While I am yet alive - ye have been rebellious - Such was the disposition of this people to act contrary to moral goodness that Moses felt himself justified in inferring what would take place from what had already happened.
Moses completes the writing out of the book of the Law, and directs it to be placed by the ark of the covenant.
The “book” here spoken of would contain the whole Pentateuch up to this verse, and be “the Book of Moses,” called generally by the Jews “the Law” (compare Matthew 22:40; Galatians 4:21).
The Levites, which bare the ark - i. e., as in Deuteronomy 31:9, “the priests the sons of Levi.” The non-priestly Levites could not so much as enter the sanctuary or touch the ark (compare Numbers 4:15). Though in the journeys through the wilderness the ark was borne by the non-priestly Kohathites, yet on occasions of a more solemn and public character it was carried by the priests themselves (Joshua 3:3 ff, Joshua 4:9-10; Joshua 6:6, Joshua 6:12; Joshua 8:33; 1 Kings 8:3).
Put it in the side of the ark - Rather, by the side of the ark. The two tables of the Decalogue were in the ark 1 Kings 8:9; the Book of the Law was to be laid up in the holy of holies close by the ark of the covenant, probably in a chest. Compare 2 Kings 22:8.
How much more after my death - Hence, Deuteronomy 31:24 and the rest of the book (with the exception of the song, Deuteronomy 31:19) must be regarded as a kind of appendix added after Moses‘ death by another hand; though the Blessing Deuteronomy 33 is of course to be regarded as a composition of Moses.