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Deuteronomy 11:1-7

Context
Reiteration of the Call to Obedience

11:1 You must love the Lord your God and do what he requires; keep his statutes, ordinances, and commandments 1  at all times. 11:2 Bear in mind today that I am not speaking 2  to your children who have not personally experienced the judgments 3  of the Lord your God, which revealed 4  his greatness, strength, and power. 5  11:3 They did not see 6  the awesome deeds he performed 7  in the midst of Egypt against Pharaoh king of Egypt and his whole land, 11:4 or what he did to the army of Egypt, including their horses and chariots, when he made the waters of the Red Sea 8  overwhelm them while they were pursuing you and he 9  annihilated them. 10  11:5 They did not see 11  what he did to you in the desert before you reached this place, 11:6 or what he did to Dathan and Abiram, 12  sons of Eliab the Reubenite, 13  when the earth opened its mouth in the middle of the Israelite camp 14  and swallowed them, their families, 15  their tents, and all the property they brought with them. 16  11:7 I am speaking to you 17  because you are the ones who saw all the great deeds of the Lord!

1 tn This collocation of technical terms for elements of the covenant text lends support to its importance and also signals a new section of paraenesis in which Moses will exhort Israel to covenant obedience. The Hebrew term מִשְׁמָרוֹת (mishmarot, “obligations”) sums up the three terms that follow – חֻקֹּת (khuqot), מִשְׁפָּטִים (mishppatim), and מִצְוֹת (mitsot).

2 tn Heb “that not.” The words “I am speaking” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

3 tn Heb “who have not known and who have not seen the discipline of the Lord.” The collocation of the verbs “know” and “see” indicates that personal experience (knowing by seeing) is in view. The term translated “discipline” (KJV, ASV “chastisement”) may also be rendered “instruction,” but vv. 2b-6 indicate that the referent of the term is the various acts of divine judgment the Israelites had witnessed.

4 tn The words “which revealed” have been supplied in the translation to show the logical relationship between the terms that follow and the divine judgments. In the Hebrew text the former are in apposition to the latter.

5 tn Heb “his strong hand and his stretched-out arm.”

6 tn In the Hebrew text vv. 2-7 are one long sentence. For stylistic reasons the English translation divides the passage into three sentences. To facilitate this stylistic decision the words “They did not see” are supplied at the beginning of both v. 3 and v. 5, and “I am speaking” at the beginning of v. 7.

7 tn Heb “his signs and his deeds which he did” (NRSV similar). The collocation of “signs” and “deeds” indicates that these acts were intended to make an impression on observers and reveal something about God’s power (cf. v. 2b). The word “awesome” has been employed to bring out the force of the word “signs” in this context.

8 tn Heb “Reed Sea.” “Reed Sea” (or “Sea of Reeds”) is a more accurate rendering of the Hebrew expression יָם סוּף (yam suf), traditionally translated “Red Sea.” See note on the term “Red Sea” in Exod 13:18.

9 tn Heb “the Lord.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.

10 tn Heb “and the Lord destroyed them to this day” (cf. NRSV); NLT “he has kept them devastated to this very day.” The translation uses the verb “annihilated” to indicate the permanency of the action.

11 tn See note on these same words in v. 3.

12 sn Dathan and Abiram. These two (along with others) had challenged Moses’ leadership in the desert with the result that the earth beneath them opened up and they and their families disappeared (Num 16:1-3, 31-35).

13 tn Or “the descendant of Reuben”; Heb “son of Reuben.”

14 tn Heb “in the midst of all Israel” (so KJV, ASV, NRSV); NASB “among all Israel.” In the Hebrew text these words appear at the end of the verse, but they are logically connected with the verbs. To make this clear the translation places the phrase after the first verb.

15 tn Heb “their houses,” referring to all who lived in their household. Cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT “households.”

16 tn Heb “and all the substance which was at their feet.”

17 tn On the addition of these words in the translation see note on “They did not see” in v. 3.



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