The                                              
Christian Pilgrim

 

115. Book of the Law



The "Book of the Law" in the Bible, is not just the book of Deuteronomy. It must be the whole Torah plus at least Joshua.

In the five books of Moses, the "Book of the Law" is only mentioned in Deuteronomy, but the "Book of the Covenant," which is the same thing, is mentioned in Exodus 24:7 (see below):

Deuteronomy 29:21 - "And the LORD shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law."

Deuteronomy 30:10 - "If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul."

Deuteronomy 31:26 - "Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee."


Joshua quotes a passage from Exodus from the "Book of the Law":

Joshua 8:31 - "As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings."


The book found by Hilkiah gives instructions for burnt offerings, which is in the other four books of the Torah but not in Deuteronomy:

2 Chronicles 35:12 - "And they removed the burnt offerings, that they might give according to the divisions of the families of the people, to offer unto the LORD, as it is written in the book of Moses. And so did they with the oxen."


References to the "Book of the Law" in Joshua:

Joshua 1:7-8 - "Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."

Joshua 8:34 - "And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law."

Joshua 23:6 - "Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left"


Joshua adds his book to the "Book of the Law":

Joshua 24:26 - "And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD."


Hilkiah finds the "Book of the Law". If this was only Deuteronomy, the people would not have wailed so much as they did, because they would still have had the other four books available to them:

2 Kings 22:8,11 - "And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes."

2 Chronicles 17:9 - "And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people."

2 Chronicles 34:14,15 - "And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses. And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan."


Ezra reads the "Book of the Law." It took seven days of six hours per day of reading. This proves that it was not just Deuteronomy:

Nehemiah 8:1,3 - "And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel... And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law."

Nehemiah 8:18 - "Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner."

Nehemiah 9:3 - "And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God."


It is also known as the "Book of the Covenant." (Of course, in the time of Exodus, this was only partially completed):

Exodus 24:7 - "And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient."

2 Kings 23:2 - "And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD."

2 Chronicles 34:30 - "And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the LORD."


Christ quotes from the "Book of Moses" (presumably the same as the "Book of the Law") quoting from Exodus:

Mark 12:26 - "And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?"