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:4 Listen, Israel! The Eternal is our True God—He alone. 5 You should love Him, your True God, with all your heart and soul, with every ounce of your strength.[a]6 Make the things I’m commanding you today part of who you are. 7 Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you’re sitting together in your home and when you’re walking together down the road. Make them the last thing you talk about before you go to bed and the first thing you talk about the next morning. 8 Do whatever it takes to remember them: tie a reminder on your hand and bind a reminder on your forehead where you’ll see it all the time,9 such as on the doorpost where you cross the threshold or on the city gate.
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