Deuteronomy 6 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Deuteronomy 6)

Verse 5

[5] And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

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.

Verse 7

[7] And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

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.

Verse 8

[8] And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

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.

Verse 13

[13] Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.

Shalt swear by his name — When thou hast a call and just cause to swear, not by idols, or any creatures.

Verse 15

[15] (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

Among you — Heb. In the midst of you, to see and observe all your ways and your turnings aside to other Gods.

Verse 16

[16] Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.

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.

Verse 17

[17] Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.

Ye diligently keep — Negligence will ruin us: but we cannot be saved without diligence.

Verse 25

[25] And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.

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; 36:10; 51:14; Proverbs 10:2; 11:4; 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.