Outline of Deuteronomy

Our prayer is that you will know God better when studying His Word. Enjoy this overview and outline of Deuteronomy.

The book of Deuteronomy is the farewell address of Moses. It is called Deuteronomy, meaning “second law.” It is, in essence, a restatement of the law that God had given 40 years previously on Mt. Sinai. Israel has wandered 40 years in the wilderness. The generation that came out of Egypt has died, except for Moses, Caleb, and Joshua. Moses dies in the last chapter, leaving Joshua to succeed him. The book stresses the importance of obeying God. The usage of the words are telling:

  • 88 do–as in “you shall do” or “you shall not do”
  • 40 keep
  • 40 command
  • 33 hear
  • 21 observe
  • 20 hearken
  • 10 obey

God has given us what we are to obey:

  • 43 commandments
  • 39 commanded
  • 29 statutes
  • 6 commandment

But lest we think that the book is a harsh book of commandments and obedience, the book is really a “heart” book. Fifty times the word “heart” is contained in the book. There are only 252 uses in the entire Old Testament, meaning one in every five uses is found in this book. The word “love” is found 23 times out of 248 uses in all of the Old Testament. The book develops the love of the heart and thinks it no such thing to command such a love. (Deuteronomy 6:5; 11:13) It also tells us about God setting His love on people. (Deuteronomy 7:7, 13; 10:15)

Date: January-March, 1406 B.C.

Divisions:
The book of Deuteronomy is divided as a great speech with its aftermath.

I. A Brief Background to the Speech 1:1-4

II. The Speech 1:5-26:19

  1. Historical Prologue 1:5-4:48
  2. The Law 5-26
    1. The Great Commandments 5-6
    2. The Great Relationship between God and Israel 7-11
    3. The Many Commandments 12-26

III. The Epilogue of the Speech 27-32

  1. Curses and Blessings 27-30
  2. A Look to the Future 31
  3. A Song for the Future 32
  4. A Final Blessing 33
  5. The Death of a Great Man 34

Key Phrase:
The phrase that was brought into prominence in Exodus, “I am the LORD” (found 16 times), and found some 45 times in Leviticus, found only eight times in Numbers, recedes to only one time in Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 29:6). The phrases found most in Leviticus “before the LORD” 58 times) and “unto the LORD” (74 times) are found in Numbers some 40 times and 62 times, respectively, and in Deuteronomy only some 22 times and three times, respectively. None of these are the key phrases of the book. The book is not about who God is, nor is it primarily about the presence or the motivation for our works. Rather, the book is about a relationship. It is a highly relational book and it is this relationship that Moses stresses. Thus, the phrases that predominate in the book are phrases of relationship.

  • 203/245 LORD, your (sg) God
  • 37/86 LORD, your (pl) God
  • 2/30 LORD, my God
  • 19/74 LORD, our God
  • 0/79 LORD, their God

It is a book of a relationship based upon love, the love of God for a people and the love of a people for their God. The prominence of the word “LORD,” which we found some 386 times in 40 chapters in Exodus and some 303 times in 27 chapters in Leviticus, around some 384 times in 36 chapters of Numbers, is found some 569 times in Deuteronomy, out of 6639 total times in the Old Testament. It averages about 16 occurrences per chapter. The word “God” is found 372 times out of a total of 2603 times in the Old Testament, one out of every seven times. “Adonai” is found only three times. This book is about God!

Key Passage: 6:4-5; See also 10:12-13; 30:19-20.

Progression:
From God’s great deliverance in the past to Israel’s dismal record of the future.

Key Lesson: God wants a love relationship.

This book is quoted over 80 times in 17 of the 27 New Testament books. It is quoted some 356 times in later Old Testament books. It is a foundational book for the remainder of Scripture.

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