Deuteronomy 11:13
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)
(13) 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.

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. No text from Poole on this verse. And it shall come to pass, if you shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day,.... In the name, and by the authority of the Lord, the only lawgiver:

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. 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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