Book Overview - Deuteronomy
by Gary H. Everett
STUDY NOTES ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
Using a Theme-based Approach
to Identify Literary Structures
By Gary H. Everett
THE BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY
All Scripture quotations in English are taken from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. Some words have been emphasized by the author of this commentary using bold or italics.
All Old Testament Scripture quotations in the Hebrew text are taken from Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: With Westminster Hebrew Morphology, electronic ed, Stuttgart; Glenside PA: German Bible Society, Westminster Seminary, 1996, c 1925, morphology c 1991, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.
All New Testament Scripture quotations in the Greek text are taken from Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (with Morphology), eds. Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft (United Bible Societies), c 1966, 1993, 2006, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.
All Hebrew and Greek text for word studies are taken from James Strong in The New Strong"s Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, c 1996, 1997, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.
The Crucifixion image on the book cover was created by the author's daughter Victoria Everett in 2012.
Gary H. Everett, 1981-2013
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form without prior permission of the author.
Foundational Theme - The Lord God is the One, True God
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.
Structural Theme - Perseverance from False Doctrines from Within
Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.
Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
Imperative Theme - Obeying the Mosaic Law with All One's Heart, Mind, and Strength
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY
Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures supports the view of the verbal, plenary inspiration of the biblical text of the Holy Scriptures, meaning that every word originally written down by the authors in the sixty-six books of the Holy Canon were God-breathed when recorded by men, and that the Scriptures are therefore inerrant and infallible. Any view less than this contradicts the testimony of the Holy Scriptures themselves. For this reason, the Holy Scriptures contain both divine attributes and human attributes. While textual criticism engages with the variant readings of the biblical text, acknowledging its human attributes, faith in His Word acknowledges its divine attributes. These views demand the adherence of mankind to the supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures above all else. The Holy Scriptures can only be properly interpreted by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, an aspect of biblical scholarship that is denied by liberal views, causing much misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Holy Scriptures.
The Message of the Book of Deuteronomy - Although historical records confirm that there were preachers of God's Word before Moses, the book of Deuteronomy offers us one of the first recorded sermons in human history. Prior to the time of Moses, the Scriptures tell us that Noah was a "preacher of righteousness" ( 2 Peter 2:5); and the preaching of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, is believed to be recorded in the Book of Enoch ( Jude 1:14-15). However, the sermons of Moses stand tallest in ancient Jewish history because Moses was a man who preached with mighty signs and wonders accompanying his ministry as his sermons shook nations and brought multitudes to their knees in repentance and faith in God ( Deuteronomy 34:10-12). The powerful effects of such preaching throughout history are expressed by the Lord Jesus Christ when He was upbraiding those cities of Galilee that rejected His Gospel. He told them that the cities of Tyre and Sidon would have repented had someone stood and preached the Gospel to them. He added that the wicked city of Sodom would still be standing today had someone came a preached to those people with signs and wonders ( Matthew 11:20-24). Jesus then reminds the scribes and Pharisees that the people of Nineveh were delivered from destruction at the preaching of Jonah ( Matthew 12:41). Paul says, "Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." ( 1 Corinthians 1:20-21) Since the time of mankind's human depravity, God chose preaching as a means of fulfilling His divine plan of redemption. Jesus tells us that God send prophets from the foundation of the world until His plan of redemption of fulfilled to preach to the nations ( Luke 11:50). For example, God commissioned Jeremiah to go forth and speak what He commanded him to the nations ( Jeremiah 1:7; Jeremiah 1:17). Jesus founded the New Testament Church when he chose twelve apostles and sent them forth to preach the Gospel to the nations ( Mark 3:13-15). How we need someone to stand up and shout from the mountain tops the unspeakable grace and forgiveness of God coupled with His impending judgment.
2 Peter 2:5, "And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;"
Jude 1:14-15, "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
Deuteronomy 34:10-12, "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel."
Matthew 12:41, "The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here."
Luke 11:50, "That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; "
Jeremiah 1:7, "But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak."
Mark 3:13-15, "And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:"
Moses did not preach these sermons to put an unreasonable weight and burden upon the people, for the Jewish and Pharisees would do just that in the centuries that followed; rather, he preached so that Israel might understand the heart of the Law. 1] God gave Israel the Mosaic Law so that they would learn to love their Creator with a pure heart and serve Him joyfully. Moses' summary of the Law became known as the Shema ( Deuteronomy 6:4-5). The Shema became the most important passage in the sacred Jewish Scriptures. These sermons of Moses echo through the corridors of time, teaching mankind about God's love towards mankind and about how mankind is to love Him in return for His bountiful blessings.
1] KD makes a similar statement when he says the book of Deuteronomy Isaiah, "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..." See C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament: The Pentateuch, vol 3, trans. James Martin, in Clarke's Foreign Theological Library, 4th series, vol 6 (Edinburg: T. & T. Clark, 1871), 269-270.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."
The book of Deuteronomy serves as an important book to the Church as well as to the Jews. Jesus quoted from this book on a number of occasions. Paul refers to the book of Deuteronomy in at least six of his epistles as he delivers the doctrines of the New Testament Church. Several General Epistles mention deuteronomic passages as well. After the book of Isaiah, Deuteronomy is the most often quoted book in the New Testament. Thus, the message of God's grace and redemption for Israel as well as the Gentiles is embedded within this Old Testament book of the Law.
Introductory Material- The introduction to the book of Deuteronomy will deal with its historical setting, literary style, and theological framework. 2] These three aspects of introductory material will serve as an important foundation for understanding God's message to us today from this divinely inspired book of the Holy Scriptures.
2] Someone may associate these three categories with Hermann Gunkel's well-known three-fold approach to form criticism when categorizing the genre found within the book of Psalm: (1) "a common setting in life," (2) "thoughts and mood," (3) "literary forms." In addition, the Word Biblical Commentary uses "Form/Structure/Setting" preceding each commentary section. Although such similarities were not intentional, but rather coincidental, the author was aware of them and found encouragement from them when assigning the three-fold scheme of historical setting, literary style, and theological framework to his introductory material. See Hermann Gunkel, The Psalm: A Form-Critical Introduction, trans. Thomas M. Horner, in Biblical Series, vol 19, ed. John Reumann (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press, 1967), 10; see also Word Biblical Commentary, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word Incorporated, 1989-2007).
"We dare not divorce our study from understanding the historical setting of every passage of Scripture
if we are going to come to grips with the truth and message of the Bible."
(J. Hampton Keathley) 3]
3] J. Hampton Keathley, III, "Introduction and Historical Setting for Elijah," (Bible.org) [on-line]; accessed 23May 2012; available from http://bible.org/seriespage/introduction-and-historical-setting-elijah; Internet.
Each book of the Holy Scriptures is cloaked within a unique historical setting. An examination of this setting is useful in the interpretation of the book because it provides the context of the passage of Scripture under examination. The section on the historical setting of the book of Deuteronomy will provide a discussion on its title, historical background, authorship, date and place of writing, recipients, and occasion. This discussion supports the Jewish tradition that Moses was the author of the book of Deuteronomy, writing during the period of Israel's wilderness journey.
I. The Title
There are a number of ancient titles associated with the book of Numbers.
A. The Ancient Jewish Title "These Words" - Henry Swete says ancient Jews titled the five books of the Pentateuch, Proverbs, and Lamentations by identifying a key word in the opening verses. 4] The Hebrew title for Deuteronomy was "Eleaddebareim" ( אֵ֣לֶּה הַדְּבָרִ֗ים), which comes from the opening word of this book, meaning "these words," or "these are the words." Origen (c 185 - c 254) testifies to the use of this title by the Jews in his day. 5] Jerome (A.D 342to 420) was familiar with this title as well. 6] The title ( דברים) and ( אלה הדברים) can be found in the standard work Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. 7]
4] Henry B. Swete, An Introduction to Old Testament in Greek (Cambridge: University Press, 1902), 214.
5] Eusebius, the early Church historian, writes, " Deuteronomy, Eleaddebareim, ‘These are the words';" Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6251-2, trans. Arthur C. McGiffert under the title The Church History of Eusebius, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, A New Series, vol 1, eds. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff (Oxford: Parker and Company, c 1890, 1905), 272-3.
6] Jerome says, "the fifth, Elle Addabarim, which is entitled Deuteronomy." See Jerome, "Prefaces to the Books of the Vulgate Version of the Old Testament: The Books of Samuel and Kings," trans. W. H. Freemantle, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, vol 6, eds. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff (New York: The Christian Literature Company, 1893), 489-90.
7] Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, eds. A. Alt, O. Eifelt, P. Kahle, and R. Kittle (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelstiftung, c 1967-77); Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: With Westminster Hebrew Morphology, electronic ed, (Stuttgart; Glenside PA: German Bible Society; Westminster Seminary, 1996, c 1925; morphology c 1991), in in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004).
B. The Modern English Title "Deuteronomy" - Today, English bibles use the title " Deuteronomy," which finds it origin in an incorrect translation found in the LXX, which reads, " το δευτερονομιον τουτο," "this second law," instead of the correct phrase used in the original Hebrew text, "a copy of this law" (see Deuteronomy 17:18). 8] According to KD, the Greek title δευτερονομιον used in the LXX is derived from the Hebrew title given by Hellenistic Jews, which is הַתּוֹׄרָה מׅשְׁנֵה (repetition legis), that is "a repetition of words." 9] Philo called the book by its Greek name δευτερονομιον. 10] The Greek title was known by Melito, bishop of Sardis (d. c 190). 11] The Vulgate followed the LXX with the translation "Deuteronomii (liber)," 12] of which we derived the English title "Deuteronomy." Since the title "Deuteronomy" is used as far back as the LXX, Henry Swete and George Gray believe this title is "of Alexandrian and pre-Christian origin." 13] Because this book records the speeches of Moses as he rehearsed for a second time some of the previous laws to a new generation of people, this title has remained popular because it describes its contents so well.
8] Samuel J. Schultz, Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments: The Open Bible Edition, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Publishers, c 1975), 172.
9] C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament: The Pentateuch, vol 3, trans. James Martin, in Clarke's Foreign Theological Library, 4th series, vol 6 (Edinburg: T. & T. Clark, 1871), 269.
10] Henry B. Swete, An Introduction to Old Testament in Greek (Cambridge: University Press, 1902), 215; Herbert E. Ryle, Philo and Holy Scripture (London: Macmillan and Company, 1895), xxii-xxiii.
11] Eusebius writes, "‘I learned accurately the books of the Old Testament, and send them to thee as written below. Their names are as follows: Of Moses, five books: Genesis,, Exodus,, Numbers,, Leviticus, Deuteronomy; Jesus Nave, Judges, Ruth; of Kings, four books; of Chronicles, two; the Psalm of David; the Proverbs of Song of Solomon, Wisdom also, Ecclesiastes,, Song of Solomon, Job; of Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah; of the twelve prophets, one book; Daniel,, Ezekiel, Esdras. From which also I have made the extracts, dividing them into six books.' Such are the words of Melito." Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 42614, trans. Arthur C. McGiffert under the title The Church History of Eusebius, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, A New Series, vol 1, eds. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff, (Oxford: Parker and Company, c 1890, 1905), 206.
12] Biblia Sacra Juxta Vulgatam Clementinam, ed. electronica (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc, 2005), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004).
13] Henry B. Swete, An Introduction to Old Testament in Greek (Cambridge: University Press, 1902), 215; George B. Gray, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Numbers, in The International Critical Commentary on the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, editors Charles A. Briggs, Samuel R. Driver, and Alfred Plummer (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1903), xxi.
Deuteronomy 17:18, "And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:"
II. Historical Background
See Introduction to the Pentateuch.
See Introduction to the Pentateuch.
See Introduction to the Pentateuch.
LITERARY STYLE (GENRE)
"Perhaps the most important issue in interpretation is the issue of genre.
If we misunderstand the genre of a text, the rest of our analysis will be askew."
(Thomas Schreiner) 14]
14] Thomas R. Schreiner, Interpreting the Pauline Epistles, second edition (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, c 1990, 2011), 11.
Within the historical setting of the children of Israel in the wilderness, the author of the book of Deuteronomy chose to write using the literary style of the law. Thus, the book of Deuteronomy is assigned to the literary genre called "law."
There are a number of characteristics about the book of Deuteronomy that distinguish it from the other books of the Old Testament canon. In the area of grammar and syntax, we will look at key phrases. In the area of biblical theology, we will look at the prophetic message.
A. Grammar and Syntax: Key Phrases - There are a number of key phrases that can be found throughout the book of Deuteronomy.
1. "The Lord thy God" - The book of Deuteronomy will use the phrase "the Lord thy God," "the Lord our God," "the Lord your God," "the Lord my God," "the Lord his God," or "the Lord God of thy fathers," on three hundred and two occasions. Moses repeats these phrases many times to emphasize the fact that YHWH God is now in covenant with the children of Israel.
2. "Go in and Possess" - Moses exhorts the Israelites many times to "go in and possess" the land. He constantly reminds them that this is the land that the Lord is giving them.
B. Biblical Theology: The Prophetic Message- Moses was a prophet of God. One of his more significant prophecies is found in Deuteronomy about the coming of the Messiah ( Deuteronomy 18:15). In addition, Deuteronomy 30:1-9 discusses the future dispersion of Israel, their repentance, and restoration, and Israel"s future restoration and conversion, as well as Israel"s national prosperity.
Deuteronomy 18:15, "The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;"
"Scholarly excellence requires a proper theological framework."
(Andreas Ksenberger) 15]
15] Andreas J. Ksenberger, Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2011), 161.
Based upon the historical setting and literary style of the book of Deuteronomy, an examination of the purpose, thematic scheme, and literary structure to this book of the Holy Scriptures will reveal its theological framework. This introductory section will sum up its theological framework in the form of an outline, which is then used to identify smaller units or pericopes within the book of Deuteronomy for preaching and teaching passages of Scripture while following the overriding message of the book. Following this outline allows the minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to take his followers on a spiritual journey that brings them to the same destination that the author intended his readers to reach.
VIII. Thematic Scheme
The Pentateuch is woven together as the first major division of the Holy Scriptures with a three-fold thematic scheme. (1) Primary Theme- The primary, foundational theme of the Pentateuch is the claim found in Deuteronomy 6:4 and known to the Jews as "the Shema," a verse that declares the God of Israel is one, true and living God, a theme that undergirds all five books of the Pentateuch. (2) Secondary Theme- Each book of the Pentateuch has a secondary theme that supports this central theme, providing the evidence to prove that the God of Israel is one God, who had dominion over all other gods worshipped by depraved humanity. Collectively, the secondary themes of the five books of the Pentateuch reveal the establishment of the nation of Israel above the nations of the earth through worship of YHWH, who has chosen Israel through His foreknowledge and divine election to be His chosen method of bringing redemption to mankind. The five books of the Pentateuch form a thematic scheme of God's plan of redemption for the nation of Israel and for the heathen nations with their secondary themes. This thematic scheme follows the structure found in Romans 8:29-30, which is predestination, calling, justification, and glorification. (3) The Third Theme- The third theme of the Pentateuch is an imperative theme, and it is also found in the Shema, where Moses commands Israel to love YHWH their God with all of one's heart, mind, and strength ( Deuteronomy 6:5).
The book of Deuteronomy offers a three-fold thematic scheme that supports the central claim of the Pentateuch, the claim found in Deuteronomy 6:4 and known to the Jews as "the Shema," a verse that declares the God of Israel is one, true and living God, a theme that undergirds all five books of the Pentateuch. Thus, the foundational theme of Deuteronomy is the central claim of the Pentateuch, a theme shared by all five books in this division of the Holy Scriptures. The book of Deuteronomy carries a secondary theme that emphasizes perseverance from false doctrines from within. After the Lord led Israel through the wilderness for forty years, He inspired Moses to deliver the message of the book of Deuteronomy in which this servant of God rehearsed Israel's forty-year journey in the wilderness, then explained the essence of the Law as loving the Lord with all of one's heart, mind, and strength, and loving one's neighbor as himself, then explaining the consequences of obeying and disobeying the Law through the blessings and curses. Moses predicts Israel's failure to obey the Law through the adoption of pagan idolatry and the nation's downfall, with a promise of a Prophet like unto him bringing future redemption. The book of Leviticus has a third, imperative theme, which is Israel's charge to obey every aspect of the Mosaic Law in order to receive God's blessings. They are called to obey the Lord with all of their heart, mind, and strength ( Deuteronomy 6:5).
A. Primary Theme (Foundational): The Lord is the One, True God- The foundational, underlying theme of the book of Deuteronomy is the central claim of the Pentateuch, a claim which states that the God of Israel is the one true and holy God, who is orchestrating a plan of redemption for mankind. The central claim of the Pentateuch supports the underlying theme of the Old Testament itself, which is the theme of God the Father's foreknowledge and divine election to redeem mankind through predestination, calling, justification, and redemption ( Romans 8:29-30).
The Primary Theme of Deuteronomy - The book of Deuteronomy reflects the primary theme of the Pentateuch as the Lord demonstrates His omnipotence and redemptive nature. He offers the children of Israel a choice between a life of blessings or curses.
B. Secondary Theme (Structural): Perseverance from False Doctrines from Within- The secondary theme of the Pentateuch is the establishment of the nation of Israel by God's foreknowledge and divine election as His chosen method of bringing redemption to mankind. It is this holy nation that will give birth to the Messiah who will again restore righteousness upon the earth. We can easily see the secondary theme of the Pentateuch by examining the secondary themes of the five books of the Pentateuch, which testify of predestination, calling, justification, indoctrination, divine service, perseverance, and glorification. The book of Deuteronomy carries one of the secondary themes that make up the structure of the Pentateuch, that of perseverance.
The Secondary Theme of the Individual Books of the Pentateuch- The secondary theme of the first part of the book of Genesis is the predestination of mankind to take dominion upon the earth, and theme of the second part is the origin of the nation of Israel, God's seed of righteousness, which He plans to use to accomplish the redemption of mankind. God will use several men who fulfilled their divine destinies to create the nation of Israel. These patriarchs, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, will play leading roles in preparing for the establishment of this nation in much the same way the Gospels and the book of Acts reveals the origin of the Church and how men like Jesus Christ, Peter, Stephen, Philip the evangelist and Paul the apostle played leading roles in the establishment of the early Church. Thus, the book of Genesis is structured around the genealogies of these men of righteousness in order to explain its theme of the lineage of the nation of Israel. As the first part of the book of Exodus emphasizes deliverance, so do the Gospels testify of our redemption and set us apart from the world. As the last part of the book of Exodus emphasizes the doctrines of the nation of Israel, so to the Pauline Epistles establish Church doctrine. As the book of Leviticus establishes the order of worship for the Israelites, so does the Pastoral Epistles establish Church order. As the book of Numbers explains the perseverance of the "church" in the wilderness, so do the Catholic Epistles of Hebrews, James and 1Peter explain the perseverance of the Church. As the book of Deuteronomy is the second giving of the Law with stern warnings to persevere, so do the Catholic Epistles of 2Peter, 1, 2, 3John and Jude emphasize this same theme. Finally, the story of the conquest of Canaan in the book of Joshua is figurative of the Church entering into Heaven, as is emphasized in the book of Revelation. Note that we find two verses in the New Testament that allow us to look at the Old Testament in a figurative way of the Christian life.
Romans 15:4, "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope."
1 Corinthians 10:11, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."
The Secondary Theme of Deuteronomy: Perseverance from False Doctrines from Within - The book of Deuteronomy carries a secondary theme that emphasizes perseverance from false doctrines from within.
C. Third Theme (Imperative): Obeying the Mosaic Law with All One's Heart, Mind, and Strength- The book of Deuteronomy has a third, imperative theme, which is Israel's charge to obey every aspect of the Mosaic Law in order to receive God's blessings. This theme reflects the third theme of the Pentateuch, which is the command to love the Lord God with all of one's heart, mind, and strength. The Pentateuch teaches the Israelites to obey the Lord with all of their heart, mind, and strength ( Deuteronomy 6:5). This is why the book of Deuteronomy teaches that a relationship to God is more than keeping the Law. It involves obedience, love, affection, and devotion to our Lord. All of one"s success, prosperity, happiness, and eternal destiny depend upon one"s obedience to the heavenly Father. Without question in the minds of the Jews and for us today, the key verse in the book of Deuteronomy and in the Pentateuch is the Shema, which states that our Lord is one God and we are to love Him with all of our heart, mind and strength.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 will become the underlying theme for the rest of the Old Testament, as illustrated and discussed in my introduction to the Old Testament. A careful study will find that the books of the Old Testament are divided into the three-fold make-up of man: heart, soul and body.
Perhaps several other key verses in Deuteronomy would be:
Deuteronomy 10:12, "And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?"
Deuteronomy 30:19, "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:"
Yet, Israel's failure is predicted by Moses and their need of redemption. Therefore, he tells Israel that God will raise up a Prophet like him who will bring them into their eternal rest ( Deuteronomy 18:15; Deuteronomy 18:18).
IX. Literary Structure
I. Introduction ( Deuteronomy 1:1-2)
II. The First Sermon of Moses: Moses Addresses the Heart of the People ( Deuteronomy 1:3 to Deuteronomy 4:43) - In the first sermon recorded in Deuteronomy, Moses rehearses the Lord's divine providence and care during Israel's forty-year journey in the wilderness since leaving Mount Sinai until their encampment at their present location ( Deuteronomy 1:6 to Deuteronomy 3:29). Moses then calls the children of Israel to commit themselves to obey the Law ( Deuteronomy 4:1-40).
III. The Second Sermon of Moses: Moses Addresses the Mind of the People ( Deuteronomy 4:44 to Deuteronomy 26:19) - In the second sermon, Moses explains the essence of the Law, which is summed up in the Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4-5, which tells the people to love God with all of their heart, mind, and strength, and to love their neighbor as themselves.
IV. The Third Sermon of Moses: Moses Addresses the Physical and Financial Needs of the People ( Deuteronomy 27:1 to Deuteronomy 30:20) - In the third sermon, Moses explains the blessings and curses as the outcome of either obeying or transgressing the Law.
V. Moses' Final Words and Death ( Deuteronomy 31:1 to Deuteronomy 34:12)
X. Outline of Book
A popular way to outline the book of Deuteronomy is to divide it into the three speeches of Moses.
I. Introduction— Deuteronomy 1:1-2
II. The First Sermon of Moses— Deuteronomy 1:3 to Deuteronomy 4:43
A. Introduction to Moses' First Sermon — Deuteronomy 1:3-5
B. Charge to Depart Mt Sinai & Go Possess the Promised Land — Deuteronomy 1:6-8
C. Moses Appoints Judges over the Children of Israel — Deuteronomy 1:9-18
D. Israel's Failure to Possess the Promised Land at Kadeshbarnea — Deuteronomy 1:19-46
E. The Children of Israel Pass through Edom — Deuteronomy 2:1-7
F. The Children of Israel Pass through Moab — Deuteronomy 2:8-12
G. The Children of Israel Journey Forty Years in the Wilderness — Deuteronomy 2:13-15
H. The Children of Israel Pass through the Ammonites — Deuteronomy 2:16-23
I. Israel Defeats Sihon King of the Amorites — Deuteronomy 2:24-37
J. The Children of Israel Defeat Og King of Bashan — Deuteronomy 3:1-7
K. The Lord Gives Israel the Land of the Two Amorite Kings — Deuteronomy 3:8-22
L. God Raises Up Joshua to Lead Israel into the Promised Land — Deuteronomy 3:23-29
M. Moses Exhorts Israel to Hearken Unto the Law— Deuteronomy 4:1-40
N. Moses Appoints Three Cities of Refuge East of Jordan — Deuteronomy 4:41-43
III. The Second Sermon of Moses— Deuteronomy 4:44 to Deuteronomy 26:19
A. Introduction to Moses' Second Sermon — Deuteronomy 4:44-49
B. Moses Explains the Ten Commandments— Deuteronomy 5:1 to Deuteronomy 11:32
1. Israel's Covenant with the Lord— Deuteronomy 5:1-5
2. The Ten Commandments— Deuteronomy 5:6-22
3. Israel's Response— Deuteronomy 5:23-32
4. The Essence of the Ten Commandments— Deuteronomy 6:1-25
5. Charge to Destroy Heathen Nations— Deuteronomy 7:1-26
6. Charge to Remember the Lord when He Blesses Israel— Deuteronomy 8:1-18
7. A Reminder of Israel's Past Rebellion— Deuteronomy 9:1 to Deuteronomy 10:11
8. Israel is to Choose Blessings or Cursing— Deuteronomy 10:12 to Deuteronomy 11:32
C. Exhortation to Heed Ceremonial Laws of Worship— Deuteronomy 12:1 to Deuteronomy 16:17
D. Establishment of a Judicial System— Deuteronomy 16:18 to Deuteronomy 18:22
E. Establishment of Civil Laws— Deuteronomy 19:1 to Deuteronomy 26:19
1. Laws Concerning Cities of Refuge— Deuteronomy 19:1-13
2. Laws Concerning Property Boundaries— Deuteronomy 19:14
3. Laws Concerning False Witnesses— Deuteronomy 19:15-21
4. Laws Concerning Warfare— Deuteronomy 20:1-20
5. Laws Concerning Unsolved Murders— Deuteronomy 21:1-9
6. Laws Concerning Women Taken in Warfare— Deuteronomy 21:10-14
7. Laws Concerning Inheritance Rights— Deuteronomy 21:15-17
8. Laws Concerning Rebellious Children— Deuteronomy 21:18-21
9. Laws Concerning Hanging— Deuteronomy 21:22-23
10. Laws Concerning Sanctity of Life— Deuteronomy 22:1-12
11. Laws Concerning Sexual Immorality— Deuteronomy 22:13-30
12. Laws Concerning General Assembly— Deuteronomy 23:1-8
13. Laws Concerning Hygiene during Encampment— Deuteronomy 23:9-14
14. Miscellaneous Social Laws— Deuteronomy 23:15 to Deuteronomy 25:19
15. Laws Concerning the First-fruit Offering— Deuteronomy 26:1-11
16. Laws Concerning the Tithe— Deuteronomy 26:12-15
17. Conclusion of Second Sermon— Deuteronomy 26:16-19
IV. The Third Sermon of Moses— Deuteronomy 27:1 to Deuteronomy 30:20
A. Inscription of Law in Stone— Deuteronomy 27:1-10
B. Instructions Concerning Pronouncement of Blessings & Curses— Deuteronomy 27:11-26
C. The Blessings and the Curses— Deuteronomy 28:1-68
1. The Blessings— Deuteronomy 28:1-14
2. The Curses— Deuteronomy 28:15-68
3. Moses Charges Israel to Heed this Covenant— Deuteronomy 29:1 to Deuteronomy 30:20
V. Moses' Final Words and Death— Deuteronomy 31:1 to Deuteronomy 34:12
A. Appointment of Joshua— Deuteronomy 31:1-8
B. Charge for Periodic Reading of the Law— Deuteronomy 31:9-13
C. Moses Prepares for His Death— Deuteronomy 31:14 to Deuteronomy 32:43
1. The Lord Instructs Moses Concerning His Death— Deuteronomy 31:14-21
2. Moses Delivers the Law to the Levites— Deuteronomy 31:22-29
3. The Song of Moses— Deuteronomy 31:30 to Deuteronomy 32:43
4. Moses' Final Words to Israel— Deuteronomy 32:44-47
E. The Death of Moses— Deuteronomy 32:48 to Deuteronomy 34:12
1. The Lord's Instructions Concerning Moses' Death— Deuteronomy 32:48-52
2. Moses Blesses Israel— Deuteronomy 33:1-29
3. Moses Dies on Mount Nebo— Deuteronomy 34:1-12
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The Monitor Newspaper. Kampala, Uganda.
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the Second Week after Epiphany