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“Now therefore, if in listening you listen

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to my voice,

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and if you will keep my covenant, then you will be my valued possession which I carefully protect

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above all the nations,

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for all the earth is mine,


Now therefore, if you will carefully listen to, and obey my will, and if you will keep the conditions of my covenant, then I will consider you a valuable property worth protecting, more useful to me than all the other nations, (and remember, the whole earth is mine,)


1: "in listening you listen"

Here we see one form of the verb “to listen” followed by another form of the same verb, “to listen.” It is a way to create emphasis that is somewhat common in Hebrew. The first verb serves to intensify the second one. The most literal rendering is “if in listening you listen,” or “if in obeying you obey,” but for the sake of English readers it is better to translate it, “if your listen carefully,” or “if you truly obey.” Because of its awkwardness in English it has been translated in various ways, such as, “listen indeed , diligently listen, and fully listen,” etc.

The verb “to hear or to listen” implies doing what one has been told; it implies obedience. That is especially true in a construction that is strengthened by the double use of “listen” meaning “fully listen and truly obey.”


The voice was an audible expression of what was inside someone, in this case it was an expression of His will.

3: "my valued possession which I carefully protect"

The root word meaning “wealth that is shut up so as to protect it because it is of special value.” It came to mean anything of special value, with the protecting of it being assumed rather than stated.


Does God play favorites? Did God not care about the other nations? That is not the intent of the statement. God chose them instead of any other group of people because they fit the characteristics He was looking for, and He had promised their forefathers that He would work through them to bring about His will. All humans start out equally lost. All nations (simply groups of people) are equally far from God. God’s love for everyone is equally strong and was universally expressed through what Jesus did for everyone. Yet His relationship with each person and each group of people is unique, just like a father’s relationships with his children are unique to each one and a mother’s relationship with her children are not all the same.