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Deu 8:1 You must observe to do all the commandments which I command you this day, that you may live and multiply and go in and possess the land which Yahweh swore to your fathers-
"Drive out" is s.w. "possess". We must note the difference between the  Canaanite peoples and their kings being "struck" and their land "taken" by Joshua-Jesus; and the people of Israel permanently taking possession. This is the difference between the Lord's victory on the cross, and our taking possession of the Kingdom. Even though that possession has been "given" to us. The word used for "possession" is literally 'an inheritance'. The allusion is to the people, like us, being the seed of Abraham. The Kingdom was and is our possession, our inheritance- if we walk in the steps of Abraham. But it is one thing to be the seed of Abraham, another to take possession of the inheritance; and Israel generally did not take possession of all the land (Josh. 11:23 13:1; 16:10; 18:3; 23:4). The language of inheritance / possession is applied to us in the New Testament (Eph. 1:11,14; Col. 3:24; Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Pet. 1:4 etc.). Israel were promised: "You shall possess it" (Dt. 30:5; 33:23). This was more of a command than a prophecy, for sadly they were "given" the land but did not "possess" it. They were constantly encouraged in the wilderness that they were on the path to possessing the land (Dt. 30:16,18; 31:3,13; 32:47), but when they got there they didn't possess it fully.

Deu 8:2 You shall remember all the way which Yahweh your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that He might humble you, to prove you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not-
2,3 speaks of how Angels as it were experiment with us in order to know our hearts: "Thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee (the Angel did this) these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments or no. And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna. . "; the Angel gave them trials in order to find out what was in their heart. God  "knoweth the secrets of the heart" (Ps. 44:21);  "I the LORD search the heart" (Jer. 17:10), and therefore He does not have to tempt us -which  James 1 says He Himself doesn't anyway- in order to know what is in our hearts. But His Angels do. Abraham and Hezekiah are other examples; see on 2 Chron. 32:31.

How God works through sin is revealed in the way that although God always provided food for Israel in the wilderness, He ‘suffered them to hunger’ for 40 years, in order to try to teach them that man lives not by bread alone, but by God’s word (Dt. 8:2,3). The Jews in the wilderness despised the food God gave them as worthless (Num. 21:3); they went hungry not literally, but in the sense that they despised the manna of God’s provision. And He allowed them to have that hunger, in order that He might [try to] teach them about the value of His word. He didn’t simply punish them for their ingratitude. He sought to work through it in order to teach them something. Even the process of rejection results in the victims coming to ‘know the Lord’.


Deu 8:3 He humbled you and allowed you to suffer hunger, and fed you with manna-
Israel were to be filled with the manna, so that they would know that "I am Yahweh your God" (Ex. 16:12). This was to be the meaning of the manna. There was a daily manifestation of God's glory along with the manna (Ex. 16:7 cp. 12). The daily sense of living with God's glory is so vital for each of us in our deeply personal spirituality. We know that faith comes from hearing God's word; so our feeding on God's word should lead us to know Yahweh. There was something intensely personal about the teaching of the manna: "He fed thee (singular- not "ye") with manna, that he might make thee know that (every) man (lives spiritually) by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord" (Dt. 8:3 AV).

Which you didn’t know, neither did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Yahweh-
The passages quoted by Jesus in the desert to strengthen Himself against His human desires (“the devil”) are all from the same part of Deuteronomy, regarding Israel’s experience in the wilderness. Jesus clearly saw a parallel between His experiences and theirs. The description of Him as being in the wilderness with beasts and Angels (Mk. 1:13) is another connection with Israel’s experience in the wilderness- they were plagued there by “wild beasts” (32:19-24). Jesus was led up of the spirit for forty days in the wilderness, as Israel were led forty years by a Spirit-Angel. The mind of Jesus was likewise proved by the temptations. Jesus overcame by quoting the Scriptures that were in His heart (Ps. 119:11). Jesus also was allowed to hunger, to reinforce His understanding of the fact that we are to live not by physical food but by the word of God. The reference to Israel being ‘chastened’ (:5) in the desert recall how God chastened His Son, Jesus (2 Sam. 7:12; Ps. 89: 32). Thus Jesus showed us how to read and study the Word - He thought Himself into the position of Israel in the wilderness, and therefore took the lessons that can be learnt from their experiences to Himself in His wilderness trials.

Deu 8:4 Your clothing didn’t grow old on you, neither did your foot swell, these forty years-
God has likewise promised to provide us on our wilderness journey with basic clothing and food (Ps. 37:25). We should be content with this, and instead of giving our strength to earn money to tickle our taste buds and buy fine clothing, instead give our lives to serving God.

Apart from the jewellery taken from the Egyptians for the construction of the tabernacle, the total unmaterialism of Israel on Passover night is something to be marvelled at.   They only had the clothes they wore, and just the one pair of shoes. This is confirmed by the reminder that these things were miraculously preserved throughout the wilderness journey (Dt. 8:4). It is also highlighted that they had no food when they left - they just grabbed some dough which later they baked into "unleavened cakes" (Ex. 12:34,39).  

Deu 8:5 You shall consider in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so Yahweh your God chastens you-

Dt. 8:2-7 describes God leading Israel through the wilderness for 40 years so that they could then enter the land. 'Israel' here must refer to the under 20s, Joshua, Caleb and the Levites. It was only they who went through the wilderness for 40 years. It was 'Israel' in this sense with whom God was in love. They considered in their heart, that God was treating them as a father does his son (Dt. 8:5). This has a practical significance to it; the under 20s would have been at variance with their natural parents, who knew they were condemned to death in the wilderness, and who refused to take their covenant with God seriously. That young remnant were led to meditate that God was their Heavenly Father; natural relationships that were not based around a true love of God, paled into insignificance as they spiritually matured.  Dt. 8:3 says that they learnt to live by every word of God during those 40 years. This is just not true of rebellious Israel generally. But the under 20s, Levites, Joshua and Caleb all developed into keen lovers of the word during that time.  They are classic Biblical examples for young people.

Deu 8:6 You must keep the commandments of Yahweh your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him-
6,7 Whilst there are of course conditions for entry into the Kingdom, it must ever be remembered that it is not right to therefore reason that if we do certain things, then we will be in the Kingdom. For this would be justification by works and not by faith. However, because we believe we will be in the Kingdom, we will therefore naturally respond by living according to God’s precepts. Moses encouraged Israel to keep the Law exactly because God would surely give them the promised land- not so that they would enter the land but because He would give them the land: “Thou shalt keep the commandmentsof the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways,and to fear him. For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land...” (Dt. 8:6,7).

Deu 8:7 For Yahweh your God brings you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of springs and underground water gushing into valleys and hills;
Deu 8:8 a land of wheat and barley, vines, fig trees and pomegranates; a land of olive trees and honey;
Deu 8:9 a land in which you shall eat bread without scarcity. You shall not lack anything in it; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you may dig copper-
They would inherit a land which was blessed with iron, and from whose hills “you may dig brass”; and yet they failed to make the effort to dig this out, and therefore they were dominated by the Canaanite tribes who had iron weapons. The Angels had made it potentially possible, but the realization of their potential plans depended upon Israel’s freewill effort. But in Judges and 1 Samuel we read several times of how Israel hardly had any iron weapons and were dominated by the Philistines who did. So this was a potential for them- they could have had this blessing, but like us so often, they chose to be satisfied with the minimum and didn’t realize it for themselves.

The men of Dan quote the words of Dt. 8:9 in Jud. 18:10, but out of context. Those words were true of the entire land promised to Abraham. But the men of Dan didn't drive out the tribes from the land. Instead, they applied these words to a tiny, remote part of it in Laish, and encouraged themselves on the basis of these words to go and massacre a group of unsuspecting people and take their land- with the blessing of Micah's false gods.

Deu 8:10 When you shall eat and be full, then you shall bless Yahweh your God for the good land which He has given you.
Deu 8:11 Beware lest you forget Yahweh your God in not keeping His commandments, His ordinances and His statutes which I command you this day-

The Hebrew mishpat, "ordinances", has a wide range of meaning. The idea is of judgment, as if God and His Angels gave these laws as their considered judgment after considering the human condition, and Israel were to abide by them. But the word also the idea of a right or privilege; and that is how we should see God's laws. They are only felt as a burden because of human hardness of neck towards God's ways. His laws are not of themselves burdensome, but rather a privilege and blessing. The law was indeed "holy, just and good" (Rom. 7:12), designed to inculcate a holy, just and good life (Tit. 1:8), a way in which a man should "walk" in daily life (Lev. 18:4), a culture of kindness and grace to others which reflected God's grace to man. If we dwell upon the idea of "rights" carried within the word mishpat, we note that the law begins in Ex. 21:1,2 (also Dt. 15:12-18) with the rights of a slave- those considered to have no rights in the society of that day. The "rights" to be afforded by us to others are the essence of God's rightness / justice.  

Deu 8:12 lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and lived therein,
Deu 8:13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply and your silver and your gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied,
Deu 8:14 then your heart be lifted up and you forget Yahweh your God, Who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage-

Time and again, Moses speaks of the state of their heart. He warns them against allowing a bad state of heart to develop, he speaks often of how apostasy starts in the heart. Moses makes a total of 49 references to the heart / mind of Israel in Deuteronomy, compared to only 13 in the whole of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. This indicates the paramount importance which our Lord attaches to the state of our mind. This was perhaps his greatest wish as He faced death; that we should develop a spiritual mind and thereby manifest the Father and come to salvation. Moses likewise saw the state of our mind as the key to spiritual success. But do we share this perspective? Do we guard our minds against the media and influence of a mind-corrupting world? It's been observed that the phrase "The God of [somebody]", or similar, occurs 614 times in the Old Testament, of which 306 are in Deuteronomy. Our very personal relationship with God was therefore something else which Moses came to grasp in his spiritual maturity. Statistical analysis of the word "love" in the Pentateuch likewise reveals that "love" was a great theme of Moses at the end of his life (Moses uses it 16 times in Deuteronomy, and only four times in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers).

Deu 8:15 Who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with fiery serpents, scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; Who brought you forth water out of the rock of flint;
Deu 8:16 Who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers didn’t know, that He might humble you and that He might prove you, to do you good at your latter end-

"Humble you" is the word used of how the Egyptians had afflicted the Hebrews (Ex. 1:11,12). Repeatedly, Israel were taught that they were to remember the state they had been in prior to their redemption from affliction; and redeem others from their affliction on that basis, and never to afflict people as Egypt had done to them. All this is an abiding principle for us. True redemption of others has to be rooted in an awareness of our own affliction. This is particularly necessary for those who were as it were schooled into Christ by reason of their upbringing.

Deu 8:17 and lest you say in your heart, My power and the might of my hand has given me this wealth.
Deu 8:18 But you must remember Yahweh your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as at this day-
“The liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand” (Is. 32:8) may suggest that the generous will “stand” in the last day because of their generous spirit. Indeed, being in covenant with God may even depend upon our recognition of the fact that all human wealth is from God: “Thou shalt remember… it is [God] that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant” (Dt. 8:18).

Moses urges the peoples' faithfulness so that Yahweh might "establish His covenant" with them (Dt. 8:18); and we note that despite their disobedience, He still "established" the covenant with them, by grace alone (Dt. 9:5).


Deu 8:19 If you forget Yahweh your God, and walk after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.
Deu 8:20 As the nations that Yahweh makes to perish before you, so you too shall perish, because you wouldn’t listen to the voice of Yahweh your God-
Israel did not obey / hearken to the voice of Yahweh, and He did not hearken to their voice in prayer (Dt. 1:45; 9:23; 28:15; Josh. 5:6; Jud. 2:20; 6:10 cp. Dt. 8:20 s.w.). 2 Kings 18:12 states this specifically. God hearkened to Joshua's voice in prayer (Josh. 10:14) because Joshua hearkened to His voice. It was to be the same with Saul. He didn't hearken to God's voice (1 Sam. 15:19) and God didn't hearken to Saul's voice in prayer in his final desperation at the end of his life (1 Sam. 28:18). If God's word abides in us, then our prayer is powerful, we have whatever we ask, because we are asking for things according to His will expressed in His word (Jn. 15:7).