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The Final Speeches of Moses

1-5 This book contains the speeches that Moses made while Israel was in the land of Moab, camped near the town of Suph in the desert east of the Jordan River. The town of Paran was in one direction from their camp, and the towns of Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab[a] were in the opposite direction.

Earlier, Moses had defeated the Amorite King Sihon of Heshbon. Moses had also defeated King Og of Bashan, who used to live in Ashtaroth for part of the year and in Edrei for the rest of the year.

Although it takes only eleven days to walk from Mount Sinai[b] to Kadesh-Barnea by way of the Mount Seir Road, these speeches were not made until forty years after Israel left Egypt.[c]


The Lord’s Command at Mount Sinai

The Lord had given Moses his laws for the people of Israel. And on the first day of the eleventh month,[d] Moses began explaining those laws by saying:

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  1. 1.1-5 Suph. . . Paran. . . Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab: The exact location of these towns is not known.
  2. 1.1-5 Mount Sinai: The Hebrew text has “Horeb,” another name for Mount Sinai.
  3. 1.1-5 Egypt: The Israelites would soon enter Canaan, but they would have entered the land of Canaan from Kadesh-Barnea forty years earlier if they had not rebelled against God (see verses 6-40).
  4. 1.1-5 eleventh month: Shebat, the eleventh month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-January to mid-February.