Deuteronomy 4:2, You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor shall you subtract/diminish from it. YHVH warns his people against adding or subtracting from his written Word elsewhere, as well (Deut 12:32; Rev 22:18–19).
Men seem inclined to ignore YHVH’s command in this regard. Whole religions have been founded based on disregarding this prohibition. Some claim to be Bible-based (e.g. Mormonism with their Book of Mormon and rabbinic Judaism with its Talmud), and some have supplanted the entire Bible with their own book (Islam with its Quran).
Who is the author of and real power behind adding to and subtracting from or twisting YHVH’s Word? It is Satan the serpent. (See Gen 3:1ff and Matt 4:3ff.)
What did Yeshua warn the religionists of his day against in this regard? He said, “Thus have you made the commandment of Elohim of none effect by your tradition” (Matt 15:6) and, “Howbeit in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:7).
What are some examples of traditions and theologies in the modern-day Christian and Jewish religions where YHVH’s Word has been superseded by man’s traditions? What are some traditions and doctrines of men you have turned away from in order to bring yourself into greater alignment with YHVH’s Word? How is your life better for it? What has been the reaction of those around you in response to your aligning your life more closely with the truth of YHVH?
Deuteronomy 11:26–28, This passage begins with the words, “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if you will obey the commandments of YHVH your Elohim, which I command you this day; and a curse, if you will not obey the commandments of YHVH your Elohim, to go after other gods, which you have not known” (Deut 11:26–28).
After this, in verse 29, YHVH instructs the Israelites that upon entering the Promised Land, they are to stop between the mountains of Gerizim and Ebal, which are located at the entry point of the land. The former mountain represents a blessing, while the later represents a curse. The town of Shechem is located between the two mountains. The Hebrew word Shechem means “shoulder” or “back” (Strong’s H7927). The shoulder supports the head, which through the disposition of the mind and the direction in which the head is pointed, determines the path a person will walk whether good or evil.
It was at Shechem, between the two mountains representing good and evil, that Israel renewed its covenant with YHVH before entering the Promised Land (Josh 8:30–35). The power of the covenant that the people made with YHVH on that day thousands of years ago is still visible in the modern land of Israel: Mount Ebal is bare and devoid of vegetation, Continue reading
Overview of the Book of Deuteronomy/Devarim from Various Commentators
This last book of the Torah starts out with “These are the words which Moses spoke ….” The Hebrew name for Deuteronomy is Devarim meaning “words,” which is the plural form of devar meaning “word, speech, a matter or thing, a commandment, a report, a message, promise.” Note the similarity between the Hebrew word devar and the Greek word logos from John 1:1 (“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim.”). From this connection, we see that Yeshua was the Word of both the OT and the NT. He is the message of the entire Bible (Spirit Filled Life Bible, from the “Word Wealth” at Deut 1:1).
Deuteronomy is written similarly to the vassal-treaties formulated between captor and captive nations prior to 1000 B.C. It contains historical information, enumerates laws, and concludes with threats and promises (Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible, from the Introduction to Deuteronomy). From a general survey of Deuteronomy, it is sufficiently evident that the exposition of the commandments, statutes, and rights of the law had no other object than this: to pledge the nation in the most solemn manner to an inviolable observance, in the land of Canaan, of the covenant, which YHVH had made with Israel at Horeb (Deut 28:29, Keil and Delitzsch Commentary of the Old Testament, from the introductory note to Deut).
In Deuteronomy, Moses speaks like a dying father giving a farewell song to his children all the while he celebrates Elohim as the spiritual Rock of Israel. While the eyes of the Israelites may have fixated too much upon Moses their physical leader (instead of Elohim) for forty years, Moses now attempts to redirect their eyes, trust and allegiance heavenward and onto YHVH, their real spiritual Leader who had been behind Moses—a mere human leader—all the time. Continue reading