|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:1-9 Obedience must be, 1. Careful, observe to do; 2. Universal, to do all the commandments; and 3. From a good principle, with a regard to God as the Lord, and their God, and with a holy fear of him. To engage them to this obedience. Moses directs them to look back. It is good to remember all the ways, both of God's providence and grace, by which he has led us through this wilderness, that we may cheerfully serve him and trust in him. They must remember the straits they were sometimes brought into, for mortifying their pride, and manifesting their perverseness; to prove them, that they and others might know all that was in their heart, and that all might see that God chose them, not for any thing in them which might recommend them to his favour. They must remember the miraculous supplies of food and raiment granted them. Let none of God's children distrust their Father, nor take any sinful course for the supply of their necessities. Some way or other, God will provide for them in the way of duty and honest diligence, and verily they shall be fed. It may be applied spiritually; the word of God is the food of the soul. Christ is the word of God; by him we live. They must also remember the rebukes they had been under, and not without need. This use we should make of all our afflictions; by them let us be quickened to our duty. Moses also directs them to look forward to Canaan. Look which way we will, both to look back and to look forward, to Canaan. Look which way we will, both to look back and to look forward will furnish us with arguments for obedience. Moses saw in that land a type of the better country. The gospel church is the New Testament Canaan, watered with the Spirit in his gifts and graces, planted with trees of righteousness, bearing fruits of righteousness. Heaven is the good land, in which nothing is wanting, and where is fulness of joy.
Verses 7-20. - The land on which they were about to enter is described as a good laud, fertile and well watered, and yielding abundant produce to its cultivators; and they are cautioned against forgetting, in their enjoyment of the gift, the bounty of the Giver, or congratulating themselves on having achieved the conquest of such a land, instead of gratefully acknowledging the grace which had sustained them during their protracted wandering in the wilderness, and by which alone they had been enabled to take possession of that favored land. Verses 7, 8 - Brooks of water, running streams, mountain torrents, and watercourses in the narrow valleys or wadys; fountains, perennial springs; depths, "the fathomless pools from which such streams as the Abana (now Barada), near Damascus, spring up full-grown rivers, almost as broad at their sources as at their mouths" (Condor, 'Handbook to the Bible,' p. 214), or this may include also the inland seas or lakes, such as the sea of Galileo and Lake Haleh. Palestine is in the present day, on the whole, well supplied with water, though the distribution is very unequal, many parts being almost wholly destitute of supply, except from what may be collected from rain in tanks or cisterns; and there is no reason to suppose it was different in the ancient times. As compared, however, with the desert to which the Israelites had been so long accustomed, and even with Egypt from which they had escaped, the country on which they were about to enter was well watered.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land,.... The land of Canaan, abounding with good things after enumerated, a land flowing with milk and honey, having in it plenty of everything both for convenience and delight; which is another reason why they were under obligations to serve the Lord, to walk in his ways and keep his commandments:
a land of brooks of water; rivers and torrents, such as Jordan, Jabbok, Kishon, Kidron, Cherith, and others:
of fountains; as Siloam, Gihon, Etam, the baths of Tiberias, and others:
and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; deep waters, caverns, wells, and lakes, which had their rise from such places, of which there were many. With this agrees the account of it by our countrymen, Mr. Sandys (g), as it was in the beginning of the last century; that it was adorned with beautiful mountains and luxurious valleys, the rocks producing excellent waters, and no part empty of delight or profit.
(g) Travels, l. 3. p. 110.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land—All accounts, ancient and modern, concur in bearing testimony to the natural beauty and fertility of Palestine, and its great capabilities if properly cultivated.
a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills—These characteristic features are mentioned first, as they would be most striking; and all travellers describe how delightful and cheerful it is, after passing through the barren and thirsty desert, to be among running brooks and swelling hills and verdant valleys. It is observable that water is mentioned as the chief source of its ancient fertility.
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