King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Deuteronomy 10

God’s mercies to Israel after their rebellion. (1-11) An exhortation to obedience. (12-22)

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God’s mercies to Israel after their rebellion

1 At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood.

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.

3 And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand.

4 And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.

5 And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the LORD commanded me.

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.

7 From thence they journeyed unto Gudgodah; and from Gudgodah to Jotbath, a land of rivers of waters.

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.

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

10 And I stayed in the mount, according to the first time, forty days and forty nights; and the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also, and the LORD would not destroy thee.

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.

An exhortation to obedience

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,

13 To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

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

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.

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

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:

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

19 Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

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

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.

22 Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the LORD thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Wood. Moses had received this injunction, before he ascended the mount the second time. Ex. xxv. 10. But he executed it only after he had received the second tables of the law. Ex. xxxvii. 1. M. — Some pretend that the made an ark of setim-wood, to contain the tables, till Beseleel should have completed his, which was covered with gold, and inclosed the former. Drus. — But this seems unnecessary. C.

Ver. 3. I made, or gave orders to have one ready against my return. C.

Ver. 4. To me. God had already promulgated the same laws in the hearing of all. Ex. xix. 17. H.

Ver. 6. Mosera, by Mount Hor, for there Aaron died. Num. xx. This and the following verses seem to be inserted by way of parenthesis, (Ch). as far as the 10th. The reason of their insertion here cannot easily be explained; but we must adore, in silence, the designs of the Holy Spirit. C. — Moses had just mentioned the ark, designed to contain the tables of the law; and as the priests and Levites were to be the guardians of those sacred things, he takes occasion to specify something with respect to their institution, &c. Mosera was perhaps twice visited by the Hebrews. The first time, they came thither from Beroth-Benejaacan, or from “the well of the children of Jacan,” and thence measured back their steps; though, the second time, Mosera, or Moseroth, is not noticed, because it had been specified already, and they did not stop long there, but proceeded to Gadgad. Num. xxxiii. 30. Bonfrere. M. — Others think that Mosera and Benejaacan are not the same places as Moseroth and Beroth Bensacan, though the names be similar. A. Lapide. — Perhaps it will be more satisfactory to acknowledge, that Mosera has been transposed by the copyists, as it ought to come before Beroth, particularly as Moses places it in that order, where he gives an account of the 42 stations; and the Samaritan copy agrees with him in this place. C. — It also retains many words which have been omitted in Hebrew, and in all the versions taken from it; whence the omission seems to have taken place before the appearance of the version of the Septuagint. The Samaritan version, which is acknowledged to have preceded the Septuagint, agrees with its text, and reads, “And the children of Israel journeyed from Moseroth, and pitched in Benejaakan: from thence they journeyed, and pitched in Hagidgad: from thence they journeyed, and pitched in Jotbathah, a land of rivers of waters: from thence they journeyed, and pitched in Ebronah: from thence they journeyed, and pitched in Eziongaber: from thence they journeyed, and pitched in the wilderness of Zin, which is Kadesh: from thence they journeyed, and pitched in Mount Hor. And there Aaron died,” &c. Kennicott. 2. Dis. — Thus Mosera will be the 27th, and Mount Hor the 34th station; (Pococke) whence the Israelites departed, after the death of Aaron, to Salmona, directing their course to the countries east of the Jordan, which had been promised to them. The appointment of Eleazar to succeed Aaron, and the separation of the Levites unto the Lord, should be all placed together, after the different encampments. H.

Ver. 8. Time, during the pontificate of Aaron. Num. iii. 6. M. — God had made this appointment at Sinai, (Ex. xxviii. 1,) where he ordered the tabernacle and the priests to be consecrated. Upon the sedition of Core, which probably took place at Jetebata, he confirmed the rights of the Levitical tribe. Num. xvi. 17. and 18. C. — Ark. The priests carried it, on more solemn occasions, (Jos. iii. 3,) as they also blessed the people. M. — Yet the Levites sung the praises of God, in which sense the word is often used, 1 Par. xxiii. 13. Hence Castalio translates, “to celebrate his name.”

Ver. 10. Stood. Moses does not follow the order of events, but recalls to the minds of his audience what might serve to make the deepest impression upon them. He mentions some farther instructions which he had received from God on Mount Sinai, during the second term of 40 days. C. — It might have been placed in a more natural order at the head of this chapter. M. — Some believe that Moses speaks of the third fast of 40 days. Salien.

Ver. 12. And now. He shews what advantages may be derived from a constant observance of the commandments, that it may be well with thee, v. 13. God stands not in need of our services, (v. 14,) but chooses whom he pleases to display the treasures of his love, (v. 15,) which ought to move us strongly to make him a suitable return of gratitude, (C.) by withdrawing our affections from every thing that may be displeasing to him, v. 16. If we refuse, we must expect to fall under the rod of his indignation, notwithstanding all the efforts of his clemency, which he holds forth for our imitation, v. 17. 19. He will judge all alike, the rich and the poor. H.

Ver. 14. Of heaven. The Scripture mentions the third heaven, (2 Cor. xii. 2,) where the majesty of God most gloriously appears. The second is the region of the stars, and the first the atmosphere, where the birds and the clouds move about. C.

Ver. 15. Joined, (conglutinatus) as it were, with glue, (H.) to shew the vehemence of love. M.

Ver. 16. Circumcise. The Hebrews esteem circumcision as a mark of their greatest glory. All who had it not were looked upon as profane. They call the ears, mind, and heart uncircumcised, when they would not hear, understand, or obey the law of God. S. Paul (Rom. ii. 28) frequently inculcates this interior circumcision, to which Moses alludes in these his last exhortations. C. xxx. 6. The people had not regularly practised circumcision in the desert. Moses takes care to raise their thoughts to something more spiritual; and declares, in clearer terms than he had hitherto done, the necessity of loving God. All must be banished from the heart which might resist this love. C. — Vanity, blindness, luxury, must be retrenched. M.

Ver. 17. Gods. Idols are nothing, 1 Cor. viii. 4. Hence Theodoret supposes, that all who have authority upon earth are here designated. But admitting the false notions of the pagans respecting their gods, the superiority of the true God is here asserted; (C.) and all, both in heaven and on earth, gods and lords, must bow before him. H.

Ver. 18. Widow. God resents the injuries done to such. Ex. xxii. 22.

Ver. 20. Only, a word not found in the Hebrew, but deemed necessary by the Sept. to express the true meaning of this passage. See C. vi. 13. C. — Name, when an oath is necessary. Thou shalt never swear by false gods. W.

Ver. 21. Praise, the object whom thou must praise, and the source of all thy happiness and glory. Other nations will revere the Jews on this account. C. — An ancient oracle could not refuse giving them this singular commendation, though to the prejudice of idolatry. “Chaldees alone philosophy may claim — but Hebrews worship God, the self-born King — with pure religion.” H. — agnos, (C.) S. Cyr. c. Julian 5. and S. Just. Exhort. read auton, him. But the meaning is clear from the context. The palm of wisdom is given to the Chaldees for natural learning, and to the Jews for divinity. Watson, Proleg. xii. Porphyrius owns the oracle. Theodoret. H.

Ver. 22. Seventy. Some copies of the Sept. add “five,” with S. Stephen. See Gen. xlvi. 26. C.