Deuteronomy 1:17
You shall not respect persons in judgment; but you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it to me, and I will hear it.
Jump to: BarnesClarkeGillGSBJFBKADKJTMHCWES
1:9-18 Moses reminds the people of the happy constitution of their government, which might make them all safe and easy, if it was not their own fault. He owns the fulfilment of God's promise to Abraham, and prays for the further accomplishment of it. We are not straitened in the power and goodness of God; why should we be straitened in our own faith and hope? Good laws were given to the Israelites, and good men were to see to the execution of them, which showed God's goodness to them, and the care of Moses.This appointment of the "captains" (compare Exodus 18:21 ff) must not be confounded with that of the elders in Numbers 11:16 ff. The former would number 78,600; the latter were 70 only.

A comparison between this passage and that in Exodus makes it obvious that Moses is only touching on certain parts of the whole history, without regard to order of time, but with a special purpose. This important arrangement for the good government of the people took place before they left Horeb to march direct to the promised land. This fact sets more clearly before us the perverseness and ingratitude of the people, to which the orator next passes; and shows, what he was anxious to impress, that the fault of the 40 years' delay rested only with themselves!

respect...: Heb. acknowledge faces
Ye shall not respect persons in judgment,.... Or pass judgment, and give sentence according to the outward appearances, circumstances, and relations of men; as whether they be friends or foes, rich or poor, old or young, men or women, learned or unlearned; truth and justice should always take place, without any regard to what persons are:

but you shall hear the small as well as the great; persons in low, life, and in mean circumstances, as well as great and noble personages; or little causes and of no great moment, as well as those of the utmost importance; all must be attended to, a cause about a "prutah" or a farthing, as well as one about a hundred pounds, in which Jarchi instances, and if that came first it was not to be postponed:

ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; of the frowns and threatenings of rich men, and of such as are in power and authority; not be awed or intimidated by them from doing justice; see Job 31:34,

for the judgment is God's; judges stand in the place of God, are put into their office by him, and act under him, and for him, and are accountable to him; and therefore should be careful what judgment they make, or sentence they pass, lest they bring discredit to him, and destruction on themselves:

and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it; which is said for their encouragement, as well as was an instruction to them not to undertake a cause too difficult for them; see Exodus 18:22.

Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is {m} God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.

(m) You are his Lieutenants.

But in order to guard against any misinterpretation of his words, "I cannot bear you myself alone," Moses added, "May the Lord fulfil the promise of numerous increase to the nation a thousand-fold." "Jehovah, the God of your fathers (i.e., who manifested Himself as God to your fathers), add to you a thousand times, כּכם, as many as ye are, and bless you as He has said." The "blessing" after "multiplying" points back to Genesis 12:2. Consequently, it is not to be restricted to "strengthening, rendering fruitful, and multiplying," but must be understood as including the spiritual blessing promised to Abraham.
10. ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude—This was neither an Oriental hyperbole nor a mere empty boast. Abraham was told (Ge 15:5, 6) to look to the stars, and though they "appear" innumerable, yet those seen by the naked eye amount, in reality, to no more than three thousand ten in both hemispheres. The Israelites already far exceeded that number, being at the last census above six hundred thousand [Nu 26:51]. It was a seasonable memento, calculated to animate their faith in the accomplishment of other parts of the divine promise.Ye shall not respect persons - Heb. faces. Let not the bold, daring countenance of the rich or mighty induce you to give an unrighteous decision; and let not the abject look of the poor man induce you either to favor him in an unrighteous cause, or to give judgment against him at the demand of the oppressor. Be uncorrupt and incorruptible, for the judgment is God's; ye minister in the place of God, act like Him. 1:17 Respect persons - Heb. Not know, or acknowledge faces, that is, not give sentence according to the outward qualities of the person, as he is poor or rich, your friend or enemy, but purely according to the merit of the cause. For which reason some of the Grecian law - givers ordered that the judges should give sentence in the dark where they could not see mens faces. The judgment is God's - It is passed in the name of God, and by commission from him, by you as representing his person, and doing his work; who therefore will defend you therein against all your enemies, amid to whom you must give an exact account.
Deuteronomy 1:16
Top of Page
Top of Page




Bible Apps.com