When they came into the wilderness of Arabah Moses addresses the descendants of the rebels.Most of the things he makes reference to were actually seen and experienced by the rebels rather than their sons.


11 “You shall therefore love the Lord your God, and always keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances, and His commandments. 2 Know this day that I am not speaking with your sons who have not known and who have not seen the [a]discipline of the Lord your God—His greatness, His mighty hand and His outstretched arm, 3 and His signs and His works which He did in the midst of Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt and to all his land; 4 and what He did to Egypt’s army, to its horses and its chariots, when He made the water of the [b]Red Sea to [c]engulf them while they were pursuing you, and the Lord [d]completely destroyed them; 7 but your own eyes have seen all the great work of the Lord which He did.

Most of those that had seen the hand of Lord from Egypt through the wilderness had actually died within the forty years after having refused to enter the promised land.But now Moses was addressing the sons of rebels rather the actually rebels themselves who had perished in the wilderness.

Deuteronomy 1 NASB

1 These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite [a]Suph, between Paran and Tophel and Laban and Hazeroth and Dizahab. 2 It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea. 3 In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the children of Israel, according to all that the Lord had commanded him to give to them,

Its clear that it was after the fortieth year after all the rebels had died that Moses made this address to the sons of the rebels.So why does Moses say it was the fathers rather than the sons whom he was addressing at Moab?

2 Answers 2


The decree for the Children of Israel to die in the desert applied only to people who were at least 20 years old, but their children survived (Numbers 14:29,31, NIV):

In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.

As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected.

The census (Numbers 1:1), and the sending of the spies, were in the the second year in the desert (leaving 38 more years in the desert, as mentioned in Deuteronomy 2:14). That means that at the end of his life, Moses was speaking to people who were younger than 58 years old, meaning that they were younger than 18 years old at the time of the Exodus from Egypt, so they were the generation would have seen the miracles that Moses mentions.

  • @b a,If they were 18 years and below would they have understood the mighty works of the Lord which he had carried out in Egypt Jul 1, 2019 at 11:55
  • @collenndhlovu Why would you have to be a military-age adult in order to understand? Moses is telling them that they saw what happened in Egypt
    – b a
    Jul 1, 2019 at 12:19

Deuteronomy 11:2 New International Version

Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the LORD your God: his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm;

NIV and others translated this verse differently from NASB:

Know this day that I am not speaking with your sons who have not known and who have not seen the discipline of the LORD your God—His greatness, His mighty hand, His outstretched arm,

NASB added the phrase I am not speaking.

Deuteronomy contains the last sermon Moses gave to the 2nd generation of Israelites while they were camping on the Plains of Moab before entering Canaan. He died soon afterward.

Deuteronomy 34:5 And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had said.

Was it the fathers or sons of the rebels who were being addressed by Moses in Deuteronomy 11:1-7?

According to many Bible versions, it was the sons of the rebels (the 2nd generation). In Deuteronomy 11:2, Moses pointed to the 3rd generation of kids.

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