Deuteronomy in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

LITERATURE 1. Name: In Hebrew 'elleh ha-debharim, "these are the words"; in Greek, Deuteronomion, "second law"; whence the Latin deuteronomii, and the English Deuteronomy. The Greek title is due to a mistranslation by the Septuagint of the clause in Dt 17:18 rendered, "and he shall write for himself this repetition of the law." The Hebrew really means "and he shall write out for himself a copy of this law." However, the error on which the English title rests is not serious, as Deuteronomy is in a very true sense a repetition of the law. 2. What Deuteronomy Is: Deuteronomy is the last of the five books of the Pentateuch, or "five-fifths of the Law." It possesses an individuality and impressiveness of its own. In Exodus--Numbers Yahweh is represented as speaking unto Moses, whereas in Deuteronomy, Moses is represented as speaking at Yahweh's command to Israel (1:1-4; 5:1; 29:1). It is a hortatory recapitulation of various addresses delivered at various times and places in the desert wanderings--a sort of homily on the constitution, the essence or gist of Moses' instructions to Israel during the forty years of their desert experience. It is "a Book of Reviews"; a translation of Israel's redemptive history into living principles; not so much a history as a commentary. There is much of retrospect in it, but its main outlook is forward. The rabbins speak of it as "the Book of Reproofs." It is the text of all prophecy; a manual of evangelical oratory; possessing "all the warmth of a Bernard, the flaming zeal of a Savonarola, and the tender, gracious sympathy of a Francis of Assisi." The author's interest is entirely moral. His one supreme purpose is to arouse Israel's loyalty to Yahweh and to His revealed law. Taken as a whole the book is an exposition of the great commandment, "Thou shalt love Yahweh thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." It was from Deuteronomy that Jesus summarized the whole of the Old Covenant in a single sentence (Mt 22:37; compare Dt 6:5), and from it He drew His weapons with which to vanquish the tempter (Mt 4:4,7,10; compare Dt 8:3; 6:16,13)...

Link: https://bible-history.com/isbe/D/DEUTERONOMY/