Notes for Deut 7:1LEB

Hittites. The center of Hittite power was in Anatolia (central modern Turkey). In the Late Bronze Age (1550–1200 b.c.) they were at their zenith, establishing outposts and colonies near and far. Some elements were obviously in Canaan at the time of the Conquest (1400–1350 b.c.).

Girgashites. These cannot be ethnically identified and are unknown outside the OT. They usually appear in such lists only when the intention is to have seven groups in all (see also the note on the word "seven" later in this verse).

Amorites. Originally from the upper Euphrates region (Amurru), the Amorites appear to have migrated into Canaan beginning in 2200 b.c. or thereabouts.

Canaanites. These were the indigenous peoples of the land, going back to the beginning of recorded history (ca. 3000 b.c.). The OT identifies them as descendants of Ham (Gen 10:6), the only Hamites to have settled north and east of Egypt.

Perizzites. This is probably a subgroup of Canaanites (Gen 13:7LEB; Gen 13:34LEB).

Hivites. These are usually thought to be the same as the Hurrians, a people well-known in ancient Near Eastern texts. They are likely identical to the Horites (see note on the term "Horites" in Deut 2:12LEB).

Jebusites. These inhabited the hill country, particularly in and about Jerusalem (cf. Num 13:29LEB; Josh 15:8LEB; 2 Sam 5:6LEB; 2 Sam 24:16LEB).

Seven. This is an ideal number in the OT, one symbolizing fullness or completeness. Therefore, the intent of the text here is not to be precise and list all of Israel’s enemies but simply to state that Israel will have a full complement of foes to deal with. For other lists of Canaanites, some with fewer than seven peoples, see Exod 3:8LEB; Exod 13:5LEB; Exod 23:23-28LEB; Exod 33:2LEB; Exod 34:11LEB; Deut 20:17LEB; Josh 3:10LEB; Josh 9:1LEB; Josh 24:11LEB. Moreover, the "Table of Nations" (Gen 10:15–19LEB) suggests that all of these (possibly excepting the Perizzites) were offspring of Canaan and therefore Canaanites.


Notes for Deut 7:2LEB

In the Hebrew text the infinitive absolute before the finite verb emphasizes the statement. The imperfect has an obligatory nuance here. Cf. ASV "shalt (must NRSV) utterly destroy them"; CEV "must destroy them without mercy."

"covenant" (so NASB, NRSV); TEV "alliance."


Notes for Deut 7:5LEB

Sacred pillars. The Hebrew word (מַצֵּבֹת, matsevot) denotes a standing pillar, usually made of stone. Its purpose was to mark the presence of a shrine or altar thought to have been visited by deity. Though sometimes associated with pure worship of the Lord (Gen 28:18-22LEB; Gen 31:13LEB; Gen 35:14LEB; Exod 24:4LEB), these pillars were usually associated with pagan cults and rituals (Exod 23:24LEB; Exod 34:13LEB; Deut 12:3LEB; 1 Kgs 14:23LEB; 2 Kgs 17:10LEB; Hos 3:4LEB; Hos 10:1LEB; Jer 43:13LEB).

Sacred Asherah poles. A leading deity of the Canaanite pantheon was Asherah, wife/sister of El and goddess of fertility. She was commonly worshiped at shrines in or near groves of evergreen trees, or, failing that, at places marked by wooden poles (Hebrew אֲשֵׁרִים [’asherim], as here). They were to be burned or cut down (Deut 12:3LEB; Deut 16:21LEB; Judg 6:25-30LEB; 2 Kgs 18:4LEB).


Notes for Deut 7:6LEB

That is, "set apart."

Or "treasured" (so NIV, NRSV); NLT "his own special treasure." The Hebrew term סְגֻלָּה (ségullah) describes Israel as Yahweh’s choice people, those whom he elected and who are most precious to him (cf. Exod 19:4–6LEB; Deut 14:2LEB; Deut 26:18LEB; 1 Chr 29:3LEB; Ps 135:4LEB; Eccl 2:8LEB Mal 3:17LEB). See E. Carpenter, NIDOTTE 3:224.


Notes for Deut 7:8LEB

For the verb אָהַב (’ahav, "to love") as a term of choice or election, see note on the word "loved" in Deut 4:37LEB.

"oath." This is a reference to the promises of the so-called "Abrahamic Covenant" (cf. Gen 15:13–16LEB).

"swore on oath."

"fathers" (also in vv. 12, 13).

"by a strong hand" (NAB similar); NLT "with such amazing power."

Redeeming you from the place of slavery. The Hebrew verb translated "redeeming" (from the root פָּדָה, padah) has the idea of redemption by the payment of a ransom. The initial symbol of this was the Passover lamb, offered by Israel to the Lord as ransom in exchange for deliverance from bondage and death (Exod 12:1–14LEB). Later, the firstborn sons of Israel, represented by the Levites, became the ransom (Num 3:11–13LEB). These were all types of the redemption effected by the death of Christ who described his atoning work as "a ransom for many" (Matt 20:28LEB; cf. 1 Pet 1:18LEB).

"hand" (so KJV, NRSV), a metaphor for power or domination.


Notes for Deut 7:9LEB

"Yahweh" The article here expresses uniqueness; cf. TEV "is the only Yahweh"; NLT "is indeed Yahweh."

"who keeps covenant and loyalty." The syndetic construction of בְּרִית (bérit) and חֶסֶד (khesed) should be understood not as "covenant" plus "loyalty" but as an adverbial construction in which חֶסֶד ("loyalty") modifies the verb שָׁמַר (shamar, "keeps").


Notes for Deut 7:10LEB

For the term "hate" as synonymous with rejection or disobedience see note on the word "reject" in Deut 5:9LEB (cf. NRSV "reject").

"he will not hesitate concerning."


Notes for Deut 7:12LEB

"will keep with you the covenant and loyalty." On the construction used here, see v. 9.

"which he swore on oath." The relative pronoun modifies "covenant," so one could translate "will keep faithfully the covenant (or promise) he made on oath to your ancestors."


Notes for Deut 7:13LEB

"will bless the fruit of your womb" (so NAB, NIV, NRSV).


Notes for Deut 7:14LEB

One of the ironies about the promises to the patriarchs concerning offspring was the characteristic barrenness of the wives of the men to whom these pledges were made (cf. Gen 11:30LEB; Gen 25:21LEB; Gen 29:31LEB). Their affliction is in each case described by the very Hebrew word used here (עֲקָרָה, ’aqarah), an affliction that will no longer prevail in Canaan.


Notes for Deut 7:16LEB

"devour" (so NRSV); KJV, NAB, NASB "consume." The verbal form (a perfect with vav consecutive) is understood here as having an imperatival or obligatory nuance (cf. the instructions and commands that follow). Another option is to take the statement as a continuation of the preceding conditional promises and translate "and you will destroy."

Or "serve" (so KJV, NIV, NRSV).


Notes for Deut 7:18LEB

"recalling, you must recall." The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute before the finite verb for emphasis. Cf. KJV, ASV "shalt well remember."


Notes for Deut 7:19LEB

"testings" (so NAB), a reference to the plagues. See note at Deut 4:34LEB.

"the strong hand and outstretched arm." See Deut 4:34LEB.


Notes for Deut 7:20LEB

The meaning of the term translated "hornets" (צִרְעָה, tsirah) is debated. Various suggestions are "discouragement" (HALOT 1056-57 s.v.; cf. NEB, TEV, CEV "panic"; NCV "terror") and "leprosy" (J. H. Tigay, Deut eronomy [JPSTC], 360, n. 33; cf. NRSV "the pestilence"), as well as "hornet" (BDB 864 s.v.; cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NLT). The latter seems most suitable to the verb שָׁלַח (shalakh, "send"; cf. Exod 23:28LEB; Josh 24:12LEB).

"the remnant and those who hide themselves."


Notes for Deut 7:23LEB

"he will confuse them (with) great confusion." The verb used here means "shake, stir up" (see Ruth 1:19LEB; 1 Sam 4:5LEB; 1 Kgs 1:45LEB; Ps 55:2LEB); the accompanying cognate noun refers to confusion, unrest, havoc, or panic (1 Sam 5:9-11LEB; 1 Sam 14:20LEB; 2 Chr 15:5LEB; Prov 15:16LEB; Isa 22:5LEB; Ezek 7:7LEB; Ezek 22:5LEB; Amos 3:9LEB; Zech 14:13LEB).


Notes for Deut 7:24LEB

"you will destroy their name from under heaven" (cf. KJV); NRSV "blot out their name from under heaven."


Notes for Deut 7:25LEB

The Hebrew word תּוֹעֵבָה (toevah, "abhorrent; detestable") describes anything detestable to the Lord because of its innate evil or inconsistency with his own nature and character. Frequently such things (or even persons) must be condemned to annihilation (חֵרֶם, kherem) lest they become a means of polluting or contaminating others (cf. Deut 13:17LEB; Deut 20:17–18LEB). See M. Grisanti, NIDOTTE 4:315.


Notes for Deut 7:26LEB

"come under the ban" (so NASB); NRSV "be set apart for destruction." The same phrase occurs again at the end of this verse.

The Hebrew word translated an object of divine wrath (חֵרֶם, kherem) refers to persons or things placed under Yahweh’s judgment, usually to the extent of their complete destruction. See note on the phrase "divine judgment" in Deut 2:34LEB.

Or "like it is."

This Hebrew verb (שָׁקַץ, shaqats) is essentially synonymous with the next verb (תָעַב, taav; cf. תּוֹעֵבָה, toevah; see note on the word "abhorrent" in v. 25), though its field of meaning is more limited to cultic abomination (cf. Lev 11:11-13LEB; Ps 22:25LEB).

"detesting you must detest and abhorring you must abhor." Both verbs are preceded by a cognate infinitive absolute indicating emphasis.


Notes for Deut 8:1LEB

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

"commanding" (so NASB). For stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy, "giving" has been used in the translation (likewise in v. 11).

"multiply" (so KJV, NASB, NLT); NIV, NRSV "increase."

"fathers" (also in vv. 16, 18).


Notes for Deut 8:2LEB

Or "wilderness" (so KJV, NRSV, NLT); likewise in v. 15.


Notes for Deut 8:3LEB

"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 16:15LEB). 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 16:31LEB; cf. Num 11:7LEB). 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 16:21–27LEB).

"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.

"the man," but in a generic sense, referring to the whole human race ("mankind" or "humankind").

The Hebrew term may refer to "food" in a more general sense (cf. CEV).

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 4:4LEB; cf. Luke 4:4LEB).


Notes for Deut 8:5LEB

"just as a man disciplines his son." The Hebrew text reflects the patriarchal idiom of the culture.


Notes for Deut 8:6LEB

"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.


Notes for Deut 8:7LEB

Or "wadis."


Notes for Deut 8:9LEB

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

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.


Notes for Deut 8:14LEB

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.


Notes for Deut 8:15LEB

"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).

"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.


Notes for Deut 8:16LEB

"in order to humble you and in order to test you." See Deut 8:2LEB.


Notes for Deut 8:17LEB

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.

"my strength and the might of my hand."


Notes for Deut 8:18LEB

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


Notes for Deut 8:19LEB

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


Notes for Deut 8:20LEB

"so you will perish."


Notes for Deut 9:1LEB

"fortified to the heavens" (so NRSV); NLT "cities with walls that reach to the sky." This is hyperbole.


Notes for Deut 9:2LEB

Anakites. See note on this term in Deut 1:28.

"great and tall." Many English versions understand this to refer to physical size or strength rather than numbers (cf. "strong," NIV, NCV, NRSV, NLT).


Notes for Deut 9:5LEB

"uprightness of your heart" (so NASB, NRSV). The Hebrew word צְדָקָה (tsédaqah, "righteousness"), though essentially synonymous here with יֹשֶׁר (yosher, "uprightness"), carries the idea of conformity to an objective standard. The term יֹשֶׁר has more to do with an inner, moral quality (cf. NAB, NIV "integrity"). Neither, however, was grounds for the Lord’s favor. As he states in both vv. 4–5, the main reason he allowed Israel to take this land was the sinfulness of the Canaanites who lived there (cf. Gen 15:16LEB).



Notes for Deut 9:6LEB

"stiff-necked" (so KJV, NAB, NIV).

The Hebrew word translated stubborn means "stiff-necked." The image is that of a draft animal that is unsubmissive to the rein or yoke and refuses to bend its neck to draw the load. This is an apt description of OT Israel (Exod 32:9; 33:3, 5; 34:9; Deut 9:13LEB).


Notes for Deut 9:7LEB

By juxtaposing the positive זְכֹר (zekhor, "remember") with the negative אַל־תִּשְׁכַּח (’al-tishékakh, "do not forget"), Moses makes a most emphatic plea.


Notes for Deut 9:9LEB

"in the mountain." The demonstrative pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons.


Notes for Deut 9:10LEB

The very finger of Yahweh. This is a double figure of speech (1) in which Yahweh is ascribed human features (anthropomorphism) and (2) in which a part stands for the whole (synecdoche). That is, Yahweh, as Spirit, has no literal finger nor, if he had, would he write with his finger. Rather, the sense is that Yahweh himself – not Moses in any way – was responsible for the composition of the Ten Commandments (cf. Exod 31:18LEB; Exod 32:16LEB; Exod 34:1LEB).

"according to all the words."


Notes for Deut 9:12LEB

"a casting." The MT reads מַסֵּכָה (massekhah, "a cast thing") but some mss and Smr add עֵגֶל (’egel, "calf"), "a molten calf" or the like (Exod 32:8LEB). Perhaps Moses here omits reference to the calf out of contempt for it.


Notes for Deut 9:13LEB

"stiff-necked." See note on the word "stubborn" in 9:6LEB.


Notes for Deut 9:14LEB

"leave me alone."

"from under heaven."


Notes for Deut 9:15LEB

"the mountain." The translation uses a pronoun for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.


Notes for Deut 9:16LEB

On the phrase "metal calf," see note on the term "metal image" in v. 12.


Notes for Deut 9:17LEB

The Hebrew text includes "from upon my two hands," but as this seems somewhat obvious and redundant, it has been left untranslated for stylistic reasons.


Notes for Deut 9:19LEB

"the anger and the wrath." Although many English versions translate as two terms, this construction is a hendiadys which serves to intensify the emotion (cf. NAB, TEV "fierce anger").


Notes for Deut 9:20LEB

"Aaron." The pronoun is used in the translation to avoid redundancy.


Notes for Deut 9:21LEB

"your sin." This is a metonymy in which the effect (sin) stands for the cause (the metal calf).

"burned it with fire."


Notes for Deut 9:22LEB

Taberah. By popular etymology this derives from the Hebrew verb בָעַר (baar, "to burn"), thus, here, "burning." The reference is to the Lord’s fiery wrath against Israel because of their constant complaints against him (Num 11:1–3LEB).

Massah. See note on this term in Deut 6:16LEB.

Kibroth-Hattaavah. This place name means in Hebrew "burial places of appetite," that is, graves that resulted from overindulgence. The reference is to the Israelites stuffing themselves with the quail Yahweh had provided and doing so with thanklessness (Num 11:31–35LEB).


Notes for Deut 9:25LEB

The Hebrew text includes "when I prostrated myself." Since this is redundant, it has been left untranslated.


Notes for Deut 9:26LEB

"your inheritance"; NLT "your special (very own NRSV) possession." Israel is compared to landed property that one would inherit from his ancestors and pass on to his descendants.

"you have redeemed in your greatness."

"by your strong hand."


Notes for Deut 9:28LEB

The MT reads only "the land." Smr supplies עַם (’am, "people") and LXX and its dependents supply "the inhabitants of the land." The truncated form found in the MT is adequate to communicate the intended meaning; the words "the people of" are supplied in the translation for clarity.

Or "wilderness" (so KJV, NASB, NRSV, NLT).


Notes for Deut 9:29LEB

"your inheritance." See note at v. 26.

"an outstretched arm."


Notes for Deut 10:1LEB

Or "chest" (so NIV, CEV); NLT "sacred chest"; TEV "wooden box." This chest was made of acacia wood; it is later known as the ark of the covenant.


Notes for Deut 10:2LEB

The same words. The care with which the replacement copy must be made underscores the importance of verbal precision in relaying the Lord’s commandments.


Notes for Deut 10:3LEB

Acacia wood (Heb "shittim wood"). This is wood from the acacia, the most common timber tree of the Sinai region. Most likely it is the species Acacia raddiana because this has the largest trunk. See F. N. Hepper, Illustrated Encyclopedia of Bible Plants, 63.


Notes for Deut 10:4LEB

"he"; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

"according to the former writing." See note on the phrase "the same words" in v. 2.

"ten words." The "Ten Commandments" are known in Hebrew as the "Ten Words," which in Greek became the "Decalogue."


Notes for Deut 10:6LEB

Beeroth Bene-Yaaqan. This Hebrew name could be translated "the wells of Bene-Yaaqan" or "the wells of the sons of Yaaqan," a site whose location cannot be determined (cf. Num 33:31–32LEB; 1 Chr 1:42LEB).

Moserah. Since Aaron in other texts (Num 20:28LEB; Num 33:38LEB) is said to have died on Mount Hor, this must be the Arabah region in which Hor was located.


Notes for Deut 10:7LEB

Gudgodah. This is probably the same as Haggidgad, which is also associated with Jotbathah (Num 33:33).

Jotbathah. This place, whose Hebrew name can be translated "place of wadis," is possibly modern Ain Tabah, just north of Eilat, or Tabah, 6.5 mi (11 km) south of Eilat on the west shore of the Gulf of Aqaba.


Notes for Deut 10:8LEB

Yahweh set apart the tribe of Levi. This was not the initial commissioning of the tribe of Levi to this ministry (cf. Num 3:11–13LEB; Num 8:12–26LEB), but with Aaron’s death it seemed appropriate to Moses to reiterate Levi’s responsibilities. There is no reference in the Book of Numbers to this having been done, but the account of Eleazar’s succession to the priesthood there (Num 20:25–28LEB) would provide a setting for this to have occurred.

To formulate blessings. The most famous example of this is the priestly "blessing formula" of Num 6:24–26LEB.


Notes for Deut 10:9LEB

Levi has no allotment or inheritance. As the priestly tribe, Levi would have no land allotment except for forty-eight towns set apart for their use (Num 35:1–8; Josh 21:1–42). But theirs was a far greater inheritance, for Yahweh himself was their apportionment, that is, service to him would be their full-time and lifelong privilege (Num 18:20–24LEB; Deut 18:2LEB; Josh 13:33LEB).

That is, among the other Israelite tribes.


Notes for Deut 10:11LEB

"before" (so KJV, ASV); NAB, NRSV "at the head of."

After the imperative these subordinated jussive forms (with prefixed vav) indicate purpose or result.

"fathers" (also in vv. 15, 22).


Notes for Deut 10:12LEB

"to walk in all his ways" (so KJV, NIV, NRSV); NAB "follow his ways exactly"; NLT "to live according to his will."

"heart and soul" or "heart and being"; NCV "with your whole being." See note on the word "being" in Deut 6:5LEB.


Notes for Deut 10:13LEB

"commanding" (so NASB, NRSV). For stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy, "giving" has been used in the translation.


Notes for Deut 10:15LEB

"take delight to love." Here again the verb אָהַב (’ahav, "love"), juxtaposed with בָחַר (bakhar, "choose"), is a term in covenant contexts that describes the Lord’s initiative in calling the patriarchal ancestors to be the founders of a people special to him (cf. the note on the word "loved" in Deut 4:37LEB).

The Hebrew text includes "after them," but it is redundant in English style and has not been included in the translation.


Notes for Deut 10:16LEB

"circumcise the foreskin of" (cf. KJV, ASV, NRSV). Reference to the Abrahamic covenant prompts Moses to recall the sign of that covenant, namely, physical circumcision (Gen 17:9–14LEB). Just as that act signified total covenant obedience, so spiritual circumcision (cleansing of the heart) signifies more internally a commitment to be pliable and obedient to the will of Yahweh (cf. Deut 30:6LEB; Jer 4:4LEB; Jer 9:26LEB).

"your neck do not harden again." See note on the word "stubborn" in Deut 9:6LEB.


Notes for Deut 10:18LEB

Or "who executes justice for" (so NAB, NRSV); NLT "gives justice to."


Notes for Deut 10:21LEB

"your praise." The pronoun is subjective and the noun "praise" is used here metonymically for the object of their praise.


Notes for Deut 10:22LEB

Or "heavens." The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated "heaven(s)" or "sky" depending on the context.


Notes for Deut 11:1LEB

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).


Notes for Deut 11:2LEB

"that not." The words "I am speaking" have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

"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.

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.

"his strong hand and his stretched-out arm."


Notes for Deut 11:3LEB

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.

"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 Yahweh’s power (cf. v. 2b). The word "awesome" has been employed to bring out the force of the word "signs" in this context.


Notes for Deut 11:4LEB

"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 13:18LEB.

"and Yahweh 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.


Notes for Deut 11:5LEB

See note on these same words in v. 3.


Notes for Deut 11:6LEB

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 16:1–3Deut , Num 31–35LEB).

Or "the descendant of Reuben"; Heb "son of Reuben."

"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.

"their houses," referring to all who lived in their household. Cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT "households."

"and all the substance which was at their feet."


Notes for Deut 11:7LEB

On the addition of these words in the translation see note on "They did not see" in v. 3.


Notes for Deut 11:8LEB

"the commandment." The singular מִצְוָה (mitsvah, "commandment") speaks here as elsewhere of the whole corpus of covenant stipulations in Deut eronomy (cf. Deut 6:1LEB, Deut 6:25LEB; Deut 7:11LEB; Deut 8:1LEB).

"commanding" (so NASB, NRSV). For stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy, "giving" has been used in the translation (likewise in vv. 13, 27).

"which you are crossing over there to possess it."


Notes for Deut 11:9LEB

"fathers" (also in v. 21).


Notes for Deut 11:10LEB

"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."

"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.


Notes for Deut 11:11LEB

"which you are crossing over there to possess it."

"rain of heaven."


Notes for Deut 11:12LEB

Constantly attentive to it.

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

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.


Notes for Deut 11:13LEB

"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."

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

"heart and soul" or "heart and being." See note on the word "being" in Deut 6:5LEB.


Notes for Deut 11:14LEB

The words "he promises" do not appear in the Hebrew text but are needed in the translation to facilitate the transition from the condition (v. 13) to the promise and make it clear that the Lord is speaking the words of vv. Deut 14–15LEB.

"the rain of your land." In this case the genitive (modifying term) indicates the recipient of the rain.

The autumn and the spring rains. The "former" (יוֹרֶה, yoreh) and "latter" (מַלְקוֹשׁ, malqosh) rains come in abundance respectively in September/October and March/April. Planting of most crops takes place before the former rains fall and the harvests follow the latter rains.


Notes for Deut 11:15LEB

"grass in your field."


Notes for Deut 11:16LEB

"Watch yourselves lest your heart turns and you turn aside and serve other gods and bow down to them."


Notes for Deut 11:17LEB

"will become hot"; KJV, NASB, NRSV "will be kindled"; NAB "will flare up"; NIV, NLT "will burn."

Or "heavens." The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated "heaven(s)" or "sky" depending on the context.

Or "be destroyed"; NAB, NIV "will soon perish."


Notes for Deut 11:18LEB

"heart and soul" or "heart and being." See note on the word "being" in Deut 6:5LEB.

On the Hebrew term טוֹטָפֹת (totafot, "reminders"), cf. Deut 6:4–9LEB.


Notes for Deut 11:19LEB

Or "as you are away on a journey" (cf. NRSV, TEV, NLT); NAB "at home and abroad."


Notes for Deut 11:21LEB

"like the days of the heavens upon the earth," that is, forever.


Notes for Deut 11:22LEB

"this commandment." See note at Deut 5:30LEB.

"commanding you to do it." For stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy, "giving" has been used in the translation and "to do it" has been left untranslated.

"walk in all his ways" (so KJV, NIV); TEV "do everything he commands."


Notes for Deut 11:24LEB

"the sole of your foot walks." The placing of the foot symbolizes conquest and dominion, especially on land or on the necks of enemies (cf. Deut 1:36LEB; Ps 7:13LEB; Isa 63:3LEB; Hab 3:19LEB; Zech 9:13LEB). See E. H. Merrill, NIDOTTE 1:992.

"the after sea," that is, the sea behind one when one is facing east, which is the normal OT orientation. Cf. ASV "the hinder sea."


Notes for Deut 11:26LEB

A blessing and a curse. Every extant treaty text of the late Bronze Age attests to a section known as the "blessings and curses," the former for covenant loyalty and the latter for covenant breach. Blessings were promised rewards for obedience; curses were threatened judgments for disobedience. In the Book of Deut eronomy these are fully developed in Deut 27:1LEB, Deut 28:68LEB. Here Moses adumbrates the whole by way of anticipation.


Notes for Deut 11:27LEB

"listen to," that is, obey.


Notes for Deut 11:28LEB

"do not listen to," that is, do not obey.

"am commanding" (so NASB, NRSV).

"walk after"; NIV "by following"; NLT "by worshiping." This is a violation of the first commandment, the most serious of the covenant violations (Deut 5:6–7LEB).


Notes for Deut 11:29LEB

Mount Gerizim…Mount Ebal. These two mountains are near the ancient site of Shechem and the modern city of Nablus. The valley between them is like a great amphitheater with the mountain slopes as seating sections. The place was sacred because it was there that Abraham pitched his camp and built his first altar after coming to Canaan (Gen 12:6LEB). Jacob also settled at Shechem for a time and dug a well from which Jesus once requested a drink of water (Gen 33:18–20LEB; John 4:5–7LEB). When Joshua and the Israelites finally brought Canaan under control they assembled at Shechem as Moses commanded and undertook a ritual of covenant reaffirmation (Josh 8:30–35LEB; Josh 24:1LEB, Josh 25). Half the tribes stood on Mt. Gerizim and half on Mt. Ebal and in antiphonal chorus pledged their loyalty to the Lord before Joshua and the Levites who stood in the valley below (Josh 8:33LEB; cf. Deut 27:11–13LEB).


Notes for Deut 11:30LEB

The word "River" is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

Gilgal. From a Hebrew verb root גָלַל (galal, "to roll") this place name means "circle" or "rolling," a name given because Yahweh had "rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you" (Josh 5:9LEB). It is perhaps to be identified with Khirbet el-Metjir, 1.2 mi (2 km) northeast of OT Jericho.

The MT plural "oaks" (אֵלוֹנֵי, ’eloney) should probably be altered (with many Greek texts) to the singular "oak" (אֵלוֹן, ’elon; cf. NRSV) in line with the only other occurrence of the phrase (Gen 12:6LEB). The Syriac, Tg. Ps.-J. read mmr˒, confusing this place with the "oaks of Mamre" near Hebron (Gen 13:18LEB). Smr also appears to confuse "Moreh" with "Mamre" (reading mwr’, a combined form), adding the clarification mwl shkm ("near Shechem") apparently to distinguish it from Mamre near Hebron.