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BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY – OVERVIEW

August 2, 2012


“Now Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land, Gilead as far as Dan…(and) said to him “This is the land which I swore (covenant) to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.” So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab…Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated.” (Dt 34:1-5, 7)

The Book of Deuteronomy
1:1-4:43 Dt 4:44-26:19 Dt 27:1-34:12
Moses’
First
Discourse
 
Moses’
Second
Discourse
Moses’
Third
Discourse
Historical Review
 
Legal
Exposition
Prophetical
Promises
Looking Back
40 Yr
Looking Up
What God
Expected of Israel
Looking Ahead
What God
Will Do For Israel
 Recapitulation of Wanderings
 
Rehearsal
of Israel’s Law
Ratification
of  Israel’s Covenant
Historical Appendices
Remember
the past
Commandments
for the Present
27:1-30:20
Blessing & Cursing
31:1-34:12
Moses Death
Don’t
Forget 

 Dt4:9-10,23,31
Ten
Commands
to Obey
Related
Commands
to Obey
Opposite
Options For the Future
Moses’
Parting Words 
1:1-4:43
Thinking Back
on the Past
4:44-11:32
Exposition of Decalogue
12:1-16:17
Ceremonial Laws
 
16:18-20:20
Civil
Laws
 
21:1-26:19
Social
Laws
 
27:1-28:68
Ratification of Covenant
 
29:1-30:20
Terms of Covenant
31:1-34:12
Moses’ Song, Blessing, Death

Plains of Moab
 (click for map)

Time: About 2 Months
Author: Moses
 (Except Dt 34)

John MacArthur writes : The English title “Deuteronomy” comes from the Greek Septuagint (LXX) mistranslation of “copy of this law” in Deut 17:18 as “second law,” which was rendered Deuteronomium in the Latin version (Vulgate). The Hebrew title of the book is translated “These are the words,” from the first two Hebrew words of the book. 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. Deuteronomy completes the five-part literary unit called the Pentateuch. (Read full intro)

Leviticus & Deuteronomy both contain many commands and laws, but while the former emphasizes the role of the priests, the latter emphasizes the role of the people, specifically linking obedience with blessing. (cp Dt 28:2) As Spurgeon said “Believing and obeying always run side by side.  Faith and obedience are bound up in the same bundle. He that obeys God, trusts God; and he that trusts God, obeys God.” He adds that in the New Covenant “though salvation is not by the works of the law, yet the blessings which are promised to obedience are not denied to the faithful servants of God. The curses our Lord took away when He was made a curse for us, but no clause of blessing has been abrogated.”

In Deuteronomy 6:23 under the Old Covenant Moses declared that God “brought (them) out…in order to bring (them) in” & to give them a LAND, whereas the New Covenant teaches that Jesus brought us “out of darkness into His marvelous light” in order to give us a LIFE to our mortal bodies and “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” (1Pet 2:9-note, Ro 8:11-note, Eph 1:3-note). A land in the OT, a life in the NT!

Key Words (NAS95):: Suggestion: As you are reading any book of the Bible, train yourself to begin to look for the repeated (and/or critical) words the author uses – you will find that your grasp of the book will increase, you will remember more of what you read, you will discern the author’s main purpose (in a chapter or the entire book), you will be able to apply the timeless Word more accurately. In short, you wil find yourself growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2Peter 3:18-note). Heart (49x/45v), Love (24x/23v), Listen (31x/31v), Obey/obedient (15x), Observe (26x), Keep (32x/30v), Purge (remove) the evil (10x/10v), Remember (15x), Forget/forgotten (13x), Command (-ed, -ment, -ments) (127x, 98v), Covenant (27x/26v), Bless/blessed/blessing (50x/45v), Life (19x/15v),  Curse(s)/cursed/cursing (34x/32v), Death (23x/19v),  Fear (25x/25v), Carefully (8x), Shall not (128x/116v), LORD spoke (9x), LORD will (34x/34v), LORD your God (279x/239v), Lord our God (22x/21v), Nation(s) (46x/41v), Circumcise (Dt 10:16, Dt 30:6).

Deuteronomy is a book of transition: (1) to a new generation; (2) to a new possession; (3) to a new experience, a new life – houses not tents, settled not wandering, milk and honey not manna; (4) to a new revelation of God, of His love. Genesis to Numbers never speak of the love of God, but now we read the wonderful words in Dt 4:37 “Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power.”  “The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of slavery…(Dt 7:7-8, cp Dt 10:15, Dt 23:5) (Adapted from Explore the Book by Sidlow Baxter)

Henrietta Mears wrote that “You will come to appreciate the full force & magnetic beauty of Deuteronomy only as you read its pages….Nothing in literature matches the majesty of its eloquence. Nothing in the OT has any more powerful appeal for the spiritual life. No book in all the Word of God pictures better the life that is lived according to God’s will & the blessings showered upon the soul who comes into the richness & fullness of spiritual living along the rugged pathway of simple obedience…If you want a taste of heaven on earth, become familiar with Deuteronomy.” (What the Bible is All About)

Related Resources:
Deuteronomy Commentaries & Sermons on preceptaustin.org
Deuteronomy Devotionals by Chapter/Verse

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