I received the following question:

I have been reading through Deuteronomy for my devotions.  Sure am glad we don’t live in the dispensation of Law. Deuteronomy 32:15 refers to a Jeshurun becoming fat and forsaking God.  Is that another version of Joshua? Sure don’t remember him forsaking God.

As far as the dispensation of law. I agree with you. I am thankful to have the relationship with God that I have. However, here is another way to look at it. If you lived in that time, and you were really “you,” that is, the you you are now, you would not be a Jew (I’m assuming you aren’t, anyway.) In that case, you wouldn’t have actually had to keep those laws you are reading about any more than you do today, since those laws were given to only Israel. However, the downside to that is that you would find it very hard in those circumstances to establish a relationship with the true God at all. Suppose you were a Gentile living at that time who wanted to serve the true God. Where would you go? What would you do? How would you go about seeking to establish such a relationship? You might end up wishing that you were a Jew, and had to keep all those laws, AND…had a close relationship with God because of it. Just a little bit different way to look at it.

Joshua is a good guess, but no, that is not what Jeshurun is talking about. Jeshurun is a name God gives to Israel, apparently meaning “Upright One.” It looks like kind of a nickname, or else a title, expressing their ideal character. It only occurs four times, but the clearest to see that it basically means Israel is in Isaiah 44:2:

2. “Thus says the LORD who made you
And formed you from the womb, who will help you:
‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant;
And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.'”

Notice the Hebrew poetic form where a statement is put one way, and then repeated again a slightly different way, showing that both “Jacob” and “Jeshurun” are names for Israel.

The other occurrences are Deuteronomy 33:5 and 33:26. It almost seems to be a poetic term, since really all four times it is used are in poetry. The United States is sometimes poetically called “Columbia.” This is kind of the same thing.

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