Deuteronomy 10:17
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:
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Deuteronomy 10:17. Who regardeth not persons — Whether Jews or Gentiles, but deals justly and equally with all sorts of men; and as whosoever fears and obeys him shall be accepted, (namely, through faith in the Messiah, working by love,) so all incorrigible transgressors shall be severely punished, and you no less than other people; therefore, do not flatter yourselves, as if God would bear with your sins because of his particular kindness to you or to your fathers.

10:12-22 We are here taught our duty to God in our principles and our practices. We must fear the Lord our God. We must love him, and delight in communion with him. We must walk in the ways in which he has appointed us to walk. We must serve him with all our heart and soul. What we do in his service we must do cheerfully, and with good will. We must keep his commandments. There is true honour and pleasure in obedience. We must give honour to God; and to him we must cleave, as one we love and delight in, trust in, and from whom we have great expectations. We are here taught our duty to our neighbour. God's common gifts to mankind oblige us to honour all men. And those who have themselves been in distress, and have found mercy with God, should be ready to show kindness to those who are in the like distress. We are here taught our duty to ourselves. Circumcise your hearts. Cast away all corrupt affections and inclinations, which hinder you from fearing and loving God. By nature we do not love God. This is original sin, the source whence our wickedness proceeds; and the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be; so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God, Ro 8:5-9. Let us, without delay or reserve, come and cleave to our reconciled God in Jesus Christ, that we may love, serve, and obey him acceptably, and be daily changed into his image, from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord. Consider the greatness and glory of God; and his goodness and grace; these persuade us to our duty. Blessed Spirit! Oh for thy purifying, persevering, and renewing influences, that being called out of the state of strangers, such as our fathers were, we may be found among the number of the children of God, and that our lot may be among the saints.On "circumcision" see Genesis 17:10. This verse points to the spiritual import of circumcision. Man is by nature "very far gone from original righteousness," and in a state of enmity to God; by circumcision, as the sacrament of admission to the privileges of the chosen people, this opposition must be taken away ere man could enter into covenant with God. It was through the flesh that man first sinned; as it is also in the flesh, its functions, lusts, etc., that man's rebellion against God chiefly manifests itself still. It was fitting therefore that the symbol which should denote the removal of this estrangement from God should be worked in the body. Moses then fitly follows up the command "to circumcise the heart," with the warning "to be no more stiff-necked." His meaning is that they should lay aside that obduracy and perverseness toward God for which he had been reproving them, which had led them into so many transgressions of the covenant and revolts from God, and which was especially the very contrary of that love and fear of God required by the first two of the Ten Commandments. The language associated with circumcision in the Bible distinguishes the use made of this rite in the Jewish religion from that found among certain pagan nations. Circumcision was practiced by some of them as a religious rite, designed (e. g.) to appease the deity of death who was supposed to delight in human suffering; but not by any, the Egyptians probably excepted, at all in the Jewish sense and meaning.

The grounds on which circumcision was imposed as essential by the Law are the same as those on which Baptism is required in the Gospel. The latter in the New Testament is strictly analogous to the former under the Old; compare Colossians 2:11-12.

16. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart—Here he teaches them the true and spiritual meaning of that rite, as was afterwards more strongly urged by Paul (Ro 2:25, 29), and should be applied by us to our baptism, which is "not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God" [1Pe 3:21]. Regardeth not persons, whether Jews or Gentiles, but deals justly and equally with all sorts of men; and as whosoever fears and obeys him shall be accepted of him, so all incorrigible transgressors shall be severely punished, and you no less than other people; therefore do not flatter yourselves as if God would bear with your sins because of his particular kindness to you or to your fathers.

For the Lord your God is God of gods,.... Of angels and civil magistrates, who are sometimes so called: these are his creatures, act for him and under him, and are accountable to him:

the Lord of lords; of the kings and princes of the earth, who have their crowns, sceptres, and kingdoms from him, and hold them of him, by and under whom they reign and decree judgment, and who are subject to his authority and control:

a great God; as the perfections of his nature, the works of his hands, the blessings of his providence and grace, and the extensiveness of his dominion in heaven, earth, and hell, show him to be:

a mighty and a terrible; mighty and powerful to help, protect, and defend his people; terrible to his and their enemies, even to the kings of the earth:

which regardeth not persons; but bestows his favours, whether in a way of providence or grace, according to his sovereign will and pleasure, without regard to the works and merits of men, their characters or circumstances:

nor taketh reward; or bribes, to avert threatened and deserved judgments; see Job 36:18.

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:
17. God of gods, and Lord of lords] Heb. idiom for the highest God and Lord (cp. Deuteronomy 10:14, heaven of heavens).

the great God, the mighty, and the terrible] The Heb. can also mean, as in A.V., a great God, etc.; or the superlative, the God, the greatest, most mighty, and terrible. This is probably to be preferred. Yet even so there is no assertion, such as we find in exilic and post-exilic writers, of the sole Godhead of Jehovah. See above on Deuteronomy 6:4.

regardeth not persons] Lit. lifteth not up faces (opposed to turning away faces), i.e. either by granting their requests (Genesis 19:21) or receiving them graciously (Genesis 32:20); or by being inordinately influenced by them (Job 32:21); or, as here, by showing them an unjust partiality (cp. Deuteronomy 28:50). The same idea concerning human judges is found in Deuteronomy 1:17, but expressed by another verb.

reward] or, bribe, Exodus 23:8, R.V. a gift. See further on Deuteronomy 16:19.

Verse 17. - God of gods (Psalm 136:2). Not only supreme over all that are called god, but the complex and sum of all that is Divine; the Great Reality, of which the "gods many" of the nations were at the best but the symbols of particular attributes or qualities. Which regardeth not persons; is not partial, as a judge who has respect to the condition and circumstances of parties rather than to the merits of the case (cf. Leviticus 19:15; Acts 10:34; Ephesians 6:9; Jude 1:16). Nor taketh reward; cloth not accept presents as bribes (cf. Deuteronomy 16:19; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Job 34:19; Micah 3:11). Deuteronomy 10:17Above all, therefore, they were to circumcise the foreskin of their hearts, i.e., to lay aside all insensibility of heart to impressions from the love of God (cf. Leviticus 26:41; and on the spiritual signification of circumcision, see Genesis 17:15-21), and not stiffen their necks any more, i.e., not persist in their obstinacy, or obstinate resistance to God (cf. Deuteronomy 9:6, Deuteronomy 9:13). 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 Deuteronomy 10:17. 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 (cf. Psalm 136:2), - and as the "Lord of lords," i.e., the supreme, unrestricted Ruler ("the only Potentate," 1 Timothy 6:15), above all powers in heaven and on earth, "a great King above all gods" (Psalm 95:3). Compare Revelation 17:14 and Revelation 19:16, where these predicates are transferred to the 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 (Psalm 89:8), who does not regard the person (cf. Leviticus 19:15), or accept presents (cf. Deuteronomy 16:19), like a human judge.
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