Please choose a passage to read our commentary:
God reemphasizes that Israel is set apart (holy) to their Suzerain (Ruler) God as a special possession. He instructs the Israelites to eliminate the people who live in Canaan as well as their corrupt culture. Then Israel must occupy the Promised Land.
God’s election of Israel was a free gift, which was based upon His gracious love for them and His faithfulness to their forefathers. Although this gift of being God’s possession is unconditional and irrevocable, to gain the experiential benefit of God’s blessings requires Israel to uphold their obligations under the covenant, and obey God, their sovereign ruler.
Moses tells the Israelites that obedience to God’s precepts leads to blessings. These blessings will be expressed in population growth and prosperity such as abundance of animals and foods, good physical health, and absence of barrenness.
Using the exodus experience as the basis of the reassurance, Moses commands Israel not to fear the inhabitants of Canaan, regardless of their numerical superiority.
Moses continues to reassure Israel of the enemy’s total defeat by telling them that the LORD will use a powerful tool (hornet) as instrument to search out and destroy those Canaanites who would flee and hide themselves. Therefore, the LORD alone is the one who deserves to be feared.
Moses commands the Israelites not to covet or take any objects (idols) that belong to the Canaanites, but to put them under the ban, because such objects are an abomination to the LORD.
The book of Deuteronomy is the fifth and last book of the Torah (“law”). It continues the story of the first 4 books and picks up exactly where the book of Numbers ends (with the people on the plain of Moab). Therefore, as we set the context for the book of Deuteronomy, it is important that we briefly summarize the theme of the previous books to see how the story of God unfolds.
Genesis describes God’s plan to bless the Israelites and the world through one man named Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3). Exodus focuses on God’s loving act by which He rescued the Israelites from Egypt in order to have a covenant relationship with them. Once the children of Israel are redeemed, Leviticus instructs them to live a holy life that reflects the life of their covenant redeemer (cf. Lev. 19). Since the first generation of the Israelites failed to obey God wholeheartedly, the book of Numbers displays a strong contrast between God’s faithfulness and the nation’s failure. That is why the book of Deuteronomy reiterates and expands on the covenant to a new generation of Israelites poised to enter and conquer the Promised Land. The message of the book is centered around two key terms: love and loyalty (Deut. 6:4-5).
Outline of Deuteronomy:
I. Introduction: Moses will explain the law (1:1 – 5)
II. Moses’ First Sermon – a Recounting of the LORD’s Faithfulness (1:6 – 4:43)
III. Introduction to Second Sermon on expositing the Law (4:43 – 49)
IV. Moses’ Second Sermon – an Exposition of the Law Given at Mt. Sinai (5:1 – 26:19)
V. Script for Covenant Renewal Ceremony Once they enter the land (27:1 – 29:1)
VI. Moses’ Third Sermon – a Call to Obedience (29:2 – 30:20)
VII. The Last Acts of Moses (31:1 – 34:12)
Chapter 7 describes who the people of Israel are and how they should relate to their Suzerain (Ruler) in order to please Him in the land of Canaan.
The chapter begins with Moses’s call to Israel to eliminate the peoples living in Canaan along with their corrupt practices (vv. 1-6). This is followed by a reminder that Israel’s election as His children was based solely on God’s gracious love and faithfulness, but gaining the experiential blessings promised under their covenant with Him required obedience (vv. 7-11). Because of God’s unfailing love and promises, Moses commands the Israelites to obey God’s precepts and to fear Him, instead of fearing the people of Canaan who outnumbered them (vv. 12-19). The chapter concludes with Moses’s reassurance to Israel of the enemy’s total defeat by God, followed by a warning to Israel not to covet or take any objects belonging to the enemies (vv. 20-26).