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Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy means second law. It is a retelling by Moses of the teachings and events of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. It includes an extended review of the Ten Commandments and his farewell address to a new generation of Israelites as they stand ready to take possession of the Promised Land. He reminds them of God's faithfulness and love but also of His wrath on the previous generation of Israelites because of their rebellion. He charges Israel to keep the Law. It is a solemn call to love and obey the one true God. There are blessings for faithfulness and curses for unfaithfulness. The book closes with the selection of Joshua as Israel's new leader and the death of Moses.

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Deuteronomy 1:1-3

These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel and Laban and Hazeroth and Dizahab. It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea. In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the children of Israel, according to all that the Lord had commanded him to give to them,

Moses summarizes the journey to the promised land from Horeb and reviews God’s word to Israel. God has blessed them in their journey over nearly forty years since leaving Egypt. Their journey could have taken eleven days had Israel been faithful and trusted God. Unbelief, disobedience have robbed them of much blessing and effectiveness. On the verge of entering Canaan’s promised land, Moses explains God’s law and reminds the Israelites of important matters, before they advance. The journey started at Horeb where God spoke to the Israelites and told them to go and possess the land which had been promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants. Leaders were selected to help Moses lead and judge the people, because there was too much for one man to do on his own. Moses passed on God’s commands to them. From the wilderness, the twelve spies had been sent to Kadesh Barnea and reported on the good and fruitful promised land. The stubbornness of the people, including the ten unfaithful spies, caused them to rebel against God, to doubt His purposes in bringing them out of Egypt, to fear the people they saw, and to refuse to go into the promised land. Their unbelief in not trusting God’s guidance by the fire and the cloud made Him so angry that He determined that none of them would enter the promised land except Caleb, who followed the Lord, and Joshua, who would later lead Israel into the promised land. Two faithful spies, their loved ones and their children would inherit the promised land, but the offenders would wander and die in the wilderness. The people then regretted their rebellion and tried to enter the promised land through their efforts without God’s blessing. They were routed by the Amorites. Their self pity, which were not repentance, did not impress God. So, the Israelites’ progress was suspended. They remained in Kadesh for a long time to learn the lessons that God would have them learn.