Summary: This message is an overview of the book of Deuteronomy.
Tonight we are exploring Deuteronomy. There are 34 chapters in Deuteronomy. This book will teach us the importance of remembering God and His Word. We are told many times not to forget God or His Word. A specific reference is found in Psalm 78:5-9 which is a reference to Israel’s disobedience to enter the promised land: For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children; 6 That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, 7 That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments; 8 And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God.
Tonight I hope that you will be challenged to the importance of setting God always before you in your thoughts.
I. The Title
"The name Deuteronomy results from a mistranslation of Deuteronomy 17:18 in the LXX and the Vulgate. For the Hebrew "a copy of this law," the LXX and the Vulgate have terms meaning "the second law" or "a repetition of this law."
The Jews identify the book by its first words-- elleh haddebarim ("These are the words")--or by the phrase in 17:18 cited above, or by "The Book of Admonitions" or reproofs or corrections. It is also known as "The Fifth" or "Fifths of the Law." (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary - Deuteronomy).
"The Hebrew title is a better description of the book since it is not a ‘second law,’ but rather the record of Moses’ words of explanation concerning the Law" (MacArthur Study Bible).
II. The Author
"Moses has been traditionally recognized as the author of Deuteronomy" (MacArthur Study Bible).
A. The Distinct Claim of the Book Itself is that Moses Wrote It
1. Deut.1:1 - "These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel..."
2. Deut. 1:5 - "...Moses began to explain this law..."
3. Deut 31:9 - So Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel.
4. Deut.31:22 - Therefore Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it to the children of Israel.
5. Deut.31:24 - So it was, when Moses had completed writing the words of this law in a book..."
B. Deuteronomy is the Book of the Law Most Quoted in the New Testament, Being Cited Over 80 Times
III. The Date
"While Deut.32:48-34:12 was added after Moses’ death (probably by Joshua), the rest of the book came from Moses’ hand just before his death in 1405 B.C." (MacArthur Study Bible).
"Deuteronomy was written at the end of the forty years wandering in the wilderness" (Geisler, p.78).
IV. The Audience
"This book was written to the new generation, those under twenty years of age when they came out of Egypt" (Geisler, p.78).
V. The Theme
Genesis - "beginnings"
Exodus - "redemption"
Leviticus - "holiness"
Numbers - "testing"
Deuteronomy - "instruction"
(David R. Shepherd, Deuteronomy, p.5)
VI. The Content (1-34)
"Deuteronomy is a book of sermons. Israel is gathered on the east bank of Jordan, ready to enter the Promised Land. It had taken them thirty-eight years to get there since their rebellion at Kadesh-barnea. Verse 2 indicates that the journey would normally have taken eleven days. But they had wandered in the wilderness, led by a cloud during the day and by a pillar of fire at night. Now Israel is physically ready to enter the land, but Moses realizes that they must also be ready spiritually. The time of year is the Jewish eleventh month, or March according to our calendar" Jerry Falwell, executive editor; Edward E. Hinson and Michael Kroll Woodrow, general editors, KJV Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1994.
A. Chapter 1:1-4:43 Gives Us the First Address of Moses to Israel Reminding Them of the Wilderness Wanderings
1. Chapter 1:1-4 gives us the historical setting (read Deut.1:1-4)
2. Chapter 1:5-18 recounts God’s command to leave "Horeb" (v.6)
Verses 6-7 - "The LORD our God spoke to us in Horeb, saying: ’You have dwelt long enough at this mountain. 7 ’Turn and take your journey, and go to the mountains of the Amorites, to all the neighboring places in the plain, in the mountains and in the lowland, in the South and on the seacoast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the River Euphrates.
"You have dwelt long enough on this mountain" "is a rhetorical call to national repentance" (KJV Bible Commentary).