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Catholic Dictionary




The fifth book of the Bible. Its name (Greek deuteros, second; nomos, law) is a misnomer, since it contains no new legislation but is rather a partial repetition of previous laws with an urgent exhortation to keep them. The first discourse reviews the events that followed the promulgation of the law (1-4). The second discourse is the longest (5-26) and recalls the Covenant, covering the duties of the Jews toward God (5-11), the Lord's representatives, and their neighbors. The third discourse is a plea to observe the law, a renewal of the alliance with Yahweh, and Moses' prophetic canticle, while designating Joshua as his successor.