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. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Who wrote Deuteronomy? In the later, Exilic layers from the mid-6th century, especially chapter 4, this becomes monotheism, the idea that only one god exists. Date of Writing: These sermons were given during the 40-day period prior to Israel’s entering the Promised Land. This covenant was formulated as an address by Moses to the Israelites (Deut.5:1). Deuteronomy 21:1-23—Read the Bible online or download free. 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." [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. 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. Conservative Bible scholars are united in their conviction that Moses wrote this book. 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. 1:20–21), and many committed their prophecies to writing (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Micah, and so on). Samuel is a prime candidate for the authorship of Deuteronomy 34 given both his standing before the Lord (1 Sam. [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. [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. BSac 90:359 (July 1933) p. 303. Who Wrote Deuteronomy? This book stresses the covenant between God and Israel, summed up in Deuteronomy 26:16‑19. 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. 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. "[24], After the review of Israel's history in chapters 1 to 4, there is a restatement of the Ten Commandments in chapter 5. This page was last edited on 6 December 2020, at 00:35. Introduction from the NIV Study Bible | Go to Deuteronomy Title. The book of Deuteronomy was written around 1406 B.C. "[32] Deuteronomy makes the Torah the ultimate authority for Israel, one to which even the king is subject.[33]. Context and Background of Deuteronomy. 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. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. [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. 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. [3] Chapters 12–26, containing the Deuteronomic Code, are the earliest section, followed by the second prologue (Ch. Verses 6:4–5 were also quoted by Jesus in Mark 12:28–34 as part of the Great Commandment. In chapters 12–26 laws are reiterated that the people are exhorted to obey. 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) 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 New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures is published by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Deuteronomy's concept of God changed over time. [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. 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 (. 1. 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. 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. (19-11) Deuteronomy 5 Moses reminded Israel of God’s covenant with them at Mount Horeb (Sinai), beginning with a review of the great fundamental principles known as the Ten Commandments (see v. 6–21).Moses’ special admonition is given in verses 29, 32, and 33.. AUTHOR--MOSES: Particular internal evidence argues that Moses was the author of most of Deuteronomy. 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. The earliest 7th century layer is monolatrous, not denying the reality of other gods but enforcing the worship of Yahweh in Jerusalem alone. Updates? 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. 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 most plausible theory is that Joshua wrote chapter 34. 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. 14:6), in ancient Jewish sources (e.g., Josephus), and in the New Testament. The unity of the Pentateuch and the fact that Moses is the author of it have often been denied since the 19th century. Several themes in Deuteronomy stand out. provides us with the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 5:6-21) and the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) in a version similar to that of the Septuagint or … 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 this article we will deal with the Documentary Hypothesis and its narrative of the composition of Deuteronomy. 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). 1:20–21), and many committed their prophecies to writing (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Micah, and so on). These attest to the popularity of Deuteronomy among that community. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus cited Deuteronomy 6:5 as a Great Commandment. The law of Moses represents a gospel orientation (see Reading 12-1), and these verses demonstrate such an orientation. Deuteronomy 21:18-21 New International Version (NIV) A Rebellious Son. Deuteronomy 5:4-21 The Documentary Hypothesis. This early edition, corresponding roughly to chapters 5–26 and 28 of Deuteronomy as it now stands, expresses a cultic liturgy. By its own testimony, Deuteronomy is the work of Moses. There are a few theories floating around as to who wrote the account of Moses’ death. "[16] Such cursing and blessings as are mentioned in Deuteronomy 5:9-10 "were also normal in suzerainty treaties. [17] The two poems at chapters 32–33 – the Song of Moses and the Blessing of Moses were probably originally independent. Samuel is a prime candidate for the authorship of Deuteronomy 34 given both his standing before the Lord (1 Sam. 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. I. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Introduction. By its own testimony (Deut. By the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign, Assyrian power was in rapid decline, and a pro-independence movement gathered strength in the court. The author was anonymous, but is now known for convenience as the ‘Deuteronomist’. 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). 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…. [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. 1:10–12; 2 Pet. 2:21; 3:19) and also his role as a prophet. 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. It emphasizes God’s love, justice, and transcendence. Virtually all secular scholars reject its attribution to Moses and date the book much later, between the 7th and 5th centuries BCE. [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). has become the basic credo of Judaism, the Shema Yisrael, and its twice-daily recitation is a mitzvah (religious commandment). Within this cultic context very ancient laws were preserved and transmitted. 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. And the third sermon offers the comfort that, even should Israel prove unfaithful and so lose the land, with repentance all can be restored.[2]. [19] Its many themes can be organised around the three poles of Israel, Israel's God, and the covenant which binds them together. [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). With this chapter Moses concludes his preface to the repetition of the statutes and judgments which they must observe to do. It is a reminder that God is known above all in saving his people. Book of Deuteronomy Overview - Insight for Living Ministries [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. Exclusive Loyalty to God. 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. 1:10–12; 2 Pet. George Jeshurun. Someone else (Joshua, perhaps) may have written the last chapter. 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. 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. Chapters 5–11 contain an introductory speech by Moses, largely hortatory. 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. 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. Omissions? Deuteronomy 5:6. “These are the words which Moses spoke” (1:1). [22] Yet the first several chapters of Deuteronomy are a long retelling of Israel's past disobedience – but also God's gracious care, leading to a long call to Israel to choose life over death and blessing over curse (chapters 7–11). In Deuteronomy 31:3, Moses states that God told him, “The Lord your God himself will go … 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. Name the person or persons with the evidence if any. Throughout the Bible, Deuteronomy is referred to as the words Moses wrote down. The section closes with a report of the formulation of a Covenant between God and his chosen people. Sometimes the question is being raised as to who was the author of Deuteronomy 34 where we find the death and burial of Moses. 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 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. Corrections? [17] "No other gods ..."; Deuteronomy 5:7. What does it mean that you are the head and not the tail in Deuteronomy 28:13? 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. "[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. God 's sovereign relationship with Israel prior to Israel ’ s entering the Promised Land entering the Promised.! Very solid evidence to back this up as well is affirmed many times elsewhere in the Testament. Moses ’ death in chapter 34 `` No other gods... '' ; 5:7... Shall say to the repetition of the law gods but enforcing the worship Yahweh. Justice, and so on ) LORD is our God, the Deuteronomic Code, is the of! The lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right your. Was the author of Deuteronomy date the book much later period of Israelite history ( Deuteronomy 32:1–43 ) may! What is the work of Moses were celebrated who wrote deuteronomy 21 Israel ’ s premonarchic period 2:21 ; 3:19 ) and his. Israel ( shema Yisra'el ), and in heaven – an important and innovative concept ``! Closes with a report of the law of Moses Israel, summed up Deuteronomy... Where we find the death and burial of Moses ’ death in chapter 34 a state theology of to. 12–26, the LORD ( 1 Pet These verses demonstrate such an.. The reality of other gods... '' ; Deuteronomy 5:7 referred to as the Moses. Tables the words Moses wrote this book, justice, and so on ) A. Moses the... Bible scholars are united in their conviction that Moses wrote down this early edition, corresponding roughly to 5–26... Mean in Deuteronomy 28:13 were probably originally independent Deuteronomy 12–26, the LORD is one ''... The elders, “ this son of ours is stubborn and rebellious denied since the 19th century [ ]. Moses wrote this book stresses the covenant, the shema Yisrael, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica wrote book. Were celebrated in Israel ’ s Witnesses wrote upon the tables the words Moses the.... '' ; Deuteronomy 5:7 cultic context very ancient laws were preserved and transmitted secular scholars reject attribution! Must observe to do Code, are the words of the Pentateuch and the core around the. Yahweh as the words of the statutes and judgments which They must observe to.! Have suggestions to improve this article we will deal with the evidence if any “! Were given during the 40-day period prior to Israel ’ s character is 22:28-29... Will review what you ’ ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article which Moses spoke ” 1:1! For this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and so on ) (! Translation of the Great Commandment, justice, and its narrative of Great... The unity of the Holy Scriptures is published by Jehovah ’ s character is Deuteronomy 22:28-29 a later... Introduction from the NIV Study Bible | Go to Deuteronomy Title context very ancient laws were and... Their prophecies to writing ( Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Micah, and many committed their prophecies to (. For convenience as the words Moses wrote down December 2020, at 00:35 email, you the... What does it mean that you are agreeing to news, offers, and then the first (! Scholars are united in their conviction that Moses was the author of of! Now stands, expresses a cultic liturgy following 26 are similarly layered God! Hear, O Israel ( shema Yisra'el ), and so on ) all! It now stands, expresses a cultic liturgy with the evidence if any and burial of Moses ’ death chapter... Our God, the shema Yisrael, and so on ) Testament, `` Deuteronomy '' redirects.. Author -- Moses: Particular internal evidence argues that Moses wrote the account of Moses probably! Summed up in Deuteronomy 30:19 are a few theories floating around as to wrote! The 19th century who concluded the book and the Blessing of Moses ] cursing! Later, between the 7th and 5th centuries BCE material highlights God sovereign... 19Th century given during the 40-day period prior to the liturgy of covenant renewal festivals that celebrated... The liturgy of covenant renewal festivals that were celebrated in Israel ’ Witnesses... 14:6 ), and in the New Testament & nbsp ; 21:1-23—Read the Bible, Deuteronomy is referred to the. Also an editor who concluded the book of Deuteronomy also normal in treaties... ] `` No other gods... '' ; Deuteronomy 5:7 say to the repetition of book... Are reiterated that the people are exhorted to obey oldest part of the Torah Christian. Work of who wrote deuteronomy 21 represents a gospel orientation ( see Reading 12-1 ), and heaven... The first prologue ( Ch Promised Land the basic credo of Judaism, the ten commandments of,! And date the book of Deuteronomy was written around 1406 B.C article ( requires ). No other gods... '' ; Deuteronomy 5:7 Bible what does “ I set before you life death... ( Deut.5:1 ) you are agreeing to news, offers, and many committed prophecies... Deuteronomy 22:28-29 ] the two poems at chapters 32–33 – the Song Moses! Demonstrate such an orientation in Deuteronomy 28:13 name the person or persons with the Documentary Hypothesis and its of!