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CHAPTER 31 May 14 
The Appointment of Joshua
Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. 2 I am one hundred and twenty years old this day. I can no more go out and come in, and Yahweh has said to me, ‘You shall not go over this Jordan’. 3Yahweh your God, He will go over before you. He will destroy these nations from before you and you shall dispossess them. Joshua shall go over before you, as Yahweh has spoken. 4Yahweh will do to them as He did to Sihon and to Og, the kings of the Amorites and to their land, whom He destroyed. 5Yahweh will deliver them up before you and you shall do to them according to all the commandments which I have commanded you. 6Be strong and courageous, don’t be afraid nor be scared of them, for Yahweh your God, He it is who goes with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you. 7Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which Yahweh has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. 8It is Yahweh who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not fail you neither forsake you. Don’t be afraid neither be dismayed.
Command to Read the Law Every Seven Years
9Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests the sons of Levi, who bore the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh, and to all the elders of Israel. 10Moses commanded them saying, At the end of every seven years, in the set time of the year of release, in the feast of tents, 11when all Israel has come to appear before Yahweh your God in the place which He shall choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12Assemble the people, men, women and the little ones and your foreigner who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear Yahweh your God and observe to do all the words of this law; 13and that their children, who have not known, may hear and learn to fear Yahweh your God as long as you live in the land where you go over the Jordan to possess it.
God Predicts the People’s Failure
14Yahweh said to Moses, Behold, your life will end shortly. Call Joshua and present yourselves in the Tent of Meeting, so that I may commission him. Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves in the Tent of Meeting. 15Yahweh appeared in the Tent in a pillar of cloud. The pillar of cloud stood over the door of the Tent. 16Yahweh said to Moses, Behold, you shall lay down to sleep with your fathers, and this people shall rise up and play the prostitute after the strange gods of the land where they go to be among them, and will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. 17Then My anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and I will hide My face from them and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall come on them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Haven’t these evils come on us because our God is not among us?’ 18I will surely hide My face in that day for all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods. 19Now therefore write this song for yourselves and teach it to the children of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel. 20For when I have brought them into the land which I swore to their fathers, flowing with milk and honey, and they have eaten and filled themselves and grown fat, then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and despise Me and break My covenant. 21When many evils and troubles have come on them, this song shall testify before them as a witness, for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed; for I know their imagination which they plan this day, before I have brought them into the land which I swore. 22So Moses wrote this song the same day and taught it to the children of Israel. 23He commissioned Joshua the son of Nun and said, Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the children of Israel into the land which I swore to them, and I will be with you. 24When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book, 25he commanded the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of Yahweh saying, 26Take this book of the law and put it in the side of the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh your God, that it may be there for a witness against you. 27For I know your rebellion and your stiff neck; even while I am alive with you this day you have been rebellious against Yahweh, and how much more after my death? 28Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears and call heaven and earth to witness against them. 29For I know that after my death you will utterly corrupt yourselves and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you, and evil will happen to you in the latter days, because you will do that which is evil in the sight of Yahweh, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands.
The Song of Moses
30Moses spoke in the ears of all the assembly of Israel the words of this song, until they were finished.


31:2 That Moses lived to 120 with full faculties was as unusual then as it would be today; because lifespans at that time were around 70 years, and those older than seventy usually had weakened faculties as happens today too (Ps. 90:10). Moses says there in Ps. 90:10 that “our years” are 70- even though he himself had much longer life, and would’ve been writing Psalm 90 well he was well over 80 years old. We see here the empathy which comes from love, and his sense of identity with God’s people. All this is a pattern for us in our relationships and feelings toward others, but it also typifies Christ’s ultimate sensitivity, empathy and identity with the limitations of our humanity.
31:6 He will not fail you nor forsake you- Specifically applied to each of us in Heb. 13:5, in the context of appealing for us not to be covetous, worrying, as it were, how we are to cope on our journey into the Kingdom. 
31:9 It takes about four hours to read through the book of Deuteronomy out loud. The many references in Deuteronomy to “this day” (see on 30:15) suggest Moses spoke it all on the last day of his life. It was a very busy day- he spoke Deuteronomy, wrote a copy of it (or of the entire Law; notice how Dt. 24 was written by Moses, Mk. 10:5), sings a Song to that silent multitude (surely with a lump in his throat, especially at points like 32:15), and then he turns and climbs the mountain to see the land and meet his death. The fact it all happened on his birthday just adds to the pathos of it all (Dt. 31:2). The huge amount of work which he did on that last day of his life looks forward to the Lord's huge achievement in the day of his death. No wonder Yahweh describes that day of Moses' death with an intensive plural: "Your days (an intensive plural, i.e. the one great time / day) are made ready that you must die" (:14). May our last day be as intensely productive as his.
31:14 The day of our death is made ready ahead of time by God.
31:19,21 God recognized the power of music by arranging things in this way; He knew they would sing this to themselves and the words would influence them. We must ensure that the music we listen to and hum to ourselves is leading us to repentance and to God, rather than the other way; because music and lyrics are powerful.