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Series Theme: Why Read the Bible: Deuteronomy



Why Read Deuteronomy: In this book we find Moses speaking a number of times to Israel on the Plains of Moab. It is perhaps one of the most dense, compact and repetitive sets of writings in the whole Bible. Why? Because Moses is aware that his time on earth is rapidly coming to an end and he is about to hand over the baton of leadership to Joshua who is going to have to lead the people into battle to take the Promised Land. It brings together the previous three books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, reiterating the laws and the events and the commands we find in those books.


Characteristics: There are several very clear characteristics we should note:

1. Goal Centred: The goal ahead of them, that was first seen in the early chapters of Exodus, was to take the Promised Land and he reminds them of that again and again.

2. God Focused & Testimony Empowered: Above all else, Moses reminds the nation that that goal has been God -initiated and God-enabled so far and must be God-enabled in the future if it is to be successfully accomplished. Now to achieve this God-awareness, if we may call it that, Moses reminds them again and again of their recent past and God's role in it, (i.e. their Testimony) that goes back to Horeb (Sinai) – 4:10, after having been released from slavery in Egypt – 5:17, 15:15,16:12,24:18,22, where God dealt with Pharaoh – 7:18, delivered them – 16:3, and led them in the desert – 8:2, even when they were rebellious there – 9:7. Yes, the word ‘remember' occurs a number of times. But those verses are complemented by verses calling on Israel not to “forget” their past [4:9,23, 6:12, 8:11,14,19, 9:7, 25:19) All of these many calls to remember the past was because ALL of these things involved the Lord and what He had done for them.

3. Obedience-commanded: Put another way, the call to ‘remember' and ‘not forget' is linked to a call to obey all the laws and commands that God puts before them. Indeed their success in taking the Promised Land is conditional upon them obeying them.


Note the use of the following:

‘Follow these commands': 4:1,5,13,14, 5:1,31, 7:11,12 8:1, 11:11, 12:1, 15:5, 16:12, 17:19, 19:9, 24:8, 26:16, 27:10, 28:1,13,15,58, 29:9,39, 30:8, 31:12 (26 times)

‘Obey': 6:3,24,25, 8:20, 11:13, 27,32, 12:28, 13:14,18, 15:5, 21:18, 27:10, 28:1,2, 15,45,62, 30:2,8,10, 32:46 (21 times)

‘Walk in obedience': 5:33, 8:6, 10:12, 11:22, 19:9, 26:17, 28:9, 30:16 (8)


Structure: The book comprises 34 chapters, the vast majority of which comprise four talks or addresses that Moses gave the nation while they were on the Plains of Moab before crossing the River Jordan and entering the Land to take Jericho.

The following imply indicate divisions and new starts of four talks or addresses :

“These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel…” (1:1)

“Moses summoned all Israel and said…” (5:1)

“Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them…” (29:2)

“Then Moses went out and spoke these words to all Israel…” (31:1)


Contents: The following indicate those ‘talk divisions' and a suggested chapter grouping as well as individual chapter contents. If you wish to go directly to these chapters, simply click on the chapter numbers. Each grouping will be shown at the top of each chapter of text in order to remind the reader of the Context.

As usual with the Frameworks, we have reformatted each chapter, providing subheadings and additional notes as we thought appropriate in order to help the reader take in the text more easily.



Part 1: Ch.1-4 Moses Reminds Israel how they got here

[the reminders seek to bring a desired conclusion – obedience.]

Ch.1 - Reminders of Failure at Kadesh

Ch.2 - Reminders of Guidance to get to this point

Ch.3 - Reminders of Triumphs & Direction

Ch.4 - Encouragements to Obedience



Part 2: Ch.5-11 Moses brings Encouragements

[A Mixture of more reminders and encouragements to aid obedience.]

Ch.5 - Reminders of the Ten Commandments

Ch.6 - Remember & Keep the Commands

Ch.7 - Make Sure you Clear the Land

Ch.8 - Helps to Remember the Lord

Ch.9 - Recognise your Vulnerability

Ch.10 - Reassurances

Ch.11 - More Encouragements


Part 3: Ch.12-20 Moses reminds them of Stipulations for a Holy Nation

Ch.12 -The One Place of Worship

Ch.13 - Beware Deception

Ch.14 - Food & Tithing

Ch.15 - Year Seven Changes & Firstborn Animals

Ch.16 - Festivals, Justice & Worship

Ch.17 - Worship, Justice & any Future King

Ch.18 - Maintain Right Spiritual Practices

Ch.19 - Rules for Cities of Refuge

Ch.20 - Rules for Going to War


Part 4: Ch.21-25 Moses lays out Relational Laws

Ch.21 - Misc. Administrative Laws

Ch.22 - Civil Laws, Marriage Laws & Abuse Laws

Ch.23 - Holiness & Righteousness in the Nation

Ch.24 - Relational Laws for a Holy Community

Ch.25 - Sentencing, Succession, Misc. Laws


Part 5: Ch.26-30 Preparing to Enter Commitment Issues

Ch.26 - First-Fruits, Tithes & Covenant

Ch.27 - Ceremonies of Blessing & Cursing

Ch.28 - The Blessings & Curses



Ch.29 - Renewal of the Covenant

Ch.30 - Choices for Now & the Future



Part 6: Ch.31-34 Moses Finale

Ch.31 - Succession, the Law & Warning

Ch.32 - The Song of Moses

Ch.33 - Moses blesses the tribes

Ch.34 - The Death of Moses