Deuteronomy 2:7
For the LORD thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.
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(7) The Lord thy God hath blessed thee.—There is nothing unreasonable in the view suggested by these words, that the Israelites acquired wealth by trade or by ordinary occupations during their wilderness journey. They had skilled workmen among them.

Deuteronomy 2:7. The Lord hath blessed thee — By God’s blessing thou art able to buy thy conveniences, and therefore thy theft and rapine will be inexcusable, because without any pretence of necessity. He knoweth — Hebrew, He hath known; that is, observed, or regarded with care and kindness, which that word often denotes. Which experience of God’s singular goodness to thee should make thee rely on him still, and not use any unjust practice to procure what thou wantest or desirest.

2:1-7 Only a short account of the long stay of Israel in the wilderness is given. God not only chastised them for their murmuring and unbelief, but prepared them for Canaan; by humbling them for sin, teaching them to mortify their lusts, to follow God, and to comfort themselves in him. Though Israel may be long kept waiting for deliverance and enlargement, it will come at last. Before God brought Israel to destroy their enemies in Canaan, he taught them to forgive their enemies in Edom. They must not, under pretence of God's covenant and conduct, think to seize all they could lay hands on. Dominion is not founded in grace. God's Israel shall be well placed, but must not expect to be placed alone in the midst of the earth. Religion must never be made a cloak for injustice. Scorn to be beholden to Edomites, when thou hast an all-sufficient God to depend upon. Use what thou hast, use it cheerfully. Thou hast experienced the care of the Divine providence, never use any crooked methods for thy supply. All this is equally to be applied to the experience of the believer.I have given mount Seir to Esau - Though the descendants of Esau were conquered by David 2 Samuel 8:14, yet they were not dispossessed of their land, and in the reign of Jehoshaphat they regained their independence 2 Kings 8:20-22. 5-7. Meddle not with them—that is, "which dwell in Seir" (De 2:4)—for there was another branch of Esau's posterity, namely, the Amalekites, who were to be fought against and destroyed (Ge 36:12; Ex 17:14; De 25:17). But the people of Edom were not to be injured, either in their persons or property. And although the approach of so vast a nomadic horde as the Israelites naturally created apprehension, they were to take no advantage of the prevailing terror to compel the Edomites to accept whatever terms they imposed. They were merely to pass "through" or along their border, and to buy meat and water of them for money (De 2:6). The people, kinder than their king, did sell them bread, meat, fruits, and water in their passage along their border (De 2:29), in the same manner as the Syrian caravan of Mecca is now supplied by the people of the same mountains, who meet the pilgrims as at a fair or market on the hadji route [Robinson]. Although the Israelites still enjoyed a daily supply of the manna, there was no prohibition against their eating other food when opportunity afforded. Only they were not to cherish an inordinate desire for it. Water is a scarce commodity and is often paid for by travellers in those parts. It was the more incumbent on the Israelites to do so, as, by the blessing of God, they possessed plenty of means to purchase, and the long-continued experience of the extraordinary goodness of God to them, should inspire such confidence in Him as would suppress the smallest thought of resorting to fraud or violence in supplying their wants. By God’s blessing thou art able to buy thy conveniences, and therefore thy theft and rapine will be inexcusable, because without any pretence of necessity.

He knoweth, Heb. he hath known, i.e. observed, or regarded with care and kindness, which that word oft notes, as Psalm 1:6 31:7; which experience of God’s singular goodness to thee, should make thee trust him still, and not use any indirect and unjust practices to procure. what thou wantest or desirest.

For the Lord thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thine hands,.... Had increased their cattle and substance, even though in a wilderness:

he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness; every step they took, and he owned them and prospered them in all things in which they were concerned:

these forty years the Lord thy God hath been with thee: not only to protect and defend them, but to provide all things necessary for them. This number of years was not fully completed, but the round number is given instead of the broken one:

thou hast lacked nothing: and since they had wherewith to pay for their food and drink, they are directed to do it, and not take anything from the Edomites in an unjust way; nor make themselves look poor when they were rich, as Jarchi says.

For the LORD thy God hath {d} blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.

(d) And given you means, with which you may make recompence: also God will direct you by his providence, as he has done.

7. For the Lord thy God hath blessed thee] Another formula recurrent in D.

in all the work of thy hand] Some Heb. MSS, LXX, Sam., hands: another recurrent phrase.

he hath known thy walking] Rather hath cared for. The Heb. verb to know means frequently, especially in a religious connection, to put the mind to, attend to, regard; cp. Genesis 39:6 : Potiphar had no thought or care, about anything in Joseph’s charge, 1 Samuel 2:12; Proverbs 9:13; Proverbs 27:23; Job 35:15. See Book of the Twelve Pr., i. 321 f. But LXX read the verb here as imperative, consider thy walking.

these forty years] So exactly Deuteronomy 8:2; Deuteronomy 8:4, also in the Sg. address. The tradition that the time of the wandering was 40 years, stated by Amos 2:10; Amos 5:25, is common to D and P (Deuteronomy 1:3; Numbers 14:33; Numbers 32:13; cp. Numbers 33:38), also in editorial passages in JE, Joshua 5:6; Joshua 16:10. The Semites frequently reckoned by multiples of 4 and 40: the latter express many round numbers in O.T. chronology. Forty years seems to have been equivalent to a generation. That Israel was 40 years in the wilderness agrees with the tradition that a generation died out there. For the same equation in Babylonian chronology see Modern Criticism and the Preaching of the O.T., 90 f., n. 1.

This verse is the third in the Sg. address. Note that in harmony with other Sg. passages it affirms the well-being of Israel during the 40 years, while the Pl. passages emphasise their dangers and losses. It is not necessary to the context, and therefore regarded as a later insertion. Yet it would not be unnatural for the same writer to change from Pl. to Sg. when taking a conjunct view of Israel’s experience.

Verse 7. - They were enabled to buy what they required - For the Lord thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand; their flocks and herds had increased during their wanderings (Numbers 32:1); and they may have gained wealth by cultivating the soil at places where they had made a lengthened sojourn, or by traffic with the tribes of the desert with whom they came in contact. Jehovah their God had known - had noted, observed, had regard to, had cared for (setup. Genesis 39:6; Psalm 1:6; Proverbs 27:23) - their walking - their peregrinations - through this great wilderness; he had been their Leader, had chosen for them places to rest in, had provided food for them, and had been their Protector and Guardian all through the forty years of their pilgrimage, so that they had wanted for nothing (Deuteronomy 1:33; Deuteronomy 8:2, 3, 15, 16; comp. Psalm 23:1-6). "He sufficiently supplied what was needful for thee when thou walkedst through this great wilderness; for these forty years the Word of Jah thy God hath sustained thee; nor hath anything been wanting to thee" (Chaldee Paraphrase). Forty years (Numbers 14:33). "From the fifteenth day of the first month in which their fathers came out of Egypt (Numbers 33:3), to the tenth day of the same month in which they went over Jordan into Canaan (Joshua 4:19), there were but five days wanting of complete forty years" (Patrick). Deuteronomy 2:7And this they were able to do, because the Lord had blessed them in all the work of their hand, i.e., not merely in the rearing of flocks and herds, which they had carried on in the desert (Exodus 19:13; Exodus 34:3; Numbers 20:19; Numbers 32:1.), but in all that they did for a living; whether, for example, when stopping for a long time in the same place of encampment, they sowed in suitable spots and reaped, or whether they sold the produce of their toil and skill to the Arabs of the desert. "He hath observed thy going through this great desert" (ידע, to know, then to trouble oneself, Genesis 39:6; to observe carefully, Proverbs 27:23; Psalm 1:6); and He has not suffered thee to want anything for forty years, but as often as want has occurred, He has miraculously provided for every necessity.
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