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Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak;

let the earth hear the words of my mouth.


May my teaching drop like the rain,

my speech condense like the dew;

like gentle rain on grass,

like showers on new growth.


For I will proclaim the name of the L ord;

ascribe greatness to our God!



The Rock, his work is perfect,

and all his ways are just.

A faithful God, without deceit,

just and upright is he;


yet his degenerate children have dealt falsely with him,

a perverse and crooked generation.


Do you thus repay the L ord,

O foolish and senseless people?

Is not he your father, who created you,

who made you and established you?


Remember the days of old,

consider the years long past;

ask your father, and he will inform you;

your elders, and they will tell you.


When the Most High apportioned the nations,

when he divided humankind,

he fixed the boundaries of the peoples

according to the number of the gods;


the L ord’s own portion was his people,

Jacob his allotted share.



He sustained him in a desert land,

in a howling wilderness waste;

he shielded him, cared for him,

guarded him as the apple of his eye.


As an eagle stirs up its nest,

and hovers over its young;

as it spreads its wings, takes them up,

and bears them aloft on its pinions,


the L ord alone guided him;

no foreign god was with him.


He set him atop the heights of the land,

and fed him with produce of the field;

he nursed him with honey from the crags,

with oil from flinty rock;


curds from the herd, and milk from the flock,

with fat of lambs and rams;

Bashan bulls and goats,

together with the choicest wheat—

you drank fine wine from the blood of grapes.


Jacob ate his fill;

Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked.

You grew fat, bloated, and gorged!

He abandoned God who made him,

and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.


They made him jealous with strange gods,

with abhorrent things they provoked him.


They sacrificed to demons, not God,

to deities they had never known,

to new ones recently arrived,

whom your ancestors had not feared.


You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you;

you forgot the God who gave you birth.



The L ord saw it, and was jealous;

he spurned his sons and daughters.


He said: I will hide my face from them,

I will see what their end will be;

for they are a perverse generation,

children in whom there is no faithfulness.


They made me jealous with what is no god,

provoked me with their idols.

So I will make them jealous with what is no people,

provoke them with a foolish nation.


For a fire is kindled by my anger,

and burns to the depths of Sheol;

it devours the earth and its increase,

and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.


I will heap disasters upon them,

spend my arrows against them:


wasting hunger,

burning consumption,

bitter pestilence.

The teeth of beasts I will send against them,

with venom of things crawling in the dust.


In the street the sword shall bereave,

and in the chambers terror,

for young man and woman alike,

nursing child and old gray head.


I thought to scatter them

and blot out the memory of them from humankind;


but I feared provocation by the enemy,

for their adversaries might misunderstand

and say, “Our hand is triumphant;

it was not the L ord who did all this.”



They are a nation void of sense;

there is no understanding in them.


If they were wise, they would understand this;

they would discern what the end would be.


How could one have routed a thousand,

and two put a myriad to flight,

unless their Rock had sold them,

the L ord had given them up?


Indeed their rock is not like our Rock;

our enemies are fools.


Their vine comes from the vinestock of Sodom,

from the vineyards of Gomorrah;

their grapes are grapes of poison,

their clusters are bitter;


their wine is the poison of serpents,

the cruel venom of asps.



Is not this laid up in store with me,

sealed up in my treasuries?


Vengeance is mine, and recompense,

for the time when their foot shall slip;

because the day of their calamity is at hand,

their doom comes swiftly.



Indeed the L ord will vindicate his people,

have compassion on his servants,

when he sees that their power is gone,

neither bond nor free remaining.


Then he will say: Where are their gods,

the rock in which they took refuge,


who ate the fat of their sacrifices,

and drank the wine of their libations?

Let them rise up and help you,

let them be your protection!



See now that I, even I, am he;

there is no god besides me.

I kill and I make alive;

I wound and I heal;

and no one can deliver from my hand.


For I lift up my hand to heaven,

and swear: As I live forever,


when I whet my flashing sword,

and my hand takes hold on judgment;

I will take vengeance on my adversaries,

and will repay those who hate me.


I will make my arrows drunk with blood,

and my sword shall devour flesh—

with the blood of the slain and the captives,

from the long-haired enemy.



Praise, O heavens, his people,

worship him, all you gods!

For he will avenge the blood of his children,

and take vengeance on his adversaries;

he will repay those who hate him,

and cleanse the land for his people.

44 Moses came and recited all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he and Joshua son of Nun. 45When Moses had finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46he said to them: “Take to heart all the words that I am giving in witness against you today; give them as a command to your children, so that they may diligently observe all the words of this law. 47This is no trifling matter for you, but rather your very life; through it you may live long in the land that you are crossing over the Jordan to possess.”

Moses’ Death Foretold

48 On that very day the L ord addressed Moses as follows: 49“Ascend this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, across from Jericho, and view the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites for a possession; 50you shall die there on the mountain that you ascend and shall be gathered to your kin, as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his kin; 51because both of you broke faith with me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, by failing to maintain my holiness among the Israelites. 52Although you may view the land from a distance, you shall not enter it—the land that I am giving to the Israelites.”

1. Give ear, O ye heavens. Moses commences in a strain of magnificence, lest the people should disdain this song with their usual pride, or even reject it altogether, being exasperated by its severe censures and reproaches. For we well know how the world naturally longs to be flattered, and that no strain can be gratifying to it unless it tickles and soothes the ear with praise. But Moses here not only inveighs bitterly against the vices of the people, but with the utmost possible vehemence stigmatizes their perverse nature, their utterly corrupt morals, their obstinate ingratitude, and incorrigible contumacy. Moreover, he desired that these accusations, whereby he rendered their name detestable, should daily echo from their tongues; and thus they became still more offensive. It was, therefore, requisite that their impatience should be bridled, as it were, in order that they might patiently and humbly receive these just reproofs, however severe they might be. If, therefore, they should repudiate this song, or should turn a deaf ear to it, he declares at the outset that heaven and earth would be witnesses of their prodigious obtuseness; nay, he turns and addresses himself to heaven and earth, and thus signifies that it was worthy of the attention of all creatures, even although they were without intelligence or feeling. For it is a hyperbolical mode of expression, when he assigns the faculty of hearing, and being instructed, to the senseless elements; just as Isaiah, when he would intimate that he found none to give heed to him amongst the whole people, in like manner appeals to the heavens and the earth, and even summons them to bear witness to the prodigious iniquity, that there should be less of intelligence amongst the whole people than in oxen and asses. (Isaiah 1:2, 3.) For it is but a meager exposition, which some give of these words, that they are used, by metonymy, for angels and men. 247247     See ante, on Deuteronomy 4:26, vol. 3, p. 269, and note.

2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain. Some, as I think improperly, here resolve the future tense into the optative mood, 248248     So the LXX., V., Vatablus, Junius, and others. Ainsworth combines the two, and says, “shall drop, or let it drop, as being a wish, and also a promise, that his doctrine should be profitable and effectual,” etc. for in this splendid eulogium he rather celebrates, in order to commend his doctrine, the fruitfulness 249249     “L’eloquence.” Fr. which is actually imparted to it by the Holy Spirit, than asks for it to be given to him; and my readers must at once perceive that such a request would have been by no means seasonable. He therefore compares his speech to rain or dew, as if he had said that, if only the people were like the soil in a state of softness and preparation, he would deliver doctrine to them which would irrigate them unto abundant fruitfulness.

Although this expression refers especially, and κατ ᾿ ἐξοχὴν to the Song, still its force and propriety extends to all divine teaching; for God never speaks except to render men fruitful in good works, just as, by instilling succulency and vigor into the earth by means of rain, He makes it fertile for the production of fruit. But, like the rocks and stones, which imbibe no moisture from the most abundant rains, so many are hindered by their own perversity from being fertilized by spiritual irrigation. Wherefore Moses indirectly throws the blame upon the Israelites, if the doctrine of this Song should drop upon them in vain.

3 Because I will publish the name of the Lord. He signifies by these words that, if there were any spark of piety in the Israelites, it must be manifested by their welcoming this address, wherein the majesty of God shines forth. The first clause of the verse, therefore, stands last in order, since it is an assignment of a reason for the other. For when he exhorts them that they should ascribe to God the glory He deserves, he inculcates upon them obedience and attention, as if he had said that, unless they reverently submit themselves to his teaching, God would be defrauded of this due honor; and this he confirms by adding as a reason that he will sincerely and faithfully publish the name of God. For the word invoke 250250     Hebr. אקרא A.V., “I will publish,” from קרא, which is stated by Taylor to signify, in its first sense, ”Vocare, advocare, eonvocare, invocare, clamare, exclamare, legere.” — Concord, in voce. is not used here as in many other passages, but is equivalent to making a profession of God. Moses, then, declares himself to be His proclaimer, in order that, under cover of His most Holy name, he may awaken attention to his words.

4. His work is perfect. Those who take these expressions generally, and without particular reference to this passage, not only obscure their meaning, but also lessen the force of the doctrine they contain. Let us, then, understand that the perfection of God’s works, the rectitude of His ways, etc., are contrasted with the rebellion of the people; for if there were anything 251251     “Quelque chose de coupe on mutile, ou bien real compasse et confus;” anything defective or mutilated, or even ill-contrived and confused. — Fr. in God’s works imperfect and in arranged, if His mode of dealing were deficient in rectitude, if His truth were doubtful; if, in a word, there were anything wanting, then there would have been a natural excuse why the people should have sought for something better than they found in Him, since the desire of obtaining that which is best is deserving of no reprehension. Lest, then, the Israelites should offer any such pretext, Moses anticipates them. Before he begins to treat of the wicked ingratitude of the people, he lays down this principle, that they were not induced to transfer their affections elsewhere by any deficiency in God. The general statement is indeed true in itself, and may be applied to various purposes; but we must consider what the object of Moses here is, namely, to remove from the people every pretext for their impious and perfidious rebellion, and this in order that their amazing folly may be more apparent, when they forsake the fountain of living waters, and hew them out cisterns with holes in them, as God himself complains in Jeremiah 2:13. We perceive therefore, that every honorable distinction which is here attributed to God, brands the people with a corresponding mark of ignominy, in that they had knowingly and voluntarily deprived themselves of the plenitude of all good things, which might have been enjoyed by them had they not alienated themselves from God.

God’s work is spoken of, not only with reference to the creation of the world, but to the whole course of His providence; as if it were said that nothing could be discovered in God’s works which could be found fault with.

Now this perfection is not perceptible in every individual thing, for even vermin are God’s creatures; and amongst men some are blind, some lame, some deaf, and others mutilated in one of their members; and many fruits also never arrive at maturity. Yet we plainly see that it is foolish and misplaced to bring forward such questions as these as objections to the perfection of God, here celebrated by Moses, inasmuch as the very defects and blemishes of our bodies tend to this object, that God’s glory may be made manifest. (John 9:3.)

The next statement, that all his ways are right, 252252     A. V., “all his ways are judgment.” conveys a similar truth; for it is well known that the word משפט, mishphat, is used for rectitude, and works and ways are synonymous.

The latter part of the verse is a confirmation of the former part, since Moses signifies in both that all who censure God may be clearly convicted of petulant impiety, since supreme justice shines forth in all His acts.

The words I have rendered, “God is truth,” others construe with the genitive case, “a God of truth.” Either is true, and agreeable to the usage of Scripture; but the apposition is more emphatic, which declares that God is not only true, but the Truth itself. At any rate, this applies to the persons who pay entire allegiance to the word of God, for their expectations shall never be frustrated. Thus the people are indirectly reproved for their unbelief, in that they deserted God, whose faithfulness was not only tried and proved, but who is the very fountain of truth.

Although what follows, that there is no iniquity in God, seems to some to have but little force, it is nevertheless of great importance; for we well know how often men are so absurd in their subterfuges, as in a manner to arraign God instead of themselves; and although they do not dare to accuse Him openly, still they do not hesitate to acquit themselves, and thus to cast direct obloquy upon Him. Elsewhere, therefore, God inquires by His Prophet, “what iniquity the people had found in Him?” (Jeremiah 2:5,) and in another place expostulates with them, because He was loaded with their hatred and abuse, as if He dealt unjustly with such sinners. (Ezekiel 18:2,5.) When, therefore, He vindicates Himself from such calumnies, it follows that no blame attaches itself to Him, but that the wickedness of those who turn away from Him is abundantly condemned.

5. They have corrupted themselves. Moses now inveighs unhesitatingly against the perfidy of the people, and gives loose to the most unmeasured upbraidings; for if God be just and true, then it was plain enough that the Israelites were a depraved and perverse nation. This perverse nation, he says, has corrupted itself towards Him, namely Him, whom he has just lauded for His perfect justice and faithfulness; and he accuses them of having basely prostituted to every sort of sin the chastity which they had promised to God. There is no doubt but that they were sorely wounded by these epithets, and would have been transported with rage, had they not seen that God’s incomparable servant, when he had now been called upon to die by God’s command, spoke as it were from heaven. The voice, therefore, of the dying man restrained their pride, so that they did not now dare to oppose him as a mortal; and afterwards, when the condemnation had been assented to by public authority, and by general accord, they were less at liberty to vent their madness against it. He introduces, by way of anticipation, the statement that they were not His children; for else they might obviously have made the objection that the sacred race of Abraham, which God had adopted, should be dealt with less reproachfully. Moses, therefore, declares that they are not children, because they are a perverse nation. For although their adoption always stood firm, still its efficacy was restricted to the elect part of them, so that God, without breaking His covenant, might reject the general body. But to explain the matter more clearly, it must be borne in mind that the Spirit, on different grounds, at one time assigns the name of God’s children to hypocrites, at another takes it away; for sometimes it is an aggravation of their criminality, when they are called the children of Abraham and Jacob as well as of God, an instance of which will soon occur. Here, however, in order that they may cease to glory without cause, they are said not to be children, because they are degenerate, and therefore disinherited by God, so as no longer to retain their honorable position. In this sense Moses declares that they are not children, as having cast off God from being their Father. It is added this was done with their spot (or disgrace; 253253     Added from the Fr. ) unless it be thought preferable to take it that. they were corrupted by their spots, or by their sins, to which I willingly assent; although I do not reject the other sense, namely, that their alienation from God had rendered them ignominious, or that they had contracted the stain of disgrace by their faithlessness.

6. Do ye thus requite the Lord. In order to expose the ingratitude of the people to greater infamy, he now begins to commemorate the benefits whereby God had laid them under obligation to Himself: for the more liberally God deals with us, the more earnest ought to be the piety awakened in our hearts; nay, His goodness, as soon as we have tasted of it, ought to draw us at once to Him. Now God, although he has been always bountiful towards the whole human race, had, in a peculiar manner showered down an immense abundance of His bounty upon that people; this, then, Moses alleges, and shows how basely ungrateful they had been. He first expostulates with them interrogatively, asking them whether this was a fitting return for God’s especial blessings; and then proceeds to enumerate them. He inquires of them, then, whether God was not their father, from the time when He had honored them with the distinction of His adoption: and under this single head he comprehends many things, because from this source proceeded whatever blessings God had conferred upon them. Not, however, to examine every point with the accuracy it deserves, what more binding obligation could be imagined than that God should have chosen one nation for Himself out of the whole world, whose father He should be by special privilege? For, although all human beings, since they were created in the image of God, are sometimes called His children, still to be accounted His children was the special privilege of the sons of Abraham. And, in order to prove that this was not a natural, but an acquired dignity, Moses immediately afterwards explains in what way God was their Father: viz., that he purchased, made, and prepared them. The foundation and origin, then, was the gratuitous good pleasure of God, when He took them to be His own peculiar people. Elsewhere, indeed, His second purchase of them is mentioned, when He redeemed them from Egypt; here, however, Moses goes back farther, viz., to the covenant made with Abraham, whereby they were separated from other nations, as will presently more clearly appear. I reject, as not in harmony with the context, the translation which some give of the word, קנה, kanah, i.e., to possess. 254254     S. M. has rendered this word possessed. A. V. agrees more nearly with C. in rendering it bought. W.

In the same sense it is added, that they were made by God: which does not. refer to the general creation, but only to the privilege of adoption, whereby they became God’s new work, and in which another form was imparted to them; in which sense also He is called their framer, or Maker. Elsewhere, also, when the Prophet says,

“Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves,” (Psalm 100:3,)

he undoubtedly magnifies that special prerogative, whereby God had distinguished the sons of Abraham above all other races. For, since the fall of Adam had brought disgrace upon all his posterity, God restores those, whom He separates as His own, so that their condition may be better than that of all other nations. At the same time it must be remarked, that this grace of renewal is effaced in many who have afterwards profaned it. Consequently the Church is called God’s work and creation, in two senses, i.e., generally with respect to its outward calling, and specially with respect to spiritual regeneration, as far as regards the elect; for the covenant of grace is common to hypocrites and true believers. On this ground all whom God gathers into His Church, are indiscriminately said to be renewed and regenerated: but the internal renovation belongs to believers only; whom Paul, therefore, calls God’s “workmanship, created unto good works, which God hath prepared,” etc. (Ephesians 2:10.) The same is the tendency of the third word, which may, however, be taken for to “establish;” 255255     So in., which Ainsworth follows; but explains, ”formed, fitted; and ordered, firm and stable, that thou mightest abide in his grace.” although I have preferred to follow the more received sense, viz, that God had prepared His people, as the artificer fashions and fits his work.

7 Remember the days of old. This is an explanation of the preceding verse, for Moses again shows how God had acquired this people, viz., because he had chosen to separate them from other nations according to His own good pleasure. But, since the Israelites might be inflated by their present superiority, they are reminded of their origin, and Moses commands them not to consider what they now are, but also from whence they had been taken, and with this view he says, Remember the old times; ask the elders, etc. For we know how men, when they do not reflect that whatever they have, proceeded from God, and is held, as it were, at will, are blinded by their dignity, so as not only to despise others, but also to exalt themselves against, the Author of all good things. Moses, in order to subdue this arrogance, says that all peoples were alike under the hand and power of God, and thus that their diversity was not in their original nature, but derived from elsewhere, i.e., from God’s free choice. In the word בהנחל, behanchel, there is some ambiguity: for some translate it, When the Most High divided the earth to the nations; and, though I do not reject this, still I have preferred the meaning more in accordance with the context; 256256     Ver. 8. C.’s application of this expression, בהנחל, can scarcely be deemed admissible; for כחל does not mean to divide, unless with reference to an inheritance, or, at least, to property. — W for Moses says the same thing twice over, and the second clause is the explanation of the first. He says, therefore, that God distributed the nations, as an inheritance is divided; and then this is more clearly repeated, when he mentions the separation of the sons of Adam. When, in the latter part of the verse, it is said, that He set bounds to the nations according to the number of the children of Israel, it is commonly explained that He set bounds to the nations in such sort, that the habitation of the sons of Abraham was secured to them. Some of the Hebrews take it in a more restricted sense, viz., that in the distribution of the world, so much was given to the seven nations of Canaan as should be sufficient for the children of Israel. In my opinion, however, his meaning is, that in the whole arrangement of the world, the object which God had in view was to provide for His elect people: for, although His bounty extended to all, still He had such regard for His own, that, chiefly on their account, His care also extended to others. The word number is expressly employed; as if Moses had said, that, however small a portion of the human race the posterity, of Abraham might be, nevertheless that number was before God’s eyes, when He ordered the state of the whole world; unless it be preferred to take the word מספר, misphar, 257257     A noun heemantic: like our word tale, as used in Milton’s time, and account, as still used, it may either mean a narrative, or an enumeration, or a number, which is the result of an enumeration. — W. I have not ventured to translate C.’s very ambiguous word ratio. In the Fr. it is “Facon ou regle.” for a ratio; but it will not be unsuitable to the passage to understand it that this small body was so precious to God, that he arranged the whole distribution of the world with a view to their welfare. Some refer it to the calling of the Gentiles, as if Moses had said that the empire of the whole world was destined to the seed of Abraham, because it was to be propagated through all the regions of the world; but this is altogether erroneous, for nothing is here indicated but the distinction, formerly conferred upon one nation. 258258     “La distinction du peuple eleu d’avec les autres nations, du temps qu’ils estoyent comme retranchez de l’Eglise;” the distinction of the elect people from the other nations, from the time when these last were, as it were, cut off from the Church.” — Fr.

9 For the Lord’s portion is his people. This is the main point, that God was moved by nothing but His own good pleasure to make so much of this people, who had been derived from a common origin with all others: for when he says, that Jacob was the portion of Jehovah, and the lot of His inheritance, he does not mean that there was anything better in them than in others, but he assigns the reason why God preferred this one nation to the rest of mankind; viz., because He took it to Himself as His hereditary portion, which dignity depends upon His gratuitous election.

10. He found him in a desert land. If the intention of Moses had been to record all the instances of God’s paternal kindness towards the people, he must have commenced from the time of Abraham; like the prophet who, when presenting a complete narrative in the Psalm, begins from that original covenant, which God had made with the fathers, (Psalm 105:8;) and also introduces the benefits which He had conferred upon them, when they were but few in number, and strangers in the land, when they went from one nation to another, yet he suffered no man to do them wrong, and reproved kings for their sakes. (Psalm 105:14.) But Moses, studying brevity, deemed it sufficient to bring forward a more recent and more notorious blessing; nay, he omits the early part of their deliverance, and only makes mention of the desert, he says, then, that God found them in the desert; not because He then first began to take pity upon them, since they had been previously rescued from the tyranny of Pharaoh by His marvelous power, and had passed the Red Sea dry-shod, but because it was profitable for them to have set before their eyes how they had been extricated from the deep abyss of death, in order that they might more readily acknowledge this to have been, as it were, the beginning of their life. For what was that waste and barren desert, in which not a crumb of bread, nor a drop of water was to be found, but a grave to swallow up a thousand lives? and, therefore, it is further called “the devastation of horror.” 259259     “The waste howling wilderness.” — A. V. “Un lieu vague off il n’y avoit qu’horreur, ou hurlement;” a waste place, in which there was nothing but horror or howling. — Fr. The suae is, that it was a kind of type of resurrection, not from one death only, but from innumerable deaths, that the people should have escaped from it in safety. That they should have done so, even had their march through it been straight and speedy, could not have been the case without a miracle; but, inasmuch as they wandered therein for forty years, our minds can hardly comprehend a hundredth part of the miracles (which followed one upon the other. 260260     Added from Fr. ) Thus the word “led about,” is not superfluous, for God’s power was far more conspicuous than as if they had flown swiftly through the air. I apply the same meaning to what follows, “he instructed him;” for some, in my opinion improperly, refer it to the Law, 261261     “He taught them the words of his law.” — Chaldee. whereas it rather relates to the teaching of experience. For there was manifold, and no ordinary instruction in all these acts of bounty and punishment, wherein God, as it were, put forth His hand, and manifested His glory.

Two similitudes follow, to express God’s love, mingled with solicitude more than paternal. First, he says, that God no less anxiously protected them from all injury and annoyance than every one is wont to protect the pupil of his eye, which is the most tender part of the body, and against the injury of which the greatest precautions are taken. And David also, when requesting that he may be kept safe under the special guardianship of God, uses the same expression. (Psalm 17:8.) Secondly, God compares Himself to an eagle, which not only fosters her young ones under her outspread wings, but also indulgently, and with maternal tenderness tempts them to fly. It would be unseasonable to enter here into more subtle philosophical discussions respecting the nature of the eagle. The Jews, who are wont to trifle hazardously with things they do not understand, have invented fables respecting this passage, which have no relation to the meaning of Moses, who unquestionably spoke of the eagle as he might of any other bird. Nor can it be doubted but that Christ, when He compares Himself to a hen, desired to express the same sedulous care.

“How often (he says) would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37.)

If, however, any should choose to apply here, what Aristotle writes respecting the eagle, I would not stand in his way: although I do not think Moses had anything in his mind, beyond what the words naturally express. And, surely that which at once occurs to us ought to be sufficient for us, viz., that we ought to be ravished with just. admiration of God’s inestimable goodness and indulgence, when He condescends so to stoop to us as to protect us with His wings, like a bird, and, hovering before us, to instruct and accustom us to follow Him: in which latter words a more than maternal anxiety to teach us is represented.

12. So the Lord alone did lead hive. This is spoken by anticipation, in order to take away every pretext from the Israelites, provided they should seek, according to their custom, to mingle their superstitions with the pure service of God. For, when they were bringing in, from all quarters, gods of various nations, this was the excuse they commonly made, that God was not thus despoiled of His due honor: and hence it came to pass, that they permitted themselves to heap together a multitude of false gods, whom they worshipped as their patrons. But Moses anticipates them, and declares that God, as having no need of external aid, had not associated with Himself any strange gods in His preservation of the people. Hence it follows, that whatever gods the people introduced, they transferred to them the honor due to the one true God. Let us then learn from this passage, that, unless God be served without a rival, religion is altogether perverted by the impious admixture.

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