Deuteronomy 4:11 MEANING

Deuteronomy 4:11
(11) Darkness, clouds, and thick darkness.--The "blackness, and darkness, and tempest" of Hebrews 12:18.

Verse 11. - The mountain burned with fire unto the midst [unto the heart] of heaven; i.e. up to the Very skies; a rhetorical description of the mighty pillar of fire that blazed on Sinai, and betokened the presence of him whose symbol is fire. With darkness, clouds [cloud], and thick darkness; underneath the fire was a cloud of deep darkness, out of which it blazed, the "thick cloud" of Exodus 19:9, 16, and the "smoke" out of which the lightnings flashed, and over which the glory of the Lord, like devouring fire, rested on the top of the mountain (Exodus 19:18; Exodus 20:18; Exodus 24:16, 17).

4:1-23 The power and love of God to Israel are here made the ground and reason of a number of cautions and serious warnings; and although there is much reference to their national covenant, yet all may be applied to those who live under the gospel. What are laws made for but to be observed and obeyed? Our obedience as individuals cannot merit salvation; but it is the only evidence that we are partakers of the gift of God, which is eternal life through Jesus Christ, Considering how many temptations we are compassed with, and what corrupt desires we have in our bosoms, we have great need to keep our hearts with all diligence. Those cannot walk aright, who walk carelessly. Moses charges particularly to take heed of the sin of idolatry. He shows how weak the temptation would be to those who thought aright; for these pretended gods, the sun, moon, and stars, were only blessings which the Lord their God had imparted to all nations. It is absurd to worship them; shall we serve those that were made to serve us? Take heed lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God. We must take heed lest at any time we forget our religion. Care, caution, and watchfulness, are helps against a bad memory.And ye came near and stood under the mountain,.... At the foot of it, in the lower part of the mountain, as the Targum of Jonathan, and agrees with Exodus 19:17.

and the mountain burnt with fire unto the midst of heaven; the flame and smoke went up into the middle of the air: with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness; which thick darkness was occasioned partly by the smoke, which went up like the smoke of a furnace, and partly by the thick clouds, which were on the mount, and covered the face of the heavens, which were black and tempestuous with them; the Septuagint renders it a "tempest", Exodus 19:18, which denotes the obscurity of the law, and the terrors it works in the minds of men.

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