Beware that you forget not the LORD your God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command you this day:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Beware that.—From Deuteronomy 8:11 to Deuteronomy 8:18 inclusive is one long sentence in the Hebrew, and may be taken thus: “Take heed to thyself lest thou forget Jehovah thy God (so that thou keep not, &c.); lest thou eat and be satisfied (while thou buildest, &c.); and thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget Jehovah (thy deliverer, thy leader, thy sustainer), and say in thine heart, My power, &c.; and (take heed) that thou remember Jehovah thy God, that it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth,” &c. The caution is prophetic, as may be seen by the following examples:—
“When Rehoboam had . . . strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him” (2Chronicles 12:1).
“But when he (Uzziah) was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction” (2Chronicles 26:16).
“Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up” (2Chronicles 32:25).
Other instances might easily be added.Genesis 4:22 note); and compare the description of mining operations in Job 28:1-11. Mining does not seem to have been extensively carried on by the Jews, though it certainly was by the Canaanite peoples displaced by them. Traces of iron and copper works have been discovered by modern travelers in Lebanon and many parts of the country; e. g., the district of Argob (see Deuteronomy 3:4 notes) contains iron-stone in abundance.
in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day; gave a repetition of, and in the name of God afresh enjoined them, even laws moral, ceremonial, and judicial, which, when not observed, God is forgotten.Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. Beware lest thou forget, etc.] Deuteronomy 6:12, Deuteronomy 8:14.
in not keeping his commandments, etc.] That this formula is a later intrusion (so Steuernagel) is possible: it changes the direction of the exhortation (10–17) which is not against disobedience, but against the nation imagining themselves to be the authors of their wealth, which was entirely the gift of Jehovah: in fact Deuteronomy 8:12 follows well on Deuteronomy 8:10.
12, 13 contain in their proper order such items as characterise the condition of the settled agriculturist in distinction from that of the nomad: sufficiency of food (see on Deuteronomy 1:28, Deuteronomy 8:9); the building of houses (see Jerus. i. 285 f.); the multiplication of herds and flocks (the cattle and sheep of the fellaḥin and even their camels are stouter and more powerful than those of the pure nomads: Robinson, Bib. Res. i. 311, 314, ii. 364, and the oxen and sheep are certainly more numerous: cp. Musil, Edom, i. 272: and the present writer, Expositor, Sept. 1908, 258 ff.); and as a consequence the increase of silver and gold (what of these the Beduin possess is nearly always in the form of ornaments; of money, except when they act as carriers or guides on trade routes there is very little, and coins are seldom seen with them); and all that thou hast is multiplied, the nomads never have reserves of any commodity, and are always near, if not actually on the verge of, extreme poverty.Verses 11-14. - Wealth is apt to engender in the possessor of it a spirit of self-gratulation and pride, and abundance of good things to induce men to be luxurious, "to trust in uncertain riches," and to be forgetful of the bounteous hand from which all that they enjoy has come. Against this the people are here cautioned and warned.
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