Deuteronomy 8

Listen to Deuteronomy 8

Remember the Lord Your God

1 "The whole commandment that I command you today 1you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the LORD swore to give to your fathers.
2 And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you 2these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, 3testing you 4to know what was in your heart, 5whether you would keep his commandments or not.
3 And he humbled you and 6let you hunger and 7fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that 8man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word[a] that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
4 9Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years.
5 Know then in your heart that, 10as a man disciplines his son, the LORD your God disciplines you.
6 So you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him.
7 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, 11a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills,
8 a land of wheat and barley, 12of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey,
9 a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper.
10 And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.
11 "Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today,
12 13lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them,
13 and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied,
14 14then your heart be lifted up, and you 15forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery,
15 who 16led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, 17with its fiery serpents and scorpions 18and thirsty ground where there was no water, 19who brought you water out of the flinty rock,
16 who fed you in the wilderness with 20manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, 21to do you good in the end.
17 Beware 22lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.'
18 You shall remember the LORD your God, for 23it is he who gives you power to get wealth, 24that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
19 And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, 25I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish.
20 Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, 26so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God.

Deuteronomy 8 Commentary

Chapter 8

Exhortations and cautions, enforced by the Lord's former dealings with Israel, and his promises. (1-9) Exhortations and cautions further enforced. (10-20)

Verses 1-9 Obedience must be, 1. Careful, observe to do; 2. Universal, to do all the commandments; and 3. From a good principle, with a regard to God as the Lord, and their God, and with a holy fear of him. To engage them to this obedience. Moses directs them to look back. It is good to remember all the ways, both of God's providence and grace, by which he has led us through this wilderness, that we may cheerfully serve him and trust in him. They must remember the straits they were sometimes brought into, for mortifying their pride, and manifesting their perverseness; to prove them, that they and others might know all that was in their heart, and that all might see that God chose them, not for any thing in them which might recommend them to his favour. They must remember the miraculous supplies of food and raiment granted them. Let none of God's children distrust their Father, nor take any sinful course for the supply of their necessities. Some way or other, God will provide for them in the way of duty and honest diligence, and verily they shall be fed. It may be applied spiritually; the word of God is the food of the soul. Christ is the word of God; by him we live. They must also remember the rebukes they had been under, and not without need. This use we should make of all our afflictions; by them let us be quickened to our duty. Moses also directs them to look forward to Canaan. Look which way we will, both to look back and to look forward, to Canaan. Look which way we will, both to look back and to look forward will furnish us with arguments for obedience. Moses saw in that land a type of the better country. The gospel church is the New Testament Canaan, watered with the Spirit in his gifts and graces, planted with trees of righteousness, bearing fruits of righteousness. Heaven is the good land, in which nothing is wanting, and where is fulness of joy.

Verses 10-20 Moses directs to the duty of a prosperous condition. Let them always remember their Benefactor. In everything we must give thanks. Moses arms them against the temptations of a prosperous condition. When men possess large estates, or are engaged in profitable business, they find the temptation to pride, forgetfulness of God, and carnal-mindedness, very strong; and they are anxious and troubled about many things. In this the believing poor have the advantage; they more easily perceive their supplies coming from the Lord in answer to the prayer of faith; and, strange as it may seem, they find less difficulty in simply trusting him for daily bread. They taste a sweetness therein, which is generally unknown to the rich, while they are also freed from many of their temptations. Forget not God's former dealings with thee. Here is the great secret of Divine Providence. Infinite wisdom and goodness are the source of all the changes and trials believers experience. Israel had many bitter trials, but it was "to do them good." Pride is natural to the human heart. Would one suppose that such a people, after their slavery at the brick-kilns, should need the thorns of the wilderness to humble them? But such is man! And they were proved that they might be humbled. None of us live a single week without giving proofs of our weakness, folly, and depravity. To broken-hearted souls alone the Saviour is precious indeed. Nothing can render the most suitable outward and inward trials effectual, but the power of the Spirit of God. See here how God's giving and our getting are reconciled, and apply it to spiritual wealth. All God's gifts are in pursuance of his promises. Moses repeats the warning he had often given of the fatal consequences of forsaking God. Those who follow others in sin, will follow them to destruction. If we do as sinners do, we must expect to fare as sinners fare.

Cross References 26

  • 1. Deuteronomy 4:1; Deuteronomy 5:32, 33; Deuteronomy 6:1-3
  • 2. Deuteronomy 1:3; Deuteronomy 2:7; Deuteronomy 29:5; Amos 2:10
  • 3. ver. 16; Exodus 15:25
  • 4. [2 Chronicles 32:31]
  • 5. [Exodus 16:4; Judges 3:4]
  • 6. Exodus 16:2, 3
  • 7. Ex. 16:12, 14, 15, 35; [Numbers 11:6-9; Numbers 21:5]
  • 8. Cited Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4; [John 6:49-51]
  • 9. Deuteronomy 29:5; Nehemiah 9:21
  • 10. Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:5, 6; [2 Samuel 7:14; Proverbs 29:17; Hosea 10:10; Revelation 3:19]
  • 11. Deuteronomy 11:10-12
  • 12. [Numbers 20:5]
  • 13. Deuteronomy 6:11, 12; Deuteronomy 28:47; Deuteronomy 32:15; Proverbs 30:9; Hosea 13:6
  • 14. [1 Corinthians 4:7]
  • 15. Psalms 78:11; Psalms 106:21
  • 16. See Deuteronomy 1:19
  • 17. Numbers 21:6; Isaiah 30:6
  • 18. Hosea 13:5
  • 19. Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:11; Psalms 78:15; Psalms 114:8; [Deuteronomy 32:13]
  • 20. ver. 3; Exodus 16:15
  • 21. [Jeremiah 24:5-7; Hebrews 12:11]
  • 22. [Deuteronomy 9:4]
  • 23. [Proverbs 10:22; Hosea 2:8]
  • 24. Deuteronomy 7:8, 12
  • 25. [Deuteronomy 4:26; Deuteronomy 30:18]
  • 26. [Daniel 9:11, 12]

Footnotes 1

Chapter Summary


In this chapter Moses repeats the exhortation to observe the commands of God, and urges the Israelites to it, from the consideration of the great and good things God had done for them in the wilderness, and even in those instances which were chastisements, and were of an humbling nature, De 8:1-6, and on the consideration of the blessings of the good land they were going to possess, De 8:7-9 for which blessings they are exhorted to be thankful, and are cautioned against pride of heart through them, and forgetfulness of God, and of his goodness to them while in the wilderness, and when brought into the land of Canaan, which they were to ascribe to his power and goodness, and not their own, De 8:10-18, and the chapter is concluded with a warning against idolatry, lest they perish through it as the nations before them, De 8:19,20.

Deuteronomy 8 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.