God’s Care. 1Be careful to observe this whole commandmenta that I enjoin on you today, that you may live and increase, and may enter in and possess the land which the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors. 2Remember how for these forty years the LORD, your God, has directed all your journeying in the wilderness,b so as to test you by affliction, to know what was in your heart: to keep his commandments, or not. 3He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger, and then fed you with manna,c a food unknown to you and your ancestors, so you might know that it is not by bread alone* that people live, but by all that comes forth from the mouth of the LORD. 4The clothing did not fall from you in tatters, nor did your feet swell these forty years.d 5So you must know in your heart that, even as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD, your God, disciplines you.e 6Therefore, keep the commandments of the LORD, your God, by walking in his ways and fearing him.
Cautions About Prosperity. 7f For the LORD, your God, is bringing you into a good country, a land with streams of water, with springs and fountains welling up in the hills and valleys, 8a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, of olive trees and of honey, 9a land where you will always have bread and where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones contain iron and in whose hills you can mine copper. 10But when you have eaten and are satisfied, you must bless the LORD, your God, for the good land he has given you. 11g Be careful not to forget the LORD, your God, by failing to keep his commandments and ordinances and statutes which I enjoin on you today: 12lest, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built fine houses and lived in them, 13and your herds and flocks have increased, your silver and gold has increased, and all your property has increased, 14you then become haughty of heart and forget the LORD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that house of slavery; 15he guided you through the vast and terrible wilderness with its saraph* serpents and scorpions, its parched and waterless ground; he brought forth water for you from the flinty rockh 16and fed you in the wilderness with manna, a food unknown to your ancestors, that he might afflict you and test you, but also make you prosperous in the end. 17Otherwise, you might say in your heart,i “It is my own power and the strength of my own hand that has got me this wealth.” 18Remember then the LORD, your God, for he is the one who gives you the power to get wealth, by fulfilling, as he has now done, the covenant he swore to your ancestors. 19But if you do forget the LORD, your God, and go after other gods, serving and bowing down to them,j I bear witness to you this day that you will perish utterly. 20Like the nations which the LORD destroys before you, so shall you too perish for not listening to the voice of the LORD, your God.
* [8:3] Not by bread alone: Deuteronomic theology puts the good things promised faithful Israel into the context of the Lord’s gratuitous love. As in 6:10–12, the goods of life must be seen as gift. Israel is to seek what really matters; all else will be added (cf. Mt 6:33).
* [8:15] Saraph: see note on Nm 21:6.
b. [8:2] Dt 1:3; 2:7; 29:4; Ps 95:10; Am 2:10.
c. [8:3] Ex 16:11–36; Nm 11:5–9; Jos 5:12; Mt 4:4; Lk 4:4.
e. [8:5] Dt 4:36; 11:2; 21:18–21; Ps 94:12; Prv 3:11–12.
f. [8:7–9] Dt 1:25; 11:10–12; 32:13–14; 33:28.
h. [8:15] Dt 32:13; Ex 17:6; Nm 20:8–11; 21:6–9; Ps 114:8; Wis 11:4.