Deuteronomy 6

1 "These are all the laws that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you. Obey them in the land that you are about to enter and occupy.
2 As long as you live, you and your descendants are to honor the Lord your God and obey all his laws that I am giving you, so that you may live in that land a long time.
3 Listen to them, people of Israel, and obey them! Then all will go well with you, and you will become a mighty nation and live in that rich and fertile land, just as the Lord, the God of our ancestors, has promised.
4 "Israel, remember this! The Lord - and the Lord alone - is our God. 1
5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 2
6 Never forget these commands that I am giving you today. 3
7 Teach them to your children. Repeat them when you are at home and when you are away, when you are resting and when you are working.
8 Tie them on your arms and wear them on your foreheads as a reminder.
9 Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.
10 "Just as the Lord your God promised your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he will give you a land with large and prosperous cities which you did not build. 4
11 The houses will be full of good things which you did not put in them, and there will be wells that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant. When the Lord brings you into this land and you have all you want to eat,
12 make certain that you do not forget the Lord who rescued you from Egypt, where you were slaves.
13 Honor the Lord your God, worship only him, and make your promises in his name alone. 5
14 Do not worship other gods, any of the gods of the peoples around you.
15 If you do worship other gods, the Lord's anger will come against you like fire and will destroy you completely, because the Lord your God, who is present with you, tolerates no rivals.
16 "Do not put the Lord your God to the test, as you did at Massah. 6
17 Be sure that you obey all the laws that he has given you.
18 Do what the Lord says is right and good, and all will go well with you. You will be able to take possession of the fertile land that the Lord promised your ancestors,
19 and you will drive out your enemies, as he promised.
20 "In times to come your children will ask you, "Why did the Lord our God command us to obey all these laws?'
21 Then tell them, "We were slaves of the king of Egypt, and the Lord rescued us by his great power.
22 With our own eyes we saw him work miracles and do terrifying things to the Egyptians and to their king and to all his officials.
23 He freed us from Egypt to bring us here and give us this land, as he had promised our ancestors he would.
24 Then the Lord our God commanded us to obey all these laws and to honor him. If we do, he will always watch over our nation and keep it prosperous.
25 If we faithfully obey everything that God has commanded us, he will be pleased with 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.

Cross References 6

  • 1. 6.4Mark 12.29.
  • 2. 6.5Matthew 22.37;Mark 12.30;Luke 10.27.
  • 3. 6.6-9Deuteronomy 11.18-20.
  • 4. 6.10 aGenesis 12.7; bGenesis 26.3; cGenesis 28.13.
  • 5. 6.13Matthew 4.10;Luke 4.8.
  • 6. 6.16 aMatthew 4.7;Luke 4.12; bExodus 17.1-7.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. The Lord . . . is our God; [or] The Lord, our God, is the only God; [or] The Lord our God is one.
  • [b]. If we faithfully . . . with us; [or] The right thing for us to do is to obey faithfully everything that God has commanded us.

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