Deuteronomy is the Book of Passing the Colors. On a personal basis, Moses is passing the colors of temporal leadership to Joshua. On a national basis, the Exodus Generation has passed the colors to the Wilderness Generation. The Wilderness Generation is expected to exceed their parents’ accomplishments. Whereas the Exodus Generation failed to enter into the land of promise through faith, the Wilderness Generation is charged to learn from that bad example, and enter into God’s promised rest. As Moses prepares to die, he delivers a series of messages to the new generation, and commits them to the Lord’s keeping.
Deuteronomy comes from the title in the Septuagint version: Deuteronomion: second law. Deuteronomy is not a second law to be contrasted with the first law (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers). Rather, it is a second time going through the Law, as a reminder to holiness before Joshua takes the new generation into the land of promise. The Hebrew title, Hadebariym, means “the words” and highlight the Book as Moses’ farewell message.
Christian Bible scholars attribute Moses as the author of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.