Previously: deuteronomy 6:4-11:25 central axis
The C pair of the Deu 6:4-11:25 chiastic structure that we have been discussing caught my attention:
1c) Deu 8:2-16, The manna in the wilderness: the bread from heaven that a man may live (Deu 8:3);
2c) Deu 9:8-10:10, Ten Commandments at Sinai: word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD that a man may live (Deu 8:3);
And He humbled you, and suffered you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you knew not, neither did your fathers know; that He might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by every [word] that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD, does man live. Deu 8:3
But [Jesus] answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Mat 4:4
When I was working out the chiastic structure, the C pair was a lingering puzzle for me. I could see from the elements surrounding it, that Deu 8:2-16 was its own unit talking about the wilderness experience, and that Deu 9:8-10:10 was its own unit talking about the Sinai experience, but I could not understand their relation. This is when I knock on my heavenly Teacher’s door, and go away, and reread the passage, and meditate on it, and then come back and knock, and go away, and meditate some more, and come back, and knock. My heavenly Teacher doesn’t always answer the door on the first knock. Even still today, after knocking for some years. But if I make a pest of myself, and refuse to drop it, He opens the door (Mat 7:7). *smile* He has got gold and silver to give, but He is only going to give it to those who want it.
But when He opened the door, He highlighted Deu 8:3 as the key to the puzzle. It is true that “word” is implied in the Hebrew, not explicitly stated. But Jesus, our perfect Torah Teacher, showed us that the right sense of the passage is the word which proceeds out of the mouth of God, when He quoted Deu 8:3 to the tempter.
So we have bread in the wilderness on one side, and the word proceeding out of the mouth of YHVH at Sinai on the other side. For it is at Sinai, as we saw before, that the LORD’s voice spoke, and His people heard His words with their own ears. What was the word which proceeded from the mouth of God? The Ten Commandments.
Man shall not have physical life only by eating bread, but he shall have physical life by paying heed to and doing the commandments which have proceeded from the mouth of YHVH, the first of which is, Worship YHVH alone. All the other commandments proceed from this one.
There is more to it than this though. The bread in the wilderness was not just ordinary bread. It was manna, bread from heaven.
Our fathers ate manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world. Joh 6:31-33
So the bread from heaven is Jesus. And the word which proceeded from the mouth of God, is Jesus (Joh 1:14). The bread and the word are one, and that is why the C pair is a matching pair and a repeating element.
We have heard it said, that now that Jesus has come, the Law or Torah of God has passed away. Jesus said it has not passed away (Mat 5:18-19), and in fact, He is the Law or Torah of God, for the Law or Torah of God is His word. It is the Torah of God which put on flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth (Joh 1:14).
It is by the bread and the word, which a man lives. Not by the bread alone. In fact, it is everywhere in Scripture from Genesis to Revelation, that those who have faith in God (who trust in Jesus Christ, the Bread from heaven, for salvation) will also out of that faith, do His commandments, beginning with worship YHVH only: Gen 15:6 and 26:5, Psa 119:32, Mat 7:21-23, Rom 3:31, 1 Joh 2:3-7, Rev 22:14 to start).