ה' בדד ינחנו. נִהֲגָם בַּמִּדְבָּר בָּדָד וּבֶטַח: ה׳ בדד ינחנו THE LORD ALONE GUIDED THEM — i.e. He guided them in the wilderness alone (unassisted) and yet in security,
ואין עמו אל נכר. לֹא הָיָה כֹחַ בְּאֶחָד מִכָּל אֱלֹהֵי הַגּוֹיִם לְהַרְאוֹת כֹּחוֹ וּלְהִלָּחֵם עִמָּהֶם. וְרַבּוֹתֵינוּ דְרָשׁוּהוּ עַל הֶעָתִיד וְכֵן תִּרְגֵּם אֻנְקְלוֹס, וַאֲנִי אוֹמֵר דִּבְרֵי תּוֹכֵחָה הֵם לְהָעִיד הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ וּתְהֵא הַשִּׁירָה לָהֶם לְעֵד שֶׁסּוֹפָן לִבְגֹּד וְלֹא יִזְכְּרוּ לֹא הָרִאשׁוֹנוֹת שֶׁעָשָׂה לָהֶם וְלֹא הַנּוֹלָדוֹת שֶׁהוּא עָתִיד לַעֲשׂוֹת לָהֶם, לְפִיכָךְ צָרִיךְ לְיַשֵּׁב הַדָּבָר לְכָאן וּלְכָאן. וְכָל הָעִנְיָן מוּסָב עַל זכר ימות עולם בינו שנות דר ודר, כֵּן עָשָׂה לָהֶם וְכֵן עָתִיד לַעֲשׂוֹת, כָּל זֶה הָיָה לָהֶם לִזְכֹּר: ואין עמו אל נכר AND THERE WAS NO STRANGE GOD WITH HIM — for not one of the gods of the other peoples possessed the power to display its might and to war with them. — Our Rabbis, however, explained it as a promise referring to the future (cf. Sifrei Devarim 315), and so, too, does Onkelos render it. But I say that they (the statements of this chapter) are words of reproof which he said with the view of calling heaven and earth as witnesses against them, and also in order that this song (cf. Deuteronomy 31:21) should be witness, because He knew (Deuteronomy 31:29) that they would in future prove faithless and would bear in mind neither the past (lit., the first) deeds that He performed for them nor those that would come to pass (lit., that would be born), which at a future time He would do for them. For this reason it is necessary to make the text fit in with this and with that (the past and the future). Indeed, the whole section is to be connected with (v. 7) “Remember the days of old (i.e., the past), consider the years of generation after generation” (the future) (cf. Rashi on that verse): Thus has He done for them and thus will He in the future do for them — all this they ought to bear in mind.