Deuteronomy 29-34
The Covenant Renewed in Moab
29  These are the words of the covenant that the Lord commanded Moses to make with the people of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant that he had made with them at Horeb.
2  And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: “You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, 3 the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders. 4 But to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear. 5 I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet. 6 You have not eaten bread, and you have not drunk wine or strong drink, that you may know that I am the Lord your God. 7 And when you came to this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon and Og the king of Bashan came out against us to battle, but we defeated them. 8 We took their land and gave it for an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of the Manassites. 9 Therefore keep the words of this covenant and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.
10 “You are standing today, all of you, before the Lord your God: the heads of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, all the men of Israel, 11 your little ones, your wives, and the sojourner who is in your camp, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water, 12 so that you may enter into the sworn covenant of the Lord your God, which the Lord your God is making with you today, 13 that he may establish you today as his people, and that he may be your God, as he promised you, and as he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 14 It is not with you alone that I am making this sworn covenant, 15 but with whoever is standing here with us today before the Lord our God, and with whoever is not here with us today.
16 “You know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the midst of the nations through which you passed. 17 And you have seen their detestable things, their idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold, which were among them. 18 Beware lest there be among you a man or woman or clan or tribe whose heart is turning away today from the Lord our God to go and serve the gods of those nations. Beware lest there be among you a root bearing poisonous and bitter fruit, 19 one who, when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.’ This will lead to the sweeping away of moist and dry alike. 20 The Lord will not be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the Lord and his jealousy will smoke against that man, and the curses written in this book will settle upon him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven. 21 And the Lord will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for calamity, in accordance with all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law. 22 And the next generation, your children who rise up after you, and the foreigner who comes from a far land, will say, when they see the afflictions of that land and the sicknesses with which the Lord has made it sick— 23 the whole land burned out with brimstone and salt, nothing sown and nothing growing, where no plant can sprout, an overthrow like that of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in his anger and wrath— 24 all the nations will say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land? What caused the heat of this great anger?’ 25 Then people will say, ‘It is because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt, 26 and went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they had not known and whom he had not allotted to them. 27 Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against this land, bringing upon it all the curses written in this book, 28 and the Lord uprooted them from their land in anger and fury and great wrath, and cast them into another land, as they are this day.’
29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Repentance and Forgiveness
30 “And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, 2 and return to the Lord your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. 4 If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there he will take you. 5 And the Lord your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, that you may possess it. And he will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers. 6 And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. 7 And the Lord your God will put all these curses on your foes and enemies who persecuted you. 8 And you shall again obey the voice of the Lord and keep all his commandments that I command you today. 9 The Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your cattle and in the fruit of your ground. For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers, 10 when you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that are written in this Book of the Law, when you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
The Choice of Life and Death
11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. 16 If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 17 But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
Joshua to Succeed Moses
31 So Moses continued to speak these words to all Israel. 2 And he said to them, “I am 120 years old today. I am no longer able to go out and come in. The Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not go over this Jordan.’ 3 The Lord your God himself will go over before you. He will destroy these nations before you, so that you shall dispossess them, and Joshua will go over at your head, as the Lord has spoken. 4 And the Lord will do to them as he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when he destroyed them. 5 And the Lord will give them over to you, and you shall do to them according to the whole commandment that I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
7 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. 8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
The Reading of the Law
9 Then Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 And Moses commanded them, “At the end of every seven years, at the set time in the year of release, at the Feast of Booths, 11 when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place that he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, 13 and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”
Joshua Commissioned to Lead Israel
14 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, the days approach when you must die. Call Joshua and present yourselves in the tent of meeting, that I may commission him.” And Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves in the tent of meeting. 15 And the Lord appeared in the tent in a pillar of cloud. And the pillar of cloud stood over the entrance of the tent.
16 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers. Then this people will rise and whore after the foreign gods among them in the land that they are entering, and they will forsake me and break my covenant that I have made with them. 17 Then my anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they will be devoured. And many evils and troubles will come upon them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ 18 And I will surely hide my face in that day because of all the evil that they have done, because they have turned to other gods.
19 “Now therefore write this song and teach it to the people of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the people of Israel. 20 For when I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to give to their fathers, and they have eaten and are full and grown fat, they will turn to other gods and serve them, and despise me and break my covenant. 21 And when many evils and troubles have come upon them, this song shall confront them as a witness (for it will live unforgotten in the mouths of their offspring). For I know what they are inclined to do even today, before I have brought them into the land that I swore to give.” 22 So Moses wrote this song the same day and taught it to the people of Israel.
23 And the Lord commissioned Joshua the son of Nun and said, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the people of Israel into the land that I swore to give them. I will be with you.”
24 When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book to the very end, 25 Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, 26 “Take this Book of the Law and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against you. 27 For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the Lord. How much more after my death! 28 Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears and call heaven and earth to witness against them. 29 For I know that after my death you will surely act corruptly and turn aside from the way that I have commanded you. And in the days to come evil will befall you, because you will do what is evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger through the work of your hands.”
The Song of Moses
30 Then Moses spoke the words of this song until they were finished, in the ears of all the assembly of Israel:
32 “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak,
and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
2    May my teaching drop as the rain,
my speech distill as the dew,
       like gentle rain upon the tender grass,
and like showers upon the herb.
3    For I will proclaim the name of the Lord;
ascribe greatness to our God!
4    “The Rock, his work is perfect,
for all his ways are justice.
       A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
just and upright is he.
5    They have dealt corruptly with him;
they are no longer his children because they are blemished;
they are a crooked and twisted generation.
6    Do you thus repay the Lord,
you foolish and senseless people?
       Is not he your father, who created you,
who made you and established you?
7    Remember the days of old;
consider the years of many generations;
       ask your father, and he will show you,
your elders, and they will tell you.
8    When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
when he divided mankind,
       he fixed the borders of the peoples
according to the number of the sons of God.
9    But the Lord’s portion is his people,
Jacob his allotted heritage.
10    “He found him in a desert land,
and in the howling waste of the wilderness;
       he encircled him, he cared for him,
he kept him as the apple of his eye.
11    Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
that flutters over its young,
       spreading out its wings, catching them,
bearing them on its pinions,
12    the Lord alone guided him,
no foreign god was with him.
13    He made him ride on the high places of the land,
and he ate the produce of the field,
       and he suckled him with honey out of the rock,
and oil out of the flinty rock.
14    Curds from the herd, and milk from the flock,
with fat of lambs,
       rams of Bashan and goats,
with the very finest of the wheat—
and you drank foaming wine made from the blood of the grape.
15    “But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked;
you grew fat, stout, and sleek;
       then he forsook God who made him
and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.
16    They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods;
with abominations they provoked him to anger.
17    They sacrificed to demons that were no gods,
to gods they had never known,
       to new gods that had come recently,
whom your fathers had never dreaded.
18    You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you,
and you forgot the God who gave you birth.
19    “The Lord saw it and spurned them,
because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters.
20    And he said, ‘I will hide my face from them;
I will see what their end will be,
       for they are a perverse generation,
children in whom is no faithfulness.
21    They have made me jealous with what is no god;
they have provoked me to anger with their idols.
       So I will make them jealous with those who are no people;
I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
22    For a fire is kindled by my anger,
and it burns to the depths of Sheol,
       devours the earth and its increase,
and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.
23    “ ‘And I will heap disasters upon them;
I will spend my arrows on them;
24    they shall be wasted with hunger,
and devoured by plague
and poisonous pestilence;
       I will send the teeth of beasts against them,
with the venom of things that crawl in the dust.
25    Outdoors the sword shall bereave,
and indoors terror,
       for young man and woman alike,
the nursing child with the man of gray hairs.
26    I would have said, “I will cut them to pieces;
I will wipe them from human memory,”
27    had I not feared provocation by the enemy,
lest their adversaries should misunderstand,
       lest they should say, “Our hand is triumphant,
it was not the Lord who did all this.” ’
28    “For they are a nation void of counsel,
and there is no understanding in them.
29    If they were wise, they would understand this;
they would discern their latter end!
30    How could one have chased a thousand,
and two have put ten thousand to flight,
       unless their Rock had sold them,
and the Lord had given them up?
31    For their rock is not as our Rock;
our enemies are by themselves.
32    For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom
and from the fields of Gomorrah;
       their grapes are grapes of poison;
their clusters are bitter;
33    their wine is the poison of serpents
and the cruel venom of asps.
34    “ ‘Is not this laid up in store with me,
sealed up in my treasuries?
35    Vengeance is mine, and recompense,
for the time when their foot shall slip;
       for the day of their calamity is at hand,
and their doom comes swiftly.’
36    For the Lord will vindicate his people
and have compassion on his servants,
       when he sees that their power is gone
and there is none remaining, bond or free.
37    Then he will say, ‘Where are their gods,
the rock in which they took refuge,
38    who ate the fat of their sacrifices
and drank the wine of their drink offering?
       Let them rise up and help you;
let them be your protection!
39    “ ‘See now that I, even I, am he,
and there is no god beside me;
       I kill and I make alive;
I wound and I heal;
and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
40    For I lift up my hand to heaven
and swear, As I live forever,
41    if I sharpen my flashing sword
and my hand takes hold on judgment,
       I will take vengeance on my adversaries
and will repay those who hate me.
42    I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
and my sword shall devour flesh—
       with the blood of the slain and the captives,
from the long-haired heads of the enemy.’
43    “Rejoice with him, O heavens;
bow down to him, all gods,
       for he avenges the blood of his children
and takes vengeance on his adversaries.
       He repays those who hate him
and cleanses his people’s land.”
44 Moses came and recited all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he and Joshua the son of Nun. 45 And when Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. 47 For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”
Moses’ Death Foretold
48 That very day the Lord spoke to Moses, 49 “Go up this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, opposite Jericho, and view the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel for a possession. 50 And die on the mountain which you go up, and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died in Mount Hor and was gathered to his people, 51 because you broke faith with me in the midst of the people of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, and because you did not treat me as holy in the midst of the people of Israel. 52 For you shall see the land before you, but you shall not go there, into the land that I am giving to the people of Israel.”
Moses’ Final Blessing on Israel
33 This is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the people of Israel before his death. 2 He said,
       “The Lord came from Sinai
and dawned from Seir upon us;
he shone forth from Mount Paran;
       he came from the ten thousands of holy ones,
with flaming fire at his right hand.
3    Yes, he loved his people,
all his holy ones were in his hand;
       so they followed in your steps,
receiving direction from you,
4    when Moses commanded us a law,
as a possession for the assembly of Jacob.
5    Thus the Lord became king in Jeshurun,
when the heads of the people were gathered,
all the tribes of Israel together.
6    “Let Reuben live, and not die,
but let his men be few.”
7 And this he said of Judah:
       “Hear, O Lord, the voice of Judah,
and bring him in to his people.
       With your hands contend for him,
and be a help against his adversaries.”
8 And of Levi he said,
       “Give to Levi your Thummim,
and your Urim to your godly one,
       whom you tested at Massah,
with whom you quarreled at the waters of Meribah;
9    who said of his father and mother,
‘I regard them not’;
       he disowned his brothers
and ignored his children.
       For they observed your word
and kept your covenant.
10    They shall teach Jacob your rules
and Israel your law;
       they shall put incense before you
and whole burnt offerings on your altar.
11    Bless, O Lord, his substance,
and accept the work of his hands;
       crush the loins of his adversaries,
of those who hate him, that they rise not again.”
12 Of Benjamin he said,
       “The beloved of the Lord dwells in safety.
       The High God surrounds him all day long,
and dwells between his shoulders.”
13 And of Joseph he said,
       “Blessed by the Lord be his land,
with the choicest gifts of heaven above,
and of the deep that crouches beneath,
14    with the choicest fruits of the sun
and the rich yield of the months,
15    with the finest produce of the ancient mountains
and the abundance of the everlasting hills,
16    with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness
and the favor of him who dwells in the bush.
       May these rest on the head of Joseph,
on the pate of him who is prince among his brothers.
17    A firstborn bull—he has majesty,
and his horns are the horns of a wild ox;
       with them he shall gore the peoples,
all of them, to the ends of the earth;
       they are the ten thousands of Ephraim,
and they are the thousands of Manasseh.”
18 And of Zebulun he said,
       “Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out,
and Issachar, in your tents.
19    They shall call peoples to their mountain;
there they offer right sacrifices;
       for they draw from the abundance of the seas
and the hidden treasures of the sand.”
20 And of Gad he said,
       “Blessed be he who enlarges Gad!
Gad crouches like a lion;
he tears off arm and scalp.
21    He chose the best of the land for himself,
for there a commander’s portion was reserved;
       and he came with the heads of the people,
with Israel he executed the justice of the Lord,
and his judgments for Israel.”
22 And of Dan he said,
       “Dan is a lion’s cub
that leaps from Bashan.”
23 And of Naphtali he said,
       “O Naphtali, sated with favor,
and full of the blessing of the Lord,
possess the lake and the south.”
24 And of Asher he said,
       “Most blessed of sons be Asher;
let him be the favorite of his brothers,
and let him dip his foot in oil.
25    Your bars shall be iron and bronze,
and as your days, so shall your strength be.
26    “There is none like God, O Jeshurun,
who rides through the heavens to your help,
through the skies in his majesty.
27    The eternal God is your dwelling place,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
       And he thrust out the enemy before you
and said, ‘Destroy.’
28    So Israel lived in safety,
Jacob lived alone,
       in a land of grain and wine,
whose heavens drop down dew.
29    Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you,
a people saved by the Lord,
       the shield of your help,
and the sword of your triumph!
       Your enemies shall come fawning to you,
and you shall tread upon their backs.”
The Death of Moses
34 Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land, Gilead as far as Dan, 2 all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the western sea, 3 the Negeb, and the Plain, that is, the Valley of Jericho the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. 4 And the Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.” 5 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord, 6 and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day. 7 Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated. 8 And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.
9 And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses. 10 And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, 12 and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel. [1]

            If looking at ch. 29 how could we not realize how fearsome God is? If we are honest with ourselves and others what do we deserve? I don’t say this in a hell and damnation way, I simply say it as fact. Praise God our sins have been atoned for or indeed we would be and should be afraid of his justice and righteousness. Ch. 30 goes on to describe the blessings of repentance and curse of Israel. We also see the dispersion's spoken of in Assyria, Babylon and Rome for sure but God’s promise is to restore them. “Indeed, the text indicates that the blessings are contingent upon the obedience of the Israelites, having turned to Him with all their heart and soul (Deut 30:2, 10). This is a Law covenant. Yet, some of the language anticipates covenants of the Gospel type, ones without conditions of human obedience. The description of the promise of land is reminiscent of Yahweh’s gracious promise in Genesis 12:2–3. The description of renewed hearts points forward to the glorious new covenant in Jeremiah 31:31–34. The ultimate restoration of God’s people comes with the salvation won by Christ. The only covenant truly workable between God and people is one based on divine initiative and mercy.”[2]
            In ch. 32 we see the song of Moses in which the description of a gracious, creative and loving God is given. However all these wonderful gifts are taken for granted by an entitled people who seek after other gods. “Since they sought a “non-god,” Yahweh will incite them to jealousy by favoring a “non-people” without understanding (Deut 32:21). This idea finds its ultimate fulfillment in the inclusion of Gentiles as God’s people, since the Israelites rejected Christ as Savior (Rom 10:19)… The use of Law and Gospel becomes particularly clear toward the end of the song. Although the people justly deserve this punishment, this is not Yahweh’s preferred approach. He uses the Law to remove their every crutch, to bring them to repentance. This second use of the Law prepares for the Gospel. “For the Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants, when he sees that their power is gone and there is none remaining, slave or free” (Deut 32:36). In the remainder of the song, Yahweh indicates how he will show that their gods were meaningless (Deut 32:37–38) and how he will avenge the enemies who ravaged Israel, His Old Testament Church (Deut 32:40–43).”[3] As the song and scripture state consistently God in the same way as Christ is described as our rock, a support, defense, stability, and solid foundation “That poignant Old/New Testament link richly illustrates Christ as the center of both testaments.”[4]

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Dt 29:1–34:12.
[2] Andrew E. Steinmann, Michael Eschelbach, et al., Called to Be God’s People: An Introduction to the Old Testament, ed. Andrew E. Steinmann, vol. 1, Called by the Gospel (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2006), 211.
[3] Andrew E. Steinmann, Michael Eschelbach, et al., Called to Be God’s People: An Introduction to the Old Testament, ed. Andrew E. Steinmann, vol. 1, Called by the Gospel (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2006), 212.
[4] Andrew E. Steinmann, Michael Eschelbach, et al., Called to Be God’s People: An Introduction to the Old Testament, ed. Andrew E. Steinmann, vol. 1, Called by the Gospel (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2006), 213.

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