Survival Tip of the Day: If you just read Deuteronomy 17, 18 & 26, you’ll be able to answer the questions fairly quickly.
End Notes: My end notes will only cover the passages we are asked questions about. It is too much to do them all in one week.
Summary of passages: Deuteronomy 17: A person should be stoned if they are found guilty by two or more witnesses of doing evil in violation of His covenant or bowing down to other gods. Have your cases judges in difficult circumstances and abide by the judge’s rulings. If you want to appoint a king over you, it must a king of the Lord’s choosing and a native. He must not be greedy and go back to Egypt for horses nor accumulate great wealth. He must not take many wives. He is to copy the law and read it always.
Deuteronomy 18: Review of the offerings the people are to give the Levites. If a Levite moves towns, he is to minister in the new town and receive a share of the offerings. God warns against detestable practices, which would turn that person to detestable if they practiced it (child sacrifice, divination, etc). God says He will send another prophet to speak for Him (Jesus). A false prophet who says things that doesn’t come true must be put to death.
Deuteronomy 19: Review of cities of refuge (Numbers 35). Need more than one witness to convict a man of a crime. False witnesses are to be killed. Exodus 21:24 is repeated “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”
Deuteronomy 20: Do not be afraid in war for God will be with you. The priest shall offer up a pep talk. The officers will allow soldiers with new homes, a fiancee, new vineyards, or just plain scared a chance to go home if they choose (very unconventional for that time). Before battle, the Israelites are to offer the people peace. If they accept, they all will become slaves. If they don’t, lay siege to the city, kill all the men and the rest is plunder. However, the cities that are your inheritance, you are to kill everyone and anything that breathes. This is so all the detestable things will not infect you. Do not cut down any fruit-bearing trees for use in battle; only use non-fruit-bearing trees.
Deuteronomy 21: If a man is found murdered and the criminal is unknown, the priests must make atonement for the shedding of blood with a heifer that has never been worked. The Israelites may take a captive woman as a wife after a month of mourning and she may leave if you are not pleased with her. The firstborn son receives the inheritance despite which wife bore him. A rebellious son is to be stoned to death. Don’t desecrate the land God is giving you by leaving a hung man hanging from a tree.
Deuteronomy 22: Various laws described here including returning your neighbor’s stray animals, not wearing the other sex’s clothing, not capturing a mother bird, building a parapet for your house, etc. A man may not slander the name of his wife because he is displeased with her. However, if the wife did have premarital sex, she must be stoned. If you commit adultery, both the man and woman must die. Rape is punishable by death. A man must marry a girl he rapes if they are both unbetrothed. A man must never marry his father’s wife.
Deuteronomy 23: No one emasculated may enter the assembly. No one born out of wedlock may enter. No Amorite nor Moabite nor descendants for 10 generations may enter as punishment for Balaam. Keep the camp clean by disposing of waste products in the ground. Avoid anything impure. A list of miscellaneous laws including give refuge to a runaway slave, don’t become a shrine prostitute, don’t charge a brother interest, keep your vows, and eat of your neighbor’s vineyard and grain but do not take any with you.
Deuteronomy 24: A continuation of miscellaneous laws from Deut 23. Do not re-marry a spouse. Do not take away a man’s livelihood to pay a debt. Don’t kinda an Israelite or you will be put to death. Follow the priests in the case of dealing with leprous diseases. Do not take advantage of employees, orphans, foreigners, or widows. Leave sheaves of grain, olives, and grapes behind for the poor to reap.
Deuteronomy 25: More miscellaneous laws: Take disputes to courts before a judge to decide. A man should marry his brother’s wife if he die without an heir. Cut off the hand of a woman who touches a man’s private parts. Use accurate measures and weights.
Deuteronomy 26: Review of first fruits from Numbers 18:12 but this was a special one right after the people celebrated their harvest after entering the Promised Land. (Leviticus 23) and tithes (Deuteronomy 14; Leviticus 27). Moses tells the people one of the first things they must do when they enter the Promised Land is make an offering to the Lord of their firstfruits in thanks for what the Lord has done for them. Set aside the tenth for the Levite, widows, orphans, and foreigners in the third year. Walk in the Lord’s ways as His treasured possession.
11a) The king must be one God chooses and a native. He must not acquire a great number of horses nor return to Egypt to get more. He must not take many wives nor accumulate vast wealth. He is to write a copy of these laws on a scroll and carry with it and read it daily so he can follow the Lord’s decrees all of his days.
12a) Part personal question. My answer: Sacrificing sons and daughters in a fire, practice of divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, casts spells, is a medium or a spiritist, or someone who consults the dead. No.
b) Jesus. (Also see Acts 7:37)
c) If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken.
13a) As a giving back to the Lord what He has given them. As a goodwill offering for God’s promise of bringing them to the land of milk and honey. As a celebration of God.
b) Joyful (verse 11).
c) Personal Question. My answer: Work harder. Sleep even less. Remove my complacency and lack of motivation that has set in the last few weeks.
Conclusions: Raise your hand if you knew the answer to 12b was Jesus without having to look it up? Great nuggets in here that we just don’t have time to study (I highlighted some below: care for animals and trees and the poor). Loved Deuteronomy 24:5 “For one year he (newlywed husband) is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.” God so loves marriage and knows a strong bond is needed to endure. Isn’t this awesome?
End Notes: Deuteronomy 17: Reflecting Exodus 21-23, the first part is directed towards judges.
By requiring the witnesses to be the first to cast the first stone, this ensured they were absolutely sure of what they saw and were testifying about. John 8:7 refers to this.
Here we see the Biblical validation of appellate court system and contempt of court.
God knew 400 years into the future Israel would demand a king. 1 Samuel 8:6-9 records the moment. It appears to be that God did not want an earthly king for He alone is king. Furthermore, I’m sure “as all the other nations have” didn’t please God either since they were supposed to remain apart. We see the difference immediately in following God’s word: Saul versus David. Which one was chosen by God and which wasn’t? Maybe a king would do better since the Israelites history is not all that good.
Solomon broke all of God’s commands despite His closeness with God. He wanted power, pleasure, and money–the sins that trip most of us up.
No better advice in the Bible is found here. Carrying the word around with you, reading it and studying it daily, revering the Lord, staying humble, and knowing right from wrong. There is no better way to keep one from sinning than reading and praying and studying God’s word.
Fun Fact: Martin Luther once said he’d rather live in hell with the Bible than in Paradise without one.
Fun Fact: The name “Deuteronomy” comes from this chapter and it’s a result of mistranslation. “A copy of this law” used to read “this second law”.
Deuteronomy 18: Witchcraft is a broad term here that could mean any thing dealing in the occult. It is the same word used in Ezekiel 21:21. Witchcraft is the work of Satan. Period. This includes so called “benevolent” witchcraft such as Wicca.
Astrology is forbidden as well since it encourages people to trust in things of creation (stars, moon, etc) instead of the Creator.
Those who “interpret omens” are the psychics. The word omen means “to hiss” or “to whisper”.
A sorcerer is one who uses drugs to gain knowledge, which alters the mind. Modern-day drug use is classified as this as well. Same word seen in Micah 5:12.
A medium stands between our world and the spirit world and claims to channel both.
All are powers of the darkness and God does not look upon these sins lightly. This is one of the reasons the Canaanites were judged so harshly by God. Other cultures sinned, but not all of them engaged in the powers of darkness.
If God tells us something, that doesn’t mean we are commanded to speak it. Prophets knowledge will come true if it is from God.
Deuteronomy 20: A great example of God’s care for all of His creations–the trees! He ordered His people to leave the fruit-bearers alone. God is practical.
Deuteronomy 22: This is the most interesting thing to me in these chapters: Leave the mother bird alone! Can you imagine out of all the animals in the world God chose this? God’s love for all His creations shines through here. Even more reason we should all be animal lovers.
Deuteronomy 24: Gleaning is still practiced today even in America. Religious organizations contract with farmers to harvest what is left after the harvest in order to feed the poor.
Deuteronomy 26: Even though Egypt was a pagan society God chose it to grow the Israelites into a nation. Why? The Egyptians were racists and looked down upon the Israelites so much that they would not intermarry with them. They could be completely isolated per se; yet still in a protected place to grow.
The firstfruits offering was a way to worship the Lord as are our tithes.
Follow God with your HEART. That is the message of Deuteronomy.
DEUTERONOMY WRAP-UP: In Deuteronomy 4-26 Moses has reminded Israel of God’s commands. He has warned of disobedience and encouraged in obedience. He has done everything in his power to prepare the people before he leaves them. He has instructed, reminded, and encouraged. The rest is up to them and God.
Although Deuteronomy repeats large portions of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, Deuteronomy focuses on why people should obey the aforementioned laws: because God loves them. God asks for obedience in return. 15 times Deuteronomy says to love God. Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:5 as the greatest commandment to Love God. Important, wouldn’t you think?
Moses emphasizes the laws are for our good. There would be no excuse from man about what was required of him. Obeying the rules would be a whole other matter.
Christians often wonder why bad things happen to them when God promises so many good things. Christians often get the Old Testament mixed up with the New Testament and forget that once Jesus came he changed everything.
The Old Testament covenant was only with the ancient Israelites. It was nulled when Jesus came. God promised prosperity beyond their dreams, protection, and even free from disease IF the people obeyed. God said, “Do good; get blessed. Do evil; get punished.” Well, we all know they didn’t obey; hence, they never received the fulfillment of God’s promises.
We cannot apply Old Testament promises that were not made to us–to us! Jesus promised certain rewards for Christians, most of which are not of this world. He spoke of poverty, rejection, and persecution. Our reward is eternal life in heaven. Could we ask for anything more worthy?
Time Fact to Complete This Lesson: 3 days and 5 hours.
Total Time and Days to Complete This Lesson: 7 days and 18 hours! I’m wore out!