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De 8:1-20. AN EXHORTATION TO OBEDIENCE.
1. All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe
to do, that ye may live--In all the wise arrangements of our Creator
duty has been made inseparably connected with happiness; and the
earnest enforcement of the divine law which Moses was making to the
Israelites was in order to secure their being a happy (because a moral
and religious) people: a course of prosperity is often called "life"
2, 3. thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness--The recapitulation of all their checkered experience during that long period was designed to awaken lively impressions of the goodness of God. First, Moses showed them the object of their protracted wanderings and varied hardships. These were trials of their obedience as well as chastisements for sin. Indeed, the discovery of their infidelity, inconstancy, and their rebellions and perverseness which this varied discipline brought to light, was of eminently practical use to the Israelites themselves, as it has been to the church in all subsequent ages. Next, he enlarged on the goodness of God to them, while reduced to the last extremities of despair, in the miraculous provision which, without anxiety or labor, was made for their daily support (see on Ex 16:4). Possessing no nutritious properties inherent in it, this contributed to their sustenance, as indeed all food does (Mt 4:4) solely through the ordinance and blessing of God. This remark is applicable to the means of spiritual as well as natural life.
4. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years--What a striking miracle was this! No doubt the Israelites might have brought from Egypt more clothes than they wore at their outset; they might also have obtained supplies of various articles of food and raiment in barter with the neighboring tribes for the fleeces and skins of their sheep and goats; and in furnishing them with such opportunities the care of Providence appeared. But the strong and pointed terms which Moses here uses (see also De 29:5) indicate a special or miraculous interposition of their loving Guardian in preserving them amid the wear and tear of their nomadic life in the desert. Thirdly, Moses expatiated on the goodness of the promised land.
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
8. A land of wheat, and barley--These cereal fruits were specially
promised to the Israelites in the event of their faithful allegiance to
the covenant of God
(Ps 81:16; 147:14).
The wheat and barley were so abundant as to yield sixty and often an
9. a land whose stones are iron--The abundance of this metal in
Palestine, especially among the mountains of Lebanon, those of
Kesraoun, and elsewhere, is attested not only by JOSEPHUS, but by
Volney, Buckingham, and other travellers.
11-20. Beware that thou forget not the Lord--After mentioning those instances of the divine goodness, Moses founded on them an argument for their future obedience.
15. Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein
were fiery serpents, and scorpions--Large and venomous reptiles are
found in great numbers there still, particularly in autumn. Travellers
must use great caution in arranging their tents and beds at night; even
during the day the legs not only of men, but of the animals they ride,
are liable to be bitten.