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Deuteronomy 4:25-31

Context
Threat and Blessing following Covenant Disobedience

4:25 After you have produced children and grandchildren and have been in the land a long time, 1  if you become corrupt and make an image of any kind 2  and do other evil things before the Lord your God that enrage him, 3  4:26 I invoke heaven and earth as witnesses against you 4  today that you will surely and swiftly be removed 5  from the very land you are about to cross the Jordan to possess. You will not last long there because you will surely be 6  annihilated. 4:27 Then the Lord will scatter you among the peoples and there will be very few of you 7  among the nations where the Lord will drive you. 4:28 There you will worship gods made by human hands – wood and stone that can neither see, hear, eat, nor smell. 4:29 But if you seek the Lord your God from there, you will find him, if, indeed, you seek him with all your heart and soul. 8  4:30 In your distress when all these things happen to you in the latter days, 9  if you return to the Lord your God and obey him 10  4:31 (for he 11  is a merciful God), he will not let you down 12  or destroy you, for he cannot 13  forget the covenant with your ancestors that he confirmed by oath to them.

Deuteronomy 30:1-10

Context
The Results of Covenant Reaffirmation

30:1 “When you have experienced all these things, both the blessings and the curses 14  I have set before you, you will reflect upon them 15  in all the nations where the Lord your God has banished you. 30:2 Then if you and your descendants 16  turn to the Lord your God and obey him with your whole mind and being 17  just as 18  I am commanding you today, 30:3 the Lord your God will reverse your captivity and have pity on you. He will turn and gather you from all the peoples among whom he 19  has scattered you. 30:4 Even if your exiles are in the most distant land, 20  from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. 30:5 Then he 21  will bring you to the land your ancestors 22  possessed and you also will possess it; he will do better for you and multiply you more than he did your ancestors. 30:6 The Lord your God will also cleanse 23  your heart and the hearts of your descendants 24  so that you may love him 25  with all your mind and being and so that you may live. 30:7 Then the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies, on those who hate you and persecute you. 30:8 You will return and obey the Lord, keeping all his commandments I am giving 26  you today. 30:9 The Lord your God will make the labor of your hands 27  abundantly successful and multiply your children, 28  the offspring of your cattle, and the produce of your soil. For the Lord your God will once more 29  rejoice over you to make you prosperous 30  just as he rejoiced over your ancestors, 30:10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commandments and statutes that are written in this scroll of the law. But you must turn to him 31  with your whole mind and being.

1 tn Heb “have grown old in the land,” i.e., been there for a long time.

2 tn Heb “a form of anything.” Cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV, TEV “an idol.”

3 tn The infinitive construct is understood here as indicating the result, not the intention, of their actions.

4 sn I invoke heaven and earth as witnesses against you. This stock formula introduces what is known form-critically as a רִיב (riv) or controversy pattern. It is commonly used in the ancient Near Eastern world in legal contexts and in the OT as a forensic or judicial device to draw attention to Israel’s violation of the Lord’s covenant with them (see Deut 30:19; Isa 1:2; 3:13; Jer 2:9). Since court proceedings required the testimony of witnesses, the Lord here summons heaven and earth (that is, all creation) to testify to his faithfulness, Israel’s disobedience, and the threat of judgment.

5 tn Or “be destroyed”; KJV “utterly perish”; NLT “will quickly disappear”; CEV “you won’t have long to live.”

6 tn Or “be completely” (so NCV, TEV). It is not certain here if the infinitive absolute indicates the certainty of the following action (cf. NIV) or its degree.

7 tn Heb “you will be left men (i.e., few) of number.”

8 tn Or “mind and being.” See Deut 6:5.

9 sn The phrase is not used here in a technical sense for the eschaton, but rather refers to a future time when Israel will be punished for its sin and experience exile. See Deut 31:29.

10 tn Heb “hear his voice.” The expression is an idiom meaning “obey,” occurring in Deut 8:20; 9:23; 13:18; 21:18, 20; 26:14, 17; 27:10; 28:1-2, 15, 45, 62; 30:2, 8, 10, 20.

11 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 4:3.

12 tn Heb “he will not drop you,” i.e., “will not abandon you” (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).

13 tn Or “will not.” The translation understands the imperfect verbal form to have an added nuance of capability here.

14 tn Heb “the blessing and the curse.”

15 tn Heb “and you bring (them) back to your heart.”

16 tn Heb “sons” (so NASB); KJV, ASV, NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT “children.”

17 tn Or “heart and soul” (also in vv. 6, 10).

18 tn Heb “according to all.”

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

20 tn Heb “are at the farthest edge of the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.

21 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on the second occurrence of the word “he” in v. 3.

22 tn Heb “fathers” (also later in this verse and in vv. 9, 20).

23 tn Heb “circumcise” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV); TEV “will give you and your descendents obedient hearts.” See note on the word “cleanse” in Deut 10:16.

24 tn Heb “seed” (so KJV, ASV).

25 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on the second occurrence of the word “he” in v. 3.

26 tn Heb “commanding”; NAB “which I now enjoin on you.”

27 tc The MT reads “hand” (singular). Most versions read the plural.

28 tn Heb “the fruit of your womb” (so NAB, NIV); NRSV “of your body.”

29 tn Heb “return and.” The Hebrew verb is used idiomatically here to indicate the repetition of the following action.

30 tn The Hebrew text includes “for good.”

31 tn Heb “to the Lord your God.” See note on the second occurrence of the word “he” in v. 3.



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