And you say in your heart, My power and the might of my hand has gotten me this wealth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint—(See on De 9:21).Deuteronomy 8:14,
and thou forget the Lord thy God; the author and giver of all the good things enjoyed, and think within themselves, though they might not express it in words at length:
my power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth; so ascribing that to themselves, their labour, and diligence, which ought to be ascribed to the bounty and blessing of God; see Hosea 12:8.And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)17. thou say in thine heart] That is not only as if convinced; but, whether or not thou sayest this expressly with thy lips, thou feelest and practically behavest as if thine own power and might had gotten thee this wealth.Verses 17, 18. - The blessing in store for them was God's free gift to them; and when they came to enjoy it they were not to allow themselves to say in their heart, i.e. to think or imagine, that the prosperous condition in which they were placed was the result of their own exertions; they were to ascribe all to God's gracious bounty, for from him had come the power by which prosperity had been gained, and this he had given, not on account of any merit in them, but that he might fulfill his covenant engagements to their fathers. Get wealth עָשָׂה חַיִל, to make strength, to gather substance (Genesis 12:5), to procure wealth (Ruth 4:11, margin; Ezekiel 28:4). As it is this day. "As was quite evident then, when the establishment of the covenant had already commenced, and Israel had come through the desert to the border of Canaan (see Deuteronomy 4:20)" (Keil). Deuteronomy 8:14-16 the manifestations of divine grace, their deliverance from Egypt the slave-house, their being led through the great and terrible desert, whose terrors he depicts by mentioning a series of noxious and even fatal things, such as snakes, burning snakes (saraph, see at Numbers 21; 6), scorpions, and the thirsty land where there was no water. The words from נחשׁ, onwards, are attached rhetorically to what precedes by simple apposition, without any logically connecting particle; though it will not do to overlook entirely the rhetorical form of the enumeration, and supply the preposition בּ before נחשׁ and the words which follow, to say nothing of the fact that it would be quite out of character before these nouns in the singular, as a whole people could not go through one serpent, etc. In this parched land the Lord brought he people water out of the flinty rock, the hardest stone, and fed them with manna, to humble them and tempt them (cf. Deuteronomy 8:2), in order (this was the ultimate intention of all the humiliation and trial) "to do thee good at thy latter end." The "latter end" of any one is "the time which follows some distinct point in his life, particularly an important epoch-making point, and which may be regarded as the end by contrast, the time before that epoch being considered as the beginning" (Schultz). In this instance Moses refers to the period of their life in Canaan, in contrast with which the period of their sojourn in Egypt and their wandering in the desert is recorded as the beginning; consequently the expression does not relate to death as the end of life, as in Numbers 23:10, although this allusion is not to be altogether excluded, as a blessed death is only the completion of a blessed life. - Like all the guidance of Israel by the Lord, what is stated here is applicable to all believers. It is through humiliations and trials that the Lord leads His people to blessedness. Through the desert of tribulation, anxiety, distress, and merciful interposition, He conducts them to Canaan, into the land of rest, where they are refreshed and satisfied in the full enjoyment of the blessings of His grace and salvation; but those alone who continue humble, not attributing the good fortune and prosperity to which they attain at last, to their own exertion, strength, perseverance, and wisdom, but gratefully enjoying this good as a gift of the grace of God. חיל עשׂה, to create property, to prosper in wealth (as in Numbers 24:18). God gave strength for this (Deuteronomy 8:18), not because of Israel's merit and worthiness, but to fulfil His promises which He had made on oath to the patriarchs. "As this day," as was quite evident then, when the establishment of the covenant had already commenced, and Israel had come through the desert to the border of Canaan (see Deuteronomy 4:20).
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