Deuteronomy 9:1 New International Version

Hear, Israel: You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky.

English Standard Version

“Hear, O Israel: you are to cross over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, cities great and fortified up to heaven

If this is Moses last day, that's a long day for him. His speech continues till the end of the book.

  • I agree that it means the whole rest of the book takes place in one day. I don't think this is so unbelievable, as you could easily read these speeches within a few hours.
    – Kidburla
    Sep 3, 2023 at 20:08

1 Answer 1


The Book of Deuteronomy consists of more than one speech of Moses:

  • First Oration: Deut 1:6 – 4:43. Historical background
  • Second Oration: Deut 4:44 – 26:19. The Law of the Ten Commandments expanded
  • Third Oration: Deut 27:1 – 28:68. Blessings and Curses of the law
  • Fourth Oration: Deut 29:1 – 30:20. Renewal of the Covenant

The second oration is the longest and discusses the 10 commandment law in more detail. It is divided into two sections: the general stipulations (Ch 5-11) and Specific stipulations (Ch 12-26). The Specific stipulations can be broken down into sections expanding each of the 10 commandments: 1 & 2: Deut 12:1 – 31 – Worship

3: Deut 13:1 – 14:27 – name of God

4: Deut 14:28 – 16:17 – Sabbath

5: Deut 16:18 – 18:22 – Authority

6: Deut 19:1 – 22:8 – Homicide/murder

7: Deut 22:9 – 23:19 – Adultery

8: Deut 23:20 – 24:7 – Theft

9: Deut 24:8 – 25:4 – False Charges

10: Deut 25:5 – 16 – Coveting

Now some simple facts:

  • even in English - the book of Deuteronomy contains about 23000 words, much less in Hebrew.
  • Speaking at a rate of about 150 words per minute would take about 2.5 hours to real aloud. (It is much less in Hebrew.)
  • However, not all of Deuteronomy was spoken by Moses on that day (eg, he did not and could not have spoken Deut 34), making the exercise shorter, possibly only 2 hours, spread over four sessions of (say) about half an hour each.
  • This doesn't add up for me, as in Deuteronomy 27:2 he says "When you have crossed the Jordan..." meaning they haven't crossed yet. But in Deuteronomy 9:1, he clearly indicates they will cross the same day. So I think the only conclusion is that the four speeches (or at least speeches 2-4) occurred on the same day.
    – Kidburla
    Sep 3, 2023 at 20:07
  • @Kidburla - I have added some simple information - all four speeches could have been delivered in one day without any trouble.
    – Dottard
    Sep 3, 2023 at 20:32
  • That's useful information and well-presented, but I still disagree with your statement earlier in the answer that "Moses' speech that day was not the entire book, but only Ch 4-26". Verse 9:1 clearly indicates that the later speeches also took place on the same day, as OP has highlighted.
    – Kidburla
    Sep 4, 2023 at 12:52
  • @Kidburla - does it really matter - the entire book of Deuteronomy can be read in less than 2 hours in Hebrew (actually, about 1.5 hours).
    – Dottard
    Sep 4, 2023 at 20:44
  • Yes, it matters, because that's exactly what this question is asking. I'm not disagreeing with your statement that the entire book can be read in a short period of time. If anything, this only shows even more that the sentence I referred to is unlikely. Why not just remove that sentence from your answer - leaving just the implication (as I believe you intended in your edit yesterday) that all the speeches could indeed have been read in a single day?
    – Kidburla
    Sep 4, 2023 at 20:52

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