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Deuteronomy 10 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Deuteronomy 10 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

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.

(10:1-3) "I made an ark of shittim wood."
Who made the ark of the covenant?

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.

(10:6) "Mosera ... there he was buried."
Where did Aaron die?

7 From thence they journeyed unto Gudgodah; and from Gudgodah to Jotbath, a land of rivers of waters.

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.

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,

(10:12, 20) "Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God."
Should we fear God?

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.

(10:14) "Heaven ... is the LORD's thy God, the earth also."
Who owns the earth?
Of course its creator owns the earth. See Matthew 4:9 where the author of the SAB reads something different.

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.

16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

(10:16) "Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart."
A poetic way of speaking that circumcision availeth nothing if the heart is opposed to God's way.

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:

(10:17) "The Lord ... regardeth not persons."
Does God respect anyone?
(10:17) "God is God of gods, and Lord of lords."
How many gods are there?
On respect, see Psalm 138:6.
The word lord and god does not necessarily indicate someone not human. That is clear for the word lord obviously, but magistrates and judges are called gods at times as well, see Psalm 82:1. So all this verse says is that God is above earthly rules and judges.

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.

(10:19) "Love ye therefore the stranger."
After God instructs the Israelites to mercilessly slaughter all the strangers that they encounter (Dt.7:2, 16), he tells them to "love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."
How should strangers be treated?
It is good to see the author of the SAB realise there is a difference between stranger and stranger. Israel had to execute God's singular judgement upon the nations of Canaan, but not upon any other nation. So they had to love the stranger who was not of the nations of Canaan. But they had to execute God's judgement upon the strangers of Canaan, and them only. And Israel would be punished for not punishing them.

20 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.

(10:20) "Thou shalt ... swear by his name."
Is it okay to take oaths?

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.