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“Since this is your wisdom and understanding in the eyes of the nations, they will hear all these rules and say, “this nation is certainly a wise and understanding people.” (4:6)

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The various commentators question the message and response offered to the nations which is implied in this posuk. That the very statutes which defy human rationale should serve as the response and the justification of our being to the idolatrous nations that have sunk to the nadir of depravity, hardly seems likely. Indeed, when Hashem gave the Torah with its various precepts, those which we “think” we comprehend and those which veritably are beyond human grasp, the nations scoffed and ridiculed. However, this scorn and derision continued only until we were able to demonstrate to all the contrasting fruits of the different lifestyles imposed by the various religions. When they see the product of our “chukim” (statutes which defy human rationale), such as the effects of family purity on our married life, the refinement and pleasantness which are direct results of these laws, then their ridicule is transformed into esteem. There are a host of other “chukim” which can illustrate the refinement of the individual effected by their observance.

This is the meaning of the above posuk. When the nations noticed the uniqueness of the Jew’s personality and character, they questioned its source. For, the nations also maintain laws, ordinances, and various penal codes which are legislated in order to control their conduct. The difference is that we have “chukim” which are Divinely ordained, which we do not understand or comprehend, but which we observe simply because they are the word of Hashem. It is when these precepts are properly observed that the results are effected and noticed. With the illustration of the effects of “chukim”, the nations will realize that “this is your wisdom and understanding”.

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