If you shall keep all these commandments to do them, which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to walk ever in his ways; then shall you add three cities more for you, beside these three:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Deuteronomy 19:8, 9Provision is here made for the anticipated enlargement of the borders of Israel to the utmost limits promised by God, from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates (Genesis 15:18, note; Exodus 23:31, note). This promise, owing to the sins of the people, did not receive its fulfillment until after David had conquered the Philistines, Syrians, etc.; and this but a transient one, for many of the conquered peoples regained independence on the dissolution of Solomon's empire.
to love the Lord thy God; which is the source and spring of genuine obedience to the commands of God:
and to walk ever in his ways; noting constancy and perseverance in them; now all this is mentioned as the condition of the enlargement of their coast, which would be the case if a due and constant regard was had to the laws of God:
and then shall thou add three cities more besides these three; three more in the land of Canaan, besides the three now ordered to be separated in it, and besides the three on the other side of Jordan; so that there would have been nine in all, if these had been ever added; but that time never came: the Jews expect the addition of these three cities in the days of the Messiah (y) but the Messiah is already come, and all those cities, as they were typical of him, have had their accomplishment in him the antitype of them, of which See Gill on Numbers 35:29.If thou shalt keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the LORD thy God, and to walk ever in his ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, beside these three:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. A parenthesis, being the condition of the promise in Deuteronomy 19:8.
if thou shalt keep all this commandment, etc.] LXX B, etc., hear all these commandments. Cullen, p. 141, takes this passage as an actual quotation from Deuteronomy 11:22. On the formula, keep … to do, see Deuteronomy 4:6, Deuteronomy 5:1.
to love … in his ways) These phrases (cp. Deuteronomy 6:5, Deuteronomy 10:12) some LXX Codd. and Luc. omit.
then shalt thou add three cities more] is the apodosis to 8 a; all between consists of such formulas as later scribes were fond of inserting, and the evidence of the versions goes to show that they are not original.Deuteronomy 4:41.), he is speaking here simply of the land on the west, which Israel was to take possession of before long; and supplements the instructions in Numbers 35:14, with directions to maintain the roads to the cities of refuge which were to be set apart in Canaan itself, and to divide the land into three parts, viz., for the purpose of setting apart these cities, so that one city might be chosen for the purpose in every third of the land. For further remarks on this point, as well as with regard to the use of these cities (Deuteronomy 19:4-7), see at Numbers 35:11. - In Deuteronomy 19:8-10 there follow the fresh instructions, that if the Lord should extend the borders of Israel, according to His promise given to the patriarchs, and should give them the whole land from the Nile to the Euphrates, according to Genesis 15:18, they were to add three other cities of refuge to these three, for the purpose of preventing the shedding of innocent blood. The three new cities of refuge cannot be the three appointed in Numbers 35:14 for the land on this side of the Jordan, nor the three mentioned in Numbers 35:7 on the other side of Jordan, as Knobel and others suppose. Nor can we adopt Hengstenberg's view, that the three new ones are the same as the three mentioned in Deuteronomy 19:2 and Deuteronomy 19:7, since they are expressly distinguished from "these three." The meaning is altogether a different one. The circumstances supposed by Moses never existed, since the Israelites did not fulfil the conditions laid down in Deuteronomy 19:9, viz., that they should keep the law faithfully, and love the Lord their God (cf. Deuteronomy 4:6; Deuteronomy 6:5, etc.). The extension of the power of Israel to the Euphrates under David and Solomon, did not bring the land as far as this river into their actual possession, since the conquered kingdoms of Aram were still inhabited by the Aramaeans, who, though conquered, were only rendered tributary. And the Tyrians and Phoenicians, who belonged to the Canaanitish population, were not even attacked by David.
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