Deuteronomy 8:7-18

Deuteronomy 8:7-18
Canadian Thanksgiving Day


For the LordA your GodB is bringingC you

Notes on verse 7a

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 “bringing” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.

into a goodD land,E a land with flowing streams,F

Notes on verse 7b

D “good” = 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.
E “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
F “flowing streams” = nachal + mayim. Literally, “streams of water.” Nachal is from nachal (to take as heritage, inherit, or distribute). This is a river or stream. It could be a wadi or arroyo – sometimes a narrow valley with no water at all, but in strong rains or when winter snow melts, it swells or floods with water. Mayim is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.

with springsG and underground watersH welling upI in valleysJ and hills,K 

Notes on verse 7c

G “springs” = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
H “underground waters” = tehom. Perhaps from hum (to roar, murmur, cause an uproar, agitate; to defeat in battle, destroy). This is the deep or the abyss. Either understood as a formless empty place of nothingness or as a place of confusion filled with water – the deep the feeds the waters of the earth.
I “welling up” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
J “valleys” = biqah. From baqa (to divide, split open, tear, breach, break open, dash to pieces). This is a valley or plain. Properly, it refers to a place where the mountains have split – a wide, flat valley between them.
K “hills” = har. From harar (hill or mountain). This is mountain, hill, hilly region.

a land of wheatL and barley,M of vinesN and fig trees and pomegranates,O

Notes on verse 8a

L “wheat” = chittah. Perhaps from chanat (to spice, ripen, embalm). This is wheat, referring to the plant or its product.
M “barley” = seorah. From the same as sear (hair, hairy, rough); perhaps from sa’ar (to storm, scattered by a storm, blow away, rage, storm tossed; this is to toss in a literal or figurative sense). This is barley, perhaps as hairy.
N “bines” = gephen. Root may mean to twine or bend. So, it is a vine, particularly referring to grapes.
O “pomegranates” = rimmon. Of foreign origin OR from ramam (to rise in a literal or figurative sense; to get up or exalt). This is a pomegranate or a decoration in that shape. It can also refer to the pomegranate tree.

a land of oliveP oilQ and honey,R 

Notes on verse 8b

P “olive” = zayit. This is olive tree, grove, or other parts of the olive tree like the branch or berry.
Q “oil” = shemen. From shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat). This is fat, oil, grease, olive oil – often with perfume. Used figuratively for fertile, lavish, rich.
R “honey” = debash. Root may mean being gummy. This is honey or honeycomb because it is so sticky. It can also refer to syrup.

a land where you may eatS breadT without scarcity,U

Notes on verse 9a

S “eat” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
T “bread” = lechem. From lacham (to eat, feed on). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.
U “scarcity” = miskenuth. 1x in OT. From the same as misken (poor, a poor person); perhaps from sikluth (foolishness, silliness); from sakal (being or acting foolishly, whether intentionally or unintentionally); from kasal (being or becoming stupid or foolish; properly, being fat and so figuratively silly or foolish). This is scarcity or poverty.

where you will lackV nothing,W a land whose stonesX are ironY

Notes on verse 9b

V “lack” = chaser. This is to lack, abate, have need of, bereave, fail.
W “nothing” = lokol. Kol is from kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
X “stones” = eben. This is a stone, weight, or mason. It is part of the word “Ebenezer.”
Y “iron” = barzel. From the same as Birzoth (a name meaning holes). Root may mean to pierce. This is iron as something used as a cutting implement. It can also specifically mean ax head.

and from whose hillsZ you may mineAA copper.BB 

Notes on verse 9c

Z “hills” = harar. Related to “hills” in v7. 12x in OT. See note K above.
AA “mine” = chatsab. This is to hew or cut material like wood or stone. It can also be to dig, quarry, split, or engrave.
BB “copper” = nechosheth. Perhaps from nechushah (copper, bronze, brass – something made from this metal like a coin or fetter; something that is considered base in contrast to gold or silver.; from nachush (made of bronze or brass, coppery; figuratively, hard); from nachash (to divine, interpret omens, learn from experience, observe; to hiss). This is bronze, copper, steel, brass or something made from copper. So, it could be a coin or chains. It can also figuratively mean something considered lesser in contrast to gold or silver.

10 You shall eat your fillCC and blessDD the Lord your God for the good land that he has givenEE you.

Notes on verse 10

CC “fill” = saba. To be satisfied or full in a literal or figurative sense. Also, to have plenty of.
DD “bless” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.
EE “given” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.

11 “Take careFF that you do notGG forgetHH the Lord your God by failingII

Notes on verse 11a

FF “take care” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
GG “not” = pen. Perhaps from panah (to turn, face, appear). This is lest, if, or.
HH “forget” = shakach. This is to forget because of not remembering something or not paying attention to it. It can also mean to mislay.
II “failing” = bilti. From balah (to grow old, wear out, consume, waste, enjoy, fail, decay). This is nothing, not, lest, or except. From its root, it means “a failure of” – used for negative particles.

to keepJJ his commandments,KK his ordinances,LL

Notes on verse 11b

JJ “keep” = shamar. Same as “take care” in v11. See note FF above.
KK “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.
LL “ordinances” = mishpat. From shaphat (to judge, defend, pronounce judgment, condemn, govern). This is a verdict or formal sentence whether from humans or from God. It includes the act of judging as well as the place that judging takes place, the suit itself, and the penalty. Abstractly, this is justice, which includes the rights of the participants.

and his statutesMM that I am commandingNN you today.OO 

Notes on verse 11c

MM “statutes” = 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.
NN “commanding” = tsavah. Related to “commandments” in v11. See note KK above.
OO “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.

12 PPWhen you have eaten your fill and have builtQQ fineRR housesSS and liveTT in them 

Notes on verse 12

PP {untranslated} = pen. Same as “not” in v11. See note GG above.
QQ “built” = banah. Related to “houses” in v12. See note SS below.
RR “fine” = tob. Same as “good” in v7. See note D above.
SS “houses” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
TT “live” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.

13 and when your herdsUU and flocksVV have multipliedWW and your silverXX and goldYY is multiplied and allZZ that you have is multiplied, 

Notes on verse 13

UU “herds” = baqar. From baqar (to plow, break forth; figuratively, to inquire, inspect, consider). This is cattle – an animal used for plowing.
VV “flocks” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.
WW “multiplied” = rabah. This is increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.
XX “silver” = keseph. From kasaph (to long for, be greedy; to become pale). This is silver or money.
YY “gold” = zahab. Root may mean to shimmer. This is gold or something that has the color of gold like oil. It can also refer to a clear sky – to good weather.
ZZ “all” = kol. Same as “nothing” in v9. See note W above.

14 then do not exaltAAA yourself,BBB forgetting the Lord your God, who broughtCCC you out of the land of Egypt,DDD out of the house of slavery,EEE 

Notes on verse 14

AAA “exalt” = rum. This is to rise or raise, to be high literally or figuratively. So it can also mean to exalt or extol.
BBB “yourself” = lebab. Literally, “your heart.” 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.
CCC “brought” = yatsa. Same as “welling up” in v7. See note I above.
DDD “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egypt.
EEE “slavery” = ebed. From abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is a servant, slave, or bondservant.

15 who ledFFF you through the greatGGG and terribleHHH wilderness,III

Notes on verse 15a

FFF “led” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
GGG “great” = gadol. From gadal (to grow up, become great, become wealthy – to advance. The root meaning may be to twist in the sense of the process of growing). This is great, high, bigger, noble, old, marvelous. It can also refer to someone who is powerful or distinguished.
HHH “terrible” = yare. This is to fear, be afraid, dreadful. It can also refer to fearful reverence – to fear in a moral sense is to say to revere, respect.
III “wilderness” = midbar. From dabar (to speak, command, declare). This is mouth or speech. It can also be desert or wilderness. Additionally, it can be used for a pasture to which one drives cattle.

an aridJJJ wastelandKKK with poisonousLLL  snakesMMM and scorpions.NNN

Notes on verse 15b

JJJ “arid” = asher + ayin + mayim. Literally, “where there was no water.” Ayin is perhaps from a word that means to be nothing. This means nothing, none, non-existent. It can also simply mean not or are not. Mayim is the same as “flowing streams” in v7. See note F above.
KKK “wasteland” = tsimmaon. 3x in OT. From tsame (to thirst in a literal or figurative sense). This is a place that is thirsty. So, it could refer to a drought or desert.
LLL “poisonous” = saraph. 7x in OT. From saraph (to burn or kindle). This is burning or fiery, i.e. poisonous. It can be a serpent or a seraph.
MMM “snakes” = nachash. Related to “copper” in v9. Perhaps from nachash (see note BB above). This is a serpent or snake. Used for the Serpent in the garden of Eden.
NNN “scorpions” = aqrab. 6x in OT. From aqar (to uproot, pluck out, dig out by the roots, to hamstring; figuratively, to exterminate). This is scorpion, whip.

He made waterOOO flowPPP for you from flintQQQ rock.RRR 

Notes on verse 15c

OOO “water” = mayim. Saame as “flowing streams” in v17. See note F above.
PPP “made…flow” = yatsa. Same as “welling up” in v7. See note I above.
QQQ “flint” = challamish. 5x in OT. Perhaps from chalam (properly, to bind solidly and so to be plump; to be healthy or strong, to recover; figuratively, to dream). This is flint or a flint rock.
RRR “rock” = tsur. Related to “Egypt” in v14. From tsur (see note DDD above). This is rock, stone, cliff, boulder, rocky. It can also be a refuge, a way to refer to God.

16 He fedSSS you in the wilderness with mannaTTT that your ancestorsUUU did not know,VVV

Notes on verse 16a

SSS “fed” = akal. Same as “eat” in v9. See note S above.
TTT “manna” = man. 14x in OT. From mah (what, how, how long, why – a question or exclamation). This is manna, literally a whatzit.
UUU “ancestors” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.
VVV “know” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.

to humbleWWW you and to testXXX you and in the endYYY to do you good.ZZZ 

Notes on verse 16b

WWW “humble” = anah. This is to be occupied with. It can also be bowed down. It can refer to a sense of humility or to a sense of being browbeaten, oppressed, afflicted, or depressed. This can be literal or figurative – depressed in mood or circumstance.
XXX “test” = nasah. This is to test, prove, try, tempt, or attempt.
YYY “end” = acharit. From achar (to be behind, delay, be late, procrastinate, continue). This is the last, length, remnant, end, reward, future.
ZZZ “do…good” = yatab. This is to be good or pleasing, joyful. It can also mean doing good in an ethical sense or be beautiful, happy, successful, or right.

17 Do not say to yourself,AAAA ‘My powerBBBB and the mightCCCC

Notes on verse 17a

AAAA “yourself” = lebab. Literally, “your heart.” Same as “yourself” in v14. See note BBB above.
BBBB “power” = koach. Root may mean to be firm. This is power, strength, force. It can be literal or figurative, positive or negative. It can also mean capacity or means – what something produces. Additionally, it could refer to some kind of small reptile.
CCCC “might” = otsem. 3x in OT. From atsam (vast, numerous, strong; to close one’s eyes, to make powerful; to break bones). This is bones, strength, power, body, substance, frame.

of my own handDDDD have gottenEEEE me this wealth.’FFFF 

Notes on verse 17b

DDDD “hand” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
EEEE “gotten” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
FFFF “wealth” = chayil. From chul (to be firm, strong, prosperous; to endure). This is strength, wealth, ability, activity. It can refer to soldier or a company of soldiers as well as goods. It is a force of people, means, or goods. It can speak of valor, virtue, or strength.

18 But rememberGGGG the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirmHHHH his covenantIIII that he sworeJJJJ to your ancestors, as he is doing today.

Notes on verse 18

GGGG “remember” = zakar. This is to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention.
HHHH “confirm” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
IIII “covenant” = berit. Perhaps from barah (to eat, choose, make clear); perhaps from bar (grain, wheat); from barar (to select, purify, cleanse, test, brighten, polish). This is a compact, covenant, alliance, treaty, or league.
JJJJ “swore” = shaba. Perhaps from barah (to eat, choose, make clear); perhaps from bar (grain, wheat); from barar (to select, purify, cleanse, test, brighten, polish). This is a compact, covenant, alliance, treaty, or league.

Image credit: “Galilee Landscape” by Peter Horenský, 2019.

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