Deuteronomy 31:1-8 Moses is 120 years now and tells Israel he will not be crossing over the Jordan into Canaan with the them, but the Lord will go before them with Joshua as their new leader. The Lord will destroy the nations through the Israelites. They were to be strong and courageous, for the Lord will not leave or forsake them.
Notes: 120 years old. This was the age of Moses at his death. According to Acts 7:30, Moses spent 40 years in Midian tending sheep. Thus, the life of Moses is broken down into three 40-year periods. His first 40 years were spent in Egypt. The second 40 years were spent in Midian. His final 40 years were spent leading Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness to the Promised Land. The life and ministry of Moses were completed, but God’s work would go on.
Deuteronomy 31:9-13 Moses wrote all the words of the law down and gave them to the priests and to the elders. Moses instructed them to read this law every seven years during the Feast of Booths so that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord and to do all His commandments.
Deuteronomy 31:14-22 The Lord instructed Moses to get Joshua and meet Him at the tent of meeting in order to commission Joshua to replace Moses as leader of the Israelites. The Lord appeared in a pillar of cloud. The Lord told Moses it was time for him to die. The Lord told Moses that the people will fail to keep His commandments, and that He will forsake Israelites. Evil and troubles will come upon Israelites for turning to other gods. The Lord told Moses to write down a song and to teach it to the Israelites to be a witness for the Lord against the them. The subject matter of the song was that when Israel had settled into Canaan, they will forget the Lord and serve other gods and despise the Lord. When the evils and troubles come upon them, the song will remind them what the Lord predicted would happen. Moses taught the people the song.
Notes: The song that the Lord gave Moses to teach the Israelites would be a constant reminder of their disobedience to the Lord and the results of that disobedience.
Deuteronomy 31:23-30 The Lord commissioned Joshua to be strong and courageous as he leads Israel into Canaan and that He will be with him. After Moses finished writing the law, he commanded the Levites to take the book of the law and put it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord to be a witness against them. Moses told the Israelites that they will be more rebellious after he dies. Moses calls all the elders and officers together to hear his final words about how they will become corrupt and turn aside from everything Moses taught them that in the latter days, evil will befall them for forsaking the Lord.
Notes: Only the Ten Commandments were placed in the ark itself.