King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Deuteronomy 30

Mercies promised to the repentant. (1-10) The commandment manifest. (11-14) Death and life set before them. (15-20)

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Mercies promised to the repentant

1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,

2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;

3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.

4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:

5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.

6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

7 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.

8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.

9 And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:

10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.

The commandment manifest

11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.

12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?

13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?

14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

Death and life set before them

15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;

16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;

18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.

19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Or the curse. The sequel shews that this would prove their portion, and that they would have to do penance among all the nations. H.

Ver. 3. Before. The Jews are still in expectation of this deliverance, as they say this prediction does not relate to the captivity at Babylon. But Nehemias understood it in this sense, (2 Esd. i. 8,) though it will not have its perfect accomplishment till the latter days, when the Israelites will embrace the true faith. Rom. xi. 25.

Ver. 4. Poles. The arctic and antarctic, the northern and southern poles; that is, into the most distant regions. M. — Heb. “the end of heaven,” where it seems to rest upon the earth. C.

Ver. 5. Fathers. Some sinners have risen to greater eminence by sincere repentance, than others who have offended less. W. See Luc. vii. 47.

Ver. 6. Circumcise. Sept. “purify.” Chal. “take away the folly from.” After the captivity, idolatry was never very prevalent among the Jews. H. — But this prediction will not be fulfilled till the Jews acknowledge the Messias. C. — Those whose hearts are circumcised, as God here promises, are enabled to love him above all things; and no doubt he will fulfil what he has thus engaged to do, with regard to some. W. S. Aug. q. 53.

Ver. 9. Fathers. He will again take a pleasure in bestowing favours upon thee, (C.) of a spiritual and more lasting nature. Hence the Jews may understand that they have not yet repented, as they ought to do; since they have been under the wrath of God for above 1500 years. Salien. H.

Ver. 11. Above. Heb. “separated, unknown,” &c. Sept. “too heavy.” S. Paul (Rom. x. 6,) adapts this to the Christian law, which is the perfection of that given by Moses. The precepts of Jesus Christ are well known, and easily accomplished (C.) by the sincere lover of justice, (H.) assisted by powerful grace. S. Aug. q. 54. S. Peter (Acts xv.) insinuates, that it was very difficult under the old law, to comply with all the regulations, at a time when the sacraments did not convey such great graces. D.

Ver. 12. Work. There is no need of studying the mysteries of astrology, as the Magi do, to understand the will of God. Grot. — S. Paul adds, (v. 7,) or who shall descend into the deep? which is not in Heb. C. — But he probably alludes to the following verse, as the sea is often styled the deep. It was not necessary for the Jews, or for Christians, (H.) to undertake long voyages, to discover the true God, as the ancient philosophers were obliged to do; and after they had obtained some idea of the truth, they were afraid to declare it, on account of the prejudices of the people. C. — But the most illiterate among us, may easily obtain sufficient knowledge to regulate his life. H.

Ver. 14. Heart. Sept. add, “and in thy hands.” Thou art often obliged to talk about the law, and to learn it by heart. Nothing hinders thee, with the grace of God, from putting it in practice. C. — No teacher could more plainly inculcate the liberty of the human will. Theod. q. 38. S. Aug. de Nat. 69. S. Amb. &c. W.

Ver. 15. Evil. Obedience will insure eternal life: but if thou give the preference to evil, the second death must be thy portion, v. 19. H. Eccli. xv. 17. M. — It may also refer to the goods and evils of the present life, of which Moses has been speaking. C.

Ver. 19. I call. He begins his canticle in the same emphatical manner, (C. xxii.) as Isaias does his prophecy. H.

Ver. 20. He is. From God all advantages are derived. We may render the Heb. with the Sept. “Because this is thy life (C.)…to dwell,” &c. By observing the law of God, long life and possession of the promised land can be alone attained. H.