Chapter 13:5 I will never leave thee, etc There are three places where these words with some variety are found, Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:5; 1 Chronicles 28:20. In the first, they are the words of Moses to the people of Israel; in the second, the words of God to Joshua; and in the third the words of David to Solomon. The Hebrew in the three places is exactly the same, excepting the change of person; but in none is the version of the Sept. the same. The words, as here given, is literally the Hebrew in Joshua 1:5, where the Greek version is wholly different; only the Apostle introduces the treble negatives as found in that version in Deuteronomy 31:6, but not given in that version in either of the two other instances. Then the quotation is from Joshua 1:5, except that the Apostle follows the Sept. in Deuteronomy 31:6, as to the three negatives.
The Hebrew could not be rendered as to the verbs more correctly than what is done by the Apostle, which are the same in the Sept., except in Joshua 1:5. The first verb means to relax, and in a transitive sense, to let go, to dismiss, to give up, to surrender; and the second verb means to leave, to forsake, to desert. The verbs in Greek bear a similar meaning. To give a distinct sense to each, we may render the clause thus, --
|I will not dismiss thee,
Nor will I by any means desert thee.|
That is, I will not give thee up so as to separate myself from thee; nor will desert thee, no, by no means, when thou art in difficulties and trials.
The three negatives with the last verb are remarkable. There is in Hebrew what somewhat corresponds with them. The v when preceded by a negative may often be rendered and not, nor, neither. Then the version would be this, |I will not dismiss thee, nor will I, no, forsake thee.| It is indeed a promise, that God will continue to be our God, so as not to give us up, and that he will by no means forsake us in time of need.
The quotation in the next verse is from Psalm 118:6, and is literally the Sept. The Hebrew is somewhat different, |The Lord is mine, and I will not fear; what can man do to me?| Then the next verse shews that the Lord who was his was also a help to him, |The Lord, mine, is my help, (literally, for my help;) and I shall look on my haters;| a phrase which signifies that he should gain the victory over them. The word |help| is borrowed by the Sept. from the seventh verse; and as it was evidently the Apostle's design to confirm the last clause of the previous citation, |I will not forsake thee,| he deemed it sufficient to quote the words of the Sept.