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•£ tn thee, And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. Here is a good description of refientance; it it calling to mind the blessings they had lost, and their ftresent misery; it is returning to God, to /tit worshi/i and service; to obey Ait commands, and that sincerely and affectionately; and teaching their children to do so from a flrinci/tle of reverence and love. And
3 when this is the case, it shall come to fiass, That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee frotn all the nations,
4 whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.* If [any] of thine be driven out unto the outmost [parts] of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence •will he fetch thee ; though now they are more scattered than they ever were before, into more distant nations, and wider from each other, yet, if they repent, they shall all be restored to their
6 ovm land: And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it j and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fa
6 thers.f And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live; they thallfirst be convinced, and humbled, and sanctified, and then be brought back and firosfiered. The Jews refer this to the days of
1 the Messiah. And the .1 .oku thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which, persecuted thee. Thus God shall become a defence to them by
» the ruin of their enemies. And thou shall return and obey the voice of the Lord, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day ; shall continue steadfast in love and
9 obedience to God. And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the Lord will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers ; ye shall have great prosperity, which shall be for your good, and not a snare to you .their hearts being changed they should emfiloy it cheerfully and JbithfuUy in God's service, as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob didy 10 in-whose obedience God delighted: If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in-this book of the law, [and] if thou turn unto the Lord thy God with all thine
• This was fulfilled in their return from the Babylonish captivity, and will yet have a farther accomplishment.
t After their return from the captivity they were great and numerous, hot were oftea oppressed by the Persian; and Grecians, and at length destroyed by the Romans; to that this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled, when they shall see their crime in crucifying Christ.
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heart, and with all thy soul. This shows the promise conditional; provided they did not receive the grace of God in vain, but kept fits commandments and his statutes with alt their hearts.
Now if any should object, that they would keep them if they
11 knew them, Moses adds, For this commandment which I command Thee this day, it [is] not hidden from thee, neither [is] it far off; it is not too wonderful for thee, not above thy caflaci ityt nor hard to be understood; nor is it far off, you need not go to other nations to learn it, as some of the Greek philosopher*
12 did to seek for wisdom. It [is] not in heaven, that thou shouldst say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it
13 unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither [is] it beyond the sea, that thou shouldst say, Who shall go over the se» for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do
14 it? But the word [is] very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart that thou mayest do it ; it is delivered by Motet in the plainest manner j the priests and Levites daily teach it f it is so familiar, t/iat you have it in your common discourse, and can teach it your children; and all for this end, that thou tnayttt practise what thou knowest.
15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, all manner of blessings, if thou art obedient, and death and evil, all
16 kinds of misery,if thou dost act otherwise; In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply ; and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land v, hi the r thou goest to possess it. Here he explains the good, and in the next verse
It the evil. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and
18 serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, [and that] ye shall not prolong [your] days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to pos
19 sess it. And, to make this matter more solemn, he adds, I call heaven and earth, God, and angels, and men, to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; he uses these various words to impress their minds, and to convince them that both come from God; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live; lie obedient, and thou shalt be happy. He then sums up the whole;
20 That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, this is the noblest spring of religion, [and] that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him ; it will keep thee from idolatry, and secure thy obedience and happiness ; for he [is] thy life, the author and preserver of it, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them and their setd after them.
1. r •."'HE promises at the beginning oftlie chapter furnish \. great encouragement to pray for the Jews. -v. 3, 5. The Lord thy God will turn thy captivity; and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations., whither the Lord thy Cod hath scattered thee. dnd the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and he will d» thee good, and multi/ilyi thte abmre thy fathers. Although they are now obstinate and wicked, and blaspheme the name and religion of Jesus, yet they shall be called; God has not absolutely cast them off. He exhibits them as monuments of his justice, and as a standing miracle in support of the gospel; and in due time the vrhole world shall witness their restoration to their own land, and their acknowledgment of the Messiah. In dependence on this promisE, which is confirmed by the New Testament, let us bear them upon our spirits before God. So Paul ; Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they may be saved.
2. Befare the heart can love and obey God's commandments, it must be circumcised ; that is, its perverseness and obstinacy mnu be removed, its corruptions mortified, its filth taken away, and its lust subdued. This is God's work. It should be diligently sought by those who are strangers to the love and service of God; and parents shotild earnestly seek it for their children. However hard and obstinate the human heart is, God can soften and subdue it. Let us pray that he would shed abroad Ms love i» our hearts, and dispose them more and more to his service.
3. Let those who live in the neglect of their duty, know and be assured, that they have no excuse for so doing. For this commandment, which I command thee this day, is not hidden from theet neither is it ftr off,v. 11. Their duty is plainly laid before them, and it is easy to be practised. Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven ? or, Who shall descend into the deefi ? The word efthe Lord is nigh unto thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart. Rom. x. 6, 8. The gospel of Christ is much more plain and easy. You hear it every Lord's day, and oftener: it is read and preached among you; it is in your hands; you speak of it; therefore great is your guilt, and great will be your misery, if you do it not. The servant who knoweth his Lord's will, and doeth it not, will be beaten with many stripes. The path of duty is no less easy than it is plain. It is not a burden and grief, as Satan and wicked men •would represent it; it is pleasant and delightful here, and leads to everlasting happiness hereafter. Let us see to it, then, that we keep the word of Christ, and walk in his ways; for Kt it easy, and his burden is light.
4. Since a blessing and a curse are so plainly set before us, let us choose life, that both we and our seed may live, v. 19. The more seriously, frequently and solemnly, a law is urged and enforced, the greater the obligation is to observe it. We naturally seek good, and shun evil ; love life, and fear death. Hop* and fear are our most governing principles. God addresses himself to both of these. He promises the greatest good, and threatens the greatest evil: and after all he deals with us as rational creatnres, and free agents: proposing to our choice life or death. They who, through grace, choose life, and pursue it accordingly, shall hare it. They who choose and pursue death, must blame themselves alone for the consequences. God offers life, but they disregard it. Thus fairly and equitably the law dealt with men, and so does the gospel also. Therefore, let us choote life, that we may tive.
Motet here encourages the fteofde and Joshua ; he dtSvert the lavt vnto the ftriests, to be react every seventh year to the fleofile; God giveth a charge to Joshua; and a song for the instruction n/1 the fieoftle.
ND Moses, on another occasion, just before his death, nhen he had called the fieofile together, went and spake
2 these words unto all Israel. And he said unto them, I [am] an hundred and twenty years old this day ; I can no more go out and come in, / can no longer discharge the office of a commander and a governor: also the Lord hath said unto me, Thou shall not go over this Jordan; / am therefore come to
3 take my final leave of you. The Lord thy God, he will gq over before thee; the ark, as the token of his presence, wUl go mth you, M ye fiossest the land; [and] he will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shall possess them : [and] Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the Lord hath said,
.4 and be your commander in my stead. And the Lord shall do unto them as he did to Sihon and to Og, kings of the Amorites, and unto the land of them, whom he destroyed ; let
5 your farmer exfteriente encourage your ho/ie of success. And the Lord shall give them up before your fece, that ye may do unto them according unto all the commandments which I have commanded you, to destroy them and their altars, images^
6 and groves, and root idolatry out of the land. Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he [il is] that doth go with thee ; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee; do not distrust God, as your fathen did ; fear not their numbers, their nature, nor strength, for God vrilt go with you. The words are here addressed to ail Israel, end afterward to Joshua.
9 And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, to give them greater reverence far Ins fier»on and authority, and engage them to follow his directions, B» strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn jinto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it, • And the Lor», he [it is] that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. Though Joshua was a brave man, he needed this encouragement, considering the difficulties that were before him, and the temfier of the fieofile; and there could be no stronger motives to be courageous than these. 9 And Moses wrote this lav, he ftut a finishing hand to the •whole law or doctrine contained in these Jive books; and he de» livered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and unto all the elders of
JO Israel.* And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of [every] seven years, in the solemnity in the year of release,
11 in the feast of tabernacles, When all Israel is come to appear before the Lord thy God ip the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hear
P2 ing, as Ezra read it, JVeh. viii. 1, Wc.t Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, (though these were not bound to come to the feast, yet many times they drought them,} and thy stranger that [is] within thy gates, all the proselytes to the Jemsh religion, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all
13 the words of this law: And [that] their children which have not known [any thing,] have not seen God's wonders and miracles, may hear, and Jearn to fear the Lord your God, as' long as ye live in the land, whither ye go pver Jordan to pos? seas it.
J4 And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold thy days approach that thou must die: call Joshua and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge. And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, in that fiart of the court which Vms before the door of the tabernacle: this was done in the sight of the people, to increase (heir reverence for
* He gave the original co«y to the prints, to be kept safely by them: and probably gave a copy to the elders of Israel, or heads of each tribe, tor the use of that tribe ; and each of these original copies might be signed by himself.
t They were to read the original copy, for the greater solemnity, and that other copies (night be corrected by it. Joshua was to do this daring his life, and afterward, t'le Jews say, it was to be done by the supreme governor, or king. They began to read it the firif jUy el' the leant, and continued till it wa» read throughout.