Deuteronomy 26:18
And the LORD has avouched you this day to be his peculiar people, as he has promised you, and that you should keep all his commandments;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
26:16-19 Moses here enforces the precepts. They are God's laws, therefore thou shalt do them, to that end were they given thee; do them, and dispute them not; do them, and draw not back; do them, not carelessly and hypocritically, but with thy heart and soul, thy whole heart and thy whole soul. We forswear ourselves, and break the most sacred engagement, if, when we have taken the Lord to be our God, we do not make conscience of obeying his commands. We are elected to obedience, 1Pe 1:2; chosen that we should be holy, Eph 1:4; purified a peculiar people, that we might not only do good works, but be zealous in them, Tit 2:14. Holiness is true honour, and the only way to everlasting honour.Thou hast avouched - literally, "made to say:" so also in the next verse. The sense is: "Thou hast given occasion to the Lord to say that He is thy God," i. e. by promising that He shall be so. Compare Exodus 24:7; Joshua 24:14-25, 14. I have not eaten thereof in my mourning—in a season of sorrow, which brought defilement on sacred things; under a pretense of poverty, and grudging to give any away to the poor.

neither … for any unclean use—that is, any common purpose, different from what God had appointed and which would have been a desecration of it.

nor given ought thereof for the dead—on any funeral service, or, to an idol, which is a dead thing.

Hath owned thee for such before all the world by eminent and glorious communications and manifestations of his power and grace and favour in time and for thee, by a solemn entering into covenant with thee, and giving peculiar laws, promises, and privileges to thee above all mankind. That thou shouldest keep all his commandments; which is here mentioned as an act of God’s, because though this be man’s duty, yet it is the work of’ God’s grace, that he will vouchsafe to give us such commands, that he doth require and will accept of our obedience to them, and that we have any power or will to obey them, Ezekiel 36:26,27. And the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people,.... Affirmed and declared them to be his special people, above all people on the face of the earth, and that they were looked upon and considered by him as his jewels, his peculiar treasure:

as he hath promised thee; on condition of their obedience to him, as he did in Exodus 19:5,

and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; at the same time declared this as his will, that they should observe all his precepts, to which they were laid under obligation by the special favour and peculiar privileges he bestowed upon them, Deuteronomy 7:6. The Targums interpret both these verses of the people of Israel choosing and making the Lord their King, and of his being made King over them; and so it respects their peculiar form of civil government, being a theocracy. The Lord's people in Christ are a peculiar people; they are distinct from all people, and are peculiarly regarded by him; they are the objects of his peculiar love, and receive peculiar favours from him; and whom having chosen and redeemed, he calls by his special grace, and witnesses their special relation to him by his Spirit; which grace obliges and excites them to a cheerful obedience to his commands.

{o} And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;

(o) Signifying that there is a mutual bond between God and his people.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. and Jehovah hath caused thee to say this day that thou wilt be unto him a peculiar people … and wilt keep all his commandments] Elsewhere in D the singular relation of Israel to Jehovah is stated as His promise and act, Deuteronomy 7:6, q.v., Deuteronomy 14:2; cp. Deuteronomy 27:9, Deuteronomy 29:13 (12). Here is the converse, the people’s engagement to be such, as in 2 Kings 11:17. Israel becomes His peculiar people by keeping all His commandments; that is the main thing! The phrase, as he hath said to thee, though unnecessary, is not the ‘senseless addition,’ which Steuern, alleges.Verse 18. - So, on the other hand, God had given Israel occasion to say that they were his special people, his treasured possession (cf. Exodus 19:5, 6), whose it was, as such, to keep all his commandments, and to whom he would be faithful to fulfill all that he had promised. The delivery of the tithes, like the presentation of the first-fruits, was also to be sanctified by prayer before the Lord. It is true that only a prayer after taking the second tithe in the third year is commanded here; but that is simply because this tithe was appropriated everywhere throughout the land to festal meals for the poor and destitute (Deuteronomy 14:28), when prayer before the Lord would not follow per analogiam from the previous injunction concerning the presentation of first-fruits, as it would in the case of the tithes with which sacrificial meals were prepared at the sanctuary (Deuteronomy 14:22.). לעשׂר is the infinitive Hiphil for להעשׂר, as in Nehemiah 10:39 (on this form, vid., Ges. 53, 3 Anm. 2 and 7, and Ew. 131, b. and 244, b.). "Saying before the Lord" does not denote prayer in the sanctuary (at the tabernacle), but, as in Genesis 27:7, simply prayer before God the omnipresent One, who is enthroned in heaven (Deuteronomy 26:15), and blesses His people from above from His holy habitation. The declaration of having fulfilled the commandments of God refers primarily to the directions concerning the tithes, and was such a rendering of an account as springs from the consciousness that a man very easily transgresses the commandments of God, and has nothing in common with the blindness of pharisaic self-righteousness "I have cleaned out the holy out of my house:" the holy is that which is sanctified to God, that which belongs to the Lord and His servants, as in Leviticus 21:22. בּער signifies not only to remove, but to clean out, wipe out. That which was sanctified to God appeared as a debt, which was to be wiped out of a man's house (Schultz).
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