Overview of the book of Deuteronomy

What does Deuteronomy mean

The farewell address of Moses is the book of Deuteronomy. It is also called the second law or repeated law. The Deuteronomy meaning is second law and it is derived from the Hebrew word. It is one of the most crucial books in Jewish theology.

Deuteronomy definition

The English title Deuteronomy comes from the Greek word deuteronomion, which means a copy of this law. It is actually concerned with age-old moral issues.

Israel has wandered forty years in the wilderness and the generation that came out of Egypt has died except Moses, Caleb, and Joshua. Moses also died in the last chapter of Deuteronomy. The book of Deuteronomy mainly focuses on the importance of obeying God.

Who wrote the book of Deuteronomy

Moses is the authorship of this book. This is the fifth book of the Pentateuch.

When was Deuteronomy written

It was written around 1406 BC. This book is quoted 80 times in the new testament books. It is also quoted 356 times in later old testament books. This is the final book of the Jewish Torah.

The role of Deuteronomy in the Bible

It reviews the Torah and the rest of the old testament story. In this book, Moses reminds the people of God’s actions that were done in the past. Many times the Hebrew people had proven to be stubborn in their bad habits. For this reason, God has agreed to give them rules.

  • His promises to Abraham in Genesis.
  • His faithfulness in rescuing Israel in exodus.
  • His holiness in Leviticus.
  • His punishment on the disobedient in Numbers.

Moses also gave directions, blessings, and warnings to the people of Israel in the future:

  • He appointed Joshua as their new leader.
  • God’s expectations of kings.
  • Prosperity for obeying God.
  • Exile for disobedience.
  • God’s promises to restore Israel.

Deuteronomy also tells about the responsibilities of Israel as God’s covenant people. The laws that are in exodus, Leviticus, Numbers are repeated in Deuteronomy. The book records all the words spoken by Moses during the final months of his life in the plains of Moab prior to the nation’s entrance into the promised land.

The Israel people did not personally experience God’s deliverance at the Red Sea and at the time of giving the law so every time Moses reminded them of God’s power and His laws.

Quick outline of Deuteronomy

  • Recap of Israel’s journey from Egypt. Chapters 1-3
  • Recap of Israel’s relationship with God. Chapters 4-10
  • How to love God and keep his commandments. chapters 11-26
  • Blessings, curses, and restoration. Chapters 27-30
  • The death of Moses. Chapters 31-34

Key phrases

We think that the book is a harsh book of commandments but the book is really a “heart book“. Fifty times the word “heart” is described in the book. The word “love” is found 23 times. The word “you shall do” or “you shall not do” in the book of Deuteronomy is used 88 times. The word “keep” is used 40 times. The word “command” is used 40 times. The word “hear” is used 33 times. The word “observe” is used 21 times and the word “obey” is used 10 times in the Deuteronomy book.

What is the book of Deuteronomy about

The book of Deuteronomy is not about who God is, not about the presence or the motivational for our works. It is about a relationship based on love. It is all about the love of God for his people and the love of a people for their God. The word “God” is found 372 times in this book.

Why is Deuteronomy important

Moses addressed his words to Israel people at least twelve times. Deuteronomy also restates the Ten commandments. The book teaches Israel about God’s instructions on how to live a blessed life in the promised land. These all are the essential teachings in all of Judaism. These laws were important to conquer the land.

Outline of the book of Deuteronomy

1. Introduction, 1:1-5

2. Recapitulation of Israel’s wanderings: Historical,1:6-4:43

  • Israel at Sinai,1:6-18
  • Israel at Kadesh- Barnea,1:19-46
  • Israel’s Journey from Kadesh to Moab,2:1-3:29
    • The journey to Transjordan,2:1-23
    • The conquest of Transjordan,2:24-3:11
    • The allotment of Transjordan,3:12-29
  • Israel on the plains of Moab,4:1-43
    • A call to obedience,4:1-40
      The cities of refuge,4:41-43

3. Rehearsal of Israel’s Law: Legal,4:44-26:19

  • Commands concerning God,4:44-12:32
    • The ten commandments,4:44-5:33
    • The command to love the Lord, 6:1-25
    • The command to destroy the Canaanites, 7:1-26
    • The command to remember God’s past dealings,8:1-10:11
    • The call to commitment, 10:12-11:32
    • The command concerning the central sanctuary,12:1-32
  • Commands concerning false prophets, 13:1-18
  • Commands concerning Food,14:1-21
  • Commands concerning Tithes,14:22-29
  • Commands concerning the sabbath year,15:1-23
  • Commands concerning Festivals, 16:1-17
  • Commands concerning leaders,16:18-18:22
    • Judges, 16:18-17:13
    • Kings, 17:14-20
    • Levites, 18:1-8
    • False Diviners, 18:9-14
    • Messiah, 18:15-19
    • Prophets, 18:20-22
  • Commands concerning human Relationships, 19:1-26:19
    • The cities of refuge, 19:1-13
    • The boundary mark, 19:14
    • Witnesses, 19:15-21
    • Warfare, 20:1-20
    • Manslaughter,21:1-9
    • Marriage and family life, 21:10-22:30
    • The Assembly, 23:1-18
    • Protection for the weak, 23:19-25:19
    • Firstfruits, 26:1-19

4. Ratification of Israel’s covenant, 27: 1-30:20

  • Prerequisites ceremonies, 27:1-26
  • The promise of blessings, 28:1-14
  • The promise of curses, 28:15-68
  • Provisions of the Palestinian covenant, 29:1-30:20

5. conclusion, 31:1-34:12

  • Charges related to Moses, 31:1-29
  • Song of Moses, 31:30-32:47
  • Testament of Moses, 32:48-33:29
  • Death of Moses,34:1-12

Book of Deuteronomy summary

Deuteronomy is the final book in the Pentateuch of Moses’ books and contains the three sermons of Moses and two prophetic poems about Israel’s future. These were motivational sermons given by God to Moses urging Israel’s faithful obedience to the covenant laws that were given 40 years previously at Sinai. Moses teaches the importance of God’s law given at Sinai. The details of the laws expand great command that Israel is to love the Lord with all their hearts and soul.

Moses urges the people not to repeat the mistakes after entering into the promised land. The book of Deuteronomy also explains the importance of the ten commandments. Moses reminded them to obey God’s law. So the book got the name second giving of God’s law.