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h Pe. 90. 1. 18. 25. 4.
with favour, and full with the blessing of the LORD: 26 There is none like 'unto the God of Jeshurun, possess thou the west and the south.
who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his 24 And of Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed excellency on the sky. with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, 27 The eternal God is thy refuge, and underand let him dip his foot in oil.
neath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust 25 Thy 'shoes shall be iron and brass ; and as out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Dethy days, so shall thy strength be.
stroy them. c Josb. 19. 32, &c. d Job 29. 6. or, under thy
els. 11. 10. I Cor. 10. 13. Jer. 10.6. & P. 68, 4, 33. compared him to a serpent for subtlety ; Moses compares him it thus, " The strength of thine old age shall be like that of to a lion for courage and resolution: and what could stand thy youth; thou shall not feel a decay, nor be the worse for the before those that had the head of a serpent and the heart of a wearing, but shalt renew thy youth; as if not thy shoes only, lion? He is compared to the lions that leaped from Bashan, a but thy bones, were iron and brass." The day is often in mountain noted for fierce lions, from whence they came down scripture put for the events of the day; and taking so here, to leap upon their prey in the plains. This may refer either, it is a promise that God would graciously support them under I. To the particular victories obtained by Samson (who was their trials and troubles, whatever they were. And so it is a of this tribe) over the Philistines; the Spirit of the Lord began promise sure to all the spiritual seed of Abraham, that God to move him in the camp of Dan, when he was very young, as will wisely proportion their graces and comforts to the services a lion's whelp, so that in his attacks upon the Philistines he and sufferings he calls them out to. Have they work appointed surprised them and overpowered them by main strength, as a them? They shall have strength to do it. Have they burdens lion does his prey; and one of his first exploits was the rending appointed them? They shall have strength to bear them; and of a lion. Or, 2. To a more general achievement of that tribe, never be tempted above that they are able. Faithful is he that when a party of them, upon information brought them of the has thus promiserl, and hath caused us to hope in this promise. socurity of Laish, which lay in the furthest part of the land of V. 26–29. These are the last words of all that ever Moses, Canaan from them, surprised it, and soon made themselves that great writer, that great dictator, either wrote himself, or masters of it. See Judg. 18. 27. And the mountains of Bashan were written from him, and they are therefore very remarklying not far from that city, probably from thence they made able; and no doubt we shall find ihem very improving. Moses, their descent upon it; and therefore are here said to leap from the man of God, (who had as much reason as ever any mere Bashan.
man had to know both,) with his last breath magnifies both the II. The blessing of Naphtali, v. 23. He looks upon this God of Israel, and the Israel of God. They are both incomtribe with wonder, and applauds it. “O Naphtali, ihou art parable in his eye; and we are sure that in this his judgment happy, thou shalt be so, mayest thou be ever so !" Three of both, his eye did not wax dim. things make up the happiness of this tribe. 1. Be thou satis I. No god like the God of Israel. None of the gods of the fied with favour. Some understand it of the favour of men, nations were capable of doing that for their worshippers which their good will and good word ; Jacob had described this tribe Jehovah did for his, (v. 26,) There is none like unto the Gol of to be, generally, courteous obliging people, giving goodly words, Jeshurun. Note, When we are expecting that God should as the loving hind, Gen. 19. 21. Now what should they get by bless us in doing well for us, we must bless him by speaking being so? Moses here tells them they should have an in well of him; and one of the most solemn ways of praising terest in the affections of their neighbours, and be satisfied God, is, by acknowledging that there is none like him. Now, with favour. They that are loving, shall be beloved. But 1. This was the honour of Israel; every nation boasted of its others understand it of the favour of God; and with good rea- god, but none had such a God to boast of as Israel had. It son: for that only is the favour that is satisfying to the soul, was their happiness, that they were taken into covenant with and puts true gladness into the heart. Those are happy indeed, such a God. Two things he takes notice of as proofs of the that have the favour of God; and those shall have it, that incontestable pre-eminence of the God of Jeshurun above all place their satisfaction in it, and reckon that, in having that, other gods. (i.) His sovereign power and authority; he rides they have enough and desire no more. 2. Be thou full with the upon the heavens, and with the greatest state and magnificence blessing of the Lord, that is, not only with those good things on the skies. Riding on the heavens denotes his greatness and that are the fruits of the blessing, corn and wine and oil, but glory, in which he manifests himself to the upper world, and with the blessing itself; that is, the grace of God, according to the use he makes of the influences of heaven, and the prohis promise and covenant. Those who have that blessing, may ductions of the clouds, in bringing to pass his own counsels in well reckon themselves full, they need nothing else to make this lower world: he manages and directs them as a man does them happy. "The portion of the tribe of Naphtali," (the the horse he rides on. When he has any thing to do for his Jews say,) was so fruitful, and the productions so forward, people, he rides upon the heavens to do it: for he does it swiftly though it lay north, that they of that tribe were generally the and strongly, no enemy can either anticipate or obstruct the first that brought their first-fruits to the temple; and so they progress of him that rides on the heavens. (2.) His boundless had first the blessing from the priest, which was the blessing of eternity; he is the eternal God, and his arms are everlasting, the Lord." Capernaum, in which Christ chiefly resided, lay v. 27. The gods of the heathen were but lately invented, and in this tribe. 3. Be thou in possession of the sea and the south; would shortly perish ; but the God of Jeshurun is eternal, he so it may be read, that is, of that sea which shall lie south of was before all worlds, and will be when time and days shall be thy lot, that was the sea of Galilee; which we so often read of no more. See Hab. 1. 12. in the Gospels, directly north of which the lot of this tribe lay; II. No people like the Israel of God. Having pronounced and which was of great advantage to this tribe, witness the each tribe happy, in the close be pronounces all together very wealth of Capernaum and Bethsaida, which lay within this happy; so happy in all respects, that there was no nation under tribe, and upon the shore of that sea. See how Moses was the sun comparable to them, v. 29, Happy art thou, O Israel, a guided by a spirit of prophecy in these blessings; for before people whose God is the Lord; on that account truly happy, the lot was cast into the lap, he foresaw and foretold how the and none like unto thee. If Israel honour God as a nonesuch disposal of it would be.
God, he will favour them, so as to make them a nonsuch people, TII. The blessing of Asher, v. 24,25. Four things he prays the envy of all their neighbours, and the joy of all their wellfor and prophesies concerning this tribe, which carries blessed-wishers. Who is like unto thee, O people? Behold thou art ness in its name ; for Leah called the father of it Asher, saying, fair, my love! says Christ of his spouse. To which she Happy am I, Gen. 30, 13. 1. The increase of their numbers. presently returns, Behold, thou art fair, my beloved. What one They are now a numerous tribe, Num. 26. 47. Let it be more nation (no not all the nations together) is like thy people Isa so; Let Asher be blessed with children. Note, Children, espe- rael? 2 Sam. 7. 23. What is here said of the church of Israel, cially children of the covenant, are blessings, not burdens. and the honours and privileges of it, certainly to be applied 2. Their interest in their neighbours ; Let him be acceptable to to the church of the first-born, that are written in heaven. The his brethren. Noto, It is a very desirable thing to have the Christian church is the Israel of God, as the apostle calls it, love and good will of those we live among : it is what we should Gal. 5. 16, on which there shall be peace, and which is dignipray to God for, who has all hearts in his hand; and what we fied above all societies in the world, as Israel was. should endeavour to gain by meckness and humility, and a 1. Never was people so well seated and sheltered, v. 27, The readiness as we have ability and opportunity, to do good to all eternal God is thy refuge! Or, as the word signifies, "thy habi
3. The richness of their land. (1.) Above ground; tation or mansion house, in whom thou art safe and easy, and Let him dip his foot in oil, that is, “Let him have such plenty | at rest, as a man in his own house.” Every Israelite indeed of it in his lot, ihat he may not only anoint his head with it, is at home in God; the soul returns to him, and reposes in him but, if he pleases, wash his feet in it,” which was not com as its resting place, (Ps. 116. 7,) its hiding place, Ps. 32.7. mondy done; yet we find our blessed Saviour so acceptable 10 And they that make him their habitation, shall have all the his brethren, that his feet were anointed with the most precious comforts and benefits of a habitation in him, Ps. 91.1. Moses ointmen Luke 7. 46. (2.) Under ground; Thy shoes shall be had an eye to God as the habitation of Israel, when they were iron and trass, that is, Thou shalt have great plenty of these wandering in the wilderness, (Ps. 90. 1,) Lord, thou hast been metals, (mines of them) in thine own ground, which by an our dwelling-place in all generations. And now that they were uncommon blasing shall have both its surface and its bowels going to settle in Canaan, they must not change their habirich :" or, if th y had them not as the productions of their own tation ; still they will
need, and still they shall have, the eternal country, they should have them imported from abroad; for the God for their dwelling-place; without him Canaan itself would
The Chaldee paraphrasts be a wilderness, and a land of darkness. understand it figuratily; " Thou shalt be strong and bright, 2. Never was people so well supported and borne up; underas iron and brass." f. The continuance of their strength and neath are the everlasting arms; that is, the almighty power of Vignir; As thy days so she thy strength be. Many paraphrase. God is engaged for the protection and consolation of all that
n Rev. 1. 16.
or, the hill.
28 Israel then shall dwell in isafety alone :k the
records of Joshua, and his successors the Judges. We have had an account of his
dying worda, here we have an account of his dying work, and that is work we fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn must all do shortly, and it had need be well done. Here is, I. The view Moses and wine ; also his heavens shall drop down dew.
had of the land of Canaan just before he died, v.1-4. II. His death and burial,
v. 5, 6. M. His age, v. 7. IV. lsrael's mourning for him, v. 8. Y. His suc 29 Happy 'art thou, O Israel: who is like unto cessor, v. 9. VI. His character, v. 10-12. thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield mof , | A
ND Moses went up from the plains of Moab
unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of *Pisand thine enemies shall be *found liars unto thee; gah, that is over against Jerichó. And the LORD and thou shalt tread upon their high places. showed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan,
2 And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, CHAPTER XXXIV.
and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the Having rend how Moses finished his testimony, we are told here how he immedi: utmost sea, ately after finished his life. This chapter could not be written by Moses himself,
3. And the south, and the plain of the valley of Samuel
, who was a prophet, and wrote'boy'divine authority what he found in tbe Jericho, the city of palm-trees, unto Zoar.
or, subdued. trust in him, in their greatest straits and distresses, and under 6. Never was people so well helped; if they were inj. their heaviest burdens. The everlasting arms shall support, strait, God himself rode upon the heavens for their help,:re (1.) The interests of the church in general, that they shall not And they were a people saved by the Lord, v. 29. If the an sink, or be run down; underneath the church is that Rock of in danger of any harm, or in want of any good, theyhing ages on which it is built, and against which the gates of hell eternal God to go to, an almighty power to trust toe that shall never prevail, Matt. 16. 18. (2.) The spirits of particular could hurt those whom God helped, nor was it por They believers, so that though they may be oppressed, they shall not that people should perish which was saved by the lue saved, be overwhelmed by any trouble. How low soever the pcople that are added to the Gospel Israel, are such as st of God are at any time brought, everlasting arms are under- Acts 2. 47.
If was the neath them to keep the spirit from sinking, from fainting, and 7. Never was people so well armed; God hnsively, and the faith from failing, even when they are pressed above mea shield of their help, by whom they were armede he was the
The everlasting covenant, and the everlasting conso-sufficiently guarded against all assailants ;sed offensively, lations that flow from it, are indeed everlasting arms, with which Sword of their ercellency, by whom they wermeir wars. God believers have been wonderfully sustained, and kept cheerful in and made both formidable and successful inge, in fighting for the worst of times; divine grace is sufficient for them, 2 Cor. is called the Sword of their excellency, bror, because in all 12. 9.
them, he made them to excel other peojctuary among them, 3. Never was people so well commanded and led on to battle ; he did for them, he had an eye to hişs. 47. 4. Ez. 28. 21. " He shall therust out the enemy from before thee by his almighty which is called the excellency of Jache excellency of holipower which will make room for thee, and by a commission Am. 6.8. Those in whose heartsand sword, are defended which will hear thee out, he shall say, Destroy them.” They ness, have God himself for their shid is their sword, and faith were now entering upon a land that was in the full possession by the whole armour of God; his of a strong and formidable people, and who being its first plant- in it is their shield, Eph. 6. 16, 17sured of victory over their ers, looked upon themselves as its rightful owners; how shall 8. Never was people so web unto thee; that is,
" shall be Israel , justify, and how shall they accomplish the expulsion of enemies; They shall be found,ainst
their will, so that it will them? (1.) God will give them a commission to destroy the forced to submit to thee sor; yet the point shall be gained, Canaanites, and that will justify them, and bear them out in it, be but a counterfeit submis necks," (so the LXX,) which we against all the world. He that is sovereign Lord of all lives for thou shalt tread upon thou shalt tread down their strong and all lands, not only allowed and permitted, but expressly find done, Josh. 10. 24. gh; and trample upon their palaces commanded and appointed, the children of Israel both to take holds, be they never s@med ever so sacred. If thine enemies possession of the land of Canaan, and to put to the sword the and temples, though co some read it,) " thou shalt tread upon people of Canaan, which, being thus authorized, they might not be found liars to theeey will not be held by the bonds of leagues only lawfully but honourably do, without incurring the least stain their high places; iáll be broken by the force of war.” Thus or imputation of theft by the one, or murder by the other. and treaties, theace tread Satan under the feet of all be(2.) God will give them power and ability to destroy them; I shall the God, do it shortly, Rom. 16. 20. nay, he will in effect do it to their hands : he will thrust out lievers, and, this together, and then you will say, Happy art the enemy from before them; for the very fear of Israel shall Now laael! Who is like unto thee, O people? Thrice put them to fight. God drove out he heathen to plant his thou, le people whose God is the Lord. people, Ps. 44. 2. Thus believers are more than conquerors happy over their spiritual enemies, through Christ that loved them. .1-4. Here is, The Captain of our salvation thrust out the enemy from before 1. Moses climbing upward toward heaven, as high as the us, when he overcame the world, and spoiled principalities lop of Pisgah, there to die; for that was the place appointed, and powers on the cross and the
word of command to us is, ch. 32. 49, 50. Israel lay encamped upon the fat grounds in “Destroy them; pursue the victory, and you shall divide the plains of Moab, and from thence he went up, according to spoil."
-8, order, to the mountain of Nebo; to the highest point or ridge Israel shall then dwell in safety alone. Those that cafety; appellative name for all such eminences. It should seem, 4. Never was people
so well secured and protected. in of that mountain, which was called Pisgah, v. 1. Pisgah is an God, and make his name their strong tower, dwell ý. 33.16Moses went up alone to the top of Pisgah, alone without help: the place of their defence is the munitions of rockze"; though a sign that his natural force was not abated, when on the last They shall dwell in safety alone. (1.) Though hor have any day of his life he could walk up to the top of a high hill without they contract no alliances with their neighbourhem, yet they such supporters as once he had when his hands were heavy shall que le spectrehelp or succour from anyfe, and they shall (Ex. 17. 12,) alone
without company, when he had made an end think themselves so. (2.) Because sup; they shall dwell in of blessing Israel
, we may suppose he solemnly took leave of safety, as long as they continue pure... unmixed with the hea- Joshua and Eleazar and the rest of his friends, who, probably, then, a singular and peculiar peor Their distinction from brought him to the foot of the hill, but then he gave them such other nations, though it made the like a speckled bird, (Jer. 12. a charge as Abraham gave to his servants, at the foot of another 9,) and exposed them to the ill all of those about them, yet it was hill; Tarry ye here while I go yonder and die : they must not really their preservation com the mischief their neighbours see him die, because they must not know of his sepulchre. wished them, as it kep, nem under the divine protection. All But, whether this were so or not, he went up to the top of that keep close to Gshall be kept safe by him. It is promised, Pisgah, 1. To show that he was willing to die: when he knew that, in the kingdoin of Christ, Israel sholl dwell safely, Jer. 23. 6. the place of his death, he was so far from avoiding it, that he
5. Never was people so well provided for; the fountain of cheerfully mounted a steep hill to come at it. Note, Those Jacob, that is, the present generation of that people, which is that through grace are well acquainted with another world, and as the fountain to all the streams that shall hereafter descend have been much conversant with it, need not be afraid to leave and be derived from it, shall now presently be fixed upon a good this. 2. To show that he looked upon death as his ascension. land. The eyr of Jacob (so it might be read, for the same word The soul of a man, of a good man, when it leaves the body, signifies a fountain and an eye) is upon the land of corn and goes upward, Ec. 3. 21, in conformity to which motion of the wine; that is, where they now lay encamped, they had Canaan soul, the body of Moses shall go along with it as far upward as in their eye, it was just before their faces, on the other side the its earth will carry it. When God's servants are sent for out river, and they would have it in their hands, and under their of the world, the summons runs thus, Go up and die. feet quickly. This land which they had their eye upon, was II. Moses looking downward again toward this earth, to see blesged both with the fatness of the earth, and the dew of the earthly Canaan into which he must never enter, but therein heaven; it was a land of corn and wine, substantial and useful by faith looking forward to the heavenly Canaan into which he productions : also his heavens (as if the heavens were par- should now immediately enter. God had threatened that he ticularly designed to be blessings to that land) shall drop down should not come into the possession of Canaan, and the threatdew, without which, though the soil were ever so good, the ening is fulfilled. But he had also promised that he should have corn and wine would soon fail. Every Israelite indeed has his a prospect of it, and the promise is here performed; The Lord eye, the eye of faith, upon the better country, the heavenly showed him all that good land, v. 1. Canaan, which is richly replenished with better things than 1. If he went up alone to the top of Pisgah, yet he was not corn and wine.
alone, for the Father was with him, John 16. 32. If a man has
NOTES TO CHAPTER XXXIV.
9 And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit 11 In all the signs and the wonders which the fof wisdom; for Moses shad laid his hands upon Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Phahim: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, raoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.
12 And in all that mighty khand, and in all the 10 And there arose not a prophet since in Israel great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, Israel. Dan. 6.3. & Num. 27. 18, 3. k c. 18. 15, 18. Heb. 3. 5, 6.
i c. 4. 34. & c. 7. 19. of the world ; the eye of them is not waxen dim, for they shall was the thing that Moses had asked of God for him, when he discern the thoughts and intents of the heart, nor is their natu laid his hands on him. When the bodily presence of Christ ral force or obligation abated, but still we are under the law to withdrew from his church, he prayed the Father to send another Christ.
comforter, and obtained what he prayed for. 3. The people IV. The solemn mourning that there was for him, v. 8. It cheerfully owned him, and submitied to him. Note, An intet is a debt owing to the surviving honour of deceased worthies, to rest in the affections of people is a great advantage, and a greafollow them with our tears, as those who loved and valued encouragement to those thai are called to public trusts of what them, are sensible of our loss of them, and are truly humbled for kind soever. It was also a great mercy to the people, that those sins which have provoked God to deprive us of them; for when Moses was dead, they were not as sheep having no penitential tears very fitly mix with these. Observe, 1. Who shepherd, but had one ready among them, in whom they did the mourners were : the children of Israel; they all conformed unanimously, and might with the highest satisfaction, acquiesce. to the ceremony, whatever it was; though some of them per II. Moses is praised, v. 10-12, and with good reason. haps, who were ill affected to his government, were but mock 1. He was indeed a very great man, especially upon two • mourners. Yet we may suppose there were those among them, accounts, (1.) His intimacy with the God of nature; God who had formerly quarrelled with him and his government, and knew him face to face, and so he knew God. See Num. 12. 8. perhaps had been of those who spake of stoning him, who now He saw more of the glory of God than any (at least) of the Oldwere sensible of their loss, and heartily lamented him when he Testament saints ever did. He had more free and frequent was removed from them, though they knew not how to value him access to God, and was spoken to, not in dreams and visions, when he was with them. Thus they who had murmured, were and slumberings on the bed, but when he was awake and made to learn doctrine, Is. 29. ?4. Note, The loss of good standing before the cherubims. Other prophets, when God men, especially good governors, is to be much lamented
and appeared and spoke to them, were struck with terror, (Dan. 10. laid to heart: those are stupid, who do not consider it. ? How 7,) but Moses, whenever he received a divine revelation, kept long they mourned; thirty days: so long the formality lastea, his temper. (2.) His interest and power in the kingdom of and we may suppose there were some, in whom the mourning nature; tho miracles of judgment he wrought in Egypt before continued much longer. Yet the ending of the days of weeping Pharaoh, and the miracles of mercy he wrought in the wilderand mourning for Moses is an intimation, that how great ness before Israel, served to demonstrate that he was a particular soever our losses have been, we must not abandon ourselves to favourite of Heaven, and had an extraordinary comruission to perpetual grief, we must suffer the wound at least to heal up in act as he did on this earth. Never was there any man whom time. If we hope to go to heaven rejoicing, why should we Israel had more reason to love, or whom the enemies of Israel resolve to go to the grave mourning ? The ceremonial law of had more reason to fear. Observe, The historian calls the Moses is dead and buried in the grave of Christ; but the Jews miracles Moses wrought, signs and wonders, done with a mighty have not yet ended the days of their mourning for it.
hand and great terror ; which may refer to the terrors of mount V. 9-12. We have here a very honourable encomium Sinai, by which God fully ratified Moses's commission, and passed both on Moses and Joshua ; each has his praise, and demonstrated it beyond exception to be divine, and this in the should have. It is ungrateful so to magnify our living friends, sight of all Israel. as to forget the merits of those that are gone, to whose memo 2. He was greater than any other of the prophets of the Old ries there is a debt of honour due: all the respects must not be Testament: though they were men of great interest in heaven, paid to the rising sun; and on the other hand, it is unjust so to and great influence upon earth, yet they were none of them to cry up the merits of those that are gone, as to despise the bene- be compared with this great man; none of them either evidenced fit we have in those that survive and succeed them. Let God or executed a commission from heaven so as Moses did. This be glorified in both, as here.
seems to have been written long after, yet then there had not 1. Joshua is praised as a man admirably qualified for the work risen any prophet like unto Moses, nor did there arise any such to which he was called, v. 9. Moses brought Israel to the bor- between that and the sealing up of the vision and prophecy. ders of Canaan, and then died and left them, to signify that the By Moses God gave the law, and moulded and formed the law made nothing perfect, Heb. 7. 19. It brings men into a wil-Jewish church: by the other prophets he only sent particular derness of conviction, but not into the Canaan of rest and seto reproofs, directions, and predictions. The last of the prophets tled peace. It is an honour reserved for Joshua, (our Lord concludes with a charge to remember the law of Moses, Mal. 4.4. Jesus, of whom Joshua was a type,) to do that for us, which Christ himself often appealed to the writings of Moses, and the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, Rom. vouched him for a witness, as one that saw his day at a distance 8. 3. Through him we enter into rest; the spiritual rest of and spake of him. But as far as the other prophets came conscience and eternal rest in heaven. Three things concur- short of him, our Lord Jesus went beyond him; his doctrine red to clear Joshua's call to this great undertaking. 1, God more excellent, his miracles more illustrious, and his commufitted him for it. He was full of the spirit of wisdom ; and so nion with his Father more intimate, for he had lain in his bosom he had need, who had such a peevish people to rule, and such from eternity, and by him God does now in these last days a politic people to conquer. Conduct is as requisite in a general speak to us. The history of Moses leaves him buried in the plains as courage. Herein Joshua was a type of Christ, in whom are of Moab, and concludes with the period of his government; but hid the treasures of wisdom. 2. Moses by the divine appoint- the history of our Saviour leaves him sitting at the right hand ment had ordained him to it; He had laid his hands upon him; of the Majesty on high, and we are assured that of the increase so substituting him to be his successor, and praying to God of his government and peace there shall be no end. The Apostle, to qualify him for the service to which he called him; and in his epistle to the Hebrews, largely proves the pre-eminence this comes in as a reason why God gave him a more than ordi- of Christ above Moses, as a good reason why we that are rary spirit of wisdom, because his designation to the govern- Christians should be obedient, faithful, and constant to that ment was God's own act; those whom God employs, he will holy religion which we make profession of God, by his grace, in some measure make fit for the employment; and because this make us all so!