Deuteronomy


Deuteronomy
/dooh'teuh ron"euh mee, dyooh'-/, n.
the fifth book of the Pentateuch, containing a second statement of the Mosaic law. Abbr.: Deut.
[ < LL Deuteronomium < Gk Deuteronómion (see DEUTERO-, -NOMY); earlier Deutronome, ME Deutronomie < LL]

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Hebrew  Devarim 

      (“Words”), fifth book of the Old Testament, written in the form of a farewell address by Moses to the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land of Canaan. The speeches that constitute this address recall Israel's past, reiterate laws that Moses had communicated to the people at Horeb (Sinai), and emphasize that observance of these laws is essential for the well-being of the people in the land they are about to possess. The title Deuteronomy, derived from Greek, thus means a “copy,” or a “repetition,” of the law rather than “second law,” as the word's etymology seems to suggest.

      Although Deuteronomy is presented as an address by Moses, scholars generally agree that it dates from a much later period of Israelite history. An early edition of Deuteronomy as it exists today has been identified with the book of the Law discovered in the Temple of Jerusalem about 622 BC (2 Kings 22:8; 2 Chronicles 34:15). This early edition, corresponding roughly to chapters 5–26 and 28 of Deuteronomy as it now stands, expresses a cultic liturgy. Chapters 5–11 contain an introductory speech by Moses, largely hortatory. In chapters 12–26 laws are reiterated that the people are exhorted to obey. The section closes with a report of the formulation of a Covenant between God and his chosen people. Chapter 28 recounts in elaborate detail the blessings or curses that will come upon the people, depending on their response to laws that explicate their covenantal obligations. This arrangement of materials corresponds to the liturgy of Covenant renewal festivals that were celebrated in Israel's premonarchic period. Within this cultic context very ancient laws were preserved and transmitted.

      To this original core of materials other materials were added by interested parties in the years following the reforms instituted by King Josiah (reigned c. 640–609 BC). The final form is due to the work of a historian who added, among other things, a second introduction (chapters 1–4) and made Deuteronomy the book of first principles for his history of the Israelite people in the land of Canaan. Deuteronomy might thus be viewed as the first part of the history that follows, rather than as the last book of the Pentateuch, the generally accepted order most scholars prefer.

      The principles governing the Deuteronomic historian's presentation of Israel's history are set forth in the book of Deuteronomy: faithfulness to Yahweh and obedience to his commands bring blessings; the worship of foreign gods and negligence of Yahweh's statutes bring a curse; Yahweh can be worshiped in only one sacred place (Jerusalem) by all Israel; priests, prophets, and kings are subject to Yahweh's law granted through Moses. Thus, the attribution of Deuteronomy to Moses tends to place Israel in an advanced stage of its history—when kings and a centralized cult were contemporary concerns—under the requirements of renewed ancient traditions.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • DEUTERONOMY — (Heb. םירָבד רֶפס, Sefer Devarim, short for סֵפֶר וְאֵלֶה הַדּבָרִים, Sefer ve elleh ha devarim, The Book of These Are the Words ), the fifth book of the Pentateuch. The name Deuteronomy is derived from the Greek translation of מִשְׁנֶה הַתּוֹרָה …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Deuteronomy — (Greek deuteronomion , Δευτερονόμιον second law ) is the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible and of the Old Testament. In form it is a set of three sermons delivered by Moses reviewing the previous forty years of wandering in the wilderness; its… …   Wikipedia

  • Deuteronomy — 1 Deuteronomy 2 Deuteronomy 3 Deuteronomy 4 Deuteronomy 5 Deuteronomy 6 Deuteronomy 7 Deuteronomy 8 Deuteronomy 9 Deuteronomy 10 Deuteronomy 11 …   The King James version of the Bible

  • Deuteronomy — • This term occurs in Deut., xvii, 18 and Jos., viii, 32, and is the title of one of the five books of the Pentateuch Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Deuteronomy     Deuteronomy …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Deuteronomy — Deu ter*on o*my, n. [Gr. ?; ? second + ? law: cf. L. Deuteronomium.] (Bibl.) The fifth book of the Pentateuch, containing the second giving of the law by Moses. || …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Deuteronomy — 5th book of the Pentateuch, late 14c., from L.L. Deuteronomium, from Gk. Deuteronomion, lit. second law, from deuteros second + nomos law (see NUMISMATICS (Cf. numismatics)). A mistranslation of Hebrew mishneh hattorah hazzoth a copy of this law… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Deuteronomy — [do͞ot΄ər än′ə mē, dyo͞ot΄ər än′ə mē] n. [LL(Ec) Deuteronomium < Gr Deuteronomion: see DEUTERO & NOMY] the fifth book of the Pentateuch in the Bible, in which the law of Moses is set down in full for the second time: abbrev. Deut or Dt …   English World dictionary

  • Deuteronomy —    In all the Hebrew manuscripts the Pentateuch (q.v.) forms one roll or volume divided into larger and smaller sections called parshioth and sedarim. It is not easy to say when it was divided into five books. This was probably first done by the… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Deuteronomy — noun the fifth book of the Old Testament; contains a second statement of Mosaic law • Syn: ↑Book of Deuteronomy • Instance Hypernyms: ↑book • Part Holonyms: ↑Torah, ↑Pentateuch, ↑Laws …   Useful english dictionary

  • Deuteronomy — noun Etymology: Middle English Deutronomie, from Late Latin Deuteronomium, from Greek Deuteronomion, from deuter + nomos law more at nimble the fifth book of canonical Jewish and Christian Scripture containing narrative and Mosaic laws see bible… …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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