meditation and sustained reflection upon the characteristics of God as epitomized and memorialized in His Name will of itself lead to a conformation of personality to that same Name. If we declare that Name to others, they too have the chance to be transformed by it- thus Moses comments: “Because I will publish the name of the Lord, ascribe ye greatness unto our God” (Dt. 32:3).

We in our turn are to manifest God's Name by outgoing witness; so many of the Psalms were written in order to do just that. Moses 'proclaimed the name of Yahweh' (Dt. 32:3 RV)- just as the Angel had proclaimed the Name to Moses in Ex. 34. In perceiving God's Name we are seeing something which cannot be kept to ourselves; God's personality of itself bids us proclaim it. And Moses goes on in the same verse to urge Israel to do as he was doing: "Ascribe ye greatness unto our God".

Deu 32:4 the Rock; His work is perfect, for all His ways are justice; a God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is He-
The Lord's final address to His people before His death was based upon these last words of Moses. “Holy Father… righteous Father” (Jn. 17:11,25) was a form of address which the Lord had in a sense lifted from Moses when he addresses God as “righteous and holy” (Dt. 32:4 LXX).  


Deu 32:5 They have dealt corruptly with Him; they are not His children any more because of their blemish. They are a perverse and crooked generation-
Moses is saying that his prophesy that they would "corrupt themselves" would indeed come true (Dt. 31:29). Dt. 4:16 says that this corruption with or of Yahweh would be through idolatry and making images. It is man who is made in the form / image / likeness of God (Gen. 1:26). Our emphasis must be upon replicating God's thinking in ourselves, making ourselves after His image and likeness. Rather than seeking to worship a physical image of Him in the form of an idol or animal. To do so is to corrupt both Him and the humanity which He intends to be in His image and likeness. 

AV "Their spot is not the spot of His children" effectively refers to this corruption of Yahweh's image. But there is specific allusion to the marks which idolaters placed on their bodies and foreheads; given specific latter day significance in Rev. 20:4.

This description of Israel is quoted about the world in Phil. 2:15. If God’s people worship this world’s idols, then they are counted by God as the world. "Corrupted" is s.w. "'destroyed" or "perish". All judgment is finally self inflicted. Sin is its own judgment; hence the Hebrew word for "corruption" also means "destruction", for moral corruption is its own destruction. God Himself does judge, but always prefers men to judge themselves. Apostate Israel are spoken of as the pagan world; and therefore at the day of judgment the rejected of the new Israel will be condemned along with the world (1 Cor. 11:32); assigned their portion “with the unbelievers” (Lk. 12:46).


Deu 32:6 Do you thus repay Yahweh, foolish people and unwise? Isn’t He your father who has bought you? He has created you and established you-
The appeal is to their salvation history- Israel's redemption [being "bought"] from Egypt (Ex. 15:16), their establishment in the land and creation as a nation at Sinai. So often, their experience  of these things is alluded to in the law as a basis and reason for their loyalty to Yahweh's laws, and living in a culture of grace and kindness to others- given their own experience of grace. We too must never forget our own spiritual path and redemption by God's hand, active throughout our lives. Such personal reflection upon our life's path is therefore necessary if we are to continue to be awed by His grace to us.


Deu 32:7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations. Ask your father and he will show you, your elders and they will tell you-
In our world, human history is generally felt to be bunk, irrelevant to this generation, of merely passing cultural fascination to the hurrying man of modern society. And in some ways, that may indeed be a legitimate take on secular history. But Biblical history is to be seen quite otherwise by God's people. It is a living word spoken to us, and the salvation acts which are there recorded happened to us. We are to learn from history, not as a merely fascinating exercise. But the Bible is history, and yet it is a living word to us. Israel were supposed to reason back from the actions of Egypt towards them, and their weakness spiritually at that time. And to respond personally to that grace.


Deu 32:8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the children of men, He set the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel-
See on Dan. 10:20,21; Ex. 24:9-11. A total of 70 bulls were offered at the feast of ingathering. Rev. 5:9 presents us with the picture of men and women redeemed from every kindred [tribe / clan], tongue [glossa- language], people [a group of people not necessarily of the same ethnicity] and nation [ethnos- ethnic group, lit. ‘those of the same customs’]. This means that, e.g., not only redeemed ‘Yugoslavs’ will stand before the throne in the end; but Macedonians, Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Montenegrans, Bosnians... every ethnic group, with every custom, will have representatives who will have believed the Truth and been saved. This idea is confirmed by considering how 70 bullocks had to be sacrificed at the feast of ingathering (Num. 29), prophetic as it was of the final ingathering of the redeemed. But 70 is the number of all Gentile nations found in Gen. 10. And it is written: “When he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel” (Dt. 32:8). A total of 70 went down with Jacob into Egypt; and thus 70 seems an appropriate number to connect with the entire Gentile world. My point is, representatives of all of them will be finally ingathered. It could be that this conversion of all men occurs during the final tribulation (Rev. 14:6); but it seems to me that the context demands that people from every nation etc. are already redeemed in Christ and await His return.

The Canaanite explanation of the family of the gods was that it contained a total of 70 gods – Ugaritic Tablet II AB 6.46 speaks of the “seventy sons of Asherah”. This is re-focused by the record of Genesis 10 – which speaks of 70 nations of men. Likewise Gen. 46:27 and Ex. 1:5 speak of the 70 sons of Jacob – and Dt. 32:8 says that the number of the Gentile nations was fixed “according to the number of the sons of God” or, “Israel” (according to some texts). The belief in the 70 gods of the Canaanite pantheon is therefore re-focused down to earth – where there were 70 sons of Jacob, 70 nations in the world around Israel, and Dt. 32:8 may imply that each is cared for by a guardian Angel in Heaven.

According to Dt. 32:8,9 LXX, humanity has been divided up “according to the number of the angels of God”; each nation has its Angelic representative in Heaven. These representative, all righteous Angels are spoken of as being ‘punished’ in the sense that their charges on earth are punished. Note the parallelism in Is. 24:21,22:

 “Yahweh will punish

The host of heaven in heaven

And on earth the kings of the earth”.

This doesn’t mean that the representative Angels are themselves sinners; but they are identified in the court of Heaven with those on earth whom they represent. We think of Angels representing nations in Daniel and Zechariah.

Deu 32:9 For Yahweh’s portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance-
We are His inheritance, and we are His. An inheritance was of major significance to the Semitic mind. We see here how we are all things to Him, and He is to be all things to us, and no mere passing religious hobby. Israel were to be God's inheritance if they were obedient (Ex. 19:5). They weren't, but His love was such that He still took them as His inheritance.


Deu 32:10 He found him in a desert land, in the waste howling wilderness. He embraced him, He cared for him-
God’s search for man is a repeated theme of the prophets. “Like grapes in the wilderness, I found Israel. Like the first fruit on the fig tree, I saw your fathers” (Hos. 9:10). “He found him in a desert land… He encircled him, He cared for him, He kept him as the apple of his eye” (Dt. 32:10). “I said, Here am I, here am I… I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people… I called, no one answered” (Is. 50:2; 65:1,2; 66:4). “I have found David my servant” (Ps. 89:20). So it’s not us as it were reaching out to God; He is fervently reaching out to us, and we have to come to realize that. We don’t so much as find God, as realize that He already is earnestly with us. Every man and woman is somehow a life “bound in the bundle of living in the care of the Lord” (2 Sam. 25:29). We come to realize that before we were formed in the womb, God knew us (Jer. 1:5). God hunts for us like a lion, Job came to realize; and in this "You show yourself wonderful to me" (Job 10:16). And we are searching for God. God is not indifferent to our searching for Him. Those awestruck moments of wonder, of radical amazement, are where God finds us at the time we are searching for Him. Both sides are seeking each other; and in those moments, they meet. As a Jewish poet put it: "And going out to meet thee / I found thee coming toward me". In those moments, heaven and earth kiss each other. There is a click, a flash, between Almighty God and us- as we stand at a bus stop, turn left into Acacia Avenue, lay there on our bed meditating.

He kept him as the apple of His eye-
One of the most sensitive spots on the body. Anyone who even comes near God’s people stimulates a natural response from God, so sensitive is He to our pain in this life. We are the apple of God’s eye (Ps. 17:8; Dt. 32:10), and His word must be as the apple of our eye (Prov. 7:2). We dwell in God, and His word dwells in us (Jn. 15).


Deu 32:11 As an eagle that stirs up her nest and flutters over her young, He spread abroad his wings. He took them, He carried them on His feathers-
The way that Israel were intended to be a missionary nation is brought out very beautifully by the way that God speaks of carrying Israel on eagles' wings out of Egypt (Dt. 32:11). Apparently, the eagle throws one of its young into the air and catches it, bearing it on its wings, until it learns to fly freely, and then the others learn from this how to fly. If this is the right track of interpretation, then we are left with the conclusion that it was God's intention that all the Gentile world were intended to be God's ultimate children, and that they would learn from the example of Israel. But Israel failed to fly as God intended, and thus they were not the intended example for others. Note in passing how God's intention is that we should fly freely- not merely be His initiative-less servants for the sake of it.

Moses is depressed by Israel complaining at how boring the manna was. He doubts God's earlier promises to him: " Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight (God said he had, in Ex.33:17)...have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto them, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child unto the land which thou swearest unto their fathers (not "our" - notice the uncharacteristic separation between Moses and Israel). Whence should I give flesh unto all this people...if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in the sight (as God had earlier promised him that he had)" (Num. 11:12). God was the father and conceiver of Israel, the one who would carry them to the land (Ex. 19:4; 33:15; Dt. 32:11,12; Hos. 11:1); it is as if Moses is saying: They're your children, you look after them, don't dump them on me. Although compare this with his earlier love for them, willing to sacrifice himself for them. God then says that He will provide more food for Israel. But Moses almost mocks God: "Shall the flocks and herds be slain for them, to suffice them?". And the Angel angrily replied: "Is the Lord's hand waxed short? thou shalt see whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not" . If he had faith, Moses surely would have realized that if God could provide manna, he could provide any food. Moses seems to have suffered from fits of depression and also high spirituality.


Deu 32:12 Yahweh alone led him, there was no foreign god with Him-
Although there was no pagan god with Yahweh at the time of the exodus, there was with Israel- for they took the idols of Egypt with them through the Red Sea, carrying the tabernacle of Moloch with them for guidance as well as Yahweh's (Acts 7:43), just as we are tempted to take the world with us through the waters of baptism rather than seeing it as cut off from us (Ez. 20:7,8).

Right at their birth by the Red Sea, the Almighty records that "the people feared Yahweh, and believed Yahweh, and His servant Moses" (Ex. 14:23). No mention is made of the Egyptian idols they were still cuddling (we don't directly learn about them until Ez. 20). Nor do we learn that this "belief" of theirs lasted a mere three days; nor of the fact that they rejected Moses, and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. "There was no strange god" with Israel on their journey (Dt. 32:12 AV); but there were (Am. 5:26). The reconciliation is that God counted as Israel as devoted solely to Him.

The degree to which righteousness is imputed to us is hard to feel. Dt. 32:12 states that there was no strange God with Israel- but Ez. 20 says they took the idols of Egypt with them. God counted wayward Israel as righteous; at that time, as Balaam said, God did not see iniquity in Israel, nor behold the perversity that was in Jacob. Paul speaks of the fruits of righteousness, the same Greek word translated "justification" (Phil. 1:11). Justification by faith brings forth fruits of righteousness. When the disciples argued about who should be the greatest, the Lord replied that " it is not so among you: whosoever will be great among you shall be your minister" (Mk. 10:43 R.V.). He expected them to live up to the righteousness which He imputed to them.


Deu 32:13 He made him ride in victory on the high places of the earth and fed him with the increase of the field. He caused him to suck honey out of the rock, oil out of the flinty rock-
See on Ps. 81:16. The promised land was to flow with milk and honey to those who kept covenant. And yet Saul later precluded the people from experiencing the blessings of the covenant by petty legalism and a desire for personal control. The people were obedient to his word, but then totally disobeyed Yahweh's command about not eating blood as a result of it (1 Sam. 14:25,33). Tragically, Israel went back to those very “high places” to worship the local idols, as the prophets so often lament.

 

Deu 32:14 butter of the herd and milk of the flock with fat of lambs, rams of the breed of Bashan and goats, with the finest of the wheat. Of the blood of the grape you drank wine-
Such agricultural abundance is all the stuff of the blessings for obedience. They were disobedient, but still God blessed them with the blessings for obedience- in the hope that such grace would elicit obedience and faithfulness to Him. But tragically it didn't. The very opposite (:15).


Deu 32:15 But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked. You have grown fat. You have become covered with flesh. Then he forsook God who made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation-
See on Dt. 31:9. Moses in Deuteronomy so many times warns that Israel would become unfaithful to God once they became prosperous. This is a major theme with him. Any request for material prosperity must be made knowing that really this is not for the best spiritually. And God must struggle with those requests as a parent does with a request for something which they want to give, because they love their child, but know that it will almost certainly be misused. It’s no surprise therefore that the majority of God’s people have been poor- it is the poor who respond to the Gospel (Mt. 11:5), and the wealthy are a minority amongst us (1 Cor. 1:26).

"Jeshurun" means 'the upright one'. But they were never upright, and were rebellious from the day Moses knew them. But this is how they were seen by God when He fell in love with the people in the wilderness, not seeing iniquity in Israel (Num. 23:21). "Lightly esteemed" is s.w. "disgrace".


Deu 32:16 They moved Him to jealousy with strange gods, they provoked Him to anger with abominations-
God can be grieved [s.w. 'provoke to anger']. He has emotions, and His potential foreknowledge doesn't mean that these feelings are not legitimate. They are presented as occurring in human time, as responses to human behaviour. This is the degree to which He has accommodated Himself to human time-space limits, in order to fully enter relationship and experience with us. As He can limit His omnipotence, so God can limit His omniscience, in order to feel and respond along with us. 


Deu 32:17 They sacrificed to demons, not God, to gods that they didn’t know, to new gods that came up recently, which your fathers didn’t fear-
Demons are associated with idols, and they are not the gods which they are believed to be (:21; 1 Cor. 10:20). The language of demon possession we meet in the Gospel records is therefore the language of the day to describe healing of illnesses attributed to demons; but demons have no real existence because there is only one God.

Dale Martin in an article points out that there are six different Hebrew words which are all translated 'daimon' in the Septuagint Greek version of the Old Testament, and this is the term which the New Testament uses for 'demons'. He concludes: “Ancient Jews used daimonion to translate five or six different Hebrew words.  In the ancient Near Eastern context, those words referred to different kinds of beings … What they have in common, nonetheless, is that they all were thought of as gods – in fact, as the gods other people falsely worship: the gods of the nations... we find no equation of fallen angels with Greek daimons” (pp. 662, 670). As an example, the Hebrew 'sedim' translated "demons" in Dt. 32:17 and Ps. 106:37 is defined by Martin as follows: "In the ancient Near Eastern context, the word sedim is related to the Assyrian sidu, which referred to the great bull statues in front of the Assyrian palaces, sometimes depicted with wings. According to some modern commentators, the word adon originally meant simply “lord” and served as a divine title like “Baal” or “Adonai”. It could, therefore, be taken to refer to ancient gods of Canaan and other surrounding people, who could have viewed them as good powers or gods". The connection between demons and idols is quite clear, both from context and linguistic analysis.

Deu 32:18 Of the Rock who became your father you are unmindful, and have forgotten God who gave you birth-
See on Gen. 49:24. As discussed on :7, their problem was that they refused to accept the historical perspective on their lives. They were not awed by the way God had brought them by grace to their present location. Like spoilt children, they came to presume upon special grace as the norm, and failed to see the wonder of it. We note that we have here an example of where God likens Himself to a woman, something unusual in the religious thinking of the times.

Deu 32:19 Yahweh saw and abhorred, because of the provocation of His sons and His daughters-
Scripture repeatedly speaks as if God notices things and is then hurt by what He sees (Jonah 3:10; Gen. 29:31; Ex. 3:4; Dt. 32:19; Ez. 23:13; Is. 59:15 cp. Lk. 7:13). If He knew in advance what they were going to do, this language is hard for me to understand. But God is therefore hurt and 'surprised' at sin- He saw Israel as the firstripe grapes, but they were worshipping Baal even then (Hos. 9:9). Thus God can allow Himself to feel an element of surprise- and this was a shock to Jeremiah, who queried: "Why are You like a man who is caught by surprise...?" (Jer. 14:9).


Deu 32:20 He said, I will hide My face from them. I will see what their end shall be, for they are a very perverse generation-
God Himself knows the end from the beginning and need fear no man; but His Angels do not have ultimate knowledge or strength, and therefore such language is more suited to them. This ‘language of limitation’ may refer to the Angels rather than God personally. He can see all things, and yet in the time of Israel's apostacy He hides His face from them (Mic. 3:4 cp. Dt. 32:19,20). He enters fully into our humanity by as it were limiting His omniscience and omnipotence in order to relate with us in real time.

Children in whom is no loyalty-
"Loyalty" is the word for "faith" or "trust". Such trust in the Father should have come naturally, but from babyhood they revolted against Him. Pistis, one of the NT words for 'faith' is used here in the LXX, and is translated in the LXX as both 'faith' (e.g. Dt. 32:20; Prov. 12:22) and 'truth' (Prov. 12:17; 14:22; Jer. 5:1). Indeed, another word used in the LXX is 119 times translated 'truth' and 26 times 'faith'. There is a connection between true knowledge of the Gospel and faith. And this faith is the basis for our works. We don't just learn the propositions of the one faith before baptism, and forget them. The triumphant spiritual life lives them out.


Deu 32:21 They have moved Me to jealousy with that which is not God. They have provoked Me to anger with their vanities-
We read of God being slow to anger (Ex. 34:6), at others, of Him not restraining His anger, or restraining it (Ps. 78:38; Is. 48:9; Lam. 2:8; Ez. 20:22), and holding His peace (Is. 57:11; Ps. 50:21), and being provoked to anger by the bad behaviour of His covenant people (Dt. 32:21; Ps. 78:58; Is. 65:3; Jer. 8:19). God clearly has emotions of a kind which are not unrelated to the emotions we experience, as beings made in His image. But those emotions involve a time factor in order to be emotions. We read of the anger of God "for a moment" (Ps. 30:5; Is. 54:7,8), and of His wrath coming and going, leaving Him "calm" and no longer angry (Ez. 16:42). When we sin, we provoke God to anger- i.e. at a point in time, God sees our sin, and becomes angry. This is attested many times in Scripture. But it's meaningless if God is somehow outside of our time and emotions.

I will move them to jealousy with those who are not a people, I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation- 
This is interpreted in the New Testament as referring to the conversion of the Gentiles (Rom. 10:19; 1 Pet. 2:10). It was intended to provoke them firstly to jealousy, but then to accepting the same God of Israel which the Gentiles had accepted. Paul sees the Jewish anger at Gentile conversion to Christ as a reflection of their jealousy. If Gentiles became followers of some idol cult, the Jews would have been indifferent. But their jealousy was provoked by Israel accepting Jesus of Nazareth as God's Son and Saviour. This jealousy was and is surely a reflection of a bad conscience, just as subconsciously Joseph's brothers knew that Joseph was not dead but alive, and standing before them. It was Israel's 'knowledge' of the Gospel they had heard which is related by Paul to their anger and jealousy. And we see the same today in many who exhibit anger and jealousy over the faith of others. This is a function of their 'knowledge' which they are in denial of.


Deu 32:22 For a fire is kindled in My anger, which burns to the lowest Sheol. It devours the earth with its increase, and sets the foundations of the mountains on fire-
Gilgamesh and the pagan myths presented whole groups of gods as responsible for and presiding over death and the underworld, and another, separate, pantheon of gods as involved in creation. The Biblical emphasis upon one God is significant and unusual; it is Yahweh who sends man back to the dust from which He created him, and the same Yahweh who is in total control of sheol [the grave or underworld], and in a sense even present there (Dt. 32:22; Job 26:6; Ps. 139:7,8; Prov. 15:11; Am. 9:2). The same God is in control of the earth, as taught here by God through Moses. The state of the dead is defined in Genesis as a return to dust, and later Scripture emphasizes that this means unconsciousness, for the righteous merely a sleep in hope of bodily resurrection. This was radically different to the ideas espoused by the peoples amongst whom Israel travelled and lived.


Deu 32:23 I will heap evils on them. I will spend my arrows on them-
These arrows are alluded to with reference to the Babylonian desolation (Lam. 3:13; Ez. 5:16). "Evil arrows" were thought to be cast by displeased gods; but here Yahweh insists that there is no supernatural evil, and He is going to be the one who fires such arrows. His omnipotence meant that there was no place left for any understanding of "evil" as coming from some cosmic evil being, such as the "satan" of modern theology.

Deu 32:24 They shall be wasted with hunger and devoured with burning heat and bitter destruction-
The curses to come upon Israel as a result of the latter day invasions are described in terms which are extremely apposite to modern warfare. The plagues to come upon Israel as a result of the invasions are almost impossible to identify with anything presently known: "a consumption... a fever... an inflammation... an extreme burning... blasting... the burning ague that shall consume the eyes" (Dt. 28:22; Lev. 26:16) all seems to echo the language of nuclear fall-out. "They shall be burnt... and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction" (Dt. 32:24) is similar. The release of complex chemical weapons, as well as nuclear detonation, would explain why rainfall patterns will be interrupted during this latter day tribulation (Dt. 28:23). The fall-out from such weapons would create the murderous rain of dust upon the land which Dt. 28:24 speaks of: "The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed". It is twice emphasized that those in the land would suffer blindness (Dt. 28:28,29), which may also be related to such nuclear or chemical fallout. This has not yet happened;  the context invites us to read this as literal rather than figurative. We know that the latter day invaders who attack Jerusalem will both fight each other and have their eyes rot in their sockets (Zech. 14:12), the implication being that they use their weaponry against each other as well as against Israel. Their earlier use of these weapons would account for this blindness coming upon Israel, and again we see the principle that what the attackers do to Israel will be inflicted upon them.

I will send the teeth of animals on them and the poison of crawling things of the dust-
The whole record of Adam and Eve in Eden is alluded to multiple times in Moses' law. As they were given a command not to eat, so Israel were asked not to eat certain things. As there was a snake who was there in the 'land' of Eden, so there was the equivalent amongst Israel- the false teachers, the tribes who remained, etc., the "serpents of the dust" (Dt. 32:24- an evident allusion to the language of the snake in Eden).

1 Kings 22:22 gives an insight into the workings of the court of Heaven, with an Angel told: "Go out and do so". This describes the Angels being sent out from the court of Heaven to do God’s word. So when we read of God sending lions (2 Kings 17:25,26), sending wild beasts and famine (Lev. 26:22; Ez. 5:17; Dt. 32:24), sending locusts (Joel 2:25), it would seem that Angels are sent forth from God’s throne in order to command animals to obey God’s word. And moreover, He sends an evil spirit between men (Jud. 9:23) and stubborn hearts are also sent from God (Ps. 81:13). The same Angels who are sent to control the animals can also therefore work to give men certain attitudes of mind.

Deu 32:25 Outside, the sword shall bereave and inside, terror shall be on both young man and virgin, the nursing infant with the grey-haired man-
During their latter day tribulation, Israel will experience intense "terror" (Lev. 26:16), which would be enough to kill them (Dt. 32:25). This extraordinary level of paranoia will be modelled upon that of Jacob as he faced Esau - representing Israel's confrontation with the Arabs in the last days (Jer. 30:5,7). This state of fear will result in many Jews going to live in Jerusalem, as happened during the Babylonian and Assyrian invasions (Jer. 35:11). Ezekiel had prophesied of this time: "Terrors (an intensive plural - i.e. 'the one great terror') by reason of the sword shall be upon my people" (Ez. 21:12). Likewise our Lord spoke of "fearful sights" being seen in latter-day Israel (Lk. 21:11). This fear will be absolute paranoia:  "I will make you a terror to yourself" (Jer. 20:4) because of latter day Babylon's invasion; "ye shall flee when none pursueth you... I will send a faintness into their hearts... the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them" (Lev. 26:17,36). "I will bring the land into desolation" (Lev. 26:32) uses a Hebrew word which can imply stupefaction by fear. This paranoia will be associated with a manic depression which will have its roots in a chronically bad conscience towards God, going back thousands of years to their national childhood: "I will... cause sorrow of heart... they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity... and also in the iniquity of their fathers shall they pine away" (Lev. 26:16,39). Note how the land will be brought into this mental desolation. Frequently the land of Israel is paralleled with the people (e.g. Jer.19:14 cp. 26:17). The intense desolation of Jewry will be reflected physically in the state of their land. And the resolution of this psychological torment will only be through repentance and acceptance of the Saviour Messiah whom they crucified.

Deu 32:26 I said I would scatter them afar, I would make their memory to cease from among men-
But by grace, God never did this; He preserved their name / memory. Yahweh's Name, by contrast, was to be an eternal memory (Ex. 3:15). He was to be remembered for how He had articulated His Name in how He had historically acted in saving the patriarchs, and He would be remembered for how He was going to act to save His people from Egypt. What was to be memorialized was therefore His actions, rather than simply the letters YHWH. It was His wonderful works which were to be remembered [Ps. 111:4, s.w. "My memorial"]. By contrast, the sinful works and persons of the wicked would not be remembered / memorialized, be they Amalek (s.w. Ex. 17:14; Dt. 25:19), or God's apostate people (s.w. Dt. 32:26). 


Deu 32:27 but I feared the provocation of the enemy, lest their adversaries should judge wrongly, lest they should say, ‘Our hand is exalted, Yahweh has not done all this’-
But this was the argument used by Moses when God had threatened to destroy Israel and make of him a great nation instead. Now we see God as it were persuaded by Moses' argument, and adopting it as His own. We see here His remarkable humility and openness to influence by our prayers and reasoning before Him.


Deu 32:28 For they are a nation without wisdom; there is no understanding in them-
This could continue the quotation of the enemies in :27, but it seems to lead on rather to :29- their lack of understanding refers to their refusal to understand that one could have chased a thousand (:30). Wisdom and understanding is therefore effectively referring to faith, trust that the promises of God will be indeed fulfilled. Any wisdom or understanding that doesn't lead to this is useless. This is the fallacy of academic Bible study. It was and is the mistake of Judaism.

Deu 32:29 Oh that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!-
Faith is all about realizing that action and attitudes now will affect our eternal future. The way of the flesh is to just live for the present- and not consider the future, let alone the final end of all things at the day of judgment. In allusion to this verse, the same phrase is used of how Daniel understood the latter end of Israel (Dan. 10:14), and how the final generation of repentant Israelites will "consider" at their "latter end" after they have experienced the wrath of God (Jer. 23:20; 30:24). But they were to consider the "latter end" of things in this life, and not wait until condemnation at the last day before perceiving the ultimate truth of life and death. And we can do the same.


Deu 32:30 How one could have chased a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight, had not their Rock sold them and Yahweh delivered them up!-
Verses 30-33 could refer to Israel, who "could have chased a thousand...", or to her enemies. Thus GNB "They fail to see why they were defeated; they cannot understand what happened. Why were a thousand defeated by one, and ten thousand by only two? The LORD, their God, had abandoned them; their mighty God had given them up. Their enemies know that their own gods are weak, not mighty like Israel's God. Their enemies, corrupt as Sodom and Gomorrah, are like vines that bear bitter and poisonous grapes...".

Deu 32:31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges-
The idea may be that the Gentiles tacitly recognized that Yahweh was superior to their gods / rock. Or the lament may be that the Gentiles, like Israel, failed to perceive ultimate realities with the understanding of faith: "For their gods are not as our God, but our enemies are void of understanding" (LXX).


Deu 32:32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, of the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter-
GNB takes this as referring to Israel's enemies, but it could as well refer to Israel. For Moses has just stated that Israel are spiritually as Sodom and will be treated like Sodom (see on Dt. 29:23). The idea would be that they were presently sowing seeds of attitudes which would come to fruition in the grapes of judgment.


Deu 32:33 Their wine is the poison of serpents, the deadly venom of asps-
Again, we could with GNB read this as referring to Israel's enemies, but it could as well refer to Israel. The grapes and wine of blessing could have their awful counterpart in the grapes of Divine wrath.


Deu 32:34 Isn’t this laid up in store with Me, sealed up among My treasures?-
The reference is to the judgment of the last day (:35), which will be like being given a cup of bitter wine to drink (:32,33). God giving people wine to drink is a double symbol- either of condemnation [as here], or of blessing. It is why the communion service is a cause for self-examination, for we must ask ourselves whether we are drinking His cup to our eternal blessing or condemnation.


Deu 32:35 Vengeance is Mine and punishment, at the time when their foot slides; for the day of their calamity is at hand. The things that are to come on them shall make haste-
We must remember that “Vengeance is mine [not ours, not the state’s], and requital" (Dt. 32:35), and God will take that vengeance at the last day and not necessarily in this life (Is. 63:4). In another sense, that taking of vengeance, that requital, was worked out by God on the cross. There the Lord Jesus was clothed with the ‘garments of vengeance’ (Is. 59:17); the day of the crucifixion was “the day of vengeance" (Is. 63:4). This is one reason why God doesn’t operate a tit-for-tat requital of our sins upon our heads- because He dealt with sin and His vengeance for it in the cross, not by any other way. Hence David calls Yahweh the “God of revenge", the one alone to whom vengeance belongs (Ps. 94:1,3). Our response to all this is to believe that truly vengeance is God and therefore we will not avenge ourselves (Rom. 12:19). I take this to apply to all the micro-level ‘takings of vengeance’ which we so easily do in our words, body language, attitudes etc., in response to the hurt received from others. The cross alone enables us to break the cycle. All the sins, all the grudges that called for revenge or "vengeance", were to be placed upon the scapegoat, and it was released into the desert (Lev. 16:10). They could watch it scampering away into the bush. This is how we are to understand the placing of human sin- yes, the sins committed against you this day by others- upon the Lord as He hung on the cross.

As Moses addressed the people at that point, these things were "at hand" and "make haste". There are several times when God warns that generation that they will not last many days in the land if they are disobedient. The scenario of judgment is implied to be coming upon that generation. But it didn't. God hung on with Israel for centuries. It was like the kind of relationship which we have often observed in life- one party passionately loves the other, but the other doesn't respond is constantly unfaithful to that love, of which they are completely not deserving. It's a Hosea and Gomer situation. And this is God's love for Israel. But just as such relationships usually come to an end at some point, even it takes decades, so in the end, Israel walked out of it with God and slew His own Son.

Deu 32:36 For Yahweh will judge His people and have compassion on His servants when He sees that their power is gone, that there is none remaining, shut up or left at large-
See on Dt. 31:9. Israel assembled before Moses really do represent us, for this is quoted in Heb. 10:20 as relevant to all of us coming before judgment. But our verse goes on to say that at this very time of judgment, He will have compassion upon His people. Which is a comforting thought to take with us to the judgment seat of Christ.

"For the Lord shall judge His people" is quoted in Heb. 10:20 concerning the judgement seat. But the context here is wonderful. Israel are hopeless sinners under judgment, and God on the basis of pure pity for them, rather than their obedience, relents of judgment. And His judgment of them is paralleled with His having compassion upon them. I don't wish to imply that convicted sinners are just waved through into the Kingdom because God feels sorry for people in the misery of their gnashing of teeth. But all the same, we must give the argument here its full wonderful weight. God's judgment is His compassion. And He will show that compassion on the basis of pure pity rather than obedience. 


Deu 32:37 He will say, Where are their gods, the rock in which they took refuge-
Yahweh was the rock of Israel, but it seems just as they sacrificed to Yahweh so they did to idols (:38); as they called Him their rock and refuge, so they did the idols. This verse explains the pity and compassion God will show to His condemned people (:37). He will look back, from that point of final judgment, to how all their lovers and gods had not helped them. And this only elicits His final compassion to them rather than solely His wrath.


Deu 32:38 which ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offering? Let them rise up and help you! Let them be your protection-
They offered the best of their sacrifices, the fat, to their idols. They are bidden now call upon all the things they have previously trusted in, be it missile systems or religion, and finally realize that in Yahweh and His Son alone can be their salvation. Those things are now effectively dead, and will not "rise up" in resurrection; for Yahweh alone is the God of resurrection. "Protection" is s.w. "hiding place". It is Messiah, the Lord Jesus, who will be Israel's latter day "covert [s.w.] from the tempest" of the invaders (Is. 32:2). See on :43.


Deu 32:39 See now that I, even I, am He. There is no god with Me. I kill and I make alive. I wound and I heal. There is no one who can deliver out of My hand-
The force of "See now" is that this is God speaking to Israel in their latter day condemnation (:36 = Heb. 10:20), giving them the one last desperate chance which a remnant will accept. They are bidden accept Yahweh for the "I am" which He uniquely is, and finally quit idolatry and all other gods for all time. They are to recognize that He has slain them and can alone make alive; and Ez. 37 speaks of Israel's national death and resurrection.


Deu 32:40 For I lift up My hand to heaven and say, as surely as I live forever-
This is God's final oath that finally, judgment will not be further delayed and is about to fall (:41).


Deu 32:41 if I whet My glittering sword and My hand takes hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to My adversaries and will punish those who hate Me-
LXX "I will sharpen my sword like lightning". As explained above, these things will come to full term in the very last days, when finally judgment will no longer be endlessly delayed, but Yahweh's sword will fall in judgment, He will take hold upon judgment and fulfil it. 


Deu 32:42 I will make My arrows drunk with blood. My sword shall devour flesh with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the head of the leaders of the enemy-
This devouring of the flesh of the slain enemies of Israel is specifically applied to the last days in Rev. 19:18,21. "The head" is Hebrew rosh and may refer to the latter day rosh which invades Israel and is destroyed in Ez. 38. The destruction of rosh in Ez. 39 is described in similar terms as used here.


Deu 32:43 Rejoice, you nations, with His people, for He will avenge the blood of His servants. He will take vengeance on His adversaries and will make expiation for His land, for His people-
LXX "Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him". These words are interpreted in the New Testament as referring to the Lord Jesus being worshipped by the Angels when He is brought into the world at His second coming (Heb. 1:6); and the Gentiles rejoicing with Israel in Jesus as Christ (Rom. 15:10). The Messiah Jesus is in view as the final salvation for Israel (see on :38). But salvation in Him will be predicated upon Israel's final repentance and turning to Him whom they once slew.


Deu 32:44 Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he and Joshua the son of Nun-
This exactly corresponds to the command "write ye", you plural (Dt. 31:9). Joshua was to assist Moses in doing this and he did so. We marvel at the internal correspondence within the Biblical record, which to me is the most powerful evidence of its Divine inspiration.


Deu 32:45 When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel-
Moses, perhaps on the very last day of his life, assembled all Israel by their tribes, and with a voice no doubt cracking with emotion, pleaded with them to understand that there's nothing like the God of Israel and His Truth, and it must therefore be at the very centre, at the very core, of a man's soul: "There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun...who is like unto thee, O people saved by Yahweh... Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day... for it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life" (Dt. 33:27,28; 32:46,47). "The love of Christ constrains us".


Deu 32:46 he said to them, Set your heart to all the words which I testify to you this day, which you must command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law-
The word so often used for "keeping" / "diligently observing" Yahweh's commandments is from the word meaning a thorn hedge; the idea originally was to hedge in. Taking this too literally led Judaism to all their endless fences around the law, i.e. forbidding this or that because it might lead to doing that or this, which in turn would then lead to breaking an actual commandment. And those various fences become elevated to the level of commandments. But this is not the idea. We are indeed to hedge ourselves in ("take heed to yourself", Dt. 11:16; 12:13,19,30,32 s.w.), so that we may keep / hedge ourselves in to keep the commandments of God (Lev. 18:4,5,26,30; 19:19,37; 20:8,22; 22:9,31; 25:18; 26:3; Num. 28:2;   Dt. 7:11,12; 8:1,11 [s.w. "beware"]; 10:13; 11:1,8,22,32; 12:1; 13:4,18; 15:5,9 ["beware"]; 17:19; 19:9; 23:9 ["keep yourself"]; 24:8; 26:16-18; 27:1; 28:1,9,13; 29:9; 30:10,16; 31:12; 32:46). And without falling into the legalism of Judaism, self discipline does require a degree of fencing ourselves in to the one way. Thus the man struggling with alcoholism avoids the supermarket where alcohol is pushed in front of the eyes of the shoppers; the married woman struggling with attraction to another man makes little laws for herself about avoiding his company. And if we do this, then the Lord will "keep" us, will hedge us in to keeping His way (s.w. Num. 6:24).


Deu 32:47 For it is no vain thing for you, because it is your life-
Enter into the passion of it all. The man who was willing to give his eternal life for them, about to die for the sake of their provocation- singing a final song to them, giving a final speech, which showed that he knew perfectly well that they would turn away from what he was trying to do for them, and therefore the majority of them would not be saved. As he came to the end of his speech, he seems to have sensed they didn’t grasp the reality of it all: “It is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life” (Dt. 32:47); and thus his speech rises to a crescendo of intensity of pleading with them, after the pattern of the Lord.  

The idea of not taking Yahweh's Name "in vain", 'vanity' (Ex. 20:7), is often associated with idolatry. Israel never formerly rejected Yahweh, and never became atheists. They mixed Yahweh worship with idolatry on the basis that they claimed that they worshipped Yahweh through worshipping the idols. This is what emboldened them to later place idols in Yahweh's temple. They were taking Yahweh's Name as a form of vanity, "in vain", a kind of idol. Thus their relationship with Yahweh was not to be a "vain thing" (Dt. 32:47). 

And through this you shall prolong your days in the land, where you go over the Jordan to possess it-
"Drive out" is s.w. "possess". We must note the difference between the  Canaanite peoples and their kings being "struck" and their land "taken" by Joshua-Jesus; and the people of Israel permanently taking possession. This is the difference between the Lord's victory on the cross, and our taking possession of the Kingdom. Even though that possession has been "given" to us. The word used for "possession" is literally 'an inheritance'. The allusion is to the people, like us, being the seed of Abraham. The Kingdom was and is our possession, our inheritance- if we walk in the steps of Abraham. But it is one thing to be the seed of Abraham, another to take possession of the inheritance; and Israel generally did not take possession of all the land (Josh. 11:23 13:1; 16:10; 18:3; 23:4). The language of inheritance / possession is applied to us in the New Testament (Eph. 1:11,14; Col. 3:24; Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Pet. 1:4 etc.). Israel were promised: "You shall possess it" (Dt. 30:5; 33:23). This was more of a command than a prophecy, for sadly they were "given" the land but did not "possess" it. They were constantly encouraged in the wilderness that they were on the path to possessing the land (Dt. 30:16,18; 31:3,13; 32:47), but when they got there they didn't possess it fully.


Deu 32:48 Yahweh spoke to Moses that same day saying-
We note the continual emphasis upon "the same day" and "this day..." throughout Deuteronomy. A fair case could be made that all this happened on the last day of Moses' life; an intense final day of a very busy life.


Deu 32:49 Go up into this mountain of Abarim, to Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab that is opposite Jericho, and see the land of Canaan which I give to the children of Israel for a possession-
Moses seeing the Kingdom but being unable to enter it, nor himself lead God's people into it, points forward to how the law of Moses gave a vision of the Kingdom, but was unable to bring us into it. That required the work of Joshua / Jesus. "Abarim" means 'the regions beyond'. Moses and his law gave an insight into the Kingdom, the region beyond him. For the culture of grace and kindness, centered around the sacrificed future Messiah, the Lord Jesus, was the outcome of the law. But it was unattainable by weak men.


Deu 32:50 Die on the mountain and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people-

Moses being gathered to his people by an Angel (Dt. 32:50) may also refer to his spirit / Angel returning to where the guardian Angels of his ancestors were. This solves the considerable difficulty of his ancestors being physically dead and decayed, and being buried in a different place from where Moses died. LXX "be added to thy people" suggests God keeps a record of all Israel. The command to die suggests Moses was being asked to be willingly complicent with the idea of his death, just as Isaac was, and as the Lord Jesus was.

In those hours as Moses stood there saying those words of Deuteronomy, and then as he sung that song of Moses to them of Dt. 32, I think we see Moses at his finest. His voice would have been that of a young man, and yet with all the passion of meaning of his 120 years. And then he blesses those assembled tribes, the love of that man for Israel flowing out, with that same wondrous voice. "Yea, he loved the people". And then, no doubt with a lump in his throat, swallowing back the tears, he turned and walked away, up that mountain, higher and higher, with the blue mountains of Moab shimmering in the distance. "That selfsame day" Moses spoke Deuteronomy, God commanded him: "Get thee up into this mountain... and behold the land... and die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people" (Dt. 32:50). Like the Lord Jesus, he received a commandment to die (Jn. 10:18; 14:31), and yet he presumably did not know how to consciously fulfil it according to his own actions. He climbed the mountain alone, that same day he spoke Deuteronomy. Presumably he spoke Deuteronomy in the morning, sung the song of Moses, and then "that selfsame day" died. It would have taken him time to climb the mountain, to be met at the top by the Angel, who then showed him the land, kissed him (see later) and buried him. Presumably he died late in the day, watching the sun setting over the promised land-  perhaps at the same hour Jesus died. The pathos of the scene is wondrous, the Song of Moses as it were can be heard still echoing. Yet in the sadness of it all, we see  prefigured the death of Christ for us. It was for their sakes that Moses didn't enter the land, remember. That is the emphasis the Spirit gives. As he climbed, for it would have taken a while, perhaps he thought back to those years in Egypt, the struggle of his soul in those years. You may think I'm being over emotional, but it seems to me as he climbed he would have thought back to his dear mum to whom he owed his relationship with God, the mother he'd doubtless disowned for forty years, admitting that he was the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He would have reflected how at age 40 he was honest with himself, how he told the world who his real mother was (probably, tragically enough, after her death, sad that her son seemed to have rejected her for the pleasures of Egypt), how he had refused to be called any longer the son of Pharaoh's daughter. I mean, if we had say 24 hours to live, and we were told to go for a walk before we died, I guess we'd think back to our childhood for at least a moment, wouldn't we. And he was a man, just like you and me, with all a man's feelings, all a man's memories, all a man's humanity. I believe, although I can't prove it, that he wept all the way to the top, climbing farther and farther away from the people he loved, knowing that the majority simply didn't understand him and what he had suffered for them. And perhaps as he sung the song of Moses, he thought back to those weak years in Midian, to Zipporah, to the arguments with her, to the pain of the divorce, to the Ethiopian woman, to the long lonely days with the animals. And then to the wonder of the Red Sea, to the nervousness of meeting the Angel, to the joy of that communion in another mountain. He knew that Angel well, they spoke face to face as men who are friends speak to each other (Ex. 33:11).  


Deu 32:51 because you trespassed against Me in the midst of the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah of Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because you didn’t sanctify Me in the midst of the children of Israel-
Moses truly was made spiritually strong out of weakness. His faith fluctuated, until at last he came to a spiritual height at the end of his life. We have seen something of the intensity and passion of his love for Israel, to the point where he was willing to give his physical and eternal life for Israel's salvation. In a sense, his desire was heard. Because of the sin of a moment, caused by the provocation of the people he loved, God decreed that he could not enter the land of promise. For their sakes he was barred from the land; this is the emphasis of the Spirit (Dt. 1:37; 3:26; 4:21); and Ps. 106:32,33 says that Moses was provoked to sin because Israel angered God, and that therefore "it went ill with Moses for their sakes". Truly, God works through sinful man to achieve His glory. Ez. 20:38 says that the rebels in the wilderness “shall not enter into the land”, with reference to how when Moses called the people “rebels” and beat the rock, he was disallowed entry into the land. Because he called them rebels, i.e. unworthy of entry to the Kingdom, he also was treated as a rebel. If we condemn others, we likewise will be condemned. On another level, he was simply barred for disobedience; and on yet another, his prayer to the effect that he didn’t want to be in the land if his people weren’t going to be there was being answered; and on yet another and higher level, his offer to be blotted out of the book of inheritance for Israel’s sake was also being heard. Thus God works within the same incident in so many ways! Thus Moses says that he must die “Because ye [plural] trespassed against me” (Dt. 32:51 AV). This all helps explain why Christ had to die, apart from the fact that he was mortal. He died the death of a sinner for our salvation, he felt all the emotions of the rejected, the full weight of God's curse; for "cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" in crucifixion (Gal. 3:13). Moses was a superb and accurate type of the Lord Jesus. Therefore Moses in his time of dying must grant us insight into the death of our Lord, the prophet like him (Dt. 18:18). See on :3.


Deu 32:52 For you shall see the land before you, but you shall not go there into the land which I give the children of Israel-
This is laboured by God so many times. Moses had carefully omitted the reason why he could not enter the land when explaining it to Israel. He was now reminded of it; for God wanted him to die not in denial of his sin, but fully recognizing it. And He works likewise in our lives, leading us to a crescendo of humility by the time we die.