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DEUTERONOMY CHAPTER 11
Moses exhorts them to obedience by rehearsing God’s works, Deuteronomy 11:1-9, and by the excellency of the land they were to possess, Deuteronomy 11:10-12.
A promise of blessings to their obedience, Deuteronomy 11:13-15.
They are warned against idolatry, Deuteronomy 11:16,Deuteronomy 11:17.
To teach it their children, Deuteronomy 11:19; and keep memorials of it, Deuteronomy 11:20, for their own benefit, Deuteronomy 11:21.
God promises again, upon their obedience, to drive out the nations, Deuteronomy 11:22-25.
A blessing and a curse is set before them, Deuteronomy 11:26-28.
They are bid to bless on Mount Gerizim, but curse on Mount Ebal, Deuteronomy 11:29.
Know ye, i.e. acknowledge and consider it with diligence and thankfulness.
The effect of which destruction continueth to this day, in their weakness and fear, and our safety from all their further attempts against us.
In their possession, Heb. at their feet, i.e. under their power, Psalms 8:6, which followed them, or belonged to them.
All of them had seen some, and some of them had seen all the great things done in Egypt, and at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness.
i.e. With great pains and labour of thy feet, partly by going up and down to fetch water and disperse it, and partly by digging furrows with thy foot, and using engines for distributing the water, which engines they thrust with their feet. For though the river Nilus did once in a year overflow the grounds, and made them fruitful, yet ofttimes it failed or scanted them, and then they were put to great pains about their ground; and when it did overflow sufficiently, and left its mud upon the earth, yet that mud was in a little time hardened, and needed another watering and much digging and labour both of the hands and feet, especially in places something higher or more remote from that river; which inconvenience Canaan was free from.
A land of hills and valleys; and therefore much more healthful than Egypt was, which as it was enriched, so it was annoyed with Nilus, which overflowed the land in summer time, and thereby made the country both unpleasant and, which is much worse, unhealthful. And health being the greatest of all outward blessings, Canaan must therefore needs be a more desirable habitation than Egypt, which is the thing here implied.
Drinketh water of the rain of heaven which is more honourable, because this comes not from man’s art or industry, but immediately from God’s power and goodness; more easy, being given thee without thy charge or pains; more sweet and pleasant, not hindering thy going abroad upon thy occasions, as the overflow of Nilus did, whereby the Egyptians were confined in a great measure to their several houses; more safe and healthful, being free from that mud which attends upon the waters of Nilus; and more certain too, the former and the latter rain being promised to be given to them in their several seasons, upon condition of their obedience, which condition, though it may seem a clog and inconvenience, yet indeed was a great benefit, that by their own necessities and worldly interest they should be obliged to that obedience, upon which their happiness depended both for this life and for the next.
Land which the Lord careth for, to wit, in a special manner, watering it immediately as it were by his own hand, without man’s help, and giving peculiar blessings to it, which Egypt enjoys not.
The eyes of the Lord are always upon us, to give it the rain and other blessings proper to the several seasons. But all these mercies, and the fruitfulness of the land consequent; upon them, were suspended upon their disobedience, as it here follows. And therefore it is not at all strange that some later writers decry the land of Canaan as in great part a barren soil, which is so far from affording any ground to question the Divine authority of the Holy Scriptures, in which its fruitfulness is declared, that it doth much more confirm it, this being but an effect of that threatening that God would turn a fruitful land into barrenness for the wickedness of those that dwell in it, Psalms 107:34, and elsewhere; and the wickedness of the Israelites in succeeding ages being notorious, it is but just and fit that the barrenness of their land should be as evident and infamous.
The rain of your land, i.e. which is needful and sufficient for your land; or which is proper to your land, not common to Egypt, where, as all authors agree, there is little or no rain.
The first rain and the latter rain; the first fell in seed time, to make the corn spring, the other a little before harvest, to ripen it. See Jeremiah 5:24; Joel 2:23; Amos 4:7; James 5:7.
That your heart be not deceived by the specious pretenses of idolaters, who will plead the general consent of all nations, except yours, in the worship of creatures, and that they worship the creatures only for God’s sake, and as they are glorious works of God, whom they worship in and by them; which, and the like arguments, being commonly alleged by heathens for their idolatries, as their own writers declare, might possibly seduce an unwary Israelite; and therefore they are here cautioned against such deceit, and withal it is implied, that if a man’s mind be corrupted and deceived, so as he believes idolatry to be lawful, this will not excuse him in the sight of God.
Heaven is compared sometimes to a bottle, Job 38:37, which may be either stopped or opened; sometimes to a great storehouse, wherein God lays up his treasures of rain, Job 38:22; Psalms 33:7, the doors whereof God is said to open when he gives rain, and to shut when he withholds it. See 1 Kings 8:35; 2 Chronicles 6:26; 2 Chronicles 7:13.
i.e. As long as this visible world lasts, whilst the heaven keeps its place and continues its influences upon earth, until all these things be dissolved. Compare Psalms 72:5; Psalms 81:15; Psalms 89:29; Jeremiah 33:25.
Every place; not absolutely, as if the Jews should be lords of all the world, as the rabbins fondly conceit; but in the Promised Land, as it is restrained in the following words.
Shall be yours, either by possession, or by dominion, to wit, upon condition of your obedience.
From the wilderness, to wit, of Sin, on the south side.
And Lebanon; and from Lebanon; or, and to Lebanon, which was the northern border.
The river Euphrates on the east. So far their right of dominion extended, but that their sins cut them short; and so far Solomon extended his dominion.
Unto the uttermost sea; the western or midland sea; Heb.
the hindermost sea; for the eastern part of the world being generally esteemed the foremost, and the southern on the right hand, Psalms 89:12, and consequently the northern on the left hand, the western part must needs be behind. Of these bounds of the land see Genesis 10:19; Genesis 15:18; Exodus 23:31; Joshua 1:3,Joshua 1:4.
I propose them to your minds and to your choice.
Which you have no acquaintance with, nor experience of their power or wisdom or goodness, as you have had of mine.
Thou shalt put the blessing, Heb. thou shalt give, i.e. speak or pronounce, or cause to be pronounced. So the word to give is used, Deuteronomy 13:1,Deuteronomy 13:2; Job 36:3; Proverbs 9:9. This is more particularly expressed Deuteronomy 27:12,Deuteronomy 27:13; Joshua 8:33, whither I refer the reader.
Over against Gilgal; looking towards Gilgal, though at some considerable distance from it, as this particle is sometimes used.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Deuteronomy 11". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27