EI’LEH HAD’DE’VARIM ASHER DI’BER MO’SHE EL-KOL-YISRAEL BE’EY’VER HA’YAR’DEIN
These are the words which Moses spoke to All Israel on this side Jordan
in the wilderness
The commentary in the STONE Tanakh that introduces the Book of Deuteronomy emphasizes the unique character of this book versus the first four books of the Torah: this book is the prophetic sermon of Moses during the last five weeks of his life rather than the direct oracles of God through the mouth of Moses in the character of Genesis through Numbers. As a result, we could look on Deuteronomy as the “beginning of the formal gift of Prophecy” in the Bible.
Deuteronomy is one of the three most quoted books of the Tanakh* in the New Testament, especially by our Lord Jesus. The other two are Psalms and Isaiah. As a result, the New Testament is uniquely Prophetic in nature, flowing from the first overtly Prophetic Book of the Torah through the largest and most Messianic prophetic book of the Neviim (Isaiah) and the largest and most Messianic and prophetic book of the Writings (Psalms). As a result, the Apostolic Writings which report the direct words of Jesus and the Acts of Jesus are truly the Messianic culmination of the Prophetic Scriptures from the Torah through the Prophets and through the Writings of the Holy Nation of Israel. The Church of Messiah becomes the full flower of that Holy Nation as it blooms into all of Humanity through faith in the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:36) The Apostle Paul states plainly that the Messianic Gospel and Community are built upon the foundation of “The Apostles (the direct Witnesses to the life and words of the Biblical Messiah) and Prophets (as described above), Jesus Christ himself (the Biblical Messiah) being “the chief cornerstone” (again, of prophecy—see Isaiah 28:16 with Ephesians 2:18-22 and 1 Peter 2:4-10).
[*The Old Testament: Torah, Neviim, Ketuvim—Torah, Prophets, Writings]
It is not surprising then that the first Gospel in the New Testament is most-intimately connected with the fulfillments of Biblical Prophecy in the life of our Lord—Jesus of Nazareth. Throughout the Gospel of Matthew, you will notice the phrase “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet….” Matthew’s Gospel permanently unites the two testaments, Older and Newer, through the fulfillment of biblical prophecy in the life of our Lord, Jesus the Messiah.
But this is not the end of the matter. Just as God spoke directly through the mouth of Moses, even so God spoke directly through the mouth of the biblical Messiah—Jesus of Nazareth. At Jesus’ baptism, Matthew records that God spoke from heaven over him: “And Jesus, when he was baptized^, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” So then: just as God affirmed Moses to the children of Israel in the wilderness when his unique role was challenged, God also affirmed his beloved Son to the world at his baptism in Jordan.
[^where God in Fulness was manifested as Son, Spirit, Voice (of the Father), just like when God in Fulness was manifested to Moses in Exodus 3 as “Bush (the Earthly Vessel of the Manifested Presence, corresponding to The Incarnation), Fire (The Divine Spirit—see Acts 2:1-4 with Revelation 4:5, the seven-fold fulness of the Holy Spirit: see Isaiah 11:2) and Voice (of God, the Father).]
Again, in Matthew 17:2-5 we have this account during the Transfiguration of Jesus: “and [Jesus] was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun*, and his raiment was white as the light. And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if you will, let us make here three tabernacles; one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. While he yet spoke, behold, a bright could overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” So then: God himself affirmed the Primacy of the Word of Lord Messiah, even above that of Moses (the Torah) and Elijah (the Prophets). Jesus himself is “The Writing”—THE WORD OF GOD MADE FLESH. (John 1)
[*Book of Revelation, chapter 1 especially]
Again, John 12 records God speaking over Jesus (after Jesus had prayed, “Father, glorify you name”), saying, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” That glorification was directly attached to the Sacrifice of Jesus for the sins of the world and then to his burial, resurrection and ascension into glory where he now resides as Eternal High Priest after the order of the Eternal Priesthood of Melchizedek. (Books of Genesis, Psalms and Hebrews).
These events taken together give powerful context to John the Baptist’s utterance concerning Jesus in John 3:31-35, “He that comes from above (Jesus: see John 3:12-13) is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth: he that comes from heaven is above all…. For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God: for Give gives not the Spirit by measure unto him.” (See Hebrews 1:1-3. Both Moses and Elijah, and all the prophets before Jesus, were earthly vessels, not conceived from the Holy Spirit as Jesus was in Mary’s womb—cf. Genesis 3:15 with Isaiah 7:14 etc.). Furthermore, Jesus himself said to the Father in John 17:14, “I have given them your word….” Jesus was faithful to his calling, even as Moses was to his calling. (See Hebrews 3:1-6)
Therefore, in the Book of Deuteronomy we have a profound introduction to the Spirit of Prophecy that leads us directly to our precious Lord, Jesus the Messiah—Son of God, Son of Man. May the LORD enlighten you every moment as you walk through this glorious book with the Holy Spirit ministering to your mind the radiance of our Savior.