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Deuteronomy 11:10-13

Context
11:10 For the land where you are headed 1  is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, a land where you planted seed and which you irrigated by hand 2  like a vegetable garden. 11:11 Instead, the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy 3  is one of hills and valleys, a land that drinks in water from the rains, 4  11:12 a land the Lord your God looks after. 5  He is constantly attentive to it 6  from the beginning to the end of the year. 7  11:13 Now, if you pay close attention 8  to my commandments that I am giving you today and love 9  the Lord your God and serve him with all your mind and being, 10 

1 tn Heb “you are going there to possess it”; NASB “into which you are about to cross to possess it”; NRSV “that you are crossing over to occupy.”

2 tn Heb “with your foot” (so NASB, NLT). There is a two-fold significance to this phrase. First, Egypt had no rain so water supply depended on human efforts at irrigation. Second, the Nile was the source of irrigation waters but those waters sometimes had to be pumped into fields and gardens by foot-power, perhaps the kind of machinery (Arabic shaduf) still used by Egyptian farmers (see C. Aldred, The Egyptians, 181). Nevertheless, the translation uses “by hand,” since that expression is the more common English idiom for an activity performed by manual labor.

3 tn Heb “which you are crossing over there to possess it.”

4 tn Heb “rain of heaven.”

5 tn Heb “seeks.” The statement reflects the ancient belief that God (Baal in Canaanite thinking) directly controlled storms and rainfall.

6 tn Heb “the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it” (so NIV); NASB, NRSV “always on it.”

sn Constantly attentive to it. This attention to the land by the Lord is understandable in light of the centrality of the land in the Abrahamic covenant (cf. Gen 12:1, 7; 13:15; 15:7, 16, 18; 17:8; 26:3).

7 sn From the beginning to the end of the year. This refers to the agricultural year that was marked by the onset of the heavy rains, thus the autumn. See note on the phrase “the former and the latter rains” in v. 14.

8 tn Heb “if hearing, you will hear.” The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute to emphasize the verbal idea. The translation renders this emphasis with the word “close.”

9 tn Again, the Hebrew term אָהַב (’ahav) draws attention to the reciprocation of divine love as a condition or sign of covenant loyalty (cf. Deut 6:5).

10 tn Heb “heart and soul” or “heart and being.” See note on the word “being” in Deut 6:5.



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