8: DEUTERONOMY; The Repetition of the Law

Moses taught that the law should be kept in spirit as well as deed and that it applied to every area of life. For this reason Deuteronomy throbs with practical spirit and vital principles which continue to be relevant for the Church in this 21st Century.

Deuteronomy – The Repetition of the Law

Key Verses – Chapter 6:12-13

Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.   Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. 

The Jews called the 5th Book of Moses elleh haddevarim or devarim following the opening sentence “These are the words”. They also knew it by the title misneh hattorah, the repetition of the law, or sefer tochaboth, the book of admonitions. All of these ancient names have much to commend because they reveal the truth in the final book of the Pentateuch. This book contains the words of Moses to the people before his death and prior to their entrance into the Promised Land. This book is also the repetition of the law. The Jews deduced this from 17:18 where the King is commanded to write out the copy of the law. The copy is the repetition, which is what Deuteronomy is. Unfortunately Deuteronomy is a misnomer as it stems from the Latin Deuteronomium, which means The Second Law. Deuteronomy is not a second law but a repetition.  The Jews were much more accurate in their assessment. The Jews referred to Deuteronomy as a book of admonitions. German expositor and theologian Keil described Deuteronomy as “a hortatory description, explanation and enforcement of the most essential contents of the covenant revelation and covenant laws…”. The word hortatory means to exhort. Therefore Moses in his final months spent much time exhorting the people to obey and follow the law which God had given. This 5th book is a series of sermons and addresses from a man who knew that his life and ministry were at an end. Keil went onto describe Deuteronomy:

“…with an emphatic prominence given to the spiritual principle of the law and its fulfilment, and with a further development of the ecclesiastical, judicial, political, and civil organisation, which was intended as a permanent foundation for the life and well-being of the people in the land of Canaan.”

Moses taught that the law should be kept in spirit as well as deed and that it applied to every area of life. For this reason Deuteronomy throbs with practical spirit and vital principles which continue to be relevant for the Church in this 21st Century.

1: Introduction

1:1-5

The time and location are fixed. The people are ready to enter the Promised Land and Moses had words of preparation.

2: The First Address

1:6-4:43

a Historical Review – 1:6-3

God’s guidance and their rebellions are described. In 2:38 the way is being prepared for Joshua.

b Exhortation to Obey – 4:1-43

As a result of God’s care over them they were commanded not to forget, to take heed and teach the word to their children, 4:9.

3: The Second Address

4:44-26:19

a Introduction – 4:44-49

Once more the location is fixed for another assembly called by Moses.

b The Ten Commandments Expounded – 5-11

The law is repeated and the people are reminded of the events at Sinai. This was vital as Moses was dealing with a new generation. Central to this section is the requirement that the people love the Lord and teach the word within their homes to the next generation, 6:4-13.

c Principle Laws Expounded 12-26

12 – One Altar for sacrifice

13 – Idolatry forbidden

14 – Clean and unclean animals

15 – The Year of Release, v15

16:1-17 – The three feasts; Passover, Pentecost (weeks), Tabernacles

16:18-17 – The Judges and the King

18 – The Priests and the Prophets

19 – The Cities of Refuge

20 – Warfare

21 – Crimes worthy of death

22 – Social, Environmental and Morality Laws

23 – Citizenship

24 – Marriage and Divorce

25 – Corporal Punishment

26 – Thanksgiving at the Feast of First Fruits

3: The Covenant Renewed

27-30

This section is central as the word covenant is appears as often in Deuteronomy as it does in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers taken all together. Moses has presented the teaching, now is the hour of decision, the moment of personal challenge. Would the people enter into the Covenant that God made with them to obey his law and walk in his ways. Great stones were erected upon Mount Ebal upon which the Law was inscribed. Half of the tribes stood upon Mount Ebal to pronounce curses upon those who broke the law and half of the tribes stood upon Mount Gerizim to pronounce the blessings in keeping the law. 30:11-20 are a significant challenge to the nation from the great law giver of Israel.

4: The Last Words of Moses

31-34

a Moses’ Final Instructions – 31

Joshua is publicly set aside and formally charged with the task of leadership, v23.

b Moses’ Song – 32

Magnifies Jehovah, v1-4; mourns the rebellions of the people,

v15-20; anticipation of great victory, v43.

c Moses’ Blessing – 33

The 12 tribes enumerated.

d Moses Death and Burial – 34

Moses death is one of the great mysteries in scripture., dying alone and buried by the Lord. Although 120 years of age he died as a physically strong individual. He is described as the greatest of the prophets who knew God face to face. Yet he is also simply described as “…the servant of the Lord.”

5: Messianic Revelations

a 18:15-22

Confirmed in Acts 3:20-22 that the great prophet is indeed Christ. Every anointed prophet in ancient times prefigured the coming Messiah. He is The Word who presented the greatest revelation from God (Hebrews 1:1-3).

b 21:22-23

Paul shows us that Christ was the one who hung upon the tree, being made a curse for us.

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