Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD's your God, the earth also, with all that therein is.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Deuteronomy 10:14. The heaven — The aerial and starry heaven. The heaven of heavens — The highest, or third heaven, thus named for its eminence. All that therein is — All creatures and all men, which being all his, he might have chosen what nation he pleased to be his people.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."
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.The heaven; the airy and starry heaven.
The heaven of heavens; the highest or third heaven, 1 Kings 8:27 2 Corinthians 12:2, called the heaven of heavens for its eminency, as the song of songs, king of kings, holy of holies, &c.
The earth also, with all creatures and all men, which being all his, he might have chosen what nation he pleased to be his people.
the earth also, with all that therein is; that is his property, and at his disposal, being made by him, and all that is upon it, or contained in it, even whatsoever is on or in the whole terraqueous globe; see Psalm 115:15.Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD's thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. This and the next v. state motives for the fear and love just enjoined: for fear, because He is the greatest God, to whom all things belong; for love because, though He is such, He yet loved Israel’s fathers and chose their posterity, even those whom Moses is addressing.
the heaven, etc.] A characteristic deuteronomic accumulation.
heaven of heavens] i.e. the highest heavens (the same idiom as in Deuteronomy 10:17). Whether this idiomatic superlative (first here and then echoed in later passages, 1 Kings 8:27; 2 Chronicles 2:6; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 68:33; Psalm 148:4) or the plural positive heavens was the germ of the later idea of the plurality of heavens (in the Jewish apocalyptic books and the N.T., e.g. 2 Corinthians 12:2; Ephesians 4:10 R.V.) is uncertain; but the development of the idea was due to the influences of Babylonian and Persian cosmologies and eschatologies. See S. D. F. Salmond, art. ‘Heaven’ in Hastings’ D.B., and Charles, Secrets of Enoch, 30–47.Verses 14, 15. - To love and serve the Lord, Israel was specially bound, because of God's love to them and choice of them to be his people. He, the Lord and Proprietor of the universe, was free to choose any of the nations he pleased, and needed not the service of any, but of his free grace he chose Israel, in whose fathers he had delight, to love them (cf. Exodus 19:5). The heaven and the heaven of heavens; the highest heavens, all that may be called heaven, with all that it contains. Delight ("set his eve upon," Deuteronomy 7:7); literally, cleaved to, was attached to. "Affection, love, choice, the three moments prompting from the innermost impulses to the historical act" (Lange). Deuteronomy 10:8, Moses returns to the form of an address again, and refers to the separation of the tribe of Levi for the holy service, as a manifestation of mercy on the part of the Lord towards Israel. The expression "at that time" is not to be understood as relating to the time of Aaron's death in the fortieth year of the march, in which Knobel finds a contradiction to the other books. It refers quite generally, as in Deuteronomy 9:20 and Deuteronomy 10:1, to the time of which Moses is speaking here, viz., the time when the covenant was restored at Sinai. The appointment of the tribe of Levi for service at the sanctuary took place in connection with the election of Aaron and his sons to the priesthood (Exodus 28 and 29), although their call to this service, instead of the first-born of Israel, was not carried out till the numbering and mustering of the people (Numbers 1:49., Deuteronomy 4:17., Deuteronomy 8:6.). Moses is speaking here of the election of the whole of the tribe of Levi, including the priests (Aaron and his sons), as is very evident from the account of their service. It is true that the carrying of the ark upon the march through the desert was the business of the (non-priestly) Levites, viz., the Kohathites (Numbers 4:4.); but on solemn occasions the priests had to carry it (cf. Joshua 3:3, Joshua 3:6, Joshua 3:8; Joshua 6:6; 1 Kings 8:3.). "Standing before the Lord, to serve Him, and to bless in His name," was exclusively the business of the priests (cf. Deuteronomy 18:5; Deuteronomy 21:5, and Numbers 6:23.), whereas the Levites were only assistants of the priests in their service (see at Deuteronomy 18:7). This tribe therefore received no share and possession with the other tribes, as was already laid down in Numbers 18:20 with reference to the priests, and in Numbers 18:24 with regard to all the Levites; to which passages the words "as the Lord thy God promised him" refer. - Lastly, in Deuteronomy 10:10, Deuteronomy 10:11, Moses sums up the result of his intercession in the words, "And I stood upon the mount as the first days, forty days (a resumption of Deuteronomy 9:18 and Deuteronomy 9:25); and the Lord hearkened to me this time also (word for word, as in Deuteronomy 9:19). "Jehovah would not destroy thee (Israel)." Therefore He commanded Moses to arise to depart before the people, i.e., as leader of the people to command and superintend their removal and march. In form, this command is connected with Exodus 34:1; but Moses refers here not only to that word of the Lord with the limitation added there in Exodus 34:2, but to the ultimate, full, and unconditional assurance of God, in which the Lord Himself promised to go with His people and bring them to Canaan (Exodus 34:14.).
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