Deuteronomy 5:7
You shall have none other gods before me.
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(7) Thou shalt have none other gods before me.—Literally, upon my face, in addition to my presence; or, as Rashi says, “in any place where I am, that is, in the whole world.” “Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit, or whither shall I flee from Thy face?” Idols are, at the very best, only masks which man puts upon the face of God, insulting to His dignity, and tending to conceal Him from our view.

(8,9) These two verses should be closely connected, according to the idiom of the original, “Thou shalt not make to thyself any of these things for the purpose of bowing down to them or worshipping them.”

Deuteronomy 5:7. Thou shalt have no other gods before me — Hast thou worshipped God in spirit and in truth? Hast thou made him the end of all thy actions? Hast thou sought for any happiness in preference to the knowledge and love of God? Dost thou experimentally know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent? Dost thou love God? Dost thou love him with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, so as to love nothing else but in that manner and degree which tends to increase thy love of him? Hast thou found happiness in God? Is he the desire of thine eyes, the joy of thy heart? If not, thou hast other gods before him.5:6-22 There is some variation here from Ex 20 as between the Lord's prayer in Mt 6 and Lu 11. It is more necessary that we tie ourselves to the things, than to the words unalterably. The original reason for hallowing the sabbath, taken from God's resting from the work of creation on the seventh day, is not here mentioned. Though this ever remains in force, it is not the only reason. Here it is taken from Israel's deliverance out of Egypt; for that was typical of our redemption by Jesus Christ, in remembrance of which the Christian sabbath was to be observed. In the resurrection of Christ we were brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God, with a mighty hand, and an outstretched arm. How sweet is it to a soul truly distressed under the terrors of a broken law, to hear the mild and soul-reviving language of the gospel!Compare Exodus 20 and notes.

Moses here adopts the Ten Words as a ground from which he may proceed to reprove, warn, and exhort; and repeats them, with a certain measure of freedom and adaptation. Our Lord Mark 10:19 and Paul Ephesians 6:2-3 deal similarly with the same subject. Speaker and hearers recognized, however, a statutory and authoritative form of the laws in question, which, because it was familiar to both parties, needed not to be reproduced with verbal fidelity.

6-20. I am the Lord thy God—The word "Lord" is expressive of authority or dominion; and God, who by natural claim as well as by covenant relation was entitled to exercise supremacy over His people Israel, had a sovereign right to establish laws for their government. [See on [115]Ex 20:2.] The commandments which follow are, with a few slight verbal alterations, the same as formerly recorded (Ex 20:1-17), and in some of them there is a distinct reference to that promulgation. No text from Poole on this verse. I am the Lord thy God,.... This is the preface to the ten commandments, and is the same with that in Exodus 20:2; see Gill on Exodus 20:2, and those commands are here delivered in the same order, and pretty near in the same words, with a little variation, and a few additions; which I shall only observe, and refer to Exodus 20:1 for the sense of the various laws. Thou shalt have none {c} other gods before me.

(c) God binds us to serve him only without superstition and idolatry.

7. The First Commandment as in Exodus 20:3.

in front of me] a strong phrase, but of what exact degree of strength is doubtful. Literally over against my face, or presence. By D it is elsewhere (Deuteronomy 21:16) taken as in precedence, or preference, to; but in Job 16:14 it merely means in addition to. Calvin regards in preference to as ‘too frigid’ here, not sufficiently exclusive of other gods; and takes the idea to be ‘that God will not have companions obtruded upon Him.’ Others expand ‘as if to provoke Him’ or ‘dare Him to His face.’ Unless some sense of rivalry is meant the phrase is superfluous to the rest of the commandment; and the selection of the strongest of three kindred forms (‘al-pânai, ’eth-p., and lephânai) suggests some idea of affronting or provoking (cf. Deuteronomy 5:9). There is no statement here as to the real existence of other gods: real or unreal Israel is not to have them. Unlike its successors this commandment is without expansion, probably because Deuteronomy 5:9 b, 10 were intended to cover both the first and second commandments; unless indeed (as some suggest) they originally belonged to the first.Verses 7-21. - Repetition of the Ten Commandments. On these, as the basis of the covenant, the whole legislation rests, and therefore a rehearsal of them is a fitting introduction to a repetition and enforcement of the laws of the theocracy. Some differences appear between the statement of the "ten words," as given here and as given in Exodus 20. It is chiefly in the fourth commandment that these are to be found. It begins here with "remember" for "keep;" reference is made to the command of God as sanctioning the Sabbath (ver. 12), which is omitted in Exodus; a fuller description of the animals to be exempted from work on that day is given (ver. 14); the words, "that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou" are added (ver. 14); and in place of a reference to the resting of God after the Creation as the ground of the Sabbath institute, as in Exodus, there is here a reference to the deliverance of the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt as a reason why the Lord commanded them to keep the Sabbath day (ver. 15). In the fifth commandment there are two additions here-the one of the words," as Jehovah thy God hath commanded thee," and the other of the words, "that it may go well with thee" (ver. 16). In the tenth commandment, the first two clauses are transposed, "desire" appears in place of "covet" in relation to "wife," and "field" is added to the specification of objects (ver. 21). These differences are of little moment. The only one demanding notice is that in the fourth commandment, where different reasons are assigned for the ordinance of the Sabbath. The two reasons assigned, however, are perfectly compatible; the one is fundamental and universally applicable, the other is subsidiary and special in its application; the one is a reason why the Sabbath was originally instituted and is for all men, the other is a reason why it was specially and formally instituted in Israel and was especially memorable to that people. In a popular address to them it seems fitting that the latter rather than the former should be the one adduced. As a memorial of their deliverance from Egypt, the Sabbath was all important to them, for by it they were constantly reminded that "they were thereby freed from the dominion of the world to be a peculiar possession of Jehovah, and so amid the toil and trouble of the world had part in the holy rest of their God" (Baumgarten). It was also fitting in a recapitulatory address that special emphasis should be laid on the fact that what the Law enunciated was what "the Lord had commanded." The addition of "field" in the tenth commandment is probably due to the fact that now, the occupation and division of the land having begun, the people were about to have, what they had not before - each his own property in land. In the tenth commandment, also, there is a difference in the two accounts worthy of notice. In Deuteronomy, "field" is added to the enumeration of objects not to be coveted, and the "wife" is put first and apart, while in Exodus the "house" precedes the "wife" and the latter ranks with the rest. In Deuteronomy also this separation of the wife is emphasized by a change of the verb: "Neither shalt thou desire (תַּחְמֹד) thy neighbor's wife, neither shalt thou covet (תִּתְאַוָּה) thy neighbor's house," etc. Verses 7-16. - FIRST TABLE OF THE LAW praecepta pietatis. Verse 7. - In this, the first commandment, the great principle and basis of all true religion is asserted - monotheism, as opposed to polytheism or pantheism There is but one God, and that God is Jehovah, the self-existent and eternal, who yet has personal relations with men. Deuteronomy 5:1-5 form the introduction, and point out the importance and great significance of the exposition which follows. Hence, instead of the simple sentence "And Moses said," we have the more formal statement "And Moses called all Israel, and said to them." The great significance of the laws and rights about to be set before them, consisted in the fact that they contained the covenant of Jehovah with Israel.
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