Today is the 41st Sabbath of the annual Torah cycle. The Torah reading (parashah) is Devarim (words), Deu 1:1-3:22.
The paragraph divisions for Devarim, Deu 1:1-3:22, are as follows:
Deu 1:1-2:1 (s) The failure of the unbelieving generation to possess the land
Deu 2:2-8a (s) Pass by the possession of Esau
Deu 2:8b-16 (s) Pass by the possession of Moab
Deu 2:17-30 (s) Pass by the possession of Ammon + possess the possession of Sihon
Deu 2:31-3:22 (s) YHVH gave the kingdoms of the Amorites to Israel as a possession
The next paragraph is not a part of Devarim, but it concludes with a strong paragraph division, thus concluding the theme which was begun in Devarim:
Deu 3:23-29 (p) Joshua shall cross and cause Israel to inherit their possession
In other words, the theme of this first section ending with Deu 3:39, is: Israel shall not possess what YHVH has not given him, but he shall possess what YHVH has given him.
Chiastic structures: I have not discovered a single chiastic structure encompassing Devarim, Deu 1:1-3:22, although I have discovered that Deu 1:1-3:29 forms a single chiastic structure, which is the first theme ending with a strong paragraph division. The smaller paragraphs form these chiastic structures:
Deu 1:1-2:1 s
1a) Deu 1:1-2, Journey from Sinai through the wilderness to Kadesh Barnea;
1b) Deu 1:3-5, Moses spoke YHVH’s commandments + defeat of the Amorites;
1c) Deu 1:6-7, Turn toward your Land;
1d) Deu 1:8, YHVH set the Land before them + go in and possess it;
1e) Deu 1:9-18, YHVH established judges and justice for them;
1f) Deu 1:19, Journey through the wilderness;
1g) Deu 1:20-21, YHVH set the Land before them + do not fear + believe + go in;
1h) Deu 1:21, Do not be discouraged;
1i) Deu 1:22-24, Twelve men go up to the Land;
central axis) Deu 1:25, The Land is good;
2i) Deu 1:26-27, The congregation will not go up to the Land;
2h) Deu 1:28, Our brothers have discouraged our hearts;
2g) Deu 1:29-33, YHVH set the Land before them + do not fear + unbelief + refusal to go in;
2f) Deu 1:34a, The unbelievers will journey through the wilderness;
2e) Deu 1:34b-38, YHVH established His judgment: unbelievers will not go in + Moses will not go in + Caleb and Joshua will go in;
2d) Deu 1:39, YHVH has set the Land before them + they will go in to possess it;
2c) Deu 1:40, Turn back toward the wilderness;
2b) Deu 1:41-45, Rebellion against YHVH’s commandment + Israel defeated by the Amorites;
2a) Deu 1:46-2:1, Journey from Kadesh Barnea through the wilderness to the Red Sea.
Deu 2:2-30 s+s+s
1a) Deu 2:2-5, Pass by the possession of Esau, YHVH will not give Israel their land;
1b) Deu 2:6, Israel bought food and water of Esau with money;
1c) Deu 2:7-8a s, YHVH has blessed Israel so that they lack nothing;
1d) Deu 2:8b-9, Turn to Moab, pass by the possession of Moab;
1e) Deu 2:10-12a, The giants formerly in Moab were destroyed before them;
1f) Deu 2:12b, YHVH gave Israel the Land of their possession;
1g) Deu 2:13, Cross over the Zered;
central axis) Deu 2:14-16 s, The hand of YHVH was against the unbelieving generation so that they perished;
2g) Deu 2:17-18, Cross over the boundary of Moab;
2f) Deu 2:19, YHVH gave the descendants of Lot the land of their possession;
2e) Deu 2:20-23, The giants formerly in Ammon were destroyed before them;
2d) Deu 2:24, Cross over the Arnon, go in and possess Sihon;
2c) Deu 2:25, YHVH will bless Israel so that the nations will be in dread of them;
2b) Deu 2:26-29, Israel will buy food and water of Sihon with money:
2a) Deu 2:30 s, Posses the possession of Sihon, YHVH will give Israel his land.
Deu 2:31-3:22 s
1a) Deu 2:31-33, YHVH gives the land of Sihon to Israel + Sihon fought them + Israel defeated him;
1b) Deu 2:34-35, Israel fought him and took his cities + women, children, livestock;
1c) Deu 2:36-37, Israel possessed the land of Sihon from one boundary to the other;
1d) Deu 3:1-10, Israel possessed the land of Og from one boundary to the other;
1e) Deu 3:11, Og was a giant;
central axis) Deu 3:12-13a, The land was given to Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh;
2e) Deu 3:13b, The land was the land of the giants;
2d) Deu 3:14-15, Half Manasseh possessed the land of Og from one boundary to the other;
2c) Deu 3:16-18a, Reuben + Gad possessed the land of Sihon from one boundary to the other;
2b) Deu 3:18b-19, Two and a half tribes will fight + wives, children, livestock will remain in their cities;
2a) Deu 3:20-22 s, YHVH gives the Land to Israel + YHVH fights for them + Israel will defeat them.
What is going on here? Forty years have passed since leaving Egypt, and the unbelieving generation has died out. Aaron and Miriam have died. The only men who are left of that generation, are Moses, Joshua, and Caleb. When Numbers closed, the Lord had given Moses a command to go up to the mountain and survey the land, because he would not go in, he would die on that mountain. Israel is at the border of the Promised Land when Deuteronomy opens, and Moses is addressing the people one last time before doing as the Lord instructed him, and going up to the mountain to survey the land and die. Joshua is about ready to lead the 2nd believing generation over the Jordan to inherit the land.
The reason that Israel refused to go in the first time, was fear of the giants which overshadowed their faith or belief or trust in YHVH or His Word to them. Moses is showing them, that even the nations who did not have a covenant with YHVH overcame and dispossessed the giants, because YHVH had determined that they would be dispossessed. Then he is reminding them that they have already dispossessed giants: the land of the Amorites whom they have defeated, which is even now the possession of Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh, was ruled by giants.
So let no fear or intimidation dissuade you, do not turn back at the border this time, but go in to possess the Land, for the Lord is certainly able to cause you to possess it!
What border are we on the verge of today, that is separating us from our promise? Do not be afraid, but cross over and possess it!