Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 4:37 - 4:37

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 4:37 - 4:37


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All this He did from love to the fathers of Israel (the patriarchs): “and indeed because He loved thy fathers, He chose his seed (the seed of Abraham, the first of the patriarchs) after him, and brought thee (Israel) out of Egypt by His face with great power, to drive out...and to bring thee, to give thee their land...so that thou mightest know and take to heart...and keep His laws,” etc. With regard to the construction of these verses, the clause כִּי וְתַחַת (and because) in Deu 4:37 is not to be regarded as dependent upon what precedes, as Schultz supposes; nor are Deu 4:37 and Deu 4:38 to be taken as the protasis, and Deu 4:39, Deu 4:40 as the apodosis (as Knobel maintains). Both forms of construction are forced and unnatural. The verses form an independent thought; and the most important point, which was to bind Israel to faithfulness towards Jehovah, is given as the sum and substance of the whole address, and placed as a protasis at the head of the period. The only thing that admits of dispute, is whether the apodosis commences with וַיּבְחַר (“He chose,” Deu 4:37), or only with וַיֹּוצִאֲךָ (“brought thee out”). Either is possible; and it makes no difference, so far as the main thought is concerned, whether we regard the choice of Israel, or simply the deliverance from Egypt, in which that choice was carried into practical effect, as the consequence of the love of Jehovah to the patriarchs. - The copula וְ before תַהַת is specially emphatic, “and truly,” and indicates that the sum and substance of the whole discourse is about to follow, or the one thought in which the whole appeal culminates. It was the love of God to the fathers, not the righteousness of Israel (Deu 9:5), which lay at the foundation of the election of their posterity to be the nation of Jehovah's possession, and also of all the miracles of grace which were performed in connection with their deliverance out of Egypt. Moses returns to this thought again at Deu 10:15, for the purpose of impressing it upon the minds of the people as the one motive which laid them under the strongest obligation to circumcise the foreskin of their heart, and walk in the fear and love of the Lord their God (Deu 10:12.). - The singular suffixes in זַרְעֹו (his seed) and אַחֲרָיו after him) refer to Abraham, whom Moses had especially in his mind when speaking of “thy fathers,” because he was pre-eminently the lover of God (Isa 41:8; 2Ch 20:7), and also the beloved or friend of God (Jam 2:23; cf. Gen 18:17.). “By His face” points back to Exo 33:14. The face of Jehovah was Jehovah in His personal presence, in His won person, who brought Israel out of Egypt, to root out great and mighty nations before it, and give it their land for an inheritance. “As this day” (clearly shows), viz., by the destruction of Sihon and Og, which gave to the Israelites a practical pledge that the Canaanites in like manner would be rooted out before them. The expression “as this day” does not imply, therefore, that the Canaanites were already rooted out from their land.