If we outline today’s reading according to God’s paragraph divisions:
So far in Deuteronomy, each paragraph has formed its own chiastic structure. And while the strong paragraph from Deu 9:1-29 can form its own chiastic structure by itself, the strong paragraph from Deu 10:1-11 cannot (that I can see). It has to be combined with Deu 9:1-29 in order to form a chiastic structure, and yet, it is its own separate strong paragraph. What is up with that? Here’s the chiastic structure:
1A: Deu 9:1-6, Israel is not going in (which YHVH swore) because of their righteousness;
1B: Deu 9:7-29, Forty days and nights + YHVH provoked to wrath enough to destroy Israel;
1C: Deu 10:1-5, Moses to construct the ark of the covenant;
1D: Deu 10:6a, Journey to Moserah;
CENTRAL AXIS: Deu 10:6b, “… where Aaron died, and where he was buried; and Eleazar his son ministered as priest in his stead;”
2D: Deu 10:7, Journey to Jotbathah;
2C: Deu 10:8-9, Levites to bear the ark of the covenant;
2B: Deu 10:10, Forty days and nights + YHVH did not destroy Israel;
2A: Deu 10:11, That Israel may possess the Land which (because) YHVH swore to their fathers.
Now the topic of Deu 9:1-29, is, I think, that Israel is not entering the Land because of her own righteousness. Moses makes that point ad nauseum in this chapter! Listen, we sometimes hear it said that Moses preached salvation by works of the Law, while Jesus preached salvation by grace through faith. I cannot help but think that the people who say that have not read Deu 9! Moses in fact goes out of his way to emphasize that Israel is not inheriting their promise because of their own works and their own self- righteousness! And God was so emphatic about making this point, that this is one of the few places in Deuteronomy where a single paragraph is its own strong paragraph!
So then what is the topic of the strong paragraph from Deu 10:1-11? I think the topic is, that Israel enters the Land because God swore to their fathers that they would possess it. They do not enter because of their own work but because of God’s, in other words. That is the gospel of grace!
For further study: Moses continues, in today’s reading, to explain why obedience to the LORD’s commandments is so vital for His people! Continue to mark all the places in your Bible, and so on through Deuteronomy. Now for many chapters, Moses has been explaining why obedience to God’s commandments is vital. Is it so that we may gain life for our spirit, eternal life in the next life by works of the Law, or is it so that we may gain life for the body, all that pertains to life, well- being, and happiness, in this life?
Finding Messiah: The central axis of the chiastic structure is unusual: a sentence fragment about Aaron and Eleazar, ministering as priests. In fact, in this brief fragment the Death of the High Priest is mentioned, and it is also mentioned that the Son ministers as High Priest. That is a prophecy of Messiah Yeshua! He is our High Priest, and His death ratifies the covenant in His blood! He is also the Son, ministering as High Priest! This central axis is furthermore wrapped in the ark of the covenant, which is mercy covering over the Law – a clear prophecy of the gospel of grace by faith!