About this book
It was almost time for the people of Israel to cross the River Jordan and conquer Canaan. But God refused to let Moses lead them into the land. Instead, Moses had been told that he was going to die on the eastern side of the Jordan. So Moses gave several farewell speeches to the people of Israel in which he repeated many of God's laws.
Because Moses was giving these laws to Israel for a second time, the book is now called “Deuteronomy”, which comes from a Greek phrase meaning “second law”.
Moses also reminded the Israelites about the past forty years. God had rescued them from Egypt and taken care of them in the desert, but they had not always been faithful or obedient to him.
Moses told the Israelites that if they kept their agreement to worship and obey the Lord, they would be a successful and powerful nation. But if they broke their agreement and worshipped idols, the Lord promised to put terrible curses on the people. They would be defeated by their enemies and lose their land and their lives.
Much later, when Jesus was asked which one of God's commands was the most important, he answered by quoting one of the commands from Deuteronomy:
Listen, Israel! The Lord our God is the only true God! So love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength.
A quick look at this book
1. The first speech: Moses reviews the past (1.1—4.43)
2. The second speech: Moses tells what the Lord requires (4.44—29.1)
3. The third speech: Israel must keep its agreement with the Lord (29.2—30.20)
4. Final speeches and the death of Moses (31.1–13)
5. Israel will reject the Lord (31.14–29)
6. The song of Moses (31.30—32.47)
7. Moses sees the land and blesses the tribes of Israel (32.48—33.29)
8. The death of Moses (34.1–12)