Deuteronomy 11:30
Are they not on the other side Jordan, by the way where the sun goes down, in the land of the Canaanites, which dwell in the desert over against Gilgal, beside the plains of Moreh?
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(30) Where the sun goeth down.—A memorable passage, as attesting the true position of the speaker, east of Jordan, over against Jericho. The sun has been seen by travellers from that very spot going down exactly in the remarkable gap between Ebal and Gerizim.

The plains of Moren.—Rather, the oaks or terebinths of Moreh. (See Genesis 12:6.)

11:26-32 Moses sums up all the arguments for obedience in two words, the blessing and the curse. He charged the people to choose which they would have. Moses then appointed a public and solemn proclamation of the blessing and curse, to be made upon the two mountains of Gerizim and Ebal. We have broken the law, and are under its curse, without remedy from ourselves. In mercy, the gospel again sets before us a blessing and a curse. A blessing, if we obey the call to repentance, to faith in Christ, and newness of heart and life through him; an awful curse, if we neglect so great salvation. Let us thankfully welcome these glad tidings of great joy; and let us not harden our hearts, but hear this voice of God while it is called to-day, and while he invites us to come to him upon a mercy-seat. Let us be diligent to make our calling and election sure.Thou shalt put the blessing upon mount Gerizim - literally, thou shalt give, i. e., "give" utterance to it. On the ceremony see Deuteronomy 27:14 ff.

Mount Gerizim, barren like Ebal, was probably selected as the hill of benediction because it was the southernmost of the two, the south being the region, according to Hebrew ideas, of light, and so of life and blessing. The situation of the mountains is described more accurately in Deuteronomy 11:30. The words "by the way where the sun goeth down," should run, beyond the road of the west; i. e., on the further side of the main track which ran from Syria and Damascus to Jerusalem and Egypt through the center of Palestine. This is called "the way of the west" in contrast to the ether main route from Damascus to the south which passed through the district east of Jordan. The further specifications "Gilgal" and "the plains (rather, the oaks, compare Genesis 12:6 note) of Moreh," are added to define more particularly the section of Canaanites intended.

This Gilgal is perhaps to be found in Jiljilia, a large village about twelve miles south of Gerizim.

26-32. Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse—(See on [125]De 27:11). Over against Gilgal; looking towards Gilgal, though at some considerable distance from it, as this particle is sometimes used. Are they not on the other side Jordan,.... Opposite to that where Moses now was in the plains of Moab, even in Samaria; so in the Misnah (t) it is said,"as soon as Israel passed over Jordan, they came to Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, which are in Samaria;''but those mountains were not near Jordan nor Jericho, to which the people of Israel came first, but sixty miles from thence; though they were, as Moses says, on the other side from the place they now were:

by the way wherewith the sun goeth down; or, as the Targum of Jonathan,"after the way of the sun setting;''following that, or taking their direction from thence, signifying that they lay to the west of Jordan:

in the land of the Canaanites; of that particular tribe or nation which were eminently called Canaanites, for these dwelt by the sea by the coast of Jordan, Numbers 13:29 or as further described:

that dwell in the champaign over against Gilgal; in the plain open champaign country opposite to Gilgal; not that Gilgal Joshua encamped at before he came to Jericho, which in Moses's time was not known by that name, but another, as Dr. Lightfoot (u) observes, and he thinks Galilee is meant:

beside the plains of Moreh; near to Shechem, Genesis 12:6 and that Gerizim, one of these mountains, was not far from Shechem, is evident from Judges 9:6 and so in the Misnah (w) it is said, that these mountains were on the side of Shechem, which is in the plains of Moreh, as in Deuteronomy 11:30 as the plains of Moreh here denote Shechem, so there: Benjamin of Tudela says (x) there is a valley between them, in which lies Shechem; and in his time there were on Mount Gerizim fountains and orchards, but Mount Ebal was dry like stones and rocks. The Targum of Jonathan here, instead of Moreh, reads Mamre; see Genesis 13:18.

(t) Sotah, c. 7. sect. 5. (u) Chorograph. Cent. c. 48. (w) Sotah, c. 7. sect. 5. (x) Itinerarium, p. 38, 40.

Are they not on the other side Jordan, by the way {l} where the sun goeth down, in the land of the Canaanites, which dwell in the champaign over against Gilgal, beside the plains of Moreh?

(l) Meaning, in Samaria.

But if, on the other hand, their heart was foolish to turn away from the Lord and serve other gods, the wrath of the Lord would burn against them, and God would shut up the heaven, that no rain should fall and the earth should yield no produce, and they would speedily perish (cf. Leviticus 26:19-20, and Deuteronomy 28:23-24). Let them therefore impress the words now set before them very deeply upon themselves and their children (Deuteronomy 11:18-21, in which there is in part a verbal repetition of Deuteronomy 6:6-9). The words, "as the days of the heaven above the earth," i.e., as long as the heaven continues above the earth, - in other words, to all eternity (cf. Psalm 89:30; Job. Deu 14:12), - belong to the main sentence, "that your days may be multiplied," etc. (Deuteronomy 11:21). "The promise to give the land to Israel for ever was not made unconditionally; an unconditional promise is precluded by the words, 'that your days may be multiplied'" (Schultz). (For further remarks, see at Deuteronomy 30:3-5.) For (Deuteronomy 11:22-25) if they adhered faithfully to the Lord, He would drive out before them all the nations that dwelt in the land, and would give them the land upon which they trod in all its length and breadth, and so fill the Canaanites with fear and terror before them, that no one should be able to stand against them. (On Deuteronomy 11:23, cf. Deuteronomy 7:1-2; Deuteronomy 9:1, and Deuteronomy 1:28.) The words, "every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours," are defined more precisely, and restricted to the land of Canaan on both sides of the Jordan by the boundaries which follow: "from the desert (of Arabia on the south), and Lebanon (on the north), and from the river Euphrates (on the east) to the hinder sea" (the Mediterranean on the west; see Numbers 34:6). The Euphrates is given as the eastern boundary, as in Deuteronomy 1:7, according to the promise in Genesis 15:18. (On Deuteronomy 11:25, cf. Deuteronomy 7:24; Deuteronomy 2:25, and Exodus 23:27.)
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