Deuteronomy 4:14
And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might do them in the land where you go over to possess it.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Deuteronomy 4:14. To teach you statutes and judgments — This relates to the rest of the laws which God gave to Moses, immediately after he himself had delivered to them the ten commandments, (Exodus 21.,) it being the people’s desire that God would communicate to them the rest of his will by Moses.4:1-23 The power and love of God to Israel are here made the ground and reason of a number of cautions and serious warnings; and although there is much reference to their national covenant, yet all may be applied to those who live under the gospel. What are laws made for but to be observed and obeyed? Our obedience as individuals cannot merit salvation; but it is the only evidence that we are partakers of the gift of God, which is eternal life through Jesus Christ, Considering how many temptations we are compassed with, and what corrupt desires we have in our bosoms, we have great need to keep our hearts with all diligence. Those cannot walk aright, who walk carelessly. Moses charges particularly to take heed of the sin of idolatry. He shows how weak the temptation would be to those who thought aright; for these pretended gods, the sun, moon, and stars, were only blessings which the Lord their God had imparted to all nations. It is absurd to worship them; shall we serve those that were made to serve us? Take heed lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God. We must take heed lest at any time we forget our religion. Care, caution, and watchfulness, are helps against a bad memory.Hero worship exhibited itself in the practice of setting up images of human form as household gods (Penates, compare Genesis 31:19; Genesis 35:2), or as local and civic divinities: a practice forbidden by Deuteronomy 4:16. Nature worship in its baser shapes is seen in the Egyptian idolatry of animals and animal figures, and is condemned in Deuteronomy 4:17-18 : while its less ignoble flight, the worship of the sun, moon, and stars, is forbidden in Deuteronomy 4:19. The great legislator may be regarded as taking in the passage before us a complete and comprehensive survey of the various forms of idolatrous and corrupt worship practiced by the surrounding Oriental nations, and as particularly and successively forbidding them every one. De 4:14-40. A Particular Dissuasive against Idolatry. Statutes and judgments, i.e. the ceremonial and judicial laws, which are here distinguished from the moral, or the ten commandments, Deu 4:13. And the Lord commanded me at that time,.... When the ten commandments were delivered on Mount Sinai, and Moses was ordered to come up to God in the mount:

to teach you statutes and judgments; laws ceremonial and judicial, besides the ten commands given them:

that ye may do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it; the land of Canaan, which was on the other side of Jordan, and over which they must go in order to possess it; and when they came there, they were to hold the possession of it by attending to those laws which forbad the sins for which the old inhabitants of it were expelled out of it; and besides these, there were also several laws, both ceremonial and judicial, which were to be peculiarly observed in the land, as well as others they were obliged to do while without it.

And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. And the Lord commanded me at that time, etc.] Heb. emphasises me; these additional laws given through Moses appear, from the following phrase, to be the laws he is now about to publish, cp. Deuteronomy 4:5; yet the words at that time point to the inclusion with them of the laws at Ḥoreb, E, Exodus 20:22 to Exodus 23:33.

whither ye go over to possess it] A phrase peculiar to passages in the Pl. address. Contrast Deuteronomy 4:5. See on Deuteronomy 6:1.

Deuteronomy 4:13 f. form a slight digression from the main subject of 9–24, and are taken by some as a later intrusion. But this is to forget the general discursiveness of the author. See too next note.This mighty and attractive force of the wisdom of Israel consisted in the fact, that in Jehovah they possessed a God who was at hand with His help when they called upon Him (cf. Deuteronomy 33:29; Psalm 34:19; Psalm 145:18; 1 Kings 2:7), as none of the gods of the other nations had ever been; and that in the law of God they possessed such statutes and rights as the heathen never had. True right has its roots in God; and with the obscuration of the knowledge of God, law and right, with their divinely established foundations, are also shaken and obscured (cf. Romans 1:26-32).
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