Deuteronomy – Chapter 1: The Command to Leave Horeb

All right, it’s time to start Deuteronomy so let’s jump right into it.  This chapter begins with Moses speaking to the Israelites and recounting much of what has already happened in the Bible.

“In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them.” – Deuteronomy 1:3

Forty years is quite a long time to travel what is not a long distance.  Then again, the Israelites only travel on clear days, as we learned earlier in the Bible.

“Go in and take possession of the land the Lord swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.” – Deuteronomy 1:8

What’s not mentioned here is that in order to do this, the people already living in the land will be slaughtered.

“The Lord your God has increased your numbers so that today you are as numerous as the stars in the sky.” – Deuteronomy 1:10

How, exactly?  In Numbers God killed several thousand Israelites because He was upset at them for asking questions.  The numbers killed were large, not small, so it’s unlikely the numbers of the Israelites have increased.  Moses even states a contradiction later in this chapter when he says many Israelites were killed when they attacked another group without the authority of God.

“So I took the leading men of your tribes, wise and respected men, and appointed them to have authority over you—as commanders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens and as tribal officials.” – Deuteronomy 1:15

Men and only men.  The Bible makes it clear women are unfit to lead.

“It is a good land that the Lord our God is giving us.” – Deuteronomy 1:25

A land that is already OCCUPIED!!!  The people living in this land have done NOTHING to the Israelites!  If a God exists, He created these people to die horrible deaths in war.  A creator has that right, but it makes said creator unjust and unmoral.

“Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness.’” – Deuteronomy 1:29-31

Yes, but to do so God had to harden the hearts of the Egyptians.  God caused the Egyptians to commit evil against the Israelites.  The Egyptions are not to blame.  God is.

“Because of you the Lord became angry with me also and said, ‘You shall not enter it, either.’” – Deuteronomy 1:37

Hmmm….Moses is a bit bitter and blames the Israelites for God punishing Moses.

“And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad—they will enter the land.” – Deuteronomy 1:39

Wait a second.  Moses acknowledges that the children do not yet know good from bad.  I agree.  Yet God has chosen over and over to punish the children of adults who commit sins.  This punishment often extends to several generations and includes children not yet born.  Children who do not yet know good from bad are punished by God.  Sounds like a just and moral God to me.  NOT!

That’s the end of Deuteronomy 1, but Moses’ speech is not yet finished.  We’ll pick it up again in Deuteronomy 2.

Coming Soon:  Deuteronomy – Chapter 2:  Wanderings in the Wilderness

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