Deuteronomy 19-20

Deuteronomy 19-20

Chapter 19: Murders to be put to Death

Cities of refuge among the children of Israel are established in cases of accidental manslaughter, so that the one who committed the accident can flee that he might not be killed out of revenge. If the person is to be found guilty by two or three witnesses (verse 15), then they shall be put to death. Anyone who is a false witness shall be punished.

Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, the word shall be established. This is one of the reasons that missionaries in the LDS church preach in pairs, and sometimes in trios.

Chapter 20: Laws of War

When the children of Israel are to go to battle, they are reminded to not be worried when the opposing army is bigger, because the Lord will stand by them. They are told to take care of unfinished business before they go to war, that they might be able to enjoy life in the case that they are killed in battle.

If the children of Israel or anyone goes to war upon a city that wants peace, and are genuine about this peace offering, you must respect it. However, if they want war, then they are commanded to smite all the males with their sword, and kill them in the city. Women, children and animals are to be spared and part of the spoils of war.

Israelites are commanded to “utterly destroy” the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and the Jebusites.

Deuteronomy 17-18

Deuteronomy 17-18

Chapter 17: Laws of God

God warns about sacrificing animals that are not perfect or are found to have blemishes or evil. He also warns about worshiping false gods. Anyone who does worship false gods shall be stoned to death.

Any time a case is difficult to be easily judged, the people shall take it before the priests to decide the sentence of the wrongdoer.

Chapter 18: A Prophet Will Arise

The Lord explains why the tribe of Levi shall not receive the same inheritance as the rest of the tribes of Israel. The reason for this, is that the tribe of Levi will receive the Lord as their inheritance, they have been chosen by him to minister for his people. They are sustained by the people and must abide by all of the commandments, just like the rest of the tribes of Israel.

God speaks of a prophet that will arise like Moses. This prophet is a prophecy of Jesus. See verses 9-18. The Lord says that he will put words in his mouth, and that just like Moses and future prophets the people of the Lord should hearken unto the voice of the prophet, because the prophet is the mouth piece of the Lord.

So here is a question which the Lord knew the Israelites would ask; “…How shall we know the word which the Lord hath spoken?” (Deuteronomy 18:21) and the Lord responds by saying;

“When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him” (Deuteronomy 18:22)

                So what does that mean? I take it like this… A prophet is only a prophet when he is speaking as one. A prophet is just another person, only he is called of God to be his mouth piece. So that means that he has times when he speaks as himself (with his own personality and everything) and then there are times when he speaks as a prophet, with the power and authority of God. We need to understand the two differences, and know when something said is actually “word of God” vs “the words of man”. Not to discredit what prophets of old and modern prophets say. But we must understand that they are only the mouth piece of God.

Deuteronomy 11-12

Deuteronomy 11-12

Chapter 11: Love God

The children of Israel are reminded of the importance of keeping the commandments of God. They are reminded about the great marvels that he accomplished among the Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Those who lived through the great miracles are held accountable for teaching the next generation of Israelites.

They are also reminded about the terrible things that can happen to those who disobey the commandments of the Lord.  If you keep the commandments, you can be strong mentally and physically (Deuteronomy 11:8)

If the Israelites keep the commandments, Love God and cleave unto him and do not worship false gods, then they will always be blessed with rain in its season, for bountiful crops and grass to feed their cattle. He encourages them to not only listen and follow the commandments, but to keep them in their heart and soul that they might become second hand to them. (Deuteronomy 11:18)

They are commanded to teach their children these same things and to have these commandments and scriptures in their homes, so that they may always remember.

They are promised that if they do follow the commandments and walk in the same paths as the Lord, that no nation will come before them and win and that they will have other nations driven out before   them that they may possess any land in which they set foot.

Chapter 12: Don’t Eat Blood

Israel is to destroy the Canaanitish gods and their places of worship. Eating of blood is forbidden, because it is the “life” of the flesh. But it does state that if you want to kill something to eat it, you are welcome to it. Just as long as you do not eat the blood, so make sure it is “well done”. (See Deuteronomy 12:15-16)

Deuteronomy 3-4

Deuteronomy 3-4

Chapter 3: People of Bashan are Destroyed

The congregation of Israel heads up to Bashan, where the king of Bashan (king Og) opposes them in a great battle, at Edrei. The Israelites start to fear a little, but the Lord delivered King Og and his people, just like the Lord delivered Sihon and his people into their hands.

They do just like they did with Sihon and his people, killing every single one of them, until no men, women or children are left alive. The children of Israel take the livestock and goods for their plunder. They conquered threescore (or 3 x 20=60), they conquered sixty cities, that were under the rule of King Og, in Bashan. All the cities were fenced, with walls, gates and bars. Essentially they were heavily fortified.

An interesting passage in verse 11, states that King Og was the last of the “giants”, mentioning that his bed was 13.5 long and 6 feet wide! Did you know that an average twin bed is.. 3.5 feet wide by 6.25 feet long! Almost double the size of a twin mattress, making me believe that these “giants” of the Old Testament were probably about double the size of an average man today.

The regions of Gilead and all of Bashan were given to the half tribe of Manasseh which was known as the land of the giants.

Moses sees Canaan from Pisgah, but is denied entrance into this land. He however, counsels and gives charge of Joshua.

Chapter 4: Scattering and Gathering of Israel

Moses speaks to the congregation of Israel and commands them to not add to the word, neither should they fall from it.

“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it…” (Deuteronomy 4:2)

                This verse really gets me, because some skeptics of the Book of Mormon will read from the book of Revelations, where it says: “…If any man add unto these things (speaking of the Book of Revelations, but often misunderstood as the “Bible as a whole”), God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:” (Revelations 22:18)

So essentially we have two scriptures that say “do not add”, if Revelations was true, then why was Deuteronomy 4:2 written? The answer… Moses and John the Revelator were speaking of their words, in their books! Think about the way the books of the Bible were written… Revelations wasn’t even the last book written of the Bible!

Just thought I would mention that verse in Deuteronomy, Moses after telling his people to neither add, nor diminish from his words; continues to teach and preach to his people. Moses tells his people to be wise and an understanding people, without this they will not become a great nation. He reminds them to remember of the times when they were able to see the Lord’s hands in their lives and more specifically when they were wondering in the desert for forty years. They are to be a witness of the great power and wisdom of God.

Moses reminds his people of the covenant that they made with the Lord to follow the Ten Commandments and to follow all of the statutes and judgments. Moses tells the Israelites to not worship false gods, or get the idea of worshiping the stars, the moon or the sun.

Moses explains that if they chose to not follow the commandments and statutes that the Lord has placed upon them, then they will be destroyed. He exhorts them (or suggests to them) that they follow the commandments and do everything in their power to “extend” or “prolong” their days upon the land, having more time to be favorable in the eyes of God. Because he says that God is a “jealous” God, but a merciful God. If they do this faithfully, Israel will be once again gathered in the “latter” days.

One thing that I found to be interesting is in verse 28; Moses is speaking to the Israelites about how they will be punished if they serve other gods, which he mentions; “…ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood, stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell” (Deuteronomy 4:28)

What is verse 4:28 telling us? I believe it has two meanings. One is that often times we worship things that are made by men, like (in modern days), a cell phone, computer, car, money…etc. We focus on those things (we worship them), when we should be worshiping God. The other meaning, is a little more disputed among scholars… but I believe this verse tells us about the nature of God.

So my question is, who is God? What does he  look like? Does he  have a body, or is he a spirit?

Here is the answer:

God said; “…Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness…so God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)

So God created man in his own image, which means that He looks like us! God has a body of flesh and bones! This scripture in Deuteronomy 4:28 clearly says that God can see, hear, eat and smell.