a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above


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.”

35 To me belongeth vengeance. This passage is quoted to different purposes by Paul, and by the author 283283     It is notorious that C. adopted the opinion of the Western Church in the third and fourth centuries, and did not admit St. Paul to be the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews: see the Argument to his Commentary, (C., Soc. Edit.,) p. 27. This discrepancy is noticed, ibid, p. 249, and in Mr. Owen’s additional note, p. 394. of the Epistle to the Hebrews, (Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30;) for Paul, with a view of persuading believers to bear injuries patiently, admonishes them to “give place unto wrath,” inasmuch as God declares vengeance to be His; but the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, proclaiming that God will be the avenger of impiety, confirms his declaration by this testimony. Hence it is that part of the commentators suppose that punishment is here denounced against heathen nations because they have cruelly afflicted God’s elect people. And, indeed, this appears to be the meaning of Paul’s words, that injuries should be patiently endured, since God claims for Himself the office of Avenger; but there is nothing to prevent the same statement from being accommodated to different uses, and therefore Paul did not irrelevantly confirm his exhortation by this saying of Moses, although it literally refers to the internal chastisements of the Church. Besides, the apostles are not in the habit of quoting every word from the testimonies which they adduce, but briefly remind their readers to examine more closely the passages quoted. But, since God here joins the two things together, that He will punish the sins of His people, and at the same time be the avenger of their oppressions, there will be nothing absurd in saying that Paul, as it were, points his finger at this passage; 284284     “Sans l’alleguer au long;” without adducing it in full. — Fr. still, the simple explanation will be, that the general declaration is accommodated to a special case, in order that believers should bear their injuries patiently, and leave to God the office which He pronounces to appertain to Himself. In my judgment, indeed, these words are connected with the preceding verse; for God pertinently confirms His statement, that he takes account of the number of men’s sins, and has them stored among His treasures, by adding that the power and office of judging rests with Himself; inasmuch as these two things are contrary to each other, that He should be cognizant of whatever is done unrighteously and amiss, and still leave it unpunished. Not that it is opposed to God’s justice to pardon sinners when they repent, but because this principle always continues firm, that God is the judge of the world, for the punishment of all iniquities. Thus the confidence of hypocrites is destroyed, who flatter themselves with the hope of impunity, unless they are overtaken by immediate punishment.

The clause which follows some interpreters pervert by supplying the relative, “in the time in which their foot shall slide;” whereas Moses simply concludes that they will fall in their due time, or that, although they may think they stand, their ruin or fall was not far off; and this is further confirmed by what he adds, viz., that their day of calamity was at hand. This statement, as I have before said, often occurs in the Prophets, that there is with God a fit time, 285285     “Son temps et saison determinee;” his time and determined season. — Fr. in which to punish the sins which He has appeared to overlook, and therefore His long-suffering detracts nothing from the judgment which He delays. In this doctrine there is a twofold moral; first, that those whom God spares for a time, should not give way to self-indulgence; and, secondly, that the prosperity of the wicked should not disturb the minds of believers, but that they should allow God to decide the time and the place of executing vengeance. Inasmuch, however, as God’s delay renders hypocrites secure, so that they lull themselves to sleep in their vices, and, although they hear that they will have to render account of them, thoughtlessly indulge themselves during 286286     “Usura.” — Lat. “Ils ne laissent pas de se donner bon temps, suyvant le proverbe diabolique, Que le terme vaut l’argent;” they cease not to indulge themselves, according to the diabolical proverb, that the delay is worth the money. — Fr. their period of enjoyment, Moses declares that the day is near, and makes haste; for, if God does not openly alarm them, and reduce them to straits, they exult in their immunity. Hence those blasphemous sayings recorded by Isaiah, (Isaiah 5:19,) “Let him make speed, and hasten his work that we may see it; and let the counsel of the Holy One draw nigh and come, that we may know it! “Meanwhile we must bear in mind the words of Habakkuk, (Habakkuk 2:3,) “Though the prophecy tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

VIEWNAME is study