The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Deuteronomy 5

Deu 5:3

NOT WITH OUR FATHERS: That is, not with them only (cp Deu 29:14,15). "Not only... but also." God's covenant is renewed with each new generation.

Deu 5:5

I STOOD BETWEEN: Here, the mediation of Moses was to keep apart, not to bring together: cp Exo 24:2; ct Christ in Eph 2:14.

Deu 5:7

BEFORE ME: That is, that might obscure my face. Nothing should come between Israel and their God.

Deu 5:15

"Being in times past Gentiles" (Eph 2:11).

Deu 5:21

YOU SHALL NOT COVET...: The only commandment that can be broken in perfect secrecy. "Covetousness, which is idolatry" (Col 3:5).

Deu 5:22

TWO STONE TABLETS: Prob two tablets on each of which all 10 commandments were inscribed, like copies of a contract for the two parties: one copy for God (to be placed in Ark?) and one copy for the people.

Deu 5:24

THE LORD OUR GOD HAS SHOWN US HIS GLORY...: "God's great design in all His works is the manifestation of His own glory. Any aim less than this were unworthy of Himself. But how shall the glory of God be manifested to such fallen creatures as we are? Man's eye is not single, he has ever a side glance towards his own honour, has too high an estimate of his own powers, and so is not qualified to behold the glory of the Lord. It is clear, then, that self must stand out of the way, that there may be room for God to be exalted; and this is the reason why He bringeth His people ofttimes into straits and difficulties, that, being made conscious of their own folly and weakness, they may be fitted to behold the majesty of God when He comes forth to work their deliverance. He whose life is one even and smooth path, will see but little of the glory of the Lord, for he has few occasions of self-emptying, and hence, but little fitness for being filled with the revelation of God. They who navigate little streams and shallow creeks, know but little of the God of tempests; but they who 'do business in great waters,' these see His 'wonders in the deep.' Among the huge Atlantic-waves of bereavement, poverty, temptation, and reproach, we learn the power of Jehovah, because we feel the littleness of man.

"Thank God, then, if you have been led by a rough road: it is this which has given you your experience of God's greatness and lovingkindness. Your troubles have enriched you with a wealth of knowledge to be gained by no other means: your trials have been the cleft of the rock in which Jehovah has set you, as He did His servant Moses, that you might behold His glory as it passed by. Praise God that you have not been left to the darkness and ignorance which continued prosperity might have involved, but that in the great fight of affliction, you have been capacitated for the outshinings of His glory in His wonderful dealings with you" (CHS).

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