Book of Deuteronomy Allusions & Cultural References
Technically, the Bible is probably the most alluded to work, ever. Let's take a closer look.
Deuteronomy is super reliant on the books that come before it in the Hebrew Bible, especially Exodus and Numbers. On the other side of the coin, Deuteronomy had some heavy influence on later Israelite writings, and so its ideas pop up quite a bit in the rest of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. Fasten your seatbelt, because we've got a lot of allusions coming your way. (The parenthetical citation is where you'll find the meat in Deuteronomy.)
References to the Pentateuch in Deuteronomy
Numbers 21:33-35 contains the defeat of Og and Sihon (1:4, 3:1-11, 29:7, 31:4).
The original promise to Abraham is found in Genesis 12 (1:8. 6:10. 9:5. 29:13. 30:20. 34:4).
In Numbers 13 and 14, the Israelites are afraid to fight for the Promised Land, and God becomes angry. Moses stops God from destroying them, but when they finally decide to fight, they are defeated because God refuses to help them (1:22-46).
Genesis 33 and 36 associate Esau with Seir. The Edomites are his descendants (2:1-8).
According to Genesis 19:30-38, The Moabites and the Ammonites are the children of Lot (2:9, 19).
Numbers 25 records that the Israelite men had sex with Moabite women and worshipped Moabite gods (4:3).
In Exodus 19, the people hear the Lord speak from the mountain (4:10-14).
Exodus 20:2-17 contains the giving of the Ten Commandments (5:6-21).
Exodus 32 records God's anger when Aaron makes a golden calf. Moses intercedes with God and keeps him from wiping out Israel (9:8-21).
In Numbers 11:1-3, the Israelites complain, and God consumes them with fire at Taberah (9:22).
In Numbers 11:31-35, the Israelites crave meat instead of manna at Kibrothhattavah. God sends them quail, but becomes angry as they eat and decides to send a plague among them (9:22).
In Exodus 17:1-7, the people complain because they have no water at Massah and Meribah. Moses strikes a rock and water comes forth (6:16. 9:22. 33:8).
In Exodus 34:1-4, God instructs Moses to cut out two tablets of stone. The original ones were created by God according to Exodus 32:16 (10:1-5).
According to Genesis 46:27, seventy Israelites originally went down to Egypt (10:22).
In Numbers 16, Dathan and Abiram challenge Moses and Aaron's leadership. The earth opens up and swallows them (11:6).
Leviticus 11 contains dietary laws (14).
According to Exodus 21:2, slaves go free in the seventh year (15:1-15). (For more on the seventh year, see Exodus 23:11 and Leviticus 25.)
The first Passover is celebrated in Exodus 12 (16:1-8).
The Festival of Weeks (Pentecost or Shavuot) is mentioned in Exodus 23:16, as the festival of harvest, Exodus 34:22, and Numbers 28:26 (16:10-12).
The Festival of Booths or Sukkot is celebrated in Leviticus 23:33-44 (16:13-15. 31:10-11).
Numbers 23-24 records the story of Balaam, a prophet hired to curse the Israelites (23:4-5).
Exodus 17:8-16 records that Amalek fought against Israel. Amalek became a perpetual enemy of Israel (25:17-19).
Numbers 20:8-12 records that Moses struck the rock twice. God had commanded Moses to speak to the rock. God references this story when he tells Moses that he will die before entering the Promised Land (32:48-52).
References to Deuteronomy in the Deuteronomistic History (Joshua - Kings)
Joshua 11 and 14 mention the Anakim, who are characterized as giants in Deuteronomy (1:28, 2:10-11, 21. 9:2).
1 Kings 14:15 speaks of God scattering the people. We call this the exile (4:27. 28:64).
In 1 Samuel 12:17-18, Samuel prays for rain; in 1 Kings 8:35-36, Solomon prays that God will hear the Israelites during droughts and give them rain; and in 1 Kings 17-18, the prophet Elijah proclaims that it will not rain until he says so (11:11-17).
In 1 Kings 8, Solomon dedicates the temple during Sukkot (16:13-15. 31:10-11).
Deuteronomy 17:14-20 states that the Israelites may choose a king. Samuel is against this plan in 1 Samuel 8, but God allows Israel to have a king. Deuteronomy also states that the king is not allowed to have too many wives because they will turn his heart away from God. Solomon definitely breaks this law. (17:14-20)
1 Kings 12 records that Israel divides into the northern and southern kingdoms. The northern king places golden calves in Dan and Bethel to prevent the people from returning to Jerusalem to worship. Deuteronomy constantly talks about worshipping one God in one place.
References to Deuteronomy in the New Testament
In Matthew 4:4, Jesus quotes, "one shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that
comes from the mouth of the Lord" (8:3)
In Matthew 4:7, Jesus quotes, "Do not put the Lord your God to the test" (6:16).
In Matthew 4:10 and Luke 4:8, Jesus quotes, "Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him" (6:13 and 10:20).
Matthew 15:4, Mark 7:10, and Ephesians 6:2-3 reference "Honor your father and your mother" (5:16)
Matthew 18:16 and 2 Corinthians 13:1 call for two or three witnesses (19:15).
In Matthew 22:24, Jesus is asked about a man having a child with his dead brother's widow (25:5).
Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, and Luke 10:27 speak of loving the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength/mind (6:5, 10:12, 30:6).
In Mark 12:29, Jesus quotes the Shema (6:4).
Acts 3:22-23 and 7:37speak of the prophet like Moses (18:15, 18-19).
In Romans 10:6-8, Paul says that the word is not beyond the sea; it is in your mouth, in your heart, and in your hands (30:12-14).
In Romans 10:19, Paul quote, "I will make them jealous with what is no people, provoke them with a foolish nation" (32:21).
In Romans 11:8, Paul states that God has given a spirit of slumber to Israel: "the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders. But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind to understand, or eyes to see, or ears to hear" (29:3-4)
Romans 12:19 and Hebrews 10:30 record that vengeance belongs to God (32:35).
Romans 15:10 speaks of rejoicing (32:43).
Hebrews 1:6 equates the angels with the sons of God (32:43).
In 1 Corinthians 5:13, Paul speaks of removing an evil person from your presence (17:7).
1 Corinthians 10:26-28 discusses the fact the earth and all that is in it belong to the Lord (10:14).
In Galatians 3:10, Paul quotes, "Cursed be anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by observing them" (27:26).
In Galatians 3:13, Paul says that Jesus was made a curse for us, "for anyone hung on a tree is under God's curse" (21:23)
Hebrews 10:30 states that "The Lord will vindicate his people" (32:36).
Hebrews 12:21 speaks of the being terrified of the Lord's anger and wrath (9:19).
Hebrews 12:29 records that God is a consuming fire (4:24).
Hebrews 13:5 states that the Lord will never leave you or forsake you (31:6, 8).