Deuteronomy, or "Second Law." is known in the Hebrew as דְּבָרִים‎, Devarim, "[spoken] words."  In this, the last book of the Torah, Moses delivers three messages to the people on the plains of Moab.  The people had been travelling for forty years since leaving Egypt in the great "exodus."  Everyone over the age of twenty at the crossing of the Red Sea, have died except for Moses, Joshua and Caleb.  Moses tells the story anew to a new generation, and then goes up to Mt. Nebo to die.


Throughout the book Moses is said to be speaking to the people (1:1; 5:1; 27:1; 29:1; 31:30 and perhaps 33:1).  As with the the last instance, the third person is used of Moses as being the speaker, so it is quite possible that a "secretary" was penning the words that he spoke.  At 33:1, though, he is called "the man of God," perhaps indicating another person is penning both chapters 33 and 34.

Throughout the book, attention is given to the culture and surroundings of the time.  This indicates that the account is contemporary to the events.  Therefore, the date of this book can be put at 1407 BC.


I. Introduction (1:1-5) II. Historical Prologue (1:6 - 4:43)

A. The experience of God in history (1:6 - 3:29)
B. The call to obedience to God's Law (4:1-40)
C. A note on cities of refuge (4:42-43)

III. Moses' Address Concerning the Law (4:44 - 25:19)

A. An introduction to the declaration of the law (4:44-49)
B. The basic commandments : exposition and exhortation (5:1 - 11:32)
C. Specific legislation (12:1 - 26:15)
D. The conclusion to the declaration of the law (26:16-19)

IV. Moses' Address Concerning Blessings and Curses (27:1 - 29:1)

A. The renewal of the covenant commanded (27:1-26)
B. The Blessings and Curses (28:1 - 29:1)

V. Moses' Concluding Charge (29:2 - 30:20)

A. An Appeal for Covenant faithfulness (29:2-29)
B. The Call for Decision (30:1-20)

VI. Continuity of the Covenant  (31:1 - 34:12)

A. Deposition of the law and appointment of Joshua (31:1-29)
B. The Song of Moses (31:30 - 32:44)
C. The impending death of Moses (32:45-52)
D. The blessing of Moses (33:1-29)
E. The death of Moses and leadership of  Joshua (34:1-9)
F. Conclusion (34:10-12)


  1. The King James Reference Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishing, pp. 295-296
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