Final words of Moses
The last of the Torah, the title Deuteronomy means “The second law”. The Israelites had been wandering through the wilderness for 40 years, and have come to the Jordan river. They are about to enter the Promised Land. Deuteronomy is the final speech given to the Israelites.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 is a very famous passage, and even Jesus Christ quotes it:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
The words “Hear(or listen)” and “Love” are in this command. The word “Hear/listen” does not just mean hearing the words, but also “responding” to what is said. Likewise “Love” does not just mean “feeling the emotion of love”, but “action based on love”. Moses is telling the people to “respond” to God.
Blessings and curses
The audience of Moses are the children of the people who disobeyed God 40 years ago. After 40 years, everyone had passed away except for Moses, Joshua, and Caleb. Moses re-explains what God had done for Israel, and goes through the laws of God. When the Israelites enter into the land of Canaan, they will meet new people with new religions, so it was important for the Israelites to understand who they were, and what kind of God they believe in.
Just as with Adam and Eve, God never forces people to obey. He always gives a choice. Moses also gives the choice to the people; “to obey God” or “to disobey God”. Based on those choices, they will either receive “blessings” or “curses”. In Deuteronomy 30:19, Moses pleads with the people to “choose life!”.
Change of leadership
Joshua(who was called Hosea) is chosen as the new leader to replace Moses. Moses climbs a mountain overlooking the Promised land, and he breathes his last. Deuteronomy ends with the people of Israel ready to enter into the land of Canaan that was promised to Abraham many hundreds of years ago.
Traditionally it is said that Moses wrote the Torah, but the last part of Deuteronomy shows Moses’ death, so even if Moses did write part of the books, it is natural to think that there were multiple authors. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy are all important books for Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. I will continue to go through the Old Testament, so stay tuned!
#Bible #Deuteronomy #聖書 #申命記