Evening Bible Study
The name Deuteronomy means “second law”. It is Moses’ final address to the
people. It covers the last 1½ 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.
We’re going to get a review of three of the major feasts, all of which are
to be celebrated at the “Central Sanctuary” (Deut. 12), eventually in Jerusalem.
16:1-8 Passover/Unleavened Bread
:1 “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to the LORD your God,
for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night.
:2 Therefore you shall sacrifice the Passover to the LORD your God, from
the flock and the herd, in the place where the LORD chooses to put His name.
:3 You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat
unleavened bread with it, that is, the bread of affliction (for you came out of
the land of Egypt in haste), that you may remember the day in which you came
out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life.
:3 unleavened bread
Attached to the Passover was the seven-day “Feast of Unleavened Bread”.
It was to remind them that when they fled Egypt, they didn’t have time to
let the bread rise, but had to eat unleavened bread.
:4 And no
leaven shall be seen among you in all your territory for seven days, nor shall
any of the meat which you sacrifice the first day at twilight remain overnight
:4 nor shall any of
the meat … remain
On the night of
the Passover, the lamb was to be consumed entirely on the first night. There were to be no leftovers of lamb for the next day, all was
to be eaten. The Lamb was to be eaten with unleavened bread. The people were to continue to eat unleavened Bread for the next
There’s a picture here –
Leaven is a picture of sin in the Bible.
Jesus is the Lamb.
When Jesus was sacrificed, He was “without sin” (eaten with unleavened
When He died,
He died once to take away sin. There are no
“leftovers”. But after Jesus died, our
sins are taken away, and so the people were to continue to eat unleavened bread
for an entire week – He frees us from sin.
:5 “You may not
sacrifice the Passover within any of your gates which the LORD your God gives
:6 but at the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide,
there you shall sacrifice the Passover at twilight, at the going down of the sun,
at the time you came out of Egypt.
:7 And you shall roast and eat it in the place which the LORD your God
chooses, and in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents.
:8 Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there
shall be a sacred assembly to the LORD your God. You shall do no work on it.
:6 at the place
As the Central Sanctuary eventually became moved to Jerusalem, and then the temple was built,
it meant that all of Israel was to go to Jerusalem for the sacrifice of the
And one day,
there would be a special Passover Lamb sacrificed in Jerusalem. Jesus.
16:9-12 Feast of Weeks/Pentecost
The Feast of Weeks, also known as Pentecost, was celebrated 50 days after the
The Passover began the harvest season.
through harvesting, the people were to take a break and remember God. They were to give to God from the “first
fruits” of their labor.
It would also
become the day that the church was born when the Holy Spirit fell on the church
and brought in the “first fruits” of the gospel.
16:13-15 Feast of Tabernacles/Ingathering
:13 “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have
gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress.
:13 Feast of
The Feast of Tabernacles (Booths, Sukkoth) falls in our September –
October time frame. It was called the Feast of Tabernacles
because the people would build temporary shelters (booths, tents) out of
branches and leaves and live outside for seven days. It was to remind them of how they lived in
tents for forty years in the wilderness.
It was also
called the Feast of Ingathering because it was a celebration of the end of the
:14 And you
shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male
servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless
and the widow, who are within your gates.
:15 Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the LORD your God in the
place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all
your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.
:15 surely rejoice
– sameach – joyful, merry, glad
According to Jewish tradition, no marriages were allowed to be celebrated
during these great festivals, that no personal or private rejoicings might be
mingled with the demonstrations of public and national gladness (JFB).
Worship should be joyful.
During the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, when the people had come back from
Babylon and rebuilt the city of Jerusalem, they began to re-learn how to
celebrate these feasts.
When they got everyone together for the first time, some of the people were
overcome with sorrow as they heard the words of the Law.
(Ne 8:9–12 NKJV) —9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and
scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day
is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn nor weep.” For all the people wept,
when they heard the words of the Law. 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the
fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared;
for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is
your strength.” 11 So the
Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not
be grieved.” 12 And
all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice
greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them.
This took place on the Feast of the Tabernacles. The people went on to celebrate the feast
with great joy.
By the time of Jesus, the traditions and customs had grown with these
feasts, including rituals of pouring out water in the Temple, and waving palm
Jesus was in Jerusalem during one of these feasts.
(Jn 7:37–38 NKJV) —37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus
stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow
rivers of living water.”
It was a time of great joy and celebration.
It was said that “Whoever had not witnessed it had never seen rejoicing
at all” [Lightfoot].
There is a sense that as we come before the Lord, we realize the depth of
our sin. We realize just how different
He is from us. But we also need to
recognize His grace and mercy, and that ought to make us REJOICE!
:16 “Three times
a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which
He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the
Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.
:16 Three times a
Three weeks out of every year you were to spend in Jerusalem.
:16 they shall not
appear … empty-handed
When you came to Jerusalem, you were to bring your offering to the Lord.
Come to give.
Sometimes when we come to church we are just barely hanging on and we drag
ourselves in the door to be refreshed by the Lord. God understands that.
But for the most part, God wants us to come with something to give. He wants to use you.
To serve or be served. I see two kinds of people in church.
One type of person comes in order to be served. They are looking for others to minister to
them. They are always aware of what they
need for themselves. They rarely pay
attention to the needs of those around them.
The other person is the giver, the servant. They seem to have a sense of what is needed
by those around them.
Which are you?
:17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the
LORD your God which He has given you.
:18 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the
LORD your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the
people with just judgment.
:18 in all your
The “gates” of a city was where things happened. It’s where the city market was. It’s where the leaders hung out. It’s where the judges judged.
Israel, they’ve excavated part of the gates of the ancient city of Dan. As you walk into the opening to the walls and
turn the corner,
there is a place for a seat, a throne.
That’s where the leaders
would hang out.
:19 You shall
not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a
bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous.
:20 You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit
the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
:21 “You shall not plant for yourself any tree, as a wooden image, near the
altar which you build for yourself to the LORD your God.
:22 You shall not set up a sacred pillar, which the LORD your God hates.
:21 wooden image
– Asherah (or Astarte) a Phoenician
Many of these images and pillars were quite pornographic.
God does not want His people involved in idolatry. We are connected to God, and God is pure.
A.W.Tozer wrote in 1959:
The period in which we now live may well go down in history as the Erotic
Age. Sex love has been elevated into a cult. Eros has more worshipers among
civilized men today than any other god. For millions the erotic has completely
displaced the spiritual....
Now if this god would let us Christians alone I for one would let his cult
alone. The whole spongy, fetid mess will sink someday under its own weight and
become excellent fuel for the fires of hell, a just recompense which is meet,
and it becomes us to feel compassion for those who have been caught in its
tragic collapse. Tears and silence might be better than words if things were
slightly otherwise than they are. But the cult of Eros is seriously affecting
the Church. The pure religion of Christ that flows like a crystal river from
the heart of God is being polluted by the unclean waters that trickle from
behind the altars of abomination that appear on every high hill and under every
green tree from New York to Los Angeles.
:1 “You shall not sacrifice to the LORD your God a bull or sheep which has
any blemish or defect, for that is an abomination to the LORD your God.
:2 “If there is found among you, within any of your gates which the LORD
your God gives you, a man or a woman who has been wicked in the sight of the
LORD your God, in transgressing His covenant,
:3 who has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, either the sun or
moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded,
:4 and it is told you, and you hear of it, then you shall inquire
diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination has
been committed in Israel,
It’s always good to check things out and not listen to rumors and gossip.
Just a note: My wife’s “black eye”
is not from me hitting her or her being mugged.
She had surgery to remove some cancerous tissue.
When you hear something bad about a person, it’s a good idea to check out
the facts. It may be a false, vicious
:5 then you
shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has committed that wicked
thing, and shall stone to death that man or woman with stones.
Those that are guilty of idolatry are to be put to death.
:6 Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of
two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one
:7 The hands of the witnesses shall be the first against him to put him to
death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall put away the
evil from among you.
:7 put him to death
Two witnesses were required. You had
to be sure enough of your own testimony to be willing to cast the first stones.
The guilty party would be led out of town and placed on a high platform.
The first witness pushed him off the scaffold; the second dropped a large
stone on his head or chest. Then bystanders pelted the dying man with stones.
No mourning was permitted for the dead man.
Making the witnesses throw the first stones helped insure that the
accusations weren’t done rashly or half-heartedly.
It is one thing to make accusations behind someone’s back, but to actually
face them and throw the first stone is another issue.
If the witnesses proved to be false, they would also become guilty of
murder, having thrown the first stone.
:8 “If a matter
arises which is too hard for you to judge, between degrees of guilt for
bloodshed, between one judgment or another, or between one punishment or
another, matters of controversy within your gates, then you shall arise and go
up to the place which the LORD your God chooses.
:9 And you shall come to the priests, the Levites, and to the judge there
in those days, and inquire of them; they shall pronounce upon you the sentence
Eventually this was the Sanhedrin; they became this last court of appeals.
:10 You shall do according to the sentence which they pronounce upon you in
that place which the LORD chooses. And you shall be careful to do according to
all that they order you.
:11 According to the sentence of the law in which they instruct you,
according to the judgment which they tell you, you shall do; you shall not turn
aside to the right hand or to the left from the sentence which they pronounce
:12 Now the man who acts presumptuously and will not heed the priest who
stands to minister there before the LORD your God, or the judge, that man shall
die. So you shall put away the evil from Israel.
:13 And all the people shall hear and fear, and no longer act
:12 that man shall
If someone wanted to say, “Well I don’t have to do what the priests and
Levites tell me to do”, then they are automatically put to death.
17:14-20 Rules for a King
:14 “When you come to the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and
possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the
nations that are around me,’
:15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses;
one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a
foreigner over you, who is not your brother.
:14 a king
This is quite prophetic. This is exactly what the people did four hundred
years later during the time of Samuel.
(1 Sa 8:4–5 NKJV) —4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came
to Samuel at Ramah, 5 and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not
walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”
This was a difficult thing for Samuel to accept. He felt like the people were rejecting him as
And even though there was a sense in which the people were rejecting God as
a leader, it wasn’t wrong for the people to have a king. God provided for it here in Deuteronomy.
:16 But he
shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt
to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall not return that
:17 Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away;
nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.
:16 he shall not
There are four things a king is of Israel was supposed to avoid:
This is really a way of saying that a king shouldn’t be trusting in
They weren’t to copy the Egyptians or look to them for help or advice.
It wasn’t uncommon for a king to have multiple wives. This was one way to promote political and
national security. You married the
neighboring king’s princess. That way if
your neighbor wants to attack you and conquer your kingdom, he’ll have to think
twice because you’re married to his little girl.
God wanted the people trusting in Him for security, not in their marriages.
When we become wealthy, it’s easy to forget the Lord. It’s easy to stop trusting in Him and to
start trusting in our money. It’s the
used to say that the three things that will bring a man down are:
Sex, money, and power.
Take God seriously
The king who ruled during the height of the kingdom of Israel was also the
one who started the downhill slide. He
didn’t pay attention to the four rules that God had for kings. Look at what Solomon did.
(1 Ki 10:26 NKJV) And Solomon
gathered chariots and horsemen; he had one thousand four hundred chariots and
twelve thousand horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the
king at Jerusalem.
(1 Ki 10:28 NKJV) Also Solomon
had horses imported from Egypt and Keveh; the king’s merchants bought them in
Keveh at the current price.
This is in addition to the fact that he married the daughter of the Pharaoh
Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines.
(1 Ki 11:4 NKJV) For it was so,
when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his
heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David.
(1 Ki 10:23 NKJV) So King
Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.
Some would call Solomon the wisest man that ever lived.
Yet he chose to flaunt God’s commands here in Deuteronomy.
Did he get away with it? No.
Listen carefully to what Solomon wrote at the end of life:
(Ec 12:8 NKJV) “Vanity of vanities,” says
the Preacher, “All is vanity.”
NKJV) Let us
hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
He finally came to the conclusion that you can’t get
around God’s ways. God’s ways are best.
God is giving us some serious warnings about what is going to cause trouble
in our lives.
God is serious
about waking us up. But it’s not a
harmless alarm clock we need to worry about.
It’s not the annoying things in God’s Word that we think we can just
avoid. We have much bigger things to be
:18 “Also it shall
be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself
a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites.
:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his
life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all
the words of this law and these statutes,
:20 that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not
turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he
may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of
:18 a copy of this
A king was supposed to make his own handwritten copy of the Scriptures and
then read and study it every day of his life.
Products of the Word
There are some benefits from God’s Word if we read and study it correctly.
Obedience – “fear” … “observe” (vs. 19)
Humility – “that his heart may not be lifted
If you are reading the Bible correctly, it will be producing humility in
you , not pride.
Endurance – “may not turn aside”
Blessing – “he may prolong his days”
Note that it affects the “children” as well. Our walk in the Word affects our children.
18:1-8 Priestly Inheritance
These verses remind the people that the priests and Levites were to be
supported from the people’s offerings.
18:9-22 True and
:9 “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you
shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations.
:10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his
daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a
soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,
:11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who
calls up the dead.
:10 pass through
This is probably referring to the worship of Molech, one of the gods of the
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 placed on display, and live babies would be placed
in his red-hot open arms.
This was one way the Canaanites dealt with unwanted pregnancies, which
often resulted from their promiscuous sex practices.
:10-11 witchcraft …
of evil practices, casting spells, attempting to control people through evil
spirits, people who interpret signs, fortune telling, contacting the dead, etc.
Why are these things forbidden?
Many of these things actually have a sense of reality and power about
them. Their power is real because there is a real entity
behind them. These things are all tied
to Satan. They are designed to suck
people in, and eventually chain them to Satan.
:12 For all who
do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these
abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.
:13 You shall be blameless before the LORD your God.
:14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and
diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.
:12 because of
these abominations …
The Israelites need to keep in mind that the very reason they are allowed
victory over these people, the reason these people are going to be judged is
because they are practicing these things.
(Eph 5:6–7 NKJV) —6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of
these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore
do not be partakers with them.
These are the very things that God is going to be judging
the world over. We should have nothing
to do with these kinds of things.
Harry Potter, Vampire movies, “Charmed”, things like these
– I’m not sure we ought to put these things on our “favorites” list.
The problem we have is that we don’t seem to take God seriously. It seems that we seem to think God is just
I love that clip.
But doing thing’s God’s way is no laughing matter.
is a devil. And he is seeking to destroy
and ruin you.
(1 Pe 5:8
NKJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your
adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may
:15 “The LORD
your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your
brethren. Him you shall hear,
:16 according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day
of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God,
nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’
:17 “And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good.
:18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren,
and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I
:18 a Prophet
The Jews at times have understood this to mean various prophets, but
ultimately it was a reference to the Messiah.
those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the
Prophet who is to come into the world.”
:19 And it
shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I
will require it of him.
:19 I will require
We are accountable to God to do what Jesus said because Jesus spoke God’s
NKJV) —48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which
judges him— the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49 For
I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a
command, what I should say and what I should speak.
:20 But the
prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him
to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’
:20 shall die
It’s a very serious thing to claim that you are speaking for God when you
are not. God doesn’t want people
speaking for Him when He’s not speaking.
:21 And if you
say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’—
:22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not
happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the
prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
:22 spoken it
presumptuously – zadown – pride,
The person wasn’t speaking for the Lord, but they were speaking to get
In Deuteronomy 13
we had the first test of a false prophet.
The issue was doctrine.
Sometimes a person might do miraculous things, but if they are not leading
you toward the God of the Bible, if their doctrine is not correct, then they
are a false prophet.
Here the issue
If a person has their doctrine correct and they claim to be speaking for
Yahweh, but the thing they predict does not come to pass, then God has not
Over the last thirty years, I’ve seen a number of people claim to know the
date of when Jesus is coming back.
The simplest way to test them is to wait and see.
The problem is that often people forget about the goofy
prophecies and still continue to follow the false prophet.
The Seventh Day Adventist movement was started by a fellow
named William Miller who got his fame from predicting the return of Jesus
Christ on October 22, 1844.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses was started by a fellow named
Charles Russell, who predicted the coming of Christ in 1874, and later changed
to another coming in 1914. Another
leader predicted the resurrection of the Jewish patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac,
etc.) in 1925. They later decided that
Jesus did actually come back in 1914, but was secretly hiding in their
headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. Later,
they predicted that the Millennium would start in 1975, which they’ve backed
What do you say about people who make these kinds of predictions, and they
don’t happen? You call them false prophets.