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.
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(1) All the commandments.—Perhaps this verse should be placed at the conclusion of the preceding paragraph rather than at the commencement of the next. The second verse of this chapter introduces a fresh branch of the subject.

That ye may . . . go in and possess.—This does not refer simply to the passage of Jordan and the first conquest under Joshua so much as to that work of possession in detail which Joshua left for Israel to do after their first establishment in the country. On this distinction, see Joshua 13:1; Joshua 13:7 (Note).

Deuteronomy 8:1. That ye may live — Comfortably and prosperously, for life, in the Scripture phrase, signifies more than bare life, namely, happiness and prosperity, Genesis 17:18; 1 Samuel 25:6; Leviticus 25:36; 1 Thessalonians 3:8. On the other hand, afflictions and calamities are called death, Exodus 10:17, and 2 Corinthians 11:23.

8:1-9 Obedience must be, 1. Careful, observe to do; 2. Universal, to do all the commandments; and 3. From a good principle, with a regard to God as the Lord, and their God, and with a holy fear of him. To engage them to this obedience. Moses directs them to look back. It is good to remember all the ways, both of God's providence and grace, by which he has led us through this wilderness, that we may cheerfully serve him and trust in him. They must remember the straits they were sometimes brought into, for mortifying their pride, and manifesting their perverseness; to prove them, that they and others might know all that was in their heart, and that all might see that God chose them, not for any thing in them which might recommend them to his favour. They must remember the miraculous supplies of food and raiment granted them. Let none of God's children distrust their Father, nor take any sinful course for the supply of their necessities. Some way or other, God will provide for them in the way of duty and honest diligence, and verily they shall be fed. It may be applied spiritually; the word of God is the food of the soul. Christ is the word of God; by him we live. They must also remember the rebukes they had been under, and not without need. This use we should make of all our afflictions; by them let us be quickened to our duty. Moses also directs them to look forward to Canaan. Look which way we will, both to look back and to look forward, to Canaan. Look which way we will, both to look back and to look forward will furnish us with arguments for obedience. Moses saw in that land a type of the better country. The gospel church is the New Testament Canaan, watered with the Spirit in his gifts and graces, planted with trees of righteousness, bearing fruits of righteousness. Heaven is the good land, in which nothing is wanting, and where is fulness of joy.The silver or gold that is on them - The silver and gold with which the statues of the gods were overlaid. Paul is probably alluding to this command in Romans 2:22; and his accusation of the Jew thus shows that the prohibition of the text was very necessary.

Lest thou be snared - As by the rich ephod made by Gideon: compare the marginal reference.


De 8:1-20. An Exhortation to Obedience.

1. All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live—In all the wise arrangements of our Creator duty has been made inseparably connected with happiness; and the earnest enforcement of the divine law which Moses was making to the Israelites was in order to secure their being a happy (because a moral and religious) people: a course of prosperity is often called "life" (Ge 17:18; Pr 3:2).

live, and multiply—This reference to the future increase of their population proves that they were too few to occupy the land fully at first.Israel is exhorted to obedience, Deu 8:1, and to remember God’s judgments and mercies, Deu 8:2-6. The excellency of the land they were going into, Deu 8:7-9. Not to forget the Lord in their fulness and prosperity, Deu 8:10-16; nor ascribe their wealth to their own power, Deu 8:17, but to God, Deu 8:18. God threatens to destroy idolaters, Deu 8:19,20.

That ye may live, i.e. live comfortably and happily, as life is oft taken, as Genesis 17:18 Proverbs 3:2; as, on the contrary, troubles or afflictions are called death, Exodus 10:17 2 Corinthians 11:23.

All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do,.... It is repeated over and over again, to impress it on their minds, and to show the importance and necessity of it, how greatly it was expected from them, and how much it was incumbent on them:

that ye may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers; for their temporal life, and the mercies and comforts of it, the multiplication of their offspring, and of their substance, their entrance into the land of Canaan, possession of it, and continuance in it, all depended on their obedience to the commands of God; see Deuteronomy 19:20.

All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe {a} to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers.

(a) Showing that it is not enough to hear the word, unless we express it by the example of our lives.

1. The change from Sg. to Pl. is confirmed by Sam. LXX has Pl. throughout the v. Is the Heb. and Sam. Sg. in the first clause due to the attraction of the Sg. in the previous verses? Or is the LXX Pl. due to a harmonising purpose? It is impossible to say. The suspicion of the originality of the v., which is raised by the Pl. address, is strengthened by the character of the clauses, all of them frequently recurrent formulas, dear to editorial scribes, and none of them necessary just here. On all the commandment, see Deuteronomy 5:31; observe to do, Deuteronomy 5:1; multiply, Deuteronomy 6:3; go in and possess, Deuteronomy 6:1.

Verses 1-6. - That they might be induced the more faithfully to observe all the commandments which had been enjoined upon them so as to go on and prosper, they are called to remember the experiences of the forty years in the wilderness, when God guided them and disciplined them for their good. He humbled them that he might test the state of their heart and affections towards him, using the distress and privations to which they were subjected as means of bringing out what was in them, and of leading them to feel their entire dependence on him for help, sustenance, and guidance. Not only by commands difficult to be obeyed laid on men, and by mighty works done in their view, does God prove men (cf. Genesis 22:1, etc.; Exodus 15:25; Exodus 20:20); but also by afflictions and calamities (Judges 2:22; 3:4; Psalm 17:3; Psalm 81:7, etc.), as well as by benefits (Exodus 16:4). Humbled so as to see his own weakness, chastised out of all self-conceit by affliction, man is brought to submit to God, to hear and obey him; and along with this the experience of God's goodness tends to draw men, in grateful acknowledgment of his mercy and bounty, to yield themselves to him and sincerely and lovingly to serve him (cf. Romans 2:4). Verses 1, 2. - God's dealings with the Israelites were disciplinary. Both by the afflictions and privations to which they were subjected, and by the provision they received and the protection afforded to them, God sought to bring them into and keep them in a right state of mind towards him - a state of humble dependence, submissive obedience, and hopeful trust. But that this effect should be produced, it was needful that they should mark and remember all his ways towards them. Deuteronomy 8:1In addition to the danger of being drawn aside to transgress the covenant, by sparing the Canaanites and their idols out of pusillanimous compassion and false tolerance, the Israelites would be especially in danger, after their settlement in Canaan, of falling into pride and forgetfulness of God, when enjoying the abundant productions of that land. To guard against this danger, Moses set before them how the Lord had sought to lead and train them to obedience by temptations and humiliations during their journey through the desert. In order that his purpose in doing this might be clearly seen, he commenced (Deuteronomy 8:1) with the renewed admonition to keep the whole law which he commanded them that day, that they might live and multiply and attain to the possession of the promised land (cf. Deuteronomy 4:1; Deuteronomy 6:3).
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