The title of this fifth book of the Pentateuch written by Moses from a Greek term which signifies a second or repeated Law. The book contains the final word of Moses, delivered most probably during the last seven days of his life. This message of Moses was given to Israel in view of the impending entrance to their covenanted possession, a possession for which the nation had striven through forty years of wilderness wanderings. Although the Decalogue is repeated, and other distinct phases of the Mosaic legislation found in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers are rearrested, these addresses of Moses consist of an application of the Law, with elucidations and additional instructions.
Although modern criticisms maintain that Deuteronomy is of later origin than the previous four books, the unity of the Pentateuch is generally admitted. The fact is that Moses was its author is distinctly declared (31:19) and the NEW TESTAMENT expressly states that it is the work of Moses (Matt 19:7-8, Mark 10:2-9, Act 3:22, 7:37). The style is more emotional and oratorical than the other four books, and its tone is more spiritual and ethical; but this does not argue against the Mosaic authorship. These facts are due to the circumstances, occasion and purpose of the utterances recorded. The account of the death of Moses, of course, was added by another hand, but this doesn’t discredit the Mosaic authorship of the balance of the material.
OCCASION AND PURPOSE:
The crisis facing Israel in the occupation of idolatrous and corrupted Canaan was quite certainly the occasion of these addresses of Moses. Supreme emphasis upon the inflexible and exacting nature of GOD’S Law constituted the purpose. The key to the whole series of instruction is found in Chapter 28 to 30:9.
Moses’ farewell message is usually divided on the basis of three addresses, but, topically, seven divisions are better
1) Summary of Israel’s history in the wilderness (1:1-3:29)
2) A restatement of the Law with exhortations and warnings (4:1-11:32)
3) Sundry Laws and instructions with warnings and predictions (12:1-27:26)
4) Significant prophecies summarizing the history of Israel to the Second Advent of CHRIST Embracing the notable covenant (28:1-30:20)
5) Farewell counsels to Priests, Levites, and Joshua (31)
6) The song of Moses and the pronouncements of blessings on the Twelve Tribes (32-33)
7) Death of Moses (34)
Courtesy of: Reverend-Azmat Tanzeem