Deuteronomy 6

1 These be the commandments, ceremonies, and dooms, which your Lord God commanded that I should teach you, and that ye do them in the land to which ye pass over to wield; (These be the commandments, and statutes, and laws, or judgements, which the Lord your God commanded that I should teach you, so that ye would do them in the land to which ye shall cross over to take;)
2 that thou dread thy Lord God, and keep all his commandments, and behests, which I command to thee, and to thy sons, and to the sons of thy sons, in all the days of thy life, that thy days be lengthened. (that thou fear the Lord thy God/that thou revere the Lord thy God, and obey all his commandments, and statutes, which I command to thee, and to thy sons and daughters, and to thy children's children, in all the days of thy life, so that thy days be lengthened.)
3 Thou Israel, hear, and keep, that thou do those things which the Lord commanded to thee, and that it be well to thee, and thou be multiplied more, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised, to give to thee a land flowing with milk and honey. (Hear, O Israel, and obey, that thou do those things which the Lord commanded thee, and that it be well with thee, and thou be greatly multiplied in the land flowing with milk and honey, as the Lord God of thy fathers promised thee.)
4 Thou Israel, hear, thy Lord God is one God. (Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one God.)
5 Thou shalt love thy Lord God of all thine heart, and of all thy soul, and of all thy strength. (Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength.)
6 And these words which I command to thee today, shall be in thine heart;
7 and thou shalt tell those to thy sons, and thou shalt think upon them, sitting in thine house, and going in the way (and going on the way), lying down, and rising (up).
8 And thou shalt bind those as a sign in thine hand; and those shall be, and shall be moved before thine eyes; (And thou shalt bind them upon thy hands for a sign; and they shall be before thine eyes forevermore;)
9 and thou shalt write them in the lintel, and in the doors of thine house. (and thou shalt write them on the lintels, and on the door-posts of thy houses.)
10 And when thy Lord God hath brought thee into the land, for which he swore to thy fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and he hath given to thee great cities, and best, which thou buildedest not (and he hath given thee the best and the greatest cities, yea, which thou hast not built),
11 houses full of all riches, which thou madest not, and cisterns, which thou diggedest not, (and) vineyards, and olive places, which thou plantedest not, and when thou hast eaten, and art full-filled (and art filled full),
12 beware diligently, lest thou forget the Lord, that led thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of servage. (be careful, lest thou forget the Lord, who led thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of servitude, or of slavery.)
13 Thou shalt dread thy Lord God (Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God/Thou shalt revere the Lord thy God), and thou shalt serve him alone, and thou shalt swear by his name.
14 Ye shall not go after alien gods, of all (the) heathen men that be in your compass/that be about you; (Ye shall not follow foreign, or other, gods, the gods of the heathen who be all around you;)
15 for God is a fervent lover, thy Lord God is in the midst of thee, lest any time the strong vengeance/the fierceness of thy Lord God be wroth against thee, and do away thee from the face of the earth. (for God is a jealous lover, the Lord thy God who is in the midst of thee, lest any time the Lord thy God be angry with thee, and in his strong vengeance he do thee away from off the face of the earth.)
16 Thou shalt not tempt thy Lord God, as thou temptedest him in the place of tempting. (Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God, as thou temptedest him at Massah.)
17 Keep thou the commandments of thy Lord God, and the witnessings, and ceremonies, which he hath commanded to thee; (Obey thou the commandments of the Lord thy God, and his testimonies, and statutes, which he hath commanded to thee;)
18 and do thou that that is pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord, that it be well to thee (so that it shall be well with thee), and that thou enter, and wield the best land, of which the Lord swore to thy fathers,
19 that he should do away all thine enemies before thee, as he hath spoken. (and that he would do away all thy enemies before thee/and that thou would do away all thy enemies before thee, as he hath promised.)
20 And when thy son shall ask thee tomorrow, that is, in time to coming, and shall say, What will these witnessings, and ceremonies, and dooms to themselves, which our Lord God commanded to us? (And when thy son, or thy daughter, shall ask thee tomorrow, that is, in the time to come, and shall say, What is the meaning of these testimonies, and statutes, and laws, or judgements, which the Lord our God hath commanded us to obey?)
21 thou shalt say to him, We were Pharaoh's servants in Egypt, and the Lord led us out of Egypt, in a strong hand; (thou shalt say to them, We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt, and the Lord led us out of Egypt, with a strong hand;)
22 and he did miracles, and great wonders, and worst, that is, most painful vengeances, in Egypt, against Pharaoh, and all his house, in our sight. (and he did miracles, and wonders, yea, the greatest and the worst, in Egypt, against Pharaoh, and all his household, right before our eyes.)
23 And he led us out thereof, that he should give to us led in, the land of which he swore to our fathers. (And he led us out of there, to lead us into the land which he had promised to our fathers, that he would give us.)
24 And the Lord commanded to us, that we do all these lawful things, and dread our Lord God, that it be well to us, in all the days of our life, as it is today. (And the Lord commanded us, to obey all these laws, and to fear the Lord our God/and to revere the Lord our God, so that it would be well with us, all the days of our life, as it is today.)
25 And he shall be merciful to us, if we shall do and keep all his behests, before our Lord God, as he commanded to us. (And he shall be merciful to us, if we shall obey all these commandments, before the Lord our God, as he 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


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