Matthew Poole's Commentary
And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,A promise of gracious deliverance to the Jews upon their repentance, in future times, Deu 30:1-10. The law of God manifest and just, Deu 30:11-14. Life and death set before them, Deu 30:15-20.
The blessing when thou art obedient, and the curse when thou becomest rebellious and apostatical. Set before thee, Heb. placed before thy face, i.e. propounded to thy consideration and choice.
Call them to mind, or, bring them back to thy heart, i.e. deeply affect thy heart with the sense of these things, to wit, of the blessings offered and given to them by God’s mercy, and the curses brought upon themselves by their sins.
And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;No text from Poole on this verse.
That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.Turn thy captivity, i.e. bring back thy captives, as captivity is taken, Psalm 14:7 Ephesians 4:8. Gather thee, i.e. thy children; either spiritually such, as it is explained John 11:51,52; or literally such, as it is promised Ro 11$.
If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:No text from Poole on this verse.
And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.The Lord will circumcise thine heart, or, for the Lord will circumcise thine heart, i.e. will by his word and Spirit change and purge thy heart from all thine idolatry, and superstition, and wickedness, and incline thy heart to love him, as it here follows. See Deu 10:16. And so this is produced to show why and how those great things should be accomplished; God would first convert and sanctify them, the fruit whereof should be this, that they should return and obey God’s commandments, Deu 30:8, and they should pros per in all things, Deu 30:9. The Hebrew vau is oft rendered for, and notes the reason of a thing, as 1 Kings 1:21 18:3,4 Psa 1:3 5:12 Isaiah 16:2 64:5. And this promise principally respects the times of the gospel, and the grace which was to be then imparted to all God’s Israel by Christ, by whom alone this circumcision is obtained, Colossians 2:11. And so having fully described to them the law of God, the rule of their obedience, here and in foregoing chapters, and considering their great instability in the performance of their obedience to it, he now seasonably adds a glorious gospel promise, and directs their faith to the Messias by whom alone they could expect or receive the establishment of their hearts in the ways of God against apostacy.
And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.No text from Poole on this verse.
And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:Whereas thou didst formerly receive and enjoy these mercies for thy hurt, through thy own wicked and foolish heart, when thou wast full and fat, forgetting God, and kicking against him, Deu 31:20 32:15, now thou shalt have them for thy good; thy heart shall be so changed by the grace of the gospel that thou shalt not now abuse them, but employ them to the more cheerful and faithful service of God, the giver of them. Rejoice over thee for good, i.e. to do thee good; as he did rejoice to destroy thee, Deu 28:63.
If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.This caution and condition is added to warn them that they should not receive the grace of God in vain, and to teach them that the grace of God doth not discharge man’s obligation to his duty, nor excuse him for the neglect of it, and that conversion and sanctification, though it be God’s work, yet it is man’s duty.
For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.He seems to speak of the law, or of that great command of loving and obeying God, mentioned here Deu 30:2,6,10,16, which is the sum of the law, of which yet he doth not here speak simply, or as it is in itself, but as it is mollified and accompanied with the grace of the gospel, whereby God circumciseth men’s hearts to do this, as is expressed Deu 30:6. The meaning is, that although the practice of God’s law strictly and severely be now far from us, and above our strength, yet, considering the advantage of gospel grace, whereby God enables us in some measure to our duty, and accepts of our sincere endeavours instead of perfection, and imputes Christ’s perfect righteousness unto us that believe, now it is near and easy to us. And so this place well agrees with Romans 10:6, &c., where St. Paul expounds or applies this place to the righteousness of faith, by which alone the law is such as it is here described.
It is not hidden from thee, Heb. is not too wonderful for thee, as Deu 17:8 Proverbs 30:18 Jeremiah 32:17, i.e. not too hard for thee to know and do: the will of God, which is but darkly manifested to other nations, Acts 17:27, is clearly and fully revealed unto thee; thou canst not pretend ignorance or invincible difficulty.
Far off, i.e. out of thy reach.
It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?In heaven, i.e. shut up there; but it hath been thence delivered and published in thy hearing.
Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?Neither is it beyond the sea: the knowledge of this commandment is not to be fetched from far distant places, to which divers of the wise heathens travelled for their wisdom, but it was brought to thy very doors and ears, and declared to thee in this wilderness.
But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.In thy mouth; thou knowest it so well, that it is the matter of thy common discourse; thou professest thy knowledge and belief of it: or, in the months of thy priests and Levites, who are daily preaching of it, and instructing thee in it.
In thy heart, i.e. in thy mind, (as the heart is very commonly taken,) to understand and believe it.
See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;Life and good, i.e. a good or a happy life; a figure called heniaduo: or, life, and all the blessings of life, as good is oft used, as Job 7:7 Psalm 4:6 128:5 Ecclesiastes 2:24 4:8 6:3.
In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.No text from Poole on this verse.
But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;Drawn away, either by thy own evil mind, or by the examples or persuasions of others.
I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.No text from Poole on this verse.
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:Compare Deu 4:26 Joshua 24:27 Psalm 1:4 Isaiah 1:2.
That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.He is thy life, i.e. the cause or author of thy life, as life is used John 14:6 17:3.