Deuteronomy 8:7
For the LORD your God brings you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;
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(7) For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land.—The description in this and the following verses is most attractive; but it is a long time since any one has seen Palestine in that condition. Its desolation, no less than its beauty, is a proof of the truth of the Divine word.

Of fountains and depths that spring out.—Rather, that go forth in the valley and on the hill. The watercourse down the mountain-side, and the deep lake or still pool below, are both described here.

Deuteronomy 8:7-9. Depths — Deep wells, or springs, or lakes, which were numerous and large. Whose stones are iron — Where iron mines are as plentiful as quarries of stone are in other places. Thou mayest dig brass — That is, copper, of which brass is made.8:1-9 Obedience must be, 1. Careful, observe to do; 2. Universal, to do all the commandments; and 3. From a good principle, with a regard to God as the Lord, and their God, and with a holy fear of him. To engage them to this obedience. Moses directs them to look back. It is good to remember all the ways, both of God's providence and grace, by which he has led us through this wilderness, that we may cheerfully serve him and trust in him. They must remember the straits they were sometimes brought into, for mortifying their pride, and manifesting their perverseness; to prove them, that they and others might know all that was in their heart, and that all might see that God chose them, not for any thing in them which might recommend them to his favour. They must remember the miraculous supplies of food and raiment granted them. Let none of God's children distrust their Father, nor take any sinful course for the supply of their necessities. Some way or other, God will provide for them in the way of duty and honest diligence, and verily they shall be fed. It may be applied spiritually; the word of God is the food of the soul. Christ is the word of God; by him we live. They must also remember the rebukes they had been under, and not without need. This use we should make of all our afflictions; by them let us be quickened to our duty. Moses also directs them to look forward to Canaan. Look which way we will, both to look back and to look forward, to Canaan. Look which way we will, both to look back and to look forward will furnish us with arguments for obedience. Moses saw in that land a type of the better country. The gospel church is the New Testament Canaan, watered with the Spirit in his gifts and graces, planted with trees of righteousness, bearing fruits of righteousness. Heaven is the good land, in which nothing is wanting, and where is fulness of joy.See Exodus 3:8 note, and the contrast expressed in Deuteronomy 11:10-11, between Palestine and Egypt.

The physical characteristics and advantages of a country like Palestine must have been quite strange to Israel at the time Moses was speaking: compare Deuteronomy 3:25 note. To have praised the fertility and excellence of the promised land at an earlier period would have increased the murmurings and impatience of the people at being detained in the wilderness: whereas now it encouraged them to encounter with more cheerfulness the opposition that they would meet from the inhabitants of Canaan.

7. For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land—All accounts, ancient and modern, concur in bearing testimony to the natural beauty and fertility of Palestine, and its great capabilities if properly cultivated.

a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills—These characteristic features are mentioned first, as they would be most striking; and all travellers describe how delightful and cheerful it is, after passing through the barren and thirsty desert, to be among running brooks and swelling hills and verdant valleys. It is observable that water is mentioned as the chief source of its ancient fertility.

Depths, i.e. deep wells, or springs, or lakes, which were divers and large. For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land,.... The land of Canaan, abounding with good things after enumerated, a land flowing with milk and honey, having in it plenty of everything both for convenience and delight; which is another reason why they were under obligations to serve the Lord, to walk in his ways and keep his commandments:

a land of brooks of water; rivers and torrents, such as Jordan, Jabbok, Kishon, Kidron, Cherith, and others:

of fountains; as Siloam, Gihon, Etam, the baths of Tiberias, and others:

and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; deep waters, caverns, wells, and lakes, which had their rise from such places, of which there were many. With this agrees the account of it by our countrymen, Mr. Sandys (g), as it was in the beginning of the last century; that it was adorned with beautiful mountains and luxurious valleys, the rocks producing excellent waters, and no part empty of delight or profit.

(g) Travels, l. 3. p. 110.

For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;
7. bringeth thee] is about to bring thee: see above on Deuteronomy 6:10.

a good land] Deuteronomy 1:35 : Sam. and LXX add here and a large (Exodus 3:8).

brooks of water … fountains … depths] The principal and characteristic waters of Palestine (for the hydrography of the land see especially Robinson, Phys. Geog. of the Holy Land, ch. ii, Trelawney Saunders, Introd. to Survey of W. Pal.; also the present writer’s HGHL, 77 f., 657 f., and Jerusalem, Bk i. chs. 3–5). Brook: naḥal (Deuteronomy 2:13) is the Ar. wady, applied both to a valley with only a winter-torrent (e.g. Kidron) and one with a perennial stream (e.g. Arnon and Jabboḳ), the more exact name for which is naḥal ’çthan (HGHL, 657). Fountains: ‘ayanoth, springs of living water as distinct from cisterns (id. 77 f.). Depths: tehômôth, pl. of tehom, the mythical name not only of the open ocean round the earth, but of its supposed continuance under the earth (Deuteronomy 4:18, Deuteronomy 5:8), from which the fountains, salt and fresh alike, seemed to be derived (Amos 8:4); the depths here are therefore either the lakes of Palestine, perennial (Phiala or Birket er-Ram, Huleh, Gennesaret and the Dead Sea) and seasonal (e.g. Merj el-Ghuruk, HGHL, 327 n.), a possible meaning for tehômôth in Psalm 135:6; or the larger outbursts of water from underground, the births of full rivers (as at Tell el Ḳady) so characteristic of Palestine. This second meaning is the more probable here both because of the following springing forth, and the parallelism between depths and fountains (the larger word for fountains) in Proverbs 8:24. See below on Deuteronomy 33:13.

springing forth in valleys and hills] Lit. in the valley and on the mountain. The phenomenon is due to the limestone formation of the land, the larger outbursts occurring mainly at the foot of a hill or great mound, where the harder dolomitic limestone impenetrable by water comes to the surface, forcing the water out. Where the softer cretaceous strata lie deep the water sinks through them and fountains are either scanty or altogether wanting. Valley, biḳ‘ah, HGHL, 654 f.Verses 7-20. - The land on which they were about to enter is described as a good laud, fertile and well watered, and yielding abundant produce to its cultivators; and they are cautioned against forgetting, in their enjoyment of the gift, the bounty of the Giver, or congratulating themselves on having achieved the conquest of such a land, instead of gratefully acknowledging the grace which had sustained them during their protracted wandering in the wilderness, and by which alone they had been enabled to take possession of that favored land. Verses 7, 8 - Brooks of water, running streams, mountain torrents, and watercourses in the narrow valleys or wadys; fountains, perennial springs; depths, "the fathomless pools from which such streams as the Abana (now Barada), near Damascus, spring up full-grown rivers, almost as broad at their sources as at their mouths" (Condor, 'Handbook to the Bible,' p. 214), or this may include also the inland seas or lakes, such as the sea of Galileo and Lake Haleh. Palestine is in the present day, on the whole, well supplied with water, though the distribution is very unequal, many parts being almost wholly destitute of supply, except from what may be collected from rain in tanks or cisterns; and there is no reason to suppose it was different in the ancient times. As compared, however, with the desert to which the Israelites had been so long accustomed, and even with Egypt from which they had escaped, the country on which they were about to enter was well watered. In addition to the danger of being drawn aside to transgress the covenant, by sparing the Canaanites and their idols out of pusillanimous compassion and false tolerance, the Israelites would be especially in danger, after their settlement in Canaan, of falling into pride and forgetfulness of God, when enjoying the abundant productions of that land. To guard against this danger, Moses set before them how the Lord had sought to lead and train them to obedience by temptations and humiliations during their journey through the desert. In order that his purpose in doing this might be clearly seen, he commenced (Deuteronomy 8:1) with the renewed admonition to keep the whole law which he commanded them that day, that they might live and multiply and attain to the possession of the promised land (cf. Deuteronomy 4:1; Deuteronomy 6:3).
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