The Fifth Book of Moses, Called Deuteronomy

Chapter 31

Moses encourages the people, 1-6. He encourages Joshua, 7, 8. He delivers the law to the priests to be read in the seventh year to the people, 9-13. God gives a charge to Joshua, 14-18; and a song to testify against the people, 19-23. Moses delivers the book of the law to the Levites to keep, 24-27. He makes a protestation, 28-30.

1 And Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. 2 And he said to them, "I am one hundred and twenty years old this day. I can no longer go out and come in. Also the LORD has said to me, 'You shall not go over this Jordan.' 3 The LORD your God, he will go over before you and he will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall possess them. And Joshua, he shall go over before you, as the LORD has said. 4 And the LORD shall do to them as he did to Sihon and to Og, kings of the Amorites, and to their land, whom he destroyed. 5 And the LORD shall give them up before your face, so that you may do to them according to all the commandments which I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and of a good courage, do not fear, nor be afraid of them, for the LORD your God, it is he who goes with you. He will not fail you, nor forsake you."

7 And Moses called to Joshua, and said to him in the sight of all Israel, "Be strong and of a good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them. And you shall cause them to inherit it. 8 And the LORD, it is he who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not fail you, neither forsake you. Do not fear, neither be dismayed."

9 And Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests the sons of Levi, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 And Moses commanded them, saying, "At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, 11 When all Israel has come to appear before the LORD your God in the place which he chooses, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Convene the people—men, women, children, and your stranger who is within your gates—so that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law, 13 And that their children who have not known anything, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land where you go over the Jordan to possess it."

14 And the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, your days approach that you must die. Call Joshua and present yourselves in the Tabernacle of the Congregation, so that I may give him a charge." And Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves in the Tabernacle of the Congregation. 15 And the LORD appeared in the tabernacle in a pillar of a cloud. And the pillar of the cloud stood over the door of the tabernacle. 16 And the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, you shall sleep with your fathers, and this people will rise up and commit idolatry with the gods of the strangers of the land where they go to be among them, and will forsake me and break my covenant which I have made with them. 17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured and many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, 'Have these evils not come upon us, because our God is not among us?' 18 And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they have wrought, because they have turned to other gods.

19 "Now therefore, write this song for yourselves and teach it to the children of Israel. Put it in their mouths, so that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. 20 For when I have brought them into the land which I swore to their fathers that flows with milk and honey and they have eaten and filled themselves and waxed fat, they will turn to other gods, serve them, provoke me, and break my covenant. 21 And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles have befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness, for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their offspring. For I know their imagination which they form, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I swore." 22 Moses therefore wrote this song the same day and taught it to the children of Israel.

23 And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, "Be strong and of a good courage, for you shall bring the children of Israel into the land which I swore to them. And I will be with you."

24 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book until they were finished, 25 That Moses commanded the Levites who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, 26 "Take this book of the law and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, so that it may be there for a witness against you. 27 For I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. Behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, you have been rebellious against the LORD. And how much more after my death? 28 Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, so that I may speak these words in their ears and call heaven and earth to record against them. 29 For I know that after my death you will utterly corrupt yourselves and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands."

30 And Moses spoke in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song until they were finished.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Deuteronomy, Chapter 31[➚]


[v.6] - Reference, Joshua 1:5; Hebrews 13:5.

[v.8] - Reference, Joshua 1:5; Hebrews 13:5.

[v.19] - "this song" - The song begins in the next chapter.