- Promises upon their repentance, verse 1-10.
- The righteousness of faith set before them, verse 11-14.
- Life and death offered to their choice, verse 15-20.
The blessing - When thou art obedient. The curse - When thou becomest rebellious.
And the Lord - Or, For the Lord will circumcise thine heart, will by his word and spirit change and purge thy heart from all thine idolatry and wickedness, and incline thy heart to love him. God will first convert and sanctify them, the fruit whereof shall be, that they shall return and obey God's commandments, Deuteronomy 30:8, and then shall prosper in all things, Deuteronomy 30:9. This promise principally respects the times of the gospel, and the grace which was to be then imparted to all Israel by Christ.
For good - Whereas thou did formerly receive these mercies for thy hurt, now thou shalt have them for thy good, thy heart shall be so changed that thou shalt not now abuse them, but employ them to the service of God the giver. Over thee for good - To do thee good; as he did rejoice to destroy thee.
If thou wilt hearken - This is added to warn them that they should not receive the grace of God in vain, and to teach them that the grace of God doth not discharge man's obligation to his duty, nor excuse him for the neglect of it. It is observable, that Moses calls God, the Lord thy God twelve times in these ten verses. In the threatnings of the former chapter, he is all along called the Lord, a God of power, and the judge of all. But in the promises of this chapter, the Lord thy God, a God of grace, and in covenant with thee.
This commandment - The great command of loving and obeying God, which is the sum of the law, of which yet he doth not here speak, as it is in itself, but as it is molified and accompanied with the grace of the gospel. The meaning is, that tho' the practice of God's laws be now far from us, and above our strength, yet, considering the advantage of gospel grace, whereby God enables us to do our duty, it is near and easy to us, who believe. And so this well agrees with Romans 10:6, &c. where St. Paul applies this place to the righteousness of faith. Is not hidden - Heb. Is not too wonderful for thee, not too hard for thee to know and do. The will of God, which is but darkly manifested to other nations, Acts 17:27, is clearly and fully revealed unto thee: thou canst not pretend ignorance or invincible difficulty.
In heaven - Shut up there, but it hath been thence delivered and published in thy hearing.
Neither beyond the sea - The knowledge of this commandment is not to be fetched from far distant places, to which divers of the wise Heathens travelled for their wisdom; but it was brought to thy very doors and ears, and declared to thee in this wilderness.
In thy mouth - Thou knowest it so well, that it is the matter of thy common discourse. In thy heart - In thy mind, (as the heart is very commonly taken) to understand and believe it. In a word, the Law is plain and easy: but the gospel is much more so.
Chuse life - They shall have life that chuse it: they that chuse the favour of God, and communion with him, shall have what they chuse. They that come short of life and happiness, must thank themselves only. They had had them, if they had chosen them, when they were put to their choice: but they die, because they will die.
That thou mayest love the Lord thy God - Here he shews them in short, what their duty is; To love God as the Lord, a being most amiable, and as their God, a God in covenant with them: as an evidence of their love, to obey his voice in every thing, and by constancy in this love and obedience, to cleave to him all their days. And what encouragement had they to do this? For he is thy life and the length of thy days - He gives life, preserves life, restores life, and prolongs it, by his power, tho' it be a frail life, and by his presence, tho' it be a forfeited life. He sweetens life by his comforts, and compleats all in life everlasting.