Deuteronomy 26:16
This day the LORD your God has commanded you to do these statutes and judgments: you shall therefore keep and do them with all your heart, and with all your soul.
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Deuteronomy 26:16-19. CLOSE OF THE EXHORTATION.

(16) This day the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.—These words are not to be taken as part of the service described in the previous verses, but as the words of Moses in bringing his exhortation to a close. Rashi says, “Every day these commandments shall be new before thine eyes, as though on that very day thou hadst received them.”

Thou shalt therefore keep and do them.—It is a beautiful thought that the form of this command (as of many others) makes it prophetic of its own fulfilment. “It is the voice from heaven blessing thee,” says Rashi. (See also Deuteronomy 30:6; Deuteronomy 30:8.)

(17, 18) Thou hast avouched . . . and the Lord hath avouched.—The Hebrew word is simply the ordinary word for “to say.” “Thou hast said,” and “He hath said.” There is no distinctive word for “to promise” in Hebrew. “To say” is sufficient. “Hath He said, and shall He not do it?” “Let your yea be yea, and your nay nay,” like His. But Rashi says there is no exact parallel to this use of the verb in the Old Testament, except, perhaps, in Psalm 94:4, where it means, “they boast themselves.” Let Israel boast in God, and God will boast Himself of them, as His peculiar people.

(19) And to make thee high.—Literally, most high; Heb., ‘Elyôn, a well-known name of God. Here, and in Deuteronomy 28:1, it is (prophetically and in the Divine purpose) applied to Israel. “Thou shalt put my Name upon the children of Israel” was the law of blessing for the priests (Numbers 6:27).

In praise, and in name, and in honour.—Perhaps, rather, to be a praise, and to be a name, and to be an honour, and to become a people of holiness to Jehovah. There is an allusion to this in Jeremiah 33:9, “And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise, and an honour before all the nations of the earth;” and in Isaiah 62:6-7, “Ye that make mention of the name of the Lord, keep not silence, and give Him no rest, till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”

But if, as some would have us believe, the Book of Deuteronomy draws these things from the prophets, rather than the prophets from Moses, how is it that there is not the faintest allusion in Deuteronomy to Jerusalem, which in the days of the prophets had become the centre of all these hopes?

26:16-19 Moses here enforces the precepts. They are God's laws, therefore thou shalt do them, to that end were they given thee; do them, and dispute them not; do them, and draw not back; do them, not carelessly and hypocritically, but with thy heart and soul, thy whole heart and thy whole soul. We forswear ourselves, and break the most sacred engagement, if, when we have taken the Lord to be our God, we do not make conscience of obeying his commands. We are elected to obedience, 1Pe 1:2; chosen that we should be holy, Eph 1:4; purified a peculiar people, that we might not only do good works, but be zealous in them, Tit 2:14. Holiness is true honour, and the only way to everlasting honour.A brief and earnest exhortation by way of conclusion to the second and longest discourse of the book.14. I have not eaten thereof in my mourning—in a season of sorrow, which brought defilement on sacred things; under a pretense of poverty, and grudging to give any away to the poor.

neither … for any unclean use—that is, any common purpose, different from what God had appointed and which would have been a desecration of it.

nor given ought thereof for the dead—on any funeral service, or, to an idol, which is a dead thing.

No text from Poole on this verse. This day the Lord thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments,.... These are the words of Moses, as Aben Ezra rightly observes, and refer not only to the laws last mentioned, but to all others which he had repeated, or the Lord by him had ordered to be observed, recorded in this book: and though it is very probable Moses had been several days repeating former laws, and acquainting them with new ones; yet this being the last day, in which the whole account was finished, they are said to be commanded that day, and though commanded that day were to be observed and done every day; for, as Jarchi says, every day was to be considered and reckoned as new, as if on that day they were commanded them:

thou shall therefore keep and do them with all thy heart, and with all thy soul; cordially, readily, willingly, sincerely, constantly, and to the utmost of their abilities.

This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with {n} all thine heart, and with all thy soul.

(n) With a good and simple conscience.

16. This day] Obviously the same as that emphasised, both in the Introd. Addresses Deuteronomy 4:8, Deuteronomy 5:1, Deuteronomy 8:1; Deuteronomy 8:11; Deuteronomy 8:18, Deuteronomy 10:13, Deuteronomy 11:2; Deuteronomy 11:8; Deuteronomy 11:26; Deuteronomy 11:32, and in the Code Deuteronomy 15:5; Deuteronomy 15:15, Deuteronomy 19:9 (cp. Deuteronomy 12:8), as the day when the laws, revealed to Moses in Ḥoreb were by him published to the people in Moab in the valley over against Beth-peor (Deuteronomy 3:29).

the Lord thy God is commanding thee] This is His part in the contract now to be formulated.

statutes and judgements] See on Deuteronomy 12:1.

keep and do them] See Deuteronomy 4:6, Deuteronomy 7:12, etc.; cp. observe to do, Deuteronomy 5:1, Deuteronomy 8:1, Deuteronomy 12:1; Deuteronomy 12:32, etc. This is Israel’s part in the contract.

with all, etc.] Deuteronomy 6:5 f., Deuteronomy 10:12, cp. Deuteronomy 11:18.

16–19. Concluding Exhortation

The proclamation of these laws and the consequent duty of Israel to keep them (Deuteronomy 26:16) constitute a contract between Jehovah and Israel, by which He declares Himself their God, who shall exalt them above other nations, and they declare themselves His people, proper and holy to Him and obliged to obey His laws (Deuteronomy 26:17-19).—In D’s style and the Sg. address (LXX curiously diverges into the Pl. in the last clause of Deuteronomy 26:16). But the argument has been deranged (so all recent commentators; see esp. Cullen, p. 93) either by later additions inappropriately distributed through a misunderstanding of the legal form used, or through the fusion of different conclusions to the Code. See notes below. It is unnecessary to suppose that the passage originally followed Deuteronomy 27:9 f. or 28.

Though the term covenant is not used, the law-giving is regarded as such, as it is implicitly in Deuteronomy 27:9 f. and explicitly in Deuteronomy 29:1 (Deut 28:69). This idea is also implicit in the Code, and is stated explicitly in Deuteronomy 8:18, Deuteronomy 17:3. So far then, there is no reason for doubting the original character of the passage.

This is so far an answer to Steuern. who assigns the passage to a later deuteronomist. Wellh. indeed takes this day as that of the Covenant at Ḥoreb, and infers that chs. 12–26 were originally understood as delivered there. On the other hand Berth, finds it probable that we have here the formula under which Josiah bound Israel to observe the Law (2 Kings 23:3, cp. Jeremiah 11:2 ff.). For neither of these hypotheses is there any real evidence; and this day is ostensibly the same as that frequently mentioned in the Code and the Introd. Addresses (see on Deuteronomy 26:16).Verse 16. - This day. This refers generally to the time when this discourse was delivered. "So shalt thou set it down (the basket with the first-fruits) before Jehovah." These words are not to be understood, as Clericus, Knobel, and others suppose, in direct opposition to Deuteronomy 26:4 and Deuteronomy 26:5, as implying that the offerer had held the basket in his hand during the prayer, but simply as a remark which closes the instructions.
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