Deuteronomy 11:1
Therefore you shall love the LORD your God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, always.
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(1) Therefore.—There is no break here in the original. “The Lord thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude, and thou shalt love the Lord thy God.”

And keep his charge.—Literally, keep his keeping, i.e., all that is to be kept in obedience to Him.

Alway.—Literally, all the days. (Comp. “I am with you all the days” in Matthew 28:20) Israel must not omit one day in keeping the charge of Jehovah, for “He that keepeth Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”

11:1-7 Observe the connexion of these two; Thou shalt love the Lord, and keep his charge. Love will work in obedience, and that only is acceptable obedience which flows from a principle of love, 1Jo 5:3. Moses recounts some of the great and terrible works of God which their eyes had seen. What our eyes have seen, especially in our early days, should affect us, and make us better long afterwards.On "circumcision" see Genesis 17:10. This verse points to the spiritual import of circumcision. Man is by nature "very far gone from original righteousness," and in a state of enmity to God; by circumcision, as the sacrament of admission to the privileges of the chosen people, this opposition must be taken away ere man could enter into covenant with God. It was through the flesh that man first sinned; as it is also in the flesh, its functions, lusts, etc., that man's rebellion against God chiefly manifests itself still. It was fitting therefore that the symbol which should denote the removal of this estrangement from God should be worked in the body. Moses then fitly follows up the command "to circumcise the heart," with the warning "to be no more stiff-necked." His meaning is that they should lay aside that obduracy and perverseness toward God for which he had been reproving them, which had led them into so many transgressions of the covenant and revolts from God, and which was especially the very contrary of that love and fear of God required by the first two of the Ten Commandments. The language associated with circumcision in the Bible distinguishes the use made of this rite in the Jewish religion from that found among certain pagan nations. Circumcision was practiced by some of them as a religious rite, designed (e. g.) to appease the deity of death who was supposed to delight in human suffering; but not by any, the Egyptians probably excepted, at all in the Jewish sense and meaning.

The grounds on which circumcision was imposed as essential by the Law are the same as those on which Baptism is required in the Gospel. The latter in the New Testament is strictly analogous to the former under the Old; compare Colossians 2:11-12.


De 11:1-32. An Exhortation to Obedience.

1. Therefore thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and keep his charge—The reason for the frequent repetition of the same or similar counsels is to be traced to the infantine character and state of the church, which required line upon line and precept upon precept. Besides, the Israelites were a headstrong and perverse people, impatient of control, prone to rebellion, and, from their long stay in Egypt, so violently addicted to idolatry, that they ran imminent risk of being seduced by the religion of the country to which they were going, which, in its characteristic features, bore a strong resemblance to that of the country they had left.Moses exhorts them to obedience by rehearsing God’s works, Deu 11:1-9, and by the excellency of the land they were to possess, Deu 11:10-12. A promise of blessings to their obedience, Deu 11:13-15. They are warned against idolatry, Deu 11:16,17. To teach it their children, Deu 11:19; and keep memorials of it, Deu 11:20, for their own benefit, Deu 11:21. God promises again, upon their obedience, to drive out the nations, Deu 11:22-25. A blessing and a curse is set before them, Deu 11:26-28. They are bid to bless on Mount Gerizim, but curse on Mount Ebal, Deu 11:29.

No text from Poole on this verse.

Therefore thou shalt love the Lord thy God,.... Because he is so great and glorious in himself, and because he had done such great and good things for them, the Israelites, particularly in the multiplication of them, the last thing mentioned:

and keep his charge; whatsoever the Lord had charged them to observe, even what follow:

and his statutes and his judgments, and his commandments, alway; all his laws, ceremonial, judicial, and moral; and that constantly and continually, all the days of their lives.

Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.
Deuteronomy 11:1. Therefore] The conclusion of the preceding verses.

thou shalt love] See on Deuteronomy 6:5.

keep his charge] ‘Only here in Dt.; often in P (esp. Numbers), but usually in a technical sense, with genitive of the object to be kept, as Numbers 1:53; Numbers 3:28 : “Jehovah’s charge” (of a specific duty), Leviticus 8:35; Leviticus 18:30; Leviticus 22:9; Numbers 9:19; Numbers 9:23; in a more general sense, as here, Genesis 26:5 (JE); Joshua 22:3 (D2); 1 Kings 2:3 (Deut.)’ (Driver). There is therefore no conclusive proof that this v. is secondary. Yet the recurrence of a phrase so characteristic of P after another in the previous v. is significant.

statutes, judgements, commandments] See above.Verse 1. - His charge; what he has appointed to be observed and done (cf. Leviticus 8:35; Numbers 1:53); more fully explained by his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments. Above all, therefore, they were to circumcise the foreskin of their hearts, i.e., to lay aside all insensibility of heart to impressions from the love of God (cf. Leviticus 26:41; and on the spiritual signification of circumcision, see Genesis 17:15-21), and not stiffen their necks any more, i.e., not persist in their obstinacy, or obstinate resistance to God (cf. Deuteronomy 9:6, Deuteronomy 9:13). Without circumcision of heart, true fear of God and true love of God are both impossible. As a reason for this admonition, Moses adduces in Deuteronomy 10:17. the nature and acts of God. Jehovah as the absolute God and Lord is mighty and terrible towards all, without respect of person, and at the same time a just Judge and loving Protector of the helpless and oppressed. From this it follows that the true God will not tolerate haughtiness and stiffness of neck either towards Himself or towards other men, but will punish it without reserve. To set forth emphatically the infinite greatness and might of God, Moses describes Jehovah the God of Israel as the "God of gods," i.e., the supreme God, the essence of all that is divine, of all divine power and might (cf. Psalm 136:2), - and as the "Lord of lords," i.e., the supreme, unrestricted Ruler ("the only Potentate," 1 Timothy 6:15), above all powers in heaven and on earth, "a great King above all gods" (Psalm 95:3). Compare Revelation 17:14 and Revelation 19:16, where these predicates are transferred to the exalted Son of God, as the Judge and Conqueror of all dominions and powers that are hostile to God. The predicates which follow describe the unfolding of the omnipotence of God in the government of the world, in which Jehovah manifests Himself as the great, mighty, and terrible God (Psalm 89:8), who does not regard the person (cf. Leviticus 19:15), or accept presents (cf. Deuteronomy 16:19), like a human judge.
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