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Deuteronomy 8

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The Lord’s Provision in the Desert

8:1 You must keep carefully all these commandments 1  I am giving 2  you today so that you may live, increase in number, 3  and go in and occupy the land that the Lord promised to your ancestors. 4  8:2 Remember the whole way by which he 5  has brought you these forty years through the desert 6  so that he might, by humbling you, test you to see if you have it within you to keep his commandments or not. 8:3 So he humbled you by making you hungry and then feeding you with unfamiliar manna. 7  He did this to teach you 8  that humankind 9  cannot live by bread 10  alone, but also by everything that comes from the Lord’s mouth. 11  8:4 Your clothing did not wear out nor did your feet swell all these forty years. 8:5 Be keenly aware that just as a parent disciplines his child, 12  the Lord your God disciplines you. 8:6 So you must keep his 13  commandments, live according to his standards, 14  and revere him. 8:7 For the Lord your God is bringing you to a good land, a land of brooks, 15  springs, and fountains flowing forth in valleys and hills, 8:8 a land of wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, and pomegranates, of olive trees and honey, 8:9 a land where you may eat food 16  in plenty and find no lack of anything, a land whose stones are iron 17  and from whose hills you can mine copper. 8:10 You will eat your fill and then praise the Lord your God because of the good land he has given you.

Exhortation to Remember That Blessing Comes from God

8:11 Be sure you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments, ordinances, and statutes that I am giving you today. 8:12 When you eat your fill, when you build and occupy good houses, 8:13 when your cattle and flocks increase, when you have plenty of silver and gold, and when you have abundance of everything, 8:14 be sure 18  you do not feel self-important and forget the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt, the place of slavery, 8:15 and who brought you through the great, fearful desert of venomous serpents 19  and scorpions, an arid place with no water. He made water flow 20  from a flint rock and 8:16 fed you in the desert with manna (which your ancestors had never before known) so that he might by humbling you test you 21  and eventually bring good to you. 8:17 Be careful 22  not to say, “My own ability and skill 23  have gotten me this wealth.” 8:18 You must remember the Lord your God, for he is the one who gives ability to get wealth; if you do this he will confirm his covenant that he made by oath to your ancestors, 24  even as he has to this day. 8:19 Now if you forget the Lord your God at all 25  and follow other gods, worshiping and prostrating yourselves before them, I testify to you today that you will surely be annihilated. 8:20 Just like the nations the Lord is about to destroy from your sight, so he will do to you 26  because you would not obey him. 27 

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1 tn The singular term (מִצְוָה, mitsvah) includes the whole corpus of covenant stipulations, certainly the book of Deuteronomy at least (cf. Deut 5:28; 6:1, 25; 7:11; 11:8, 22; 15:5; 17:20; 19:9; 27:1; 30:11; 31:5). The plural (מִצְוֹת, mitsot) refers to individual stipulations (as in vv. 2, 6).

2 tn Heb “commanding” (so NASB). For stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy, “giving” has been used in the translation (likewise in v. 11).

3 tn Heb “multiply” (so KJV, NASB, NLT); NIV, NRSV “increase.”

4 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 16, 18).

5 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons.

6 tn Or “wilderness” (so KJV, NRSV, NLT); likewise in v. 15.

7 tn Heb “manna which you and your ancestors did not know.” By popular etymology the word “manna” comes from the Hebrew phrase מָן הוּא (man hu’), i.e., “What is it?” (Exod 16:15). The question remains unanswered to this very day. Elsewhere the material is said to be “white like coriander seed” with “a taste like honey cakes” (Exod 16:31; cf. Num 11:7). Modern attempts to associate it with various desert plants are unsuccessful for the text says it was a new thing and, furthermore, one that appeared and disappeared miraculously (Exod 16:21-27).

8 tn Heb “in order to make known to you.” In the Hebrew text this statement is subordinated to what precedes, resulting in a very long sentence in English. The translation makes this statement a separate sentence for stylistic reasons.

9 tn Heb “the man,” but in a generic sense, referring to the whole human race (“mankind” or “humankind”).

10 tn The Hebrew term may refer to “food” in a more general sense (cf. CEV).

11 sn Jesus quoted this text to the devil in the midst of his forty-day fast to make the point that spiritual nourishment is incomparably more important than mere physical bread (Matt 4:4; cf. Luke 4:4).

12 tn Heb “just as a man disciplines his son.” The Hebrew text reflects the patriarchal idiom of the culture.

13 tn Heb “the commandments of the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.

14 tn Heb “by walking in his ways.” The “ways” of the Lord refer here to his moral standards as reflected in his commandments. The verb “walk” is used frequently in the Bible (both OT and NT) for one’s moral and ethical behavior.

15 tn Or “wadis.”

16 tn The Hebrew term may refer to “food” in a more general sense (cf. NASB, NCV, NLT) or “bread” in particular (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV).

17 sn A land whose stones are iron. Since iron deposits are few and far between in Palestine, the reference here is probably to iron ore found in mines as opposed to the meteorite iron more commonly known in that area.

18 tn The words “be sure” are not in the Hebrew text; vv. 12-14 are part of the previous sentence. For stylistic reasons a new sentence was started at the beginning of v. 12 in the translation and the words “be sure” repeated from v. 11 to indicate the connection.

19 tn Heb “flaming serpents”; KJV, NASB “fiery serpents”; NAB “saraph serpents.” This figure of speech (metonymy) probably describes the venomous and painful results of snakebite. The feeling from such an experience would be like a burning fire (שָׂרָף, saraf).

20 tn Heb “the one who brought out for you water.” In the Hebrew text this continues the preceding sentence, but the translation begins a new sentence here for stylistic reasons.

21 tn Heb “in order to humble you and in order to test you.” See 8:2.

22 tn For stylistic reasons a new sentence was started at the beginning of v. 17 in the translation and the words “be careful” supplied to indicate the connection.

23 tn Heb “my strength and the might of my hand.”

24 tc Smr and Lucian add “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” the standard way of rendering this almost stereotypical formula (cf. Deut 1:8; 6:10; 9:5, 27; 29:13; 30:20; 34:4). The MT’s harder reading presumptively argues for its originality, however.

25 tn Heb “if forgetting, you forget.” The infinitive absolute is used for emphasis; the translation indicates this with the words “at all” (cf. KJV).

26 tn Heb “so you will perish.”

27 tn Heb “listen to the voice of the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.



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