Deuteronomy 10





MosesIntercession and Its Results (vs. 1-11)


1 “At that time” -  When Moses thus interceded, God commanded him to prepare

two new tables of stone, and to construct an ark in which to keep them (compare

Exodus 34). Directions had been given for the construction of the ark before the

apostasy of the people, and it was not made till after the tabernacle had been erected,

nor were the tables placed in it till the tabernacle had been consecrated (Ibid. 25:10-22;

40:20-21). But as the things themselves were closely connected, Moses mentions them

here together, without regard to chronological order - “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.”  Not only did God, of His

grace and in response to the intercession of  Moses, give to the people, notwithstanding

their apostasy, the ark of the covenant with the new tables of the Law, but He followed

this up by instituting the high priesthood; and, when Aaron died, caused it to be

continued to his son Eleazar. This Moses reminds the people of by referring to a fact in

their past history, viz. their arrival at Mosera, where Aaron died, and Eleazar succeeded

him in his office. Beeroth of the children of Jaakan (wells of the sons of Jaakan); the

same place as Benejaakan (Numbers 33:31), probably the Horite tribe, called ‘Akan

(Genesis 36:27), for which, apparently, should be read Jakan, as in I Chronicles 1:42.

Mosera; Moseroth, plu. of Mosera (Numbers 33:30). As Aaron died there, Mosera

must have been in the vicinity of Mount Hor.


7 “From thence they journeyed unto Gudgodah; and from Gudgodah to Jotbath,

a land of rivers of waters.” Gudgodah, Hor-hagidgad (Numbers 33:32); cave of

Gidgad, a place of caves. Jotbath, Jotbathah (Numbers 33:33), a district abounding

in streams, whence probably its name, Jot-bathah, pleasantness, from bf"y;, to be

good, to please. None of these places have been identified. All the places, however,

must have been in the ‘Arabah, and in the region of Mount Hor, or not far distant.

That the places mentioned here are the same as those in Numbers cannot be doubted.

The two passages, however, relate to different journeys; that in Numbers to the

journeying of the Israelites from the wilderness of Sinai to Kadesh, that in

Deuteronomy to the march in the fortieth year, when they went from Kadesh to

Mount Hor.


8 “At that time” -  the time when the covenant was restored at Sinai, not the time

when Aaron died. The appointment of the tribe of Levi for service took place in

connection with that of Aaron and his sons to the priesthood (Numbers 3:4). The

service to which the tribe of Levi was chosen appertained to the tribe as such, including

the priests as well as the non-priestly Levites, though parts of it specially belonged to

the one class rather than the other -“the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to

bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD,” -  Thus the bearing of the ark was

the special duty of non-priestly Levites, the Kohathites (Numbers 4:4; I Chronicles

15:15); but was also, on peculiarly solemn occasions, discharged by the priests

(Joshua 3:6; 6:6; 8:33; I Kings 8:3,6) - “to stand before the LORD to minister

unto Him,” - was the special function of the priests (ch.17:12; 21:5); but as the

service of the Levites was also a sacred service, they too are said to stand to minister

before the Lord (ch. 18:7; I Chronicles 15:2; II Chronicles 23:6; 29:4-5,11-12) –

and to bless in His name, unto this day.”  To bless in His name does not mean,

as some propose, to invoke the Name of God, or to praise His Name, but to

pronounce a benediction or invoke a blessing on the people in His Name (compare

II Samuel 6:18; I Chronicles 16:2). This was the special duty of the priests (compare

Numbers 6:22-27; ch.21:5; I Chronicles 23:13), but might also be done by others

(as by David), and in this benediction the Levites might join.


9  Wherefore Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the LORD

is his inheritance, according as the LORD thy God promised him.” (Compare

Numbers 18:20-24.)


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 swear

unto their fathers to give unto them.” Moses here sums up the general result of his

intercession.  As at the first, he was on the mount the second time forty days and forty

nights; and in response to his pleading, the Lord willed not to destroy Israel, and

commanded him to resume his place as leader of the people, and conduct them to the

Promised Land  This commandment and promise was a testimony that God now was

reconciled unto them by the intercession of Moses.



      The Results of the Intercessory Prayer of Moses (vs. 1-11)


  • Generally. “The Lord repented,” - (Exodus 32:14). The passage

in Numbers 23:19 is by no means contrary to this. It means that there is


 and that the fulfillment of them is not subject to human caprice; which is

gloriously true, and in perfect harmony with the before-named words.

These do not denote a change in the mind of God, but rather a change in the

Divine acts. God’s promises are, in an important sense, conditional, and His

threatenings too.  If we reject the promise and fail to rely upon it, it will not be

fulfilled in our case; so, if we repent and turn from sin, the threatenings will

cease to apply to us. The virtual withdrawal of promise or threatening is called

repenting,” not because God changes His will, but because He varies His

action. God may plan and effect a change without ever changing a plan.

(See Ezekiel 33:12-16***)


  • In detail.


Ø      There were two manifest tokens of the Divine displeasure.


o       Exodus 33:1-7; the tabernacle of Moses, where he would

hear the causes of the people, and maintain the mediatorship,

was removed from within the camp to the OUTSIDE

of it. (I had never caught this before – CY – 2012)  Still,

mercy and judgment were blended, for the pillar of cloud

did not forsake them.


o       Exodus 32:34-35; this is very obscure; but it at least means

that, though they were forgiven, yet they were chastised.




GOLDEN CALF BEING IN IT!  The intercession of Moses,

though it secured inestimable blessings, yet did not avail to

remove all reminders of their sin, or to make things as though

it had not been.


Ø      Dire threatenings were removed one by one.


o       They should not be consumed, still, only an angel should go

with them (Exodus 33:2-3).


o       The Divine presence should go with them (Ibid. vs.12-14).


Ø      Abounding mercy is vouchsafed. (according to v. 14, it seems as if the

Lord is talking only about Moses – CY – 2012) but the mercy is

gradually brought out more and more fully (Ibid. vs. 16-17), as Moses

pleads more and more persistently.



o       Though the tabernacle is out of the camp, yet

communication with Jehovah is still maintained (Ibid. v.9).


o       The old promise is renewed (Ibid. vs.12-14). “Rest!” Rest in

God. What less, what more, could they desire?


o       There was a formal renewal of the covenant (here vs.1-5).


o       Jehovah grants a new disclosure of his glory. The recent

exhibition of the frailty of man might well have crushed Moses

if he had not been sustained by a new vision of God. And what

a vision! What a declaration!  Nowhere else on earth had a Name

so glorious then been proclaimed (Exodus 33:18-23; 34:6-9).


o       The long-continued communion with God illumed the face of

Moses (Ibid. 34:29-35). Was this supernatural or miraculous?

Supernatural? Yes. Miraculous? No. We believe intensely in the

religion of the face (Acts 6:15).   Moses was full of the

Holy Ghost.  The luster without was but the index of the light

within. He had gone in unto God to plead for others, and he was

rewarded openly, by bringing down from the mount a radiance

that told with whom he had been! If our faces were more often

directed towards God in intercessory prayer, they would certainly

beam with new light, and men would take knowledge of us that

we had been with Jesus.


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,” - God had

showed great favor to Israel; what return did He require? Only what, without any

prescription, they were bound to render — fear, love, and obedience (compare

Micah 6:8) - To fear the Lord thy God (compare ch. 6:2,13). To walk in all His

ways; to receive His truth, accept His law, and follow the course of conduct

which He prescribes (compare Genesis 18:19; Psalm 25:4-5; 67:2; Acts 18:25-26).

To love Him (Exodus 20:6). “Fear with love! Love without fear relaxes;

fear without love enslaves, and leads to despair. There is a fear with which love

cannot coexist — a fear which hath torment, and which love casts out as its antagonist

(I John 4:18); but the fear of God which He requires is that pious reverence which not

only can coexist with love to Him, but is not where love is not - And to serve the

Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul – Love prompts to service.

Wherever love fills the heart, it seeks expression in acts of service to its object; and

where no such expression comes forth, the evidence is wanting of the existence of the

emotion in the bosom (John 14:15, 23; Galatians 5:13; I John 3:18).


13 To keep the commandments of the LORD, and His statutes, which I

command thee this day for thy good?”  For thy good (ch. 5:29; 6:24). In serving

the Lord the glory redoundeth unto Him, the benefit to ourselves; for them that honor

Him He will honor (I Samuel 2:30), and godliness hath the promise of the life

that  now is, and of that which is to come’ (<540408>1 Timothy 4:8)


14 “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’s thy

God, the earth also, with all that therein is.”  To love and serve the Lord,

Israel was specially bound, because of God’s love to them and choice of them

to be His people. He, the Lord and Proprietor of the universe, was free to

choose any of the nations He pleased, and needed not the service of any, but

of His free grace He chose Israel, in whose fathers He had delight, to love them

(Exodus19:5). The heaven and the heaven of heavens; the highest heavens, all

that may be called heaven, with all that it contains.


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.”  Delight (“set His love upon,” ch. 7:7); literally, cleaved to, was attached

 to. Affection, love, choice, were the three impulses which prompted God to



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

stiffnecked.” They were, therefore, to lay aside all insensibility of heart and

all obduracy, to acknowledge God’s supremacy, to imitate His beneficence,

and to fear and worship Him. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your

heart. As circumcision was the symbol of purification and sign of consecration

to God, so the Israelites are enjoined to realize in fact what that rite symbolized

purity of heart and receptivity for the things of God. This is enforced by the


 is mighty and terrible  without respect to persons, and at the same time

is a RIGHTEOUS JUDGE and THE PROTECTOR  of the helpless and




Heart Circumcision (v. 16)




Ø      Betokens the existence of natural impurity. The rite of circumcision, as

the initiatory rite of the covenant, taught that man, in his natural,

unpurified state, is unfit for fellowship with God. “In us, that is, in

 our flesh, dwells no good thing” (Romans 7:18; John 3:6). It was a symbol

of the putting away of “the filth of the flesh” — a truth now signified in

baptism (Colossians 2:11; I Peter 3:21).


Ø      Illustrates the painful nature of the renunciation of fleshly lusts. The

operation was sharp, painful, bloody. It vividly set forth at once THE


and the pain attendant on the act. We are called on to mortify our

members which are upon the earth (Colossians 3:5). The process is

described as a crucifying of the flesh, with its affections and lusts

(Galatians 5:24). The deepest form which this renunciation can assume

is the renunciation of the principle of self-will in its entirety,



Ø      Implies the grace of the covenant. The reception of God’s grace as

exhibited in the covenant is the condition of the possibility of this

renunciation. We achieve it, not in our own strength, but through the

impartation of a new principle of life. Paul makes it a result of faith in

the risen Christ (Colossians 2:12). The circumcised heart marks the accepted

and restored recipient of the grace of God — a child of the spiritual

covenant, ONE BORN AGAIN!




Ø      As distinguished from outward circumcision. The latter was valueless

without the former. Being but a symbol, its sole worth lay in that which it

represented. The true Jew was he who was one inwardly, whose

circumcision was that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter”

(Romans 2:28-29). The remark applies to baptism. It also is but a

symbol, and without the grace which it exhibits, and the inward

renewal which it betokens, it is a dead work, a valueless rite, leaving

 its subject as little a Christian as at first. So with all ceremonies!


Ø      As a positive qualification for Gods service. Pure obedience can flow

only from a pure heart, a renewed will. It is not a fruit of the flesh. The

flesh must be renounced, and a new and spiritual nature begotten in us

before we can render it. What is needed is not REFORMATION but

REGENERATION a new birth, a new creation, a new heart

(John 3:3; Romans 7:18-25; 8:7; II Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:16-25).


17 “For the LORD your God is God of gods,” - (Psalm 136:2). Not only

supreme over all that are called god, but the complex and sum of all that is

Divine; the Great Reality, of which the “gods many” (I Corinthians 8:5)

of the nations were at  the best but the symbols of particular attributes or qualities.

and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth

not persons,” – God is not partial, as a judge who has respect to the condition and

circumstances of parties rather than to the merits of the case (Leviticus 19:15;

Acts 10:34; Ephesians 6:9; Jude 1:16).  nor taketh reward:” - doth not accept

presents as bribes (ch.16:19; II Chronicles 19:7; Job 34:19; Micah 3:11).


18 “He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and

loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.”  As THE IMPARTIAL

AND INCORRUPTIBLE JUDGE, GOD  executes the judgment of the

fatherless and widow, vindicates the right of the defenseless (Psalm 68:6; 146:9);

and as the God of the whole earth, He loveth the stranger, helpless, and it may

be oppressed, and giveth him food and raiment. Following Him, Israel, as His

people, were to be benevolent to the stranger, inasmuch as they themselves

had been strangers in Egypt, and knew by experience what it was to be a stranger

(Exodus 22:21; Leviticus 19:33-34). They were to love the stranger as God loves

him,  by relieving his necessities (James 2:15-16).  “But whoso hath this

world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels

of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”  (I John 2:17)


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



20 “Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; Him shalt thou serve, and to

Him shalt thou cleave, and swear by His name.” Reverting to his main theme,

Moses anew exhorts Israel to fear Jehovah their God, and to show true reverence

to Him by serving Him, by cleaving to Him, and by swearing in His Name (ch. 4:4;

6:13; Acts 11:23). Such reverence was due from Israel to God, because of the great

things He had done for them, and those terrible acts by which His mighty power had

been displayed on their behalf.


21 “He is thy praise,” -  i.e. the Object of thy praise; the Being who had given them

abundant cause to praise Him, and whom they were bound continually to praise

(Psalm 22:3; 109:1; Jeremiah 17:14) -  “and He is thy God, that hath done for

thee” -  literally, with thee, i.e. either in thy view or towards thee, for thy behoof

(compare ch.1:30; I Samuel 12:7; Zechariah 7:9; and such an expression as

deal kindly [literally, do kindness] with,”  (Genesis 24:49) – “these great and

terrible things,” - acts which by their greatness and awful effects inspired

fear and dread into those by whom they were witnessed - “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.” Among other marvelous acts toward Israel, was one done in

Israel itself; they, whoso fathers went down to Egypt only seventy in number

(Genesis 46:26-27), had, notwithstanding the cruel oppression to which they were

subjected there, grown to a nation numberless as the stars (Genesis 22:17; ch.1:10; <

Nehemiah 9:23).



The Supreme Persuasive (vs, 14-22)


The revelation of God’s character in its double aspect of EXALTED




  • GOD EXALTED, YET STOOPING. (vs. 14-16.) The wonder of



Ø      That One so exalted should stoop at all. The wonder is not abated by

reflecting that infinite perfection must include infinite mercy with every

other attribute. It fills us with amazement to think of the Possessor of

heaven and earth stooping to hold friendly converse with His creature,

man.  The Bible dwells on the thought with astonishment (I Kings 8:27;

Psalm 8:3-4; 147:3-6; Isaiah 57:15). Modern science indirectly

testifies to the wonder in objecting that, with our enlarged conceptions of

the universe, it is impossible to believe that God should feel the special

interest in man which the Bible says He does.  (I recommend typing

in Fantastic Trip in your browser for a proper perspective – CY –



Ø      That One so exalted should stoop so far. God’s depth of

condescension is seen peculiarly in the gospel.


o       In sending His Only Begotten Son!

o       In surrendering Him to death for you and me!

o       This for enemies.  “while we were yet sinners

Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8)

o       In dwelling by the Spirit in imperfectly sanctified hearts

(John 3:16; 14:23*; Romans 5:6-10; 8:32; II Corinthians



The persuasiveness of the revelation lies in its blending of majesty with grace.



SYMPATHETIC. (vs. 17-20.)  Another aspect of the Divine greatness,

blending with lowliness, which attracts the heart. The combination of great

strength with great gentleness; of judicial sternness with humane

consideration of those in distress, are sufficiently rare to be always

striking.  We marvel when, in the hero of a hundred battles, we discover a

heart of woman’s tenderness; when in the judge whose strictness on the

bench every one remarks, we light on a spring of deep and genuine

compassionateness. It is this combination we see in God. A God of

gods, a Lord of lords; great, mighty, terrible, sternly just; yet,

what might seem incompatible with this, TENDERLY AND

TOUCHINGLY COMPASSIONATE!   His might and equity,

so terrible to evil-doers, He throws as a shield around the

fatherless, the widow, and the stranger. He executes their judgment.

They are His peculiar care. Them, above all others, will He not allow to be

wronged (Psalm 68:5).  “For the Lord your God….regardeth not

persons, nor taketh reward” (v. 17).  We have in the Word of God

no fewer than ten to twelve quotations or uses of this text, each one

setting it in some special aspect as a point of doctrine, or drawing

therefrom some special inference on a matter of duty!




Power in itself awakens fear; power known to be engaged in our protection

and for our good inspires the highest confidence. Moses recalls to the

Israelites, as a reason for fearing and loving God, His acts of power on

their behalf, especially His power as exerted in their extraordinary increase.

God’s power may be viewed as displayed:


Ø      In the Church’s redemption (Colossians 1:13).


Ø       In the Church’s increase (Acts 5:38-39).


Ø      In the Church’s protection from her foes (Matthew 16:18;

Acts 4:24, 31).


The individual Christian will have reason to rejoice in the same power:


o       As exerted in his conversion (Ephesians 1:19),

o       in his upholding (Jude 1:24),

o       in his protection (Romans 8:35-39),

o       in his ULTIMATE SALVATION (I Peter 1:5).



"Excerpted text Copyright AGES Library, LLC. All rights reserved.

Materials are reproduced by permission."


This material can be found at:


If this exposition is helpful, please share with others.