Deuteronomy 30:9-14

Deuteronomy 30:9-14
Ordinary C33


and the LordA your GodB will make you abundantly prosperousC in allD your undertakings,E

Notes on verse 9a

A “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
B “God” = Elohim.
C “make…abundantly prosperous” = yathar. This is to jut over, remain behind, preserve, to excel. It can be to leave or to be in abundance.
D “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
E “undertakings” = maaseh + yad. Literally, “the work of your hand.” Maaseh is from asah (to do, make, accomplish, become). This is a word – any action whether positive or negative. It can also be a transaction, construction, activity, property, or something that is produced. Yad is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.

in the fruitF of your body,G in the fruit of your livestock,H and in the fruit of your soil.I

Notes on verse 9b

F “fruit” = peri. From parah (to bear fruit, grow, be fruitful, increase; bearing fruit in a literal or figurative sense). This is fruit or reward.
G “body” = beten. Root may mean to be hollow. This is the belly or womb. It can also refer to a body more broadly.
H “livestock” = behemah. This is animal or cattle. It is often used of large quadrupeds.
I “soil” = adamah. From the same as adam (man, humankind); perhaps from ‘adom (to be red). This is ground, earth, soil as red, or land.

For the Lord will againJ take delightK in prosperingL you, just as he delighted in prospering your ancestors,M 

Notes on verse 9c

J “will again” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”
K “take delight” = sus. This is to rejoice or be glad. Properly, it is to be bright or cheerful.
L “prospering” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
M “ancestors” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.

10 when you obeyN the Lord your God by observingO his commandmentsP and decreesQ that are writtenR

Notes on verse 10a

N “obey” = shama + qol. Literally, “hear the voice.” Shama is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied. Qol is a sound, used often for human voices. Also used when God speaks or angels, animals or instruments. It can be a cry or a noise, thunder or earthquakes and so on.
O “observing” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
P “commandments” = mitsvah. From tsavah (to charge, command, order, enjoin). This is a commandment, law, ordinance obligation, or tradition. It is something commanded whether by God or by a human authority. This term is sometimes used collectively to refer to the Law.
Q “decrees” = chuqqah. From choq (statute, boundary, condition, custom, limit, ordinance; something that is prescribed or something that is owed); from chaqaq (to inscribe, carve, or decree; a lawmaker; literally, this is engraving, but it implies enacting a law because laws were carved into stone or metal). This is something prescribed such as a statue, custom, or ordinance.
R “written” = kathab. This is to inscribe, write, record, or decree.

in this bookS of the law,T because you turnU to the Lord your God with all your heartV and with all your soul.W

Notes on verse 10b

S “book” = sepher. Perhaps from saphar (to tally or record something; to enumerate, recount, number, celebrate, or declare). This can be writing itself or something that is written like a document, book, letter, evidence, bill, scroll, or register.
T “law” = torah. From yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach). This is law, instruction, teaching, or statute. It can also refer to the first five books of the Bible – the Torah.
U “turn” = shub. Same as “will again” in v9. See note J above.
V “heart” = lebab. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
W “soul” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.

11 “Surely, this commandment that I am commandingX you todayY is not too hardZ for you, nor is it too far away.AA 

Notes on verse 11

X “commanding” = tsavah. Related to “commandments” in v10. See note P above.
Y “today” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
Z “hard” = pala. From pele (wonder, miracle, wonderful, marvelous thing). This is to be extraordinary, to arise, to be great or accomplish.
AA “far away” = rachoq. From rachaq (to widen, become distant, cast, or remove in a literal or figurative sense). This is distant or far, whether of space or of time.

12 It is not in heaven,BB that you should say, ‘Who will go upCC to heaven for us and getDD it for us so that we may hearEE it and observeFF it?’ 

Notes on verse 12

BB “heaven” = shamayim. Root may mean being lofty. This is sky, the air, or heaven. It is in a dual noun form so this might refer to the part of the sky where the clouds move on the one hand and the part beyond that where the sun, moon, and stars are on the other hand.
CC “go up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
DD “get” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
EE “hear” = shama. Same as “obey” in v10. See note N above.
FF “observe” = asah. Related to “undertakings” in v9. See note E above.

13 Neither is it beyondGG the sea,HH that you should say, ‘Who will crossII to the other sideJJ of the sea for us and get it for us so that we may hear it and observeKK it?’ 

Notes on verse 13

GG “beyond” = eber. From abar (to pass over, pass through, or pass by; cross over or to alienate; used for transitions). This is the place across or beyond, by, from, other, the opposite side, against, over. It often refers to the other side of the Jordan river or toward the east.
HH “sea” = yam. Root may mean to roar. This is the sea, often referring to the Mediterranean. It comes from the root in the sense of the roar of crashing surf. This word is sometimes used for rivers or other sources of water. It can mean to the west or to the south.
II “cross” = abar. Related to “beyond” in v13. See note GG above.
JJ “other side” = eber. Same as “beyond” in v13. See note GG above.
KK “observe” = asah. Same as “observe” in v12. See note FF above.

14 No, the wordLL is veryMM nearNN to you; it is in your mouthOO and in your heart for you to observe.PP

Notes on verse 14

LL “word” = dabar. From dabar (to speak, declare, discuss). This is speech, a word, a matter, an affair, charge, command, message, promise, purpose, report, request. It is a word, which implies things that are spoken of in a wide sense.
MM “very” = meod. Perhaps from the same as uwd (firebrand, a poker). This is very, greatly, exceedingly. It can also mean vehemence, force, abundance.
NN “near” = qarob. From qarab (to come near, offer, make ready). This is near whether nearby, related, near in time, or allied.
OO “mouth” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
PP “observe” = asah. Same as “observe” in v12. See note FF above.

Image credit: “The Sea IV” by Ingo Kühl, 2012.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply