Pronounced As: dootronm , book of the Bible, literally meaning "second law, last of the five books (the Pentateuch or Torah) ascribed by tradition to Moses. Some believe these five books were originally written as a single unbroken scroll. Deuteronomy purports to be the final words of Moses to the people of Israel on the eve of their crossing the Jordan to take possession of Canaan. Moses rehearses the law received at Sinai 40 years previously, reapplying it to the new generation who accept its claim on them at a ceremony of ratification recorded in the Book of Joshua. The history of Israel found in Joshua and Second Kings is written from the Deuteronomic point of view, and is often called the "Deuteronomic history. Deuteronomy functions as the introduction to this historical work and provides the guiding principles on which Israel's historical traditions are assessed. The bulk of the book is the record of three speeches of Moses, and may be outlined as follows: first, the introductory discourse reviewing the history of Israel since the exodus from Egypt; second, an address of Moses to the people, beginning with general principles of morality and then continuing with particulars of legislation, including a repetition of the Ten Commandments, and a concluding exhortation in which Moses again appeals to the people to renew the covenant; third, a charter of narrative in which Moses nominates Joshua as his successor and delivers the book of the Law to the Levites; fourth, the Song of Moses; fifth, the blessing of Israel by Moses; and sixth, the death of Moses. The legislation is oriented toward life in the Promised Land, with the eventual foundation of a single lawful sanctuary.



There are about two dozen verses in the Old Testament and one dozen in the New Testament which tell us that Moses was the author. Consider the following passages from the New Living Translation (NLT):


 Passages in the Pentateuch itself:

 Exodus 17:14 "Then the Lord instructed Moses, 'Write this down as a permanent record...'"

 Exodus 24:4 "Then Moses carefully wrote down all the Lord's instructions."

 Exodus 34:27 "And the Lord said to Moses, 'Write down all these instructions, for they represents the terms of my covenant with you and with Israel.'"

 Leviticus 1:1 "The Lord called to Moses from the Tabernacle and said to him, 'Give the following instructions to the Israelites...'"

 Leviticus 6:8 "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Give Aaron and his sons the following instructions...'"

 Deuteronomy 31:9 "So Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the priests."

 Deuteronomy 31:24-26 "When Moses had finished writing down this entire body of law in a book..."


 Passages elsewhere in the Old Testament:

 Joshua 1:7-8 "...Obey all the laws Moses gave you."

 Joshua 8:31-34 "He followed the instructions that Moses the Lord's servant had written in the Book of the Law..."

 Joshua 22:5 "...obey all the commands and the laws that Moses gave to you."

 2 Chronicles 34:14 "...Hilkiah the high priest...found the book of the Law of the Lord as it had been given through Moses."


 Passages in the Gospels which show that Jesus and John the Baptist believed Moses to be the author:

 Matthew 19:7-8 "...why did Moses say a man could merely write an official letter of divorce and send her away?", they asked. Jesus replied, 'Moses permitted divorce...'"

 Matthew 22:24 "Moses said, 'If a man dies without children...'"

 Mark 7:10 "For instance, Moses gave you this law from God..."

 Mark 12:24 "...haven't you ever read about this in the writings of Moses, in the story of the burning bush..."

 Luke 24:44 "...I told you that everything written about me by Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must all come true."

 John 1:17 "For the law was given through Moses..."

 John 5:46 "But if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me because he wrote about me. And since you don't believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?"

 John 7:23 " it, so as not to break the law of Moses..."


 Passages elsewhere in the New Testament:

 Acts 26:22 "...I teach nothing except what the prophets and Moses said would happen..."

 Romans 10:5 "For Moses wrote..."


But nowhere in the Bible is it specifically stated that Moses wrote the entire Pentateuch. Even if one believes in the inerrancy of the Bible, a case can be made that he authored only parts of the Torah, and that other writers added sections of their own and/or edited the resultant text.


Text Comentary:


Chapter 1

Through a rehearsal of covenant history, Moses traces Israel's experience with the Lord from Horeb, to Kedesh-barnea, through their wilderness wandering and up to their taking of the land from Beth-peor so that they will remember the character of the Lord and obey Him as they prepare to enter the Land.


v. 1-8: Moses spoke to the people all the Lord had given him in commandment. Horeb was but eleven days distant from Kadesh-barnea. This was to remind them that their own bad conduct had occasioned their tedious wanderings; that they might more readily understand the advantages of obedience. They must now go forward. Though God brings his people into trouble and affliction, he knows when they have been tried long enough. When God commands us to go forward in our Christian course, he sets the heavenly Canaan before us for our encouragement.


v. 9-18: Moses reminds the people of the happy constitution of their government, which might make them all safe and easy, if it was not their own fault. He owns the fulfilment of God's promise to Abraham, and prays for the further accomplishment of it. We are not straitened in the power and goodness of God; why should we be straitened in our own faith and hope? Good laws were given to the Israelites, and good men were to see to the execution of them, which showed God's goodness to them, and the care of Moses.


v. 19-46: Moses reminds the Israelites of their march from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea, through that great and terrible wilderness. He shows how near they were to a happy settlement in Canaan. It will aggravate the eternal ruin of hypocrites, that they were not far from the kingdom of God. As if it were not enough that they were sure of their God before them, they would send men before them. Never any looked into the Holy Land, but they must own it to be a good land. And was there any cause to distrust this God? An unbelieving heart was at the bottom of all this. All disobedience to God's laws, and distrust of his power and goodness, flow from disbelief of his word, as all true obedience springs from faith. It is profitable for us to divide our past lives into distinct periods; to give thanks to God for the mercies we have received in each, to confess and seek the forgiveness of all the sins we can remember; and thus to renew our acceptance of God's salvation, and our surrender of ourselves to his service. Our own plans seldom avail to good purpose; while courage in the exercise of faith, and in the path of duty, enables the believer to follow the Lord fully, to disregard all that opposes, to triumph over all opposition, and to take firm hold upon the promised blessings.


Chapter 2

Entrance into the Transjordan:

Moses recounts the nation's return and entrance into the transjordan as the Lord led and defeated Simon and Ogk


Moses briefly tells of the nation's return to the wilderness under YHWH's command and then their return to the land under YHWH's command with the awareness of YHWH Elohim's provision for them for 40 years and that they were not to take land that He had given to others (Edom, Mob, Ammon) just He would give their land to them


v. 1-6: The nation is told to leave the land for the wilderness The nation is told that their wanderings are enough and thus to head back north through the land of the sons of Esau but not to take their land


v. 7-12: The nation is reminded of YHWH Elohim's sustenance of them for 40 years in the wilderness. The nation is told by YHWH to pass North beyond Heir by Mob but not to touch their land since he gave it to the descendants of Lot for a possession as he later would Canaan to Israel..


v. 13-18: It took 38 years for Israel to pass from Kedesh-barnea to the brook Zered: until YHWH's judgment was complete upon the nation's men of war.


v. 19-23: The nation is to cross over into Mob but it is an inheritance to the sons of Lot so they are not to fight the sons of Amman.


Under the command of YHWH and the hand of YHWH Elohim Israel took the kingdom of Sihon up to the southern boarder of Amman and the kingdom of Og including northern Bashan


v. 24-25: Israel is commanded by YHWH to take the Ammorite land under Simon the king of Heshbon through which He will bring a fear of Israel upon the people.


v. 26-31: Moses recounts how he asked Simon for permission to pass through his land and YHWH hardened his heart in order to give the land over to Israel.


v. 32-37: In a battle with Simon, The LORD God delivers the kingdom over to Israel to the land of Amman.



Chapter 3

Conquests Recounted and Final Preparations to Enter the Land:


v. 1- 11: In a battle with Og, king of Bashan, the LORD God delivers northern Bashon over to Israel


v. 12- 28: At Beth-peor Moses makes final preparations for the nation to enter the land by the allotment of the transjordan, by exhortations to the transjordan tribes to fight with the nation until the land is all occupied, by strengthening Joshua in what the Lord has done, by stating that he will not enter the land, and by encouraging his replacement—Joshua.

1.      Moses allots the transjordan including Gilead from Bashan in the north to the red sea in the south to the Reunites, Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh [south to north] (3:12-17)

2.      The tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh are told that the land is theirs for a possession, but the valiant men are to continue to fight with the nation until all of the land is possessed across the Jordan (3:18-20)

3.      Moses reminds Joshua of all the Lord has done so that he will not fear those in the land against whom the Lord will also fight (3:21-22)

4.      Moses mentions that he pleaded with YHWH to be allowed to enter but was forbidden except to see it form Mit. Pisgah. He was also told to strengthen Joshua as his replacement to take the people into the land to give them the inheritance (3:23-28)

5.      The historical setting is in the valley opposite of Beth-poor (3:29)



Chapter 4

Israel is Urged to Obey God’s Law:


At Beth-poor Moses warns Israel in many ways that disobedience to the Lord's Law will result in judgment in the Land while obedience will bring life in the Land.


v. 1-20: In a solemn charge, Moses warns Israel at Beth-poor to watch themselves to listen to, not change and pass on to their children the statutes and judgments from Moses which have been shown to give life at Banal-poor and were designed to separate Israel from all other people of the earth 4:1-20

1.      Moses speaks a solomn charge to the nation Israel at Beth-peor to listen to and not change the statutes <yq!j%h^ (these are the engraved codes or the Law and judgments (together they comprise the whole Law as in 4:8) he is giving in order for them to live, go in and take the land, and obey YHWH Elohim (4:1-2)

2.      Just as the LORD gave life to those who obeyed him at Baal of Peor (cf. Num. 25:1-9), so will obedience to the statutes and judgments bring life in the land and attracts the barren neighbors of Israel to their God (4:3-8)

3.      Moses warns the nation to pay attention to themselves to not forget but to remember and make known to their offspring what they have seen of God lest they depart form His ways, namely their experience at Horeb where they heard but did not see God and Moses received the covenant and the statutes and judgments for the people to keep in the land (4:9-14)

4.      Moses warns the nation to watch carefully lest they forget what they saw at Mit. Horeb and do evil by making an image of God or worshiping heavenly bodies since they have been separated from all peoples on earth as His possession (4:15-20)


v. 21-40: Using himself, a future prophecy of judgment upon the nation for its evil, and a historical reminder of God's unique revelation to the nation, Moses warns the nation against sinning against God which will result in judgment rather than blessing for obedience in the land (4:21-40)

1.      Using himself as an example of one who is the recipient of the judgment of God for disobedience, Moses warns the nation to not forget the covenant of their God by making images against what He has commanded since He will bring judgment (4:21-24)

2.      Moses warns of the judgment which will come upon the nation in several generations when they act corruptly and provoke The Lord to anger leading to their expulsion from the land under the servitude of "false gods" but not their ultimate extinction since God is compassionate and will not forget the covenant He made with their fathers (4:25-31)

3.      Reminding the nation that God's work with them in bringing them out of Egypt, revealing Himself in the fire and speaking to them is beyond anything He has done with any people in all of history, Moses affirms that He is the only God and thus to be obeyed for life in the Land (4:32-40)


v. 41-43: Moses sets aside three cities of refuge: one for each tribe in the transjordan (4:41-43)


v. 44-49: MOSES' SECOND ADDRESS: Through a rehearsal of Israel's covenant responsibilities with glimpses of national prophetic history, Moses proclaims obedience as the means by which the Lord will bless the nation in the Land. A setting is given of Israel after the Exodus, the wilderness wandering, and the defeat of Simon and Og, opposite of Beth-poor where Moses set before them the Law.



Chapter 5

The Ten Commandments:


After summoning all Israel, Moses exhorts them to hear the 10 commandments which they heard at Mt. Horeb and which led them in fear to have Moses act as mediator between them and the Lord for the rest of the Law.


v. 1-5:  Moses summons all Israel and speaks to them. Moses exhorts the nation to hear the statutes and ordinances which he is speaking to them now and which were given to them at Mt. Horeb face to face with Moses between them and God.


v.6-21: Moses states the 10 Commandments.

a.       No gods are to be placed before YHWH Elohim who redeemed Israel from Egypt (6-7)

b.      b. No Idols are to be made and/or worshiped because YHWH Elohim will punish those households who do not honor Him while showing loyal love to those who do love Him with obedience (8-10)

c.       YHWH Elohim's name is not to be taken in vain lest one receive punishment (11)

d.      The Sabbath is to be kept separate unto YHWH Elohim by not working in any way and by remembering the redemption He provided for them from Egypt (12-15)

e.       Parents are to be honored as YHWH Elohim has commanded so that life may be long and prosperous in the land (16)

f.        One shall not commit murder (17)

g.       One shall not commit adultery (18)

h.       One shall not steal (19)

i.         One shall not bear false witness against one's neighbor (20)

j.        One shall not covet anything which belongs to one's neighbor (21)


v. 22-33: Moses recounts how the nation after hearing God speak the 10 commandments pleaded that Moses would mediate between them and the Lord so that they would not be destroyed by Him whereupon the Lord agreed dismissing the nation to their tents and keeping Moses to hear, and teach the nation the law to observe in the land.



Chapter 6

Great Commandment & Blessings and Cursings:


Moses recounts the great commandment of full commitment to the Lord and warnings of cursings and blessings to the Nation so that they may be blessed in the Land.


Shema: For the sake of blessing rather than judgment in the Land, the nation is to be fully committed to YHWH and to communicate their commitment to the next generation (6:1-25).


v. 1-3: The commandment which Moses is about to give to the nation is so that they and their generations might fear the Lord so as to obey with the result that they might receive blessing: days might be prolonged, it may be well with them, and that they might multiply as YHWH promised in the Land.


v. 4-6: Since the nation's YHWH is all there is to God (a unity), each person is to willfully commit himself to Him with all of his motives (heart), his person (soul) , and his ability (strength).


v. 7-9: Moses' command to love God is to be taught to children in the patterns of live, and made a common part of one's life.


v. 10-12: The nation is warned of the danger of coming to the prosperous land that they might forget YHWH who delivered them form Egypt.


v. 13-19: The nation is warned of judgment which the Lord will bring upon them if they follow other gods in the land as well as blessing which will come upon them if they obey God in the Land.


v. 20-25: The history of the establishment of the nation from Egypt as well as the giving of the Law is to be told to the children so that they will obey and be blessed by YHWH in the land.



Chapter 7

Destruction of Nations:


Israel, as a people graciously separated unto YHWH, is to destroy, with the power of the Lord, the nations in the land without contaminating herself with them so that she will not also experience the judgment of God upon her but blessing.


v. 1-5: Israel is to destroy the nations in the land, to not intermarry with them because they will turn Israel's heart away form the Lord to serve other gods which will result in judgment upon Israel.


v. 6-8: The reason Israel is to judge and not compromise with the nations in the land is because she is to be a people separate unto YHWH who chose her, not out of merit, but out of love and commitment to the Abrahamic covenant.


v. 9-16: Because the Lord is a faithful yet a just God (bringing judgment upon the nations who do not follow him), Israel is to keep the commandments which Moses is proclaiming to them so that they might be blessed by Him: keeping the Abrahamic covenant with them, bringing about fertility, health, cursing their enemies and making them victorious in battle.


v. 17-26: When Israel is fearful of the nations which they will fight against, they are to remember the powerful deliverance which the Lord worked for them in Egypt as well as the promises He is now making to deliver the nations and their detestable gods over to them in accordance with His timetable.



Chapter 8

Awareness of Yahweh as Provider:


Israel is to enter the land with an awareness from their own history that it is the Lord alone who has graciously and abundantly provided for them in their evil to this point and thus will bless them in the land if they obey and curse them if they disobey.


 v. 1-10: Israel is to remember the humbling, training, yet sustaining way in which YHWH led them for forty years in the wilderness in order to test and discipline them so as to produce obedience because obedience will result in blessing for them when they enter the fruitful land.


v. 11-20: Israel is warned that they will perish under the judgment of God like the nations the Lord is making to perish before them if they forget that they have been and are dependent upon the Lord for their blessing and begin to consider themselves as the ones who have provided for themselves and begin to worship other gods.



Chapter 9

The Lord acts on behalf of the Abrahamic covenant:


v. 1-6: Israel is to remember as the Lord goes before them to defeat the nations so that they will disposes the land that it is not because of Israel's righteousness that they are entering in but because of the wickedness of the nations and because of the Abrahamic covenant that the Lord is acting on their behalf.


v. 7: Moses confirms the wickedness of Israel by recounting their rebellion against the Lord and his need to intercede for them in order that the Lord would not destroy them during the journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea.


v. 8-21: They rebelled at Horeb.


v.22: They rebelled at Teberah, Massah and at Kiboroth-hatta-avah


v. 23-29: They rebelled at Kadesh-barnea



Chapter 10

The Tablets Rewritten:


v. 1-5: Moses recounts the construction of the tablets and an ark, of how the Lord Himself wrote on the tablets the Ten Commandments.


v. 6-11: After all of this evil and the forty years of wandering the Lord commanded the people to go to possess the land.


v. 12- 22: Israel is exhorted to willingly obey the Lord who alone is God, covenant keeping, just, has blessed and whom they themselves know and have experienced in history so that they may enter and be blessed and overtake the nations in the fertile land where YHWH dwells rather than be cursed there. The Lord has provided all things for Israel and He is to be recognized as such for doing so.



Chapter 11

Blessings or a Curse:


v. 1-28:  If the Jews were to be faithful to the Lord and obey His commandments, He would bless them and their children abundantly. If they disobeyed Him, they would receive His wrath. It is important that they teach these things properly to their children.


v. 29-32: As a reminder, the promises of blessing are to be written in the land on Mt. Gerizim and the curses are to be written on Mt. Ebal so that the nation will be careful to do all that the Moses has commanded.


Chapter 12

Sanctuary Laws:


Specific Laws of Covenant & Prophetic History: Specific laws of the covenant and glimpses of prophetic history are expounded so that Israel will obey and be blessed in the land.

Worship: After Israel possesses the land and destroys all of the pagan places of false worship, she must not assimilate their behavior but offer all sacrifices (meat for home use excluded) and worship at the central place which the Lord will proclaim in order to receive blessing in the land


v. 1-3: When Israel enters the land they are to completely destroy all of the pagan places of false worship.


v. 4-14: Unlike the nations in the land and even unlike the practice of the nation in the wilderness, all worship and sacrifice when established in the land will take place at a central location which the Lord will establish.


v. 15-27: Although meat may be slaughtered within one's particular city for consumption according to the standards of the Law, all tithe offerings from the harvest to the Lord must be partaken (being sure to provide for the Levite) at the central location to be announced by the Lord.


v. 28-32: Israel must be careful to obey the Lord for blessing and not to follow the practice of the people toward their gods whom they will dispossess in the land.


Chapter 13

Stay Away from Idolotry:


False Teachers: If anyone (prophet, relative, or entire city) attempts to lead the nation away form the Lord to other gods they are to be resisted and destroyed in order to turn away YHWH's anger and to continue to receive blessing from Him.


v. 1-5:  If a prophet or dreamer performs a sign or wonder and then attempts to lead anyone from the Lord to other gods, he is to be ignored, and killed while YHWH is to be obeyed.


v. 6-11:  If a relative or friend entices anyone to leave the Lord for other gods, he is to be resisted and unmercifully killed as a warning to all else in the nation.


v. 12-18:  If those in a city of Israel begin to lead the people away from the Lord to other gods, the entire city is to be destroyed and placed under a ban to turn the Lord from his burning anger and to bring about blessing for the rest of the nation.


Chapter 14

Clean and Unclean Animals:


 Separation of Israel: Israel is to demonstrate her separation to the Lord from the other nations of the land by how they mourn for the dead and how they even eat their food.


v. 1-2: Israel is to demonstrate its separateness to YHWH from all people of the land by not participating in the Canaanite rituals of mourning for the dead.


v. 3-21:  Israel is to demonstrate its separateness to YHWH from all the people in the land by not eating any animal, fish, or bird, which YHWH declares to be unclean (by virtue of its non- conformity to wholeness), but by only eating those which YHWH declares to be clean (and thus naturally whole).


v. 22-29:  Tithing: Israel is to tithe (physically or monetarily) to the Lord all of the produce which comes out of the field every year in a celebration before the Lord in that place where He will establish His name except for every third year where it is to go to the Levite in his town remembering that he has no other portion among the nation in order to receive blessing from the Lord


Chapter 15

The Sabbath Year:


The end of the seventh year is to be a time when everyone in Israel is to grant a remission of all debts to her own people who were willfully and generously helped in their need because the Lord has blessed the nation and will continue to do so if they will obey.


v. 1-3: Every seventh year Israel is to grant a remission of debts whereby every creditor shall release what he has loaned to those within the nation [excluding foreigners].


v. 4-7:  The Lord promises that if the nation will obey that He will bless them so that they will not be poor and indebted to other nations but will lend to other nations.


v. 8-11: If one in the nation comes upon a poor brother in need (as one always will) and even if it is near the seventh year, one is to willingly and generously lend to him a sufficient amount for his need because the Lord will bless the giver for this.


v. 12-18:  If one of Israel's kinsmen (a Hebrew man or woman) is sold to them in slavery, it is to be for only seven years after which one must either release him with a liberal amount of produce, which the Lord has given and which he has worked double time for, or one is to mark him as his servant forever at his desire.


v. 19-23:  Consecration of First Born Males: All of the first-born males of the herd and flock are to be consecrated, separated from work and then sacrificed in a family meal before the Lord in the place which He chooses except for those which have a defect which are not to be sacrificed before the Lord but are to be legally partaken of in one's own city.


Chapter 16

Three Feasts of Israel--Passover, Weeks, Booths:


Three times a year all of Israel's males are to appear before the Lord in the place which He chooses to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Booths, with a sacrifice as the Lord has blessed.


v. 1-8:  Passover: In the month of Abib (March-April) the nation is to observe the Passover in the place where the Lord chooses to establish His name by making a sacrifice from the flock or the herd and not eating leaven bread for seven days according to His prescriptions to remember His deliverance of them from Egypt.


v. 9-13: Feast of Weeks: Seven weeks from the beginning of the grain harvest the nation is to celebrate the Feast of Weeks with a free- will offering proportionate to as the Lord has blessed with a feast in the place where the Lord chooses to establish his name as a reminder of their liberation from Egypt.


v. 13-15: Feast of Booths: Seven days after the ingathering from the wine vat and threshing floor Israel is to joyfully celebrate the Feast of Booths for seven days in the place which the Lord chooses because of the Lord's blessing. In summary: three times a year all of Israel's males are to appear before the Lord in the place which He chooses, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Booths, with a sacrifice as the Lord has blessed.


v. 16-22:  Israel is to appoint judges for herself in each town which the Lord has given to judge uprightly all offenses of the people or to take any offense beyond their ability to the place of the Lord were the matter will be decided by a Levite or judge appointed there to be executed explicitly by the local judge in order to purge all evil from the land so that the Lord may bless the land  Israel is to appoint judges for herself in each town which the Lord has given to her who will judge the people with righteous judgment and not be corrupted with any favoritism for the Lord to bless in the land.


Chapter 17

Appointing of Judges:


v. 1-7:  If one does anything to turn the peoples' hearts away from the Lord to the false gods in the land, they are to be tried by the judges and given the death penalty by stoning to purge the evil from the land.


 v. 8-13: If the particular case is too difficult for the local judges, it is to be brought to the place where the Lord chooses to establish His name for a Levitical priest or Judge there in office to decide the matter and to be followed explicitly under penalty of death in order to purge the evil from the land.


v. 14-20: Appointing a King: When Israel enters the land and they desire to appoint a king he is to be one of the Lord's choice from their countrymen, who is not to multiply hoses, wives or gold and silver to himself and is to copy, read and obey the Law of the Lord so that he behaves properly and is allowed to continue his line upon the throne.


v. 16-17: The king over Israel is not to do three things: multiply horses for himself or especially go back to Egypt to multiply horses since the Lord forbids going back that way, and he shall not multiply wives for himself lest they turn his heart away form the Lord, and he shall not multiply sliver and gold for himself.


v. 18-20: The king is to write for himself in the presence of the Levitical priests a copy of the Law to be read by him so that he may fear the Lord and thus obey His word resulting in a proper perspective with his countrymen, obedience and the continuation of his line on the throne.


Chapter 18

Provisions for Levitical Priests/Spiritualism Forbidden:


v. 1-2: The Levitical priests from the whole tribe of Levi shall have no portion of inheritance with Israel but shall be provided for through offerings to the Lord since He is their inheritance.


v. 3-5: The priest's due from the people was the shoulder, two cheeks, and the stomach from an offered ram or lamb, the first fruits of the grain, new wine, oil and shearing of the sheep because the Lord has chosen them to serve Him.


v. 6-8: If a Levite chose to come to the central sanctuary to serve he was entitled to the renumerations from the sacrifices there in addition to anything he received from the selling of his possessions.


v. 9-14: Prohibition against Spiritual Practices of the Nations: When Israel enters into the land, the Lord does not permit them to imitate the detestable spiritual practices of the nations: child sacrifices, divination, witchcraft, interpreting omens or sorcery, casting spells, or acting as a medium or spiritist by calling up the dead so that they will not be driven out of the land as the nations before them are being driven.


v. 15-19: Prophet Like Moses: The Lord will raise up a prophet like Moses to speak as a mediator between the people and the Lord, as the people requested of Moses, bringing judgment from the Lord upon all of those who do not listen to him.


v. 20-22: Test of a Prophet: Any "prophet" who speaks for another god or who says that he speaks for the Lord but is proven to be false since his words do not come true is to be killed by the people.


Chapter 19

Cities of Refuge:


Israel is to prepare at least three and up to six cities of refuge (under God's blessing) so that the nation might protect the unintentional manslayer from an angry avenger but not to protect the premeditated manslayer who must be brought before his avenger so that the Lord will continue to bless the land.


v. 1-7:  Israel is to prepare three cities of refuge as well as roads to the cities in the midst of the land where the unintentional manslayer may flee from an angry pursuer.


v. 8-10:  If the Lord blesses Israel with more land promised to the fathers in Israel's obedience, they are to establish thee more cities to protect the nation from the shedding of innocent blood.


v. 11-13:  If someone commits premeditated manslaughter he is not to be protected by the cities of refuge but to be handed over to his avenger so as to purge the nation from innocent blood and so that God might bless them.


v. 14:  Moving Neighbor's Boundary: Israel is not to move his neighbor's boundary mark from where the ancestors placed it to mark off the inheritance of the Lord (19:14).


v. 15: A matter against a man is never confirmed on the witness of only one person but on the evidence of two or three witnesses.


v. 16-21: If it is determined in a hearing before a priest, a judge and the Lord that a man is a malicious witness, then he is to receive the judgment he had intended for his brother thereby purging the evil from the people and providing a deterrent for others who might do such a thing.


Chapter 20

Laws of Warfare, YHWH as Proctor:


When Israel comes to battle against powerful enemies they are to realize that it is the Lord who is fighting for them, send home those who have unfinished beginnings in the land and to either wage a measured attack on distant cities or an unmeasured destruction on those peoples near to them.


v. 1: When Israel comes to battle against their powerful enemies they are not to be afraid because the Lord who brought them up from Egypt is with them.


v. 2-4: When Israel approaches their enemies to fight the priest is to come before the people and encourage them to not be afraid or panic because the Lord is with them to fight for them against their enemies.


v. 5-9: When Israel is approaching their enemies the officers are to come before the people and dismiss from battle the man who has built but not dedicated his house, the man who planted a vineyard but has not begun to use its fruit, the man how is engaged but has not married, and the man who is afraid and fainthearted so that he will not discourage others before they appoint commanders of the armies.


v. 10-16: When Israel comes to a city that is far from them they are to offer peace and place the people into forced labor if they accept, but if they refuse, God will give it into their hands and they are to strike all of the men down and take the women, children and the spoil as booty as from the Lord.


v. 17-20: When Israel comes to a city of the people near to them (the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites) they are to utterly destroy it (except for its fruit trees) in order that the people will not lead them astray to detestable spiritual practices leading to sin against the Lord.