Deuteronomy 10 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

Moses on Mt Nebo (Deuteronomy 34:1+)
Listen to Mt Nebo as you Ponder How Moses' May Have Felt
Deuteronomy by Irving Jensen- used by permission
Source: Ryrie Study Bible


Dt 1:1-4:43 Dt 4:44-26:19 Dt 27:1-34:12




Historical Review Legal

Looking Back

40 Years

Looking Up
What God
Expected of Israel
Looking Ahead
What God
Will Do for Israel
Recapitulation of Wanderings Rehearsal
of Israel's Law
of Israel's Covenant
Historical Appendices
Remembrance of the past Commandments
for the Present
Dt 27:1-30:20
Blessing and Cursing
Dt 31:1-34:12
Death of Moses
Take Heed
Don't forget
Two Choices Affecting
the Future
Moses' Parting Words
Dt 1:1-4:43
Looking Back
Dt 4:44-11:32
Exposition of Decalogue
Dt 12:1-16:17
Ceremonial Laws
Dt 16:18-20:20
Dt 21:1-26:19
Dt 27:1-28:68
Ratification of Covenant
Dt 29:1-30:20
Terms of Covenant
Dt 31:1-34:12
Moses' Song, Blessing, Death

Plains of Moab

ca. 2 Months
Moses: Author

(Except Dt 34)

Deuteronomy 10:1  "At that time the LORD said to me, 'Cut out for yourself two tablets of stone like the former ones, and come up to Me on the mountain, and make an ark of wood for yourself.

Related Passages:

Exodus 34:1-4+  Now the LORD said to Moses, “Cut out for yourself two stone tablets like the former ones, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets which you shattered. 2 “So be ready by morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to Me on the top of the mountain. 3 “No man is to come up with you, nor let any man be seen anywhere on the mountain; even the flocks and the herds may not graze in front of that mountain.” 4 So he cut out two stone tablets like the former ones, and Moses rose up early in the morning and went up to Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and he took two stone tablets in his hand.

Exodus 25:10-16  They shall construct an ark of acacia wood two and a half cubits long, and one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high. 11“You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and you shall make a gold molding around it. 12 “You shall cast four gold rings for it and fasten them on its four feet, and two rings shall be on one side of it and two rings on the other side of it. 13 “You shall make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14“You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, to carry the ark with them. 15 “The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be removed from it. 16“You shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you. 


At that time - What time? This follows Moses' model intercessory prayer in the Dt 9:25-29+

Keil - In vv. 1-5 Moses briefly relates the success of his earnest intercession. (Deuteronomy 9)

Deere explains that "The Lord, acting on Moses' request not to destroy the people, rewrote the Ten Commandments on stone tablets." (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

POSB - it was the wonderful mercy of God that saved God's people....Moses wanted the second generation of believers to grasp and understand this fact: it was the mercy of God that had saved their parents at Mt. Sinai. It was the mercy of God that gave them a second chance, that caused God to turn from His pronounced judgment. God had mercy upon the people, and they were saved. They were given another chance, another opportunity to follow and obey God. God reestablished His covenant, His contract with the people. He would fully restore them and give them every promise He had ever made, but they had to obey Him. They must keep the Ten Commandments. (Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible – Deuteronomy)

McIntosh feels the main idea in this section - Moses recalls for Israel a long series of kindnesses that were the result of God's grace. These were designed to produce a wholehearted love of God and a life of obedience. (Holman Old Testament Commentary)

The LORD said to me, 'Cut out for yourself two tablets of stone like the former ones, and come up to Me on the mountain, and make an ark of wood for yourself - "The effectiveness of Moses's intercession is apparent: The Lord told him to make two more tablets." (Merrill) Recall that the first two tablets were made by the LORD Himself (Ex 24:12, Ex 31:18) This construction was done in association with the building the tabernacle (Ex. 37:1-5; Ex 40:20-21). Clearly this points out that God had responded to Moses' intercession affirmatively. In reading this verse one might assume Moses made the ark before he ascended Mt Sinai the second time but that cannot be the case because Ex 37:1-9 describes Bezalel building the ark. 

Guzik - Moses broke the tablets of the law, not only out of anger, but also as a powerful visual representation of Israel’s breaking of the law of God. Now God commanded that the law be restored by bringing forth two new tablets of the law.  (Deuteronomy 10)

NET Note on ark - Or "chest" (so NIV, CEV); NLT "sacred chest"; TEV "wooden box." This chest was made of acacia wood; it is later known as the ark of the covenant. 

McIntosh - Some critics have used this description to discredit the historical validity of the Deuteronomy account, but the easiest solution is simply to recognize that the accounts are supplementary. Moses at this stage of his ministry was not concerned to give a strict chronology, but he compressed his recollection of the events to single out the key point: God was renewing the broken covenant with Israel and insisting that the record of that covenant (at least in summary) should remain at the center of Israel's existence, in the chest, the ark of the covenant.  (Holman Old Testament Commentary)

Merrill - In the Exodus account, the instruction to build the sacred chest immediately follows the account of Moses's ascent up Mount Sinai to receive the tablets (Ex 25:10-22; cf. Ex 24:12). Here it seems that the command to build the chest follows Moses's descent from the mountain and the shattering of the tablets. The best resolution of the apparent difference is to view the Exodus instruction as only that and not as a record of work done (Keil and Delitzsch n.d.:340). In fact, the Ark appears not to have been built until sometime after the golden calf incident, and then by Bezalel (Exod 37:1). The instruction to Moses here to make the chest (Dt 10:1) and his apparent compliance (Dt 10:3) need not be pressed to mean that he did it with his own hands but only that he had it done. (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary)

The chronology of the 40 days, Moses' intercession, building of the ark, etc, is very confusing. Kalland writes "Dischronologized narrative is not uncommon in the OT." (The Expositor's Bible Commentary – Volume 3: Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel)

Here is Meredith Kline's comment (although I must be honest to say I am still somewhat confused) -

"See Ex 34:1-4a, which possibly belongs chronologically between Ex 32:29 and Ex 32:30. Similarly, Deut 10:1a precedes in time Dt 9:18-20 and Dt 9:25-29. There is further disregard of chronological distinctions within Dt 10:1-5, for the mention of the construction of the ark as the depository for the stone tablets is interwoven with the account of the hewing and engraving of this second set of treaty texts. It was actually after the second period of forty days that Moses had Bezalel construct the ark (Ex 35:30 ff.; Ex 36:2; Ex 37:1) and it was, of course, some time later that Moses put the testimony in the ark (Ex 40:20) and then put the ark in the Tabernacle (Ex 40:21). The condensed, summarizing treatment in Deut 10:1-5 reflects the requirement found in the international suzerainty treaties that the duplicate covenant texts were to be deposited in the sanctuaries of the two covenant parties in order thus to be under the surveillance of the oath deities. In the case of God's covenant with Israel, there was but one sanctuary involved, since God, the covenant Suzerain, was also the God who had his sanctuary in Israel. The purpose of 10:1-5 being to state in a comprehensive and general way that God had mercifully reconfirmed the covenant with the rebellious vassals, Moses included the matter of the ark as a familiar and integral element in the standard ratification procedure. (Wycliffe Bible Commentary on Deuteronomy)

Deuteronomy 10:2  'I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets which you shattered, and you shall put them in the ark.'

  • you shall put them De 10:5 Ex 25:16-22 40:20 1Ki 8:9 Heb 9:4 
  • Deuteronomy 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 4:13+ “So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.

Exodus 32:15-16+ Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets which were written on both sides; they were written on one side and the other. 16 The tablets were God’s work, and the writing was God’s writing engraved on the tablets.

Exodus 34:1+ Now the LORD said to Moses, “Cut out for yourself two stone tablets like the former ones, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets which you shattered.

Exodus 34:28+ So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.


'I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets which you shattered, and you shall put them in the ark - The God of the "second chance." Or better the God of amazing mercy and grace to renew the covenant with Israel after the sordid, sad golden calf fiasco. God does not change what He is writing, for these would be the same words as on the former tablets. And remember Moses is speaking to the second generation and this manifestation of God's amazing grace should have served to energize loving obedience. While He is holy and does not wink at our sin, praise God that He is truly the God of the Second Chance! Hallelujah! Amen!  

NET Note on words that were on the former tablets - The same words. The care with which the replacement copy must be made underscores the importance of verbal precision in relaying the LORD’s commandments.

Guzik - God wanted His written word to be the starting point for Israel’s right walk with Him. Therefore He restored the tablets, even writing on the second tablets with His own hand. This is a powerful picture of the inspiration of God’s word; though God did not literally write the Scriptures with His own hand, He did perfectly guide the minds and hands of the writers, so that the Scriptures are “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16), that is, given by the inspiration of God. Getting right with God after a time of rebellion must always begin and center on God’s word. In the days of Josiah, King of Judah, repentance and revival came to the people of God when they focused on God’s word again (2 Kings 22:8-23:25). (Deuteronomy 10)

MacArthur - This refers to the ark of the covenant. Moses telescoped the events in these verses. Later, at the construction of the ark of the covenant, Moses placed the two new stone tablets within that ark (see Ex 37:1-9). (MacArthur Study Bible)

ESV Study Bible - It was a common practice in the ancient Near East to deposit covenant documents in religious shrines, one copy for each party.

HCSB Study Bible. The fact that the new tablets had the same words as the first suggests that Moses was not free to improvise and capture just the essence of their wording. This attention to precise detail lays the foundation for a verbal plenary view of inspiration. God's Word may have come through human instruments, but it was done so without error of the slightest kind (2Ti 3:16-17; 2Pe 1:20-21). The commandments were engraved on two tablets because each party to a covenant must have a copy. Both copies were deposited in the ark of the covenant (Ex 25:16), probably because it was a location held in common by both parties.

Related Resource:

Deuteronomy 10:3  "So I made an ark of acacia wood and cut out two tablets of stone like the former ones, and went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hand.

Related Passages:

Exodus 37:1-9+  Now Bezalel ( Who were Bezalel) made the ark of acacia wood; its length was two and a half cubits, and its width one and a half cubits, and its height one and a half cubits; 2 and he overlaid it with pure gold inside and out, and made a gold molding for it all around. 3He cast four rings of gold for it on its four feet; even two rings on one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it. 4 He made poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold. 5 He put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, to carry it. 6 He made a mercy seat of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and one and a half cubits wide. 7 He made two cherubim of gold; he made them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat; 8 one cherub at the one end and one cherub at the other end; he made the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at the two ends. 9 The cherubim had their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces toward each other; the faces of the cherubim were toward the mercy seat. 

So - Don't miss this little word "so." God instructed Moses SO Moses obeyed in contrast to the majority of Israel. 

I made an ark of acacia wood and cut out two tablets of stone like the former ones, and went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hand - In fact we know that Bezalel made the ark. Moses as the leader of the people says he did it even though the actual accomplishment was ascribed to Bezalel (Ex 37:1-9). Even in Ex 25:10 (before the golden calf incident) God clearly specifies "They shall construct an ark of acacia wood two and a half cubits long, and one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high." 

NET Note on Acacia wood (Heb “shittim wood”). This is wood from the acacia, the most common timber tree of the Sinai region. Most likely it is the species Acacia raddiana because this has the largest trunk.

Related Resources:

  • 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica Acacia
  • International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Acacia
  • McClintock and Strong's Bible Encyclopedia Acacia
  • The Jewish Encyclopedia Acacia

Norman Geisler -  DEUTERONOMY 10:1–3—When was the Ark made?

PROBLEM: According to many other verses, the ark was made before the 40 years wandering (Ex. 25:10; 35:12; 37:1). But according to this passage Moses made the ark of the covenant after the 40 years wandering.

SOLUTION: Some believe the first ark may have been a temporary one and the later one more permanent (cf. Ex. 33:8). Some Jewish commentators believe there were two arks, one to go to war and the other to stay in the tabernacle. Other scholars believe Moses may have ordered the construction of the ark before he went up into Mt. Sinai by way of Bezaleel. Still others believe Moses may be combining here (in Deut. 10:1–3) things that were closely related in concept but separated in time. Thus, the phrase “make yourself an ark of [acacia] wood” would refer to the command given earlier (Ex. 25:10) and the command to hew two new tables of stone after Moses had seen the glory of God (Ex. 33).(When Critics Ask

QUESTION - What is the ark of the testimony?

ANSWER - The first mention of the ark of the testimony is in Exodus 25:10. God gave Moses specific instructions for building a tabernacle as they traveled in the wilderness. The tabernacle would be the place where the glory of God would dwell among them (Exodus 25:8–9). Among hundreds of other descriptive instructions for this tabernacle, God told Moses to build an ark of the testimony, also called the ark of the covenant (Exodus 25:21–22). The words testimony and covenant both refer to the conditional agreement made between God and the children of Israel at Mount Sinai. An ark is, literally, a box or chest. So the ark of the testimony is the “box of the agreement.”

The ark of the testimony was a wooden box, covered in gold inside and out. It had four exterior rings through which poles could be attached for carrying. No one but the high priest could touch the ark (Numbers 4:15). To do so would result in instant death, as happened with a man named Uzzah (2 Samuel 6:1–7). God was beginning to teach His people about His holiness and their unworthiness. He demonstrated to them that His commands were not suggestions to be negotiated. He wanted to teach them to obey Him in all things, whether or not they understood the reason for the rules.

The lid of the ark was also made of gold and formed a seat between two cherubim, called the mercy seat. It was there that God would meet with His people (Exodus 25:22). Inside the ark of the testimony, Moses placed the tablets of the Law that God gave him on the mountain. The ark was placed inside the tabernacle in the most holy place, where only the high priest could go once a year (Exodus 26:34). Through it all, God was painting a picture to help us understand what is required for sinful man to come into the presence of a holy God.

The ark of the testimony got its name from the fact that it would be the housing for God’s testimony to His people. His Law was not only verbal, but written, etched in stone (Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 5:22), so there could be no excuse for disobedience. Hebrews 9:4 tells us that, later, the Israelites added to the stone tablets within the ark of the testimony a jar of manna (Exodus 16:32–33) and Aaron’s rod that budded (Numbers 17:8–10).

The ark of the testimony represented the presence of God with His people, and His power went with them wherever they took the ark (Joshua 3:6; Numbers 10:33–35). The enemies of Israel, the Philistines, stole the ark once (1 Samuel 5:1), hoping its power would help them. They set it in their idol’s temple and waited for the good luck it would bring. But calamity broke out among the Philistines, until they begged their leaders to send the ark back to Israel (1 Samuel 5:4, 6, 9, 11–12). God demonstrated that He was not a good-luck charm whose power could be had by whoever captured His ark. The power was not in the ark of the testimony itself; the ark only represented the presence of God with His people.

Since the death and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 14:9), God no longer uses an ark of the testimony to dwell with His people. We are under a new testament or covenant. At Pentecost, He sent the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer (Acts 2:1–4, 38–39). We become His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19). When we have been born again by faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:3, 16), we take God with us everywhere we go. It did the Philistines no good to harbor the ark, because the ark had no power in itself if God was not on their side. Likewise, we do not need physical items—crosses, images, holy relics—to carry the power of God with us because He already abides in us. That awareness of His presence, called the fear of the Lord (Psalm 19:19; Proverbs 15:33), helps us make decisions that honor

Related Resources:

Deuteronomy 10:4  "He wrote on the tablets, like the former writing, the Ten Commandments which the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly; and the LORD gave them to me.

  • He wrote on the tablets De 9:10 Ex 34:28 
  • the Ten Commandments: De 4:13 
  • which: De 5:4-21 Ex 20:1-17 
  • from of the: De 4:11-15 5:22-26 Ex 19:18 Heb 12:18,19 
  • in the day: De 9:10 18:16 Ex 19:17 
  • Deuteronomy 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


Commandments is the Hebrew word (dabar) for word. The word redux means brought back, returned as used in literature. 

He wrote on the tablets, like the former writing, the Ten Commandments which the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly; and the LORD gave them to me - Imagine being handed something by the Almighty God of the Universe! Moses was! And also ponder the words which the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire. The adults of the second generation who were alive at Mt Sinai heard God and saw a frightening manifestation of His holiness. This is an experience that would be unforgettable and should motivate them to love Him and live for Him all their days. Note that the Lord did not add to or take away from the commandments. (cf Dt 4:2+, Dt 12:32+).

NET NoteTen Commandments - Heb “ten words.” The “Ten Commandments” are known in Hebrew as the “Ten Words,” which in Greek became the “Decalogue.”

G Campbell Morgan - Deuteronomy 10:4 He wrote on the tables, according to the first writing.—Deut. 10.4.
Moses now told the people again the story of how God gave him the writing of the great words of the Law a second time, and distinctly affirmed that the second tables were also written by the finger of God. In the previous chapter we read how he told them that he had broken the first two tables in the hour of his consternation in the presence of their sin in making the golden calf. What an experience this must have been to Moses! We can understand with what fulness of heart he would remember it, and refer to it in these last discourses ere he left the people. That breaking of the first tables was natural; and unintentionally, it was symbolic. That is what man has ever done with the law of God. Here then is the impressive fact about the writing of the second tables. That is what God is ever doing. The whole Bible is full of the truth that He finds a way for His banished ones to return, gives to failing man his second chance; writes again the , broken law, restores the years the canker-worm has eaten, makes the marred vessel over anew, seeks and saves the lost. Upon the basis of that grace, men may hope, and start anew. In a passage of great beauty, thrilling with earnestness, Moses summarized the requirements of God in view of His grace. Let these be considered with care. The people were to fear Him, that is reverence; to walk in His ways, that is obedience; to love Him, that is worship; to serve Him, that is co-operation; to keep His commandments, that is fidelity. (G Campbell Morgan - Life Applications from Every Chapter of the Bible)

Deuteronomy 10:5  "Then I turned and came down from the mountain and put the tablets in the ark which I had made; and there they are, as the LORD commanded me."

  • I turned: De 9:15 Ex 32:15 34:29 
  • put the: De 10:2 Ex 25:16 40:20 
  • there they: Jos 4:9 1Ki 8:8,9 
  • Deuteronomy 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Aaron's Budding Rod, Jar of Manna, Two Tables of Law

Then I turned and came down from the mountain and put the tablets in the ark which I had made - As noted above Bezalel made the ark. The text does not demand that Moses carried out the act of putting the tablets in the ark the very day he descended.

And there they are, as the LORD commanded me - There the tablets of the covenant were as evidence that God had not abrogated the covenant despite 40 years of continual disobedience. As Moses had reminded the second generation in Dt 9:24 "You have been rebellious against the LORD from the day I knew you ." 

Merrill - And since the Ark represented the royal throne on which Yahweh sat invisibly, it was appropriate that the covenant text be located there (cf. 1 Sa 4:4; 2 Sa 6:2; Isa 37:16). This was not to remind Yahweh of his obligations but to symbolize to Israel the certainty of his faithfulness. Israel's copy of the text, located perhaps in the royal palace later on (cf. Dt 17:18-20), was to be kept ready at hand as a witness to their obligation before God to maintain covenant faithfulness.  (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary)

Deuteronomy 10:6  (Now the sons of Israel set out from Beeroth Bene-jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron died and there he was buried and Eleazar his son ministered as priest in his place.

  • set out Nu 10:6,12,13 33:1,2 
  • Moserah: Nu 33:30-33
  • there Aaron: Nu 20:23-28 Nu 33:38 
  • Deuteronomy 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages: 

Numbers 33:30-31+ They journeyed from Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth. 31 They journeyed from Moseroth and camped at Bene-jaakan.

Numbers 20:23-28+ Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor by the border of the land of Edom, saying, 24 “Aaron will be gathered to his people; for he shall not enter the land which I have given to the sons of Israel, (WHY AARON COULD NOT ENTER PROMISED LAND) because you (BOTH) rebelled against My command at the waters of Meribah. 25 “Take Aaron and his son Eleazar and bring them up to Mount Hor; 26 and strip Aaron of his garments and put them on his son Eleazar. So Aaron will be gathered to his people, and will die there.” 27 So Moses did just as the LORD had commanded, and they went up to Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. 28 After Moses had stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on his son Eleazar, Aaron died there on the mountain top. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain.

Numbers 33:38+  Then Aaron the priest went up to Mount Hor at the command of the LORD, and died there in the fortieth year after the sons of Israel had come from the land of Egypt, on the first day in the fifth month.


Dt 10:6-10 is parenthetical naming places none of which can be definitively located today. 

Now the sons of Israel set out from Beeroth Bene-jaakan to Moserah - (Nu 33:30-31) While we do not know this specific location, we know it has to be near Mount Hor (click here to see Mount Hor in center of this map and dotted line journeying south) because Nu 20:25+ says "Take Aaron and his son Eleazar and bring them up to Mount Hor...Aaron will be gathered to his people, and will die there.” Moserah apparently is the district in which Mt. Hor is located. 

There Aaron died and there he was buried and Eleazar his son ministered as priest in his place - The high priest was a hereditary office, not something one could simply take for themselves but had to be from the line of Aaron (Nu 17:3, 8). Two of Aaron's sons has already died (Lev 10:1-5), leaving Eleazar and Ithamar but Eleazar was the eldest and first in line. This is obviously near the end of the 38 years of wilderness wandering. This detail emphasizes that now that He had renewed His covenant with Israel, He made sure their priestly line would continue. 

Hard Sayings of the Bible -  Where Did Aaron Die?
Numbers 20:28, as well as Numbers 33:38–39, indicates that Aaron died on Mount Hor. Deuteronomy 10:6, however, seems to locate Aaron’s death at Moserah. Furthermore, if we follow the sequence of places in Numbers 33:30–33, it does not fit the journey schedule listed just before the death of Aaron given in Deuteronomy 10:6 or Numbers 20:28 and 33:38–39. Which is correct, and how did the error, if that is what it is, creep into the text?

The sequence of the camping sites on the wilderness journey in Numbers 33:30–33 is different from the sequence of Deuteronomy 10:6–9. Numbers 33:31–33 has Moseroth and Bene Jaakan, Haggidgad and Jotbathah. But this was an earlier journey than the later journey back to Kadesh mentioned in Numbers 33:37. It would appear that Israel left Kadesh and traveled toward Edom and then returned to Kadesh before starting on their last trip around Edom up into the plains of Moab.

The best solution that can be posed to this problem so far is that Moserah is probably a larger area that included Mount Hor. Thus it would be quite correct to declare that Aaron’s death was either on Mount Hor (Num 20:22–29; 33:38–39; Deut 32:50) or Moserah (Deut 10:6).

Question - Who was Eleazar in the Bible?

Answer - Eleazar was one of four sons born to Aaron, Moses’ brother and high priest of the Israelites. Eleazar is featured often in the account of the Israelites’ wanderings in the wilderness. Like his father and brothers, Eleazar was consecrated as a priest in service to the Lord (Exodus 28:1).

Eleazar and his brother Ithamar remained faithful in their service, but Eleazar’s other brothers did not. Nadab and Abihu “offered unauthorized fire to the LORD” in the desert of Sinai (Leviticus 10:1; Numbers 3:4). Because they did not respect the Lord and honor His commands, God destroyed both of them with fire. Through Moses, God commanded Aaron, Eleazar, and Ithamar to refrain from mourning. They had been consecrated with oil and were to remain at the tabernacle on pain of death. God also gave them instructions to never drink alcohol when the time came to enter the tent of meeting and told them how to present the food offerings. These men and their families were allowed to eat the leftover food offerings, provided they followed certain rules (Leviticus 10:12–15).

Eleazar eventually became the chief of all the Levites, the Israelite tribe God had set apart for priestly service, and he was put in charge of the workings of the tabernacle (Numbers 3:32; 4:16). While the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, Eleazar was responsible for offering sacrifices on behalf of the people (Numbers 19:1–8). When Korah, Dathan, and Abiram gathered 250 men and rebelled against Moses, God ordered Korah and the 250 men to burn incense before Him. God then judged Korah and his followers by sending fire to consume them (Numbers 16:35). Eleazar was given the grisly job of sifting through the ashes to gather the censers the men had used to burn the incense. The censers were to be melted down, hammered into sheets, and used to overlay the altar in the tabernacle.

In Numbers 20:22–29, on the day of Aaron’s death on Mount Horeb, Moses had taken both Aaron and Eleazar up the peak to transfer Aaron’s priestly garments to Eleazar. This gesture was a ceremonial confirmation that Eleazar was taking over for his father as high priest. Eleazar continued as high priest for the rest of his life, serving the Israelites as a mediator, adviser, and intercessor before the Lord. Eleazar commissioned Joshua as Moses’ successor and later helped with such matters as the division of land when the Israelites finally took possession of Canaan (Numbers 34:17; Joshua 14:1; 19:51).

Eleazar had a son named Phineas, who also served the Lord faithfully (see Numbers 25). Eleazar eventually passed away and was buried in Gibeah, the land that had been given to his son Phineas when the Israelites settled in the Promised Land. The high priest was chosen from Eleazar’s line for seven generations, until the time of Eli, who was of the house of Eleazar’s brother Ithamar. During the time of King Solomon, Zadok was appointed as the high priest, returning that office to the family of Eleazar (1 Kings 2:35).

There are seven other men named Eleazar found in the Bible, although none quite as noteworthy as Aaron’s son. Some were Levitical priests, one was of the same line as Jesus, one was known for having married and divorced a foreign wife, and one even fought the Philistines “till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword” (2 Samuel 23:10). You can read about each of these other men named Eleazar in 1 Samuel 7:1; 2 Samuel 23:9–10; 1 Chronicles 11:12; 23:21–22 and 24:28; Ezra 8:33; 10:2 and 25; Nehemiah 12:42; and Matthew 1:15. |

Norman Geisler -  DEUTERONOMY 10:6—Did Aaron die at Moserah, or did he die at the top of Mount Hor?

PROBLEM: According to Deuteronomy 10:6, Aaron died in Moserah and was buried there. However, according to Numbers 20:27–28 and 33:38, Aaron died at the top of Mount Hor and was buried there. Where did Aaron die, in Moserah or on the top of Mount Hor?

SOLUTION: Both statements are true. Moserah was a location in which Israel camped during their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. Moserah was probably an area near the border of Edom. It is reasonable to assume that Mount Hor was located within the boundaries of this area. Similarly, Horeb was the name of a group of mountains in which Mount Sinai was located. Consequently, it is not a contradiction to claim that Aaron died and was buried both in Moserah and on the top of Mount Hor. Moserah was the district, and Mount Hor the specific location. (When Critics Ask

Deuteronomy 10:7  From there they set out to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land of brooks of water.

Related Passage:

Numbers 33:32-34+ They journeyed from Bene-jaakan and camped at Hor-haggidgad (SAME AS GUDGODAH HERE IN Dt 10:7). 33 They journeyed from Hor-haggidgad and camped at Jotbathah. 34They journeyed from Jotbathah and camped at Abronah.

From there - From where? From Mt Sinai where they had sinned, Moses had interceded and Israel was forgiven and spared the consequences of the

they set out to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land of brooks of water - Although the text does not say it clearly Yahweh was guiding Israel step by step to each of these locations, even to a land of precious water. The point is that once God renewed His covenant with Israel, He continued to guide them toward the Promised Land, which was His ultimate goal for them. 

THOUGHT - God leads us step by step as we march to the promised land of heaven. The march through the wilderness of this world is sometimes burdensome and difficult. Trial after trial confronts us, and temptation after temptation threatens to conquer us. But God promises to lead and guide us every step of the way, even as He led Israel to the edge of the promised land. 

Deuteronomy 10:8  At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to serve Him and to bless in His name until this day.

KJV  Deuteronomy 10:8 At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day.

NET  Deuteronomy 10:8 At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the LORD's covenant, to stand before the LORD to serve him, and to formulate blessings in his name, as they do to this very day.

NLT  Deuteronomy 10:8 At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the Ark of the LORD's Covenant, and to stand before the LORD as his ministers, and to pronounce blessings in his name. These are their duties to this day.

ESV  Deuteronomy 10:8 At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD to stand before the LORD to minister to him and to bless in his name, to this day.

NIV  Deuteronomy 10:8 At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still do today.

  • At that time the LORD Ex 29:1-37 Lev 8:9 Nu 1:47-53 Nu 3:1-4:49 Nu 8:1-26 Nu 16:9,10 Nu 18:1-32 Joh 15:16 Ac 13:2 Ro 1:1 2Co 6:17 Ga 1:15 
  • to carry the ark Nu 3:31 4:15 1Ki 8:3,4,6 1Ch 15:12-15,26 23:26 2Ch 5:4,5 
  • to stand: De 18:5 2Ch 29:11 Ps 134:2 135:2 Jer 15:19 Eze 44:11,15 Ro 12:7 
  • to bless: De 21:5 Lev 9:22 Nu 6:23-26 2Ch 30:27 


At that time - What time? Israel was still camped about Mt Sinai. Setting aside of the tribe of Levi is recorded in Ex. 32:26-29; Nu. 3:6-14 and Deut. 21:5.

The LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to serve Him and to bless in His name until this day - For the setting apart of Levi see Ex. 32:26-29+; Nu 3:6-14+; Deut. 21:5+.

So not only did God provide a high priest, but also gave Israel a permanent (until this day) corps of ministers from the tribe of Levi. They had three main functions - (1) transport and take care of the Tabernacle (which housed the ark of the covenant), (2) to mediate between Yahweh and the people and (3) to lead the people in worship to bless the Name of the LORD. 

NET Note The LORD set apart the tribe of Levi. This was not the initial commissioning of the tribe of Levi to this ministry (cf. Nu 3:11–13; Nu 8:12–26), but with Aaron’s death it seemed appropriate to Moses to reiterate Levi’s responsibilities. There is no reference in the Book of Numbers to this having been done, but the account of Eleazar’s succession to the priesthood there (Nu 20:25–28) would provide a setting for this to have occurred.

NET Note on bless His Name - To formulate blessings. The most famous example of this is the priestly “blessing formula” of Num 6:24–26.

Guzik - This parenthesis speaking about the priesthood demonstrated the need for priestly sacrifice and intercession in getting right with God after a time of rebellion. Israel needed the sacrifice, intercession, and blessing that the Levites would bring to the nation. The need for a priesthood shouted to Israel: “You can’t do it on your own. You need to come to God through a mediator, who will atone for your sin, pray for you, and bless you. If you refuse your priestly mediator, and trust in your own ability to do these things, you will perish.” (Deuteronomy 10)

Norman Geisler -  DEUTERONOMY 10:8–9—Are priests distinguished from Levites or not?

PROBLEM: In this passage priests and Levites are not distinguished from each other, but in other places they are (cf. Lev. 1:5, 8, 11; Num. 6:23).

SOLUTION: When several things are kept in mind, the problem disappears. First of all, the priests were also Levites, all being sons of Aaron. Second, in Deuteronomy, Moses is speaking in general terms to the whole nation and thus avoids the finer distinctions. Third, some 38 years separate the two passages. It may be that the earlier distinction was no longer in general currency after the wilderness wandering. (When Critics Ask

Deuteronomy 10:9  Therefore, Levi does not have a portion or inheritance with his brothers; the LORD is his inheritance, just as the LORD your God spoke to him.)

Related Passages:

Numbers 18:20; 24  Then the LORD said to Aaron, “You shall have no inheritance in their land nor own any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the sons of Israel. ....24 “For the tithe of the sons of Israel, which they offer as an offering to the LORD, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance; therefore I have said concerning them, ‘They shall have no inheritance among the sons of Israel.’” 

Deuteronomy 18:1-2+ “The Levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the LORD’S offerings by fire and His portion. 2 “They shall have no inheritance among their countrymen; the LORD is their inheritance, as He promised them. 

Joshua 13:33+ But to the tribe of Levi, Moses did not give an inheritance; the LORD, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, as He had promised to them.


Therefore - Term of conclusion. The conclusion was to make sure they were totally committed to God and service to Him. 

 Levi does not have a portion or inheritance with his brothers  -  The Levites were to remain unentangled with the affairs of the laity and were given no inheritance or share of property in the promised land. 

The LORD is his inheritance, just as the LORD your God spoke to him - All the tribes of Israel except Levi received allotments of the promised land except Levi who received an even better (the best) promise! Yahweh was to be the focus of the Levites for He alone was their inheritance. The Levites were to be totally committed to their work for Yahweh on behalf of the people. 

NET Note -  Levi has no allotment or inheritance. As the priestly tribe, Levi would have no land allotment except for forty-eight towns set apart for their use (Nu 35:1–8; Josh 21:1–42). But theirs was a far greater inheritance, for the LORD himself was their apportionment, that is, service to him would be their full-time and lifelong privilege (Num 18:20–24; Deut 18:2; Josh 13:33).

POSB - Moses was driving the point home to the hearts of the people: once God's mercy had saved them, He would meet their every need. He had given them an ordained ministry to care for their spiritual welfare, to meet their spiritual needs day by day. (Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible – Deuteronomy)

ESV Study Bible - Since this tribe owned no land (Dt 18:1-2), it is singled out for specific care and provision by the other tribes (e.g., Dt 12:12, 18; 14:27).

McGee - Notice that the tribe of Levi was to have no material inheritance. God was their inheritance. God had promised to give land, a certain amount of acreage, to the other tribes. And when He blessed them, it was temporal blessing. He did not promise that to Levi. This is also the position of the believer today. Like Levi, our inheritance is in God. We are blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies.

Deuteronomy 10:10  "I, moreover, stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights like the first time, and the LORD listened to me that time also; the LORD was not willing to destroy you.

  • I, moreover, stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights De 9:18,25 Ex 24:18 34:28 
  • the LORD listened to me that time also: De 3:23-27 9:19 Ex 32:14,33,34 33:17 Mt 27:42 
  • Deuteronomy 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


I, moreover, stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights like the first time, and the LORD listened to me that time also; the LORD was not willing to destroy you - Moses interceded for 40 days and Yahweh responded to his pleas and did not destroy the Israelites. It was Moses' intercession, not Israel's righteousness or merit which prompted God to preserve Israel. 

MacArthur notes that "Because of Moses' intercession, not because of their righteousness, the Israelites were encamped on the banks of the Jordan, ready to enter the Promised Land.

THOUGHT - There is a great lesson for us in the intercessory ministry of Moses. He stood between God and the people, stood between the judgment and mercy of God. By this act, he is a clear type of the intercession of Jesus Christ. Moses is a picture of Jesus Christ, the Mediator who stands between God and us (Hebrews 7:25+, Romans 8:34+). Jesus Christ intercedes in our behalf, asking God to accept us because of our faith in His death upon the cross.

Deuteronomy 10:11  "Then the LORD said to me, 'Arise, proceed on your journey ahead of the people, that they may go in and possess the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.'


Then - Marks sequence. When is then? In context it was after Moses' 40 days of intercession. 

The LORD said to me, 'Arise, proceed on your journey ahead of the people, that (PURPOSE) they may go in and possess the land which I swore to their fathers to give them - Moses is commanded to move out toward the promised land. Swore to the fathers refers to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

Exodus 32:34-Ex 33:1 But go now, lead the people where I told you. Behold, My angel shall go before you; nevertheless in the day when I punish, I will punish them for their sin.” 35 Then the LORD smote the people, because of what they did with the calf which Aaron had made. 33:1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, “Depart, go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up from the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’

ESV Study Bible - The command to arise and go on your journey indicates that with the tablets replaced and the ark built, Moses’ intercession has been answered fully.

Guzik - Israel’s rebellion at Mount Sinai with the golden calf was significant; it was no small matter. Yet God was not done with them. After they came back to His word and came through His priesthood, it was time to move on. God had a place to take them and they had to get about the business of getting there. That they may go in and possess the land: Getting right with God after a time of rebellion must always come to a place of progress again. It does no good to come back to the word, come through God’s priesthood in Jesus, and then remain stuck in the same place. God wants us to move on with Him, and when we are walking right with God again, we will go in and possess the land. (Deuteronomy 10)

Deuteronomy 10:12  "Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

  • Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you: Jer 7:22,23 Mic 6:8 Mt 11:29,30 1Jn 5:3 
  • fear: De 6:13 Ps 34:9 128:1 Jer 32:39,40 Ac 9:31 1Pe 1:17 
  • to walk: De 5:33 Jos 22:5 Ps 81:13 Eze 11:20 Tit 2:11,12 1Pe 1:15,16 
  • love: De 6:5 11:13 30:16,20 Ps 18:1 145:20 Mt 22:37 Mk 12:29-33 Lu 10:27 11:42 Ro 8:28 1Jn 2:15 4:19,20 5:2,5 
  • to serve: Job 36:11 Zep 3:9 Ro 1:9 Heb 12:28 
  • with all your heart and with all your soul De 4:29
  • Deuteronomy 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries 

Related Passages: WITH ALL YOUR HEART

Deuteronomy 4:29  “But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.

Deuteronomy 6:5  “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Deuteronomy 11:13  “It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul,

Deuteronomy 13:3  you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deuteronomy 26:16  “This day the LORD your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deuteronomy 30:2  and you return to the LORD your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons,

Deuteronomy 30:6 “Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.

Deuteronomy 30:10  if you obey the LORD your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and soul. 

Joshua 22:5  “Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Proverbs 3:5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 

Joel 2:12 “Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping and mourning; 


McGee - Now do not make the mistake of thinking this is the gospel. It is not the gospel. You and I ought to thank God for that, because if it depended on this, you and I wouldn't be blessed very much.

While this is not the gospel, a review of God's requirements (commandments) should may us all shudder. There is no way any Israelite (or us) could obey any these commandments relying on their old nature for enabling strength. This alone should have been sufficient truth to drive the Israelites to seek God's solution for power to enable them to keep the commandments. If you examine the context, Moses then instructs the Israelites to circumcise their hearts (Dt 10:16). I personally believe the truth in Dt 10:16 was God's provision to enable Israel to keep the commandments. Fallen human flesh cannot keep these commandments except by external observance but not from the heart (cf Ps 51:16-17). What is needed is a "new heart" a heart that desires to obey God's commands and be pleasing to Him. For more on a "new heart" see discussion under Deut 10:16. 

Now - A new topic. 

Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God - God requires us to reverence Him, not shrinking back, but drawing near with a heart that honors Him and dreads the thought of offending His holiness.

THOUGHT - If we fear Him in this sense, we will desire to walk as Jesus walked for He was our model to imitate. See discussion of our continual need for the Holy Spirit to Walk Like Jesus Walked!

To walk in all His ways - To walk means to live or to conduct oneself. "Live in a way that pleases Him" (NLT); "to live according to His will" (Old NLT). "Follow His ways exactly" (NAB) How to we show we truly reverentially fear Him? By walking in His ways, in His Word, in His Will and for believers today in His Spirit (Gal 5:16+). How's your walk beloved? Is it pleasing to Him?

MacArthur says to walk in His ways means "To conduct life in accordance with the will of God." 

This rhetorical question sounds similar to the rhetorical question in Micah 6:8+

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? 

And love Him - Not an emotional attachment per se although it does not mean it has no emotion. It is a choice of one's will. In this context it is motivated by the greatness and goodness of God. And Dt 6:5 explains what this love should be like "“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might."

Take a break to worship the King - Glorify Thy Name

Guzik - God requires us to love Him. This means the love He expects isn’t a love that just happens, but it is a love that comes from a decision to set our affection upon Him. (Deuteronomy 10)

And to serve the LORD your God - If we love God, our heart's desire is to be His servant in whatever He desires, foremost of course being simple obedience, for all true service flows from heart obedience. 

Guzik - God requires us to serve Him, to see all that we do as service unto Him, and to do all that we do as if doing it unto Him. (Deuteronomy 10)

THOUGHT - The thought that all we do should be as a service (worship) to Him reminds me of 1 Cor 10:31 which says "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 

With all your heart and with all your soul - "Holistic Holding to the Holy One!" With your whole being. "No holds barred" (free of restrictions or hampering conventions) in regard to one's devotion to Yahweh.  

The LORD your God  This is the common (most often in Deuteronomy - see uses below) covenantal phrase using YHWH and Elohim. Your means "belonging to you," "associated with you." Your is a form of the possessive case of "you." Do believers really comprehend the depth of meaning that God is referred to as "your God" (i.e., our God)? If we did, would it affect the way we live (for our God or for ourselves)? Just wondering. If you need a little motivation, take a moment to ponder and worship "OUR GOD" with the song by Chris Tomlin

Deut. 1:10; Deut. 1:21; Deut. 1:26; Deut. 1:30; Deut. 1:31; Deut. 1:32; Deut. 2:7; Deut. 2:30; Deut. 3:18; Deut. 3:20; Deut. 3:21; Deut. 3:22; Deut. 4:2; Deut. 4:3; Deut. 4:4; Deut. 4:10; Deut. 4:19; Deut. 4:21; Deut. 4:23; Deut. 4:24; Deut. 4:25; Deut. 4:29; Deut. 4:30; Deut. 4:31; Deut. 4:34; Deut. 4:40; Deut. 5:6; Deut. 5:9; Deut. 5:11; Deut. 5:12; Deut. 5:14; Deut. 5:15; Deut. 5:16; Deut. 5:32; Deut. 5:33; Deut. 6:1; Deut. 6:2; Deut. 6:5; Deut. 6:10; Deut. 6:13; Deut. 6:15; Deut. 6:16; Deut. 6:17; Deut. 7:1; Deut. 7:2; Deut. 7:6; Deut. 7:9; Deut. 7:12; Deut. 7:16; Deut. 7:18; Deut. 7:19; Deut. 7:20; Deut. 7:21; Deut. 7:22; Deut. 7:23; Deut. 7:25; Deut. 8:2; Deut. 8:5; Deut. 8:6; Deut. 8:7; Deut. 8:10; Deut. 8:11; Deut. 8:14; Deut. 8:18; Deut. 8:19; Deut. 8:20; Deut. 9:3; Deut. 9:4; Deut. 9:5; Deut. 9:6; Deut. 9:7; Deut. 9:16; Deut. 9:23; Deut. 10:9; Deut. 10:12; Deut. 10:14; Deut. 10:17; Deut. 10:20; Deut. 10:22; Deut. 11:1; Deut. 11:2; Deut. 11:12; Deut. 11:13; Deut. 11:22; Deut. 11:25; Deut. 11:27; Deut. 11:28; Deut. 11:29; Deut. 11:31; Deut. 12:4; Deut. 12:5; Deut. 12:7; Deut. 12:9; Deut. 12:10; Deut. 12:11; Deut. 12:12; Deut. 12:15; Deut. 12:18; Deut. 12:20; Deut. 12:21; Deut. 12:27; Deut. 12:28; Deut. 12:29; Deut. 12:31; Deut. 13:3; Deut. 13:4; Deut. 13:5; Deut. 13:10; Deut. 13:12; Deut. 13:16; Deut. 13:18; Deut. 14:1; Deut. 14:2; Deut. 14:21; Deut. 14:23; Deut. 14:24; Deut. 14:25; Deut. 14:26; Deut. 14:29; Deut. 15:4; Deut. 15:5; Deut. 15:6; Deut. 15:7; Deut. 15:10; Deut. 15:14; Deut. 15:15; Deut. 15:18; Deut. 15:19; Deut. 15:20; Deut. 15:21; Deut. 16:1; Deut. 16:2; Deut. 16:5; Deut. 16:6; Deut. 16:7; Deut. 16:8; Deut. 16:10; Deut. 16:11; Deut. 16:15; Deut. 16:16; Deut. 16:17; Deut. 16:18; Deut. 16:20; Deut. 16:21; Deut. 16:22; Deut. 17:1; Deut. 17:2; Deut. 17:8; Deut. 17:12; Deut. 17:14; Deut. 17:15; Deut. 18:5; Deut. 18:9; Deut. 18:12; Deut. 18:13; Deut. 18:14; Deut. 18:15; Deut. 18:16; Deut. 19:1; Deut. 19:2; Deut. 19:3; Deut. 19:8; Deut. 19:9; Deut. 19:10; Deut. 19:14; Deut. 20:1; Deut. 20:4; Deut. 20:13; Deut. 20:14; Deut. 20:16; Deut. 20:17; Deut. 20:18; Deut. 21:1; Deut. 21:5; Deut. 21:10; Deut. 21:23; Deut. 22:5; Deut. 23:5; Deut. 23:14; Deut. 23:18; Deut. 23:20; Deut. 23:21; Deut. 23:23; Deut. 24:4; Deut. 24:9; Deut. 24:13; Deut. 24:18; Deut. 24:19; Deut. 25:15; Deut. 25:16; Deut. 25:19; Deut. 26:1; Deut. 26:2; Deut. 26:4; Deut. 26:5; Deut. 26:10; Deut. 26:11; Deut. 26:13; Deut. 26:16; Deut. 26:19; Deut. 27:2; Deut. 27:3; Deut. 27:5; Deut. 27:6; Deut. 27:7; Deut. 27:9; Deut. 27:10; Deut. 28:1; Deut. 28:2; Deut. 28:8; Deut. 28:9; Deut. 28:13; Deut. 28:15; Deut. 28:45; Deut. 28:47; Deut. 28:52; Deut. 28:53; Deut. 28:58; Deut. 28:62; Deut. 29:6; Deut. 29:10; Deut. 29:12; Deut. 30:1; Deut. 30:2; Deut. 30:3; Deut. 30:4; Deut. 30:5; Deut. 30:6; Deut. 30:7; Deut. 30:9; Deut. 30:10; Deut. 30:16; Deut. 30:20; Deut. 31:3; Deut. 31:6; Deut. 31:11; Deut. 31:12; Deut. 31:13; Deut. 31:26

Fear And Love

What does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear [Him] . . . and to love Him. —Deuteronomy 10:12

Today's Scripture: Deuteronomy 10:12-17

Someone shared with me her observation about two bosses. One is loved but not feared by his subordinates. Because they love their boss but don’t respect his authority, they don’t follow his guidelines. The other boss is both feared and loved by those who serve under him, and their good behavior shows it.

The Lord desires that His people both fear and love Him too. Today’s Bible passage, Deuteronomy 10, says that keeping God’s guidelines involves both. In verse 12, we are told “to fear the Lord your God” and “to love Him.”

To “fear” the Lord God is to give Him the highest respect. For the believer, it is not a matter of feeling intimidated by Him or His character. But out of respect for His person and authority, we walk in all His ways and keep His commandments. Out of “love,” we serve Him with all our heart and with all our soul—rather than merely out of duty (v.12).

Love flows out of our deep gratitude for His love for us, rather than out of our likes and dislikes. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Our fear and love for God enable us to walk willingly in obedience to God’s law. By:  Albert Lee

Lord, You are holy and Your thoughts are much higher than mine. I bow before You. Thank You for salvation in Jesus. I love You and want to obey You with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Amen. (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

If we fear and love God, we will obey Him.

No Outsiders

What does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him. Deuteronomy 10:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 10:12–22

In the remote region of Ghana where I lived as a boy, “Chop time, no friend” was a common proverb. It was a humorous way of acknowledging the fact that food in certain areas was scarce, and Ghanaians are by nature very giving people. Were you to walk in, they might well give you the last of their food. 

In the Philippines, where I also lived for a time, if you visit unannounced at mealtime, your hosts will insist on sharing with you regardless of whether they have enough for themselves. 

As the Israelites left Egypt, God provided specific instructions to govern their culture. But rules—even God’s rules—can never change hearts. So Moses said, “Change your hearts and stop being stubborn” (Deut. 10:16 nlt). Interestingly, right after issuing that challenge Moses took up the topic of Israel’s treatment of outsiders. God “loves the foreigner residing among you,” he said, “giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt” (vv. 18–19).

Israel served the “God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome” (v. 17). One powerful way they were to show their identification with God was by loving foreigners—those from outside their culture.

What might this small picture of God’s character mean for us today? How can we show His love to the marginalized and the needy in our world? By:  Tim Gustafson (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Heavenly Father, help us bless others today by showing Your love in some small way.

In Christ, there are no outsiders.

Deuteronomy 10:12  
READ: Deuteronomy 11:8-25

THREE-YEAR-OLDS see fathers as "all powerful." Dads can scoop them up with one mighty arm. But children recognize something else. That same awesome strength also provides great security. The huge arms can hold the child close and convey unfailing, protective love.

But suppose the child disobeys. The father's once-gentle face becomes stem, and his once playful hand inflicts a controlled spanking. The child begins to learn that the father loves what is good and right and hates what is wrong. Therefore, obedience to a loving father results in the most security for the child.

As it is with fathers and sons, it is with God and us. Our greatest security is found in fearing, loving, and obeying our heavenly Father. That's the message of Deuteronomy, and it's also what Jesus said, "Fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28). The only one who can do that is God. Christ also commanded, "You shall love the LORD your God" (Matthew 22:37). His words express the thrust of Moses' final instructions to Israel in Deuteronomy.

Shallow sentimentally is not love, and cringing dread is not fear. Fearing God is hating evil (Proverbs 8:13), and loving God is keeping His commandments (John 14:15).—D J De Haan  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Ghost Town

What does the Lord your God require of you, but . . . to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. —Deuteronomy 10:12

Today's Scripture: Nehemiah 1:4-11

A gold rush that began in the 1970s made Boa Vista, Brazil, a boomtown on the edge of one of the world’s richest gold fields. That changed when the gold mines were shut down. Government officials say the miners were destroying the rain forest, dumping mercury into the rivers, and bringing guns and diseases that killed thousands of local residents. Today Boa Vista is a “town of lost souls and frustrated adventurers too poor to return to their bleak beginnings.”

Such was the picture of God’s people exiled in Babylon. All they had were memories of the days when God’s favor was on them. Jerusalem was in ruins because a blessed people had been exploiting the weak, not caring for the land entrusted to them (2 Chron. 36:19-21), and going through the motions of worshiping God. The prophet Nehemiah confessed: “We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments” (Neh. 1:7).

God loved His people too much to let them continue harming themselves and others. By letting them “do time” in Babylon, He helped them see what can happen when a blessed people get caught up in a life that leaves God out of the picture. He’ll do what it takes to help us see that as well! By:  Mart DeHaan  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

The dearest idol I have known, 
(incredible vocal)
Whate’er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from Thy throne
And worship only Thee.

God gives blessing to us so we can give glory to Him.


Take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning. —Exodus 23:8

Today's Scripture: Deuteronomy 10:12-22

While traveling in a foreign country, my husband noticed that the paved roads had deep indentations. When he asked about them, our driver explained that they were caused by the tires of trucks carrying illegal, overweight loads. When stopped by police, the drivers paid bribes to avoid being fined. The truckers and police officers came out ahead financially, but other drivers and taxpayers were left with an unfair financial burden and the inconvenience of poor roads.

Not all bribery is overt; some is more subtle. And not all bribes are financial. Flattery is a type of bribe that uses words as currency. If we give people preferential treatment for saying something nice about us, it’s similar to taking a bribe. To God, any kind of partiality is an injustice. He even made justice a condition of remaining in the Promised Land. The Israelites were not to pervert justice or show partiality (Deut. 16:19-20).

Bribery deprives others of justice, which is an offense against the character of God, who is “God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe” (10:17).

Thankfully, the Lord treats all of us alike, and He wants us to treat each other the same way. By:  Julie Ackerman Link (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

It matters not what race or gender,
Rich or poor or great or small,
The God who made us is not partial;
He sent Christ to die for all.
—D. De Haan  

Bribery displays partiality; love displays justice.  

Loved To Love

What does the Lord your God require of you, but . . . to walk in all His ways and to love Him. —Deuteronomy 10:12

Today's Scripture: Deuteronomy 10:12-22

“A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.” I saw this quotation, attributed to the Wizard of Oz, on a wall plaque in a gift shop.

The Wizard of Oz may be a good story, but it’s not a reliable source of spiritual information. God said something quite different. According to Him, the greatest commandment is to love—to love Him first and then others (Mark 12:29-31). Scripture says nothing about expecting to be loved in return. In fact, Jesus stated the opposite in His most famous sermon: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven” (Matt. 5:11-12).

When it comes to love, the important thing we need to know is this: All love starts with God (1 John 4:19). As Moses told the Israelites, God delighted in them to love them (Deut. 10:15), and because of that they were to love others, even strangers (v.19). God’s intent is that the people who receive His love will become the conduit of His love to others.

Apart from God—who Himself is love—none of us could truly love or be loved (1 John 4:7-8). By:  Julie Ackerman Link (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

“Love seeketh not her own,” and so
He did not stay as God above,
But chose a manger and a cross
To show that He was Love. 

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. —1 John 4:8

John Calvin - We would now consider what is the sum of the contents of the law, as well as the aim and object of its instructions. Paul elicits the true goal of the law when he declares that its end is “charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1 Tim. 1:5). Even in Paul’s day, the law had false interpreters, who, Paul says, “turned aside unto vain jangling,” when they swerved from its true objective.

Now, as the law is contained in two tables, so also Moses reduces it to two objectives: that we should love God with all our heart, and our neighbor as ourselves. Though he does not unite the two objectives in one passage, yet Christ, by whose Spirit Paul spoke, explains that to us in Matthew 22:37. When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment of the law, he replied that it was the first: that God should be loved. The second greatest commandment was to love our neighbor. So, the perfection of righteousness, which is set before us in the law, consists of two parts: that we should serve God with true piety, and that we should conduct ourselves toward others according to the rule of charity. That is also what Paul says, for faith, which he calls the source of charity, includes the love of God.

The declaration of Christ stands sure, that the law requires nothing of us but that we should love God and our neighbor. From that we understand that what is required of us to live a good life is piety and justice.

James Smith - Handfuls of Purpose - THE LORD’S REQUIREMENTS Deuteronomy 10:12–22

    “Broken from all other trusting,
    Enfranchised from all ‘former lusting;’
    Thy freedman, Lord, on Thee calling,
    Guard me in my dolorous falling.
    Anoint my eyes with Thy own seeing,
    Interpenetrate my being
    That by Thee all ‘apprehended,’
    This weary conflict may be ended.”

The secret of rest and victory lies in ceasing to struggle against the requirements of God. It was not till Jacob had yielded to the man from Heaven, at the brook Jabbok, that he became a prevailing prince. Here is a question that should come with searching power to the heart of every child of God: “What doth the Lord thy God require of thee?” (v. 12). Surely such a question ought to constrain us honestly to make this inquiry: “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?”

I. The Lord has Requirements.

1. AS OUR CREATOR, “The Heaven of heavens is the Lord’s, the earth also, and all that therein is” (v. 14). As the creatures of His creative hand we live and move on and in the things which are God’s (Psa. 24:1). What have we that we have not received? As our Maker He requires the thankful homage of our lives.

2. AS OUR REDEEMER. “He is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen” (v. 21). In redeeming them out of the house of Egyptian bondage it was by great things in mercy for them, and terrible things in judgment against their enemies. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law. Ye are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body and your spirit, which are His. “Him only shalt thou serve” (Matt. 4:10).

II. What these Requirements are. “What doth the Lord thy God require of thee?” The claim is based on the fact of His saving grace. Thy God who hath done such great things for thee. He requires—

1. A FILIAL FEAR. “Fear the Lord thy God” (v. 12). Not as a slave who fears his master because of the lash, but as a loving, dutiful son fears to grieve or dishonour his father. God is our Father, but He is also Judge, and hath power to cast both soul and body into hell. “Yea, I say unto you, fear ye Him.”

2. AN OBEDIENT WALK. “To walk in all His ways” (v. 12). If we would walk in His ways we must be willing to set the Lord continually before us, then our walk will be “worthy of the Lord in all well-pleasing” (Col. 1:10). What doth the Lord require of thee but to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8).

3. AN AFFECTIONATE HEART. “To love Him” (v. 12). He who looketh upon the heart requires truth in the inward parts. What is more sickening and repulsive than feigned love? It is the most loathsome stage of the leprosy of sin. Mere words uttered in the ear of God will not meet the requirements of His heart concerning us. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed.

4. A WHOLE-HEARTED SERVICE. “To serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart” (v. 12). This is a divine requirement that needs to be specially urged in His Name. We are not saved merely to rejoice in salvation, but to glorify God by a life of consecrated service to Him. This service implies selling, giving, following (Mark 10:21). To the lame man Peter said, “Such as I have, I give.” Present your bodies a living sacrifice unto God. This is your reasonable service (Rom. 12:1).

5. A SUBMISSIVE WILL. “Be no more stiff necked” (v. 16). Having presented ourselves to God, as Isaac did to his father, let us be as silently submissive as he was (Gen. 22). “Behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him” (2 Sam. 15:26). The clay that remains stiff in the hands of the potter will not be fashioned into a vessel of great honour. “Not My will, but Thine be done.”

6. A CHARITABLE SPIRIT. “Love ye therefore the stranger, for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt” (v. 19). This is another most salutary requirement of the Lord. It was while we were strangers and enemies that God loved us, and that His Son died for us, therefore if the love of God is in us we will have compassion on those who are out of the way. Such were some of you, but ye are washed. Having been once a stranger yourself ye should “know the heart of a stranger” (Exod. 23:9). Remember the words of the Lord Jesus as recorded in Luke 10:29–37.

7. A TENACIOUS FAITH “The Lord thy God, … to Him shalt thou cleave” (v. 20) This is our life, cleaving to the Living One. Let our cleaving be as tenacious as the limpit on the rock, which clings the closer the more it is buffeted. “I will not let Thee go.” My heart is fixed (Psa. 57:7). Cleaving to the Lord is the secret of strength, and such will always be brightened with His brightness. Lord to whom can we go?

D A Carson - INTERSPERSED WITH THE HISTORICAL RECITAL that makes up much of the early chapters of Deuteronomy are bursts of exhortation. One of the most moving is found in Deuteronomy 10:12–22. Its magnificent themes include:

(1) A sheer God-centeredness that embraces both fearing God and loving God (Dt 10:12–13). In our confused and blinded world, fearing God without loving him will dissolve into terror, and thence into taboos, magic, incantations, rites; loving God without obeying him will dissolve into sentimentalism without strong affection, pretensions of godliness without moral vigor, unbridled lust for power without any sense of impropriety, nostalgic yearnings for relationships without any passion for holiness. Neither pattern squares with what the Bible says: “And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him …?” (Dt 10:12).

(2) A sheer God-centeredness that pictures election as a gracious act. God owns the whole show—“the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it” (Dt 10:14). He can do with it as he wishes. What he has in fact done is “set his affection” on the patriarchs, loving them, and in turn choosing their descendants (Dt 10:15; cf. Dt 4:37).

(3) A sheer God-centeredness that is never satisfied with the mere rites and show of religion: it demands the heart (Dt 10:16). That is why physical circumcision could never be seen as an end in itself, not even in the Old Testament. It symbolized something deeper: circumcision of the heart. What God wants is not merely an outward sign that certain people belong to him, but an inward disposition of heart and mind that orient us to God continually.

(4) A sheer God-centeredness that recognizes his impartiality, and therefore his justice—and acts accordingly (Dt 10:17–20). He is “God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome” (Dt 10:17). Small wonder then that he accepts no bribes and shows no partiality. (Never confuse election with partiality. Partiality is favoritism that is corrupted by a willingness to pervert justice for the sake of the favored few; election chooses certain people out of God’s free decision and nothing else, and even then justice is not perverted: hence the cross.) And he expects his people to conduct themselves accordingly.

(5) A sheer God-centeredness that is displayed in his people’s praise (Dt 10:20–22). “He is your praise; he is your God” (Dt 10:21). Those who focus much on God have much for which to praise. Those whose vision is merely terrestrial or self-centered dry up inside like desiccated prunes. God is your praise! (For the Love of God)

Deuteronomy 10:13  and to keep the LORD'S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?

and to keep the LORD'S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good - Good is translated in the Septuagint with "eu" which pertains to that which is good or beneficial, and applies to interpersonal relationships and our experiences in general. Obedience to God's man's is for our good, which means it not for our bad! Sounds simple but this principle is important to remember. In other words God is not a "cosmic killjoy" who wants to withhold the genuine pleasures of life which He has made available to mankind. 

Guzik adds that "every command of God is given for our good. They are never given so He can exercise His power, or so He can feel important. Every command He makes is with our best interest in mind, even if we cannot sense it or understand it."  (Deuteronomy 10)

McGee - If Israel had kept them, they would have been blessed. When they broke them, judgment came upon them. God, for fifteen hundred years, demonstrated through Israel to the world and to you and me that He cannot save people by Law. These people under favorable circumstances, in a land geared to the Law, were unable to keep it. And if they were unable to keep it, then you and I are unable to keep it. Thank God, He saves by grace today. In fact, grace has always been His method. In the Old Testament He never saved anyone by Law. They were saved by His mercy and grace to them, looking forward to the coming of Christ to die on the Cross to take away their sins.

Deuteronomy 10:12-11:32
 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. - 1 Corinthians 7:35
 Everyone likes good food, but many of us don’t equate that with food that is “good for you.” When parents set limitations on how much ice cream their children eat, they may try to help them understand by saying: “It’s for your own good.” But that rarely makes the child feel good about broccoli! We might feel skeptical, then, when we read that God used this reasoning to explain why He gave decrees and commands to Israel. We may have a nagging suspicion that, although these laws may be good for us, we definitely won’t enjoy them.
 Perhaps that is why the Lord went on to remind Israel of His motives for giving His law. It wasn’t because He wanted to make their lives miserable. He was motivated by love and by a desire to bless His people. These commands would help Israel to know Him better and would give them an opportunity to return His love. They would also provide a safeguard against the moral and spiritual dangers that were inherent in the culture of their day.
 According to Josh McDowell, all the moral precepts found in Scripture have this dual aim–to provide us with a better understanding of who God is and to protect us from the consequences of sin. In his book Right From Wrong he explains, “The commandments and precepts of Scripture are designed not only to say, 'Do this,’ and 'Don’t do that,’ but to lead us beyond the precept to a universal principle (one that applies to everyone) and, ultimately, to the God who expresses Himself through precept.”

 TODAY ALONG THE WAY  Our obedience to God’s commands should be motivated by our knowledge that they are “for our own good” and should be energized by our personal experience of God’s redemptive love. Is there a command in Scripture that you find especially difficult to accept today? Prayerfully examine it to learn what it reveals about God’s love for you. It may be designed to pave the way for future blessing, or it could be intended to protect you from harm. Ask the Holy Spirit for His power as you seek to obey.

Deuteronomy 10:14  "Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it.

  • the heaven: 1Ki 8:27 2Ch 6:18 Ne 9:6 Ps 115:16 148:4 Isa 66:1 
  • the earth: Ge 14:19 Ex 9:29 19:5 Ps 24:1 50:12 Jer 27:5,6 1Co 10:26,28 
  • Deuteronomy 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


Behold (Lxx =  idou) - This interjection is used to call for the attention of the hearer. Listen up. Pay attention to what I am about to say.

To the LORD your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it - His greatest is incomprehensible which leads to the incredible statement in the following verse! 

Heaven of heavens. This is the first of at least six references in the Bible to "the heaven of heavens." There is an atmospheric heaven and a starry heaven, but the "heaven of heavens" is the heaven where Christ after His resurrection "ascended up far above all heavens" (Ephesians 4:10). This heaven is where God's throne is located.

Spurgeon - Preaching a few months ago in the midst of a large congregation of Methodists, the brethren were all alive, giving all kinds of answers to my sermon, nodding their heads and crying, “Amen!” “Hallelujah!” “Glory be to God!” and the like. They completely woke me up. My spirit was stirred, and I preached away with an unusual force and vigour; and the more I preached the more they cried, “Amen!” “Hallelujah!” “Glory be to God!” At last, a part of text led me to what is styled high doctrine. So I said, this brings me to the doctrine of election. There was a deep drawing of breath. “Now, my friends, you believe it;” they seemed to say “No, we don’t.” But you do, and I will make you sing “Hallelujah!” over it. I will so preach it to you that you will acknowledge it and believe it. So I put it thus: Is there no difference between you and other men? “Yes, yes; glory be to God, glory!” There is a difference between what you were and what you are now? “Oh, yes! oh, yes!” There is sitting by your side a man who has been to the same chapel as you have, heard the same gospel, he is unconverted, and you are converted. Who has made the difference, yourself or God? “The Lord!” said they, “the Lord! Glory! Hallelujah!” Yes, cried I, and that is the doctrine of election; that is all I contend for, that if there is a difference the Lord makes the difference. Some good man came up to me and said, “Thou’rt right, lad! thou’rt right. I believe thy doctrine of election; I do not believe it as it is preached by some people, but I believe that we must give the glory to God; we must put the crown on the right head.”

Deuteronomy 10:15  "Yet on your fathers did the LORD set His affection to love them, and He chose their descendants after them, even you above all peoples, as it is this day.

KJV  Deuteronomy 10:15 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.

NET  Deuteronomy 10:15 However, only to your ancestors did he show his loving favor, and he chose you, their descendants, from all peoples– as is apparent today.

NLT  Deuteronomy 10:15 Yet the LORD chose your ancestors as the objects of his love. And he chose you, their descendants, above all other nations, as is evident today.

ESV  Deuteronomy 10:15 Yet the LORD set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day.

NIV  Deuteronomy 10:15 Yet the LORD set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today.

YLT  Deuteronomy 10:15 only in thy fathers hath Jehovah delighted -- to love them, and He doth fix on their seed after them -- on you, out of all the peoples as at this day;

ASV  Deuteronomy 10:15 Only Jehovah had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all peoples, as at this day.

CSB  Deuteronomy 10:15 Yet the LORD was devoted to your fathers and loved them. He chose their descendants after them-- He chose you out of all the peoples, as it is today.

NKJ  Deuteronomy 10:15 "The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day.

NRS  Deuteronomy 10:15 yet the LORD set his heart in love on your ancestors alone and chose you, their descendants after them, out of all the peoples, as it is today.

NAB  Deuteronomy 10:15 Yet in his love for your fathers the LORD was so attached to them as to choose you, their descendants, in preference to all other peoples, as indeed he has now done.

NJB  Deuteronomy 10:15 yet it was on your ancestors, for love of them, that Yahweh set his heart to love them, and he chose their descendants after them, you yourselves, out of all nations, up to the present day.

GWN  Deuteronomy 10:15 The LORD set his heart on your ancestors and loved them. Because of this, today he chooses you, their descendants, out of all the people of the world.

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 4:37+ Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power,

Deuteronomy 7:7+ “The LORD did not set His love (chashaq) on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples,  8 but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Yet - Term of contrast. What is Moses contrasting. God owns it all, has everything and needs absolutely nothing. And yet look what He choose to do! Amazing! Amazing electing grace! 

ESV Study Bible - The contrast between heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it and Israel’s fathers heightens the sense of astonishment at election and grace

On your fathers did the LORD set His affection to love them - Literally set His affection reads "Jehovah delighted -- to love them." God needed nothing and yet He choose Israel beginning with their fathers (refers to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). Set His affection points out that the basis of God's Covenant with Israel was not obligation springing from their merit, but simply His love that binds His heart to them.  And since he specifies on your fathers that indicates that Moses is referring to the Abrahamic Covenant, which was cut by God alone and was entered into by faith alone (Ge 15:6+). Every mention of or allusion to the Abrahamic Covenant would have been like an invitation to accept it and believe it just as Abraham did, by faith. This was the path to genuine belief in the OT, not by keeping the Law, which no one could do perfectly (James 2:10+). 

NET Note- Heb “take delight to love.” Here again the verb אָהַב (’ahav, “love”), juxtaposed with בָחַר (bakhar, “choose”), is a term in covenant contexts that describes the LORD’s initiative in calling the patriarchal ancestors to be the founders of a people special to him (cf. the note on the word “loved” in Deut 4:37).

MacArthur - God, with the same sovereignty by which He controls all things, had chosen the patriarchs and the nation of Israel to be His special people.

And He chose their descendants after them, even you above all peoples - God did not just chose the patriarchs but those who were in their lineage. Above all peoples means all Gentiles. He did this by His own choice. Is it mysterious? Absolutely. We cannot comprehend this incredible truth in this life (and I wonder if we will ever fully grasp it even in the next life in God's presence?). 

As it is this day - This day is almost 700 years after He choose Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees (idol worshipping pagan lands!) (Abraham about 2100 BC, Exodus about 1400 BC). 

Set...affection (02836)(chashaq) to be attached to,  to love, to delight in, to bind. 

. "The root idea of this verb is "to be devoted" to a person or thing. In the OT, it is always used figuratively for emotional attachment, for love which is already bound to its object.

Chāshaq could simply refer to physical attraction, as in the case of Shechem's love ("longs for") for Dinah, the daughter of Jacob (Gen. 34:8). It is used in the Law for the case where a warrior might be attracted to a beautiful woman among the captives after a military victory (Deut. 21:11). The context shows that this attraction might be temporary, in which case the rights of the woman were protected. The verb comes to mean "to kiss" in Middle Hebrew, while an Arabic cognate means "to love passionately."

Deuteronomy 7:7, 15 uses this term to describe God's love for Israel. The basis of his Covenant with Israel is not obligation springing from their merits, but simply his love that binds his heart to them. On the other hand, Ps. 91:14 uses it to describe a human's attachment to God. God delivers the psalmist because he has a relationship to Him.

The word is used as part of an idiom in 1 Ki. 9:19 and 2 Chr. 8:6, which describe "all that it pleased Solomon to build in Jerusalem." The king was driven to execute the building projects and had the wisdom from God to get them done.

The verb can also refer to "overlaying" (filleted) an object with another. It is employed to describe the overlaying of metal upon the pillars of the Tabernacle (Exo. 27:17; 38:17, 28). 

Finally, in Isa. 38:17, Hezekiah attributes his healing from deadly disease to God's attachment to him, literally exclaiming, "thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit." (Isaiah 38:17  = “Lo, for my own welfare I had great bitterness; It is You who has kept my soul from the pit of nothingness, For You have cast all my sins behind Your back. ) (Complete Biblical Library - Incredible Resource)

Chashaq - 8v - have a desire(1), kept(1), longs(1), loved(1), pleased*(2), set his affection(1), set his love(1).  Gen. 34:8; Deut. 7:7; Deut. 10:15; Deut. 21:11; 1 Ki. 9:19; 2 Chr. 8:6; Ps. 91:14; Isa. 38:17. Note KJV has 3 additional uses in Ex 27:17, 38:17, 38:28 translated "filleted"

Ps 91:14 - “Because he has loved (chashaq) Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. (NET= The LORD says, "Because he is devoted to me, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he is loyal to me)

Love (friend) (0157aheb/ahab means to love and can convey the idea of liking things (like bribes - Isa 1:23, wisdom - Pr 4:6, wine - Pr 21:17, peace and truth - Zech 8:19, food - Ge 27:4, 9, 14). The most important uses in the OT are as an expression of God's love of people (Dt 4:37, Hosea 3:1), man's love for God (Ex 20:6, Ps 116:1) and man's love for his fellow man (Ge 29:32, Ru 4:15-note, 1 Kings 11:1 = a forbidden love by backslidden King Solomon!!!) The first use of aheb in the OT is instructive as it is found in Ge 22:2 where Yahweh instructed his servant Abraham to "“Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” Notice that at the outset, we see that an inherent quality of this love (in many contexts) is that it is costly. God wants us to love Him above EVERYTHING, even our own flesh and blood. Matthews writes that Ge 22:2 "is the final test of the man’s faith, the closing bookend to his discovery of God’s sufficiency to achieve the promises made at Haran." (New American Commentary) 

Aheb/ahab in Deuteronomy - Deut. 4:37; Deut. 5:10; Deut. 6:5; Deut. 7:8; Deut. 7:9; Deut. 7:13; Deut. 10:12; Deut. 10:15; Deut. 10:18; Deut. 10:19; Deut. 11:1; Deut. 11:13; Deut. 11:22; Deut. 13:3; Deut. 15:16; Deut. 19:9; Deut. 21:15; Deut. 21:16; Deut. 23:5; Deut. 30:6; Deut. 30:16; Deut. 30:20;

Deuteronomy 10:16  "So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer.

  • Circumcise: De 30:6 Lev 26:41 Jer 4:4 Ro 2:28-29 Col 2:11 
  • stiffnecked: De 9:6,13 Dt 31:27 Jas 4:6,7
  • Deuteronomy 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 30:6+  Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.

Leviticus 26:41+   I also was acting with hostility against them, to bring them into the land of their enemies–or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make amends for their iniquity,

Jeremiah 4:4 “Circumcise (THIS IS A COMMAND - WHICH MEANS GOD WOULD ENABLE THEM TO FULFILL IT IF THEY DID NOT RESIST HIS SPIRIT!) yourselves to the LORD And remove the foreskins of your heart, Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Or else My wrath will go forth like fire And burn with none to quench it, Because of the evil of your deeds.” 

Jeremiah 9:25 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “that I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised

Romans 2:28-29+  For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

Colossians 2:11+ and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;


So circumcise (mul)  your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer - While this is not actually a command in the Hebrew, the instruction nevertheless conveys that sense and a parallel passage in Jer 4:4 is definitely a command to the Jews to "circumcise yourselves."  Clearly the reference to circumcision of one's heart signifies that this is a figure of speech and not literal circumcision as described and prescribed in Genesis 17. In short, this passage calls for "spiritual surgery," and of the type that only Yahweh Himself could accomplish. Remember that God had given five requirements/commandments in Dt 10:12+. However God never gives commandments without providing the means to obey the commandments. To say it another way God's commandments always include His enablements! In Dt 30:6+ we see it is the LORD Who would "circumcise" their heart. While this latter passage is a prophecy that will be filled at the end of this age, one can deduce that the call for Israel to circumcise their hearts is a call for them to trust God to carry out this transaction. How does this take place? Look first at Stephen's sermon in Acts 7:51+ addressed to his non-believing Jewish persecutors...

“You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.

Notice how Stephen's words parallel the words of Moses in Dt 10:16+. Specifically notice that they both passages allude to the heart, either uncircumcised and or as a call to circumcise your heart. Notice also that both passages speak of stiff-necked ("stiffen your neck no longer"). So what can we conclude from Stephen's words that helps explain the charge in Dt 10:16? Note that Stephen states that his hearers were always resisting the Holy Spirit and says this is what their fathers had also done. In context the phrase "as your fathers did" is a reference to their Jewish "fathers" in the Old Testament. Compare the continual resistance of the fathers to the Holy Spirit in Nehemiah 9:30 ("You bore with them for many years, and admonished them by Your Spirit through Your prophets,  yet they would not give ear.") and Isaiah 63:10 ("they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit"). Based on these observations, one can deduce that in the Old Testament it was the Holy Spirit Who was active in performing the radical spiritual surgery necessary to circumcise a heart. Paul supports the premise that was the Holy Spirit Who was the active Agent in spiritual circumcision, writing in Romans 2:29+ (cf Col 2:11+

"But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God."

And since we know from Genesis 1:2 (among many other OT passages) that the Holy Spirit was active in the OT, it follows that the charge to circumcise their hearts was a charge that only the Holy Spirit could accomplish. Further, it would seem to fair when comparing spiritual circumcision with other Scriptures, that circumcision of the heart is synonymous with genuine salvation. And so if we look at the "salvation" of Abraham in Genesis 15:6+ we read...

Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Abraham was declared righteous by God by faith. It therefore is Biblically logical to say that Abraham had a circumcised heart and that the only way the Israelites could receive a "circumcised heart" would be by faith, a faith just like Abraham had. How many of the Israelites received circumcised hearts? It is difficult to say with certainty but OT history supports that most of the nation had uncircumcised hearts (were not saved). One other point that should be made is that while the Spirit was active in the OT and in bringing about "salvation," the Spirit did not permanently indwell OT believers as He does every NT believer. As an aside we know the Spirit did occasionally indwell men in the OT including Joshua of whom God Himself said he was "a man in whom is the Spirit."  (Nu 27:18) How much of Joshua's life did the Spirit indwell him? The Bible does not say so we will have to wait until we arrive in Heaven to answer questions like that (cf Dt 29:29). 

Related Resource:

Guzik - All males among Israel had to be circumcised eight days after they were born. But this minor surgery was merely a symbol for the real work of cutting away the flesh God that desired; the work of taking our hearts inclined after the flesh and giving us hearts inclined after the Spirit. This theme (stiffen your neck no longer.) would be repeated later in the prophets. "Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your hearts." (Jeremiah 4:4). To fulfill God’s law, it takes more than being given a command – it takes an inner transformation, a transformation that only God can bring. God commands them to do something that only He could do in them to show them the need to have the inner transformation, and to compel them to seek Him for this inner work.  Israel is said to have uncircumcised hearts in Leviticus 26:41, Jeremiah 9:26, and Ezekiel 44:7 and Ezek 44:9. (Deuteronomy 10)

Nelson Study Bible - Circumcision was a physical sign of the covenant; faith and repentance were spiritual signs. Since the Canaanite worship system involved sexual excess, the distinctive sign on the body of the male Hebrew would be a significant reminder not to participate in the rituals of the Canaanites. But circumcision was to be done within as well as without. Marking the body as a sign of dedication to the Lord is unimportant unless there is a change of heart. The covenant administered by Moses required a spiritual change (Dt 30:6).

MacArthur - Moses called the Israelites to cut away all the sin in their hearts, as the circumcision surgery cut away the skin. This would leave them with a clean relationship to God (cf. 30:6; Lv 26:40, 41; Jer 4:4; 9:25; Ro 2:29).

ESV Study Bible - Here, circumcision symbolizes removing the stubbornness that prevents the heart from properly loving God (cf. Ex 6:12, where “uncircumcised lips” do not speak well; Jer. 6:10, where “uncircumcised ears” do not hear clearly). This is a command beyond any human’s competence to fulfill (see Dt. 30:6).

NET Note - Heb "circumcise the foreskin of" (cf. KJV, ASV, NRSV). Reference to the Abrahamic covenant prompts Moses to recall the sign of that covenant, namely, physical circumcision ( Gen 17:9–14). Just as that act signified total covenant obedience, so spiritual circumcision (cleansing of the heart) signifies more internally a commitment to be pliable and obedient to the will of God (cf. Deut 30:6; Jer 4:4; 9:26).

Circumcise (04135)(mul) means to cut short, to cut off, to circumcise with most uses in the Torah (Pentateuch) with 17 uses in Genesis but 8 uses are found in Joshua (see below). Its usage is continued in rabbinic and modern Hebrew. However, the verb "to cut off" is not found in other Semitic languages. The only derivative of mul is mûlôt found in Ex. 4:26 "So He let him alone. At that time she said, “You are a bridegroom of blood”–because of the circumcision.' The physical act of circumcision was introduced by God as a sign of the Abrahamic covenant (see Ge 17:10ff) 

Mul - 32v - circumcise(4), circumcised(25), circumcising(1), cut off(3), shafts(1), surely be circumcised(1). Gen. 17:10; Gen. 17:11; Gen. 17:12; Gen. 17:13; Gen. 17:14; Gen. 17:23; Gen. 17:24; Gen. 17:25; Gen. 17:26; Gen. 17:27; Gen. 21:4; Gen. 34:15; Gen. 34:17; Gen. 34:22; Gen. 34:24; Exod. 12:44; Exod. 12:48; Lev. 12:3; Deut. 10:16; Deut. 30:6; Jos. 5:2; Jos. 5:3; Jos. 5:4; Jos. 5:5; Jos. 5:7; Jos. 5:8; Ps. 58:7; Ps. 118:10; Ps. 118:11; Ps. 118:12; Jer. 4:4; Jer. 9:25

Stiffen (07185)(qashah) means to be hard, to be hardened, to be stiff-necked. Coppes writes that "The root qāshî apparently arose from an agricultural milieu. It emphasizes, first, the subjective effect exerted by an overly heavy yoke, which is hard to bear, and secondarily, the rebellious resistance of oxen to the yoke." (TWOT)  This passage gives a good picture of the meaning of qashah speaking of Israel which often stiffened their neck to Yahweh or His prophets - "“Yet they did not listen to Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck; they did more evil than their fathers." (Jer 7:26). So a stiffened neck (or hardened heart) does not listen but does evil! Woe! God keep all of us from falling into the deadly trap of a stiff neck or hard heart to Your loving truth, grace, and mercy in Jesus' Name. Amen Qashah in Deuteronomy - Deut. 1:17; Deut. 2:30; Deut. 10:16; Deut. 15:18

Deuteronomy 10:12-11:32
Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. - Deuteronomy 10:16 

Martin Luther once commented: “As it is now, people go to hear a sermon and leave again unchanged. They act like a sermon is only worth the time that it takes to hear it. No one thinks about learning anything from it or remembering it. Some people listen to sermons for three or four years and still don’t learn enough to respond to a single question about faith. More than enough has been written in books, but not nearly enough has been driven into our hearts.” 

Luther was saying much the same thing as Moses in today’s verse: circumcise your hearts! Our reading today captures the greatness of God and of Israel’s calling as the people of God. He is the supreme Ruler of the entire universe, yet He’d specially chosen Israel: “The Lord set His affection on your forefathers and loved them. . . . He is your praise; He is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders” (Dt 10:15, 21).

Therefore, because of God’s greatness and choice, the people were to circumcise their hearts (10:16). Circumcision was a physical sign of the covenant; as a metaphor, it also signifies submission and consecration. Moses might have said: “Stop being rebellious! Cease and desist! Instead, behave like the people of God you are! Bow to His rightful authority and pursue holiness.” That’s a daunting assignment, for it means no less than to be like God (cf. Matt. 5:48). God is just, fair, and holy; He defends the victimized and loves the stranger. How could they reach such lofty goals? “Fear the Lord your God and serve Him. Hold fast to Him and take your oaths in His name” (Dt 10:20; cf. Deuteronomy 30:6). Hold fast, or cling (NASB), is a powerful verb to describe trust and intimacy--it’s the same Hebrew word used in Genesis 2:24 to describe marriage. 

Have you tied God’s words on your hand or bound them to your forehead? Have you fixed them in your heart and mind (11:18)?


Genesis 17:9 God said further to Abraham, "Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 10 "This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 "And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 "And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants. 13 "A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 "But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant."

Circumcision (cutting away the male foreskin) was not entirely new in this period of history, but the special religious and theocratic significance then applied to it was entirely new, thus identifying the circumcised as belonging to the physical and ethnical lineage of Abraham (cf. Acts 7:8; Ro 4:11). Without divine revelation, the rite would not have had this distinctive significance, thus it remained a theocratic distinctive of Israel (cf. v13). There was a health benefit, since disease could be kept in the folds of the foreskin, so that removing it prevented that. Historically, Jewish women have had the lowest rate of cervical cancer. But the symbolism had to do with the need to cut away sin and be cleansed. It was the male organ which most clearly demonstrated the depth of depravity because it carried the seed that produced depraved sinners....This cleansing of the physical organ so as not to pass on disease... was a picture of the deep need for cleansing from depravity, which is most clearly revealed by procreation, as men produce sinners and only sinners. Circumcision points to the fact that cleansing is needed at the very core of a human being, a cleansing God offers to the faithful and penitent through the sacrifice of Christ to come. (MacArthur, J. J. The MacArthur Study Bible. Nashville: Word Pub) (Bolding added)

Circumcision was God’s appointed “sign of the covenant” (Ge 17:11), which signified Abraham’s covenanted commitment to the Lord—that the Lord alone would be his God, whom he would trust and serve. It symbolized a self-maledictory oath (analogous to the oath to which God had submitted himself; see Ge 15:17): “If I am not loyal in faith and obedience to the Lord, may the sword of the Lord cut off me and my offspring (Ge 17:14) as I have cut off my foreskin.” Thus Abraham was to place himself under the rule of the Lord as his King, consecrating himself, his offspring and all he possessed to the service of the Lord. (NIV Study Bible. Zondervan)

Leviticus 26:41+ I also was acting with hostility against them, to bring them into the land of their enemies-- or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make amends for their iniquity, 42 then (Don't miss these critical expressions of time in your Bible reading!) I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land.

Deuteronomy 10:16 "Circumcise then your heart, and stiffen your neck no more."

Physical circumcision was important as the sign of the covenant (cf. Gen. 17:10 and Gen. 17:9, note), and was intended as an outward act bearing eloquent witness to the cutting away of the hardness of sin from the heart of man (cf. Jer. 6:10; Ex. 6:12). (Criswell, W A. Believer's Study Bible: New King James Version. 1991. Thomas Nelson)

The proper response to their election by the sovereign Lord was to circumcise their hearts (cf. Dt 30:6). An uncircumcised heart means a will that is hardened against God’s commands. It is another way of saying the person is stiff-necked or stubborn (cf. Dt 9:6KJV, Dt 9:13KJV; Dt 31:27KJV). Thus the command to circumcise their hearts assumes that human hearts are naturally rebellious and need correction. Though human hearts are slow to change, Moses warned the nation that no bribe or anything less than an inward transformation could satisfy the Lord, who is the great God. God’s treatment of the helpless (the fatherless . . . the widow, and the alien) further illustrates His absolutely just character (showing no partiality) and highlights His requirement for Israel to be just. (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible knowledge commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books) (Bolding added)

Deuteronomy 30:6+ "Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live.

(Deut 30:1-5 prophesies of) The gathering of Jews out of all the countries of the earth (that) will follow Israel’s final redemption. Restoration to the Land will be in fulfillment of the promise of the covenant given to Abraham (see Ge 12:7; 13:15; 15:18, 19, 20, 21; 17:8) and so often reiterated by Moses and the prophets. (Circumcision of their heart is a) work of God in the innermost being of the individual is the true salvation that grants a new will to obey Him in place of the former spiritual insensitivity and stubbornness (cf. Jer. 4:4; 9:25; Ro 2:28, 29). This new heart will allow the Israelite to love the Lord wholeheartedly, and is the essential feature of the New Covenant. (MacArthur, J. J. The MacArthur Study Bible. Nashville: Word Pub) (Bolding added)

The promise that the Lord your God will circumcise your hearts (cf. Dt 10:16) means that God will graciously grant the nation a new will to obey Him in place of their former spiritual insensitivity and stubbornness. After returning to the Promised Land with a new heart they will remain committed to the Lord and therefore will experience abundant blessing (live). Loving Him wholeheartedly (cf. Dt 30:16, 20; see Dt 6:5), they would not fall back into apostasy as they had done before. A new heart is an essential feature of the New Covenant (cf. Ezek. 36:24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32-see notes), which will not be fulfilled for Israel as a nation until the return of Jesus Christ (cf. Jer. 31:31, 32, 33, 34). (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible knowledge commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books) (Bolding added)

Jeremiah 4:4 "Circumcise yourselves to the LORD and remove the foreskins of your heart, men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, lest My wrath go forth like fire and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds."

Here the meaning of circumcision is the idea of purifying, separating from the sinful tendency of the flesh, that propensity inherited from Adam in which the unregenerate seeks only to please self, never God. In other words, God desires that the inward condition match one's outward profession, which pf course is not just an OT idea related to circumcision. God's intent has always been that the outward symbols (e.g., circumcision, baptism) should be signs of an inward reality of a new heart willing to and now able to obey Him. Mere outward conformity to the standards of the covenant does not please God

(MacArthur writes) This surgery (Ge 17:10, 11, 12, 13, 14) was to cut away flesh that could hold disease in its folds and could pass the disease on to wives. It was important for the preservation of God’s people physically. But it was also a symbol of the need for the heart to be cleansed from sin’s deadly disease. The really essential surgery needed to happen on the inside, where God calls for taking away fleshly things that keep the heart from being spiritually devoted to Him and from true faith in Him and His will. Jeremiah later expanded on this theme (Jeremiah 31:31, 32, 33, 34; cf. Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Ro 2:29). God selected the reproductive organ as the location of the symbol for man’s need of cleansing for sin, because it is the instrument most indicative of his depravity, since by it he reproduces generations of sinners. (The MacArthur Study Bible. Nashville: Word Pub) (Bolding added)

Jeremiah 9:25 "Behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "that I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised (now he lists several examples of ancient nations that practiced circumcision and to Judah's dismay placed her right in the middle of the loathed Gentiles!)--26 Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the sons of Ammon, and Moab, and all those inhabiting the desert who clip the hair on their temples; for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised of heart."

Conformity to the external standard of circumcision must be accompanied by "circumcision" of the heart to please God. To see how one can "circumcise the heart" see the teaching by Paul in Romans 2 and Colossians 2 (below).

Bible Knowledge Commentary - If personal achievement or ability would not please God (Jer 9:23), neither would outward conformity to religious rituals. God would punish those circumcised only in the flesh whether they were near or far (Ed: near = Jew; far = Gentile). Judah’s faith in her covenant sign (Ed: cp Ge 17:11) was a misplaced faith because people in some other nations also practiced this ritual-and they were not under God’s covenant. Judah’s actions exposed the fact that the nation was really uncircumcised of heart (cf. Jer 4:4).

Ezekiel 44:6 "And you shall say to the rebellious ones, to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Enough of all your abominations, O house of Israel, 7 when you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart (spiritual circumcision, a new heart) and uncircumcised in flesh, (physical circumcision) to be in My sanctuary to profane it, even My house (the Temple in Jerusalem), when you offered My food, the fat and the blood; for they made My covenant void-- this in addition to all your abominations. 8 "And you have not kept charge of My holy things yourselves, but you have set foreigners to keep charge of My sanctuary." 9 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the sons of Israel, shall enter My sanctuary.

Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heartby the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

Due to the passing down of teaching from one rabbi to another over the centuries ("traditions of men") the true meaning and requirement of circumcision had been lost. And so by the 1st century we find rabbinical "traditions" teaching such fallacies as:

No circumcised Jewish man will see hell” and “Circumcision saves us from hell.”

The Midrash says

God swore to Abraham that no one who was circumcised would be sent to hell. Abraham sits before the gate of hell and never allows any circumcised Israelite to enter.

Here Paul Paul corrects this serious error in rabbinical interpretation and also explains the somewhat enigmatic OT passages alluding to "circumcision of the heart", clearly stating that it is a spiritual circumcision performed by the Holy Spirit at the time one receives the Messiah as Savior. It is salvation by grace through faith -- in the OT it was placing one's faith in a prophesied, promised Deliverer as one looked forward to the Cross of Messiah and in the NT it is looking back to Messiah's finished work of redemption at Calvary. Colossians 2:11 (below) also amplifies the true meaning of the circumcision that God has always desired.

Colossians 2:9 (see notes Colossians 2:9-102:11-12) For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

Circumcision is a cutting away of something and therefore signifies a removal of that which has been cut away. In this verse Paul is clearly using the well known procedure of circumcision not to describe the physical act but ["without hands"] to describe spiritual circumcision. Here Paul uses the circumcision metaphor to explain the same spiritual transaction he discussed in Romans 6:1-11(notes) which describes in detail of the events that occurred when we placed our faith in Christ. At that very moment we were "circumcised with a circumcision made without hands", we were "baptized into Christ" (Galatians 3:27 = identified with Christ) and we experienced a death, burial and resurrection by virtue of our very real spiritual union with Christ. (Col 2:11, 12, 13-notes)

Regarding the "removal of the body of the flesh" the Greek verb gives us the picture of taking off and putting away clothes. And so by analogy "the body of the flesh" is taken off like an old garment (by the Spirit at the time of salvation when Galatians 3:27 teaches we "clothed ourselves with Christ", we exchanged our filthy rags of righteousness for His garment of righteousness). At the moment of salvation, the "body of the flesh" was put off in the sense that it was rendered inoperative (Ro 6:6-note) and now can no longer reign like a cruel dictator over believers as it did when we were unregenerate. The ruling power of this old sinful nature has been broken (Ro 6:7-note, Ro 6:12,13, 14-note , Ro 6:18-note, Ro 6:22- note). Note that the evil nature is not eradicated, for we still sin, but the power of Sin (our old "dictator") has been broken, and as we yield to and are led by the Spirit of Christ (Ro 8:14- note Romans 8:14) we are enabled to walk in the power of the Spirit (Ro 8:4, 5, 6- notes 8:48:58:6) and "by the Spirit" to put "to death the deeds of the body" (note on Ro 8:13). "The flesh" now can exert no more power over a believer than he or she allows it to have.

In short the distinguishing features of the circumcision made without hands are:

(1) not external but internal and not made with hands,

(2) It divests not of part of the flesh, but of the whole body of carnal affections (the power of sin has been rendered inoperative so now we truly can say "no") and

(3) this circumcision is not of Moses nor of Abraham but of Christ.

Ray Stedman writes: "I will never forget an incident that occurred a number of years ago here at the church. A young man came to my office carrying a thick Bible under his arm, which he had been reading. Looking at me very earnestly, he said to me, "Would you circumcise me?" After I had picked myself up from the floor, I explained to him why, one, he did not need physical circumcision, and, two, what circumcision meant. I pointed out that it was an eloquent symbol when it was properly understood." (Beware! Colossians 2:8-15)

MacDonald on "circumcision made without hands") "This circumcision speaks of death to the fleshly nature. It is true positionally of every believer (the moment we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior), but should be followed by a practical mortifying of the sinful deeds of the flesh (Col 3:5-note). The apostle speaks of believers as the true circumcision (Phil. 3:3), in contrast to a party of Jewish legalists known as “the circumcision” (Gal. 2:12).(MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments. Nashville: Thomas Nelson) (Bolding added)

  • Related Study - has all of the material below with some additional material

Question: "What is circumcision of the heart?" (from Gotquestions)

Answer: The idea of “circumcision of the heart” is found in Romans 2:29. It refers to having a pure heart, separated unto God. Paul writes, “A Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter.” These words conclude a sometimes confusing passage of Scripture regarding circumcision and the Christian. Verses 25-29 provide context:

“For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.”

Paul is discussing the role of the Old Testament Law as it relates to Christianity. He argues that Jewish circumcision is only an outward sign of being set apart to God. However, if the heart is sinful, then physical circumcision is of no avail. A circumcised body and a sinful heart are at odds with each other. Rather than focus on external rites, Paul focuses on the condition of the heart. Using circumcision as a metaphor, he says that only the Holy Spirit can purify a heart and set us apart to God. Ultimately, circumcision cannot make a person right with God; the Law is not enough. A person’s heart must change. Paul calls this change “circumcision of the heart.”

This concept was not original with the apostle Paul. As a Jew trained in the Law of Moses, he was certainly aware of this discussion from Deuteronomy 30. There, the Lord used the same metaphor to communicate His desire for a holy people: “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” (Deuteronomy 30:6). Physical circumcision was a sign of Israel’s covenant with God; circumcision of the heart, therefore, would indicate Israel’s being set apart to love God fully, inside and out.

John the Baptist warned the Pharisees against taking pride in their physical heritage and boasting in their circumcision: “Do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham” (Matthew 3:9).

True “children of Abraham” are those who follow Abraham’s example of believing God (Genesis 15:6). Physical circumcision does not make one a child of God; faith does. Believers in Jesus Christ can truly say they are children of “Father Abraham.” “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29).

God has always wanted more from His people than just external conformity to a set of rules. He has always wanted them to possess a heart to love, know and follow Him. That’s why God is not concerned with a circumcision of the flesh. Even in the Old Testament, God’s priority was a spiritual circumcision of the heart: “Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done” (Jeremiah 4:4).

Both Testaments focus on the need for repentance and inward change in order to be right with God. In Jesus, the Law has been fulfilled (Matthew 5:17). Through Him, a person can be made right with God and receive eternal life (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9). As Paul said, true circumcision is a matter of the heart, performed by the Spirit of God.

Deuteronomy 10:17  "For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.

  • God of gods: Jos 22:22 1Ch 16:25,26 Ps 136:2 Da 2:47 11:36 
  • Lord of lords: Ps 136:3 Rev 17:14 19:16 
  • a great: De 7:21 Ne 1:5 4:14 9:32 Job 37:22,23 Ps 99:3 Jer 20:11 
  • oes not show partiality: 2Ch 19:7 Job 34:19 Mk 12:14 Ac 10:34 Ro 2:11 Ga 2:6 Eph 6:9 Col 3:25 1Pe 1:17
  • Deuteronomy 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


For - He is explaining that Israel's uncircumcised heart needs to be circumcised because He is the awesome God who does not show partiality. The point is He will not "wink" at their sin against Him.

the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe - The point is that He is above partiality and bribing. He treats everyone equitably and with righteous justice (and mercy thank God!)

ESV Study Bible rightly says that "The election of Israel (Dt 10:15) does not mean God will cut moral corners in showing special favors to Israel. He is a just God (Dt 10:18).

Deuteronomy 10:18  "He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.

  • He executes justice: Ps 68:5 103:6 146:9 Isa 1:17 Jer 49:11 Ho 14:3 
  • shows His love for the alien: Ps 145:9 Mt 5:45 Ac 14:17
  • Deuteronomy 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing - Orphans and widows were the people with the least power in that society, and they were easily exploited by unscrupulous people. The fatherless, the widow, and the sojourner are the main categories of landless people (in addition to the Levites). Deuteronomy commands special care for such people (e.g., 14:29; 16:11, 14; 24:17, 19-21; 27:19). (ESVSB) 

God freely gives to all who are needy—even as He did to Israel in the wilderness (Dt 8:3, 4).

BSB - More detailed information concerning widows, orphans, and strangers is given in 24:17-22. They are mentioned here to illustrate the loving character of God, who is particularly concerned for the one who needs Him most, even the stranger.

UBS Handbook - For an almost exact parallel to this verse, see Lev 19:34 (see also Ex 22:21; 23:9). Love here refers to showing concern and care for these foreigners. Thus the translation may be “So you should show care and concern for …,” or even “So you should care for.…”

F B Meyer - Deuteronomy 10:18   He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow. 

In the gate of the Eastern town, at early morn, the judge sits, and any suppliant has a right to appeal to him. The word Porte, or Gate, as applied to the Turkish Government, alludes to this. So to the thought of the inspired writers, behind the flimsy vail of sense, God sat within the shadow, “keeping watch upon his own,” waiting to answer every plea, and to avenge the innocent and oppressed against high-handed wrong.

Individuals may appeal to that tribunal. — David, Jeremiah, and other sufferers, lodged their complaints there. Their cry was not for revenge, but for avengement. There is a great difference between the two. The one is vindictive and retaliatory; the other is magisterial and passionless.

Whenever an affront or wrong is inflicted on thee, avoid vindicating, or answering for thyself. Be still towards man, unless it be to induce thy brother to repent; but turn instantly to thy righteous Judge, asking Him to right the wrong and vindicate the right. He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. When Christians go to law, and seek to maintain their cause against wrong-doing, they miss this. The weaker you are, the more certainly will the Lori judge for you.

The Church may appeal. — Our Lord depicted her as a widow pleading to be avenged of her adversary. Her martyrs cry from under the altar, “How long, O Master, holy and true? Dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood? “To us the delay is long; but we know that He has no complicity with evil, and that He is faithful. Give us the white robe, that we may wait!

Deuteronomy 10:19  "So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

  • Ex 22:21 Lev 19:33,34 Lu 6:35 10:28-37 17:18 Ga 6:10 Jas 2:15,16 1Jn 3:17,18 
  • Deuteronomy 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt - The alien was a foreigner (Gentile) who lived with the Israelites. Don't forget what God delivered you from! Their past predicament and delivery should motivate present compassion to those who like they used to be. To love and provide for the disadvantaged was in fact following God’s example.

We see this principle paralleled in Leviticus and Exodus...

Leviticus 19:34  ‘The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God. 

Exodus 22:21; “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 23:9 “You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.

ESVSB points out that "Israel’s own experience in Egypt is a motivation for several laws in Deuteronomy (e.g., Dt 15:15; 24:18, 22).

McGee - God loved the stranger. And He reminded these people that they had been strangers in the land of Egypt.

MacArthur - The sovereign, authoritative God is also impartial (v. 17), as seen in His concern for the orphan, the widow, and the alien (cf. Lv 19:9-18; Jas 1:27).

Welcoming Strangers

You are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. Deuteronomy 10:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 10:12–19

When my friends lived in Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Europe, they were overwhelmed by the warm welcome they received there, especially from other Christians. Once they took some clothes and provisions to a couple from their church who were very poor, yet who were fostering several children. The couple treated my friends like honored guests, giving them sweet tea and, despite their protests, something to eat. As my friends left with gifts of watermelons and other fruits and vegetables, they marveled at the hospitality they experienced.

These believers embody the welcome that God commanded His people, the Israelites, to exhibit. He instructed them “to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 10:12). How could the Israelites live this out? The answer comes a few verses later: “You are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt” (v. 19). By welcoming strangers, they would be serving and honoring God; and in showing them love and care, they would demonstrate their trust in Him.

Our circumstances might differ from the Moldovans or the Israelites, but we too can live out our love for God through our welcome to others. Whether through opening our homes or smiling a greeting to those we meet, we can extend God’s care and hospitality in a lonely, hurting world. By:  Amy Boucher Pye (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

When you receive the gift of hospitality, how does that affect you? When you think about welcoming someone, does a specific person come to mind?

Believers show God’s love through the gift of welcome.


Love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. —Deuteronomy 10:19

Today's Scripture: Deuteronomy 10:17-22

Sometimes the Christian life boils down to the uncommon expression of common virtues. For example, you would expect that people indwelt by the Spirit of love would be friendly. What a difference practicing that virtue would make in society!

Tim Sanders, in his book Likeability Factor, says that a person who provides others with “a sense of joy, happiness, relaxation, or rejuvenation” is more likely to be hired or promoted. He maintains that some companies have actually abolished unfriendliness. They call their system I.O.N.U.: “I observe no unfriendliness.”

That principle should be practiced by the citizens of Christ’s kingdom. When people are asked what they look for in a church, their number-one response is friendliness. Unfortunately, the reality is that many churchgoers are as distant as a star and as cold as space.

The Lord told ancient Israel that He “loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing” (Deuteronomy 10:18). He commanded them to emulate His behavior (v.19).

Friendliness is not just a wise business practice, it should be a characteristic of all who follow Christ. When you attend your church today, act in such a way that a newcomer could say, “I observe no unfriendliness.” By:  Haddon W. Robinson (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Thinking It Over
What are the key elements that help
a church to be meaningful?
Read The Church We Need 

In a world where many people couldn’t care less, Christians should be people who couldn’t care more.

Deuteronomy 10:20  "You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name.

  • fear: De 6:13 13:4 Mt 4:10 Lu 4:8 
  • cling: De 4:4 Dt 11:22 Dt 13:4 Jos 23:8 Acts 11:23 Ro 12:9 
  • swear: De 6:13 Ps 63:11 Isa 45:23 
  • Deuteronomy 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 6:13+ “You shall fear (yare) only the LORD your God; and you shall worship  (abad) Him and swear by His name.

Deuteronomy 4:4+  “But you who held fast to the LORD your God are alive today, every one of you. 

Deuteronomy 11:22+  “For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and hold fast to Him,

Deuteronomy 13:4+  “You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.

Joshua 23:8+   “But you are to cling to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day.

Acts 11:23+   Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord;

Romans 12:9+ Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.


You shall fear (yare) the LORD your God; you shall serve (abad) Him and cling (dabaq) to Him, and you shall swear (shaba) by His name Cling to Yahweh would be evidence of one's consistent loyalty and devotion to Him. The first use of the verb cling (dabaq) is instructive, for it describes a man "joined to (dabaq) his wife" so that they will "be one flesh." (Ge 2:24). This pictures the charge to Israel to cling intimately to Jehovah!

THOUGHT - Would you call your relationship to Jehovah intimate? Are you clinging to Him with a passion and persistence? None of us can carry it out perfectly, so the question is this - is this the "general direction" of your life?

Cling (Septuagint = kollao)(1692dabaq means to stick to, adhere to, cling to, join with, stay with, stay in close proximity to and which yields the noun form for "glue". Dabaq describes something that sticks or clings to something else (Ezek 29:4 and Ezekiel’s tongue to roof of his mouth Ezek. 3:26). Uses in Deuteronomy - Deut. 10:20; Deut. 11:22; Deut. 13:4; Deut. 13:17; Deut. 28:21; Deut. 28:60; Deut. 30:20; 

UBS Handbook - This verse repeats almost word for word statements found elsewhere in the book (see Dt 6:13). But the verb cleave to is used here for the first time. It means to maintain a close relationship with someone, to cling to them or stay close to them (also 11:22; 13:4; 30:20). It is the verb used of the relationship between husband and wife (Gen 2:24). TEV has “be faithful to.” This is also possible. Swear by his name: this means to use Yahweh’s name alone when making a promise or taking a vow. The person calls upon God to punish the one swearing if the promise is not kept. Another way to express this is “make strong [or, solemn] promises using his name” or “make strong promises and speak [or, utter] God’s name.”

Facts of the Matter - Newell Hillis - Devotional from February 7: Clinging To The Lord Your God 

" You are to cling to the Lord your God."  – These were Joshua's parting words to wayward Israel, just before his death. ( Joshua 23:8) 

CLING:  " To hold fast to something, as by grasping, sticking, embracing, or winding around". As a wet raincoat would CLING to your back.As a person on the verge of death would CLING to life. "To remain attached in thought or practice". " To follow close after, pursue hard; to resist separation". 

Jesus put it this way: " If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, he must give up all right to himself… and keep close behind me."  (Luke 9:23a+ – Phillips) 
CLINGING conveys the sense of desperation: That there is no other viable option

  •  Your bank account?
  •   Your reputation?
  •   Your capabilities?

SELF SUFFICIENCY is the arrogant assumption that I can go it alone… without God.  CLINGING is the humble acknowledgment that I must be intimately connected to God for life to make sense and to be worth living. In Joshua's admonition to CLING to God he gives this warning:

" If you ever go back and CLING to the rest of these nations (i.e. the world and its values)… (they) shall be to you as:  A snare and a trap… A whip on your sides… Thorns in your eyes… until you perish from off this good land which the Lord your God has given you." (Joshua 23:12) 


  1. Are you CLINGING to Christ?
  2. Or do you have it so together that you can go it alone?
  3. If so, are you willing to pay the price of independence?

Deuteronomy 10:21  "He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen.

NET  Deuteronomy 10:21 He is the one you should praise; he is your God, the one who has done these great and awesome things for you that you have seen.

BGT  Deuteronomy 10:21 οὗτος καύχημά σου καὶ οὗτος θεός σου ὅστις ἐποίησεν ἐν σοὶ τὰ μεγάλα καὶ τὰ ἔνδοξα ταῦτα ἃ εἴδοσαν οἱ ὀφθαλμοί σου

NLT  Deuteronomy 10:21 He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes.

ESV  Deuteronomy 10:21 He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great and terrifying things that your eyes have seen.

NIV  Deuteronomy 10:21 He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.

YLT  Deuteronomy 10:21 He is thy praise, and He is thy God, who hath done with thee these great and fearful things which thine eyes have seen:

LXE  Deuteronomy 10:21 He is thy boast, and he is thy God, who has wrought in the midst of thee these great and glorious things, which thine eyes have seen.

ASV  Deuteronomy 10:21 He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.

CSB  Deuteronomy 10:21 He is your praise and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome works your eyes have seen.

NKJ  Deuteronomy 10:21 "He is your praise <08416>, and He is your God <0430>, who has done <06213> (08804) for you these great <01419> and awesome things <03372> (08737) which your eyes <05869> have seen <07200> (08804).

NRS  Deuteronomy 10:21 He is your praise; he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen.

NAB  Deuteronomy 10:21 He is your glory, he, your God, who has done for you those great and terrible things which your own eyes have seen.

NJB  Deuteronomy 10:21 Him you must praise, he is your God: for you he has done these great and terrible things which you have seen for yourselves;

GWN  Deuteronomy 10:21 He is your glory. He is your God, who did for you these spectacular and awe-inspiring deeds you saw with your own eyes.

  • praise: Ex 15:2 Ps 22:3 Isa 12:2-6 Isa 60:19 Jer 17:14 Lu 2:32 Rev 21:23 
  • has done: De 4:32-35 1Sa 12:24 2Sa 7:23 Ps 106:21,22 Isa 64:3 Jer 32:20,21 
  • Deuteronomy 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Psalm 22:3   Yet You are holy,O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.

Psalm 109:1  O God of my praise,Do not be silent!

Spurgeon - O God of my praise. Thou Whom my whole soul praises, be pleased to protect my honour and guard my praise. "My heart is fixed", said he in the former psalm, "I will sing and give praise", and now he appeals to the God Whom he had praised. If we take care of God's honour he will take care of ours. We may look to him as the guardian of our character if we truly seek his glory. If we live to God's praise, He will in the long run give us praise among men.

Jeremiah 17:14  Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed;Save me and I will be saved,For You are my praise.

He is your praise and He is your God, Who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen - Literally this reads "He your praise and He your God." What a beautiful phrase every believer can and should recite and receive! Reflecting on the Creator Redeemer—whose love, justice, and power extended beyond the covenant people—leads to worship, love, and obedience.

Great and awesome - 7v - Deut. 7:21; Deut. 10:21; Neh. 1:5; Neh. 4:14; Ps. 99:3; Dan. 9:4; Joel 2:31

Guzik - When God requires us to show justice (no partiality nor takes a bribe), compassion (loves the stranger), and reverence (take oaths in His name), it is because these virtues answer to aspects in God’s own character.(Deuteronomy 10)

D A Carson - Those who focus much on God have much for which to praise. Those whose vision is merely terrestrial or self-centered dry up inside like desiccated prunes. God is your praise! (For the Love of God)

Utley - He is your praise” The language of Deuteronomy has much in common with Wisdom Literature. This phrase is seen in Ps. 109:1. There is no VERB with this phrase or the next one. They are strong affirmations that YHWH’s redemptive action ("Who has done with you great things") during the exodus and wilderness wandering period are praiseworthy:  1.  their praise (BDB 239)   2.  their Elohim (BDB 43)

USB Handbook He is your praise: this can mean either (1) God is the one you must praise, or (2) God is the reason why other peoples praise you. Although the second is possible, it seems that the first meaning is to be preferred. FRCL translates “It is he to whom you must direct your praise.” CEV has “Offer your praise to him.” However, in languages where the idea of praise will require direct speech, we may say, for example, “You must say to him, ‘You are wonderful [or, great].’ ” REB takes your praise in another way, “your proud boast”—that is, God is the one that you (the people of Israel) boast about. Done for you these great and terrible things: see Dt 7:21. This refers in a general way to all that God had done for the people during their forty years’ wandering in the wilderness. Which your eyes have seen: they themselves had seen the great and awesome things that God had done for them (see Dt 3:21).

Adrian Rogers -   I will praise You forever for what You have done.     Psalm 52:9

When we bring our petitions before God, we enter His presence in order to take something away. But when we praise Him, we enter His presence in order to stay there forever. This pleases the Lord. It blesses Him when we offer up the sacrifice of praise, because "He is your praise and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome works your eyes have seen" (Deut. 10:21). The most powerful prayers are always filled with worship, knowing that He is "enthroned on the praises of His people" (Ps. 22:3).


He is your glory. More literally, “He is your praise”—the One to whom you must give all your praise. Praise Him always, and do not give His “glory” to another, nor His renown to idols, nor to the other “gods” and “lords” (v. 17). But “He is your praise” might mean that He is the reason you are praised above all other nations: “For You are their strength in which they glory” (Ps. 89:18); “O LORD, my strength and my stronghold” (Jer. 16:19). He is your God. He united His name with you, for you to be His people and Him to be your God. This is not so with the rest of the nations, for whom He is not their God but the God of the gods He has allotted to them; see again my comment to 4:19. He performed great and wondrous deeds for you, so that you would recognize that you are His own allotment and that His eyes are always on you, for your own good.

Elohey T’hilati  אֱלֹהֵי תְהִלָּתִי

Deuteronomy 10:21–22
  “He is your praise, and he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things, which you have seen with your own eyes. Your ancestors went down into Egypt with only seventy people, but now ADONAI your God has made your numbers as many as the stars in the sky!”

Psalm 18:4
  I call on ADONAI, who is worthy of praise; and I am saved from my enemies.

Psalm 22:24
  “You who fear ADONAI, praise him!
  All descendants of Ya‘akov [Jacob], glorify him!
  All descendants of Isra’el, stand in awe of him!”

Psalm 150:1–6

  Praise God in his holy place!
  Praise him in the heavenly dome of his power!
  Praise him for his mighty deeds!
  Praise him for his surpassing greatness!

  Praise him with a blast on the shofar! [ram’s horn]
  Praise him with lute and lyre!
  Praise him with tambourines and dancing!
  Praise him with flutes and strings!
  Praise him with clanging cymbals!
  Praise him with loud crashing cymbals!
  Let everything that has breath praise ADONAI!


God, I will praise you when I’m happy and life goes my way. And I will praise you in my darkest hour, in the midst of my trials, because you alone are glorious and worthy of praise.

Deuteronomy 10:22  "Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons in all, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.

  • seventy persons in all,: Ge 46:27 Ex 1:5 Ac 7:14 
  • as the stars: De 1:10 28:62 Ge 15:5 Nu 26:51,62 Ne 9:23 Heb 11:12 
  • Deuteronomy 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons in all, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven - (see Gen 46:27; Exo 1:5) This refers to the time when Jacob and his whole family went from the land of Canaan to Egypt, to join Joseph. 

MacArthur - One of the great and awesome things God had done for Israel was multiplying the 70 people who went to Egypt into a nation of over two million people..

TSK - And now, from so small a beginning, they are multiplied to more than 600,000 men, besides women and children; and this, indeed, in the space of 40 years; for the 603,000 which came out of Egypt were at this time all dead, except Moses, Joshua, and Caleb.  How easy can God increase and multiply, as well as diminish and bring low!  In all things, by his omnipotence, he can do whatsoever he will; and he will do whatsoever is right.

Stars of heaven.  The stars that can be seen in the heaven without a telescope number no more than about 5000, but Moses somehow knew that there were far more than that. Therefore he compared the two or three million Israelites to the great host of heaven.