Most translations read something like this:
And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. (NKJV)
When I realised what the original Hebrew says, and how the ‘prosperity doctrine’ teachers have based their doctrine on a wrong translation, I realised that there needed to be correction.
Most prosperity preachers pick up on the words ‘power to get wealth’ and apply it to gain personal riches. They stop quoting the verse there, and never read the last part which says, ‘that He may establish His covenant, which He swore to your fathers.‘
Most English translations do say ‘wealth’, but that is not the correct interpretation from the original Hebrew text where the word is ‘Chayil’, pronounced Hi Eel, which means virtue, valour, might, strength.
The same word is used in Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? In the Hebrew, it is written ‘Eshet Chayil’, which more accurately means a woman of valour.
We can see that it is the same word chayil as used in Deuteronomy 8:18, and it has nothing to do with making money or getting rich.
In the Jewish prayer book, there is a dedicated chapter titled Eshet Chayil – (woman of valor) Proverbs 31, which Jewish husbands pray over their wives every Friday night before they celebrate the Sabbath. The husband is not praying for his wife to be rich. He is praying that his wife will have physical and spiritual strength and might to be an excellent wife, mother and God- fearing woman.
I believe that Deuteronomy 8:18 is really saying that we need to remember the God of Israel, because only through Him, are we able to be the kind of people – people of valour, virtue and might, both physically and spiritually, to serve Him and to do His will in establishing His covenant.