וְעַתָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל שְׁמַע אֶל־הַחֻקִּים וְאֶל־הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְלַמֵּד אֶתְכֶם לַעֲשֹׂות לְמַעַן תִּחְיוּ 4:1
וּבָאתֶם וִירִשְׁתֶּם אֶת־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵיכֶם נֹתֵן לָכֶם
Deut. 4:1 “So now, Israel, listen to the statutes and to the ordinances that I have been teaching you to do, so that you may live, and enter and possess the land that the Lord, God of your fathers, has given to you.”
The second-person verb listen near the start of the verse is singular in the Hebrew, but the remaining second-person pronouns are plural. Moses is telling the people to listen, but then he speaks to the individuals in the congregation, which he continues to do in the next verses.
Who is Moses speaking to at this time? When he says, “Israel,” he is now addressing the new generation, almost all of whom were born since the Exodus here in the wilderness.
לֹא תֹסִפוּ עַל־הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם וְלֹא תִגְרְעוּ מִמֶּנּוּ לִשְׁמֹר אֶת־מִצְוֹת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם 4:2
אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם
Deut. 4:2 “You shall not add onto the word that I am commanding you, and you shall not take away from it, to keep the commandments of the Lord, your God, that I am commanding you.”
This verse, which is also repeated in a more revealing manner later (Deut. 13:1), provides an important message to us that I believe we have not heeded. We are being told here to neither add to nor detract from this word that we are being taught through Moses. What I believe this means is that we are not to enlarge on or to ignore anything written here by or for Moses. This belief has significant implications for the Talmud, the oral law, and the traditions that have evolved over the last thirty-five hundred years. To my mind they represent additions to, and in some cases even subtractions from, this word, the message of God to us through Moses. I ask you, have we not been stubborn, unmindful and uncaring, and blind?
[Return to Deut. 13:1] [Return to Deut. 17:12] [Return to 1Sam. 30:25] [Return to Ezek. 20:25]
עֵינֵיכֶם הָרֹאֹת אֵת אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂה יְהוָה בְּבַעַל פְּעֹור כִּי כָל־הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר הָלַךְ אַחֲרֵי בַעַל־פְּעֹור 4:3
הִשְׁמִידֹו יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ מִקִּרְבֶּךָ
Deut. 4:3 “Your eyes were seeing what the Lord did in Baal-peor when every man who followed after the baal of Peor, the Lord, your God, destroyed him from your midst.”
The episode involving Baal-Peor appears in Numbers Chapter 25, the first three verses as well as toward the end of that chapter..
וְאַתֶּם הַדְּבֵקִים בַּיהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם חַיִּים כֻּלְּכֶם הַיֹּום 4:4
Deut. 4:4 “But you who were joined with the Lord, your God, all of you are alive today.”
רְאֵה לִמַּדְתִּי אֶתְכֶם חֻקִּים וּמִשְׁפָּטִים כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוַּנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהָי לַעֲשֹׂות כֵּן בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם 4:5
בָּאִים שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ
Deut. 4:5 “See, I have taught you statutes and ordinances, as the Lord, my God, commanded me, to do right in the midst of the land that you are going to possess it there.”
This is the place where I want to address the concept of commandments, statutes, ordinances, and testimonies and the meaning of these words. I propose that the four words are synonyms and each is interchangeable with any of the other three. This chapter provides most of the best proof of my proposition.
Notice that in this verse statutes and ordinances are mentioned. In the next verse the same objects are being referred to, but only the term “statutes” is used. Then in v. 4:40 below, Moses refers to them as statutes and commandments. Further down in v. 4:45, the scribe (not Moses) refers to them as testimonies, statutes and ordinances. Furthermore, back in v. 4:2, Moses refers to “this word” as commandments. All are interchangeable.
וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם וַעֲשִׂיתֶם כִּי הִוא חָכְמַתְכֶם וּבִינַתְכֶם לְעֵינֵי הָעַמִּים אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁמְעוּן אֵת כָּל־הַחֻקִּים הָאֵלֶּה 4:6
וְאָמְרוּ רַק עַם־חָכָם וְנָבֹון הַגֹּוי הַגָּדֹול הַזֶּה
Deut. 4:6 “So you must observe them and do them, for it is your wisdom and your knowledge in the eyes of the nations when they hear all these statutes that they will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’”
Three possibilities: Either Moses had this prophecy seriously wrong, or we have been lax in observing the statutes and ordinances, or the prophecy just hasn’t been completely fulfilled yet. As it is, there are an isolated few among insightful gentiles who have praised the Jews for their accomplishments and contributions. So I suspect this is still in our future.
כִּי מִי־גֹוי גָּדֹול אֲשֶׁר־לֹו אֱלֹהִים קְרֹבִים אֵלָיו כַּיהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּכָל־קָרְאֵנוּ אֵלָיו 4:7
Deut. 4:7 “For what great nation is there that has gods so near to it as the Lord, our God, is whenever we call to Him?”
וּמִי גֹּוי גָּדֹול אֲשֶׁר־לֹו חֻקִּים וּמִשְׁפָּטִים צַדִּיקִם כְּכֹל הַתֹּורָה הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי נֹתֵן לִפְנֵיכֶם הַיֹּום 4:8
Deut. 4:8 “And what great nation is there that has statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this Torah which I am setting before you today?”
רַק הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ וּשְׁמֹר נַפְשְׁךָ מְאֹד פֶּן־תִּשְׁכַּח אֶת־הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר־רָאוּ עֵינֶיךָ וּפֶן־יָסוּרוּ מִלְּבָבְךָ כֹּל 4:9
יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ וְהֹודַעְתָּם לְבָנֶיךָ וְלִבְנֵי בָנֶיךָ
Deut. 4:9 “Only take heed to yourself and diligently guard your soul so that you would not forget the things that your eyes have seen and they not depart from your heart all the days of your life. And you shall make them known to your children and to the children of your children.”
The second-person pronouns in this verse, all singular, make the words even more poignant and meaningful than they would be if their number were not noticed. As I see this, it is the people as a whole that is to be heedful, guarding its soul and its heart, and making these things known to future generations. [Return to Deut. 29:14]
יֹום אֲשֶׁר עָמַדְתָּ לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּחֹרֵב בֶּאֱמֹר יְהוָה אֵלַי הַקְהֶל־לִי אֶת־הָעָם וְאַשְׁמִעֵם אֶת־דְּבָרָי 4:10
אֲשֶׁר יִלְמְדוּן לְיִרְאָה אֹתִי כָּל־הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר הֵם חַיִּים עַל־הָאֲדָמָה וְאֶת־בְּנֵיהֶם יְלַמֵּדוּן
Deut. 4:10 “It was the day that you stood before the Lord, your God, in Horeb with the Lord saying to me, ‘Assemble the people to Me and I will make them hear My words from which they may learn to revere Me all the days that they are alive on the earth, and they may teach their children.’”
The third-from-last word in this verse contains a first-person imperfect verb with a non-inverting vav prefix. It is translated as and I will make them hear.
Moreover, is the scribe saying something subtle and mysterious in addition to the literal words? As I read part of this verse, namely, “... they may learn to revere Me all the days that they are alive ....” I seem to sense in my soul that, yes, we will need to learn this on earth, but later, when we are in heaven, we will automatically revere the Lord. We will not have to learn it then.
וַתִּקְרְבוּן וַתַּעַמְדוּן תַּחַת הָהָר וְהָהָר בֹּעֵר בָּאֵשׁ עַד־לֵב הַשָּׁמַיִם חֹשֶׁךְ עָןָן וַעֲרָפֶל׃ 4:11
Deut. 4:11 “And you approached and stood beneath the mountain, and the mountain was burning with a fire -- even to the heart of heaven – of cloudy darkness and gloom.”
וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֲלֵיכֶם מִתֹּוךְ הָאֵשׁ קֹול דְּבָרִים אַתֶּם שֹׁמְעִים וּתְמוּנָה אֵינְכֶם רֹאִים זוּלָתִי קֹול 4:12
Deut. 4:12 “And the Lord spoke to you from within the fire. You were hearing the sound of words, but you were not seeing a form, only a voice.”
וַיַּגֵּד לָכֶם אֶת־בְּרִיתֹו אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֶתְכֶם לַעֲשֹׂות עֲשֶׂרֶת הַדְּבָרִים וַיִּכְתְּבֵם עַל־שְׁנֵי לֻחֹות אֲבָנִים 4:13
Deut. 4:13 “And He declared to you His covenant by which He commanded you to practice the ten words, and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.”
וְאֹתִי צִוָּה יְהוָה בָּעֵת הַהִוא לְלַמֵּד אֶתְכֶם חֻקִּים וּמִשְׁפָּטִים לַעֲשֹׂתְכֶם אֹתָם בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם 4:14
עֹבְרִים שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ
Deut. 4:14 “And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances for you to do in the land that you will be going over to possess there.”
וְנִשְׁמַרְתֶּם מְאֹד לְנַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם כִּי לֹא רְאִיתֶם כָּל־תְּמוּנָה בְּיֹום דִּבֶּר יְהוָה אֲלֵיכֶם בְּחֹרֵב מִתֹּוךְ הָאֵשׁ 4:15
Deut. 4:15 “So you must be very mindful of yourselves that you did not see any kind of form on the day the Lord spoke to you in Horeb from within the fire,
פֶּן־תַּשְׁחִתוּן וַעֲשִׂיתֶם לָכֶם פֶּסֶל תְּמוּנַת כָּל־סָמֶל תַּבְנִית זָכָר אֹו נְקֵבָה 4:16
Deut. 4:16 that you will not be corrupted and make for yourselves a graven image, the likeness of any form, the figure of a male or of a female,
תַּבְנִית כָּל־בְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר בָּאָרֶץ תַּבְנִית כָּל־צִפֹּור כָּנָף אֲשֶׁר תָּעוּף בַּשָּׁמָיִם 4:17
Deut. 4:17 the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that may fly in the sky,
תַּבְנִית כָּל־רֹמֵשׂ בָּאֲדָמָה תַּבְנִית כָּל־דָּגָה אֲשֶׁר־בַּמַּיִם מִתַּחַת לָאָרֶץ 4:18
Deut. 4:18 the likeness of anything creeping on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water from the low lands of the earth,
וּפֶן־תִּשָּׂא עֵינֶיךָ הַשָּׁמַיְמָה וְרָאִיתָ אֶת־הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְאֶת־הַיָּרֵחַ וְאֶת־הַכֹּוכָבִים כֹּל צְבָא הַשָּׁמַיִם וְנִדַּחְתָּ 4:19
וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתָ לָהֶם וַעֲבַדְתָּם אֲשֶׁר חָלַק יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֹתָם לְכֹל הָעַמִּים תַּחַת כָּל־הַשָּׁמָיִם
Deut. 4:19 and that you will not lift up your eyes skyward and see the sun and the moon and the stars, the entire host of the sky, and are drawn away, and bow down to them and serve them which the Lord, your God, has apportioned for all the peoples under the whole heavens.”
Look at this! Another truly amazing fact revealed in the last five verses! In v. 4:15 Moses tells the children of Israel to be very aware that they did not see any form when the Lord spoke to them at Horeb. This so they would not be tempted to make an image to worship.
I suspect that Moses also tells us that the form of God may not be imagined by each of us as resembling anything. Perhaps this relates to Ezekiel’s strange chapters 1 to 4.
וְאֶתְכֶם לָקַח יְהוָה וַיֹּוצִא אֶתְכֶם מִכּוּר הַבַּרְזֶל מִמִּצְרָיִם לִהְיֹות לֹו לְעַם נַחֲלָה כַּיֹּום הַזֶּה 4:20
Deut. 4:20 “But the Lord took you, and He has brought you out of the furnace of iron, out of Egypt, to be His as a people of inheritance, like this day.”
וַיהוָה הִתְאַנֶּף־בִּי עַל־דִּבְרֵיכֶם וַיִּשָּׁבַע לְבִלְתִּי עָבְרִי אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן וּלְבִלְתִּי־בֹא אֶל־הָאָרֶץ הַטֹּובָה אֲשֶׁר 4:21
יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה
Deut. 4:21 ‘But the Lord was displeased with me because of your words and swore against my crossing over the Jordan and going in to the good land that the Lord, your God, is giving to you as an inheritance.”
I noted that in Deut. 1:37 and 3:26 Moses similarly (and equally inappropriately) blames the people for the Lord not allowing him to cross over to the Promised Land. In Numb. 20:12 and in Numb. 27:13,14 the Lord plainly states why Moses would not be crossing the Jordan: His distrust and disobedience at Meribah. Granted, the whole episode was brought about by the grumbling of the children of Israel, but in blaming them, Moses is ignoring his own responsibility.
Incidentally, the last two second-person pronouns near the tail end of the verse, in “... the Lord, your God, is giving to you...,” are singular, whereas the first one, in “... because of your words...,” is plural. Thus each or some of the children of Israel spoke the words, and the Lord is God of the whole people.
כִּי אָנֹכִי מֵת בָּאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת אֵינֶנִּי עֹבֵר אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן וְאַתֶּם עֹבְרִים וִירִשְׁתֶּם אֶת־הָאָרֶץ הַטֹּובָה הַזֹּאת 4:22
Deut. 4:22 “But I will be dying in this land. Crossing over the Jordan is not for me, but you are crossing over and you will possess that good land.”
הִשָּׁמְרוּ לָכֶם פֶּן־תִּשְׁכְּחוּ אֶת־בְּרִית יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר כָּרַת עִםָּכֶם וַעֲשִׂיתֶם לָכֶם פֶּסֶל תְּמוּנַת 4:23
כֹּל אֲשֶׁר צִוְּךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ
Deut. 4:23 “Take heed to yourselves that you must not forget the covenant of the Lord, your God, that He made with you, and you would fashion for yourselves a graven image, the likeness of anything that the Lord, your God, has forbidden you.”
כִּי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֵשׁ אֹכְלָה הוּא אֵל קַנָּא 4:24
Deut. 4:24 “For the Lord, your God, He is a devouring Fire, a jealous God.”
Notice that here I left the translation of the adjective aN"q; as jealous. By what Moses says here about God, I believe that he is showing his fear for and disappointment in the Israelites. He doesn’t use words comparable to these anywhere else in the Torah. But he knows he has only a short time left, and he knows how the Israelites will ignore God and provoke Him and thereby suffer the dire consequences he prophesies. So he sounds like a fire and brimstone preacher here, apparently trying to instill a fear of God in the hearts of the children of Israel. And who can find fault with that? However, contrast this depiction of God with Moses’ previous expressions, as in Exod. 15:11 and Exod. 34:6 and 34:7.
כִּי־תֹולִיד בָּנִים וּבְנֵי בָנִים וְנֹושַׁנְתֶּם בָּאָרֶץ וְהִשְׁחַתֶּם וַעֲשִׂיתֶם פֶּסֶל תְּמוּנַת כֹּל וַעֲשִׂיתֶם הָרַע 4:25
בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה־אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְהַכְעִיסֹו
Deut. 4:25 “When you will bring forth children and children of children and you will have been long in the land, and you should become corrupted and fashion a graven image of the form of any thing, and do what is evil in the eyes of the Lord your God, provoking Him,
הַעִידֹתִי בָכֶם הַיֹּום אֶת־הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת־הָאָרֶץ כִּי־אָבֹד תֹּאבֵדוּן מַהֵר מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם עֹבְרִים 4:26
אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ לֹא־תַאֲרִיכֻן יָמִים עָלֶיהָ כִּי הִשָּׁמֵד תִּשָּׁמֵדוּן
Deut. 4:26 I call the heavens and the earth to witness to you today that you will utterly perish quickly from the land to which you are crossing over the Jordan to possess there. You shall not prolong days upon it, but be utterly destroyed.”
וְהֵפִיץ יְהוָה אֶתְכֶם בָּעַמִּים וְנִשְׁאַרְתֶּם מְתֵי מִסְפָּר בַּגֹּויִם אֲשֶׁר יְנַהֵג יְהוָה אֶתְכֶם שָׁמָּה 4:27
Deut. 4:27 “And the Lord shall disperse you among the peoples and you shall be left few of number in the nations where the Lord shall drive you.”
וַעֲבַדְתֶּם־שָׁם אֱלֹהִים מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵי אָדָם עֵץ וָאֶבֶן אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יִרְאוּן וְלֹא יִשְׁמְעוּן וְלֹא יֹאכְלוּן וְלֹא יְרִיחֻן 4:28
Deut. 4:28 “And you shall serve gods there, the work of the hands of humans, of wood and stone, that cannot see and cannot hear and cannot eat and cannot smell.”
וּבִקַּשְׁתֶּם מִשָּׁם אֶת־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וּמָצָאתָ כִּי תִדְרְשֶׁנּוּ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶׁךָ 4:29
Deut. 4:29 “And you will seek the Lord, your God, from there, and you shall find when you will seek with all your heart and with all your soul
בַּצַּר לְךָ וּמְצָאוּךָ כֹּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים וְשַׁבְתָּ עַד־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וְשָׁמַעְתָּ בְּקֹלֹו 4:30
Deut. 4:30 in your distress, when all these things shall have befallen you in the end of days, then you shall return before the Lord, your God, and you shall listen to His voice.”
What a remarkable prophecy, from v. 4:25 on, this is! So far we’ve seen the first part, vss. 4:25, 4:26, 4:27, and 4:28, come true. Verses 4:29 and 4:30 are still to come.
כִּי אֵל רַחוּם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לֹא יַרְפְּךָ וְלֹא יַשְׁחִיתֶךָ וְלֹא יִשְׁכַּח אֶת־בְּרִית אֲבֹתֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לָהֶם 4:31
Deut. 4:31 “For the Lord your God is a merciful God; He will not forsake you and He will not let you be destroyed and He will not forget the covenant of your fathers that He swore to them.”
The second-person pronouns in this verse are all singular. Moses is saying that the Lord will never let the people Israel be totally destroyed.
כִּי שְׁאַל־נָא לְיָמִים רִאשֹׁנִים אֲשֶׁר־הָיוּ לְפָנֶיךָ לְמִן־הַיֹּום אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אָדָם עַל־הָאָרֶץ 4:32
וּלְמִקְצֵה הַשָּׁמַיִם וְעַד־קְצֵה הַשָּׁמָיִם הֲנִהְיָה כַּדָּבָר הַגָּדֹול הַזֶּה אֹו הֲנִשְׁמַע כָּמֹהוּ
Deut. 4:32 “For ask now about the former days that were before you since the day that God created a human upon the earth, even from one end of heaven and to the other end of heaven, if there has been such a thing as great as this, or if anything like it has been heard.”
הֲשָׁמַע עָם קֹול אֱלֹהִים מְדַבֵּר מִתֹּוךְ־הָאֵשׁ כַּאֲשֶׁר־שָׁמַעְתָּ אַתָּה וַיֶּחִי 4:33
Deut. 4:33 “Has a people heard the voice of God speaking from within the fire, as you have heard, and lived?”
אֹו הֲנִסָּה אֱלֹהִים לָבֹוא לָקַחַת לֹו גֹוי מִקֶּרֶב גֹּוי בְּמַסֹּת בְּאֹתֹת וּבְמֹופְתִים וּבְמִלְחָמָה וּבְיָד חֲזָקָה 4:34
וּבִזְרֹועַ נְטוּיָה וּבְמֹורָאִים גְּדֹלִים כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂה לָכֶם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם בְּמִצְרַיִם לְעֵינֶיךָ
Deut. 4:34 “Or has God tried to come to take for himself a nation from the midst of a nation with trials, with signs, and with wonders, and with war, and with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terrors, like all that the Lord, your God, did for you for your eyes in Egypt?”
אַתָּה הָרְאֵתָ לָדַעַת כִּי יְהוָה הוּא הָאֱלֹהִים אֵין עֹוד מִלְבַדֹּו 4:35
Deut. 4:35 “You have been shown to know that it is the Lord Who is God. There is no other besides Him.”
מִן־הַשָּׁמַיִם הִשְׁמִיעֲךָ אֶת־קֹלֹו לְיַסְּרֶךָּ וְעַל־הָאָרֶץ הֶרְאֲךָ אֶת־אִשֹּׁו הַגְּדֹולָה וּדְבָרָיו שָׁמַעְתָּ מִתֹּוךְ 4:36
Deut. 4:36 “From the heavens He made you hear His voice to instruct you, and on the earth He made you see His great fire, and you heard His words from within the fire.”
וְתַחַת כִּי אָהַב אֶת־אֲבֹתֶיךָ וַיִּבְחַר בְּזַרְעֹו אַחֲרָיו וַיֹּוצִאֲךָ בְּפָנָיו בְּכֹחֹו הַגָּדֹל מִמִּצְרָיִם 4:37
Deut. 4:37 “Then whereas, because He loved your fathers, so He chose his seed after him, and brought you out in His presence, with His great power, from Egypt,
לְהֹורִישׁ גֹּויִם גְּדֹלִים וַעֲצֻמִים מִמְּךָ מִפָּנֶיךָ לַהֲבִיאֲךָ לָתֶת־לְךָ אֶת־אַרְצָם נַחֲלָה כַּיֹּום הַזֶּה 4:38
Deut. 4:38 driving out nations greater and mightier than you from before you, bringing you in to give their land to you, an inheritance, like on this day,
וְיָדַעְתָּ הַיֹּום וַהֲשֵׁבֹתָ אֶל־לְבָבֶךָ כִּי יְהוָה הוּא הָאֱלֹהִים בַּשָּׁמַיִם מִמַּעַל וְעַל־הָאָרֶץ מִתָּחַת אֵין עֹוד 4:39
Deut. 4:39 so you shall know today and deliver to your heart that it is the Lord Who is God in the heavens above and upon the earth below; there is none else.”
וְשָׁמַרְתָּ אֶת־חֻקָּיו וְאֶת־מִצְוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיֹּום אֲשֶׁר יִיטַב לְךָ וּלְבָנֶיךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ וּלְמַעַן 4:40
תַּאֲרִיךְ יָמִים עַל־הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ כָּל־הַיָּמִים
Deut. 4:40 “So you must keep His statutes and His commandments that I am commanding you today, that it shall be good for you and your children after you, and in order that you will prolong days on the soil that the Lord, your God, has given to you forever.”
As all the second-person pronouns in this verse are singular, I believe Moses is saying that the people Israel must keep the commandments so that Israel would experience the good consequence
This chapter continues from v. 4:41 below to the end with a partial synopsis by a scribe (not Moses).
אָז יַבְדִּיל מֹשֶׁה שָׁלֹשׁ עָרִים בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן מִזְרְחָה שָׁמֶש 4:41
Deut. 4:41 Thus Moses would set apart three cities on the side of the Jordan toward the rising of the sun,
לָנֻס שָׁמָּה רֹוצֵחַ אֲשֶׁר יִרְצַח אֶת־רֵעֵהוּ בִּבְלִי־דַעַת וְהוּא לֹא־שֹׂנֵא לֹו מִתְּמֹול שִׁלְשֹׁום וְנָס 4:42
אֶל־אַחַת מִן־הֶעָרִים הָאֵל וָחָי
Deut. 4:42 a manslayer to flee there who might slay his neighbor with lack of knowledge and has no hatred for him from before in the past, that he might flee to one of these cities that he might live;
אֶת־בֶּצֶר בַּמִּדְבָּר בְּאֶרֶץ הַמִּישֹׁר לָרֻאוּבֵנִי וְאֶת־רָאמֹת בַּגִּלְעָד לַגָּדִי וְאֶת־גֹּולָן בַּבָּשָׁן לַמְנַשִּׁי 4:43
Deut. 4:43 Bezer in the wilderness, in the Reubenite’s flatland, and Ramoth in the Gadite’s Gilead, and Golan in the Manassite’s Bashan.
וְזֹאת הַתֹּורָה אֲשֶׁר־שָׂם מֹשֶׁה לִפְנֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל 4:44
Deut. 4:44 And this is the Torah that Moses set before the children of Israel;
אֵלֶּה הָעֵדֹת וְהַחֻקִּים וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר מֹשֶׁה אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּצֵאתָם מִמִּצְרָיִם 4:45
Deut. 4:45 these are the testimonies and the statutes and the ordinances that Moses declared to the children of Israel during their coming forth from Egypt,
בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן בַּגַּיְא מוּל בֵּית פְּעֹור בְּאֶרֶץ סִיחֹן מֶלֶךְ הָאֱמֹרִי אֲשֶׁר יֹושֵׁב בְּחֶשְׁבֹּון אֲשֶׁר הִכָּה 4:46
מֹשֶׁה וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּצֵאתָם מִמִּצְרָיִם
Deut. 4:46 on the side of the Jordan in the valley opposite Beth-peor, in the land of Sihon, king of the Amorites, who dwelled in Heshbon, whom Moses and the children of Israel had smitten when they came forth from Egypt,
וַיִּירְשׁוּ אֶת־אַרְצֹו וְאֶת־אֶרֶץ עֹוג מֶלֶךְ־הַבָּשָׁן שְׁנֵי מַלְכֵי הָאֱמֹרִי אֲשֶׁר בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן מִזְרַח שָׁמֶשׁ 4:47
Deut. 4:47 and they possessed his land and the land of Og, king of Bashan, the two kings of the Amorite, who were on the side of the Jordan of the rising of the sun,
מֵעֲרֹעֵר אֲשֶׁר עַל־שְׂפַת־נַחַל אַרְןֹן וְעַד־הַר שִׂיאֹן הוּא חֶרְמֹון 4:48
Deut. 4:48 from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of Arnon and near Mount Sion, which is Hermon,
וְכָל־הָעֲרָבָה עֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן מִזְרָחָה וְעַד יָם הָעֲרָבָה תַּחַת אַשְׁדֹּת הַפִּסְגָּה 4:49
Deut. 4:49 and all the Arabah beyond the Jordan to the east, and as far as the Sea of Arabah beneath the slopes of Pisgah.
The verses from 4:41 to this one constitute an interjection by a scribe. It is also the first time Moses’ monologue does not carry over from this chapter to the next uninterrupted. In fact, the scribe’s words continue into v. 5:1.
Torah Commandments in this Chapter
389. You shall not add onto the word that I am commanding you. V. 4:2
390. You shall not take away from the word that I am commanding you. V. 4:2
[Return to Deuteronomy Chapters] [Prev: Deut. 3] [Next: Deut. 5]