Deuteronomy 6

Love the LORD Your God

1 These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess,
2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.
3 Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a]
5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
10 When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build,
11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied,
12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
13 Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.
14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you;
15 for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.
16 Do not put the LORD your God to the test as you did at Massah.
17 Be sure to keep the commands of the LORD your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you.
18 Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors,
19 thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the LORD said.
20 In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the LORD our God has commanded you?”
21 tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
22 Before our eyes the LORD sent signs and wonders—great and terrible—on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household.
23 But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors.
24 The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.
25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”

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.

Cross References 37

  • 1. S Exodus 20:20; Deuteronomy 10:12-13; S 1 Samuel 12:24
  • 2. Deuteronomy 4:9
  • 3. S Genesis 26:5
  • 4. S Exodus 20:12
  • 5. S Exodus 19:5
  • 6. Genesis 15:5; Deuteronomy 5:33
  • 7. S Exodus 3:8; Deuteronomy 32:13-14
  • 8. Exodus 13:5
  • 9. Deuteronomy 4:35,39; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalms 86:10; Isaiah 44:6; Zechariah 14:9; Mark 12:29*; John 10:30; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Ephesians 4:6; James 2:19
  • 10. Deuteronomy 11:1,22; Matthew 22:37*; Mark 12:30*; Luke 10:27*
  • 11. 1 Samuel 12:24
  • 12. Deuteronomy 4:29; Deuteronomy 10:12; Joshua 22:5
  • 13. ver 8; Deuteronomy 11:18; Deuteronomy 30:14; Deuteronomy 32:46; Psalms 26:2; Psalms 37:31; Psalms 40:8; Psalms 119:11; Proverbs 3:3; Isaiah 51:7; Jeremiah 17:1; Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 40:4
  • 14. Deuteronomy 4:9; Deuteronomy 11:19; Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4
  • 15. S ver 6; S Exodus 13:9; Matthew 23:5; Exodus 13:9,16; Deuteronomy 11:18
  • 16. Deuteronomy 11:20
  • 17. S Genesis 11:4; Deuteronomy 12:29; Deuteronomy 19:1; Joshua 24:13; Psalms 105:44
  • 18. Jeremiah 2:13
  • 19. S Leviticus 26:5; Deuteronomy 8:10; Deuteronomy 14:29; Deuteronomy 31:20
  • 20. Deuteronomy 4:9,23; 2 Kings 17:38; Psalms 44:17; Psalms 78:7; Psalms 103:2
  • 21. Psalms 33:8; Psalms 34:9; Deuteronomy 10:20
  • 22. Deuteronomy 13:4; 1 Samuel 7:3; Jeremiah 44:10; Matthew 4:10*; Luke 4:4*; Luke 4:8*
  • 23. 1 Samuel 20:3
  • 24. S Exodus 20:7; S Matthew 5:33
  • 25. Deuteronomy 4:24; Deuteronomy 5:9
  • 26. S Exodus 17:2; Exodus 17:7; Matthew 4:7*; Luke 4:12*
  • 27. S Leviticus 26:3
  • 28. Deuteronomy 11:22; Psalms 119:4,56,100,134,168">Psalms 119:4,56,100,134,168; Psalms 119:4
  • 29. 2 Kings 18:6; Isaiah 36:7; Isaiah 38:3
  • 30. Deuteronomy 4:40
  • 31. Exodus 23:27; Joshua 21:44; Psalms 78:53; Psalms 107:2; Psalms 136:24
  • 32. S Exodus 10:2; Exodus 13:14
  • 33. S Deuteronomy 4:34
  • 34. Deuteronomy 10:12; Deuteronomy 30:6; Psalms 86:11; Jeremiah 32:39
  • 35. Psalms 27:12; Psalms 41:2; S Romans 10:5
  • 36. Psalms 103:18; Psalms 119:34,55
  • 37. Deuteronomy 24:13; S Romans 9:31; Romans 10:3,5

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "The " Lord"our God is one " Lord; or "The " Lord"is our God, the " Lord"is one" ; or "The " Lord"is our God, the " Lord"alone"

Chapter Summary


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

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