Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22

Deuteronomy chapter 1, verse 1 to chapter 3, verse 22


In the 40th year after the exodus from Egypt Moses  begins to retell the story of Israel’s journey from Mt. Sinai to the border of the Promised Land, where the descendants of the slaves are located at the time of Moses’s speech.

He discusses how difficult it was for him to govern the people: the had grown too numerous for him lead alone. As a result, he created a system of tribal chiefs to serve as judges to help him.

He continues to describe how, when the Israelites had approached the Land of Israel 40 years earlier the grew fearful, and demanded that Moses send in spies to see what the land and the people who lived in it were like.  When the spies returned, they reported that the land was wonderful, but the inhabitants were fearful. The Hebrew grew afraid, and losing faith in God complained about entering the land. God punished them for this lack of faith by announcing that no one of the current generation, all former slaves who left Egypt, would live to enter the Promised Land.  Moses was included in this punishment. The only people of the current generation who would be able to enter the land would be Caleb and Joshua – the two spies who gave favorable reports of the Land of Israel and kept faith in God. The people were ashamed of of their attitude and decided to try to conquer the land. They were defeated by the Amorites.

Moses continues to retell the story of the Israelites 40 journey in the wilderness. He describes how over time God helped the Israelites defeat their enemies as they prepared to enter the Promised Land. The area that they conquered east of the Jordan River, which was the eastern border of the Land of Israel was divided up between the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh.

The portion ends with Moses appointing Joshua as his successor.

Torah Portion in English

1) These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel on the other side of the Jordan.—Through the wilderness, in the Arabah near Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Di-zahab, 2) it is eleven days from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by the Mount Seir route.— 3) It was in the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, that Moses addressed the Israelites in accordance with the instructions that the Lord had given him for them, 4) after he had defeated Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon, and King Og of Bashan, who dwelt at Ashtaroth [and] Edrei. 5) On the other side of the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to expound this Teaching. He said:

6) The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying: You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7) Start out and make your way to the hill country of the Amorites and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, the hill country, the Shephelah, the Negeb, the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and the Lebanon, as far as the Great River, the river Euphrates. 8) See, I place the land at your disposal. Go, take possession of the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to assign to them and to their heirs after them.

9) Thereupon I said to you, “I cannot bear the burden of you by myself. 10) The Lord your God has multiplied you until you are today as numerous as the stars in the sky.— 11) May the Lord, the God of your fathers, increase your numbers a thousandfold, and bless you as He promised you.

Getting to Know my Parasha

What Does my Parasha Say?

  1. Why did the people complain about entering the Land of Israel?
  2. How were they punished for their lack of faith?
  3. What was the  date that this torah portion begins?
  4. Why does Moses need to retell the story of the Israelites?
  5. Why did Moses appoint judges?
  6. Why is Moses retelling the history of the Children of Israel?
  7. Who were the only people allowed to enter the Promised Land?  Why?