Haddebharim ‘The Words’, is its Hebrew title, Mishneh Hattorah, ‘Repetition of the Law’ is what it has also been called by the Jewish people, This Second Law, Deuteronomy is however not a second law but an expansion of the original law given on Mount Sinai. Traditionally attributed to Moses being the author, with some parts having additional writings like the recording of Moses death in Chapter 34, some say by Joshua, Samuel or even Ezra.
Primarily in this book Moses reminds the Israelites of their history after wandering for 40 years in the wilderness and the whole generation has died since God handed down His laws to Moses on Mount Sinai. Gods laws, a constitutional code, wherein Gods protection was given in exchange for keeping certain demands, benefits of keeping the covenant and punishment for breaking it where recorded for future generations. There is a historical instruction, a treatise. from Chapters 1 to 3, from Chapter 4 to Chapter 8 includes the first summary of the law and that God is the Only Sovereign Lord, that He chose Israel and the Law comes from Him.
In chapter 5 we find the 10 Commandments that are also in Exodus 20, and that these are for keeping, not just quoting from. There are not just 10 commandments in the Law, there are 613 laws of Moses, also known as Mitzvahs.
In chapter 6:4-9, we find the Shema, the most important prayer in Judaism that starts with “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! “, the start of this is quoted by Jesus in the Gospel of Mark 12: 28-30 in response to the question of ‘What is the first commandment of all?’ when being asked to summarise the Law.
Jesus quoted three times from Deuteronomy (8: 3, 6: 16 & 6:13 / 10: 20) each time he was tempted in the wilderness by Satan, in the Gospel of Matthew 4: 4- 11, each time Jesus’ response was “It is written…”
Moses prophecies of Jesus in Deuteronomy 18: 15-18, specifically here it says “from your brethren” and “from among your brethren
In Deuteronomy 4: 2 we read, “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you “and in Matthew 5: 18 Jesus warns about not taking one jot or tittle from the law in the Sermon on the Mount.
The book of Deuteronomy is quoted 80 times in the New Testament proving its importance for today and forever.
So this is how the book is known as the Second Reading, it is Moses rereading the original Laws to the people, the Israelites, as the earlier generation had all died, so the next generation had to hear all of the law, it is no good for a nation to be part of a constitution without fully being told the covenant they were stepping into. God first saves us by His grace then He will show us how to live.
This entirely new generation were to be told of the past failings and the future that lie ahead with Gods promises and blessings which would include the miracle of passing through the River Jordan from the Transjordan camp they were now at on the east side.
Deuteronomy maybe full of Laws, but that brings us, me, you into a relationship of understanding, these are not there for us to be robotically religious, no that isn’t what the expectation of God at all, He knows that we can’t achieve perfection, moreover His expectation is that we attempt to walk in allegiance with Him! In Chapter 28,29 and 30, we find the conditional covenant.
It is a WHEN, WHEN, THEN & WILL formation, inasmuch as WHEN I fail walking in His statutes, Laws and commandments WHEN I repent and see the error of my ways THEN the Lord WILL forgive me.
We can find this same message repeated in the Bible, it is not a onetime only deal, if you look back in Leviticus 26 you will find the Results of Disobedience with straight after the section on Repentance and Restoration, is this not also the steps to walking in righteousness with God in the book of Romans Chapters 6,7 and 8, with the repentance and restoration to be found in the book of 1 John?
The underlying message is clear, that God knows our ways, our very thoughts, man’s ways lead to a sinful nature, the Laws and commandments are there to walk between and to convict us with guilt if we stray, however Gods ways are then for that to convict us that we need to change, then we can be in right relationship and walk with God. God deeply wants a relationship with us, there is no enforcing of this relationship, it is our choice whether we accept this or we don’t, there is a price of disobedience which brings Judgement and disaster, whilst obedience brings Gods blessings. Chapter 30 Verse 19 calls for us to “Choose Life. “
The end of Biblical knowledge isn’t to know more facts, figures and all 613 of the mitzvahs, but to get an understanding of the foundational truths and live in that knowledge, to do what is pleasing to God, to walk with Him.