Date:         Thu, 19 Jan 1995 10:01:58 +0100
Sender:       Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From:         Teus Benschop 
Subject:      Deuteronomy 11
     1.    Introduction
     2.    Explanation
     3.    Questions
  1. Introduction
  This is  an issue of a  continuous explanation of  the Bible-book Dvarim,
  that is Deuteronomy. If something is  unclear in the explanation, ask the
  editor. The Bible-text is taken from the King James version.
  Deuteronomy 11.
  Title: Moses again exhorts Israel to keep Gods commandments
  Short contents:
  Moshe exhorts Israel  to keep God's  commandments. To do this,  he speaks
  about God's  benefactions and miracles,  and about the  promised land. He
  promises blessing in  the land when they  serve God, but curse  when they
  deviate. They have always to keep the commandments  before their eyes. He
  mentions  the  blessing and  the curse,  which have  to be  pronounced in
  2. Explanation
     1 Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and
     his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, always.
  Moshe says:  "Therefore thou  shall  love the  LORD  thy God".  He  says:
  "Therefore". Why?  This points  back to  the last  part of  the  previous
  chapter.  There, Moshe  mentioned the  benefactions, which  the  LORD had
  given to the nation. "He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done
  for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen. Thy
  fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the
  LORD  thy God  hath  made thee  as the  stars of  heaven  for multitude,"
  Dvariem  / Deuteronomy  10:21,22.  Here,  Moshe is  not  commanding in  a
  threatening way,  but he  mentions the  benefactions, which are  given by
  God.  So, the people  have to  love God in  thankfulness, and "keep   His
  commandments, always."  The people  have not  received the promised  land
  because they kept the commandments. They did not receive the land as pay,
  but they  had to keep the law, after  they had received pay  in grace. We
  must always keep this in  mind. We do not keep the law to  earn something
  with that, because we cannot earn anything with our faulty deeds. We have
  to  keep the law  after receiving of  the benefactions. This  is it, what
  Moshe teaches in his speech to the people.
     2 And know ye  this day: for I speak not with your children which have
     not known,  and which have not seen the  chastisement of the LORD your
     God, his greatness, his mighty hand, and his stretched out arm,
  Moshe does not  speak to the children, who have  not seen anything of it.
  He  speaks to the  elders. They have  seen God's miracles  with their own
  eyes,  and  can  testify  that Moshe  speaks  the  truth.  They  are very
  convinced of  God's "greatness,  His mighty  hand, and His  stretched out
  arm". This  must exhort them  even more to serve  God and love  Him. When
  Moshe calls this   "the chastisement of the LORD",  then he does this not
  without intention. With  chastisement is meant His  teaching. For all the
  deeds  of God are teaching of God for us. When there happen things in our
  life, in which God's "greatness" and "His mighty hand" is showed, then we
  must well pay attention to it. The  LORD wants to teach us by  that. This
  must exhort us to love Him wholeheartedly.
     3 And his miracles,  and his acts, which he did in  the midst of Egypt
     unto Faro the king of Egypt, and unto all his land;
  Moshe reminds them of  the most important deeds, one by one.  He does not
  content himself  with a general  remark about  the goodness and  power of
  God. No, he mentions each benefit separately. "Bless the LORD, o my soul,
  and forget not all his benefits," Thilliem / Psalm 103:2.
     4 And  what he did unto the  army of Egypt, unto their  horses, and to
     their  chariots; how he made the water of the Red sea to overflow them
     as they  pursued after you, and how the  LORD hath destroyed them unto
     this day;
  Moshe continues with the enumerating of God's deeds. What does he want to
  achieve by that? That the people love and serve God. "What shall I render
  unto the LORD  for all his benefits  towards me? I will  take the cup  of
  salvation, and  call upon the name  of the LORD. I will pay  my vows unto
  the LORD now in the presence of all his people," Thilliem / Psalm 116:12-
     5 And what he did unto you in the wilderness, until ye came into  this
     6 And what he did unto Dataan and  Avieram, the sons of Eliav, the son
     of Ruben: how the earth opened  her mouth, and swallowed them up,  and
     their households,  and their tents, and all  the substance that was in
     their possession, in the midst of all Israel.
  Moshe has presented the goodness of God  in all things, which He did  for
  the people. Moshe did not content himself with this. He also mentions the
  judgements of God. It is this, what happens to the stiffnecked. The earth
  opens her mouth and swallows them up, with all their possessions. This is
  the destination of the wicked.
     7 But your eyes have seen all the great acts of the LORD which he did.
  These are  your eyes,  people, which  have seen  it by themselves.  Moshe
  entices them to  obedience by the presentation of  God's goodness, and he
  deters  them  from  the  transgression  by  the  presentation   of  God's
  judgements. He calls their own memory as a witness, that all these things
  are true.
     8 Therefore  shall ye  keep all the  commandments which I  command you
     this day,  that ye  may be  strong, and  go in  and possess  the land,
     whither ye go to possess it;
  This  is  the  intention  of  Moshe.   That  they  will  keep  "all   the
  commandments". This keeping  is not harmful for them, but it is "that you
  may  be strong, and go in and  possess the land". The LORD has given them
  benefits  in the  past. As  gratitude  therefore, they  have to  keep the
  commandments. And further? As pay on the keeping of the commandments will
  it go well with them. This pay is given in grace, which appears out their
  behaviour. Their behaviour in the past, as  well as in the future. Often,
  they had been stiffnecked. In grace, they were not thrown away from God's
     9 And that ye  may prolong your days in the land, which the LORD sware
     unto your fathers  to give unto  them and to  their seed, a  land that
     floweth with milk and honey.
  Still more  benefits. Prolonging of their days of  life, that means: they
  will live long.  They will  live long in  the land, which  God had  given
  them. God did not give because the people had kept the  commandments, but
  He  gave the land  because He  had sworn it  to the  fathers. And  God is
  faithful; He gives the promised  things. Because God had given  the land,
  therefore the people must obey Him.
     10 For the  land, whither thou goest in  to possess it, is  not as the
     land of Egypt, from whence ye  came out, where thou sowedst thy  seed,
     and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs.
  Kenaan is not like  Egypt. There, the people could make  the land fertile
  by their own  work. When the Nile overflowed, the people caught the water
  in their streams  of water. The land  was like an artificially  irrigated
  garden of herbs.
     11 But the land, whither ye  go to possess it, is a land  of hills and
     valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven.
  Kenaan  is different from  Egypt. Here,  the people cannot  give water by
  their own work. The land gets water of the  rain of heaven. In Egypt, one
  could irrigate the land in his own power. In Kenaan, it is true that they
  had to cultivate the land, but they had to pray to God for rain. Although
  also in Egypt all things needed Gods blessing, it was not so well visible
  there as  in Kenaan. Therefore, in Egypt, the  people forgot that God was
  their Benefactor. But in Kenaan, it was more  clearly visible. Rain, they
  could not make that by themselves. This had to induce them to prayer.
     12 A land which the LORD thy God  careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy
     God are always upon it, from  the beginning of the year even  unto the
     end of the year.
  In Egypt, the Nile overflowed only  once a year. But for Kenaan, the Lord
  took care "from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year."
  God's eyes "are always upon it". So, Moshe calls Kenaan a land, which was
  better and more useful for the people  than Egypt. The Lord, so to speak,
  always looked after that land.
     13 And  it shall come to pass, if  ye shall hearken diligently unto my
     commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD  your God,
     and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
  Moshe  exhorts  the  people,  because  of  God's   goodness,  to  hearken
  "diligently" to God's  commandments. They had not to do only some things.
  They had not to do  only the most important things, but  they had to keep
  diligently all  the commandments.  All great  commandments, but  also all
  small commandments. This  was to love God en to serve  Him with "all your
  heart and  with all your  soul". This remark  of Moshe urges  us to leave
  that tepid service. We ought to be very diligently in the serving of God.
  We ought to be adhered to God's laws, so to speak. "I have stuck unto thy
  testimonies: O LORD, put  me not to shame," Thilliem /  Psalm 119:31. The
  writer  of the  Psalm has  not done this  in own  strength, but  in God's
  power. "I  will run the way of thy  commandments, when thou shalt enlarge
  my  heart," Thilliem  /  Psalm 119:32.  When God  will have  enlarged his
  heart, then he will keep God's commandments. That is why he asked God for
  understanding. "Give me  understanding, and I shall keep  thy law; yea, I
  shall  observe  it  with  my  whole  heart,"  Thilliem  /  Psalm  119:34.
  Everywhere, Moshe teaches  us these things. Everywhere,  he demands us to
  serve God  with our  whole heart. With  less, the  LORD does  not content
  Himself. He wants the whole man, not the half. Serving the world and God,
  that cannot go  together. "And Eliahu came unto all the people, and said:
  How long  halt ye between two opinions?  If the LORD be  God, follow him:
  but if Baal, then follow him," Mlachiem A / 1 Kings 18:21.
     14 That I will give you  the rain of your land in his  due season, the
     first rain  and the latter rain, that thou  mayest gather in thy corn,
     and thy wine, and thine oil.
  When they obey God, with the whole heart, then  they will be blessed with
  rain  of heaven. Davied  tells us that  this is true.  "Thou visitest the
  earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest  it with the river of God,
  which is  full of  water: thou  preparest them  corn, when  thou hast  so
  provided  for  it.  Thou waterest  the  ridges  thereof abundantly:  thou
  settlest  the furrows  thereof: thou  makest it  soft with  showers: thou
  blessest the springing thereof," Thilliem / Psalm 65:9,10.
     15 And  I will  send grass  in thy  fields for  thy cattle,  that thou
     mayest eat and be full.
  They  have received  this  rain, as  Davied tells  us. "The  pastures are
  clothed with flocks; the  valleys also are  covered over with corn;  they
  shout for joy, they also sing," Thilliem / Psalm 65:13.
     16 Take heed  to yourselves, that your  heart be not deceived,  and ye
     turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;
  The people must  well take heed to themselves for  temptation. This means
  that they must  be very attentive. They are so much surrounded by several
  idolatrous nations.  There is not much needed to  happen, or they will be
  deceived by that. Also  in other ways, they could be  deceived. At Sinai,
  they were also  deceived. They wanted to serve the LORD, but they thought
  that this could be done by a golden calf. They were deceived by their own
  thoughts, and  did not  take heed.  And the result?  Many deceased.  This
  deceiving happens frequently also in present times. People think to serve
  God, but they  do it  by several human  statutes. What will  also be  the
  result of this? Many deceased, as is  written in the next verse. How will
  our  heart be  deceived? How does  this go?  It happens through  wine and
  guzzling and through the busyness of the life. "Whoredom and wine and new
  wine take away the heart," Hoshea / Hosea 4:11. Therefore, above all, the
  watchmen of the people are forbidden to drink wine and so on, namely when
  they are  in their work. "Do  not drink wine nor strong  drink, thou, nor
  thy sons with thee,  when ye go into the tabernacle  of the congregation,
  lest ye die: it shall be a statute forever throughout  your generations,"
  Wajikra / Leviticus 10:9.  This is a sign  of the turning away, when  the
  priests and the  prophets love to  drink wine. They  have delight in  the
  flesh, but do not carry out their task. "But they also have erred through
  wine, and  through strong drink  are out of  the way; the  priest and the
  prophet  have erred through strong drink, they  are swallowed up of wine,
  they are out  of the way through  strong drink; they err in  vision, they
  stumble in  judgment," Jeshajah / Isaiah 28:7. In short, Moshe exhorts us
  here: Take heed to yourselves that you  not will be deceived to idolatry.
  For, what will happen otherwise? Read it in the next verse.
     17  And then the LORD's wrath  be kindled against you,  and he shut up
     the heaven, that there  be no rain,  and that the  land yield not  her
     fruit; and  lest ye perish  quickly from off  the good land  which the
     LORD giveth you.
  That is the result of the turning away. The LORD keeps back the rain, and
  there will come  drought and famine. Then they will perish because of the
     18 Therefore shall ye lay up these  my words in your heart and in your
     soul, and  bind them for  a sign upon your  hand, that they  may be as
     frontlets between your eyes.
  First, Moshe says that we must lay God's words in our heart and our soul.
  This means that we must always  consider these words, and love them  with
  all  our affections. Second,  Moshe comes to  our aid, and  presents us a
  visible  sign of remembrance. The  words have to  be for a  sign upon our
  hands. Our head must not be decorated with worldly beauty, but with God's
  words.  In this  way,  all our  senses  must be  activated  to diligently
  consider God's  words and to  do them. It is  not so that they,  who only
  bear  these external  signs, are  saints. Not  they are  saints, but  the
  people who always consider God's commandments, and also do them.
     19 And ye shall  teach them your children, speaking of  them when thou
     sittest in thine  house, and when thou  walkest by the way,  when thou
     liest down, and when thou risest up.
  During our  whole life, we have to speak about God's words. Our talk must
  not be filled  by the vainly worldly  things, by eating and  drinking, by
  clothes and houses. The ungodly do this. Our talking has to be  about the
  things  of the LORD. "Some trust in  chariots, and some in horses: but we
  will remember the name of the LORD our God," Thilliem / Psalm 20:7.
     20 And thou shalt write  them upon the door posts of thine  house, and
     upon thy gates:
  Also, the furnishings of the house have to be according to God's will. As
  a sign hereof,  Moshe commands to write  God's words upon the  posts, and
  upon the gates. When somebody enters the  house, then he first passes the
  posts or the gates. This implies that our visitors can see already at the
  first glance that God is served in our houses. This has not to be limited
  to this sign upon the  posts, but the whole house has to be  cleaned from
  all unholy things.  Everywhere has to  be visible that  God's words  have
  authority here. This thing was depicted in the temple. Not only the gates
  of the temple  were overlaid with  gold, but the  whole temple. "And  the
  whole house he overlaid with gold,  until he had finished all the  house:
  also the  whole altar  that was  by the  oracle he  overlaid with  gold,"
  Mlachiem A / 1 Kings 6:22. Why is  it that we must consider and do  God's
  words day and night? This is written in the next verse.
     21 That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in
     the  land which the LORD sware unto  your fathers to give them, as the
     days of heaven upon the earth.
  It  will go well with them. God  will be with His nation, and will extend
  their days, "as  the days of heaven upon the  earth". That means, as long
  as the world will exist, God's  people will be blessed. "They shall  fear
  thee as  long as  the sun and  moon endure, throughout  all generations,"
  Thilliem / Psalm 72:5.
     22  For if  ye shall diligently  keep all  these commandments  which I
     command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his
     ways, and to cleave unto him;
  The condition  is the "diligently"  keeping of "all  these commandments".
  Not weak, but  diligently. One has not to walk in some  ways of God, also
  not in many of His ways, but "in all  His ways". One has not to live  far
  from God; also  it is not enough  to live close to  Him, but one has  "to
  cleave unto Him". When one does this, what will God do then?
     23 Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and
     ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.
     24  Every place whereon  the soles of  your feet shall  tread shall be
     yours:  from the  wilderness and  Lvanon,  from the  river, the  river
     Perat, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.
  A great blessing  is promised on  the keeping of God's  commandments. The
  land will be very spacious.
     25 There shall no man be  able to stand before you: for the  LORD your
     God shall lay the  fear of you and the dread of you  upon all the land
     that ye shall tread upon, as he hath said unto you.
  All enemies  will be  frightened, because  they see that  not the  people
  fight,  but that  the LORD  fights  for them.  The Egyptians  had already
  experienced this.  "And took  off their  chariot wheels, that  they drave
  them heavily: so that the  Egyptians said: Let us  flee from the face  of
  Israel;  for the  LORD fighteth  for them  against the  Egyptians," Shmot
  14:25. Also other nation  will experience this. "At thy rebuke,  o God of
  Yaakov, both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep. Thou, even
  thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art
  angry. Thou  didst cause  judgment to  be heard  from  heaven; the  earth
  feared, and was still," Thilliem / Psalm 76:6-8.
     26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
  Until now,  Moshe has  separately mentioned  the blessing and  the curse.
  Now, he takes it  together in one summary. He wants to  memorize them the
  law of God, both by hope and by fear.
     27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which
     I command you this day:
  Who does the good, he has hope on God's blessing.
     28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of  the LORD your
     God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go
     after other gods, which ye have not known.
  Who does  the evil things,  does not  obey God's commandments,  and walks
  after other gods, he lies under the curse of God.
     29 And it shall  come to pass, when the LORD thy God hath brought thee
     in unto the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put
     the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Eval.
  Until  now, the nation had heard the blessing and the curse of Moshe, but
  they still had  not agreed  with their  own mouth. In  Kenaan, this  must
  change. The blessing and the curse,  which they have heard, they have  to
  pronounce it by  themselves. This is, so  that they will the  better keep
  these words in their memory, would believe and do them.
     30 Are they  not on the other  side Jordan, by  the way where the  sun
     goeth down, in the land of the Kenaaniem, which dwell in the champaign
     over against Gilgal, beside the plains of More?
     31 For ye  shall pass over Jordan  to go in to possess  the land which
     the LORD  your God  giveth you,  and ye  shall possess  it, and  dwell
  Moshe again confirms that they surely will  come in Kenaan. Although they
  do not see  it now, surely it  will come. For  the LORD, their  God, will
  give it to them.
     32 And ye shall  observe to do all the statutes  and judgments which I
     set before you this day.
  Because the LORD will bring you  in, it is more  than suitable to do  His
  statutes and judgments.
  3. Questions
  If you want to gain more benefit from the explanation, you could consider
  to  answer the  questions and  do the tasks.  You can  send these  to the
  editor. He will look at it, and return them to you with his comments.
  1  Read verse one.  Did the people  come into the  land because they  had
     kept God's laws? Or had they to keep God's laws because they came into
     the land?
  2  Also now, one  can sometimes see  God's great deeds  in his   personal
     a.  Mention some great  deeds, which you  have seen by  yourself or by
     other people.
     b. To what does these deeds exhort us?
     c. How many from that is brought in practice?
     d. Is  it enough to praise God's deeds in  general, or have we also to
     mention the details of that?
  3  Read verse 10 and 11. When we live in Egypt, then we can do all things
     by ourselves. But in Kenaan, we need God's help.
     a. What is easier for us?
     b. What is more profitable for us?
  4  Is it  enough to be busy in  the service of God during  one day in the
  5  We must take  heed that our heart  not deviates from God,  says Moshe.
     Our confidence may not be in other things, the idols, but it has to be
     in God.
     a. Mention some present idols, in which we have confidence.
     b. What will be the result of this confidence, according to verse 17?
  6  Is it enough, when one can see God's words only on the door-post?
  7  Why had  the nation  to say  the blessing  and the  curse on Eval  and
  1  In verse two,  Moshe speaks about the  children, who had not  seen the
     work  of  God. What  have  these  children  done later,  according  to
     Shoftiem / Judges 2?
  2  The LORD can give rain and drought.
     a. Look up an example of this in Amos 4.
     b. With which goal did the Lord give drought then?
     Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament
              Editor: Teus Benschop  -
                      No copyrights on this publication
            Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands