Deuteronomy Introduction

written and compiled by Gary Kukis

Deuteronomy Introduction

The Second Law

These studies are designed for believers in Jesus Christ only. If you have exercised faith in Christ, then you are in the right place. If you have not, then you need to heed the words of our Lord, Who said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son, so that every [one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, but shall be have eternal life! For God did not send His Son into the world so that He should judge the world, but so that the world shall be saved through Him. The one believing [or, trusting] in Him is not judged, but the one not believing has already been judged, because he has not believed in the Name of the only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son of God.” (John 3:16–18). “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life! No one comes to the Father except through [or, by means of] Me!” (John 14:6).

Every study of the Word of God ought to be preceded by a naming of your sins to God. This restores you to fellowship with God (1John 1:8–10). If there are people around, you would name these sins silently. If there is no one around, then it does not matter if you name them silently or whether you speak aloud.

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Outline of Chapter

Charts, Graphics, Short Doctrines

Doctrines Alluded to

Chapters Alluded to

Dictionary of Terms


First Verse


A Complete Translation

Chapter Word Clouds

Links to the completed chapters of Deuteronomy are found here (HTML) (PDF) (WPD). This chapter is a part of that study. Sometime ago, I did a verse-by-verse exegesis of the books of the Pentateuch, and, in my opinion, did not really give these books the full treatment that they deserved. Here, I am going back and redoing the book of Deuteronomy. All of the information from that previous study will be included in here and this study will eventually supplant the shorter study of the book of Deuteronomy (HTML) (PDF) (WPD). From time to time, there will be concepts and exegetical material which will be repeated.


These exegetical studies are not designed for you to read each and every word. For instance, the Hebrew exegesis is put into greyish tables, so that if you want to skip over them, that is fine. If you question a translation, you can always refer back to the appropriate Hebrew tables to sort it all out.


The intent is to make this particular study the most complete and most accurate examination of Deuteronomy 31 which is available in writing. The idea is to make every phrase, verse and passage understandable; and to make correct application of all that is studied.


Besides teaching you the doctrinal principles related to this chapter, this commentary is also to help bring this narrative to life, so that you can understand the various characters, their motivations, and the choices that they make. Ideally, you will be able to visualize the peoples and armies as they move across the landscape of the Land of Promise.


So that there is no misunderstanding, the doctrines, pronouncements and actions in this book all take place during the Age of Israel. For that reason, not everything that we study herein has direct application to our lives today during the Church Age. For instance, the Sabbath Day (Saturday) was observed during the Jewish Age; but it is not a part of religious observance today (although we can make application of various principles based upon the teaching of the Sabbath Day). An understanding of dispensations is imperative when studying the Word of God from a different era. See the Doctrine of Dispensations (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Preface: Before his death, while east of the Jordan River, before the people have gone into the Land of Promise, Moses speaks to the people his final and only recorded formal sermons. An account of his death is the final chapter.


Arthur Peake: [Deuteronomy is a] code of laws (Deuteronomy 1-26) followed by promises to the obedient and threats of punishment for the rest (Deuteronomy 28).

This should be the most extensive examination of Deuteronomy 31 available, where you will be able to examine in depth every word of the original text.

Quite frankly, I probably went overboard with the included material in this introduction and some of the information will be repeated. However, there will be information in this introduction and throughout the exegesis of Deuteronomy which are not found anywhere else.



Deut. 6:4–5 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (ESV; capitalized)


Thompson: Deuteronomy is one of the greatest books of the Old Testament. Its influence on the domestic and personal religion of all ages has not been surpassed by any other book in the Bible. It is quoted over eighty times in the New Testament and this it belongs to a small group of four Old Testament books [the others being Genesis, Psalms, and Isaiah] to which the early Christians made frequent reference.


G. Campbell Morgan: DEUTERONOMY is the last of the books of the Pentateuch. It is didactic rather than historic. Its actual history covers a very brief period, probably not many days. It consists of a collection of the final public utterances of Moses. The form in which we possess it is in all likelihood the result of the work of an editor, who collected these great discourses, and connected them by such information concerning the occasion of their utterance as should make them a consecutive series, and thus give them value in their relation to the earlier books. It has been surmised that this work was done by Joshua, and this, to say the least, is quite probable.


The book is, therefore, essentially a book of Moses, for it consists of his final words to the people whom he had led, first out of Egypt, and then for forty years of wandering in the wilderness.


Wikipedia says the Book of Deuteronomy is . . . traditionally accepted as the genuine words of Moses delivered on the eve of the occupation of Canaan. A broad consensus of modern scholars see its origins in traditions from Israel (the northern kingdom) brought south to the Kingdom of Judah in the wake of the Assyrian destruction of Samaria (8th century BCE) and then adapted to a program of nationalist reform in the time of King Josiah (late 7th century), with the final form of the modern book emerging in the milieu of the return from the Babylonian exile during the late 6th century.


J. Vernon McGee: The theme of Deuteronomy may surprise you. The great theme is Love and Obey. You may not have realized that the love of God was mentioned that far back in the Bible, but the word love occurs twenty-two times. The Lord Jesus was not attempting to give something that was brand new when He said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." Deuteronomy teaches that obedience is man's response to God's love. This is not the gospel, but the great principle of it is here. And let's understand one thing: the Law is good. Although I emphasize and overemphasize the fact that God cannot save us by Law, that does not imply that the Law is not good. Of course the Law is good. Do you know where the trouble lies? The trouble is with you and me. Therefore God must save us only by His grace.


Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary: This sacred book opens with an account of the children of Israel just as they are entering the borders of Canaan. They had nearly completed the fortieth year of their wilderness journey: and now, before they enter the promised land, Moses addresses them in a long discource. this chapter is the beginning of it, which goes on without much interruption, (excepting at the end of the fourth chapter) until the close of the thirtieth chapter.


Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge: [Deuteronomy’s philosophy, history, geography, and chronology entitle it to the respect of the whole human race; while its system of theology and religion demonstrably proves it to be a revelation from God.


Jesus said, and then James Coffman adds: "They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them ... If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, if one rise from the dead" (Luke 16:29,31). Here is one of the profoundest truths ever revealed. Where them is a will to disbelieve, no evidence of any kind whatever is effective.


Living Water commentary: There are some Bibles which place the Words of the Lord Jesus in red. However, the Lord, Himself placed the words of Moses on an equality with His own words when He said, "If you do not believe his writings (Moses') how shall you believe My Words?" 


Deut. 7:9–11 “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face. You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today. (ESV; capitalized)


There is also a great deal of disinformation out in the world as well:


Douglas Reed; Controversy of Zion (quoted by Michael Tsarion): The books like Deuteronomy have been many times revised and amended since 621 BC. This was done to tone the content down, to make it less repugnant to the Gentile nations. The originals were probably worse.


Douglas Reed; Controversy of Zion (quoted by Michael Tsarion): One hundred years following the sacking and seizure of Israel, the Levites composed their "Law," epitomized in Deuteronomy which was read aloud in the temple. This was the birth of "Mosaic Law" really created by the Levites and attributed to Moses. It is really Levitical or Judaic law. It is their "political programme." Deuteronomy means "second law" because it stood distinct from the original Israelite law.


Gruber and Kersten; The Original Jesus (quoted by Michael Tsarion): J. H. Breasted, the celebrated Egyptologist, maintains that the law elucidated in Deuteronomy, the fifth book in the Old Testament, is basically a simplified version of Hammurabic Laws, while the proverbs of Solomon and many psalms are based on ancient Egyptian literature.

Outline of the Introduction to Deuteronomy:




Summaries of the Book of Deuteronomy

The Meaning of the Word Deuteronomy


Point of View

                                     The Date and Location of Writing

                                     The Tone and Style of Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy and the Suzerainty-vassal treaties

Authority and Inspiration

General Content


Important Quotations from Deuteronomy

The Social Impact of Deuteronomy

Ancient Law Codes

Points of Interest

Jesus Christ in Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy Elsewhere in Scripture

The New Testament View of Deuteronomy

A Synopsis

The Outline of Deuteronomy

Themes of Deuteronomy


Chart Overview of Deuteronomy



Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines:


         Preface               Quotations


         Introduction         Moses Beholding the Land (a graphic)

         Introduction         Moses Lays Down the Law, Again (graphic)

         Introduction         The Prequel of The Introduction to Deuteronomy

         Introduction         The Principals of The Introduction to Deuteronomy


         Summaries          C. I. Scofield Summarizes the Book of Deuteronomy

         Summaries          Clarke Summarizes the Book of Deuteronomy

         Summaries          Clarke’s Chapter by Chapter Summary

         Summaries          Deuteronomy—the Big Picture by Darby

         Summaries          Brief Overview of Deuteronomy from

         Summaries          Summary of the Book of Deuteronomy from

         Summaries          Looking Back, Moving Forward (graphic)


         Title                     The Title Deuteronomy (Several Commentators)

         Authorship           Moses is the Author of Deuteronomy

         Authorship           Objections to Mosaic Authorship

         Authorship           Biblical Criticism and the Authorship of Deuteronomy

         Authorship           Coffman on the False Allegations of Critics

         Authorship           George L. Robinson on Why Moses is Clearly the Author of Deuteronomy

         Authorship           The Inspiration of the Scriptures and the Book of Deuteronomy


         Date/Location      The Road to Mount Nebo (a map with the route from Egypt to Mt. Nebo)

         Date/Location      Deuteronomy Graphic

         Date/Location      Route of Moses/Route of Joshua (Map)

         Date/Location      Canaan Before Moses/Canann Before Joshua (a map)


         Audience             The Audience of Deuteronomy


         S. Z. Treaties      Suzerain-Vassal Treaty (graphic)


         Content               The Pulpit Commentary on the Contents of Deuteronomy

         Content               What is Found in the Book of Deuteronomy


         Parallels              Types and Antitypes in Deuteronomy


         Quotations           Hear, O Israel! (graphic)

         Quotations           A Prophet Like Moses (graphic)

         Quotations           Don’t Forget (graphic)

         Quotations           Other Quotes from All Great Quotes

         Quotations           The Top Verses of Deuteronomy from Top Verses

         Quotations           References to Deuteronomy


         Social Impact      Deuteronomy and the Poor


         Law Codes          Ancient Law Codes


         Interests              F. B. Meyer’s Review Questions on Deuteronomy


         Elsewhere           The Isaiah/Deuteronomy Parallels

         Elsewhere           The Warnings of Deuteronomy Fulfilled in Amos

         Elsewhere           Parallels Between Hosea and Deuteronomy

         Elsewhere           Other Miscellaneous Old Testament Parallels


         New Testament   Deuteronomy in the New Testament


         Outline                The Overview Bible Project: Overview of Deuteronomy

         Outline      ’s Short Outline of Deuteronomy

         Outline                A Shorter Outline from the Pulpit Commentary

         Outline                Mark Throntveit’s Outline of Deuteronomy

         Outline                An Outline of Deuteronomy from Keil and Delitzsch

         Outline                The Division of Deuteronomy by Arno Gaebelein

         Outline                F. B. Meyer’s OUTLINE OF DEUTERONOMY

         Outline                Thomas Constable’s Chart/Organization of Deuteronomy 12–25


         Charts                 Precept Austin Deuteronomy Overview Chart

         Charts                 Chart Overview of Deuteronomy

         Charts                 Some Possible Outlines of Deuteronomy

         Charts                 Deuteronomy Chart


         Addendum          What We Learn from The Introduction to Deuteronomy

         Addendum          Josephus’ History of this Time Period

         Addendum          Word Cloud from the Introduction to Deuteronomy

Chapter Outline


Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Doctrines Covered and Alluded to

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms





Exegetical Studies in Deuteronomy

Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To









Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Deuteronomy 1

Deuteronomy 4

Job 2


Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter





Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter





Many who read and study this chapter are 1st or 2nd generation students of R. B. Thieme, Jr., so that much of this vocabulary is second nature. One of Bob’s contributions to theology is a fresh vocabulary along with a number of concepts which are theologically new or reworked, yet still orthodox. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with his work, the definitions below will help you to fully understand all that is being said. In addition to this, I will use a number of other more traditional technical theological terms which will be used and defined. Also, I have developed a few new terms and concepts as well.

Definition of Terms


A type is a person, thing or circumstance which looks forward into the future and finds its fulfillment in an antitype, which may be a person, thing or circumstance. Example: Moses striking the rock and from it flows waters of life is a type; Christ being judged on the cross for our sins and from Him flows living waters is the antitype.

Biblical inspiration

Biblical inspiration may be defined as human authors wrote as moved by the Holy Spirit, so that, without waving their human intelligence, their vocabulary, their personal feelings, their literary style, their personality, their environmental influences or their individuality, they recorded God’s complete and connected message to man with perfect accuracy in the original languages of Scripture, the very words bearing the authority of divine authorship. The is known as the verbal, plenary view of inspiration.

Rebound (Restoration to fellowship with God)

In the New Testament, this is naming your sins to God, so that you are both restored to temporal fellowship with God and are then filled with the Spirit of God. In the Old Testament, naming your sins to God would result in a restoration of fellowship and, in some cases, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit once again (the Holy Spirit was not given to all Old Testament believers).


A type is a preordained representation wherein certain persons, events, and institutions of the O.T. stand for corresponding persons, events, and institutions of the N.T. Types are pictures or object lessons by which God has taught His redemptive plan. They are a shadow of things to come, not the image of those things (Col. 2:17 Heb. 8:5 10:1). The Mosaic system, for example, was a kind of kindergarten in which God's people were trained in divine things and taught to look forward to the realities of things yet to come.

Some of these definitions are taken from



An Introduction to The Introduction to Deuteronomy

I ntroduction: The laws in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers were designed for a nation which did not start up when it should have. So, the people who originally heard the Law and were taught the Law did not put it into effect because they did not go in and take the land of promise. Their children, who had less exposure to the Law of God, would take the land. So Moses had to prepare these young men by teaching the Law a second time.

Moses Beholding the Land (a graphic); from Christ Evangelical Reformed Church; accessed May 28, 2015.

Application: You will note that what is emphasized here is the teaching of God’s Word; not the teaching of military drills (they were about to enter the Land of Promise and take it by force). I have no clue whether there was any military training or not (apart from their defeating of Sihon and Og); but I know for certain that there was Bible teaching that took place to prepare them.


Moses Lays Down the Law, Again (graphic); from Author Stream; accessed May 28, 2015. This is an outstanding graphic, because it gives a short, easy-to-remember one-phrase description of the book of Deuteronomy.

Much of what will be taught is pertinent to an established nation, not to a people wandering in the desert.

You are going to find this history to be very different from the way this has been presented in the past. Recently (I write this in 2013), there was a heavily-watched miniseries called The Bible, and it was filled with major and minor inaccuracies. One which disappointed me was the general character of Moses, who was presented as sort of this little nutjob with crazy eyes. Moses was pretty much the exact opposite of the way that he was presented in the miniseries. He was brilliant, charismatic, and learned. He was not a nut-case who saw weird things in the desert, which, in turn, made him into some kind of weirdo.


John Dummelow summarizes the book of Deuteronomy: The long sojourn in the wilderness is now drawing to a close. The Israelites are encamped in the Plains of Moab within sight of the Promised Land. Moses, feeling that his death is approaching, delivers his final charges to the people. In the first, he reviews briefly the history of Israel from Mt. Sinai to the Jordan, dwelling on the goodness of God, and making it the basis of an earnest appeal to the people to remember all that He has done for them, and to keep His commandments.


Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary: This sacred book opens with an account of the children of Israel just as they are entering the borders of Canaan. They had nearly completed the fortieth year of their wilderness journey: and now, before they enter the promised land, Moses addresses them in a long discource. this chapter is the beginning of it, which goes on without much interruption, (excepting at the end of the fourth chapter) until the close of the thirtieth chapter.


Peter Pett’s comment and summary: But this [book of Deuteronomy] is not just a series of battle speeches prior to the great conflict ahead. The whole book is part of a solid covenant which guarantees Yahweh's activity on their behalf and in return makes firm demands on them, and warns of the consequences of future failure, sealing it with a written document in the presence of witnesses (Deuteronomy 27:1–31:27). It can also be seen as composed of mini-covenants incorporated within the larger covenant.

It is important to understand what has gone before.

The Prequel of The Introduction to Deuteronomy

Yehowah God originally brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, where they had been slaves for several centuries. He worked through Moses, who became their spiritual and national leader. The designation people of Israel refers not to Israel the nation—which does not exist yet—but to their patriarch Israel, originally named Jacob, but renamed Israel by God. The people standing before Moses are descended from Israel (Jacob). God brought them out of Egypt with great signs and wonders.

These people, once free of Egypt, first crossed over the Sea of Reeds and went to Mount Sinai, also known as Mount Horeb. There, God gave them the Law. God first spoke to the children of Israel audibly, giving them the Ten Commandments, and they requested that God speak only to Moses, and that Moses would speak to them.

After receiving the Law of God, which was more than simply the Ten Commandments, God led them northward into what would become southern Judah, and told them to take the land that He promised them. First they sent 12 spies into the land, and they confirmed that the land was everything that God said it was—a land flowing with milk and honey. However, they also brought back stories of the fortified cities and the size and power of their adversaries in the land. Ten of the spies actively lobbied the people to not go into the land, and that night after the spies returned, the people cried and accused God of bringing them there to kill them and they did not want to go into this good land. Two spies, Caleb and Joshua, were ready to lead the people into the land to take it. They believed God’s promises and the rest of the people did not.

God was quite disgusted with them; and then, suddenly, after God told them to turn around and go back into the desert, many of them decided that they had changed their minds and they would attack the Amorites in the land. God told Moses to tell them not to do this, because He would not be with their whiney, sorry butts if they tried to attack the Amorites. They still went and attacked and they were soundly defeated, and chased all over, until they finally came back to Kadesh, where all the people had been camped out.

They lived there for awhile. They moved around to different parts of the desert. During this time, God killed off all the older generation—Gen X as I have designated them (the generation of the exodus)—all those who were 20 and older when they left Egypt. They dropped like flies in the desert, dying the sin unto death, yet while God preserved their children and their children’s children.

So now it is 38 or so years after their failure at Kadesh-barnea and God is leading this new generation of Israelites—I will call them the generation of promise—back to take the land. These are the people who were 20 or younger when they left Egypt, who are now between the ages of 40 and 60, and who have their own children now. As adults, all they have known is God taking care of them in the desert-wilderness.

There is also a set of young adults, aged 20–40, who were born in the desert (all those between ages 1 and 40 were born in the desert-wilderness). The young adults will be considered a part of the generation of promise; they will not be distinguished from those between the ages of 40 and 60.

In the final few chapters of Numbers, God brings this new generation up along the east side of the Dead Sea, to Mountains overlooking the Jordan River to the west of them. God will bring them across this river in the book of Joshua to take the land He has promised them.

However, there is a problem, and that is that Moses will not go with them. He will die east of the Dead Sea. God will not allow Moses to lead them into the land. Here’s what happened:

Near the beginning of this trek from Egypt to the land, there was no water, and the people complained, and God provided water for them through Moses. Moses was to strike this huge rock (which represents the judgment of Jesus on the cross) and from that rock would flow a river of living waters (just as Jesus, by His sacrifice, would provide us with the living water of salvation). This water gushed out and gave the people the water they needed; without which, they would have died in that dry, desolate place.

This same no-water test occurred again near the end of this 40 years in the desert. The people were again thirsty—there was no water. This time, God told Moses to speak to the rock. Jesus, their Savior, represented by the rock, would again give them all the water that they needed. Moses was not to strike the rock, because Jesus died for our sins one time—He is never judged again for our sins. That had already been represented when Moses struck the rock previously. Therefore, the proper way to represent this is by speaking to the rock. Moses was upset with the people, and he yelled at them, and he hit that rock hard, twice, with his walking stick. God still provided the people water, but He could not allow Moses to lead them into the Land of Promise, as he had failed to continue the type which God was setting up. Since Jesus was not judged twice for our sins, the rock was only to be struck one time, which occurred during the first no-water test.

For Moses and for many centuries of Jews, this is seen as simply an act of disobedience. However, since Jesus died on the cross, we understand that there was more to the provision of water than just obedience or lack thereof. God wanted the striking of the rock to represent Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and from Him would flow a river of living waters. When one wished to be refreshed by those waters after the crucifixion, he mere speaks to the rock (for the believer, this is rebound; for the unbeliever, this is expressing saving faith in Jesus Christ). God wanted Moses to establish that as a type; Moses did not; and so Moses was not allowed to cross over the Jordan.

So, here Israel stands, east of the Jordan River, about to cross over and take the land. Moses is going to speak a few words to them—which words will fill up the book of Deuteronomy.

This is identical to the prequel in Deut. 1.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Matthew Henry: In three ways this book of Deuteronomy was magnified and honored: – 1. The king was to write a copy of it with his own hand, and to read therein all the days of his life, ch. 17, 18, 19. 2. It was to be written upon great stones plastered, at their passing over Jordan, Deut. 27:2, Deut. 27:3. 3. It was to be read publicly every seventh year, at the feast of tabernacles, by the priests, in the audience of all Israel, Deut. 31:9, etc. The gospel is a kind of Deuteronomy, a second law, a remedial law, a spiritual law, a law of faith; by it we are under the law of Christ, and it is a law that makes the comers of it perfect.

We need to know who the people are who populate this chapter.

The Principals of The Introduction to Deuteronomy




Moses is the leader of the children of Israel, those he led out of Egypt with great signs and wonders done by God—signs and wonders which were seen both by the Egyptians and the Israelites.


Caleb is one of the 12 spies who was ready to go into the Land of Promise from the very beginning and take it. Moses will indicate that he will go into the Land of Promise because he fully followed God.


Joshua was the other one of the 12 spies who was willing to obey God and go into the land to take it. Joshua would become Israel’s next great leader after Moses.

The children of Israel

This is a general term applied to the people who left with Moses out of Egypt. One could include the children who were born to them when in the desert in this category.

Gen X

There are actually two distinct generations to which Moses will only occasionally refer. Gen X are those who are 20 and older when they begin to consider taking the Land of Promise, which lies before them. These would be those considered adult enough to go to war. God would wipe out this generation of Jews because of their cowardice and unbelief. Gen X is a term I came up with; it is not found in the Bible.

The Generation of Promise

Those who are children when the Israelites come to the southern border of Judah (what would soon become Judah), who were not old enough to fight when God told them to take the land, they are the generation of promise. Them and those born to them in the desert over the next 40 years.

Generation of Promise A

If you wanted to be complete accurate, there are actually two generations which make up the generation of promise: the GOP A and the GOP B. The GOP A are those who were between the ages of 1 and 20 and they came into the land with their parents, following Moses. After 40 years in the desert, they are now between the ages of 40 and 60.

Generation of Promise B

GOP B are those who were born in the desert wilderness to any of the generations named above. They would be between the ages of 1 and 40, and they had never known slavery or Egypt. This does not mean that they do not suffer from the bad influence of their parents. That is, these same people, having never been under slavery, may express a desire to return to their true homeland, which is Egypt (to their way of thinking).

This is identical to the chart found in Deuteronomy 1 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

Summaries of the Book of Deuteronomy


J. Vernon McGee describes the audience of these lectures: The Book of Deuteronomy was given to the new generation that was unfamiliar with the experiences at Mount Sinai. The new generation had arrived on the east bank of the Jordan River, and it was one month before they would enter the Promised Land. The adults of the generation which had left Egypt were dead, and their bones were bleaching beneath the desert skies because of their unbelief and disobedience. They had broken God's Law - those were sins of commission. They had failed to believe God - those were sins of omission. You see, unbelief is sin. The Law was weak through the flesh. It was the flesh that was wrong, as wrong as it is today. This is the reason God has an altogether different basis on which He saves us. The new generation, now grown to adulthood, needed to have the Law interpreted for them in the light of thirty-eight years' experience in the wilderness. New problems had arisen which were not covered by the Law specifically. Also God tells His people that they are to teach the Law constantly to their children. By the way, I wonder if this isn't the great neglect in the modern home. We talk about the failure of the school and the failure of the church today, and I agree that both have miserably failed in teaching boys and girls, but the real problem is in the home where instruction should have originated.

Scofield was a genius in the realm of summary.

C. I. Scofield Summarizes the Book of Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy consists of the parting counsels of Moses delivered to Israel in view of the impending entrance upon their covenanted possession. It contains a summary of the wilderness wanderings of Israel, which is important as unfolding the moral judgement of God upon those events; repeats the Decalogue to a generation which had grown up in the wilderness; gives needed instruction as the conduct of Israel in the land, and contains the Palestinian Covenant (Deut. 30:1–9). The book breathes the sternness of the Law. Key– words, "Thou shalt"; key–verses; Deut. 11:26–28.

It is important to note that, while the land of promise was unconditionally given Abraham and to his seed in the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 13:15; Gen. 15:7), it was under the conditional Palestinian Covenant (Deuteronomy 28:1 – 30:9) that Israel entered the land under Joshua. Utterly violating the conditions of that covenant, the nation was first disrupted (1 Kings 12) and then cast out of the land (2 Kings 17:1–18; 2 Kings 24:1 – 25:11). But the same covenant unconditionally promises a national restoration of Israel which is yet to be fulfilled

Deuteronomy is in seven divisions:

1.      Summary of the history of Israel in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 1:1-3:29).

2.      A restatement of the Law, with warnings and exhortations (Deuteronomy 4:1 - 11:32).

3.      Instructions, Warnings, and Predictions (Deuteronomy 12:1 - 27:26).

4.      The great closing prophecies summarizing the history of Israel to the second coming of Christ, and containing the Palestinian Covenant (Deuteronomy 28:1 - 30:20).

5.      Last counsels to Priests, Levites, and to Joshua (Deuteronomy 31).

6.      The Song of Moses and his parting blessings (Deuteronomy 32 - 33).

7.      The Death of Moses (Deuteronomy 34).

The time covered by this retrospect is approximately forty years. The actual time during which this book takes place is a period of about 2 months.

From C. I. Scofield, Scofield Notes from the Scofield King James’ Bible; from e-Sword, Deuteronomy book comments (some slight editing).

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Clarke neatly sums up the book of Deuteronomy in a paragraph.

Clarke Summarizes the Book of Deuteronomy

As the Israelites were now about to enter into the promised land, and many of them had not witnessed the different transactions in the wilderness, the former generations having been all destroyed except Joshua and Caleb; to impress their hearts with a deep sense of their obligation to God, and to prepare them for the inheritance which God had prepared for them. Moses here repeats the principal occurrences of the forty years, now almost elapsed; shows them the absolute necessity of fearing, loving, and obeying God; repeats the ten commandments, and particularly explains each, and the ordinances belonging to them, adding others which he had not delivered before; confirms the whole law in a most solemn manner, with exceeding great and precious promises to them that keep it, and a denunciation of the most awful judgments against those who should break it; renews the covenant between God and the people; prophesies of things which should come to pass in the latter days; blesses each of the tribes, prophetically, with the choicest spiritual and temporal blessings; and then, having viewed the whole extent of the land, from the top of Mount Nebo or Pisgah, he yielded up the ghost, and was privately buried by God, leaving Joshua the son of Nun for his successor

The Book of Deuteronomy and the Epistle to the Hebrews contain the best comment on the nature, design, and use of the law; the former may be considered as an evangelical commentary on the four preceding books, in which the spiritual reference and signification of the different parts of the law are given, and given in such a manner as none could give who had not a clear discovery of the glory which was to be revealed. It may be safely asserted that very few parts of the Old Testament Scriptures can be read with greater profit by the genuine Christian than the Book of Deuteronomy.

From Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Bible; from e-Sword, Deuteronomy book comments.

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Matthew Henry summarizes the book of Deuteronomy: This book of Deuteronomy begins with a brief rehearsal of the most remarkable events that had befallen the Israelites since they came from Mount Sinai. In the fourth chapter we have a most pathetic exhortation to obedience. In the twelfth chapter, and so on to the twenty–seventh, are repeated many particular laws, which are enforced (ch. 27 and 28) with promises and threats, blessings and curses, formed into a covenant, ch. 29 and 30. Care is taken to perpetuate the remembrance of these things among them (ch. 31), particularly by a song (ch. 32), and so Moses concludes with a blessing, ch. 33. All this was delivered by Moses to Israel in the last month of his life. The whole book contains the history but of two months (compare Deut. 1:3 with Joshua 4:19), the latter of which was the thirty days of Israel's mourning for Moses. However, Moses covers much of Israel’s history as a people beginning with their receiving of the Law.


Keil and Delitzsch write that Deuteronomy is a hortatory description, explanation, and enforcement of the most essential contents of the covenant revelation and covenant laws, with emphatic prominence given to the spiritual principle of the law and its fulfilment, and with a further development of the ecclesiastical, judicial, political, and civil organization, which was intended as a permanent foundation for the life and well–bring of the people in the land of Canaan. And then they add There is not the slightest trace, throughout the whole book, of any intention whatever to give a new or second law. Therefore, they conclude those laws which are peculiar to our book are not additions made to this legislation for the purpose of completing it, but simply furnish such explanations and illustrations of its meaning as were rendered necessary by the peculiar relations and forms of the religious, social, and political life of the nation in the promised land of Canaan. Throughout the whole book, the law, with its commandments, statutes, and judgments, which Moses laid “this day” before the people, is never described as either new or altered; on the contrary, it is only the law of the covenant, which Jehovah had concluded with His people at Horeb (Deut. 5:1.); and the commandments, statutes, and judgments of this law Moses had received from the Lord upon the Mount (Sinai), that he might teach Israel to keep them (Deut. 5:31.; comp. Deut. 6:20–25).

This is a chapter by chapter summary by Adam Clarke.

Clarke’s Chapter by Chapter Summary

Deuteronomy 1

On the first day of the eleventh month of the fortieth year, after the departure from Egypt, the Israelites being then on the east side of Jordan, in the land of the Moabites, Moses gives them a brief recapitulation of what took place in the wilderness, from their leaving Mount Horeb till they came to Kadesh

Deuteronomy 2

Their travels from Kadesh till they come to the country of the Amorites, with the defeat of Sihon their king

Deuteronomy 3

The war with Og, king of Bashan, with the dividing his land and that of Sihon among the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh

Deuteronomy 4

Moses exhorts them to observe the Divine precepts; threatens those who should violate them; and appoints Bezer, Ramoth, and Golan, to be the cities of refuge on the east side of Jordan

Deuteronomy 5

Repeats the decalogue, and tells the people what effect the publication of it had on their fathers, when God spoke to them from the mount

Deuteronomy 6

Exhorts them to love God with all their heart, and promises them an abundance of good things

Deuteronomy 7

Repeats the command to exterminate the Canaanites, and all vestiges of their idolatry

Deuteronomy 8

Recites the many interpositions of God’s kindness which they had received during their forty years’ travel in the wilderness, and strongly exhorts them to remember those mercies, and not to forfeit a continuance of his favors by ingratitude and disobedience

Deuteronomy 9

Shows them that they were to pass Jordan in a short time, and that God was about to bring them in, not on account of their goodness, but of His mercy

Deuteronomy 10

Gives an account of the second tables of the law, which he made at the command of God; mentions their journey from Beeroth to Jotbath, the choosing of the Levites, and the necessity of having the heart circumcised

Deuteronomy 11

Continues an account of God’s mighty acts in their behalf, and shows the blessings which should come on them who kept his law, and the curse on those who were disobedient. The blessings to be pronounced on Mount Gerizim, and the curses on Mount Ebal

Deuteronomy 12

Commands them to destroy all monuments of idolatry in the land, to offer the different offerings and sacrifices, and to avoid eating of blood

Deuteronomy 13

Ordinances against false prophets, idolatrous cities, etc.

Deuteronomy 14

Forbids their cutting themselves at funerals, recapitulates the law concerning clean and unclean animals, and exhorts them to remember the Levites

Deuteronomy 15

Every seventh year shall be a year of release for the poor of usury; first-born, etc.

Deuteronomy 16

Concerning the annual feasts, passover, pentecost, and tabernacles; the establishment of judges and officers; no groves to be planted near the altar of God

Deuteronomy 17

Idolaters are to be put to death; difficult cases in equity to be referred to the superior judges; of a king and his duties

Deuteronomy 18

All divination is prohibited. The grand promise of an Extraordinary Prophet. How false prophets are to be distinguished

Deuteronomy 19

The laws relative to the cities of refuge, and how the intentional murderer is to be treated

Deuteronomy 20

Laws relative to the carrying on of war; who should be sent back from the army, how they are to treat the Canaanites, and how they are to commence sieges

Deuteronomy 21

How to make expiation for an uncertain murder; marriages with captives; rights of the first-born, etc.

Deuteronomy 22

Things lost or strayed are to be restored to their right owners; men and women must not interchange apparel; improper mixtures to be avoided; of the tokens of virginity; adulterers and adulteresses to be put to death

Deuteronomy 23

Eunuchs, bastards, Moabites, and Ammonites, are not to be permitted to enter into the congregation of the Lord. Harlots not to be tolerated

Deuteronomy 24

Laws relative to divorce; privileges of the newly-married man: concerning pledges, wages, gleanings, etc.

Deuteronomy 25

More than forty stripes shall not be given. If a man die childless, his brother shall take his wife. Of weights, measures, etc.

Deuteronomy 26

Different ceremonies to be used in offering the first-fruits; tithes. Of full self-consecration to God

Deuteronomy 27

The words of the law to be written on stones, and to be set up on Mount Ebal. The tribes which stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the obedient, and those which should stand on Mount Ebal to curse the disobedient. Who they are that are to be cursed

Deuteronomy 28

The blessings of those who are faithful; curses against the disobedient

Deuteronomy 29

A recital of the covenant of God, made not only with them, but for their posterity

Deuteronomy 30

Promises of pardon to the penitent; good and evil, life and death, are set before them

Deuteronomy 31

Moses, being now 120 years old, delivers a copy of the law which he had written into the hands of the priests, to be laid up in the ark, and to be publicly read every seventh year; a charge is given to Joshua

Deuteronomy 32

The prophetical and historical song of Moses: he is commanded to go up to Mount Nebo that he may see the promised land

Deuteronomy 33

The prophetical blessing of the twelve tribes. The indescribable happiness of Israel

Deuteronomy 34

Moses views the promised land from the top of Mount Nebo, dies, and is privately buried by the Lord. The Israelites mourn for him thirty days. Joshua takes command of the people. The character of Moses

From Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Bible; from e-Sword, Deuteronomy chapter comments.

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Deuteronomy—the Big Picture by Darby



Deut. 1–11

The first eleven chapters insist upon obedience, presenting various motives to lead the people to it.

Deut. 12–29

Then come, as far as the end of the twenty-ninth? divers commandments; to which are added, by way of sanction, the consequences of obedience and the curse upon disobedience.

Deut. 30–34

From the thirtieth to the end we have things to come, the blessing of the people, and the death of Moses.

From John Nelson Darby, Synopsis of the Old and New Testaments; from e-Sword, Deuteronomy book comments.

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Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines is an outstanding reference site.

Brief Overview of Deuteronomy from

Bible Survery - Deuteronomy

Hebrew Name - elleh haddebharim "these are the words"

Greek Name - Deuteronomion "The Second Law"

Author - Moses

Date - 1451 BC Approximately

Theme - Reminders of God's Covenant

Types and Shadows - In Deuteronomy Jesus is prophet like unto Moses

From accessed June 19, 2016.

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Summary of the Book of Deuteronomy from

The word "Deuteronomy" comes from the Greek word for "the second law" or "the law copied or repeated." In the book of Deuteronomy Moses is writing a series of speeches to the people of Israel in the plains of Moab on the day before they entered the land of Canaan, the promised land. these messages are intended to speak to every member of the congregation of Israel, not just the religious. The purpose of Moses was to remind them of God's law, and everything that God did for them, and every promise God made to them. Moses explained to them that their new life in the land of Canaan would be blessed or cursed depending on their ability to walk after after God and His law. These words were spoken to them on the 11th month of the final year of Israel's wandering in the wilderness, the 40th year after they left Egypt.

In the first speech (Deuteronomy 1:1-4:43), Moses warns the people of Israel about the sins which had kept their fathers from entering the promised land. He repeatedly encourages them to obey God and reminds them about the events that took place in the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. He carefully explains what happens when there are difficult situations and they choose not to trust the Lord but rather act in obstinance, doubt, fear, and finally disobedience.

The second speech (Deuteronomy 4:44-26:19) goes into the details about the law. It is really the main message here that Moses gives them, the first speech was more of an introduction and preparation for this message. It deals mainly with the legal aspects of the law, moral, civil, and ceremonial. It deals first with the 10 Commandments (Deuteronomy chapters 5-11) and secondly the details behind God's law with the emphasis on following God statutes, religious ordinances, and living with one another as the people of God (Deuteronomy chapters 12-26).

The third speech (Deuteronomy 27:1-31:30) is primarily a message about the blessings of obedience and the curses of disobedience. Moses mainly directs his message to the elders, the priests, the Levites, and all the leaders who are responsible to carry out the ceremonies. The place chosen for the ceremonies was a spot in the center of the land of Israel where the first altar to God have been erected. Once they had crossed over the Jordan River they were commanded to set up great stones on Mount Ebal, with the law of God inscribed and to build a great altar. The 12 tribes of Israel were to be divided between the two hills. Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin were to gather themselves on Mt. Gerizim to recite the blessings which God promised them if they would obey him. Across on Mt. Ebal, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali were to speak the curses which God had promised them if they were to disobey him.

Moses finished his discourses and encourage the people to follow Joshua, their new leader, to cross the Jordan and to take the land which had been promised to their father Abraham. Moses wrote down the law in a book, gave it to the priests, who were to keep it as a perpetual reminder for the people of Israel (Deuteronomy 31:9-13). They were to read it every seventh year when the people assembled for the feast of Tabernacles.

God told Moses and Joshua to come before Him at the tabernacle and He told them of the future infidelity of the children of Israel and instructed Moses to leave the people a song as a witness against them which they were to learn. This song of Moses is recorded in Deuteronomy 32 and it speaks about the blessings which God has bestowed on his people and the corrupt ways in which they responded to those blessings. Deuteronomy 33 speaks about Moses' blessing on the people and Deuteronomy 34 records briefly the account of the death of Moses, the great leader of Israel.

From accessed June 19, 2016.

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Looking Back, Moving Forward. This Deuteronomy graphic is from the Hartford Catholic Biblical School webpage; and it is a good short description of the book of Deuteronomy.

Thirty-eight years previous, the children of Israel, Gen X, stood at the brink of the Land of Promise and suddenly broke into tears, whining about the giants in the land. For their lack of faith, God destroyed that generation almost in its entirety, leaving less than a handful of believers from them. The next generation, the generation of promise, now stood at the edge of the Land of Promise, with the same concerns. They had to go into the land and face the same peoples. However, the true fight is the spiritual one. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness; against the spiritual [forces] of evil in the heavenlies (Eph. 6:12). The people of Israel are related by covenant to the true God, the Maker of the Universe. If God be for us, who can stand against us? (Rom. 8:31b). But God demands faith that results in obedience to Him.

The emphasis of the book of Deuteronomy is upon the common man and his entrance into the land. The laws and regulations presented herein deal more with the lay person than with the priests. Most of the regulations concerning the priests have to do with the support and distribution of the Levites and the priests.


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The Meaning of the Word Deuteronomy: Deuteronomy means the second law, repeated law.

The name Deuteronomy comes from the Greek word which means Second Law or repetition of the law. Interestingly enough, this name is based upon a Greek mistranslation of Deut. 17:18. Deut. 17:18 reads: “And it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his reign, that he shall write for himself a copy of this Torah in a book, from the one before the priests, the Lĕwites.” (The Scriptures 1998+) The Septuagint reads: And when he [the king] is established in his government, the he will write for himself this second law into a book by the hands of the priests the Levites. Second Law is the word deuteronomion (δευτερονόμιον) [pronounced dew-ter-ah-NO-mee-on]. All Moses is saying is that the king must write for himself a copy of the law. The other four names of the first four books of the Torah are based upon the Hebrew; this is based upon the Greek. The Hebrew title of this book is Debarim, which means words.


The Title Deuteronomy (Several Commentators)

McGee: The Greek word deutero means "two" or "second," and nomion is "law." So the title Deuteronomy means "the second law." We are not to infer that this is merely a repetition of the Law as it was given to Moses on Mount Sinai. This is more than a recapitulation. It is another illustration of the law of recurrence, as we have already seen in Scripture. The Spirit of God has a way of saying something in an outline form, then coming back and putting an emphasis upon a particular portion of it.

F. B. Hole: The title of this book, which translated into English, is "Second-Law," indicates its character; for in it Moses recapitulates and enforces the whole law system to which Israel was committed.

Gill explains the various titles, the first sentence being one of the longest run-on sentences in commentary history: This book is sometimes called "Elleh hadebarim", from the words with which it begins; and sometimes by the Jews "Mishneh Torah", the repetition of the law; and so in the Syriac version, with which agrees the Arabic title of it; and when the Greeks, and we after them, call it "Deuteronomy", it is not to be understood of a second, a new, or another law, but of the law formerly delivered, but now repeated, and also more largely explained; to which are likewise added several particular laws, instructions, and directions; all which were necessary, on account of the people of Israel, who were now a new generation, that either were not born, or not at an age to hear and understand the law when given on Mount Sinai; the men that heard it there being all dead, excepting a very few; and these people were also now about to enter into the land of Canaan, which they were to enjoy as long as they kept the law of God, and no longer, and therefore it was proper they should be reminded of it; and besides, Moses was now about to leave them, and having an hearty desire after their welfare, spends the little time he had to be with them, by inculcating into them and impressing on them the laws of God, and in opening and explaining them to them, and enforcing them on them, which were to be the rule of their obedience, and on which their civil happiness depended. And sometimes the Jews call this book "the book of reproofs", because there are in it several sharp reproofs of the people of Israel for their rebellion and disobedience; and so the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem begin it by calling it the words of reproof which Moses spake.

The Jews appear to have a different title for this book. The second word of Deut. 1:1 is debârîym (דְּבָרִים) [pronounced dawb-vawr-EEM], and with the definite article it means, the words. Many Jewish Bibles call the book of Deuteronomy by the name, Devarim (see the ORT—the Kaplan translation—or the Orthodox Jewish Bible).

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Authorship: It is possible that Joshua wrote the first five verses of Deuteronomy and it is very likely that he pieced together the last three or so chapters, interweaving it with explanatory narrative. However the majority of Deuteronomy is messages delivered by Moses to the people of Israel. These messages are said to be both spoken and written by Moses in Deut. 1:1, 5 31:9, 22, 24–27 and this is attested to throughout Scripture by Old Testament writers (1Kings 2:3 8:53 2Kings 14:6 18:12), by the Apostles (Acts 3:22–23 7:37–38 Rom. 10:19) and by our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 19:7–8 Mark 10:3–5 12:19 John 5:46–47). I won’t go through and quote all of these passages, but as an example: These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel beyond Jordan in the wilderness...And Moses went and spoke these words unto all Israel ... And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto priests the sons of Levi ... And it came to pass when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished that Moses commanded the Levites that bear the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, saying, “Take this book of the law, and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of Jehovah your God, that it may be there for a witness against you. For I know your rebellion, and your stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, [because this is a witness that] you have been rebellious against Jehovah; and how much more after my death.” (Deuteronomy 1:1a 31:1,9,24–27)


Barnes: It is generally allowed that Deuteronomy must, in substance, have come from one hand. The book presents, the last four chapters excepted, an undeniable unity in style and treatment; it is cast, so to speak, in one mould; its literary characteristics are such that we cannot believe the composition of it to have been spread over any long period of time: and these facts are in full accord with the traditional view which ascribes the Book to Moses. When it is suggested that someone other than Moses wrote this book, Barnes writes: The alleged anachronisms, discrepancies, and difficulties admit for the most part of easy and complete explanation; and no serious attempt has ever been made to meet the overwhelming presumption drawn from the unanimous and unwavering testimony of the ancient Jewish Church and nation that Moses is the author of this book. He then adds, noting that Jesus recognized the authorship of Moses: To assert then that He who is “the Truth” believed Deuteronomy to be the work of Moses and quoted it expressly as such, though it was in fact a forgery introduced into the world seven or eight centuries after the Exodus, is in effect, even though not in intention, to impeach the perfection and sinlessness of His nature.


Barnes: To assert that He Who is “the Truth” believed Deuteronomy to be the work of Moses and quoted it expressly as such, though it was in fact a forgery introduced into the world seven or eight centuries after the Exodus, is in effect, even though not in intention, to impeach the perfection and sinlessness of His nature, and seems thus to gainsay the first principles of Christianity.


Paraphrasing James Coffman: The current theory that the book of Deuteronomy is authored by some unknown forger called "The Deuteronomist" is a colossal absurdity.


Coffman: If Moses indeed did not write this, the value of the books are infinitely diminished. The invariable affirmation of the Pentateuch itself is that Moses wrote it, and, indeed, if he did not, then we have a tissue of lies here, the value of them not merely diminished, but destroyed! 


Coffman, at the end of Deut 34, adds this: Our final thought with reference to this long and intensive study is one of surprise. Through long contact with the writings of critical enemies of the Bible, this writer had unconsciously come to believe that, after all, maybe there were some really intelligent reasons behind the widespread rejection of these five nooks as the Books of Moses. Our surprise is that no shadow of any such intelligent reason exists. As a study in the University of Jerusalem has affirmed; "A careful long-term, computerized study of the whole Pentateuch reveals that one author, and one author only, may be credited with writing it." This report was circulated over the international wire services in all the newspapers of the world in 1982.


Jesus said, and then Coffman adds: "They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them ... If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, if one rise from the dead" (Luke 16:29,31). Here is one of the profoundest truths ever revealed. Where them is a will to disbelieve, no evidence of any kind whatever is effective. What Jesus said here was profoundly true of the Jewish Hierarchy in Jerusalem, men who had been present for the funeral of Lazarus, and were also present four days and nights later when Jesus Christ raised Lazarus from the dead; and would they believe? Indeed not! They freely admitted that "a notable miracle" had been done and that they were unable to deny it, and therefore they decided that, in order to prevent "the whole world" from believing on Jesus, they would murder Lazarus! 

Here is the deal: in order for there to have been some false author hundreds of years later, this book would have had to have been introduced to the religious Jews hundreds of years after the fact for the first time, with one or more people saying, “Here is what Moses wrote;” whereas, for those hundreds of years, Moses was known to have written Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers (and maybe Job)—but not the book of Deuteronomy. People can do things like this and they might even build up a strong cult following (as per the Book of Mormon); but the idea that a new book, coming out of nowhere, could be suddenly introduced into a very religious, God-worshiping culture, and then be universally accepted strains credibility. “Oh, yeah, this book has always existed; Moses spoke these things to the children of Israel. We just kept this book in the back and forgot that we had it.” This would not pass the smell test.

They could not start reading the book of Deuteronomy in the synagogues, or wherever, without the people saying, “What the hell is this? Where did this come from? All my life, I have never heard this book read from before.”

Furthermore, the book of Deuteronomy is not a whole new set of laws which reform the worship of Yehowah. There are a few things in the book which are not found in the previous 3 books of the Law; but it is by no means revolutionary. Moses is essentially teaching the Law of God to the next generation before they enter into the Land of Promise. Why would some group of religious types, behind the scene, hundreds of years later, produce a book, which virtually changes nothing in their practices and doctrine, and then stealthily slip it into the canon of Scripture as if it had been there all along? Do you see how devoid of logic this approach is? Logically, it makes perfect sense that this is what Moses taught to the generation of promise; but there is no logic to this book having been created hundreds of years later—for what reason would that have been done?

We have books written which substantively change the doctrines of the religion which they glom onto. The Book of Mormon gloms onto Christianity; the Koran gloms onto Christianity and Judaism. These books purport to be a continuation of the established faith, but they make a myriad of changes. Only a fool thinks that Christianity and Islam are similar in faith and practice. These books were written so that some individuals could portray themselves as the new prophets; but they did not advance Christianity; they changed it dramatically. When people introduce a new holy book, they are not looking to reaffirm all that has come before (“Yep, those other books of Moses—they were exactly on target!”).

Deuteronomy did not do this. So, giving a late date to the writing of Deuteronomy simply lacks motive, logic and any sort of proof.

Furthermore, the Jews were very persnickety about their canon of Scripture. All Jewish writings were not simply added into the canon. We are the same way with the Christian canon. So, when a book comes out of the 2nd, 3rd of 4th centuries a.d., Christian scholars do not flock to that book and proclaim it to belong to the long lost true canon of Scripture. In fact, when it is written after the 1st century, Christian scholars simply reject it out of hand, giving credence only to the books written by apostles or by those closely associated with apostles. As a result, there are dozens of books written close to, but after the time of the apostles, and contemporary Christian scholars simply reject those books, as did the early Christian scholars. So, whereas you might find a few people, who know virtually nothing about the origin of the canon of Scripture, who get a far-away look in their eyes when they mention the gospels of Thomas or Peter, or the Apocalypse of Paul, no serious Christian scholar gives such books a second thought. My point being, no ancient Jewish scholar would simply accept a new book called Deuteronomy, written in 400 b.c., but purported to be written a thousand years earlier. People simply did not write phony books, with the result that they said, “Hey, let’s put this into the canon;” and all the Jewish scholars said, “Okay, let’s do that! Great idea!” Do you see why it is reasonable to classify this approach as absurd?

Because the bulk of Deuteronomy is verbal, its literary style, delivery and vocabulary are markedly different from the previous four books. This does not indicate that authorship should be ascribed to anyone other than Moses. Bear in mind that the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers are a combination of narrative (which would have reflected Moses’ style of writing) and God’s exact words. But Moses speaking to an audience would have a different style than his writing of narrative (narrative is constantly moved along with the wâw consecutive; which would not be used nearly as much in a speech or sermon).

Let me take another run at this topic: the authorship of Deuteronomy has been disputed by the Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis, which came out of the German universities a century ago. They claimed that writing did not exist during the time of Moses and that the purpose of the book of Deuteronomy was to glorify the priesthood at Jerusalem and to centralize the worship at Jerusalem. Several scholars have concurred, placing the date of the writing of Deuteronomy somewhere between 680–621 b.c. by a prophet who hid the book in the temple so that it would be found and adhered to. Then, in 621 b.c., Hilkiah found this book, gave it to Josiah, and Josiah used this bogus book in order to bring about the religious reform found in 2Kings 22–23. Now let’s be realistic: if there was a prophet who was so intent upon religious reform, he certainly would not have been willing to wait several decades in order for religious reform to occur. Furthermore, why would a person so devious and duplicitous be interested in religious reform? How can these scholars even call this man a prophet? Furthermore, this book is littered with prophecies and a stern warning that if a prophet predicts something and it does not come to pass, then he should be executed as a false prophet. How could someone so duplicitous write such accurate prophecies? Furthermore, archeology has shown that writing predated Moses by easily a millennium. And finally, if the purpose of this book as a forgery was to centralize worship in Jerusalem and to glorify the priesthood, then why is the priesthood only alluded to only a few times and why is Jerusalem not even mentioned at all by name?

Let’s think about this logically: is there any major doctrine or set of doctrines in Deuteronomy which are not found elsewhere or change dramatically a set of previous doctrines? There are a host of cultic books, like the Book of Mormon, or Mary Baker Patterson Glover Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, or whatever Watchtower publication kicked off the Jehovah Witnesses with—and these books proposed great changes to orthodox Christianity. But Deuteronomy did not. If Deuteronomy is the great, important forgery, then what is its purpose? To say, “No change here. All of the doctrines found in the Old Testament remain intact in this book.” What sense does that make?


In fact, Luther wrote: that Deuteronomy was: ...a compendium and summary of the whole law and wisdom of the people of Israel, wherein those things which related to the priests and Levites are omitted, and only such things included as the people generally required to know.

Vestiges of this corrupt theory can be found throughout certain reference books; I find it in the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia once and awhile, and throughout the otherwise excellent BDB Lexicon. One reason to write a bogus book of Scripture would be to convey new and different ideas—ideas opposed to known revelation. A good case in point is the Book of Mormon. However, as we examine this book verse by verse, what will become apparent is that there is not the slightest trace, throughout the whole book, of any intention whatever to give a new or second law. Some claim that this book was written by an earnest student of Isaiah, but one of his repeated topics is the remnant of Israel, a phrase never found in this book; and one of Isaiah’s favorite titles for God is the Holy One of Israel, also not found in this book. My point is, that the idea this book is a forgery, written almost a millennium after the fact in order to achieve religious reform is illogical from any standpoint. This is simply a Satanic attack upon God’s Word. If you deny that Moses wrote this, then you deny that this book is God’s Word and that every reference in the Old Testament and New to Moses as the human author indicates that those books are not God-breathed either. The fact of Mosaic authorship is more than just a minor detail.

We do not know the exact nuts and bolts of Moses’ preparation and delivery. Some portions match the history found in Numbers almost word-for-word. This suggests that (1) Moses had these books right in front of him when he was teaching, and taught from it almost word-for-word; or (2) he prepared his sermons from his previously recorded material. Since we have the book of Deuteronomy, this suggests the latter is what took place.

There are three basic reasons which we will examine: Deuteronomy as a whole is completely consistent with the times of Moses as to geography, local color, nations. (2) Deuteronomy continually asserts the authorship of Moses, which is confirmed throughout the Scripture. (3) The material herein contained are appropriate for a nation on the brink of entering into the Land of Promise; and not with a nation in the desert, a nation occupying the land, or a nation divided in the land. It is a military book of law, a code of conquest designed to take a people into a land to conquer it.

Let’s take this in more detailed points as to why it is most logical for Moses to be the author:

Moses is the Author of Deuteronomy

1.      The book of Deuteronomy continually claims to be the words of Moses (Deut. 1:1 4:44 29:1). Continually, the use of the 1st person singular is tied to Moses and continually, we are told that Moses spoke these words to Israel (Deut. 1:16, 18 3:21 4:5, 14 5:31 29:5). No other book in Scripture so clearly identifies its author as does this book. To assert otherwise is to completely negate the divine inspiration of God’s Word. That is, God’s Word cannot contain a flaw (other than material which has been added or changed in Scripture); if this were not the words of Moses, then it would be clear that this cannot be God’s Word.

2.      Moses speaks in the 1st person on many occasions throughout the book of Deuteronomy, something which he did not do in the previous 3 books.

3.      There is a distinct paternal vein running throughout the book of Moses, which belies Mosaic authorship. Moses has led these young people, many of them since birth and the balance since their teens and younger. Their parents have died out. There are no elders to consult, they have no parents or grandparents to go to. Therefore, we see continued heartfelt warnings of Moses as one would prepare one’s own child upon separation.

4.      Joshua, the successor to Moses, also testifies that this is the writing of Moses, in Joshua 1:7 and throughout the last couple of chapters of Deuteronomy, assuming that Joshua pieced those chapters together (Deut. 31:30 32:44 33:1).

5.      Other writers of Old Testament Scripture also attributed the authorship of Deuteronomy to Moses (Judges 3:4 2Kings 14:6 Ezra 3:2 Neh. 1:7 Psalm 103:7 Dan. 9:11 Mal. 4:4). To deny that these are the words of Moses is to deny that the rest of the Old Testament is God’s Word. Furthermore, we have many references to Deuteronomy or to the laws found therein in books which were written after the actual date of Deuteronomy, but prior to the date that Deuteronomy was supposedly forged (Joshua 6:17–18 7:25 8:27, 29–30, 32, 34–35 10:40 11:12, 15 Judges 1:17 17:13) Hosea 4:4 5:10 8:13 9:3 Amos 2:6–8). See either the exegesis of these passages or the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible; ©1976; Vol. 2, pp. 116–117 for the exact ties to Deuteronomy (we will quote many of them later on in this study). Now how exactly to you make references to a book which has not been yet written or how do you follow the laws and precepts of a book which has not yet been written?

6.      There are many places in the book of Deuteronomy where a more archaic language is found than in the other books. The Pulpit Commentary tells us The antiquity of this book is vouched for by the archaisms with which it abounds. The use of הוּא in both genders, which occurs one hundred and ninety-five times in the Pentateuch, is found thirty-six times in Deuteronomy; while of the eleven places in which הִיא is written not one is in this book. The Pulpit Commentary gives another page of examples like this, where a more ancient form of a word is found in Deuteronomy (along with the other books of the Law), but rarely found elsewhere.

7.      Other examples of antiquity from the Pulpit Commentary:

         a.      Deuteronomy 7:1, etc. Intercourse with the nations of Canaan is here strenuously forbidden to the Israelites. This was fitting before they took possession of that land; at a later period such a prohibition would have been superfluous, if not ridiculous.

         b.      Deuteronomy 25:9. Reference is here made to the taking off of the shoe as a symbol of the transference of an inheritance, in a way which shows, as already observed, that the usage was then common. In the time of the judges this was regarded as a usage of "the former time" (Ruth 4:7). The time of Deuteronomy, therefore, must have preceded that of the judges.

         c.      Deuteronomy 25:17, etc. The Israelites are commanded to remember what Amalek did to them by the way, as they came out of Egypt, etc. Such an injunction it would have been absurd to publish in writing at a much later period in the history of Israel, long after the Amalekites had ceased to exist as a nation. So also of the Canaanites (Deuteronomy 20:16-18).

         d.      The Pulpit Commentary gives another full page of similar examples, which logically places Deuteronomy where we expect to find it in time.

8.      As has been mentioned, the most quoted book in the New Testament is Deuteronomy, with such phrases as Moses truly said (Acts 3:22), Moses said (Rom. 10:19), and it stands written in the Law of Moses (1Cor. 9:9). To deny the authorship of Moses is to deny the divine nature of New Testament Scripture.

9.      Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Creator of the Universe, also quoted from the book of Deuteronomy more often than any other Old Testament book and attributed authorship to Moses when He said Moses permitted (Matt. 19:8), Moses said (Mark 7:10) and Moses wrote (Luke 20:28). To deny that Moses wrote Deuteronomy is tantamount to denying that Jesus Christ is God, our Savior. Most of you have been sheltered and don’t realize that this sort of teaching exists—that Deuteronomy was not written by Moses. In fact, there are many seminaries which teach this blasphemy. The reason we are spending time with it is that the inspiration of God’s Word, the divine nature of Jesus Christ and our salvation all hang upon the authorship of Moses of this book. Remove Moses as the author and this calls into question the most basic issue of our Christian life—our salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Now perhaps you see why this is an important issue.

10.    We would naturally expect this book to be filled with issues and experiences personally important to Moses. He refers to Egypt as a house of slaves (Deut. 5:6b); the burden of being the leader and judge of this people (Deut. 1:9–18); the viciousness of the attack of Amalek is recalled (Deut. 25:17); the murmurings of the people against him (Deut. 9:22–24); the construction material of the ark of the covenant (Deut. 10:3); and, of course, there is the mention of those close to him: Joshua (Deut. 3:21, 28 31:3, 7, 14, 23), Aaron (Deut. 9:20 10:6) and Miriam (Deut. 24:9). As has been mentioned the bulk of the first four chapters are historical and throughout the rest of the book, there are personal references and remembrances. No later prophet comes anywhere close to mentioning this much about Moses in his own work; and no later prophet reflects upon this history with the close, personal involvement that we see in Deuteronomy.

11.    An example which should be dealt with separately is in Exodus, Moses prays on behalf of the people of Israel when they sinned with the golden calf—however, nothing is said of Aaron. However, in Deut. 9:20, Moses mentions that he prayed on behalf of Aaron as well. This is the sort of additional information we would expect from Moses, but not from a writer from a millennium later. ZPEB: Could all these personal Mosaic features have been introduced by some reformer, priest, prophet, or Levite, in order to invest his collection of laws with a Mosaic dress? Is it probable that such an author would have succeeded in establishing a correspondence so natural, so close in manifold and minute particulars, and so profound? Or is it more reasonable to think that this result proceeds from a true historical connection between the book of the law and the man whose name it has always borne? On every hand if Deuteronomy is acknowledged to be a great book which exerted great influence, should it not also have a great author? Who can fill that place so worthily as the old and tried leader who brought the Israelites out of Egypt, shared their experiences and laid the foundations of their faith?

12.    Other than one remark that Moses was the meekest man on the earth, nowhere throughout the entire Pentateuch do we find a single verse praising Moses until Deut. 34:10 in his eulogy.

13.    Another remarkable proof of Mosaic authorship is the sudden intrusion of history when dealing with the Law, e.g., the hiring of Balaam to curse Israel (Deut. 23:4) and the evil attack of the Amalekites (Deut. 25:17). We would expect to find these things mentioned in the historical section; however, they are so fresh on the mind of Moses that they come out in the area dealing with Law.

14.    There are geographical and historical information which suggests the writer was a person who observed these things firsthand. Manley wrote: The account of the journeyings in chapters i-iii is altogether realistic and quite unlike an introduction prefixed to a collection of old laws; it bears every sign of originality. The views described and the features of the omissions are also significant: there is not hint of Jerusalem, nor of Ramah, dear to Samuel’s heart, not even of Shiloh, where the Tabernacle came to rest. Everything points to its historical character and early date. The detailed geographical observations would be superfluous in a document designed to sell some set of religious doctrines which weren’t going over very well.

15.    Throughout Deuteronomy, there are fervent commands to destroy the Canaanites (Deut. 7:16, 22) and to completely blot out Amalek (Deut. 25:17–19), commands which would have been archaic if written in the time of Josiah.

16.    There are also historical significance to the early portion of Deuteronomy which would have been meaningless had they been written hundreds of years later. Moses mentions the areas where the kings of Bashan dwelt in Deut. 1:4; kings who disappeared from history. Moses comments about the Emmin, a people who also disappeared after his time (Deut. 2:10–11; see Gen. 14:5). Moses gives a brief history of the Horites in Deut. 2:12, a point of interest to his listeners, but entirely irrelevant to an audience a millennium later. And Moses mentions the Zamzummin, a Canaanite race, which was known to his audience, but unknown to history (Deut. 2:20–21). How many writers of forgery would have thought to have included this minutiae?

17.    In Deuteronomy, we have an area called the hill country of the Amorites (Deut. 1:7, 19, 20, 44) which, soon thereafter becomes the hill country of Judah (Joshua 11:16, 21). A later author may not have thought to make such a descriptive change.

18.    Had Deuteronomy been written as a forgery sometime prior to the reign of Josiah, then we would expect to see something about the divided kingdom or Assyrian oppression. However, the names of Judah and Ephraim only occur once each in the blessing of Moses (Deut. 33) and the Assyrians are not mentioned (however, Assyria is mentioned twice in the book of Genesis). The threat of exile should involve Assyria or Babylonia, and not Egypt (Deut. 28:68). It is almost impossible for someone to forge a document which supposedly existed a millennium previous without in some way betraying his present period of time.

19.    Had some prophet written Deuteronomy as a forgery a millennium later, he would have been required to study intensely the previous three books of Moses to retrieve all of the details found in Deuteronomy. That being done, that prophet could have easily cited the pertinent passages from the previous books to centralize the worship in Jerusalem (the men had already been instructed to gather three times a year in a place which God would appoint) (Ex. 23:17 34:23 this is by implication of Lev. 16); to extol the support and authority of the sons of Aaron and the Levites (Num. 3:9–10 4:1–49 8:18–26 81:–18); and to call for the destruction of idolatry (Ex. 34:14–17 Lev. 19:1–8 Num. 25:1–18 31:1–16). For what reason would such a clever forger be needed, if support for these things already exists in established Scripture?

20.    What is clear is that in Deuteronomy, there were more references to a place of centralized worship (Deut. 12:5, 11–13) than in the previous books. Since they were about to enter into the land immediately after the completion of the book of Deuteronomy and since the laws previously given applied to both their worship in the desert and in the land, it would only stand to reason that centralized worship would be implied in Exodus, Numbers and Leviticus (recall, they built one tabernacle only) and emphasized in Deuteronomy. The problem with these silly non-Mosaic authorship theories is that their originators never studied the previous books of the Bible very carefully. If Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers are carefully studied, then the precept that Deuteronomy was necessary to centralize worship, to strengthen the priesthood and to stamp out idolatry becomes a flawed foundation on which to build a flawed theory of authorship.

21.    How exactly does someone around 600 b.c. sell the idea of a new book of Scripture, and then insert this book naturally between Numbers and Joshua? That would be like people a few hundred years ago devising a cleverly written book (the Book of Mormon) and then selling it as Scripture. Sure, there would be a cult following, but Israel overall would not buy into something like this. Not only would this be like selling something like the Book of Mormon to Christians today, but also convincing them that it was originally written during the time of Jesus, and we just found it, hurray! Such an idea suggests that the ancient Jews were a bunch of dolts who could be sold any crazy idea.

22.    Let me remind you that there have been dozens of false gospels and false epistles and revelations to be written hundreds of years after the first century. None of these has ever been accepted as legitimate.

23.    At the time of the writing of Deuteronomy, the authority to uphold the Law was placed in the hands of priests (Deut. 17:9), judges (Deut. 16:18) and the elders of Israel (Deut. 21:21). Had this been written during the time of the divided kingdom, the emphasis of enforcement of the Law would have been upon the king of Israel; however, the concept of kingship is discussed once and that in a way to limit and guide one who would later become king (Deut. 17:14–20).

24.    During the time of Moses, there were covenants which followed a certain form called suzerainty-vassal treaties (which we have covered before). There was a particular form for these covenants to be written in and it has been shown by several authors that the book of Deuteronomy follows that form, e.g., G.E. Mendenhall, Law and Covenant in Israel and in the Ancient Near East; Pittsburgh: Biblical Colloquium, 1955 and Meredith Kilne, Treat of the Great King, Eerdmans, 1963.

25.    Among those who accept Deuteronomy as Scripture—Christians, Jews and Muslims—all have historically accepted this book from its inception as the writing of Moses. Doubting the time and authorship of this book is a relatively new thing.

26.    Moses had spent forty years out in the wilderness with the Israelites while God destroyed generation X and one thing that he would logically like to leave with this next generation is the fact that they will go into the land and they will conquer it. Thirty-five times in the book of Deuteronomy, we find Moses using the phrase “go in and possess”; thirty-four times he says “the land which Yehowah your God is giving you.” It is logical that Moses would continually use these phrases; it is less logical for a writer of several centuries later to do so.

The Pulpit Commentary continues with pages and pages of additional arguments as well as counter-arguments for those who claim this book was not written by Moses. I think that I have beat this horse until it is dead already. If you have any doubts whatsoever, or have heard additional arguments made against a Mosaic authorship (such as the rock set up by Joshua violates part of Deuteronomy), consult StudyLight.Org for more information on this subject.

Bear in mind that Satan is looking to chip away at anything in the book of Truth; so, convincing thousands if not tens of thousands of people that this book is not written by Moses and that it came out of a completely different era powerfully destroys the veracity of Scripture. Logically if a book of Scripture is not written by the person it is said to be written by, then that pretty much dumps the concept of the inspired Word of God.

Bear also in mind that the justification for the books of the Law being written much later (that there was no writing from this time period) has been shown to be wholly and totally false. Let me give you an analogous situation: if a modern man were found to have the exact same bone structure as a homo sapiens, a Neanderthal or a hominid, that would completely crush evolutionary theory. However, guaranteed, people would fight twice as hard to have it considered a legitimate science nevertheless.

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Hengstenberg has well observed (Ev. K. Z. 1862, No. 5, pp. 49ff.), “the address of Moses is in perfect harmony with his situation. He speaks like a dying father to his children. The words are earnest, inspired, impressive. He looks back over the whole of the forty years of their wandering in the desert, reminds the people of all the blessings they have received, of the ingratitude with which they have so often repaid them, and of the judgments of God, and the love that continually broke forth behind them; he explains the laws again and again, and adds what is necessary to complete them, and is never weary or urging obedience to them in the warmest and most emphatic words, because the very life of the nation was bound up with this; he surveys all the storms and conflicts which they have passed through, and, beholding the future in the past, takes a survey also of the future history of the nation, and sees, with mingled sorrow and joy, how the three great features of the past - viz., apostasy, punishment, and pardon - continue to repeat themselves in the future also. - The situation throughout is the time when Israel was standing on the border of the promised land, and preparing to cross the Jordan; and there is never any allusion to what formed the centre of the national life in future times - to Jerusalem and its temple, or to the Davidic monarchy. The approaching conquest of the land is merely taken for granted as a whole; the land is dressed throughout in all the charms of a desired good, and no reference is ever made to the special circumstances of Israel in the land about to be conquered.”

Specific Objections to the authorship of Moses, apart from the JEPD theory:

Objections to Mosaic Authorship

1.      Some references appear to come from a period of time subsequent to the time of Moses. Deut. 2:10–12 for instance has information which may not have been known by Moses. However, most scholars see these verses as being parenthetical, added after Israel entered into the land (and very likely by Joshua who would know this information). These short, parenthetical additions are given as explanatory clauses or to update the names of certain cities or groups of peoples.

2.      The book of Deuteronomy differs in style, content and vocabulary from the previous three books of the Pentateuch. Most of the quotations in the previous few books were direct quotations from God. God would have a different vocabulary and style than Moses. Furthermore, some of the writing in the previous books was written narrative, therefore naturally differing in style from the oratory message. As a teacher, I have read many student reports and only one written report comes to mind as a report which sounded as though it were spoken. I recall even making a comment to that effect on the student’s paper, noting that it was a very pleasant, readable style. The subject matter of the previous books was very different. Moses dealt with the building of the tabernacle, the numbering of the tribes, the positioning of the troops, the dietary laws, the leprotic laws, etc. etc. Different subject matter requires a different vocabulary. I have personally written hundreds of mathematical worksheets and the vocabulary found in those worksheets are different than the vocabulary found in this book. What would be unreasonable would be to expect that the style found in the previous three books and this book would be similar. This would be like the fact that the Book of Mormon, although written in the 1800's, was written in an old English style, much like the KJV of the Bible. Now that is silly. A book written in America over two centuries after the KJV, which was produced in England, should not be in the same style.

3.      Critics charge that the discovery of this book by Josiah was a fraudulent occurrence and that he used this forgery (written by himself or by trusted men of no character) to (a) destroy idolatrous worship, (b) to give greater power and authority to the priesthood and (c) to centralize the worship of Yehowah in Jerusalem. (a) First off, objections to idolatry occur throughout the previous four books and the book of Joshua. Josiah (or some priest from his era) do not need to use some forgery in order to support the destruction of idolatrous worship. (b) The priesthood is given very little mention in the book of Deuteronomy; their powers and authority are nowhere specifically increased. (c) Finally, as has been pointed out, the name Jerusalem, does not occur in the book of Deuteronomy. In a book so filled with prophecy, it would be natural in the hands of a forger to name Jerusalem by name as a prophecy. If this is what a forger wanted people to believe, then why is there not a single “prophecy” inserted in Deuteronomy about Jerusalem?

4.      It is said that certain laws found in Deuteronomy differ from those in the previous three books. The easy, general explanation is that some of what is found in the previous three books deal with a nation on the move in the desert and wilderness. A simple example of this is the troop movement and organization surrounding the ark. This is specific to those circumstances at that time. A major change which was about to take place was that Israel would soon settle into her own land and there were be some minor differences due to that.

5.      The phrase beyond the Jordan is used to describe the land east of the Jordan, which is where Moses and company were encamped. This would appear to be a phrase used by those living on the western side of the Jordan. However, this was a specific term which means the other-side land and was applied to the portion east of the Jordan, despite the location of the writer or speaker. Today, we still call the land Trans-Jordan, whether we live in the United States, in Israel or in Trans-Jordan.

6.      Occasionally, we find the phrase until this day. This can refer to (a) the period of time of Moses, looking back over the past forty years; (b) the perspective of Joshua, who amended the book of Deuteronomy in perhaps a half dozen places. In no case are we ever looking backwards several hundred years.

7.      Some critics claim that, because Deuteronomy contains an account of the death of Moses, this has to be a bogus book. When we get to the final chapters of Moses, we will find that most of them were pieced together and edited by Joshua, adding in the blessing and the song of Moses. Therefore, to find an account of the death of Moses is perfectly natural and more indicative of an eyewitness account (like Joshua) rather than a writer from a time period several hundred years later.

For most of you, it is sufficient to say that Moses wrote the book of Deuteronomy because this is God’s Word and that is what God’s Word says. So the past couple of pages may have seemed as though I was beating a dead horse. However, since this theory persists and continually finds its way into Christian literature and Christian seminaries, it is important that it be dealt with carefully. Whereas, the bulk of the quotations found in the previous three books are direct quotes from God which Moses conveyed to the people, Moses spoke to the people in this book in his own words, as moved by the Holy Spirit. Now, don’t get me wrong—he didn’t just start speaking and all of these things came out. We have a written document which recorded what he said, and since voice to print had not been perfected on their computers as of yet, this would indicate the Moses first wrote these dissertations out and then presented them. If you didn’t catch that, let me explain: with their writing materials and their speed of writing, even without vowels, it would have been quite difficult to keep up with Moses and take word-by-word dictation. Since we have this information recorded for us in written form, that would logically indicate that Moses wrote it down first and then read from his notes.

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J. Vernon McGee gives the short refutation of someone other than Moses writing Deuteronomy: The authorship of Deuteronomy has been challenged by the critics. The original criticism was that Moses could not have written it because no writing existed in Moses' day. That theory has been soundly refuted, as we now know that writing existed long before Moses' time. Also the critics stated that the purpose of the book was to glorify the priesthood at Jerusalem, yet neither the priesthood nor Jerusalem is even mentioned in the Book of Deuteronomy. It is amazing to see that this Graf -Wellhausen hypothesis, as it is known, which came out of the German universities years ago, is still being taught in many of our seminaries in the United States.


Arno Clement Gaebeleinon the importance of Mosaic authorship of Deuteronomy: If Deuteronomy was not written by Moses immediately before his death, then the book has no claim whatever upon our confidence. It must be rejected as a colossal fraud. And if this book was not written by Moses and therefore must be classed as a forgery, then the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ concerning this book would have to be dismissed as untrustworthy; that would rob Him of His infallibility. Furthermore the entire New Testament teaching would be affected by it, for the New Testament writers in their inspired testimony make constant use of the book of Deuteronomy.

When Critics Ask covers this same topic:

Biblical Criticism and the Authorship of Deuteronomy

How could Moses have written this when biblical criticism claims it was written many centuries later?

PROBLEM: According to this verse, “these are the words which Moses spoke.” However, many biblical critics claim that Deuteronomy was written in the third century B .C. , many centuries after Moses’ time.

SOLUTION: There are many arguments that support the claim that Moses wrote the Book of Deuteronomy.


1.      There is the repeated claim of the book that “these are the words of Moses (1:1 ; 4:44 ; 29:1). To deny this is to claim the book is a total fraud.

2.      Joshua, Moses’ immediate successor, attributed the Book of Deuteronomy to Moses, exhorting the people of Israel to “observe to do … all the law which Moses … commanded” (Joshua 1:7).

3.      The remainder of the OT attributes Deuteronomy to Moses (cf. Judges 3:4 1 Kings 2:3 2 Kings 14:6 Ezra 3:2 Neh. 1:7 Psalm 103:7 Dan. 9:11 Mal. 4:4).

4.      Deuteronomy is the book of the Law most quoted in the NT, often with words like “Moses truly said” (Acts 3:22), “Moses says” (Rom. 10:19), or “it is written in the law of Moses” (1Cor. 9:9).

5.      Our Lord quoted the Book of Deuteronomy (6:13 , 16) as the authoritative Word of God when He resisted the devil (Matt. 4:7 , 10), and He also directly attributed it to the hand of Moses, saying, “Moses said” (Mark 7:10) or “Moses wrote” (Luke 20:28).

6.      The geographical and historical details of the book display a firsthand acquaintance such as Moses would have had.

7.      Scholarly studies of the form and content of Near Eastern covenants indicate that Deuteronomy is from the period of Moses (see Meredith Kline, Treaty of the Great King, Eerdmans, 1963).

In addition to all of this, the apparent references within the book to a later period are easily explained (see comments on Deut. 2:10–12). Of course, the last chapter of Deuteronomy, being about Moses’ death (chap. 34) was probably written by his successor Joshua, in accordance with the custom of the day.

This was taken from Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe, When Critics Ask; Victor Books; taken from e-Sword, Deut. 1:1.

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Coffman: No other Biblical book is so specifically assigned to its author as is this one.

Coffman on the False Allegations of Critics

"These are the words which Moses spake ..." (Deut. 1:1a) These are the most important words in the Book of Deuteronomy, and until these words are properly understood, there is no such thing as understanding the whole book. The words as they stand in the sacred text are either true, or they are untrue, and we wish to register at the outset here our conviction that the words are true. Deuteronomy is the Sacred Scripture to which Jesus Christ himself made appeal when assailed by Satan himself in the wilderness of our Lord's temptation, and the proposition that the eternal Son of God in his contest with the prince of evil would have relied upon a human book full of lies is itself a preposterous falsehood!

No educated Christian can be unaware of the allegations of unbelieving enemies of the Bible to the effect that neither the Mosaic authorship of Deuteronomy, nor the 15th century date of its production can be allowed. The arrogant claim of such Biblical critics is that devout priests during the reign of Manasseh wrote Deuteronomy, hid it in the temple, and then had it "discovered" in the days of Josiah! That little fairy tale is not half as credible as those written by Hans Christian Andersen! Now, it is not so much the impossibility of swallowing such a Gargantuan lie that we wish to emphasize just here. It is the somewhat subtle insinuation that those "wonderful, devout priests" did this monstrous forgery "in the service of God," that what they did was acceptable as morally justified by their entire generation, despite the obvious fact of its being deceitful, fraudulent, immoral, untruthful, and as crooked as anything hell ever desired! Now it is precisely this postulation of the Biblical enemies that we wish to explore a little further.

Note that they approve of the fraud, duplicity, and dishonesty of the alleged priesthood that concocted Deuteronomy "in the name of Moses." The critics do not often state this approval, but it invariably appears in the "motives" assigned for the fraud and deception. Thus, it is alleged that this colossal act of fraud and deception was for "the purpose of rooting out the idolatry that had become rampant in the long reign of Manasseh!" Indeed, how noble, and commendable such a worthy purpose appears! We have a specific example of this "approval" by Edgar Goodspeed, one of the 20th-century modernists. He denied the Matthew authorship of that Gospel, saying, "It was written by a Jewish Christian of insight and devotion!" (at a time long after Matthew lived).[1] The prominent point in all this is that the unbelieving enemies of the Bible approve the fraudulent and crooked devices alleged to have been practiced on the sacred text of the Bible. From this, we are required to be doubly suspicious of all their arguments. How many forgeries, deceptions, and false statements are to be expected in the writings of men who have such a loose conception of morality that they can refer to the crooked deceiver who palmed off his "Book of Matthew" as that of an apostle, as "a Christian of insight and devotion"? Therefore, we believe that such allegations against the Bible tell us far more about those who make the allegations than they tell us about the Bible. Certainly, the light shed on the Bible by those who deny the truth of it is nil.

From accessed November 3, 2013.

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George L. Robinson on Why Moses is Clearly the Author of Deuteronomy

1.      The whole nature of the book, including its contents, declarations, and historical references are appropriate to the times of Moses, and to those of Moses only.

2.      The Word of God emphatically declares that Moses is the author.

3.      There is nothing unreasonable about Moses' having put his five books in writing. Hammurabi wrote such a book centuries before Moses, and Moses had the necessary training and education to have written it.

4.      The military exhortations and the whole atmosphere of the book are appropriate to a nation standing upon the threshold of a war of conquest.

5.      There is a paternal vein running through the whole book that defies all identification with any age or any leader except that of Moses.

From accessed November 3, 2013.

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We can learn a lot about the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures from the book of Deuteronomy.

The Inspiration of the Scriptures and the Book of Deuteronomy

1.      The definition if the inspiration of Scriptures: Human authors wrote as moved by the Holy Spirit, so that, without waving their human intelligence, their vocabulary, their personal feelings, their literary style, their personality, their environmental influences or their individuality, they recorded God’s complete and connected message to man with perfect accuracy in the original languages of Scripture, the very words bearing the authority of divine authorship.1 The is known as the verbal, plenary view of inspiration.

2.      In passages like Matt. 22, Jesus Christ quotes from various portions of the law as authoritative, without once making a qualifying remark, whether the text came from Exodus (Matt. 22:32), Leviticus (Matt. 22:39) or Deuteronomy (Matt. 22:37).

3.      If Jesus quotes liberally from any of the books of Moses (and any of the other books of the Old Testament), without ever qualifying His statements in any way, this makes these books authoritative; that is, they have the power and authority of God behind them.

4.      Throughout the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, Moses was very careful to distinguish from simple narrative and the words of God. However, once he gets to the book of Deuteronomy, he begins speaking, at the direction of God (Deut. 1:3), but without stopping to saying, “Now, this is what God told me to say to you.” All of what he says is given as authoritative. The few times he quotes God, it is from a previous passage, or something that the people were already familiar with.

5.      In Deuteronomy, Moses is clearly the human author (Deut. 1:1, 5).

6.      Moses was raised to become pharaoh over Egypt; therefore, his knowledge of geography, politics and law all play a part in the sorts of decisions, rulings and actions which he takes. So in writing these words, he does not wave his background or his training.

7.      And given the way the Jesus quotes Moses, from all of his books, with the precision that He does, the words of Moses bear the authority of divine authorship.

1 Quoted and paraphrased from R. B. Thieme, Jr., Canonicity; ©1973 by R. B. Thieme, Jr.; p. 5, who in turn took this from Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology; Abridged Edition; Victor Books, ©1984, Vol. Two, p. 71.

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As I had mentioned from the outset, it is likely that Joshua pieced together the last few chapters and possibly wrote the first five verses of this book. A reasonable but distant second choice is Eleazar. I would choose Joshua as my first choice for several reasons:  It would be natural for the writer of the book of Joshua to be the one to finished the last few verses of the book of Deuteronomy, since they follow one another historically. This person was likely Joshua.  We find the phrase, Moses, the servant of Yehowah in Deut. 34:5. Whereas, we do not find this title previously in the Pentateuch, we find is a dozen times in the book of Joshua. This would suggest that the writer of Deut. 34 and the book of Joshua are the same person.  Whereas it is possible that any person could write Scripture through the power of the Holy Spirit, eyewitness or not, it is just more likely that the events described were events which one witnessed or was a confident of one who saw these events.  The verses Ex. 24:13 and 33:11 indicate a very close relationship between Moses and Joshua.  Because we hear the name of Joshua much more often in the book of Deuteronomy than we hear of Eleazar (nine times versus once; and Joshua is mentioned six times in the concluding four chapters), this would indicate that Joshua was more closely associated with Moses.

Point of View: In general, Deuteronomy contains several sermons of Moses spoken to the children of Israel. What is unusual about this content is that Moses often speaks in the 1st person. When we write and when we speak, we often demonstrate a different vocabulary and, in this case, a different point of view. Although Moses wrote at least the last four books of the Torah, he speaks of himself in the 3rd person throughout Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy (a format followed by most writers of Scripture, with the exception of Luke in the book of Acts and most of the epistles and the book of Revelation). However, in speaking to Israel, Moses does not hide behind the 3rd person but speaks of himself in the 1st person. This is quite natural for a person to write about himself in the 3rd person, but when speaking to a group, to speak in the 1st person.

At the end of Deuteronomy, we have a song written by Moses, a blessing by Moses for the children of Israel and the death of Moses.


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The Date and Location of Writing: The first five verses lay out the date and location: These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel beyond the Jordan; in the wilderness, in the Arabah, opposite to Suph, between Paran and Tophel, and Laban and Hazeroth, and Dizahab; eleven days from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea. And it happened, in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month on the first of the month, Moses spoke to the sons of Israel according to all that Jehovah had commanded him concerning them; after he had stricken Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth in Edrei, beyond the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses began to explain this law, saying,... (Deut. 1:1–5) Moses and the children of Israel have just come up the east side of the Dead Sea, defeating several armies and taking over much of the land east of the Jordan. They are about to go into the Land of Promise and Moses will not be going in with them. Moses prepares several sermons, if you will, and presents these to the children of Israel across the Jordan River from Jericho. They are in a land which used to belong to Moab, but had been taken from them by the Ammonites, which land Moses took from the Ammonites. There is no movement to speak of, just several gatherings of the children of Israel to hear Moses speak, east of the Jordan.


The Road to Mount Nebo (a map with the route from Egypt to Mt. Nebo); from; accessed June 19, 2016.

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Deuteronomy Graphic from overview Bible; accessed May 29, 2015.


Deuteronomy was written and taught during the last few days (and perhaps weeks) of the life of Moses. Although it appears to me that these messages were likely given during the last week of the life of Moses, one author was of the opinion that Deuteronomy covered a span of forty days (citing Deut. 1:3 to affirm his thinking) and another felt that the time frame herein was approximately a month. Whereas, I do not find forty days represented here, there is also nothing, other than the length of these messages, which would indicate a week’s duration either.

This would have been written and taught somewhere between 1450–1405 b.c. Several authors quote 1406 or 1405 b.c. as the year in which this book was written. Actually the time period for Deuteronomy is quite easy to determine. The book begins with: And it came to pass in the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month that Moses spoke to the children of Israel according to all that Jehovah had command him to them (Deut. 1:3). This means that 39 years and 10 months after the exodus, we begin the book of Deuteronomy. In this book we have very little by way of narrative—nothing that would indicate any period of time passing. We have the death of Moses and then the people mourn for Moses thirty days (Deut. 34:8). After 5–10 days pass in the book of Joshua, we have the verse: Now the people came up from the Jordan on the 10th of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Jericho (Joshua 4:19). This means that the time period for the book of Deuteronomy is definitely less than 70 days and probably less than a month. That gives us another month for the mourning at the death of Moses and a few days for the first few chapters of Joshua. Furthermore, we do not know how much time transpired after these messages until Moses died. But the passages in Deuteronomy and Joshua limit us to 70 days maximum (2 months + 10 days—Deut. 1:3 Joshua 4:19).

The few events described in this book take place during one of the last weeks of the life of Moses. John Trapp guesses that this took place in less than 10 days time. Given the sermons herein included, Moses probably spoke these words on 3–6 occasions. Keeping this in mind, the sermons reasonably take place in a week’s time; and there is some short amount of time (3 weeks or so) which passes before Moses actually dies.

One very interesting theory was set forth by D. Miall Edwards in The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, p. 837 and that was that the message of Deut. 5–26 had been covered before by Moses prior to their first attempt at entering the land from the south thirty-eight years previous. It would make sense that Moses had put together a message to inspire them and to bring them into the land and that he possibly taught it while the spies were in the land. The reason Edwards would assert this is the many named places in Deut. 1:1–2 does not confine us to only across the River Jordan from Jericho but mentions that they are eleven days away from Kadesh Barnea by way of Mount Seir, which is where Gen X was stopped in its tracks. Edwards writes: If these statements have any relevancy whatever to the contents of the book which they introduce, they point to a wide area, from Horeb to Moab, as the historico-geographical background of the book. In other words, Deuteronomy, in part at least, seems to have been spoken first on the way between Horeb and Kadesh-barnea, and later again when Israel were encamped on the planes of Moab. The upshot is that these, in part, are twice-baked sermons, which had no effect upon gen X, but did upon the Generation of Promise. This does not mean that Moses just hauled out the sermon from thirty-eight years previous and read it again. He obviously re-worked it somewhat, adding, for instance, the names of the cities of refuge (Deut. 4:41–43 19:1–13), which would not have been named prior to the invasion and conquering of the land to the east.


However, despite his theory being interesting, the first 5 verses of Deuteronomy set a time and place; after which Moses begins talking. When the actual date is staring you in the face, clever theories lose a great deal of their power. Simply taking a straightforward approach to the Deuteronomy timetable, and taking Joshua 4:19 into consideration), 30 days or less makes sense for the time frame during which this book takes place, followed by 30 days of mourning.

Route of Moses/Route of Joshua (Map); from; accessed June 19, 2016.

The book of Deuteronomy is a result of God telling Moses to speak to the people before they entered into the Land of Promise: And Yahweh spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them, When you+ pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you+ will drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you+, and destroy all their figured [stones], and destroy all their molten images, and demolish all their high places: and you+ will take possession of the land, and dwell in it; for to you+ I have given the land to possess it. And you+ will inherit the land by lot according to your+ families; to the more you+ will give the more inheritance, and to the fewer you will give the less inheritance: wherever the lot falls to any man, that will be his; according to the tribes of your+ fathers you+ will inherit. But if you+ will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you+, then will those who you+ let remain of them be as pricks in your+ eyes, and as thorns in your+ sides, and they will vex you+ in the land in which you+ dwell. And it will come to pass, that, as I thought to do to them, so I will do to you+. (Num. 33:50–56; Updated Bible Version 2.11)

The book of Deuteronomy itself tells us that Moses himself wrote Deuteronomy and gave it to the priests, those sons of Levi who carried the Ark of God. Deut. 31:9, 24–26 Then Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel. When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book to the very end, Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, "Take this Book of the Law and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against you.” (ESV)

Canaan Before Moses/Canann Before Joshua (a map); from; accessed June 19, 2016.



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The Audience of Deuteronomy: Moses is speaking to the people of Israel—those who have been descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel); a generation out from the exodus from Egypt. During that time, those who left Egypt as adults had died the sin unto death (Joshua being the exception to this), and what remained were those who were under 20 years of age when leaving Egypt and those who had been born in the desert wilderness.


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The Tone and Style of Deuteronomy: The tone of this book is primary hortatory. Whereas, for instance, the categories of laws and regulations which Moses taught can be roughly grouped, they do not all fall perfectly into these categories, as Moses did not approach his addresses to the people as strictly a more organized structuring of the Laws of God, but as one who was exhorting the people to obey the True and Living God.


As ZPEB says: [Moses] is not a historian or a jurist as much as he is a religious teacher.


Barnes: The speeches exhibit an unity of style and character which is strikingly consistent with such circumstances. They are pervaded by the same vein of thought , the same tone and tenor of feeling, the same peculiarities of conception and expression. They exhibit matter which is neither documentary nor traditional, but conveyed in the speaker’s own words. Their aim is strictly hortatory; their style earnest, heart-stirring, impressive, in passages sublime, but throughout rhetorical; they keep constantly in view the circumstances then present and the crisis to which the fortunes of Israel had at last been brought. Moses had before him not the men to whom by God’s command he delivered the law at Sinai, but the generation following which had grown up in the wilderness. ISBE: The literary style of Deuteronomy is very marked and individual; in his command of a chaste, yet warm and persuasive eloquence, the author of Deuteronomy stand unique among the writers of the Old Testament.


Keil and Delitzsch: Deuteronomy is a hortatory description, explanation, and enforcement of the most essential contents of the covenant revelation and covenant laws, with emphatic prominence given to the spiritual principle of the law and its fulfillment, and with a further development of the ecclesiastical, judicial, political, and civil organization, which was intended as a permanent foundation for the life and well-being of the people in the land of Canaan.

There are certain phrases which we find again and again in this book, which would be consistent with the speaker being Moses. We have certain Moses-isms, e.g., as at this day, that is may be well with you, caused to inherit, the land where you are going in to possess it, with all your heart and with all your soul; these are phrases which are almost unique to the book of Deuteronomy. Furthermore, we have a continued emphasis upon listening, learning and obeying. Moses continually tells his students to hear, to listen, to obey.


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Deuteronomy and the Suzerainty-vassal treaties: Treaties of the first and second millenniums b.c. tend to follow a specific format, quite similar to the writing of Deuteronomy. We have  a preamble (Deut. 1:1–5); an historical prologue (Deut. 1:6–3:29); stipulations of the treaty (Deut. 4–26); a deposition of text (Deut. 31:9, 24–26) and the public reading thereof (Deut. 31:10–12); witnesses to the treaty (Deut. 31:16–30 32:1–47); and finally the curses and blessings (Deut. 28). In the ancient world, these covenants generally were in the order of witnesses, curse and then blessings; Deuteronomy is curses, blessings, curses and then witnesses.

The preamble of a suzerain-vassal treaty names the speaker, the one claiming lordship over his vassals. In v. 1, Moses is identified, but he is God’s earthly minister and representative (v. 3). Next we would find a historical section, an historic preamble, if you will, that examines the previous relationship of the lord and vassal. Benefits of this relationship to the vassal are often cited (Deut. 2:7 3:3 4:39). The, the most important portion of the covenant were the laws and expectations, which were set forth in the laws, judgments and regulations which we find in Deut. 5:1–26:19. Then we would have the cursings and blessings, which we find listed in Deut. 27–30. Such a treaty would have to be witnessed by representatives of both sides, which is what we have in Deut. 32–33. Every time the Israelites sang the song of Moses, they were a witness to this treaty. There must also be a place where the treaty would be deposited for reference, and that was handled in Deut. 31:9, 24–26, when Moses gave this document to the priests to place next to the ark of the covenant. A treaty which has been written, ratified, and witnessed was considered to be inviolable thereafter. Hence, we have a cursing for anyone who either added to or took from the words of this book (Deut. 4:2). Finally, the document was to be notarized, which was analogous to the recording of the death of Moses at the very end.

The covenant form found in Deuteronomy is much more similar to those covenants found in the second millennium b.c. than to those used during the period of the Assyria’s dominance, several hundred years later. In fact, the covenant form from the second century b.c. was likely unknown to the people under the united monarchy of Israel.


K. A. Kitchen writes: First, the basic structure of Deuteronomy and much of the content that gives specific character to that structure must constitute a recognizable literary entity; second, this is a literacy entity not of the eighth or seventh century b.c. but rather from ca 1200 b.c. at latest.

My personal opinion is that this is not necessarily what Moses had in mind when he wrote these messages to the people. This was a logical approach for him, to state the background for his messages, to list the historical relationship between God and Israel, and then to list the laws to which they were to be obedient to. I personally believe that the similarity in the overall structure of Deuteronomy to the suzerain-vassal treaties was a function of God the Holy Spirit.


Suzerain-Vassal Treaty (graphic); from Slideplayer; accessed May 29, 2015. This shows how the book of Deuteronomy can be matched up with the outline of a Suzerain-Vassal Treaty.

More on this particular topic can be found in the Introduction to Deuteronomy 4 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Authority and Inspiration: According to the notes of the Scofield Reference Bible, there are 80 references in the New Testament to the book of Deuteronomy (most of which we will study in a future section); the NIV Study Bible says that there are almost 100 allusions to Deuteronomy in the New Testament; and Zodhiates claims that there are 200 references to this book in the New Testament. In answering the temptations of Satan, our Lord quoted from this book exclusively and in general, He quoted this book more than any other from the Old Testament.

The concept of inspiration is taken further specifically by this book of Deuteronomy: the laws which Moses gives and the statements which he makes are no longer directly from the mouth of God, as we found in Exodus through Numbers. That is, in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, Moses would say, “And God then said this...” But he does not do that in Deuteronomy, and yet appears to speak with the same authority. Furthermore, the words of Moses in the New Testament are given the same weight as anything else from the Mosaic Law. From this point forward, although there will be times when it is clear that God is speaking; there are many passages where it is quite difficult to determine who exactly is speaking (Deut. 1:8, for example), and yet the Word of God is presented as authoritative and quoted in this way as well.

Even though it appears that Moses, with this book, speaks God’s Word directly, as inspired by the Holy Spirit. Now, this was not some sort of trance-like state and automatic speaking; Moses had studied God’s Word directly from God, so he had the background. Furthermore, in order for all of this information to be recorded, this means it had to be written down. It is much more likely that Moses wrote his discourses first and then spoke them. However, this in no way minimizes the fact that these are the very Words of God spoken through Moses, without distorting the personality, vocabulary or speaking style of Moses and yet without compromising the very Words of God. In Deuteronomy, we find the very essence of the concept of the inspiration of Scripture.


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General Content: What few people seem to understand is, the book of Deuteronomy represents a dramatic change in the person of Moses, as well as in the style of writing and content. Up until this point, he carefully distinguished between the things which God said, what he said and what the narrative was at the time. However, Moses, in the last month or so of his life, speaks authoritatively to the children of Israel, mostly without distinguishing what he is saying as over-against what God has said. Therefore, Moses is taking on this great authority, not as God, but as a spokesman for God.


The Pulpit Commentary on the Contents of Deuteronomy

The book consists chiefly of three lengthened addresses, delivered by Moses to the people on the eastern side of the Jordan, after they had obtained possession by conquest of the region stretching northwards from the borders of Moab towards those of Aram. After a brief notice of the circumstances of time and place when the addresses were uttered, (Deut. 1:1–5) the first address begins.

Moses first of all recalls to the recollection of the people certain important particulars in their past history, with the view apparently of preparing them for the admonitions and injunctions he is about to lay upon them. (Deu 1:6–3:29) This recapitulation is followed by a series of earnest exhortations to obedience to the Divine ordinances, and warnings against idolatry and the forsaking of Jehovah, the God of their lathers, and the only true God. (Deut. 4:1–40) To this address is appended a short historical notice of the appointment of three cities of refuge on the east side of the Jordan (vers. 41–43).

The second address, which is also introduced by a brief notice of the circumstances under which it was delivered, (Deut. 4:44–49) extends over twenty–one chapters (Deuteronomy 5–26). In it Moses goes over the leading ethical precepts of the Law which he, as the servant of God, had already declared to the people. He begins by reminding them how God had made a covenant with them in Horeb, and then, having repeated the "ten words" of the covenant the ten commandments which Jehovah spake to the assembled multitude and having uttered a general exhortation to obedience, (Deut. 5:1–33) he proceeds to admonish the people to love Jehovah the one God, to be obedient to his Law, to teach it diligently to their children, and to avoid all intercourse with the idolatrous nations of Canaan, on the possession of which they were about to enter. This admonition is enforced by threatening of judgments on idolaters; victory over the Canaanites is promised; the gradual but utter extinction of these idolatrous peoples is foretold; and a command is given to destroy all objects of idolatrous worship to be found in the land. (Deut. 6:1–25; Deut. 7:1–26) A cursory review of God"s dealings with Israel in guiding them through the wilderness is then taken, as furnishing ground for enforcing obedience to the Law; the danger of self–confidence and forgetfulness of God is pointed out; cautions are given against self–righteousness and spiritual pride; and, to enforce these, the people are reminded of their sins and rebelliousness in the wilderness, of Moses" intercession for them, and of God"s grace and goodness, especially as shown in his restoring the two tables after they had been broken, and writing on them anew the law of the ten commandments. (Deut. 8:1–10:5)

At this point a short notice of the journeyings of the Israelites in the region of Mount Her is introduced, with notices of the death of Aaron, of the continuance of the priesthood in his family, and of the separation of the tribe of Levi to the service of the sanctuary. (Deut. 10:6–11) The address is then resumed, and the people are exhorted to fear, obey, and love the Lord; and this is enforced by reference to God"s claims upon them, the blessings that would ensue if they yielded to these claims, and, on the other hand, the curse that disobedience would bring upon them. In connection with this the command is given that, when they should be come into the Promised Land, the blessing should be put upon Mount Gerizim and the curse upon Mount Ebal, the situation of which is indicated. (Deut. 10:12–22 11:1–32)

After this Moses enters on a more minute detail of the laws which the people were to observe when settled in Canaan. Directions are given as to the destruction of all monuments of idolatry, and they are enjoined to preserve the worship of Jehovah and to present the appointed offerings to him in the place which he should choose, where also the sacrificial meal was to be eaten. (Deut. 12:1–28) All intercourse with idolaters and all curious inquiries concerning their rites are to be avoided; all who would seduce to idolatry are to be put to death, even though they pretended to be prophets and to speak under Divine sanction; even the nearest relations who act this part are not to be spared; and an idolatrous cities are to be destroyed. (Deut. 12:29–32 13:1–18) The people are cautioned against joining in or imitating the mourning customs of the heathen, and against eating the flesh of unclean animals or of animals that had died of themselves; they are directed as to the laying aside of tithes for sacrificial meals and for the poor; they are enjoined to observe the seventh year of release for poor debtors and of emancipation for the bondman; they are commanded to dedicate to the Lord the first–born of sheep and oxen; and they are instructed to observe the three great feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. (Deut. 14:1–16:17) From these religious regulations Moses passes on to others more of a civil and social character, giving directions as to the appointment of judges and magistrates, the trial of idolaters and criminals of various classes, the choice and duties of a king, and the rights of priests and Levites; the promise of a Great Prophet like unto Moses, whom they are to hear and obey, is given; and the proper test by which any one pretending to be a prophet is to be tried, is prescribed. (Deut. 16:18–18:22) Following these come some regulations as to the appointment of cities of refuge for the manslayer, the maintenance of landmarks and boundaries, the number of witnesses required to establish a charge against any one, the punishment of false witnesses, the conduct of war, exemption from service in war, the treatment of enemies, the besieging of towns, the expiation of murder where the murderer is unknown, the treatment of women taken in war, the just exercise of paternal authority, and the burial of malefactors who had been executed. (Deut. 19:1–21:23) The address is concluded by a series of miscellaneous injunctions relating to rights of property, the relation of the sexes, regard for animal and human life, the avoidance of what would confound distinctions made by God in the natural world, the preservation of the sanctity of the marriage bond, and the observation of integrity and purity in all the relations of life, domestic and social After appointing the eucharistic services on the presentation of the firstfruits and tenths of the products of the field, the address is wound up with a solemn admonition to attend to and observe what the Lord had commanded. (Deut. 22:1–26:19)

In his third address, after directing that the Law should be inscribed on two stone pillars to be set up on Mount Ebal, when the people should have obtained possession of Canaan, Moses proceeds to charge them to proclaim in the most solemn manner, after offering burnt offerings and sacrifices, the blessing and the curse by which the Law was sanctioned, the former on Mount Gerizim, the latter on Mount Ebal. (Deut. 27:1–26) He then more fully sets forth the blessings that should come upon the people if they hearkened to the voice of the Lord, and the curses that would befall them if they neglected his word or refused to obey it. (Deut. 28:1–68) Moses then recapitulates what the Lord had done for Israel, and, after again referring to the blessings and curses of the Law, adjures the people to accept the covenant which God was graciously pleased to make with them, to adhere to it constantly, and so, having blessing and curse, life and death, set before them, to choose the former for themselves and their posterity. (Deut. 29:1–29 30:1–20)

These three addresses of Moses to the people are followed by an account of the closing scenes and acts of his life. A few words of encouragement addressed to the people introduce the appointment of Joshua to be his successor as the leader of Israel; the Law written out by Moses is handed over to the custody of–the priests, with a command that it shall be renal every seventh year to the people at the Feast of Tabernacles; Joshua is summoned with Moses into the presence of Jehovah, and receives from him his commission and authority; and Moses is commanded to write a song, and teach it to the people. (Deut. 31:1–22) The active life of Moses was now drawing to its close. He puts the last hand on the writing of the Law; composes the song which God had commanded him to write; utters a few words of encouragement to Joshua; delivers the book of the Law to the priests that bore the ark of the covenant, with the injunction to them to put it in the side of the ark; and summons the elders of the tribes and their officers to hear from his lips, ere he left them, his solemn charge, and listen to the words of the song he had composed (vers. 23–29). Then follows the song itself; after which comes a short exhortation to the people by Moses, followed by the Divine intimation of the approaching decease of their great leader and lawgiver. (Deut. 32:1–52) Next is inserted the blessing which Moses pronounced upon Israel in its separate tribes; (Deut. 33:1–29) and to this is appended an account of the death and burial of Moses, with his eulogium. (Deut. 34:1–12) With this the book terminates.

From The Pulpit Commentary; 1880-1919; by Joseph S. Exell, Henry Donald Maurice Spence-Jones, courtesy of e-sword, Deuteronomy book comments.

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What is Found in the Book of Deuteronomy



The Law

Moses will reiterate specific portions of the Mosaic Law.

Court Cases

Moses has had his training in the law of many nations when he was being prepared to rule over Egypt. He has a great background in this field and was more than qualified to sit upon the court of any nation.

He spends a great deal of his time judging the people of Israel, using his knowledge of the Law and of traditions and coming to a reasonable ruling.


One must be careful in this category. Moses was not teaching traditions as law. He was taking cultural norms and standards for his time, and using the Law to make rulings, within these cultural norms (as long as these norms were not in opposition to the Law of God).


Moses, in this final month, is speaking to young men and women who have grown up in the desert. They do not know how to farm, how to provide for themselves, or even how to make their own clothes. God has taken care of these things for them. Furthermore, most people learn such skills from their parents. Well, the parents, Gen X, are all dead, having died the sin unto death in the desert. So Moses has to give some basic advice to these young adults (they are between the ages of 20 and 40) who have survived their parents, but are about to enter into a land where they have no skills whatsoever.

It is important to note that, Moses’ advice is not on the same level as the laws coming from God. The Scripture is inspired, but that does not mean that, if you mixed cotton and wool threads that God would that others hunt you down and kill you. Murder someone, and that is entirely different.


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Dr. Peter Pett: Overall in this speech Moses is concerned to connect with the people. It is to the people that his words are spoken rather than the priests so that much of the priestly legislation is simply assumed. Indeed it is remarkably absent in Deuteronomy except where it directly touches on the people. Anyone who read Deuteronomy on its own would wonder at the lack of cultic material it contained, and at how much the people were involved. It concentrates on their interests, and not those of the priests and Levites, while acknowledging the responsibility that they had towards both priests and Levites.


And even where the cultic legislation more specifically connects with the people, necessary detail is not given, simply because he was aware that they already had it in writing elsewhere. Their knowledge of it is assumed. Deuteronomy is building on a foundation already laid. In it Moses was more concerned to get over special aspects of the legislation as it was specifically affected by entry into the land, with the interests of the people especially in mind. The suggestion that it was later written in order to bring home a new law connected with the Temple does not fit in with the facts. Without the remainder of the covenant legislation in Exodus/Leviticus/Numbers to back it up, its presentation often does not make sense from a cultic point of view.


This is especially brought home by the fact that when he refers to their approach to God he speaks of it in terms of where they themselves stood or will stand when they do approach Him. They stand not on Sinai but in Horeb. They stand not in the Sanctuary but in ‘the place’, the site of the Sanctuary. That is why he emphasises Horeb, which included the area before the Mount, and not just Sinai itself (which he does not mention). And why he speaks of ‘the place’ which Yahweh chose, which includes where the Tabernacle is sited and where they gather together around the Tabernacle, and not of the Sanctuary itself. He wants them to feel that they have their full part in the whole.

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Parallels: There are several parallels found when viewing this book as a whole. The people to whom the Law was first given, although they received it with enthusiasm, soon rejected God’s Law and were taken out under the sin unto death. Israel, as a nation, received God’s Law with enthusiasm, yet also fell away, and had to be removed from the land several times and the responsibility given to “the next generation”—the church. Finally, in terms of space, three books were devoted to the exodus of Israel and their forty year wanderings in the desert (actually, the time frame which was covered was really two years of that time). The entire book of Deuteronomy is devoted to approximately one week of history of Israel. This parallels our Lord’s life, wherein most of what was written concerning His stay on this earth was the last week. One of the great parallels between the death of Moses and the death of our Lord was the fact that both of them died according to the commandment of God when their work was finished. Moses was still physically strong and his eye was not dim, yet he died as his work on earth was finished. Jesus Christ would have been at His physical peak in His early 30's but he breathed His last as His work was finished.

Some of these are repeated from previous books.

Types and Antitypes in Deuteronomy




Most of the writing about Moses takes place in Deuteronomy, over a relative short period of time (1 week to 1 month).

He prepares a new generation to go into the Land of Promise.

He died still physically strong and vigorous; but his work was finished.


Most of what is written about Jesus occurs in His final week.

Jesus, when rejected by His people, prepares a new people for His promise.

He was crucified when very young and then died because His work was finished.

Moses as the mediator:

God tells Moses he is ready to start from scratch with the Israelites, raising up a people from Moses’ seed. Moses stands in the gap—he stands as a mediator between God and man, asking for mercy for the people of God. The people deserved punishment from God, and yet God gives them grace because of Moses.

Jesus as the Mediator:

We stand condemned before God. We do not deserve pardon because we all have a sin nature; we have all committed personal sins and we are under Adam’s original sin. Jesus stands in the gap—He is the mediator between God and man. We deserve punishment, and yet God gives us grace because of Jesus.

Moses, who represents the Law, will not take the children of Israel into the land. Joshua, whose name is the Hebrew equivalent of Jesus, will take the people into the land.

The Law of Moses cannot save, because we are weak in the flesh. Only Jesus can save us.

We should expect to find Jesus revealed in nearly every book of the Bible.

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Important Quotations from Deuteronomy: “Hear, O Israel! Yehowah is our God, Yehowah is One! And you will love Yehowah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your ability [lit., might]” (Deut. 6:4–5). These two verses are quoted just about every Sabbath in every synagogue. The word for one can mean alone, unity. When a man leaves his mother and father and cleaves to his wife, they become one flesh.

Hear, O Israel! (graphic) from, accessed November 14, 2013.

There are two specific commands barring us from adding to God’s Word or taking from it. Most people are familiar with this mandate at the end of the book of Revelation, but not many know about the one in Deuteronomy: “And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, in order that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which Yehowah, the God of your fathers is giving you. You will not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor will you take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of Yehowah your God which I command you.” (Deut. 4:1–2).

In this book we have the Ten Commandments repeated in Deut. 5. This does not mean that Moses ran out of things to say; this is a new generation to whom he is speaking. It is possible that many of them had not even heard Moses before (only a small percentage of this two million could have ever actually heard Moses teach).

For the covenant theologians, there are continual reminders that Yehowah would not forget Israel. “For Yehowah your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.” (Deut. 4:31). Although covenant theologians teach that the church is really a spiritual Israel and that all these promises have been transferred over to the church, there will always be the Jewish race and there will always be the Land of Promise and God will fulfill His promises to His people, the sons of Israel, and that is not us, the church.

One of my personal favorite quotations from Deuteronomy is: “Do not say in your heart when Yehowah your God has driven these people out from before you, ‘Because of my righteousness Yehowah has brought me in to possess this land,’ but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that Yehowah is dispossessing them before you. It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that Yehowah your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which Yehowah swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that Yehowah your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people!” (Deut. 9:4–6). God blessed Israel in grace, based upon His own character, just as He does us in the Church Age.

Israel was commanded by Moses in the power of the Holy Spirit not to do what was right in their own eyes (Deut. 12:8). God had given them a clear delineation of what was right and what was wrong. Human viewpoint of morality and correctness of action was immaterial. When Israel began to do what was right in her own eyes, that was one of the darkest period of her history—the time of the judges—when every man did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6 21:25).

Israel was warned in the book of Deuteronomy not to follow after other gods even if a false prophet or dreamer arose with great signs and wonders. “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ you will not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for Yehowah your God is testing you to find out if you love Yehowah your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You will follow Yehowah your God and you will fear Him; and you will keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. And that prophet or dreamer of dreams will be executed, because he has counseled rebellion against Yehowah your God.” (Deut. 13:1–5a).


Nearly every Old Testament books speaks of Messiah, and Deuteronomy is no exception to this. Deut. 18:17a, 18: “And יהוה said to me, ‘I shall raise up for them a Prophet like you out of the midst of their brothers. And I shall put My Words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.’ Even in the Old Testament, people understood this to refer to the Messiah of God.

A Prophet Like Moses (graphic) is taken from, accessed November 14, 2013.

One of my favorite passages deals with the rebellious teenager: “If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother, and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them, then his father and mother will seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his home town. And they will say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious and he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city will stone him to death; so you will remove the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear and fear.” (Deut. 21:18–21). There is no time-out or removing his privileges of using the family car for the week; the rebellious teen is executed.


Don’t Forget (graphic); from Bible Verse About; accessed May 28, 2015. God repeats, and repeats, and then repeats again; so that we can remember His Word.

Deuteronomy is filled with prophecies concerning the discipline of Israel: “Now the generation to come, your sons who rise up after you and the foreigner who comes from a distant land, when they see the plagues of the land and the diseases with which Yehowah has afflicted it, will say, ‘All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which Yehowah over threw in His anger and in His wrath.’ And all the nations will say, ‘Why has Yehowah done thus to this land? Why this great outburst of anger?’ Then men will say, ‘Because they forsook the covenant of Yehowah, the God of their fathers which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt. And they went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they have not known and whom He had not given to them. Therefore, the anger of Yehowah burned against that land, to bring upon it every curse which is written in this book; and Yehowah uprooted them from their land in anger and in fury and in great wrath, and cast them in to another land, as this day.’ “ (Deut. 29:22–28). Looks at the land of Israel today; doesn’t it appear to be sown with salt? Don’t you see the brimstone flying from the sky into the land? Israel is under discipline.

I have listed verses which stand out for me; here is how others feel about this topic:

Other Quotes from All Great Quotes

Deuteronomy 4:26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day.

Deuteronomy 5:15 Remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord your God brought you out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm.

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:15 For the Lord your God is a jealous God.

Deuteronomy 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams. You will not listen [to them].

Deuteronomy 13:6 If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend, which is as your own soul, entice you secretly. You will not consent.

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong unto the Lord our God.

Deuteronomy 30:19 I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life that both you and your seed may live.

Deuteronomy 32:10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

Deuteronomy 32:20 For they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.

Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

Deuteronomy 34:6 No man knows of his [Moses's] sepulchre unto this day.

Taken from All Great Quotes, accessed October 21, 2013 and edited.

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Apparently, this is the result of some sort of vote.

The Top Verses of Deuteronomy from Top Verses

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 6:5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 30:19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 18:10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 6:6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.

Deuteronomy 30:15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 13:1 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder,... (NIV)

Deuteronomy 18:9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 10:12 And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 4:5 See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 18:15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your own people. You must listen to him. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 10:20 Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 8:3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that people do not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 4:2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 24:1 If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house (NIV)

Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 22:5 A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 28:1 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their people, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. (NIV)

From, accessed October 21, 2013.

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The words of Deuteronomy are reflected or quoted in many subsequent books of the Bible. Following is a representative sampling:

References to Deuteronomy

The book of Joshua, where Caleb's words to Joshua are a direct reference to Deuteronomy 1:36:

So on that day Moses swore to me, "The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly" (Joshua 14:9).

In 2Kings, King Amaziah of Judah is commended for his obedience to the words of Moses that are quoted from Deuteronomy 24:16: Yet he did not put the sons of the assassins to death, in accordance with what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses where the Lord commanded: "Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sins" (2 Kings 14:6).

In the Prophets. Throughout the proclamations of the Old Testament prophets, the benefits for obedience that they promise and the punishments for disobedience about which they warn are the blessings and curses declared in the book of Deuteronomy (Kalland, 1992).

In the Gospels, Jesus is credited with ten specific quotes from Deuteronomy, including his famous three responses to the devil during his temptation in the wilderness:

Jesus answered, "It is written, `Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes form the mouth of God.' " (Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4, quoting Deuteronomy 8:3).

Jesus answered him, "It is also written: `Do not put the Lord your God to the test' " (Matthew 4:7 and Luke 4:12, quoting Deuteronomy 6:16).

Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written, `Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only' " (Matthew 4:10 and Luke 4:8, quoting Deuteronomy 6:13).

According to Kalland (1992), the New International Version of the Bible cites 34 direct quotes from Deuteronomy in its New Testament footnotes, in addition to the numerous partial quotes and allusions from Deuteronomy that occur in the text itself. Thompson (1974) states that Deuteronomy is quoted over 80 times in the New Testament, with references occurring in all but six of the New Testament books.

Without a doubt, the book of Deuteronomy had a profound impact on God's people through the ages, and continues to do so right down to the present day!

From, accessed October 21, 2013.

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The Social Impact of Deuteronomy:

So that there is no misunderstanding, there was institutional provision for the poor under the Law of Moses. That is, the government was charged with spending 3⅓% of the public money on the poor—often called the widows and orphans. To contrast, our total federal programs “for the poor” are around $1 trillion/year, which is around 8–9% of the gross national product. In addition to this, billions are spent by state and local governments as well, along with private charities. This is far in excess of what the Bible requires, and is done today primarily for the purpose of buying votes.

The responsibility of private farm owners was to leave parts of fields uncut so that the poor could come in and harvest themselves. In other words, they worked for their food.

Deuteronomy and the Poor

Deuteronomy 10:18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.

Deuteronomy 14:28-29 At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. A tithe is 10%; bringing a tithe every 3rd year, is equivalent to 3⅓% each year.

Deuteronomy 15:7-8 If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs. Notice that this is the reaction of the private person, not the government.

Deuteronomy 15:11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.

Passages collected from, accessed October 21, 2013.

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Ancient Law Codes: There are those who believe that Deuteronomy and the rest of the books of the Law are simply rehashing of ancient laws. This shows a complete misunderstanding of the ancient law codes. The Bible teaches that, apart from the distorting influence of the sin nature, that man has the law of God written on his heart (in his thinking). We have several ancient law codes developed in a very specific time period, and I think the idea is this. Man could no longer contain all of the information which he heard and saw in his brain, so it became necessary to write information down. In order to rule rightly, a sovereign ought to have a set of laws which are guidelines, based are closely on the internal set of laws written on our hearts by God.

In some ways, I think that man was different. Now, in many countries, seizing political power is all about power, money and control. Some lawmakers have developed a reputation by taking current events, writing laws to cover those current events, and then presenting these approaches very publically to those who are affected. A good, well-known example of this is Matthew Shepherd, who is said to have been brutally murdered because he was gay. At the time, there were already laws on the books about murder, and the person who violated such laws was subject to the just prosecution of the law. However, this was made into a political issue, in such a way that, if more laws could be passed, then people would simply feel better that they elected officials who passed more laws about this incident. There were other political considerations at play here, but this gives you an idea about law in the United States in the 21st century. A great tragedy happens, people become emotionally involved, and then they want some legislator to write a law saying, “Don’t do this anymore” (as if a new law would change anything). You may not realize this, but this was Barack Obama’s claim to fame as a Chicago legislator—something would be in the headlines, and then he would write a law about it.

In the ancient world, this was quite different. They believed that there was this perfect law code out there, and what a ruler would desire to do was to lay out this perfect law code by which his country could be ruled. Therefore, we would expect some similarities between ancient law codes. Even though their origin came from a variety of human souls, the idea of finding and codifying the perfect law code was very much the driving aspect of these laws.

This is first put forth in Job 2 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

These are the codes which we actually have records of, which suggests that there were many legal codes from this era.

Ancient Law Codes




The Code of Urukagina

2,380–2,360 b.c.

Urukagina was a ruler of the city-state Lagash in Mesopotamia circa 2380–2360 b.c.

The Code of Ur-Nammu


2100–2050 b.c.

This is the oldest known tablet which contains a law code that survives today. It was written in the Sumerian language.

The Laws of Eshnunna

1930 b.c.

These laws are inscribed on two cuneiform tablets discovered in Baghdad, Iraq. This law code is named after a city, rather than after a person. This apparently governed an area north of Ur. These laws are written in the Akkadian language.

The Codex of Lipit-Ishtar

1934–1924 b.c.

Lipit-Ishtar was the fifth ruler of the first dynasty of Isin. He is partially known for the legal code written in his name. This is apparently written in Sumerian, and the laws were a legal code, defining specific penalties for specific crimes and acts of wrongdoing.

The Code of Hammurabi

circa 1780 b.c.

The Code of Hammurabi is a Babylonian law code written by the sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi

This suggests that during this time period, there was a profound concern with law, morality and legal consequences. This is the time period during which both Job and Abraham lived.

These references are taken out of Wikipedia, accessed November 16, 2011, and linked below:

The Code of Urukagina

The Code of Ur-Nammu

The Laws of Eshnunna

The Codex of Lipit-Ishtar

The Code of Hammurabi

When it comes to the Law of Moses, God gave Moses the perfect law code for Israel during that day and time. Cultural norms were taken into consideration; and the original recipients were also taken into consideration. Therefore, there are some laws which have no moral value, but which either were helpful for that first generation (which they passed along to the next generations) or which preserved the Jewish people as a nation. Suggestions not to mix wool and cotton threads or to try to yoke together disparate animals is an example of the former; and the dietary laws are examples of the latter (they were given in a time of no refrigeration). Interestingly enough, Jesus and writers of the New Testament often took the first laws and used them for spiritual illustrations. In that way, they no longer simply stand alone as recommendations to a new population.


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Points of Interest: There are times when Moses is so moved by the Holy Spirit in his message that he speaks in place of God, a daring effect which few, if any, pastors should use.

Because Moses is speaking to the people in a series of speeches, he places himself in the 1st person, which he never does in the previous three books.

Because of the negative volition of their fathers, the generation of promise standing before Moses may have a romanticized view of Egypt—often their fathers threatened to return there, remembering the foods of Egypt. Moses reminds them in several passages what Egypt was really like (Deut. 5:15 7:15 11:10 15:15 16:12 24:18 28:27, 35, 60).

This book as likely the book discovered by King Josiah which precipitated his religious reforms (2Kings 22–23).

Often when I begin a book or a chapter, I have a number of questions in the back of my head (or, I write them down in hidden document summary, to answer when the answers become clear). Meyer asks some fairly reasonable questions here. Some of them are quite basic and are even answered in this introduction to Deuteronomy.

F. B. Meyer’s Review Questions on Deuteronomy


(a) What was Moses' purpose in reviewing Israel's history?

(b) Why did he repeat the Ten Commandments and other laws?

(c) Why did he make this new generation renew the Covenant their fathers had made?

(d) Describe the final events in Moses' career.


(e) What does the title Deuteronomy mean?

(f) What may the book be said to contain?

Deuteronomy 1-34

Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments.

1. What may be gained by reviewing God's dealings with His people?

2. What made Kadesh-barnea a momentous and memorable place?

3. Why was Israel not to fight with the inhabitants of Seir or Moab?

4. How was Sihon punished for refusing passage through his land?

5. How did the land east of Jordan come into the possession of Israel?

6. When Moses was not permitted to lead his people across the Jordan, what did he seek to do?

7. In what sense is Jehovah "a jealous God?"

8. What had Jehovah done to impress upon Israel that He was the only true God?

9. Why was it necessary to repeat the Decalogue?

10. Why did the people feel the need of a mediator with God?

11. What were the Israelites to write upon their hearts as well as upon their doors?

12. How were they to be kept from mixing with other nations?

13. How were they to dispossess their enemies?

14. What would happen to them if they forgot God?

15. Of what failure on their part did Moses remind them?

16. Where and how had Moses intervened to save them from destruction?

17. What did the Lord require of them-and still requires of us?

18. What was promised concerning the land which Israel was about to enter?

19. What were they offered if the Commandments were kept?

20. How were they to avoid being led into idolatry?

21. What promise of a prophet to come was made to Israel?

22. What lesson was annually taught by the offering of first-fruits?

23. Where and how was the Law to be plainly written in the new land?

24. What were some of the blessings which were promised to the obedient?

25. What would be some of the terrible consequences of disobedience?

26. How were these penalties for disobedience later realized?

27. What had Jehovah done for His people which called for their loyalty in return?

28. What would be the certain result if they served false gods?

29. What is promised to those who return from wandering?

30. What great choice did Moses put before the people?

31. How did Moses now prepare for his own departure?

32. What parting charge did he give to Joshua? and to the Levites?

33. What does Moses' song declare about God's goodness to Israel?

34. What does it declare about Israel's perverseness?

35. How did Moses see the land he was not permitted to enter?

36. What special blessings were promised to the tribes descended from Joseph?

37. What was the eternal God to be to all His people?

38. How did the great Lawgiver's career fittingly close?

I have found it to be critical and to ask questions which I don’t think are often asked about each chapter and book as I begin to study them.

Chapter Outline

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Jesus Christ in Deuteronomy: Finding Jesus Christ in a book of the Old Testament is one of the most important functions of studying the Old Testament. Sometimes, there must be more within a book than simply a prophecy. The more deeply that we study Deuteronomy, the more Jesus is revealed to us.

In the study of Deut. 1 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD), several parallels will be noted. Since they will be covered in more detail in that chapter, they will be spoken of only briefly here.

The sin of Moses. When Moses began to rule over these Jews in the desert, for 40 years, he scarcely makes a single mistake. And the mistake which he makes seems to trivial that many must have wondered, “What is this all about? Moses is excluded for this?” Early on, when forging their way through the desert, the Israelites legitimately complained of having no water. God told Moses to strike a rock with his staff, and that living water would flow from there. This was a picture of Jesus Christ being judged for our sins, and by His sacrifice, living water flowed from the Rock. Many years later, there was another no-water situation. Jesus dies only once for our sins; therefore, God cannot represent this with another striking of the Rock. Moses was told to only speak to the Rock, which would illustrate saving faith. But Moses is upset. He goes out in front of the people and hits the rock hard, twice, ruining the type/antitype which God had set up. Now, from the standpoint of Moses, this was only about obedience; and that is how people understood it for the next 1500 years. God told Moses to speak to the Rock; Moses struck it instead; that is disobedience, so Moses cannot go into the land. However, far more importantly is how the analogy to our salvation is destroyed by this act of disobedience. And that is why what Moses did was so problematic as to keep him out of the Land of Promise.

Moses as the intermediary between God and a depraved people. The people of Israel got to a point where God just said, “Look, Moses, let me just kill all of these people and I will start over from scratch with you.” Moses stood in the gap; he did not allow this people to be destroyed. He asked for God to not destroy them. In this, he portrayed another aspect of Jesus, as Mediator between God and man. Moses did not realize that he was a type of Christ. This is simply what he did and he had a reason for it (“If you destroy these people, how will the people of the world view you, God?”). God agreed with Moses, not because He changed His mind; but because Moses fulfilled the type of Mediator that God wanted.

There is the great analogy of the Exodus. The Jews are slaves and they cannot be purchased off the slave market of sin by another slave. Moses, who is outside of the slavery realm, but still one of them, is able to purchase us from the slave market of sin. This is analogous to Jesus Christ, Who is fully man, but not a slave to sin. Therefore, He is able to purchase us from the slave market of sin.

Finally, there is the concept of Moses, who is associated closely with the Law, and who will not take the children of Israel into the Land of Promise. However, Joshua, whose name means savior, is able to take the people into the land.

Although these parallels mostly come from previous chapters, they come up for a variety of reasons in the first chapter of Deuteronomy.

Of course there is the passage where God promises to raise up a prophet like Moses. This will be covered later on in this study.

Deuteronomy Elsewhere in Scripture:

Most of these passages are quoted from the MKJV.

The Isaiah/Deuteronomy Parallels



Isa 1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for Jehovah has spoken, I have nursed and brought up sons, and they have rebelled against Me.

Deut. 32:1 Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

Isa 1:10 Hear the Word of Jehovah, rulers of Sodom; give ear to the Law of our God, people of Gomorrah.

Deut. 32:32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are grapes of gall. Their clusters are bitter.

Isa 1:17 Learn to do good; seek judgment, reprove the oppressor. Judge the orphan, plead for the widow.

Deut. 24:17 You shall not pervert the rightful judgment of the stranger nor of the fatherless; nor take a widow's clothing to pledge.

Isa 1:6 From the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness in it; only a wound and a stripe and a fresh blow; they have not been closed, nor bound up, nor soothed with oil.

Deut. 28:27 Jehovah will strike you with the boils of Egypt, and with the hemorrhoids, and with the scab, and with the itch, of which you cannot be healed.

Isa 27:11 When its branches are dried up, they shall be broken off; the women come and set them on fire; for it is a people of no understanding. Therefore His Maker will not have mercy on them, and He who formed them will not favor them.

Deut. 32:28 For they are a nation without wisdom, neither is there any understanding in them.

Isa 41:8 But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, My friend;

Isa 62:12 And they will call them, The Holy People, The Redeemed of Jehovah; and you will be called, Sought Out, a city not forsaken.

Deut. 1:8 Behold, I have set before you the land; go in and possess the land which Jehovah has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their seed after them.

Deut. 7:6 For you are a holy people to Jehovah your God. Jehovah your God has chosen you to be a special people to Himself above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

Isa 41:10 Do not fear; for I am with you; be not dismayed; for I am your God. I will make you strong; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.

Deut. 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage. Do not fear nor be afraid of them. For Jehovah your God is He who goes with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you.

Isa 42:1–2 Behold My Servant, whom I uphold; My Elect, in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit on Him; He shall bring out judgment to the nations. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.

Deut. 4:35–36 It was shown to you so that you might know that Jehovah is God, and no one else beside Him. He made you hear His voice out of Heaven so that He might teach you. And He showed you His great fire upon earth. And you heard His words out of the midst of the fire.

Isa 17:10 Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not been mindful of the Rock of your strength, therefore you shall plant pleasant plants and shall sow it a fresh shoot.

Deut. 32:15 But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked. You grew fat, thick, and satisfied. Then he forsook God who made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.

Isa 46:8 Remember this, and be a man; return it on your heart, O sinners.

Deut. 32:7 Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; your elders, and they will tell you.

Isa 54:6 For Jehovah has called you as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when you were rejected, says your God.

Deut. 24:1 When a man has taken a wife and married her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes, because he has found some uncleanness in her, then let him write her a bill of divorce and put it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

Isa 58:14 then you shall delight yourself in Jehovah; and I will cause you to ride on the high places of the earth, and feed yourself with the inheritance of Jacob your father. For the mouth of Jehovah has spoken.

Deut. 26:1 And it shall be, when you come into the land which Jehovah your God gives you for an inheritance, and possess it, and live in it,

Deut. 33:4 Moses commanded us a law, the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob.

Isa 59:10 We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes. We stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in deserted places like dead men.

Deut. 28:29 And you shall grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall always be pressed down and spoiled forever, and no man shall save you.

Isa 65:21–22 And they will build houses and live in them; and they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They will not build, and another live in them; they will not plant, and another eat. For like the days of a tree are the days of My people, and My elect will long enjoy the work of their hands.

Deut. 6:10–11 And it shall be when Jehovah your God has brought you into the land which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you great and good cities which you did not build, and houses full of every good thing which you did not fill, and wells which are dug, but which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you shall eat and be full,

Isa 62:8 Jehovah has sworn by His right hand, and by the arm of His strength, Surely I will no more give your grain to be food for your enemies; and the sons of strangers will not drink your wine for which you have labored.

Deut. 28:31 Your ox shall be slain before your eyes, and you shall not eat of it. Your ass shall be violently taken away from before your face, and shall not be restored to you, your sheep given to your enemies, and you shall have none to rescue them.

The Pulpit Commentary; 1880-1919; by Joseph S. Exell, Henry Donald Maurice Spence-Jones, courtesy of e-sword, Deuteronomy book comments (edited and several verses changed).

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Similarly, there are promises of cursing in Deut. 28 which appear to be fulfilled in Amos 4:

The Warnings of Deuteronomy Fulfilled in Amos

Deut. 28:15–39

Amos 4:2–13

And it shall be, if you will not listen to the voice of Jehovah your God, to observe and to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, all these curses shall come on you and overtake you. You shall be cursed in the city, and cursed in the field. Your basket and your store shall be cursed. The fruit of your body shall be cursed, and the fruit of your land, the increase of your cows, and the flocks of your sheep. You shall be cursed when you come in, and cursed when you go out. Jehovah shall send on you cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed, and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings by which you have forsaken Me.

The Lord Jehovah has sworn by His holiness that the days shall come on you that He will lift you up with meat hooks, and your sons with fishhooks. And you shall go out at the breaches, each woman straight before her. And you shall cast down the high place, says Jehovah. Come to Bethel and transgress; to Gilgal and multiply transgressing at Gilgal. And bring your sacrifices for the morning, your tithes for three years; and offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving from that which is leavened, and cry out; call out the voluntary offerings! For so you love to do, O sons of Israel, says the Lord Jehovah.

Jehovah shall make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from off the land where you go to possess it. Jehovah shall strike you with lung disease and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew. And they shall pursue you until you perish. And your heavens over your head shall be bronze, and the earth that is under you iron. Jehovah shall make the rain of your land powder and dust. It shall come down from the heavens on you until you are destroyed. Jehovah shall cause you to be stricken before your enemies. You shall go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them. And you shall be a trembling to all the kingdoms of the earth. And your body shall be food to all birds of the air, and to the beasts of the earth. And no man shall frighten them away. Jehovah will strike you with the boils of Egypt, and with the hemorrhoids, and with the scab, and with the itch, of which you cannot be healed. Jehovah shall strike you with madness and blindness, and astonishment of heart. And you shall grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall always be pressed down and spoiled forever, and no man shall save you. You shall become engaged to a wife, and another man shall lie with her. You shall build a house, and you shall not live in it. You shall plant a vineyard, and you shall not gather the grapes of it. Your ox shall be slain before your eyes, and you shall not eat of it. Your ass shall be violently taken away from before your face, and shall not be restored to you, your sheep given to your enemies, and you shall have none to rescue them.

And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and lack of bread in all your places, and you have not returned to Me, says Jehovah. And I have also withheld the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest. And I caused rain to fall on one city and caused it not to rain on another city; one piece was rained on, and the piece on which it did not rain dried up. So two or three cities wandered to one city to drink water, but they were not satisfied; yet you have not returned to Me, says Jehovah. I have stricken you with blasting and mildew. When your gardens and your vineyards, and your fig trees. and your olive trees increased, the creeping locust devoured them; yet you have not returned to Me, says Jehovah. I have sent the plague among you in the way of Egypt;...

Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, and your eyes shall look and fail for them all the day long. And there shall be no power in your hand. The fruit of your land, and all your labors, shall be eaten up by a nation which you do not know. And you shall always be oppressed and crushed, and you shall be mad because of that which you shall see with the sight of your eyes. Jehovah shall strike you in the knees and in the legs with an evil ulcer that cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the top of your head. Jehovah shall bring you, and your king which you shall set over you, to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known. And there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone. And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a by-word among all nations where Jehovah shall lead you. You shall carry much seed out into the field, and shall gather little in, for the locust shall eat it. You shall plant vineyards and dress them, but shall neither drink the wine nor gather, for the worm shall eat them.

I have slain your young men with the sword, and have taken away your horses. And I have made the stench of your camps to come up into your nostrils; yet you have not returned to Me, says Jehovah. I have overthrown some among you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a firebrand plucked out of the burning; yet you have not returned to Me, says Jehovah. So I will do this to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel. For lo, He forms the mountains and creates the wind, and declares to man what his thought is. He who makes the morning darkness, and treads on the high places of the earth; Jehovah, the God of Hosts, is His name.

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The Pulpit Commentary revealed another set of parallel passages with Deuteronomy.

Parallels Between Hosea and Deuteronomy



Hos. 4:14, "They sacrifice with the kedeshoth" (women consecrated to prostitution in the service of a heathen deity)

Deut. 23:17–18, "There will be no kedeshah consecrated harlot of the daughters of Israel... you will not bring the hire of a kedeshah... into the house of the Lord."

 Only in these passages and in Gen. 38:21–22, is this word.";

Hos. 5:10, "The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bounds (massigei gebul)

Deut. 19:14, "You will not remove your neighbor"s landmark (lo tassig gebul) Deut. 27:17, "Cursed be he that removes his neighbor"s landmark (massig gebul)

Hos. 5:14, "I will take away, and none shall rescue (eyn matzil)

Deut. 32:39, "And there is none that rescueth out of my hand (eyn m"yadi matzil) (Cf. also Hos. 2:10 Heb 12)

Hos. 6:1, "Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for he has torn, (Hos. 5:14) and he will heal us; he has smitten, and he will bind us up."

Deut. 32:39, "I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal.

Hos. 8:13, "They shall return (yashubhu) to Egypt."

Deut. 28:68, "The Lord will bring you (heshibhka) into Egypt again.

Hos. 12:13, "By a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved."

Deut. 18:18, "A Prophet... like unto you." Only here is Moses described as a prophet.

Hos. 13:6, "According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore have they forgotten me."

Deut. 8:14, "Then your heare be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God," etc.

Hos. 13:9, "This (shihethka) has corrupted destroyed you, O Israel, that you are against me who am in your help.

Deut. 32:5, "A perverse nation has become corrupt towards him (shihes lo) Deut. 33:26, "Who rides upon the heaven in your help.

These parallels, found here as well as with 1Kings, reveal that the book of Deuteronomy was settled divine Law insofar as the people of Israel were concerned. One example given is 1Kings 18:40 where there is the order given by Elijah as to the treatment of the priests of Baal, the prophet follows the Divine injunction as given in Deut. 13:15–16, and 17:5; without which it is inconceivable that he should have ventured to enjoin on the king such extreme measures. Elijah could not just simply call for the seizing of the prophets of Baal without some back up from the Scriptures of God.

From The Pulpit Commentary; 1880-1919; by Joseph S. Exell, Henry Donald Maurice Spence-Jones, courtesy of e-sword, Deuteronomy book comments.

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Other Miscellaneous Old Testament Parallels



1Sam. 8:1, 3 And it happened when Samuel was old, he made his sons judges over Israel. And his sons did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after ill gain and took bribes and perverted judgment.

Deu 16:18–19 You shall appoint judges and officers for yourself in all your gates which Jehovah your God gives you, tribe by tribe. And they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not pervert judgment; you shall not respect persons, nor take a gift. For a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.

2Sa 7:6 For I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up the sons of Israel out of Egypt until this day, but have walked in a tent, even in a tabernacle.

Deu 23:14 For Jehovah your God walks in the middle of your camp, to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you. Therefore your camp shall be holy, so that He may see no unclean thing in you and turn away from you. Only in these 2 passages plus Lev. 26:12 does God walk among His people (until the incarnation of Jesus, of course).

2Sa 7:23 And what one nation in the earth is like Your people, like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to Himself, and to make Him a name, and to do for You great things and terrible, for Your land, before Your people, whom You redeemed to You from Egypt, from the nations and their gods?

Deu 7:8 But because Jehovah loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn to your fathers, Jehovah has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you out of the house of slaves, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Deu 15:15 And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Jehovah your God redeemed you. Therefore I command you this thing today.

1Sa 2:2 There is none holy as Jehovah, for there is none beside You. Neither is there any rock like our God.

Deu 32:4 He is the Rock; His work is perfect. For all His ways are just, a God of faithfulness, and without evil; just and upright is He.

Deu 32:31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. See also Deut. 32:15, 18)

1Sa 2:29 Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering, which I have commanded in My house? Do you honor your sons above Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?

Deu 32:15 But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked. You grew fat, thick, and satisfied. Then he forsook God who made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. This verb only occurs in these two passages.

1Sa 15:2 So says Jehovah of Hosts, I will visit Amalek with what he did to Israel, how he set against him in the way when he came up from Egypt.

Deu 25:17–18 Remember what Amalek did to you by the way, when you came forth out of Egypt, how he met you by the way and struck those of you who were behind, all the feeble behind you, when you were faint and weary. And he did not fear God.

1Sa 28:3 And Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned him and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away the mediums and the spirit-knowers out of the land.

Deu 18:10–11 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, an observer of clouds, or a fortune-teller, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or one who calls to the dead.

More parallels are found at

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The point in all of this is, it is clear that, beginning in the book of Joshua and working forward in time through Ruth and Judges to Isaiah and the other prophets, that Deuteronomy was a key book, one which the people had read and understood; and had taken as authoritative. With all of these parallels, Deuteronomy had to exist prior to these other books.


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The New Testament View of Deuteronomy: As has been mentioned, Deuteronomy is the most quoted book in the New Testament, with the number of allusions being somewhere between 80 and 200. As has been pointed out, our Lord recognized Moses as the author of Deuteronomy. When asked about marriage and divorce, Jesus acknowledges the teaching of Moses in the book of Deuteronomy. They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate and divorce her?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” (Matt. 19:7–9; Deut. 24:1). When tempted by Satan, our Lord quoted exclusively from the book of Deuteronomy (Luke 4:1–13). You know that Satan has hated the book of Deuteronomy more than ever since that time.

One of the standard ways to quote God’s Word is it stands written. The verb is in the perfect tense, meaning that it stands written in the past with results that stand forever. Paul used this phrase when quoting from the book of Deuteronomy in Gal. 3:10: For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it stands written, “Cursed is ever one who does not abide by all things written in the book of the Law, to perform them.” James uses the same phrase in Acts 15:15, 17. Our Lord uses the same phrasing to quote Moses in Matt. 4:4, 7 and 10. Our Lord quotes Deuteronomy as authoritative in Matt. 18:16b. Our Lord quotes Moses from Deuteronomy in Mark 7:10 in order to clarify what had been misinterpreted by the scribes.

Finally, as has been mentioned, Deuteronomy is quoted many times throughout the New Testament as authoritative, using the phrases as Moses said (Rom. 10:19) and it stands written in the Law of Moses (1Cor. 9:9). Peter, under great inspiration, said, “Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers; to Him you will listen in everything He says to you. And it will come to pass that every soul that does not heed that Prophet will be completely destroyed from among the people.’ “ (Acts 3:22–23; Deut. 18:15, 19).

Deuteronomy is the most quoted Old Testament of them all. Below are quotations from the book of Deuteronomy, which are either quoted in the New Testament or have parallel passages in the New Testament. Is it any wonder that infidels look to impugn this book before all others? Most of the translations below come from the MKJV or the ESV; capitalized.

Deuteronomy in the New Testament


New Testament Citation

Deut. 1:16–17 And I commanded your judges at that time saying, Hear the causes between your brothers, and judge righteously between a man and his brother, and the stranger with him. You shall not respect persons in judgment. You shall hear the small as well as the great. You shall not be afraid of the face of man, for the judgment is God's. And the cause that is too hard for you, bring to me, and I will hear it.

Deut. 16:19 You shall not pervert judgment; you shall not respect persons, nor take a gift. For a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.

John 7:24 Do not judge according to sight, but judge righteous judgment.

James 2:1 My brothers, do not have the faith of our Lord Christ, the Lord of glory, with respecter of persons.

Deut. 4:2 You shall not add to the Word which I command you, neither shall you take away from it, so that you may keep the commands of Jehovah your God which I command you.

Deut. 12:32 All the things I command you, be careful to do it. You shall not add to it, nor take away from it.

Matt. 5:18 For truly I say to you, Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled.

Gal 3:15 Brothers, I speak according to man, a covenant having been ratified, even among mankind, no one sets aside or adds to it.

Rev. 22:18–19 For I testify together to everyone who hears the Words of the prophecy of this Book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add on him the plagues that have been written in this Book. And if anyone takes away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God will take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which have been written in this Book.

Deut. 4:7 For who is a great nation whose God is coming near to them, as Jehovah our God is, in all our calling on Him?

James 4:8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners; and purify your hearts, double-minded ones.

Deut. 4:29–31 But if you shall seek Jehovah your God from there, you shall find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in trouble and when all these things have found you in the latter days, then you shall return to Jehovah your God and shall be obedient to His voice. For Jehovah your God is a merciful God; He will not forsake you, nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.

Deut. 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage. Do not fear nor be afraid of them. For Jehovah your God is He who goes with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you.

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Heb 8:8 For finding fault with them, He said to them, "Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, and I will make an end on the house of Israel and on the house of Judah; a new covenant shall be,

Deut. 5:5 (I stood between Jehovah and you at that time, to show you the Word of Jehovah, for you were afraid because of the fire, and did not go up into the mountain,) saying,...

Gal. 3:19 Why then the Law? It was added because of transgressions, until the Seed should come to those to whom it had been promised, being ordained through angels in the Mediator's hand.

Deut. 6:13 It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.

Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.' " See also Matt. 4:10

Deut. 6:14 You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you—...

1John 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

Deut 6:16 "You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.

Luke 4:12 And Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.' " See also Matt. 4:7 1Cor. 10:9 Heb. 3:8–9.

Deut. 7:8 But because Jehovah loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn to your fathers, Jehovah has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you out of the house of slaves, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

1John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation concerning our sins.

1John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.

Deut 8:3 And He humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone.' " See also Matt. 4:4.

Deut. 9:7, 24 Remember, and do not forget, how you provoked Jehovah your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day you departed out of the land of Egypt, until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against Jehovah. You have been rebellious against Jehovah from the day that I knew you.

Deut. 10:16 Therefore, circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stiff-necked.

Acts 7:51 O stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so you do.

Deut. 9:15, 19 So I turned and came down from the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire. And the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands. For I was afraid of the anger and fury with which Jehovah was angry against you to destroy you. But Jehovah listened to me at that time also.

Heb. 12:18 For you have not come to the mountain that might be touched and that burned with fire, nor to blackness and darkness and tempest,...

Deut. 10:17 For Jehovah your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, the mighty, and a terrible God, who does not respect persons nor take a bribe.

Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said, Truly I see that God is no respecter of persons;...

1Timothy 6:15 For He in His own time will reveal who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords,...

Deut. 10:20 You shall fear the LORD your God. You shall serve him and hold fast to him, and by His name you shall swear.

Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.' "

Deut. 13:14 then you shall inquire and make search, and ask carefully. And behold, if it is true, and the thing is certain, that such an abomination is done among you,...

2Cor. 6:15 And what agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever?

Deut. 17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses or three witnesses shall he that is worthy of death be put to death. At the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.

Deut. 19:15, 18–19 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sins. At the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be made sure. And the judges shall make careful inquiry. And behold, if the witness is a false witness and has testified falsely against his brother, then you shall do to him as he had thought to have done to his brother. So you shall put the evil away from among you.

Matt. 18:16 But if he will not hear you, take one or two more with you, so that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

John 8:17–18 It is also written in your Law that the testimony of two men is true. I am one who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness concerning Me.

2Cor. 13:1 I am coming to you this third time. In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.

1Tim. 5:19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except before two or three witnesses.

Heb. 10:28 He who despised Moses' Law died without mercy on the word of two or three witnesses.

Deut. 26:19 ...and to make you high above all nations which He has made, in praise and in name and in honor, and that you may be a holy people to Jehovah your God, even as He has spoken.

Deut. 28:9 Jehovah shall establish you a holy people to Himself, as He has sworn to you, if you shall keep the commandments of Jehovah your God and walk in His ways.

1Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession, so that you might speak of the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;...

Deut. 15:11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land. Therefore, I command you saying, You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor, and to your needy, in your land.

Matt. 26:11 For you have the poor with you always, but you do not always have Me.

John 12:8 For you have the poor with you always; but you do not always have Me.

Deut. 16:20 You shall follow that which is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which Jehovah your God gives you.

Rom. 10:5 For Moses writes of the righteousness which is of the Law, "The man who does those things shall live by them."

Deut. 15:7–11 If there is among you a poor man of one of your brothers inside any of your gates in your land which Jehovah your God gives you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother. But you shall open your hand wide to him, and shall surely lend him enough for his need, that which he lacks. Beware that there is not a thought in your wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand, and your eye may be evil against your poor brother, and you give him nothing. And he may cry to Jehovah against you, and it is sin to you. You shall surely give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing Jehovah your God shall bless you in all your works, and in all that you put your hand to. For the poor shall never cease out of the land. Therefore, I command you saying, You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor, and to your needy, in your land.

1Tim. 6:17–19 Charge the rich in this world that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, He offering to us richly all things to enjoy, that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to share, to be generous, laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Deut. 18:15, 18 Jehovah your God will raise up to you a Prophet from the midst of you, of your brothers, One like me. To Him you shall listen,...I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brothers, one like you, and will put My words in His mouth. And He shall speak to them all that I shall command Him.

Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said to the fathers, "The Lord your God shall raise up a Prophet to you from your brothers, One like me. You shall hear Him in all things, whatever He may say to you.

Acts 7:37 This is that Moses who said to the sons of Israel, "The Lord your God shall raise up a Prophet to you from your brothers, One like me; you shall hear Him."

John 1:21 And they asked him [John the Baptizer], What then? Are you Elijah? And he says, I am not. Are you that prophet? And he answered, No.

John 6:14 Then seeing the miracle that Jesus did, those men said, This is truly the Prophet, the One coming into the world.

John 12:49 [Jesus said,] For I have not spoken of Myself, but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say, and what I should speak.

Deut. 18:16 ...according to all that you desired of Jehovah your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying: Let me not hear again the voice of Jehovah my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, so that I do not die.

Heb. 12:19 ...and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words (which voice they who heard begged that a word should not be spoken to them any more,...

Deut. 18:19 And it shall happen, whatever man will not listen to My Words which He shall speak in My name, I will require it of him.

Luke 10:16 The one hearing you hears Me, and he who despises you despises Me; he who rejects you also rejects Him who sent Me.

John 12:48 He who rejects Me and does not receive My Words has one who judges him; the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

Acts 3:23 And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be destroyed from among the people.

Deut. 17:7 The hands of the witnesses shall be first on him to put him to death, and afterwards the hands of all the people. So you shall put the evil away from among you.

Deut. 19:19 then you shall do to him as he had thought to have done to his brother. So you shall put the evil away from among you.

1Cor. 5:13 But God judges those who are outside. Therefore put out from you the evil one.

Deut. 19:21 And your eye shall not pity. Life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

Matt. 5:38 You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth."

Deut. 21:6–8 And all the elders of that city nearest to the slain one, shall wash their hands over the heifer that has been beheaded in the stream. And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen. Be merciful, O Jehovah, to Your people Israel, whom You have redeemed, and do not lay innocent blood to the charge of Your people Israel. And the blood shall be forgiven them.

Matt. 27:24–25 But when Pilate saw that it gained nothing, but rather that a tumult was made, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person. You see to it. Then all the people answered and said, Let His blood be on us and on our children.

Deut. 21:22–23 And if a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and if he is put to death and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night on the tree. But you shall surely bury him that day (for he that is hanged is accursed of God), so that your land may not be defiled, which Jehovah your God gives you for an inheritance.

Gal. 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone having been hanged on a tree");...

Deut. 23:25 When you come into the standing grain of your neighbor, then you may pluck the heads with your hand, but you shall not move a sickle into your neighbor's standing grain.

Matt. 12:1 At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the sabbath day. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck the heads of grain and to eat.

Deut. 24:1 When a man has taken a wife and married her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes, because he has found some uncleanness in her, then let him write her a bill of divorce and put it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

Matt. 5:31 It was also said, Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce.

Matt. 19:3 And the Pharisees came to Him, tempting Him and saying to Him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

Deut. 24:14 You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, of your brothers, or of your strangers that are in your land within your gates.

James 5:4 Behold, the hire of the laborers reaping your fields cry out, being kept back by you. And the cries of those who have reaped have entered into the ears of the Lord of hosts.

Deut. 25:3 He may give him forty stripes, no more, lest he should exceed and beat him above these with many stripes, then your brother would be dishonored before your eyes.

2Cor. 11:24 Five times from the Jews I received forty stripes minus one.

Deut. 25:4 You shall not muzzle an ox when he treads out the grain.

Deut. 24:14–15 You shall not oppress a poor and needy hired servant, of your brothers or of your aliens who are in your land, within your gates. In the same day you shall give him his hire; do not let the sun go down on it. For he is poor, and has lifted up his heart on it; that he not cry against you to Jehovah, and it be sin against you.

1Cor. 9:9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox threshing grain." Does God take care for oxen?

1Tim. 5:18 For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle the ox treading out grain," and, "The laborer is worthy of his reward."

Deu 25:5 If brothers live together, and one of them dies, and has no son, the wife of the dead shall not go outside to a strange man; her brother-in-law shall go in to her, and take her to himself for a wife, and shall perform the duty of the levirate;...

Mat 22:23–24 On that day the Sadducees came to Him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked Him, saying, Master, Moses said, If a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up seed to his brother.

Deut. 27:26 Cursed is he who does not confirm all the words of this Law, to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Gal. 3:10 For as many as are out of works of the Law, these are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the Book of the Law, to do them."

Deut. 29:3–4 Your eyes have seen the great trials, the signs, and those great miracles. Yet Jehovah has not given you a heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, until today.

Rom 11:7–8 What then? Israel has not obtained that which it seeks, but the election obtained it, and the rest were hardened even as it is written, "God gave to them a spirit of slumber, eyes not seeing, and ears not hearing" until this day.

Deu 29:18 ...lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turns away today from Jehovah our God, to go serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that bears gall and wormwood,...

Heb. 12:15 ...looking diligently lest any fail of the grace of God, or lest any root of bitterness springing up disturb you, and by it many are defiled,...

Deut. 30:6 And Jehovah your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your seed, to love Jehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.

Rom. 2:28–29 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that outwardly in flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart; in spirit and not in letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God.

Col. 2:11 in whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ,...

Deut. 30:11 For this commandment which I command you today is not hidden from you, neither is it far off.

Rom. 10:6–8 But the righteousness of faith says this: "Do not say in your heart, Who shall ascend into Heaven?" that is, to bring Christ down; or "Who shall descend into the deep?"; that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead. But what does it say? "The Word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart"; that is, the Word of Faith which we proclaim;...

Deut. 31:26 Take this book of the Law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of Jehovah your God, so that it may be there for a witness against you.

Rom. 3:19–20 But we know that whatever things the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law; so that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may be under judgment before God, because by the works of the Law none of all flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law is the knowledge of sin.

Deut. 32:21 They have moved Me to jealousy with a no-god. They have provoked Me to anger with their vanities. And I will move them to jealousy with a no-people. I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

Rom. 10:19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses says, "I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you."

Deut. 32:35 Vengeance and retribution belong to Me. Their foot shall slide in time, for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come on them make haste.

Rom. 12:18–19 If it is possible, as far as is in you, being in peace with all men. not avenging yourselves, beloved, but giving place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord."

Heb. 10:30 For we know Him who has said, "Vengeance belongs to Me, I will repay, says the Lord." And again, "The Lord shall judge His people."

Deut. 32:43 Rejoice, O, nations, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance to His foes and will be merciful to His land, to His people.

Rom. 15:10 And again He says, "Rejoice, nations, with His people."

This list of verses came from Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible accessed November 10, 2013. Some came from Precept Austin, accessed June 19, 2016. Some editing was done.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

A Synopsis: Either Moses or Joshua sets the historical scene in the first chapter and then we have recorded several discourses by Moses to the people of Israel. This is one of the few times that Moses spoke his own words as guided by God the Holy Spirit (he did not speak extemporaneously but from his notes). In his first discourse, he recalled the history of Israel and interpreted it. In the second discourse, Moses gave a lengthy set of laws and regulations. In his third discourse, Moses gave the blessings and cursings which were to be read from Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim. At this point, he became very prophetical. To understand his prophecies made before (e.g., Lev. 26), recall that Moses was essentially repeating what God had told him to say. However, here Moses is not recounting God’s Word but speaking God’s Word. In his next discourse, Moses gives Israel some historical background and then delivered the Palestinian Covenant. Again, Moses is not repeating word-for-word what God had told him, but is explaining in his own vocabulary the result of his study of God’s Word in reference to the covenant between God and Israel. The Moses turns over the reigns of power to Joshua, gives what he has written to the priests, along with instructions. At the end of Deut. 31, God speaks to Moses and to Joshua directly. Finally, Moses writes a song, teaches it to all of Israel, gives his final blessings to the individual tribes of Israel, and then goes to the mountain and dies on the mountain.


Ron Ritchie: In the book of Deuteronomy as a whole, Moses presents three major messages to remind God's people about, respectively, (1) their history with God (1:1-4:49), (2) the Lord's covenant (5:1-11:32), and (3) the specific terms of the covenant (12:1-30:20). He finishes up with his own last will and testament (31:1-34:12). Deuteronomy ends with the account of how God led him into the hills of Moab (western Jordan) to die as consequence of his own sin (see Numbers 20:1-13; Deuteronomy 1:37; 34:1-6).

The Outline of Deuteronomy: What follows is a variety of outlines. It is quite important, when studying a book, to have a good, clear overview of that book. In many cases, understanding the overall book helps to clarify some of the difficult passages.


The Overview Bible Project: Overview of Deuteronomy

What is Deuteronomy about? An overview and summary of Deuteronomy

Finally: Israel is just across the Jordan River from the promised land of Canaan. Moses has led the young nation out of Egypt and on a 40-year journey through the wilderness, and they have just defeated several enemies before setting up camp here. Three of the 12 tribes are already settling the land east of the Jordan, and the whole nation is almost ready to enter the land God promised to their ancestor Abraham (back in the book of Genesis).

The last time Israel was this close to the promised land, they doubted God's promise and tried to go back to Egypt. Because of their unbelief, God banned that generation of Israelites from the land, causing them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years (see Numbers for the whole story). Now the old generation has died and the new nation is about to claim the land.

Before they do, Moses rallies the people to remind them of God's law-and why they should obey Him. This is how the book of Deuteronomy gets its name: it's the "second giving" of God's law.

From accessed May 29, 2015. This site, by the way, appears to be quite good in distilling the information found in each book of the Bible.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

Bible-history gives an outstanding short outline of Deuteronomy:’s Short Outline of Deuteronomy

1)      The First Address of Moses

Historical overview (Deuteronomy 1:6-3)

Appeal for commitment to God (Deuteronomy 4)


2)      The Second Address of Moses

God's covenant with Israel (Deuteronomy 5:1-21)

A Message about the First Commandment (Deuteronomy 6-9:6)

A Survey of the Laws Given on Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 9:7-10:11)

Reminders of God's Laws (Deuteronomy 10:12-11)


3)      The Laws

Sacrifice (Deuteronomy 12)

Giving in to Idolatry (Deuteronomy 13)

Acceptable and Forbidden Foods (Deuteronomy 14:3-21)

Tithes (Deuteronomy 14:22-29)

Year of Release (Deuteronomy 15:1-11)

Releasing Slaves (Deuteronomy 15:12-18)

Firstlings of Cattle and Sheep (Deuteronomy 15:19-23)

Yearly Pilgrimage Feasts and Festivals (Deuteronomy 16:1-17)

Leaders of the Nation (Deuteronomy 16:18-28:22)

Right of Asylum (Deuteronomy 19)

Conduct of War (Deuteronomy 20, 21:10-14, 23:9-14)

Marriage and Family Life (Deuteronomy 21, 22, 24:1-4, 25:5-10)

Certain Humanitarian Regulations (Deuteronomy 21, 22, 24, 25)

Blessings and Curses on the People (Deuteronomy 27)

Results of Observance and Neglect (Deuteronomy 28)


4)      The Last Days of Moses

Third Address (Deuteronomy 29-30)

Last Words and Acts of Moses (Deuteronomy 31-33)

Death and Burial of Moses (Deuteronomy 34)


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

Most Christian sources separate the book of Deuteronomy into four addresses of Moses whereas the Hebrew theologians separate this book into eight separate addresses. The latter is the proper way to see the headings of this book, and these eight separate addresses are interspersed with introductory material, a couple of historical events and the last two times God and Moses met face to face prior to Moses being taken into eternity.


I.       Introduction to the book of Deuteronomy (Deut. 1:1–5)

II.      The first discourse of Moses (Deut. 1:6–4:40)

         A.      Their historical background (1:6–3:29)

                  1.      Moses reviews their history from the Exodus to Kadesh-Barnea, where the people were too afraid to enter into the land (1:6–45)

                  2.      The 38 silent years (v. 46)

                  3.      From Kadesh to where they stand opposite Jericho (1:47–3:29)

         B.      The importance of God’s Word, God’s commandments and the obedience and fidelity of the Israelites (4:1–40)

         C.     Moses sets apart the three cities to the east of the Jordan for those who have committed unintentional manslaughter (Deut. 4:41–49)

III.     The second discourse of Moses given to all Israel (Deut. 5:1–26:19)

         A.      Moses repeats the Ten commandments and Moses reminds them of the historical circumstances of the receipt of those commandments (5:1–33)

                  1.      Introduction (5:1–5)

                  2.      Ten Commandments (5:6–21)

                  3.      Immediate history following the giving of the Ten Commandments (5:22–33)

         B.      Moses enjoins obedience to God’s Word (6:1–25)

         C.     God’s particular relationship with Israel (7:1–9:29)

                  1.      Moses warns them about their contact with the indigenous population of the Land of Promise and about their gods (7:1–5)

                  2.      Chosen Israel (7:6–11)

                  3.      Special blessings to Israel (7:12–19)

                  4.      Israel’s enemies in the land (7:20–26)

                  5.      God’s special blessings to Israel (8:1–9)

                  6.      Particular warnings from God (8:10–20)

                  7.      Israel’s rebelliousness and their provocation of God (9:1–29)

         D.     Miscellaneous history and exhortation (10:1–11:32)

                  1.      Ten Commandments re-written (10:1–4)

                  2.      The Levites (10:5–9)

                  3.      Exhortation to obey God and to show love as God has shown them love (10:10–22)

                  4.      God’s continued activity in their lives (11:1–17)

                  5.      The importance of learning His Word (11:18–22)

                  6.      Blessings and cursings (11:23–32)

         E.      What God expects of His people upon their entry into the land (12:1–26:15)

                  1.      What is acceptable in worship and what is not (12:1–17:1)

                            a.      Miscellaneous expectations upon entering the land (12:1–32)

                                     (1)     False religion vs. that which is true (12:1–10)

                                     (2)     Offerings (12:11–27)

                                     (3)     Disgusting heathen practices (12:28–32)

                            b.      Idolaters, false prophets and treatment of idolaters (13:1–18)

                            c.      Clean and unclean animals (14:1–21)

                            d.      Tithing, the Levites and the helpless (14:22–29)

                            e.      The Sabbath year regulations (15:1–23)

                            f.       Passover (16:1–8)

                            g.      Feast of Weeks (16:9–12)

                            h.      Feast of Booths (16:13–15)

                            i.       Conclusion and miscellaneous laws (16:16–17:1)

                  2.      Government (17:2–20)

                            a.      Appeal to the Levites and priests (vv. 2–13)

                            b.      Proper behavior for a king (vv. 14–20)

                  3.      Spiritual regulations (18:1–22)

                            a.      Portion of the Levites and priests (vv. 1–8)

                            b.      Spiritism is forbidden (vv. 9–14)

                            c.      The Prophet Who is to come (vv. 15–19)

                            d.      Test of a false prophet (vv. 20–22)

                  4.      Governmental regulations (19:1–21)

                            a.      The cities of refuge (vv. 1–13)

                            b.      Land boundaries, false witnesses and their punishment (vv. 14–21)

                  5.      Warfare (20:1–20)

                  6.      Unsolved homicides (21:1–9)

                  7.      Familial regulations (21:10–22)

                            a.      Wives taken out of captives in war (vv. 10–14)

                            b.      Two wives and their sons (vv. 15–17)

                            c.      Rebellious teenagers (vv. 18–21)

                            d.      Public executions (vv. 22–23)

                  8.      Various and sundry laws (22:1–25:19)

                            a.      Israelites should have a public conscience (22:1–8)

                            b.      Certain mixtures prohibited (22:9–12)

                            c.      Sexual morality (22:13–30)

                            d.      Exclusion from the assembly of God’s people (23:1–6)

                            e.      Foreigners who are not excluded (23:7–8)

                            f.       Cleanliness in war (23:9–14)

                            g.      Mistreated slaves (23:15–16)

                            h.      Prohibition of cult prostitutes (23:17–18)

                            i.       Interest regulations (23:19–20)

                            j.       Vows (23:21–23)

                            k.      Welfare (23:24–25)

                            l.       Laws of divorce (24:1–5)

                            m.     Pledges, kidnapping, leprosy (24:6–13)

                            n.      The paying of wages; personal responsibility (24:14–16)

                            o.      The helpless and welfare provisions (24:17–22)

                            p.      Limitations of punishment (25:1–3)

                            q.      Muzzling an ox while treading (25:4)

                            r.       Raising up seed for a deceased brother (25:5–10)

                            s.      Penalty for grabbing the testicles of a man (25:11–12)

                            t.       Integrity in business (25:13–16)

                            u.      Destroy the name of Amalek (25:17–19)

                  9.      The offering of the firstfruits (26:1–15)

         F.      Conclusion: obey God commandments (26:16–19)

IV.     The third discourse of Moses and the elders of Israel to the people (Deut. 27:1–28:68)

         A.      Cursings given from Mount Ebal (27:1–26)

         B.      Blessings from Mount Gerizim (28:1–12)

         C.     Cursings (28:15–68)

V.      The fourth discourse of Moses to the all Israel (Deut. 29:1–30:20)

         A.      God’s faithfulness (29:1–13)

         B.      Idolatry and the inevitable results (29:14–29)

         C.     The Palestinian Covenant (30:1–14)

VI.     The fifth discourse of Moses spoken to all Israel; Moses turns over his authority to Joshua (Deut. 31:1–8)

VII.    The sixth discourse of Moses, a specific charge to the priests (Deut. 31:9–13)

VIII.   God speaks to Moses, telling him of his impending death and God speaks to Joshua (Deut. 31:14–23)

IX.     Moses writes a song and gives the Word of God and special instructions to the Levites (Deut. 31:24–30)

X.      The Song of Moses (Deut. 32:1–43)

         A.      God perfect character (32:1–4)

         B.      Israel’s rebellion (32:5–6)

         C.     God’s faithfulness and provision (32:7–14

         D.     Israel’s apostasy (32:15–21)

         E.      God disciplines Israel (32:22–25)

         F.      God will not completely obliterate Israel (32:26–35)

         G.     God will vindicate His people (32:36–43)

XI.     Final exhortation by Moses concerning God’s Word: “It is not an idle word, it is your life!” (Deut. 32:44–47)

XII.    God tells Moses to go up to the mountain to die for breaking faith with Him in the wilderness (Deut. 32:48–52)

XIII.   The final blessing of Moses to the tribes (Deut. 33:1–29)

         A.      Introduction (33:1–5)

         B.      Blessing of the twelve tribes (33:6–25)

         C.     Blessings to all of Israel (33:26–29)

XIV.  The Death of Moses (Deut. 34:1–12)

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

The outline that I have provided is quite large and detailed, so here are some shorter outlines:

A Shorter Outline from the Pulpit Commentary


         A.      The new beginning and review of the journeyings of Israel from Kadesh to the river Arnon, the frontier of the Amorites. Deut. 2:1–23.

         B.      First war of conquest. Deut. 2:24–37; Deut. 3:1–17.

         C.     Conclusion of historical recapitulation. Deut. 3:18–20.

         D.     Joshua appointed Moses" successor. Deut. 3:21–29.

         E.      Admonitions and exhortations. Deut. 4:1–40.

         F.      Appointment of three cities of refuge beyond Jordan. Deut. 4:41–43.

II.      SECOND ADDRESS OF MOSES. Deu 4:44–26:19.

         A.      Introduction. Deut. 4:44–49.

         B.      The Decalogue the basis of the covenant, the essence of the whole Law, and the condition of life and felicity. Deut. 5:1–33.

         C.     First and great commandment. Deut. 6:1–25.

         D.     Entire separation from idolatry. Deut. 7:1–26.

         E.      Exhortations to obedience enforced by a review of God"s dealings with Israel in the wilderness. Deut. 8:1–20.

         F.      Dissuasives from self–righteousness. Deut. 9:1–29.

         G.     Renewed exhortations to obedience. Deut. 10:1–22; Deut. 11:1–32.

         H.     Announcement of particular statutes and rights. Deut. 12:1–26:19.

III.     THIRD ADDRESS OF MOSES. Deut. 27:1–26; Deut. 28:1–68.

         A.      The Law to be inscribed on stones, an altar to be built, and the blessing and curse to be uttered on Gerizim and on Ebal when Canaan was occupied by the Israelites. Deut. 27:1–13.

         B.      Curses and blessings pronounced, judgments threatened in case of disobedience. Deut. 27:14–26; Deut. 28:1–68.



VI.     SONG OF MOSES. Deut. 32:1–43. And Moses" last words. Deut. 32:44–52.

VII.    BENEDICTION OF MOSES. Deut. 33:1–29.



Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

Throntveit provides both an outline and brief description.

Mark Throntveit’s Outline of Deuteronomy

I.       Moses' First Address (1:1-4:43)

Deuteronomy begins with the first of three farewell addresses delivered by Moses before his death and before Israel enters the promised land of Canaan.

         A.      Historical Retrospective (1:1-3:29)

In this historical retrospective Moses tells the story of Israel's forty-year journey from Mt. Horeb to the plains of Moab east of the Jordan River--touching upon the exodus, the revelation at Mt. Horeb, and Israel's rebellion in the wilderness.

         B.      The Importance of Obedience (4:1-43)

In this sermon, Moses discusses the importance of observing the law by elaborating upon the significance of the first commandment (the second in Judaism) regarding the exclusive allegiance God demands.

II.      Moses' Second Address (4:44-28:68)

In his second of three farewell addresses, Moses discusses what life lived in covenantal relationship with God looks like, focusing on what it means to "love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might" (6:5).

         A.      Introduction (4:44-5:33)

Two basic elements of God's will for Israel, the theophany at Mt. Horeb and the Ten Commandments, are presented as divinely revealed.


         B.      The Importance of Loyalty to God (6:1-11:32)

Here we find a selection of sermon fragments on the first commandment (chapter 6), the danger of assimilation with the Canaanites (chapter 7), the peril of prosperity (chapter 8), the temptation of self-righteousness (9:1-10:11), and obedience as a condition for prosperity in the land (10:12-11:32).

         C.     The Deuteronomic Code (12:1-26:15)

This long section is the heart of Deuteronomy. It presents the laws themselves, but not in the style of a legal code. Rather, it contains detailed excerpts from ancient law together with theological commentary. Chapters 12:1-16:17 are basically concerned with matters of worship; and 16:18-18:22 are generally concerned with the duties of judges, other officials, the king, the Levites, and the prophets; but chapters 19-26 defy schematization.

         D.     Covenant Renewal (26:16-28:68)

Moses describes a ceremony for renewing the covenant made at Mt. Horeb. The ceremony is to take place at Mt. Ebal near Shechem after crossing the Jordan River (26:16-27:26). Blessings if Israel complies (28:1-14) and curses if they do not (28:15-68) complete the sermon.

III.     Moses' Third Speech (29:1-30:20)

Moses' third speech challenges Israel--whether on the verge of the Jordan, in the days of Josiah, or today--to choose between obedience and life and disobedience and death.

         A.      Historical Review (29:1-29)

The third speech begins with a historical review of God's covenant loyalty to Israel in the past (29:1-9). In verses 10-29, Moses switches from talking about the past to urging the present assembly to remain loyal.

         B.      Promise of Restoration (30:1-10)

Moses then reassures the people that, should they fail, restoration will follow if they repent. This appears to be an addition to the text, especially addressed to those in exile in the sixth century B.C.E.

         C.     Exhortation to "Choose Life!" (30:11-20)

The sermon concludes with an assurance that what the Lord requires is neither too difficult nor too far away (vv. 11-14) and a fervent appeal for the people to "Choose life!"-that is, life lived in covenantal relationship with the Lord (vv. 15-20).

IV.     Appendix (31:1-34:12)

Deuteronomy concludes with a number of unrelated passages that provide a measure of closure to Deuteronomy as well as the Pentateuch as a whole.

         A.      Joshua Appointed as Moses' Successor (31:1-8, 14-15, 23)

The crucial transition from Moses to Joshua begins with Moses speaking of his own death and discussing what lies ahead for Israel. God will lead them into the promised land (vv. 1-6). Then he appoints Joshua as his successor (vv. 7-8), an action repeated by God in verses 14-15, 23.

         B.      The Torah Is Entrusted to the Levites (31:9-13, 24-29)

After committing the law to writing (v. 9a), Moses entrusts it to the Levitical priests (v. 9b), who are charged with its public reading every seventh year at the Festival of Booths (vv. 10-13).

         C.     The Song of Moses (31:16-32:47)

The first part of the Song of Moses (32:1-25) is presented as a lawsuit brought by God against Israel, accusing them of unfaithfulness (vv. 2-22) and passing sentence (vv. 23-25). The second part (vv. 26-42) depicts God pondering the consequences of this action (vv. 26-27), turning to accuse the nations of misunderstanding (vv. 28-38), and finally declaring a verdict upon these unnamed nations (vv. 39-42).

         D.     The Blessing of Moses (33:1-29)

Moses' final words are words of blessing for each of the tribes (except Simeon) reminiscent of Jacob's blessing of his sons, who became the tribes of Israel, at the end of Genesis (Genesis 49:2-27). Thus, the blessing serves as a conclusion to the Pentateuch as well as to Deuteronomy.

         E.      The Death of Moses (32:48-52; 34:1-12)

The death of Moses has been appended by the final redactor of the Pentateuch reporting that Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land (34:1-8) and assuring readers, once again, that Joshua is Moses' divinely appointed successor (34:9). The redactor's closing eulogy lifts up Moses' vigorous physical strength (v. 7) as well as the strength of the Lord that accompanied his encounter with Pharaoh (vv. 10-12).

From (outline); accessed June 18, 2016.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

Keil and Delitzsch become more descriptive than most.

An Outline of Deuteronomy from Keil and Delitzsch

I.       The first part of the book, which embraces by far the greater portion of it, viz., ch. 1–30, consists of three long addresses, which Moses delivered to all Israel, according to the heading of Deut. 1:1–4, in the land of Moab, on the first of the eleventh month, in the fortieth year after the exodus from Egypt.

         A.      The first of these addresses (ch. 1:6–4:40) is intended to prepare the way for the exposition and enforcement of the law, which follow afterwards. Moses calls to their recollection the most important facts connected with the history of their forty years' wandering in the desert, under the protection and merciful guidance of the Lord (ch. 1:6–3:29); and to this he attaches the exhortation not to forget the revelation of the Lord, which they had seen at Horeb, or the words of the covenant which they had heard, but to bear in mind at all times, that Jehovah alone was God in heaven and on earth, and to keep His commandments and rights, that they might enjoy long life and prosperity in the land of Canaan (ch. 4:1–40). This is followed by the statement in Deut. 4:41–43, that Moses set apart three cities of refuge in the land to the east of the Jordan for unintentional manslayers.

         B.      The second address (ch. 5–26) is described in the heading in Deut. 4:44–49 as the law, which Moses set before the children of Israel, and consists of two parts, the one general and the other particular. In the general part (ch. 5–11), Moses repeats the ten words of the covenant, which Jehovah spoke to Israel from Sinai out of the midst of the fire, together with the circumstances which attended their promulgation (ch. 5), and then expounds the contents of the first two commandments of the decalogue, that Jehovah alone is the true and absolute God, and requires love from His people with all their heart and all their soul, and therefore will not tolerate the worship of any other god beside Himself (ch. 6). For this reason the Israelites were not only to form no alliance with the Canaanites after conquering them, and taking possession of the promised land, but to exterminate them without quarter, and destroy their altars and idols, because the Lord had chosen them to be His holy nation from love to their forefathers, and would keep the covenant of His grace, and bestow the richest blessings upon them, if they observed His commandments (ch. 7); but when in possession and enjoyment of the riches of this blessed land, they were to remain for ever mindful of the temptation, humiliation, and fatherly chastisement which they had experienced at the hand of their God in the wilderness, that they might not forget the Lord and His manifestations of mercy in their self–exaltation (ch. 8), but might constantly remember that they owed their conquest and possession of Canaan not to their own righteousness, but solely to the compassion and covenant faithfulness of the Lord, whom they had repeatedly provoked to anger in the wilderness (ch. 9:1–10:11), and might earnestly strive to serve the Lord in true fear and love, and to keep His commandments, that they might inherit the promised blessing, and not be exposed to the curse which would fall upon transgressors and the worshippers of idols (ch. 10:12–11:32). To this there is added in the more special part (ch. 12–26), an account of the most important laws which all Israel was to observe in the land of its inheritance, viz.: (1.) Directions for the behaviour of Israel towards the Lord God, e.g., as to the presentation of sacrificial offerings and celebration of sacrificial meals at no other place than the one chosen by God for the revelation of His name (ch. 12); as to the destruction of all seducers to idolatry, whether prophets who rose up with signs and wonders, or the closest blood–relations, and such towns in the land as should fall away to idolatry (ch. 13); as to abstinence from the mourning ceremonies of the heathen, and from unclean food, and the setting apart of tithes for sacrificial meals and for the poor (ch. 14); as to the observance of the year of remission, the emancipation of Hebrew slaves in the seventh year, and the dedication of the first–born of oxen and sheep (ch. 15), and as to the celebration of the feast of Passover, of Weeks, and of Tabernacles, by sacrificial meals at the sanctuary (ch. 16:1–17). (2.) Laws concerning the organization of the theocratic state, and especially as to the appointment of judges and official persons in every town, and the trial of idolaters and evil–doers in both the lower and higher forms (ch. 16:18–17:13); concerning the choice of a king in the future, and his duties (Deut. 17:14–20); concerning the rights of priests and Levites (Deut. 18:1–8); and concerning false and true prophets (vv. Deut. 18:9–22). (3.) Regulations bearing upon the sanctification of human life: viz., legal instructions as to the establishment of cities of refuge for unintentional manslayers (Deut. 19:1–13); as to the maintenance of the sanctity of the boundaries of landed property, and abstinence from false charges against a neighbour (Deut. 4:14–21); as to the conduct of war, with special reference to the duty of sparing their own fighting men, and also defenceless enemies and their towns (ch. 20); as to the expiation of inexplicable murders (Deut. 21:1–9); as to the mild treatment of women taken in war (Deut. 4:10–14); the just use of paternal authority (Deut. 4:15–21); and the burial of criminals that had been executed (Deut. 4:22, Deut. 4:23). (4.) The duty of paying affectionate regard to the property of a neighbour, and cherishing a sacred dread of violating the moral and natural order of the world (Deut. 22:1–12), with various precepts for the sanctification of the marriage bond (ch. 22:13–23:1), of the theocratic union as a congregation (ch. 23:2–25), and also of domestic and social life, in all its manifold relations (chs. 24 and 25); and lastly, the appointment of prayers of thanksgiving on the presentation of the first–fruits and tenths of the fruits of the field (Deut. 26:1–15); together with a closing admonition (Deut. 4:16–19) to observe all these laws and rights with all the heart.

         C.     The third address (ch. 27–30) has reference to the renewal of the covenant. This solemn act is introduced with a command to write the law upon large stones when Canaan should be conquered, and to set up these stones upon Mount Ebal, to build an altar there; and after presenting burnt–offerings and slain–offerings, to proclaim in the most solemn manner both the blessing and curse of the law, the former upon Gerizim, and the latter upon Ebal (ch. 27). Moses takes occasion from this command to declare most fully what blessings and curses would come upon the people, according as they should or should not hearken to the voice of the Lord (ch. 28). Then follows the renewal of the covenant, which consisted in the fact that Moses recited once more, in a solemn address to the whole of the national assembly, all that the Lord had done for them and to them; and after pointing again to the blessings and curses of the law, called upon them and adjured them to enter into the covenant of Jehovah their God, which He had that day concluded with them, and having before them blessing and cursing, life and death, to make the choice of life. – The second and much shorter portion of the book (ch. 31–34) contains the close of Moses' life and labours: (a) the appointment of Joshua to be the leader of Israel into Canaan, and the handing over of the book of the law, when completed, to the priests, for them to keep and read to the people at the feast of Tabernacles in the year of jubilee (Deut 31 b) the song of Moses (Deut 32:1–47), and the announcement of his death (Deut. 32:48–52 c) the blessing of Moses (Deut 33); and (d) the account of his death (Deut. 34:1–12).

         D.     From this general survey of the contents, it is sufficiently evident that the exposition of the commandments, statutes, and rights of the law had no other object than this, to pledge the nation in the most solemn manner to an inviolable observance, in the land of Canaan, of the covenant which Jehovah had made with Israel at Horeb (Deut. 29:1). To this end Moses not only repeats the fundamental law of this covenant, the decalogue, but many of the separate commandments, statutes, and rights of the more expanded Sinaitic law.

         E.      Not only are the instructions relating to the building of the sanctuary, the service of the priests and Levites, and the laws of sacrifice and purification, passed over without mention as being already known; but of the festivals and festive celebrations, only the three annual feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles are referred to, and that but briefly, for the purpose of commanding the observance of the sacrificial meals which were to be held at the sanctuary in connection with these feasts (Deut 16). The tithes and first-fruits are noticed several times, but only so far as they were to be applied to common sacrificial meals before the Lord. The appointment of judges is commanded in all the towns of the land, and rules are given by which the judicial form of procedure is determined more minutely; but no rule is laid down as to the election of the judges, simply because this had been done before. On the ether hand, instructions are given concerning the king whom the people would one day desire to set over themselves; concerning the prophets whom the Lord would raise up; and also concerning any wars that might be waged with other nations than the Canaanites, the extermination of the latter being enforced once more; and several things besides. - And if this selection of materials indicates an intention, not so much to complete the legislation of the earlier books by the addition of new laws, as to promote its observance and introduction into the national life, and secure its permanent force; this intention becomes still more apparent when we consider how Moses, after repeating the decalogue, not only sums up the essential contents of all the commandments, statutes, and rights which Jehovah has commanded, in the one command to love God with all the heart, etc., and sets forth this commandment as the sum of the whole law, but in all his expositions of the law, all his exhortations to obedience, and all threats and promises, aims ever at this one object, to awaken in the hearts of the people a proper state of mind for the observance of the commandments of God, viz., a feeling of humility and love and willing obedience, and to destroy that love for merely outward legality and pharisaic self-righteousness which is inherent in the natural man, that the people may circumcise the foreskin of their heart, and enter heartily into the covenant of their God, and maintain that covenant with true fidelity.

II.      And just as these addresses, which complete the giving of the law and bring it to a close, form an integral part of the Thorah, so the historical account of the finishing of the book of the law, and its being handed over to the priests, together with the song and blessing of Moses (ch. 31–33), form a fitting conclusion to the work of Moses, the lawgiver and mediator of the old covenant; and to this the account of his death, with which the Pentateuch closes (Deut. 34:1–12), is very appropriately appended.

From Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament; from e-Sword; Deuteronomy book comments.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

This outline is somewhat unique.

The Division of Deuteronomy by Arno Gaebelein


         1.      Introduction (Deuteronomy 1:1-5)

         2.      From Horeb to Kadesh (Deuteronomy 1:6-46)

         3.      After the Forty Years: Conflict and Conquest (Deut. 2-3)

         4.      Hearken, O Israel! (Deuteronomy 4:1-40)

         5.      The Three Cities of Refuge (Deuteronomy 4:41-43)


         1.      The Proclamation of the Decalogue (Deuteronomy 4:44-49; Deuteronomy 5:1-33)

         2.      The First Commandment and What it Involves (Deuteronomy 6:1-25)

         3.      The Possession of the Land and Their Separation (Deuteronomy 7:1-26)

         4.      Thou Shalt Remember! Provision and Warning (Deuteronomy 8:20)

         5.      Warning Against Self-Righteousness and Their Previous Failures (Deut. 9-10:11)

         6.      Jehovah's Love and His Requirements of His People (Deuteronomy 10:12-22)

         7.      Israel's Responsibility: The Blessing and the Curse (Deuteronomy 11:1-32)

         8.      The Place of Worship (Deuteronomy 12:1-32)

         9.      Warning Against False Prophets and Their Punishment (Deuteronomy 13:1-18)

         10.    The Children of God and Their Separation (Deuteronomy 14:1-29)

         11.    The Year of Release and Liberation Of Hebrew Slaves (Deuteronomy 15:1-18)

         12.    The Firstlings and the Three Feasts (Deuteronomy 15:19-23; Deuteronomy 16:1-17)

         13.    Justice and the Choice of a King (Deuteronomy 16:18-22; Deuteronomy 17:1-20)

         14.    The Rights of the Priests and Levites, the True and the False Prophet (Deuteronomy 18:1-22)

         15.    Laws for Israel in the Land (Deuteronomy 19:1-21)

         16.    Concerning Future Wars (Deuteronomy 20:1-20)

         17.    The Expiation of an Uncertain Murder and Various Instructions (Deuteronomy 21:1-23)

         18.    Against Inhumanity and Different Violations, False Testimony and Sins of Adultery (Deuteronomy

         19.    The Congregation of Jehovah: Its Constitution and Holiness (Deuteronomy 23:1-25)

         20.    Concerning Divorce and Laws of Mercy (Deuteronomy 24:1-22)

         21.    Various Laws and Responsibilities (Deuteronomy 25:1-19)

         22.    First Fruits and Prayer (Deuteronomy 26:1-19)

         23.    The Memorial of the Law at Mount Ebal, Gerizim, and Ebal (Deuteronomy 27:1-26)

         24.    The Blessing and the Curse (Deuteronomy 28:1-68)

         25.    The Repetition of the Covenant and the Restated Curse (Deuteronomy 29:1-29)

         26.    The Dispersion and the Return: The Final Appeal (Deuteronomy 30:1-20)


         1.      Moses' Final Charge, the Written Law Delivered, and Jehovah's Word to Moses (Deuteronomy 31)

         2.      The Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32:1-43)

         3.      The Blessing of Moses (Deuteronomy 32:43-52; Deuteronomy 33:1-29)

         4.      The Death of Moses (Deuteronomy 34:1-12)

From Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible accessed November 11, 2013. L. M. Grant divides Deuteronomy into the same 3 sections.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

This is fairly standard, but it is brief, and easy to take in.


The Law Repeated for the New Generation


I.       First Discourse of Moses, Deuteronomy 1-4

         1.      Review of Israel's History from Sinai to the Jordan, Deuteronomy 1:1-46; Deuteronomy 2:1-37; Deuteronomy 3:1-29

         2.      Appeal to the People to Faithfully Observe God's Commands, Deuteronomy 4:1-40

         3.      Supplementary Historical Statement, Deuteronomy 1:41-46

II.      Moses' Second Discourse, Deuteronomy 5-28

         1.      Repetition of the Decalogue and Exhortation to Cleave unto God, Deuteronomy 5-11

         2.      Laws Regulating the Religious and Social Life of the People, Deuteronomy 12-26

         3.      The Law to be Written on Plastered Stones; the Cursings and the Blessings, Deuteronomy 27:1-26; Deuteronomy 28:1-6

         4.      Consequences that Will Follow Obedience and Disobedience, Deuteronomy 28:7-68

III.     The Third Discourse, Deuteronomy 29:1-29; Deuteronomy 30:1-20

The Covenant Renewed and Enforced with Promises and Threatenings

IV.     The Final Scenes in Moses' Career, Deuteronomy 31-34

         1.      Joshua Charged and Commissioned, Deuteronomy 31:1-23

         2.      The Book of the Law Delivered to the Priests, Deuteronomy 31:24-29

         3.      The Song of Moses and Directions to Ascend Nebo, Deuteronomy 32:1-52

         4.      Moses' Final Blessing, Deuteronomy 33:1-29

         5.      The Death of Moses, Deuteronomy 34:1-12

From F.B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary accessed November 11, 2013.


Peter Pett’s overview of Deuteronomy: Deut. 1:1 to Deut. 4:44 provide the preamble and historical prologue for the overall covenant, followed by the general stipulations in chapters 5–11. There now, therefore, in 12–26 follow the detailed stipulations which complete the main body of the covenant. These also continue the second speech of Moses which began in Deut. 5:1.

Thomas Constable’s Chart/Organization of Deuteronomy 12–25






Deut. 12:1-31

ch. 12



Deut. 12:32 to Deut. 13:18

ch. 12



Deut. 14:1-21

Deut. 13:1 to Deut. 14:27

Name of God


Deut. 14:22 to Deut. 16:17

Deut. 14:28 to Deut. 16:17



Deut. 16:18 to Deut. 18:22

Deut. 16:18 to Deut. 18:22



Deut. 19:1 to Deut. 22:8

Deut. 19:1 to Deut. 22:8



Deut. 22:9 to Deut. 23:18

Deut. 22:9 to Deut. 23:19



Deut. 23:19 to Deut. 24:7

Deut. 23:20 to Deut. 24:7



Deut. 24:8 to Deut. 25:4

Deut. 24:8 to Deut. 25:4

False witness


Deut. 25:5-19

Deut. 25:5-16


Both Merrill and Kaufman apparently notice a fascinating parallel between the Ten Commandments and the organization of Deut. 12–25.

Dr. John Constable The Expository Notes of Dr. Constable; ©2012; from e-sword, Deut. 17 chapter comments. Constable credits Note: Merrill, Deuteronomy, pp. 218-331; and Stephen A. Kaufman, "The Structure of the Deuteronomic Law," MAARAV 1 (1978-79):105-58.


Expositor’s Bible Commentary: WITH this section (chapters 12-26) we have at length reached the legislation to which all that has gone before is, in form at least, a prelude. But in its general outline this code, if it can be so called, has a very unexpected character. When we speak of a code of laws in modern days, what we mean is a series of statutes, carefully arranged under suitable heads, dealing with the rights and duties of the people, and providing remedies for all possible wrongs, then behind these laws there is the executive power of the Government, pledged to enforce them, and ready to punish any breaches of them which may be committed. In most cases, too, definite penalties are appointed for any disregard or transgression of them. Each word has been carefully selected, and it is understood that the very letter of the laws is to be binding. Every one tried by them knows that the exact terms of the laws are to be pressed against him, and that the thing aimed at is a rigorous, literal enforcement of every detail. Tried by such a conception, this Deuteronomic legislation looks very extraordinary and unintelligible.


Chapter Outline

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Themes of Deuteronomy: What sticks out in my mind more than anything else is the warnings delivered by Moses to the children of Israel is the apostasy that they might fall into, against which Moses warns. One of the other great themes of this book is love, which is mentioned twenty-two times in this book. It is often on the basis of love for God that Moses exhorts the Israelites to obey Him (Deut. 7:7–8 8:17 9:4–6). Those who picture a God of vengeance and wrath in the Old Testament and a God of love in the New Testament just do not know what is in the Old Testament. Jesus Christ of the New Testament is Yehowah, the God of Israel, in the Old. Because of God’s love for us, we are to obey His Word.


McGee: And let’s understand one thing: the Law is good. Although I emphasize and overemphasize the fact that God cannot save us by Law, that does not imply that the Law is not good. Of course the Law is good. Do you know where the trouble lies? The trouble is with you and me. Therefore, God must save us only by His grace.

“Listen and obey the commandments of God" is a phrase used by Moses several times throughout this book. The Generation of Promise, and those which followed, were to listen to God’s Word and to obey it. We find this phrase, or something similar to it, in Deut. 5:1 6:3–4 9:1 10:12 12:1 20:3.

The devotion of Israel to God is to be more than ceremonial; more than mere obedience to Law. The Israelite was to love his God with all his soul, and his heart and all his might (Deut. 10:12 11:1, 13, 22 13:3 19:9 30:6, 16, 20). In fact, obedience to the Law is more often tied to loving God than to the fear of God (Deut. 5:10 6:5 7:8 10:12, 15 11:1, 13, 22 13:8 19:9 30:16, 20). Ideally, your own child obeys you because he loves you and his trusts you, rather than out of simple fear (which is, of course, a motivating factor).

“Remember God's deliverance of you out of Egypt." Moses continually goes back to what God has done on behalf of Israel—to events observed by his listeners, in order to convince them that Yehowah is a God unlike any heathen god. Deut. 5:15 7:18 8:2, 18 9:7, 27 11:2 15:15 16:3, 12 24:9, 18, 22 25:17.

Related to God’s deliverance of Israel is the uniqueness of God and the uniqueness of the relationship between God and Israel. There is no God like the God of Israel and God has chosen Israel above all other nations (Deut. 4:35, 39 5:26 6:4 10:17 32:39). Since Israel was set apart to God, she was not to pursue other gods (Deut. 6:14–15 7:4, 6 8:19–20 11:16–17, 20 30:17–18). This is analogous to being married and then cheating on the one that you love above all others. Therefore, God is jealous of all rivals for His love and He despises all forms of idolatry (Deut. 7:4, 25–26 12:31 13:14 18:12 20:18 27:15 29:24–26 31:16–17).

As has been previously mentioned, Moses desires for this generation to enter into the Land of Promise and to take it. Therefore, Moses uses the phrase “go in and possess” thirty-five times; and thirty-four times he says “the land which Yehowah your God is giving you.” I recall that my parents expected me to go to college; I don’t recall them even using the phrase if you go to college; the phrasing they used was when you go to college. Moses does the same thing here.

One of the great themes of this book is the teaching of God’s Word to one’s children. “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen, and so that they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and to your grandsons. Remember the day you stood before Yehowah your God at Horeb when Yehowah said to me, ‘Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth and that they may teach their children.” (Deut. 4:9–10). “And these words which I am command you today, they will be on your heart; and you will teach them diligently to your sons and you will talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. And You will bind them as a sign on your hand and they will be as frontals on your forehead. And you will write them on the doorposts of your house an on your gates.” (Deut. 6:6–9; see also Deut. 11:18–22). And he said to them, “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you will command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law. For it is not an idle word for you; indeed, it is your life. And by this word you will prolong you days in the land which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.” (Deut. 32:46–47).


McGee: By the way, I wonder if this isn’t the great neglect in the modern home. We talk about the failure of the school and the failure of the church today, and I agree that both have miserably failed in teaching boys and girls, but the real problem is in the home where instruction should have originated.


Chapter Outline

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Content: There are portions of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers which are rehashed herein. This is not repetition, per se, as the listeners are a new generation of believers, the generation of promise. Those to whom the rest of the Law was given rejected it and God took them out under the sin unto death. There are times that some of the laws may seem to be a bit different from what had been presented in the previous three books. Some of the material found in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers pertained only to Israel while on foot and while temporarily encamped. Deuteronomy deals in part with their behavior and rituals once they enter the land of Canaan.


NASB: [Moses]...takes the legislation which the Lord had given to Israel nearly forty years before and adapts it to conditions of settled life in the land to which Israel was soon to go.

In the previous three books, there is a fair amount of narrative. This book is primarily the verbal teaching of Moses to the people. Much of this covers their immediate history and their relationship to Yehowah, their God. As we have gone through those books, I have interpreted the meaning of their experience. Moses does that throughout Deuteronomy. He reviews the failures of the Israelites and reprimands them; but, much more importantly, he uses their past experiences as a springboard to speak of their future choices.


As the NASB notes read: throughout this book, events are charged with meaning. Moses gives a good deal of history; but in nearly every case he relates events to the spiritual lesson which they underscore.

Narrative Content: The narrative in this book is quite limited. There is no movement of the troops of Israel. We have Moses speaking to the people, speaking to the priests, handing the book of the Law to the priests, teaching his song to the sons of Israel, speaking to God, blessing Israel, and then dying.


Chapter Outline

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Precept Austin Deuteronomy

Overview Chart

Deut 1:1-4:43

Deut 4:44-26:19

Deut 27:1-34:12

Moses' First Discourse

Moses' Second Discourse

Moses' Third Discourse

Historical Review

Legal Exposition

Prophetical Promises

Looking Back 40 Years

Looking Up What God Expected of Israel

Looking Ahead What God Will Do for Israel

Recapitulation of Wanderings

Rehearsal of Israel's Law

Ratification of Israel's Covenant

Historical Appendices

Remem-brance of the past

Deut. 4:44–26:19

Commandments for the Present

Dt 27:1-30:20

Blessing and Cursing

Dt 31:1-34:12 Death of Moses

Take Heed Don't forget

Ten Commands

Related Commands

Two Choices Affecting the Future

Moses' Parting Words

Dt 1:1-4:43 Looking Back

Dt 4:44-11:32 Exposition of Decalogue

Dt 12:1-16:17 Ceremonial Laws

Dt16:18-20:20 Civil Laws

Dt 21:1-26:19 Social Laws

Dt 27:1-28:68 Ratification of Covenant

Dt 29:1-30:20 Terms of Covenant

Dt 31:1-34:12 Moses' Song, Blessing, Death

From accessed June 18, 2016.

Chart Overview of Deuteronomy: Although an outline was wonderful for me to recall the portions of Deuteronomy and to organize my thinking, I don’t know if anyone else reads the outline. I don’t know that I have ever read another person’s outline. However, there is a section of Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts which I found to be quite informative, and that is their chart on p. 56, which I have stolen, changed considerably and adapted to my own notes:


Introduction to the book of Deuteronomy

The first discourse of Moses

Moses sets apart the three cities three cities of refuge the east of the Jordan

The second discourse of Moses given to all Israel


Deut. 1:1–5

 Deut. 1:6–4:40

Deut. 4:41–49

Deut. 5:1–26:19

Writing Style






Joshua or Moses



The time, the place and recent events

A review and a divine interpretation of Israel’s history and stern exhortation

A refuge for unintentional manslaughter is set aside

The decalogue, ceremonial laws 12:1–16:17), civil laws (16:18–18:22), criminal laws (19:1–21:9) and laws which deal with the family and prosperity (21:10–25:19)

Writing Category




Time and Place

Roughly a one week period of time around 1406 bc in the plains of Moab


The third discourse of Moses and the elders of Israel to the people

The fourth discourse of Moses to the all Israel

The fifth discourse of Moses spoken to all Israel

The sixth discourse of Moses, a specific charge to the priests


Deut. 27:1–28:68

Deut. 29:1–30:20

Deut. 31:1–8

 Deut. 31:9–13

Writing Style




Moses edited by Joshua


Blessings and cursings from Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim

Prophecy of the stern discipline to come; the Palestinian Covenant; exhortation

Moses publicly recognizes Joshua and encourages Israel in war

Moses gives the Law to the priests and tells them to read the Law when all Israel gathers

Writing Category


Time and Place

Roughly a one week period of time around 1406 bc in the plains of Moab


God speaks to Moses, telling him of his impending death and God commissions Joshua

Moses writes a song and gives special instructions to the Levites; The Song of Moses; concluding remarks to people

God tells Moses to go up to the mountain to die

The blessing of Moses to the people

The Death of Moses


Deut. 31:14–23

Deut. 31:24–32:47

Deut. 32:48–52

Deut. 33:1–29

Deut. 34:1–12

Writing Style


Narrative; song; exhortation


Last blessing




Joshua and Moses

Joshua editing (Moses and God speak)



God tells Moses what will occur and tells him to write a song

God’s special protection afforded Israel; severe but tempered discipline of Israel; final vindication

God tells Moses to go die on the mountain and reminds him as to why

Moses blesses the twelve tribes; not necessarily prophetical material

Moses goes to the mountain to die; there is no prophet like Moses

Writing Category



Time and Place

Roughly a one week period of time around 1406 bc in the plains of Moab

Final Comments and Conclusions: Because our Lord quoted from it against Satan, you know that this would become one of the most attacked books of the Bible. This is why so much time was spent in this introduction covering the authorship of Deuteronomy. There should be no question in your

mind as to the fact that Moses wrote this just as Scripture says. Now prepare yourself for the exegesis of one of the most incredible books of the Old Testament. Enjoy!

Some Possible Outlines of Deuteronomy


From: accessed November 12, 2013.


Deuteronomy Chart From Believers Magazine accessed November 7, 2013.

Chapter Outline


Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Doctrines Covered and Alluded to

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms





Exegetical Studies in Deuteronomy




What We Learn from the Introduction to Deuteronomy

1.       Moses is undoubtedly the author of Deuteronomy and any other approach calls into question the inspiration of Scripture.

2.       The book of Deuteronomy leaves no question in our minds as to the time and place of this book.

3.       Deuteronomy is clearly accepted in both the Old and New Testaments as authoritative and inspired.

4.       The book of Deuteronomy and recollections in this book deal with many types of Christ and His work on our behalf. This is the concept of type and antitype. An example of this is, Moses will not lead the people into the Land of Promise because he is sinful and he is closely associated with the Law of God. In this, we understand that the Law cannot save us. Joshua, whose name means savior, will lead the people into the Land of Promise. By this, we understand that only Jesus saves us.

5.       Like the rest of the Bible, Deuteronomy does not abandon the poor. However, Deuteronomy cannot be used to support a socialistic state. There are specific boundaries and prescriptions for dealing with the poor.


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The ancient historian Josephus seems to take the Old Testament texts at face value and uses them to record the history of this era.

Josephus’ History of this Time Period



1. WHEN forty years were completed, within thirty days, Moses gathered the congregation together near Jordan, where the city Abila now stands, a place full of palm-trees; and all the people being come together, he spake thus to them: -

2. "O you Israelites and fellow soldiers, who have been partners with me in this long and uneasy journey; since it is now the will of God, and the course of old age, at a hundred and twenty, requires it that I should depart out of this life; and since God has forbidden me to be a patron or an assistant to you in what remains to be done beyond Jordan; I thought it reasonable not to leave off my endeavors even now for your happiness, but to do my utmost to procure for you the eternal enjoyment of good things, and a memorial for myself, when you shall be in the fruition of great plenty and prosperity. Come, therefore, let me suggest to you by what means you may he happy, and may leave an eternal prosperous possession thereof to your children after you, and then let me thus go out of the world; and I cannot but deserve to be believed by you, both on account of the great things I have already done for you, and because, when souls are about to leave the body, they speak with the sincerest freedom. O children of Israel! there is but one source of happiness for all mankind, the favor of God [Josephus here, in this one sentence, sums up his notion of Moses's very long and very serious exhortations in the book of Deuteronomy; and his words are so true, and of such importance, that they deserve to be had in constant remembrance.] for he alone is able to give good things to those that deserve them, and to deprive those of them that sin against him; towards whom, if you behave yourselves according to his will, and according to what I, who well understand his mind, do exhort you to, you will both be esteemed blessed, and will be admired by all men; and will never come into misfortunes, nor cease to be happy: you will then preserve the possession of the good things you already have, and will quickly obtain those that you are at present in want of, - only do you be obedient to those whom God would have you to follow. Nor do you prefer any other constitution of government before the laws now given you; neither do you disregard that way of Divine worship which you now have, nor change it for any other form: and if you do this, you will be the most courageous of all men, in undergoing the fatigues of war, and will not be easily conquered by any of your enemies; for while God is present with you to assist you, it is to be expected that you will be able to despise the opposition of all mankind; and great rewards of virtue are proposed for you, if you preserve that virtue through your whole lives. Virtue itself is indeed the principal and the first reward, and after that it bestows abundance of others; so that your exercise of virtue towards other men will make your own lives happy, and render you more glorious than foreigners can be, and procure you an undisputed reputation with posterity. These blessings you will be able to obtain, in case you hearken to and observe those laws which, by Divine revelation, I have ordained for you; that is, in case you withal meditate upon the wisdom that is in them. I am going from you myself, rejoicing in the good things you enjoy; and I recommend you to the wise conduct of your law, to the becoming order of your polity, and to the virtues of your commanders, who will take care of what is for your advantage. And that God, who has been till now your Leader, and by whose goodwill I have myself been useful to you, will not put a period now to his providence over you, but as long as you desire to have him your Protector in your pursuits after virtue, so long will you enjoy his care over you. Your high priest also Eleazar, as well as Joshua, with the senate, and chief of your tribes, will go before you, and suggest the best advices to you; by following which advices you will continue to be happy: to whom do you give ear without reluctance, as sensible that all such as know well how to be governed, will also know how to govern, if they be promoted to that authority themselves. And do not you esteem liberty to consist in opposing such directions as your governors think fit to give you for your practice, - as at present indeed you place your liberty in nothing else but abusing your benefactors; which error if you can avoid for the time to come, your affairs will be in a better condition than they have hitherto been. Nor do you ever indulge such a degree of passion in these matters, as you have oftentimes done when you have been very angry at me; for you know that I have been oftener in danger of death from you than from our enemies. What I now put you in mind of, is not done in order to reproach you; for I do not think it proper, now I am going out of the world, to bring this to your remembrance, in order to leave you offended at me, since, at the time when I underwent those hardships from you, I was not angry at you; but I do it in order to make you wiser hereafter, and to teach you that this will be for your security; I mean, that you never be injurious to those that preside over you, even when you are become rich, as you will he to a great degree when you have passed over Jordan, and are in possession of the land of Canaan. Since, when you shall have once proceeded so far by your wealth, as to a contempt and disregard of virtue, you will also forfeit the favor of God; and when you have made him your enemy, you will be beaten in war, and will have the land which you possess taken away again from you by your enemies, and this with great reproaches upon your conduct. You will be scattered over the whole world, and will, as slaves, entirely fill both sea and land; and when once you have had the experience of what I now say, you will repent, and remember the laws you have broken, when it is too late. Whence I would advise you, if you intend to preserve these laws, to leave none of your enemies alive when you have conquered them, but to look upon it as for your advantage to destroy them all, lest, if you permit them to live, you taste of their manners, and thereby corrupt your own proper institutions. I also do further exhort you, to overthrow their altars, and their groves, and whatsoever temples they have among them, and to burn all such, their nation, and their very memory with fire; for by this means alone the safety of your own happy constitution can be firmly secured to you. And in order to prevent your ignorance of virtue, and the degeneracy of your nature into vice, I have also ordained you laws, by Divine suggestion, and a form of government, which are so good, that if you regularly observe them, you will be esteemed of all men the most happy."

3. When he had spoken thus, he gave them the laws and the constitution of government written in a book. Upon which the people fell into tears, and appeared already touched with the sense that they should have a great want of their conductor, because they remembered what a number of dangers he had passed through, and what care he had taken of their preservation: they desponded about what would come upon them after he was dead, and thought they should never have another governor like him; and feared that God would then take less care of them when Moses was gone, who used to intercede for them. They also repented of what they had said to him in the wilderness when they were angry, and were in grief on those accounts, insomuch that the whole body of the people fell into tears with such bitterness, that it was past the power of words to comfort them in their affliction. However, Moses gave them some consolation; and by calling them off the thought how worthy he was of their weeping for him, he exhorted them to keep to that form of government he had given them; and then the congregation was dissolved at that time.34. Let no one of the Israelites keep any poison (29) that may cause death, or any other harm; but if he be caught with it, let him be put to death, and suffer the very same mischief that he would have brought upon them for whom the poison was prepared.

From: accessed . Josephus Antiquities of the Jews; Book 1, Chapter 8.

Chapter Outline

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Word Cloud from Exegesis of The Introduction to Deuteronomy


Chapter Outline


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Doctrines Covered and Alluded to

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms





Exegetical Studies in Deuteronomy