Deuteronomy 6

1 Now this is the commandment, the statutes, and the ordinances, which Jehovah your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it;
2 that thou mightest fear Jehovah thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as Jehovah, the God of thy fathers, hath promised unto thee, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
4 Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah:
5 and thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart;
7 and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be for frontlets between thine eyes.
9 And thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates.
10 And it shall be, when Jehovah thy God shall bring thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee, great and goodly cities, which thou buildest not,
11 and houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and cisterns hewn out, which thou hewedst not, vineyards and olive-trees, which thou plantedst not, and thou shalt eat and be full;
12 then beware lest thou forget Jehovah, who brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
13 Thou shalt fear Jehovah thy God; and him shalt thou serve, and shalt swear by his name.
14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the peoples that are round about you;
15 for Jehovah thy God in the midst of thee is a jealous God; lest the anger of Jehovah thy God be kindled against thee, and he destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
16 Ye shall not tempt Jehovah your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
17 Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of Jehovah your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.
18 And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of Jehovah; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which Jehovah sware unto thy fathers,
19 to thrust out all thine enemies from before thee, as Jehovah hath spoken.
20 When thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which Jehovah our God hath commanded you?
21 then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt: and Jehovah brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand;
22 and Jehovah showed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his house, before our eyes;
23 and he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.
24 And Jehovah commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear Jehovah our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as at this day.
25 And it shall be righteousness unto us, if we observe to do all this commandment before Jehovah our God, as he hath commanded us.

Deuteronomy 6 Commentary

Chapter 6

A persuasive to obedience. (1-3) An exhortation to obedience. (4,5) Obedience taught. (6-16) General precepts, Instructions to be given to their children. (17-25)

Verses 1-3 In this and the like passages, the "commandments" seem to denote the moral law, the "statues" the ceremonial law, and the "judgments" the law by which the judges decided. Moses taught the people all that, and that only, which God commanded him to teach. Thus Christ's ministers are to teach his churches all he has commanded, neither more nor less, ( Matthew 28:20 ) . The fear of God in the heart will be the most powerful principle of obedience. It is highly desirable that not we only, but our children, and our children's children, may fear the Lord. Religion and righteousness advance and secure the prosperity of any people.

Verses 4-5 Here is a brief summary of religion, containing the first principles of faith and obedience. Jehovah our God is the only living and true God; he only is God, and he is but One God. Let us not desire to have any other. The three-fold mention of the Divine names, and the plural number of the word translated God, seem plainly to intimate a Trinity of persons, even in this express declaration of the unity of the Godhead. Happy those who have this one Lord for their God. It is better to have one fountain than a thousand cisterns; one all-sufficient God than a thousand insufficient friends. This is the first and great commandment of God's law, that we love him; and that we do all parts of our duty to him from a principle of love; My son, give me thine heart. We are to love God with all our heart, and soul, and might. That is, 1. With a sincere love; not in word and tongue only, but inwardly in truth. 2. With a strong love. He that is our All, must have our all, and none but he. 3. With a superlative love; we must love God above any creature whatever, and love nothing but what we love for him. 4. With an intelligent love. To love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, we must see good cause to love him. 5. With an entire love; he is ONE, our hearts must be united in his love. Oh that this love of God may be shed abroad in our hearts!

Verses 6-16 Here are means for maintaining and keeping up religion in our hearts and houses. 1. Meditation. God's words must be laid up in our hearts, that our thoughts may be daily employed about them. 2. The religious education of children. Often repeat these things to them. Be careful and exact in teaching thy children. Teach these truths to all who are any way under thy care. 3. Pious discourse. Thou shalt talk of these things with due reverence and seriousness, for the benefit not only of thy children, but of thy servants, thy friends and companions. Take all occasions to discourse with those about thee, not of matters of doubtful disputation, but of the plain truths and laws of God, and the things that belong to our peace. 4. Frequent reading of the word. God appointed them to write sentences of the law upon their walls, and in scrolls of parchment to be worn about their wrists. This seems to have been binding in the letter of it to the Jews, as it is to us in the intent of it; which is, that we should by all means make the word of God familiar to us; that we may have it ready to use upon all occasions, to restrain us from sin, and direct us in duty. We must never be ashamed to own our religion, nor to own ourselves under its check and government. Here is a caution not to forget God in a day of prosperity and plenty. When they came easily by the gift, they would be apt to grow secure, and unmindful of the Giver. Therefore be careful, when thou liest safe and soft, lest thou forget the Lord. When the world smiles, we are apt to make court to it, and expect our happiness in it, and so we forget Him who is our only portion and rest. There is need of great care and caution at such a time. Then beware; being warned of your danger, stand upon your guard. Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God; neither by despairing of his power and goodness, while we keep in the way of our duty; nor by presuming upon it, when we turn aside out of that way.

Verses 17-25 Moses gives charge to keep God's commandments. Negligence will ruin us; but we cannot be saved without diligence. It is our interest, as well as our duty, to be religious. It will be our life. Godliness has the promise of the continuance and comfort of the life that now is, as far as it is for God's glory. It will be our righteousness. It is only through the Mediator we can be righteous before God. The knowledge of the spirituality and excellency of the holy law of God, is suited to show sinful man his need of a Saviour, and to prepare his heart to welcome a free salvation. The gospel honours the law, not only in the perfect obedience of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ; but in that it is a plan for bringing back apostate rebels and enemies, by repentance, faith, forgiveness, and renewing grace, to love God above all things, even in this world; and in the world above, to love him perfectly, even as angels love him.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO DEUTERONOMY 6

In this chapter Moses proceeds on in his exhortations to the people of Israel, to attend to the commandments of God, that it might be well with them, De 6:1-3, and begins with a principal and fundamental article of religion, which deserved their first and chief regard, the unity of God, and the love of him, De 6:4,5, which they were carefully to instinct their children in, and ever to be mindful of themselves, De 6:6-9, and when they were come into the land of Canaan, and into a plentiful enjoyment of all good things in it, they are exhorted to be careful not to forget the Lord, their kind benefactor; but to fear him, serve him, and not go after other gods, since he is jealous of his honour and worship, De 6:10-15 and not to tempt him, as they had done, but diligently keep, his commandments, that it might be well with them in that land, De 6:16-19, and when their children inquired the reason and meaning of such testimonies, statutes, and judgments, that were enjoined them, they were to give them the history of their case in Egypt, their deliverance from thence, the wonders that were wrought for them, and the introduction of them into the good land of Canaan; and to let them know that these commands were some of them in commemoration of these blessings; and by these they were laid under obligation to regard them all, and the rather, since they were not only for the glory of God, but for their own good, De 6:20-25.

Deuteronomy 6 Commentaries