Matthew Poole's Commentary
Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.Moses exhorts them to obedience by rehearsing God’s works, Deu 11:1-9, and by the excellency of the land they were to possess, Deu 11:10-12. A promise of blessings to their obedience, Deu 11:13-15. They are warned against idolatry, Deu 11:16,17. To teach it their children, Deu 11:19; and keep memorials of it, Deu 11:20, for their own benefit, Deu 11:21. God promises again, upon their obedience, to drive out the nations, Deu 11:22-25. A blessing and a curse is set before them, Deu 11:26-28. They are bid to bless on Mount Gerizim, but curse on Mount Ebal, Deu 11:29.
No text from Poole on this verse.
And know ye this day: for I speak not with your children which have not known, and which have not seen the chastisement of the LORD your God, his greatness, his mighty hand, and his stretched out arm,Know ye, i.e. acknowledge and consider it with diligence and thankfulness.
And his miracles, and his acts, which he did in the midst of Egypt unto Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and unto all his land;No text from Poole on this verse.
And what he did unto the army of Egypt, unto their horses, and to their chariots; how he made the water of the Red sea to overflow them as they pursued after you, and how the LORD hath destroyed them unto this day;The effect of which destruction continueth to this day, in their weakness and fear, and our safety from all their further attempts against us.
And what he did unto you in the wilderness, until ye came into this place;No text from Poole on this verse.
And what he did unto Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben: how the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their households, and their tents, and all the substance that was in their possession, in the midst of all Israel:In their possession, Heb. at their feet, i.e. under their power, Psalm 8:6, which followed them, or belonged to them.
But your eyes have seen all the great acts of the LORD which he did.All of them had seen some, and some of them had seen all the great things done in Egypt, and at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness.
Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that ye may be strong, and go in and possess the land, whither ye go to possess it;No text from Poole on this verse.
And that ye may prolong your days in the land, which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give unto them and to their seed, a land that floweth with milk and honey.No text from Poole on this verse.
For the land, whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs:i.e. With great pains and labour of thy feet, partly by going up and down to fetch water and disperse it, and partly by digging furrows with thy foot, and using engines for distributing the water, which engines they thrust with their feet. For though the river Nilus did once in a year overflow the grounds, and made them fruitful, yet ofttimes it failed or scanted them, and then they were put to great pains about their ground; and when it did overflow sufficiently, and left its mud upon the earth, yet that mud was in a little time hardened, and needed another watering and much digging and labour both of the hands and feet, especially in places something higher or more remote from that river; which inconvenience Canaan was free from.
But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven:A land of hills and valleys; and therefore much more healthful than Egypt was, which as it was enriched, so it was annoyed with Nilus, which overflowed the land in summer time, and thereby made the country both unpleasant and, which is much worse, unhealthful. And health being the greatest of all outward blessings, Canaan must therefore needs be a more desirable habitation than Egypt, which is the thing here implied.
Drinketh water of the rain of heaven which is more honourable, because this comes not from man’s art or industry, but immediately from God’s power and goodness; more easy, being given thee without thy charge or pains; more sweet and pleasant, not hindering thy going abroad upon thy occasions, as the overflow of Nilus did, whereby the Egyptians were confined in a great measure to their several houses; more safe and healthful, being free from that mud which attends upon the waters of Nilus; and more certain too, the former and the latter rain being promised to be given to them in their several seasons, upon condition of their obedience, which condition, though it may seem a clog and inconvenience, yet indeed was a great benefit, that by their own necessities and worldly interest they should be obliged to that obedience, upon which their happiness depended both for this life and for the next.
A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.Land which the Lord careth for, to wit, in a special manner, watering it immediately as it were by his own hand, without man’s help, and giving peculiar blessings to it, which Egypt enjoys not.
The eyes of the Lord are always upon us, to give it the rain and other blessings proper to the several seasons. But all these mercies, and the fruitfulness of the land consequent; upon them, were suspended upon their disobedience, as it here follows. And therefore it is not at all strange that some later writers decry the land of Canaan as in great part a barren soil, which is so far from affording any ground to question the Divine authority of the Holy Scriptures, in which its fruitfulness is declared, that it doth much more confirm it, this being but an effect of that threatening that God would turn a fruitful land into barrenness for the wickedness of those that dwell in it, Psalm 107:34, and elsewhere; and the wickedness of the Israelites in succeeding ages being notorious, it is but just and fit that the barrenness of their land should be as evident and infamous.
And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,No text from Poole on this verse.
That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.The rain of your land, i.e. which is needful and sufficient for your land; or which is proper to your land, not common to Egypt, where, as all authors agree, there is little or no rain.
The first rain and the latter rain; the first fell in seed time, to make the corn spring, the other a little before harvest, to ripen it. See Jeremiah 5:24 Joel 2:23 Amos 4:7 Jam 5:7.
And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.No text from Poole on this verse.
Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;That your heart be not deceived by the specious pretenses of idolaters, who will plead the general consent of all nations, except yours, in the worship of creatures, and that they worship the creatures only for God’s sake, and as they are glorious works of God, whom they worship in and by them; which, and the like arguments, being commonly alleged by heathens for their idolatries, as their own writers declare, might possibly seduce an unwary Israelite; and therefore they are here cautioned against such deceit, and withal it is implied, that if a man’s mind be corrupted and deceived, so as he believes idolatry to be lawful, this will not excuse him in the sight of God.
And then the LORD'S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.Heaven is compared sometimes to a bottle, Job 38:37, which may be either stopped or opened; sometimes to a great storehouse, wherein God lays up his treasures of rain, Job 38:22 Psalm 33:7, the doors whereof God is said to open when he gives rain, and to shut when he withholds it. See 1 Kings 8:35 2 Chronicles 6:26 7:13.
Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.No text from Poole on this verse.
And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.No text from Poole on this verse.
And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:No text from Poole on this verse.
That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.i.e. As long as this visible world lasts, whilst the heaven keeps its place and continues its influences upon earth, until all these things be dissolved. Compare Psalm 72:5 81:15 89:29 Jeremiah 33:25.
For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him;No text from Poole on this verse.
Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.No text from Poole on this verse.
Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.Every place; not absolutely, as if the Jews should be lords of all the world, as the rabbins fondly conceit; but in the Promised Land, as it is restrained in the following words.
Shall be yours, either by possession, or by dominion, to wit, upon condition of your obedience.
From the wilderness, to wit, of Sin, on the south side.
And Lebanon; and from Lebanon; or, and to Lebanon, which was the northern border.
The river Euphrates on the east. So far their right of dominion extended, but that their sins cut them short; and so far Solomon extended his dominion.
Unto the uttermost sea; the western or midland sea; Heb.
the hindermost sea; for the eastern part of the world being generally esteemed the foremost, and the southern on the right hand, Psalm 89:12, and consequently the northern on the left hand, the western part must needs be behind. Of these bounds of the land see Genesis 10:19 15:18 Exodus 23:31 Joshua 1:3,4.
There shall no man be able to stand before you: for the LORD your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as he hath said unto you.No text from Poole on this verse.
Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;I propose them to your minds and to your choice.
A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:No text from Poole on this verse.
And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.Which you have no acquaintance with, nor experience of their power or wisdom or goodness, as you have had of mine.
And it shall come to pass, when the LORD thy God hath brought thee in unto the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Ebal.Thou shalt put the blessing, Heb. thou shalt give, i.e. speak or pronounce, or cause to be pronounced. So the word to give is used, Deu 13:1,2 Job 36:3 Proverbs 9:9. This is more particularly expressed Deu 27:12,13 Jos 8:33, whither I refer the reader.
Are they not on the other side Jordan, by the way where the sun goeth down, in the land of the Canaanites, which dwell in the champaign over against Gilgal, beside the plains of Moreh?Over against Gilgal; looking towards Gilgal, though at some considerable distance from it, as this particle is sometimes used.
For ye shall pass over Jordan to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God giveth you, and ye shall possess it, and dwell therein.No text from Poole on this verse.
And ye shall observe to do all the statutes and judgments which I set before you this day.No text from Poole on this verse.