The Book of Numbers The Book of Joshua


The fifth Book of our Bible , and the fifth book of our study is The Fifth Book Moses, called Deuteronomy.

The word means "repetition of the law." The book contains the three last discourses of Moses delivered in the plains of Moab just before his death (translation). The first discourse is found in chs. 1-4, and is introductory. The second discourse (chs. 5-26) consists of two parts: (1) 5-11, the Ten Commandments and a practical exposition of them, (2) 12-26, a code of laws, which forms the nucleus of the whole book. The first group of laws deals with the ritual of religion and begins with a command to destroy all idolatrous objects of worship in Canaan; only one central place for worship of Jehovah is to be allowed. Then follow special instances of enticement to false worship and rules about food and about tithe. Then we have the law of debt, directions about firstlings, and a calendar of festivals. The next group of laws deals with the administration of justice, while the last group regulates private and social rights. The third discourse (chs. 27-30) contains a solemn renewal of the covenant and an announcement of the blessings of obedience and the curses upon disobedience. In chs. 30-34 we have an account of the delivery of the law to the Levites, Moses' song and last blessing, and the departure of Moses.

Deuteronomy is quoted frequently in the N.T.: Matt. 4:4, cf. Deut. 8:3; Matt. 4:7, cf. Deut. 6:16; Matt. 4:10, cf. Deut. 6:13; Matt. 5:31, cf. Deut. 24:1; Mark 12:30, cf. Deut. 6:5; Acts 3:22, cf. Deut. 18:15, 18; 1 Cor. 9:9, cf. Deut. 25:4; 2 Cor. 13:1, cf. Deut. 19:15; Gal. 3:13, cf. Deut. 21:23; Rom. 10:6-8, cf. Deut. 30:12, 14.

Deuteronomy 1:1. These Be the Words of Moses

Deuteronomy is a title formed from the two Greek words deutero, "second," and nomos, "law." Thus, the title means "the second law," or "the repetition of the law" (see Fallows, Bible Encyclopedia, s.v. "Deuteronomy," 1:522). The Christian world adopted this descriptive title from the Septuagint (the first Greek translation of the Old Testament written in the second century before Christ) rather than the Jewish name for the book, Eileh Hadvareem, which is the first two words of the book in Hebrew (translated as "these be the words").

The translators of the Septuagint called the fifth book written by Moses the second law because in it Moses summarized the Mosaic code in three final discourses he gave to Israel before leaving them. This name, however, does not imply that he gave them a new law in any sense of the word, nor that he merely repeated what had already been given. Moses knew that he was soon to leave Israel. Israel was by this time camped in Moab across the Jordan from the promised land. Joshua would shortly lead them to battle against the Canaanites to take possession of the land of promise. In three separate discourses Moses eloquently exhorted Israel to look to the laws given them by God so that they could enjoy God's favor and protection in the future.

In the first address (Deuteronomy 1:6-4:40), Moses recounted the most important events in the wanderings in the wilderness and reminded Israel that they must not forget the laws given them at Sinai.

The second address (chaps. 5-26) contains Moses' review of the law, including the Ten Commandments (see Deuteronomy 5:6-21). But his purpose was far more than a mere review. These chapters contain a "description, explanation, and enforcement of the most essential contents of the covenant revelation and covenant laws, with emphatic prominence given to the spiritual principle of the law and its fulfilment, and with a further development of the ecclesiastical, judicial, political, and civil organization, which was intended as a permanent foundation for the life and well-being of the people in the land of Canaan." (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary, 1:3:270).

The third and final address (chaps. 27-30) was a call for Israel to renew the covenant and a warning of the consequences of failing to do so. Moses again solemnly reviewed the Lordís goodness to them and all that He had done for them, and then Moses advised Israel to make the covenant with God so that the curses would not come upon them. Chapters 31 through 34 are a supplement, perhaps not written by Moses, which recount the selection and ordination of Joshua as Mosesí successor and the "death" of Moses. (Other sources indicate that Moses did not die but was translated.)

The value of Deuteronomy is shown in the fact that, of all the five books of the Pentateuch, Deuteronomy is quoted more often by the Old Testament prophets than any other book of the Law. "Deuteronomy has been made most use of by the prophets, simply because it is best calculated to serve as a model for prophetic declarations, as also because of the inward harmony that exists between the prophecies and the laws upon which they are based." (Fallows, Bible Encyclopedia, s.v. "Deuteronomy," 1:523.)

Deuteronomy 1:5. What did Moses begin to do? (See also Deuteronomy 1:5a, b)

Deuteronomy 1:7-8. In Horeb, what did the Lord instruct the Israelites to do?

Deuteronomy 1:12-14. How did the Lord help Moses lead the people?

Deuteronomy 1:15-17. What did Moses tell the judges to do? (See also v. 17a)

Deuteronomy 1:20-21. What did Moses tell the people when they came to the mountains of the Amorites?

Deuteronomy 1:22. What did the people say to Moses about possessing the land?

Deuteronomy 1:27-28. Why did the people murmur in their tents? (See also Numbers 13:31-33)

Deuteronomy 1:29-31. What did Moses say to encourage the people?

Deuteronomy 1:32-36. Why did the Lord permit only Caleb and Joshua of their generation to enter the promised land?

Deuteronomy 1:42-43. What did the Lord say to Moses when the people prepared to take the land by war?

Deuteronomy 1:44-46. How did the Lord respond when the Israelites were beaten and wept before him?

Deuteronomy 2:1-7. What did the Lord tell Moses at Mount Seir?

Deuteronomy 2:5. Why were the Israelites commanded not to take the land of Seir?

Deuteronomy 2:7, 14, 16

This account clarifies events also recorded in Exodus or Numbers. Israel came to Sinai in the third month following their departure from Egypt (see Exodus 19:1-2). They departed from Mount Sinai on the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, so it seems that they remained near Mount Sinai for almost a whole year. After an eleven-day journey to Kadesh, men were sent into the land of Canaan to search out the land. Their return with a negative report of walled cities and strong inhabitants so discouraged Israel that they began to murmur against the Lord. (See Numbers 13:26-33.) They had expected to move into the promised land without effort. As a result of their lack of spiritual readiness, they were compelled to wander thirty-eight more years in the desert.

"The Israelites were eleven days in going from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea, where they were near the verge of the promised land; after which they were thirty-eight years wandering up and down in the vicinity of this place, not being permitted, because of their rebellions, to enter into the promised rest, though they were the whole of that time within a few miles of the land of Canaan!" (Clarke, Bible Commentary, 1:737.)

This situation adds poignant meaning to the phrase "so near, and yet so far."

Deuteronomy 2:9. Why were the Israelites commanded not to content with the Moabites?

Deuteronomy 2:14. How many years passed between the time the twelve spies were sent to explore the land and the time when the Lord commanded the people to pass over the brook Zered to the coast of Moab?

Deuteronomy 2:19. Why were the Israelites commanded not to contend with the children of Ammon?

Deuteronomy 2:24. Whose land had the Lord given to the Israelites?

Deuteronomy 2:26-29. What did the Israelites request of Sihon?

Deuteronomy 2:32-35. What did the Isarelites do after Sihon came against them?

Deuteronomy 3:2-3. What did the Lord say to Moses before the battle with the people of Bashan?

Deuteronomy 314-16. Which three tribes shared the land that had been conquered?

Deuteronomy 323-25. What did Moses ask of the Lord?

Deuteronomy 32:6-27; Numbers 20:10-12; 12b. What was the Lord's response? Why? (See Numbers 20:10-12; 12b)

Deuteronomy 3:28. How was Moses to help Joshua? Why?

Deuteronomy 4:1, 6-8. Why did Moses encourage the people to keep the commandments and ordinances?

Deuteronomy 4:1-8. What of Those Who Claim the Bible Is Complete and Cite Revelation 22:18-19 as Proof?

It is not uncommon for those who object to Latter-day Saint belief in modern scripture to cite Revelation 22:18-19 as proof that all revelation is contained in the Bible. Moses, however, uttered the same warning in Deuteronomy 12:32. This reference indicates that any warning not to add to the things written refers only to the writings of that particular prophet. On this subject President Brigham Young stated:

"The saying which we have quoted, and which constitutes the sweeping argument of modern Christians against new revelation, only alludes to this particular book [Revelation], which was to be kept sacred, as the word of the Lord to John, and not to the whole Bible; nor does it prohibit the Saints in his day, or the Saints in any future time, from getting new revelation for themselves. That is not all; if we turn to the writings of Moses, we find the same sentiment, and almost the same language used. Moses says, 'Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.' So if such quotations are given with the intent to shut the heavens, and put an end to all new revelation, then the revelations given to Prophets who arose after Moses, and the revelations given to Jesus Christ and his Apostles, including John and his revelation on the Isle of Patmos, all amount to nothing, and are not worthy of our notice. This 'sweeping argument,' when it is examined, sweeps away rather too much; besides, John's Gospel and his epistle to his brethren were written after he wrote his revelation on the Isle of Patmos, consequently he would destroy his own system; but it sets forth the ignorance and shortsightedness of those who have not the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy." (In Journal of Discourses, 1:242-43.)

Deuteronomy 4:9. What did Moses instruct the people to do?

Deuteronomy 410-14. What did the people see and hear at Mount Horeb?

Deuteronomy 4:15-24. Why did the Lord not show himself to the children of Israel?

Deuteronomy 4:25-31. What did Moses prophesy?

Deuteronomy 4:25-31. The Scattering and Gathering of Israel

Moses had no illusions about how long Israel would remain obedient. Here he prophetically foresaw one of the most common themes in the Old Testament: the scattering of Israel because of their wickedness, but also the great gathering that is to take place "in the latter days" (v. 30). The Lord pointed out two reasons why Israel shall be regathered. First, many of latter-day Israel will turn to the Lord (see v. 29); second, the covenants Jehovah made with Israel's fathers (the patriarchs) will be kept (see vv. 31, 37). This gathering involves a return to the lands of Israel's inheritance, but, more important, it involves a spiritual gathering, that is, a return to the covenants and laws of God. Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained spiritual gathering in this way:

"As is well known, ancient Israel was scattered among all the nations of the earth because they forsook the Lord and worshipped false gods. As is also well known, the gathering of Israel consists of receiving the truth, gaining again a true knowledge of the Redeemer, and coming back into the true fold of the Good Shepherd. In the language of the Book of Mormon, it consists of being 'restored to the true church and fold of God,' and then being 'gathered' and 'established' in various 'lands of promise.' (2 Ne. 9:2.) 'When they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer, they shall be gathered together again to the lands of their inheritance.' (2 Ne. 6:11.)

"Two things are accomplished by the gathering of Israel: First, those who have thus chosen Christ as their Shepherd; those who have taken upon themselves his name in the waters of baptism; those who are seeking to enjoy his Spirit here and now and to be inheritors of eternal life hereafter -- such people need to be gathered together to strengthen each other and to help one another perfect their lives.

"And second, those who are seeking the highest rewards in eternity need to be where they can receive the blessings of the house of the Lord, both for themselves and for their ancestors in Israel who died without a knowledge of the gospel, but who would have received it with all their heart had opportunity afforded." ("Come: Let Israel Build Zion," Ensign, May 1977, p. 117.)

Deuteronomy 4:32-37. Why did God perform so many miracles and speak to the people?

Deuteronomy 4:39-40. What were the people to know and consider in their hearts?

Deuteronomy 4:41-42. What did Moses do when he finished speaking? Why? (See also Deuteronomy 4:41a)

Deuteronomy 4:41-49. What Does It Mean That Moses "Severed Three Cities"?

The law of Moses provided cities of refuge for persons guilty of involuntary manslaughter until their cases could be judged or until the high priest died (see Numbers 35:6, 14; Joshua 20:1-6). The statement that Moses "severed three cities" means that before his death he set apart these cities as cities of refuge (Deuteronomy 4:41). The cities mentioned were on the eastern side of the Jordan across from where most of the Israelites would settle. Later, additional cities of refuge were set aside within the promised land.

Deuteronomy 5:1. Why did Moses call together all of Israel to listen to him?

Deuteronomy 5:2-3. What covenant did the Lord make with the people in Horeb? (See Exodus 20:1-17)

Deuteronomy 5:4-22. What did the Lord say to the people from the mount?

Deuteronomy 5:24. What had the people seen that day?

Deuteronomy 5:25-27. Why did the people ask Moses to go before the lord and then return to tell them the Lord's message?

Deuteronomy 5:29-33. Why were the people to keep the commandments?

Deuteronomy 6:1-3. Why did Moses teach the people the commandments and ordinances? (See also Deuteronomy 6:1b)

Deuteronomy 6:4-9. "Hear, O Israel; The Lord Our God Is One Lord"

Verse 4 begins what is known among Jewish people as the Shema (from the Hebrew word meaning "hear"). "The Shema is in Jewish thought the supreme affirmation of the unity of God and is frequently called 'the acceptance of the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven'" (Encyclopaedia Judaica, s.v. "Shema, Reading of," The Shema in Jewish Thought, 14:1372). The entire Shema, which consists of Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Deuteronomy 11:13-21; and Numbers 15:37-41 (in that order), is recited twice daily by all devout Jews as an evening and a morning prayer. It has become traditional for Jewish martyrs to face death with the Shema on their lips. In fact, "Jewish devotional manuals sometimes advise the worshiper to have in mind while reciting the Shema that if he is called upon to suffer martyrdom for the sanctification of God's name he will do so willingly and with joy" (Encyclopaedia Judaica, s.v. "Shema, Reading of," The Shema in Jewish Thought, 14:1373). The Shema passage in Deuteronomy 6 is of interest to Christians also because Jesus said that verse 5 contained the greatest commandment in the law (see Matthew 22:36-37). It is the sum and substance of all other commandments, for if people loved God with all their heart, might, mind, and strength, every aspect of their lives would be devoted to righteousness and holiness. And if these words were constantly in their hearts (see v. 6) and they sought to teach them to their children in every way possible, in every aspect of their lives, through precept and example, at night and in the day, at home or elsewhere, all of society would be dramatically altered. In that respect, this belief of the Jews is correct. The Shema, if it truly is an affirmation of faith and not just words, should be the supreme thought in one's heart, and it is even worth dying, if living means a denial of that affirmation.

If latter-day revelation the Lord taught a similar principle of commitment: "And all they who suffer persecution for my name, and endure in faith, though they are called to lay down their lives for my sake yet shall they partake of all this glory. Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full. Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul. And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life." (D&C 101:35-38.)

The Lord emphasized the importance of this injunction by using figurative language commanding the people to bind these words on their foreheads and hands and to put them on the doorposts of their homes. These verses led to the Jewish customs known as the tefillin (or phylacteries) and the mezuzah. Taking the command literally, the Jews inscribed certain scriptural passages, including Deuteronomy 6:4-9, on tiny pieces of parchment, folded them up, and put them into tiny leather boxes about 1-1/2 inches square. These boxes were then tied to the head to be over the forehead, or on the left biceps, suggesting that the wearer would "fulfill the law with the head and heart" (Fallows, Bible Encyclopedia, s.v. "phylactery," 3:1344). Some apostate Israelites later viewed these frontlets as amulets to ward off evil spirits. Thus, the Greeks called them phylacteries, which means "safeguards."

The mezuzah (Hebrew for "doorpost") was similar to the tefillin in that it was a parchment with a scriptural passage on it inserted into a tiny, cylindrical box. The mezuzah was attached to the door frame, and it became customary for Jews to touch or kiss the mezuzah each time they left or entered the home. The symbolic words of the commandment teach a beautiful lesson. The doorpost symbolizes the portals through which man moves to interact with his fellow man. As one sets forth from or returns to home, one's conscious desire should be to do the will of God.

Deuteronomy 6:5. How should we love the lord?

Deuteronomy 6:7-9. What were the people to do with the instructions? (See also vv. 8b and 9a)

Deuteronomy 6:10-12. Under what circumstances would the people be likely to forget the Lord?

Deuteronomy 6:13, 17-18. List five things the people were instructed to do.

Deuteronomy 6:14-16. List two things the people were instructed not to do.

Deuteronomy 6:20-25. What were the people to say to their children when they asked the meaning of the commandments and the ordinances? (See also v. 1b)

Deuteronomy 7:1-2, 5. What was Israel to do to the seven nations of Canaan?

Deuteronomy 7:1-5. Why Did the Lord Command the Israelites to Utterly Destroy the Canaanites?

The Hittites, Hivites, and Jebusites were direct descendants of Canaan, son of Ham, and were therefore Canaanites. The Girgashites, Amorites, and Perizites were inhabitants of Canaan. (Canaanite also refers to one who lived in the land of Canaan, irrespective of descent.) Undoubtedly these groups had intermarried. By the time Israel approached the promised land, these Canaanites had become an extremely wicked and idolatrous people. When Abraham was told that his seed would inherit the land of Canaan, the Lord also told him that Israel would first be taken into captivity in Egypt because "the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full" (Genesis 15:16). Now, several hundred years later, that fulness of iniquity had come.

Certain acts are so evil and so destructive to the order of the society that the only just reparation is the death of the guilty parties (see Exodus 21:12-17). Nephi was told that Laban's death was justified because his wickedness threatened the spiritual existence of an entire future nation. The Lord began His explanation of that principle by saying, "Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes" (1 Nephi 4:13).

Likewise, the kinds of evil of which the Canaanites were guilty were so infectious, so contaminating, that to have shown mercy and let them survive would have proven to be the spiritual downfall of Israel. Indeed, later history shows that this is exactly what happened when Israel failed to follow these instructions. Moses warned Israel: "Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee" (Deuteronomy 9:5; see also 1 Nephi 17:32-38).

Israel was not commanded to treat all her enemies in this manner. One commentator explained why the Canaanites were different: "The second commandment prohibits graven images in worship; it requires the destruction of all such forms of worship: 'Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works; but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images' (Ex. 23:24). In Deuteronomy 12:1-14, the contrast is drawn clearly: obedience means on the one hand destroying all places of idolatrous worship, and, on the other hand, bringing offerings to God in the prescribed manner and to the prescribed place. The commandment to destroy idolatrous places and images is restated in Deuteronomy 7:5; 16:21, 22; Numbers 33:52; and Exodus 34:13, 14. But, in certain instances, the destruction of graven images required also the destruction of the people of the images (Deut. 7:1-5); not only are covenants with the Canaanites forbidden, but inter-marriage also. The Canaanites were 'devoted' or set apart, 'sanctified' unto death by God's order. This is an important point and needs careful attention. The law specifically forbad reprisals against Egyptians or any other foreigner; instead of vengeance, they should remember their oppression in Egypt as a means of greater dedication to justice for all under God's law (Lev. 19:33-37). Having suffered injustice at foreign hands, they should themselves be careful to avoid being like the Egyptians, themselves the instruments of injustice. Egypt sought to exterminate all Hebrews (Ex. 1:15-22), but Israel was required to render justice to all Egyptians in terms of their individual obedience or disobedience to the law. But all Canaanites were devoted to death. The criterion was not enmity to Israel but the law of God. Egypt was an enemy of God as was Canaan, but the iniquity of the Canaanites was 'full' or total in God's sight (Gen. 15:16; Lev. 18:24-28, etc.). Prostitution and homosexuality had become religious practices to the point where the people were entrenched in depravity and proud of it. Their iniquity was 'full' or total. Accordingly, God sentenced them to death and made Israel the executioner ... The Canaanites as a whole were deserving of death; God's patience allowed them a few centuries from Abraham's day to Joshua's and then His judgment was ordered executed. The failure of Israel to execute it fully became finally their own judgment." (Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, pp. 92-93.)

Nephi said of the Canaanites, "He that is righteous is favored of God. But behold, this people had rejected every word of God, and they were ripe in iniquity" (1 Nephi 17:35).

Deuteronomy 7:3-4. Why were the Israelites commanded not to intermarry with the Canaanites?

Deuteronomy 7:6. Why were the Israelites to keep themselves free from idolatry?

Deuteronomy 7:7-8. Why had the Lord chosen Israel and brought them out of bondage?

Deuteronomy 7:7-26

According to Moses, of all the people of the earth, Israel was the chosen of the Lord because the Lord loved Israel and "would keep the oath which he had sworn unto [their] fathers" (v. 8). Many blessings were promised to those who would keep their covenants with the Lord. The idols of other nations, Moses instructed the people, were to be burned entirely, and neither the idols themselves nor the precious metals on them were to be taken into the homes of the Israelites (see vv. 25-26).

Deuteronomy 7:9, 12-24. How would the Lord bless Israel if they were faithful?

Deuteronomy 7:25-26. Why were the Israelites forbidden to take gold and silver from the graven images of the Canaanites' gods?

Deuteronomy 8:2. Why did the Lord lead Israel in the wilderness for forty years?

Deuteronomy 8:3. Why were the people fed manna?

Deuteronomy 8:4 What happened to the Israelites' clothing in forty years? (See Deuteronomy 8:4a)

Deuteronomy 8:5. Why did the Lord chasten Israel?

Deuteronomy 8:7-10. What did the Lord provide for his people?

Deuteronomy 8:11-20. What were the people to beware of? Why?

Deuteronomy 9:1-3. What was Israel about to do?

Deuteronomy 9:4. What should the people not say in their heart?

Deuteronomy 9:4-5. Why was Israel given possession of the land?

Deuteronomy 9:9-11. For how many days did Moses fast before he received the two tables of stone?

Deuteronomy 9:12, 16, 23. List two occasions when the people rebelled against the Lord?

Deuteronomy 9:22; 10:6-7. Where Are the Places Which Are Mentioned in These Verses?

Only Kadesh-Barnea may be located with any degree of certainty. The other places mentioned were most likely in the wilderness of Shur and the wilderness of Paran to the south. At least two or three of them may have been only oases in the wilderness of Sinai. If it were possible to pinpoint these locations, scholars would likely know precisely which route the wandering Israelites took.

Deuteronomy 9:25-29. What did Moses say to the Lord to prevent Israel from being destroyed?

Deuteronomy 10:2. What did the Lord write on the first tables of stone that he did not write on the second tables? (See Deuteronomy 10:2b)

Deuteronomy 10:4. What did the Lord write on the second tables of stone?

Deuteronomy 10:5. Where did Moses put the two tables of stone?

Deuteronomy 10:8. What did the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to do?

Deuteronomy 10:12-13. What did the Lord require of the Israelites as they entered the promised land?

Deuteronomy 11:2-7. What had the adults in Israel seen the Lord do?

Deuteronomy 11:8-15, 22-25. What did the Lord promise he would do if the people kept all the commandments?

Deuteronomy 11:10-11. How was the land of Canaan different from the land of Egypt?

Deuteronomy 11:16-17. What would the Lord do if the people worshiped other gods?

Deuteronomy 11:26-28. What did Moses set before the people?

Deuteronomy 11:26-32. What Is the Significance of Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim?

Moses set before Israel both a curse and a blessing. To symbolize them, Moses selected two of the most prominent hills in central Canaan to use as object lessons. Mount Gerizim was appointed to be the mount of blessing, and Mount Ebal the mount of cursing.

"The two mountains mentioned were selected for this act, no doubt because they were opposite to one another, and stood, each about 2500 feet high, in the very centre of the land not only from west to east, but also from north to south. Ebal stands upon the north side, Gerizim upon the south; between the two is Sichem, the present Nabulus, in a tolerably elevated valley, fertile, attractive, and watered by many springs, which runs from the south-east to the north-west from the foot of Gerizim to that of Ebal, and is about 1600 feet in breadth. The blessing was to be uttered upon Gerizim, and the curse upon Ebal." (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary, 1:3:349-50.)

Deuteronomy 12:2-3. What were the people told to destroy?

Deuteronomy 12:5-7, 10-11. Where would the people to offer their burnt offering?

Deuteronomy 12:16, 23-24. What were they to do with the blood of the animals they ate?

Deuteronomy 12:28. Why were the people to "observe and hear" all the words of Moses? (Deuteronomy 12:28)

Deuteronomy 12:30-31. What were the Israelites to be careful not to do?

Deuteronomy 12:32. What were the Israelites to be careful to do?

Deuteronomy 13:1-3. Why does the Lord allow false prophets to give signs or wonders?

Deuteronomy 13:4. In verse 4 what was Israel told to do?

Deuteronomy 13:5-11. What were the Israelites to do to those who sought to lead others after false gods? Why?

Deuteronomy 13:12-16. What were the Israelites to do to cities that became corrupted?

Deuteronomy 13:16-17. What were the Israelites to do with the property of corrupted cities? Why? (See also Deuteronomy 13:17a)

Deuteronomy 14:2. What did the Lord choose the children of Israel to be?

Deuteronomy 14:6. What kind of beasts were the Israelites allowed to eat?

Deuteronomy 14:9-10. What were they allowed to eat from the waters?

Deuteronomy 14:22. What were the people to tithe?

Deuteronomy 14:22-29. How Can the Law Justify the Use of Tithing to Purchase Things Lusted After?

"The tithe, or tenth of all increase, was ordinarily contributed 'in kind'; but if the contributor lived too far from the central place for making the contribution, he could sell the material and carry the money instead, where he could convert it back into whatever kinds of goods he desired to make his contribution and to make the thanksgiving feast which accompanied tithe paying. The goods would be used by the Levites (who produced none of their own) and by the poor (cf. D&C 119:3-6).

"The word 'lusteth' in the phrase 'whatsoever thy soul lusteth after,' in [Deuteronomy 14:26], has bad connotation to us, but it is merely a King James translation of a word that means 'to long or yearn for.' Also the use of wine and other fermented fluids (here called 'strong drink') may surprise us because we do not use them for any purpose; however, they were then commonly used in ceremonial meals. (We noted, nevertheless, that fermented drinks were forbidden to Priests in service, to Nazarites and to some others, according to Leviticus 10 and Numbers 3.)" (Rasmussen, Introduction to the Old Testament, 1:131.)

Deuteronomy 14:27. Who was not to be forsaken? Why?

Deuteronomy 14:28-29. What was to be done with the tithing of the people?

Deuteronomy 15:1-4. What was to be released at the end of every seven years? Why? (See Deuteronomy 15:4a)

Deuteronomy 15:4-5. What was required of the people to be greatly blessed in the land?

Deuteronomy 15:6. How would Israel be blessed in dealing with other nations?

Deuteronomy 15:7-8, 11. What were the people to do with the poor within their gates?

Deuteronomy 15:12-15. What was the master to do for the servant who decided to leave after six years?

Deuteronomy 15:16-17. What was the master to do with a servant who decided to stay after six years?

Deuteronomy 16:1-17. What Purpose Did the Feasts and Festivals Serve?

Christmas and Easter celebrations aid the followers of Jesus Christ to remember certain great events in Christian history. The festivals which the Lord commanded Israel to keep served a similar purpose. Moses once again reminded his people of the solemn need to observe these festivals in just the way and at just the time the Lord had commanded.

"From very early times the Jewish year was punctuated by the great festivals -- the 'feasts of the Lord'. Some were timed to coincide with the changing seasons, reminding the people of God's constant provision for them, and providing an opportunity to return to God some token of all that he had given. Others commemorated the great events of Israel's history, the occasions when in an unmistakable way God had stepped in to deliver his people. All were occasions of whole-hearted delight and enjoyment of God's good gifts, and at the same time sober gatherings to seek his forgiveness and cleansing.

"They were never intended to be observed out of mere formality and empty ritual. The prophets had sharp words for those who reduced them to this level. The purpose of the festivals was spiritual: a great and glorious meeting of God and his people." (Alexander and Alexander, Eerdmans' Handbook to the Bible, p. 180.)

Deuteronomy 16:1-9. What did the Feast of Unleavened Bread, or the Passover, commemorate?

Deuteronomy 16:10-12. What was the Feast of Weeks?

Deuteronomy 16:13-17. What was celebrated by the Feast of Tabernacles?

Deuteronomy 16:16-17. When were all males to appear before the Lord?

Deuteronomy 16:19. Why were the judges not to accept gifts? (See Deuteronomy 16:19, 19a)

Deuteronomy 17:2-6. What was to be done with those who worshiped false gods?

Deuteronomy 17:7. Who was to throw the first stone?

Deuteronomy 17:8-11. What were the people to do when difficult cases were to be judged?

Deuteronomy 17:12. What was to happen to the man who did not obey the priest?

Deuteronomy 17:14-15. Who would choose a king over the people?

Deuteronomy 17:14-20. Counsel for Future Kings

The Lord understood His children well, knowing that some time after their entry into the promised land they would seek a king in order to be like surrounding nations. This event is exactly what happened about two hundred years later (see 1 Samuel 8). So the Lord gave the following counsel about the future king:

1. He should be a man selected by the Lord (see Deuteronomy 17:15).

2. He had to be an Israelite (see v. 15).

3. He should not "multiply horses" (v. 16). In the ancient Middle East, horses were used primarily in warfare. One Bible scholar believed this use was forbidden "lest the people might depend on a well-appointed cavalry as a means of security, and so cease from trusting in the strength and protection of God. And ... that they might not be tempted to extend their dominion by means of cavalry, and so get scattered among the surrounding idolatrous nations, and thus cease, in process of time, to be that distinct and separate people which God intended they should be." (Clarke, Bible Commentary 1:783.)

4. He should not "multiply wives" (v. 17), for usually a king had multiple wives for political as well as personal reasons. Foreign wives would represent an enticement to false gods; thus, they were forbidden, "that his heart turn not away" (v. 17). This situation later led to Solomon's fall from God's favor (see 1 Kings 11:4).

5. He should not seek to expand his wealth (see v. 17), for this goal often led to oppression and unjust taxation of the people.

6. His basis for rule was to be the law of God (see vv. 18-19). David gave similar words of counsel to Solomon in 1 Kings 2:2-4.

7. He was not to be "lifted up" in pride (v. 20). In the history of the world, few political rulers have followed these guidelines, and much of the sorrow of the world is directly traceable to that failure.

Deuteronomy 17:16-17. What was the king forbidden to do?

Deuteronomy 17:18-20. What was the king to read "all the days of his life"? Why? (Deuteronomy 17:19)

Deuteronomy 18:1-4. How were the Levites to be supported?

Deuteronomy 18:9-12. What Is Expressly Forbidden Here?

The Canaanites were a superstitious people who believed in and practiced divination and black magic. An enchanter inspects the entrails of dead animals, watches the flight of birds, or uses other means to predict the future. A charmer employs spells and incantations in predicting future events. Consulters with familiar spirits try to contact the spirit of a departed person to learn things not known to human beings. A wizard is a male witch. A necromancer, like one who consults with familiar spirits, seeks the secrets of the spirit world by inquiring of the dead. All of these activities were forbidden to ancient Israel. They were admonished to heed the words of their living prophet.

Deuteronomy 18:15, 18. Who was the prophet who would be raised up? (See Deuteronomy 18:15b, 18a)

Deuteronomy 18:15-19. Who Is the Prophet Like unto Moses?

At least four other scriptures refer to the prophet like unto Moses (see Acts 3:22-23). In each instance these scriptures make it clear that the prophet like unto Moses was the Savior, Jesus Christ. When Jesus visited the Nephites, as recorded in the Book of Mormon, He identified Himself in this way:

"Behold, I am he of whom Moses spake, saying: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people." (3 Nephi 20:23.)

Deuteronomy 18:20-22. What Are the Tests for a True Prophet of God?

"When is a prophet a prophet? Whenever he speaks under the inspiration and influence of the Holy Ghost ...

"When prophets write and speak on the principles of the gospel, they should have the guidance of the Spirit. If they do, then all that they say will be in harmony with the revealed word. If they are in harmony then we know that they have not spoken presumptuously. Should a man speak or write, and what he says is in conflict with the standards which are accepted, with the revelations the Lord has given, then we may reject what he has said, no matter who he is." (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:187.)

It should be kept in mind, however, that the Lord will continue to add line upon line through His prophets. On-going revelation will expand and clarify revelations the Lord has already given. Thus, living prophets help keep the Church in tune with the living God.

Deuteronomy 18:21-22. How were the people to know if a prophet spoke for the lord?

Deuteronomy 19:4-7. How was the person protected who unintentionally killed his neighbor?

Deuteronomy 19:8-9. What was required of the people for them to have three more cities of refuge?

Deuteronomy 19:11-12. What was to happen to the person who intentionally killed his neighbor and fled to a city of refuge?

Deuteronomy 19:15. How many witnesses were required to establish a matter?

Deuteronomy 19:16-19. What was to be done to a false witness?

Deuteronomy 19:21. What was the code of justice for Israel?

Deuteronomy 20:2-4. What was the priest to say to the army before the battle?

Deuteronomy 20:8-9. List four reasons why a soldier was allowed to return home?

Deuteronomy 20:10-15. What was to happen when peace was offered to a distant city and the city accepted the offer? rejected the offer?

Deuteronomy 20:16-18. What was Israel to do to the inhabitants of the cities in the land that the Lord had given them? Why?

Deuteronomy 21:1-9. What were the people to do if a person was found slain by an unknown person? Why?

Deuteronomy 21:18-21. What was to happen to sons who were stubborn and rebellious?

Deuteronomy 21:18-21. Were Parents Really Required to Have Their Rebellious Children Executed?

Modern readers are shocked at this requirement, and some try to use it as proof of the primitive and savage nature of the law. The following points are important in considering this requirement:

1. This requirement, like all else in the Mosaic law, was given by the Lord, who was the premortal Jesus. It is consistent with all other aspects of His nature.

2. The law was not speaking of just disobedient children but of incorrigible children, those to whom no counsel or guidance was meaningful.

3. Almost certainly, these were children who had reached maturity. (The charge of drunkard is evidence for this view.) Small children would not qualify as incorrigible.

4. The parents have tried all other means of correction (see v. 18), and all have failed.

5. Although the parents had to bring charges against their own child, they were not required to execute him, as were the witnesses in other capital crimes.

6. Since the family is the basic unit of society and the most important means of transmitting righteousness from generation to generation, the child who utterly rejected parental authority threatened the very order of society. Thus, like the idolator, he must be put to death.

7. A parent who upheld his child in crime became a contributor to crime in society.

"To deny the death penalty is to insist on life for the evil; it means that evil men are given the right to kill, kidnap, rape, and violate law and order, and their life is guaranteed against death in the process. The murderer is given the right to kill without losing his life, and the victim and potential victims are denied their right to live. Men may speak of unconditional love, and unconditional mercy, but every act of love and mercy is conditional, because, in granting it to one man, I am affirming the conditions of his life and denying others in the process. If I am loving and merciful to a murderer, I am unloving and merciless to his present and future victims. Moreover, I am then in open contempt of God and His law, which requires no mercy to a man guilty of death." (Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, p. 78.)

Rushdoony continues: "If the parents refused to complain against their son, they were then guilty of condonation and/or participation in his crimes. Their role was thus a formal but necessary one: would the family align itself with justice or stand in terms of blood ties? In view of the strong nature of family loyalties, the parental participation was necessary in order to ensure freedom from feud and also to place the family firmly against its criminal members. A parent refusing to file a complaint in such a case would become a party to the offense and a defender of crime. The principle required was clear-cut: not blood but law must govern ...

"Clearly then, the intent of this law is that all incorrigible and habitual criminals be executed. If a criminal son is to be executed, how much more so a neighbor or fellow Hebrew who has become an incorrigible criminal? If the family must align itself with the execution of an incorrigibly delinquent son, will it not demand the death of an habitual criminal in the community?

"That such is the intent of the law appears from its stated purpose, 'so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.' The purpose of the law is to eliminate entirely a criminal element from the nation, a professional criminal class. The family is not permitted the evil privilege of saying, 'We will stand behind our boy, come what may'; the family itself must join the war on crime." (Institutes of Biblical Law, pp. 187-88.)

8. Think for a moment of how strongly parents would strive to turn their children from sin, knowing that if they failed, they would have to go through the horror of taking them to the judges for execution. Surely they would chasten them in every possible way to see that such an event never happened (see v. 18). In a world of permissive child rearing and the ensuing destruction of righteousness, the lesson of this passage has great meaning.

Deuteronomy 22:1-3. What was to happen to property that was found and the owner was known? the owner was unknown?

Deuteronomy 22:8. What Is "a Battlement" for a Roof?

"Houses in the East are in general built with flat roofs, and on them men walk to enjoy the fresh air, converse together, sleep, &c.; it was therefore necessary to have a sort of battlement or balustrade to prevent persons from falling off. If a man neglected to make a sufficient defence against such accidents, and the death of another was occasioned by it, the owner of the house must be considered in the light of a murderer." (Clarke, Bible Commentary, 1:795.)

Deuteronomy 22:13-21. What was to happen if a man married and then claimed his wife was not a virgin when she was a virgin? when she was not a virgin?

Deuteronomy 22:19. What Does It Mean to "Amerce" a Man?

The word amerce means to fine. Here, the term refers to levying a charge against the man who accused his wife of not being a virgin when she really was. A betrothed or married woman could be defended by her father.

Deuteronomy 22:22. What was to happen to the man and the married woman who committed adultery? (see also Leviticus 20:10)

Deuteronomy 22:30. What Does It Mean to "Discover His Father's Skirt"?

Discovering oneís skirt is a Hebrew euphemism similar to uncovering oneís nakedness (see Leviticus 18:6-19) and means to have sexual relations. Thus, this prohibition probably referred to a stepmother. In some cases an older man would marry a much younger woman after the death of his first wife. Then when he died an older son who was close to the age of this stepmother would be tempted to marry her. The law prohibited this eventuality, as it did other cases of incest (see Leviticus 18).

Deuteronomy 23:7. Why was Israel not to abhor an Edomite or an Egyptian? (See also Genesis 25:30)

Deuteronomy 23:14. Why was there to be no unclean thing in the army camp?

Deuteronomy 23:17-18

The word dog is a contemptuous term for males who either were prostitutes themselves or profited from prostitution. Thus, no money gained from prostitution or homosexuality ("a sodomite" [v. 17]) could be used as offerings to God.

Deuteronomy 23:19-25

For the restriction in the law against usury, see Leviticus 25:36. Victuals are food. Vows made unto the Lord were to be fulfilled without delay.

Deuteronomy 23:24. What could a neighbor do in another's vineyard?

Deuteronomy 24:5. What was a man not to do for one year after being married? Why?

Deuteronomy 24:7. What was to happen to a kidnapper?

Deuteronomy 24:14-15. When was the poor servant to receive his wages?

Deuteronomy 24:19-21. How did the Lord provide for the poor?

Deuteronomy 25:3

Forty stripes was the most that could be laid upon a man as punishment for sin. In order to prevent a miscount and therefore break a commandment of the Lord, thirty-nine lashes were usually administered. Thus, the Apostle Paul reported that "of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one" (2 Corinthians 11:24).

Deuteronomy 25:5-6. What was a man to do with his brother's widow if she had no children? Why?

Deuteronomy 25:5-10. The Levirate Law of Marriage

These verses define the levirate law of marriage, which provided that a dead manís brother should marry the widow and raise a family to the dead man. "The custom insured the security of a widow who might otherwise be left destitute and friendless ... If no brother existed, some more distant male relative was required to perform this duty. Whichever relative married the widow became her 'go'el' (redeemer or protector). The first son born to the widow by the new marriage was counted as a child of the dead husband and inherited his property." (Great People of the Bible and How They Lived, p. 132.)

The word levirate has nothing to do with the tribe of Levi. Rather, it is taken from the Latin word levir, meaning "husband's brother." The Sadducees used this law in trying to trap Jesus when they asked whose wife such a woman would be in the Resurrection (see Matthew 22:23-33).

Deuteronomy 25:13-15. What was Israel commanded to have that were "perfect and just"? Why?

Deuteronomy 25:17-19. What was Israel to do to Amalek? Why? (See also Exodus 17:13-16; 1 Chronicles 4:42-43)

Deuteronomy 26:1-3. What was to be delivered to the priest when Israel arrived in the new land?

Deuteronomy 26:5-10. What was to be said before the Lord?

Deuteronomy 26:12-15. What was to be said before the Lord after the tithing was paid?

Deuteronomy 26:16. How were the children of Israel to keep and do the commandments of the Lord?

Deuteronomy 26:17. What had the people testified to the Lord?

Deuteronomy 26:18-19. What had the Lord testified to the people?

Deuteronomy 27:2-8. What were the Israelites to do on the day they crossed over Jordan?

Deuteronomy 27:9. What had the people become on the day they crossed over Jordan?

Deuteronomy 27:10. What were they commanded to do?

Deuteronomy 27:14-26. For what offenses would a man be cursed? (See also Bible Dictionary, p. 607, s.v. "Amen")

Deuteronomy 28:1-2. Why would Israel be blessed by the Lord?

Deuteronomy 28:3-13. What were the promised blessings?

Deuteronomy 28:15. Why would Israel be cursed by the Lord?

Deuteronomy 28:16-45. What were the promised cursings?

Deuteronomy 28:47-68. What would happen if Israel chose not to serve the Lord?

Deuteronomy 29:1. Where was the covenant made?

Deuteronomy 29:10-13. Why did the Lord make this covenant with Israel?

Deuteronomy 29:18-20. What would happen to those who broke this covenant? (See also Deuteronomy 29:19a)

Deuteronomy 30:1-3. When would the Lord gather Israel?

Deuteronomy 30:4-5. Where would Israel be gathered?

Deuteronomy 30:7. Upon whom would the Lord put "all these curses"? (Deuteronomy 30:7)

Deuteronomy 30:11-14. What did Moses say was "in [their] mouth, and in [their] heart"? (V. 14)

Deuteronomy 30:15-18. What did Moses set before the people that day?

Deuteronomy 30:19. What did Moses call heaven and earth to do?

List three things you need to do to be blessed by the Lord.

Deuteronomy 31:2. How old was Moses?

Deuteronomy 31:3-6. What did Moses say about taking the land the Lord gave them?

Deuteronomy 31:7-8. What did Moses say to Joshua "in the sight of all Israel"? (Deuteronomy 31:7)

Deuteronomy 31:10-13. When was the law to be read to the people? Why?

Deuteronomy 31:14-18. What did the Lord say to Moses in the tabernacle about Israel's future?

Deuteronomy 31:19-21. Why did the Lord give Moses a song to teach the children of Israel?

Deuteronomy 31:23. What did the Lord say to Joshua?

Deuteronomy 31:25-30. What did Moses say to the Levites?

Deuteronomy 32:1-52. List six things the song of Moses acclaimed.

Deuteronomy 32:14-15. To What Do the Terms Bashan and Jeshurun Refer?

The word bashan means "fruitful." It was the title given to a district east of the Sea of Galilee that was taken by the Israelites during the conquest of Canaan. It extended from the border of Gilead on the south to the base of Mount Hermon on the north and was given as an inheritance to the tribe of Manasseh (see Maps and Charts). Bashan included the area now known as the Golan Heights.

The word jeshurun is a Hebrew word meaning "upright," or "right in the sight of God," and refers to Israel itself. As used in Deuteronomy 32:15, it implies that Israel was once in the path of righteousness, but upon becoming fat (prosperous) would yet kick (rebel or fight) against God and esteem the source of their salvation as naught. Some feel that it refers to Israel's calling to be a righteous people and that God used this word to demonstrate her flagrant disregard for Him.

Deuteronomy 32:15, 18, 30-31. To What or Whom Does the Word Rock Refer?

"Christ is the Stone of Israel. (Gen. 49:24.) 'I am the good shepherd, and the stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall.' (D&C 50:44.) Christ is thus the stone or foundation upon which all men must build. Of him the psalmist prophesied: 'The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.' (Ps. 118:22; Matt. 21:42; Mark 12:10-11; Luke 20:17-18.) Peter used this truth to teach that the saints 'as lively stones' should build 'a spiritual house,' with Christ, the Stone of Israel, as the foundation. (1 Pet. 2:1-9.)" (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 768.)

That the Apostle Paul understood this concept is clear from a statement he made about the children of Israel during the period of their wanderings: "For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:4). In other words, they all ate the same spiritual meat and drank the same spiritual drink.

Deuteronomy 32:44. Who spoke the words of this song to the people? (See also v. 44b)

Deuteronomy 32:48-52. What did the Lord command Moses to do? Why?

Deuteronomy 33

A comparative study of Genesis 49 and Deuteronomy 33 shows some additions to the blessings of the sons of Jacob that were given when they were still only twelve small families. At the time Deuteronomy was written, they were twelve tribes numbering thousands each. It had been about four hundred and fifty years since Jacob gave the sons his patriarchal blessings. What evidence is given that Jacob's blessings were prophetic?

Deuteronomy 33:1. What did Moses do just before his death?

Deuteronomy 33:8-10. Who was to teach the Lord's judgments and his law?

Deuteronomy 33:13-17. Who shall gather Israel in the latter days?

Deuteronomy 34:1-3. What did the Lord show Moses?

Deuteronomy 34:4. What did the Lord say to Moses?

Deuteronomy 34:5. Did Moses Really Die as Recorded in Deuteronomy 34:5?

"The Old Testament account that Moses died and was buried by the hand of the Lord in an unknown grave is an error. (Deut. 34:5-7.) It is true that he may have been 'buried by the hand of the Lord,' if that expression is a figure of speech which means that he was translated. But the Book of Mormon account, in recording that Alma 'was taken up by the Spirit,' says, 'the scriptures saith the Lord took Moses unto himself; and we suppose that he has also received Alma in the spirit, unto himself.' (Alma 45:18-19.) It should be remembered that the Nephites had the Brass Plates, and that they were the 'scriptures' which gave the account of Moses being taken by way of translation." (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 805.)

The question is raised, Why was Moses translated? President Joseph Fielding Smith answered the question in this way:

"Moses, like Elijah, was taken up without tasting death, because he had a mission to perform ... "When Moses and Elijah came to the Savior and to Peter, James, and John upon the Mount, what was their coming for? Was it just some spiritual manifestation to strengthen these three apostles? Or did they come merely to give comfort unto the Son of God in his ministry and to prepare him for his crucifixion? No! That was not the purpose. I will read it to you. The Prophet Joseph Smith has explained it as follows:

"'The priesthood is everlasting. The Savior, Moses, and Elias [Elijah, in other words] gave the keys to Peter, James, and John, on the Mount when they were transfigured before him. The priesthood is everlasting -- without beginning of days or end of years; without father, mother, etc. If there is no change of ordinances, there is no change of priesthood. Wherever the ordinances of the gospel are administered, there is the priesthood ... Christ is the Great High Priest; Adam next.' [Smith, Teachings, p. 158.] From that we understand why Elijah and Moses were preserved from death: because they had a mission to perform, and it had to be performed before the crucifixion of the Son of God, and it could not be done in the spirit. They had to have tangible bodies. Christ is the first fruits of the resurrection; therefore if any former prophets had a work to perform preparatory to the mission of the Son of God, or to the dispensation of the meridian of times, it was essential that they be preserved to fulfill that mission in the flesh. For that reason Moses disappeared from among the people and was taken up into the mountain, and the people thought he was buried by the Lord. The Lord preserved him, so that he could come at the proper time and restore his keys, on the heads of Peter, James, and John, who stood at the head of the dispensation of the meridian of time." (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:107, 110-11.)

Deuteronomy 34:5-7. How old was Moses when he fled from Egypt to Midian? (See Acts 7:23-29)

Deuteronomy 34:5-7. How old was Moses when he returned to Egypt and met with Pharoah? (See Acts 7:30; Exodus 7:7)

Deuteronomy 34:7. How old was Moses when he was translated? (See also Bible Dictionary, p. 734, s.v. "Moses")

Deuteronomy 34:8. How long did the people mourn for Moses?

Deuteronomy 34:9. Who was their new leader? Why?

Deuteronomy 34:10-12. What had Moses done to become a great prophet?

Deuteronomy 34:10-12. What had Moses sought diligently to do? Why?

Deuteronomy 34:10-12. How were Moses' efforts received by the people? by the Lord?

Deuteronomy 34:10-12. What did the Lord take from the midst of the people?

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