Deuteronomy 11:2
And know ye this day: for I speak not with your children which have not known, and which have not seen the chastisement of the LORD your God, his greatness, his mighty hand, and his stretched out arm,
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(2) And know ye.—Or, and ye know.

Not with your children which have not known.—It must be remembered that all those who were less than twenty years of age at the date of the Exodus would still be living, and the events of their youth must have left a strong impression on their memories. Every man of forty-five years of age would feel the force of this address.

The chastisement.—Whether of the Egyptians in wrath, or of Israel in love.

His mighty hand. . . .—Or, His hand in its strength, and His arm in its length. The position of the adjectives is emphatic.

Deuteronomy 11:2. Know ye this day — That is, acknowledge and consider it with diligence and thankfulness; for that is the sense of the original word here, and in a multitude of other places. Your children, who have not known — But your eyes have seen, Deuteronomy 11:7. The chastisement of the Lord — His judgments executed on the Egyptians in various plagues, the sundry methods of punishment and correction he has used to chastise, amend, and render you obedient to his laws, see Deuteronomy 4:36; and Deuteronomy 8:5; and Proverbs 1:2, where the same Hebrew word is used in this sense. His greatness, &c. — His majesty and great power, appearing in his works. He uses a variety of words to make them sensible in how many instances the divine power and goodness had been manifested in effecting their deliverance out of Egyptian bondage, and their subsequent preservation.

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.And know ... - Render it: And own ye this day (for I have not to do with your children which have not known and which have not seen) the chastisement of the Lord, his greatness, etc.

The "chastisement" consisted in the many mighty acts, both of punishment and mercy, through which God had guided them from Egypt to the borders of the promised land.

2-9. I speak not with your children which have not known … But your eyes have seen all the great acts of the Lord which he did—Moses is here giving a brief summary of the marvels and miracles of awful judgment which God had wrought in effecting their release from the tyranny of Pharaoh, as well as those which had taken place in the wilderness. He knew that he might dwell upon these, for he was addressing many who had been witnesses of those appalling incidents. For it will be remembered that the divine threatening that they should die in the wilderness, and its execution, extended only to males from twenty years and upward, who were able to go forth to war. No males under twenty years of age, no females, and none of the tribe of Levi, were objects of the denunciation (see Nu 14:28-30; 16:49). There might, therefore, have been many thousands of the Israelites at that time of whom Moses could say, "Your eyes have seen all the great acts which He did"; and with regard to those the historic review of Moses was well calculated to stir up their minds to the duty and advantages of obedience. Know ye, i.e. acknowledge and consider it with diligence and thankfulness.

And know you this day,.... Take notice of, and diligently attend unto, what is now about to be delivered:

for I speak not unto your children which have not known, and which have not seen, the chastisement of the Lord your God; who have no knowledge and experience of the chastisement of the Lord on themselves, or on their foes or friends; and with whom the argument drawn from it could not come with that force, and make that impression, as it might be thought it would, being used with them who had perfect knowledge of it. The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan render it doctrine, which, being children, they were not instructed so perfectly in as they were who were adult persons, to whom Moses directs his discourse:

his greatness, his mighty hand, and stretched out arm: the exceeding greatness of his power, displayed in the following instances.

And {a} know ye this day: for I speak not with your children which have not known, and which have not seen the chastisement of the LORD your God, his greatness, his mighty hand, and his stretched out arm,

(a) You who have seen God's graces with your eyes should be moved, rather than your children who have only heard of them.

2. And know ye] For this deuteronomic form see on Deuteronomy 7:9. Know what? The defective construction which follows leaves this obscure. Some suppose that in the course of his involved sentence the writer has forgotten the object of know as well as the verb which should govern your children (accus. case), and they translate, know that it is not with your children I speak, who have not known nor seen the discipline of Jehovah your God; and that the antithesis is reached in Deuteronomy 11:7, but that your own eyes, etc. It is, however, difficult to understand why by a solemn formula they should be called to recognise so obvious a distinction between themselves and their children. It seems preferable either to take the formula absolutely and by itself as A.V. and R.V. do, or with most commentators to read the discipline of Jehovah as the object of know and what comes between as a parenthesis. But whichever way the sentence is read the words I speak must be added.

the chastisement] ‘mûsâr denotes neither instruction (see on Deuteronomy 4:36) nor chastisement (though this may be included), but moral education or discipline (Gk. παιδεία) attended with greater (Proverbs 3:11; Job 5:17) or less severity (Proverbs 1:2; Proverbs 1:8; Proverbs 4:1) as the case may be: the sight of Jehovah’s wonders … ought to have exerted upon the Israelites a disciplinary influence, subduing waywardness and pride, promoting humility and reverence, and educating generally their moral and religious nature’ (Driver).

his greatness, his mighty hand, and his stretched out arm] See on Deuteronomy 3:24, Deuteronomy 5:24, Deuteronomy 9:26; and cp. Deuteronomy 4:34, greatness.

2–9. A Pl. section recalling God’s discipline of the very generation which is being addressed. The change from Sg. to Pl. has been explained on the logical ground that the speaker is no longer regarding the nation as a single whole, but is addressing the adult generation as individuals distinct from their children (Bertholet). This, of course, is possible. Yet the alternative supposition, that some other source is here used by the compiler, besides being probable from what we have seen in other cases of the change of address, receives some support from the broken construction of the opening sentence as though it were a bad joint. It is significant, too, that the resumption of the Pl. coincides as in Deuteronomy 9:8 to Deuteronomy 10:11 with a historical retrospect. On the one Sg. clause in the section see on Deuteronomy 11:8.

Verse 2. - Knew ye; take note of, ponder, lay to heart. The words that follow, for... seen, are a parenthesis thrown in by the speaker to attract the attention especially of the older generation, who had witnessed the acts of the Lord. The words, the chastisement, etc., are to be connected with know ye, as the object of the knowing, And know ye this day the chastisement, etc. Which have not known, and which have not seen; supp. "what ye have known and seen." Your children; those born during the wandering in the wilderness. Chastisement; not punishment, but discipline, education, training (LXX., παιδεία), including both correction and instruction (cf. the use of the Hebrew word מוּסָר in Proverbs 1:2; Proverbs 5:12; Proverbs 6:23, etc.). His greatness...stretched out arm (cf. Deuteronomy 3:24; Deuteronomy 4:34). Deuteronomy 11:2To 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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