Deuteronomy

These are all of the chapters of the book of Deuteronomy. Clicking on a chapter will show you the text of that chapter of Deuteronomy in the Bible (New International Version).

bible open to beginning of the book of deuteronomy

Who Wrote the Book of Deuteronomy?

Deuteronomy is the fifth and final book of what Jews refer to as the Pentateuch. It is accepted in Jewish circles and among Christians that Moses was the author of this book as well as all five books that make up the Pentateuch. Scripture also gives evidence to Moses being the author. Deuteronomy 1:1 states “These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel…” and 4:44 also states “This is the law Moses gave to the Israelites.”  Throughout the Bible, Deuteronomy is referred to as the words Moses wrote down. One can find these in 1 Kings 2:3, 2 Kings 14:6, Ezra 3:2, Nehemiah 1:7, Malachi 4:4, and Matthew 19:7.

Context and Background of Deuteronomy

 The book of Deuteronomy was written around 1406 B.C. According to verse one, the Israelites were camped across the Jordan River in the wilderness. This would have been at the end of their forty-year journey wandering through the desert. The Israelites were about to enter the land that God had promised them. The children that left Egypt were now grown and ready to take possession of their Promised Land.

God spoke to Moses at this point about the covenant He had made with His people. God wanted Moses to remind the Israelites of this covenant. The Israelites that were about to enter the Promise Land would not have remembered the first covenant ceremony. Moses is asking the Israelites to re-covenant with God.

Main Theme and Purpose of Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy is an important book in the Bible because it shows the character of God. God was showing the Israelites that He would give them everything they need as long as the obeyed His commandments and laws. This journey of faith was going to be a two-way street. God understood what the people were going to need even if they didn’t.

Moses spoke the word of God essentially as a sermon or set of sermons. The purpose of these words was to remind the people of where they came from. God wanted them to remember what He had done to release them from the Egyptians. This group was not the same ones that came out of Egypt. These were young Israelites who had not experienced what the generation before them had.

God gives the Law to them as a reminder and renewing of His promise to protect them from the dangers that lie ahead. It was crucial that they understood where they came from, how they got to the promised land, and how God was going to lead them.

What Can We Learn from Deuteronomy Today?

While Deuteronomy wanes in popularity to the modern Christian, it is still important. There are many lessons that we can take away from this book. God felt it important to remind the Israelites of what He had done for them. That is something that Christians today should look hard at. We often don’t take the time to remember what our Lord has done for us. Too often we go through the motions of life and forget that we cannot do this alone. We need our God.

Another lesson in Deuteronomy is the need to tell the younger generations about God. Bible scholar Robert Jamieson says “the mental condition of the people generally in that infantine age of the church, and the greater number of them being in young or tender years, rendered it expedient to repeat the laws and counsels which God had given…” This statement can be applied to the young and tender generation of Christians today. At a young age, we believe that life is great. The struggles have not hit us yet. The Israelites that were standing on the bank of the Jordan River probably had no idea what they would be up against. They may have felt defeated before they began the fight. What Moses was telling them was that the God they serve had already prepared the way.

The God of Israel is the same God we serve. He has already prepared the way. We must remember or we are bound to repeat the same things the Israelites did. On the other hand, we no longer live by the law, yet, we are still accountable for sharing God’s love and direction for living. We must never forget what God did for us.

Lastly, Deuteronomy shares how God’s law applied to all areas of life for the Israelite people. This is true today. The Bible has everything we need to help us live the life God planned for us. God wanted the Israelites to remember His word and keep His law so that their lives may be full. This same God wants that for us today.

Favorite Verses from Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy 6:4 - "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” 

Deuteronomy 6:5 - “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”  

Deuteronomy 30:19 - “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants.” 

Deuteronomy 10:19 - "You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name.” 

Deuteronomy 4:2 - "You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” 

Deuteronomy 10:12 - "Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” 

Deuteronomy 30:15 - "See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity.” 

Deuteronomy 6:6 - “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.” 

Deuteronomy 4:5 - “See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it.”  

Deuteronomy 8:3 - “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that people do not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”  

Sources

Knowing Jesus.com: Deuteronomy

Encyclopedia Britannica: Deuteronomy

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible: Robert Jamieson, Zondervan. N.d.

ESV Study Bible: Introduction to Deuteronomy

Insight for Living: Deuteronomy

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Ashley Hooker is a freelance writer who spends her time homeschooling her two children, ministering alongside her husband as he pastors a rural church in West Virginia, and writing about her faith. Currently, she is a contributing author for Journey Christian magazine. She has taken part in mission trips with the NC Baptist Men during the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey in Mississippi and Texas. In her local church, she has served on various committees focusing in the area of evangelism along with traveling to West Virginia and Vermont to share the Gospel. Her dream is to spend her time writing and sharing the love of Christ with all she meets.