Deuteronomy 6

1 Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the rights, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you that ye might do them in the land into which ye go to inherit it
2 that thou might fear the LORD 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 be multiplied exceedingly (as the LORD God of thy fathers has said unto thee) in the land that flows with milk and honey.
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.
5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine 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 repeat them diligently unto thy sons and shalt talk of them being in thy house and walking by the way, lying down in bed, and rising up;
8 and thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thy eyes;
9 and thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house and on thy gates.
10 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give it unto thee: great and goodly cities, which thou didst not build,
11 and houses full of all good things, which thou didst not fill, and hewn out wells, which thou didst not dig, vineyards and olive trees, which thou didst not plant; when thou shalt have eaten and be full,
12 then beware lest thou forget the LORD, who brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery.
13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God and serve him and shalt swear by his name.
14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the peoples who are round about you
15 (for the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest peradventure the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
17 Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God and his testimonies and his statutes, which he has commanded thee.
18 And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD that it may be well with thee and that thou may enter in and inherit the good land which the LORD swore unto thy fathers
19 so that he will cast out all thine enemies from before thy presence, as the LORD has spoken.
20 And when tomorrow thy son asks thee, saying, What are the testimonies and the statutes and the rights, which the LORD our God has commanded you?
21 Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand;
22 and the LORD showed signs and wonders, great and sore, in Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes;
23 and he brought us out from there that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he swore unto our fathers.
24 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes that we might fear the LORD our God for our good always that he might give us life, as it is at this day.
25 And we shall have justice when we keep ourselves by doing all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he has 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