Moses' eleventh speech, Part 1, The New Covenant
Jul 18, 2013
Ferrar Fenton entitles the eleventh speech of Moses: Exhortation to Obedience and Appointment of Joshua as Commander. It is really an exhortation to follow and obey the Joshua (Yeshua-Jesus) of the New Covenant.
Some Bibles, such as The Jerusalem Bible, put Deuteronomy 29:1 as the final verse of the previous chapter, making it Deuteronomy 28:69. But the verse in question is an introduction to Moses eleventh speech, not a postscript to chapter 28. This scribal introduction reads:
1 These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the sons of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He had made with them at Horeb. 2 And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them…
His speech itself begins in the middle of Deuteronomy 29:2 and continues to 31:13, and then Moses’ final speech is the actual commissioning of Joshua.
The two final speeches form the climax of Deuteronomy itself. Moses tells us that this is a second covenant, the first being given forty years earlier at Horeb in Exodus 20. As such, these two covenants foreshadow the Old and New Covenants, each with its own law. The first covenant was given through Moses, while the second transferred authority to Joshua, the type of Jesus Christ.
The laws themselves are the same, though repeated in some different ways and clarified occasionally. Hence, we also see the same prophetic pattern in Exodus 34, after the first law was broken, for the second set of laws were “like the former ones.” Exodus 34:1 reads,
1 Now the Lord said to Moses, “Cut out for yourself two stone tablets like the former ones, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets which you shattered.”
This prophesied how the law was broken under the Old Covenant, but that the same law was instituted under the New Covenant without being broken. The Old Covenant gave us commandments which men could not keep, though they vowed obedience. The New Covenant gave us the same words of the law, but this time God obligated Himself to write them in our hearts by His Spirit. The laws were thus changed from commandments to promises. Hence, when the Commandments spoke, “You shall not,” they prophesied into our lives that by following Joshua (Yeshua) we would not commit these sins.
The manner in which God would accomplish this was unclear under Moses, but when we read the writings of Paul and John, we discover the secret. The Holy Spirit begets Christ in us by the gospel, and that holy seed cannot sin because it is begotten of God (1 John 3:9, literal). Though the “old man,” begotten of Adamic flesh, continues to fight against the Spirit (Romans 7:25), the New Creation Man cannot sin, because his Father is God.
A full study of this can be found in my commentary on Romans, Vol. 1, chapter 10.
This is the first part of a series titled "Moses' Eleventh Speech." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones