Deuteronomy 32:34-43 (The Song of Moses, Part V)

Painting by Doug Kallerson.

Deuteronomy 32:34-43
The Song of Moses, Part V

If you grab the pages of the epistles of Paul between two fingers, it is an astonishingly slim body of writing. Try it and you will actually be amazed at how thin it is. And yet, people have been debating and arguing over what Paul wrote for two thousand years.

And this isn’t simply because no one has sat down and analyzed his words closely to determine their exact meaning. Every single word has been studied and analyzed. They have been counted and compared, they have been meditated upon and memorized – by innumerable really intelligent scholars.

People argue over the meaning of many words, verses, and concepts in those few pages gleefully claiming they have the truth, and those of an opposing view are just a bunch of heretics. Despite this, one thing is for sure: If you don’t thoroughly know the man and his point of reference, you will not understand what he is saying in many cases.

And the only way to know those things is to know the body of literature in which he was schooled. Paul was a Pharisee, and he was of Israel. You must look at the Scriptures that formed him to understand what he is saying. If you don’t, you will misread the intent of his words.

There is another problem: our own incorrect presuppositions. Unless they are corrected, we will continue to be faulty until we finally stand before the Lord and are corrected by Him personally.

Text Verse: “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.’” Romans 12:17-19

In those verses, Paul cites the words of Deuteronomy 32 that we will look at today. He quoted Moses there in Romans, and the author of Hebrews uses it in a different context as well. Though not named, it is pretty certain that Hebrews was also written by Paul.

Since Paul’s writing consistently quotes the Old Testament, having a knowledge of it gives needed context. Because if you don’t have it, you will never properly understand what he is saying. In getting these things wrong, your understanding of our state now, and of what is coming in the future as well, will be skewed. This includes the book of Revelation because what we will look at today is a foundational part of what will later be revealed there.

It is so good that you are joining us as we look at each word, clause, and verse of this unbelievably marvelous piece of literature. It opens up what lies ahead and presents it to Israel and to us in a remarkable way.

Yes, great things are to be found in His superior word. And so, let us turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. Where Are Their gods? (Verses 34-39)

While going through the verses of this poem, we’ve been following a breakdown of them I made concerning their structure. In the previous section (28-33), the evident nature of Israel’s unworthiness to be spared was detailed. Because of this, it highlighted that they have been, in fact, spared.

Now, verses 34-38 reveal the wisdom of allowing Israel to be brought to a state of utter calamity. When all of the other gods they pursue fail to deliver, that leads to… verse 39 which reveals that Yehovah has, through His interaction with Israel, demonstrated that He alone is God. With that understood, we now enter into these verses…

34 Is this not laid up in store with Me,

halo hu kamus imadi – “They not stored with Me?” Here is another word found only this once in the Bible, kamas. It comes from a primitive root meaning to store away. As such, it is used here figuratively to mean “stored in the memory.” What is this referring to?

There are varying views. One is that this is speaking of what will next be said concerning vengeance and wrath. I would disagree and say that it is looking back to what was already stated in order to then form a reason for what will be stated. In order to see this, one has to go back to the first verse of the previous section, verse 28 –

“For they are a nation void of counsel,
Nor is there any understanding in them.”

As such, most translations here are wrong, saying this in the singular, “Is this not…” However, two things are being referred to, counsel and understanding.

One can see how Moses is carefully weaving together the case against Israel, while at the same time he is carefully demonstrating the righteousness of the Lord in how He carries out His plans. He sets forth a premise, demonstrates how Israel fails based on that premise, and then calls the premise back to mind by showing that the qualities presented there belong to the Lord.

As such, if Israel would have followed sound advice, as is found in the Proverbs, they would have avoided all of these ills –

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5, 6

Of this store of understanding and counsel, Moses next asks…

34 (con’t) Sealed up among My treasures?

khatum b’otsrotay – “Sealed in My treasuries?” The word is otsar. It signifies a treasury, a place for depositing things, but it is in the plural construct. As such, it is referring to the secret places where the counsel and understanding of the Lord are kept away. A similar rendering is found in 1 Kings 15 –

“Now there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days. 17 And Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 18 Then Asa took all the silver and gold that was left in the treasuries of the house of the Lord and the treasuries of the king’s house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants. And King Asa sent them to Ben-Hadad the son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, who dwelt in Damascus, saying, 19 Let there be a treaty between you and me, as there was between my father and your father. See, I have sent you a present of silver and gold. Come and break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, so that he will withdraw from me.’” 1 Kings 15:16-19

If one were to spend every moment of every day seeking new knowledge, such treasuries of the Lord could be considered. Within the minutest particle, there are treasuries of wisdom where atoms, protons, electrons, and so-ons spin and whirl.

In DNA, there are sequences that work in a four-dimensional manner, where time itself is factored into its operation. The treasuries of the Lord’s counsel and understanding are infinite. Each is sealed up, awaiting the time when it is to be opened in order to show forth the splendor of His wisdom.

And in the unfolding narrative of time, the storehouses of understanding and counsel are opened up to reveal His hand in the details of what occurs. And to show that it is He who has done it, he has given the prophetic word to show us that it is so.

In the structure of the verse, one can see how the Lord (as revealed through Moses) identifies these storehouses directly with Himself. As such, where His counsel and wisdom are kept they then form an expression of who He is –

(a) They not stored with Me,
(b) Sealed in My treasuries?

35 Vengeance is Mine, and recompense;

li naqam v’shilem – “To Me vengeance and recompense.” Here the noun shilem is seen in its only use. It is a repayment or a requital. The idea of the previous thought now naturally leads to this one.

Israel is a nation lacking prudence and understanding. These are found in the Lord, but Israel has rejected the Lord and gone their own perverse way. Therefore, He will display His counsel and understanding by bringing forth His vengeance and recompense. One thing leads to the next…

35 (con’t) Their foot shall slip in due time;

l’eth tamut raglam – “To time shall waver their foot.” Notice the use of the plural and the singular together – “Their foot.” Israel is a people. It is as if they are on a climb through the ages and they are successfully progressing. But then they suddenly come to a point that is unstable and precipitous.

At this point, they have to tread carefully, but they cannot. Their foot begins to waver because their strength fails them…

35 (con’t) For the day of their calamity is at hand,

ki qarov yom edam – “For near day their calamity.” It is a new word, ed. Either “calamity” or “ruin” is probably the best way to express the thought. To understand what is being articulated, all we need to do is look at what is going on in the world in relation to Israel today.

Israel will be at a point where they have climbed the hill. They are on the way to the summit. They have attained the status among the nations that they absolutely crave – proving that it is by their hand, their might, their innovation, their smarts, and their superiority that they have gone from nothing to the epitome of national grandeur. But then, their foot will slip, and their calamity will be right in front of them…

35 (con’t) And the things to come hasten upon them.’

v’khash athidoth lamo – “And hasten readied [things] to them.” Again, Moses pulls out a new word, athid. It is an adjective coming from a word meaning “to be ready.” As such, it is a way of saying that there are things that have been prepared to occur, and at that time – when their foot begins to give way, those readied things will come rushing upon them.

One can think of someone strolling along life’s highway, thinking everything is fine, but because he has rejected the Lord, certain disaster lies ahead. A perfect example of this would be the king of Babylon, as is seen in Daniel 4 –

“At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king spoke, saying, ‘Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?’
31 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! 32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.’” Daniel 4:29-32

This is what it will be like for Israel. They will look around, assured of their greatness, and everything will collapse around them, all because they failed to include the Lord in their devices.

Our text verse today cited a portion of this verse. Likewise, it is used by the author of Hebrews to remind Hebrew believers of that to which Moses refers, meaning the unchanging character of God in regard to such things –

“Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews 10:29-31

In looking at this verse, it is seen that the first clause sets up what is presented in the next three –

(-) To Me vengeance and recompense.
(*) To time shall waver their foot.
(*) For near day their calamity.
(*) And hasten readied [things] to them.

It is in this setting up of the events of the future, to demonstrate His very nature, that the Lord then acts…

36 “For the Lord will judge His people

ki yadin Yehovah amo – “For will judge Yehovah His people.” Depending on who is commenting, this is taken as a judgment of Israel or a judgment for Israel. What seems likely is that it is both. The words have all led to the thought that Israel is in need of being judged. This is a given.

But if the Lord were to judge them according to their conduct, they would be utterly obliterated as a people. But that would be to violate the very covenant promises that He had obligated Himself to. Thus, as the Bible later reveals, He will allow the nations to be His means of judgment upon Israel while at the same time He will judge against the nations in favor of Israel…

36 (con’t) And have compassion on His servants,

v’al avadav yitnekham – “And upon His servants He will comfort.” The sense appears to be properly explained by Albert Barnes, “The verse declares that God’s judgment of His people would issue at once in the punishment of the wicked, and in the comfort of the righteous.” This will come about…

36 (con’t) When He sees that their power is gone,

ki yireh ki azelath yad – “For He sees for is disappeared hand.” And yet another new word comes in, azal. It signifies “to go.” As something goes, it is then gone, disappeared. The hand signifies authority, ability, power, etc. In this case, it is specifically their power that is being referred to.

A really good way of thinking of this might be Israel’s modern Iron Dome system. They do, and will, rely on it for their protection. And, indeed, how incredible it was to see it perform recently! But once the war was over, it desperately needed to be replenished.

The US agreed and sent them replacements. Israel is used to simply buying more, getting better, relying on their own power and might to forge ahead.

However, someday, there will be no more replacements. Israel will want to buy more but that will be a problem. There will be no more aid. They will stand naked and exposed, readied for total defeat…

36 (con’t) And there is no one remaining, bond or free.

The clause forms an alliterative paronomasia: v’ephes atsur v’azuv – “And none restraining and relinquishing.” The words speak of the state of people.

There are those who are at home, and there are those who head out. Those who are getting married, and those who are getting divorced. There are those who are having children, and those whose children are grown up and moving away. It is simply a way of saying, “This refers to everybody.”

The second two clauses of this verse give an explanation for what is stated in the first two. And within the sets there are obvious comparisons that I have set off with matching characters –

(a) For *will judge Yehovah -His people.
(a) And upon -His servants He *will comfort.
For He sees:
(b) for is *disappeared -hand.
(b) *And none -restraining and relinquishing.

37 He will say: ‘Where are their gods,

v’amar ay elohemo – “And He said: ‘Where their gods?’” It is almost a mocking of their stupidity. They have trusted in vapor. Anything they thought they could rely on has vanished, and the Lord looks down upon them knowing what they would be without Him. But instead of worshipping Him, they had squandered away everything by hiding within futility…

37 (con’t) The rock in which they sought refuge?

tsur khasayu bo – “Rock they refuged in?” Again, there is a new verb, khasah, to seek refuge. As before, the thought of the Iron Dome comes to mind. To the mind of the people, it is almost a “god” of protection that encompasses them. “We are invincible because of what we have created.”

And so, the Lord lets them simmer in their giddiness, knowing that it is a system of Tinker Toys that simply cannot be trusted. This is a good analogy to the words of this clause. “Where is your trust?” That is what Israel should contemplate and resolve, but only when the answer is, “The Lord.”

This verse contains a statement leading into two parallel clauses –

And He said:
(a) ‘Where their gods?’
(a) Rock they refuged in?

38 Who ate the fat of their sacrifices,

The NKJV makes this verse into a question, but it is a statement of fact (and maybe even exclamation) concerning the gods just mentioned. Also, the verb is imperfect: asher khelev zebakhemo yokelu – “Who fat their sacrifices they eat!”

It is as if the gods of Israel are sitting down having a feast while the people are being eradicated. The people offered to these false gods, and they are too busy enjoying the offerings to care what is going on around them…

38 (con’t) And drank the wine of their drink offering?

yishtu yen nesikam – “They drink wine their libations.” The sense of mocking continues. It is a real party as the gods fill themselves up on what has been offered – “Hey, pour out some more wine!” Israel’s gods, that are no gods at all, are having a party while the nation is on the brink of utter ruin.

If Israel has been making offerings to these gods, well then…

38 (con’t) Let them rise and help you,

The verbs are imperfect, adding to the taunting effect: yaqumu v’yazerukhem – “They arising and they helping you!” It is as if the Lord is saying, “Herrrrre they come… any minute now. They just have to finish another bite. Maybe a bit more wine too. Hooold on, hold on…” With that, He then says…

38 (con’t) And be your refuge.

The words begin with a jussive: yehi alekhem sithrah – “May it be over you haven!” The sense is that they have chosen their worthless gods that are too busy dining on their offerings to do anything else. But the Lord says, “Tough! You want them to protect you, then they are your hiding place, your haven. See how that works out!”

In this verse, the first two clauses are set in parallel, but turned around for effect, while the second two are parallel with the first anticipating a fulfilled action in the second –

(a) Who *fat their sacrifices -they eat!
(a) -They drink *wine their libations.
(b) They arising and they helping you.
(b) May it be over you haven!

39 ‘Now see that I, even I, am He,

There is a strong emphasis in the Hebrew: reu atah ki ani ani hu – “See now! For I, I HE!” The Lord is adamantly telling Israel to open their eyes and understand. There are no other gods, not even one. He alone is God, and He alone called and established them. And yet, they have to open their eyes before they can see it.

The sentiment that is pronounced here is partially repeated in various ways in Isaiah 41-46. None state it exactly, but an example is found in the word of the Lord to the pagan king Cyrus –

“I am the Lord, and there is no other;
There is no God besides Me.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me,
That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting
That there is none besides Me.
am the Lord, and there is no other;
I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the Lord, do all these things.” Isaiah 45:5-7

Likewise, the next clause is found in the same section of Isaiah and also elsewhere in Isaiah as well…

39 (con’t) And there is no God besides Me;

v’en Elohim imadi – “And no God with Me.” There is God, and there are gods. There is no contradiction in saying this if the reference is understood. What is clearly being stated is that Yehovah is God. He alone. Any other god is a part of what He has created, but with Him, there is no God.

It is something that can be logically deduced. Because there is existence, say you and me, then God (a Necessary Being) must exist. This is an undeniable truth, and because God cannot create another “one and only God.” Therefore, there must be – by default – only one God.

This is all explained in the Genesis 1:1 sermon using what are known as the First Principles. What the Lord states here is to be taken as an axiom. Israel has failed to complete its courses on logic and Theology Proper. For now, the Lord speaks on…

39 (con’t) I kill and I make alive;

The verbs are imperfect: ani amith va’akhayeh – “I, I terminate, and I life-sustain.” The power of both life and death belong to the Lord alone. What he decides should end will be terminated, and what He determines should continue will continue.

This phrase was remembered and then quoted by Hannah in her prayer at the dedication of Samuel to the Lord –

“The Lord kills and makes alive;
He brings down to the grave and brings up.” 1 Samuel 2:6

Along with this, the Lord speaks further…

39 (con’t) I wound and I heal;

The second verb is imperfect, adding to the dramatic effect: makhatsti va’ani erpa – “I have shattered, and I heal.” One might think of the world at the flood. It was broken up and destroyed, shattered and thrown into complete confusion. Yet, in the shortest of spans, Noah and his family simply walked off the ark and began life again.

Israel, too, will be crushed and shattered, along with the entire world, but the Lord will return it to a state of healing not seen before the events of the tribulation took place. All of this is from the workings of the Lord…

39 (con’t) Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.

v’en miyadi matsil – “And no from My hand deliver.” In verse 36, the hand, or power, of Israel was demonstrably gone. But here in verse 39, the power of the Lord, His hand, is said to be without limit. There is none who can deliver from it. What He determines to hold will be held and what He determines to destroy will be destroyed. His hand is effectual in power to begin and to complete.

Again, the words are picked up later in Isaiah 45 –

“Indeed before the day was, I am He;
And there is no one who can deliver out of My hand;
I work, and who will reverse it?” Isaiah 45:13

In this verse, the first clause is parallel to the second and third clauses, while the second is parallel to the fifth (a/b/a/a/b) –

(a) See now! For I, I HE!
(b) And no God with Me.
(a) I, I terminate, and I life-sustain.
(a) I have shattered, and I heal
(b) And no from My hand deliver

Who is God like Me, near or far?
Who can deliver from My hand?
Can you open what I do not leave ajar?
Can you thwart that which I have planned?

There is no other God! No not one!
And there is none other at all like Me
None can even attempt what I have done
To even think it so demonstrates great stupidity

I am God who has established you for Me
And I am God whom you have rejected
You spurned My coming and nailed Me to a tree
In this, your flawed streak is detected

Turn, O Israel, turn unto Me
I am your God who came down from that tree

II. Rejoice You,Nations, His PZeople! (verses 40-43)

Verses 40-42 will next call out the judgment of the nations for failing to recognize what God has done, which is manifestly evident through His treatment (establishment, care for, spurning of, punishment upon, sparing, and defense) of Israel.

40 For I raise My hand to heaven,

ki esa el shamayim yadi – “For I lift up unto heavens My hand.” The thought is that of making a proclamation and an oath. It is seen, for example, in Revelation 10 –

“The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer, but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.” Revelation 10:5-7

40 (con’t) And say, “As I live forever,

v’amarti khai anokhi l’olam – “And I say, ‘Live I to eternity.’” The word olam signifies that which is concealed, the vanishing point. It can mean forever, or something less. But in the case of the proclamation here, because of the One who makes it, it signifies to eternity itself.

The words then mean, “What I am about to say is as inviolate as is My very being. It stands, and will stand, untouched and pure.”

This is an a/b pattern where the first clause prepares the way for the second –

(a) For I lift up unto heavens My hand.
(b) And I say, ‘Live I to eternity.’

41 If I whet My glittering sword,

im shanoti beraq kharbi – “If I whet brilliance My sword.” The scene now is personal as Yehovah is likened to a Warrior. The “if” makes the statement conditional, and yet assured. It will happen and the result will not be thwarted…

41 (con’t) And My hand takes hold on judgment,

v’tokhez b’mishpat yadi – “And grasps in judgment My hand.” It is referring to the sword of brilliance that has been whetted. With the whetting, and the grasping of it in judgment, there will be an inevitable and unstoppable result…

41 (con’t) I will render vengeance to My enemies,

ashiv naqam l’tsaray – “I will return vengeance to My adversaries.” The word tsar comes from a word signifying “narrow.” Hence, it speaks of those who are crowded in against. God is God. Any who crowd in on Him are adversaries to Him.

To come against that which is His, such as Israel, is to come against Him. In such an instance, by crowding in on the Lord, or on what is His, He will return vengeance. The prospects for those who do so are not good. Not good, indeed. And more…

41 (con’t) And repay those who hate Me.

v’limsanay ashalem – “And to those hating Me I repay.” The idea is that to those who hate Yehovah, there is a debt to be paid before there can be a state of completion. Without that, the debt remains. This is speaking in a metaphoric sense, but even so, if a debt is outstanding, the Lord will repay in vengeance concerning what is owed. It is a woeful thought, indeed.

Here, the first and second clauses are parallel, as are the third and fourth. But the latter two reverse the internal structure –

(a) If I whet brilliance My sword.
(a) And grasps in judgment My hand.
(b) *I return vengeance to -My adversaries.
(b) And to -those hating Me *I repay.

42 I will make My arrows drunk with blood,

askir hitsay mi’dam – “I make drunk My arrows from blood.” Here Yehovah is an Archer set to shoot against the foe. When He does, it is as if the arrows are thirsty, and so the Lord fills them. But He does so to the point that they are utterly intoxicated from the banquet. And then, the sword is again unsheathed…

42 (con’t) And My sword shall devour flesh,

v’kharbi tokal basar – “And My sword devours flesh.” In Hebrew, the edge of a sword is considered its mouth. As such, it is a devourer, tearing into flesh and consuming the life it takes. This is the terrifying imagery that is considered here. That imagery then extends on…

42 (con’t) With the blood of the slain and the captives,

mi’dam khalal v’shivyah – “From blood slain and captives.” The idea is that of the arrows standing in the bodies of the slain, draining them of blood, and the sword not sparing the captives as it turns from side to side. It is a battle that sees the utter ruin of the enemy and all with him. And this extends on again…

42 (con’t) From the heads of the leaders of the enemy.”’

It is singular: merosh parot oyev – “From head freemen enemy.” It is difficult to be sure of the meaning of these words. There is a new and rare word, pera, which is the same as pera – hair, or locks. It is found only here and in Judges 5:2, and it is uncertain what it means.

However, Robert Young seems to have accurately defined it as “freemen.” Just as hair is free and becomes unkempt, so are these freed men. They would then be set in contrast to the captives of the previous clause. Instead of being bound, they are unkept and free.

The words seem to be a standard a/a/b/b pattern –

(a) I make drunk My arrows from blood.
(a) And My sword devours flesh.
(b) From blood slain and captives.
(b) From head freemen enemy.

It is easy to see in these verses the climactic return of Christ and His execution of judgment upon the armies gathered against Israel which is recorded in Revelation 19. With that now fully expressed, we come to the final verse of the song.

It is a finishing call to the world who knows Yehovah that He has kept His covenant promises to this nation of disobedience by providing them the atonement they do not, in fact, deserve. With that in mind…

43 “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people;

harninu goyim amo – “Rejoice you, nations, His people!” The word “with” is not included in the Hebrew, and thus it probably is better rendered “nations” than “Gentiles.” The reason this is important is that Paul cites this in Romans 15, ascribing it to the Gentiles rejoicing with the Jews. That will be seen in our closing verse.

As such, I would argue that this is referring to both Jews and Gentiles through the use of the word goy, or nation. In other words, Israel is one nation among the nations. In saying, “Rejoice you, nations, His people,” it includes all nations, inclusive of Israel. This would then correspond to Revelation 21:24 which is clearly inclusive of both –

“And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.” Revelation 21:24

43 (con’t) For He will avenge the blood of His servants,

ki dam abadav yiqom – “For blood His servants He will avenge.” This refers to the repayment of the ill-treatment of God’s people during the tribulation period. It is spoken of as a call to God in Revelation 6:10. It is then stated as an accomplishment in Revelation 18:20. And it is then referred to again in Revelation 19:2. Next, it says…

43 (con’t) And render vengeance to His adversaries;

v’naqam yashiv l’tsara – “And vengeance He returns to His adversaries.” It is again a clear presentation of what is more fully expressed in Revelation as well as throughout the writings of the prophets.

Those who come against the people of God will receive their just due, which will come in due time. All things must find their place in the unfolding events, and they will be accomplished without one being missed.

*43 (fin) He will provide atonement for His land and His people.”

v’kiper admato amo – “And He has atoned His earth, His people.” Rather than erets, or land, the word adamah, or earth, is used. Both are often used interchangeably, and both are variously translated. But adamah gives the sense of the ground, coming from the same word as adam, the man who was taken from the ground.

That then extends to the entire earth – all of which required atonement for the worldwide shedding of blood, especially in the tribulation period. One must understand the reference to understand what is being conveyed. As such, the words “His people” extend to all who are saved out of the tribulation, either through death or through entering the millennium.

It is a complete atonement for what occurred. Only when this is accomplished will Israel be able to take its rightful position as the head of the nations. At that time, the promises prophesied both about and to them will find their fulfillment. It will happen, and it cannot be otherwise. The Lord has spoken, and what He has said in His word will come to pass.

This final verse repeats the a/b/b/a pattern used earlier in the song. This one has a contrasting parallel in the middle two verses –

(a) Rejoice you, -nations, *His people!
(b) For blood +His servants He will avenge.
(b) And vengeance He returns to -His adversaries.
(a) And He has atoned -His earth, *His people.

As this song now comes to its ending, it is a good time to note that the Song of Moses is referred to in Revelation 15. There it says –

They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying:
“Great and marvelous are Your works,
Lord God Almighty!
Just and true are Your ways,
O King of the saints! Revelation 15:3

In this chapter of Revelation, John noted those “who have victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name.” He also noted that they had harps of God. Of them, he next said, “They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God.”

The term “servant of God” is fittingly applied to Moses, having been called the Lord’s servant several times in the Old Testament (see Exodus 14:31, Numbers 12:7, and Psalm 105:26). He is referred to in this manner in Hebrews 3:5 as well.

Of this, Ruckman says, “Here is another verse that proves that no Christian goes through the Tribulation. The people in verse 2 [sic] sing ‘the song of Moses’ (the Mosaic Law) and ‘the song of the Lamb’ (Jesus Christ dying for sinners – John 1:29). That’s works and faith … No Christian has any business singing ‘the Song of Moses’ at all.”

While it is true that pre-tribulation Christian believers will not go through the tribulation (in part or in whole), the logic Ruckman uses is faulty. Citing the Song of Moses is not a works-based statement. Rather, it is a note of fulfilled prophecy.

There are two songs of Moses recorded in the Old Testament. The first is in Exodus 15 when the children of Israel were led out of bondage and through the Red Sea to safety. The great world power that had hold over Israel was crushed and defeated by the Lord.

The second is recorded in Deuteronomy 32. It details the history of the people of Israel from the time they enter the Promised Land through to the end of the ages. Which Song of Moses is being referred to? Actually, both fit the mold of what is said. However, it is surely the latter song that is first and foremost being considered.

The people in the Revelation verse are “those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name.” In the final verse of the song recorded in Deuteronomy 32, we just finished with these words –

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people;
For He will avenge the blood of His servants,
And render vengeance to His adversaries;
He will provide atonement for His land and His people.”

To ensure we don’t make the error Ruckman made, Paul even cites this verse in Romans 15:10 when speaking of believers in the church age. Moses prophesied of a time when the Gentiles would rejoice along with the people of Israel. That time came when Christ fulfilled and annulled the Mosaic Covenant, set it aside, and established the New Covenant in His blood.

Further, the words of Deuteronomy 32 refer to avenging “the blood of His servants.” This is exactly what is being pictured in the Revelation martyrs standing on the glassy sea. Thus, both Jews and Gentiles can sing the Song of Moses (Rejoice, O Gentiles with His people), “and the song of the Lamb” (You are worthy to take the scroll…) as is recorded in Revelation 5:9, 10.

Though the two songs of Moses are different songs, the words of Moses in both songs ultimately refer to the work of God in Christ. Thus, songs such as are found in Exodus 15, Deuteronomy 32, and Revelation 5 all build upon the same theme – the greatness of the Lord God.

As for Israel in relation to the words of this song, none of what replacement theology teaches concerning the nation makes any sense when it is taken in the proper light of what Moses pens. And when this song is taken in its proper light, everything occurring in the world, or that will come to pass in it, correctly aligns with what the Lord is doing.

Nothing could be clearer from what has been said here. But what has been said here only builds upon everything else Moses has been saying since the start of Deuteronomy. He is not speaking to the church, and the Gentiles are only included in what is going on; they are not the main focus of it.

Jesus Christ is the main focus, and it is His coming to His own people, Israel, to be received by them that is anticipated. When that didn’t happen on His first advent, the narrative neither stopped nor was it in error. That was simply an anticipated part of the whole.

God has remained, and He continues to remain, faithful to His part of the covenant, even when Israel has consistently failed at theirs. Let us pray that before the terrifying times foreshadowed in these verses come to pass, many – both Jews and Gentiles – will turn and call out for His saving hand. May it be so to the glory of God who has determined all things to be.

Closing Verse:  Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written:
“For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles,
And sing to Your name.”
10 And again he says:
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!”
11 And again:
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!”
12 And again, Isaiah says:
“There shall be a root of Jesse;
And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles,
In Him the Gentiles shall hope.” Romans 15:8-12

Next Week: Deuteronomy 32:44-52 Moses you will die outside of the promise, sadly… (Because You Did Not Hallow Me) (98th Deuteronomy Sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. But He also has expectations of you as He prepares you for entrance into His Land of Promise. So, follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.

The Song of Moses, Part V

‘Is this not laid up in store with Me
Sealed up among My treasures?
———-So it is and so it shall be

Vengeance is Mine, and recompense
Their foot shall slip in due time
For the day of their calamity is at hand
And the things to come hasten upon them for their crime

“For the LORD will judge His people
And have compassion on His servants. Yes compassion from Me
When He sees that their power is gone
There is no one remaining, neither bond nor free

He will say: ‘Where are their gods whom they have bought
The rock in which they refuge sought?

Who ate the fat of their sacrifices
And drank the wine of their drink offering?
Let them rise and help you
And be your refuge; let them do this thing

‘Now see that I, even I, am He
And there is no God besides Me – this you shall understand
I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal
Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand

For I raise My hand to heaven, changing never
And say, “As I live forever

If I whet My glittering sword
And My hand takes hold on judgment, just and plainly
I will render vengeance to My enemies
And repay those who hate Me

I will make My arrows drunk with blood
And My sword shall devour flesh, for all to see
With the blood of the slain and the captives
From the heads of the leaders of the enemy

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people
For He will avenge the blood of His servants, His wayward sheeple
And render vengeance to His adversaries
He will provide atonement for His land and His people

Lord God, turn our hearts to be obedient to Your word
Give us wisdom to be ever faithful to You
May we carefully heed each thing we have heard
Yes, Lord God may our hearts be faithful and true

And we shall be content and satisfied in You alone
We will follow You as we sing our songs of praise
Hallelujah to You; to us Your path You have shown
Hallelujah we shall sing to You for all of our days

Hallelujah and Amen…










34 Is this not laid up in store with Me,
Sealed up among My treasures?
35 Vengeance is Mine, and recompense;
Their foot shall slip in due time;
For the day of their calamity is at hand,
And the things to come hasten upon them.’

36 “For the Lord will judge His people
And have compassion on His servants,
When He sees that their power is gone,
And there is no one remaining, bond or free.
37 He will say: ‘Where are their gods,
The rock in which they sought refuge?
38 Who ate the fat of their sacrifices,
And drank the wine of their drink offering?
Let them rise and help you,
And be your refuge.

39 ‘Now see that I, even I, am He,
And there is no God besides Me;
I kill and I make alive;
I wound and I heal;
Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.
40 For I raise My hand to heaven,
And say, “As I live forever,
41 If I whet My glittering sword,
And My hand takes hold on judgment,
I will render vengeance to My enemies,
And repay those who hate Me.
42 I will make My arrows drunk with blood,
And My sword shall devour flesh,
With the blood of the slain and the captives,
From the heads of the leaders of the enemy.” ’

43 “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people;
For He will avenge the blood of His servants,
And render vengeance to His adversaries;
He will provide atonement for His land and His people.”