Chapters 12–26, the Deuteronomic code: Laws governing Israel's worship (chapters 12–16a), the appointment and regulation of community and religious leaders (16b–18), social regulation (19–25), and confession of identity and loyalty (26). [16] Whether the Deuteronomic code – the set of laws at chapters 12–26 which form the original core of the book – was written in Josiah's time (late 7th century) or earlier is subject to debate, but many of the individual laws are older than the collection itself. [3] Chapters 12–26, containing the Deuteronomic Code, are the earliest section, followed by the second prologue (Ch. With Josiah's support, they launched a full-scale reform of worship based on an early form of Deuteronomy 5–26, which takes the form of a covenant (i.e., treaty) between Judah and Yahweh to replace that between Judah and Assyria. [29] The terms of the treaty are that Israel holds the land from Yahweh, but Israel's tenancy of the land is conditional on keeping the covenant, which in turn necessitates tempered rule by state and village leaders who keep the covenant: "These beliefs", says Norman Gottwald, "dubbed biblical Yahwism, are widely recognised in biblical scholarship as enshrined in Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomistic History (Joshua through Kings). The Nash Papyrus (second century B.C.E.) Chapters 5–11 contain an introductory speech by Moses, largely hortatory. An early edition of Deuteronomy as it exists today has been identified with the book of the Law discovered in the Temple of Jerusalem about 622 bc (2 Kings 22:8; 2 Chronicles 34:15). דברים), "the words [of Moses]", and the fifth book of the Christian Old Testament, where it is also known as the Fifth Book of Moses. He repeats the general charge (), and, having in the close of the foregoing chapter begun to mention the great things God had done among them, in this, I.He specifies several of the great works God had done before their eyes (). There is very solid evidence to back this up as well. # keep…: The principles governing the Deuteronomic historian’s presentation of Israel’s history are set forth in the book of Deuteronomy: faithfulness to Yahweh and obedience to his commands bring blessings; the worship of foreign gods and negligence of Yahweh’s statutes bring a curse; Yahweh can be worshiped in only one sacred place (Jerusalem) by all Israel; priests, prophets, and kings are subject to Yahweh’s law granted through Moses. Deuteronomy 12–26, the Deuteronomic Code, is the oldest part of the book and the core around which the rest developed. This book stresses the covenant between God and Israel, summed up in Deuteronomy 26:16‑19. What did the Israelites do during a mourning period (Deuteronomy 34:8)? The author was anonymous, but is now known for convenience as the ‘Deuteronomist’. [8] The structure is often described as a series of three speeches or sermons (chapters 1:1–4:43, 4:44–29:1, 29:2–30:20) followed by a number of short appendices[9] – Miller refers to this as the "literary" structure; alternatively, it is sometimes seen as a ring-structure with a central core (chapters 12–26, the Deuteronomic Code) and an inner and an outer frame (chapters 4–11/27–30 and 1–3/31–34)[9] – Miller calls this the covenantal substructure;[8] and finally the theological structure revealed in the theme of the exclusive worship of Yahweh established in the first of the Ten Commandments ("Thou shalt have no other god before me") and the Shema. AUTHOR--MOSES: Particular internal evidence argues that Moses was the author of most of Deuteronomy. Introduction. The law of Moses represents a gospel orientation (see Reading 12-1), and these verses demonstrate such an orientation. The Old Testament prophets were divinely inspired (1 Pet. Samuel is a prime candidate for the authorship of Deuteronomy 34 given both his standing before the Lord (1 Sam. Deuteronomy stresses the uniqueness of God, the need for drastic centralisation of worship, and a concern for the position of the poor and disadvantaged. Thus, the attribution of Deuteronomy to Moses tends to place Israel in an advanced stage of its history—when kings and a centralized cult were contemporary concerns—under the requirements of renewed ancient traditions. Mosaic authorship is affirmed many times elsewhere in the Old Testament (e.g. [16], Deuteronomy occupies a puzzling position in the Bible, linking the story of the Israelites' wanderings in the wilderness to the story of their history in Canaan without quite belonging totally to either. Deuteronomy 5:4-21 The Song of Moses is the name sometimes given to the poem which appears in Deuteronomy 32:1–43 of the Hebrew Bible, which according to the Bible was delivered just prior to Moses' death on Mount Nebo.Sometimes the Song is referred to as Deuteronomy 32, despite the fact that strictly speaking Deuteronomy chapter 32 contains nine verses (44–52) which are not part of the Song. However, this tradition is no longer sustainable, and nearly all biblical scholars accept the Documentary Hypothesis as providing the answer to this and other questions. The earliest Christian authors interpreted Deuteronomy's prophecy of the restoration of Israel as having been fulfilled (or superseded) in Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Christian Church (Luke 1–2, Acts 2–5), and Jesus was interpreted to be the "one (i.e., prophet) like me" predicted by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15 (Acts 3:22–23). [28], The covenant is based on seventh-century Assyrian suzerain-vassal treaties by which the Great King (the Assyrian suzerain) regulated relationships with lesser rulers; Deuteronomy is thus making the claim that Yahweh, not the Assyrian monarch, is the Great King to whom Israel owes loyalty. Deuteronomy 31:9 "And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel." Scholars have given various answers to the problem. The Documentary Hypothesis splits the Pentateuch, or the Five Books of Moses, into four main categories – each written by different people and at different times, later to be attached together into one book (“the Torah”) by a redactor. Exclusive Loyalty to God. This movement expressed itself in a state theology of loyalty to Yahweh as the sole god of Israel. Among the Torah‘s books, it is the most vigorous and clear advocate of monotheism and of the ardent, exclusive loyalty that Israel owes God (Deuteronomy 4:32‑40, 6:4‑5). The first sermon recounts the forty years of wilderness wanderings which had led to that moment, and ends with an exhortation to observe the law (or teachings), later referred to as the Law of Moses. Virtually all secular scholars reject its attribution to Moses and date the book much later, between the 7th and 5th centuries BCE. 1:1, 5; 31:22), Deuteronomy is the work of Moses. "[20] Yahweh has chosen ("elected") Israel as his special property (Deuteronomy 7:6 and elsewhere),[21] and Moses stresses to the Israelites the need for obedience to God and covenant, and the consequences of unfaithfulness and disobedience. “The Lord buried him in a valley in Moab, opposite the town of Bethpeor, but to this day no one knows the exact place of his burial.” (Deuteronomy 34:6) 2. It continues, "Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart and all thy soul and all thy might"; it has therefore also become identified with the central Jewish concept of the love of God, and the rewards that come as a result. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Deuteronomy. How are idols connected to demons (Deuteronomy 32:16-17)? 20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. [8], (The following "literary" outline of Deuteronomy is from John Van Seters;[10] it can be contrasted with Alexander Rofé's "covenantal" analysis in his Deuteronomy: Issues and Interpretation. One passage that is incorrectly used to impugn God’s character is Deuteronomy 22:28-29. Most of the Book of Deuteronomy is believed to have been written during the seventh-century-BCE reign of King Josiah of Judah, although some parts were added during the Babylonian Exile and shortly afterwards. [17] "No other gods ..."; Deuteronomy 5:7. 2:21; 3:19) and also his role as a prophet. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Context and Background of Deuteronomy. This arrangement of materials corresponds to the liturgy of Covenant renewal festivals that were celebrated in Israel’s premonarchic period. Samuel is a prime candidate for the authorship of Deuteronomy 34 given both his standing before the Lord (1 Sam. Deuteronomy 21 If a dead body is found on the ground, this ground that God, your God, has given you, lying out in the open, and no one knows who killed him, your leaders and judges are to go out and measure the distance from the body to the nearest cities. The following list organizes most of the laws into thematic groups: Since the idea was first put forward by W.M.L de Wette in 1805, most scholars have accepted that the core of Deuteronomy was composed in Jerusalem in the 7th century BCE in the context of religious reforms advanced by King Josiah (reigned 641–609 BCE). Verses 6:4–5 were also quoted by Jesus in Mark 12:28–34 as part of the Great Commandment. [14] The history of Deuteronomy is seen in the following general terms:[15], The prophet Isaiah, active in Jerusalem about a century before Josiah, makes no mention of the Exodus, covenants with God, or disobedience to God's laws; in contrast Isaiah's contemporary Hosea, active in the northern kingdom of Israel, makes frequent reference to the Exodus, the wilderness wanderings, a covenant, the danger of foreign gods and the need to worship Yahweh alone; this has led scholars to the view that these traditions behind Deuteronomy have a northern origin. [31] The land is God's gift to Israel, and many of the laws, festivals and instructions in Deuteronomy are given in the light of Israel's occupation of the land. The English title of this work, meaning “second law,” is derived from a faulty Greek translation of chapter 17, verse 18, referring to “a... Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. The book of Deuteronomy was written around 1406 B.C. "[16] Such cursing and blessings as are mentioned in Deuteronomy 5:9-10 "were also normal in suzerainty treaties. Within this cultic context very ancient laws were preserved and transmitted. 14:6), in ancient Jewish sources (e.g., Josephus), and in the New Testament. Deuteronomy 21:18-21 New International Version (NIV) A Rebellious Son. “These are the words which Moses spoke” (1:1). For other uses, see, Judaism's weekly Torah portions in the Book of Deuteronomy, Gili Kugler, Kugler, Moses died and the people moved on - a hidden narrative in Deuteronomy, "Moses' Praise and Blame – Israel's Honour and Shame: Rhetorical Devices in the Ethical Foundations of Deuteronomy", Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, "The Significance of the End of Deuteronomy", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Book_of_Deuteronomy&oldid=992576682, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the New International Encyclopedia, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. As it does for the rest of the Pentateuch, universal Jewish and Christian tradition attributes the authorship of the book of Numbers to [11]), The final verses, Deuteronomy 34:10–12, "never again did there arise in Israel a prophet like Moses," make a claim for the authoritative Deuteronomistic view of theology and its insistence that the worship of the Hebrew God as the sole deity of Israel was the only permissible religion, having been sealed by the greatest of prophets.[12]. The themes of Deuteronomy in relation to Israel are election, faithfulness, obedience, and God's promise of blessings, all expressed through the covenant: "obedience is not primarily a duty imposed by one party on another, but an expression of covenantal relationship. Although Deuteronomy is presented as an address by Moses, scholars generally agree that it dates from a much later period of Israelite history. 2 Kin. It is a reminder that God is known above all in saving his people. [4] Most scholars believe that the Deuteronomic Code was composed during the late monarchic period, around the time of King Josiah (late 7th century BCE), although some scholars have argued for a later date, either during the Babylonian captivity (597–539 BCE) or during the Persian period (539–332 BCE). Deuteronomy 20:6 "And what man [is he] that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not [yet] eaten of it? Read verse in The Message Bible BSac 90:359 (July 1933) p. 303. Who Wrote Deuteronomy? Deuteronomy might thus be viewed as the first part of the history that follows, rather than as the last book of the Pentateuch, the generally accepted order most scholars prefer. Hebrews 12:21 (Deuteronomy 9:19). Deuteronomy's concept of God changed over time. In the later, Exilic layers from the mid-6th century, especially chapter 4, this becomes monotheism, the idea that only one god exists. 1:10–12; 2 Pet. Throughout the Bible, Deuteronomy is referred to as the words Moses wrote down. Corrections? The English title of this work, meaning “second law,” is derived from a faulty Greek translation of chapter 17, verse 18, referring to “a copy of this law”: the implication being that the book is a second law…. 5-11), and then the first prologue (Ch. The title Deuteronomy, derived from Greek, thus means a “copy,” or a “repetition,” of the law rather than “second law,” as the word’s etymology seems to suggest. These are the words Moses spoke at the Transjordan (1:1-5) across from the Jordan in the valley opposite Beth-peor in the land of Sihon (4:44-49), in the land of Moab (29:1) The unity of the Pentateuch and the fact that Moses is the author of it have often been denied since the 19th century. "This verse corresponds to the historical prologue of a suzerainty treaty. [34], Fifth book of the Torah and Christian Old Testament, "Deuteronomy" redirects here. Several themes in Deuteronomy stand out. Omissions? What is said here does not apply to the wars with the Canaanites, who were to be cut off (vid., Deuteronomy 7:3), but, as a comparison of the introductory words in Deuteronomy 21:1 with Deuteronomy 20:1 clearly shows, to the wars which Israel would carry on with surrounding nations after the conquest of Canaan. With this chapter Moses concludes his preface to the repetition of the statutes and judgments which they must observe to do. What does “I set before you life and death” mean in Deuteronomy 30:19? Deuteronomy, Hebrew Devarim, (“Words”), fifth book of the Old Testament, written in the form of a farewell address by Moses to the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land of Canaan. The present writer assumes that Moses was the author of Deuteronomy, and that the bulk of the book is the farewell message, or messages, of Moses to the people he led out of Egypt into the land of Canaan. Deuteronomy 4:13 And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. Name the person or persons with the evidence if any. In this article we will deal with the Documentary Hypothesis and its narrative of the composition of Deuteronomy. Book of Deuteronomy Overview - Insight for Living Ministries This early edition, corresponding roughly to chapters 5–26 and 28 of Deuteronomy as it now stands, expresses a cultic liturgy. 1:20–21), and many committed their prophecies to writing (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Micah, and so on). Chapter 11. commandments [heb] words . 1:10–12; 2 Pet. Patrick D. Miller in his commentary on Deuteronomy suggests that different views of the structure of the book will lead to different views on what it is about. Deuteronomy, Hebrew Devarim, (“Words”), fifth book of the Old Testament, written in the form of a farewell address by Moses to the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land of Canaan. Sometimes the question is being raised as to who was the author of Deuteronomy 34 where we find the death and burial of Moses. Tradition says that Moses wrote the Book of Deuteronomy, with Joshua perhaps adding the account of Moses’ death in chapter 34. What is the Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32:1–43)? דברים), "the words [of Moses]", and the fifth book of the Christian Old Testament, where it is also known as the Fifth Book of Moses. The Old Testament prophets were divinely inspired (1 Pet. Introduction from the NIV Study Bible | Go to Deuteronomy Title. 1:20–21), and many committed their prophecies to writing (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Micah, and so on). One of its most significant verses is Deuteronomy 6:4, the Shema Yisrael, which has become the definitive statement of Jewish identity: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one." Author: Moses wrote the Book of Deuteronomy, which is in fact a collection of his sermons to Israel just before they crossed the Jordan. The final form is due to the work of a historian who added, among other things, a second introduction (chapters 1–4) and made Deuteronomy the book of first principles for his history of the Israelite people in the land of Canaan. Deuteronomy 21:1-23—Read the Bible online or download free. 1–4); the chapters following 26 are similarly layered. [13] It is a series of mitzvot (commands) to the Israelites regarding how they ought to conduct themselves in Canaan, the land promised by Yahweh, God of Israel. The wilderness story could end quite easily with Numbers, and the story of Joshua's conquests could exist without it, at least at the level of the plot; but in both cases there would be a thematic (theological) element missing. Updates? 1. "[30], Dillard and Longman in their Introduction to the Old Testament stress the living nature of the covenant between Yahweh and Israel as a nation: The people of Israel are addressed by Moses as a unity, and their allegiance to the covenant is not one of obeisance, but comes out of a pre-existing relationship between God and Israel, established with Abraham and attested to by the Exodus event, so that the laws of Deuteronomy set the nation of Israel apart, signaling the unique status of the Jewish nation. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... biblical literature: Deuteronomy: Introductory discourse. The Book of Deuteronomy (literally "second law" from Greek deuteros + nomos ) is the fifth book of the Jewish Torah, where it is called Devarim (Heb. Deuteronomy 6:4–5: "Hear, O Israel (shema Yisra'el), the LORD is our God, the LORD is one!" 9 So Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the Levitical priests, who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel. Thus, YHWH’s point in Deuteronomy 31:21 was originally saying that since YHWH understands Israel’s nature, he is ready for what they will do and is preparing a way for reconciliation before the break even happens, reminiscent of the rabbinic saying that one should introduce the cure before the disease (הקדים רפואה למכה; b. These attest to the popularity of Deuteronomy among that community. George Jeshurun. Chapters 1–30 of the book consist of three sermons or speeches delivered to the Israelites by Moses on the plains of Moab, shortly before they enter the Promised Land. I. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Much of modern critical scholarship, while agreeing that Deuteronomy contains a core of material from ancient Mosaic traditions or writing, dates the book several centuries after Moses time, to … Deuteronomy 5 5 1 And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. In Deuteronomy 31:3, Moses states that God told him, “The Lord your God himself will go … 18 If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. [25], The core of Deuteronomy is the covenant that binds Yahweh and Israel by oaths of fidelity (Yahweh and Israel each faithful to the other) and obedience (Israel obedient to Yahweh). This arrangement of material highlights God's sovereign relationship with Israel prior to the giving of establishment of the Law. Date of Writing: These sermons were given during the 40-day period prior to Israel’s entering the Promised Land. The final four chapters (31–34) contain the Song of Moses, the Blessing of Moses, and the narratives recounting the passing of the mantle of leadership from Moses to Joshua and, finally, the death of Moses on Mount Nebo. There was also an editor who concluded the book after Moses’ death A. Moses was the author of most of Deuteronomy: 1. The earliest 7th century layer is monolatrous, not denying the reality of other gods but enforcing the worship of Yahweh in Jerusalem alone. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Conservative Bible scholars are united in their conviction that Moses wrote this book. [5][6] Many scholars see the book as reflecting the economic needs and social status of the Levite caste, who are believed to have provided its authors;[7] those likely authors are collectively referred to as the Deuteronomist. The Book of Deuteronomy (literally "second law" from Greek deuteros + nomos[1]) is the fifth book of the Jewish Torah, where it is called Devarim (Heb. [27] But, according to the Deuteronomists, Israel's prime sin is lack of faith, apostasy: contrary to the first and fundamental commandment ("Thou shalt have no other gods before me") the people have entered into relations with other gods. Deuteronomy 5:6. In chapters 12–26 laws are reiterated that the people are exhorted to obey. [17] The two poems at chapters 32–33 – the Song of Moses and the Blessing of Moses were probably originally independent. [19] Its many themes can be organised around the three poles of Israel, Israel's God, and the covenant which binds them together. There are a few theories floating around as to who wrote the account of Moses’ death. has become the basic credo of Judaism, the Shema Yisrael, and its twice-daily recitation is a mitzvah (religious commandment). This idea still has supporters, but the mainstream understanding is that Deuteronomy, after becoming the introduction to the history, was later detached from it and included with Genesis–Exodus–Leviticus–Numbers because it already had Moses as its central character. Someone else (Joshua, perhaps) may have written the last chapter. The section closes with a report of the formulation of a Covenant between God and his chosen people. 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. Deuteronomy is the last book of the Pentateuch (Greek for "Fivebook") or of the Thora (Hebrew word for "law"). By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. [26] God will give Israel blessings of the land, fertility, and prosperity so long as Israel is faithful to God's teaching; disobedience will lead to curses and punishment. The second sermon reminds the Israelites of the need to follow Yahweh and the laws (or teachings) he has given them, on which their possession of the land depends. By the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign, Assyrian power was in rapid decline, and a pro-independence movement gathered strength in the court. Starting from 2 Timothy 3:16: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God" we can see in the Old as well as in the New Testament that Moses is considered t… Criticism has especially focused on the book of Deuteronomy as it is said to have been written only at the time of Josiah, or even later. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. Who wrote Deuteronomy? All sacrifices are to be brought and vows are to be made at a central sanctuary (, Native mourning practices such as deliberate disfigurement are forbidden (, The procedure for tithing produce or donating its equivalent is given (, A catalogue of which animals are permitted and which forbidden for consumption is given (, The consumption of animals which are found dead and have not been slaughtered is prohibited (, Sacrificed animals must be without blemish (, First-born male livestock must be sacrificed (, Judges are to be appointed in every city (, Judges are to be impartial and bribery is forbidden (, Should the Israelites choose to be ruled by a King, regulations for the office are given (, Regulations of the rights, and revenue, of the Levites are given (, Concerning the future (unspecified) prophet (, Regulations for the priesthood are given (, Regulations of the institution of slavery and the procedure for freeing slaves (, Regulations for the treatment of foreign wives taken in war (, Regulations permitting taking slaves and plunder in war (, Lost property, once found, is to be restored to its owner (, Marriages between women and their stepsons are forbidden (, Usury is forbidden except for foreigners (, Regulations for vows and pledges are given (, Justice is to be shown towards strangers, widows, and orphans (, The procedure for a bride who has been slandered is given (, Various laws concerning adultery and rape are given (, Just weights and measures are obligatory (. The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures is published by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Chapter 28 recounts in elaborate detail the blessings or curses that will come upon the people, depending on their response to laws that explicate their covenantal obligations. [23] God is simultaneously present in the Temple and in heaven – an important and innovative concept called "name theology. The speeches that constitute this address recall Israel’s past, reiterate laws that Moses had communicated to the people at Horeb (Sinai), and emphasize that observance of these laws is essential for the well-being of the people in the land they are about to possess. By its own testimony, Deuteronomy is the work of Moses. The Deuteronomistic history theory is currently the most popular (Deuteronomy was originally just the law code and covenant, written to cement the religious reforms of Josiah, and later expanded to stand as the introduction to the full history); but there is an older theory which sees Deuteronomy as belonging to Numbers, and Joshua as a sort of supplement to it. the ten. This covenant was formulated as an address by Moses to the Israelites (Deut.5:1). This page was last edited on 6 December 2020, at 00:35. The most plausible theory is that Joshua wrote chapter 34. "[32] Deuteronomy makes the Torah the ultimate authority for Israel, one to which even the king is subject.[33]. The Documentary Hypothesis. While the exact position of Paul the Apostle and Judaism is still debated, a common view is that in place of the elaborate code of laws (mitzvah) set out in Deuteronomy, Paul the Apostle, drawing on Deuteronomy 30:11–14, claimed that the keeping of the Mosaic covenant was superseded by faith in Jesus and the gospel (the New Covenant). Us know if you have suggestions to improve this article ( requires login ) the closes... Reality of other gods but enforcing the worship of Yahweh in Jerusalem alone of ours is and. Also normal in suzerainty treaties in Deuteronomy 28:13 the author of it have often been denied the! By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, These. Blessing of Moses be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories who wrote deuteronomy 21 right to your.. Information from Encyclopaedia Britannica cultic context who wrote deuteronomy 21 ancient laws were preserved and transmitted of history. 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