And he said to them, Set your hearts to all the words which I testify among you this day, which you shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Set your hearts unto all the words.—Rashi compares Ezekiel 40:4 : “Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shew thee.”
Which ye shall command.—Rather, that ye may command your children to observe to do all the words of this law. Obviously the knowledge of the law would depend very much on personal instruction for some time to come.Deuteronomy 32:46-47. Set your hearts unto all the words, &c. — Having concluded his prophetic song or hymn, he addressed himself afresh to them in a pathetical exhortation, to weigh and remember well the contents of it, and seriously to improve it, in a hearty and careful observance of the laws he had given them, and by training up their children in the same obedience. It is not a vain thing — It is not an unprofitable or contemptible work I advise you to do, but well worthy of your most serious care. It is your life — Temporal, spiritual, and eternal; the way to, and means of, happiness here and hereafter.
set your hearts to all the words which I testify among you this day; it was not enough to hear them, but they were to lay them up in their hearts, and retain them in their memories; and not only so, but reflect on them in their minds, and closely apply to the consideration of them, and get the true knowledge and sense of them, and put it in practice:
which ye shall command your children to observe, to do all the words of this law; which shows that the exhortation does not respect the song only, but the whole law delivered in this book; which they were not only to attend to themselves, but to transmit to their children, and enjoin them the observance of, that so religion might be perpetuated in their posterity.And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)46. Set your heart] So Exodus 9:21, and with another vb Deuteronomy 7:23. On heart = mind see Deuteronomy 6:6, Deuteronomy 11:18, Deuteronomy 29:4.
I testify against you] See on Deuteronomy 8:19.
that ye may command them to your children] So Heb. and not as in R.V. The idiom is also found in Deuteronomy 4:10. On D’s care for the young see Deuteronomy 6:7.
to observe to do] For this formula see on Deuteronomy 4:6.Verse 46. - (Cf. Deuteronomy 6:7; Deuteronomy 11:19.) Genesis 14:22). Here, as in Exodus 6:8 and Numbers 14:30, it is used anthropomorphically of God, who is in heaven, and can swear by no greater than Himself (vid., Isaiah 45:23; Jeremiah 22:5; Hebrews 6:17). The oath follows in Deuteronomy 32:41 and Deuteronomy 32:42. אם, however, is not the particle employed in swearing, which has a negative meaning (vid., Genesis 14:23), but is conditional, and introduces the protasis. As the avenger of His people upon their foes, the Lord is represented as a warlike hero, who whets His sword, and has a quiver filled with arrows (as in Psalm 7:13). "As long as the Church has to make war upon the world, the flesh, and the devil, it needs a warlike head" (Schultz). חרב בּרק, the flash of the sword, i.e., the flashing sword (vid., Genesis 3:24; Nahum 3:3; Habakkuk 3:11). In the next clause, "and My hand grasps judgment," mishpat (judgment) does not mean punishment or destruction hurled by God upon His foes, nor the weapons employed in the execution of judgment, but judgment is introduced poetically as the thing which God takes in hand for the purpose of carrying it out. נקם השׁיב, to lead back vengeance, i.e., to repay it. Punishment is retribution for evil done. By the enemies and haters of Jehovah, we need not understand simply the heathen enemies of the Israelites, for the ungodly in Israel were enemies of God quite as much as the ungodly heathen. If it is evident from Deuteronomy 32:25-27, where God is spoken of as punishing Israel to the utmost when it had fallen into idolatry, but not utterly destroying it, that the punishment which God would inflict would also fall upon the heathen, who would have made an end of Israel; it is no less apparent from Deuteronomy 32:37 and Deuteronomy 32:38, especially from the appeal in Deuteronomy 32:38, Let your idols arise and help you (Deuteronomy 32:38), which is addressed, as all admit, to the idolatrous Israelites, and not to the heathen, that those Israelites who had made worthless idols their rock would be exposed to the vengeance and retribution of the Lord. In Deuteronomy 32:42 the figure of the warrior is revived, and the judgment of God is carried out still further under this figure. Of the four different clauses in this verse, the third is related to the first, and the fourth to the second. God would make His arrows drunk with the blood not only of the slain, but also of the captives, whose lives are generally spared, but were not to be spared in this judgment. This sword would eat flesh of the hairy head of the foe. The edge of the sword is represented poetically as the mouth with which it eats (2 Samuel 2:26; 2 Samuel 18:8, etc.); "the sword is said to devour bodies when it slays them by piercing" (Ges. thes. p. 1088). פּרעות, from פּרע, a luxuriant, uncut growth of hair (Numbers 6:5; see at Leviticus 10:6). The hairy head is not a figure used to denote the "wild and cruel foe" (Knobel), but a luxuriant abundance of strength, and the indomitable pride of the foe, who had grown fat and forgotten his Creator (Deuteronomy 32:15). This explanation is confirmed by Psalm 68:22; whereas the rendering ἄρχοντες, princes, leaders, which is given in the Septuagint, has no foundation in the language itself, and no tenable support in Judges 5:2.
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