2 Kings 22:8, Where did the book of Deuteronomy come from?
Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the LORD.”
//The name Deuteronomy comes from combining two Greek words: deutero, which means “second,” and nomas, meaning “law.” Deuteronomy means “second coming of the law,” and therein lies today’s story.
In 621 B.C., king Josiah of the kingdom of Judah ordered a reconstruction of the Temple, and as they began its repair, a startling discovery was made. They found a book claiming to have been written by Moses, some 600 years earlier. The workmen gave the book to the high priest, who handed it off to the secretary, who then brought the book to King Josiah and read it aloud. Josiah, much troubled by what he heard, rent his clothes. Judah had forgotten the instructions of God, and this holy book was not being obeyed.
A prophetess named Huldah was consulted, and she solemnly declared that unless the commands within the mysterious book were followed, God’s punishment would be severe. Josiah immediately set about making things right, not only in his own kingdom but in the Northern Kingdom as well, where he led a religious rampage destroying rival shrines to Yahweh.
So, there you have the official story. Most scholars are unconvinced, cynically guessing that this enthusiastic reform was carefully engineered by a person or group of persons who penned, planted, and then “discovered” a mysterious book in the Temple. Scholars call this group the “Deuteronomic writers.”