Deuteronomy 31:11

Deuteronomy 31:11

When all Israel is come to appear before the Lord thy God,
&c.] As all the males were obliged to do three times in the year, and one of those times was the feast of tabernacles, and so a proper season for the reading of the law; see ( Exodus 23:14-17 ) ;

in the place which the Lord shall choose;
the city of Jerusalem, and the temple there:

thou shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing;
the book of Deuteronomy, as Jarchi, or it may be the whole Pentateuch: who were to read it is not expressly said; the speech seems to be directed to the priests and elders, to whom the law written by Moses was delivered, ( Deuteronomy 31:9 ) ; and who were either to read it themselves, or take care that it should be read. Josephus F24 ascribes this service to the high priest; he says, standing in an high pulpit (or on an high bench),

``from whence he may be heard, he must read the laws to all;''

but the Jewish writers commonly allot this work to the king, or supreme governor, who at least was to read some parts of it; so Jarchi says, the king at first read Deuteronomy, as it is said in the Misnah F25;

``he read from the beginning of Deuteronomy to ( Deuteronomy 6:4 ) ; hear, O Israel and then added ( Deuteronomy 11:13 ) ; then ( Deuteronomy 14:22 ) ; after that ( Deuteronomy 26:12 ) ; then the section of the king, ( Deuteronomy 17:14 ) ; next the blessings and the curses, ( Deuteronomy 27:15-26 ) ( 28:16-68 ) , with which he finished the whole section;''

and so we find that Joshua, the governor of the people after Moses, read all his laws, ( Joshua 8:35 ) ; and so did King Josiah at the finding of the book of the law, ( 2 Kings 23:2 ) , and Ezra, ( Nehemiah 8:3 ) . The king received the book from the high priest standing, and read it sitting; but King Agrippa stood and read, for which he was praised.


F24 Antiqu. l. 4. c. 8. sect. 12.
F25 Sotah, ut supra. (c. 7. sect. 8.)