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Deuteronomy 8:11-20

Context
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 1  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 2  and scorpions, an arid place with no water. He made water flow 3  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 4  and eventually bring good to you. 8:17 Be careful 5  not to say, “My own ability and skill 6  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, 7  even as he has to this day. 8:19 Now if you forget the Lord your God at all 8  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 9  because you would not obey him. 10 

1 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.

2 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).

3 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.

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

5 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.

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

7 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.

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

9 tn Heb “so you will perish.”

10 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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