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Deuteronomy 4 Commentary


Please choose a passage to read our commentary:

Deuteronomy 4:1-4

Moses urges the Israelites to be loyal to God by reminding them of the incident at Baal-peor where 24000 of them died because of idolatry.

Deuteronomy 4:5-8

Moses commands the Israelites to obey the statutes and judgments he is teaching them in order to correctly reflect their covenant partner, Yahweh, and to represent Him well before the other nations.

Deuteronomy 4:9-14

Moses reminds the Israelites of the manifestation of Yahweh’s presence at Mount Horeb (Sinai) where He gave the Ten Commandments, so that the people may always fear Him and transfer His covenantal laws to their children.

Deuteronomy 4:15-20

Moses warns the Israelites against making any idols as a way of worshipping Yahweh. Doing so would reduce the creator (God) to the level of His creatures.

Deuteronomy 4:21-24

Alluding to the incident that prevented him from entering Canaan, Moses asks the Israelites to carefully obey God’s laws in order to avoid making any graven image to represent Him. Failure to obey would result in severe punishment because God is a consuming fire.

Deuteronomy 4:25-31

When the Israelites live comfortably in Canaan, they and their children will fall into idolatry. Consequently, they will be removed from the land and will worship deceitful gods. Yet, when they genuinely repent, God will restore them because of His compassion.

Deuteronomy 4:32-35

Moses recounts God’s powerful acts at the Exodus and at Mount Horeb to show that God is unique among the gods.

Deuteronomy 4:36-40

Since God is unique among the gods, Moses calls the Israelites to obey God’s precepts in order that they may live long in the Promised Land.

Deuteronomy 4:41-43

After Israel’s conquest across the Jordan to the east, Moses sets apart three cities there to provide asylum for unintentional homicide.

Deuteronomy 4:44-49

This section provides the historical and geographical setting for the covenant message. It also summarizes Israel’s victory over the two kings of the Amorites, across the Jordan to the east.