christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

deuteronomy 29:10-31:30, nitzavim + vayelech chiastic structure

Be strong and of good courage; Do not fear nor be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Read Deuteronomy 29:10-31:30 at Bible Gateway.

The paragraph divisions for nitzavim (“ones standing) + vayelech (“then he went out”) are:

Deu 29:10-29 {s} Do not forsake this covenant for Israel will be uprooted from this land
Deu 30:1-10 {s} Repentance, obedience, return, and blessing
Deu 30:11-14 {s} Not hidden or far off, but very near that we may do it
Deu 30:15-20 {p} Israel may choose life or death, blessing or cursing
Deu 31:1-6 {s} Moses will not cross over the Jordan, but the Lord God will cross over with Israel
Deu 31:7-13 {p} Joshua to lead Israel + Israel to not forget or forsake the Law
Deu 31:14-30 {p} Joshua inaugurated + the coming apostasy of Israel

Nitzavim, Deu 29:10-30:20, forms its own chiastic structure:

1a) Deu 29:10-29:28, Moses set before Israel the covenant: keep and be blessed or forsake and be cursed;
1b) Deu 29:29 s, The revealed commandment belongs to us that we may do the Law;
central axis) Deu 30:1-10 s, Repentance and obedience + return and blessing;
2b) Deu 30:11-14 s, The commandment is not hidden from you that you may do the Law;
2a) Deu 30:15-20 p, Moses set before Israel life and blessing, death and cursing.

Vayelech, Deu 31:1-30, forms its own chiastic structure:

1a) Deu 31:1, Moses spoke these words to all Israel;
1b) Deu 31:2-6 s, Moses’ impending death and Israel’s coming victory;
1c) Deu 31:7-13 p, Joshua + the book of the Law:
– 1c.1) Deu 31:7-8, Moses to Joshua: “Be strong and of good courage/ you shall bring Israel in/ He will be with you;”
– 1c.2) Deu 31:9-13 p, Moses wrote the Law + sons of Levi who bore the ark + hear the Law that you may keep it;
1d) Deu 31:14-15, Call Joshua and present yourselves before Me, that I may inauguarate him;
central axis) Deu 31:16-22, The coming apostasy of Israel;
2d) Deu 31:23a, He inaugurated Joshua the son of Nun;
2c) Deu 31:23b-26, Joshua + the book of the Law:
– 2c.1) Deu 31:23b, The Lord to Joshua: “Be strong and of good courage/ you shall bring Israel in/ I will be with you;”
– 2c.2) Deu 31:24-26, Moses wrote the book of the Law + Levites who bore the ark + keep this book as a witness against you;
2b) Deu 31:27-29, Moses’ impending death and Israel’s coming apostasy;
2a) Deu 31:30 p, Moses spoke in the hearing of all the assembly of Israel.

This is the first year I have seen the full chiastic structure for vayelech. The central axis is depressing: Israel’s coming apostasy. But look at its “wrapping:” Joshua, who is Yeshua by type, will bring Israel into her promise (more on finding Messiah in vayelech).

We have all turned from the LORD God – all have sinned and fallen short. But God has wrapped or covered our failure with Messiah Yeshua, who, after wiping our slate clean, is calling us to return to Him and submit to Him and His Law once more. This is the season of teshuvah … repentance and return. Yes, we have blown it, but that is not the last chapter of our story …


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