Book of Deuteronomy

Greek: deuteros, second; nomos, law

The fifth Book of the. Bible. The name is a misnomer, since the book does not contain any new laws, but is a partial repetition of the foregoing legislation, with an urgent exhortation to be faithful to it. It is made up principally of three discourses, the contents of which are as follows

  • The first discourse, comprising chapters 1-4, is a review of the events which followed the promulgation of the Law (1-3), and an exhortation to keep it (4).
  • The second discourse forms the bulk of the book (5-26) and rehearses the whole Covenant in two parts:
    • (a) a general discourse concerning the duties of the Hebrews towards God (5-11);
    • (b) a special discourse in which fundamental points of the Law are rehearsed, concerning duties towards God, God’s representatives, and the neighbor (12-26).
  • The third discourse (27-30) contains new exhortations to keep the Law; chapters 27 and 28 (renewal of the alliance, blessings, and curses) are extremely dramatic.
  • The concluding chapters (31-34) constitute an historical appendix: Moses designates Josue as his successor, recites his magnificent prophetic canticle (32), blesses the twelve tribes, views the Promised Land from the top of Mount Nebo, and dies.