The Hebrew title for Deuteronomy is Elleh Haddebarim which translates to “These are the words”. The English title reflects the Greek word Deuteronomion meaning “second law”.
Moses is believed to be the author of this book.
The book contains three separate speeches Moses delivered to the Israelites while on the Moab Plain.
The main idea of Deuteronomy regards the covenant between God and the Israelites. The instruction is to keep the commandments because you love God. This ideas is at the heart of the convenant.
In one of his speeches Moses repeats the Ten Commandments.
Forms of the noun and verb “command” are used over 100 times.
The themes of Deuteronomy are commandments, covenant, God’s mighty acts, and transition.
During the course of Deuteronomy the responsibility for the Israelites passes from Moses to Joshua---the next generation.
There are two separate songs / sections of poetry. The Song of Moses is found in chapter 32 and Moses Blessing is found in chapter 33.
Every seventh year debts around the Israelite nation were to be forgiven, no matter how big – This event was called the year of the Lord’s release.
Deuteronomy shows the importance of keeping every single law Moses has taught to them = Can you imagine the pressure to follow all the laws?
Deuteronomy addresses the impossibility of following all these laws and reinforces the importance of sacrifices – There were endless types of sacrifices required as there was a sacrifice needed for each law broken.
Unlike the unconditional covenant God made with Abraham, the covenant between Yahweh and Israel was bilateral (two-way). God would keep His promise to bless the nation if the people remained faithful.
Moses was forbidden from entering the Promised Land. But he was able to view it from a mountain called Pisgah – God gave Moses an opportunity to see what he led the Israelites to, despite his disobedience.
When asked what the greatest commandment is, Jesus cites Deuteronomy 6:5: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mk 12:30).
Jesus quotes Deuteronomy three times when the devil tempts him in the wilderness (Mt 4:1–11).
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