Genesis through Deuteronomy are the foundation of the Bible. They introduce the key promises that show God’s purposes in history and prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ.
Idols represent gods that don’t actually exist, but the demons behind idol worship are real (32:17).
Walk this way! The Bible often describes godly living as “walking” with the Lord (30:16; Ps. 23:4; Eph. 4:1).
Brimstone most likely refers to sulfur. It is a bright yellow, highly combustible mineral that puts out a terrible odor when it burns. Brimstone is abundant in the area around the Dead Sea. During earthquakes hot gases are released from inside the earth, which can cause the brimstone deposits to burst into flame (29:23).
At more than 3,000 feet (914 m) high, Mount Ebal is one of the highest points in Samaria.
Shoes and sandals were considered the most humble articles of clothing. They were removed at the doorway before entering a home. People also removed their shoes during periods of mourning. Going barefoot was a sign of poverty and shame (25:9–10).
What was an upper millstone? Israelite women ground their grain in mills made of two circular stones. The grain was placed on the flat lower stone and then crushed as the upper millstone rolled over it. To deprive the miller of either stone would make her work impossible (24:6).
Why did the Israelites sew tassels on their garments? In the ancient world, tassels were worn by nobles and other high-class people. In Israel they were worn by everyone as a mark of their special status and responsibilities as God’s chosen people (22:12; Num. 15:37–41).
Inheritance rights. In Israel, the firstborn son received a double share of the inheritance. The firstborn also had more responsibility for the family than other children. The law protected the special rights of the firstborn (21:15–17).
Sheep are mentioned more than any other animal in the Bible. Sheep are dependent on shepherds to protect and care for them.