Deuteronomy 10:12
And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
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(12) And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee.—“Although ye have done all this, still His tender mercies and His affection are set upon you, and after all that ye have sinned before Him, He doth not ask anything of you but to fear,” &c. (Rashi). The Rabbis have drawn this exposition from hence: “Everything is in the hand of Heaven (to bestow), save only the fear of Heaven.” But it is written elsewhere, “I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.” (Comp. also Micah 6:8; Matthew 23:23.)

Deuteronomy 10:12. What doth he require? — By way of duty and gratitude for such amazing mercies? But to fear the Lord thy God, &c. — When Jehovah is our God in Christ, pacified toward us after all we have done, and has received us for his adopted children, then, and not before, are we qualified to comply with his will as here enjoined, to love as well as fear him, and to walk in all his ways, yea, to serve him, as it is here expressed, with all our heart and all our soul. For then, beholding what manner of love be hath bestowed upon us, in making us his children, we love him because he hath first loved us, and that love becomes a source of never failing obedience in our souls: it makes the tree good, and then the fruit is good also. Reader, consider this well, lest thy religion be mere formality and hypocrisy, and while thou hast a name to live, thou be dead to God and things divine!10:12-22 We are here taught our duty to God in our principles and our practices. We must fear the Lord our God. We must love him, and delight in communion with him. We must walk in the ways in which he has appointed us to walk. We must serve him with all our heart and soul. What we do in his service we must do cheerfully, and with good will. We must keep his commandments. There is true honour and pleasure in obedience. We must give honour to God; and to him we must cleave, as one we love and delight in, trust in, and from whom we have great expectations. We are here taught our duty to our neighbour. God's common gifts to mankind oblige us to honour all men. And those who have themselves been in distress, and have found mercy with God, should be ready to show kindness to those who are in the like distress. We are here taught our duty to ourselves. Circumcise your hearts. Cast away all corrupt affections and inclinations, which hinder you from fearing and loving God. By nature we do not love God. This is original sin, the source whence our wickedness proceeds; and the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be; so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God, Ro 8:5-9. Let us, without delay or reserve, come and cleave to our reconciled God in Jesus Christ, that we may love, serve, and obey him acceptably, and be daily changed into his image, from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord. Consider the greatness and glory of God; and his goodness and grace; these persuade us to our duty. Blessed Spirit! Oh for thy purifying, persevering, and renewing influences, that being called out of the state of strangers, such as our fathers were, we may be found among the number of the children of God, and that our lot may be among the saints.After these emphatic warnings against self-righteousness the principal topic is resumed from Deuteronomy 6, and this division of the discourse is drawn to a conclusion in the next two chapters by a series of direct and positive exhortations to a careful fulfillment of the duties prescribed in the first two of the Ten "Words."

Deuteronomy 10:12

What doth the Lord thy God require ... - A noteworthy demand. God has in the Mosaic law positively commanded many things. However, these relate to external observances, which if need be can be enforced. But love and veneration cannot be enforced, even by God himself. They must be spontaneous. Hence, even under the law of ordinances where so much was peremptorily laid down, and omnipotence was ready to compel obedience, those sentiments, which are the spirit and life of the whole, have to be, as they here are, invited and solicited.

10-22. Moses here resumes his address, and having made a passing allusion to the principal events in their history, concludes by exhorting them to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully. What doth the Lord thy God require, by way of duty and gratitude to God for such amazing mercies? And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee,.... For all these favours bestowed upon them, the forgiveness of their sins, and a fresh intimation of their possession of the land of Canaan, and the renewal of the promise of it made to their fathers:

but to fear the Lord thy God; to fear him with a filial fear, to fear him and his goodness, and him for his goodness sake, and particularly for his pardoning grace and mercy vouchsafed to them; see Psalm 130:4,

to walk in all his ways; prescribed and directed to by him, every path of duty, whether moral, ceremonial, or judicial:

and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul; for that is the best service which springs from love, and love constrains unto, and which is hearty and sincere, as that is, and is performed in the best manner such are capable of.

And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God {f} require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,

(f) For all our sins and transgressions God requires nothing but to turn to him and obey him.

12. And now] in conclusion; in the same way opened the concluding stage of the first discourses, Deuteronomy 4:1.

What doth … require of thee] what is … asking of thee. Cp. Micah 6:8, seeking from thee. The force of the question lies in this, that it is nothing impossible or extraordinary or complicated, that God demands, but what is simple and within the people’s duty.

to fear] Deuteronomy 4:10 (q.v.), Deuteronomy 6:2; Deuteronomy 6:13, Deuteronomy 10:20.

to walk in all his ways] See on Deuteronomy 5:33.

to love him … with all thy heart, etc.] See on Deuteronomy 6:5.

to serve] or worship; see on Deuteronomy 4:19, Deuteronomy 6:13; combined with love or fear, Deuteronomy 10:20, Deuteronomy 11:13, Deuteronomy 13:4, etc., and deuteronomic passages in other books.

13. to keep] or in that thou keepest, for this is how they are to fear and love Him.

commandments … and statutes] Varied from Deuteronomy 7:11. for thy good, Deuteronomy 6:24. That the verse is made up of formulas does not necessarily prove its secondary character (Steuern.).

12, 13 sum up once more the main demand of the discourses.

Chs. Deuteronomy 10:12 to Deuteronomy 11:32. Final Exhortations, Introductory to the Laws

Enforced by the preceding Retrospect, the discourse continues to urge its practical conclusions of full fear and love to God, by worshipping and obeying Him (Deuteronomy 10:12-13); because, though all heaven and earth is His, He was pleased to love the fathers of Israel and to choose their posterity (Deuteronomy 10:14-15). Changing to the Pl. address the discourse urges Israel to circumcise their hearts and be no more stiffnecked, for their God is the greatest God and Lord, mightiest and most terrible and absolutely impartial (Deuteronomy 10:16-17). He secures justice for the widow and orphan and loves the stranger, as Israel, themselves strangers in Egypt, must do (Deuteronomy 10:18-19). Returning to the Sg. exhortations follow to fear, worship, and cleave to Jehovah, for He is Israel’s God who has done all these mighty things for the people, and out of seventy individuals who went down to Egypt, made them a multitude like to the stars; therefore loving God they shall keep His commandments (Deuteronomy 10:20 to Deuteronomy 11:1). Once more in the Pl., Israel are reminded of the discipline of God, which they themselves have experienced in their deliverance from Egypt and guidance through the desert, and in the punishment for rebellion of Dathan and Abiram (Deuteronomy 10:2-7); therefore they shall keep the commandment, that they may be strong, possess the land and prolong their days upon it (Deuteronomy 10:8-9). Oscillating between Sg. and Pl. there follows a description of the distinction of the land from the flat and rainless Egypt, irrigated from the Nile by the foot of man: it is a land whose water comes from heaven and God’s eyes are always upon it (Deuteronomy 10:10-12); if Israel observe His commandments (vv. here the discourse passes from Moses to the person of the Deity), He will give the rains in their seasons and fulness of crops (Deuteronomy 10:13-15). Let them not turn away from Him to other gods, lest in His anger He send drought and they perish (Deuteronomy 10:16-17). Therefore they shall lay His words to heart, bind them as signs on their hands and brows, teach them to their children, and write them by their doors and gates that their days, and their children’s, may be long in the land (Deuteronomy 10:18-21). For if they keep all his commandments (vv. the discourse is already again in the person of Moses) God will expel all these nations and give them every part of the land they tread, from the desert to Lebanon and from the Euphrates to the Western Sea (Deuteronomy 10:22-22). The speaker, in short, has set a blessing and a curse before Israel on conditions respectively, and they shall put them up on Gerizim and Ebal on the other side of Jordan, which they are about to cross and then they must keep all the statutes and judgments now to be delivered to them (Deut 10:26–32).—So we reach the close of the discourses introductory to the Laws. The frequent changes between the Sg. and Pl. forms of address, sometimes coinciding with transitions to subjects not always relevant to the main theme of the discourses, are proof of the composite character of this closing section; and after the text (which, as the versions show, is by no means certain) has been corrected, furnish material for the question whether it is possible to discriminate two original discourses, introductory to the Code, one Sg. the other Pl., or whether the changes of address may be explained by the expansion of one original at the hands of editors.Verses 12, 13. - God had showed great favor to Israel; what return did he require? Only what, without any prescription, they were bound to render - fear, love, and obedience (comp. Micah 6:8). To fear the Lord thy God (cf. Deuteronomy 6:2, 13). To walk in all his ways; to receive his truth, accept his law, and follow the course of conduct which he prescribes (cf. Genesis 18:19; Psalm 25:4, 5; Psalm 67:2; Acts 18:25, 26). To love him (cf. Exodus 20:6). "Fear with love! Love without fear relaxes; fear without love enslaves, and leads to despair" (J. Gerhard). There is a fear with which love cannot coexist - a fear which hath torment, and which love casts out as its antagonist (1 John 4:18); but the fear of God which he requires is that pious reverence which not only can coexist with love to him, but is not where love is not. And to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul. Love prompts to service. Wherever love fills the heart, it seeks expression in acts of service to its object; and where no such expression comes forth, the evidence is wanting of the existence of the emotion in the bosom (cf. John 14:15, 23; Galatians 5:13; 1 John 3:18). For thy good (cf. Deuteronomy 5:29; Deuteronomy 6:24). "In serving the Lord the glory redoundeth unto him, the benefit to ourselves; for them that honor him he will honor (1 Samuel 2:30), and 'godliness hath the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come' (1 Timothy 4:8)" (Ainsworth). And the Israelites owed to the grace of their God, which was turned towards them once more, through the intercession of Moses, not only the restoration of the tables of the covenant as a pledge that the covenant itself was restored, but also the institution and maintenance of the high-priesthood and priesthood generally for the purpose of mediation between them and the Lord.

(Note: Even Clericus pointed out this connection, and paraphrased Deuteronomy 10:6 and Deuteronomy 10:7 as follows: "But when, as I have said, God forgave the Hebrew people, He pardoned my brother Aaron also, who did not die till the fortieth year after we had come out of Egypt, and when we were coming round the borders of the Edomites to come hither. God also showed that He was reconciled towards him by conferring the priesthood upon him, which is now borne by his son Eleazar according to the will of God." Clericus has also correctly brought out the fact that Moses referred to what he had stated in Deuteronomy 9:20 as to the wrath of God against Aaron and his intercession on his behalf, or rather that he mentioned his intercession on behalf of Aaron in that passage, because he intended to call more particular attention to the successful result of it in this. Hengstenberg (Dissertations, vol. ii. pp. 351-2) has since pointed out briefly, but very conclusively, the connection of thought between Deuteronomy 10:6, Deuteronomy 10:7, and what goes before and follows. "Moses," he says, "points out to the people how the Lord had continued unchangeable in His mercy notwithstanding all their sins. Although they had rendered themselves unworthy of such goodness by their worship of the calf, He gave them the ark of the covenant with the new tables of the law in it (Deuteronomy 10:1-5). He followed up this gift of His grace by instituting the high-priesthood, and when Aaron died He caused it to be transferred to his son Eleazar (Deuteronomy 10:6, Deuteronomy 10:7). He set apart the tribe of Levi to serve Him and bless the people in His name, and thus to be the mediators of His mercy (Deuteronomy 10:8, Deuteronomy 10:9). In short, He omitted nothing that was requisite to place Israel in full possession of the dignity of a people of God." There is no ground for regarding Deuteronomy 10:6, Deuteronomy 10:7, as a gloss, as Capellus, Dathe, and Rosenmller do, or Deuteronomy 10:6-9 as "an interpolation of a historical statement concerning the bearers of the ark of the covenant and the holy persons generally, which has no connection with Moses' address," as Knobel maintains. The want of any formal connection is quite in keeping with the spirit of simplicity which characterizes the early Hebrew diction and historical writings. "The style of the Hebrews is not to be tried by the rules of rhetoricians" (Clericus).)

Moses reminds the people of this gracious gift on the part of their God, by recalling to their memory the time when Aaron died and his son Eleazar was invested with the high-priesthood in his stead. That he may transport his hearers the more distinctly to the period in question, he lets the history itself speak, and quotes from the account of their journeys the passage which supplied the practical proof of what he desires to say. Instead of saying: And the high-priesthood also, with which Aaron was invested by the grace of God notwithstanding his sin at Sinai, the Lord has still preserved to you; for when Aaron died, He invested his son with the same honour,

(Note: "In the death of Aaron they might discern the punishment of their rebellion. But the fact that Eleazar was appointed in his place, was a sign of the paternal grace of God, who did not suffer them to be forsaken on that account" (Calvin).)

and also directed you to continue your journey-he proceeds in the following historical style: "And the children of Israel took their journey from the wells of the sons of Jaakan to Mosera: there Aaron died, and there he was buried; and Eleazar his son became priest in his stead. And from thence they journeyed unto Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbath, a land of water-brooks." The allusion to these marches, together with the events which had taken place at Mosera, taught in very few words "not only that Aaron was forgiven at the intercession of Moses, and even honoured with the high-priesthood, the medium of grace and blessing to the people of God (e.g., at the wells of Bene-jaakan) until the time of his death; but also that through this same intercession the high-priesthood was maintained in perpetuity, so that when Aaron had to die in the wilderness in consequence of a fresh sin (Numbers 20:12), it continued notwithstanding, and by no means diminished in strength, as might have been feared, since it led the way from the wells to water-brooks, helped on the journey to Canaan, which was now the object of their immediate aim, and still sustained their courage and their faith" (Schultz). The earlier commentators observed the inward connection between the continuation of the high-priesthood and the water-brooks. J. Gerhard, for example, observes: "God generally associates material blessings with spiritual; as long as the ministry of the word and the observance of divine worship flourish among us, God will also provide for our temporal necessities."_

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