Deuteronomy 26:6
And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid on us hard bondage:
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26:1-11 When God has made good his promises to us, he expects we should own it to the honour of his faithfulness. And our creature comforts are doubly sweet, when we see them flowing from the fountain of the promise. The person who offered his first-fruits, must remember and own the mean origin of that nation, of which he was a member. A Syrian ready to perish was my father. Jacob is here called a Syrian. Their nation in its infancy sojourned in Egypt as strangers, they served there as slaves. They were a poor, despised, oppressed people in Egypt; and though become rich and great, had no reason to be proud, secure, or forgetful of God. He must thankfully acknowledge God's great goodness to Israel. The comfort we have in our own enjoyments, should lead us to be thankful for our share in public peace and plenty; and with present mercies we should bless the Lord for the former mercies we remember, and the further mercies we expect and hope for. He must offer his basket of first-fruits. Whatever good thing God gives us, it is his will that we make the most comfortable use we can of it, tracing the streams to the Fountain of all consolation.A Syrian ready to perish was my father - The reference is shown by the context to be to Jacob, as the ancestor in whom particularly the family of Abraham began to develop into a nation (compare Isaiah 43:22, Isaiah 43:28, etc.). Jacob is called a Syrian (literally, Aramaean), not only because of his own long residence in Syria with Laban Genesis 29-31, as our Lord was called a Nazarene because of his residence at Nazareth Matthew 2:23, but because he there married and had his children (compare Hosea 12:12); and might be said accordingly to belong to that more than to any other land. 5. thou shalt say … A Syrian ready to perish was my father—rather, "a wandering Syrian." The ancestors of the Hebrews were nomad shepherds, either Syrians by birth as Abraham, or by long residence as Jacob. When they were established as a nation in the possession of the promised land, they were indebted to God's unmerited goodness for their distinguished privileges, and in token of gratitude they brought this basket of first-fruits. No text from Poole on this verse. And the Egyptians evil entreated us,.... Ordered their male children to be killed by the midwives, and by another edict to be drowned by the people:

and afflicted us; by setting taskmasters over them, who put heavy burdens upon them:

and laid upon us hard bondage; in mortar and brick, and all manner of field service, in which they made them serve with rigour, and whereby their lives were made bitter; see Exodus 1:9.

And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage:
6. evil entreated us] JE, Numbers 20:15.

afflicted us] J, Exodus 1:11.

hard bondage] or service. P, Exodus 1:14; Exodus 6:9, 1 Kings 12:4, Isaiah 14:3.Verse 6. - The Egyptians evil entreated us (cf. Exodus 1:11-22; Exodus 2:23, etc.). But whilst the Israelites were to make love the guiding principle of their conduct in their dealings with a neighbour, and even with strangers and foes, this love was not to degenerate into weakness or indifference towards open ungodliness. To impress this truth upon the people, Moses concludes the discourse on the law by reminding them of the crafty enmity manifested towards them by Amalek on their march out of Egypt, and with the command to root out the Amalekites (cf. Exodus 17:9-16). This heathen nation had come against Israel on its journey, viz., at Rephidim in Horeb, and had attacked its rear: "All the enfeebled behind thee, whilst thou wast faint and weary, without fearing God." זנּב, lit., to tail, hence to attack or destroy the rear of an army or of a travelling people (cf. Joshua 10:19). For this reason, when the Lord should have given Israel rest in the land of its inheritance, it was to root out the remembrance of Amalek under heaven. (On the execution of this command, see 1 Samuel 15.) "Thou shalt not forget it:" an emphatic enforcement of the "remember" in Deuteronomy 25:17.
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