DEUTERONOMY LESSON 1
The book of Deuteronomy was the fifth book penned by Moses. It
is the fifth book of the Pentateuch. Deuteronomy is taken from 2 Greek
words. Deuterous means second. Nomos means law. This is a stating of
the law the second time. It is not exactly like the law stated in
Leviticus, but is giving a practical use of the law, now that they are
entering the promised land. In the last book, we saw the older
generation of the Israelites die in the wilderness. This takes place
at the end of the 40 years of wandering. Moses will expound the law to
the new generation. Obedience to the LORD and His law is stressed.
They must remember the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. They must,
also, remember the mistakes their parents made, and not make them
again. This is actually a book on the blessings they will receive, if
they obey the LORD, or the curses that will be theirs, if they do not
obey the LORD.
Deuteronomy 1:1 These [be] the words which Moses spake unto all
Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over
against the Red [sea], between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and
Hazeroth, and Dizahab.
This is giving the location of this near three million people,
who are poised to go into the promised land. This is one of the last
things that Moses does. He wants this generation to fully understand
the law of God. This says, he gave the message to all the people, not
just the elders. These laws are for all the people. This is before
they cross over Jordan to the promised land. They were between the Red
Sea and the place where they will cross over Jordan. We dealt with all
of these places in our book on Numbers.
Deuteronomy 1:2 "( [There are] eleven days' [journey] from Horeb
by the way of mount Seir unto Kadesh-barnea.)"
The journey to the promised land was just a very short journey.
Their unfaithfulness caused the 40 year delay. Kadesh-barnea was the
place where they would camp, just before entering the promised land.
The distance between Horeb and Kadesh-barnea should have taken 11
days. It is actually about 165 miles.
Deuteronomy 1:3 "And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the
eleventh month, on the first [day] of the month, [that] Moses spake
unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had
given him in commandment unto them;"
Forty years have passed. Their wandering is over. The eleventh
month is very similar to our February. The message coming from Moses'
mouth for these people is actually the message of the LORD.
Deuteronomy 1:4 "After he had slain Sihon the king of the
Amorites, which dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, which
dwelt at Astaroth in Edrei:"
Moses knew before the battle with the Amorites, that he would not
enter the promised land. The latter chapters of the book of Numbers
tell of this little matter of these evil kings being dealt with before
Moses died. Og and Sihon had planned to stop the Israelites from
entering the promised land. Israel, commanded of God, destroyed them
both. Asteroth and Edrei were places where the evil kings resided.
Deuteronomy 1:5 "On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began
Moses to declare this law, saying,"
Moses will not cross over Jordan, so the law was to be given to
the people by him, before they entered the promised land. They are in
the plains of Moab, when Moses gives them the law. They are near
Deuteronomy 1:6 "The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying,
Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:"
The LORD is speaking of Jehovah. The LORD speaking to the people
shows that they are His people, and He is their God. The Israelites
had remained at Horeb about a year. The following is part of the
covenant God made with Israel. Exodus 19:5 "Now therefore, if ye will
obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a
peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is]
mine:" Exodus 19:6 "And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and
an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the
children of Israel." We will see in the following Scripture, that
Israel agreed to the covenant. Exodus 19:8 "And all the people
answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do.
And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD." Horeb is
the name of a range of mountains, of which Sinai is one of the
summits. This is the place they received the ten commandments from
God. Horeb was, also, the place of the Rock which gushed forth water.
It would be advantageous to read the whole 19th and 20th chapter of
Exodus on this subject.
Deuteronomy 1:7 "Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the
mount of the Amorites, and unto all [the places] nigh thereunto, in
the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the
sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the
great river, the river Euphrates."
Lebanon was the furthest point on one side, and the lands this is
speaking of are near the entrance of the land near Jericho.
Deuteronomy 1:8 "Behold, I have set the land before you: go in
and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them."
This is the same land that their fathers had spied out, and
decided they could not take. The LORD tells them to go into the land
and take it for their own. This is the land the LORD had promised
Abraham, and in turn, Isaac, and Jacob. Genesis 13:14 "And the LORD
said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now
thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and
southward, and eastward, and westward:" Genesis 13:15 "For all the
land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for
Deuteronomy 1:9 "And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am
not able to bear you myself alone:"
It appears, from this, that Moses had spoken to their fathers,
when they decided to send the spies into the land.
Deuteronomy 1:10 "The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and,
behold, ye [are] this day as the stars of heaven for multitude."
God's promise to them was fulfilled in the fact, that they were a
large number compared to the number of stars in heaven. Genesis 15:5
"And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven,
and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto
him, So shall thy seed be."
Deuteronomy 1:11 "(The LORD God of your fathers make you a
thousand times so many more as ye [are], and bless you, as he hath
Moses is explaining to them that the near three million people
they were now, is nothing to the amount they will increase to. Genesis
22:17 "That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will
multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which
[is] upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his
Deuteronomy 1:12 "How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and
your burden, and your strife?"
"Cumbrance" means burden or trouble. The troubles that came on
Moses as their leader had been tremendous. It was almost more than one
man could bear.
Deuteronomy 1:13 "Take you wise men, and understanding, and known
among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you."
These are the men that are to take on the tremendous task that
Moses had endured by himself. These men will be their leaders. Jethro
has advised Moses to do this, to help him bear the load. The people,
themselves, decide who their leaders are.
Deuteronomy 1:14 "And ye answered me, and said, The thing which
thou hast spoken [is] good [for us] to do."
This greatly pleased the people, because they had not liked many
of the decisions Moses had made.
Deuteronomy 1:15 "So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men,
and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and
captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over
tens, and officers among your tribes."
It appears, each tribe chose their own leaders. Moses approved
their choices and set them over hundreds, or thousands, as their
Deuteronomy 1:16 "And I charged your judges at that time, saying,
Hear [the causes] between your brethren, and judge righteously between
[every] man and his brother, and the stranger [that is] with him."
The judges of these people were to judge them on most matters.
The only time something was to be settled by Moses, was if it were of
great magnitude. These judges were like the lower court of our day,
and Moses was like the higher court.
Deuteronomy 1:17 "Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; [but]
ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid
of the face of man; for the judgment [is] God's: and the cause that is
too hard for you, bring [it] unto me, and I will hear it."
These judges were responsible to God for the decisions they made.
They were to judge the rich and the poor in the same manner. They were
not to respect the person, because of his wealth or position. The
major things, they could not decide, they brought to Moses. This would
take the trivial problems off Moses.
Deuteronomy 1:18 "And I commanded you at that time all the things
which ye should do."
There really was no question what they were to do. God had given
commandment covering every aspect of their lives.
Deuteronomy 1:19 "And when we departed from Horeb, we went
through all that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the
way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the LORD our God commanded us;
and we came to Kadesh-barnea."
This is speaking of that nearly 40 years of wanderings, where
there was very little grass for the animals, and very little water.
This could easily be called a desert land. God fed them miraculously,
and when they were out of water, He provided water. The terribleness
of this journey had to do with the hardships they endured. We must
remember, they would not have had these hardships had they been
obedient to God.
Deuteronomy 1:20 "And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the
mountain of the Amorites, which the LORD our God doth give unto us."
This was a welcome relief from the desert land they had endured.
Notice the statement, "The LORD our God". As long as they remember He
is their God and obey His commandments, they will be blessed of the
LORD. They get in trouble, when they do not have faith, and turn from
Deuteronomy 1 Questions
1. Who penned the book of Deuteronomy?
2. Explain the name.
3. This is stating the _________ the __________ time.
4. Why is the law being stated again?
5. What is stressed by Moses to these people?
6. What must they remember?
7. What are the conditions set forth in the covenant here?
8. Where did Moses speak this from?
9. Who was the law given to?
10. How many days journey is it from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea?
11. Why was there the 40 year delay?
12. How many miles between Horeb and Kadesh-barnea are there?
13. Verse 3 says, Moses spoke to them when?
14. Their eleventh month is similar to our ___________.
15. Who had they slain to get this far?
16. Where do we read more detail about the war with these two kings?
17. Where are they, when Moses gives the law?
18. LORD, in verse 6, is who?
19. Quote Exodus chapter 19 verses 5, 6, and 8.
20. What special things happened at Horeb, or mount Sinai?
21. What city were they near?
22. God had sworn to __________, __________, and ___________ that this
promised land would be their descendent's?
23. Quote Genesis chapter 13 verses 14 and 15.
24. How many were they for multitude?
25. The LORD God of your fathers make you a ________ times so many
more as you are.
26. Quote Genesis chapter 22 verse 17.
27. What does "cumbrance" mean?
28. Who advised Moses to get some help?
29. Who decided who the leaders were?
30. Who were made heads over the people?
31. How were they to judge?
32. The judges were like the ________ court of our day.
33. Who would decide the major things?
34. The great and terrible wilderness was actually a _________.
35. What statement, in verse 20, must we take note of?