Introduction to Deuteronomy.


Center for Tanakh Based Studies

By: William J Jackson

This Saturday we are starting a new book in the Torah – Deuteronomy.   To give context to this important book, we thought it would be good if you were armed with some facts first.  Here are six significant details to the book of Deuteronomy:

This is the last of the five books of the Torah.

Its name, Deuteronomy, means “second law”.  This can be deceiving, implying that there is a second set of laws but this is not what it means.  It is just a restatement of the laws God has already introduced.

The general themes of Deuteronomy are commandments, covenant, God’s mighty acts, and transition.

It is the final words of Moses to the people of Israel on the eve of their crossing the Jordan to take possession of Canaan.

It takes place over a period of 5 to 6 weeks at the Israelite’s encampment on the Plains of Moab.

The bulk of the book is the record of three farewell messages from Moses:

  1. Deuteronomy 1-4:40 reflects in the primary events over the last forty years, since the exodus from Egypt.
  2. Deuteronomy 5-26:19 is the body of the whole book. It reviews the law already given by God at Mount Sinai and a course of conduct they were to follow when they settled in Canaan.
  3. Deuteronomy 27-30 relates almost wholly to the solemn sanctions of the law, the blessings to the obedient, and the curse that would fall on the rebellious.




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