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Moses having repeated the ten commandments in the former chapter,
here explains the first, and exhorts them to obedience. INTOW these [are) the commandments of the moral law,
IV the statutes of the ceremonial law, and the judgments of the judicial law, which the LORD your God commanded
to teach you, that ye might do (them) in the land whither 2 ye go to possess it ; That thou mightest fear the LORD thy
God, to keep all his statutes, and his commandments which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life ; and that thy days may be prolonged, that
thou mayest procure length of days, and all desirable prosperity. 3 Hear therefore, Israel, and observe to do [it,] that it may
be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land
that floweth with milk and honey. 4 Hear, O Israel : the LORD qur God [is] pne LORD ; one supreme, selfexistent, underived Being, who alone is worthy of
supreme adoration and worship. Their Arm belief of this, 5 would be their best guard against idolatry. And thou shalt
love the LORD thy God with all thine heart ;, its foundation must be laid in the understanding, in believing in God, and knowing what he is ; and with all thy soul, thy will and affections must
be influenced by it ; and with all thy might, with the utmost 6 ability of both; thus did Josiah, 2 Kings xxiii. 25. And these
words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart;
this is one method to promote the love of God, to treasure up in 7 your hearts these important admonitions : And another is, thou
shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, rub it on their minds over and over again, as we whet a tool ; the Hebrew signifies to whet, or sharpen; giving them line upon line, and precept upon precept ; especially this great principle, the unity of God ; and this first precept, to love him with all their hearts; and thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thoù walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, 8 and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a
sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between 9 thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy
house, and on thy gates : thou shalt take great pains to keep up the remembrance of God's power.*
And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought · thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abra.
* The Jews took this literally, and wrote texts of scripture on little scrolls of parch. ment, which they wore on their foreheads, on their wrists, in the skirts of their gar. mėnts, and nailed them to their door posts; for this our Lord reproves them, Matt. xxiii. s.
ham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, 11 which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good [things,j
which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full ; Moses speaks of these
things with great assurance, as what would certainly come to pass, 12 and adds, [Then] beware lest thou forget the LORD which
brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage ; let not prosperity make thee forget God, but re. member Egyht, and the wonderful appearances of God in bring
ing you from thence. · Then follow some general precepts of 13 great importance : Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and
serve him, and shalt swear by his name only, when called to 14 take a solemn oath, and not by idols, or any creature.* Ye shall : not go after other gods, of the gods of the people whích [are] 15 round about you ; (For the LORD thy God [is] a jealous God
among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled
against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth. 16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, by doubting of his wis
dom, power, or goodness, as ye tempted [him] in Massaḥ. 17 Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your
God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath 18 commanded thee. And thou shalt do [that which is] right
and good in the sight of the LORD, not following your own fan- cies, or superstitious inventions ; that it may be well with thee,
and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which 19 the LORD sware unto thy fathers, To cast out all thine ene.
mies from before thee; to drive out all the Canaanites, as the · LORD hath spoken ; otherwise they will tempt thee to idolatry. 20 [And] when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, • What (mean] the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judg.
ments, which the LORD our 'God hath commanded you? 21 Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bond
men in Egypt; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with 22 a mighty hand: And the Lord showed signs and wonders,
great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his 23 household, before our eyes : And he brought us out from
• thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which 24 he sware unto our fathers. And the LORD commanded us to ? do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good
always, that he might preserve us alive, as [it is] at this day, 25 And it shall be our righteousness; if we observe to do all these
commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath com..
Our Lord quotes this text in reply to the tempter, Matt. iv. io. with the addition of the word only. Without this word his reply seems not conclusive. It is probable, therefore, that word was originally in the text ; for, without it, the text does not clearly condemn that regard to other deities, which some of them maintained in common with JEHOVAH, and which it was certainly the intention of Moses in these words to condemn. Edit.
manded us ; 'we shall be owned, and pronounced by God to be truly righteous and holy persons, if we sincerely obey him.*
TE are here taught,, that the infinite and eternal Je
V hovah should have the chief place in our thoughts, affections and regards. We, as christians; enjoy great advantages for the knowledge, fear, love, and worship of God. We believe his unity ; that there is one only living and true God; and though there are gods many, and lords many ; yet to us there is but one God, from whom all other beings are derived, and upon whom all are dependent. Such are the first principles of religion. Moses and the prophets taught it, and Christ inculcated it. The first great command of the New Testament is, to love the Lord thy God, to entertain the highest esteem for him, the greatest: delight in him, a readiness to do his will and to submit to his proposals. Yea, the whole duty of man is, to fear God and keep his commandments. It is our duty also to rely on his proyidence, not to tempt him by murmuring and fretfulness; Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God, v. 16. Christ quoted this passage, when Satan tempted him to throw himself from the top of the temple, Matt. iv. 7. And as we should not distrust his care, while we are in the way of duty, so let us not presume upon enjoying his protection and blessing, while we neglect it. Let us labour to do that which is right and good in his sight ; make his will and word (not our own inclinations and fancy) the rule of our lives and worship. May we consider him at all times ; and especially watch over our hearts in times of prosperity, that we do not forget God. 11:2. Great care should be taken to make the law of God familiar to our minds. We have no occasion for phylacteries, nor to write it on our door posts, for the word is nigh unto us. Since the invention of printing, bibles are in almost every hand. Let us then study them carefully, treasure up their contents in our hearts, and meditate on the rules and directions therein given. He that sincerely loves God, will love his word ; his delight will be in the law of the Lord, and in that taw he will meditate day and night.
3. It is a matter of the greatest consequence to the support of religion, that children be instructed in the law of God. They must be trained up in the way of God, brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord : be taught diligently the first principles of religion ; that there is but one God and Father of all ; that they are to love him as the author of their frame ; and, that he is the giver of every good gift. We should teach them the plain things of religion ; not speculative and abstruse doctrines, and matters of doubtful disputation. And this should be done every day, when walking by the way, when sitting in the house, at our tables, and by our fire sides ; and take every occasion to speak of God and religion to our children and domestics. Let us especially be careful to do this when they inquire about these things ; and encourage them to propose questions of this kind, by answering them readily and cheerfully. Should they inquire the meaning or design of the statutes and ordinances of the gospel; why children are baptized ? why we eat bread and drink wine in our religious assemblies ? and of other religious services; let us be ready to answer them. And whether they ask or no, it is our duty to teach them; to show them the nature of religion, and how much it will be for their honour and interest to fear and serve God, and keep his statutes ; how pleasing it is to him, and how useful it will make them in the world. This is God's direc. tion, and therefore we may cheerfully hope that our compliance with it will not be in vain ; especially as he hath declared, that if we train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it.
* The LXX render it, and the Hebrew may signify, mercy shall be to us if we obserte, and God will continue his kindness and good will unto us; and in keeping his command ments we shall find a great reward
The same subject (obedience to the first commandment) is continu.
ed ; and all communion with the nations forbidden, for fear of idolatry. I IN HEN the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the
VV land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier
than thou; here God promises to bring them into the land, and 2 then directs them what to do; And when the LORD thy God shall
deliver them before thee ; thou shalt smite them, [and] utter. ly destroy them ; thou shalt make no covenant with them, except they forsake their idolatry, embrace the true religion, submit, and desire peace as Joshua vi. 25. ix. 15. nor show mer
cy unto them, to share them, or permit them to dwell with you 3 in the land : Neither shalt thou make marriages with them ;
thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daugha ter shalt thou take unto thy son, nor with any other heathens,
however rich or honourable their family : this was the ruin of 4 the old world, and, if you fall into it, will be yours : For they
will turn away thy son from following me, that they may
serve other gods : so will the anger of the LORD be kindled 5 against you, and destroy thee suddenly. Bút thus shall ye
deal with them ; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, that are planted about their temples and altars, and burn their graven images with fire ; all the relics of idolatry must be destroyed, and every thing removed that might keep up any remembrance of it.
For thou [art] an holy people, unto the Lord thy God : the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people
unto himself, above all people that (are) upon the face of the Y earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose
you because ye were more in number than any people, for ye (were] the fewest of all people : But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. These are the reaSON8 why they should do so, namely, their relation to God, his free grace in choosing them, and his faithfulness to his promises, though there was nothing in them to merit such favour. These arguments are en forced by a promise and a threatening.
Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them
that love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand 10 generations ; And repayeth them that hate him and break his
commandments to their face, to destroy them : he will not be .slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face, I openly, 80 that he shall not be able to avoid it ; but he will plainly Il see that it is a punishment from God, inflicted for his sin. Thou
shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do
them. 12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these
judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers, that is, the covenant of mercy : or, he
will do more through his great mercy than he promised in his cov13 enant ; And he will continue to love thee, and bless thee, and
multiply thee : he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thý corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the
increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land 14 which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee. Thou shalt be
blessed above all people : there shall not be male or female 15 barren among you, or among your cattle. And the LORD
will take away from thee all sickness, common diseases and in. firmities, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt,*
* These were either sore boils, with which the Egyptians were visited, or some other diseases peculiar to them.