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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Deuteronomy 8

 

 

Verse 1

Deuteronomy 8:1 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.

Ver. 1. All the commandments.] "All" is but a little word, but of large extent. There are magnalia legis , and minutula legis; Look to both the greater and the lesser things of the law. [Matthew 23:23]


Verse 2

Deuteronomy 8:2 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.

Ver. 2. To know what was,] i.e., To discover and make known to thyself and others. (a) When fire is put to green wood, there comes out abundance of watery stuff that before appeared not. When the pond is empty, the mud, filth, and toads come to light. The snow drift covers many a muckhill; so doth prosperity many a rotten heart. It is easy to wade in a warm bath; and every bird can sing in a sunshine day, &c. Hard weather tries what health, afflictions try what sap we have, what solidity. Withered leaves soon fall off in windy weather; rotten boughs quickly break with heavy weights, &c.


Verse 3

Deuteronomy 8:3 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.

Ver. 3. And he humbled thee.] Humbled they were, many of them, but not humble: low, but not lowly. Perdiderunt fructum afflictionum, &c. (a)

That he might make thee know.] We never know so well, how good, sweet, and seasonable the Lord is, as when under the cross. Vexatio dat intellecture.

That man cloth not live.] {See Trapp on "Matthew 4:4"}


Verse 4

Deuteronomy 8:4 Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.

Ver. 4. Thy raiment weaved not old.] It was not the worse for wearing, but grew as their bodies did, as some are of opinion. They needed not to trouble themselves with those anxious thoughts of heathens, what they should eat, drink, or put on. Never was prince served and supplied in such state as these Israelites were.


Verse 5

Deuteronomy 8:5 Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, [so] the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.

Ver. 5. That as a man chasteneth his son.] This is reckoned here as a high favour. So Job accounts it, [Job 7:17-18] and Paul describes it, [Hebrews 12:7-8] and Jeremiah prays for it. [Jeremiah 10:24]


Verse 6

Deuteronomy 8:6 Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.

Ver. 6. Therefore thou shalt keep.] As good children are the better for beating, and do gather under the wing of a frowning father.


Verse 7

Deuteronomy 8:7 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;

Ver. 7. That spring out of valleys.] Quantum miraculi sit in admiranda illa fontium perennitate, nemo, credo, Philosophorum satis explicare hactenus potuit. The perennity of springs is a just wonder, and not far from a miracle.


Verse 8

Deuteronomy 8:8 A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;

Ver. 8. A land of wheat and barley.] Sumen totius orbis. Strabo basely slandereth this fat and fertile country as dry and barren; but Rabshakeh [2 Kings 18:32] and Tacitus tell us otherwise. The testimony here given of it is above all exception.


Verse 9

Deuteronomy 8:9 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.

Ver. 9. Thou shalt not lack anything in it.] Of the Island of Cyprus it is said, that it sendeth forth great abundance of commodities to other countries, of whom it craveth no help again. (a) It was anciently called Macaria, the Blessed. Marcellinus, to show the fertility of it, saith that Cyprus aboundeth with such plenty of all things, that without the help of any other foreign country, it is, of itself, able to build a tall ship from the keel to the topsail, and so put it to sea, furnished of all things needful. Of Egypt also it is reported, that it is so fruitful a country, Ut cunctos mortales pascere, deos ipsos excipere hospitio salva re posse gloriaretur. It was anciently called publicum orbis horreum, the world’s great barn; as some foreign writers have termed our country the court of Queen Ceres, the granary of the western world, the Fortunate Island, the Paradise of Pleasure, and Garden of God. The worst is, that as Aristotle was wont to tax his Athenians, that whereas they were famous for two things, the best land, and the best laws, frumentis uterentur, legibus nequaquam, they abused their plenty, and lived lawlessly; (b) so it may be said of us, that we live in God’s good land, but not by God’s good laws.


Verse 10

Deuteronomy 8:10 When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.

Ver. 10. Then thou shalt bless.]

Rarm fumaut foelicibus arm.

Solomon’s wealth did him more harm than ever his wisdom did him good. But that should not have been. Solomon’s altar was four times as large as Moses’s, [Exodus 27:1] to teach us, that as our peace and prosperity is more than others, so should our service in a due proportion.


Verse 11

Deuteronomy 8:11 Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:

Ver. 11. Beware that thou forget not the Lord.] By casting his words behind thee, [Psalms 50:17] and not considering the operation of his hands. [Isaiah 5:12] Fulness breeds this forgetfulness, laden bodies leaden minds.


Verse 12

Deuteronomy 8:12 Lest [when] thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt [therein];

Ver. 12. And hast built goodly houses.] Haec sunt quae nos invitos faciunt mori. These are the things that make us loath to die, said the Emperor Charles V, to the Duke of Venice, who had showed him the stateliness of his palace and princely furniture.


Verse 13

Deuteronomy 8:13 And [when] thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;

Ver. 13. When thy silver and thy gold.] Which what is it else but white and red mould, the guts and garbage of the earth? Wonder it is surely, that treading upon it we should so much esteem it. Well, if silver and gold be our happiness, then it is in the earth, and so, which is strange, nearer hell, which the Scripture placeth in the deep, than heaven, which all know to be aloft; and so nearer the devil than God.


Verse 14

Deuteronomy 8:14 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;

Ver. 14. Then thy heart be lifted up.] The devil will easily blow up this blab in the rich man’s heart, whose usual diseases are earthly mindedness and high mindedness. Prosperity makes men proud, secure, impatient. [Jeremiah 22:21] In rest they contract much rust.


Verse 15

Deuteronomy 8:15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, [wherein were] fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where [there was] no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;

Ver. 15. Who led thee through, &c.] Good turns aggravate unkindnesses, and our offences are increased by our obligations.


Verse 16

Deuteronomy 8:16 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;

Ver. 16. Who fed thee.] God will give his people Pluviam escatilem, et petram aquatilem. (a) He will set the flint abroach, and rain corn from heaven, rather than they shall pine and perish. [Psalms 78:20; Psalms 78:24]


Verse 17

Deuteronomy 8:17 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of [mine] hand hath gotten me this wealth.

Ver. 17. My power.] As that great dragon of Egypt, lying at ease in the swollen waters of his Nile, saith, "My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself." [Ezekiel 29:3 Habakkuk 1:16]


Verse 19

Deuteronomy 8:19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.

Ver. 19. Ye shall surely perish.] Idolatry is a land desolating sin. [ 5:8]

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 8:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/deuteronomy-8.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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