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Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 3: Harmony of the Law, Part I, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at


deuteronomy 27:1-4, 8

1. And Moses, with the elders of Israel, commanded the people, saying, Keep all the commandments which I command you this day.

1. Et praecepit Moses et seniores Israelis populo, dicendo, Custodi omnia praecepta quae ego praecipio vobis hodie.

2. And it shall be, on the day when ye shall pass over Jordan unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, that thou shalt set thee up great stones, and plaster them with plaster.

2. Erit, quo die transieritis Jordanem ad terram quam Jehova Deus tuus dat tibi, statues tibi lapides magnos, et lines calce.

3. And thou shalt write upon them all the words of this law, when thou art passed over; that thou mayest go in unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, a land that floweth with milk and honey; as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee.

3. Et scribes in illis omnia verba Legis hujus, quum transieris ut venias in terram quam Jehova Deus tuus dat tibi, terram fluentem lacte et melle: sicut loquutus est Jehova Deus patrum tuorum tibi.

4. Therefore it shall be, when ye be gone over Jordan, that ye shall set up these stones, which I command you this day, in mount Ebal, and thou shalt plaster them with plaster.

4. Erit ergo quum transieritis Jordanem, statuetis lapides istos de quibus ego praecipio vobis hodie, et lines eos calce.

8. And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly.

8. Et scribes in lapidibus omnia verba Legis hujus (ad verbum, bene) distincte explicando.

1. And Moses, with the elders. This precept is of the same character as those that have preceded it; for, as God would have His precepts written on the door-posts, and on the borders of their garments, so that they might constantly meet their eyes, so also would He have a monument existing at the very entrance of their land, from which the people might learn that they dwelt in it, in order that they might worship God purely. Wherefore, lest by the people’s carelessness the knowledge of the Law should be obscured, or in any way obliterated, God would have its sum inscribed in a conspicuous place. Hence may be gathered the similarity I have adverted to between the private houses of individuals and the whole land. When the precepts were written on the doors, every one was admonished that his house was sacred to God, and the same was the case with the whole land, so that whosoever entered it might know that it was, as it were, the sanctuary of heavenly doctrine, and thus their zeal might be stirred up to the pure worship of God. The object of the plain and distinct writing of the Scripture, referred to in verse 8, was to take away (the excuse of  237 ) ignorance.



Added from the French.

Next: Deuteronomy 31:10-13