The analysis of this magnificent poem is as follows:
(a) The writer’s purpose and hope, verses 1-3 (see Note 1 below).
(b) God’s perfections, and Israel’s perversity, verses 4-6.
(c) God’s goodness to Israel, verses 6-14.
(d) Israel’s backsliding, verses 15-18.
(e) Divine judgment upon Israel, verses 19-29.
(f) The victory of heathen nations over Israel is of God’s permitting, verses 30-35.
(g) But he will finally avenge his people and show them his mercy, verses 36-43.
1. What is said of God in his essential attributes? And what, in contrast, of the nature of Israel?
2. What did God do for Israel (at least seven things are mentioned in verses 7-14), and how did Israel require his loving kindness?
3. What is God’s purpose in his judgments, and what will be the final outcome?
- Verse 2. ‘Let my teaching fall like rain’; an expression of the writer’s hope that his words may act on the hears of men as the rain and dew on the soil.
- Verse 4. ‘The Rock’ (see also verses 15, 18, 30, 37): a figure expressing the thought of a refuge and place of defence.
- Verse 8. ‘According to the number.’ i.e., he reserved for Israel an inheritance adequate to their numbers.
- Verse 15. ‘Jeshurun’: a poetical name for Israel, signifying ‘the upright one’. Cf. Deut. 33:5, 26; Is. 44:2.
- Verse 29. ‘Discern what their end will be’. i.e., discern whither their perversity must lead.
- Verse 34. God is not unmindful of the sins of Israel’s enemies.
Study 24 Deuteronomy 32:48-34:12 (Thursday)
Chapter 33, like Gen. 49, requires for its full understanding much research.
1. Chapter 33. Form where and why did these blessings come to the Israelites? Define for yourself the chapter or significance of each of the blessings promised here, and compare with them our blessings promised here, and compare with them our blessings in Christ.
2.32:48-52; 34:1-12. Ponder: (A) the chapter and work of Moses, and (b) the time and manner of his death. What can we learn from this record?