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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - Deuteronomy 8:8


    CHAPTERS: Deuteronomy 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34     

    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

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    King James Bible - Deuteronomy 8:8

    A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;

    World English Bible

    a
    land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig trees and pomegranates; a land of olive trees and honey;

    Douay-Rheims - Deuteronomy 8:8

    A
    land of wheat, and barley, and vineyards, wherein fig trees and pomegranates, and oliveyards grow: a land of oil and honey.

    Webster's Bible Translation

    A
    land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig-trees, and pomegranates, a land of olive-oil, and honey;

    Original Hebrew

    ארץ
    776 חטה 2406 ושׂערה 8184 וגפן 1612 ותאנה 8384 ורמון 7416 ארץ 776 זית 2132 שׁמן 8081 ודבשׁ׃ 1706

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (8) -
    De 32:14 2Sa 4:6 1Ki 5:11 Ps 81:16; 147:14 Eze 27:17

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 8:8

    tierra de trigo y cebada, y de vides, e higueras, y granados; tierra de olivas, de aceite, y de miel;

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - Deuteronomy 8:8

    Verse 8. A
    land of wheat, &c.] On the subject of this verse I shall introduce the following remarks, which I find in Mr. Harmer's Observations on the Fertility of the Land of Judea, vol. iii., p. 243.

    "Hasselquist tells us that he ate olives at Joppa (upon his first arrival in the Holy Land) which were said to grow on the Mount of Olives, near Jerusalem; and that, independently of their oiliness, they were of the best kind he had tasted in the Levant. As olives are frequently eaten in their repasts, the delicacy of this fruit in Judea ought not to be forgotten; and the oil that is gotten from these trees much less, because still more often made use of. In the progress of his journey he found several fine vales, abounding with olive trees. He saw also olive trees in Galilee; but none farther, he says, than the mountain where it is supposed our Lord preached his sermon.

    "The fig trees in the neighbourhood of Joppa, Hasselquist goes on to inform us, were as beautiful as any he had seen in the Levant.

    "The reason why pomegranates are distinctly mentioned, in this description of the productions of the land of promise, may be their great usefulness in forming cooling drinks, for they are used among the Asiatics nearly in the same way that we use lemons; see vol. ii., 145.

    "Honey is used in large quantities in these countries; and Egypt was celebrated for the assiduous care with which the people there managed their bees. Maillet's account of it is very amusing. 'There are,' says he, 'abundance of bees in that country; and a singular manner of feeding them, introduced by the Egyptians of ancient times, still continues there.

    Towards the end of October, when the Nile, upon its decrease, gives the peasants an opportunity of sowing the lands, sainfoin is one of the first things sown, and one of the most profitable. As the Upper Egypt is hotter than the Lower, and the inundation there goes sooner off the lands, the sainfoin appears there first. The knowledge they have of this causes them to send their bee-hives from all parts of Egypt, that the bees may enjoy, as soon as may be, the richness of the flowers, which grow in this part of the country sooner than in any other district of the kingdom. The hives, upon their arrival at the farther end of Egypt, are placed one upon another in the form of pyramids, in boats prepared for their reception, after having been numbered by the people who place them in the boats. The bees feed in the fields there for some days; afterwards, when it is believed they have nearly collected the honey and wax, which were to be found for two or three leagues round, they cause the boats to go down the stream, two or three leagues lower, and leave them there, in like manner, such a proportion of time as they think to be necessary for the gathering up the riches of that canton. At length, about the beginning of February, after having gone the whole length of Egypt, they arrive at the sea, from whence they are conducted, each of them, to their usual place of abode; for they take care to set down exactly, in a register, each district from whence the hives were carried in the beginning of the season, their number and the names of the persons that sent them, as well as the number of the boats, where they are ranged according to the places they are brought from. What is astonishing in this affair is, that with the greatest fidelity of memory that can be imagined, each bee finds its own hive, and never makes any mistake. That which is still more amazing to me is, that the Egyptians of old should be so attentive to all the advantages deducible from the situation of their country; that after having observed that all things came to maturity sooner in Upper Egypt, and much later in Lower, which made a difference of above six weeks between the two extremities of their country, they thought of collecting the wax and the honey so as to lose none of them, and hit upon this ingenious method of making the bees do it successively, according to the blossoming of the flowers, and the arrangement of nature.'" If this solicitude were as ancient as the dwelling of Israel in Egypt, they must have been anxious to know whether honey, about which they took such care in Egypt, was plentiful in the land of promise; and they must have been pleased to have been assured it was. It continues to be produced there in large quantities: Hasselquist, in the progress of his journey from Acra to Nazareth, tells us that he found "great numbers of bees, bred thereabouts, to the great advantage of the inhabitants." He adds, "they make their bee-hives, with little trouble, of clay, four feet long, and half a foot in diameter, as in Egypt. They lay ten or twelve of them, one on another, on the bare ground, and build over every ten a little roof." Mr. Maundrell, observing also many bees in the Holy Land, takes notice that by their means the most barren places in other respects of that country become useful, perceiving in many places of the great salt plain near Jericho a smell of honey and wax as strong as if he had been in an apiary.

    By Hasselquist's account it appears, that the present inhabitants of Palestine are not strangers to the use of hives. They are constructed of very different materials from ours, but just the same with the Egyptian hives. They seem to be an ancient contrivance; and indeed so simple an invention must be supposed to be as old as the days of Moses, when arts, as appears from his writings, of a much more elevated nature were known in Egypt. I cannot then well persuade myself to adopt the opinion of some of the learned, that those words of Moses, in chap. xxxii. 13, He made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil cut of the flinty rock, are to be understood of his causing Israel to dwell in a country where sometimes they might find honey-comb in holes of the rock. It is very possible that in that hot country these insects, when not taken due care of, may get into hollow places of the rocks, and form combs there, as they sometimes construct them in ours in hollow trees, though I do not remember to have met with any traveler that has made such an observation. But would this have been mentioned with so much triumph by Moses in this place? The quantities of honey produced after this manner could be but small, compared with what would be collected in hives properly managed; when found, it must often cost a great deal of pains to get the honey out of these little cavities in the hard stone, and much the greatest part must be absolutely lost to the inhabitants. The interpretation is the more strange, because when it is said in the next clause, "and oil out of the flinty rock," it is evidently meant that they should have oil produced in abundance by olive trees growing on flinty rocks; and consequently, the sucking honey out of the rock should only mean their enjoying great quantities of honey, produced by bees that collected it from flowers growing among the rocks: the rocky mountains of this country, it is well known, produce an abundance of aromatic plants proper for the purpose. Nor does Asaph, in the close of the eighty-first Psalm, speak, I apprehend, of honey found in cavities of rocks; nor yet is he there describing it as collected from the odouriferous plants that grow in the rocky hills of those countries, if the reading of our present Hebrew copies be right: but the prophet tells Israel that, had they been obedient, God would have fed them with the fat of wheat, and with the rock of honey would he have satisfied them, that is, with the most delicious wheat, and with the richest, most invigorating honey, in large quantities, both for eating and making agreeable drink. Its reviving, strengthening quality appears in the story of Jonathan, Saul's son, 1 Samuel xiv. 27; as the using the term rock to signify strength, &c., appears in a multitude of places. The rock of a sword, Psa. lxxxix. 43, for the edge of the sword, in which its energy lies, is, perhaps, as strange an expression to western ears.

    I shall have occasion to speak of the excellence of the grapes of Judea in a succeeding chapter; I may therefore be excused from pursuing the farther examination of the productions of this country, upon giving my reader a remark of Dr. Shaw's to this purpose, that it is impossible for pulse, wheat, or grain of any kind, to be richer or better tasted than what is sold at Jerusalem. Only it may not be amiss to add, with respect to this country's being well watered, that the depth, µht tehom, spoken of in this passage, seems to mean reservoirs of water filled by the rains of winter, and of great use to make their lands fertile; as the second word hytl[t tealotheiha seems to mean wells, or some such sort of conveniences, supplied by springs, and the first word; hytrhn naharotheiha rivers or running streams, whether carrying a larger or smaller body of water. What an important part of this pleasing description, especially in the ears of those that had wandered near forty years in a most dry and parched wilderness! I will only add, without entering into particulars, that the present face of the country answers this description.


    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 8. A land of wheat and barley , etc.] There were two harvests in it, one a barley harvest, which began at the passover, and the other a wheat harvest, which began at Pentecost: instances of the great plenty of these might be observed in the vast quantities consumed in the times of Solomon, in his household, and in the yearly distribution he made to Hiram, ( Kings 4:22,28 5:11 2 Chronicles 2:10), yea, there was such plenty of wheat in this land, that it not only supplied the inhabitants of it, but even furnished other countries with it; with this the merchants of Israel and Judah traded at the market of Tyre, ( Ezekiel 27:17 Acts 12:20).

    According to the Jewish writers, the best fine wheat flour was at Mechumas and Mezonichah, and the next to them was Chephraim, or Ephraim, in the valley f80 : and vines ; with which this land abounded everywhere; the places most noted were Lebanon, Eshcol, Engedi, Ashkelon, Gaza, and Sarepta; according to the above writers f81 , Cerotim and Hatolim were the first for wine, and the second to them were Beth Rimah and Beth Laban in the mountain, and Caphat Sigmah in the valley; the wine of Sharon is also highly commended by them f82 and fig trees and pomegranates : according to Josephus f83 , the country of Gennesaret furnished with the best grapes and figs for ten months without intermission, and the rest of fruits throughout the whole year. Figs and pomegranates, the spies brought with them when they returned from searching the land, as well as grapes, are a specimen of the fruits of it, ( Numbers 13:23) a land of oil olive ; the mount of Olives was famous for olive trees, and had its name from thence; the whole land abounded with them, and though oil was so much in common use with the Jews, they supplied their neighbours with it: (see 1 Kings 5:11 2 Chronicles 2:10 Ezekiel 27:17). It was usual also, as we are told, for the ten tribes to send oil into Egypt f84 ; according to the Jewish doctors, Tekoah was the first place for oil, and the second, Ragab, beyond Jordan f85 ; very probably the same with Argob, ( Deuteronomy 3:4). and honey ; besides the great quantities of honey produced by bees in this country, there was much of another sort that dropped from trees, called wild honey, the food of John the Baptist in the wilderness, ( Matthew 3:4). Pliny speaks of a sort of honey which he calls “eloeomeli”, or oil honey, which is said to flow from the olive trees in Syria; but this honey here is generally thought by the Jewish writers to be an honey which was made of the fruit of palm trees, frequent in this country, and especially about Jericho; of which Josephus says, that the palm trees about Jericho, the fatter of them (i.e. of the fruit of them) being pressed, emit a large quantity of honey, scarce exceeded by any; and Maimonides says, that the honey spoken of in the law, particularly in this place, is honey of palm trees, so Ben Melech; and it was not unusual for people of other nations to make honey of the fruit of them. Herodotus reports, that the Babylonians made honey out of palm trees; so the Arabs call honey of palm trees “dibs, dibis, dipso” f90 , the same with the word here used; agreeably to which both the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem paraphrase the words, “out of whose palm trees honey is made.”


    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 1-9 - Obedience must be, 1. Careful, observe to do; 2. Universal, to do all the commandments; and 3. From a good principle, with a regard to God a the Lord, and their God, and with a holy fear of him. To engage them to this obedience. Moses directs them to look back. It is good to remembe all the ways, both of God's providence and grace, by which he has le us through this wilderness, that we may cheerfully serve him and trus in him. They must remember the straits they were sometimes brough into, for mortifying their pride, and manifesting their perverseness to prove them, that they and others might know all that was in their heart, and that all might see that God chose them, not for any thing in them which might recommend them to his favour. They must remember the miraculous supplies of food and raiment granted them. Let none of God' children distrust their Father, nor take any sinful course for the supply of their necessities. Some way or other, God will provide for them in the way of duty and honest diligence, and verily they shall be fed. It may be applied spiritually; the word of God is the food of the soul. Christ is the word of God; by him we live. They must als remember the rebukes they had been under, and not without need. Thi use we should make of all our afflictions; by them let us be quickene to our duty. Moses also directs them to look forward to Canaan. Loo which way we will, both to look back and to look forward, to Canaan Look which way we will, both to look back and to look forward wil furnish us with arguments for obedience. Moses saw in that land a typ of the better country. The gospel church is the New Testament Canaan watered with the Spirit in his gifts and graces, planted with trees of righteousness, bearing fruits of righteousness. Heaven is the goo land, in which nothing is wanting, and where is fulness of joy.


    Original Hebrew

    ארץ 776 חטה 2406 ושׂערה 8184 וגפן 1612 ותאנה 8384 ורמון 7416 ארץ 776 זית 2132 שׁמן 8081 ודבשׁ׃ 1706


    CHAPTERS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34
    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

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