Study Guide

Book of Deuteronomy Chapter 18

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Chapter 18

And It Continues

  • Next up: Support the Levites, who will eat portions of your meat and grain offerings.
  • Notice the subtlety of this society's power structure: the priests oversee the religious rituals, and they get their food directly from these rituals.
  • Don't talk to sorcerers, people who cast spells, or those who talk to ghosts or spirits. Sorry, Harry.
  • We are able to understand the intent of the original Hebrew here (magic = bad), but we can't be sure about certain nouns that have specifically magic connotations.
  • One thing is for sure: these people are not fans of child sacrifice. So they've got that going for them.
  • Now we find out that God is going to raise up another prophet like Moses to speak to the people. See, the people were totally freaked when they heard God's voice from the fire at Horeb. So intermediaries make things a lot easier. Who is the next great prophet? Check out the candidates in "Faith Perspectives."
  • Think about this passage from the perspective of a writer. You have to ensure continuity for your religious practices, but you don't have a person in mind yet. So what do you do? You endorse some unnamed future candidate, and then down the line you're free to name whoever you want as that person. It makes it very easy for Christians to declare Jesus the object of this passage and for Muslims to do the same with Mohammed. Whether or not they're true, these interpretations make sense in the context of the text.
  • If a prophecy comes true, the person who made it is a true prophet. Easy enough, right?

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