Your little ones, your wives, and your stranger that is in your camp, from the hewer of your wood to the drawer of your water:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Your little ones.—Compare St. Peter’s words on the day of Pentecost: “The promise is unto you and to your children” (Acts 2:39). The covenant with Abraham was that the Almighty would be a God to him and to his seed (Genesis 17:7), including the child of eight days old (Deuteronomy 29:12), and the slave (Deuteronomy 29:13), who were to receive the sign of His covenant in their flesh for an everlasting covenant.
From the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water.—From this Rashi infers that “there were Canaanites who became proselytes in the time of Moses, in the same way as the Gibeonites in the days of Joshua.” It may have been so. And we know that there were many female captives of the Midianites who became slaves. (See Numbers 31)Deuteronomy 29:15 by those present; nor were the servants and proselytes to be excluded (compare Acts 2:39). The text is fairly alleged in justification of the Church's practice of admitting little ones into covenant with God by Baptism, and accepting promises made on their behalf by sponsors. Thy stranger; such strangers as had embraced their religion.
From the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water; all sorts of persons, yea, even the meanest of them, such as these were, Joshua 9:27, all sorts and ranks of servants.
and thy stranger that is in thy camp; not only the proselyte of righteousness, who embraced the Jewish religion entirely, but the proselyte of the gate, who was admitted to dwell among them, having renounced idolatry. These standing with the Israelites, when this covenant was made, has respect to the Gentiles, who as well as the Jews have an interest in the covenant of grace made with Christ; in whom there is, neither Jew nor Gentile, any difference between them:
from the hewer of thy wood to the drawer of thy water; that hewed wood for firing and other uses, and drew water for the camp; who were generally mean persons, and perhaps some that came out of Egypt with them are here intended; however, mean and abject persons are meant, and signifies that none should be excluded from a concern in this solemn affair on account of their meanness.Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verses 11-14. - The covenant was a national engagement, and as such included not only the adults and existing generation, but the little ones, the strangers resident in Israel, the lowest menial servants, that is, all the elements of which the nation was composed, as well as their posterity in coming, generations. That thou shouldest enter into covenant. The expression in the Hebrew is a strong one, indicating not a mere formal engagement, but a going thoroughly into the covenant; the phrase is used of the sword going through the land (Leviticus 26:6), and of one going into the pit (Job 33:28). Into his oath. Covenants were confirmed by oath (Genesis 26:28; Hebrews 6:17); hence in Scripture the covenant of God is sometimes called his oath (ver. 14; 1 Chronicles 16:16; Hebrews 7:28). (On ver. 13, cf. Deuteronomy 28:9; Deuteronomy 27:9; Exodus 19:5, 6.) Deuteronomy 11:14. (On Deuteronomy 29:5, Deuteronomy 29:6, vid., Deuteronomy 8:3-4; on Deuteronomy 29:7, vid., Deuteronomy 2:26., and Deuteronomy 3:1. and Deuteronomy 3:12.).
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