image of…: or, figured stone: Heb. a stone of picture
rid: Heb. cause to cease
contrary…: or, at all adventures with me
Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any
image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am
your God.a, b
Idolatry forbidden, 1.
The Saobath to be sanctified, 2, 3.
Promises to obedience, of fruitful fields, plentiful harvests,
and vintage, 4, 5.
Of peace and security, 6.
Discomfiture of their enemies, 7-9.
Of abundance, 10.
Of the Divine presence, 11-13.
Threatenings against the disobedient, 14, 15.
Of terror and dismay, 16.
Their enemies shall prevail against them, 17, 18.
Of barrenness, 19, 20.
Of desolation by wild beasts, 21, 22.
And if not humbled and reformed, worse evils shall be inflicted
upon them, 23, 24.
Their enemies shall prevail, and they shall be wasted by the
pestilence, 25, 26.
If they should still continue refractory they shall be yet more
sorely punished, 27, 28.
The famine shall so increase that they shall be obliged to eat
their own children, 29.
Their carcasses shall be cast upon the carcasses of their idols,
Their cities shall be wasted, and the sanctuary desolated, 31;
the land destroyed, 32,
themselves scattered among their enemies, and pursued with utter
confusion and distress, 33-39.
If under these judgments they confess their sin and return to
God, he will remember them in mercy, 40-43;
Visit them even in the land of their enemies, 44;
and remember his covenant with their fathers, 45.
The conclusion, stating these to be the judgments and laws which
the Lord made between himself and the children of Israel in
Mount Sinai, 46.
NOTES ON CHAP. XXVI
Verse 1. Ye shall make you no idols
] See Clarke on Ex 20:4
, and See Clarke on Ge 28:18
; "Ge 28:19"
, concerning consecrated
Not only idolatry
in general is forbidden here,
but also the superstitious use
and lawful things
. Probably the stones
which were first set up, and anointed
men in commemoration of signal interpositions
of God in their behalf, were afterward abused
to idolatrous and superstitious purposes, and
therefore prohibited. This we know was
the case with the brazen serpent, 2Ki 18:4
¶ Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am
¶ If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
Verse 3. If ye walk in my statutes
] For the meaning of this
and similar words used in the law, See Clarke on Le 26:15
Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
Verse 4. Rain in due season
] What in Scripture is called the early
and the latter
rain. The first fell in Palestine at the
commencement of spring
, and the latter in autumn
And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
Verse 5. Your threshing shall reach unto the vintage
According to Pliny, Hist. Nat.
, l. xviii., c. 18, the Egyptians
reaped their barley six months, and their oats seven months,
after seed time; for they sowed all their grain about the end of
summer, when the overflowings of the Nile had ceased. It was
nearly the same in Judaea: they sowed their corn and barley
towards the end of autumn, and about the month of October; and
they began their barley-harvest after the passover
, about the
middle of March; and in one month or six weeks after, about pentecost
, they began that of their wheat. After their
wheat-harvest their vintage commenced. Moses here leads the
Hebrews to hope, if they continued faithful to God, that between
their harvest and vintage, and between their vintage and
seed-time, there should be no interval, so great should the
abundance be; and these promises would appear to them the more
impressive, as they had just now come out of a country where the
inhabitants were obliged to remain for nearly three months shut
up within their cities, because the Nile had then inundated the
whole country. See Calmet
"This is a nervous and beautiful promise of such entire plenty
of corn and wine, that before they could have reaped
out their corn
should be ready, and before they could
have pressed out their wine
it would be time to sow again
Prophet Amos, Am 9:13
expresses the same blessing in the same
manner: The ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who soweth seed
And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you
afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.c
And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.
And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new.
And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.
Verse 11. I will set my tabernacle among you
] This and the
following verse contain the grand promise of the Gospel dispensation
, viz. the presence, manifestation
, and indwelling of God
in human nature, and his constant in dwelling in the souls of
his followers. So Joh 1:14
the WORD was made flesh
, καιεσκηνωσενενημιν, and
TABERNACLE among us
. And to this promise of the law St. Paul
evidently refers, 2Co 6:16-18
and 2Co 7:1
And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.
¶ But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;
And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but
that ye break my covenant:
Verse 15. If ye shall despise my statutes-abhor my judgments
As these words, and others of a similar import, which point out
different properties of the revelation of God, are frequently
occurring, I Judge it best to take a general view of them, once
for all, in this place, and show how they differ among themselves,
and what property of the Divine law each points out.
1. STATUTES. chukkoth
, from chak
, to mark out
, &c. This term seems to signify the things which God has defined, marked
, and traced out
, that men might have a perfect
copy of pure conduct always before their eyes, to teach them how
they might walk so
as to please him in all things, which they
could not do without such instruction as God gives in his word,
and the help which he affords by his Spirit.
2. JUDGMENTS. shephatim
, from shaphat
, to distinguish, regulate
, and determine
; meaning those things which
God has determined
that men shall pursue, by which their whole
conduct shall be regulated
, making the proper distinction
virtue and vice, good and evil, right and wrong, justice and
injustice; in a word, between what is proper to be done
, and what
is proper to be left undone
3. COMMANDMENTS. mitsvoth
, from tsavah
, to command, ordain
, and appoint, as a legislator
. This term is
properly applied to those parts of the law which contain the obligation
the people are under to act according to the statutes
, &c., already established, and which prohibit them by
penal sanctions from acting contrary to the laws.
4. COVENANT. berith
, from bar
, to clear, cleanse,
; because the covenant
, the whole system of revelation
given to the Jews, was intended to separate
them from all the
people of the earth, and to make them holy
, which prefigured
the atonement made by
Christ for the sin of the world, by which he purifies
unto himself, and makes them a peculiar people, zealous of good works
. Besides those four
, we may add the following, from other
places of Scripture.
5. TESTIMONIES. edoth
, from ad, beyond, farther
; because the whole ritual law referred to something farther on
the Jewish dispensation, even to that
sacrifice which in the fulness of time was to be offered for the
sins of men. Thus all the sacrifices, &c., of the Mosaic law referred to Christ
, and bore testimony to him who was to come
6. ORDINANCES. mishmaroth
, from shamar
, to guard, keep safe, watch over
; those parts of Divine revelation
which exhorted men to watch their ways, keep their hearts
promised them, in consequence, the continual protection
blessing of God their Maker.
7. PRECEPTS. pikkudim
, from pakad
, to overlook, take care
or notice of, to visit
; a very expressive
character of the Divine testimonies, the overseers
of a man's
conduct, those who stand by
and look on
to see whether he acts
according to the commands of his Master; also the visiters
God's precepts are suited to all the circumstances of human life;
some are applicable in adversity, others in prosperity; some in
times of temptation and sadness, others in seasons of spiritual joy
and exultation, &c., &c. Thus they may be said to overlook
man in all times, places, and circumstances.
8. TRUTH. emeth
, from am
, to support, sustain
; because God is immutable
who has promised, threatened,
commanded, and therefore all his promises, threatenings,
commandments, &c., are unalterable
. Error and
falsity promise to direct
, but they fail
. God's word
by his own faithfulness
, and it supports
them who conscientiously believe it.
9. RIGHTEOUSNESS. tsedakah
, from which, though not
used as a verb
in the Hebrew Bible, seems to convey, from its use
as a noun
, the idea of giving just weight
or good measure
, see Le 19:36
. This is one of the characters which is attributed
to the revelation God makes of himself; (see Ps 119:137-144
by this the impartiality
of the Divine testimonies is pointed out.
God gives to all their due
, and his word distributes
to every man
according to his state, circumstances, talents, graces, &c.; to
none too much
, to none too little
, to all enough
10. WORD of JEHOVAH. debar Yehovah
, from , dabar,
to drive, lead, bring forward
, hence to bring forward
, or utter one's sentiments
; so the word of God is what God has brought forth to man
from his own mind and counsel; it is a perfect similitude
of his own righteousness, holiness, goodness
, and truth
. This Divine law is sometimes expressed by:-
11. imrah, speech
, variously modified from amar
, to branch out
, because of the interesting details
which the word of God enters in order to instruct man and make
him wise unto salvation, or, as the apostle expresses it, "God,
who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake unto the
fathers by the prophets," πολυμερωςκαιπολυτροπως, in many distinct parcels
, and by various tropes
; a curious and
elegant description of Divine revelation; Heb 1:1
12. All these collectively are termed the LAW torah
, or torath Yehovah
, the law of the Lord
, from yarah
, to direct, set straight and true, as stones in a building
, because this whole system of Divine
revelation is calculated to direct
men to the attainment of present
and eternal felicity, to set them right
in their notions concerning
the supreme God, to order
and adjust them
in the several
departments of civil and religious society, and thus to teach
them in the knowledge of themselves, and in the true
knowledge of God. Thus those who receive the truth become the city
of the living God-the temple of the Most High, built together
a habitation of God through the Spirit. To complete this
description of the word law
, See Clarke on Ex 12:49
other properties of the law of God are specified.
I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.d
Verse 16. I will even appoint over you terror, &c.
dreadful is this curse! A whole train of evils are here personified
and appointed to be the governors of a disobedient
is to be one of their keepers. How awful a
state! to be continually under the influence of dismay, feeling
indescribable evils, and fearing worse! Consumption
, generally allowed to be some kind of atrophy
, by which the flesh was consumed, and the whole body
dried up by raging fever
through lack of sustenance. See Clarke on Le 11:16
. How circumstantially were all these
threatenings fulfilled in this disobedient and rebellious people!
Let a deist
read over this chapter and compare it with the state
of the Jews since the days of Vespasian, and then let him doubt
the authenticity of this word if he can.
And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.
And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:
And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.
¶ And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.e
I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high
ways shall be desolate.
Verse 22. I will also send wild beasts among you
fulfilled these threatenings at different times. He sent fiery
SERPENTS among them, Nu 21:6
; LIONS, 2Ki 17:25
; BEARS, 2Ki 2:24
, and threatened them with total desolation, so that
their land should be overrun with wild beasts
, &c., see Eze 5:17
"Spiritually," says Mr. Ainsworth
, "these are wicked rulers
that kill and spoil, Pr 28:15
; Da 7:3-6
; Ps 80:13
and false prophets
that devour souls, Mt 7:15
; Re 13:1
, &c. So
the prophet, speaking of their punishment by tyrants
, says: A
LION out of the forest shall slay them; a
WOLF of the evening shall spoil them; a
LEOPARD shall watch over their cities; every one that goeth out thence shall be torn to pieces, because their transgressions be many
. And of their prophets
it is said: O Israel, thy prophets are like
FOXES in the deserts
, Eze 13:4
; Jer 8:17; 15:3
And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;
Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my
covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you
your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.
Verse 26. Ten women shall bake your bread in one oven
in general every family in the East bakes its own bread, yet
there are some public bakehouses
where the bread of several
families is baked at a certain price. Moses here foretells that
the desolation should be so great and the want so pressing that
there should be many idle hands
to be employed, many mouths to be
fed, and very little for each: Ten women shall bake your bread in one oven
And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;
Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.
Verse 29. Ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, &c.
] This was
literally fulfilled at the siege of Jerusalem. Josephus, WARS of
the Jews, book vii., chap. ii., gives us a particular instance in
dreadful detail of a woman named Mary
, who, in the extremity of
the famine during the siege, killed her sucking child, roasted,
and had eaten part of it when discovered by the soldiers! See
this threatened, Jer 19:9
And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.
And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours.
And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.
And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.
Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be
in your enemies' land; even
then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.
Verse 34. Then shall the land enjoy her Sabbaths
Houbigant observes to be a historical truth.-"From Saul to the
Babylonish captivity are numbered about four hundred and ninety years
, during which period there were seventy Sabbaths
for 7, multiplied by 70, make 490. Now the Babylonish captivity
lasted seventy years
, and during that time the land of Israel rested
. Therefore the land rested just as many years
Babylonish captivity, as it should have rested Sabbaths
Jews had observed the laws relative to the Sabbaths of the land."
This is a most remarkable fact, and deserves to be particularly
noticed, as a most literal fulfilment of the prophetic
declaration in this verse: Then shall the land enjoy her Sabbaths as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land
May it not be argued from this that the law concerning the
Sabbatical year was observed till Saul's time
, as it is only after
this period the land enjoyed its rest in the seventy years'
captivity? And if that breach of the law was thus punished, may
it not be presumed it had been fulfilled till then, or else the
captivity would have lasted longer, i. e., till the land had
its rests, of which it had ever been thus deprived?
As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.
And upon them that are left alive
of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth.f
And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.
And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.
Verse 38. The land of your enemies shall eat you up.
this refer to the total loss of the ten tribes
? These are so
completely swallowed up in some enemies
' land, that nothing
concerning their existence or place of residence remains but mere
And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.
If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;
I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.
And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am
Verse 44. Neither will I abhor them to destroy them utterly
Though God has literally fulfilled all his threatenings upon this
people in dispossessing them of their land, destroying their
polity, overturning their city, demolishing their temple, and
scattering themselves over the face of the whole earth; yet he
has, in his providence, strangely preserved them as a distinct
people, and in very considerable numbers also. He still
remembers the covenant of their ancestors
, and in his providence
and grace he has some very important design in their favour. All
Israel shall yet be saved, and, with the Gentiles, they shall all
be restored to his favour; and under Christ Jesus, the great
Shepherd; become, with them, one grand everlasting fold.
But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am
the statutes and judgments and laws, which the LORD
made between him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.
Verse 46. These
are the statutes, and judgments, &c.
] See Clarke on Le 26:15
This verse appears to be the proper concluding verse
of the whole book; and I rather think that the 27th chapter
originally followed the 25th. As the law was anciently written
upon skins of parchment, sheep or goat skins, pasted or stitched
together, and all rolled up in one roll, the matter being written
in columns, one of those columns might have been very easily
displaced, and thus whole chapters might have been readily
interchanged. -It is likely that this might have been the case
in the present instance. Others endeavour to solve this
difficulty, by supposing that the 27th chapter was added
the book had been finished; and therefore there is apparently a
double conclusion, one at the end of the 26th and the other at
the end of the 27th chapter. However the above may have been,
all the ancient versions agree in concluding both the chapters in
nearly the same way; yet the 26th chapter must be allowed to be
by far the most natural conclusion of the book.
THE most important points in this chapter have already been
particularly noticed in the notes; and to those on the 15
th, and 44
th verses, the reader is especially referred. How
unwilling is God to cast off his people! and yet how sure is
their rejection if they refuse to obey and live to him! No
nation has ever been so signally elected
as the Jews; and yet no
nation has ever been so signally and so awfully reprobated
O Britain, be not high-minded, but fear! Behold here the goodness
and severity of God!