Eleh ha-devarim, or “these are the words”, tells us that these words are a written copy of the spoken Word transmitted directly from God to the Israelites through Moses.

The English title, Deuteronomy, is from the Greek and is a misnomer thanks to mistranslation of mishneh ha-torah ha-zoth, or “a copy of this law”. It is a written copy of the law orated by God, but it is NOT a second law!

Furthermore, Deuteronomy 6:4 (affectionately known as the Shema) has become the definitive statement of Jewish identity:

Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one.

Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:4–5 (see Mark 12:28–34) as part of the Great Commandment.


Sh’ma Yisra’eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.

An overview of the Book of Deuteronomy can be found here.

Moses Receives the Tablets of the Law [Image: Wikimedia Commons]
Moses Sees the Promised Land from Afar, James Tissot (1836–1902). [Image as uploaded by User:Dauster, Wikimedia Commons]


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and of them was the whole earth overspread.