New Defender's Study Bible Notes
32:4 He is the Rock. Here in Moses’ song occurs the first of some forty references in Scripture to God as the Rock (note also Deuteronomy 32:15,18,30, and 31).
32:4 without iniquity. Whatever God does is right, by definition, and whatever He says is true. See also Psalm 33:4-5.
32:8 sons of Adam. As Moses began his final song, he reminded his people that there had been “many generations” before them. Yet he told them they had been in God’s plan from the beginning, even making reference to the primeval father Adam. The different nations had received their inheritance and boundaries after the Flood and after Babel, as recorded in Genesis 10, the Table of Nations. It is noteworthy that there are seventy nations listed in this Table, where it says that “by these [families of the three sons of Noah] were the nations divided in the earth after the flood” (Genesis 10:32). These seventy did not include Israel, for this was before the days of Abraham. Nevertheless, just as there were seventy people in the original nation of Israel as they entered Egypt with Jacob (Genesis 46:27), so God in His prescience had ordained “bounds” for seventy original nations in the world after the Flood. Although the number of Israelites had multiplied by a factor of thirty thousand or more in the four hundred or so years in Egypt, the number “seventy” has been associated with Israel in many ways ever since (seventy elders, seventy in the Sanhedrin, seventy Septuagint translators, seventy weeks of Daniel, seventy years captivity, etc.). The number of nations in the world, on the other hand, has only slightly more than doubled in the four thousand or so years since Babel.
32:10 waste howling wilderness. This picturesque description of the Sinai desert speaks of it as “howling” as if in anguish. This was the dismal home of the faithless Israelites for forty years, until the Lord could develop them into a nation ready to conquer the promised land.
32:10 apple of his eye. There are five references in the Bible to “the apple of the eye,” meaning the pupil of the eye, and speaking of something of great value to the owner. Three times (Deuteronomy 32:10, Lamentations 2:18 and Zechariah 2:8), the phrase refers to Israel as God’s choice permission. It is also applied to individual believers (Psalm 17:7-8). Perhaps most significantly, it is applied to the written word of God (Proverbs 7:1-2).
32:15 Jeshurun waxed fat. The name Jeshurun occurs only three times, and only by Moses; it seems to be a symbolic name for Israel (Deuteronomy 33:5,26). It is possibly related to the lost book of Jasher, mentioned only in Joshua 10:13 and II Samuel 1:18. Both names mean “uprightness.”
32:17 sacrificed unto devils. The “strange gods” and “abominations” (that is, idols) of Deuteronomy 32:16 are the “devils” (that is, demons) of Deuteronomy 32:17. It is important to remember that the worship of any “god” or religious system other than the true God of creation and redemption is really the worship of evil spirits. Compare I Corinthians 10:20.
32:22 the lowest hell. The lowest compartment of sheol (Hebrew word here translated “hell”) is apparently that portion of the great pit at the center of the earth where God “spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment” (II Peter 2:4; see note on this verse). That the earth will eventually be consumed by fire is confirmed by II Peter 3:10.