Deuteronomy 11:12
A land which the LORD your God cares for: the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year even to the end of the year.
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(12) A land which the Lord thy God careth for.—Literally, seeketh, as in the margin of our Bibles. Comp. Ezekiel 20:6 : “A land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands.” “To search out a resting-place for them” (Numbers 10:33). It is difficult not to think of the better land in this description, and of our Saviour’s promise, “I go to prepare a place for you.” There “the poor and needy” shall not “seek water,” for “He shall lead them to living fountains of water.” They shall “hunger no more, neither thirst any more.”

That something unusual is indicated here seems to have occurred to the old Jewish writer, who says—“And does He not seek out all lands? as it is said, ‘To cause it to rain on the earth where no man is’” (Job 38:26).

Deuteronomy 11:12. Which the Lord careth for — In a special manner, watering it immediately, as it were, by his own hand, without man’s help, and giving peculiar blessings to it, which Egypt enjoyed not. To the end of the year — To give it the rain, and other blessings proper to the several seasons. But all these mercies, and the fruitfulness of the land consequent upon them, were suspended upon their disobedience. And therefore it is not at all strange that some later writers describe the land of Canaan as a barren soil; which is so far from affording ground to question the authority of the Scriptures, that it much more confirms it, this being an effect of that threatening, that God would turn a fruitful land into barrenness for the wickedness of those that dwelt in it, Psalm 107:34.11:8-17 Moses sets before them, for the future, life and death, the blessing and the curse, according as they did or did not keep God's commandment. Sin tends to shorten the days of all men, and to shorten the days of a people's prosperity. God will bless them with an abundance of all good things, if they would love him and serve him. Godliness has the promise of the life that now is; but the favour of God shall put gladness into the heart, more than the increase of corn, and wine, and oil. Revolt from God to idols would certainly be their ruin. Take heed that your hearts be not deceived. All who forsake God to set their affection upon any creature, will find themselves wretchedly deceived, to their own destruction; and this will make it worse, that it was for want of taking heed.Another motive for fidelity is added, namely, the entire dependence of the promised land upon God for its fertility. It was "a land flowing with milk and honey;" yet this its richness was not, as was that of Egypt, the reward of truman skill and labor, but was, on the contrary, the gift of God simply and entirely; the effect of "the former and the latter rains" sent by Him. The spiritual significance of these and many other such peculiarities of the promised land must not be overlooked.

Egypt and Canaan are distinguished in this and the following verses, by certain of their most remarkable physical traits. Canaan as a mountainous country (compare Deuteronomy 3:25 note) was well watered, but by the rains of heaven, on which it absolutely depended for its crops. Artificial irrigation could do nothing to remedy this dependence. Hence, it was a land on which, so long as God's people were faithful and consequently prosperous, "the eyes of God" would always be: i. e., He would supply at each successive season (compare Deuteronomy 11:14-15) the useful conditions of productiveness. But Egypt, fit emblem here as elsewhere of the world of nature in distinction from the world of grace, though of course deriving its all ultimately from the Giver of all good things, yet directly and immediately owed its riches and plenty to human ingenuity and capital. It enjoyed no rain worth speaking of, but drew its water supply from the annum overflowing of the Nile. This only lasts about a hundred days; but is rendered available for agricultural purposes throughout the year by an elaborate and costly system of tanks, canals, forcing machines, etc. To these mechanical appliances allusion is made in Deuteronomy 11:10. The inhabitants of Egypt probably watered "with the foot" in two ways, namely, by means of tread-wheels working sets of pumps, and by means of artificial channels connected with reservoirs, and opened, turned, or closed by the feet. Both methods are still in use in Egypt.

12. A land which the Lord thy God careth for—that is, watering it, as it were, with His own hands, without human aid or mechanical means. Land which the Lord careth for, to wit, in a special manner, watering it immediately as it were by his own hand, without man’s help, and giving peculiar blessings to it, which Egypt enjoys not.

The eyes of the Lord are always upon us, to give it the rain and other blessings proper to the several seasons. But all these mercies, and the fruitfulness of the land consequent; upon them, were suspended upon their disobedience, as it here follows. And therefore it is not at all strange that some later writers decry the land of Canaan as in great part a barren soil, which is so far from affording any ground to question the Divine authority of the Holy Scriptures, in which its fruitfulness is declared, that it doth much more confirm it, this being but an effect of that threatening that God would turn a fruitful land into barrenness for the wickedness of those that dwell in it, Psalm 107:34, and elsewhere; and the wickedness of the Israelites in succeeding ages being notorious, it is but just and fit that the barrenness of their land should be as evident and infamous. A land which the Lord thy God careth for,.... In a very particular and special manner; otherwise he has a general care of the whole world, and all the parts of it; for as the earth is his, and the fulness thereof, his providential care reaches everywhere; but as this spot was what he had chosen for his own residence, and the place of his worship, and for an habitation for his peculiar people; he exercised a more peculiar care over it, to make it fruitful, commodious, and pleasant; or which "he seeketh" (i); that is, the good of it, and to make it convenient, useful, and delightful to his people; yea, which he sought for and desired for his own habitation, Psalm 132:13,

the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year; his eyes of providence, to give the former and the latter rain, and that there be seedtime and harvest in their seasons, and that the fruits of it be produced at their proper time; some at the beginning, others at the end of the year, and others in the intervening months, and all wisely suited to the good of the inhabitants of it.

(i) "quaerit", Pagninus; "quaerens", Montanus.

A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.
12. a land which the Lord thy God careth for] lit. seeketh after. The verb is used both in the sense of resort to or frequent (Deuteronomy 12:5, with another construction, Amos 5:5), or investigate (Deuteronomy 13:14 (15), Deuteronomy 17:4, Deuteronomy 19:18), or to visit so as to care for (Jeremiah 30:14; Jeremiah 30:17; Job 3:4; Isaiah 62:12). The last is of course the meaning here: a land which is under the personal supervision and providence of God: constantly are the eyes of Jehovah thy God upon it from the beginning of the year and even to the end of the year. Such is the emphatic Heb. order.Verse 12. - Careth for; literally, searcheth or inquireth after, i.e. thinks about and cares for (LXX., ἐπισκοπεῖται, oversees; cf. Job 3:4; Psalm 142:4; Jeremiah 30:17; Ezekiel 34:8; Isaiah 62:12). The eyes of the Lord thy God; i.e. his special watchful providence (cf. Psalm 33:18; Psalm 34:15; Ezekiel 4:5). It was a land on which Jehovah's regard was continually fixed, over which he watched with unceasing care, and which was sustained by his bounty; a land, therefore, wholly dependent on him, and so a fitting place for a people also wholly dependent on him, who owed to his grace all that they were and had. To awaken this love they were now to know, i.e., to ponder and lay to heart, the discipline of the Lord their God. The words from "for (I speak) not" to "have not seen" are a parenthetical clause, by which Moses would impress his words most strongly upon the hearts of the older generation, which had witnessed the acts of the Lord. The clause is without any verb or predicate, but this can easily be supplied from the sense. The best suggestion is that of Schultz, viz., ההוּא הדּבר, "for it is not with your children that I have to do," not to them that this admonition applies. Moses refers to the children who had been born in the desert, as distinguished from those who, though not twenty years old when the Israelites came out of Egypt, had nevertheless seen with their own eyes the plagues inflicted upon Egypt, and who were now of mature age, viz., between forty and sixty years old, and formed, as the older and more experienced generation, the stock and kernel of the congregation assembled round him now. To the words, "which have not known and have not seen," it is easy to supply from the context, "what ye have known and seen." The accusatives from "the chastisement" onwards belong to the verb of the principal sentence, "know ye this day." The accusatives which follow show what we are to understand by "the chastisement of the Lord," viz., the mighty acts of the Lord to Egypt and to Israel in the desert. The object of them all was to educate Israel in the fear and love of God. In this sense Moses calls them מוּסר (Eng. Ver. chastisement), παιδεία, i.e., not punishment only, but education by the manifestation of love as well as punishment (like יסּר in Deuteronomy 4:36; cf. Proverbs 1:2, Proverbs 1:8; Proverbs 4:1, etc.). "His greatness," etc., as in Deuteronomy 3:24 and Deuteronomy 4:34. On the signs and acts in Egypt, see at Deuteronomy 4:34; Deuteronomy 6:22; and on those at the Red Sea, at Exodus 14. פּניהם - הצּיף אשׁר, "over whose face He made the waters of the Red Sea to flow;" cf. Exodus 14:26. - By the acts of God in the desert (Deuteronomy 11:5) we are not to understand the chastenings in Numbers 11-15 either solely or pre-eminently, but all the manifestations of the omnipotence of God in the guidance of Israel, proofs of love as well as the penal wonders. Of the latter, the miraculous destruction of the company of Korah is specially mentioned in Deuteronomy 11:6 (cf. Numbers 16:31-33). Here Moses only mentions Dathan and Abiram, the followers of Korah, and not Korah himself, probably from regard to his sons, who were not swallowed up by the earth along with their father, but had lived to perpetuate the family of Korah. "Everything existing, which was in their following" (see Exodus 11:8), does not mean their possessions, but their servants, and corresponds to "all the men who belonged to Korah" in Numbers 16:32, whereas the possessions mentioned there are included here in the "tents." היקוּם is only applied to living beings, as in Genesis 7:4 and Genesis 7:23. - In Deuteronomy 11:7 the reason is given for the admonition in Deuteronomy 11:2 : the elders were to know (discern) the educational purpose of God in those mighty acts of the Lord, because they had seen them with their own eyes.
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