Epistles of Thomas

March 28, 2009

Deuteronomy 1-3

Filed under: Old Testament — Thomas @ 10:40
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Deuteronomy is spoken from the vantage point of Moses: “These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel in the wilderness east of the Jordan” (1:1). The first chapter of Deuteronomy encapsulates the events from their leaving Mt. Horeb to their arrival on the boundary of the Promised Land, ending with their defeat at the hands of the Amorites due to their sin upon hearing the spies report. In chapter two they travel on and pass by the places reserved for the descendants of Esau and Lot. They are not to attack those lands because God has reserved it for others. They asked permission to pass through the land of Sihon, King of Heshbon, but he refused, “For the Lord your God had made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate in order to give him into your hands, as he has now done” (2:30). The author clearly sees God as the agent behind his-story throughout the book of Deuteronomy. Og, King of Bashan is destroyed in the same way. The Israelites destroyed the cities and towns rather than occupying them and they must have seemed like the barbarian tribes during Rome’s last days. This section concludes with God’s reiteration that Moses will not enter the Promised Land: “But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see” (3:28).

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