Deuteronomy 31 Commentary
Moses announces his retirement. It is important to know when to leave the stage. For 40 years Moses has been an obvious constant for Israel. He has literally carried them on his shoulders in intercession. Time has come for him to surrender this task to another – as posterity demands.
Joshua is the chosen one.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. These are the main lines as Moses addresses Joshua in the presence of the people. These terms are used with an understanding that they are electable attributes. One chooses to be strong. It tells us that these qualities are not inborn. They are required for the conquest of Canaan. Faith without courage and strength of character isn’t faith at all.
Then Moses turns his attention to the priests. Every seven years and during the festival of Shelters (Tabernacles or Tents or Booths), there should be public reading of the law. This is important for pulpit ministry. Regular reading of God’s law is very important for passing on the ‘faith received’ and securing the fear of the LORD for posterity.
Moses and Joshua are summoned by the LORD. The LORD tells Moses what Israel would do soon after his death. He is then commanded to record a song and teach it to Israel. It is the subject for the next chapter, chapter 32.
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