Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is called the shema, embedded in it are the content, the teacher and the goal of Biblical education. Much more than the religion, the Shema reveals the importance of education and the need to pass it to coming generations.

The Content

The educational contents in Deut 6:4-9 are the commandments, decrees, and laws of God which Moses was directed to teach. The content of God’s revelation was to be taught or impressed upon students or children to be talked about at various times. To love God with all their hearts, with all their soul and with all their strength; the commandment must be upon their hearts. The educational settings in this passage  include all those situations in which parents can impress upon their children the commandments of God such as when walking along the road, when lying down, and when getting up

The Process

Educational process is the presentation of content, including the questions asked, the methods  employed  to present the commandments, the decree, in shema such that  the students become self-reliant and productive persons in the society as they reflect deeper love for God, His people and the environment they live in and they show better commitment  to God. On this, Terry J work as cited by Eldridge (8) noted that “not only were the people of God to have the words of Jehovah God firmly in their hearts, but also they were to bind them upon their hands, place them upon the front­­­­­­­­­­­­als of their heads, and put them on the doors and gates of their homes” (Deut 6: 4-9).

The Teacher

First, God gave Moses the instruction to teach the Shema to all the Israelites. Biblically, God himself is the teacher in the ultimate sense. He is the author and the discloser of all truth. Both the teacher and the students stand under this truth; teachers are responsible as stewards and proclaimer of God’s truth. However, from the content of the instruction and what the history of Hebrew education indicated, the parents are also teachers, apart from being a prophet, Moses was a parent too. They were to impress the decree, law on their children. While stressing this parental role, Eldridge (1995, 7) quoting Josephus said further “Our principal care of all is this, to educate our children well and we think it to be the most necessary business of our whole life.”

The Goal of Education

The educational mandate of Deut. 6:4-9 is to pass the commandment of God to the next generation. Its ultimate goal is to foster the love of God expressed in loyalty and obedience.  To love God implies answering to the unique claim, ‘God is one’ (6:4), to be obedient, to keep God’s commandments, to heed them, hear God’s voice and to serve(10:12, 11:1).