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THEREFORE love the Lord thy God and observe his precepts and ceremonies, his judgments and commandments at all times. 2 Know this day the things that your children know not, who saw not the chastisements of the Lord your God, his great doings and strong hand, and stretched out arm,

Ver. 2.  Know, &c.  Reflect on the wonders of God, which you must explain to your children, who were not born, or able to discern them, when they were effected at the Red Sea, and in the punishment of the seditious, v. 7.  Heb. "know ye this day, for I do not address myself to your children, who know not, (or have not understanding,) and saw not," &c.  C.


3 The signs and works which he did in the midst of Egypt to king Pharao, and to all his land,


4 And to all the host of the Egyptians, and to their horses and chariots: how the waters of the Red Sea covered them, when they pursued you, and how the Lord destroyed them until this present day:

Ver. 4.  Day.  So that none of the Egyptians have since been able to molest you.




5 And what he hath done to you in the wilderness, till you came to this place: 6 And to Dathan and Abiron the sons of Eliab, who was the son of Ruben: whom the earth, opening her mouth swallowed up with their households and tents, and all their substance, which they had in the midst of Israel.

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7 Your eyes have seen all the great works of the Lord, that he hath done, 8 That you may keep all his commandments, which I command you this day, and may go in, and possess the land, to which you are entering,

Ver. 8.  That.  Fear might stimulate them to observe God's command, lest they should be overtaken by a similar chastisement.  H.


9 And may live in it a long time: which the Lord promised by oath to your fathers, and to their seed, a land which floweth with milk and honey. 10 For the land, which thou goest to possess, is not like the land of Egypt, from whence thou camest out, where, when the seed is sown, waters are brought in to water it after the manner of gardens.

Ver. 10.  Gardens.  Heb. "where thou didst sow the seed, and water it with the foot, as a garden," by means of various machines or wheels, which were turned by the feet.  Philo.

 

--- Solinus (ii. 22. 36,) takes notice of this inconvenience in Egypt.  The country is watered only by the Nile, which overflows for six weeks, about the beginning of June.  Various canals or reservoirs are formed to preserve a sufficient supply of water during the remainder of the year.  Pliny (xviii.) observes, that "if the Nile rise less than 12, or more than 16 cubits high, famine is inevitable."  C.  See Gen. xlii. 3.

 

--- Prince Radzivil saw the canals of Egypt, which the people said had been dug by the Hebrews.  Augustus ordered his soldiers to clean them out.  Sueton. c. 18.

 

--- After the seed was committed to the earth, it was necessary to water it frequently, as the sun would harden the soil too much.  No rain falls in that part of Egypt where the Hebrews had dwelt, according to many respectable authors; (T.) or at least what little may fall is not sufficient to keep the earth moist.  Proclus allows that some showers are felt in Lower Egypt, which lies nearest to the Mediterranean Sea; and travellers often take notice of them, in their journeys from Alexandria to Memphis.  Yet the country in general is destitute of this advantage.   Zac. xiv. 18.  Lloyd.  H.




11 But it is a land of hills and plains, expecting rain from heaven. 12 And the Lord thy God doth always visit it, and his eyes are on it from the beginning of the year unto the end thereof.
13 If then you obey my commandments, which I command you this day, that you love the Lord your God, and serve him with all your heart, and with all your soul:

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14 He will give to your land the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your corn, and your wine, and your oil,

Ver. 14.  Rain, which falls in Judea, chiefly about the vernal and the autumnal equinoxes, in March and October.

 

--- The latter rain (Heb. malkosh,) is that which falls when the seed is just sown, though the Rabbins pretend that yore has this signification, in opposition to the Sept.  It fell at the beginning of the Jewish year, which commenced in September.  Joel ii. 23.  Zac. x. 1.  C.

 

--- Rain contributed to make the seeds take root, and to bring the fruit to maturity, and God promises to give what may be requisite, provided his people serve him with fidelity.  H.

 

--- His grace helps us to begin and to perfect every good work.  W.


15 And your hay out of the fields to feed your cattle, and that you may eat and be filled.

Ver. 15.  Hay.  Seed-grass was sown, like corn, in Palestine, as it is still in the Levant, where meadows are unknown.  The hay consisted chiefly of trefoil, and was carried on beasts in long journeys.  Gen. xliii. 27.  Judg. xix. 19.  Cattle fed commonly on straw and barley.  The hay grass which grew on mountains was of a different sort, and used for pasturage, (Job xl. 15,) though it might also be cut.  Prov. xxvii. 25.  C.


16 Beware lest perhaps your heart be deceived, and you depart from the Lord, and serve strange gods, and adore them: 17 And the Lord being angry shut up heaven, that the rain come not down, nor the earth yield her fruit, and you perish quickly from the excellent land, which the Lord will give you.

Ver. 17.  You.  In all this discourse, Moses attributes the fertility of the promised land to the blessing of God, and indeed it seems to be naturally far from being so luxuriant as to be able to feed so many inhabitants.  Travellers inform us, that a great part is incapable of cultivation.  But it is no longer the object of God's complacency, v. 12.  It is under the curse.  C. xxviii. 23.  C.


18 Lay up these my words in your hearts and minds, and hang them for a sign on your hands, and place them between your eyes.

Ver. 18.  Place.  Heb. "that they may be as frontlets between your eyes."  C. vi. 9.  Ex. xiii. 9.  H.



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19 Teach your children that they meditate on them, when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest on the way, end when thou liest down and risest up. 20 Thou shalt write them upon the posts and the doors of thy house:

Ver. 20.  Posts.  Upon one post the Jews hang boards, enclosing a piece of parchment, with the 13th to the 21st verse of this chapter; and from v. 4. to the 9th of the 6th chapter, they hang with great solemnity upon the other post.


21 That thy days may be multiplied, and the days of thy children in the land which the Lord swore to thy fathers, that he would give them as long as the heaven hangeth over the earth.

Ver. 21.  Earth, as long as the world shall endure.  The psalmist (lxxxviii. 30,) expresses the duration of the reign of the Messias nearly in the same terms.  See Bar. i. 2.  C.

 

--- If the Jews had continued faithful to God, and had submitted to the Messias, they might never have been banished from their country.  H.


22 For if you keep the commandments which I command you, and do them, to love the Lord your God, and walk in all his ways, cleaving unto him, 23 The Lord will destroy all these nations before your face, and you shall possess them, which are greater and stronger than you. 24 Every place, that your foot shall tread upon, shall be yours. From the desert, and from Libanus, from the great river Euphrates unto the western sea shall be your borders.

Ver. 24.  Yours.  The nations of Chanaan, how strong soever, should fall, and their country be lawfully possessed by the Hebrews.

 

--- Western sea.  Heb. "the sea of the back."  The Jews speak of the different parts of the world, with respect to a man who has his face turned towards the east.  Gen. xiii. 9.  The countries, from the desert of Zin to the Euphrates, were never entirely occupied by the Israelites, except under the reigns of David and Solomon.  C.

 

--- God never intended to subject the whole world to their dominion, as the Rabbins would hence infer.  M.



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25 None shall stand against you: the Lord your God shall lay the dread and fear of you upon all the land that you shall tread upon, as he hath spoken to you. 26 Behold I set forth in your sight this day a blessing and a curse:

Ver. 26.  Curse.  Their respective effects you shall experience, according to your behaviour.  C.

 

--- God helps our free will to do good.  S. Aug. q. 15.  W.


27 A blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: 28 A curse, if you obey not the commandments of the Lord your God, but revolt from the way which now I shew you, and walk after strange gods which you know not. 29 And when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land, whither thou goest to dwell, thou shalt put the blessing upon mount Garizim, the curse upon mount Hebal:

Ver. 29.  Put the blessing, &c.  See Deut. xxvii. 12, &c. and Josue viii. 33, &c.  Ch.

 

--- Six tribes were to be stationed on each of these mountains.  C. xxviii.

 

--- Garizim.  Eusebius says that the Samaritans are grossly deceived, in placing this mountain in the vicinity of Sichem, instead of Jericho.  But this is a mistake; for Jotham addressed the inhabitants of Sichem from that mountain.  Judg. ix. 7.  Morizon informs us that it is of the same shape as Hebal, and separated from it only by a valley of about 200 paces, in which the town of Sichem stands.  Hebal is a barren rock, while Garizim is very fertile, (Ludolf.) though an ancient poet makes both equally covered with verdure.  Ap. Euseb. præp. ix. 22.  C.




30 Which are beyond the Jordan, behind the way that goeth to the setting of the sun, in the land of the Chanaanite who dwelleth in the plain country over against Galgala, which is near the valley that reacheth and entereth far.

Ver. 30.  Far.  Heb. "over against Galgal, beside the plains of More, or Aluni More."  Samar. reads, "the plain of More, near Sichem," as Ex. xx. 17.  H.

 

--- This is styled the noble vale.  Gen. xii. 6.  C.

 

--- The road from Jericho to the Mediterranean Sea, left these mountains on the north.  The Chanaanite inhabited all that region, from Galgal to Sichem.  How far these places were distant from each other, is not here specified; though Eusebius seems to have inferred from this text, that Garizim was near Jericho.  But the plain might be very extensive or noble, and reach from Sichem as far as Galgala.




31 For you shall pass over the Jordan, to possess the land, which the Lord your God will give you, that you may have it and possess it.


32 See therefore that you fulfil the ceremonies and judgments, which I shall set this day before you.

Ver. 32.  Fulfil.  How inconsistent must such exhortations be, if, as Protestants assert, the commandments be impossible, and "the law exacteth impossible things."  Luther in Gal. iii.  H.


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