By Practical Christianity Foundation, (PCF)
Deuteronomy is the fifth book in the order of the cannon of sacred Scripture. It follows, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and the book of Numbers. The designation "Deuteronomy" means the second Law, signifying that the book is actually a reiteration of the Laws already given with some additional inspired precepts for further direction.
The reiteration of the Law was necessary because the generation which was ready to cross the Jordan River and possess Canaan was an entirely new generation. The generation which left Egypt and heard the Law given by Moses at first died-off in the wilderness. Moses was in his last days and was inspired to remind his successor Joshua, the elders, and the new generation of the Law given to them with all the instructions and precepts by which they should live as the people of God.
Deuteronomy is somewhat unique in that the rendering is different from the preceding three books which record the first declaration of the Law. Since it is a reiteration, such phrases as "Thus saith the Lord" do not appear. It is also the book out of which the Lord Jesus and New Testament writers often quoted.
- Jesus answered the Lawyer in Matthew 22:35-40 by quoting from Deuteronomy 6:5.
- Jesus also gave instructions in Matthew 18:16 on how to resolve any conflict between brothers by applying the principles outlined in Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15.
- Jesus defeated the devil in the wilderness by quoting texts from such verses as Deuteronomy 8:3, 6:16, and 6:13.
- Other New Testament writers also quoted from Deuteronomy as indicated in Acts, Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews.
The first several chapters of Deuteronomy remind the children of Israel the marvelous things that God had done for them with His mighty arms, as He set them free from bondage in Egypt, and how He directed their journey through the wilderness. Starting with chapter four, the Law is given in great details emphasizing the importance of wholehearted obedience. In chapters twenty-seven and twenty-eight we observe the terms of God's covenant with the children of Israel with the consequences of obedience and disobedience in the form of blessings and curses. And the book closes by emphasizing the need to meditate on the Word of God and to remember each precept as the guiding light for their lives.
Deuteronomy records the history of the final few months of Moses last days with the people he loved and served during the last forty years of his life. It is an indispensable book of instruction and admonition to all of us who confess Jesus as our Lord and Savior. It also clearly outlines the godly precepts from which the foundational principles for the moral laws of the world are derived.
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