Luther Quote of the Day

You see that here the tribe of Simeon is left out and not blessed. For what reason, who knows? That the Hebrews make the selling of Joseph and the fornication of Baal Peor the cause, means nothing to me. Jerome thinks that Judas Iscariot, who was to come from this tribe, deserved this. But let fables be fables. It is certain, however, that Simeon did not have his own lot, as did the others, but had it in the tribe of Judah (Joshua 19:1). Therefore he must be content with the general blessing which follows.

“There is none like God, O Jeshurun, who rides through the heavens to your help, and in His majesty through the skies” (v. 26); that is, through thunder He displays His majesty. “The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (v. 27); that is, although He lives in the heavens, nevertheless His arms are supreme in the world to free His own, as follows. “And He thrust out the enemy before you, and said: Destroy”; that is, He will cast him down with one word. “So Israel dwelt in safety, the foundation of Jacob alone, in a land of grain and wine” (v. 28); that is, he will delight in a fertile land. “Yea, His heavens drop down dew,” namely, to make it fruitful.

“Happy are you, O Israel. Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord (not through the powers of men, as other people), a shield of your help, and the sword of your triumph! Your enemies shall come fawning to you; and you shall tread upon their high places” (v. 29); as though he were saying: “With your powers you are not equal to your enemies, but He is powerful who is your sword.”

Now compare the song of Moses with these blessings, and you will see the contrast. There he condemns the whole people; here he blesses individuals, but on account of a promise made to the fathers. So on account of a few good ones the blessing is given to the whole people. Nevertheless, on account of evil men, both the people and their king, are finally destroyed after the good ones have been separated from their midst.

Luther’s works, vol. 9: Lectures on Deuteronomy 1525

p 308-309

Luther Quote of the Day

The song of Moses is full of denunciation and reproof respecting the many great benefits shown by God to an ungrateful and evil people. He clearly affirms that when they have left God and turned to strange gods, the aforementioned curses will break over them. Moses carries out an office worthy of himself, that is, worthy of the ministry of the Law. He bites, prosecutes, denounces, threatens, curses, and shows nothing but wrath throughout his song. Nevertheless, he feels that this people is not improved as a result of this. Here one can see as in a mirror the power and nature of the Law, that it works wrath and holds under the curse.1

Luther’s works, vol. 9: Lectures on Deuteronomy 1525

p 290

Luther Quote of the Day

Moses strikes at and anticipates that hidden perverseness of heart by which many, when they hear the threats and curses of God, console themselves inwardly and say: “It won’t be so bad!” And so they continue smugly in their godlessness. Especially the work-righteous and the idolatrous people do this; for they are deceived by the beautiful appearance of godliness and do not think that the threats of the Law apply to them, as is seen in all the prophets. Just as true godliness naturally brings with it fear of God, so godlessness and hypocrisy produce smugness. Against this smugness of the wicked, therefore, Moses inveighs most bitterly down to the end of the chapter, just as all the prophets do; and he foretells that curses and devastations threaten these people especially, so that they, overturned like Sodom and Gomorrah, will be talked about and hissed by the whole world.

Luther’s works, vol. 9: Lectures on Deuteronomy 1525

p 273

Ante-Nicene Father Quote of the Day

Love of ornament has degenerated to wantonness. A man no longer appears like a strong wild beast, “But he became moist water, and a tree of lofty branches.” Passions break out, pleasures overflow; beauty fades, and falls quicker than the leaf on the ground, when the amorous storms of lust blow on it before the coming of autumn, and is withered by destruction. For lust becomes and fabricates all things, and wishes to cheat, so as to conceal the man. But that man with whom the Word dwells does not alter himself, does not get himself up: he has the form which is of the Word; he is made like to God; he is beautiful; he does not ornament himself: his is beauty, the true beauty, for it is God; and that man becomes God, since God so wills.

Clement of Alexandria

The Instructor

Book Three

 ch 1