Deuteronomy 7:12
Why it shall come to pass, if you listen to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD your God shall keep to you the covenant and the mercy which he swore to your fathers:
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(12) At this point begins the third of the Hebrew divisions of the book.

If ye hearken.—Literally, as a return for your hearkening. (See Note on Deuteronomy 8:19.)

Deuteronomy 7:12-13. The covenant and the mercy — That is, the covenant of mercy, which he, out of his own mere grace, made with them. He will love thee — He will continue to love thee, and to manifest his love to thee.7:12-26 We are in danger of having fellowship with the works of darkness if we take pleasure in fellowship with those who do such works. Whatever brings us into a snare, brings us under a curse. Let us be constant to our duty, and we cannot question the constancy of God's mercy. Diseases are God's servants; they go where he sends them, and do what he bids them. It is therefore good for the health of our bodies, thoroughly to mortify the sin of our souls; which is our rule of duty. Yet sin is never totally destroyed in this world; and it actually prevails in us much more than it would do, if we were watchful and diligent. In all this the Lord acts according to the counsel of his own will; but that counsel being hid from us, forms no excuse for our sloth and negligence, of which it is in no degree the cause. We must not think, that because the deliverance of the church, and the destruction of the enemies of the soul, are not done immediately, therefore they will never be done. God will do his own work in his own method and time; and we may be sure that they are always the best. Thus corruption is driven out of the hearts of believers by little and little. The work of sanctification is carried on gradually; but at length there will be a complete victory. Pride, security, and other sins that are common effects of prosperity, are enemies more dangerous than beasts of the field, and more apt to increase upon us.Repayeth them that hate him to their face - i. e., punishes His enemies in their own proper persons. 11-26. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day—In the covenant into which God entered with Israel, He promised to bestow upon them a variety of blessings so long as they continued obedient to Him as their heavenly King. He pledged His veracity that His infinite perfections would be exerted for this purpose, as well as for delivering them from every evil to which, as a people, they would be exposed. That people accordingly were truly happy as a nation, and found every promise which the faithful God made to them amply fulfilled, so long as they adhered to that obedience which was required of them. See a beautiful illustration of this in Ps 144:12-15. i.e. The covenant of mercy or grace, which he out of his own mere grace made with them. A figure called hendiaduo. Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep and do them,.... Attentively listen to the declaration made of them, and be careful to observe them:

that the Lord thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers; to bring them into the land of Canaan, and continue them in it; yea, to send the Messiah to them, and bring him the salvation of Israel out of Zion; see Luke 1:68.

Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the {f} mercy which he sware unto thy fathers:

(f) This covenant is grounded in his free grace: therefore in recompensing their obedience, he respects his mercy and not their merits.

12. And it shall come to pass] Cp. Deuteronomy 6:10.

because] better than A.V. if; Heb. means in consequence of, or as a reward for.

ye hearken … and do them] Another Pl. clause and superfluous. The next clause resuming the Sg. follows suitably Deuteronomy 7:11.

Jehovah thy God shall keep with thee the covenant, etc.] Expansion of Deuteronomy 7:9, q.v.

Verse 12. - On the other hand, obedience would bring blessing. Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken. The Hebrew conveys the idea of a reward as consequent on their hearkening; as there would be retribution for transgression, so would there be recompense for obedience. The Hebrew word represented by "wherefore" in the Authorized Version (עֵקֶב, from עָקֵב, the heel) denotes that which comes after, the end or last of anything (Psalm 119:33, 112), hence recompense, reward, wages, as the end or result of acting (Psalm 19:11; Psalm 40:15; Isaiah 5:23, etc.). The clause might, therefore, be translated, As a consequence or recompense of hearkening.... it shall be that, &c. Judgments, i.e. rights, rightful claims (מִשְׁפֻטִים). God, as the Great King, has his rights, and these are to be rendered to him by his subjects and servants. The mercy, i.e. the kindness, the favor (חֶסֶד), showed in the promises which God gave to their fathers, and engaged by covenant to fulfill. They were bound to do this by virtue of their election as a holy nation, the nation of possession, which Jehovah had singled out from all other nations, and brought out of the bondage of Egypt, not because of its greatness, but from love to them, and for the sake of the oath given to the fathers. This exalted honour Israel was not to cast away by apostasy from the Lord. It was founded upon the word of the Lord in Exodus 19:5-6, which Moses brought to the recollection of the people, and expressly and emphatically developed. "Not because of your multitude before all nations (because ye were more numerous than all other nations) hath Jehovah turned to you in love (חשׁק, to bind oneself with, to hang upon a person, out of love), for ye are the littleness of all nations" (the least numerous). Moses could say this to Israel with reference to its descent from Abraham, whom God chose as the one man out of all the world, whilst nations, states, and kingdoms had already been formed all around (Baumgarten). "But because Jehovah loved you, and kept His oath which He had sworn to the fathers, He hath brought you out," etc. Instead of saying, He hath chosen you out of love to your fathers, as in Deuteronomy 4:37, Moses brings out in this place love to the people of Israel as the divine motive, not for choosing Israel, but for leading it out and delivering it from the slave-house of Egypt, by which God had practically carried out the election of the people, that He might thereby allure the Israelites to a reciprocity of love.
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