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Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy  Bible Study Notes

Overview of Deuteronomy

The Book of Deuteronomy is the last of the books that Moses wrote. The word “Deuteronomy” is Greek in origin and means “The Second Law” or “The Law Repeated.” (In Greek, Deutero means second and nomos means law.) This book is sometimes viewed as a summation of what Moses previously wrote together with his farewell address and an addendum regarding his death. (Because Moses was translated, strictly speaking he did not die, although that word is used in the scriptural account of the end of his mortal life. His body would later be needed to appear on the Mount of Transfiguration.)

Some scholars doubt Moses wrote this book believing it to be the work of another, later author. There is no factual basis for this belief. On the contrary, the New Testament states Moses wrote Deuteronomy. (See Matt. 19:7-8Matt. 19:7-8
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.  

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, Mark 10:3Mark 10:3
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3 And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?  

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, Luke 24:27Luke 24:27
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27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.  

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, Acts 3:22Acts 3:22
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22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.  

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, and Acts 7:37Acts 7:37
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37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. like...: or, as myself  

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.) Some believe it was written in the time of Manasseh, king of Judah; however, since it is referred to by prophets prior to Manasseh this claim fails.

The events of Deuteronomy occurred the last few weeks that Moses would lead the Israelites during the period of wandering following the Exodus. As they camped on the Plains of Moab Moses he delivered his farewell address and reviewed the law that was to govern them. Soon, lead by Joshua, they would cross the River Jordan into the Promised Land.

Deuteronomy is best understood by treating it as a second declaration of the law, not a summation of the law. In his farewell address, Moses gave the law to this new generation just as we had done to their fathers when he descended from Mt. Sinai. The law was to apply to all generations of Israelites until the Messiah came. The priests were required every Sabbatical year to publicly read Moses’ address to the people during the Feast of the Tabernacles.

It is worth noting that the scriptures Christ used in the wilderness to respond to Satan’s temptations come from Deuteronomy. Also, it is with a scripture found in Deuteronomy that Christ answered the question (as found in Matthew 23:36Matthew 23:36
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.  

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), “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” The answer, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and will all thy soul, and with all thy mind” comes from Deuteronomy 6:5Deuteronomy 6:5
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5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  

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. If during his mortal life Jesus found answers and strength in the words of Deuteronomy it would appear more worthy of study than it receives from most who read the scriptures.

When studying Deuteronomy, consider the following:

The importance of living according to the commandments of God is stressed in this book. It is as important today to live in accordance with the law of the Lord as it was when the people under the Law of Moses.

The people were reminded by Moses how a lack of faith was responsible for their wanderings in the wilderness. Faith today is as necessary today as in ancient times to follow the will of God; without faith we too will wander aimlessly throughout life.

It was necessary for the people when they entered the Promised Land to remain separate from all the other nations who dwelt in the land but did not follow the Lord. Today, just as anciently, we must remain separate from those who follow the way of the world. Our future salvation too depends on not being assimilated by those who do not follow the law of God.

In his farewell address, Moses stressed how God keeps his promises and how he will deliver his people in their time of need. God has made many promises to those living in the latter-days. Devine assistance will be given as needed to us today—just as it was anciently—to enable us to fulfill God’s will.


Deuteronomy  Bible Study Tool:  Outline of Dueteronomy

I. The First Address. (Ch.1—4:40)
A. Events from the Exodus to Kadesh.
1. The first year.
2. Events recorded in Exodus, Leviticus and the beginning of Numbers.
3. Spies sent into the land of Canaan, their report, and the people’s refusal to enter the land.
4. Condemned for disobedience to wander 40 years. (Only Joshua and Caleb survive.)
B. Review of events from the encounter with the Edomites to the conquest of Og.
1. Events noted.
2. Reminder of God’s goodness to Israel.
3. Plea to be obedient to God.

II. The Second Address. (Ch. 4:44—26)
The Law and Idolatry. (Ch. 4:44—11)
1. Most were not present at Sinai.
2. Requirement to acknowledge the one true and living God.
3. Idolatry that was being practiced when the law was given.
4. Consequences of yielding to the temptation to practice idolatry.
5. God’s purpose in setting apart the Israelites. (Not a result of worthiness.)
B. Laws governing life in the land of Canaan. (Ch. 12—13)
1. The place of sanctuary.
2. Sacrifices only to be offered on the altar.
3. Prohibition of idolatry.
C. The Israelites are a chosen people. (Ch. 14:1-21)
1. The reasons they were chosen.
2. The importance of remaining a distinct people.
D. Laws regarding customs and seasons. (Ch. 14:22—16:17)
1. The Sabbatical Year. (The priest to read the law publicly while the people and land rest.)
2. Tithing.
E. Judicial, Political and Civil Legislation
1. Laws establishing justice.
2. Laws governing war
3. Laws governing civil and criminal cases,
4. Laws governing the treatment of strangers and animals.
G. The covenant explained.
1. Significance of the covenant.
2. Duration of the covenant.

The Third Address (Ch. 27—30)
A. The law proclaimed.
1. Blessings to be pronounced on Mount Gerizim.
2. Curses to be given on Mount Ebal.
3. Which tribes are to read the blessings and which the curses.
B. Importance of obedience to the covenant stressed.
1. Israel to bless the earth.

The Final Days of Moses (Ch. 30—31)
A. His last acts.
1. The law given to the priests to spiritually feed the people.
2. Joshua to lead the people.
B. The Final Words of Moses (Ch. 32—33)
1. The song of Moses.
2. Blessings bestowed on the tribes of Israel.
C. Moses on Pisgah (Ch. 34)
1. Moses not to enter the promised land because of his action at Meribah.
2. Moses permitted to view from afar the entrance into the promised land.
3. The end Moses’ mortal life.

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