The Fifth book of Moshe or Torah is called Deuteronomy. It was almost time for the children of Ysrayl to cross the Yordan River and conquer Canaan but Yah refused to let Moshe lead them into the land because of his error at Kadesh. Moshe is told that he will die on the eastern side of the Yordan. So Moshe gave several farewell speeches to the children of Ysrayl in which he repeated Yah’s laws. Because Moshe was giving these laws to Ysrayl for a second time, the book is now called Deuteronomy which comes from the Greek phrase Deuteronomion meaning second law or repetition of law. But in English it means book of remembrance. The Hebrew title of the book is YL Haddebarim which means these words are Yl’s words or these words are the Power’s words but the book title has also been shortened to Debarim which means words.
Moshe reminded the Israylites about the past forty years. Yah rescued them from Egypt and took care of them in the desert but they had not always been faithful and obedient to Him. Moshe reminds the new generation of the children of Ysrayl of the importance of obedience if they are to learn from the sad example of their parents. He tells them to choose life or death.
Moshe told the children of Ysrayl that if they kept their agreement to worship and obey Yah, they would be a successful, powerful, a blessed nation. But if they broke their agreement and worshipped idols, Yah promised to put terrible curses on the people. They would be defeated by their enemies and lose their land and their lives. Moshe gives them a detailed list of the blessings and curses in Deuteronomy 28.
In Matthew 22:37, Yahoshua quoted Deuteronomy 6:4-5 saying, Listen, Ysrayl! Yah our “ListFather is the only true Power! So love the Almighty your Power with all your heart, soul and mind”.
Chapter 1: The First Speech Where Moshe Reviews the Past: The Previous Command to Enter Canaan
1 These are the words which Moshe spoke to all Ysrayl on this side of the Yordan River in the wilderness, in the plain (Hebrew arabah) opposite Surph (Red Sea) between Paran, Tophyl, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab. 2 It is eleven day’s journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh Barnea. 3 Now it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month that Moshe spoke to the children of Ysrayl according to all that Yah had given him as commandments to them. 4 After he had killed Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon and Og king of Bashan, who dwelt at Ashtaroth in Edrei (compare Yahoshua 12:4). 5 On this side of the Yordan in the land of Moab, Moshe began to explain this law saying: 6 “Yah our Almighty spoke to us in Horeb saying: You have dwelt long enough at this mountain. 7 Turn and take your journey and go to the mountains of the Amorites and in the lowland, in the south and on the seacoast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. 8 See, I have set the land before you. Go in and possess the land which Yah swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Yitshaq and Yahqob, to give to them and their descendants after them”.
Tribal Leaders Appointed
9 “And I spoke to you at that time saying: “I alone am not able to bear you. 10 Yah your Almighty has multiplied you and here you are today as the stars of heaven in multitude. 11 May Almighty Yah of your fathers make you a thousand times more numerous than you are and bless you as He has promised you! 12 How can I alone bear your problems and your burdens and your complaints? 13 Choose wise, understanding and knowledgeable men from among your tribes and I will make them heads over you. 14 And you answered me and said, This thing which you have told us to do is good. 15 So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and knowledgeable men and made them heads over you, leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, leaders of tens and officers of your tribes. 16 Then I commanded your judges at that time saying, Hear the cases between your brethren and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the stranger who with him. (Compare to John 7:24). 17 You shall not show partiality in judgment. You shall hear the small as well as the great. You shall not be afraid in any man’s presence, for the judgment is Yah’s. The case that is too hard for you, bring to me and I will hear it. 18 And I commanded you at that time all the things which you should do”.
Twelve Spies Sent out
19 “So we departed from Horeb and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw on the way to the mountains of the Amorites, as Yah our Father had commanded us. Then we came to Kadesh Barnea. 20 And I said to you, You have come to the mountains of the Amorites which Yah our Almighty is giving us. 21 Look, Yah your Almighty has set the land before you. Go up and possess it as Yah Power of your fathers has spoken to you. Do not fear or be discouraged. 22 And every one of you came near to me and said, Let us send men before us and let them search out the land for us and bring back word to us of the way by which we should go up and of the cities into which we shall come. 23 The plan pleased me well. So I took twelve of your men, one man from each tribe. 24 And they departed and went up into the mountains and came to the Valley of Eshcol and spied it out. 25 They also took some of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us and they brought back word to us saying, It is good land which Yah our Almighty is giving us”.
Ysrayl’s Refusal to Enter the Land
26 Nevertheless, you would not go up but rebelled against the command of the Almighty your Power. 27 And you complained in your tents and said, “Because Yah hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. 28 Where can we go up? Our brothers have discouraged our hearts saying, The people are greater and taller than we, the cities are great and fortified up to heaven. Moreover, we have seen the sons of the Anakim there”. 29 Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified or afraid of them. 30 Yah your Almighty who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes. 31 And in the wilderness where you saw how Yah your Almighty carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place. 32 Yet, for all that, you did not believe Yah your Almighty–33 Who went in the way before you to search out a place for you to pitch your tents, to show you the way you should go, in the fire by night and in the cloud by day”.
The Penalty for Ysrayl’s Rebellion
34 And Yah heard the sound of your words and was angry and took an oath saying: 35 “Surely not one of these men of this evil congregation shall see that good land of which I swore to give to your fathers– 36 Except Caleb the Ben of Yephunneh. He shall see it and to him and his children I am giving the land on which he walked because he wholly followed the Almighty. 37 Yah was also angry with me for your sakes saying, Even you shall not go in there. 38 Yahoshua Ben Nun who stands before you, he shall go in there. Encourage him, for he shall cause Ysrayl to inherit it. 30 Moreover, your little ones and your children, who you say will be victims, who today have no knowledge of good and evil, they shall go in there. To them I will give it and they shall possess it. 40 But as for you, turn and take your journey into the wilderness by the Way of the Red Sea”.
41 Then you answered and said to me, “We have sinned against Yah. We will go up and fight just as Yah our Almighty commanded us”. And when every one of you had girded on his weapons of war, you were ready to go up into the mountain. 42 And Yah said to me, “Tell them, Do not go up nor fight, for I am not among you lest you be defeated before your enemies. 43 So I spoke to you, yet you would not listen, but rebelled against the command of Yah and presumptuously went up into the mountain. 44 And the Amorites who dwelt in that mountain came out against you and chased you as bees do and drove you back from Seir to Hormah. 45 Then you returned and wept before Yah but Yah would not listen to your voice nor give ear to you. 46 So you remained in Kadesh many days according to the days that you spent there”.
Chapter 2: The Desert Years
1 “Then we turned and journeyed into the wilderness of the Way of the Red Sea as Yah spoke to me and we skirted Mount Seir for many days. 2 And Yah spoke to me saying: 3 “You have skirted this mountain long enough. Turn northward. 4 And command the people saying, You are about to pass through the territory of your brethren, the descendants of Esau who live in Seir and they will afraid of you. Therefore, watch yourselves carefully. 5 Do not meddle with them, for I will not give you any of their land, no, not so much as one footstep because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession. 6 You shall buy food from them with money, that you may eat and you shall also buy water from them with money, that you may drink. 7 For Yah your Almighty has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years, Yah your Almighty has been with you. You have lacked nothing.
8 And when we passed beyond our brothers, the descendants of Esau who dwell in Seir away from the road of the plain, away from Elath and Ezion Geber, we turned and passed by way of the Wilderness of Moab. 9 Then Yah said to me, Do not harass Moab nor contend with them in battle for I will not give you any of their land as a possession because I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot as a possession. 10 (The Emim had dwelt there in times past, a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim).11 They were also regarded as giants (Hebrew rephaim) like the Anakim but the Moabites call them Emim. 12 The Horites formerly dwelt in Seir but the descendants of Esau dispossessed them and destroyed them from before them and dwelt in their place, just as Ysrayl did to the land of their possession which Yah gave them). 13 Now rise and cross over the Valley of the Zered. So we crossed over the Valley of the Zered. 14 And the time we took to come from Kadesh Barnea until we crossed over the Valley of the Zered was thirty-eight years, until all the generation of the men of war was consumed from the midst of the camp, just as Yah had sworn to them. 15 For indeed, the hand of Yah was against them to destroy them from the midst of the camp until they were consumed”.
16 “So it was, when all the men of war had finally perished from among the people–17 That Yah spoke to me saying: 18 This day you are to cross over at Ar, the boundary of Moab. 19 And when you come near the people of Ammon, do not harass them or meddle with them, for I will not give you any of the land of the people of Ammon as a possession because I have given it to the descendants of Lot as a possession. 20 (That was also regarded as a land of giants (Hebrew rephaim), giants formerly dwelt there. But the Ammorites call them Zamzummim–21 A people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim. But Yah destroyed them before them and they dispossessed them and dwelt in their place. 22 Just as He had done for the descendants of Esau who dwelt in Seir when He destroyed the Horites from before them. They dispossessed them and dwelt in their place, even to this day. 23 And the Avim who dwelt in villages as far as Gaza– the Caphtorim, who came from Caphtor destroyed them and dwelt in their place”.
24 “Rise, take your journey and cross over the River Arnon. Look, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon and his land. Begin to possess it and engage him in battle. 25 This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the nations under the whole heaven who shall hear the report of you and shall tremble and be in anguish because of you”.
King Sihon Defeated
26 And I sent messengers from the Wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon, with words of peace saying: 27 “Let me pass through your land. I will keep strictly to the road and I will turn neither to the right nor to the left. 28 You shall sell me food for money that I may eat and give me water for money that I may drink. Only let me pass through on foot. 29 Just as the descendants of Esau who dwell in Seir and the Moabites who dwell in Ar did for me, until I cross the Yordan to the land which Yah our Almighty is giving us. 30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass through, for Yah your Almighty hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, that He might deliver him into your hand, as it is this day. 31 And Yah said to me: See, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to possess it that you may inherit his land. 32 Then Sihon and all his people came out against us to fight at Yahaz. 33 And Yah our Almighty delivered him over to us. So we defeated him, his sons and all his people. 34 We took all his cities at that time and we utterly destroyed the men, women and little ones of every city. We left none remaining. 35 We took only the livestock as plunder for ourselves with the spoil of the cities which we took. 36 From Aroer which is on the bank of the River Arnon and from the city that is in the ravine, as far as Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us. Yah our Almighty delivered all to us. 37 Only you did not go near the land of the people of Ammon–anywhere along the River Yabbok or to the cities of the mountains or wherever Yah our Almighty had forbidden us.