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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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.
who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint—(See on 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. 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.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;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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. 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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