Deuteronomy 29:3
The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles:
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29:1-9 Both former mercies, and fresh mercies, should be thought on by us as motives to obedience. The hearing ear, and seeing eye, and the understanding heart, are the gift of God. All that have them, have them from him. God gives not only food and raiment, but wealth and large possessions, to many to whom he does not give grace. Many enjoy the gifts, who have not hearts to perceive the Giver, nor the true design and use of the gifts. We are bound, in gratitude and interest, as well as in duty and faithfulness, to keep the words of the covenant.This and the following chapter contain the address of Moses to the people on the solemn renewal of the covenant. Consult the marginal references for proof of historical statements or explanation of obscure words. 2. Moses called unto all Israel, … Ye have seen all that the Lord did, &c.—This appeal to the experience of the people, though made generally, was applicable only to that portion of them who had been very young at the period of the Exodus, and who remembered the marvellous transactions that preceded and followed that era. Yet, alas! those wonderful events made no good impression upon them (De 29:4). They were strangers to that grace of wisdom which is liberally given to all who ask it; and their insensibility was all the more inexcusable that so many miracles had been performed which might have led to a certain conviction of the presence and the power of God with them. The preservation of their clothes and shoes, the supply of daily food and fresh water—these continued without interruption or diminution during so many years' sojourn in the desert. They were miracles which unmistakably proclaimed the immediate hand of God and were performed for the express purpose of training them to a practical knowledge of, and habitual confidence in, Him. Their experience of this extraordinary goodness and care, together with their remembrance of the brilliant successes by which, with little exertion or loss on their part, God enabled them to acquire the valuable territory on which they stood, is mentioned again to enforce a faithful adherence to the covenant, as the direct and sure means of obtaining its promised blessings. No text from Poole on this verse.

The great temptations which thine eyes have seen,.... Or trials, the ten plagues which tried the Egyptians, whether they would let Israel go; and tried the Israelites, whether they would believe in the Lord, and trust in his almighty power to deliver them:

the signs and those great miracles: as the said plagues were such as were beyond the power of nature to produce, and which only Omnipotence could really effect.

The {c} great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles:

(c) The proofs of my power.

3. tests … signs … portents] See on Deuteronomy 4:34, Deuteronomy 7:19. Which thine eyes saw, Deuteronomy 4:9, Deuteronomy 7:19, Deuteronomy 10:21; the Sg. betrays the composite nature of the passage.

Deuteronomy 29:3The introduction in Deuteronomy 29:2 resembles that in Deuteronomy 5:1. "All Israel" is the nation in all its members (see Deuteronomy 29:10, Deuteronomy 29:11). - Israel had no doubt seen the mighty acts of the Lord in Egypt (Deuteronomy 29:2 and Deuteronomy 29:3; cf. Deuteronomy 4:34; Deuteronomy 7:19), but Jehovah had not given them a heart, i.e., understanding, to perceive, eyes to see, and ears to hear, until this day. With this complaint, Moses does not intend to excuse the previous want of susceptibility on the part of the nation to the manifestations of grace on the part of the Lord, but simply to explain the necessity for the repeated allusion to the gracious acts of God, and to urge the people to lay them truly to heart. "By reproving the dulness of the past, he would stimulate them to a desire to understand: just as if he had said, that for a long time they had been insensible to so many miracles, and therefore they ought not to delay any longer, but to arouse themselves to hearken better unto God" (Calvin). The Lord had not yet given the people an understanding heart, because the people had not yet asked for it, simply because the need of it was not felt (cf. Deuteronomy 4:26).
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