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Deuteronomy 4

1 - Now, Israel, listen to the statutes and to the ordinances, which I teach you, to do them; that you may live, and go in and possess the land which The LORD, the God of your fathers, gives you.

2 - You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

3 - Your eyes have seen what the LORD did because of Baal Peor; for all the men who followed Baal Peor, the LORD your God has destroyed them from among you.

4 - But you who were faithful to the LORD your God are all alive today.

5 - Behold, I have taught you statutes and ordinances, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do so in the middle of the land where you go in to possess it.

6 - Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who shall hear all these statutes and say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people."

7 - For what great nation is there, that has a god so near to them, as the LORD our God is whenever we call on him?

8 - What great nation is there, that has statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law, which I set before you today?

9 - Only be careful, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes saw, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your children and your children's children;

10 - the day that you stood before the LORD your God in Horeb, when the LORD said to me, "Assemble the people to me, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children."

11 - You came near and stood under the mountain. The mountain burned with fire to the heart of the sky, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness.

12 - The LORD spoke to you out of the middle of the fire: you heard the voice of words, but you saw no form; you only heard a voice.

13 - He declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even the ten commandments. He wrote them on two stone tablets.

14 - The LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances, that you might do them in the land where you go over to possess it.

15 - Be very careful, for you saw no kind of form on the day that the LORD spoke to you in Horeb out of the middle of the fire,

16 - lest you corrupt yourselves, and make yourself an engraved image in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

17 - the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky,

18 - the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth;

19 - and lest you lift up your eyes to the sky, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, even all the army of the sky, you are drawn away and worship them, and serve them, which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole sky.

20 - But the LORD has taken you, and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be to him a people of inheritance, as it is today.

21 - Furthermore the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, and swore that I should not go over the Jordan, and that I should not go in to that good land, which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance;

22 - but I must die in this land. I must not go over the Jordan; but you shall go over, and possess that good land.

23 - Be careful, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make yourselves an engraved image in the form of anything which the LORD your God has forbidden you.

24 - For the LORD your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God.

25 - When you shall father children, and children's children, and you shall have been long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make an engraved image in the form of anything, and shall do that which is evil in the LORD your God's sight, to provoke him to anger;

26 - I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you will soon utterly perish from off the land which you go over the Jordan to possess it. You will not prolong your days on it, but will utterly be destroyed.

27 - The LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations, where the LORD will lead you away.

28 - There you shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.

29 - But from there you shall seek the LORD your God, and you shall find him, when you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.

30 - When you are in oppression, and all these things have come on you, in the latter days you shall return to the LORD your God, and listen to his voice.

31 - For the LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not fail you, neither destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which he swore to them.

32 - For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and from the one end of the sky to the other, whether there has been anything as this great thing is, or has been heard like it?

33 - Did a people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the middle of the fire, as you have heard, and live?

34 - Or has God tried to go and take a nation for himself from among another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand, by an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

35 - It was shown to you so that you might know that the LORD is God. There is no one else besides him.

36 - Out of heaven he made you to hear his voice, that he might instruct you. On earth he made you to see his great fire; and you heard his words out of the middle of the fire.

37 - Because he loved your fathers, therefore he chose their offspring after them, and brought you out with his presence, with his great power, out of Egypt;

38 - to drive out nations from before you greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is today.

39 - Know therefore today, and take it to heart, that the LORD himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath. There is no one else.

40 - You shall keep his statutes, and his commandments, which I command you today, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land, which the LORD your God gives you, forever.

41 - Then Moses set apart three cities beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise;

42 - that the man slayer might flee there, who kills his neighbor unawares, and didn't hate him in time past; and that fleeing to one of these cities he might live:

43 - Bezer in the wilderness, in the plain country, for the Reubenites; and Ramoth in Gilead, for the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, for the Manassites.

44 - This is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel.

45 - These are the testimonies, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which Moses spoke to the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt,

46 - beyond the Jordan, in the valley over against Beth Peor, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon, whom Moses and the children of Israel struck, when they came out of Egypt.

47 - They took his land in possession, and the land of Og king of Bashan, the two kings of the Amorites, who were beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise;

48 - from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, even to Mount Sion (also called Hermon),

49 - and all the Arabah beyond the Jordan eastward, even to the sea of the Arabah, under the slopes of Pisgah.

Deuteronomy Images and Notes

The Book of Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy 28:1 - And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe [and] to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
Deuteronomy 28:2 - And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

Painting of a Religious Jew Reading the Scroll of the Torah
Religious Jew Reading the Scroll of the Torah, notice the prayer shawl over his head and the phylacteries on his forehead and arm to remind him that he must keep the law with his head and his heart. He is reading the scroll of the Torah which was written on parchment and fastened to rollers.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survery - Deuteronomy
Hebrew Name - elleh haddebharim "these are the words"
Greek Name - Deuteronomion "The Second Law"
Author - Moses
Date - 1451 BC Approximately
Theme - Reminders of God's Covenant
Types and Shadows - In Deuteronomy Jesus is prophet like unto Moses

Quick Reference Map
Map of the Route of the Exodus
Map of the Possible Route of the Exodus (Click to Enlarge)

Summary of The Book of Deuteronomy

The word "Deuteronomy" comes from the Greek word for "the second law" or "the law copied or repeated." In the book of Deuteronomy Moses is writing a series of speeches to the people of Israel in the plains of Moab on the day before they entered the land of Canaan, the promised land. these messages are intended to speak to every member of the congregation of Israel, not just the religious. The purpose of Moses was to remind them of God's law, and everything that God did for them, and every promise God made to them. Moses explained to them that their new life in the land of Canaan would be blessed or cursed depending on their ability to walk after after God and His law. These words were spoken to them on the 11th month of the final year of Israel's wandering in the wilderness, the 40th year after they left Egypt.

In the first speech (Deuteronomy 1:1-4:43), Moses warns the people of Israel about the sins which had kept their fathers from entering the promised land. He repeatedly encourages them to obey God and reminds them about the events that took place in the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. He carefully explains what happens when there are difficult situations and they choose not to trust the Lord but rather act in obstinance, doubt, fear, and finally disobedience.

The second speech (Deuteronomy 4:44-26:19) goes into the details about the law. It is really the main message here that Moses gives them, the first speech was more of an introduction and preparation for this message. It deals mainly with the legal aspects of the law, moral, civil, and ceremonial. It deals first with the 10 Commandments (Deuteronomy chapters 5-11) and secondly the details behind God's law with the emphasis on following God statutes, religious ordinances, and living with one another as the people of God (Deuteronomy chapters 12-26).

The third speech (Deuteronomy 27:1-31:30) is primarily a message about the blessings of obedience and the curses of disobedience. Moses mainly directs his message to the elders, the priests, the Levites, and all the leaders who are responsible to carry out the ceremonies. The place chosen for the ceremonies was a spot in the center of the land of Israel where the first altar to God have been erected. Once they had crossed over the Jordan River they were commanded to set up great stones on Mount Ebal, with the law of God inscribed and to build a great altar. The 12 tribes of Israel were to be divided between the two hills. Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin were to gather themselves on Mt. Gerizim to recite the blessings which God promised them if they would obey him. Across on Mt. Ebal, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali were to speak the curses which God had promised them if they were to disobey him.

Moses finished his discourses and encourage the people to follow Joshua, their new leader, to cross the Jordan and to take the land which had been promised to their father Abraham. Moses wrote down the law in a book, gave it to the priests, who were to keep it as a perpetual reminder for the people of Israel (Deuteronomy 31:9-13). They were to read it every seventh year when the people assembled for the feast of Tabernacles.

God told Moses and Joshua to come before Him at the tabernacle and He told them of the future infidelity of the children of Israel and instructed Moses to leave the people a song as a witness against them which they were to learn. This song of Moses is recorded in Deuteronomy 32 and it speaks about the blessings which God has bestowed on his people and the corrupt ways in which they responded to those blessings. Deuteronomy 33 speaks about Moses' blessing on the people and Deuteronomy 34 records briefly the account of the death of Moses, the great leader of Israel.

Outline of The Book of Deuteronomy

1) The First Address of Moses

Historical  overview (Deuteronomy 1:6-3)
Appeal for commitment to God  (Deuteronomy 4)

2) The Second Address of Moses

God's covenant with Israel (Deuteronomy 5:1-21)
A Message about the First Commandment (Deuteronomy 6-9:6)
A Survey of the Laws Given on Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 9:7-10:11)
Reminders of God's Laws (Deuteronomy 10:12-11)

3) The Laws

Sacrifice (Deuteronomy 12)
Giving in to Idolatry (Deuteronomy 13)
Acceptable and Forbidden Foods (Deuteronomy 14:3-21)
Tithes (Deuteronomy 14:22-29)
Year of Release (Deuteronomy 15:1-11)
Releasing Slaves (Deuteronomy 15:12-18)
Firstlings of Cattle and Sheep (Deuteronomy 15:19-23)
Yearly Pilgrimage Feasts and Festivals (Deuteronomy 16:1-17)
Leaders of the Nation (Deuteronomy 16:18-28:22)
Right of Asylum (Deuteronomy 19)
Conduct of War (Deuteronomy 20, 21:10-14, 23:9-14)
Marriage and Family Life (Deuteronomy 21, 22, 24:1-4, 25:5-10)
Certain Humanitarian Regulations (Deuteronomy 21, 22, 24, 25)
Blessings and Curses on the People (Deuteronomy 27)
Results of Observance and Neglect (Deuteronomy 28)

4) The Last Days of Moses

Third Address (Deuteronomy 29-30)
Last Words and Acts of Moses (Deuteronomy 31-33)
Death and Burial of Moses (Deuteronomy 34)

Quick Reference Maps - Deuteronomy

Canaan Before Joshua

The Island of Caphtor

The First Day. Light.

Deuteronomy Resources

The Wilderness Wanderings

More About the Book of Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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