The last Book of the Pentateuch. It contains Moses' final utterances, consisting essentially of seven mainly legislative and hortatory addresses (including the Ten Commandments); it ends with an account of his death.
The distinctive style and diction of Deut. mark it off from the other Pentateuchal Books. According to the traditional view it was written by Moses, but most modern critics assign it in its present form to a much later date, mostly to the 7th cent. bc. They emphasize, however, that it shows evidence of a lengthy literary history.