Deuteronomy 8:16
Who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers knew not, that he might humble you, and that he might prove you, to do you good at your latter end;
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Deuteronomy 8:16. That he might humble thee — By keeping thee in constant dependance upon himself for every day’s food, and convincing thee what an impotent, helpless creature thou art, having nothing whereon to subsist, and being supported wholly by the alms of divine goodness from day to day. The mercies of God, if duly considered, are as powerful a means to humble us as the greatest afflictions, because they increase our debts to God, and manifest our dependance upon him, and by making God great, they make us little in our own eyes. To do thee good — That is, that after he hath purged and prepared thee by afflictions, thou mayest receive and enjoy his blessings with less disadvantage, while by the remembrance of former afflictions thou art made thankful for those blessings, and more cautious not to abuse them.8:10-20 Moses directs to the duty of a prosperous condition. Let them always remember their Benefactor. In everything we must give thanks. Moses arms them against the temptations of a prosperous condition. When men possess large estates, or are engaged in profitable business, they find the temptation to pride, forgetfulness of God, and carnal-mindedness, very strong; and they are anxious and troubled about many things. In this the believing poor have the advantage; they more easily perceive their supplies coming from the Lord in answer to the prayer of faith; and, strange as it may seem, they find less difficulty in simply trusting him for daily bread. They taste a sweetness therein, which is generally unknown to the rich, while they are also freed from many of their temptations. Forget not God's former dealings with thee. Here is the great secret of Divine Providence. Infinite wisdom and goodness are the source of all the changes and trials believers experience. Israel had many bitter trials, but it was to do them good. Pride is natural to the human heart. Would one suppose that such a people, after their slavery at the brick-kilns, should need the thorns of the wilderness to humble them? But such is man! And they were proved that they might be humbled. None of us live a single week without giving proofs of our weakness, folly, and depravity. To broken-hearted souls alone the Saviour is precious indeed. Nothing can render the most suitable outward and inward trials effectual, but the power of the Spirit of God. See here how God's giving and our getting are reconciled, and apply it to spiritual wealth. All God's gifts are in pursuance of his promises. Moses repeats the warning he had often given of the fatal consequences of forsaking God. Those who follow others in sin, will follow them to destruction. If we do as sinners do, we must expect to fare as sinners fare.To do thee good at thy latter end - This is presented as the result of God's dealings. 15. Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions—Large and venomous reptiles are found in great numbers there still, particularly in autumn. Travellers must use great caution in arranging their tents and beds at night; even during the day the legs not only of men, but of the animals they ride, are liable to be bitten.

who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint—(See on [122]De 9:21).

That he night humble thee, by keeping thee in a constant dependence upon him for every day’s food, and convincing thee what an impotent, helpless, and beggarly creature thou art in thyself, having nothing whereon to subsist, but from hand to mouth, and being supported wholly by the alms of Divine goodness given to thee from day to day. The mercies of God, if duly considered, are as powerful an argument or mean to humble us as the greatest afflictions, because they increase our debts to God, and manifest our dependence upon him, and insufficiency without him; and by making God great, they make us little in our own eyes; though this clause, as well as that which follows, may have respect to their afflictions, mentioned Deu 8:15.

At thy latter end, i.e. that after he hath purged and prepared thee by afflictions, he may give thee, and thou mayst receive and enjoy, his blessings with less disadvantage, whilst by the remembrance of former afflictions thou art made thankful for them, and more cautious not to abuse and forfeit them again. Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna,.... Even all the forty years they were in it, Exodus 16:35 which thy fathers knew not; when they first saw it, Exodus 16:15.

that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee; they were kept humble, being dependent on God for their daily bread, having nothing in the wilderness to support themselves with; and this tried them, whether they would trust in God for their daily supply, and be thankful for it, or not:

to do thee good at thy latter end; that by living on such light bread, and this only and continually, his goodness might appear the greater, and be the sweeter to them, when they came into a land abounding with all good things; which is not to be understood of the latter end and last days of their commonwealth, as our version, with the Septuagint, Samaritan, Arabic versions, and others, and the Targum of Onkelos; but of time following nearer, and the phrase should be rendered "hereafter" (y); which better agrees with the promise of a divine blessing; though, come when it would, it was the more acceptable for the trial; as heaven will be the sweeter to the saints, through the afflictions, hardships, straits, and difficulties, which attend them here.

(y) "tandem", Tigurine version, Vatablus, Piscator; "posthac", Noldius, p. 180. No. 807.

Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
16. See on Deuteronomy 8:2-3 and Deuteronomy 4:34.

to do thee good] Deuteronomy 28:63, Pl., Deuteronomy 30:5, Sg.

thy latter end] Misleading translation. Lit. thine afterness, thy later years. There is nothing eschatological in the phrase. Steuernagel marks Deuteronomy 8:14 b, Deuteronomy 8:15 and Deuteronomy 8:16 as an intrusion on the grounds that they but repeat Deuteronomy 8:2 b, Deuteronomy 8:3, and spoil the connection between Deuteronomy 8:14 a and Deuteronomy 8:17. But the deuteronomic style is given to repetition, and here the writer not only repeats but carries his argument to a climax in the phrase to do thee good in thy later days.Verse 16. - The grand end of all God's dealings with the Israelites in the desert, both the trials to which they were subjected and the benefits they received, was that he might do them good ultimately. Thy latter end; not the end of life, as in Numbers 23:10, but the state ensuing on the termination of their period of discipline and probation in the desert (cf. Job 8:7; Job 42:12; 2 Peter 2:20). God thus dealt with the Israelites as he still deals with his people; he afflicts them not for his pleasure but for their profit (Hebrews 11:12); he subjects them to trial and varied discipline that he may fit them for the rest and joy that in the end are to be theirs. But if the Israelites were to eat there and be satisfied, i.e., to live in the midst of plenty, they were to beware of forgetting their God; that when their prosperity - their possessions, in the form of lofty houses, cattle, gold and silver, and other good things - increased, their heart might not be lifted up, i.e., they might not become proud, and, forgetting their deliverance from Egypt and their miraculous preservation and guidance in the desert, ascribe the property they had acquired to their own strength and the work of their own hands. To keep the people from this danger of forgetting God, which follows so easily from the pride of wealth, Moses once more enumerates in Deuteronomy 8:14-16 the manifestations of divine grace, their deliverance from Egypt the slave-house, their being led through the great and terrible desert, whose terrors he depicts by mentioning a series of noxious and even fatal things, such as snakes, burning snakes (saraph, see at Numbers 21; 6), scorpions, and the thirsty land where there was no water. The words from נחשׁ, onwards, are attached rhetorically to what precedes by simple apposition, without any logically connecting particle; though it will not do to overlook entirely the rhetorical form of the enumeration, and supply the preposition בּ before נחשׁ and the words which follow, to say nothing of the fact that it would be quite out of character before these nouns in the singular, as a whole people could not go through one serpent, etc. In this parched land the Lord brought he people water out of the flinty rock, the hardest stone, and fed them with manna, to humble them and tempt them (cf. Deuteronomy 8:2), in order (this was the ultimate intention of all the humiliation and trial) "to do thee good at thy latter end." The "latter end" of any one is "the time which follows some distinct point in his life, particularly an important epoch-making point, and which may be regarded as the end by contrast, the time before that epoch being considered as the beginning" (Schultz). In this instance Moses refers to the period of their life in Canaan, in contrast with which the period of their sojourn in Egypt and their wandering in the desert is recorded as the beginning; consequently the expression does not relate to death as the end of life, as in Numbers 23:10, although this allusion is not to be altogether excluded, as a blessed death is only the completion of a blessed life. - Like all the guidance of Israel by the Lord, what is stated here is applicable to all believers. It is through humiliations and trials that the Lord leads His people to blessedness. Through the desert of tribulation, anxiety, distress, and merciful interposition, He conducts them to Canaan, into the land of rest, where they are refreshed and satisfied in the full enjoyment of the blessings of His grace and salvation; but those alone who continue humble, not attributing the good fortune and prosperity to which they attain at last, to their own exertion, strength, perseverance, and wisdom, but gratefully enjoying this good as a gift of the grace of God. חיל עשׂה, to create property, to prosper in wealth (as in Numbers 24:18). God gave strength for this (Deuteronomy 8:18), not because of Israel's merit and worthiness, but to fulfil His promises which He had made on oath to the patriarchs. "As this day," as was quite evident then, when the establishment of the covenant had already commenced, and Israel had come through the desert to the border of Canaan (see Deuteronomy 4:20).
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