1 These are the words of the covenant, which Yahweh commanded Moses [Moshe] to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.
The Second Generation will Possess the Land
The New Covenant having been made with the nation, the next thing presented to our minds by the prophet, is the probation of the tribes in the people's wilderness. This is expressed in the words
"I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me." (Ezk 20:38)
Like their fathers, though they promised to obey, they will rebel and transgress against their deliverer. Their provocations will become unpardonable; for though a promise will have been made to them in the gospel preached of a national settlement under Messiah in the covenant land, to be no more expelled forever, their faith will fail; it will not be made perfect by their works, but will have become dead; so that though a reconciliation be effected between Yahweh and the nation at the delivering of the covenant, and its past offences blotted out as a thick cloud, multitudes of Israelites harden their hearts and become rebellious, and fail of justification by works unto a participation in the national redemption and glory.
Concerning these rebels it is written,
"I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn."
But though brought out thence one of two things still remains to them, either to die in the wilderness of the peoples, or to enter the covenant land; for it by no means follows that, because they have escaped from "the Great City spiritually called Egypt," they will therefore enter the Holy Land. What then saith the testimony respecting the final punishment of these transgressors? The judgment written is,
"They shall not enter into the Land of Israel."
In answer to Micah's petition that God would let Israel feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old, Yahweh saith to the nation,
"According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I show unto Him marvellous things. The nations shall see, and be confounded at all their (Israel's) might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf. They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth; they shall be afraid of the Lord, Israel's God, and shall fear because of Thee. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy (covenanted) to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old." (Micah 7:14-20)
Now the days of coming out of Egypt under Moses were forty years. This is the typical period pointing to the exodus from "the Great City figuratively called Egypt." Israel's passing through the people's wilderness to the Covenant-Land will occupy forty years. During this time the Lord God pleads with them as he did with their fathers in the days of Moses; and with the same result. The carcases of the adult generation fall in the wilderness, as it is written, "And they shall not enter into the land of Israel;" which is equivalent to "They shall not enter into my rest" (Psa 95:11)-the Messianic Sabbatism in the Holy Land.
"The bonds" or "discipline of the Covenant" purges the rebels out and trains up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; so that the second generation of the emancipated nation takes possession of the promised land under the New Covenant. I find in the Mosaic representation of the truth that when Israel arrived in Moab, words were added to what was spoken in Horeb.
Moses assembled the second generation there just previous to their invasion of Canaan, and his handing them over to the command of Joshua, another type of Christ. On that occasion he said,
"Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God; the captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel, &c.-that thou shouldest enter into covenant with the Lord thy God, and into His oath which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day: that he may establish thee to-day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob."
(Deut 29: 1,10-13)
The covenant with the nation in Horeb was regarded as having been really made with the second generation, not with those who perished in the wilderness. Hence Moses says to the people in the land of Moab,
"The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. Yahweh made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day."
After the same representation, then, we are to understand, that when the nation shall hereafter be brought into "the bonds of the covenant," the covenant will be regarded as being made, not with the rebels who transgress, but with those who shall constitute the nation forty years afterwards, and shall actually enter into the land of Israel.
The terms of the New Covenant show that though made with the nation it is not made with the generation brought out of "the Great City figuratively called Egypt." The promise is,
"I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts."
This is equivalent to giving them
"such a heart that they would fear Yahweh, and keep all his commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever."
Such a heart as this the nation has never had, but has ever been "uncircumcised of heart and ears," as at this day. Moses prophesied, however, that a time would come when they should be brought back from their dispersion, that the Lord would circumcise their heart, and the heart of their seed, to love the Lord with all their heart, and with all their soul, that they might live.
This promise of heart-circumcision belongs especially to the New Covenant, and can only be affirmed in a national sense of the second generation of the coming exodus. A circumcised heart, the covenant-token in every man who inherits under Messiah, is a heart that cannot rebel and transgress wilfully against the Lord.
It is a heart renewed by the word of covenant-truth, an example of which is presented in Abraham, "the Friend of God." Forty years discipline will create this heart in the nation, and prepare it for the gift of the Holy Spirit, when "their iniquity will be forgiven, and their sin remembered no more." After that there will be no purging out of rebels; for they will all know Yahweh and his King from the least even to the greatest of them, and lovingly obey them.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Oct 1855
2 And Moses [Moshe] called unto all Israel [kol Yisroel], and said unto them, Ye have seen all that Yahweh did before your eyes in the land of Egypt [Eretz Mitzrayim] unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants [avadim], and unto all his land;
3 The great temptations [massot hagedolot] which thine eyes [otot] have seen, the signs, and those great miracles [mofetim hagedolim]:
4 Yet Yahweh hath not given you an heart [lev] to perceive [lev for da'as], and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.
Why God chose a people so intractable we shall probably understand to a nicety if we are permitted to see the glorious climax of the plan. It has been said by some that if He had chosen the Greeks instead of the Hebrews, it would have been more of a success; but this is a shallow-minded criticism.
Human nature everywhere is an evil thing, and we may be quite sure that the plan that God has made in choosing the seed of Abraham His friend is the very best adapted for the ultimate realization of His glory upon earth.
Law of Moses Ch 9.
5 And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot.
6 Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am Yahweh your Elohim.
7 And when ye came unto this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, came out against us unto battle, and we smote them:
8 And we took their land, and gave it for an inheritance unto the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to the half tribe of Manasseh.
9 Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.
10 Ye stand this day all of you before Yahweh your Elohim; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel,
11 Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water:
12 That thou shouldest enter into covenant with Yahweh thy Elohim, and into his oath, which Yahweh thy Elohim maketh with thee this day:
13 That he may establish thee to day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a Elohim, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
14 Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath;
15 But with him that standeth here with us this day before Yahweh our Elohim, and also with him that is not here with us this day:
16 (For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by;
17 And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:)
18 Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from Yahweh our Elohim, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;
19 And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:
20 Yahweh will not spare him, but then the anger of Yahweh and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and Yahweh shall blot out his name from under heaven.
21 And Yahweh shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law:
22 So that the generation to come of your children that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which Yahweh hath laid upon it;
23 And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which Yahweh overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:
24 Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath Yahweh done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger?
25 Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of Yahweh Elohim of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt:
26 For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given unto them:
27 And the anger of Yahweh was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book:
28 And Yahweh rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.
29 The secret things belong unto Yahweh our Elohim: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.