We begin the Book of Deuteronomy in this portion. The entire book takes place while the Israelites are camped in the plains of Moab, on the banks of the Jordan River, ready to cross over into the Land of Canaan. At this point Moses is reaching the last weeks of his life and his ministry. He takes this opportunity to deliver three farewell discourses and two poems before he takes leave of his people. Since these people are not, for the most part, the ones who left Egypt, Moses begins his first discourse with a review of the events from the time of leaving Sinai to the present and the lessons to be learned from them. Thus, he does not merely recount history, he interprets it. Specifically, he emphasized that the people’s fate depends on their response to God’s commands and promises. The original command to proceed to the Promised Land was disobeyed when the Israelites took the negative advice of the ten scouts. This led to the wilderness wandering. The second command, to proceed to the Promised Land, is about to be obeyed.