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Deuteronomy

The name Deuteronomy means 'the law repeated', and Moses spoke the words of this book to the Israelites when they were on the verge of entering Canaan after 40 years' wandering.

The Law had been given before to the older generation of Israelites who, for their lack of faith in God, had perished in the wilderness. Moses repeated the laws to the new generation and reminded them of God's continuing care and provisiong for them and of His marvellous acts and also of what would happen to them if they disobeyed Him.

There is an emphasis in Deuteronomy on the need to remember and, besides repeating God's laws and adding more instructions about what the people should do when they reached Canaan, Moses warned Israel not to forget all that God had done for them before. God's laws and ways were to be in their hearts and minds all the time.

After a brief historical introduction, Moses recapitulates the main events of the 40 years. He delivers the law to the custody of the Levites with a charge to the people to hear it every seven years, recites the song of Moses, and proclaims the blessings of the 12 tribes. The final chapter gives the account of the death of Moses, which had first been announced, to him in Ch.32.

The book of Deuteronomy is referred to over 80 times in the New Testament, Jesus himself quoting from it on several occasions.

 

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