Deuteronomy means 'Second Law', and the book is essentially that: a re-telling of highlights from God's laws and key aspects of the history of Israel's willderness wanderings. The book consists of a set of speeches given by Moses to the assembled Israelites as they stand on the brink of the Promised Land, shortly before his death. He reminds them of iimportant aspects of their short history as a nation and of their responsibilities towards God, and he exhorts them and prepares them one last time before they continue their journey - this time without him - into the land of Canaan. The book thus marks the end of an era and the drawing together of its lessons, even as it preseages the future. The vast majority of those who had originally stood at the foot of Mount Sinai as God's laws were given had subsequently died in the wilderness, so it was a new generation which now stood before Moses about to embark on the journey into Canaan. It was criticially important, then, that Moses should both remind them of the past and prepare them for what lay ahead.

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