- A persuasive to obedience, verse 1-3.
- The first truth, God is One, the first duty, to love him, verse 4,5.
- The means hereto, verse 6-9.
- A caution not to forget God in prosperity, verse 10-13.
- Not to worship idols, or tempt God, verse 14-16.
- Exhortation to obedience, verse 17-19.
- And to teach their children, verse 20-25.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart - And is this only an external commandment? Can any then say, that the Sinai - covenant was merely external? With all thy heart - With an entire love. He is One; therefore our hearts must be united in his love. And the whole stream of our affections must run toward Him. O that this love of God may be shed abroad in our hearts.
Teach them diligently - Heb. whet, or sharpen them, so as they may pierce deep into their hearts. This metaphor signifies the manner of instructing them, that it is to be done diligently, earnestly, frequently, discreetly.
Thou shalt bind them - Thou shalt give all diligence, and use all means to keep them in thy remembrance, as men often bind something upon their hands, or put it before their eyes to prevent forgetfulness of a thing which they much desire to remember.
Shalt swear by his name - When thou hast a call and just cause to swear, not by idols, or any creatures.
Among you - Heb. In the midst of you, to see and observe all your ways and your turnings aside to other Gods.
Ye shall not tempt - Not provoke him, as the following instance explains. Sinners, especially presumptuous sinners, are said to tempt God, that is, to make a trial of God, whether he be, so wise as to see their sins, so just and true and powerful as to take vengeance on them, concerning which they are very apt to doubt because of the present impunity and prosperity of many such persons.
Ye diligently keep - Negligence will ruin us: but we cannot be saved without diligence.
It shall be our righteousness - Heb. Righteousness shall be to us. We shall be owned and pronounced by God to be righteous and holy persons, if we sincerely obey him, otherwise we shall be declared to be unrighteous and ungodly. Or, mercy shall be to us, or with us. For as the Hebrew word rendered righteousness is very often put for mercy, (as Psalms 24:5; ; ; Proverbs 10:2; ; Daniel 9:16) so this sense seems best to agree both with the scripture use of this phrase, (in which righteousness, seldom or never, but grace or mercy frequently, is said to be to us or with us) and with the foregoing verse and argument God, saith he, Deuteronomy 5:24, commanded these things for our good, that he might preserve us alive, as it is this day. And, saith he in this verse, this is not all; for as he hath done us good, so he will go on to do us more and more good, and God's mercy shall be to us, or with us, in the remainder of our lives, and for ever, if we observe these commandments.