Series: Thru the Bible
Message – God is Judge – Deut. 9-11
God is Judge
Deut. 9:1-29, HCSB “Listen, Israel: Today you are about to cross the Jordan…”
Okay so right out the gate we have a problem, because they would not be crossing over the Jordan for some time yet.
The word “Today” is the word Yom and appears over 2200 times in the Old Testament. It is a word which is used for, “undefined period of time OR a period of time which is defined by the context”. It is used in Genesis 1 for the days of creation which is how the “day Age” theory was able to get off the ground. We, back in our ignorance, once taught and prescribed to that as well. But in Genesis the defining of Yom is the 24hr. Cycle. This is interesting because the 24 hours cycle of ereb (evening-chaos-disorder) and boqer (Late Hebrew id.; from split, penetrate, as the dawn the darkness, light through cloud-rifts, etc.) a revealing or unveiling of order – metaphorically it can mean the brightness of joy after a night of distress. Existed BEFORE the sun and moon marked them. So, the 24hr. Cycle is NOT a solar/lunar cycle per se, but the lunar/solar cycle follows the 24 hour cycle, since it came before them.
A quote lifted from an article on the Institute for Creation Research’s website entitled. “Does the Phrase “Even and Morning” Help define “Day”?” says.
“Interestingly, the very first time the word is used, in Genesis 1:5, it is strictly defined as the light portion of a light/dark cycle as the earth rotated underneath a directional light source, producing day and night. It is also true that whenever “day” is modified by a number, like second day or six days, it can only mean a true solar day. There are no exceptions in Hebrew. Any uncertainty is resolved in the Ten Commandments as God commands us to work six days and rest one day just as He worked on the six creation days and rested on day seven (Exodus 20:11).”
In any case, Yom in Genesis 1 is 24 hours. Here in this passage it is more vague and would accurately read, “you will soon cross the Jordan”.
“(1) Listen, Israel: Today you are about to cross the Jordan to go and drive out nations greater and stronger than you with large cities fortified to the heavens. (2) The people are strong and tall, the descendants of the Anakim. You know about them and you have heard it said about them, ‘Who can stand up to the sons of Anak?’ (3) But understand this day that the LORD your God will cross over ahead of you as a consuming fire; He will devastate and subdue them before you. You will drive them out and destroy them swiftly, as the LORD has told you. (4) When the LORD your God drives them out before you, do not say to yourself, ‘The LORD brought me in to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.’ Instead, the LORD will drive out these nations before you because of their wickedness. (5) You are not going to take possession of their land because of your righteousness or your integrity. Instead, the LORD your God will drive out these nations before you because of their wickedness, in order to keep the promise He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (6) Understand that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people. (7) “Remember and do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God in the wilderness. You have been rebelling against the LORD from the day you left the land of Egypt until you reached this place. (8) You provoked the LORD at Horeb, and He was angry enough with you to destroy you. (9) When I went up the mountain to receive the stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant the LORD made with you, I stayed on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights. I did not eat bread or drink water. (10) On the day of the assembly the LORD gave me the two stone tablets, inscribed by God’s finger. The exact words were on them, which the LORD spoke to you from the fire on the mountain. (11) The LORD gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant, at the end of the 40 days and 40 nights. (12) “The LORD said to me, ‘Get up and go down immediately from here. For your people you brought out of Egypt have acted corruptly. They have quickly turned from the way that I commanded them; they have made a cast image for themselves.’ (13) The LORD also said to me, ‘I have seen this people, and indeed, they are a stiff-necked people. (14) Leave Me alone, and I will destroy them and blot out their name under heaven. Then I will make you into a nation stronger and more numerous than they.’ (15) “So I went back down the mountain, while it was blazing with fire, and the two tablets of the covenant were in my hands. (16) I saw how you had sinned against the LORD your God; you had made a calf image for yourselves. You had quickly turned from the way the LORD had commanded for you. (17) So I took hold of the tablets and threw them from my hands, shattering them before your eyes. (18) Then I fell down like the first time in the presence of the LORD for 40 days and 40 nights; I did not eat bread or drink water because of all the sin you committed, doing what was evil in the LORD’s sight and provoking Him to anger. (19) I was afraid of the fierce anger the LORD had directed against you, because He was about to destroy you. But again, the LORD listened to me on that occasion. (20) The LORD was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him. But I prayed for Aaron at that time also. (21) I took the sinful calf you had made, burned it up, and crushed it, thoroughly grinding it to powder as fine as dust. Then I threw it into the stream that came down from the mountain. (22) “You continued to provoke the LORD at Taberah, Massah, and Kibroth-hattaavah. (23) When the LORD sent you from Kadesh-barnea, He said, ‘Go up and possess the land I have given you’; you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God. You did not believe or obey Him. (24) You have been rebelling against the LORD ever since I have known you. (25) “I fell down in the presence of the LORD 40 days and 40 nights because the LORD had threatened to destroy you. (26) I prayed to the LORD: Lord GOD, do not annihilate Your people, Your inheritance, whom You redeemed through Your greatness and brought out of Egypt with a strong hand. (27) Remember Your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Disregard this people’s stubbornness, and their wickedness and sin. (28) Otherwise, those in the land you brought us from will say, ‘Because the LORD wasn’t able to bring them into the land He had promised them, and because He hated them, He brought them out to kill them in the wilderness.’ (29) But they are Your people, Your inheritance, whom You brought out by Your great power and outstretched arm.”
Now the beginning of this next chapter I found a little confusing because the order of events Moses is recounting appear in a different order than they did originally. In looking at it though I believed the Lord suggested to me that some of the words used, though technically accurate from a translation perspective, yet nevertheless leads you to thing something incorrect concerning the passage.
Now, we need not be at any pains to seek a correction for this since we know that Hebrew writing is not always presented chronologically, but often more in terms of importance. Still, I felt that the segment about Aaron dying and the appointment of the priests was not a chronologically mentioned event – but one mentioned “out of time” historically, but IN TIME with where Moses was heading this his dialogue. So let’s read through 1-5 and then we will examine the verses in question.
Deut 10:1-5 CEV “(1) The LORD told me to chisel out two flat stones, just like the ones he had given me earlier. He also commanded me to make a wooden chest, then come up the mountain and meet with him. (2) He told me that he would write the same words on the new stones that he had written on the ones I broke, and that I could put these stones in this sacred chest. (3) So I made a chest out of acacia wood, and I chiseled two flat stones like the ones I broke. Then I carried the stones up the mountain, (4) where the LORD wrote the Ten Commandments on them, just as he had done the first time. The commandments were exactly what he had announced from the fire, when you were gathered at the mountain. After the LORD returned the stones to me, (5) I took them down the mountainside and put them in the chest, just as he had commanded. And they are still there.”
So, for example, in verse 8 where it starts with the words, “At that time”…this is not dissimilar to the opening words of chapter 9, “Today, you are about to cross over”. Of course in chapter 9 the word was Yom here, it is not, but could be translated any number of ways. When I considered the passage it seemed to me that it might have been saying, “At THE time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi”…referring back to a past event. So I looked up the words and context as best I could and then examined other translations and sure enough the CEV translated it just that way. Now the CEV is not a translation I typically use, though it is nice to reference so long as you can corroborate their translation with the intended meaning. From all I read concerning this passage, it seems true to intent. Other translation achieve a similar effect by placing the whole of verses 6-9 in parenthesis.
Deut. 10:6-9 CEV
“(6) Later we set up camp at the wells belonging to the descendants of Jaakan. Then we moved on and camped at Moserah, where Aaron died and was buried, and his son Eleazar became the priest. (7) Next, we camped at Gudgodah and then at Jotbathah, where there are flowing streams. (8) After I put the two stones in the sacred chest, the LORD chose the tribe of Levi, not only to carry the chest, but also to serve as his priests at the place of worship and to bless the other tribes in his name. And they still do these things. (9) The LORD promised that he would always provide for the tribe of Levi, and that’s why he won’t give them any land, when he divides it among the other tribes.”
Deut. 10:10-11, CEV
“(10) When I had taken the second set of stones up the mountain, I spent forty days and nights there, just as I had done before. Once again, the LORD answered my prayer and did not destroy you. (11) Instead, he told me, “Moses, get ready to lead the people into the land that I promised their ancestors.” See Exod. 34:1-28.
Deut. 10:12-22, HCSB
“(12) And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you except to fear the LORD your God by walking in all His ways, to love Him, and to worship the LORD your God with all your heart and all your soul? (13) Keep the LORD’s commands and statutes I am giving you today, for your own good.”
“(14) The heavens, indeed the highest heavens, belong to the LORD your God, as does the earth and everything in it. (15) Yet the LORD was devoted to your fathers and loved them. He chose their descendants after them–He chose you out of all the peoples, as it is today. (16) Therefore,
[God often calls His people to their mark. Inciting them to make a choice. Here God reveals that He has chosen them, and He is therefore asking them in response to choose Him.] Then God says something we JUST read from Paul as written to the Colossians…
circumcise your hearts and don’t be stiff-necked any longer. (17) For the LORD your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God, showing no partiality and taking no bribe. (18) He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreign resident, giving him food and clothing. (19) You also must love the foreigner, since you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. (20) You are to fear the LORD your God and worship Him. Remain faithful to Him and take oaths in His name. (21) He is your praise [tehillāh – A feminine noun meaning praise, a song of praise. This word is a noun derived from the verb hālal (H1984), which connotes genuine appreciation for the great actions or the character of its object. It is used especially of the adoration and thanksgiving that humanity renders to God] and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome works your eyes have seen. (22) Your fathers went down to Egypt, 70 people in all, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars of the sky.”
Deut. 11:1-32, HCSB “(1) Therefore, love the LORD your God and always keep His mandate and His statutes, ordinances, and commands. (2) You must understand today that it is not your children who experienced or saw the discipline of the LORD your God: His greatness, strong hand, and outstretched arm;”
The King James & NKJ says it from the negative, “(2) Know today that I do not speak with your children, who have not known and who have not seen the chastening of the LORD your God, His greatness and His mighty hand and His outstretched arm…” His point being that, the only way for them to know is for you to remember and faithful tell them!
“(3) His signs and the works He did in Egypt to Pharaoh king of Egypt and all his land; (4) what He did to Egypt’s army, its horses and chariots, when He made the waters of the Red Sea flow over them as they pursued you, and He destroyed them completely; (5) what He did to you in the wilderness until you reached this place; (6) and what He did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab the Reubenite (Num. 16:1-34), when in the middle of the whole Israelite camp the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, their households, their tents, and every living thing with them. (7) Your own eyes have seen every great work the LORD has done. (8) “Keep every command I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to cross into and possess the land you are to inherit, (9) and so that you may live long in the land the LORD swore to your fathers to give them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. (10) For the land you are entering to possess is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and irrigated by hand as in a vegetable garden. (11) But the land you are entering to possess is a land of mountains and valleys, watered by rain from the sky. (12) It is a land the LORD your God cares for. He is always watching over it from the beginning to the end of the year.”
Now PAY ATTENTION TO THESE NEXT WORDS FROM GOD!!!!
“(13) “If you carefully obey My commands I am giving you today, to love the LORD your God and worship Him with all your heart and all your soul, (14) I will provide rain for your land in season, the early and late rains, and you will harvest your grain, new wine, and oil. (15) I will provide grass in your fields for your livestock. You will eat and be satisfied. (16) Be careful that you are not enticed to turn aside, worship, and bow down to other gods. (17) Then the LORD’s anger will burn against you. He will close the sky, and there will be no rain; the land will not yield its produce, and you will perish quickly from the good land the LORD is giving you.”
These are the basis for the prayer prayed by Solomon at the consecration of the temple. Again, it was an appeal to God – that if Israel fails to listen and obey, but later comes to their senses and returns to this place and cries out to God- they He will hear and deliver them from pestilence, famine, disease and captivity. [See the 4 part article on “If My people…”]
“(18) Impress these words of Mine on your hearts and souls, bind them as a sign on your hands, and let them be a symbol on your foreheads. (19) Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (20) Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, (21) so that as long as the heavens are above the earth, your days and those of your children may be many in the land the LORD swore to give your fathers. (22) For if you carefully observe every one of these commands I am giving you to follow–to love the LORD your God, walk in all His ways, and remain faithful to Him– (23) the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will drive out nations greater and stronger than you are. (24) Every place the sole of your foot treads will be yours. Your territory will extend from the wilderness to Lebanon and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea. (25) No one will be able to stand against you; the LORD your God will put fear and dread of you in all the land where you set foot, as He has promised you.”
“(26) Look, today I set before you a blessing and a curse: (27) there will be a blessing, if you obey the commands of the LORD your God I am giving you today, (28) and a curse, if you do not obey the commands of the LORD your God, and you turn aside from the path I command you today by following other gods you have not known. (29) When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim the blessing at Mount Gerizim and the curse at Mount Ebal. (30) Aren’t these mountains across the Jordan, beyond the western road in the land of the Canaanites, who live in the Arabah, opposite Gilgal, near the oaks of Moreh? (31) For you are about to cross the Jordan to enter and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you. When you possess it and settle in it, (32) be careful to follow all the statutes and ordinances I set before you today.”
I hope this message will bless you richly…not because I taught it, but because it reveals Christ. He alone is our blessing and if in any way – whether big or small, 100% accurate or even just partially so – I have revealed our great God and Savior to you in a relationally knowable way, then this was time well spent on both our parts.
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