View Deuteronomy 28 in the note window.
The blessings of obedience, personal, family and national, ver. 1 - 14.
The curses of the disobedient; their extreme vexation, ver. 15 - 44.
Their utter ruin and destruction, ver. 45 - 68.
2: Overtake thee - Those blessings which others greedily follow
after, and never overtake, shall follow after thee, and shall be thrown
into thy lap by special kindness.
3: In the city, and in the field - Whether they were husbandmen or
tradesmen, whether in the town or country, they should be preserved from
the dangers of both, and have the comforts of both. How constantly must
we depend upon God, both for the continuance and comfort of life! We need
him at every turn: we cannot be safe, if he withdraw his protection, nor
easy, if he suspends his savour: but if he bless us, go where we will, 'tis
well with us.
5: Store - Store - house, it shall always be well replenished and the
provision thou hast there shall be preserved for thy use and service.
6: Comest in - That is, in all thy affairs and administrations.
9: Establish thee - Shall confirm his covenant with thee, by which
he separated thee to himself as an holy and peculiar people.
10: Of the Lord - That you are in truth his people and children:
A most excellent and glorious people, under the peculiar care and
countenance of the great God.
11: The same things which were said before are repeated, to shew
that God would repeat and multiply his blessings upon them.
12: His treasure - The heaven or the air, which is God's storehouse,
where he treasures up rain or wind for man's use.
13: The head - The chief of all people in power, or at least in
dignity and privileges; so that even they that are not under thine authority
shall reverence thy greatness and excellency. So it was in David's and
Solomon's time, and so it should have been much oftner and much more, if
they had performed the conditions.
15: Overtake thee - So that thou shalt not be able to escape them, as
thou shalt vainly hope and endeavour to do. There is no running from God,
but by running to him; no flying from his justice, but by flying to his
20: Vexation - This seems chiefly to concern the mind, arising from
the disappointment of hopes and the presages of its approaching miseries.
Rebuke - Namely, from God, not so much in words as by his actions, by
cross providences, by sharp and sore afflictions.
23: Brass - Like brass, hard and dry, and shut up from giving rain.
Iron - Hard and chapt and barren.
24: Dust - Either thy rain shall be as unprofitable to thy ground
and seed as if it were only so much dust. Or instead of rain shall come
nothing but dust from heaven, which being raised and carried up by the
wind in great abundance, returns, and falls upon the earth as it were
in clouds or showers.
27: The botch of Egypt - Such boils and blains as the Egyptians
were plagued with, spreading from head to foot: The emerodes - Or piles.
28: Blindness - Of mind, so that they shall not know what to do:
Astonishment - They shall be filled with wonder and horror because of
the strangeness and soreness of their calamities.
29: Grope at noon day - In the most clear and evident matters thou
shalt grossly mistake. Thy ways - Thy counsels and enterprizes shall be
frustrated and turn to thy destruction.
32: Unto another people - By those who have conquered them, and taken
them captives, who shall give or sell them to other persons. Fail - Or,
be consumed, partly with grief and plentiful tears; and partly with
earnest desire, and vain and long expectation of their return. No
might - No power to rescue, nor money to ransom them.
33: Which thou knowest not - Which shall come from a far country,
which thou didst not at all expect or fear, and therefore will be the more
dreadful when they come; a nation whose language thou understandest not,
and therefore canst not plead with them for mercy, nor expect any favour
34: Thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes - Quite put out of
the possession of their own souls; quite bereaved of all comfort and hope,
and abandoned to utter despair. They that walk by sight, and not by faith,
are in danger of losing reason itself, when all about them looks frightful;
and their condition is bad indeed, who are mad for the sight of their
36: Thy king - The calamity shall be both universal, which even thy
king shall not be able to avoid, much less the subjects, who have far less
advantage and opportunity for escape; and irrecoverable, because he who
should protect or rescue them is lost with them, (La 4:10).
Wood and stone - So what formerly was their choice and delight now becomes
their plague and misery. And this doubtless was the condition of many
Israelites under the Assyrian and Balylonish captivities.
43: Within thee - Within thy gates; who formerly honoured and served
thee, and were some of them glad of the crumbs which fell from thy table.
45: Moreover all these curses - It seems Moses has been hitherto
foretelling their captivity in Babylon, by which even after their
return, they were brought to the low condition mentioned, (De 28:44).
But in the following he foretells their last destruction by the Romans.
And the present deplorable state of the Jewish nation, so exactly
answers this prediction, that it is an incontestable proof of the truth of
the prophecy, and consequently of the divine authority of the scriptures.
And this destruction more dreadful than the former shews, that their sin in
rejecting Christ, was more provoking to God than idolatry itself, and left
them more under the power of Satan. For their captivity in Babylon
cured them effectually of idolatry in seventy years. But under this last
destruction, they continue above sixteen hundred years incurably averse to
the Lord Jesus.
46: They - These curses now mentioned. A wonder - Signal and
wonderful to all that hear of them. 'Tis amazing, a people so
incorporated, should be so universally disperst! And that a people
scattered in all nations, should not mix with any, but like Cain, be
fugitives and vagabonds, and yet so marked as to be known.
54: Evil - Unkind, envious, covetous to monopolize these dainty bits
to themselves, and grudging that their dearest relations should have any
part of them.
56: Evil - Unmerciful: she will desire or design their destruction
for her food.
57: Her young one - Heb. after - birth: that which was loathsome to
behold, will now be pleasant to eat; and together with it she shall eat the
child which was wrapt up in it, and may be included in this expression.
Which she shall bear - Or, which she shall have born, that is, her
more grown children. She shall eat them - This was fulfilled more than
once, to the perpetual reproach of the Jewish nation. Never was the
like done either by Greek or Barbarian. See the fruit of being abandoned
63: To destroy you - His just indignation against you will be so
great, that it will be a pleasure to him to take vengeance on you. For
though he doth not delight in the death of a sinner in itself, yet he doth
delight in glorifying his justice upon incorrigible sinners, seeing the
exercise of all his attributes must needs please him, else he were not
65: Neither shall thy foot have rest - Ye shall have no settlement
in the land whither you are banished, but there you shall be tossed about
from place to place, and sold from person to person, or Cain - like,
66: Thy life shall hang in doubt - Either because thou art in the
hands of thy enemies that have power, and want no will, to destroy thee:
or because of the terrors of thy own mind, and the guilt of thy conscience
making thee to fear, even where no fear is.
68: Into Egypt - Which was literally fulfilled under Titus, when
multitudes of them were carried thither in ships, and sold for slaves.
And this expression seems to mind them of that time when they went over the
sea without ships, God miraculously drying up the sea before them, which now
they would have occasion sadly to remember. By the way - Or, to the
way. And the way seems not to be meant here of the usual road - way
from Canaan to Egypt, which was wholly by land, but to be put for
the end of the way or journey, even the land of Egypt, for to this, and
not to the road - way between Canaan and Egypt, agree the words here
following, whereof I speak unto thee, thou shalt see it, (that is,
Egypt) no more again. No man shall buy you - Either because the
number of your captives shall be so great, that the market shall be glutted
with you; or because you shall be so loathsome and contemptible that men
shall not be willing to have you for slaves. And this was the condition of
the Jews after the destruction of Jerusalem, as Josephus the
Jew hath left upon record. Let us all learn hence, to stand in awe
and not to sin. I have heard of a wicked man (says Mr. Henry) who
on reading these threatenings, was so enraged, that he tore the leaf out of
his bible. But to what purpose is it, to deface a copy, while the original
remains unchangeable? By which it is determined, that the wages of sin
is death: yea, a death more dreadful than all that is here spoken!