For centuries the book of Deuteronomy has been studied as a compilation of three sermons followed by three appendices. In his penetrating new study of this fifth book of the Pentateuch, Duane Christensen posits that "Deuteronomy is best explained as a didactic poem, composed to be recited publicly to music in ancient Israel within a liturgical setting." As such, the book can become a window allowing the modem reader to observe the poetic and musical traditions of early Hebrew worshipers.
In this commentary Christensen calls scholars and devotional readers alike to treasure Deuteronomy not simply as an ancient code of Hebraic law but rather as "a work of extraordinary literary coherence, poetic 11eauty, and political sophistication" that has provided centuries of religious instruction and education to God's people.
Christensen's fresh look at this ancient book immerses the reader in a probing analysis of the literary, theological, and social issues in the world of Moses' day. He discusses such topics as: the practical implications of the historic Sinai covenant with its high moral and spiritual standards for God's people; the artistic and literary structures of Deuteronomy, stylistic forms not unlike those seen in ancient and modem epic poetry and music.
This revised edition of WBC 6A now includes commentary on the first part of Deuteronomy's legal code (Deut. 12:1-21:9) and completely revises and updates the commentary on chapters 1-11 with discussion of the most current research. Especially innovative is this edition's use of evidence from the synagogue's traditional cycle of Torah readings to reveal the structure of the whole book of Deuteronomy.