This book is sometimes called "Elleh hadebarim", from the words with
which it begins; and sometimes by the Jews "Mishneh Torah", the
repetition of the law; and so in the Syriac version, with which agrees
the Arabic title of it; and when the Greeks, and we after them, call it
"Deuteronomy", it is not to be understood of a second, a new, or
another law, but of the law formerly delivered, but now repeated, and
also more largely explained; to which are likewise added several
particular laws, instructions, and directions; all which were
necessary, on account of the people of Israel, who were now a new
generation, that either were not born, or not at an age to hear and
understand the law when given on Mount Sinai; the men that heard it
there being all dead, excepting a very few; and these people were also
now about to enter into the land of Canaan, which they were to enjoy as
long as they kept the law of God, and no longer, and therefore it was
proper they should be reminded of it; and besides, Moses was now about
to leave them, and having an hearty desire after their welfare, spends
the little time he had to be with them, by inculcating into them and
impressing on them the laws of God, and in opening and explaining them
to them, and enforcing them on them, which were to be the rule of their
obedience, and on which their civil happiness depended. And sometimes
the Jews call this book "the book of reproofs", because there are in it
several sharp reproofs of the people of Israel for their rebellion and
disobedience; and so the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem begin it by
calling it the words of reproof which Moses spake That this book
was written by Moses there can be no doubt, from \\#De 1:1 31:4,9,24\\,
only the eight last verses, which give an account of his death, and of
his character, were wrote by another hand, equally inspired by God, as
either Eleazar the priest, as some, or Samuel the prophet, as others;
or, as it is the more commonly received opinion of the Jews, Ezra;
though it is highly probable they were wrote by Joshua his successor.
This book was written and delivered by Moses, at certain times in the
last month of his life, and towards the close of the fortieth year of
the children of Israel's coming out of Egypt. And that it is of divine
authority need not be questioned, when the several quotations out of it
are observed, as made by the apostles of Christ, in \\#Ac 3:22 Ro 12:19\\
\\#Heb 10:30 Ga 3:10\\ out of \\#De 18:15 32:35,36 27:26\\ and by our Lord
himself, \\#Mt 18:16\\ from \\#De 19:15\\. Yea, it is remarkable, that all
the passages of Scripture produced by Christ, to repel the temptations
of Satan, are all taken out of this book, \\#Mt 4:7,10\\ compared with
\\#De 8:3 6:10,13\\, and the voice from heaven, directing the apostles
to hearken to him, refers to a prophecy of him in \\#De 18:15\\.


The time and place when the subject matter of this book was delivered
to the Israelites are observed by way of preface, \\#De 1:1-5\\, and it
begins with reminding them of an order to them to depart from
Mount Horeb, and pass on to the land of Canaan, which the Lord had
given them, \\#De 1:6-8\\, and with observing the very great increase
of their number, which made it necessary for Moses to appoint persons
under him to be rulers over them, whom he instructed in the duty of
their office, \\#De 1:9-18\\, and he goes on to observe, that when they
were come to the mountain of the Amorites, they were bid to go up and
possess the land; but, instead of that, they desired men might be sent
to search the land first, which was granted, \\#De 1:19-23\\, and
though these men upon their return brought of the fruits of the land,
and a good report of it, particularly two of them; yet being
discouraged by the report of the rest, they murmured, distrusted, and
were afraid to enter, though encouraged by Moses, \\#De 1:24-33\\,
which caused the Lord to be angry with them, and upon it threatened
them that they should die in the wilderness, and only two of them
should ever see and enjoy the land, and therefore were bid to turn and
take their journey in the wilderness, \\#De 1:34-40\\, but being
convinced of their evil, they proposed to go up the hill, and enter the
land, which they attempted against the commandment of the Lord, but
being repulsed by the Amorites, they fled with great loss, to their
great grief, and abode in Kadesh many days, \\#De 1:41-46\\.