All the commandments which I command you this day shall you observe to do, that you may live, and multiply…
The face which the sculptor chisels or the artist paints as looking backwards is usually expressive of the extreme of sadness. Yet the recollection of the past which such a countenance suggests need not be full of gloom. There is a retrospect which only adds to the keenness of enjoyment. A few years ago a party crossed the backbone of Europe by one of the most picturesque of the passes that cleave the Alps. It was a steep pathway. Reflected by the rocky walls, the sun flung into his glances a heat like a tropic day. But at last they reached the summit. Before descending the other side they stopped and looked back upon the way they had already climbed. Winding far below, the difficult road was mapped out upon the shaggy slope. There were the cliffs they had scaled, the precipices along the edge of which their path had led, the dizzy chasms spanned by bridges seemingly as fragile as that the spider builds. And to stand upon that breezy elevation, to look back on such a pathway, and to know that over such obstacles they had triumphantly gained the very summit, was to drink the wine-cup of mental exhilaration. So do men generally look back from the summit of success. Such a retrospect is the ripest sheaf in the harvest of life.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.