Haddebharim, or "the words". This title

is derived from the first verse: "These be the words."*

Devarim 1 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

1 These are the devarim (words) which Moshe spoke unto kol [all] Yisroel on the far side of the Yarden [ Jordan] in the midbar [wilderness], in the Aravah [plain] opposite Suf [the Red sea] between Paran, and Tophel, and Lavan, and Chatzerot, and Di-Zahav.

The wilderness is the place of education and meditation. The Hebrew word midbar is derived from dabar signifying to arrange in order, and therefore, is used particularly of words. However, it has the dual idea of both "to speak" and "to lead". To be in the wilderness under guidance, as a flock of sheep being led to pastures, or to be led by the Word amounts to nearly one and the same thing. Those doing so are both taught and led. ... spiritual Israel wanders in the wilderness of modern life.

"In the plain" - The Aravah is the deep depression that stretches from the Sea of Galilee, south to the Red Sea. It is bordered on the eastern side by steep rugged mountains

that stretch down to the gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea.

"Paran" - Paran is the northern edge of the Negev. Shortly after arriving there

the spies were sent out into the Promised Land. On their return the great rebellion took place. See Num. 12:16.*

*The Christadelphian Expositor

2 (There is eleven days' journey from Chorev [Horeb] unto Kadesh-Barnea by way of Mount Seir.)

3 And it came to pass in the 40th year, in the 11th month, on the 1st day of the month, that Moshe spoke unto the Bnei Yisroel [children of Israel], according unto all that [Yahweh] had given him in commandment unto them,

4 After he had slain Sichon Melech HaEmori [Sihon the king of the Amorites], which dwelt in Cheshbon [Heshbon], and Og Melech HaBashan [ king of Bashan], which dwelt in Ashtarot at Edre'i;

5 On the far side of the Yarden [Jordan], in Eretz Moav [land of Moab], began Moshe to expound this torah [declare this law], saying,

6 [Yahweh our Elohim] spoke unto us in Chorev [Horeb], saying, Ye have dwelt long enough at this mountain;

7 Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the Har HaEmori (hill country of the Amorites), and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the Aravah [plain], in the hills, in the Shefelah [vale], and in the Negev [south], and by the seacoast, to the Eretz HaKena'ani (Land of the Canaanites), and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates.

8 Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which sware unto , , to give unto them and to their after them.

8 See, I have set ha'aretz (the land) before you; go in and possess ha'aretz which [Yahweh] swore unto Avoteichem [your fathers], Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya'akov [Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob], to give unto them and to their zera [seed] after them.

9 And I spoke unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear the burden of you by myself alone;

10 [Yahweh your Elohim] hath multiplied you, and, see, ye are today as numerous as the kokhavei HaShomayim [stars of heaven for multitude].

11 (Yahweh Elohim Avoteichem [of your fathers] increase you a thousand times over and bless you, as He hath promised you!)

12 How can I myself alone bear your problems, and your massa [burden] and your strife?

13 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.

13 Take you wise men, and understanding [anashim chachamim], and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.

Ecclesias have to do with God's business

This should be borne in mind in the election of officers. God requires for His work men of "sound mind"-men who know what is right and are prepared to faithfully and energetically pursue it. Erratic, superficial, lazy, self-pleasing workers are not wanted. If brethren everywhere would note these points in their ecclesial appointments the truth would prosper.

Men should not be placed in office simply to please them, or as a means of keeping them in the truth. If any prove unsuitable or incompetent for the positions they hold, then others should be appointed. Brethren should not be timid in these matters. Moses chose men who were "able" and "wise" (Exod. 18:25), and our choice should be governed by the same considerations.

Similar care and discrimination were enjoined upon the first-century brethren (1 Tim. 3.; Tit. 1.). Let us remember that a meeting takes on the spirit of its leaders-wrangling, crotchety, worldly, agnostic leaders make a like meeting.

If the truth is to prosper, we must have proper leaders-men well-grounded in the truth, men of experience; of good character, kind, sympathetic, meek but courageous.

The appointment of such rests upon the brotherhood generally-hence its responsibility. We live in evil times, when things have a downward tendency. We require to be alive to the times, and to set our faces against retrogression, latitudinarianism*, Laodiceanism.

Bro AT Jannaway

The Christadelphian, Sept 1902

14 And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is tov for us to do.

15 So I took the leaders of your tribes, anashim chachamim, men of understanding, and made them heads over you, over thousands, and over hundreds, and over fifties, and over tens, shoterim [officers] among your tribes.

16 And I charged your shofetim [judges] at that time, saying, Hear the cases between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the ger [stranger] that is with him.

Aristocracy of the kingdom

By the aristocracy is meant the princes of the state. In the commencement of Jehovah's kingdom these were Moses, Aaron for the tribe of Levi, and eleven others, one for each tribe. The sons of Aaron also were sacerdotal princes; to whom may be added the Levites of the houses of Kohath, Gershom, and Merari.

Besides these, Moses selected the chief of the tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over them, captains over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among their tribes.

These were they who possessed the kingdom. Flesh and blood, mortal and corruptible men. So that Yahweh's kingdom under its first constitution may be defined a divinely organized system of government in Israel administered by sinful men under sentence of death.

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Sept 1851

From this we may draw the useful conclusion that the arrangements we are obliged to make in this latter day in the absence of divine direction, will receive the divine sanction and favour provided they are made in the sincere spirit of desiring to help the Lord's work, and are in harmony with the requirements of that work as specified in the word of Jesus and the apostles. The use of the printing press and the holding of meetings for lectures are of this nature. We may hope presently to hear that the Lord approves of them as a doing of our best in an age when His purpose requires that He should be silent.

Is there any shadowing of the work of Christ here? Here is Moses surrounded by twelve heads of the tribes, helping him in the work he has on hand, by ideas of their own, in harmony with that work and accepted because useful as well as in harmony. If we look at the twelve apostles, whether in the day of suffering or the day of glory--the day of the wilderness or the day of the land of promise--we may get a glimpse of a counterpart.

In the work done by the apostles in the taking out of a people for his name, their co-operation with the Lord was not an automatic one. It was the cooperation of intelligent faithfulness which devised measures according to the exigencies of the occasion, such as when they appointed a successor to Judas, or convened a council to consider the controversy that had arisen at Antioch. So in the day when they "shall sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel", we may imagine, without being guilty of any freak of speculation, that they will, out of the fulness of wise and loyal hearts, devise measures of service that will go beyond what may be actually prescribed, but will be accepted because in thorough harmony with all the objects for which Christ shall reign.

Such a thought would impart a prospective interest to the work of reigning with Christ that would be absent if we supposed that the apostles would be mere court puppets, as we might express it. We are justified in believing that there will be nothing mechanical in the operations of immortal life. The controlling presence of the spirit will not exclude individuality of thought and volition. Rather will there be that diversity in glorious unity. One spirit, acting in the diversity of individual gift and intelligence --in harmony, but not in monotony--will be no new experience.

In the apostolic age, the same phenomenon was exemplified in a lower form (1 Cor. 12:4-11). What would be true of the apostles in their exaltation would be true of all saints, so that we may look forward to a life full of the interest that comes even now from the application of individual judgment to the decision of problems as they arise.

Law of Moses Ch 33

17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is of Elohim: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.

18 And I commanded you at that time all the things which ye should do.

19 And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as Yahweh our Elohim commanded us; and we came to Kadeshbarnea.

20 And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which Yahweh our Elohim doth give unto us.

21 Behold, Yahweh thy Elohim hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as Yahweh Elohim of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.

22 And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.

23 And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe:

24 And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out.

25 And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which Yahweh our Elohim doth give us.

26 Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of Yahweh your Elohim:

27 And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because Yahweh hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.

28 Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.

29 Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them.

30 Yahweh your Elohim which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;

31 And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that Yahweh thy Elohim bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.

God has separated us from anti-typical Egypt, and has made us entirely dependent upon Him for food, guidance, and all things. God is, indeed, exceedingly kind toward us, but faith is needed to perceive it. There are many things that appear to militate against this kindness. But God has repeatedly explained and exemplified the apparent anomaly.

As man is now constituted, trouble is absolutely necessary for his well-being. The inspired record of His dealings with Israel in the wilderness emphasises the point. At the close of the forty years wanderings, Moses told the Israelites that during the whole time God had borne them as a man doth bear his son —that they had lacked nothing (2:7).

Note the words, "lacked nothing, " and yet had been suffered to hunger, thirst, and to be deprived of many comforts. For the moment, evil is not incompatible with good. It is for us to learn well the lesson that God (though he afflicts with evil) withholdeth no good thing from them that walk uprightly (Ps. 84:11).

"As a father pitieth his children so Yahweh pitieth them that fear him" - Ps. 103:13.

Bro AT Jannaway

The Christadelphian, Aug 1888

31 And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that Yahweh thy Elohim bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.

32 Yet in this thing ye did not believe Yahweh your Elohim,

33 Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by 

night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day.

34 And Yahweh heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying,

35 Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers,

37 Also Yahweh was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither.

38 But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.

39 Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.

40 But as for you, turn you, and take your journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.

41 Then ye answered and said unto me, We have sinned against Yahweh, we will go up and fight, according to all that Yahweh our God commanded us. And when ye had girded on every man his weapons of war, ye were ready to go up into the hill.

42 And Yahweh said unto me, Say unto them, Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies.

43 So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of Yahweh, and went presumptuously up into the hill.

44 And the Amorites, which dwelt in that mountain, came out against you, and chased you, as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir, even unto Hormah.

45 And ye returned and wept before Yahweh; but Yahweh would not hearken to your voice, nor give ear unto you.

46 So ye abode in Kadesh many days, according unto the days that ye abode there.