This book contains the account of Moses’ final speeches to the Israeli people. We call this book
Introduction to Moses’ first speech
In this book is written what Moses/I said to the Israeli people. He/I told them these things when they/we were in the desert, on the east side of the Jordan River. They/We had set up our tents near a place named Suph, between Paran town on the one side of the river and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab towns on the other side of the river. To walk from Sinai Mountain to the Kadesh-Barnea oasis, people usually travel for only eleven days, going by way of the hilly area named Edom.
Forty years after ◄the Israelis/we► left Egypt, in the middle of January, Moses/I told the Israeli people everything that Yahweh had commanded him/me to tell them. This was after they/we had defeated Sihon, the king of the Amor people-group, who lived in Heshbon city, and Og, the king of the Bashan region who lived in Ashtaroth and Edrei towns.
Moses/I told them these things while the people were in the Moab region, on the east side of the Jordan River. He/I ◄explained to them/enabled them to understand► God’s laws. This is what he/I said to them:
“Yahweh our God said to us when we were at Sinai Mountain, ‘You have stayed for a very long time at the bottom of this mountain. So now continue traveling. Go to the hilly area where the Amor people-group lives and to the nearby areas—to the Jordan River Valley, to the hilly region, to the western ◄foothills/hills at the bottom of the mountains►, to the desert area to the south, to the Mediterranean Seacoast, to all of Canaan land, to the Lebanon Mountains, and northeast to the great Euphrates River. Note that I will give that land to you. I, Yahweh, promised to your ancestors Abraham and Isaac and Jacob that I would give it to them and to their descendants. So now go and occupy it.’ ”
Moses reminded them that he had appointed leaders
Moses/I also said to the people, “When we were still at Sinai Mountain, I told your ancestors ‘It is a very big burden/responsibility for me to govern all of you. So I cannot do it by myself. 10 Yahweh our God has caused us Israelis to now become as numerous as the stars in the sky. 11 And I hope/desire that Yahweh, the God whom our ancestors worshiped, will cause us to become 1,000 times as numerous as we are now and that he will bless us just like he promised to do. 12 But I certainly cannot [RHQ] ◄solve/deal with► all of your complaints/problems. 13 So choose some men from your tribes who are wise and who have good sense and who are respected. Then I will appoint them to be your leaders.’
14 Your ancestors replied, ‘What you have suggested is good for us to do.’
15 So I took the wise and respected men that your ancestors chose from your tribes, and I appointed them to be your leaders. I appointed some to ◄rule/have authority► over 1,000 people, some to have authority over 100 people, some to have authority over 50 people, and some to have authority over ten people. I also appointed other officers from throughout your tribes. 16 I instructed/told your leaders, ‘Listen to the disputes that occur among your people. Judge each dispute, including disputes between close relatives and quarrels between your people and people from other countries who live among you. 17 You must ◄be impartial/not favor one person more than another►; you must treat poor people and important people equally. You must not worry about what anyone will think about how you decide matters, because you will decide matters as God wants you to. If any quarrel/dispute is very difficult and you are unable to decide it, bring it to me, and I will decide.’ 18 At that time I also told you other things that you should do.”
Moses reminded them about sending the spies
19 “Then, just like Yahweh our God commanded us, we left Sinai Mountain and went through that huge desert that was very ◄dangerous/difficult to travel through►, on the road to the hilly area where the Amor people-group live. We arrived at Kadesh-Barnea. 20 I said to your ancestors, ‘We have now come to the hilly area where the Amor people-group live. This is part of the area that Yahweh our God, the one whom our ancestors worshiped, is giving to us. 21 Note that Yahweh our God is giving this land to us. So go and occupy it as he commanded. Do not be ◄at all/even a little bit► afraid.’
22 But all of your ancestors came to me and said, ‘Before we go, we should first send some men there to explore the land, in order that they can return and tell us which will be the best road to go there and what kind of towns are there.’
23 I thought that it would be good to do that, so I chose twelve men, one man from each tribe. 24 They went up into the hilly area as far as Eshcol Valley, and they explored all that area. 25 They picked some of the fruit that they found there and brought it to us. They reported that the land that Yahweh our God was giving to us is very good/fertile.”
Moses reminded them how God punished them when they refused to go
26 “But your ancestors refused to go and conquer that land. They rebelled against what Yahweh our God had commanded them to do, and they would not go into that land. 27 Your ancestors stayed in their tents and complained saying ‘Yahweh hates us. So he has brought us here from Egypt just to allow the Amor people-group to destroy us. 28 ◄Why should we go there?/We do not want to go there.► [RHQ] The men whom we sent there have caused us to become very discouraged/afraid. They have told us that the people there are much stronger and taller than we are and that there are extremely high [HYP] walls around their towns. Also they reported that they saw giants there that are descendants of Anak.’
29 Then I said to your ancestors, ‘Do not be afraid ◄at all/even a little bit► [DOU] of those people! 30 Yahweh our God will go ahead of you, and he will fight for you, just like you saw him do for you in Egypt 31 and in the desert. You saw how he brought you safely here, like a man would carry his son. [SIM]’
32-33  I reminded them that he always went ahead of them while they traveled in the desert. He directed them by a pillar of fire during the night and a pillar of cloud during the day. He showed them places to set up their tents. But in spite of what I said, your ancestors would not trust Yahweh our God.
34 Yahweh heard what they said, and he became angry. He solemnly declared, 35-36 ‘Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, will enter the land. He has obeyed me completely. So I will give to him and to his descendants some of the land that he explored. He is the only one of all you people who will enter that land. None of these evil people will ever see that good land which I solemnly promised to give to your ancestors.’
37 But because of what your ancestors did, Yahweh was also angry with me. He said to me, ‘You also will not enter that land. 38 Joshua, the son of Nun, who is your helper, will enter it. Encourage him, because he is the one who will enable you Israeli people to occupy that land.’
39 Then Yahweh said to all of us, ‘You said that your children would be captured by your enemies. Because they are very young, they do not yet know what is good and what is evil. But they are the ones to whom I will give that land, and they will enter it and occupy it. 40 But as for you, turn around and go back into the desert, toward the ◄Red Sea/Gulf of Aqaba►.’
41 Then your ancestors replied, ‘We have sinned; we have disobeyed Yahweh. So we will go and attack the people who live in that land, just like Yahweh our God commanded us to do.’ And each of their men put on his weapons, and they thought that it would be easy to invade the hilly region.
42 But Yahweh said to me, ‘Tell them, “Do not go up there and attack those people, because I will not go with you. If you go, your enemies will defeat you.” ’
43 So I told that to your ancestors, but they would not heed what I said. They again rebelled against what Yahweh commanded them to do. Their soldiers proudly/arrogantly marched up into that hilly region. 44 Then the men of the Amor people-group who lived in that region came out of their towns and attacked those soldiers. They pursued your ancestors’ soldiers like a swarm of bees pursues people, and they pursued them south from the Edom area and defeated them at Hormah city. 45 So your ancestors went back to Kadesh-Barnea and cried out to request Yahweh to help them, but he did not heed them. He did not pay any attention to them [DOU]. 46 So we stayed there at Kadesh-Barnea for a long time.”