Matthew Poole's Commentary
All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers.Israel is exhorted to obedience, Deu 8:1, and to remember God’s judgments and mercies, Deu 8:2-6. The excellency of the land they were going into, Deu 8:7-9. Not to forget the Lord in their fulness and prosperity, Deu 8:10-16; nor ascribe their wealth to their own power, Deu 8:17, but to God, Deu 8:18. God threatens to destroy idolaters, Deu 8:19,20.
That ye may live, i.e. live comfortably and happily, as life is oft taken, as Genesis 17:18 Proverbs 3:2; as, on the contrary, troubles or afflictions are called death, Exodus 10:17 2 Corinthians 11:23.
And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.All the way, i.e. all the events which befell thee in the way, the miraculous protections, deliverances, provisions, instructions which God gave thee; and withal the frequent and severe punishments of thy disobedience.
To know what was in thine heart, i.e. that thou mightest discover to thyself and others that infidelity, inconstancy, hypocrisy, apostacy, rebellion, and perverseness, which lay hid in thy heart; the discovery whereof was of singular use, both to them and to the church of God, in all succeeding ages.
And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.i.e. By every or any thing which God appoints for this end, how unlikely soever it may seem to be for nourishment, as appears in the manna; seeing it is not the creature, but only God’s command and blessing upon it, that makes it sufficient for the support of life.
Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.Thy raiment did not wear away through age, which they must needs have done without a miracle;
neither did thy foot swell, notwithstanding thy long and hard travels, which also was miraculous.
Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.i.e. Unwillingly, being constrained by thy necessity; moderately, in judgment remembering mercy; and for thy reformation, not for thy destruction. Compare Proverbs 3:11,12 Heb 12:5, &c.
Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.No text from Poole on this verse.
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;Depths, i.e. deep wells, or springs, or lakes, which were divers and large.
A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;Of olive oil, Heb. of the olive tree of oil, i.e. not of wild and barren, but of fruitful olive trees, which yield plenty of oil.
A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.Where are mines of iron in a manner as plentiful as stones, and upon which travellers must tread, as in other parts they do upon stones;
and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass, to wit, in great plenty. These are mentioned, because they had none such in Egypt whence they came.
When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.i.e. Solemnly praise him for thy food; which is a debt both of gratitude and justice, because it is from his providence and favour that thou receivest both thy food and refreshment and strength by it. The more unworthy and absurd is that too common profaneness of them, who, professing to believe a God and his providence, from whom all their comforts come, grudge to own him at their meals, either by desiring his blessing before them, or by offering due praise to God after them.
Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:No text from Poole on this verse.
Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;No text from Poole on this verse.
And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;No text from Poole on this verse.
Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;Thine heart be lifted up; as if thou didst receive and enjoy these things either by thy own wisdom, and valour, and industry, Deu 8:17, or for thy own merit, Deu 9:4. See Hosea 13:6 1 Corinthians 4:7.
Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;No text from Poole on this verse.
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;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.
And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.No text from Poole on this verse.
But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.To get wealth; so this word is used, Numbers 24:18 Job 20:18 Proverbs 31:29.
And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.No text from Poole on this verse.
As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.No text from Poole on this verse.