About this Bible Study........The King James Version of the Bible is written in a beautiful form of the English language. It can be hard for modern English readers to understand. In this study, you will find notes and summaries in brown just above the the verses from the Bible. We recommend that you read the notes and summaries first, and then read the verses in their KJV form.
The Book of Deuteronomy
Background....The Israelites left Egypt. They have been traveling in the wilderness for 40 years. They are now getting ready to enter Canaan, the land God promised to them. After they enter Canaan, each family will receive land as an inheritance.
The book of Deuteronomy contains the last speeches Moses gave to the Israelites. It is a review of the past 40 years. He wanted to remind the Israelites that they should always trust and obey God.
The word "Deuteronomy" means the 2nd law. This is the second time that Moses gives the laws of God.
Here is a summary of some of the things that happened after the Israelites left Egypt.
The Israelites left Egypt in about the year 1450 BC
Year 1--Moses got the laws from God on Mt. Sinai.
The Israelites built the tabernacle.
Year 2–God told Moses to take a census (count) of all of
The Israelites celebrated the first Passover.
The spies looked around Canaan, then the Israelites refused to enter Canaan.
God was angry that the Israelites did not trust Him. He punished them, and said they would travel for a long time.
Years 3-40–The Israelites wandered and traveled around the desert. They were not allowed to move into Canaan for 40 years.
Year 40- The Israelites defeated the kings, Sihon and Og
Punishing someone who does something wrong.
Two Israelites accuse each other of doing something wrong. They go to the judges. The judges decide who is guilty and who is not guilty.
 If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.
The judges decide that one man must
be punished. Someone should beat him (whip him). The man must lie down. He
should put his face on the ground. The judges will decide how many times
someone should beat him. It will depend on what he did wrong. But the
maximum number is 40. They should not hit the man more than 40 times. If
they hit the man more than 40 times, the other Israelites will think he is not a
 And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number.
 Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.
No muzzles on oxen who are working.
A farmer grows grain on his farm. After he picks the grain, he must thresh it. That means he must beat it to make the food part separate from the plant part. Some farmers used oxen for threshing. The oxen would walk around on the grain. The oxen were heavy so they smashed the grain. That made the food part separate from the plant part.
A muzzle holds an
animal's mouth closed. God's law is that the
Israelites should not put a muzzle on an ox when it is threshing grain. That means
ox can eat some of the grain if it is hungry.
 Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.
A situation when a brother-in-law should marry his brother's widow.
Two brothers live on the same land. One of the brothers dies. The dead brother had no children. The dead man's wife should not marry a man from another family. The dead man's brother should marry her. When she has a baby boy, the boy will be the son of the dead man. He will continue the dead man's family line.
 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.
 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
Maybe the brother refuses to marry the dead man's wife. The dead man's wife
should go to the city gate and meet the elders. She should tell the elders
that her dead husband's brother refuses to marry her. She cannot have a
baby to carry her dead husband's name.
 And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother.
The city elders will call the dead husband's brother. They will discuss this with him. He may continue to refuse to marry his dead brother's wife.
 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
Then she will take off one of his shoes. The elders will watch. Then she will spit in his face. She will say that this is what happens to men who will not give their dead brother any children.
 Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house.
Then everyone in Israel will
call his family "the family of the man whose shoe was pulled off".
 And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.
Punishing a woman who helps her husband in a fight.
2 men are fighting. 1 man's wife wants to help her husband. She grabs the other man's private parts. That is wrong. The woman should be punished. They should cut off her hand. They should not feel sorry for her.
 When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets:
 Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.
The Israelites should always use honest weights and measures.
The Israelites should be honest when they measure and weigh things in business. Some people cheat and use different measures. For example, if they are buying something, they use one set of weights so they pay less money. If they are selling something, they use different weights so the buyer pays more money. This is wrong. God hates this.
 Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small.
 Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small.
They should use the same weights all the time. This is right and fair. If they are fair and honest, God will help them live long years in Canaan.
 But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
 For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.
The Israelites should destroy the Amalekites.
Amalek was the
grandson of Jacob's brother, Esau. His group of people was called the Amalekites.
God wants the Israelites to remember that the Amalekites were bad to them. When the Israelites first left Egypt, the Amalekites attacked them. The Israelites were tired and hungry. They had been slaves for many years. They did not know how to fight wars. But the Amalekites did not respect God. They took advantage of the Israelites. They attacked the Israelites. They especially hurt the people who were in the back of the group. These were the weaker people--children, old people, and sick people.
 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt;
 How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.
After the Israelites move into Canaan, they will fight wars with many groups of people. God will help them, and they will defeat all of the people. They will win all of the wars. After they finish and all of the other groups are gone, God wants them to fight the Amalekites. They should kill all of them. After that, no one should ever remember the Amalekites.
 Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.
Photo from eBibleteacher.com
Giving the firstfruits to
God is giving the land of Canaan to the Israelites. They will soon move into Canaan. Then they will have farms and grow food. When the food is ready to pick, they should put the first things they pick into a basket. They should take the basket to the place God chooses for his special place.
 And it shall be, when thou art come in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and possessest it, and dwellest therein;
 That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name there.
They should go to the priest. They should declare (tell) to God that they now live in Canaan. God promised Canaan to their ancestors, and now they live there and grow food there. They should give the basket of food to the priest. The priest will set the basket on the altar.
 And thou shalt go unto the priest that shall be in those days, and say unto him, I profess this day unto the LORD thy God, that I am come unto the country which the LORD sware unto our fathers for to give us.
 And the priest shall take the basket out of thine hand, and set it down before the altar of the LORD thy God.
Each Israelite should talk to God again. He should talk about history. He should say that his ancestors first lived in the area Syria (this was the place where Abraham was from). They were not doing well, and they were ready to die. So they traveled to Egypt. They lived in Egypt. In Egypt, his ancestors had many, many children and grandchildren. His ancestors became a very big and strong nation (group of people).
 And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:
The Egyptians treated the Israelites badly in Egypt. They made them slaves. Then the Israelites prayed and cried to God. God heard them. God saw the Egyptians treating them badly.
 And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage:
 And when we cried unto the LORD God of our fathers, the LORD heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression:
God brought the Israelites out of Egypt. God is very powerful. God did many miracles.
 And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders:
God brought them to Canaan. Canaan is a very good place. Food and animals grow well in Canaan.
 And he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey.
They should tell God that they are bringing the first things that grew on their farms. God gave them the land in Canaan, and now God gave them the food that grew well. They should set the food on the altar, and they should worship God.
 And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God:
They should be happy about the good things God gave them. They should invite Levites and strangers to celebrate with them.
 And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.
A tithe is 10 % or 1/10 of the food that grows on a person's farm. The Israelites give their tithes to God every year. Every three years, they should give their tithes to Levites, strangers, orphans, and widows who live in their towns. They can eat the food so they won't be hungry.
 When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled;
Then they should talk to God. They should tell God that they gave their holy tithes to Levites, strangers, orphans, and widows. That was God's rule, and they obeyed God's rule. They did not forget God's rule.
 Then thou shalt say before the LORD thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them:
They should tell God that the tithe is holy. They did not eat any of the holy tithe when they were in mourning (sad because someone died). They did not carry any of the holy tithe when they were unclean. They did not use any of the holy tithe to make an offering for a dead person. They paid attention to God. They did what God told them to do.
 I have not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither have I taken away ought thereof for any unclean use, nor given ought thereof for the dead: but I have hearkened to the voice of the LORD my God, and have done according to all that thou hast commanded me.
God is in Heaven. They should ask God to look down at them. They should ask God to bless His people, the Israelites. They should ask God to bless Canaan, the land He promised to give to their ancestors. Canaan is a very good land and things grow well there.
 Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey.
God gave the rules and laws to the Israelites. The Israelites should obey God. They should obey God with their hearts and souls--they should obey God because they love Him and want to do what He says to do.
 This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
The Israelites have accepted and promised that God is their Lord. They will obey Him. They will obey His rules and laws. They will pay attention to what He says.
 Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice:
God has promised that the Israelites
are His people. They should obey Him. God made all nations and
countries, but God will make the Israelites special. They will be praised
and honored. They will be God's holy people. He promised this to their
 And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;
 And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.
An example of a stone tablet with writing on it in Israel.
Photo from the Vanderbilt University Register web site.
Moses and the other leaders told the people to obey
God's laws and commandments. When the Israelites go across the Jordan River,
they will move into Canaan. God promised to give Canaan to the Israelites'
ancestors. Canaan is a good place, and things will grow well there.
When they go into Canaan, they should set up some stone tablets (big flat
rocks). They should
cover the rocks with plaster (to make them smooth). They should write God's laws
on the rocks. Then they can move into Canaan.
 And Moses with the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, Keep all the commandments which I command you this day.
 And it shall be on the day when ye shall pass over Jordan unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, that thou shalt set thee up great stones, and plaister them with plaister:
 And thou shalt write upon them all the words of this law, when thou art passed over, that thou mayest go in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, a land that floweth with milk and honey; as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee.
They should set up the big rocks
at Mt. Ebal. They should build an altar at Mt. Ebal. They should build the altar
with rocks, but they should not use any iron tools to cut the rocks. The rocks
should be whole rocks.
 Therefore it shall be when ye be gone over Jordan, that ye shall set up these stones, which I command you this day, in mount Ebal, and thou shalt plaister them with plaister.
 And there shalt thou build an altar unto the LORD thy God, an altar of stones: thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon them.
They should build an altar for God with the rocks. They should offer burnt offerings on the altar. They should also offer peace offerings there. They should eat there and celebrate.
 Thou shalt build the altar of the LORD thy God of whole stones: and thou shalt offer burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD thy God:
 And thou shalt offer peace offerings, and shalt eat there, and rejoice before the LORD thy God.
They should write God's laws on the flat rocks clearly so everyone can read them.
 And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly.
Moses and the Levite priests told all of the Israelites to listen carefully. They should always obey God. Today they became His people. They should always obey God's laws and commandments.
 And Moses and the priests the Levites spake unto all Israel, saying, Take heed, and hearken, O Israel; this day thou art become the people of the LORD thy God.
 Thou shalt therefore obey the voice of the LORD thy God, and do his commandments and his statutes, which I command thee this day.
Mt. Gerizim is on the left and Mt. Ebal is on the right. The place in the middle is called Shechem.
Many things happened at Shechem. Shechem is the place where God talked to Abraham. God promised Abraham that He would give this land to Abraham and his descendants.
Shechem is also where Jacob and his family lived for a while.
Moses told the Israelites what to do after they cross
the Jordan River. The people in the tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah,
Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin should go up on Mt. Gerizim. The people in
the other tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali should go up
on Mt. Ebal.
The people on Mt. Gerizim will bless the people. That means they will say which people do good things. God will be happy, and God will bless the people who do good things.
The people on Mt. Ebal will curse bad people. They will say which people do bad things. God will be unhappy and God will curse them, too.
 And Moses charged the people the same day, saying,
 These shall stand upon mount Gerizim to bless the people, when ye are come over Jordan; Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Joseph, and Benjamin:
 And these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.
The Levites will tell who is cursed (people who do bad things). They will say this list loud. After each thing on the list, all of the Israelites should say, "Amen."
 And the Levites shall speak, and say unto all the men of Israel with a loud voice,
These people do bad things:
People who make statues of idols and false gods and worships them secretly. God hates this.
People who do not respect their mother and father.
People who move the landmarks around their neighbors' land (move the rocks that show the lines around each person's land).
People who lead blind people in the wrong ways.
People who are not fair to strangers, orphans, and widows.
Men who have sexual relations with their fathers' wives.
People who have sexual relations with animals.
Men who have sexual relations with their sisters or half-sisters.
Men who have sexual relations with their mothers-in-law.
People who commit murder (kill another person) in secret.
People who are paid money to kill innocent people.
People who do not obey God's laws and commandments.
 Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.
 Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.
 Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour's landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.
 Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen.
 Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.
 Cursed be he that lieth with his father's wife; because he uncovereth his father's skirt. And all the people shall say, Amen.
 Cursed be he that lieth with any manner of beast. And all the people shall say, Amen.
 Cursed be he that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.
 Cursed be he that lieth with his mother in law. And all the people shall say, Amen.
 Cursed be he that smiteth his neighbour secretly. And all the people shall say, Amen.
 Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen.
 Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.