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Deuteronomy

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 Book of Deuteronomy - Introduction

Dvarim - "words" takes its name from the opening sentence, "These be the words" In Hebrew "Ayleh Hadvarim." It is the fifth and last book of the Torah or book of Moses.  It constists permarily of laws delivered in the form of a series of speeches made by Moses, his final speeches before Joshua lead the people of Israel into Canaan. Chapter 32 is a poem in the classic archaic Semitic style such as were found in Ugarith and elsewhere, dating back to about 1,500 BCE. The characteristic mark of such poems is that they are in couples, with the second half of the couplet repeating the content of the first in different words.

However, much of Deuteronomy consists of laws and regulations. As these often correspond with Josiah's reforms, many scholars consider that Deuteronomy is the book that was "found" (or written) in the reign of Josiah (see  2 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 34.

In theological terms the book constitutes a covenant between Yahweh and the "Children of Israel"; this is the culmination of the series of covenants which begins with that between Yahweh and all living things after the Flood (Genesis 9). One of its most significant verses is the shema ("Hear, O Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD is one!"), which today serves as the statement of Jewish "witness" equivalent to the Shihadah of the Muslims.

Most scholars think that the bulk of the book was composed in the late 7th century BC, during the religious reforms carried out under king Josiah, with later additions from the period after the fall of Judah to the Neo-Babylonian empire in 586 BC; a minority view holds that the book is largely a creation of the post-Exilic, Persian period, i.e. the 4th century BC and even later. It seems to follow the content and spirit of Josiah's reforms: Yahweh must  be accepted as the sole God of Israel, and worshiped only in one place. However, the same theme appears for other reforming kings as well. 

Detailed discussions are given here, here and here.

Contents

Deuteronomy 1 | Deuteronomy 2 | Deuteronomy 3 | Deuteronomy 4 | Deuteronomy 5 | Deuteronomy 6 | Deuteronomy 7 | Deuteronomy 8 | Deuteronomy 9 | Deuteronomy 10 | Deuteronomy 11 | Deuteronomy 12 | Deuteronomy 13 | Deuteronomy 14 | Deuteronomy 15 | Deuteronomy 16 | Deuteronomy 17 | Deuteronomy 18 | Deuteronomy 19 | Deuteronomy 20 | Deuteronomy 21 | Deuteronomy 22 | Deuteronomy 23 | Deuteronomy 24 | Deuteronomy 25 | Deuteronomy 26 | Deuteronomy 27 | Deuteronomy 28 | Deuteronomy 29 | Deuteronomy 30 | Deuteronomy 31 | Deuteronomy 32 | Deuteronomy 33 | Deuteronomy 34


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The bible and Zionism

The Bible, the Old Testament, has become a mainstay of human culture, but it is first and foremost a historical document of the Jewish people and our culture. It tells the story of our ancient kingdoms and civilization in the Land of Israel, and therefore it kept alive the tie of the people of Israel to the land of Israel for 2000 years. It forms the moral and cultural basis of Zionist ideology and aspirations.

The Bible, the Old Testament, is accepted by the three major Western faiths. It is a major work of Western civilization. The Bible documents the historic connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, even for those who do not believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, and even for those who do not believe in God at all. It is the historic epic of the Jewish people in our land.  

Additional Background

Maps of Israel (Canaan, Palestine)in Bible Times

Map of Canaan (Israel) in the time of Joshua (Black and White)
Map of ancient Canaan (Palestine) after the Conquest by the Israelites
Palestine (Israel, Canaan) in the Time of the Judges
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Map of Judah (Judea) in the Divided Kingdom
Map of Judah (Judea) in the Maccabean Kingdom of Alexander Janeus (Yannai)
Map of the Roman Province of Judea

Map - Canaan Before the Hebrews

Map - Canaan and the Early Israelite Kingdom

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