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Deut, Dt

The Book of Deuteronomy

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The Book of Deuteronomy summary

Purpose of The Book of Deuteronomy:
To guide the nation in covenant renewal under Joshua. To offer God’s people a programmatic document that lovingly outlines the contours of God’s relationship with his people.

Major Characters of The Book of Deuteronomy:
God, Moses, Israelites, and Joshua.

Summary of The Book of Deuteronomy:
The book of Deuteronomy is a powerful document that outlines God’s great love for his people and the direction by which one can fully enjoy that love. Written in similar fashion to ancient Near Eastern treaties, the book speaks tenderly yet firmly to an audience asking the question "How do I develop and maintain a meaningful relationship with God?" Deuteronomy draws the reader to reflect upon God’s gracious acts in history and compels the reader to gratitude. The author’s main purpose in this book is to draw out the central message of the Sinai narratives.

This gratitude enables the individual to face life with the power of God. It contains instructions to leaders (prophets, priests and kings). It explains the "heart" behind the law and our obligation to defend the poor, the misfortunate, and the disenfranchised. It reveals God’s great desire to bless his people and his willingness to discipline his people for their ultimate benefit. The book concludes with the meaning and procedure of the succession of leadership, namely from Moses to Joshua.

Author and Dates of The Book of Deuteronomy:
The majority of the book of Deuteronomy was written by Moses to the Israelites as they were making plans to enter the promised land - around 1410 B.C. or 1255 B.C., depending on the exact date of the exodus from Egypt.

Outline of The Book of Deuteronomy:

  1. Introduction
    • The covenant mediator (v. 1:1-1:5)
  2. God’s Generosity
    • the covenant history (v. 1:6-4:49)
  3. God’s Expectations
    • The covenant life (ch. 5-26)
    • The 10 commandments (ch. 5)
  4. Rewards and Punishments
    • the covenant ratification (ch. 27-30)
  5. Succession of Leadership
    • Dynasty and covenant continuity (ch. 31-34)

Themes of The Book of Deuteronomy:

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