Is Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Literal of Figurative

 

By Yochanan Zaqantov

 

When reading the Tanakh we are guided by the principle of using peshat (the plain meaning) for interpreting the Mikra (Readings).   Peshat also includes reasoning also and not just the literal reading.  We need to be able to understand which things in the Tanakh are to be taken literally or figuratively.  So for our study today we will examine the Miqra in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:5-9.

 

Lets start by reading Devarim 5.

5Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them: Hear, O Israel, the laws and rules that I proclaim to you this day! Study them and observe them faithfully!

2Yehovah Eloheynu made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3It was not with our fathers that Yehovah made this covenant, but with us, the living, every one of us who is here today. 4Face to face Yehovah spoke to you on the mountain out of the fire—5I stood between Yehovah and you at that time to convey Yehovah’s words to you, for you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain—saying:

6 I Yehovah am Eloheykha who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage: 7You shall have no other elohim beside Me.

8You shall not make for yourself a sculptured image, any likeness of what is in the heavens above, or on the earth below, or in the waters below the earth. 9You shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I Yehovah Eloheykha am an impassioned Elohim, visiting the guilt of the parents upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generations of those who reject Me, 10but showing kindness to the thousandth generation of those who love Me and keep My commandments.

11You shall not swear falsely by the name of Yehovah Eloheykha; for Yehovah will not clear one who swears falsely by His name.

12Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as Yehovah Eloheykha has commanded you. 13Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14but the seventh day is a sabbath of Yehovah Eloheykha; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your ox or your ass, or any of your cattle, or the stranger in your settlements, so that your male and female slave may rest as you do. 15Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and Yehovah Eloheykha freed you from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore Yehovah Eloheykha has commanded you to observe the sabbath day.

16Honor your father and your mother, as Yehovah Eloheykha has commanded you, that you may long endure, and that you may fare well, in the land that Yehovah Eloheykha is assigning to you.

17You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

18You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not crave your neighbor’s house, or his field, or his male or female slave, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

19Yehovah spoke those words—those and no more—to your whole congregation at the mountain, with a mighty voice out of the fire and the dense clouds. He inscribed them on two tablets of stone, which He gave to me. 20When you heard the voice out of the darkness, while the mountain was ablaze with fire, you came up to me, all your tribal heads and elders, 21and said, “Yehovah Eloheynu has just shown us His majestic Presence, and we have heard His voice out of the fire; we have seen this day that man may live though Elohim has spoken to him. 22Let us not die, then, for this fearsome fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of Yehovah Eloheynu any longer, we shall die. 23For what mortal ever heard the voice of the living Elohim speak out of the fire, as we did, and lived? 24You go closer and hear all that Yehovah Eloheynu says, and then you tell us everything that Yehovah Eloheynu tells you, and we will willingly do it.”

25Yehovah heard the plea that you made to me, and Yehovah said to me, “I have heard the plea that this people made to you; they did well to speak thus. 26May they always be of such mind, to revere Me and follow all My commandments, that it may go well with them and with their children forever! 27Go, say to them, ‘Return to your tents.’ 28But you remain here with Me, and I will give you the whole Instruction (kol hamitzvah  כָּל־הַמִּצְוָה)—the laws (veHachuqqim  וְהַחֻקִּים) and the rules (vehamish’patim  וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִים)—that you shall impart to them, for them to observe in the land that I am giving them to possess.

Notice here that the whole instruction somed up in all the Mitzvot or from commanded or commandments was not just the ten commandments but all the other statues or practices and rules or judgements that were given to him and included in all the written torah. 

29Be careful, then, to do as Yehovah Eloheykhem has commanded you. Do not turn aside to the right or to the left: 30follow only the path that Yehovah Eloheykhem has enjoined upon you, so that you may thrive and that it may go well with you, and that you may long endure in the land you are to possess.

This brings us Chapter 6 and to the verses for the study today.

6And this is the Instruction—the laws and the rules (hamitzvah hachuqqim vehamish’patim  הַמִּצְוָה הַחֻקִּים וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִים)—that Yehovah Eloheykhem has commanded [me] to impart to you, to be observed in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy, 2so that you, your children, and your children’s children may revere Yehovah Eloheykhem and follow, as long as you live, all His laws and commandments (kol chuqqotayv umitzvotayv  כָּל־חֻקֹּתָיו וּמִצְוֹתָיו) that I enjoin upon you, to the end that you may long endure. 3Obey, O Israel, willingly and faithfully, that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly [in] a land flowing with milk and honey, as Yehovah, Elohey of your fathers, spoke to you.

4Hear, O Israel! Yehovah is Eloheynu, Yehovah alone.5You shall love Yehovah Eloheykha with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day. 7Impress them upon your children. Recite them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up. 8Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead; 9inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Lets break down what verses 5-9 are saying:

 

Devarim 6 verse 5: You love Yehovah Elohim with all heart (3824) and all soul (5315) and all might (3966).

וְאָהַבְתָּ אֵת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ וּבְכָל־מְאֹדֶךָ

 

Ve’ahav’ta et Yehovah Eloheykha bakhal levav’kha uvakhal  nefesh’kha uvakhal meodekha

And you will love Yehovah Eloheykha in all heart yours and in all flesh yours and in all might.


When we look at this statement we see that we are to Love Yehovah with all our heart, soul and might/strength.  We recognize this even in English as a figure of speech.  It has the expressed meaning of total devotion.  Because it is idom it is not literal but metaphorical.

Other places where this combination is used:

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:29

 

29But if you search there for Yehovah Eloheykha, you will find Him, if only you seek Him with all your heart and soul (bakhal levav’kha uvakhal nefesh’kha  בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶׁךָ)

 

This is very similar to what we read earlier except all your might/strength was not used also.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 10:12

 

12And now, O Israel, what does Yehovah Eloheykha demand of you? Only this: to revere Yehovah Eloheykha, to walk only in His paths, to love Him, and to serve Yehovah Eloheykha with all your heart and soul (bakhal levav’kha uvakhal nefesh’kha    בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶׁךָ)

 

Again it is a wholeness of devotion to Yehovah.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 11:13

 

13If, then, you obey the commandments that I enjoin upon you this day, loving Yehovah Eloheykhem and serving Him with all your heart and soul (bakhal levav’khem uvakhal nefeshkhem  בְּכָל־לְבַבְכֶם וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁכֶם),

 

The difference here is kha in the singular verses the khem which is plural but the meaning is overall the same.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 26:16

 

16 Yehovah Eloheykha commands you this day to observe these laws and rules; observe them faithfully with all your heart and soul (bakhal levav’kha uvakhal nefesh’kha      בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶׁךָ).

 

Here we see this is very similar in that his refers to Chuqqim and Mish’patim or statues/practices and judgements.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 30:10

 

10since you will be heeding Yehovah Eloheykha and keeping His commandments and laws (mitzvotayv vechuqqotayv  מִצְוֹתָיו וְחֻקֹּתָיו) that are recorded (hakatuvah/the written  הַכְּתוּבָה) in this book of the Teaching (basefer hatorah  בְּסֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה)—once you return to Yehovah Eloheykha with all your heart and soul (bakhal levav’kha uvakhal nefesh’kha  בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶׁךָ).

 

Other places this combination is found is Deut. 30:2, 6, Josh. 22:5, 23:14, I Kings 2:4, 2 Chron. 6:38, 15:12, 34:31, Jer. 32:37-41

 

When we look at the combined usage of Heart and Soul we find this figure of speech is consistently used as totality, completeness, absolute devotion to Yehovah. 

Back to Devarim 6 verse 6: And shall be the words these which I commanded this day on your heart (3824).

וְהָיוּ הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם עַל־לְבָבֶךָ

Vehay’u hadevarim ha’elah asher anokhiy metzav’kha al-levavekha

And shall they the words these which I from commanding you the day on heart yours

 

Again we are looking at this verse and we see it relates to the previous verse were we are to commit to the teachings Yehovah has given us.  Again it is a figure of speech since we cannot put words literally on our heart.

 

Other places this usage of Heart as a metaphor in the Tanakh.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 10:16

 

16Cut away, therefore, the thickening about your hearts and stiffen your necks no more.

 

You can not literally cut away a part of your heart.

 

Yehoshua (Joshua) 2:11

 

11When we heard about it, we lost heart, and no man had any more spirit left because of you; for Yehovah Eloheykha is the only Elohim in heaven above and on earth below.

 

Heart used here to show the state of the person as their mental state.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 7:2

 

2Now, when it was reported to the House of David that Aram had allied itself with Ephraim, their hearts and the hearts of their people trembled as trees of the forest sway before a wind.

 

Like before this is again a metaphor for the mental state or emotion of the people.

 

Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 4:4

 

4Open your hearts to Yehovah, Remove the thickening about your hearts— O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem— Less My wrath break forth like fire, And burn, with none to quench it, Because of your wicked acts.

 

As you can see the word used for Heart is used many times in the Tanakh as metaphor for the mind, our attitude, losing faith, etc…  We can then see that in the verse we looked at the word heart can also be used figuratively.  Since the previous verse 5 was using figurative language it is no stretch to see that it can continue.

 

Next in Devarim 6 verse 7: You shall sharpen (8150) your sons and speak(1696) of them when you sit in your house when walk in the way when you lie down when you arise.

7 וְשִׁנַּנְתָּם לְבָנֶיךָ וְדִבַּרְתָּ בָּם בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ בְּבֵיתֶךָ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ בַדֶּרֶךְ וּבְשָׁכְבְּךָ וּבְקוּמֶךָ

Veshinen’tam levaneykha vediber’ta bam bashiv’tekha baveytekha uv’lev’tekha vederekh uv’shakhab’kha uv’qumekha

And Sharpen you to sons yours and speak you of them in sitting you in house yours and in walking you in path and in laying you and in stood up you.


The word shinan or shanan is very interesting in that their usages in the Tanakh is most often as sharp or sharpen.  Using this instead of impress we can see that we are to sharpen our sons or to teach them.  Let us verify that this word can be used here and supports this understanding.

 

Tehillim (Psalms) 140:4

4They sharpen (shananu  שָׁנֲנוּ) their tongues like serpents; spiders’ poison is on their lips.

 Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 5:28

28Their arrows are sharpened (shanunim  שְׁנוּנִים), And all their bows are drawn. Their horses’ hoofs are like flint, Their chariot wheels like the whirlwind.

Tehillim (Psalms) 45:6

6Your arrows, sharpened (shanunim  שְׁנוּנִים), [pierce] the breast of the king’s enemies; peoples fall at your feet.

We see it can be used to reflect the sharpening of some object.  It can also be used metaphorically as in Tehillim (Psalms) 140:4. As we saw previously and also in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:7.

How are we to teach them?  By speaking to them.  When do we speak to them?  When in our home, when outside our home, when we get up in the morning and when we go to bed.  But does this mean we must literally read the whole teaching each time we do these things?  Remember the teachings given to Moshe are more than just the Ten Commandments.  Thus, it would be unrealistic to do anything else in our days if we did this literally.  This would be a metaphor for teaching our children each day as we go about our daily tasks.  It could be showing them an example of something that supports the torah or something that goes against the torah.  The point here would be in order to teach them it must be central in our hearts (minds). 

 

Now in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6 verse 8: Bind(7194) them for a sign(226) on your hand and shall be frontlets(2903) between your eyes.

8 וּקְשַׁרְתָּם לְאוֹת עַל־יָדֶךָ וְהָיוּ לְטֹטָפֹת בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ׃

Uq’shar’tam le’ot al-yadekha vehay’u latotafot bein eineikha

And bind you for sign on hands yours and shall they for frontlets between eyes yours.


In this verse the phrase “Bind you for a sign”.  Is this a literal binding?  Are we to take the Torah and bind it to our hands or between our eyes?  Is bind used metaphorically in other areas in the Tanakh?

 

Deuteronomy (Devarim) 11:18

 

18Therefore impress these My words upon your very heart: bind them (Uq’shar’tam  וּקְשַׁרְתֶּם) as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead,

 

This is very similar to the verse in Devarim 6.

 

Mishlei (Proverbs) 3:3

3Let fidelity and steadfastness not leave you; Bind them (qash’rem  קָשְׁרֵם) about your throat, Write them on the tablet of your mind,

You can see that this is most definitely a metaphoric usage of bind.  So it is possible that Devarim 6 is also.

Mishlei (Proverbs) 6:21

21Tie them over your heart always; Bind them (qash’rem  קָשְׁרֵם) around your throat.

Mishlei (Proverbs) 7:3

3Bind them (qash’rem  קָשְׁרֵם) on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your mind.

 

You can see that Bind can be used figuratively as well as literally.  Also with this last verse we are sure its figurative because again there is no tablet of the heart to cut the words on to.  So lets now look at the word for Sign (ot).  Can a sign be figurative and if so how is it being used here.

 

Yehoshua (Joshua) 4:6

 

6This shall serve as a symbol (ot) among you: in time to come, when your children ask, ‘What is the meaning of these stones for you?’

 

It is both a physical sign as well as a mental reminder.

 

Bamidbar (Numbers) 17:25

 

25The Lord said to Moses, “Put Aaron’s staff back before the Pact, to be kept as a lesson (ot) to rebels, so that their mutterings against Me may cease, lest they die.”

 

Because Aharon’s staff was placed in the Qodesh Qodeshim (Holy of Most Holy) it was not seen for the coming generations.  So while a physical sign to the first generation to see it was symbolic to the later generations.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 13:9,16

 

9“And this shall serve you as a sign (ot) on your hand and as a reminder on your forehead--in order that the Teaching of the Lord may be in your mouth—that with a mighty hand the Lord freed you from Egypt.

 

This are by far the most like the verse we are studying and also the most positive proof that a sign does not have to be literal.  These both use “for Sign on hands yours” (le’ot al-yadekha  לְאוֹת עַל־יָדְךָ) and “And a reminder between eyes yours” (ul’zikaron bein eineikha  וּלְזִכָּרוֹן בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ)  which while not the same as totafot it is the same idea.  To keep both as a reminder in ones mind and in ones practice.  Sign is also used in verse 16 of this chapter.

 

We can see that ot or Sign can be used figuratively.  It also appears to be a sign in the sense of a reminder or memorial.  Frontlets or totafoth between your eyes, which is the other phrase, used to describe another way of remembrance of Yehovah’s laws.  We find this also used in other places of the Tanakh.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 13:9-10, 15-16

 

9“And this shall serve you as a sign on your hand (le’ot al-yadekha  לְאוֹת עַל־יָדְךָ) and as a reminder on your forehead (ul’zikaron bein eineikha/and a reminder between eyes yours  וּלְזִכָּרוֹן בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ)  in order that the Teaching (torat  תּוֹרַת) of Yehovah may be in your mouth—that with a mighty hand Yehovah freed you from Egypt.

 

10You shall keep this institution at its set time from year to year. (Chag HaMatzot)

15When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, Yehovah slew every first-born in the land of Egypt, the first-born of both man and beast. Therefore I sacrifice to Yehovah every first male issue of the womb, but redeem every first-born among my sons.’

16“And so it shall be as a sign upon your hand (le’ot al-yadekha  לְאוֹת עַל־יָדְכָה) and as a symbol on your forehead (ul’totafot bein eineikha/and for frontlet between eyes yours  וּלְטוֹטָפֹת בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ) that with a mighty hand Yehovah freed us from Egypt.”

We know we don’t literally eat the teachings (torat) but that they come out of our mouths.  Thus, the previous two signs on your hands and remembrance between your eyes are also figurative in verse 9.  Which is what we do every year at Chag HaMatzot.

The reason we sacrifice the first born of animals is because he save our first born.  That is to be what verse 16 describes remembering.  It uses totafot here also so you don’t wear sacrifice on your forehead.  Therefore, it is figurative just like Devarim 6 verse 8.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 11:18-21

18Therefore impress (vesham’tem/and lay them  וְשַׂמְתֶּם) these My words upon your very heart [and on your soul] (et debarai elah al-levav’khem veal-nafesh’khem  אֶת־דְּבָרַי אֵלֶּה עַל־לְבַבְכֶם וְעַל־נַפְשְׁכֶם): bind them as a sign on your hand (uq’shar’tem otam le’ot al-yed’khem  וּקְשַׁרְתֶּם אֹתָם לְאוֹת עַל־יֶדְכֶם) and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead (vehayu letotafot bein eineikem  וְהָיוּ לְטוֹטָפֹת בֵּין עֵינֵיכֶם),

 

19and teach them to your children—reciting them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up; 20and inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates—21to the end that you and your children may endure, in the land that Yehovah swore to your fathers to assign to them, as long as there is a heaven over the earth.

 

Used with the phrase “For a sign” the Frontlet between your eyes is another metaphor for remembering Yehovah’s laws.  Frontlets are also referred to as Phylacteries or Tefillin.  There are two very good articles that go more in depth on this at http://www.karaite-korner.org/tefillin.shtml and http://www.karaite-korner.org/rekhavi/phylacteries.shtml These articles look at additional materials we won’t cover today.

 

Now lets look at Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6 verse 9: Write (3789) them on doorposts your house and on your gates. 

 

9 וּכְתַבְתָּם עַל־מְזוּזֹת בֵּיתֶךָ וּבִשְׁעָרֶיךָ׃ ס

Ukh’tav’tam al-mezuzot beitekha ubish’areikha

And write/enscribe to posts house yours and on gates yours.

 

 Is this also figurative and embracing the same figure of speech as in the previous verses?  Are we to literally, write the Torah on our doorpost and gates to our dwellings or are we being that our following his Torah is so evident in what we do it is like we announce it at the entrances of our home.  You are now entering a torah observant home.  Can the word write or khatav be used in a figurative sense.

 

Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 31:33

 

33But such is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel after these days—declares Yehovah: I will put My Teaching into their inmost being and inscribe (ekh’tavenah  אֶכְתֲּבֶנָּה) it upon their hearts.

 

He will inscribe on their hearts is a metaphor for putting it in their minds.

 

Mishlei (Proverbs) 3:3

 

3Let fidelity and steadfastness not leave you; Bind them about your throat, Write (kat’vem  כָּתְבֵם) them on the tablet of your mind,

 

We see from these that it is possible to interpret khatav in this verse are being figurative.  Can you physically write down the Torah on your gates for all to read.  But is that the intent here.  The ending of the Hebrew here has the last break being a fey after verse 4 of chapter 6 and ending with a semach after verse 9.  That would indicate to me that verses 5-9 are one thought and so we are dealing with the a figurative passage in these verses. What would Yehovah want us to do?  For us to write or inscribe the teachings so all to see it or that we be so devoted to his teachings that when people see us and our actions they can tell that we are keeping his laws.

 

So lets review.  We have seen that Devarim 6:4-9 can be interpreted as being figure of speech or metaphor for the focus we need to have on keeping those things we are taught in the Torah.  Lets read Chapter 6 again keeping this in mind what we just covered.

6And this is the Instruction—the laws and the rules (hamitzvah hachuqqim vehamish’patim  הַמִּצְוָה הַחֻקִּים וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִים)—that Yehovah Eloheykhem has commanded [me] to impart to you, to be observed in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy, 2so that you, your children, and your children’s children may revere Yehovah Eloheykhem and follow, as long as you live, all His laws and commandments (kol chuqqotayv umitzvotayv  כָּל־חֻקֹּתָיו וּמִצְוֹתָיו) that I enjoin upon you, to the end that you may long endure. 3Obey, O Israel, willingly and faithfully, that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly [in] a land flowing with milk and honey, as Yehovah, Elohey of your fathers, spoke to you.

4Hear, O Israel! Yehovah is Eloheynu, Yehovah alone.5You shall love Yehovah Eloheykha with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day. 7Impress them upon your children. Recite them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up. 8Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead; 9inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

10When Yehovah Eloheykha brings you into the land that He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to assign to you—great and flourishing cities that you did not build, 11houses full of all good things that you did not fill, hewn cisterns that you did not hew, vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant—and you eat your fill, 12take heed that you do not forget Yehovah who freed you from the land of Egypt, the house of bondage. 13Revere only Yehovah Eloheykha and worship Him alone, and swear only by His name. 14Do not follow other gods, any gods of the peoples about you 15—for Yehovah Eloheykha in your midst is an impassioned El—lest the anger of Yehovah Eloheykha blaze forth against you and He wipe you off the face of the earth.

16Do not try Yehovah Eloheykha, as you did at Massah. 17Be sure to keep the commandments (Mitzvot), decrees (edotayv), and laws (chuqqotayv) that Yehovah Eloheykha has enjoined upon you. 18Do what is right and good in the sight of Yehovah, that it may go well with you and that you may be able to possess the good land that Yehovah Eloheykha promised on oath to your fathers, 19and that all your enemies may be driven out before you, as Yehovah has spoken.

20When, in time to come, your children ask you, “What mean the decrees (haedot), laws (hachuqqim), and rules (hamishpatim) that Yehovah eloheynu has enjoined upon you?” 21you shall say to your children, “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt and Yehovah freed us from Egypt with a mighty hand. 22Yehovah wrought before our eyes marvelous and destructive signs and portents in Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his household; 23and us He freed from there, that He might take us and give us the land that He had promised on oath to our fathers. 24Then Yehovah commanded us to observe all these laws (hachuqqim), to revere Yehovah Eloheynu, for our lasting good and for our survival, as is now the case. 25It will be therefore to our merit before Yehovah Eloheynu to observe faithfully this whole Instruction (kol hamitzvah), as He has commanded us.

Which is also emphasized again in Devarim 11:18-21

18Therefore impress (vesham’tem/and lay them  וְשַׂמְתֶּם) these My words upon your very heart [and on your soul] (et debarai elah al-levav’khem veal-nafesh’khem  אֶת־דְּבָרַי אֵלֶּה עַל־לְבַבְכֶם וְעַל־נַפְשְׁכֶם): bind them as a sign on your hand (uq’shar’tem otam le’ot al-yed’khem  וּקְשַׁרְתֶּם אֹתָם לְאוֹת עַל־יֶדְכֶם) and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead (vehayu letotafot bein eineikem  וְהָיוּ לְטוֹטָפֹת בֵּין עֵינֵיכֶם),

 

19and teach them to your children—reciting them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up; 20and inscribe them (ukh’tav’tem) on the doorposts of your house and on your gates—21to the end that you and your children may endure, in the land that Yehovah swore to your fathers to assign to them, as long as there is a heaven over the earth.

 

All that we have read was to impress upon us the importance to listen, keep, and do his haMitzvah and teach to our children to keep the all commands from Yehovah or whole instruction, which was given to us by Yehovah through Moshe.