Gather the people together, men and women, and children, and your stranger that is within your gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Gather the people together; not into one place, where all could not hear, but into divers assemblies or synagogues.
Women hereby are required to go to Jerusalem at this solemnity, as they were permitted to do in other solemnities, when the males only were enjoined to go, Exodus 23:17.
Children, to wit, such of them as could understand, as appears from Nehemiah 8:2,3.
Thy stranger, i.e. the proselytes, though others also were admitted.
That they may learn; that they may then certainly and constantly do so, though they had also other opportunities to do so, as upon the sabbath days, Acts 15:21, and other solemn feasts, yea, even in their private houses. Deuteronomy 31:12; "gather the people", &c. and as it could not be done when it happened on the sabbath day, the reading of the section was put off to the day following:
and thy stranger that is within thy gates; not only the proselyte of righteousness, but the proselyte of the gate that renounced idolatry, for his further conviction and thorough conversion to the religion of the true God; or, as the Targum of Jonathan expresses it, that they might see the honour and glory of the law. The end is more fully expressed as follows:
that they may hear; all the laws which God had given:
and that they may learn; and attain unto the true knowledge and right understanding of them:
and fear the Lord your God; serve and worship him internally and externally, according to these laws:
and observe to do all the words of this law; so take notice of them as to put them in practice; and reading them in such a solemn and reverent manner made them the more servable, and raised the greater attention to them, to the importance of them; otherwise they were read in their families, and on sabbath days in their synagogues; see Deuteronomy 6:7 Acts 13:15.Gather the people together, men and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. Assemble the people] Again Sg. confirmed by Sam. though LXX codd. have Pl. Cp. Deuteronomy 4:10, assemble me the people. On assemble see Deuteronomy 5:22. It is not necessary to take Assemble … gates as a later intrusion (Marti) on the grounds that the command to assemble the people is out of order after the previous v., for this may be explained by the looseness of the writer’s style and by the writer’s use of the Sg., for as we have seen there are reasons for supposing that this is original. On men, women … gates see Deuteronomy 29:11.
hear … learn … fear, etc.] See Deuteronomy 4:10, Deuteronomy 14:23, Deuteronomy 17:19.
observe to do] Deuteronomy 5:1; all the words of this law, Deuteronomy 5:9.Deuteronomy 1:21; Deuteronomy 20:3).
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