This is the 5th and last book of the Torah. Moses gives three discourses: the first is review of their 40 year journey, the second (beginning at 4:44) deals with the foundations of the covenant with a review of the laws and commandments God has given, and the third discourse begins in Chapter 28, that one being on how to enforce the laws now that they are entering the land of promise.
At the end, Moses warns that no one should take away, or add to, any of the words written in this book. Does that mean the entire Torah, or just Deuteronomy?
If you ask me, it’s the entire Torah because the chapters and books are not very distinguishable in the Torah. The Torah is a single scroll, and the only way to tell where one book ends and another begins is that there is more space between the end of the sentences. Here is a sample of what the Torah looks like when there is a clear separation between a chapter or a page.
It is one book and it is one story. It is all about the one and only God and His choice of a people to represent Him; a people who were chosen to present His laws and commandments to the world. These laws and commandments are what will help lead us away from the sinful life our nature desires and to the sinless life that will bring us closer to God.
The Torah is a road map that leads us away from destruction; it shows us the path to salvation.
The Torah was given to the Jewish people because Abraham was so faithful that God chose him to be His means of salvation for the world. Before Abraham, it was Noah. Since Abraham, there have been many people that have saved the Jewish people from their own, well-deserved punishment, and with Messiah Yeshua there was no longer any need for Judges or Kings, because He is all of that, and more.
Deuteronomy, which is the Gentile name for the book called D’varim, reviews what we are told in the previous 4 books and serves as a reminder of what the people must do to faithfully follow God’s commandments. It is the recap, the “Reader’s Digest” version of the first four books. If you only read this fifth book of the Torah, you would still get the meaning and gist of the first four books, although you wouldn’t have the deeper understanding, the Drash, that you can enjoy when you have read the entire Torah.
The most wonderful thing about the bible, and the Torah is just the “warm-up”, is that God’s word has new revelations every time we read it. You could read this 50 times, but when you go over it the 51st time the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) will suddenly reveal to you something new, something that will help you to understand God better and to have a deeper and more fulfilling relationship with Him, and you will think to yourself, “How could I have not seen this before?”
It’s because we need to have spiritual eyes and spiritual ears when we read the Torah. For that matter, when we read anything in the Bible, since it is all the word of God. And these spiritual things take time to develop.
As we go through this book together, let’s read what is there and remember where we read it before. D’varim is the reminder to the people of all they have been through and what they were taught: how to live, how to worship, and how to treat each other. I think it is (no surprise here) very appropriate timing that this book of the Torah, which is a reminder and sort of memorial, comes right on the eve of Tisha B’Av, the 9th Day of Av, a day of mourning and memorial of the worst things that have happened to the Jewish people ever since we refused to enter the land.
That’s exactly where D’varim starts- Moses reminding the people that they refused to enter the land. Did you know that day was the 9th day of Av?