Behold, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil, Bible see other translations

“I have set before you this day life...and death.” The choice to live forever or die forever is a choice that God gives to every person. God is being genuine here. He has no reason to lie or trick people. God created people with free will and the choice is ours. Wise people humble themselves before God and choose life. There are times when God gives us this choice and it is more immediate; between living and dying on this earth (e.g., Jer. 21:8).

“life.” In the scope of Scripture, this is both “life” (a blessed, successful life) now and everlasting life later. Deuteronomy 30:15 is an example of the word “life” having two meanings—life now and life later. When a word has two or more meanings, or a meaning that is much more expansive than just the common dictionary definition (such as often happens when a word is used idiomatically) such as “life” and “good” have here, or “life” and “death” do in Deuteronomy 30:19, scholars sometimes refer to the word as having a “pregnant sense,” as if the word could have a baby that was like itself. In this case in Deuteronomy 30, the words “life,” “good,” and “death” have a pregnant sense in that they all refer to the here and now as well as the next life, the hereafter.

[For more on the pregnant sense of some of the words in the Bible, see commentary on Luke 23:42.]

“good.” “Good” in this context primarily refers to success and prosperity now, although it would include salvation and everlasting life later.

“death.” In the scope of Scripture, this is both a short life here on earth and everlasting death later.

[For more on “death” being actual death, see Appendix 4: “Annihilation in the Lake of Fire.”]

“evil.” “Evil” in this context primarily refers to evil or bad things happening in this life: suffering and adversity and “bad things” of every kind, although it would also include everlasting death.

Commentary for: Deuteronomy 30:15