Book of Job
The Book of Job is a book in the Ketuvim section of the Hebrew Bible, the first poetic book in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. Addressing the problem of theodicy – the vindication of the justice of God in the light of humanity's suffering – it is a rich theological work setting out a variety of perspectives, it has been praised for its literary qualities, with Alfred Lord Tennyson calling it "the greatest poem of ancient and modern times". The Book of Job consists of a prose prologue and epilogue narrative framing poetic dialogues and monologues, it is common to view the narrative frame as the original core of the book, enlarged by the poetic dialogues and discourses, sections of the book such as the Elihu speeches and the wisdom poem of chapter 28 as late insertions, but recent trends have tended to concentrate on the book's underlying editorial unity.1. Prologue in two scenes, the first on Earth, the second in Heaven 2. Job's opening monologue, three cycles of dialogues between Job and his three friends First cycleEliphaz and Job's response Bildad and Job Zophar and Job Second cycleEliphaz and Job Bildad and Job Zophar and Job Third cycleEliphaz and Job Bildad and Job 3.
Three monologues: A Poem to Wisdom Job's closing monologue and Elihu's speeches 4. Two speeches by God, with Job's responses 5. Epilogue – Job's restoration; the prologue on Earth introduces Job as a righteous man, blessed with wealth and daughters. The scene shifts to Heaven. Satan answers. God gives Satan permission to take Job's wealth and kill all of his children and servants, but Job nonetheless praises God: "Naked I came out of my mother's womb, naked shall I return: the Lord has given, the Lord has taken away. God allows Satan to afflict his body with boils. Job sits in ashes, his wife prompts him to "curse God, die," but Job answers: "Shall we receive good from God and shall we not receive evil?" Job laments the day of his birth. His three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad console him; the friends do not waver in their belief that Job's suffering is a punishment for sin, for God causes no one to suffer innocently, they advise him to repent and seek God's mercy. Job responds with scorn: his interlocutors are "miserable comforters", since a just God would not treat him so harshly, patience in suffering is impossible, the Creator should not take his creatures so to come against them with such force.
Job's responses represent one of the most radical restatements of Israelite theology in the Hebrew Bible. He moves away from the pious attitude as shown in the prologue and began to berate God for the disproportionate wrath against him, he sees God as, among others and suffocating. He shifts his focus from the injustice that he himself suffers to God's governance of the world, he suggests that the wicked have taken advantage of the needy and the helpless, who remain in significant hardship, but God does nothing to punish them. The dialogues of Job and his friends are followed by a poem on the inaccessibility of wisdom: "Where is wisdom to be found?" it asks, concludes that it has been hidden from man. Job contrasts his previous fortune with an outcast, mocked and in pain, he protests his innocence, lists the principles he has lived by, demands that God answer him. Elihu intervenes to state that wisdom comes from God, who reveals it through dreams and visions to those who will declare their knowledge.
God speaks from a whirlwind. His speeches neither explain Job's suffering, nor defend divine justice, nor enter into the courtroom confrontation that Job has demanded, nor respond to his oath of innocence. Instead they contrast Job's weakness with divine wisdom and omnipotence: "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?" Job makes a brief response. In 42:1–6 Job makes his final response, confessing God's power and his own lack of knowledge "of things beyond me which I did not know", he has only heard, but now his eyes have seen God, "therefore I retract/ And repent in dust and ashes." God tells Eliphaz that he and the two other friends "have not spoken of me what is right as my servant Job has done". The three are told to make a burnt offering with Job as their intercessor, "for only to him will I show favour". Job is restored to health and family, lives to see his children to the fourth generation. Job appears in the
The Five Scrolls or The Five Megillot are parts of the Ketuvim, the third major section of the Tanakh. The Five Scrolls are the Song of Songs, the Book of Ruth, the Book of Lamentations and the Book of Esther; these five short biblical books are grouped together in Jewish tradition. An early testimony that these five scrolls were grouped together is in the Midrash Rabba; this midrash was compiled on the Five Scrolls. All five of these megillot are traditionally read publicly in the synagogue over the course of the year in many Jewish communities. In common printed editions of the Tanakh they appear in the order that they are read in the synagogue on holidays; the Song of Songs is read publicly in some communities by Ashkenazim, on the Sabbath of Passover. In most Mizrahi Jewish communities it is read publicly each week at the onset of the Shabbat. There is a widespread custom to read it at the end of the Passover Seder. Italian Jews read it at the Maariv of the second day of Passover; the Book of Ruth is read in some communities by Ashkenazim, before the reading of the Torah on the morning of Shavuot.
Others read it in the Tikkun at night, or not at all. The Book of Lamentations is read on the Ninth of Av in all Jewish communities. Ecclesiastes is read publicly in some communities by Ashkenazim, on the Sabbath of Sukkot. In other communities it is not read at all; the Book of Esther is read in all Jewish communities on Purim. The public reading is once again the next morning; when read in the synagogue, these five books are sung with cantillation. In most communities, Esther is the only book accompanied by blessings after, but certain communities adopted the custom of the Vilna Gaon to recite blessings before the other four megillot as well. As indicated above, only two of the megillot are traditionally read in all Jewish communities, Esther on Purim and Lamentations on the Ninth of Av; the practice of reading the other three books on the Three Pilgrimage Festivals is widespread but by no means universal. To read them is a venerable custom among Ashkenazim, but many Sephardic Jews do not associate the three books with the three festivals.
The association is thus weaker among Hasidic Jews who were influenced by Sephardic customs. The term megillah is most used for the book of Esther though it is applied to the rest as well; the term megillah is used in a joking way, in reference to any lengthy story. Eugene H. Peterson's Five Smooth Stones for Pastoral Work examines the application of the Megillot to Christian pastoral theology; the cantillation marks which guide the singing of the text written in the printed texts of the Five Scrolls are drawn from the same set of markings as the notes in the Humash. However, the tune in which they are read varies depending on the scroll. Esther is read in a happier tune than the sad tune of Lamentations. Traditionally, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs are read with the same festive tune. Cantillation Torah
Book of Ezra
The Book of Ezra is a book of the Hebrew Bible. The two became separated with the first printed rabbinic bibles of the early 16th century, following late medieval Latin Christian tradition, its subject is the Return to Zion following the close of the Babylonian captivity, it is divided into two parts, the first telling the story of the first return of exiles in the first year of Cyrus the Great and the completion and dedication of the new Temple in Jerusalem in the sixth year of Darius I, the second telling of the subsequent mission of Ezra to Jerusalem and his struggle to purify the Jews from marriage with non-Jews. Together with the Book of Nehemiah, it represents the final chapter in the historical narrative of the Hebrew Bible. Ezra is written to fit a schematic pattern in which the God of Israel inspires a king of Persia to commission a leader from the Jewish community to carry out a mission; the theological program of the book explains the many problems. It appeared in its earliest version around 399 BC, continued to be revised and edited for several centuries before being accepted as scriptural in the early Christian era.
The Book of Ezra consists of ten chapters: chapters 1–6, covering the period from the Cyrus the Great to the dedication of the Second Temple, are told in the third person. The book contains several documents presented as historical inclusions, written in Aramaic while the surrounding text is in Hebrew Chapters 1–6 1. Decree of Cyrus, first version: Cyrus, inspired by God, returns the Temple vessels to Sheshbazzar, "prince of Judah", directs the Israelites to return to Jerusalem with him and rebuild the Temple. 2. 42,360 exiles, with men servants, women servants and "singing men and women", return from Babylon to Jerusalem and Judah under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Jeshua the High Priest. 3. Jeshua the High Priest and Zerubbabel celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. In the second year the foundations of the Temple are laid and the dedication takes place with great rejoicing. 4. Letter of the Samaritans to Artaxerxes, reply of Artaxerxes: The "enemies of Judah and Benjamin" offer to help with the rebuilding, but are rebuffed.
The officials of Samaria write to king Artaxerxes warning him that Jerusalem is being rebuilt, the king orders the work to stop. "Thus the work on the house of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia." 5. Tattenai's letter to Darius: Through the exhortations of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah and Joshua recommence the building of the Temple. Tattenai, satrap over both Judah and Samaria, writes to Darius warning him that Jerusalem is being rebuilt and advising that the archives be searched to discover the decree of Cyrus. 6. Decree of Cyrus, second version, decree of Darius: Darius finds the decree, directs Tattenai not to disturb the Jews in their work, exempts them from tribute and supplies everything necessary for the offerings; the Temple is finished in the month of Adar in the sixth year of Darius, the Israelites assemble to celebrate its completion. Chapters 7–107. Letter of Artaxerxes to Ezra: King Artaxerxes is moved by God to commission Ezra "to inquire about Judah and Jerusalem with regard to the Law of your God" and to "appoint magistrates and judges to administer justice to all the people of Trans-Euphrates—all who know the laws of your God."
Artaxerxes directs all Persian officials to aid him. 8. Ezra gathers a large body of returnees and much gold and silver and precious vessels for the Temple and camps by a canal outside Babylon. There he discovers he has no Levites, so sends messengers to gather some; the exiles return to Jerusalem, where they distribute the gold and silver and offer sacrifices to God. 9. Ezra is informed that some of the Jews in Jerusalem have married non-Jewish women. Ezra is appalled at this proof of sin, prays to God: "O God of Israel, you are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence." 10. Despite the opposition of some of their number, the Israelites assemble and send away their foreign wives and children. In the early 6th century BC, the Kingdom of Judah rebelled against the Neo-Babylonian Empire and was destroyed; as a result, the royal court, the priests, the prophets and scribes were taken into captivity in the city of Babylon.
There a profound intellectual revolution took place, the exiles blaming their fate on disobedience to their God and looking forward to a future when he would allow a purified people to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. The same period saw the rapid rise of Persia an unimportant kingdom in present-day southern Iran, to a position of great power, in 539 BC Cyrus II, the Persian ruler, conquered Babylon, it is difficult to describe the parties and politics of Judea in this period because of the lack of historical sources, but there seem to have been three important groups involved: the returnees from the exile who claimed the reconstruction with the support
Book of Proverbs
The Book of Proverbs is the second book of the third section of the Hebrew Bible and a book of the Christian Old Testament. When translated into Greek and Latin, the title took on different forms: in the Greek Septuagint it became Παροιμίαι Paroimiai. Proverbs is not an anthology but a "collection of collections" relating to a pattern of life which lasted for more than a millennium, it is an example of the Biblical wisdom tradition, raises questions of values, moral behaviour, the meaning of human life, right conduct. The repeated theme is that "the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom." Wisdom is praised for her role in creation. The superscriptions divide the collections as follows: Proverbs 1–9: "Proverbs of Solomon, Son of David, King of Israel" Proverbs 10–22:16: "Proverbs of Solomon" Proverbs 22:17–24:22: "The Sayings of the Wise" Proverbs 24:23–34: "These Also are Sayings of the Wise" Proverbs 25–29: "These are Other Proverbs of Solomon that the Officials of King Hezekiah of Judah Copied" Proverbs 30: "The Words of Agur" Proverbs 31:1–9: "The Words of King Lemuel of Massa, Which his Mother Taught Him" Proverbs 31:10–31: the ideal wise woman.
"Proverbs" translates to the Hebrew word mashal, but "mashal" has a wider range of meaning than the short catchy sayings implied by the English word. Thus, while half the book is made up of "sayings" of this type, the other half is made up of longer poetic units of various types; these include "instructions" formulated as advice from a teacher or parent addressed to a student or child, dramatic personifications of both Wisdom and Folly, the "words of the wise" sayings, longer than the Solomonic "sayings" but shorter and more diverse than the "instructions". The first section consists of an initial invitation to young men to take up the course of wisdom, ten "instructions", five poems on personified Woman Wisdom. Proverbs 10:1–22:16, with 375 sayings, consists of two parts, the first contrasting the wise man and the fool, the second addressing wise and foolish speech. Chapters 25–29, attributed to editorial activity of "the men of Hezekiah," contrasts the just and the wicked and broaches the topic of rich and poor.
Chapter 30:1–4, the "sayings of Agur", introduces creation, divine power, human ignorance. It is impossible to offer precise dates for the sayings in Proverbs, a "collection of collections" relating to a pattern of life which lasted for more than a millennium; the phrase conventionally used for the title is taken from chapter 1:1, mishley shelomoh, Proverbs of Solomon, is more concerned with labeling the material than ascribing authorship. The book is an anthology made up of six discrete units; the first, chapters 1–9, was the last to be composed, in the Persian or Hellenistic periods. This section has parallels to prior cuneiform writings; the second, chapters 10–22:16, carries the superscription "the proverbs of Solomon", which may have encouraged its inclusion in the Hebrew canon. The third unit is headed "bend your ear and hear the words of the wise": a large part of it is a recasting of a second-millennium BCE Egyptian work, the Instruction of Amenemope, may have reached the Hebrew author through an Aramaic translation.
Chapter 24:23 begins a new section and source with the declaration, "these too are from the wise." The next section at chapter 25:1 has a superscription to the effect that the following proverbs were transcribed "by the men of Hezekiah", indicating at face value that they were collected in the reign of Hezekiah in the late 8th century BCE. Chapters 30 and 31 are a set of appendices, quite different in style and emphasis from the previous chapters; the "wisdom" genre was widespread throughout the ancient Near East, reading Proverbs alongside the examples recovered from Egypt and Mesopotamia reveals the common ground shared by international wisdom. The wisdom literature of Israel may have been developed in the family, the royal court, houses of learning and instruction. Along with the other examples of the Biblical wisdom tradition – Job and Ecclesiastes and some other writings – Proverbs raises questions of values, moral behavior, the meaning of human life, righteous conduct; the three retain an ongoing relevance for both religious and secular readers and Ecclesiastes through the boldness of their dissent from received tradition, Proverbs in its worldliness and satiric shrewdness.
Wisdom is as close. Proverbs was excluded from the Bible because of its contradictions; the reader is told, for example, both to "not answer a fool according to his folly", according to 26:4, to "answer a fool according to his folly", as 26:5 advises. More pervasively, the recurring theme of the initial unit is that t
Book of Ruth
The Book of Ruth is included in the third division, or the Writings, of the Hebrew Bible. It is named after its central figure, Ruth the Moabitess, the great-grandmother of David; the book tells of Ruth's accepting the God of the Israelites as her God and the Israelite people as her own. In Ruth 1:16–17, Ruth tells Naomi, her Israelite mother-in-law, "Where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay. Your people will be your God my God. Where you die I will die, there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it so if death separates you and me." The book is held in esteem by Jews who fall under the category of Jews-by-choice, as is evidenced by the considerable presence of Boaz in rabbinic literature. The Book of Ruth functions liturgically, as it is read during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot; the book is structured in four chapters:Act 1: Prologue and Problem: Death and Emptiness Scene 1: Setting the scene Scene 2: Naomi returns home Scene 3: Arrival of Naomi and Ruth in Bethlehem Act 2: Ruth Meets Boaz, Naomi's Relative, on the Harvest Field Scene 1: Ruth in the field of Boaz Scene 2: Ruth reports to Naomi Act 3: Naomi Sends Ruth to Boaz on the Threshing Floor Scene 1: Naomi Reveals Her Plan Scene 2: Ruth at the threshing-floor of Boaz Scene 3: Ruth reports to Naomi Act 4: Resolution and Epilogue: Life and Fullness Scene 1: Boaz with the men at the gate Scene 2: A son is born to Ruth Genealogical appendix During the time of the judges when there was a famine, an Israelite family from Bethlehem – Elimelech, his wife Naomi, their sons Mahlon and Chilion – emigrated to the nearby country of Moab.
Elimelech died, the sons married two Moabite women: Mahlon married Ruth and Chilion married Orpah. After about ten years, the two sons of Naomi died in Moab. Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem, she told her daughters-in-law to return to their own mothers and remarry. Orpah reluctantly left. For wherever you go, I will go. Where you die, I will die, there I will be buried, thus and more may the Lord do to me if anything but death parts me from you.". The two women returned to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest, in order to support her mother-in-law and herself, Ruth went to the fields to glean; as it happened, the field she went to belonged to a man named Boaz, kind to her because he had heard of her loyalty to her mother-in-law. Ruth told Naomi of Boaz's kindness, she gleaned in his field through the remainder of barley and wheat harvest. Boaz was a close relative of Naomi's husband's family, he was therefore obliged by the Levirate law to marry Mahlon's widow, Ruth, in order to carry on his family's inheritance.
Naomi sent Ruth to the threshing floor at night and told her to go where he slept, "uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what you are to do.". Ruth did so. Boaz asked her who she was, she replied: "I am your handmaid Ruth. Spread your robe over your handmaid, for you are a redeeming kinsman". Boaz blessed her and agreed to do all, required, he noted that, "all the elders of my town know what a fine woman you are", he acknowledged that he was a close relative, but that there was one, closer, she remained in submission at his feet until she returned into the city in the morning. Early that day, Boaz went to the city gate to meet with the other male relative before the town elders; the relative is not named: Boaz addresses him as ploni almoni "so and so". The unnamed relative is unwilling to jeopardize the inheritance of his own estate by marrying Ruth, so relinquished his right of redemption, thus allowing Boaz to marry Ruth, they transferred the property and redeemed it, ratified by the nearer kinsman taking off his shoe and handing it over to Boaz.
Ruth 4:7 notes for generations that: Now this was done in Israel in cases of redemption or exchange: to validate any transaction, one man would take off his sandal and hand it to the other. Such was the practice in Israel. Boaz and Ruth were married and have a son; the women of the city celebrate Naomi's joy, for Naomi found a redeemer for her family name, Naomi takes the child and places it in her bosom. The child is named Obed, who we discover is "the father of Jesse, the father of David", that is, the grandfather of King David; the book concludes with an appendix which traces the Davidic genealogy all the way back from Perez, "whom Tamar bore to Judah", through to Obed, down to David. The book does not name its author, it is traditionally ascribed to the prophet Samuel, but Ruth's identity as a non-Israelite and the stress on the need for an inclusive attitude towards foreigners suggests an origin in the fifth century BC, when intermarriage had become controversial. A substantial number of scholars therefore date it to the Persian period.
The genealogy that concludes the book is believed to be a post-exilic Priestly addition, as it adds nothing to the plot.
Book of Esther
The Book of Esther known in Hebrew as "the Scroll", is a book in the third section of the Jewish Tanakh and in the Christian Old Testament. It is one of the five Scrolls in the Hebrew Bible, it relates the story of a Hebrew woman in Persia, born as Hadassah but known as Esther, who becomes queen of Persia and thwarts a genocide of her people. The story forms the core of the Jewish festival of Purim, during which it is read aloud twice: once in the evening and again the following morning; the books of Esther and Song of Songs are the only books in the Hebrew Bible that do not explicitly mention God. The biblical Book of Esther is set in the Persian capital of Susa in the third year of the reign of the Persian king Ahasuerus; the name Ahasuerus is equivalent to Xerxes, Ahasuerus is identified in modern sources as Xerxes I, who ruled between 486 and 465 BC, as it is to this monarch that the events described in Esther are thought to fit the most closely. Assuming that Ahasuerus is indeed Xerxes I, the events described in Esther began around the years 483–82 BC, concluded in March 473 BC.
Classical sources such as Josephus, the Jewish commentary Esther Rabbah and the Christian theologian Bar-Hebraeus, as well as the Greek Septuagint translation of Esther, instead identify Ahasuerus as either Artaxerxes I or Artaxerxes II. On his accession, Artaxerxes II lost Egypt to pharaoh Amyrtaeus, after which it was no longer part of the Persian empire. In his Historia Scholastica Petrus Comestor identified Ahasuerus as Artaxerxes III who reconquered Egypt; the Book of Esther consists of an introduction in chapters 1 and 2. The plot is structured around banquets, a word that occurs twenty times in Esther and only 24 times in the rest of the Hebrew bible; this is appropriate given that Esther describes the origin of a Jewish feast, the feast of Purim, but Purim itself is not the subject and no individual feast in the book is commemorated by Purim. The book's theme, rather, is the reversal of destiny through a sudden and unexpected turn of events: the Jews seem destined to be destroyed, but instead are saved.
In literary criticism such a reversal is termed "peripety", while on one level its use in Esther is a literary or aesthetic device, on another it is structural to the author's theme, suggesting that the power of God is at work behind human events. King Ahasuerus, ruler of the Persian Empire, holds a lavish 180-day banquet for his court and dignitaries and afterwards a seven-day banquet for all inhabitants of the capital city, Shushan. On the seventh day of the latter banquet, Ahasuerus orders the queen, Vashti, to display her beauty before the guests by coming before them wearing her crown, she refuses, infuriating Ahasuerus, who on the advice of his counselors removes her from her position as an example to other women who might be emboldened to disobey their husbands. A decree follows that "that every man should bear rule in his own house". Ahasuerus makes arrangements to choose a new queen from a selection of beautiful young women from throughout the empire. Among these women is a Jewish orphan named Esther, raised by her cousin or uncle, Mordecai.
She finds favour in the King's eyes, is crowned his new queen, but does not reveal her Jewish heritage. Shortly afterwards, Mordecai discovers a plot by two courtiers and Teresh, to assassinate Ahasuerus; the conspirators are apprehended and hanged, Mordecai's service to the King is recorded. Ahasuerus appoints Haman as his viceroy. Mordecai, who sits at the palace gates, falls into Haman's disfavour, as he refuses to bow down to him. Haman discovers that Mordecai refused to bow on account of his Jewishness, in revenge plots to kill not just Mordecai, but all the Jews in the empire, he obtains Ahasuerus' permission to execute this plan, against payment of ten thousand talents of silver, casts lots to choose the date on which to do this – the thirteenth of the month of Adar. A royal decree is issued throughout the kingdom to slay all Jews on that date.. When Mordecai discovers the plan, he goes into mourning and implores Esther to intercede with the King, but she is afraid to present herself to an offense punishable by death.
Instead, she directs Mordecai to have all Jews fast for three days for her, vows to fast as well. On the third day she goes to Ahasuerus, who stretches out his sceptre to her to indicate that she is not to be punished, she invites him to a feast in the company of Haman. During the feast, she asks them to attend a further feast the next evening. Meanwhile, Haman is again offended by Mordecai and, at his wife's suggestion, has a gallows built to hang him; that night, Ahasuerus cannot sleep, orders the court records be read to him. He is reminded that Mordecai interceded in the previous plot against his life, discovers that Mordecai never received any recognition. Just Haman appears to request the King's permission to hang Mordecai, but before he can make this request, Ahasuerus asks Haman what should be done for the man that the King wishes to honor. Assuming that the King is referring to Haman himself, Haman suggests that the man be dressed in the King's royal robes and led around on the King's royal horse, while a herald calls: "See how the King honours a man he wishes to r
Book of Deuteronomy
The Book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Christian Old Testament and of the Jewish Torah, where it is called "Devarim". Chapters 1–30 of the book consist of three sermons or speeches delivered to the Israelites by Moses on the plains of Moab, shortly before they enter the Promised Land; the first sermon recounts the forty years of wilderness wanderings which had led to that moment, ends with an exhortation to observe the law referred to as the Law of Moses. The final four chapters contain the Song of Moses, the Blessing of Moses, narratives recounting the passing of the mantle of leadership from Moses to Joshua and the death of Moses on Mount Nebo. Presented as the words of Moses delivered before the conquest of Canaan, a broad consensus of modern scholars see its origin in traditions from Israel brought south to the Kingdom of Judah in the wake of the Assyrian conquest of Aram and adapted to a program of nationalist reform in the time of Josiah, with the final form of the modern book emerging in the milieu of the return from the Babylonian captivity during the late 6th century BC.
Many scholars see the book as reflecting the economic needs and social status of the Levite caste, who are believed to have provided its authors. One of its most significant verses is Deuteronomy 6:4, the Shema Yisrael, which has become the definitive statement of Jewish identity: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one." Verses 6:4–5 were quoted by Jesus in Mark 12:28–34 as part of the Great Commandment. Patrick D. Miller in his commentary on Deuteronomy suggests that different views of the structure of the book will lead to different views on what it is about; the structure is described as a series of three speeches or sermons followed by a number of short appendices – Miller refers to this as the "literary" structure. Chapters 1–4: The journey through the wilderness from Horeb to Kadesh and to Moab is recalled. Chapters 4–11: After a second introduction at 4:44–49 the events at Mount Horeb are recalled, with the giving of the Ten Commandments. Heads of families are urged to instruct those under their care in the law, warnings are made against serving gods other than Yahweh, the land promised to Israel is praised, the people are urged to obedience.
Chapters 12–26, the Deuteronomic code: Laws governing Israel's worship, the appointment and regulation of community and religious leaders, social regulation, confession of identity and loyalty. Chapters 27–28: Blessings and curses for those who keep and break the law. Chapters 29–30: Concluding discourse on the covenant in the land of Moab, including all the laws in the Deuteronomic code after those given at Horeb. Chapters 31–34: Joshua is installed as Moses's successor, Moses delivers the law to the Levites, ascends Mount Nebo or Pisgah, where he dies and is buried by God; the narrative of these events is interrupted by two poems, the Song of Moses and the Blessing of Moses. The final verses, Deuteronomy 34:10–12, "never again did there arise in Israel a prophet like Moses," make a claim for the authoritative Deuteronomistic view of theology and its insistence that the worship of the Hebrew God as the sole deity of Israel was the only permissible religion, having been sealed by the greatest of prophets.
Deuteronomy 12–26, the Deuteronomic Code, is the oldest part of the book and the core around which the rest developed. It is a series of mitzvot to the Israelites regarding how they ought to conduct themselves in Canaan, the land promised by Yahweh, God of Israel; the following list organizes most of the laws into thematic groups: All sacrifices are to be brought and vows are to be made at a central sanctuary. The worship of Canaanite gods is forbidden; the order is given to destroy their places of worship and to commit genocide against Canaanites and others with "detestable" religious beliefs. Native mourning practices such as deliberate disfigurement are forbidden; the procedure for tithing produce or donating its equivalent is given. A catalogue of which animals are permitted and which forbidden for consumption is given; the consumption of animals which are found dead and have not been slaughtered is prohibited. Sacrificed animals must be without blemish. First-born male livestock must be sacrificed.
The Pilgrimage Festivals of Passover and Sukkot are instituted. The worship at Asherah groves and setting up of ritual pillars are forbidden. Prohibition of mixing kinds (22