“These are the words Moses spoke” but the words he is now speaking were all commanded from the Lord in the past 4 books. Verse 3 gives us our timeline….
2 It takes eleven days to go from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea by the Mount Seir road.
3 In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed…
What should have been an 11-day journey took 40 years!
Chapter 1: Moses begins with the command from the Lord but turns quickly to the sins the Israelites committed that cost them greatly. Forty years ago, just before they were to enter the Promised Land, the Lord puts them in a battle with the powerful Amorites (a prelude of what God can do for them when they walk into this Land!). The Lord fought the battle for them and should have given them all the confidence in Him they needed:
20:“You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the Lord our God is giving us. See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Instead, the spies that “checked out” the land first came back to the Israelites and said “we can’t go in there! They are big people!!” They said, “we”. Oh the humanity!! They had the Lord!! (I act like this isn’t me! I know I am one of the 12 spies when I am faced with a big decision)
Verse 37: Moses humbles himself and tells this generation that even he, “The Moses”, did not trust the Lord years later and it cost him too entry into the Promised Land. (If you are jumping in, go back and read Numbers 20!)
Chapter 2-Moses recounts a number of times Israel obeyed. For those who have read from the beginning, I hope you see familiar names like Lot, Moab, Esau… and have a recollection of who they might be. If it rings a bell, but you cannot remember, look back on your genealogies.
This chapter retells and lengthens the battle against the Amorite king found in Numbers 21. The purpose of chapter 2 is to reiterate how this next generation will need to obey and have faith in the Lord that is about to GIVE them this Land.
If you read the Bible and occasionally think that the Bible is made up of stories to “teach” us (like I did often), then I guess you can ignore archeological finds like this:
This is the Moabite Stone names Mesha Stele. These battles were recoded by Mesha, the Moabite King on this stone. There is a word in the Bible ‘herem’ meaning total destruction. The word ‘herem’ is only found on this stone and in the Bible.
Fun Fact: In 1997 I was at the Louvre Museum in Paris and this was there. As an atheist (then, not now of course), I didn’t give it a second look…went straight for the Mona Lisa. Kicking myself now!!