Deuteronomy is the fifth and last book that makes up the Pentateuch and the Old TestamentIt is one of the most important texts of the Old Testament since it organizes the thought of the Jewish people and their integrity as a nation.
The word Deuteronomy comes from the Greek, τὸ Δευτερονόμιον meaning "second law" or "repetition of the law" and was used in. the bible Greek Septuagint (LXX) to denote the last book of the Pentateuch. In the Hebrew bible this book is titled with the word דְּבָרִים, Devarim meaning "these are the words."
Deuteronomy narrates when Moses gathers the people of Israel who were camping in the plains of Moab, before conquering the promised land, to instruct him for the last time and there, through three speeches, he proclaims the will of the Lord and gives the people the instructions to be a just and holy community in the eyes of the one and only true God. In this book Moses speaks to his people and teaches them the precepts and commands they must follow to achieve a happy and prosperous life to serve the King of kings and to be able to make Israel a great "holy and intelligent" nation in the eyes of the world.
This book is narrative and historical and its language is formal but direct and contains laws, sermons and canticles.
The authorship of Deuteronomy, like the four preceding books of the Pentateuch, is traditionally attributed to Moses, but its final structure as we know it today is the result of a length The process of writing that according to biblical scholars began in the eighth century BC and ended in the fourth century BC. This book is considered the center of the Old Testament, because through its narration the Jewish identity is defined, the people chosen by God, to whom it belongs and who must follow its precepts and be faithful to be worthy of the Lord.
This book describes facts that are very important for the identity of the Jewish peopleIt is also recognized that Moses is the only prophet to speak directly with God, which makes him unique and different from the other prophets, and the death of Moses is described after a long life on his 120th birthday. It also centralizes the sanctuary where worship and offerings should be made, and reaffirms the covenant as a unique attribute of the people of Israel.
In Deuteronomy it is ratified that the alliances made by God to the people of Israel in their journey through the desert, after liberating them from slavery, are linked and seal the agreement between Israel and God. These covenants take place on Mount Sinai, when the Commandments are given, and in the plains of Moab, where Moses goes to the new generation of Israelis to renew the covenant with the Lord which their fathers had broken, before they entered the Promised Land.
Moses instructed his people through tres sermonsThese are the main content of Deuteronomy, where in addition to delivering his "spiritual testament" he teaches his people about the faithfulness of following the commandments and the consequences of being unfaithful, blessings and curses and asks them to renew the covenant they have with God as a chosen people to be worthy to live in the promised land.
- First sermon of Moses (1-4) where he recalls the past of the Hebrew people and their teachings and exhorts them to follow the commandments in order to be faithful and deserve to be children of God.
- The second sermon (5-28) contains the civil, moral and religious laws and precepts to be followed by the Israelites. In this part of the book we find "the deuteronomic code" (12-26) and the celebration of the Covenant (27-28).
- The third and last sermon (29-34) where Moses gives the blessings and curses of being faithful or unfaithful before the Lord, and asks that the nation be faithful and holy to be worthy of God and his blessings. In this part he designates Joshua as His successor and describes the death of Moses before the Israelites enter the land of Canaan.
In summary, Deuteronomy completes and gives meaning to the history of the jewish peopleto be the people of God for God. It describes the culmination of the journey through the desert and shows through the Law or Torah the consolidation as a nation of the people of Israel to be a holy and wise people, through a permanent dialogue with God.