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Deuteronomy 8-10

Supplemental notes for the Daily Bible Study Bible Reading Plan

by Wayne Blank

Deuteronomy Chapter 8

As they were nearing the end of their homeward journey, the Israelites were reminded why a trek that could have been easily done in less than a year took them over forty years. It was an irony; The Lord cared very well for the next generation, while awaiting the rebellious ones who refused to enter the promised land, when they had the opportunity to do so, to die off (see A Journey Without A Destination).


"All the commandment which I command you this day you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which The Lord swore to give to your fathers. And you shall remember all the way which The Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that He might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His Commandments, or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna {see Christ, The Bread of Life], which you did not know, nor did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but that man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of The Lord. Your clothing did not wear out upon you, and your foot did not swell, these forty years. Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, The Lord your God disciplines you." (Deuteronomy 8:1-5 RSV)

The promise was clear - obey The Lord, and His people would truly enter a land of blessings.

"So you shall keep the Commandments of The Lord your God, by walking in His ways and by fearing Him. For The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains [see also The Fountains Of The Great Deep] and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills, a land of wheat [see Corn; also The Great Tribulation] and Barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees [see The Olive Tree] and Honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper." (Deuteronomy 8:6-9 RSV)

Deuteronomy Chapter 9

Although the infamous debacle with the "golden calf" is one of the best-known incidents of Bible History, people to this day do the same thing - they turn their back to The Lord and bow before idols (see "Thou shalt not make any graven image").

The Golden Calf

"And at the end of forty days and forty nights The Lord gave me the two tables of stone, the tables of the covenant. Then The Lord said to me, 'Arise, go down quickly from here; for your people whom you have brought from Egypt have acted corruptly; they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them; they have made themselves a molten image.'" (Deuteronomy 9:11-12 RSV)

"So I turned and came down from the mountain, and the mountain was burning with fire; and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands. And I looked, and behold, you had sinned against The Lord your God; you had made yourselves a molten calf; you had turned aside quickly from the way which The Lord had commanded you. So I took hold of the two tables, and cast them out of my two hands, and broke them before your eyes." (Deuteronomy 9:15-17 RSV)

Moses at that time did something that only two other humans, Elijah and Jesus Christ, are recorded to have done (see The Forty Day Fasts).

"Then I lay prostrate before The Lord as before, forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all the sin which you had committed, in doing what was evil in the sight of The Lord, to provoke him to anger.For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure which The Lord bore against you, so that he was ready to destroy you. But The Lord hearkened to me that time also. And The Lord was so angry with Aaron that he was ready to destroy him; and I prayed for Aaron also at the same time. Then I took the sinful thing, the calf which you had made, and burned it with fire and crushed it, grinding it very small, until it was as fine as dust; and I threw the dust of it into the brook that descended out of the mountain." (Deuteronomy 9:18-21 RSV)

Deuteronomy Chapter 10

Moses then made a replacement set of stone tablets, upon which The Lord re-wrote The Ten Commandments. The Lord also at that time instructed Moses to make a container, The Ark Of The Covenant (see also Raiders Of The Lost Ark), to provide a secure carrying device for the "breakable" (as the Israelites did many times spiritually) covenant stones.

The Ten Commandments

"At that time The Lord said to me [see also Why Did Christ Put Moses To Death?], 'Hew two tables of stone like the first, and come up to me on the mountain, and make an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words that were on the first tables which you broke, and you shall put them in the ark.'

So I made an ark of acacia wood, and hewed two tables of stone like the first, and went up the mountain with the two tables in my hand. And He wrote on the tables, as at the first writing, the Ten Commandments which The Lord had spoken to you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly; and The Lord gave them to me. Then I turned and came down from the mountain, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they are, as The Lord commanded me." (Deuteronomy 10:1-5 RSV)

The Lord provided His Law to His people, not to limit them, but to set them free from a dead-end world.

"And now, Israel, what does The Lord your God require of you, but to fear The Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve The Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the Commandments and statutes of The Lord, which I command you this day for your good?

Behold, to The Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it; yet The Lord set His heart in love upon your fathers and chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as at this day." (Deuteronomy 10:12-15 RSV)

Fact Finder: How is it that Moses was able to carry the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments? How big were they? How much could they have weighed?
See What Did The Ten Commandments Look Like?

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