Summons to enter into the covenant of the Lord, namely, to enter inwardly, to make the covenant an affair of the heart and life.
“To-day,” when the covenant-law and covenant-right were laid before them, the whole nation stood before the Lord without a single exception - the heads and the tribes, the elders and the officers, all the men of Israel. The two members are parallel. The heads of the people are the elders and officers, and the tribes consist of all the men. The rendering given by the lxx and Syriac (also in the English version: Tr.), “heads (captains) of your tribes,” is at variance with the language.
The covenant of the Lord embraced, however, not only the men of Israel, but also the wives and children, and the stranger who had attached himself to Israel, such as the Egyptians who came out with Israel (Exo 12:38; Num 11:4), and the Midianites who joined the Israelites with Hobab (Num 10:29), down to the very lowest servant, “from thy hewer of wood to thy drawer of water” (cf. Jos 9:21, Jos 9:27).
“That thou shouldest enter into the covenant of the Lord thy God, and the engagement on oath, which the Lord thy God concludeth with thee to-day.” עָבַר with בְּ, as in Job 33:28, “to enter into,” expresses entire entrance, which goes completely through the territory entered, and is more emphatic than בִבְרִית בֹּוא (2Ch 15:12). “Into the oath:” the covenant confirmed with an oath, covenants being always accompanied with oaths (vid., Gen 26:28).
“That He may set thee up (exalt thee) to-day into a people for Himself, and that He may be (become) unto thee a God” (vid., Deu 28:9; Deu 27:9; Exo 19:5-6).
This covenant Moses made not only with those who are present, but with all whether present or not; for it was to embrace not only those who were living then, but their descendants also, to become a covenant of blessing for all nations (cf. Act 2:39, and the intercession of Christ in Joh 17:20).