(Reiteration and Reviewing)
Date: 1410 B.C.
Name of the Book
The English title, which comes from the Septuagint, means “second law-giving” and comes from the mistranslation of 17:18, which actually says “a copy of this law.” Deuteronomy is a not a second law, but rather a review, expansion, and reiteration of the original law given at Sinai.
Theme and Purpose
Watch yourself lest you forget. After forty years of wandering in the wilderness, the Israelites were on the eve of entering the promised land. Before they did, it was necessary (lest they forget what God had done and who they were) that they be reminded about all that God had done for them and about God’s holy law which was so vital to their ability to remain in the land and function as God’s holy nation and as a kingdom of priests to the nations (Deut. 4:1-8). As a part of this theme or purpose, the book also emphasizes the vital necessity of teaching children to love and obey God. Deuteronomy ends with the renewal of God’s covenant with Israel (chapter 29), Joshua’s appointment as the new leader (chapter 31), and Moses’ death (chapter 34).
“Covenant” (occurring some 27 times)
4:9, 23 Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things
which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life;
but make them known to your sons and your grandsons. 23 So watch yourselves, lest
you forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which He made with you, and make for
yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the LORD your God has
4:31 For the LORD 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.
10:12-14 And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the
LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God
with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the LORD’S commandments and
His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good? 14 Behold, to the LORD
your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it.
30:19-20 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you
life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you
and your descendants, 20 by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by
holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in
the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give
Chapter 27 is key because in it there is a formal ratification of Israel’s covenant as Moses and the levitical priests call upon all Israel to take heed and listen, for in verses 9-10 it is declared, “This day you have become a people for the LORD your God. You shall therefore obey the LORD your God, and do His commandments and His statutes which I command you today.”
Chapters 28-30 are also key because of the promises regarding Israel’s near and distant future as it pertains to blessing for obedience or cursing for disobedience.
Moses and Joshua.
Christ as Seen in Deuteronomy
The statement about Moses in 18:15 is one of the clearest portraits of Christ. It reads, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.” Further, Moses, as a type of Christ, is the only figure other than Christ to fill all three of the offices of prophet (34:10-12), priest (Ex. 32:31-35), and king (although Moses was not king, he functioned as ruler of Israel; 33:4-5).
Deuteronomy divides into three sections
I. Preamble (1:1-5)
II. Review of Israel’s Wanderings—Historical (1:6-4:43)
III. Rehearsal of Israel’s Law—Legal (4:44-26:19)
IV. Ratification of Israel’s Covenant—Motivational (27:1-30:20)
V. Conclusion (31:1-34:12)
Key Words and Themes to Remember
Genesis----------Beginnings----------Election of the nation
Exodus----------Redemption----------Redemption of the nation
Leviticus----------Holiness---------Sanctification of the nation
Numbers----------Wandering---------Direction of the nation
Deuteronomy----------Review--------Instruction of the Nation