We will begin this lesson in Deuteronomy 31:1 "And Moses went and
spake these words unto all Israel."

     It really is not important where this message was spoken. It is
just important, that Moses spoke it to all the people.

     Deuteronomy 31:2 "And he said unto them, I [am] an hundred and
twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also the
LORD hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan."

     Moses was 40 years old, when he fled Egypt the first time. He was
80 years old, when the wilderness journey began, and now, after the
wilderness wanderings, he is 120 years old. He has lived a very full
life. It is time for him to go to heaven and receive his reward. In
his own sight, Moses is too old to lead them anymore. The LORD had
told him he would not go over into the promised land, because of his
disobedience, when he struck the Rock the second time to get water.
The people had angered Moses so much, that he struck the Rock, instead
of speaking to it. The Rock symbolized the Lord Jesus.  Moses would
see the promised land from the top of the mountain, and then, be
buried in the mountain.

     Deuteronomy 31:3 "The LORD thy God, he will go over before thee,
[and] he will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt
possess them: [and] Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the LORD
hath said."

     Moses is reminding them, again, that God had anointed Joshua to
lead them into the promised land. The LORD will be with them, and go
before them. They have nothing to fear. God will destroy the strong
nations that lie before them in the way. They shall go in, and possess
the land of promise.

     Deuteronomy 31:4 "And the LORD shall do unto them as he did to
Sihon and to Og, kings of the Amorites, and unto the land of them,
whom he destroyed."

     This is God's battle. He will destroy the nations occupying the
land, and give the land to Israel. He had already shown them an
example of what He would do, when He destroyed Og.

     Deuteronomy 31:5 "And the LORD shall give them up before your
face, that ye may do unto them according unto all the commandments
which I have commanded you."

     In the earlier chapters, Moses went into great detail about what
they were to do with the people before them. They must just carry out
those commands now. The LORD will do the same thing with Joshua as
leader, that He would have done with Moses as leader.

     Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor
be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he [it is] that doth go with
thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."

     They should realize by now, that it is not their strong arm that
has gotten them this far. The strength they have is in their God. He
will continue to be with them, and they have nothing to fear. He will
not forsake them.

     Deuteronomy 31:7  "And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto
him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for
thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn
unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit

     Moses is reminding Joshua, that it will be his responsibility to
bring the people into the promised land. It takes a person of very
strong character to lead these people. He must not shrink back, but
must be brave enough to lead them in. He must never weaken, or doubt.

     Deuteronomy 31:8 "And the LORD, he [it is] that doth go before
thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake
thee: fear not, neither be dismayed."

     Joshua was one of the two spies, who thought they should have
taken the promised land before. He and Caleb were the only two, of the
twelve spies who had searched the promised land, who thought they
could take it. He will not fail, because he places his trust in God,
and not his own strength. God will be with them, Joshua will not fail.

     Deuteronomy 31:9  "And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it
unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant
of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel."

     Moses wrote the law down, and sent it to the priests and elders
for safe keeping.

     Deuteronomy 31:10 "And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end
of [every] seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in
the feast of tabernacles," Deuteronomy 31:11 "When all Israel is come
to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose,
thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing."

     They are to read the law aloud to the people every seven years to
remind them. This is to be done at the Feast of Tabernacles. The
seventh year was when they freed their Hebrew brothers.  This reading
of the law was a reminder to them of the importance of keeping the law
of God. The priests and elders were to keep the law safe, until time
to read it. They were, also, to see that the people kept the law
between the seven years. This was not just the ten commandments, but
the law that covered secular life, as well as religious life.

     Deuteronomy 31:12 "Gather the people together, men, and women,
and children, and thy stranger that [is] within thy gates, that they
may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and
observe to do all the words of this law:"
     Not even strangers, or small children, were to be unaware of the
law. Everyone, women, children, and the men were all to hear the law.
It was the obligation of each person to know and keep the law.

     Deuteronomy 31:13 "And [that] their children, which have not
known [any thing], may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as
long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it."

     The children would soon grow up, so they needed to hear the law,
so they would live by it, too. The law, spoken of here, is the law in
its entirety. Perhaps, it was the one from Leviticus with the
additions here. Some believe they read the entire Pentateuch at that
time. It was just every seven years, so that is possible. The reason
for it was to remind them of their obligations toward God and man.

     Deuteronomy 31:14  "And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thy
days approach that thou must die: call Joshua, and present yourselves
in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge.
And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tabernacle
of the congregation."

     After Moses had spoken to the people of the law, and then, gave
the law for safe keeping to the elders and priests, it was time to
meet and turn his anointing over to Joshua. God told Moses to come to
the tabernacle with Joshua. God will charge Joshua with the caring for
the people. The burden of these people will be removed from Moses.
They went to the tabernacle, as God had commanded them.

     Deuteronomy 31:15 "And the LORD appeared in the tabernacle in a
pillar of a cloud: and the pillar of the cloud stood over the door of
the tabernacle."

     This is the same pillar of cloud that had travelled across the
wilderness with them. God did not show himself in the body of a man.
He always was hidden by the smoke that surrounded Him.

     Deuteronomy 31:16  "And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou
shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a
whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go
[to be] among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I
have made with them."

     The act of death is many times spoken of as sleep. This just
means that Moses' days upon the earth are at an end. These people have
been rebellious from the beginning. They will soon forget God's
warning, and will begin to worship false gods {go a whoring after the
gods of the strangers}. The worship of false gods is spiritual

     Deuteronomy 31:17 "Then my anger shall be kindled against them in
that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them,
and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall
them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon
us, because our God [is] not among us?"
     Just as God had said, He will not stay with those who worship
false gods. God leaves them, when they worship false gods, and their
enemies devour them. God leaves them to this terrible fate, so they
will repent, and turn back to Him.

     Deuteronomy 31:18 "And I will surely hide my face in that day for
all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned
unto other gods."

     God will not immediately turn to them, and answer their cries.
They have committed a very serious sin, and God has hidden His face
from them. They will have to repent, and have a complete change of
heart, before God will listen to their prayer.

     Deuteronomy 31:19 "Now therefore write ye this song for you, and
teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this
song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel."

     Moses and Joshua together write this song, that is in the next
chapter. It is to remind them of their sins, and the only way to get
help. Moses had tried to keep the people true to God for 40 years, now
it will be the job of Joshua.

     Deuteronomy 31:20 "For when I shall have brought them into the
land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and
honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat;
then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me,
and break my covenant."

     This falling away from the One True God happens, after they are
in the promised land, and have been blessed of God to overflowing.
Their prosperity is a downfall to them. When they have time on their
hands that they do not need to make a living, then they go running
after false gods. God does not break covenant with Israel. They break
covenant with Him with the false gods. God had warned them what would
happen, if they did this, and they did it anyway.

     Deuteronomy 31:21 "And it shall come to pass, when many evils and
troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them
as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their
seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now,
before I have brought them into the land which I sware."

     God is speaking all of this, as if it had already happened,
because he knows their evil hearts. He knows they are rebellious. This
song will testify to them, after they have sinned. God knows exactly
what they will do, when they get into the land. He sees into the

     Deuteronomy 31:22  "Moses therefore wrote this song the same day,
and taught it the children of Israel."

     It appears, that Moses composed the song, and Joshua wrote it
down. Israel was to memorize this song, as a reminder to them.
     Deuteronomy 31:23 "And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge,
and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the
children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will
be with thee."

     This charge is in the form of encouragement. God had sworn to
give this land to Abraham's descendents.

     Deuteronomy 31:24  "And it came to pass, when Moses had made an
end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were
finished," Deuteronomy 31:25 "That Moses commanded the Levites, which
bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying,"  Deuteronomy 31:26
"Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the
covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness
against thee."

     It appears, that Moses gave these writings to the Levites who
were in charge of the ark. They were not to put it inside the ark, but
at the side of the ark. It would be moved, when the ark was moved. It
was to be kept in safe keeping to remind them. There was no safer
place for it, than near the ark.

     Deuteronomy 31:27 "For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck:
behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been
rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death?"

     This is Moses speaking, and he does know them well after leading
them for 40 years. Moses had kept their rebellion at a minimum, while
he was alive. After his death, they will rebel worse.

     Deuteronomy 31:28  "Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes,
and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and
call heaven and earth to record against them."

     It was the business of the officers to teach those under them the
song Moses has given them. Moses will speak the last minute
instructions aloud to the leaders, and they will be without excuse.
They cannot say, they did not know.

     Deuteronomy 31:29 "For I know that after my death ye will utterly
corrupt [yourselves], and turn aside from the way which I have
commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye
will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through
the work of your hands." Deuteronomy 31:30 And Moses spake in the ears
of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they
were ended.

     "The work of their hands" is speaking of idols. Moses knows they
will rebel, because they have been rebelling all the way from Egypt.
The latter days could be speaking of the time of Christ. You could
pick out most any age, and find it has not gone well with the Hebrew
people. The reason being, they have not remained faithful to God. The
song is to remind them of their failure toward God.

                        Deuteronomy 34 Questions

1.  Who did Moses speak to in verse 1?
2.  How old was Moses, when he spoke these words?
3.  He had gotten __________.
4.  How old was Moses, when he fled Egypt the first time?
5.  How old was Moses, when the wilderness journey began?
6.  Why would he not go into the promised land?
7.  Who did the Rock symbolize?
8.  Who will go before them into the promised land?
9.  Whose battle is this?
10. What instructions were given to them in verse 6?
11. What was Joshua to cause these Israelites to do?
12. What kind of person will it take to lead them into the promised
13. Who, besides Joshua, had thought they could take the land the
    first time they spied it out?
14. How many of the spies did not believe they could take it?
15. Who did Moses deliver the law to?
16. When were they to read it aloud to the people?
17. Why were they to read the law aloud?
18. Who kept it safe between the times they read it?
19. Who was brought together to hear the law?
20. Why was it important for the children to hear it?
21. Who did the LORD tell Moses to meet with Him?
22. Where did they meet?
23. What was the appearance of God as?
24. When Moses dies, what will the people do?
25. What will God do, when they go a whoring after false gods?
26. What does God tell Moses to write?
27. What is this for?
28. When will they fall away from God?
29. Why is God speaking, as if this has already happened?
30. Where were the Levites to keep the law?
31. The work of their hands is speaking of ______.