Deuteronomy 4-11: Moses’s Second speech part one

Part two of Deuteronomy is the first part of Moses’s Second Speech or sermon to the Israelites. It starts at the end of chapter four.

Chapter four

Most of this chapter is discussed in the previous post, but there’s a bit where Moses re-introduces the law at the very end.

Chapter five

The first thing to be recapped is the Ten Commandments. Of these, there are some differences:

You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath , or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10but showing steadfast love to d thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

The basic sentiment sounds the same as before, but the “likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” has been added. It calls some things into question, I think ….

After that there’s this piece of the commandment to keep the Sabbath day:

but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.

It has been assumed in other things writing that I’ve read that women were not included or could not possibly be expected to abide by this. This passage clearly states that women are included, all the way down to the servants. It also says that it should be six days of work and a day of Sabbath. Does that mean that moms and dads could have different days maybe? I don’t know, but there had to be some system other than everyone taking the same day off. How did people eat?

The rest of the commandments go on in about the same way as before. It ends with concern over getting to hear God’s voice.

Chapter six 

This chapter goes into greater detail on keeping the first commandment, to love God with all our hearts.

Chapter seven

I feel like this chapter is basically an explanation of what to expect as they come up against other nations during the coming wartime. Have faith, know it’s not up to you, God loves you and favors you, destroy everything, make no treaties, etc.

Chapter eight

Moses asks that all the Israelites remember everything that God has done for them up to this point in their wandering. He includes that their clothes didn’t wear out and they never ached from the march. Everything was taken care of for them, even water from a rock. There is a warning here, too, to not forget about God when they become prosperous in ways that seem like their own doing. If they forget about God or turn away from him, they “shall surely perish.”

Chapter nine

This is where Moses reminds them it is not because they are righteous that they get this great benefit or to be the chosen people or that the other groups are being cast from the land. These other people are bad enough to all be destroyed, but to not presume to be better than them. Well, that’s what I got out of it. He repeats a few times that the whole people are stubborn. My favorite was this line:

You have been rebellious against the Lord from the day that I knew you.

And it’s true, if you look back to all the other passages since Egypt. They are stubborn and rebellious. But none of this could possibly be easy for them, even with God right there, especially with God right there.

Moses recounts that he was able to convince God not to let His anger out and start over with a new promise after the Golden Calf incident.

Chapter ten

This chapter begins with Moses talking about the second set of tablets and relates it to the people getting a second chance to listen to what God has asked them to do. He implores them to no longer be stubborn and to love God and follow Him and serve Him and a bunch more in a very beautiful and poetic way to just do what they’ve been told to do already.

Chapter eleven

My impression is that this chapter is the rally cry that sums the sentiment of the last few. All this is building up to the people taking the land at some point and an adamant request to just love the God that has taken care of them. They weren’t pampered, sure, but they were taken care of, and had repeatedly been ungrateful for the level of care that was provided. I understand, it had to be hard even with the help from God, especially because it is also often pointed out that the level of care they have is a gift that God chooses to give them. Without His help, out where they are, they really would have died of any number of their grumblings and worse. But they didn’t, they were preserved and multiplied and always had enough to get by. They just weren’t great at looking at it that way. I can’t honestly say that I would be good at that either. I can be a bit of a stubborn grumbler, so no judgement here. God, on the other hand, was likely to continue getting frustrated and mad at them for it, so Moses wanted them to pull it together better if they could.

So there are my feelings and impressions on chapters 4-11 of Deuteronomy. Have you read it? What do you think?

Chapter links go to the ESV translations at but I’m reading from the ESV Global Study Bible, which is available for free on the Kindle Reading App.

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