Deuteronomy 11:8
Therefore shall you keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that you may be strong, and go in and possess the land, where you go to possess it;
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(8) The commandments.—Literally, the commandment. It is one course of action rather than many details which is enjoined.

Go in and possessi.e., complete the conquest in detail, so as to enjoy the whole profit of the land.

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.See the margin. literally, "every living thing at their feet." The expression does not mean their goods, which would be included in their "households and tents," but their followers Numbers 16:32. 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. No text from Poole on this verse. Therefore shall you keep all the commandments which I command you this day,.... For the reasons before suggested, as well as for what follow:

that ye may be strong; healthful in body, and courageous in mind, for sin tends to weaken both; whereas observance of the commands of God contributes to the health and strength of the body, and the rigour of the mind; both which were necessary to the present expedition they were going upon:

and go in and possess the land whither ye go to possess it; the land of Canaan, they were marching towards in order to possess it; and nothing would more inspire them with courage, and cause them to enter it manfully without fear of their enemies, than obedience to the commands of God; whose presence being promised them on that account, they might expect it, and so had nothing to fear from the inhabitants of the land.

Therefore shall ye keep {c} all the commandments which I command you this day, that ye may be strong, and go in and possess the land, whither ye go to possess it;

(c) Because you have felt both his chastisement and his benefits.

8. On such recognition (Deuteronomy 11:2 But know ye) of the awful discipline of God the discourse now bases another of its many appeals to the people to observe the Law, with the usual promise of consequent benefits. That the appeal and promise are composed in the usual deuteronomic phrases is no ground, by itself, for considering that the verse is an editorial addition. (So Steuern., who finds the immediate continuation of Deuteronomy 11:7 in Deuteronomy 11:16.) Nor are the phrases all repetitions; that ye may be strong is new.

keep all the commandment] Again the Miṣwah of Deuteronomy 11:31 q.v., Deuteronomy 6:1 and Deuteronomy 7:11.

which I command thee this day] The one Sg. clause in the section. Sam. and LXX codd. A etc. have Pl., LXX cod. Vat. agrees with the Heb. Sg. It is a good illustration of how many are the possible explanations of these smaller and sporadic changes of address. Either the Sg. is a clerical error which has slipped into the Heb. text and is to be corrected by the Versions; or it is original, and the readings of these are harmonistic, as in A.V. Or, if the Sg. is the correct reading it may be either a mere inadvertence on the part of the original writer, or the clause may have been inserted by an editor with the echo of Deuteronomy 7:11 in his ear. This last seems to the present writer the most probable explanation. But any of the others is possible.

that ye may be strong, and go in] only here; cp. Deuteronomy 4:1, that ye may live and go in.

and go in and possess the land] Cp. the variation in the Sg. Deuteronomy 9:5, go in to possess their land.

whither ye go over to possess it] a phrase peculiar to Pl.; see on Deuteronomy 6:1.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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