Summary of the Book of Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy is a book containing four sermons that Moses gave to the people before entering the Promised Land. The events of the book took place over very few days prior to his death and the entering in to the land of Canaan.
The teachings of Moses in Deuteronomy are important enough to be quoted 90 times in 14 of the 27 books of the New Testament. When tempted by Satan in Luke 4, Jesus Christ quoted exclusively from the book of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 8:3; 6:13, 16).
The English title Deuteronomy comes from the Septuagint Greek version of the Old Testament. The word means “second law.” This is not a new law, rather a second telling, or re-telling of the law which was given in Mt. Sinai. The people living during the sermons in Deuteronomy were a new generation of Israelites who were not present when the Law was initially given to Moses 40 years before.
Besides the fact that the book consists of the sermons of Moses, there are Old and New Testament references to Moses as the author. 2 Chronicles 25:4 refers to Moses as the author of the law written in Deuteronomy 24:16. Jesus quoted the book of Deuteronomy and attributed the writings to Moses (Matthew 19:7-9 compared to Deuteronomy 24:1-4; John 5:45-47 compared to Deuteronomy 18:15). Paul attributed the writing of the book to Moses in Romans 10:19 (compare with Deuteronomy 32:21).
While there are obvious proofs that Moses wrote the book, someone else had to have written the final chapter which contains the death of Moses. Most Bible scholars hold to Joshua and Ezra as the probable authors of that chapter. There are, however, biblical critics who claim (like Numbers) that the entire book was written several hundred years after Moses.