Deuteronomy 18

1 The priests the Levites, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion nor inheritance with Israel. They shall eat the offerings of the LORD made by fire and his portion. 2 They shall have no inheritance amongst their brothers. the LORD is their inheritance, as he has spoken to them. 3 This shall be the priests’ due from the people, from those who offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep, that they shall give to the priest the shoulder, the two cheeks, and the inner parts. 4 The first fruits of your grain, of your new wine, and of your oil, and the first of the fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. 5 For the LORD your God has chosen him out of all your tribes, to stand to minister in the LORD’s name, him and his sons for ever. 6 If a Levite comes from any of your gates out of all Israel, where he lives as a foreigner, and comes with all the desire of his soul to the place which the LORD shall choose; 7 then he shall minister in the name of the LORD his God, as all his brothers the Levites do, who stand there before the LORD. 8 They shall have like portions to eat, in addition to that which comes from the sale of his family possessions. 9 When you have come into the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found with you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices sorcery, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer, 11 or a charmer, or a consulter with a familiar spirit, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. Because of these abominations, the LORD your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be perfect with the LORD your God. 14 For these nations that you shall dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery and to diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you so to do. 15 The LORD your God will raise up to you a prophet from amongst you, of your brothers, like me. You shall listen to him. 16 This is according to all that you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, “Let me not hear again the LORD my God’s voice, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I not die.” 17 The LORD said to me, “They have well said that which they have spoken. 18 I will raise them up a prophet from amongst their brothers, like you. I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him. 19 It shall happen, that whoever will not listen to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.” 21 You may say in your heart, “How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?” 22 When a prophet speaks in the LORD’s name, if the thing doesn’t follow, nor happen, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You shall not be afraid of him.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–8

Care is taken that the priests entangle not themselves with the affairs of this life, nor enrich themselves with the wealth of this world; they have better things to mind. Care is likewise taken that they want not the comforts and conveniences of this life. The people must provide for them. He that has the benefit of solemn religious assemblies, ought to give help for the comfortable support of those that minister in such assemblies.

Verses 9–14

Was it possible that a people so blessed with Divine institutions, should ever be in any danger of making those their teachers whom God had made their captives? They were in danger; therefore, after many like cautions, they are charged not to do after the abominations of the nations of Canaan. All reckoning of lucky or unlucky days, all charms for diseases, all amulets or spells to prevent evil, fortune-telling, &c. are here forbidden. These are so wicked as to be a chief cause of the rooting out of the Canaanites. It is amazing to think that there should be any pretenders of this kind in such a land, and day of light, as we live in. They are mere impostors who blind and cheat their followers.

Verses 15–22

It is here promised concerning Christ, that there should come a Prophet, great above all the prophets; by whom God would make known himself and his will to the children of men, more fully and clearly than he had ever done before. He is the Light of the world, Joh 8:12. He is the World by whom God speaks to us, Joh 1:1; Heb 1:2. In his birth he should be one of their nation. In his resurrection he should be raised up at Jerusalem, and from thence his doctrine should go forth to all the world. Thus God, having raised up his Son Christ Jesus, sent him to bless us. He should be like unto Moses, only above him. This prophet is come, even JESUS; and is “He that should come,” and we are to look for no other. The view of God which he gives, will not terrify or overwhelm, but encourages us. He speaks with fatherly affection and Divine authority united. Whoever refuses to listen to Jesus Christ, shall find it is at his peril; the same that is the Prophet is to be his Judge, Joh 12:48. Woe then to those who refuse to hearken to His voice, to accept His salvation, or yield obedience to His sway! But happy they who trust in Him, and obey Him. He will lead them in the paths of safety and peace, until He brings them to the land of perfect light, purity, and happiness. Here is a caution against false prophets. It highly concerns us to have a right touchstone wherewith to try the word we hear, that we may know what that word is which the Lord has not spoken. Whatever is against the plain sense of the written word, or which gives countenance or encouragement to sin, we may be sure is not that which the Lord has spoken.

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