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I. First Address

Chapter 1

Introduction. [a]These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel beyond the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah, opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab. It is a journey of eleven days from Horeb[b] to Kadesh-barnea by way of the highlands of Seir.

In the fortieth year,[c] on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the Israelites according to all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to them,

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  1. 1:1 The entire book of Deuteronomy is set “beyond the Jordan,” in the land of Moab (cf. v. 5; Nm 36:13), on the eve of the Israelites’ crossing of the Jordan (Jos 3). The Arabah: the valley of the Jordan and the depression south of the Dead Sea.
  2. 1:2 Horeb: an alternative name for Mount Sinai, the wilderness mountain where the Israelites received revelation from God (cf. Ex 3; 19). Kadesh-barnea: the southern gateway to the land of Canaan, from which Moses sent spies to reconnoiter the land (cf. Nm 13:26; 32:8). Seir: Edom, the land just south of Moab.
  3. 1:3 Fortieth year: counting from the exodus from Egypt (cf. Ex 12:2; 13:20–22).