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Deuteronomy 28:1

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 1-14

A comparison of this chapter with Exodus 23:20-23 and Deuteronomy 28:5

The “basket” or bag was a customary means in the East for carrying about whatever might be needed for personal uses (compare Deuteronomy 26:2; John 13:29).

The “store” is rather the kneading-trough Exodus 8:3; Exodus 12:34. The blessings here promised relate, it will be observed, to private and personal life: in Deuteronomy 28:7 those which are of a more public and national character are brought forward.

Deuteronomy 28:9

The oath with which God vouchsafed to confirm His promises to the patriarchs (compare Genesis 22:16; Hebrews 6:13-14) contained by implication these gifts of holiness and eminence to Israel (compare the marginal references).

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
This chapter is a very large exposition of two words, the blessing and the curse. They are real things and have real effects. The blessings are here put before the curses. God is slow to anger, but swift to show mercy. It is his delight to bless. It is better that we should be drawn to what is good by a child-like hope of God's favour, than that we be frightened to it by a slavish fear of his wrath. The blessing is promised, upon condition that they diligently hearken to the voice of God. Let them keep up religion, the form and power of it, in their families and nation, then the providence of God would prosper all their outward concerns.
Ellen G. White
Faith and Works, 52

God requires at this time just what He required of the holy pair in Eden—perfect obedience to His requirements. His law remains the same in all ages. The great standard of righteousness presented in the Old Testament is not lowered in the New. It is not the work of the gospel to weaken the claims of God's holy law but to bring men up where they can keep its precepts. FW 52.1

The faith in Christ that saves the soul is not what it is represented to be by many. “Believe, believe,” is their cry; “only believe in Christ, and you will be saved. It is all you have to do.” While true faith trusts wholly in Christ for salvation, it will lead to perfect conformity to the law of God. Faith is manifested by works. And the apostle John declares, “He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4). FW 52.2

It is unsafe to trust to feelings or impressions; these are unreliable guides. God's law is the only correct standard of holiness. It is by this law that character is to be judged. If an inquirer after salvation were to ask, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” the modern teachers of sanctification would answer, “Only believe that Jesus saves you.” But when Christ was asked this question He said, “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” And when the questioner replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, ...and thy neighbour as thyself,” Jesus said, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live” (Luke 10:25-29). FW 52.3

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 297.2

It is the keeping of the commandments of God that honors and glorifies Him in His chosen. Wherefore every soul to whom God has given reasoning faculties is under obligation to God to search the Word and ascertain all that is enjoined upon us as God's purchased possession. We should seek to understand all that the Word requires of us.... We cannot show greater honor to our God, whose we are by creation and redemption, than to give evidence to the beings of heaven, to the worlds unfallen, and to fallen men, that we diligently hearken unto all His commandments, which are the laws that govern His kingdom. TMK 297.2

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Ellen G. White
The Story of Redemption, 171

All the people were assembled before him, and he read the events of their past history out of the book which he had written. He read also the promises of God to them if they would be obedient, and the curses which would come upon them if they were disobedient. SR 171.1

Moses told them that, for their rebellion, the Lord had several times purposed to destroy them, but he had interceded for them so earnestly that God had graciously spared them. He reminded them of the miracles which the Lord did unto Pharaoh and all the land of Egypt. He said to them, “But your eyes have seen all the great acts of the Lord which He did. Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that ye may be strong, and go in and possess the land, whither ye go to possess it.” Deuteronomy 11:7, 8. SR 171.2

Moses especially warned the children of Israel against being seduced into idolatry. He earnestly charged them to obey the commandments of God. If they would prove obedient and love the Lord and serve Him with their undivided affections, He would give them rain in due season and cause their vegetation to flourish, and increase their cattle. They should also enjoy especial and exalted privileges, and should triumph over their enemies. SR 171.3

Moses instructed the children of Israel in an earnest, impressive manner. He knew that it was his last opportunity to address them. He then finished writing in a book all the laws, judgments, and statutes which God had given him, also the various regulations respecting sacrificial offerings. He placed the book in the hands of men in the sacred office and requested that, for safe keeping, it should be put in the side of the ark, for God's care was continually upon that sacred chest. This book of Moses was to be preserved, that the judges of Israel might refer to it if any case should come up to make it necessary. An erring people often understand God's requirements to suit their own case; therefore the book of Moses was preserved in a most sacred place, for future reference. SR 171.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 609

I was pointed back to ancient Israel. But two of the adults of the vast army that left Egypt entered the land of Canaan. Their dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness because of their transgressions. Modern Israel are in greater danger of forgetting God and being led into idolatry than were His ancient people. Many idols are worshiped, even by professed Sabbathkeepers. God especially charged His ancient people to guard against idolatry, for if they should be led away from serving the living God, His curse would rest upon them, while if they would love Him with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their might, He would abundantly bless them in basket and in store, and would remove sickness from the midst of them. 1T 609.1

A blessing or a curse is now before the people of God—a blessing if they come out from the world and are separate, and walk in the path of humble obedience; and a curse if they unite with the idolatrous, who trample upon the high claims of heaven. The sins and iniquities of rebellious Israel are recorded and the picture presented before us as a warning that if we imitate their example of transgression and depart from God we shall fall as surely as did they. “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1T 609.2

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Ellen G. White
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 122-3

The curse did not come all at once. It was first felt at Adam's fall, and increased at the murder of Abel, and greatly increased at the flood. Since the flood, as the human family have forgotten God, and have followed in a course of disobedience, and have transgressed his commandments, the curse has rested heavier and heavier upon men and upon the beasts. The trees and all vegetation also have felt the effects of the curse. All through the inspired history are exalted blessings promised upon the people of God on conditions of obedience, and curses threatened for disobedience. 4aSG 122.1

“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth. The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. The Lord shall establish thee a holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee. And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee. The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give thee rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand. And thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.” 4aSG 122.2

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1 (EGW), 1117

15-24. Balak Amazed by Revelation—The Moabites understood the import of the prophetic words of Balaam—that the Israelites after conquering the Canaanites, should settle in their land, and all attempts to subdue them would be of no more avail than for a feeble beast to arouse the lion out of his den. Balaam told Balak that he would inform him what the Israelites should do to his people at a later period. The Lord unfolded the future before Balaam, and permitted events which would occur, to pass before his sight, that the Moabites should understand that Israel should finally triumph. As Balaam prophetically rehearsed the future to Balak and his princes, he was struck with amazement at the future display of God's power (Spiritual Gifts 4a:48). 1BC 1117.1

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