Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Deuteronomy 11

Verses 1-32

Practical Exhortations (concluded)

Some injunctions to obedience, with the blessing it entails, and the curse that follows disobedience.

1. Therefore] There should be no break here: see on Deuteronomy 10:22.

2. Seen the chastisement] i.e. experienced for yourselves the discipline or instruction of the Lord. The word refers not only to the punishment of the Egyptians but' also to the experiences of the Israelites.

6. There is no mention here of Korah: see on Numbers 16.

10, 11. The fields in Egypt require to be watered artificially. The water is raised from the lakes or from the Nile by means of pumps worked by the foot. But the expression wateredst it with thy foot may refer to the practice of diverting the water into numberless little channels by breaking down the separating ridges, or by opening and shutting the sluices, with the foot. The land of Canaan requires no such human devices to render it fruitful. It drinketh water of the rain of heaven. It enjoys the direct blessing of God. A common Palestinian salutation during rain is, 'May God protect you while He is blessing the fields.'

14. First rain] see on Leviticus 26:4.

18-21. See on Deuteronomy 6:8, Deuteronomy 6:9.

21. Heaven upon the earth] RV 'the heavens above the earth.'

24. Cp. Joshua 1:8, Joshua 1:4. The wilderness is the wilderness of Judah in the S.; Lebanon is the northern boundary; the Euphrates is in the E.; and the uttermost sea (ht. 'the hinder sea') is the Mediterranean in the W. In describing the cardinal points the Hebrew stood with his face to the E. or sunrising. Hence in the Hebrew language 'in front' means the E., 'behind' means the W., as in this verse, while 'the right' is the S.: see on Exodus 23:31.

26-32. The Blessing and the Curse. See Deuteronomy 27 and notes there.

28. Other gods, which ye have not known] i.e. who have not revealed themselves in deeds of deliverance and kindness, as Jehovah has done, and who have no claim upon your reverence and obedience. The argument is always the same, though repeated in various forms. Israel's past experience of God's free grace in their election and redemption is the ground of their love and fear of Jehovah.

29. Put the blessing, etc.] This refers either to the erection of the stones inscribed with the blessings and the curses, or to the placing of the two companies mentioned in Deuteronomy 27:12, Deuteronomy 27:13. is, one to bless and the other to curse. Ebal and Gerizim are the most conspicuous of the hills of Samaria, being fully 3,000 ft. high. Ebal is on the N., Gerizim on the S.; and they are separated by a very deep ravine running E. and W. The summits command a view of the whole land. It was here that Abraham received the promise which was fulfilled 400 years later on the same spot: see Joshua 8:30-35. The Samaritans afterwards erected a temple on Mt. Gerisim, which became the rival of the temple at Jerusalem: see John 4:20, John 4:21. The Passover is still celebrated yearly on its summit.

30. The champaign] i.e. the plain, RV 'Arabah': see on Deuteronomy 1:1.

Plains of Moreh] RV 'oaks of Moreh': see Genesis 12:6. The Samaritans claim that Moreh and Moriah (Genesis 22:2) are the same, and that the sacrifice of Isaac therefore took place on Mt. Gerizim. They also assert that Mt. Gerizim was the meeting-place of Abraham and Melchizedek (Genesis 14). The Gilgal mentioned here is not the Gilgal lying between the Jordan and Jericho (see Joshua 4:19), but another place of the same name near Shechem, in the centre of the country. The name means 'circle of (sacred) stones,' a 'cromlech.'

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 11". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.