5th book of the Pentateuch, the Law of Moses – recounting recent history
but obviously with additions by a later scribe.
written : somewhere about
1400 BC (latter part of Moses' life)
A series of addresses given by Moses (with
help later on) at the end of the forty years wandering in the desert
and just before entering the Land
Recounts recent history of Israel , and
then reminders of the Law they have received, followed a number of injunctions
to remain faithful to the Lord as they go into the Land.
Although we go along with a traditional outline indicating different
‘addresses' it is unclear exactly when such words were spoken and such
divisions may not be strictly accurate.)
Recapping Israel's journey from Egypt: Moses' first address
Principles for Godly living: Moses' second address
4-11 The Great Commandment: The
Demand for Absolute Allegiance
God's covenant Lordship
The principle of consecration
The program for conquering Canaan
A call to commitment in the new land
The lesson of the broken tablets & another call to commitment
Leaders in God's kingdom
Sanctity in God's kingdom
God as redeemer-king
A Call for Commitment to God: Moses' third address
Long term: Curses & Blessings
Present: Renewal of the Covenant
Future: Obedience in prosperity
Change of Leadership
Song of Moses
Moses' Blessing on the Tribes
Death of Moses) and Succession of Joshua
Markers in the Book
book is unique in as far as it comprises speech after speech after speech.
We thus include the following so that you may catch something of this.
are the words Moses spoke to all Israel in the desert east of the Jordan
is the law Moses set before the Israelites. These are the stipulations,
decrees and laws Moses gave them when they came out of Egypt and were
in the valley near Beth Peor east of the Jordan, in the land of Sihon
king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon and was defeated by Moses
and the Israelites as they came out of Egypt.
Moses summoned all Israel and said: Hear, O Israel, the decrees
and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to
are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to
teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to
possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may
fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his
decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long
are the decrees and laws you must be careful to follow in the land that
the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess--as long
as you live in the land
and the elders of Israel commanded the people: "Keep all these
commands that I give you today. When you have crossed the Jordan
into the land the LORD your God is giving you, set up some large stones
and coat them with plaster. Write on them all the words of this law
when you have crossed over to enter the land the LORD your God is giving
you….. Then Moses and the priests, who are Levites, said to all Israel,
"Be silent, O Israel, and listen! You have now become the people
of the LORD your God. Obey the LORD your God and follow his commands
and decrees that I give you today."
are the terms of the covenant the LORD commanded Moses to make with
the Israelites in Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with
them at Horeb. Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them: Your
eyes have seen all that the LORD did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his
officials and to all his land.
Moses went out and spoke these words to all Israel : "I am now
a hundred and twenty years old and I am no longer able to lead
you. The LORD has said to me, 'You shall not cross the Jordan.'…..
Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel,
"Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into
the land that the LORD swore to their forefathers to give them, and
you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The LORD himself
goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake
you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed
to the Israelites all that the LORD had commanded him concerning
the LORD our God commanded us, we set out from
went toward the hill country of the Amorites through all that vast and
dreadful desert that you have seen, and so we reached Kadesh
were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the LORD
we turned back and set out toward
the desert along
the route to the Red Sea, as the LORD had directed me. For a long time
we made our way around the hill country of Seir.
we went on past our brothers the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir.
We turned from the Arabah road, which comes up from Elath and
Ezion Geber, and travelled along the desert road of Moab .
the LORD said, "Now get up and cross the Zered
So we crossed the valley. Thirty-eight years passed from the time we
left Kadesh Barnea until we crossed the Zered Valley. By then, that
entire generation of fighting men had perished from the camp, as the
LORD had sworn to them.
said to me, "Today you are to pass
by the region of Moab at
Ar. When you come to the Ammonites, do not harass them or provoke them
to war, for I will not give you possession of any land belonging to
out now and cross the Arnon
See, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite,
king of Heshbon,
and his country.
we turned and went up along the road toward Bashan,
and Og king of Bashan with his whole army marched
out to meet us in battle at Edrei. The LORD said to me, "Do not
be afraid of him, for I have handed him over to you with his
whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the
Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon." So the LORD our God also gave
into our hands Og king of Bashan and all his army.
historical record of Moses' death
climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah,
across from Jericho. There the LORD showed him the whole land--from
Gilead to Dan, all of Naphtali, the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh,
all the land of Judah as far as the western sea, the Negev and
the whole region from the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms, as far
as Zoar. Then the LORD said to him, "This is the land I promised
on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, 'I will give it to
your descendants.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will
not cross over into it." And Moses the servant of
the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had said. He buried
him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one
knows where his grave is. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when
he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.
from the first four chapters recounting their recent past, Deuteronomy
has a certain feeling of repetition about it for the new reader. Again
and again there is the call to remain faithful to the Lord as they enter
the Promised Land.
as well as
The calls to
remain faithful and
of the Law given
The many promises
of blessing on obedience as well as
of misfortunes (curses) that will befall them for disobedience.
reader who knows their Bible will know that eventually those curses
can be seen as prophetic for they were all seen as a result of Israel's
ongoing unfaithfulness. That said, we can also see the blessing of God
coming on them again and again when they called out for His help.
greatest lesson that we can ever learn is that God knows best! Living
a life in harmony with His guidance and direction is guaranteed to receive
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