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You are to fear Him and obey His rules and commands, just as I’m teaching them to you now. Do this your whole lives—you, your children and your grandchildren—and you’ll live in the land a long time. Yes, Israel, if you pay careful attention and obey, everything will go well for you in that land flowing with milk and honey; and you’ll have many, many descendants just as the Eternal, the God of your ancestors, promised you.

The phrase “a land flowing with milk and honey” is certainly metaphorical. Moses doesn’t mean that the rivers and streams of the promised land literally flow with milk and honey rather than with water. But he does want the people to have such a picture in their minds. He wants them to know they will be leaving behind the nomadic, foraging existence they have known in the wilderness. They will settle in a new land where their cattle will be well fed and will be able to provide them with milk in abundance. They will have the freedom to pursue even more discretionary activities since date honey would seep out of the trees without needing cultivating. God’s promise isn’t just that they will possess the land but that they will find rest, abundance, and health in it.

Moses: Listen, Israel! The Eternal is our True God—He alone.

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