Deuteronomy 29:12
(12) Enter (literally "pass ") into covenant with the Lord.--Comp. Ezekiel 20:37 : "I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant" Rashi illustrates by Jeremiah 34:18, the passing between the parts of the divided victim, in order to enter into the covenant. (Comp. Genesis 15:17-18.) But no such ceremony is mentioned here, and therefore we can only say that possibly the practice may have given occasion for this use of the word "pass."

His oath.--A word here used for the first time in Deuteronomy. It is rendered "curse" in Deuteronomy 29:19-21. It seems to mean an imprecation in the name of God (comp. Leviticus 5:4; Genesis 24:41), which may bring a curse if the thing sworn to is not fulfilled.

Which the Lord thy God maketh with thee.--Maketh; literally, cutteth. The word refers to the "covenant."

29:10-21 The national covenant made with Israel, not only typified the covenant of grace made with true believers, but also represented the outward dispensation of the gospel. Those who have been enabled to consent to the Lord's new covenant of mercy and grace in Jesus Christ, and to give up themselves to be his people, should embrace every opportunity of renewing their open profession of relation to him, and their obligation to him, as the God of salvation, walking according thereto. The sinner is described as one whose heart turns away from his God; there the mischief begins, in the evil heart of unbelief, which inclines men to depart from the living God to dead idols. Even to this sin men are now tempted, when drawn aside by their own lusts and fancies. Such men are roots that bear gall and wormwood. They are weeds which, if let alone, overspread the whole field. Satan may for a time disguise this bitter morsel, so that thou shalt not have the natural taste of it, but at the last day, if not before, the true taste shall be discerned. Notice the sinner's security in sin. Though he hears the words of the curse, yet even then he thinks himself safe from the wrath of God. There is scarcely a threatening in all the book of God more dreadful than this. Oh that presumptuous sinners would read it, and tremble! for it is a real declaration of the wrath of God, against ungodliness and unrighteousness of man.That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the Lord thy God,.... That is, they were all to appear and stand in this order before the Lord, that they might solemnly avouch him to be their God, and hear him declaring them to be his people, and the many promises and prophecies of good things he should deliver to them, as well as threatenings of wrath and vengeance in case of disobedience to him: or "that thou shouldest pass" (e): which some think is an allusion to the manner of making covenants, by slaying a creature, and cutting it in pieces, and passing between them, as in Jeremiah 34:18; so Jarchi and Aben Ezra:

and into his oath; annexed to his covenant and promise, to show the immutability and certain fulfilment of it on his part; and may signify not only the oath he swore that they should be his people, but the oath he gave them, and they took, that he should be their God:

which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day; which refers both to the covenant and the oath, or the covenant confirmed by an oath, even the covenant now made in the plains of Moab, distinct from that at Horeb or Sinai.

(e) "ut transeas", V. L. Tigurine version, Munster, Vatablus, Pagniuns, Cocceius; "ad transeundum", Montanus.

Deuteronomy 29:11
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