Moses natters on and on and on about the same old stuff – obey god’s rules (or else!) and be thankful for all that he has done for you. Here’s a line I recognize – “man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord” (v3 KJV). Near the end of the chapter the message gets nasty – “never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful” (v17-18 NLT) Yeah, don’t take any credit for your own hard work. You’re just a nothing.
Chapter 9 is more of the same. How long does this sermon go on for? Moses sounds like an abusive parent or spouse – you are stubborn, you made the lord angry, you rebelled, after all I’ve done for you, your behavior drove me to do it, you miserable ingrates, yada yada yada. PS – no human can survive 40 days without water (v9). But don’t tell this author that. (Didn’t we discuss this before?)
We get some comic relief with verse 16 “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.” (KJV) I checked and it’s the same in the Hebrew translation. Modern translations try to make sense of it; the one that sounds the least awkward to me is from the NET “cleanse your heart and stop being so stubborn!” Verse 19 provides a nice example of contradiction – “Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Huh? Didn’t god just tell the Israelites to slaughter everyone they meet?
And how about verse 22 “When your ancestors went down into Egypt, there were only seventy of them. But now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky!” How many would that be????