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Deuteronomy 9:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Hear, O Israel: thou art to pass over the Jordan this day, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fortified up to heaven,
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Hear, O Israel: Thou [art] to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven,
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “Hear, O Israel! You are crossing over the Jordan today to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, great cities fortified to heaven,
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Hear, O Israel: Thou [art] to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fortified up to heaven,
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Hear, Israel! Thou art to pass over the Jordan this day, to enter in to possess nations greater and mightier than thou, cities great and walled up to heaven,
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Hear, O Israel! thou art passing, today, over the Jordan, to go in to dispossess nations, greater and stronger than thou,—cities great and fortified into the heavens;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— 'Hear, Israel, thou art passing over to-day the Jordan, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself; cities great and fenced in the heavens;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Hear, O Israel: Thou shalt go over the Jordan this day; to possess nations very great, and stronger than thyself, cities great, and walled up to the sky,
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Heare, O Israel, thou art to passe ouer Iordan this day, to goe in, to possesse nations greater & mightier then thy selfe, Cities great, and fenced vp to heauen,
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Hear, O Israel: Thou goest this day across Jordan to inherit nations greater and stronger than yourselves, cities great and walled up to heaven;
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Hear, O Yisrael: Thou [art] to pass over Yarden this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven,

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Hear, 8085
{8085} Prime
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
O Yi$ršīŽl יִשׂרָאֵל: 3478
{3478} Prime
From H8280 and H0410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity.
Thou x859
(0859) Complement
A primitive pronoun of the second person; thou and thee, or (plural) ye and you.
[art] to pass over 5674
{5674} Prime
A primitive root; to cross over; used very widely of any transition (literally or figuratively; transitively, intransitively, intensively or causatively); specifically to cover (in copulation).
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
(0853) Complement
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
YardŽn יַרדֵּן 3383
{3383} Prime
From H3381; a descender; Jarden, the principal river of Palestine.
this day, 3117
{3117} Prime
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
to go in 935
{0935} Prime
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
to possess 3423
{3423} Prime
A primitive root; to occupy (be driving out previous tenants, and possessing in their place); by implication to seize, to rob, to inherit; also to expel, to impoverish, to ruin.
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
nations 1471
{1471} Prime
Apparently from the same root as H1465 (in the sense of massing); a foreign nation; hence a Gentile; also (figuratively) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts.
greater 1419
{1419} Prime
From H1431; great (in any sense); hence older; also insolent.
and mightier 6099
{6099} Prime
Passive participle of H6105; powerful (specifically a paw); by implication numerous.
than x4480
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
thyself, cities 5892
{5892} Prime
From H5782 a city (a place guarded by waking or a watch) in the widest sense (even of a mere encampment or post).
great 1419
{1419} Prime
From H1431; great (in any sense); hence older; also insolent.
and fenced up 1219
{1219} Prime
A primitive root; to clip off; specifically (as denominative from H1210) to gather grapes; also to be isolated (that is, inaccessible by height or fortification).
<8803> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Passive (See H8815)
Count - 1415
to heaven, 8064
{8064} Prime
The second form being dual of an unused singular; from an unused root meaning to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Deuteronomy 9:1

_ _ Deuteronomy 9:1-25. Moses dissuades them from the opinion of their own righteousness.

_ _ this day — means this time. The Israelites had reached the confines of the promised land, but were obliged, to their great mortification, to return. But now they certainly were to enter it. No obstacle could prevent their possession; neither the fortified defenses of the towns, nor the resistance of the gigantic inhabitants of whom they had received from the spies so formidable a description.

_ _ cities great and fenced up to heaven — Oriental cities generally cover a much greater space than those in Europe; for the houses often stand apart with gardens and fields intervening. They are almost all surrounded with walls built of burnt or sun-dried bricks, about forty feet in height. All classes in the East, but especially the nomad tribes, in their ignorance of engineering and artillery, would have abandoned in despair the idea of an assault on a walled town, which to-day would be demolished in a few hours.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Deuteronomy 9:1-6

_ _ The call to attention (Deuteronomy 9:1), Hear, O Israel, intimates that this was a new discourse, delivered at some distance of time after the former, probably the next sabbath day.

_ _ I. Moses represents to the people the formidable strength of the enemies which they were now to encounter, Deuteronomy 9:1. The nations they were to dispossess were mightier than themselves, not a rude and undisciplined rout, like the natives of America, that were easily made a prey of. But, should they besiege them, they would find their cities well fortified, according as the art of fortification then was; should they engage them in the field, they would find the people great and tall, of whom common fame had reported that there was no standing before them, Deuteronomy 9:2. This representation is much the same with that which the evil spies had made (Numbers 13:28, Numbers 13:33), but made with a very different intention: that was designed to drive them from God and to discourage their hope in him; this to drive them to God and to engage their hope in him, since no power less than that which is almighty could secure and prosper them.

_ _ II. He assures them of victory, by the presence of God with them, notwithstanding the strength of the enemy, Deuteronomy 9:3. “Understand therefore what thou must trust to for success, and which way thou must look; it is the Lord thy God that goes before thee, not only as thy captain, or commander-in-chief, to give direction, but as a consuming fire, to do execution among them. Observe, He shall destroy them, and then thou shalt drive them out. Thou canst not drive them out, unless he destroy them and bring them down. But he will not destroy them and bring them down, unless thou set thyself in good earnest to drive them out.” We must do our endeavour in dependence upon God's grace, and we shall have that grace if we do our endeavour.

_ _ III. He cautions them not to entertain the least thought of their own righteousness, as if that had procured them this favour at God's hand: “Say not. For my righteousness (either with regard to my good character or in recompence for any good service) the Lord hath brought me in to possess this land (Deuteronomy 9:4); never think it is for thy righteousness or the uprightness of thy heart, that it is in consideration either of thy good conversation or of they good disposition,” Deuteronomy 9:5. And again (Deuteronomy 9:6) it is insisted on, because it is hard to bring people from a conceit of their own merit, and yet very necessary that it be done: “Understand (know it, and believe it, and consider it) that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this land for thy righteousness. Hadst thou been to come to it upon that condition, thou wouldst have been for ever shut out of it, for thou art a stiff-necked people.” Note, Our gaining possession of the heavenly Canaan, as it must be attributed to God's power and not to our own might, so it must be ascribed to God's grace and not to our own merit: in Christ we have both righteousness and strength; in him therefore we must glory, and not in ourselves, or any sufficiency of our own.

_ _ IV. He intimates to them the true reasons why God would take this good land out of the hands of the Canaanites, and settle it upon Israel, and they are borrowed from his own honour, not from Israel's deserts. 1. He will be honoured in the destruction of idolaters; they are justly looked upon as haters of him, and therefore he will visit their iniquity upon them. It is for the wickedness of these nations that God drives them out, Deuteronomy 9:4, and again, Deuteronomy 9:5. All those whom God rejects are rejected for their own wickedness: but none of those whom he accepts are accepted for their own righteousness. 2. He will be honoured in the performance of his promise to those that are in covenant with him: God swore to the patriarchs, who loved him and left all to follow him, that he would give this land to their seed; and therefore he would keep that promised mercy for thousands of those that loved him and kept his commandments; he would not suffer his promise to fail. It was for their fathers' sakes that they were beloved, Romans 11:28. Thus boasting is for ever excluded. See Ephesians 1:9, Ephesians 1:11.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Deuteronomy 9:1

Hear, O Israel — This seems to be a new discourse, delivered at some distance of time from the former, probably on the next sabbath — day. This day — That is, shortly, within a little time, the word day being often put for time. Nations — That is, the land of those nations. Mightier than thyself — This he adds, that they might not trust to their own strength, but rely upon God's help for the destroying them, and, after the work was done, might ascribe the glory of it to God alone, and not to themselves.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Deuteronomy 9:1

Hear, O Israel: Thou [art] to pass over Jordan (a) this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven,

(a) Meaning shortly.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
to pass:

Deuteronomy 3:18 And I commanded you at that time, saying, The LORD your God hath given you this land to possess it: ye shall pass over armed before your brethren the children of Israel, all [that are] meet for the war.
Deuteronomy 11:31 For ye shall pass over Jordan to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God giveth you, and ye shall possess it, and dwell therein.
Deuteronomy 27:2 And it shall be on the day when ye shall pass over Jordan unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, that thou shalt set thee up great stones, and plaister them with plaister:
Joshua 1:11 Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.
Joshua 3:6 And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.
Joshua 3:14 And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;
Joshua 3:16 That the waters which came down from above stood [and] rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that [is] beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, [even] the salt sea, failed, [and] were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.
Joshua 4:5 And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:
Joshua 4:19 And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth [day] of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.

this day:
The Hebrew hyyom, "this day," frequently denotes, as here, this time. They had come, 38 years before this, nearly to the verge of the promised land, but were not permitted, because of their unbelief and rebellion, at that day or time, to enter; but this time they shall certainly pass over. This was spoken in the eleventh month of the fortieth year of their journeying; and it was on the first month of the following year they passed over, and during this interval Moses died.


Deuteronomy 4:38 To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou [art], to bring thee in, to give thee their land [for] an inheritance, as [it is] this day.
Deuteronomy 7:1 When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
Deuteronomy 11:23 Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.


Deuteronomy 1:28 Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people [is] greater and taller than we; the cities [are] great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.
Numbers 13:22 And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, [were]. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.)
Numbers 13:28-33 Nevertheless the people [be] strong that dwell in the land, and the cities [are] walled, [and] very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. ... And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, [which come] of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
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Nu 13:22, 28. Dt 1:28; 3:18; 4:38; 7:1; 11:23, 31; 27:2. Jsh 1:11; 3:6, 14, 16; 4:5, 19.

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