BIBLE STUDY SERIES #497, 498 and 499

3 June, 2001

DEUTERONOMY 10: WARNINGS - PART VIII

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our series of Bible Studies on the Great Plan by which The Almighty God is steadily drawing His Creation towards the perfection of His Kingdom reveals that this plan centres upon the formation of one selected line of people chronicled in The Scriptural Record, which descends through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and thence through the whole history of the nation of Israel, and therein to provide, in the person of Jesus Christ, the focal point of His mighty purpose. This series has brought us from the call of Abram in Genesis 12, and the formation of a national entity through which it has pleased Almighty God to work in accomplishing that task, down to Deuteronomy 10, and the prospect of The Promised Land upon the borders of which Israel now stood. The aged Prophet, Moses, is, in this chapter, carrying forward his last great oration to the Tribes of Israel prior to their crossing of the Jordan River and their military entry into their Promised Land.

In the previous Study, we read Moses' review of how he had interceded, pleading that the wrath of The LORD would not be applied to Israel of the former generation for their great sin at the foot of Mount Sinai. That last Study took us through to verse 7, and we were explaining the apparently somewhat divergent aspects among the views found in several Commentaries. In order to make today's Study more meaningful, perhaps I ought to review those verses briefly for new listeners. Moses is speaking, and he says to the Israelites:

1. At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood.
2. And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark.
3. And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand.
4. And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.
5. And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the LORD commanded me.
6. And the children of Israel took their journey from Beeroth of the children of Jaakan to Mosera: there Aaron died, and there he was buried; and Eleazar his son ministered in the priest's office in his stead.
7. From thence they journeyed unto Gudgodah; and from Gudgodah to Jotbath, a land of rivers of waters.

Keil and Delitzsch had pointed out a connected theme in what others might have viewed as a slightly disconnected account that Moses is here developing. Such an imagined disjointedness or unevenness of thought has on occasion been used as a basis for suspecting a later insert into the record. After unfolding their view of that logical theme, Keil and Delitzsch, at this point in their commentary, draw in a footnote which quotes others to provide an explanatory paraphrase that presents the thoughts of Moses as a connected whole, allowing us to see a logical line of thought in the apparent slight disjointedness of his presentation. Their footnote essentially conveys the following understanding in that paraphrase.

"But when, as I have said, God forgave the Hebrew people, He pardoned my brother Aaron also, who did not die till the fortieth year after we had come out of Egypt, and when we were coming round the borders of the Edomites to come hither. God also showed that He was reconciled towards him by conferring the priesthood upon him, which is now borne by his son Eleazar according to the will of God." The footnote further gives us these thoughts: "Moses referred to what he had stated in chap. ix. 20 as to the wrath of God against Aaron and his intercession on his behalf, or rather that he mentioned his intercession on behalf of Aaron in that passage, because he intended to call more particular attention to the successful result of it in this." A further quotation yields the view of "the connection of thought between vers. 6, 7, and what goes before and follows after" as Moses "points out to the people how the Lord had continued unchangeable in His mercy notwithstanding all their sins. Although they had rendered themselves unworthy of such goodness by their worship of the calf, He gave them the ark of the covenant with the new tables of the law in it (chap. x. 1-5). He followed up this gift of His grace by instituting the high-priesthood, and when Aaron died He caused it to be transferred to his son Eleazar (vers. 6, 7). He set apart the tribe of Levi to serve Him and bless the people in His name, and thus to be the mediators of His mercy (vers. 8, 9). In short, He omitted nothing that was requisite to place Israel in full possession of the dignity of a people of God." Indeed, the footnote by Keil and Delitzsch continues specifically in the words "There is no ground for regarding vers. 6, 7 as a gloss, ... or 6-9 as 'an interpolation of a historical statement concerning the bearers of the ark of the covenant and the holy persons generally, 'which has no connection with Moses' address'."... to which they further add "The want of any formal connection is quite in keeping with the spirit of simplicity which characterizes the early Hebrew diction and historical writings... ."

The word "LORD" which appears in the AV with every letter capitalized, incidentally, is meant to instruct the reader that the Holy Name "Yahweh" is here represented.

Regarding Beeroth, The Companion Bible says "Beeroth &c. = the wells of the sons of Jaakan. Cp. Num. 20. 2-29; 33. 31-38." Here again, we ought to consult the words of The New Bible Commentary. It states concerning the words "From Beeroth" in verse six "The sudden change to the third person in verses 6 and 7, and the reference to events many years later, make these verses look like a later addition, perhaps by Moses himself." In verse 6, the mention of the death of Aaron draws the further comment. "The death of Aaron and the continuation of his office follow naturally upon ix. 20 and are also connected with verse 8. In Nu. xxxiii. 31-33, Mosera and the three other places here mentioned are described as in proximity to each other, but in a different order. Since the presence of water (Beeroth means 'wells') is mentioned in connection with two of them, they may have been visited more than once. Mosera means 'chastisement', and the place was perhaps so named in reference to Aaron's death (see Nu. xx. 28; Dt. ix. 22n)." To the words "Eleazar his son ministered in his stead" (6), a comment is made thus: "The office of the high priesthood was thus perpetuated. The choice of Eleazar suggests that Aaron's sin had been forgiven." We continue at verse 8:

8. At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day.
9. Wherefore Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the LORD is his inheritance, according as the LORD thy God promised him.
10. And I stayed in the mount, according to the first time, forty days and forty nights; and the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also, and the LORD would not destroy thee.
11. And the LORD said unto me, Arise, take thy journey before the people, that they may go in and possess the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give unto them.

The New Bible Commentary, noting at verse 8, "At that time (that is, before leaving Horeb) ... The Lord separated the tribe of Levi" states "As one day in seven and a tithe of the people's wealth were both sanctified to the Lord, so one tribe in twelve was set apart for the service of the sanctuary. Moses displays special interest in Levi, his own tribe. It was the special office of the Levites to bear the ark (8) and of the priests to bless in his name; yet the priests sometimes did the former (Jos. iii. 6), and any Israelite could 'bless' (xxvii. 12). Priests and Levites alike stood before the Lord and ministered (see xviii. 1n, 5n.).

Keil and Delitzsch note that "Moses reminds the people of this gracious gift on the part of their God, by recalling to their memory the time when Aaron died, and his son Eleazar was invested with the high-priesthood in his stead. That he may transport his hearers the more distinctly to the period in question, he lets the history itself speak, and quotes from the account of their journeys the passage which supplied the practical proof of what he desires to say." Here, Keil and Delitzsch present support for this by contrasting what might have been said with the actual quotation from the historical record which moves swiftly to review the subsequent journeying of Israel to a succession of watering places. As they put it "The allusion to these marches, together with the events which had taken place at Mosera, taught in very few words 'not only that Aaron was forgiven at the intercession of Moses, and even honoured with the high-priesthood, the medium of grace and blessing to the people of God (e.g. at the wells of Bene-Jaakan) until the time of his death; but also that through this same intercession the high-priesthood was maintained in perpetuity, so that when Aaron had to die in the wilderness in consequence of a fresh sin (Num. xx. 12), it continued notwithstanding, and by no means diminished in strength, as might have been feared, since it led the way from the wells to water-brooks, helped on the journey to Canaan, which was now the object of their immediate aim, and still sustained their courage and their faith'."

One further quote from them will end our Study for today: "The earlier commentators observed the inward connection between the continuation of the high-priesthood and the water-brooks... ."

10 June, 2001

DEUTERONOMY 10: WARNINGS - PART IX

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our series of Bible Studies on the Great Plan by which The Almighty God is steadily drawing His Creation towards the perfection of His Kingdom reveals that this plan centres upon the formation of one selected line of people chronicled in The Scriptural Record, which descends through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and thence through the whole history of the nation of Israel, and therein to provide, in the person of Jesus Christ, the focal point of His mighty purpose. This series has brought us from the call of Abram in Genesis 12, and the formation of a national entity through which it has pleased Almighty God to work in accomplishing that task, down to Deuteronomy 10, and the prospect of The Promised Land upon the borders of which Israel now stood. The aged Prophet, Moses, is, in this chapter, carrying forward his last great oration to the Tribes of Israel prior to their crossing of the Jordan River and their military entry into their Promised Land.

In the previous Study, we read Moses' review of how he had interceded, pleading that the wrath of The LORD would not be applied to Israel of the former generation for their great sin at the foot of Mount Sinai. That last Study took us through to verse 11, and we were explaining the apparently somewhat divergent aspects among the views found in several commentaries on the varied approach in the form of his address which Moses had used in certain sentences in his oration to that point.

Today, our attention will focus upon the content of Deuteronomy 10, beginning with verse 12, but by way of introduction to that passage we might read the summary comments by Keil and Delitzsch on verses 10 and 11:

Keil and Delitzsch comment: "Moses sums up the result of his intercession in the words 'And I stood upon the mount... (Sinai)... as the first days, forty days (a resumption of chap. ix. 18 and 25); and the Lord hearkened to me this time also (word for word, as in chap. ix. 19). Jehovah would not destroy thee (Israel).' Therefore He commanded Moses to arise to depart before the people, i.e. as leader of the people to command and superintend their removal and march. In form, this command is connected with Ex. xxxiv. 1; but Moses refers here not only to that word of the Lord with the limitation added there in ver. 2, but to the ultimate, full, and unconditional assurance of God, in which the Lord Himself promised to go with His people and bring them to Canaan (Ex. xxxiv. 14 sqq.).

12. And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
13. To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?
14. Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD'S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.
15. Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.

Keil and Delitzsch introduce the passage beginning at verse 12 with the explanatory heading "Admonition to fear and love God. The Blessing or Curse consequent upon the Fulfilment or Transgression of the Law. - Chap. x. 12 - xi. 32. Then with their focus on verses 12-15, they make some comments which we will read later. The Companion Bible also distinguishes the same Scriptures through to 11:32 with the notation "Command to Obey".

The Companion Bible yields for verse 12, "soul. Heb. nephesh", and then guides the reader, for more information on that word, to Appendix 13, which yields over two and a half pages of fine print by way of general explanation and commentary on the Hebrew usage of the term. The words in verse 14, "heaven of heavens" similarly point us to "polyptoton", which is a term explained further in Appendix 6, and then adds the simple specific note "= the highest heavens."

The New Bible Commentary places verses 12-22 together for comments under the heading "What the Lord requires of His people" and within this portion, they make the following observations: "Moses again sums up the requirements of God's law in terms similar to those already used in vi. 5 Cf. Mt. xxii. 37 and the answer given by Micah to the question asked in verse 12 (Mi. vi. 8)." Parenthetically, if we turn briefly to those two passages, we find in Matthew 22:37 "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.", while Micah 6:8 says "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?". The New Bible Commentary continues: "The necessity for loving God seems to be continually in Moses' mind. Only the Lord (15). The amazing grace of God is shown by the fact that, although He possessed heaven and earth (14), nevertheless He, and He alone, chose to bless the children of Israel above all people (15). Their response should be submission to His rule and a love from the heart which is described in terms which Paul echoes in Rom. ii. 29. (Cf. xxx. 6n.) Note the lofty monotheism of verse 17. It pervades the whole of this book and is the keystone of its teaching." The reference in Romans 2:29 says "But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." and the further mention of Deuteronomy 30:6 yields the words "And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live." Such diverse references do tie the whole body of our Scriptures together, as the work of The Almighty.

Now let us once more consult Keil and Delitzsch on verses 12-15. "The proof that Israel had no righteousness before God is followed on the positive side by an expansion of the main law laid down in chap. vi. 4 ssq., to love God with all the heart, which is introduced by the words, "'and now Israel, sc' (scilicet, = to wit, namely, being understood) now that thou has everything without desert or worthiness, purely from forgiving grace. 'What doth the Lord thy God require of thee?' Nothing further than that thou fearest Him, 'to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve Him with all the heart and all the soul.'" They continue "The demand for fear, love, and reverence towards the Lord, is no doubt very hard for the natural man to fulfil, and all the harder the deeper it goes into the heart; but after such manifestations of the love and grace of God, it only follows as a matter of course. 'Fear, love and obedience would naturally have taken root of themselves within the heart, if man had not corrupted his own heart.' Love, which is the only thing demanded in chap. vi. 5, is here preceded by fear, which is the only thing mentioned in chap. v. 26 and vi. 24." At this, they footnote the thought in a short quotation: "The fear of God is to be united with the love of God; for love without fear makes men remiss, and fear without love makes them servile and desperate." They continue: "The fear of the Lord, which springs from the knowledge of one's own unholiness in the presence of the holy God, ought to form the one leading emotion in the heart prompting to walk in all the ways of the Lord, and to maintain morality of conduct in its strictest form. This fear, which first enables us to comprehend the mercy of God, awakens love, the fruit of which is manifested in serving God with all the heart and all the soul ... For thy good ... ." They end the comments on our passage with these words: This obligation the Lord has laid upon Israel by the love with which He, to whom all the heavens and the earth, with everything upon it, belong, had chosen the patriarchs and their seed out of all nations. By 'the heavens of the heavens,' the idea of heaven is perfectly exhausted. This God, who might have chosen any other nation as well as Israel, or in fact all nations together, had directed His special love to Israel alone."

Before leaving that statement, I think it might be appropriate to offer a couple of thoughts of my own. First, God is not exclusionary in His purposes, seeking rather to establish a logical hierarchy of service in order to develop the organizational framework of His Plan for all people upon the earth. For this, I offer the evidence of Christ's Parable found in Matthew 13:44. In order to obtain the treasure hidden in the field, the man sells all that he has and buys the whole field. That man, who alone can purchase the world, is Christ; all that He had was His life in glory, to the point of yielding His life on the Cross (John 15:13: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends"); the hidden treasure is Israel (Exodus 19:5, "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine", and Matt. 15:24: "...I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel"), and the field is the whole world (Matthew 13:38: "The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one." Scripture does not mix or confound the uniformly applied meanings of symbols such as these).

Second, as God repeatedly rubs it in to Israel's consciousness, it is not by their merit (Malachi 3:6-9, the essence being: "I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed"), nor their numbers (Deuteronomy 7:6-8: the essence being "not ... because ye were more in number ... for ye were the fewest of all people ...), or power (Deuteronomy 8:17-18: the essence being "remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers...") that God chose this route, but by His own grace and wisdom in arriving at the objective wherein none can glory of self in His presence. (I Corinthians 1:27-29, the essence being "God hath chosen foolish to confound the wise, weak to confound the mighty... that no flesh should glory in his presence").

We shall continue next week.

17 June, 2001

DEUTERONOMY 10: WARNINGS - PART X

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our series of Bible Studies on the Great Plan by which The Almighty God is steadily drawing His Creation towards the perfection of His Kingdom reveals that this plan centres upon the formation of one selected line of people chronicled in The Scriptural Record, which descends through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and thence through the whole history of the nation of Israel, and therein to provide, in the person of Jesus Christ, the focal point of His mighty purpose. This series has brought us from the call of Abram in Genesis 12, and the formation of a national entity through which it has pleased Almighty God to work in accomplishing that task, down to Deuteronomy 10, and the prospect of The Promised Land upon the borders of which Israel now stood. The aged Prophet, Moses, is, in this chapter, carrying forward his last great oration to the Tribes of Israel prior to their crossing of the Jordan River and their military entry into their Promised Land.

In the previous Study, we read Moses' review of how he had interceded, pleading that the wrath of The LORD would not be applied to Israel of the former generation for their great sin at the foot of Mount Sinai. That last Study took us through to verse 15. Today, we will see what the commentaries can tell us concerning verses 16 and following. Let us read verses 16-22, but with a break at verse 20, with an eye to the lessons which Our LORD would have us to take out of His holy words:

16. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
17. For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
18. He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.
19. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

The Companion Bible mentions at verse 16 that circumscision is "here charged as a duty. In 30.6 promised as a future blessing." (That verse reads "And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.") The Companion Bible reference goes on to advise the reader to compare this with Lev. 26:41, ("And that 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:... "), Jer. 6:10 ("To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it."), and Acts 7. 51 ("Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.") Well that set of examples spans over a thousand years, so it would seem that a rebel habit is not confined to any one generation!

The reference goes on to mention that circumcision, after Exodus 12:48, (which stipulates that a stranger must be circumcised in order to keep the feast), is only in Joshua 5:3-7 (which records that the younger generation of Israel, before being led across the Jordan into The Promised Land, had to be circumcised, a practice which they had been neglecting during the wilderness wanderings), and Jeremiah 9:25, (a prophecy stating that "Behold the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised.). However, it adds that "Uncircumcision of Gentiles shows that circumcision was practiced, and we are given Isaiah 52:1, (which prophesies that the uncircumcised and unclean will not enter Jerusalem), Jeremiah 9:25-26 (which prophesies punishment for various uncircumcised nations and then includes the house of Israel with them for being uncircumcised in heart.) and Ezekiel 31:18 (which speaks in prophetic language of the fall of the proud uncircumcised Pharaoh in this connection.

At verse 17, it indicates that the word "terrible = to be feared" and the words "taketh reward = accepteth a bribe" and here 2 Chron. 19. 7 (...there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts), Acts 10. 34, (Peter exclaiming "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons") Rom. 2:11 to the same effect, as is also 1 Peter 1:17.

Keil and Delitzsch lay stress on the circumcision of the heart, and state "i.e. to lay aside all insensibility of heart to impressions from the love of God ... and not stiffen their necks any more, i.e. not persist in their obstinacy, or obstinate resistance to God ... . Without circumcision of heart, true fear of God and true love of God are both impossible. As a reason for this admonition, Moses adduces in vers. 17 sqq. the nature and acts of God. Jehovah as the absolute God and Lord is mighty and terrible towards all, without respect of person, and at the same time a just Judge and loving Protector of the helpless and oppressed. From this it follows that the true God will not tolerate haughtiness and stiffness of neck either towards Himself or towards other men, but will punish it without reserve. To set forth emphatically the infinite greatness and might of God, Moses describes Jehovah the God of Israel as the 'God of gods,' i.e. the supreme God, the essence of all that is divine, of all divine power and might ...and as the 'Lord of lords, i.e. the supreme, unrestricted Ruler (' the only Potentate,' above all powers in heaven and on earth, 'a great King above all gods'... ." They then point out that these attributes, in Revelation, are transferred to exalted Son of God, as the Judge and Conqueror of all dominions and powers that are hostile to God. The predicates which follow describe the unfolding of the omnipotence of God in the government of the world, in which Jehovah manifests Himself as the great, mighty, and terrible God ... who does not regard the person ... or accept presents ... like a human judge... . As such, Jehovah does justice to the defenceless (orphan and widow), and exercises a loving care towards the stranger in his oppression. For this reason the Israelites were not to close their hearts egotistically against the stranger ... . This would show whether they possessed any love to God, and had circumcised their hearts."

Moving to verse 18, and the word "fatherless" The Companion Bible indicates "put for all the afflicted", and it adds some further references for comparison. At verse 20, stranger = sojourner, and in verse 21, praise = songs of praise.

The New Bible Commentary, at the words "The fatherless and widow ... the stranger" a number of parallel Scriptures are supplied, and it adds "Solicitude for the 'stranger' runs through the Mosaic institutions. The Israelite had the backing of his family and clan, but the 'stranger' had no such protection, nor inheritance in the land. Nevertheless he is bidden to keep the sabbath (v. 14) and the national feasts ... and is included in the covenant (xxix. 11, 12). He thus belongs to the brotherhood of Israel, and becomes, like the fatherless and the widow, an object of special solicitude ... ." At the words "Ye were strangers" (19), it draws attention to Leviticus 19:34. "The children of Israel, when they first went down into Egypt and became a great nation (22), had known kindness at the hands of Joseph and the kings who knew him; they had also known the bitterness of persecution. Moses now urges them to love ... the stranger (19), bearing in mind their own past experience."

It is appropriate at this point to draw attention to a further historic evidence of the continuation of the descent of the children of Israel to whom Moses is giving these words down to the people of Britain in the time of King Alfred the Great. King Alfred, in order to create a stronger unity of his Anglo-Saxon people in the face of raids by the yet pagan brethren did many things of a statesmanlike character. One such thing that he did was to translate into the tongue of his own Anglo-Saxon people much of the Law of Moses to become their law also, and at the words which we have just read in verse 19, Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt, he did not cast aside the reference to Israel's years as strangers in the land of Egypt. Indeed, knowing that his Anglo-Saxon people were descended from these ancient Israelites would be the only conceivable reason for their inclusion into the book of Law which King Alfred was preparing, for otherwise the reference which we have just quoted, namely, "for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt" would not have been true, and would thus have been left out. It was a most important inclusion in Alfred's Laws, and yields evidence of the knowledge of their identity with that of ancient Israel. We now move to verse 20:

20. Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.
21. He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.
22. Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the LORD thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude.

The Companion Bible at verse 22 gives two connected passages to the words "threescore and ten", one of which is Acts 7:14 at which we read "Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls." The Companion Bible at the Acts quotation simply states "this includes Jacob's kindred." It appears that Joseph and his family, already there, would account for the difference in the number, as they were certainly "kindred." The New Bible Commentary at Acts 7:14 explains of the "threescore and fifteen souls" given in Acts, "The Received Hebrew Text" in Genesis, 46:27, Exodus 1:5 and Deuteronomy 10:22 all enumerate seventy souls, including Jacob himself and Joseph and his two sons; the number seventy-five comes from the LXX of Genesis 46:27 and Exodus 1:5; "it omits Jacob and Joseph, but reckons nine sons to Joseph." At the words "as the stars" it refers to Genesis 22:17; 26:4, Exodus 32:13, I Chronicles 27:23, Nehemiah 9:23." Of these references, the first two consist of God's prophetic promise, the next two to remembering those promises, and the Nehemiah reference to God's fulfilment becoming apparent then.

That would be an appropriate point at which to stop our study for today.

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