Outline of Moses’ Twelve Speeches
The first part of Deuteronomy 1:1 is translated by Ferrar Fenton: "The following are the Speeches which Moses addressed to all the Children of Israel . . ."
Deuteronomy is, in fact, a series of twelve speeches that Moses gave just before he died. The speeches and their titles are set forth by Fenton as follows:
Speech I: History of the Exodus, Deut. 1:6 to 4:40, followed by a further explanation from an ancient editor, probably Ezra, writing the final verses in chapter 4 (that is, vs. 41-49).
Speech II: Upon the Covenant of Sinai, Deut. 5-8.
Speech III: Why Israel was Chosen, Deut. 9-13
Speech IV: Laws against Sins and Self-Degradation, Deut. 14-16
Speech V: Local Government, Deut. 17-19. According to Ferrar Fenton, the closing portion of this speech is found in Deut. 21:1-9, which he says was transcribed out of order when the speeches were transferred from stone tablets to animal skins. We will discuss this further at the proper time.
Speech VI: Laws of War, Deut. 20.
Speech VII: Domestic Laws, Deut. 21-23.
Speech VIII: Laws of Marriage and Domestic Life, Deut. 24-25:16.
Speech IX: Upon Conduct in the Promised Land and Ritual for Freewill Offerings, Deut. 25:17 through chapter 26.
Speech X: Confirming all Laws by the Parliamentary Consent, and Denouncing Punishments on Disobedience, Deut. 27-28:68
Speech XI, Exhortation to Obedience, and Appointment of Joshua as Commander. There is a short introduction in Deut. 28:69 and 29:1a, followed by the speech itself in Deut. 29:1b to 31:13.
Speech XII, Being the Public Song of Moses and Appointment of Joshua, Deut. 31:14 to 33:29.
Aliazer's Concluding Narrative, Deut. 34:1-9. Alizaer (i.e., Eleazar) was Moses' nephew and scribe. He became high priest after his father Aaron died, which was about a year before Deuteronomy was written (Deut. 10:6).
Envoy by Ezra or some Old Transcriber, Deut. 34:10-12.
These speeches were written on stone and placed in the Ark of the Covenant (Deut. 31:26), along with the two stone tables of the Ten Commandments from Mount Horeb (1 Kings 8:9). They also placed a pot of manna in the Ark (Exodus 16:33; Hebrews 9:4). At the time of the dedication of Solomon's Temple, only the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments remained in the Ark.