What is the book of Deuteronomy?


Deuteronomy 1:1

ESV - 1 These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel beyond the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab.

Clarify Share Report Asked November 15 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Author: Moses wrote the Book of Deuteronomy, which is in fact a collection of his sermons to Israel just before they crossed the Jordan. "These are the words which Moses spoke" (1:1). Someone else ...

November 15 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini John Appelt
Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Pentateuch, is a unique book. Unlike the previous books it is not a history or narrative as Genesis, Exodus, and Numbers, or the establishment of laws as Leviticus. It is also, not just giving the law the second time, as the title, ‘Deuteronomy’ meaning ‘second law’ seems to imply. It is a sermon. Moses speaks not as the ‘lawgiver,’ but as their spiritual leader, a shepherd or pastor to the flock, as reflected in the Hebrew title of the book, ‘Devarim,’ taken from the first words of the book translated ‘these are the words.’ Moses aimed to encourage a new generation, just before they went into the land of Canaan, to obey the Lord and make a covenant to keep His commandments.

Deuteronomy is thought to be a series of sermons, maybe three or four, but the whole book could be one sermon that Moses gave at one time. A number of things suggest this. Deuteronomy 1:1 introduces the book with the words, “These are the words...” speaking of all that follows in the book. Deuteronomy 1:3 also states that Moses spoke “according to all that the Lord had given him as commandments...” 

Then Deuteronomy 1:3 gives a specific date. There is no other time indicator in the book. Several times in the book are references to ‘today’ and ‘the same day,’ Deuteronomy 26:16-18, 27:11, 31:22. Note, that on ‘that very same day,’ Moses was told to go up the mountain to die, Deuteronomy 32:48.

Also in the Hebrew language, the original language of the book, Deuteronomy has 14,293 words. It is calculated that the time it took to speak this at 110-130 words a minute would be about 2 hours. A long speech is not unusual. In Acts 20:7, Paul spoke for hours until midnight. Also, this was a special speech for a special occasion. It is not impossible but quite likely that Moses could have spoken this sermon in one session.

Rather than three sermons, Deuteronomy can be seen as one message with three distinct sections:

Chapters 1-4, Review of the journey
Chapters 5-26, Review of the laws 
Chapters 27-30, Review of the covenant

Then in Deuteronomy 31 are concluding remarks by Moses, with the transfer of power to Joshua, 31:7. The message closes with a hymn, Deuteronomy 32, and ends with a benediction, Deuteronomy 33. After his message, Moses made his way up Mount Nebo to die, Deuteronomy 34:1-8. 70 days later the people would cross the Jordan, Joshua 4:19.

The book, the last words of Moses, closely resembles the Lord’s last discourse, John 13-17. The Lord, the Prophet that Moses said God would raise up, Deuteronomy 18:18, Acts 3:22, 23, and 7:37, also spoke of love, encouragement, and obedience to commandments. Both Moses and Jesus emphasized keeping in a covenant relationship.

Deuteronomy is probably a sermon Moses gave at one time to encourage a new generation, ready to enter the land, to covenant with the Lord to obey Him.

April 23 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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