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Hidden Meanings


As we draw near to the end of the Book of Deuteronomy, we find a striking example of biblical poetry traditionally referred to as ‘the Song of Moses’ (32:1-43). It is Moses’ final instructions to the Israelites, reminding them of their covenantal obligations after settling in the promised land.


Read the poem. Observe the grandeur of the imagery, emotion and lofty thoughts. Then let's focus on the concluding verses (44-47), with the aid of the teaching of Nehama Leibowitz. 1


“Moses came and recited all the words of this song in the hearing of the people..."

(Deut. 32:44)


"When Moses had finished reciting all these words to all Israel..." (32:45)


“Take to heart all the words that I am giving... diligently observe all the words of this law. This is no trifling matter for you but rather your very life” (32:46-47).


The repetition is clear, indicated by our italics (added) . But what is the significance of the emphasis on ‘all’ the words?