Willmington's Bible at a Glance

Deuteronomy at a Glance

This book records Moses’ three final discourses to Israel, his song praising the God of Israel, his blessings upon the twelve tribes, his viewing of the Promised Land and his death at 120.

Bottom Line Introduction


There are several reasons why Satan despises it so much. First, our Lord began his ministry by quoting from Deuteronomy on three occasions to successfully refute three vicious temptations by the devil.

Temptation number one: Compare Matthew 4:4 with Deuteronomy 8:3

Temptation number two: Compare Matthew 4:7 with Deuteronomy 6:16

Temptation number three: Compare Matthew 4:10 with Deuteronomy 6:13

Another aspect of the book prompting satanic hatred is that Deuteronomy is second only to Isaiah in its majestic description of both the Person and plan of God.

Facts Regarding the Author of this Book

1. Who? Moses. He was the younger brother of Aaron and Miriam (Ex. 6:20; Num. 26:59) who led his people Israel out of Egyptian bondage (Ex. 5-14) and gave them the law of God at Mt. Sinai (Ex. 20).

2. What? The books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

3. When and Where? 1405 B.C., from the eastern bank of the River Jordan in Moab.

4. Why?

a. Genesis. To record the origin of the world and the nation Israel.

b. Exodus. The supernatural deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage.

c. Leviticus. The purpose and functions of the tabernacle.

d. Numbers. The failure of Israel to enter Canaan.

e. Deuteronomy. The review of the Law for that generation about to enter Canaan.

5. To whom? Israel in particular, all believers in general.

Key Events

1. Beginning of Moses’ first discourse (1-4)

2. Beginning of Moses’ second discourse (5-26)

3. Beginning of Moses’ third discourse (27-30)

4. The transfer of power from Moses to Joshua

5. The song of Moses

6. The blessing of Moses upon the 12 tribes and completion of the Pentateuch

7. The death of Moses

Key Individuals

1. Moses: great lawgiver of Israel who brought Israel out of the land of bondage

2. Joshua: successor of Moses

Key Places

1. Pisgah Peak in Mt. Nebo: where Moses viewed the Promised Land and died

Unique Features

1. In two chapters Moses summarizes God’s divine person and plan for Israel.

God’s Person: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord” (6:4).

God’s plan: Israel’s ministry to God.

a. Israel was to love the God of the Word: “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (6:5).

b. They were to love the Word of God: “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates” (6:6-9).

God’s ministry to Israel: “And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers” (6:23). In the next chapter, God explains the reason behind his gracious ministry to Israel. “The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (7:7-8).

2. Deuteronomy was one of the first books to be attacked under the guise of higher criticism at the end of the nineteenth century.

3. Deuteronomy is far more than a mere repetition of the Law of Moses. It is rather a rehearsal and reminder of that Law, for many of the younger Israelites had never heard it before, having been born since Mount Sinai. In summary:

In Genesis we read of Israel’s election

In Exodus, of her redemption

In Leviticus, of her sanctification

In Numbers, of her direction

In Deuteronomy, of her instruction

4. Another major theme in Deuteronomy is the importance attached to the Word of God (see 4:1-2, 7, 9; 6:7-9; 11:18-21; 27:1-4; 30:11-14; 31:11-12; 32:46-47).

5. Deuteronomy includes the second of two important conditional covenants in the Bible given by God to man. The first was the Edenic, which promised Adam fruitfulness for obedience, and death for disobedience (Gen. 1:26-31; 2:15-17). The second was the Palestinian Covenant, which promised Israel permanent status in the land for obedience, and captivity for disobedience (Deut. 28:1-30).

6. Deuteronomy lists four key prophecies:

The victorious entrance of Israel under Joshua into Canaan (7:2; 9:1-3; 31:3, 5).

The sin of Israel while in the land (31:16-18, 20, 29)

The exile from the land (4:26-28; 7:4; 8:19-20; 28:36, 41, 49-50, 53, 64)

The return of Israel back to the land (4:29; 30:1-3, 10)

7. This book contains a song that may be sung during the great tribulation. (Compare Deut. 31:30-32:45 with Rev. 15:3-4).

8. Here we also read of the first official promise by God to provide kings to rule over Israel (17:14-20). Furthermore, in the next chapter (18:15-19) the first prediction of Christ’s prophetic ministry is given. Previous to this, both his kingship (Gen. 49:10) and priesthood (Gen. 14:18-20) had been alluded to.

9. The three words do, keep, and observe, are found 177 times in Deuteronomy. Moses, like James, desired that Israel: “lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:21-22).

10. Deuteronomy tells us what was the first part of the Bible to be completed and where it was kept (31:9, 24-26).

11. It records the only funeral conducted by God Himself (34:5, 6).

12. The book of Deuteronomy says, in effect, to Israel, look back, look in, look up, look forward, and (lest you sin), look out!

13. The book closes with the second of two great prophetical blessings upon each of the 12 tribes of Israel. (Compare Gen. 49 with Deut. 33.)

Titles for and Types of Jesus

1. The Great Prophet (18:15-19). See also Jn. 1:21, 25.

2. The Rock of Justice (32:4)

3. The Rock of Salvation (32:15)

4. The Mother Eagle (32: 11). See also Mt. 23:37.

Dr. H. L. Willmington
Founder & Dean, Willmington School of the Bible
Founder & Dean, Liberty Home Bible Institute
Professor, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Copyright © 2007 by Harold L. Willmington. Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved.

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