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Deuteronomy 31 (Devarim)

Deuteronomy 31

Deuteronomy 31 (Devarim) Summary

Deuteronomy 31 (Devarim) At 124 years old Moshe completes the final tasks of his life. He promises the defeat of the nations in the land, the prosperity of Israel, and their breaking of the covenant. Moshe takes Joshua to the mishkan (tabernacle) for YHWH’s commission of Joshua. Moshe finishes the writing of the Torah and his final song. He teaches the song to the children and all Israel. His final prophecies to the national leaders, the congregation, and Joshua. There are four witnesses identified in this chapter.

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Deuteronomy 31 (Devarim) Outline

Deuteronomy 31 (Devarim) can be navigated in three possible ways. (1) Jewish tradition of daily reading called Torah Portions. (2) Rabbi Johnathan Sacks proposed treaty (covenant) layout and finally (3) theme-based verses.

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Torah Portions:

  1. First Reading – vv. 1 – 3
  2. Second Reading – vv. 4 – 6
  3. Third Reading – vv. 7 – 9
  4. Fourth Reading – vv. 10 – 13
  5. Fifth Reading – vv. 14 – 19
  6. Sixth Reading – vv. 20 – 24
  7. Seventh Reading – vv. 25 – 30

Treaty (Covenant):

  1. Witness – Heaven and Earth serve as witnesses

Verses Topics:

  1. vv 1-3 – At 124 years old Moses begins his final acts before he is taken. He promises that YHWH will go before them in the promised land and defeat their enemies. He mentions Joshua leading the people.
  2. vv. 4-6 – Moses promises the nations in the land will be destroyed like Sihon and Og. Upon their defeat the people must do according to this covenant. He encourages the people to not to be afraid or fear the people in the land as YHWH will be with them.
  3. vv.7,8 – Moses calls Joshua before the people. He encourages him to be strong and of good courage. Moshe tells Joshua go with the people and give the land as an inheritance to the people. Moses promises YHWH will be with him and not to fear or be dismayed for YHWH will never leave him.
  4. vv.9-13 – Moshes gives the written Torah to the priests and instruction on when they are to read it to the nation of Israel and the stranger. The purpose of the reading to the Torah is given.
  5. vv.14-19 – YHWH speaks to Moshe to present himself and Joshua at the mishkan (tabernacle). YHWH speaks to most about the future. He informs Moshe the people will break the covenant and YHWH will hide His face from them. YHWH informs Moshes to record a song and teach it the children. It will be a witness against the people.
  6. vv.20-24 – YHWH speaks of the people’s prosperity in the land and how they will break the covenant. Many evils will come upon the people and the song will be a witness against them. This song will never be forgotten, and YHWH already knows the condition of these people.  Moshe writes the song and teaches it to the children. Moshe once more charges Joshua to be strong and of good courage to lead the people. Moshes complete the writing of the Torah.
  7. vv.25-30 – Moshe gives the Torah to the priest to place beside the ark. The Torah is a witness against the priests. Moshe tells the priests they are stiff-necked while he is with them. They will be worst once he is gone. He called the tribal leaders and the officer to himself and calls heaven and earth as a witness against them. Foretells the future of Israel as the leadership will break the covenant. Moshe teaches all Israel the song.

Deuteronomy 31 (Devarim) Verses

Parsha Vayelech #52
~ And he went ~


→ Witness: Heaven & Earth:

1 And Moses went and spoke these words unto all Israel.
2 And he said unto them: ‘I am a hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in; and the LORD hath said unto me: Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.
3 The LORD thy God, He will go over before thee; He will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt dispossess them; and Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the LORD hath spoken.

Notes on Deuteronomy 31:1

Deuteronomy 31:1



4 And the LORD will do unto them as He did to Sihon and to Og, the kings of the Amorites, and unto their land; whom He destroyed.
5 And the LORD will deliver them up before you, and ye shall do unto them according unto all the commandment which I have commanded you.
6 Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be affrighted at them; for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’


7 And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel: ‘Be strong and of good courage; for thou shalt go with this people into the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.
8 And the LORD, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee; fear not, neither be dismayed.’

9 And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, that bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel.


1o And Moses commanded them, saying: ‘At the end of every seven years, ,in the set time of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles,
11 when all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which He shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing.
12 Assemble the people, the men and the women and the little ones, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law;
13 and that their children, who have not known, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over the Jordan to possess it.’


14 And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Behold, thy days approach that thou must die; call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tent of meeting, that I may give him a charge.’ And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tent of meeting.
15 And the LORD appeared in the Tent in a pillar of cloud; and the pillar of cloud stood over the door of the Tent.
16 And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Behold, thou art about to sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go astray after the foreign gods of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake Me, and break My covenant which I have made with them.
17 Then My anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall come upon them; so that they will say in that day: Are not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?
18 And I will surely hide My face in that day for all the evil which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.
19 Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach thou it the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel.


20 For when I shall have brought them into the land which I swore unto their fathers, flowing with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten their fill, and waxen fat; and turned unto other gods, and served them, and despised Me, and broken My covenant;
21 then it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are come upon them, that this song shall testify before them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed; for I know their imagination how they do even now, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.’
22 So Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.
23 And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said: ‘Be strong and of good courage; for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I swore unto them; and I will be with thee.’
24 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished,


25 that Moses commanded the Levites, that bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying:
26 ‘Take this book of the law, and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.
27 For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck; behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death?
28 Assemble unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to witness against them.
29 For I know that after my death ye will in any wise deal corruptly, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the end of days; because ye will do that which is evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him through the work of your hands.’
30 And Moses spoke in the ears of all the assembly of Israel the words of this song, until they were finished:

Deuteronomy 31 (Devarim) Verses

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דברים  נב 52

Deuteronomy 31 (Devarim) ברים Hebrew Verses

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נצבים נב 52

לא Chapter 31
[פרשת וילך] א וַיֵּלֶךְ מֹשֶׁה וַיְדַבֵּר אֶת־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אֶל־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:

ב וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם בֶּן־מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה אָֽנֹכִי הַיּוֹם לֹֽא־אוּכַל עוֹד לָצֵאת וְלָבוֹא וַֽיהוָֹה אָמַר אֵלַי לֹא תַֽעֲבֹר אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן הַזֶּֽה:

ג יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ הוּא ׀ עֹבֵר לְפָנֶיךָ הֽוּא־יַשְׁמִיד אֶת־הַגּוֹיִם הָאֵלֶּה מִלְּפָנֶיךָ וִֽירִשְׁתָּם יְהוֹשֻׁעַ הוּא עֹבֵר לְפָנֶיךָ כַּֽאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָֹֽה:

[שני] ד וְעָשָׂה יְהוָֹה לָהֶם כַּֽאֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לְסִיחוֹן וּלְעוֹג מַלְכֵי הָֽאֱמֹרִי וּלְאַרְצָם אֲשֶׁר הִשְׁמִיד אֹתָֽם:

ה וּנְתָנָם יְהוָֹה לִפְנֵיכֶם וַֽעֲשִׂיתֶם לָהֶם כְּכָל־הַמִּצְוָה אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִי אֶתְכֶֽם:

ו חִזְקוּ וְאִמְצוּ אַל־תִּֽירְאוּ וְאַל־תַּֽעַרְצוּ מִפְּנֵיהֶם כִּי ׀ יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ הוּא הַֽהֹלֵךְ עִמָּךְ לֹא יַרְפְּךָ וְלֹא יַֽעַזְבֶֽךָּ: ס

[שלישי] [חמישי כשהן מחוברין] ז וַיִּקְרָא מֹשֶׁה לִֽיהוֹשֻׁעַ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו לְעֵינֵי כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל חֲזַק וֶֽאֱמָץ כִּי אַתָּה תָּבוֹא אֶת־הָעָם הַזֶּה אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע יְהוָֹה לַֽאֲבֹתָם לָתֵת לָהֶם וְאַתָּה תַּנְחִילֶנָּה אוֹתָֽם:

ח וַֽיהֹוָה הוּא ׀ הַֽהֹלֵךְ לְפָנֶיךָ הוּא יִהְיֶה עִמָּךְ לֹא יַרְפְּךָ וְלֹא יַֽעַזְבֶךָּ לֹא תִירָא וְלֹא תֵחָֽת:

ט וַיִּכְתֹּב מֹשֶׁה אֶת־הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת וַֽיִּתְּנָהּ אֶל־הַכֹּֽהֲנִים בְּנֵי לֵוִי הַנֹּשְׂאִים אֶת־אֲרוֹן בְּרִית יְהוָֹה וְאֶל־כָּל־זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:

[רביעי] י וַיְצַו מֹשֶׁה אוֹתָם לֵאמֹר מִקֵּץ ׀ שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים בְּמֹעֵד שְׁנַת הַשְּׁמִטָּה בְּחַג הַסֻּכּֽוֹת:

יא בְּבוֹא כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵֽרָאוֹת אֶת־פְּנֵי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחָר תִּקְרָא אֶת־הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת נֶגֶד כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּאָזְנֵיהֶֽם:

יב הַקְהֵל אֶת־הָעָם הָֽאֲנָשִׁים וְהַנָּשִׁים וְהַטַּף וְגֵֽרְךָ אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ לְמַעַן יִשְׁמְעוּ וּלְמַעַן יִלְמְדוּ וְיָֽרְאוּ אֶת־יְהוָֹה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם וְשָֽׁמְרוּ לַֽעֲשׂוֹת אֶת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּֽאת:

יג וּבְנֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יָֽדְעוּ יִשְׁמְעוּ וְלָמְדוּ לְיִרְאָה אֶת־יְהוָֹה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם כָּל־הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם חַיִּים עַל־הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם עֹֽבְרִים אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּֽהּ:


[חמישי] [ששי כשהן מחוברין] יד וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה הֵן קָֽרְבוּ יָמֶיךָ לָמוּת קְרָא אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ וְהִֽתְיַצְּבוּ בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וַֽאֲצַוֶּנּוּ וַיֵּלֶךְ מֹשֶׁה וִֽיהוֹשֻׁעַ וַיִּֽתְיַצְּבוּ בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵֽד:

טו וַיֵּרָא יְהוָֹה בָּאֹהֶל בְּעַמּוּד עָנָן וַֽיַּֽעֲמֹד עַמּוּד הֶֽעָנָן עַל־פֶּתַֽח הָאֹֽהֶל:

טז וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָֹה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה הִנְּךָ שֹׁכֵב עִם־אֲבֹתֶיךָ וְקָם הָעָם הַזֶּה וְזָנָה ׀ אַֽחֲרֵי ׀ אֱלֹהֵי נֵֽכַר־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר הוּא בָא־שָׁמָּה בְּקִרְבּוֹ וַֽעֲזָבַנִי וְהֵפֵר אֶת־בְּרִיתִי אֲשֶׁר כָּרַתִּי אִתּֽוֹ:

יז וְחָרָה אַפִּי בוֹ בַיּוֹם־הַהוּא וַֽעֲזַבְתִּים וְהִסְתַּרְתִּי פָנַי מֵהֶם וְהָיָה לֶֽאֱכֹל וּמְצָאֻהוּ רָעוֹת רַבּוֹת וְצָרוֹת וְאָמַר בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא הֲלֹא עַל כִּי־אֵין אֱלֹהַי בְּקִרְבִּי מְצָאוּנִי הָֽרָעוֹת הָאֵֽלֶּה:

יח וְאָֽנֹכִי הַסְתֵּר אַסְתִּיר פָּנַי בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא עַל כָּל־הָֽרָעָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה כִּי פָנָה אֶל־אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִֽים:

יט וְעַתָּה כִּתְבוּ לָכֶם אֶת־הַשִּׁירָה הַזֹּאת וְלַמְּדָהּ אֶת־בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל שִׂימָהּ בְּפִיהֶם לְמַעַן תִּֽהְיֶה־לִּי הַשִּׁירָה הַזֹּאת לְעֵד בִּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:

[ששי] [שביעי כשהן מחוברין] כ כִּֽי־אֲבִיאֶנּוּ אֶל־הָֽאֲדָמָה ׀ אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לַֽאֲבֹתָיו זָבַת חָלָב וּדְבַשׁ וְאָכַל וְשָׂבַע וְדָשֵׁן וּפָנָה אֶל־אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים וַֽעֲבָדוּם וְנִאֲצוּנִי וְהֵפֵר אֶת־בְּרִיתִֽי:

כא וְהָיָה כִּֽי־תִמְצֶאןָ אֹתוֹ רָעוֹת רַבּוֹת וְצָרוֹת וְעָֽנְתָה הַשִּׁירָה הַזֹּאת לְפָנָיו לְעֵד כִּי לֹא תִשָּׁכַח מִפִּי זַרְעוֹ כִּי יָדַעְתִּי אֶת־יִצְרוֹ אֲשֶׁר הוּא עֹשֶׂה הַיּוֹם בְּטֶרֶם אֲבִיאֶנּוּ אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבָּֽעְתִּי:

כב וַיִּכְתֹּב מֹשֶׁה אֶת־הַשִּׁירָה הַזֹּאת בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וַֽיְלַמְּדָהּ אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:

כג וַיְצַו אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן־נוּן וַיֹּאמֶר חֲזַק וֶֽאֱמָץ כִּי אַתָּה תָּבִיא אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לָהֶם וְאָֽנֹכִי אֶהְיֶה עִמָּֽךְ:

כד וַיְהִי ׀ כְּכַלּוֹת מֹשֶׁה לִכְתֹּב אֶת־דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָֽה־הַזֹּאת עַל־סֵפֶר עַד תֻּמָּֽם:

[שביעי] כה וַיְצַו מֹשֶׁה אֶת־הַֽלְוִיִּם נֹֽשְׂאֵי אֲרוֹן בְּרִית־יְהוָֹה לֵאמֹֽר:

כו לָקֹחַ אֵת סֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה הַזֶּה וְשַׂמְתֶּם אֹתוֹ מִצַּד אֲרוֹן בְּרִית־יְהוָֹה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם וְהָֽיָה־שָׁם בְּךָ לְעֵֽד:

כז כִּי אָֽנֹכִי יָדַעְתִּי אֶֽת־מֶרְיְךָ וְאֶֽת־עָרְפְּךָ הַקָּשֶׁה הֵן בְּעוֹדֶנִּי חַי עִמָּכֶם הַיּוֹם מַמְרִים הֱיִתֶם עִם־יְהֹוָה וְאַף כִּי־אַֽחֲרֵי מוֹתִֽי:

[מפטיר] כח הַקְהִילוּ אֵלַי אֶת־כָּל־זִקְנֵי שִׁבְטֵיכֶם וְשֹֽׁטְרֵיכֶם וַֽאֲדַבְּרָה בְאָזְנֵיהֶם אֵת הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וְאָעִידָה בָּם אֶת־הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ:

כט כִּי יָדַעְתִּי אַֽחֲרֵי מוֹתִי כִּֽי־הַשְׁחֵת תַּשְׁחִתוּן וְסַרְתֶּם מִן־הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִי אֶתְכֶם וְקָרָאת אֶתְכֶם הָֽרָעָה בְּאַֽחֲרִית הַיָּמִים כִּי־תַֽעֲשׂוּ אֶת־הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה לְהַכְעִיסוֹ בְּמַֽעֲשֵׂה יְדֵיכֶֽם:

ל וַיְדַבֵּר מֹשֶׁה בְּאָזְנֵי כָּל־קְהַל יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־דִּבְרֵי הַשִּׁירָה הַזֹּאת עַד תֻּמָּֽם:

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Covenant & Conversation Commentary – The Late Chief Rabbi Johnanath Sacks’ last published commentary on the Torah.

The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon – One of the most used Hebrew and English Lexicons among serious Bible students.

Pentateuch & Haftorahs, By. Dr. J.H. Hertz – The Late Chief Rabbi of the British Empire was renowned for his writings and teaches. By many he is considered a must read. In the Preface Dr. Hertz calls this “a People’s Commentary”.

The Holy Scriptures
According to the Masoretic Text
The Jewish Publication Society translation
[1917] – Public Domain