The people are informed that they shall shortly pass over Jordan, and that God shall go over before them, to expel the ancient inhabitants, 1-3. They are cautioned not to suppose that it is on account of their righteousness that God is to give them that land, 4-6. They are exhorted to remember their various provocations of the Divine Majesty, especially at Horeb, 7-14; and how Moses interceded for them, and destroyed the golden calf, 15-21. How they murmured at Taberah, 22; and rebelled at Kadesh-barnea, 23; and had been perverse from the beginning, 24. An account of the intercession of Moses in their behalf, 25-29.
Notes on Chapter 9
Thou art to pass over Jordan this day
haiyom, this time; they had come thirty-eight years before this nearly to the verge of the promised land, but were not permitted at that day or time to pass over, because of their rebellions; but this time they shall certainly pass over. This was spoken about the eleventh month of the fortieth year of their journeying, and it was on the first month of the following year they passed over; and during this interim Moses died.
For the wickedness of these nations
So then it was not by any sovereign act of God that these people were cast out, but for their wickedness; they had transgressed the law of their Creator; they had resisted his Spirit, and could no longer be tolerated. The Israelites were to possess their land, not because they deserved it, but first, because they were less wicked than the others; and secondly, because God thus chose to begin the great work of his salvation among men. Thus then the Canaanites were cut off, and the Israelites were grafted in; and the Israelites, because of their wickedness, were afterwards cut off and the Gentiles grafted in. Let the latter not be high-minded, but fear; if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he spare not thee. But let it be remembered that this land was originally their own, and that the present possessors had no legal right to it.
Tables of stone
See Clarke on Exodus 31:18. and See Clarke on Exodus 32:15.; "Ex 32:16".
Thy people-have corrupted themselves
Debased themselves by making and worshipping an Egyptian idol. See Clarke on Exodus 32:1.
I took your sin, the calf which ye had made
See this fully explained, Clarke "Ex 32:20".
See Clarke on Numbers 11:34.
Remember thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
As if he had said: "These are their descendants, and the covenant was made with those patriarchs in behalf of these." God bestows many blessings on comparatively worthless persons, either for the sake of their pious ancestors, or on account of the religious people with whom they are connected; therefore union with the Church of God is a blessing of no common magnitude. The reader will find the grand subject of this chapter explained at large in the notes on Exod. xxxi. and xxxii., to which he is particularly desired to refer.