Deuteronomy is Moses' "Upper Desert Discourse," and consists of a series of farewell messages by Israel's 120-year-old leader. It is addressed to the new generation destined to possess the land of promise - those who survived the forty years of wilderness wandering.

The Author of Deuteronomy

The Old Testament attributes Deuteronomy and the rest of the Pentateuch to Moses (see Josh. 1:7; Judg. 3:4; 1 Kin. 2:3; 2 Kin. 14:6; Ezra 3:2; Neh. 1:7; Ps. 103:7; Dan. 9:11; Mal. 4:4). (2)

The Time of Deuteronomy

Like Leviticus, Deuteronomy does not progress historically. It takes place entirely on the plains of Moab due east of Jericho and the Jordan River (1:1; 29:1; Josh. 1:2). It covers about one month: combine Deuteronomy 1:3 and 34:8 with Joshua 5:6-12. The book was written at the end of the forty-year period in the wilderness (c. 1405 BC) when the new generation was on the verge of entering Canaan. Moses wrote it to encourage the people to believe and obey God in order to receive God's blessings.

About Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy, in its broadest outline, is the record of the renewal of the Old Covenant given at Mount Sinai. This covenant is reviewed, expanded, enlarged, and finally ratified in the plains of Moab. Moses accomplishes this primarily through three sermons that move from a retrospective, to an introspective, and finally, to a prospective look at God's dealings with Israel.