Bible Query from
Q: In Dt, what is the main point of this book?
A: This is a summary of the law in the previous three books of Moses. This has less detail that Leviticus, and less historical background than Exodus and Numbers. The name in Greek and English comes from the Greek words "second law", but it can more properly be thought of as a condensation of the law.
Q: In Dt 1:6,9,14; Dt 15:2,5; Dt 11:2,7, why did Moses tell the people they were witnesses of what happened before the 40 years wandering, since Num 14:29-30 and Num 26:64-65 say all would die in the wilderness?
A: Four points to consider in the answer.
For an estimated seven years, the people were in the wilderness before the curse of 40 years wandering was given.
Numbers 26:64-65 said only all those counted in the army census were not alive before.
Number 14:29-30 promised only that the men counted in the previous census would all die before reaching the promised land, except for Joshua and Caleb.
Thus, excluded from the curse were all the men under 20 (which were not counted in the census), the Levite men of all ages, and all the women. Many of these would be alive as personal witnesses of the previous events. People born after the 40 years started would only be second-hand witnesses, learning from their parents and the community.
See When Critics Ask p.113-114 and Haley’s Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible p.357-358 for more info.
Q: In Dt 1:8-12, is the "I" that is speaking here Moses, or God?
A: In Deuteronomy 1:6 Moses related "This is what God said", so the "I" in verse 8 is God. When Moses finished repeating what God said at the end of verse 8, from verse 9 and onward the "I" refers to Moses.
Q: In Dt 1:13, did the people choose their own judges, or did Moses appoint them in Ex 18:25?
A: An analogy might help here. Does the President of the United States nominate people to cabinet positions, or does the Senate confirm them?
Both are true. In the Bible, the people brought forward people to be their judges, and Moses choose those men. Moses may have chosen everyone that was brought forward, but He did not necessarily do so. See When Critics Ask p.114-115 and Haley’s Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible p.350-351 for more info.
Q: In Dt 1:22-23, why did the followers of an All-Knowing God need to send spies throughout the land?
A: There are two distinct points to consider in the answer.
1. Moses probably thought this was a good idea, because God lets us learn many things on our own. They could spy out Canaan to know the best way to enter, and the relative strength of their armed forces.
2. However, God never commanded them to send out the spies. The people approached Moses with this suggestion, and Moses just thought it was good in verse 23. However, it turned out to be a catastrophe, because when they saw some difficulties they lost faith. They did not lose faith that God was there, rather they lost faith that God would protect them.
There are two key lessons here for Christians today. First, analyzing a situation is in general a good thing. However, if one purpose of the analysis is to decide whether or not to trust in God, or whether or not to obey God, the analysis itself is evil because it springs from evil motives.
The second key lesson has to do with leadership. Moses did not have any bad motives here, and he was probably unaware that a hidden motive for some of the people asking to send spies was to decide if they wanted to obey or not. When someone asks us for a strange request that appears harmless, instead of impulsively granting or denying it, it is better to first understand why.
Q: In Dt 1:26-43, since God wanted the Israelites to go to Canaan immediately, and after they first refused, why was God angry with them when they decided to go?
A: Romans 14:23 explicitly states the principle illustrated in Deuteronomy 1:26-43: "whatever does not proceed from faith is sin." At first the Israelites refused to go due to a lack of trust in God. Later, they decided to go because they trusted in themselves. God was not as concerned with their going or not at a specific time, as their obedience to Him.
If you had difficulty with this question before reading the answer, you might want to remember the following. Some people focus on the things to do, or not do, to be right with God. This is missing the point. God wants us not just to try to obey Him at a distance, but to call on Him and draw near to God and obey Him. Read Romans 14 for some examples that you can only understand if you understand this principle.
Q: In Dt 1:28, Dt 2:10, Dt 9:2, who are the sons of Anak (Anakim), Emites, and Rephaites?
A: The Anakites were descendants of a man named Anak. The Anakites were a tribe whose men were fearsome warriors, probably because of their size and strength. Since bows were not that powerful back then, and a long reach and strength were valuable fighting qualities for people who fought with swords and clubs, these three related clans produced many feared warriors. See the discussion on Deuteronomy 31:3 for more info.
Q: In Dt 1:39, what is meant by the knowledge of God and the age of accountability?
A: The age of accountability is a concept that children reach an age, before which they are accountable before God for their choices. No verse indicates that this age is the same for every child. Three of the principles of God’s justice are demonstrated in this passage.
1. God judges based on what people know, and little children who do not choose what is right, out of ignorance, are not judged for that. Sin is not counted where there is no law (Romans 4:15; 5:12).
2. God does not judge people for what they could not choose. A woman raped in the countryside, where her screams could not be heard, was not punished for sexual sin (Deuteronomy 22:25-27). Likewise, even teenagers who understood right from wrong, but had no voice in the assembly or its decision, did not fall under the punishment of dying in the wilderness.
3. Nevertheless, in this life people often suffer the consequence of the evil others did. The children still had to live in the wilderness for 40 years. However, God will make everything just on judgment day.
Q: In Dt 2:4-8, why were the Israelites unable to defeat the Edomites, since the Israelites were so much stronger?
A: The Israelites never fought them, and you do not defeat a weaker nation when you refuse to fight them. Nowhere does it say that were incapable of defeating the Edomites. Rather God commanded them not to fight the Edomites, and they obeyed.
Q: In Dt 2:4-7, why did God tell the Israelites they are about to pass through Edom, since Num 20:14-21 and Dt 2:8 shows they never did? Did God not know that in advance?
A: Three points to consider in the answer.
1. God knows everything that is going to happen to us (Psalm 139:16, Isaiah 46:10; 41:22-23; 42:9; 44:7, 1 John 3:20)
2. God told Moses to give the Israelites these orders.
3. They were "about" to pass through Edom, and they would have passed through if the Edomites had let them.
As Gleason Archer pointed out in the next question, a different answer is that they were probably in Edom when they made their request of the Edomites, and passed through the outskirts of Edom, so actually they passed through Edom after all.
Q: In Dt 2:4-7 and Num 20:14-21, did the Israelites go around Edom, or through Edom as Dt 2:4-7 says?
A: Deuteronomy 2:4-7 never said they passed through Edom. Rather, prior to their reaching the border of Edom, the Israelites were told they were about to pass through Edom, and make sure not to provoke the Edomites to war.
Both Numbers 20 shows the Edomites would not let them go through Edom, and the Edomites mobilized their army. So the Israelites passed around Edom.
Sometimes people can be about to do something, and when an army comes against them, the people decide to do something else instead. See also the next question
Gleason Archer gives a different answer. If you follow their journey, they likely were in Edom when they were discussing things with the Edomites. Then they passed along the (unmarked) border of Edom, so in a sense they still did pass through, though not by the easier route they would have wanted to pass. See Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.138-139 and Bible Difficulties & Seeming Contradictions p.157 for more info on this answer and When Critics Ask p.106-107 for more on both answers.
Q: In Dt 2:7, did the Israelites lack nothing, or were the conditions bad enough to grumble about as in Ex 16:2-3 and Num 11:4-6?
A: The conditions were tolerable, in that the people had enough food, water, and clothing. However, just like today, whether or not a situation is worth grumbling about depends on the grumbler as much as the situation. For believers, Paul commanded in Philippians 2:14 that we are to do everything without complaining or arguing.
Q: In Dt 2:9-12,22,37, why did the Israelites not conquer the Moabites and Ammonites?
A: For the simple reason that God commanded the Israelites not to fight them. Likely reasons God commanded this are that the Moabites and Ammonites were related to the Israelites, the Israelites were to be focused on the Canaanites, and no use having even a single warrior die in a fight over land that they were not told to take over anyway.
Q: In Dt 2:10-12, how was Canaan the "land of their possession", since they had not entered it yet?
A: The land west of the Jordan River was promised as their possession. In addition, Deuteronomy was probably written last, and the 2 1/2 tribes had already taken possession of the land east of the Jordan River.
See When Critics Ask p.115-117 for more info and some interesting contrasts between the view of those who hold to the authority of Scripture versus the critical view of Christian liberals. (The term "Christian liberal" by the way, refers to religious views and not to politics.)
Q: In Dt 2:19, did God not give the Ammonite land to the Israelites, or did Moses give it to them in Joshua 13:25?
A: Both are true. The Ammonites had parts of their kingdom, the ancestral part, and the part they got from conquest. Prior to both verses, the Israelites occupied the second part. Thus, Deuteronomy 2:19 was specifically written to tell the Israelites not to take over the land which the Ammonites currently, and originally, possessed.
In addition to this, the land on the eastern bank of the Jordan River was not a part of Canaan. The Israelites conquered it and occupied it, but God did not promise it to them. Sometimes today, we can acquire things God does not want us to have, to our later regret. See When Critics Ask p.117 and Haley’s Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible p.365-366 for more info.
Q: In Dt 3:11, how long was the bed of King Og of Bashan?
A: This was about 13 to 13 1/2 feet long. The Hebrew word for "bed" here is obscure. It could refer to the bed where he spent the night, or it could be the "grave bed", (really tomb), where his body would rest.
Q: In Dt 3:11, how could King Og’s bed be iron, since they did not have sophisticated iron-working technology?
A: According to The New Geneva Study Bible (p.245), this does not necessarily mean the entire bed was made out of iron (that would be rather uncomfortable). Instead, the bed was trimmed with iron. Egyptians used iron from meteorites as ornaments and daggers since at least 3000 B.C.
Q: In Dt 3:12-17, why did the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half of Manasseh live on the east side of the Jordan, since the people were to live in Canaan?
A: Simply because they chose to live there. Scripture records their choice without approving it. History shows that their choice was not a wise one.
Sometimes today, if believers want to do something that is not openly defiant, but is not completely what God wanted us to do, God allows us the freedom to make our unwise choice, and often to see its consequences.
Q: In Dt 4:2, does the command not to add to the word God gave, mean there should be no books in the Bible after Deuteronomy?
A: No. The verse is specifically a restriction on people not to add or subtract from the commands in the Book of Deuteronomy. It is not a restriction on God to send further revelation.
Q: In Dt 4:10-15, did God give Moses the Ten Commandments in Horeb at the Mountain, or at Mt. Sinai as Ex 19:11 says?
A: There are two alternative answers.
Synonyms: The New Bible Dictionary (1978) p.1194 says that the two names were used interchangeably, similar to Moses’ father-in-law being named both Jethro and Reul. Multiple names are very common in places where there are multiple languages and cultures.
Region: Horeb might include more than just Mt. Sinai. It might be the name for the region or plateau, not just the peak.
See When Critics Ask p.117 and Haley’s Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible p.376 for more info.
Q: In Dt 4:12,16 (KJV), what is a similitude?
A: The King James Version expression, in this context, was a translation of "physical form".
Q: In Dt 4:12, did the people not see God’s form, or did Moses see God’s form in Num 4:12?
A: Both. Moses saw the form of God (probably a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ. The people did not see any form. This is similar to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus hearing the voice of Jesus while his companions only heard a sound. See Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible p.76 for more info.
Q: In Dt 4:16-18, did this command prohibit all artwork of people or animals?
A: Obviously not, because there were statues of cherubim over the ark in Exodus 37:8-9. Moses also was commanded to make a bronze snake in Numbers 21:4-9. In Solomon’s temple, there were also cherubim in 1 Kings 6:23-27. Many other pictures of cherubim were carved in the Temple in 1 Kings 6:39,32,35.
What is prohibited is the use of images as objects of worship. Pagans both worshipped the statues themselves and worshipped pagan gods through the image of their statues.
Q: In Dt 4:20, why was Egypt a "furnace"?
A: It was a furnace in at least three different ways.
1. Egypt was a dry, hot place; hotter than Palestine.
2. Furnaces can consume, burn, and destroy perishable things.
3. Furnaces are useful to refine metals and remove the dross.
Some experiences today are like furnaces. The same experience can destroy one person, and refine another person, purifying the "gold" in the person’s heart.
Q: In Dt 4:20, why was Egypt like an "iron" furnace, since 1447 B.C. is pre-Iron age, and they did not have any furnaces made out of iron?
A: Archaeology shows that Egypt had iron implements since 3000 B.C.. However, iron was difficult to work with and very expensive, because iron required a higher temperature than bronze or copper. This verse not refer to a furnace composed of iron, but rather a furnace built for smelting iron.
Q: Since Dt 4:25-26 said they would utterly perish if they worshipped idols, and they worshipped idols, why did they not utterly perish?
A: You can find the answer by reading the very next verse: Deuteronomy 4:27. God would destroy the Jews as a people, and scatter them among the nations. However, destroy here does not mean utterly destroy. Deuteronomy 4:28-29 qualifies verses 25-27 by saying that if they then seek the Lord, that those who did, would return.
Observing the Jews from a cultural perspective, there was one huge difference between the Jews before they went to Babylon, and after they returned from Babylon. Ever since they returned from Babylon, for all their faults, they no longer succumbed to the temptation to worship idols. If nothing else will work, sometimes it takes a catastrophic event to cure a person or a people of a sin.
Q: In Dt 4:41 (KJV), how did Moses "sever" three cities?
A: This King James expression simply means to "set apart". They especially set apart these three cities as cities of refuge, where someone who accidentally killed another could flee.
Q: In Dt 4:41, does the literal expression in Hebrew "toward the sun rising" mean the sun goes around the earth?
A: No. Even the most knowledgeable of scientists today speak of sunrise and sunset. The fact that God used a colloquial expression does not validate a scientific view any more than a scientist today is kicked out of his field for saying he enjoys sunsets.
For a verse in the Bible to either agree or disagree with a scientific view, the verse needs to be asserting as fact something about our world, like some verses in Genesis do.
Q: In Dt 5:6-21, why was this just a paraphrase of Ex 20:2-17, which was the exact words of God?
A: The short answer is that Deuteronomy 5:6-21 records a reminder to the people and Moses paraphrased here. This is probably deliberately this way to demonstrate to us that it is the meaning that matters, not the exact words.
The long answer shows the differences and gives four points to consider in the answer.
Differences in Exodus vs. Deuteronomy
Remember (20:8) vs. Observe … as the Lord God has commanded you (5:12)
Nor your animals (20:10) vs. nor you ox, your donkey or any of your animals (5:13)
[absent] (20:10) vs. (5:14) add so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do."
All of 20:11 vs. all of 5:15
[absent] (20:12) vs. as the LORD your God has commanded you… and that it may go well with you (5:16)
house … wife (20:17) vs. wife … house or land" (5:21)
Same commands: There are no differences at all in what was to be obeyed.
Deuteronomy 5:6-21 may be exact too: Deuteronomy might also be exact words. It might be the exact words of the paraphrase of Moses. However, there is no problem if it were not Moses’ exact words. The ancient concept of quoting included both exact quotes and what we call paraphrases.
What we can learn: It is the meaning that God wanted people to remember more than the exact words.
See Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.146-147, When Critics Ask p.119, and Hard Sayings of the Bible p.172-173 for more info.
Q: In Dt 5:9, since God visits iniquity down to the third and fourth generation of those that hate God, is God just?
A: The Bible teaches that all God’s ways are just (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 99:4), but before we can understand what justice is, we have to define four terms.
Justice: God gives the rewards for righteous deed that He promised, and God gives the punishment for disobedience to Him as He promised. God’s justice is not some mysterious, incomprehensible thing, but is described in His word, the Bible.
Equitable: Equitable means both that everyone is treated exactly the same, and that God would always treat everyone exactly the same. God is not equitable, nor does God claim to be in the Bible, as Matthew 20:1-16, Deuteronomy 5:9, Romans 9:10-81, and other verses show. John 19:11 and 2 Peter 2:21 shows that those who have more knowledge are judged more strictly. This implicitly shows that everyone is not given the same amount of knowledge, which is inequitable. God is still just though, and God takes this into account (Romans 4:15; 5:12). Many humans have very different concepts of justice, and if your opinion on justice does not permit any inequitableness, remember that God has only promised to be just by His definition of justice, as shown in the Bible, and not by any particular human definition.
Guilt/Liability: Guilt can be a human emotion, but that is not the type of guilt discussed here. Here guilt is liability, by the demands of God’s justice, to be under the wrath of God. There is greater and lesser guilt (John 19:11). Each person is guilty for his own sin; we are not liable for the sins of our ancestors (Ezekiel 18; Deuteronomy 24:16), and we do not share the guilt of our children (Ezekiel 18:20).
Consequences: Many blessings, curses, and other consequences for one person’s actions are inherited and passed to others. When a mother can choose to refrain from or indulge in smoking, drinking, poor diet, or cocaine and others drugs, the baby has the consequences. Some examples of passed on consequences are someone born of Christian parents, a baby with birth defects born in a very polluted area, and babies who are aborted or murdered after birth.
Consequences seem unjust, and they would seem to make God unjust if this short, earthly life was all there is. A former editor of Scientific American, an agnostic named Martin Gardiner, made a profound point in his book, The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener. He said that if you believe in justice (and he did), then you have to believe in an afterlife. In other words, life is so unjust on this earth, that if everyone does get justice, there must be a time after death when justice is dealt out. We Christians call this Judgment Day. Centuries before, Lactantius (c.303-325 A.D.) made almost the same point in The Divine Institutes book 6 ch.9 p.171-172.
Now to answer the question on God’s justice in Deuteronomy 6:4. God is just, but not equitable. People can inherit consequences, but not guilt. But praise God that He is not only just, but merciful.
Q: In Dt 5:15, were the Israelites to keep the Sabbath because they were slaves in Egypt, or did God command it because He created the heavens and the earth in six days as Ex 20:11 says?
A: Both reasons are true. The reason of following God’s work in Creation is given in Exodus 20:11. An additional reason, because they were slaves (with no Sabbath) in Egypt is given in Deuteronomy 5:15.
It might be useful to consider a human example of doing things for three different motivations. We may tell one person not to gossip because that is what God commands. We may tell a second person not to gossip because that shows their love and respect for God. We may tell a third person not to gossip because of their love for others. See Bible Difficulties and Seeming Contradictions p.209-210 for another example.
Generalizing on this, Christians can be motivated to do good based on God’s character, based on the past experience of themselves or others, based on present love for God and others, or based on future hope. The strongest motivation is probably all of the above combined. When Critics Ask p.118 has a similar answer, saying that something can be remembered for two reasons. One was the "initial" reason for Creation, and the other was a "subsequent" reason for redemption. See also Haley’s Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible p.234 for more info.
Q: Since Dt 5:17 and Ex 20:13, "thou shalt not kill?" (KJV), why was there capital punishment?
A: God never said "thou shalt not kill" (KJV), rather God commanded "though shalt not murder" (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17). Not only can this be seen from the Hebrew, but the context itself shows this, as the Israelites were instructed to execute people for certain crimes, as in Exodus 21:12-17. Furthermore, in both Exodus and Deuteronomy wars were justified under certain circumstances.
In the New Testament, we are told to love our enemies (Luke 6:27-36 and Matthew 5:43-44), and as individuals we should not take revenge, as Romans 12:17-21 teaches. However, balancing that, the very next chapter teaches that the government has a responsibility to God to "bear the sword as an agent of wrath to punish evildoers", as Romans 13:4 shows.
Q: Why does Dt 5:21, the last of the ten commandments, [allegedly] teach that wives are the possessions of men? (A Muslim asserted this.)
A: It does NOT teach wives are the possessions of men. It says a man is not to covet his neighbor’s wife or possessions, but that does not mean the wife is a possession.
On the other hand, I know of at least one Muslim who, when he came to America and had to declare his possessions, and put his wife on the list. After you have explained "women your right hands possess" in the Qur’an, perhaps we would want to explain the following from the Sunni hadiths.
When one is given a woman, servant, or cattle, one should seize its forehead and pray to Allah. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1918 p.157
Treat women well, for they are [like] domestic animals (‘awan) with you and do not possess anything for themselves." al-Tabari vol.9 p.113. [Other Muslim scholars did not agree with Tabari, that women were forbidden to own anything themselves.]
Q: In Dt 6:4, since God is "One", what about the Trinity?
A: Here are some of the words for one used in the Old Testament.
chad: simply means "one" and is rarely used.
‘ishshah: one, each, every, female
‘oysh: a man or an individual. (very common in he Old Testament)
‘echad: which means "united, alike, alone, and altogether."(very common in the Old Testament)
The word used in Deuteronomy 6:4 is ‘echad. Thus, one could translate this word as "united", though "one" is a broader and more preferred translation. The same word is also used in:
Genesis 2:24 says the man and wife are one flesh.
Deuteronomy 6:4 says there is one God.
Genesis 1:5 says "evening and morning were one day."
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary vol.3 p.64 says an example of this word meaning a unity made up of several parts in Exodus 26:6,11, where fifty clasps hold the curtains (plural) so the tent would be "one". Ezekiel 37:17,19,22, also talks of two sticks being joined together as "one", using the same word.
See also When Cultists Ask p.41-42 for more info.
Q: In Dt 6:4, why does it say heart, soul, and strength?
A: Scripture does not say, but we can see the following.
1. Imagine the Bible said to only love God with our soul. We would trust Him to preserve our life, and we might want to keep our soul clean, but that does not mean we would have any commitment to God.
2. Imagine the Bible said to only love God with our strength. We would do our duty for God, and work hard in God’s service, but commitment does not mean we have any affection or fondness for God.
3. Imagine the Bible said to only love God with our heart. We would have great desire for a deeper relationship with God, without ceasing to trust in ourselves and without diligently doing anything to obey and serve Him.
Try as we might, we cannot completely love God without all three elements. For a fourth element, see the question on Mark 12:30.
Q: In Dt 6:7,20 instead of teaching children and "brainwashing them", shouldn’t we let our kids grow up to decide for themselves?
A: Teaching is not brainwashing, and just as a parent would be remiss in not teaching his children about safety, Christian parents are remiss if they do not teach their children about God. Our children are our responsibility. We are not accountable to God for the choices they freely make, but we are held to account for how we raised them and what we taught them. Proverbs 22:6 says to train up a child in the way he should go. Ephesians 6:4 is a command for fathers to bring their kids up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Jesus in Matthew 19:14 said to let the children come unto Him, and do not hinder them.
Q: In Dt 6:8-9, should believers have the shema (Dt 6:4) on their forehead, and hands?
A: See the next question for how to know when you are taking something hyper-literally and legalistically.
There is no evidence that anyone in Israel understood this passage hyper-literally until the time of the Pharisees. We have no record that Moses or Joshua themselves did this.
On the other hand, Christians today often have decorations in their home with Bible verses on them. This is not done out of legalism, but out of desire to have God’s word in our hearts.
Q: In Dt 6:8-9, since believers do not need to be wearing Bible verses on their forehead, how can you tell if you are interpreting a passage hyper-literally?
A: If you are going to take this passage hyper-literally, you should be consistent and take the entire passage the same way. Deuteronomy 6:6 says the words should be on our heart, and since open-heart surgery is done today…
Seriously, before finding the answer on how to interpret a passage, it is important to prayerfully ask the correct question. The correct question is, "how did God and the human writer intend for believers to interpret the passage." There is a five part test you should apply to your interpretation of any passage, to answer this question.
1. Is my interpretation consistent, or am I interpreting part of the passage one way and part of it the other way?
2. Does my interpretation make parts of the passage meaningless? If so, there is something wrong with my interpretation.
3. Does my interpretation make sense in light of the context of the verses before and after the passage?
4. Is my interpretation consistent with what God said in the rest of Scripture about these truths and about this passage. However, keep in mind that a passage can contain more than one truth.
5. Finally there is a test of lesser importance. See how God has God led Biblical Christians, both early and modern, to interpret this passage.
Q: In Dt 6:20, why teach the sons and not the daughters?
A: They were supposed to teach all the children, male and female, in Deuteronomy 6:7. In Hebrew, man can refer to people in general, and sons can refer to children in general. According to an article in Christianity Today 10/27/1997 p.35, there is no Hebrew word for "children", only a word for "sons" and a word for "daughters". When a Hebrew speaker meant both sons and daughters, the word "sons" was used.
Q: In Dt 7:1, what was the estimated population of the seven nations in Canaan who were greater than the Israelites? If the Israelites had killed all the people of Canaan, would the land have less than one seventh of the previous population?
A: No. Three points to consider in the answer.
1. The Israelites had fewer people than the combined population of the Canaanites.
2. There was more abundant rainfall in Palestine back then, so the land could support more people. 2 ½ million Israelites in Bible times is still less than the 5 million Israelis today.
3. Here are the population figures at the time of Joshua, estimated at ± 40%.
|Northern Canaan (excluding Phoenicians)||800 K|
|Phoenicians in West Asher||315 K|
|Southern Canaan (excluding Amalekites)||888 K|
|Transjordan Amorites||340 K|
|Ammonites + Moabites + Edomites||209 K|
Q: In Dt 7:1, what is the source of the population figures in the previous question?
A: I did not find any literature that had the ancient population broken down to this level of detail, so the previous is a summary of my own estimates. Here are my numbers. Remember that the number beside a particular town is not the population living inside that town, but rather the town’s population plus the surrounding rural area.
|NORTHERN CANAAN 1155|
|...PHOENICIANS (W ASHER) 315|
|Ahlab||10||Greater Sidon 4000B.C.||30|
|Ambi||10||Lesser Sidon [port]||15|
|Beth-Emek||10||Tyre [port] 1900 B.C.||10|
|Berytus (Beirut) [port]||20||Ullaza (Orthosia)||10|
|Byblos 7000 B.C.||20||Uzu||10|
|Hammon||10||Zerephath 1600 B.C.||15|
|...EAST ASHER’S LAND 85|
|Arruboth||5||Rehob (3150 B.C.)||10|
|...NAPHTALI’S LAND 180|
|Beth-anath||10||Kinnereth 3000 B.C.||10|
|Hazor (175 acres)||40||Ramah||10|
|...ZEBULUN’S LAND 115|
|...HERMON HIVITES 35|
|...NORTHERN BASHAN 50|
|...ISSACHAR’S LAND 115|
|...WEST MANASSEH’S LAND 128|
|Dothan||15||Taanach -1500 B.C.-||10|
|Megiddo 3500 B.C.||18||Zanaanim||5|
|Shechem -1800 B.C.-||10|
|...EPHRAIM’S LAND 132|
|Gezer 3000 B.C.- (30 acres)||15||Tappuah||10|
|SOUTHERN CANAAN 983|
|... BENJAMIN’S LAND 172|
|Ai||12||Jericho c.7000 B.C.||10|
|Anathoth||5||Jerusalem c.3000 B.C.||25|
|Bethel 2000 B.C.-||10||Nob||5|
|...DAN’S LAND 230|
|Antipatris 3000 BC||10||Jabneh (Jabneel)||10|
|Bene-Berek||10||Jaffa (Joppa) 4472 B.C.||10|
|Beth-Shemesh 2200BC. (south)||20||Lod||10|
|Ekron 50 acres||40||Tappuah||10|
|...AMORITE KINGDOMS 120|
|Debir 2350 B.C.||15||Lachish c.3100 B.C.||23|
|...PART OF JUDAH/SIMEON 352|
|Ashkelon (-2850 B.C.-)||25||Kabzeel||5|
|Beth-Eglaim 2200 B.C.-||15||Maon||5|
|Beth-Zur 1750 B.C.||10||Michmatheth||5|
|City of Salt (Qumran)||5||Natophah||5|
|Gath||25||Tell abu Matir||2|
|Abronah [oasis]||5||Jotbathah [oasis]||5|
|Bene Jaakan [oasis]||5||Mount Seir||10|
|Hor Haggidad [oasis]||5||Timna by Elath [oasis]||5|
Q: In Dt 7:1, how come Moses said they would cross the Jordan River this day, since it was very likely more than 24 hours later?
A: The Hebrew word for day, yom, can also mean a period of time, such as the Day of the Lord. Another example is the coming "Day of the Lord" immediately preceding Christ’s return, which will be more than 24 hours. Of course they still could have crossed the Jordan in 24 hours too, if the column of the people crossing was very wide.
Q: In Dt 7:6, why did God choose the Israelites?
A: Part of the answer is given in Deuteronomy 7:7-9. It was not because they were a powerful or wonderful people. Rather it was because of God’s love and choosing of Abraham, and then Isaac and Jacob. Many times people have good consequences because of what others before them have done. Will other people have good consequences because things you do?
See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.131 for more info.
Q: In Dt 7:10, why does God feel the need to repay some people, especially since we are not supposed to get revenge ourselves?
A: We are not to get revenge, not because others never deserve it, but because God is the judge who meets out the appropriate punishment. If God dealt punishment to some who committed a wrong, and just ignored others who committed the same wrong or others equally serious, this would not be consistent with what God has revealed in the Bible about His justice. See also the next question.
Q: In Dt 7:10, given that God has to deal out punishment justly, why does God want to deal out any punishment at all?
A: Should God let everybody get away with anything and still go to Heaven? What if they did not want to go to Heaven and live with God forever? Also, what kind of Heaven would that be?
Imagine Hitler, Tamerlane, Stalin, Idi Amin, or other "great" murderers, unrepentant, being in Heaven anyway? What kind of pure place would that be. If the greatest thing in Heaven is to worship God, can you imagine God forcing people to be in Heaven forever against their will? I cannot.
Q: In Dt 7:13 (KJV), what is "kine"?
A: This King James expression means "kind" or "kinfolk. God was going to increase their population.
Q: In Dt 7:14, since God would take infertility away from the Israelite women, what about Michal (2 Sam 6:20-23), Hannah (1 Sam 1:2,5-8), and Elizabeth (Lk 1:7)?
A: Michal was not necessarily barren. It is more likely David had no conjugal relations with her. Hannah and Elizabeth were both barren for part of their lives, but God took their infertility and made it a special blessing. Sometimes, when God is going to give us something wonderful, like children, we have to wait for His timing.
Q: In Dt 7:19, Ex 13:14, Ex 15:8,12,16, Ex 31:8; Ps 91:4; Heb 4:13, do these prove that God has fingers, hands, arms, nostrils, wings, feathers, and eyes?
A: No. This is an anthropomorphic expression. See the discussion on Exodus 8:19 for the answer.
Q: In Dt 8:2, is God really all-knowing?
A: Yes. Nothing that has happened, is happening, or ever will happen is hidden from God. God knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). Every day of our lives was written in God’s book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16). Who would be saved was known before we existed (Romans 9:10-23; 8:29; Ephesians 1:4. God examines all our paths (Proverbs 5:21)
In John 21:17, Peter said to Jesus that Jesus knew all things, and Jesus did not correct that view. 1 John 3:20 says that God knows everything. However, a hypothetical instance is not necessarily a thing. For example, if pigs could fly, would the sky be green? Scripture is silent about God knowing every hypothetical detail of every possibility.
See Bible Difficulties and Seeming Contradictions p.215-216 and When Critics Ask p.119 for more info.
Q: In Dt 8:4; 29:5, how could the Israelites clothes and sandals not wear out?
A: It is not natural for clothes and sandals to last forty years in the desert sun. This shows one way supernatural blessing are given by God. It is wonderful to see that God not only does a few big miracles, but He can also do millions of similar little miracles.
Q: In Dt 8:7, is Palestine today drier than it was in Moses’ time?
A: Yes. In historical times, the weather has varied greatly. For example, weather scientists say there as a "Medieval warm epoch" in the last part of the Middle Ages. They have even seen evidence of this in a drought in California in 1340 A.D. (Natural History September, 1996). Barley was grown in Greenland after 1,000 A.D. For another example, climatologists say the Sahara was not a desert before around 4000 B.C.
Q: In Dt 8:9 where were the hills containing copper the Israelites were promised?
A: There were many furnaces and copper slag found 20 miles (33 km) south of the Dead Sea. Some of the deposits of copper are still visible on the surface. See Can Archaeology Prove the Old Testament? p.27 for more info on this.
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary volume 3 p.75 also mentions the extensive copper mines of Solomon at Ezion Geber.
The New International Dictionary of the Bible p.1124 says that copper workers lived in Beersheba as early as the Chalcolithic Age (4500-3100 B.C. The ore came from 60 miles to the south. The oldest copper object in Palestine is from Jericho, as early as 4500-4400 B.C.
Q: In Dt 9:1, when did they cross the Jordan River?
A: "This day" means at this time, not this 24-hour period according to The Expositor’s Bible Commentary vol.3 p.78. The NIV translates this as "now".
In Zechariah 14:7 the phrase "one day" yom 'ehad is the same word used in Genesis 1. It is not specified if this is exactly 24 hours or not.
Q: In Dt 9:3, were the Canaanites destroyed quickly, or were they destroyed slowly as in Dt 7:22?
A: The Israelites occupied Canaan with lightning speed. This is because God did quickly destroy the Canaanites before Israel a number of times, including at Jericho and the Valley of Aijalon. Deuteronomy 9:3 is prophesying God would do this.
However, while some of the Canaanite peoples were totally annihilated, Deuteronomy 9:3 does not say every Canaanite nation would be quickly 100% annihilated. In fact, anyone reading through the book would see that Deuteronomy 7:22 qualifies Deuteronomy 9:3 by saying that not all the Canaanites would be destroyed quickly.
See When Critics Ask p.119 and Haley’s Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible p.403-404 for more info.
Q: In Dt 9:18, did Moses really fast, without even water, for forty days and nights?
A: This was no ordinary fast, as this would be impossible by natural means. However, when we are in Heaven, we will have no earthly sustenance, and when Moses was with God, God was capable of keeping Moses alive without eating, too.
Q: In Dt 9:28, Ex 32:31-35, and Num 14:11-19, did Moses have a valid point?
A: Yes. God spoke this to Moses so that Moses could demonstrate His correct understanding of God’s character in two ways.
1. Moses took God’s words very seriously, as Moses knew God, by His justice, had every right to totally destroy the Israelites.
2. Moses knew enough of God’s promises and faithfulness to "remind" God that He would not destroy these stiff-necked people.
There is a point here we can learn about our conversation with God. In our prayers, it is fine to stand on the promises God has made.
Q: In Dt 10:3, was the ark made after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, or prior to the 40 years as Ex 25:10; 35:12; and 37:1 imply?
A: There are two issues here.
1. Deuteronomy in general, including chapter 10, is a condensed summary of their journeys. It says the ark was made prior to the second set of stone tablets; it does not say how long before this the ark was made.
2. The ark was made after the first trip to Mount Sinai in Exodus 19. The Expositors Commentary vol.3 p.83 mentions that when Deuteronomy 10:1 says, "at that time" it refers to the time of the prayer in Deuteronomy 9:25-29, not the time later when chapter 10 was written down.
See also When Critics Ask p.119-120 and Haley’s Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible p.407 for more info.
Q: In Dt 10:3, did Moses make the Ark of the Covenant himself, or did Bezalel make it in Ex 37:1-9?
A: Moses closely directed the making of the ark by Bazalel. As The Expositor’s Bible Commentary volume 3 p.84 mentions, it is not uncommon for a leader to say he did something (like build a pyramid or collect taxes), when it was done by workers under his direction.
Q: In Dt 10:6, did Aaron die at Moserah, or was it at the top of Mount Hor as Num 20:28 and Num 33:37-38 say?
A: There are two different answers.
Region of Moserah: It never said Mount Moserah, but simply Moserah and Mount Hor. While Aaron died specifically on Mount Hor, it was in the region of Moserah.
Multiple "bitterness" places: The word Moserah means bitterness, and is not known as a place name outside of the Bible. It could be a nameless region, and the Israelites could likely have named more than one place Moserah. As an example, there are two places in Arabia fairly close together called Nakhla. One is outside of Mecca towards Ta’if, and the other is a valley outside of Mecca on the way to Iraq. In Israel there were two towns each with the names of Beth-Shemesh and Bethlehem.
See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.166, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.147, When Critics Ask p.120 and The Expositor’s Bible Commentary volume 3 p.84 for more info.
Q: In Dt 10:6, did the Israelites camp at Bene Jaakan and then at Moserah, or at Moseroth and then Bene Jaakan as Num 33:37-38 says?
A: Christians have two different answers.
Two different places: Moserah and Moseroth are different places. The names are similar, the but the consonants are different in Hebrew. Numbers 33 and Deuteronomy 10 are of different times during the Exodus, when they returned to the same general region.
One place and one region: Moserah was the region, and Moserath was the actual place. While Aaron died specifically on Mount Hor, it was in the region of Moserah.
See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.166, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.147 and When Critics Ask p.120 for more info.
Q: In Dt 10:12, what does it mean to "walk in God’s ways"?
A: In part, it means to obey God’s laws, to do what God explicitly says to do, and not do explicitly what God says not to do. However, it means much more than just that. We are to seek to know God, to draw near to God, and to find out what pleases the Lord.
Walking in God’s ways is so easy a child can do it, and so rigorous that the most righteous and wisest adult is challenged by it.
Q: In Dt 10:17 since God is the God of gods and Lord of lords, could there be more than one God?
A: No and Yes. No, in that there was, is, and will forever be only one true God. Yes, in that besides the one true God, there are many counterfeit false gods. While the nations around them worshipped many national and other idols, the God of Israel, was not equivalent to them. He was the God over all nations, idols, and superstitions too. Second, if someone is ever afraid of an idol, or of an evil spirit, they should know that the evil spirit has more to be afraid of from the One True God than a believer has to be afraid of the evil spirit.
See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.22 for more info.
Q: In Dt 11:6 (KJV), is the earth female since the earth opened "her" mouth?
A: No. The King James Version simply literally translated the gender of the Hebrew pronoun. Today we speak of ocean-going ships as "her" and hurricanes and typhoons by women’s and men’s names, but that does not mean they are male or female.
Q: In Dt 11:25, since no one would stand against the Israelites because of the dread God would put into Israel’s enemies, how come Israel’s enemies sometimes defeated the Israelites?
A: Deuteronomy 11:22 begins with one very important word "if", and the entire passage of Deuteronomy 11:23-25, starts out with another important word, "then". This is one of many examples of a conditional promise, and when the conditions are not met, there is not assurance that it will come true.
Haley’s Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible p.344 summarizes this by saying that the first passage was in the context of a conditional promise by God. When the conditions were not met, the promise was not binding. See also When Critics Ask p.120-121 for more info.
Q: In Dt 11:26-28, why did God lay before them a curse, since God loved them?
A: God uses curses in a variety of ways. Curses can be used as reminders, to get people’s attention, as discipline, as punishment, and to destroy. Since whatever words God says comes to pass, curses also are God’s way of executing discipline, punishment, judgment, and wrath.
Q: In Dt 12:3, why were they to burn down the sacred groves of trees? I thought trees were good.
A: Trees themselves are neither good or bad. However, when trees are used in idolatrous worship, then the trees are for an evil purpose for those people.
Q: Does Dt 12:15,22 say the Israelites could sometimes eat unclean as well as clean animals?
A: No. Rather, it says that ceremonially clean and unclean people could eat clean animals.
Q: In Dt 12:15,20,21, and Dt 14:26 (KJV), since it is wrong to lust, why could they have whatever they lusted after?
A: This King James Version word is better translated "desire", not "lusted after".
Q: In Dt 13:1-16 and Dt 18:10-12, today should we kill enchanters, necromancers, and all those the Old Testament says to kill?
A: No. Three points to consider in the answer.
1. Government investigation: Even back then, you could not just take it in your own hands to personally kill someone you suspected of that. Deuteronomy 13:14 said the town was to make a thorough (and presumably official) investigation first.
2. Only under theocracy: The Israelites lived under a "theocracy" where those who lived in the land had covenanted with God the Torah was the legal code. When godly Jews, such as Daniel, Jonah, Ezekiel, and Nehemiah, lived and traveled outside of Israel, where they were not under a theocracy, they made no effort to harm enchanters, idolators, or others.
3. Today, we do not live under a "theocracy". While some people such as the Puritans, attempted to set up a theocracy, the New Testament gives no such indication that we should attempt to do so. Thus, Christians today should not harm immoral heterosexuals, practicing homosexuals, idolators, cultists, and so forth. While murder, theft, and other crimes still should be punished today, that is a government function; there should be no Christian vigilantes. However, even today we should not do those things ourselves.
Q: In Dt 14:21, since it was wrong to eat an animal that was already dead, why was it OK to sell it to strangers? Even non-Israelites living in Israel could not eat blood in Lev 17:10,12.
A: Eating an animal that died without having its blood drained, was a less serious offense than eating blood. While Leviticus 17:10,12 says a person who eats blood should be killed, Leviticus 17:15 says that one who eats a dead animal that did not have its blood drained must wash himself and his clothes, and he will be unclean until evening.
On the surface, these might seem archaic verses, but that contain a point that is relevant today. Christians should want to have laws banning everyone from doing some things: murder, stealing, rape, etc. However, while other things are sinful, it is OK to allow others who want to commit the sin to do so. For example, while drinking alcohol is not a sin, and getting drunk is a sin, it is OK for a Christian to work for a grocery store chain that sells alcohol.
Q: In Dt 14:22-25, could they redeem firstborn animals with money, or could they not as Num 18:17 says?
A: Five points to consider in the answer.
1. Numbers 18:14 says every firstborn of every kind of must be set aside or redeemed with money.
2. Redeemed with money means that you pay money and keep the animal.
3. Numbers 18:17 qualifies this by saying the firstborn of an ox, sheep, or goat cannot be redeemed with money.
4. Deuteronomy does not say an ox, sheep, or goat could be redeemed with money either.
5. Deuteronomy 14:24-25 says that if the distance is too far, one could "exchange the animal" which meant selling the animal for money, going to Jerusalem, and using the money to buy an equivalent animal.
See When Critics Ask p.121-122 and Haley’s Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible p.224-255 for more info.
Q: In Dt 14:26 and Ex 29:40, is strong, alcohol liquor OK, or is it not for kings (Prov 20:1), and only for those near death as Prov 31:4-7 says?
A: Since alcohol was OK for people to drink, but not get drunk, under normal circumstances, how much more appropriate it would be as a sedative for people near death. Alcohol was not for priests when they entered the tent of meeting (Leviticus 10:8-10) and kings should reach for a higher standard, as Proverbs 20:1 suggests.
See When Critics Ask p.122-123 and Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.147-148 for more info.
Q: In Dt 15:1-3, since they had to cancel all loans to fellow Israelites every seven years, why not cancel loans to non-Israelites, too?
A: Loans were cancelled to fellow Israelites out of compassion. Scripture does not say why loans were not cancelled to non-Israelites, but it is not difficult to see a reason.
Since the Israelites were to own the land in Israel, the foreigners there with debts would be there for commercial reasons or as hired laborers. The foreigners could always go back to their own people.
Q: In Dt 15, how does the Old Testament compare with other ancient laws?
A: While a slave would go free after six years in Deuteronomy, a slave could go free after three years according to the code of Hammurabi. The Babylonian Code of Lipit-Ishtar says a slave could go free after serving for twice his debt, or twice his purchase price. This seems to definitely give advantage to the owner. See The Expositor’s Bible Commentary vol.3 p.107 for more info, and photograph of a tablet of the code of Lipit-Ishtar in the Wycliffe Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology p.358.
Q: How does Dt 15:1-11 relate to Ex 23:10-11?
A: The "seventh year" or year of Jubilee, is the same in both cases. It was the year the fields were to be unplowed, debts cancelled, and slaves freed. See Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.149-150 for more info.
Q: In Dt 15:4, why should there be no poor among the Israelites, since Dt 15:11 says the poor will always be among them?
A: God gave them an obligation to take care of all the poor among the Israelites. However, God knew that not everyone would fulfill their obligations and that there would always be poor among them.
The Bible is both a book of ideal goals and realism; we are to have both high ideals and realism, too. If someone has goals but is out of touch with reality, their idealism is not very useful. Seeing reality and having no ideals in not very useful, either. See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.173, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.150, and When Critics Ask p.123-124 for more info.
Q: In Dt 15:12-13, why does the Bible seem so male-chauvinistic and always use "He"?
A: In Hebrew they never used "he/she" like people sometimes do in English. Like English, sometimes they used "he" to mean "he" or "she". An example, in both Hebrew and English, is Deuteronomy 15:13 says "he", when the context is clearly male or female in Deuteronomy 15:12.
Q: Does Dt 15:12-18 contradict Ex 21:26?
A: No. Exodus 21:26 says that any slave had the right to go free if the owner destroyed his eye or knocked out his tooth. Deuteronomy 15:12-18 says that Hebrew slaves were to be set free every seven years, during the year of the Jubilee. The only exception was Hebrew slaves who loved their masters and had voluntarily chosen to be their slaves for life.
If the master later did destroy their eye or knock out their tooth, accidentally, the slave had the right to go free, but they were not forced to exercise that right.
This law is interesting in that while the punishment for the master seems mild it would still be effective in removing all incentive for mistreating slaves.
See Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.149-150 for more info.
Q: In Dt 16:5 was the Passover lamb to be killed at the sanctuary, or in the home as Ex 12:7 says?
A: In Egypt, before there was a sanctuary or temple, the Passover lamb was to be slain in the home. After there was a sanctuary, the lamb was to be slain there. Later, when they dwelled in the Promised Land, the Jews celebrated the Passover in Jerusalem. See When Critics Ask p.124 and Haley’s Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible p.377 for more info.
Q: In Dt 16:16-17, why were the men to appear and the women and children were not mentioned?
A: Deuteronomy 16:16-17 says every man was to appear, and not be empty-handed. In other words, no man, as the head of a family, was exempted from bringing the required tithes and offerings.
Q: In Dt 16:21, why couldn’t the Jews plant a tree for religious purposes?
A: Three good reasons.
1. Deuteronomy 16:21 simply says not to do so, and they were supposed to obey what God said.
2. Trees were never a part of a sacrifice to the True God.
3. Deuteronomy 12:3 shows that sacred groves of trees were a part of the worship of other gods. Tress were prominent in worship of Baal and some of the Greek gods.
The third reason is especially important. If doing an activity is a part of a pagan religion, and it would
a) Tempt you to worship the pagan gods
b) Tempt others to worship the pagan gods, or
c) Give the appearance that you were worshipping pagan gods,
then do not do it.
Q: In Dt 17:6, Dt 19:15, and Num 35:30, is it wrong to convict anyone of murder unless two or more human witnesses are present?
A: The two-witness requirement was for adultery and theft as well as murder, and two eyewitnesses rarely see adultery or theft. Two points to discuss on the use of the Hebrew term for witness.
1. Leviticus 5:1 shows that a witness is not only an eyewitness of the crime. A witness is also anyone who knows of evidence that can prove a person innocent or guilty.
2. The word for "witness" can also mean evidence as well as a person. For example, in Exodus 22:13 the parts of a dead animal can be a witness, too. See Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.143 for more info.
Q: In Dt 18:10, what does it mean not to "pass your children through the fire?
A: This was a custom of the Canaanites to sacrifice their firstborn by burning them to death, as Deuteronomy 12:31 explains.
Q: In Dt 18:10, why not allow enchanters and necromancers to live?
A: To some, this seems like a serious punishment for people who do no physical harm to others. However, they do spiritual harm to others in leading them to Hell. Thus, under the theocratic government in the Old Testament, the punishment was the same as for idolators.
Q: In Dt 18:10, does the prohibition against contact with the supernatural contradict having prophets in the Bible, as an atheist claimed?
A: No. This is ridiculous for two reasons.
1. Even if there had been a ban against "all" supernatural contact, certainly no serious student of God’s word would have understood that God was banning all prayer to Him.
2. There was never a ban against all supernatural contact as the atheist apparently imagines. Rather, the ban is against divination and sorcery. People are not to try to contact the spirits of dead people, demons, or angels. While angels did appear to godly people later, such as Daniel, it was the angel who initiated the contact, not the human being.
See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.469-470 for a good discussion of why a Christian cannot be a spiritualist.
Q: In Dt 18:17-18; Dt 33:1-2, and Dt 34:10-11, was Mohammed prophesied here, as some Muslims claim?
A: No. Deuteronomy 18:15-18 says God will raise up a prophet, that they will hear, like Moses from their midst, among their brethren. Was Jesus a prophet? Did many Jews hear Jesus? Was Jesus among the Jews? Was Jesus a Jew? Muslims should have no problem agreeing that this verse fits Jesus more than Mohammed. Here are a few more points.
a. Deuteronomy 33:1-2 says "the Lord", and Muslims do not call Mohammed their Lord. (‘Alawite Muslims and other ghulat groups consider Mohammed God, but they are exceptions.)
b. Deuteronomy 34:10 that "since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses." This epitaph was written, probably by Joshua, long before Jesus came.
c. Deuteronomy 34:10 mentions "face to face", and Mohammed never said he got his words directly from Allah, but through angels (Sura 2:97). Jesus communicated directly with God the Father according to John 1:18 and other passages.
d. The next verse, 34:11, says no other prophet did those awesome miracles like Moses did. Mohammed in the Qur’an generally did not perform miracles, except for allegedly visiting the mosque in Jerusalem (which can be proved to not be existing at that time), and splitting the moon in two (which was not seen by anyone else.)
e. In the Qur’an itself, Sura 29:27 says the prophethood came through Isaac and Jacob. In Yusuf Ali’s translation of the Qur’an, he says, "And We gave (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob, and ordained Among his progeny Prophethood and Revelation,…" While the parentheses around Abraham is in Yusuf Ali’s translation, the entire word, "Abraham" is not in the Arabic, and Yusuf Ali felt the need to add "Abraham" to what Muslims view as God’s word.
f. Finally, Jesus’ apostle Peter said this was fulfilled in Jesus in Acts 3:22-26. The apostle Peter would be in a great position to know.
1. Either, Jesus made a great mistake allowing a deceiver like Peter to mislead people for almost 2,000 years who were trying to follow God, and God did not lift a finger to tell people the truth.
2. Or, Jesus knew what He was doing when he selected Peter, and God did not correct something that needed no correction.
3. Or else, Peter did not say that, and the Book of Acts was corrupted prior to the first extra-Biblical mention we have of this referring to Christ, which was about 138 A.D.
Here are the earliest Greek manuscripts we have, and their dates, of Acts 3:22-36.
Vaticanus [B] 325-350 A.D.
Sinaiticus [Si] 340-350 A.D.
Bohairic Coptic [Boh] 3rd/4th cent.
Alexandrinus [A] c.450 A.D.
Sahidic Coptic [Sah] 3rd/4rth cent.
Ephraemi Rescriptus [C] 5th
Bezae Cantabrigiensis [D] 5th,6th
Here are translations we have in other languages of these verses
Armenian [Arm] 5th century
Georgian [Geo] 5th century
Latin Vulgate [Vg] 4th to 5th century
Ethiopic [Eth] 6th century
Syrian Peshitta [SyrP] 4th to 7th cent.
The early church writers mentioned this verse as referring to Jesus. Some of them were
Justin Martyr was born around 114 A.D., though some think 110 A.D. His First Apology was written between 138 A.D. and his death in 165 A.D. Obviously, he had to have read of this prophecy referring to Christ before he wrote it down.
Irenaeus wrote 182-188 A.D.
Tertullian 220-220 A.D.
Origen 225-254 A.D.
Archelaus (262-278 A.D.) also discusses Deuteronomy 18:15 showing how it refers to Jesus Christ in Disputation with Manes ch.43 p.219
Chrysostom 407 A.D.
A Muslim would have to say not only that Justin was wrong, but all New Testament manuscripts recorded Peter’s saying incorrectly.
In addition, translations to other languages were made very early; the dates above or not the dates of the first translations, but only the dates of the earliest manuscripts that survive today. These are valuable because they are an independent chain of transmission, that people can use as a crosscheck on the Greek manuscripts. The chain of transmission of these manuscripts, from Africa to Asia, all agree that Peter said this refers to Jesus.
See When Cultists Ask p.43-44,45-46 and When Critics Ask p.125-126, p.131-132, and p.133 for more info.
Q: In Dt 18:20-22, how can you tell if a prophet is a false prophet?
A: The Bible gives two reasons and shows two qualifications.
1. If they advocate worshipping other gods, or prophesy or teach things about God that God did not command. Deuteronomy 18:20-21; 1 John 4:1-3; Jeremiah 6:13
1st Qualification: If a prophet speaks his opinion about what the true God wants, without prophesying, his opinions can be wrong just like anyone else’s. For an example, see Nathan’s words to David in 1 Chronicles 17:2-4.
2. If the prophet makes a prediction that is false. Deuteronomy 18:21-22.
2nd Qualification: If a prophet makes a conditional prophecy, and the conditions are not satisfied. Prophecies of judgment and destruction are always conditional upon the person or nation not repenting. For an example, see Jonah 3:1-10.
See When Critics Ask p.124-125 and When Cultists Ask p.42 for more info and a list of twelve ways to discern if a teacher is from God or not.
Q: In Dt 19:19, isn’t it severe to punish a false witness with the same punishment the falsely accused was going to get?
A: Not at all. A person can murder with his words just as easily as with his hands. Whether they used their hands, or used malicious deceit and the legal system, the falsely accused would still have been dead. At least with murder by their own hand, the victim’s reputation is intact. Murdering by words destroys the person’s reputation as well as kills their body.
For reference the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi also says that someone who falsely accused another of murder should be put to death. See The Expositor’s Bible Commentary vol.3 p.126 for more info.
Q: In Dt 19:21, Lev 24:20, and Ex 21:22-24, why does the Bible say, "an eye for an eye"?
A: The three Old Testament references are a part of the judicial law. The compensation paid and punishment was to match the crime: no more and no less. In the one New Testament verse Jesus is telling believers to practice forgiveness and mercy instead of an eye for an eye. Here are the four places.
Exodus 21:22-24 mentions legal judgments, including a court, when a man hits a woman such that she goes into labor prematurely.
Leviticus 24:20 mentions the judgment for hurting or killing others. However, the cities of refuge were available for unintentional murder, and presumably unintentional harm.
Deuteronomy 19:21 speaks of a false witness, who should have done to him what his lies would have caused happen to someone else.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:38 that while you have heard it said, "An eye or an eye…", we were not to resist the evil person but turn the other cheek.
Tertullian in Five Books Against Marcion book 2 ch.18 (207/208 A.D.) was the first we know of to answer this question, and he reminded his readers that the purpose of this law served to restrain violence. What You Know Might Not Be So : 220 Misinterpretations of Bible Texts Explained p.62-63 says that this limits vengeance. In a society without police, vengeance should not be more severe than the original act. The punishment of a crime done to a poor person should be the same as the punishment of a crime done to a rich person.
Also, the people had to learn what justice was before they could learn what mercy and forgiveness were. See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.150-151 and 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.61 for more info as well as the next question.
Q: In Dt 19:21, why does the Bible seem unloving to teach "an eye for an eye?
A: While this refers to justice, and not love, you have to understand justice before you can appreciate mercy. If you do not realize wrong things have serious punishment, it is impossible to value forgiveness from those things. See the previous question for why this command was given.
Pretend for a moment that people were never told of "an eye for an eye", and the three Old Testament passages where it is mentioned did not exist.
In Exodus 21:22-24, then it would not be serious to kill babies or have abortions.
In Leviticus 24:20, it would be only a minor problem to maliciously injure an adult.
In Deuteronomy 19:21, a witness who lied to try to have someone unjustly punished would be unpunished.
A society that has justice and also love, is actually a more loving society than one that attempts (in vain) to have love without a concept of justice. Unfortunately, the latter is what some people think society can be.
Q: In Dt 20:1-15, why did God permit offensive war?
A: This does not specify Canaanites or non-Canaanites. The Israelites needed to fight to overthrow the oppression of the Midianites, Ammonites, Syrians and others.
This demonstrates that God was not a pacifist in the Old Testament, and likewise, He is not against all killing, such as executions for valid reasons, in the New Testament in Romans 13:4.
Q: In Dt 20:16-18, were the Israelites to kill everyone of the enemy, or were they to spare some as Dt 20:11-14 says?
A: Between verses 11-14 and verses 16-18 is verse 15. Verse 15 says the preceding verses were for the cities that were far from where they lived. Verse 16 says the following is for the Canaanite cities in the Promised Land. See When Critics Ask p.126-127 and Haley’s Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible p.258 for more info.
Q: In Dt 20:17, since God knew the Hittites (=Gibeonites) in Palestine would become His loyal temple servants, why did God say to annihilate them here?
A: This is an interesting case where God’s revealed will differed from His desired will, yet God’s revealed command had a part in bringing out His desired will.
1. Neither the Hittites nor the Israelites were told, "don’t worry, the Hittites will be spared". The Gibeonites had the same fears as the other Canaanites, but they acted on their anxiety to seek peace with the Israelites.
2. Then God’s providence, manifested through a mistake on the part of the Israelite leaders, caused them to spare the Gibeonites.
3. The Gibeonites used deception and lies, but God is not restricted to using good means to accomplish His will.
4. Later in history, the Gibeonites became loyal Temple servants.
A second, very similar case should be familiar to use today. God desires all to be saved. God knows who the elect are. Yet God (truthfully) warns everyone that they will go to Hell if they reject Jesus. On one hand the elect have nothing to worry about, because they would become God’s children. On the other hand, God did not say who the elect were.
A thought to ponder, concerning election and free agency, is that nothing stopped all the other Canaanites from doing what the Gibeonites did. Yet, there is no record that any other Canaanites tried to do this, or even desired to try.
See the discussion on Genesis 20:3-6, Deuteronomy 20:17; Jeremiah 15:6; Jonah 3-4; Jonah 3:10, and Jonah 4:1-2 for more info.
Q: In Dt 21:15-16, since a father should not give his inheritance to a younger son and slight the older son, why did Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob do that? Why did David make Solomon the next King, and not Adonijah?
A: As for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the command in Deuteronomy 21:15-16 came after they had died. People are not responsible to keep a command God had not given yet.
In David’s case, the law applied to personal property, and a kingdom is not personal property, -though some emperors and kings in history might have thought so.
Q: In Dt 21:15, why does God [allegedly] teach that a man is to love one wife and hate the other? Is this justice from a Biblical God? (A Muslim asserted this.)
A: It teaches nothing of the sort. Deuteronomy 21:15-16 really says, "Suppose a man has two wives, one whom he loves more than the others, and they both bear him sons, with the firstborn being the child of the less loved wife. In the day he divides his inheritance he must not appoint as firstborn the son of the favorite wife in place of the other wife’s son who is actually the firstborn." (NET) So If a man loves one wife but not the other, the man cannot give the son who is not the firstborn the rights of the firstborn son. God is NOT saying a polygamous man should love one wife more than another. However, perhaps this Muslim can explain Mohammed’s behavior in this.
When Sauda was old she was afraid Mohammed would divorce her, so she gave her turn to ‘A’isha. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2130 p.572
Another Muslim did the same. A man had a wife for many years, who bore him many children. He intended to "exchange her" (Majah’s choice of words) but he kept here when she agreed to give up her turn with him. Ibn-i-Majah vol.3 no.1914 p.188.
Q: In Dt 21:15-17, since the right of the firstborn belongs to the firstborn son, why did Jacob and not Esau receive the birthright in Genesis 27?
A: First two facts which are not a part of the answer, and then the answer. Jacob purchased the birthright in Genesis 25:29-34. Also, Jacob was wrong to trick his father Isaac into giving it to him in Genesis 27.
The answer is that Jacob and Esau lived over 400 years before God gave this command in Deuteronomy 21:15-17.
Q: In Dt 21:18-21, why was the Law so severe as to allow a father to have his son killed by stoning for disobedience?
A: This was not for simply disobedience one time, but for adamant refusal to ever obey. This law shows how seriously God meant for children to obey their parents. However, as strict a warning as the law would be, there is no record of this sentence ever being carried out.
See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.174-175 for more info.
Q: In Dt 22:5, why should a man not wear women’s clothing and vice versa?
A: Scripture does not say. Given the many other principles in both the Old and New Testaments, the reason appears to be that God does not want us to forget that men and women have different roles in the family.
Q: In Dt 22:5, is it OK for women to wear jeans, and both of them to wear t-shirts?
A: A few genuine Christians think it is not OK. However, most Christians see no problem here. In the Bible men and women both wore cloaks and sandals. Today jeans and t-shirts are neither exclusively male or female. See Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.150-151 fore more info.
Q: In Dt 22:6-7, why couldn’t they take a mother bird along with its young?
A: Scripture does not say why, except that is what God commanded. If you were to take the young or the eggs for food, and leave the mother, then you might have more young or eggs next year.
Q: In Dt 22:8, why would they have to have a parapet? (A skeptic had a problem with this)
A: On a lighter note, this has to do with the "fall of man". Seriously, there is a legal concept here of guilt of manslaughter (unintentional murder) through recklessness. It is the fault of a careless person if he is killed or injured falling off a roof, but the owner is also at fault if he was reckless in not having reasonable safety precautions.
Q: In Dt 22:9, why not sow with various kinds of seed?
A: Scripture does not say. However, when you sow the same crop year after year, insect and fungal pests build up that attack that crop. If you rotate crops, that reduces attack from the same pests, and can keep from wearing out the nutrients in the soil.
Q: In Dt 22:10, why not yoke an ox and a donkey together?
A: Scripture does not say. However, they can often have different strength and walk at a different pace. Thus, this command, along with Proverbs 12:10, relates to being kind to animals.
Q: In Dt 22:11, why not wear wool and linen together?
A: Scripture does not say. Functionally, wool is very useful as an insulator that is not too adversely affected when wool gets wet. A possible reason is that interweaving wool and cotton could hurt the garment’s value as an insulator.
Q: In Dt 22:11, can we wear wool and linen together today?
A: Yes. We serve in the new way of the spirit, not the old way of the written code (Romans 7:6; 2 Corinthians 3:6-7; ~Romans 2:29). While we still obey the moral requirements of the law, we do not obey the rules of ceremony, diet, and clothing.
Q: In Dt 22:13-21, was the test if a woman was a virgin the sheet on the wedding night, or was the test for an unfaithful wife for her to drink bitter water as Num 5:13-22 says?
A: Both are true, under different circumstances. Deuteronomy 22:13-21 discusses before marriage, and Numbers 5:13-22 discusses after marriage. See When Critics Ask p.127 and Haley’s Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible p.258-259 for more info.
Q: In Dt 22:19 (KJV), what does "amerce him" mean?
A: This phrase means to give someone a monetary fine. Actually, an "amercement" is not an archaic phrase, but is still in use in British Law today.
Q: In Dt 23:1 (KJV), what is a man’s "privy member"?
A: It is a male’s private parts.
Q: In Dt 23:2, why couldn’t a descendant of an illegitimate child enter the congregation down to the tenth generation?
A: God has the right to choose anybody He wants to enter His assembly. Scripture does not directly say God’s reasons, but there are four points that give an indication.
1. This and other verses seem to fit a pattern. People could not enter the assembly if they are considered unclean. This includes people who have touched a dead body, and people with infectious skin diseases.
2. Unclean did not mean the person is sinning, more sinful than others, or "too sinful" to enter. For example, priests (except the high priest), were supposed to bury their near relatives, which would make them unclean. On the Day of Atonement, the one who led the scapegoat into the Desert was unclean for doing so, and he was doing what God commanded.
3. Not coming into the assembly is a reproach, not for the child, but for the parents. Someone being an illegitimate child does not mean they cannot be used by God though. Perez, an ancestor of Jesus, was the illegitimate son of Judah. In the Book of Judges, the judge Jephthah the Gileadite was used by God to defeat the Ammonites. The background of Jephthah’s mother caused Jephthah problems with his half-brothers, but did cause any problem for God to use him.
4. This rule was only for the assemblies for Israelites in the Old Testament. In New Testament times, all people who seek God, regardless of the nationality or circumstances of their birth, are welcome into God’s churches.
See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.313 for more info.
Q: In Dt 23:3, why couldn’t an Ammonite or Moabite enter the congregation down to the tenth generation?
A: No one of a forbidden marriage could down to the tenth generation in Deuteronomy 23:2.
The reason for this, is that a child would be "illegitimate" not only if it was born out of wedlock, but also if it was born of an "illegal" marriage. God commanded the Israelites not to marry outside of Israel. See the discussion on Deuteronomy 23:2 for why illegitimate children were excluded from the assembly.
Of course, if a person was classified as "a foreigner who bound himself with Israel" (Isaiah 56:6), such as Ruth, then "your people will be my people, and your God will be my God." (Ruth 1:16). There is no evidence that the Israelites did not fully accept Ruth’s conversion and change of citizenship. In fact, King David was Ruth’s great-grandson, according to Ruth 4:21-22, Matthew 1:5-6 and Luke 3:31-32. Likewise, Isaiah 56:3 also says that foreigners who have bound themselves to the Lord will not be excluded from God’s people, though some interpret Isaiah 56:3 as relating to the end times.
Q: In Dt 23:3, was the tenth generation the tenth generation from the time of the prohibited marriage, or the tenth generation forward from the entrance to the Promised land?
A: It could be either way. However, it is more likely to be the tenth generation from the forbidden marriage.
Q: In Dt 23:15, should we pay our employees at the end of every single day?
A: Normally Christian bosses do not need to do so. As a part of the Old Testament Law, Deuteronomy 23:15 does not say to pay all workers every day, but the poor and needy workers who need it. We should pay our employees at the proper time on their payday though, and not withhold money.
Q: In Dt 23:7-8, why couldn’t an Edomite or Egyptian enter the congregation down to the third generation?
A: Probably for similar reasons as the Ammonites and Moabites could not join down to the tenth generation. Scripture only records this, it does not say why the All-Knowing God said this. However, reasons might be that the Edomites were more closely related to Israel, and the Egyptians originally treated the Israelites well.
Q: In Dt 23:17, what is a Sodomite?
A: This refers to a male prostitute, according to Strong’s Concordance, NIV, and NET Bible. The New King James translates this as "perverted one", and The Interlinear Bible (Jay P. Green) translates this as "homosexual".
Q: In Dt 23:17, was homosexuality condemned only because it was connected with idolatry, as some New Agers say?
A: No, like infant sacrifice and prostitution, homosexuality was absolutely condemned, regardless of the context. This is no isolated verse, as Leviticus 18:22,24; Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26-27, and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 also condemn homosexuality. See the discussion on Romans 1:26-27, When Cultists Ask p.44, and When Critics Ask p.127-128 for more info.
Q: In Dt 23:18, why should the earnings of some not be brought into the house of God to pay vows?
A: God is not impressed with people giving Him money that was not theirs and which they robbed from other people. In a similar way, David could have freely taken the land where the Temple would be built, but David insisted on paying for the land. Likewise money that was "earned" (in a manner of speaking), or gained doing evil things was not suitable to give as a gift to God’s House.
In Luke 19:1-10, when Zacchaeus the corrupt tax collector believed in Jesus, he decided to pay back people he cheated and to give half of his possessions (gotten mainly by cheating) to the poor.
Q: How does Dt 24 compare with other laws of the time?
A: The Babylonian Code of Hammurabi codes 14 and 22, kidnapping and robbery are punishable by death. In the Hittite law the rights of the laborer are not considered. See The Expositor’s Bible Commentary vol.3 p.148 for more info.
Q: In Dt 24:1-4, why does this teaching on divorce undeniably differ from Mk 10:2-12 and 1 Cor 7:10-16?
A: Jesus answered this in Mark 10:5: God permitted divorce because their hearts were hard. In the Old Testament (Malachi 2:16), God says that He hates divorce.
When we can justify something as not being against the Bible, yet we know that God is still displeased with it, we should not do it. Romans 14:23 says that whatever does not proceed from faith is sin, and James 5:17 says that any who know the good they ought to do, and does not do it, sins.
See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.175-176 and When Critics Ask p.129 for more info.
Q: In Dt 24:16, why does it say children are not supposed to be killed for their fathers’ sins, since they were killed for the fathers’ sins as the sons of Saul were in 2 Sam 21:5-9 and David and Bathsheba’s baby in 2 Sam 12:15-18?
A: Saul’s sons were guilty, too. After the death of Saul and Jonathan, 2 Samuel 3:1 says the war between the house of Saul (meaning Saul’s sons) and David lasted a long time. You can read more about this in 2 Samuel 3 and 4.
In 2 Samuel 21:5-9, Saul’s seven sons were the two sons of Saul and Aiah, and the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab. (Note that there were two princes named Mephibosheth; Jonathan’s son was spared, and Saul and Aiah’s son was not.) Saul was thirty when he began his reign, and Saul reigned 42 years, according to 1 Samuel 13:1.
As for the baby born to Bathsheba, both this passage and modern experience show that little children often bear consequences for the evil of others. God can take life as he decides, but Deuteronomy 24:16 says that children are not to be executed for the sins of their fathers.
See Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.152-153, When Critics Ask p.129-130, and Hard Sayings of the Bible p.177-179 for more info.
Q: In Dt 25:2 (KJV), does this mean to beat people on their face?
A: Not at all. As modern translations show, this means that the judge will face the guilty person when the person is punished. Presumably, this would show that the punishment is judicially authorized.
Q: In Dt 25:5-6, why would a childless widow have to marry the brother of her deceased husband?
A: At that time, this is something the widow would want to do for financial support and the memory and name of her first husband.
Deuteronomy 25:5-10 teaches that if a man died with no children, it was his brother’s responsibility to marry the widow and the first son shall carry on the name of the dead brother. For examples, see Genesis 38:8-10 and Ruth 1:11-13.
In the ancient Middle East outside of the Bible, the Nuzi tablets also say that when a father gets a wife for his son, if the son dies, then the girl marries another son. See the Wycliffe Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology p.360 for more info.
Levirate marriage seems very strange to westerners, but many other cultures thought this was natural. Wikipedia says that the custom of levirate marriage was practiced by the Scythians, later Kurds, Hsiung-Nu (Xiongnu) of China, the Huns, Kirghiz, Karo people of Indonesia, many Somalis, the Mambila tribe of Nigeria and north Cameroon, some parts of Nigeria, the Marogoli tribe of west Kenya, the Julu, the Shona of Zimbabwe, and the Dinka and Nuer tribes of south Sudan.
Since the time of the New Testament, there is the understanding that believers are to take care of their families, including their extended family, given the strict nature of the command in 1 Timothy 5:8. While there is no levirate marriage for Christians today, we should still financially help out extended family too.
As an aside, the Hebrew word for son, ben, can mean son or mean child depending on the context. See The Expositor’s Bible Commentary vol.3 p.151 for more info.
Q: Why does the law in Dt 25:5-10 differ from what was expected with Judah, Onan, and Tamar in Genesis 38?
A: Remember that the Law of Moses had not yet been given in the time of Judah. Judah believed he had an obligation to Tamar, and he violated his conscience by choosing not to live up to that obligation.
Q: In Dt 25:13-15, Prov 11:1; 20:10,23 and Lev 19:35-36, what are divers (or differing) weights?
A: This refers to the evil practice of measuring grain or other items using a lighter weight when you were selling it, and using a slightly heavier weight when you were buying it.
Q: In Dt 26:17 (KJV), what does "avouched" mean?
A: This colorful King James Version word means "declared" (NASB, NET, NIV, and Green’s Literal translation) or "proclaimed" (NKJV). The NRSV translates this as "obtained the Lord’s agreement".
Q: In Dt 27:9, what is significant about the Israelites becoming a people of the Lord?
A: There are two aspects, both spelled out in Deuteronomy 27:12-13. Because the people were special to the Lord, God would especially bless their obedience. On the other hand, they would be cursed for disobeying God, even more than other peoples. Remember that the Israelites knew God’s will more than other peoples of that time, and they were accountable both for what they knew, and their commitment to be a people of God.
For New Testament believers, James 3:1 says that many should not become teachers, because teachers will be judged with greater strictness. For unbelievers, 2 Peter 2:21 says that a person would be better off not knowing the way of truth, than to know it and reject it.
Q: In Dt 28, why is the Book of Lamentations so similar to this chapter?
A: They are very different in style, since Lamentations was written a thousand years later in a precise, poetic way. However, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1209 points out there are fifteen similarities in content. This is probably because the author of Lamentations (most likely Jeremiah) was deliberately trying to show how the disaster that occurred was not a chance event, but God deliberately fulfilling the prophetic curses in Deuteronomy 28.
Q: In Dt 28:15-26, outside of the Bible when did people use the word "Amen"?
A: A vassal saying "Amen" is in Esarhaddon’s Nimrud treaty and in the response of Hittite soldiers. See The Expositor’s Bible Commentary vol.3 p.165 for more info.
Q: In Dt 28:26 (KJV), what does "carcase" mean?
A: This means dead body. The NASB and NKJV says "carcasses". The NRSV says "corpse" and Green’s literal translation says "body".
Q: In Dt 28:55-58, why did God decide that disobedient Israelites would be cannibals and eat their children?
A: God did not desire this, but warned them that their punishment for disobedience would be a siege of Jerusalem that was so severe that He foresaw this would happen.
Q: Did Dt 28:68 prophesy a second bondage in Egypt as the Muslim Ahmad Deedat says?
A: This is a conditional prophecy if they continued in their rebellion. It does not prophesy a captivity in Egypt, but rather that they will voluntarily flee to Egypt. After the Babylonians exiled most of the Jews to Babylon, many of the ones who were left chose to flee to Egypt, taking an unwilling Jeremiah with them. Jeremiah 41:11-44:30 has an extensive discussion of what happened.
Q: In Dt 29:29, what does it mean that the secret things belong to God but the things He has revealed, are ours forever?
A: There are two kinds of knowledge differentiated here.
1. Secret things which God has not revealed to us. We are not responsible to know them or obey them. Some of these things we might not know until we get to Heaven, and others things we might never know. That is OK, though.
2. Things which God has revealed we are responsible to know, obey, and teach our children and others.
Q: In Dt 30:6, did God circumcise the hearts of the Israelites, or were the Israelites themselves supposed to as Dt 10:16 says?
A: This is like asking are we responsible for faith, or does God give us faith. The correct answer is both, because whether in salvation, or dedication to God, there is an interaction between God and a person. See When Critics Ask p.130 and Haley’s Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible p.166-167 for more info.
Q: In Dt 31:3, what were the peoples of Canaan like, and are there any people similar to them today?
A: Many peoples lived in the land of Canaan. Colonies of Hittites and Amorites came from Asia Minor. A few Philistines and Sea peoples came at that time from the northwest. One of the more unusual peoples was the Anakim. Bones have been found that showed some of them to be 10 1/2 feet tall. Most of the Canaanites though, are thought to have come from northern Arabia. A people living today are believed to be "cousins" of the Canaanites; they live in the nation of Qatar.
Canaan was governed by a large number of small city-states; they were experienced in war with each other. Their city walls were thicker than Israelite city walls, built centuries later. Both the northern and southern parts of Canaan paid tribute to Egypt. Joshua conquered thirty-one kings in both parts. However the plains were not conquered because the Canaanites used chariots, which were effective weapons on the plains.
The religion of the Canaanites was both decadent and cruel. Each region worshipped a local lord, or Baal. The Canaanites also venerated the goddess Ashtarte (or Ishtar) the goddess of sex and war. In one legend her husband, the god Tammuz, was sent to hell by her (nice lady!). Three "attractive" elements of this religion were sex, violence, and materialism. They not only sacrificed animals, but their firstborn children had to "pass through the fire". Each temple supported itself by sacrifices and partly by the "holy" prostitution of priestesses. Since the Canaanites had a more sophisticated civilization and their religion certainly appealed to the flesh more than the worship of God, it was a great temptation to the Israelites to turn from the Living God.
It is easy to look at the infant murder and prostitution and overlook seeing another really evil thing. A few people murder and become prostitutes in most cultures, but the great evil is this: if a Canaanite were to sincerely desire to seek the Creator and live a good, moral life, he was taught the only way was by killing your firstborn and committing fornication. Can you imagine how nearly impossible it would be to seek after a moral God if the only way you knew was by these ungodly deeds?
Because of the Canaanites’ great sin (Genesis 15:16), and because of the temptation (Deuteronomy 7:16), God ordered them to be totally destroyed (Deuteronomy 20:16-18). We can ponder how bad sin must become before God annihilates a people, but we really cannot question God’s right to do with His own creation as He wishes.
Q: In Dt 32:21 does the foolish people here refer to pre-Islamic Arabs, as the Muslim Ahmad Deedat says?
A: This can also be translated "people slow to learn", but regardless, there is no reason this refers to Arabs any more than Gentiles in general. Specifically, the early Christians who were not of Jewish background were mainly Gentiles of the Roman Empire.
Q: In Dt 32:48 was Moses’ anger a "sin unto to death" as mentioned in 1 Jn 5:16,17 because he was punished with dying before entering the promised land?
A: No, this is fundamentally different from Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11), some believer’s who took the Lord’s supper lightly (1 Corinthians 11:31,32), Korah’s rebellion (Numbers 16), Achan’s sin (Joshua 7:16-26). The others died right away, while Moses lived many years before dying. Moses sin was only a sin unto death in the sense that Adam, Eve, and all of us will die as a consequence of sin.
See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.70 for a different answer.
Q: In Dt 33:2, does God shining forth with 10,000 saints refer to Mohammed conquering Mecca, as the Muslim Ahmad Deedat says?
A: No. While the army from Medina was about 10,000 strong, that is the only similarity here. Paran was in Edom, east of Mt. Sinai. Both Mecca and Medina are far south of Paran.
Q: In Dt 33:6, does the Hebrew say "let" his men be few or "let not/nor let" his men be few?
A: The NIV and NET Bible show in footnote that it could be translated either way. Jay P. Green’s literal translation says "let his men be numbered". The NRSV says "even though his numbers are few". The NASB says "Nor his men be few", and the NKJV "Nor let his men be few" (italics means the word is implied but not present in the Hebrew). The Septuagint was a fairly reliable Greek translation for the first five books, and they understood it as "let him be many in number".
Q: In Dt 33:7, as Judah’s kingship is not mentioned, does this show this was composed after the northern tribes split away, as the skeptical Asimov’s Guide to the Bible p.206 says?
A: No, it would be equally valid to say that no mention of Judah’s kingship would be made if it was before David and the united kingdom, as it would be to say it was after the time of the united kingdom. Actually, since these were blessings of Moses, there was no need to either mention or not mention Judah’s kingship.
Q: In Dt 34, how could Dt be written by Moses, since his death is mentioned?
A: Most Christians think the last chapter of Deuteronomy was written down after Moses’ death. See the first answer in Bible questions from the Torah. See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.179-180, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.112-113 and Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.153-154 for more info.
Q: In Dt 34:1-2 (KJV), how did Moses see "all" of the land?
A: The King James version accurately translated the Hebrew word, but "all" here does not mean every single square foot (even the ground on the far side of each mountain and building). Rather, it means Moses saw the land as a whole. See The Expositor’s Bible Commentary volume 3 p.234 for more info.
Q: In Dt 34:5, why was Moses buried in a secrete place?
A: Scripture does not say, but there are two conjectures.
Josephus the Jewish writer said that if the place was known, the Israelites might have made an idol of Moses’ body. See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.311 for this.
Jude 9 says that the archangel Michael and Satan contended over the body of Moses. It might have something to do with this, or that Moses would appear later to Jesus at the transfiguration.
Q: In Dt 34:10, how could Moses write that he was a greater prophet than Jesus? (An atheist asked this)
A: Many conservative Christians do not believe Moses wrote the epilog to Deuteronomy after he died. I must admit, though, this is the first time I have heard of an atheist thinking Moses wrote after his own death. Either way though, the answer is the same.
In Deuteronomy 34:10, says their was no greater prophet "until this time". The writer of the epilog to Deuteronomy was accurate, because this was written long before Jesus came.
You have to give atheists credit though, for their diligence in looking through the Bible and their cleverness in seeing problems that nobody else sees. See When Critics Ask p.132-133 for more info.
Q: In Dt 34:7, how could Moses be 120 years old and still be strong with good eyesight?
A: God can preserve youth, and God can even restore youth, as Job 33:25; Psalm 103:5; and possibly Psalm 110:3 show.
Q: In Dt 34:7, was Moses as strong as in his youth, or could Moses no longer go out and come in as Dt 31:2 says?
A: Moses was as strong as when he was younger. To find out the true reason Moses said Deuteronomy 31:2, one only has to read Deuteronomy 31:3, where Moses tells the people that God said Moses would die right before reaching the promised land. This is why Moses handed over the leadership of the people to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:1-8. See Bible Difficulties and Seeming Contradictions p.154-155 for more info.
Q: In Dt, how do we know that what we have is what was originally written from Philo the Jew?
A: As Christians we trust that the Old Testament that Christ validated the Old Testament we have. For that matter, for Muslims their Qur’an says that Jesus was given the Torah in Sura 5:46. We have early manuscripts from the time of Christ, which the next question addresses. However, there is an additional line of evidence. Philo of Alexandria was a Jewish scholar who lived from 15/20 B.C. to 50 A.D. He wrote in Greek, but it is curious that his Greek quotes of the Old Testament agree more closely with the Hebrew Masoretic text instead of the Greek Septuagint. He went into great detail into what different verses mean. Here are verses he referred to in Deuteronomy.
1:17,31,43; 4:1,4,6,12,19,29,39; 5:16,27,31; 6:7,10,11,13; 7:1,7; 8:2,3,12,14,15,17,18; 9:5; 10:9,10,16,17,18,20-22; 11:8; 12:28,31; 13:1,4,6; 14:1,4,10; 15:1,6,8,12,16; 16:3,19-22; 17:6,15,18; 18:18; 19:14-17,19; 20:1,5,10,19,20; 21:10,14,15,17-21,23; 22:8,10,13,27; 23:1-5,12-14,16,18,19,21; 24:4,7,10,15,19,20; 25:4,11-13,17,18; 26:1,13; 27:2,3,9,15,17,19; 28:12,15,23,28,33,65; 29:4; 30:4,9-12,14-15,20; 32:4,5,7,8,13,15,18,32,34,39; 33:1,4,6,9; 34:4-6,10
See The Works of Philo : Complete and Unabridged. new updated version for more info.
Q: In Dt, what are some of the earliest manuscripts that still exist today?
A: Dead Sea scrolls: (before Christ) 29 separate manuscripts. The Dead Sea Scrolls Today p.30. According to The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated : The Qumran Texts in English 2nd ed. and The Dead Sea Scrolls in English 4th ed., they are:
4QPaleoDeut[r] has Dt 19:2-3
4Q28 (= 4QDeut a)(Deuteronomy 23:36?; 24:1-8) (175-150 B.C.)
4Q29 (= 4QDeut b) (Deuteronomy 29:24-27; 30:3-14; 31:9-17, 31:24-32:3) shows affinities with the Hebrew text behind the Septuagint. (Dated 150-100 B.C.)
4Q30 (= 4QDeut c ) (120 verses from 19 chapters including 31:16-19) (c.150-100 B.C.) Dt 3:25-26; 4:13-17,31-32; 7:3-4; 8:1-5; 9:11-12,17-19,29; 10:1-2,5-8; 10:8-12; 11:3,9-13,18; 12:18-19,26,31; 15:1-4,15-19; 16:2-3,6-11,21-22; 17:1-5,7,15-20; 18:1; 26:19; 28:1-14,20,22-25,29-30,48-50,61; 29:17-19; 31:16-19; 32:3
4Q31 (= 4QDeut d) (Deuteronomy 2:26-33; 3:14-29; 4:1)
4Q32 (parts of Deuteronomy 3,8)
4Q33 (=4QDeut[f]) parts of 93 verses: Dt 4:24-26; 7:22-25; 8:2-14; 9:6-7; 17:17-18; 18:6-10,18-22; 19:17-21; 20:1-6; 21:4-12; 22:12-19; 23:21-26; 24:2-7; 25:3-9; 26:18-19; 27:1-10
4Q34 "is virtually identical to the tradition underlying the Masoretic Text in spelling practices, paragraph divisions, and content." The Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls vol.1 p.199
4Q35 (Deuteronomy 1-2, 31, 33 in the Greek Septuagint)
4Q37 (=Deuteronomy(j)) (includes Deuteronomy 37 and Exodus 12:43-13:5)
4Q38 (11 fragments of Deuteronomy 5, 11, 19, 20, 23, 25, 26, 32) These likely belong to two different manuscripts.
4Q43 (=4QDt(p)) contains Dt 6:4-11
4Q44 Deuteronomy 32:37-43 agrees with the Hebrew behind the Septuagint.
4Q45 92 verses
4Q46 palaeo-Deuteronomy (250-200 B.C.) Deuteronomy 26:14-15
4Q122 (Greek Septuagint)
5Q1 (c.200-165 B.C.) chapters 7, 8, start of 9.
6Q3 (a few letters of Deuteronomy 26:19)
11Q3 (=11QDeut) Deuteronomy 1:4-5
The Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.436-438 says there are 25 copies, but it might not be counting the Septuagint fragments. The New International Dictionary of the Bible p.261 says there are 14 at least different manuscripts of Deuteronomy in cave 4 alone. A photograph of a Deuteronomy 5 on animal skins is in The New International Bible Dictionary p.583, and Deuteronomy 8:5-10 is on p.270.
Many phylacteries and mezuzot (worn on the forehead and arms respectively) of Exodus and Deuteronomy are among the Dead Sea Scrolls according to The Dead Sea Scrolls Today p.33.
The Nash Papyrus, dated 150 B.C., contains the Ten Commandments combined from Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-6:4f. This was the oldest known Biblical text until the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. A photograph of it is in the New International Dictionary of the Bible p.228.
The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Old Testament and Apocrypha. According to The Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge p.746, we have Septuagint fragments of Deuteronomy going back to the second century B.C.
Manuscripts of the Greek Bible p.34 says there are more than one hundred existing copies of the Greek of Deuteronomy 17-33. The oldest copy was from the second century B.C. (Papyrus Rylands 458 fragment B) contains Deuteronomy 25:1-3, and is in the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England. Another fragment of Deuteronomy 31:28-30 and Deuteronomy 32:1-7 is from the first century B.C. You can see pictures of these, along with more discussion, in Manuscripts of the Greek Bible p.60-61. In the Freer Gallery in Washington is a copy of Deuteronomy and Joshua from the fifth century A.D. You can see a picture of one leaf, Deuteronomy 10:6-15 in Greek Manuscripts of the Bible p.84-85.
At Masada was found Mas1C containing Deuteronomy 33:17-21; 34:2-6
Nahal Hever has XHev/Se3 of Deuteronomy 9:5-6, 21-23
The Wadi Murabba’at site has preserved Deuteronomy 10:1-3; 11:2-3; 12:25-26; 14:29; 15:1 or 2, called Mur 2.
Overall, preserved in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Masada, Nahal Hever, and wadi Murabba’at are the following verses from Deuteronomy: 1:1-17,22-25,29-39,41,43-46; 2:1-6,8,24-36; 3:14-29; 4:1,13-17,24-26,30-34,47-49; 5:1-33; 6:1-11; 7:2-7,12-26; 8:1-20; 9:1-2,5-7,10-14,17-19,21-23,27-29; 10:1-3,5-12,14-15; 11:2-4,6-13,18,27-32; 12:1-5,11-12,18-19,22,25-26,31; 13:1-14,16,19; 14:1-4,19-22,24-29; 15:1-6,8-10,14-19; 16:2-4,6-11,21-22; 17:1-5,6?,7,12-20; 18:1,6-10,18-22; 19:2-3,8-21; 20:1-19; 21:4-12,16?,23; 22:1-9,1-19; 23:6-8,12-16,22-26; 24:1-8,10-22; 25:1-9,14-19; 26:1-5,14-15,18-19; 27:1-10,24-26; 28:1-18,20,22-25,29-30,44-50,61,67-68; 29:2-5,9-20,22-27; 30:3-14,16-20; 31:1-19,24-30; 32:1-3,6-11,13-14,17-29,33-35,37-43; 33:1-24,29; 34:1-6,8?. See Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls vol.2 p.615 and The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls for more info.
Papyri Fouad Inv. 266 is over one hundred fragments of parts of Deuteronomy 17-33 in Greek. It dates from the first century B.C. according to Manuscripts of the Greek Bible p.34, 60. Among other parts, it contains Deuteronomy 31:28-30; 32:1-7
Christian Bible manuscripts, from about 350 A.D., contain the Old Testament Septuagint, including Deuteronomy. According to The Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge p.746, the Chester Beatty Papyrii (2nd-4th century A.D.) contain Deuteronomy. The Freer Washington Codex (4th/5th century) contains Deuteronomy 10:6-15.
The Lucianic Recension was a copy of the Septuagint made by Lucian, a presbyter and martyr (312 A.D.) from Antioch. He corrected the Greek grammar and style. We have the Lucianic recension preserved in the John Ryland Papyrus Greek 458 Deuteronomy 23:24-24:3; 25:1-3; 26:12,17-19, 28:31-33.
Vaticanus (325-350 A.D.) contains all of Deuteronomy
Sinaiticus (340-350 A.D.) contains leaves of Deuteronomy 3:8-4:21; 28:68-30:16.
Alexandrinus (c.450 A.D.) contains all of Deuteronomy
Samaritans made their own copy of the Torah in the second century B.C., though the earliest surviving Samaritan copies are from the Middle Ages. The Dead Sea Scrolls Today p.125-126.
A Syriac translation of the Septuagint was made by Bishop Paul of Tella (616-617 A.D.), which we still have today, according to Manuscripts of the Greek Bible p.35 (footnote).
Early church writers recognized Deuteronomy as a part of the Bible. See the next question for a complete list prior to Nicea.
Q: Which early writers referred to Deuteronomy?
A: Pre-Nicene writers who quoted or alluded to verses in Deuteronomy are:
Clement of Rome (96-98 A.D.) quotes Deuteronomy 13:8-9 in 1 Clement ch.29 vol.1 p.12-13.
Epistle of Barnabas (c.70-130 A.D.) ch.8 p.142 quotes Deuteronomy 10:16.
Justin Martyr (c.138-165 A.D.) quotes Deuteronomy 32:15 as "by Moses" in Dialogue with Trypho the Jew ch.20 p.204. He also quotes from Deuteronomy 10:16 as by Moses in the same work ch.126 p.262
Meleto/Melito of Sardis (170-177/180 A.D.) listed Deuteronomy among the books of the Old Testament in his letter to Onesimus. On Pascha p.72. Preserved in Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History book 4 ch.26.
Irenaeus of Lyons (182-188 A.D.) quotes Deuteronomy 5:8 as "Moses said" Irenaeus Against Heresies book 3 ch.6.5 p.420.
Clement of Alexandria (193-217/220 A.D.) quotes from Deuteronomy in many places, including Deuteronomy 6:4 as by Moses in Exhortation to the Heathen ch.8 p.195 and the same verse in The Stromata (193-202 A.D.) book 5 ch.14 p.471.
Tertullian (198-220 A.D.) "To the following effect also, in Deuteronomy" and then quotes Deuteronomy 6:4,12,27; 12:2,3,30; 13:1,6,16; 27:15 Scorpiace ch.2 p.635
Theodotus the probable Montanist (ca.240 A.D.) quotes half of Deuteronomy 17:6 in Excerpts of Theodotus ch.13 p.44
Hippolytus (222-235/6 A.D.) quotes Dt 9:3 as by Moses. Refutation of All Heresies book 6 ch.27 p.88. He also discusses Dt 5;22 as "And Moses has not been silent on this point, when he says, that there are three words of God, ‘darkness, gloom, tempest, and added no more." Refutation of All Heresies book 8 ch.1 p.118
Origen (240 A.D.) refers to Deuteronomy by name. Commentary on the Song of Songs book 3 ch.6 p.187
Novatian (250/254-256/7 A.D.) quotes Deuteronomy 8:3 as the "word of the law" in On the Jewish Meats ch.5 p.648
Novatian (250/254-256/7 A.D.) quotes Deuteronomy 32:8 as "Deuteronomy" in Treatise Concerning the Trinity ch.17 p.627
Anonymous Treatise Against Novatian (250/4-256/7 A.D.) quotes Dt 1:17 as in Deuteronomy.
Cyprian of Carthage (c.246-258 A.D.) quotes from "Deuteronomy" in Treatise 12 the third book 18.
Cyprian of Carthage (c.246-258 A.D.) "In Isaiah … in the 117th Psalm … Also in Zechariah … Also in Deuteronomy: … Also in Jesus [Joshua] the son of Nave" Treatises of Cyprian Treatise 12 ch.2.16
Gregory Thaumaturgus (240-265 A.D.) quotes Deuteronomy 22:26,27 as in Deuteronomy. Canonical Epistle Canon 1 p.18.
Dionysius of Alexandria (246-256 A.D.) quotes Dt 19:14 in Epistle 7 to Philemon, a Presbyter p.102
Dionysius of Rome (259-269 A.D.) mentions "Moses in the great song of Deuteronomy" Against the Sabellians ch.2 p.365.
Archelaus (262-278 A.D.) refers to Deuteronomy 18:15 by Moses. Disputation with Manes ch.42 p.217
Victorinus of Petau (martyred 204 A.D.) alludes to Deuteronomy 32:8 as "the Law" Commentary on the Apocalypse from the Ninth Chapter 13,14 p.352.
Methodius of Olympus and Patara (270-311/312 A.D.) quotes from Deuteronomy 32:32,33 as by Moses. The Banquet of the Ten Virgins Discourse 5 p.327
Lactantius (c.303-c.325 A.D.) "Moses also says in Deuteronomy" and quotes Deuteronomy 28:66 in Epitome of the Divine Institutes ch.46 p.241
After Nicea, others who referred to Deuteronomy include:
Eusebius of Caesarea (318-339-340 A.D.)
Aphrahat the Syrian (337-345 A.D.)
Hilary of Poitiers (355-367/368 A.D.)
Athanasius (325-373 A.D.)
Ephraem the Syrian (350-378 A.D.)
Basil of Cappadocia (357-378/379 A.D.)
Cyril of Jerusalem (c.349-386 A.D.)
Pacian of Barcelona (342-379/392 A.D.) quotes Dt 13:6; 13:8-9 (Septuagint) as by "Moses" and "the Book of Deuteronomy" Letter 3 ch.17.1 p.58
Didymus the Blind (398 A.D.) quotes Dt 32:8 as in Deuteronomy. Commentary on Zechariah 11 p.272
Syriac Book of Steps (Liber Graduum) (350-400 A.D.) quotes from Deuteronomy 27:24 as "said in the Law" Memra 22 ch.10 p.259. It also quotes from Deuteronomy 5:16-22; 6:4; and 32:15. It alludes to Deuteronomy 6:5; 19:14,21; 22:1; 32:4.
Rufinus (374-406 A.D.)
John Chrysostom (died 407 A.D.)
Council of Carthage (393-419 A.D.)
Jerome (373-420 A.D.) discusses the books of the Old Testament. He specifically discusses Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, the Pentateuch, Job, Jesus son of Nave [Joshua], Judges, Ruth, Samuel Kings (2 books), twelve prophets, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai,, Zechariah, Malachi, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, Letter 53 ch.7-8 p.99-101.
The Pelagian Theodore of Mopsuestia (392-423/429 A.D.) refers to Dt 24:1-2. Commentary on Malachi ch.2 p.412. Refers to Dt 29:23. Commentary on Hosea ch.11 p.87
Augustine of Hippo (388-430 A.D)
John Cassian (419-430 A.D.)
Theodoret of Cyrus (423-458 A.D.).
Q: In Dt, what are some of the translation differences between the Hebrew, the Greek Septuagint and other versions?
A: Here are a few of them from the 959 verses in Deuteronomy. Except where noted the first phrase is the Masoretic text (MT) and the second the Septuagint (LXX).
Dt 1:1 "Arabah" vs. "Red Sea" (One Septuagint manuscript, Targum, Vulgate)
Dt 1:4 "in Edrei" vs. "and in Edrei" (Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate)
Dt 1:8 "The Lord" vs. "I" (Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint)
Dt 2:5 "I will not give their land to you, even to a step of the sole of a foot, for I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession." vs. "I will not give you of their land even enough to set your foot upon, for I have given Mount Seir to the children of Esau as an inheritance." (Septuagint)
Dt 2:8 and 10:6-7 are based on Num 20:17-18 and Num 33:31-38a in the Samaritan Pentateuch. (The Anchor Bible Dictionary vol.5 p.937)
Dt 2:37 "and all" vs. "even all / just as" (Septuagint, Targum)
Dt 3:9 and Dt 4:48 "Sion" vs. "Siryon" (Septuagint) vs. "Sirion" (Syriac)
Dt 3:12 "by the Arnon Gorge" vs. "on the rim of the Arnon Gorge"
Dt 5:5 "word" vs. "words" (Dead Sea Scrolls, Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate, Targum)
Dt 5:15 "Remember" (MT) vs. "And you shall remember" (Dead Sea Scrolls) (The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls p.112)
Dt 5:15 "Sabbath day" (MT, SP, LXX) vs. "Sabbath day to hallow it. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them and rested the seventh day; so the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." (Dead sea scroll 4QDt41) (The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls p.112)
Dt 5:21 is immediately followed by Dt 27:2-7 in the Samaritan Pentateuch. (The Anchor Bible Dictionary vol.5 p.937)
Dt 8:4 "blisters" vs. "callouses" (Septuagint)
Dt 9:24 "I have known" vs. "he has known" (Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint)
Dt 9:28 "Lest the land" vs. "Lest the people of the land" (Septuagint, Samaritan Pentateuch)
Dt 10:13 "Lord" vs. "Lord your God" (Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, Syriac)
Dt 11:13 "my commandments" vs. "every commandment" (Septuagint)
Dt 11:14 "I" vs. "he" (Samaritan Pentateuch, some Septuagint, Vulgate, a mezuzah quotation from the Dead Sea Scrolls)
Dt 11:30 "oaks or terebinths" vs. "oak" (Septuagint, Syriac)
Dt 11:30 "Moriah" (MT, Septuagint) vs. "Moriah, opposite of Shechem" (Samaritan Pentateuch. See The Anchor Bible Dictionary vol.5 p.938)
Dt 12:5 "place where the LORD your God will choose" (MT, Septuagint) vs. "place where the LORD has chosen" (Samaritan Pentateuch)
Dt 12:14 "at the place the LORD will choose" (MT, Septuagint) vs. "at the place the LORD has chosen" (Samaritan Pentateuch. The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls p.95.)
Dt 12:28 "command you" vs. "command you today" (Samaritan Pentateuch, Syriac) (NRSV footnote says "today" is in the Greek, but Brenton’s Septuagint version does not show this.)
Dt 13:6 "your mother’s son" vs. "your father’s son or your mother’s son" (Samaritan, Septuagint, Targum) (There is no change in meaning in this context)
Dt 14:13 "black kite" vs. "black kite vulture/falcon" in the Septuagint, Samaritan Pentateuch, and some Hebrew manuscripts.
Dt 15:2 "exact it of his neighbor and his brother" (MT, Samaritan Pentateuch) vs. "exact it of his neighbor" (Septuagint) vs. "exact it" (4QDeut( c ))
Dt 20:8 "officers" (MT, Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint) vs. "judges" (4QDeut(k2)) The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible p.174
Dt 20:8 "lest the heart of his brothers faint" (MT, Targum) vs. "lest he make his brother’s heart faint" (Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate)
Dt 20:19 "man is the tree of the field" vs. "Are the trees of the field people" (one letter difference)
Dt 23:2 "assembly of YHWH, even to the tenth generation shall none of his enter into the assembly of YHWH." vs. "assembly of the Lord"
Dt 25:11 "his private parts" vs. "his flesh" (Samaritan Pentateuch)
Dt 26:3 "declare today the Lord your God" vs. "declare today the Lord my God" (Septuagint)
Dt 27:4 "Mount Ebal" (MT, Septuagint) vs. "Mount Gerizim" (Samaritan Pentateuch and Old Latin/Italic) [The Samaritans likely changed this to improve their claim that Gerizim, not Jerusalem, was the mountain where they should worship.]
Dt 28:30 changes "grabbed his private parts" (sgl) to "grabbed his flesh" (yshbn) (Samaritan Pentateuch)
Dt 28:11 "cattle … ground" (MT, some Septuagint, Samaritan Pentateuch) vs. "g[round, … c[attle]" (4QDeut( c ), some Septuagint)
Dt 29:10 "your leaders, your tribes, your elders" vs. "the heads of your tribes, your elders" (Septuagint according to Brenton) vs. "your tribes, your elders" (Syriac, Greek according to the NRSV footnote)
Dt 29:11 "your children, your wives" (MT) vs. "your wives and your children" (Septuagint) vs. "your children, and [your] w[ives" (1QDeut(b) )The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible p.186
Dt 30:9 "cattle … ground" (MT) vs. "ground … cattle" (4Deut(b), Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint) The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible p.187
Dt 30:11 "far away" (MT) vs. "far away from you" (4QDeut(b), Septuagint) The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible p.187
Dt 30:16 "that I am commanding" vs. "If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I am commanding" (Septuagint)
Dt 30:28 "to us and our children" has special dots over it.
Dt 31:1 "went and spoke" vs. "had finished speaking all" (Dead Sea scrolls, Septuagint)
Dt 31:7 "You will go" vs. "You will bring" (Some Masoretic text, Samaritan Pentateuch, Vulgate)
Dt 32:6 "he repented" vs. "he forgave" (Samaritan Pentateuch) (The Anchor Bible Dictionary vol.5 p.938)
Dt 32:8 "He set up the bounds of the peoples, according to the number of the children/sons of Israel" (MT) vs. "he set the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God" (Septuagint, Dead Sea Scrolls, Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Novatian, Victorinus of Petau) vs. "sons of God" (Dead Sea scroll 4Q37, Symmachus, Latin) vs. "sons of Adam" (KJV)
Dt 32:10 "found him" vs. "sustained him" (Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint)
Dt 32:13 "he ate" vs. "fed him with" (Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Syriac)
Dt 32:15 "Jeshurun" vs. "Jacob ate his fill; Jeshurun" (Dead Sea scrolls, Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint)
Dt 32:19 "saw it" vs. "saw it and was jealous" (Dead Sea scrolls, Septuagint)
Dt 32:43 "nations" vs. "Heavens" (Dead Sea Scroll 4Q44, Septuagint)
Dt 32:43 (absent) (MT) vs. "Let all God’s angels worship him." (Septuagint, Hebrews 1:6, and Dead Sea Scroll 4Q44 (=4QDeut(q), John Chrysostom (died 407 A.D.) Homilies on Hebrews Homily 4 no.2 p.382-383)
Dt 32:43 "servants" vs. "children" (Dead Sea Scroll 4Q44 (=4QDeut(q)), Septuagint)
Dt 32:43 (absent) vs. "he will repay those who hate him" (Dead Sea scroll 4Q44 (=4QDeut(q)), Septuagint)
Dt 32:43 "cleans his land his people" vs. "cleans the land for his people" Dead Sea Scroll 4Q44 (=4QDeut(q)), Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Vulgate)
Dt 32:44 "Hoshea" (MT) vs. "Joshua" (Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate) Hosea was Joshua’s name prior to Moses renaming him.
Dt 33:2 "upon/to them" vs. "upon/to us" (Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate)
Dt 33:2 "He came from Ribebot-kodesh" vs. "with him were myriads of holy ones" (Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate)
Dt 33:8 "your Thummim" vs. "Give to Levi your Thummim" (Dead Sea scrolls, Septuagint)
Dt 33:12 "will dwell securely upon him" (MT) vs. "will dwell securely" (Samaritan Pentateuch) vs. "upon God" (Septuagint, Dead Sea scroll 4Q35)
Dt 33:17 "His firstborn bull" vs. "a firstborn bull" (Dead Sea scrolls, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate)
Dt 34:10 "there arose not again a prophet like Moses in Israel vs. "there will not arise again" (Samaritan Pentateuch) (The Anchor Bible Dictionary vol.5 p.938)
Bibliography for this question: The Hebrew translation is from Jay P. Green’s Literal Translation and the Septuagint rendering is from Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton’s translation of The Septuagint : Greek and English. (Some Greek translations were from various Bible footnotes too.) The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, General Introduction to the Bible, Mystery and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls p.151-152, The Anchor Bible Dictionary vol.5, and the footnotes in the NASB, NIV, NKJV, and NRSV Bibles also were used.
by Steven M. Morrison, PhD.
For more info please contact Christian Debater™ P.O. Box 144441 Austin, TX 78714. www.BibleQuery.org