And it shall come to pass, if you shall listen diligently to my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)It shall come to pass.—At this point begins the formal sanction of this charge by a declaration of rewards and punishments. Such sanctions are a characteristic feature of the Law. (Comp. Exodus 23:20—end, at the close of the first code; Leviticus 26, and Deuteronomy 28; and, in the New Testament, the well-known close of the Sermon on the Mount in St. Matthew 7, and of the parallel sermon in St. Luke 6 )
To love the Lord your God.—“Not that thou shouldst say, ‘Behold, I am a disciple in order that I may become rich: in order that I may be called great: in order that I may receive reward; “but whatsoever ye do, do from love” (Rashi).
To serve him with all your heart.—The Jewish commentator says that this refers to prayer, and compares Daniel (Deuteronomy 6:16): “Thy God whom thou servest continually, He will deliver thee.” There was no religious service for Israel in Babylon except prayer. The thought seems worth preserving, though the words are obviously capable of a wider application.
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.
to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart, and with all your soul; see Deuteronomy 10:12. Jarchi interprets this of prayer; but it is not to be restrained to that only, but includes the whole service of God, in all the parts of it, performed from a principle of love to him, and in sincerity and truth.And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. The verse is not only in the Pl. and a repetition of certain formulas, but it also changes the speaker (my commandments can only mean God’s). It is evidently inserted by an editor (so too Steuern. and Bertholet) (who also altered the opening of the next verse, q.v.) because he thought it again necessary to safeguard the promise by repeating the usual deuteronomic condition. But the condition breaks into the theme of the writer which for the moment is only the contrast between the two lands. On the contents of the v. see on Deuteronomy 10:12.Verse 13. - Being thus wholly dependent on God, it behooved them to be careful to attend to his commandments and to obey them, that so his blessing might be continued to them and to the laud. If they would love and serve the Lord as they were bound to do, he would give them the rain of their land, i.e. rain for their land, such as it required (cf. "rain of thy seed," Psalm 30:2, 3), in the proper season, the early and the latter rain, so that they should fully enjoy the benefits of the land. 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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