When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, he cited a passage from Deuteronomy 6 as the fundamental and first tenet of Scripture. The purpose of Deuteronomy is to teach the people of God how to behave in every area of life. And the two main principles of that teaching are to fear God and to obey his commandments.
Using his own translation from the original Hebrew, Dr. John Currid ably demonstrates that the book of Deuteronomy is an official document ratifying the formal covenant relationship between God as the sovereign King and his covenant people, Israel. At the close of the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, and on the eve of the entry into the Promised Land, Moses summons the Israelites to a solemn reaffirmation and ratification of the covenant first made at Sinai and promises great blessings to the people if only they will remain faithful to the covenant and obey God’s Word.
Christians too need to remember that God has made a covenant with the church. And, therefore, we need to ask the question: “What does Yahweh your God ask from you?” The answer is found in Deuteronomy: we need to fear God, we need to walk in his way, we need to love him, we need to serve him, and we need to keep his commandments. And, like Israel of old, if we live in obedience to the Word of God then we shall be wise and understanding and, indeed, God will greatly bless his people if they obey his Word.
“ the real issue is not political but religious: mixed marriages will lead to idolatry.” (Page 181)
“The verb ‘to hear’ in Hebrew not only means to listen but also carries the idea of obedience. Action is required on the basis of what is heard.” (Page 163)
“Thus the Ten Commandments stand as the foundational moral principles of Old Testament law, and the other laws are case laws that demonstrate the application of the moral law to Israelite society.” (Page 20)
“The purpose of Deuteronomy is stated here: Moses is to teach ‘the commandment, the statutes and the judgements’ of God to the people. That phrase represents the entire body of covenant law; it is the Torah in toto. The purpose of Deuteronomy is educational. It is to teach the people of God how to behave in every area of life.1 And the two main principles of that teaching are to fear God and to obey his commandments.” (Page 162)
“The scribes are thus testifying that the message of the verse—monotheism—is the central tenet of Judaism. The basis of all true religion is the recognition of, and the service rendered to, one God.4 This is what sets Israel apart from all the peoples of the earth. Monotheism was no small thing in antiquity. It was quite striking in the light of the heinous polytheism of the Egyptians, a land from which Israel had just escaped. And, indeed, Israel was about to enter into the land of Canaan, where a polytheistic culture prevailed.” (Page 163)
Commentaries tend to fall roughly into two sorts. There is the spiritual, and there is the practical. This is practical, with New Testament references and spiritual comment nearly all confined to the application at the end of each section. This method of comment is really a necessity today, as our faith is so under fire.
—The Gospel Magazine
I thoroughly recommend not only this volume but the whole series on the Pentateuch by this author . . . This really is a most helpful and useful commentary which could be dipped into as required or, better still, read through to gain the overall perspective of this last book of Moses.
—The English Churchman
Dr. Currid’s expertise in biblical archaeology comes to the fore time and again, helpfully providing external testimony to the objective truth of the text of Deuteronomy as a covenant document, and moreover, as the Word of God.
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