39So acknowledge today and take to heart that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. 40Keep his statutes and his commandments, which I am commanding you today for your own well-being and that of your descendants after you, so that you may long remain in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for all time"2.
Before a portion of a book is analyzed, it is important to first take into consideration the book as a whole, in this case, the entirety of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Pentateuch. This anglicized Greek word (meaning "five rolls" or "fivefold volume") refers to the first five books of the Bible-Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Pentateuch is a most important segment of God's written Word, furnishing a solid foundation upon which much that follows firmly rests3.
The name "Deuteronomy" comes from the Septuagint Greek title Deuteronomion, literally meaning "Second Law; Repetition of the Law." This comes from the Greek rendering of a Hebrew phrase in Deuteronomy 17:18, mishneh hattohrah, correctly rendered 'copy of the law.' Despite the meaning of the name Deuteronomy, this book is not a second law nor a repetition of the entire Law but, rather, an explanation of it, as Deuteronomy 1:5 says4.
Deuteronomy, covers about two months' time (1473B.C.E.); it explains portions of the Law covenant and provides many ordinances necessary for the new generation of Israelites who were poised on the Plains of Moab, ready to invade and occupy the Promised Land5.
Doctor Constable said "Deuteronomy is similar to Leviticus in that both books contain a record of instructions and speeches almost exclusively. Deuteronomy is not so much a book of history, as Genesis, Exodus, and Numbers are, as it is a book of law. In contrast to Leviticus, however, Moses addressed Deuteronomy to all the Israelites more than to the priests and Levites"6.
The book of Deuteronomy places the emphasis strikingly on knowledge, teaching, and instruction. The words "teach," "teaching," and "taught" occur much more often in Deuteronomy than in the first four books of the Pentateuch7.
Historical Background of the Text
An understanding of the concerned text is only possible with the knowledge of the context surrounding it. Verse 32 challenges the Israelites, or anyone who might be reading the text, as we are today, to think and present any god who is as great as this God who is described in the succeeding verses. Several verses from it shows allusions from events that happened prior. Verse 33 says:
Has any people ever heard the voice of a god speaking out of a fire, as you have heard, and lived.
Here, a God is being compared to other gods by highlighting the fact that this particular God spoke out of a fire, and no