Deuteronomy 18

Sunday Evening Bible Study

November 1, 1998


The name Deuteronomy means "second law". It is Moses’ final address to the people. It covers the last 1 ½ months of Moses’ life. He’s 120 years old. It’s God’s "review" for the people to make sure they understand His ways before they go into the land.

Deuteronomy 18

:2 Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the LORD is their inheritance

Instead of being given vast tracts of land like those in the other tribes, the Levites were given houses in the cities. Their major family security didn’t lie in the family farm, it was in the Lord.

:3 the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw.

The shoulder, the cheeks, and the stomach – this was the priests’ portion of a sacrifice.

:4 The firstfruit also of thy corn …shalt thou give him.

This was the main way that the Levite had to support his family, performing the sacrifices and then keeping a portion of the sacrifices as wages.

:6 and come with all the desire of his mind unto the place which the LORD shall choose;

If a Levite wants to leave his hometown and go and serve in the central Sanctuary, like the temple in Jerusalem…

:8 They shall have like portions to eat

The country Levite coming to the temple to serve was to get the same wage as the guy raised in Jerusalem.

:8 beside that which cometh of the sale of his patrimony.

The family house in the city.

:10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire,

Molech was one of the gods of the Canaanites.

He was usually made of bronze, with his arms stretched outward.

He would be heated up in a furnace, then at the appropriate time during their worship, He would be place on display, and live babies would be placed in his red-hot open arms.

As the people chanted, beat their drums, etc., they would drown out the cries of the babies being burnt alive.

This was one way the Canaanites dealt with unwanted pregnancies, which often resulted from their promiscuous sex practices.

Today we offer babies to Molech in a more sophisticated way, through quiet little abortion clinics down the street.

:10 or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch

divination – A general term covering the types of magic that follow.

an observer of times – The idea is that of practicing hidden arts.

`anan – to observe times, practice soothsaying, spiritism, nagic, augury, witchcraft

I can't help but think of these astrologers and fortune-tellers who like to put their predictions in the tabloids. God doesn't want any of His people messing with this stuff.

This stuff can be pretty addicting. A little thing that comes true every once in a while keeps you hanging on, until these predictions are running your life. And guess who's the person pulling all the strings behind the scenes? Satan. You're listening to Satan.

enchanter – One who interprets omens. Balaam did this (cf. Num. 24:1).

nachash – to practice divination, divine, observe signs, practice fortune telling, take as an omen.

Many ancient pagan peoples looked for signs, an eagle flying in the sky, a red sunset, etc., to try and discern direction from God. (Eze. 21:21-22)

witch – A practitioner of spells and occult magic.

:11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer

charmer – One who casts a spell.

consulter with familiar spirits – A medium.

Those psychic hotlines. We had a guy visit our church who’s wife had gotten involved in being one of the gals that answer the psychic hotlines. He shared with me about the wicked things that began to take place in the house, even though it all started off as a joke and just a way to bring money into the home.

a wizard – ("Help me Mr. Wizard …") One who pretends to know about the unseen world.

necromancer – One who inquires of the dead. Stay away from Ouija boards.

:12 because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

They need to keep in mind that the very reason they are allowed into the Promised Land, the very reason they are going to be allowed victory over these people is because they are practicing these things.

:13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.

Just like Jesus said.

(Mat 5:48 KJV) Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

:14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times …

People are looking for direction. They want someone to tell them what is up ahead.

:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet

The Jews at times have understood this to mean various prophets, but ultimately it was a reference to the Messiah.

They wondered if John the Baptist was this person:

(John 1:21 KJV) And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

They came to find that it was Jesus:

(John 6:14 KJV) Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

We will often refer to Jesus as "prophet, priest, and king". This is the "prophet" part.

:19 I will require it of him.

We will be accountable to God for what we did not follow of Jesus’ teachings.

:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word

Talking about false prophets.

We’re going to get a test for false prophets, but the early church had a test of their own:

If any prophet, speaking in a trance, says, "Give me your money (or anything else)," do not listen to him.

-- the Didache, "Money in Christian History," Christian History, no. 14.

:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously:

presumptuouslyzadown – pride, insolence, presumptuousness, arrogance

The person wasn’t speaking for the Lord, but they were speaking to get attention.


Test of a false prophet: Unfulfilled Prophecy.

We need to be careful here because the opposite is not true. It is not true that fulfilled prophecy always proves a true prophet.

We’ve already seen this:

(Deu 13:1-3 KJV) If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, {2} And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; {3} Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

But what this is saying is that if someone claims to speak for the Lord and it does not come to pass, then they haven’t spoken for the Lord.


Christopher Buckley, editor of Forbes made these predictions of the major headlines of 1995. How did he do?

* Yeltsin sleeps through own U.N. speech, "tired" after long flight.

* In wake of latest mishap, US Air issues memo to pilots: "Deploy Landing Gear Before Landing, Not After."

* Spielberg, Geffen, Katzenberg Sign deal with ATT, IRA, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Social Security Administration, IBM and McDonalds Corp. Reason? "We Want To Control Every Aspect of Everyone's Life."

* Hillary Clinton Announces Resignation as First Lady; Cites White House Incident, Pres.'s 2% Approval Rating. "I'm Outa Here," She Declares. Gore To Assume Duties of First Lady.

* Gore To Run in '96; But Frustrated by First Lady Role.

* Phillip Morris Unveils Cigarette Made of Spinach, Brussels Sprouts. "It's Really Good For You," Says CEO. Catch: Only If You Eat It Instead of Smoke It.

-- Wall Street Journal, December 12, 1994, p. A14.

:22 thou shalt not be afraid of him.

There is a kind of power that people can hold over others when they are claiming to speak for the Lord. We can kind of hold these people in awe and fear. Don’t.


A group of students at Harvard once tried to fool the famous professor of zoology Agassiz. They took parts from a number of different bugs and with great skill attached them together to make a creation they were sure would baffle their teacher. On the chosen day they brought it to him and asked that he identify it. As he inspected it with great care, the students grew more and more sure they had tricked this genius. Finally, Professor Agassiz straightened up and said, "I have identified it." Scarcely able to control their amusement, they asked its name. Agassiz replied, "It is a humbug." A person with genuine life from God will detect the counterfeit and think, "Humbug".