Catholic Introduction To The Old Testament: Deuteronomy

Catholic Introduction to the Old Testament: Deuteronomy

The book of Deuteronomy is organized as a series of addresses given by Moses to the people of Israel in the land of Moab, where they had stopped at the end of the long wilderness journey and were about to enter and occupy Canaan. Some of the most important matters recorded in the book are as follows:

  1. Moses recalls the great events of the past forty years. He appeals to the people to remember how God has led them through the wilderness and to be obedient and loyal to God.
  2. Moses reviews the Ten Commandments and emphasizes the meaning of the First Commandment, calling the people to devotion to the Lord alone. Then he reviews the various laws that are to govern Israel's life in the promised land.
  3. Moses reminds the people of the meaning of God's covenant with them, and calls for them to renew their commitment to its obligations.
  4. Joshua is commissioned as the next leader of God's people. After singing a song celebrating God's faithfulness, and pronouncing a blessing on the tribes of Israel, Moses dies in Moab, east of the Jordan River.

The great theme of the book is that God has saved and blessed his chosen people, whom he loves; so his people are to remember this, and love and Obey Him, so that they may have life and continued blessing.

The key verses of the book are 6.4—6, and contain the words that Jesus called the greatest of all commandments: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”

Outline of Contents

1. Moses' first discourse 1.1—4.49

2. Moses' second discourse 5.1—26.19

  • The Ten Commandments 5.1—10.22
  • Laws, rules, and warnings 11.1—26.19

3. Instructions for entering Canaan 27.1—28.68

4. The covenant renewed 29.1—30.20

5. Moses' last words 31.1—33.29

6. The death of Moses 34.1—12


Deuteronomy. (1972). In Catholic (Ed.), May they be one Bible: Good news translation (2013 ed., p. 198). Philippine Bible Society.

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