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Bible Commentaries

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Deuteronomy 8

Verse 1

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.

Live — Live comfortably and happily.

Verse 2

And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

All the way — All the events which befel three in the way, the miraculous protections, deliverances, provisions, instructions which God gave thee; and withal the frequent and severe punishments of thy disobedience.

To know — That thou mightest discover to thyself and others that infidelity, inconstancy, hypocrisy, and perverseness, which lay hid in thy heart; the discovery whereof was of singular use both to them, and to the church of God in all succeeding ages. It is good for us likewise to remember all the ways both of God's providence and grace, by which he has led us hitherto through the wilderness, that we may trust him, and chearfully serve him.

Verse 3

And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

By every word — That is, by every or any thing which God appoints for this end, how unlikely so-ever it may seem to be for nourishment; seeing it is not the creature, but only God's command and blessing upon it, that makes it sufficient for the support of life.

Verse 5

Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.

As a man chastiseth his son — That is, unwillingly, being constrained by necessity; moderately, in judgment remembering mercy; and for thy reformation not thy destruction.

Verse 7

For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;

Depths — Deep wells or springs, or lakes, which were numerous and large.

Verse 9

A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.

Whose stones are iron — Where are mines of iron in a manner as plentiful as stones, and upon which travellers must tread, as in other parts they do upon stones.

Verse 10

When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.

Bless the Lord — Solemnly praise him for thy food; which is a debt both of gratitude and justice, because it is from his providence and favour that thou receivest both thy food and refreshment and strength by it. The more unworthy and absurd is that too common profaneness of them, who, professing to believe a God, from whom all their comforts come, grudge to own him at their meals, either by desiring his blessing before them, or by offering due praise to God after them.

Verse 14

Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;

Lifted up — As if thou didst receive and enjoy these things, either, by thy owns wisdom, and valour, and industry, or for thy own merit.

Verse 16

Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;

That he might humble thee — By keeping thee in a constant dependence upon him for every day's food, and convincing thee what an impotent, helpless creature thou art, having nothing whereon to subsist, and being supported wholly by the alms of divine goodness from day to day. The mercies of God, if duly considered, are as powerful a mean to humble us as the greatest afflictions, because they increase our debts to God, and manifest our dependance upon him, and by making God great, they make us little in our own eyes.

To do thee good — That is, that after he hath purged and prepared thee by afflictions, thou mayest receive and enjoy his blessings with less disadvantage, whilst by the remembrance of former afflictions. thou art made thankful for them, and more cautious not to abuse them.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/wen/deuteronomy-8.html. 1765.