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Deuteronomy 1, Part 3, Outline of the 12 Speeches of Moses

Jun 11, 2012

The first part of Deuteronomy 1:1 is translated by Ferrar Fenton: "The following are the Speeches which Moses addressed to all the Children of Israel . . ."

Deuteronomy is, in fact, a series of 12 speeches that Moses gave just before he died. The  speeches and their titles are set forth by Fenton as follows:

Speech I: History of the Exodus, Deut. 1:6 to 4:40, followed by a further explanation from an ancient editor, probably Ezra, writing the final verses in chapter 4 (that is, vs. 41-49).

Speech II: Upon the Covenant of Sinai, Deut. 5-8.

Speech III: Why Israel was Chosen, Deut. 9-13

Speech IV: Laws against Sins and Self-Degradation, Deut. 14-16

Speech V: Local Government, Deut. 17-19. According to Ferrar Fenton, the closing portion of this speech is found in Deut. 21:1-9, which he says was transcribed out of order when the speeches were transferred from stone tablets to animal skins. We will discuss this further at the proper time.

Speech VI: Laws of War, Deut. 20.

Speech VII: Domestic Laws, Deut. 21-23.

Speech VIII: Laws of Marriage and Domestic Life, Deut. 24-25:16.

Speech IX: Upon Conduct in the Promised Land and Ritual for Freewill Offerings, Deut. 25:17 through chapter 26.

Speech X: Confirming all Laws by the Parliamentary Consent, and Denouncing Punishments on Disobedience, Deut. 27-28:68

Speech XI, Exhortation to Obedience, and Appointment of Joshua as Commander. There is a short introduction in Deut. 28:69 and 29:1a, followed by the speech itself in Deut. 29:1b to 31:13.

Speech XII, Being the Public Song of Moses and Appointment of Joshua, Deut. 31:14 to 33:29.

Aliazer's Concluding Narrative, Deut. 34:1-9. Alizaer (i.e., Eleazar) was Moses' nephew and scribe. He became high priest after Aaron died a year before Deuteronomy was written (Deut. 10:6).

Envoy by Ezra or some Old Transcriber, Deut. 34:10-12.

These speeches were written on stone tablets and placed in the Ark of the Covenant (31:26), along with the two tables of the Ten Commandments from Mount Horeb (1 Kings 8:9). At the time of the dedication of Solomon's Temple, only the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments remained in the Ark. The tablets of Deuteronomy had been lost, leaving only copies written on skins or perhaps (by that time) papyrus.


This is the final part of a series titled "Deuteronomy 1." To view all parts, click the link below.

Deuteronomy 1


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Category: God's Law

Dr. Stephen Jones


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