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.