The Bible is the inspired Word of God, from Genesis 1 through Revelation 22, a total of 1,189 chapters. To me anyway, not one sentence is suspect.
That being so, the Bible is (not only, as I’ve just said, authored by God) … but still beautiful as Literature.
And the opening paragraph of Deuteronomy illustrates this fact.
“These be the words which Moses spake unto ALL ISRAEL on THIS SIDE JORDAN in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, BETWEEN Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab. 2 (There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.) 3 And it came to pass in the FORTIETH YEAR, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that THE LORD had GIVEN him in COMMANDMENT unto them; 4 After he had slain Sihon the king of the Amorites, which dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, which dwelt at Astaroth in Edrei: 5 On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law, saying ….” Deuteronomy 1:1-5, King James Version, where I have purposely left the verse numbers in place.
Great writing (freshmen in any college journalism class immediately learn) always answers a series of basic questions … and does so in the first few lines at that.
The pertinent questions are: “who, what, where, when and why,” though not necessarily in that order.
Moses, in our Text today, gives a classic example of such illustrative writing.
Who, the subject of the Address? “All Israel!”
Where, the location of the narrative? “On this side Jordan in the wilderness,” east of the River. The long years of journeying are over, the miles (mostly) lie behind them now.
What, the subject matter of Deuteronomy? ” A review of … “all that had been given him in commandment unto them.” A second giving of the Law of God, Deuteronomy.
When? Carefully it’s recorded … “in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month” of the last year of Israel’s trek to the Promised Land!
And WHY? Maybe the most important question of all. Because “the LORD had given him commandment.” That’s reason enough, God had spoken!
After just five verses our attention is riveted!
We now know (due to Moses’ excellent writing) what to expect as we wade into the thirty-four chapters of this great (inerrant) Book of Scripture!
We’re just getting started … but I feel a “hunger” already for this Book Jesus seemed to love so much. He quoted from Deuteronomy, remember, each time He thwarted the Devil in Matthew 4. In Luke 4 as well, both recording the same Victory our Lord enacted.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell