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See now that I, even I, am he.
There is no god with me.
I kill and I make alive.
I wound and I heal.
There is no one who can deliver out of my hand. Bible

“There is no god with me.” God is not saying that no other “gods” exist. Many verses in the Bible attest to the fact that they do. God is saying there is no other being who is His equal, and specifically in this context, God has no other god “with” Him in what He does, helping Him out. God wants people to love Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and does not want the worship due to Him divided up among He and other gods. He alone is the creator and source of everything, and desires and deserves singular recognition. The entire Old Testament is filled with admonitions for God’s people not to worship other gods, and 1 Corinthians 8:5 says there are many “gods.” Of course, it is also the case that a number of so-called “gods” do not exist, but that is not the point of this verse.

“I kill and I make alive.” This is a general statement about God’s power to give and take life, and statements like this occur at other places in the Bible. However, they intrinsically also point to God’s ultimate power to raise the dead into everlasting life. What is the point of God giving life if it always only leads to death? Thus, for example, in the Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament, C. F. Keil writes: “These words do not refer to the immortality of the soul, but to the restoration of life of the people of Israel, which God had delivered to death (so 1 Sam. 2:6; 2 Kings 5:7; cf. Isa. 26:19; Hos. 13:10; Wisd. 16:13; Tobit 13:2).” Isaiah 26:19 and Hosea 13:10 in Keil’s list are very clearly about the resurrection from the dead at the Resurrection of the Righteous. If the Sadducees had paid closer attention to the Pentateuch and the purposes of God, they would not have come to the sad and purposeless conclusion that there was no resurrection from the dead (Matt. 22:23-33; Mark 12:18-27; Luke 20:27-38). The Old Testament has a number of verses about God raising the dead in the future (cp. Deut. 32:39; Job. 19:25-27; Ps. 71:20; Isa. 26:19; 66:14; Ezek. 37:12-14; Dan. 12:2, 13; and Hos. 13:14). For more about the Sadducees and the resurrection, see commentary on Matthew 22:23.


Commentary for: Deuteronomy 32:39