Deuteronomy 6:1
Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:
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(1) These are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord . . . commanded . . . that ye might do them in the land.—After the Decalogue itself has been recapitulated, Moses proceeds to apply its principles to the conduct of Israel in the promised land. The first part of the application is more general, and concerns the relation of Israel to Jehovah, who has brought them from Egypt through the wilderness to the promised land. This portion concludes with Deuteronomy 11. The precepts that follow are particular, and concern the land of Israel viewed as the seat of (1) the worship and (2) the kingdom of Jehovah. But the whole discourse, from Deuteronomy 4:44 to the end of Deuteronomy 26 is presented to us as one unbroken whole. (See Introduction for a complete analysis.)

The commandments.—Literally, this is the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments. The “commandment” is the duty imposed on Israel by the covenant of the ten words—its application to their daily lives. This application includes (1) statutes, religious ordinances, or institutions; and (2) judgments, requirements, actual rules of behaviour. The two words “statutes” and “judgments,” in the original, may sometimes represent two aspects of the same thing. For example, the Passover is an ordinance, or “statute,” or, as we should say, an “institution.” The rules for its observance are “judgments,” or requirements. The thing itself is permanent; the rules for its observance may vary. It was originally eaten standing, and in haste. But after Israel was at rest, it was eaten by them reclining, and in an attitude of repose. Again, the moral law as a whole was eternal; but its application to the life of Israel was very different from its application to ourselves. The word here rendered “commandments” is now commonly employed by the Jews to signify any religious duty or good work.

6:1-3 In this and the like passages, the commandments seem to denote the moral law, the statues the ceremonial law, and the judgments the law by which the judges decided. Moses taught the people all that, and that only, which God commanded him to teach. Thus Christ's ministers are to teach his churches all he has commanded, neither more nor less, Mt 28:20. The fear of God in the heart will be the most powerful principle of obedience. It is highly desirable that not we only, but our children, and our children's children, may fear the Lord. Religion and righteousness advance and secure the prosperity of any people.Moses proceeds to set forth more particularly and to enforce the cardinal and essential doctrines of the Decalogue, the nature and attributes of God, and the fitting mode of honoring and worshipping Him. Two objects are indicated Deuteronomy 6:2-3, the glory of God and the welfare of man, as the grand aims that he has in view. CHAPTER 6

De 6:1-25. Moses Exhorts Israel to Hear God and to Keep His Commandments.

1-9. Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them … whither ye go to possess it—The grand design of all the institutions prescribed to Israel was to form a religious people, whose national character should be distinguished by that fear of the Lord their God which would ensure their divine observance of His worship and their steadfast obedience to His will. The basis of their religion was an acknowledgment of the unity of God with the understanding and the love of God in the heart (De 6:4, 5). Compared with the religious creed of all their contemporaries, how sound in principle, how elevated in character, how unlimited in the extent of its moral influence on the heart and habits of the people! Indeed, it is precisely the same basis on which rests the purer and more spiritual form of it which Christianity exhibits (Mt 22:37; Mr 12:30; Lu 10:27). Moreover, to help in keeping a sense of religion in their minds, it was commanded that its great principles should be carried about with them wherever they went, as well as meet their eyes every time they entered their homes. A further provision was made for the earnest inculcation of them on the minds of the young by a system of parental training, which was designed to associate religion with all the most familiar and oft-recurring scenes of domestic life. It is probable that Moses used the phraseology in De 6:7 merely in a figurative way, to signify assiduous, earnest, and frequent instruction; and perhaps he meant the metaphorical language in De 6:8 to be taken in the same sense also. But as the Israelites interpreted it literally, many writers suppose that a reference was made to a superstitious custom borrowed from the Egyptians, who wore jewels and ornamental trinkets on the forehead and arm, inscribed with certain words and sentences, as amulets to protect them from danger. These, it has been conjectured, Moses intended to supersede by substituting sentences of the law; and so the Hebrews understood him, for they have always considered the wearing of the Tephilim, or frontlets, a permanent obligation. The form was as follows: Four pieces of parchment, inscribed, the first with Ex 13:2-10; the second with Ex 13:11-16; the third with De 6:1-8; and the fourth with De 11:18-21, were enclosed in a square case or box of tough skin, on the side of which was placed the Hebrew letter (shin), and bound round the forehead with a thong or ribbon. When designed for the arms, those four texts were written on one slip of parchment, which, as well as the ink, was carefully prepared for the purpose. With regard to the other usage supposed to be alluded to, the ancient Egyptians had the lintels and imposts of their doors and gates inscribed with sentences indicative of a favorable omen [Wilkinson]; and this is still the case, for in Egypt and other Mohammedan countries, the front doors of houses (in Cairo, for instance) are painted red, white, and green, bearing conspicuously inscribed upon them such sentences from the Koran, as "God is the Creator," "God is one, and Mohammed is his prophet." Moses designed to turn this ancient and favorite custom to a better account and ordered that, instead of the former superstitious inscriptions, there should be written the words of God, persuading and enjoining the people to hold the laws in perpetual remembrance.The end of the commandment, obedience, Deu 6:1,2. He exhorts them thereto, Deu 6:3. The unity of the Divine essence asserted, Deu 6:4. The duty required of the Israelites, Deu 6:5; to love God, Deu 6:5,6; and teach their children, Deu 6:7; to use signs, as memorials of it, Deu 6:8,9. Not to forget God in prosperity, Deu 6:10-12. Not to worship other gods, Deu 6:13-15. Not to tempt God, Deu 6:16; but keep his commandments, Deu 6:17; and to transmit the knowledge of God’s works to their posterity, Deu 6:20-25.

No text from Poole on this verse.

Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments,.... Not the ten commandments repeated in the preceding chapter, but all others, whether moral, ceremonial, or judicial, afterwards declared; for what Moses now did was only to give a repetition and fresh declaration of such laws as he had before received, and delivered to the people; and so the Targum of Jonathan thus paraphrases this clause,"this is a declaration of the commandments, statutes, and judgments:"

which the Lord your God commanded to teach you; that is, which he commanded him, Moses, to teach them, though not fully expressed, as may be learned from Deuteronomy 4:1.

that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it; this is often observed, to imprint upon their minds a sense of their duty, even of obedience to the laws of God, which they were carefully and diligently to perform in the land of Canaan they were going into, and by which they were to hold their possession of it.

Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:
1. Not a fresh title, marking the beginning of a separate discourse, but the natural continuation of the discourse from the previous ch. and still couched in the Pl.

And this is] The conjunction not merely continues the discourse, but has an antithetic force, therefore not too strongly rendered now by A.V. and R.V. What at that time in Ḥoreb was delivered to Moses himself (as described in Deuteronomy 5:31) he now in Moab proceeds to present.

this is the commandment, the statutes, and the judgements] LXX these are the commandments, but Sam. confirms Heb., which is the more probable. Because this, not these, is used, and because the separate laws do not come till ch. 12, the words statutes and judgements are regarded by some as an editorial intrusion. But this is not certain: this with three objects following, and two of them in the plural, is grammatically possible in Heb., and Moses was now about to declare to the people in Moab not only the Charge or Miṣwah, but the statutes and judgements as well. The point is not important. What is clear is that Miṣwah or Charge (see Deuteronomy 5:31) is the enforcement of general principles underlying the Law, which proceeds till the end of ch. 11. For after this discourse is finished, the title in Deuteronomy 12:1, where the separate laws at last begin, drops the term Miṣwah and reads only these are the statutes and the judgements. Cp. Westphal, Sources du Pent. ii. 111.

whither ye go over to possess it] A formula distinctive of the Pl. passages occurring, besides here, Deuteronomy 4:14, Deuteronomy 11:8; Deuteronomy 11:11; whereas when the Sg. passages use the verb go over they add the Jordan, Deuteronomy 9:1, Deuteronomy 30:18, but elsewhere prefer the equivalent phrase, the land whither thou art entering (or thou art entering the land), Deuteronomy 6:18, Deuteronomy 7:1, Deuteronomy 9:5, Deuteronomy 11:10; Deuteronomy 11:29, Deuteronomy 12:29, Deuteronomy 18:9, Deuteronomy 23:20, Deuteronomy 28:21; Deuteronomy 28:63, Deuteronomy 30:16. The only verse in which this phrase occurs with the Pl. Isaiah 4:5 b (q.v.); while Deuteronomy 4:1 (Pl.) gives a variation.

Verses 1-3. - Some connect this with what goes before, and take it as a sort of epilogue to the preceding discourse; but it is rather to be regarded as introductory to what follows. Being about to enjoin upon the people the commandments they were to obey in the land on which they were about to enter, Moses prefaces this with a general announcement of what he was about to deliver, and with a statement of the reason for such deliverance, and of the benefits that would flow from the observance of what should be enjoined. Verse 1. - These are the commandments. In the Hebrew it is, This is the commandment, i.e. the sum and substance of the Divine enactment; equivalent to "the Law" (Deuteronomy 4:44). "The statutes and judgments" (rights) are in apposition to "the commandment," and explain it. Deuteronomy 6:1Announcement of the commandments which follow, with a statement of the reason for communicating them, and the beneficent results of their observance. המּצוה, that which is commanded, i.e., the substance of all that Jehovah had commanded, synonymous therefore with the Thorah (Deuteronomy 4:44). The words, "the statutes and the rights," are explanatory of and in apposition to "the commandment." These commandments Moses was to teach the Israelites to keep in the land which they were preparing to possess (cf. Deuteronomy 4:1).
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