The Command to Leave Horeb
1:1 These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel in the desert east of the Jordan—that is, in the Arabah—opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab. 2 (It takes eleven days to go from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea by the Mount Seir road.)
3 In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the LORD had commanded him concerning them. 4 This was after he had defeated Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, and at Edrei had defeated Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth. 5 East of the Jordan in the territory of Moab, Moses began to expound this law, saying:
6 The LORD our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7 Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites; go to all the neighboring peoples in the Arabah, in the mountains, in the western foothills, in the Negev and along the coast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the Euphrates. 8 See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.”
The Appointment of Leaders
9 At that time I said to you, “You are too heavy a burden for me to carry alone. 10 The LORD your God has increased your numbers so that today you are as many as the stars in the sky. 11 May the LORD, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised! 12 But how can I bear your problems and your burdens and your disputes all by myself? 13 Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.”
14 You answered me, “What you propose to do is good.”
15 So I took the leading men of your tribes, wise and respected men, and appointed them to have authority over you—as commanders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens and as tribal officials. 16 And I charged your judges at that time: Hear the disputes between your brothers and judge fairly, whether the case is between brother Israelites or between one of them and an alien. 17 Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of any man, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it. 18 And at that time I told you everything you were to do.
Spies Sent Out
19 Then, as the LORD our God commanded us, we set out from Horeb and went toward the hill country of the Amorites through all that vast and dreadful desert that you have seen, and so we reached Kadesh Barnea. 20 Then I said to you, “You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the LORD our God is giving us. 21 See, the LORD your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the LORD, the God of your fathers, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
22 Then all of you came to me and said, “Let us send men ahead to spy out the land for us and bring back a report about the route we are to take and the towns we will come to.”
23 The idea seemed good to me; so I selected twelve of you, one man from each tribe. 24 They left and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshcol and explored it. 25 Taking with them some of the fruit of the land, they brought it down to us and reported, “It is a good land that the LORD our God is giving us.”
Rebellion Against the Lord
26 But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God. 27 You grumbled in your tents and said, “The LORD hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. 28 Where can we go? Our brothers have made us lose heart. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.’”
29 Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. 30 The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, 31 and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”
32 In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God, 33 who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.
34 When the LORD heard what you said, he was angry and solemnly swore: 35 “Not a man of this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your forefathers, 36 except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the LORD wholeheartedly.”
37 Because of you the LORD became angry with me also and said, “You shall not enter it, either. 38 But your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will enter it. Encourage him, because he will lead Israel to inherit it. 39 And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad—they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it. 40 But as for you, turn around and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea.”
41 Then you replied, “We have sinned against the LORD. We will go up and fight, as the LORD our God commanded us.” So every one of you put on his weapons, thinking it easy to go up into the hill country.
42 But the LORD said to me, “Tell them, ‘Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.’”
43 So I told you, but you would not listen. You rebelled against the LORD’s command and in your arrogance you marched up into the hill country. 44 The Amorites who lived in those hills came out against you; they chased you like a swarm of bees and beat you down from Seir all the way to Hormah. 45 You came back and wept before the LORD, but he paid no attention to your weeping and turned a deaf ear to you. 46 And so you stayed in Kadesh many days—all the time you spent there.
Wanderings in the Desert
2:1 Then we turned back and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea, as the LORD had directed me. For a long time we made our way around the hill country of Seir.
2 Then the LORD said to me, 3 “You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north. 4 Give the people these orders: ‘You are about to pass through the territory of your brothers the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. They will be afraid of you, but be very careful. 5 Do not provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land, not even enough to put your foot on. I have given Esau the hill country of Seir as his own. 6 You are to pay them in silver for the food you eat and the water you drink.’”
7 The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.
8 So we went on past our brothers the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. We turned from the Arabah road, which comes up from Elath and Ezion Geber, and traveled along the desert road of Moab.
9 Then the LORD said to me, “Do not harass the Moabites or provoke them to war, for I will not give you any part of their land. I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot as a possession.”
10 (The Emites used to live there—a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites. 11 Like the Anakites, they too were considered Rephaites, but the Moabites called them Emites. 12 Horites used to live in Seir, but the descendants of Esau drove them out. They destroyed the Horites from before them and settled in their place, just as Israel did in the land the LORD gave them as their possession.)
13 And the LORD said, “Now get up and cross the Zered Valley.” So we crossed the valley.
14 Thirty-eight years passed from the time we left Kadesh Barnea until we crossed the Zered Valley. By then, that entire generation of fighting men had perished from the camp, as the LORD had sworn to them. 15 The LORD’s hand was against them until he had completely eliminated them from the camp.
16 Now when the last of these fighting men among the people had died, 17 the LORD said to me, 18 “Today you are to pass by the region of Moab at Ar. 19 When you come to the Ammonites, do not harass them or provoke them to war, for I will not give you possession of any land belonging to the Ammonites. I have given it as a possession to the descendants of Lot.”
20 (That too was considered a land of the Rephaites, who used to live there; but the Ammonites called them Zamzummites. 21 They were a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites. The LORD destroyed them from before the Ammonites, who drove them out and settled in their place. 22 The LORD had done the same for the descendants of Esau, who lived in Seir, when he destroyed the Horites from before them. They drove them out and have lived in their place to this day. 23 And as for the Avvites who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorites coming out from Caphtor destroyed them and settled in their place.)
Defeat of Sihon King of Heshbon
24 “Set out now and cross the Arnon Gorge. See, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his country. Begin to take possession of it and engage him in battle. 25 This very day I will begin to put the terror and fear of you on all the nations under heaven. They will hear reports of you and will tremble and be in anguish because of you.”
26 From the desert of Kedemoth I sent messengers to Sihon king of Heshbon offering peace and saying, 27 “Let us pass through your country. We will stay on the main road; we will not turn aside to the right or to the left. 28 Sell us food to eat and water to drink for their price in silver. Only let us pass through on foot—29 as the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir, and the Moabites, who live in Ar, did for us—until we cross the Jordan into the land the LORD our God is giving us.” 30 But Sihon king of Heshbon refused to let us pass through. For the LORD your God had made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate in order to give him into your hands, as he has now done.
31 The LORD said to me, “See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his country over to you. Now begin to conquer and possess his land.”
32 When Sihon and all his army came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz, 33 the LORD our God delivered him over to us and we struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army. 34 At that time we took all his towns and completely destroyed them—men, women and children. We left no survivors. 35 But the livestock and the plunder from the towns we had captured we carried off for ourselves. 36 From Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge, and from the town in the gorge, even as far as Gilead, not one town was too strong for us. The LORD our God gave us all of them. 37 But in accordance with the command of the LORD our God, you did not encroach on any of the land of the Ammonites, neither the land along the course of the Jabbok nor that around the towns in the hills.
Defeat of Og King of Bashan
3:1 Next we turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan with his whole army marched out to meet us in battle at Edrei. 2 The LORD said to me, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have handed him over to you with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.”
3 So the LORD our God also gave into our hands Og king of Bashan and all his army. We struck them down, leaving no survivors. 4 At that time we took all his cities. There was not one of the sixty cities that we did not take from them—the whole region of Argob, Og’s kingdom in Bashan. 5 All these cities were fortified with high walls and with gates and bars, and there were also a great many unwalled villages. 6 We completely destroyed them, as we had done with Sihon king of Heshbon, destroying every city—men, women and children. 7 But all the livestock and the plunder from their cities we carried off for ourselves.
8 So at that time we took from these two kings of the Amorites the territory east of the Jordan, from the Arnon Gorge as far as Mount Hermon. 9 (Hermon is called Sirion by the Sidonians; the Amorites call it Senir.) 10 We took all the towns on the plateau, and all Gilead, and all Bashan as far as Salecah and Edrei, towns of Og’s kingdom in Bashan. 11 (Only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaites. His bed was made of iron and was more than thirteen feet long and six feet wide. It is still in Rabbah of the Ammonites.)
Division of the Land
12 Of the land that we took over at that time, I gave the Reubenites and the Gadites the territory north of Aroer by the Arnon Gorge, including half the hill country of Gilead, together with its towns. 13 The rest of Gilead and also all of Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half tribe of Manasseh. (The whole region of Argob in Bashan used to be known as a land of the Rephaites. 14 Jair, a descendant of Manasseh, took the whole region of Argob as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites; it was named after him, so that to this day Bashan is called Havvoth Jair.) 15 And I gave Gilead to Makir. 16 But to the Reubenites and the Gadites I gave the territory extending from Gilead down to the Arnon Gorge (the middle of the gorge being the border) and out to the Jabbok River, which is the border of the Ammonites. 17 Its western border was the Jordan in the Arabah, from Kinnereth to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea), below the slopes of Pisgah.
18 I commanded you at that time: “The LORD your God has given you this land to take possession of it. But all your able-bodied men, armed for battle, must cross over ahead of your brother Israelites. 19 However, your wives, your children and your livestock (I know you have much livestock) may stay in the towns I have given you, 20 until the LORD gives rest to your brothers as he has to you, and they too have taken over the land that the LORD your God is giving them, across the Jordan. After that, each of you may go back to the possession I have given you.”
Moses Forbidden to Cross the Jordan
21 At that time I commanded Joshua: “You have seen with your own eyes all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings. The LORD will do the same to all the kingdoms over there where you are going. 22 Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.”
23 At that time I pleaded with the LORD: 24 “O Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do? 25 Let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan—that fine hill country and Lebanon.”
Moses Presents the Privileges of the Covenant
4:1 “Now, Israel, listen to the statutes and the ordinances that I’m teaching you to observe so you may live and go in to take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, is about to give you. 2 Do not add or subtract a thing to what I’m commanding you. Observe the commands of the LORD your God. 3 You saw with your own eyes what he did in Baal Peor. The LORD your God exterminated from among you every man who followed Baal of Peor. 4 But all of you who are clinging to the LORD your God are alive today. 5 See! I taught you the statutes and the ordinances, just as the LORD God commanded. Therefore, observe them when you enter the land you are about to possess. 6 Observe them carefully, because this will show your wisdom and discernment in the eyes of people who’ll listen to all these decrees. Then they’ll say: ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people.’ 7 For what great nation has a god so near like the LORD our God whenever we call on him? 8 And what great nation has all the decrees and righteous ordinances like all this teaching that I’m giving you today? 9 Only guard yourselves carefully so you won’t forget the things that you saw and let them slip from your mind for the rest of your life. Tell them to your children and to your grandchildren. 10 The day you stood in the presence of the LORD your God in Horeb, the LORD told me, ‘Gather the people before me so they may hear my words, learn to revere me the whole time that they live in the land, and teach them to their children.’”
Moses Warns against Idolatry
11 “When you approached and stood at the foot of the mountain—a mountain that was blazing with fire at its core while the sky was covered with thick, dark clouds— 12 the LORD your God spoke from the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but you saw no form; there was only a voice. 13 He declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to observe—the Ten Commandments that he wrote on two stone tablets. 14 The LORD commanded me at that time to teach you to observe the statutes and ordinances in the land after you cross over to take possession of it.
15 “Therefore, for your own sake, be very careful, since you did not see any form on the day that the LORD your God spoke to you in Horeb from the midst of the fire. 16 Be careful! Otherwise, you will be destroyed when you make carved images for yourself—all sorts of images in the form of man, woman, 17 any animal on earth, any winged bird that flies in the sky, 18 any creeping thing on the ground, or any fish in the sea. 19 Do not gaze toward the heavens and observe the sun, the moon, the stars—the entire array of the sky—with the intent to worship and serve what the LORD your God gave every nation. 20 For the LORD took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace—out of Egypt—to be the people of his inheritance, as you are today.
21 “But the LORD was angry with me because of you. So he swore that I’ll never cross the Jordan River to enter the good land that the LORD your God is about to give you as an inheritance. 22 I’m going to die in this land and I won’t cross the Jordan River, but you’re about to cross over to possess that good land. 23 Be careful! Otherwise, you will forget the covenant of the LORD your God, who established that covenant with you. Don’t make carved images of any likeness in violation of everything that you were commanded by the LORD your God. 24 Indeed, the LORD your God is a consuming fire. He is a jealous God.”
Warnings against Angering God
25 “After you’ve borne children and grandchildren, have been there for a long time in the land, have become so corrupted that you make images of any form, and have done evil in the eyes of the LORD your God, you will provoke him to anger. 26 Heaven and earth will testify against what has occurred today: you’ll surely and swiftly be destroyed from the land that you are about to possess by crossing the Jordan River. You won’t live long in it, because you’ll certainly be exterminated. 27 Moreover, the LORD will scatter you among the nations, and you’ll be fewer in number in the nations where the LORD your God will drive you. 28 There you’ll serve gods made by human hands, serving trees and stones that cannot see, hear, eat, nor smell. 29 If from there you will seek the LORD your God, then you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and soul. 30 In your distress, when all these things happen to you in days to come and you return to the LORD your God, then you will hear his voice. 31 For God is compassionate. The LORD your God won’t fail you. He won’t destroy you or forget the covenant that he confirmed with your ancestors.”
Who is Like the LORD?
32 “Indeed, ask from one end of the heavens to the other about days of old, before your time, when God created mankind on the earth. Did we ever have anything as great as this, or ever hear of anything like it? 33 Has any people heard the voice of God speaking from the middle of a fire just as you did, and survived it? 34 Or has any god ever taken for himself one nation out from another nation with testings, signs, wonders, wars, awesome power, and magnificent, terrifying deeds as the LORD your God did in Egypt before your eyes?
35 “You have been shown this in order to know that ‘the LORD is God’ and there is no one like him. 36 You have been made to hear his voice from heaven so you may be instructed. And he showed you his great fire here on earth, and you heard his voice from the middle of that fire. 37 Moreover, he loved your ancestors, chose their descendants after them, and brought you out of Egypt, accompanied by his presence and great power, 38 in order to drive out nations that are stronger and more powerful than you, to bring you into this land, and to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is today.
39 “May you acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in the heavens above and over the earth below—there is no other God. 40 May you observe his statutes and keep his commands that I’m giving you today, so that life may go well for you and for your descendants after you. That way, you’ll live a long life in the land that the LORD your God is about to give you permanently.”
Cities of Refuge
41 Then Moses designated three cities on the east side of the Jordan, 42 where a person who accidentally killed someone could flee, if he killed his neighbor without having enmity toward him in the past. He may flee to one of these cities and live: 43 Bezer in the desert plain for the descendants of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead for the descendants of Gad, and Golan in Bashan for the descendants of Manasseh.
Moses Reviews the Law
44 This is the Law that Moses reviewed in the presence of the Israelis. 45 These are the instructions, decrees, and ordinances that Moses declared to the Israelis when they came out of Egypt. 46 He did this east of the Jordan, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, in the land of Sihon, king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and whom Moses and the Israelis defeated after leaving Egypt. 47 So they took possession of his land, as well as the land of King Og of Bashan. Both Amorite kings lived east of the Jordan— 48 from Aroer on the edge of the Wadi Arnon as far as Mount Sirion, which is also called Hermon, 49 and all the Arabah east of the Jordan as far as the Dead Sea below the slopes of Pisgah.
The Ten Commandments
5:1 Moses called all of Israel together and told them: “Listen, Israel! Today I’m going to announce God’s laws and regulations so that you will learn them and take care to obey them. 2 When the LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb, 3 it was not with our ancestors that the LORD made this covenant, but with us—we who are here today—all of us who are now living. 4 The LORD spoke to you face to face on the mountain from the fire. 5 I stood at that time as mediator between the LORD and you to declare his message to you, because you were afraid of the fire and would not go up the mountain. He said:
6 “‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt—from the house of slavery.
7 “‘You are to have no other gods besides me 8 “You are not to make for yourselves a carved image resembling any form in the heavens above, on earth below, or in the waters under the earth. 9 You are not to bow down to them in worship or serve them, because I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the iniquity of their parents to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, 10 but showing gracious love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
11 “‘You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, because the LORD will not leave the one who misues his name unpunished.
12 “‘You are to keep the Sabbath day holy, just as the LORD your God commanded. 13 Six days you are to labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath for the LORD your God. You are not to do any work—neither you, your children, your male and female servants, your oxen and donkeys, nor any of your livestock—as well as any of the foreigners who live among you, so that your male and female servants may rest as you do. 15 You are to remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, but the LORD your God brought you out from there with great power and a show of force.Therefore, the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
16 “‘You are to honor your father and your mother, just as the LORD your God commanded you, so that your life will be long and things will go well for you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
17 “‘You are not to murder.
18 “‘You are not to commit adultery.
19 “‘You are not to steal.
20 “‘You are not to testify falsely against your neighbor.
21 “‘You are not to desire your neighbor’s wife nor covet your neighbor’s house, his fields, his male and female servants, his ox, his donkey, nor anything that concerns your neighbor.’”
Moses Recalls God’s Warnings
22 “The LORD declared these commands in a loud voice to your entire assembly on the mountain from out of the fire and dark clouds, and nothing more was added. He inscribed them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me. 23 When you heard the voice from the darkness while the mountain was blazing, all the leaders and elders of your tribes came to me and said: 24 ‘The LORD our God truly has displayed his glory and power, for we heard him from out of the fire today. We have witnessed how God spoke to human beings, yet they lived. 25 Now therefore, why should we die? This great fire will consume us. If we continue to listen to the voice of the LORD our God any longer, we’ll die. 26 For what mortal man has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the fire like we did, and lived? 27 As for you, go near and listen to everything that the LORD our God will say to you, then repeat it to us, and we’ll listen and obey.’
28 “The LORD heard what you said. He told me: ‘I’ve heard what this people said. Everything they said was good. 29 If only they would commit to fear me and keep all my commands, then it will go well with them and their children forever. 30 Go and tell them to return to their tents, 31 but you stand here with me and I’ll speak to you all the commands, decrees, and laws that you must teach them to observe in the land that I’m giving you to possess. 32 You must be careful to do what the LORD your God commanded you, turning neither to the left nor to the right. 33 You are to walk in every pathway that the LORD your God commanded you, so that life may go well for you, and so that you will prolong your days in the land that you will possess.’”
The Covenant of Love
6:1 “Now these are the commands, decrees, and ordinances that the LORD commanded me to teach you. Obey them in the land you are entering to possess, 2 so that you, your children, and your grandchildren may fear the LORD your God. Keep all his decrees and commandments that I’m giving you every day of your life, so you may live a long time. 3 Listen, Israel! Be careful to obey, so that life may go well for you and that you may increase greatly. Just as the LORD God of your ancestors told you, you’ll have a land flowing with milk and honey.
4 “Listen, Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. 5 You are to love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 Let these words that I’m commanding you today be always on your heart. 7 Teach them repeatedly to your children. Talk about them while sitting in your house or walking on the road, and as you lie down or get up. 8 Tie them as reminders on your forearm, bind them on your forehead, 9 and write them on the door frames of your house and on your gates.”
Serve the LORD Only
10 “When the LORD your God brings you to the land that he promised to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he will give you large and beautiful cities that you didn’t build, 11 houses filled with every good thing that you didn’t supply, wells that you didn’t dig, and vineyards and olive groves that you didn’t plant. When you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful not to forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and slavery. 13 Fear the LORD your God, serve him, and make your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, from the gods of the peoples around you. 15 For the LORD your God who is among you is a jealous God. He will turn his anger against you and destroy you from the surface of the land.”
Do What is Right
16 “Don’t test the LORD your God like you did in Massah. 17 Be sure to observe the commands of the LORD your God, his testimonies and his decrees that he gave you. 18 Do what is good and right in the LORD’s sight so it may go well with you. Then you’ll enter and possess the good land that the LORD your God promised to your ancestors, 19 expelling all your enemies before you, as the LORD said.”
Remember what the LORD has Done
20 “When your son asks you in the future, ‘What is the meaning of the instructions, decrees, and ordinances that the LORD our God commanded you?’ 21 tell him, ‘We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with great power. 22 Before our very eyes, the LORD did great and terrible signs and wonders in Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to his entire household. 23 But as for us, he brought us out from there to bring us into the land and give it to us, as he promised our ancestors. 24 Then the LORD commanded us to observe all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God for our own good, so that he may keep us alive as we are today. 25 It will be credited as righteousness for us, if we’re careful to obey the entire Law in the presence of the LORD our God, as he commanded.’”
Instructions Regarding the Tribal Nations
7:1 “When the LORD your God brings you into the land that you are entering to possess, he will drive out many nations before you: the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, seven nations who are more numerous and stronger than you. 2 So when the LORD your God delivers them to you and you have defeated them, then utterly destroy them. You are not to make any covenant with them nor be gracious to them. 3 You are not to intermarry with them. You are not to give your daughters to their sons nor take their daughters for your sons, 4 because they will turn your children from me to serve other gods so that the LORD’s anger blazes against you and swiftly destroys you by fire. 5 This is what you are to do to them: tear down their altars, break their pillars, cut down their ritual pillars, and burn their carved idols in fire, 6 because you are a holy people to the LORD your God. The LORD your God chose you to be his people, his treasured possession from all the peoples on the face of the earth.”
The LORD Keeps His Covenant
7 “It wasn’t because you were more numerous than other people of the earth that the LORD committed himself to you and chose you. In fact, you were the least numerous of all the peoples. 8 But the LORD loved you and kept his oath that he made to your ancestors. The LORD brought you out with great power from slavery, from the control of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. 9 Know that the LORD your God is God, the trusted God who faithfully keeps his covenant to the thousandth generation of those who love him and obey his commands. 10 But for the one who hates him, he will repay him by destroying him. He will not delay dealing with someone who hates him. 11 Therefore keep the commands, decrees, and the ordinances that I am instructing you to obey today.”
The LORD Blesses Obedience
12 “If you pay attention to these laws and obey them, then the LORD your God will continue his covenant of gracious love with you that he promised with an oath to your ancestors. 13 He’ll love you and increase your numbers. He’ll bless the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your land (the grain, new wine, and oil), the offspring of your herds, and the lambs of your flock, in the land that the LORD promised your ancestors he would give you. 14 You’ll be blessed among all the nations. There’ll be no infertility among you, not even among your herds. 15 The LORD will turn aside every disease from you. He won’t inflict on you the terrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but will inflict them instead on all who hate you. 16 You are to utterly destroy everyone whom the LORD your God will deliver to you. Don’t have pity on them nor serve their gods. Otherwise, they will become a snare for you.”
The LORD will Fight for You
17 “You may say to yourselves, ‘These nations are more numerous than we are. How can we dispossess them?’ 18 But you mustn’t fear them. Be sure to remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and all of Egypt. 19 Your eyes saw the great trials, the signs and wonders, and the awesome power with whichThe LORD your God will do the same to all the people whom you fear. 20 He’ll send plagues against them until the survivors who hide from you have perished. 21 Don’t tremble before them, because the LORD your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. 22 He slowly will dislodge these nations before you, but he won’t destroy them quickly, so the wild animals won’t multiply around you. 23 But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion, until they are destroyed. 24 He will deliver kings into your control, and you are to wipe out the memory of them from under heaven. No one will be able to stand before you. You are to utterly destroy them. 25 Burn the images of their gods in the fire. Desire neither the silver nor the gold that adorns them, nor take them for yourselves, so you won’t be ensnared by them, because the gold and silver is detestable to the LORD your God. 26 Don’t bring any detestable thing to your house, because you yourself will be utterly destroyed along with these detestable things. You must absolutely abhor and detest all of it, because it has been devoted to destruction.”
Remember the LORD’s Provisions
8:1 “Be careful to observe every command that I’m instructing you today, in order that you may live, increase, and enter and take possession of the land that the LORD promised by an oath to your ancestors. 2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way these 40 years in the desert, to humble and test you in order to make known what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to be hungry, yet he fed you with manna that neither you nor your ancestors had known, in order to teach you that human beings are not to live by food alone—instead human beings are to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.
4 “The clothes you wore did not wear out, nor did your feet blister during these 40 years. 5 Be convinced in your heart that as a father disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you. 6 Observe the commands of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him, 7 because the LORD your God is bringing you to a good land—a land with rivers and deep springs flowing to the valleys and hills. 8 It’s a land filled with wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, and pomegranates. It’s a land filled with olive oil and honey— 9 a land without scarcity. You’ll eat food in it and lack nothing. It’s a land where its rocks are iron and you can dig copper from its mountains.”
Remember the Source of Blessings
10 “When you have eaten and are satisfied, bless the LORD your God for the good land that he has given you. 11 Be careful! Otherwise, you will forget the LORD your God by failing to keep his commands, ordinances, and statutes that I’m commanding you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you have built beautiful houses and lived in them, 13 when your cattle and oxen multiply, when your silver and gold increase, 14 then you will become arrogant. You’ll neglect the LORD your God, 15 who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery, and who led you through the vast and dangerous desert, that parched land without water, with its poisonous snakes and scorpions. He brought water out of solid rock for you, 16 and fed you in the desert with manna that neither you nor your ancestors had known, to humble and test you so that things go well with you later. 17 You may say to yourselves, ‘I have become wealthy by my own strength and by my own ability.’ 18 But remember the LORD your God, because he is the one who gives you the ability to produce wealth, in order to confirm his covenant that he promised by an oath to your ancestors, as is the case today. 19 If you neglect the LORD your God, follow other gods, and serve and worship them, I testify to you today that you will certainly be destroyed. 20 Just like the nations whom the LORD destroyed before you, so will you be destroyed, because you did not listen to the voice of the LORD your God.”
When the LORD Fulfills His Promise
9:1 “Listen, Israel! Today you are about to cross the Jordan to enter and dispossess greater and mightier nations than you, who live in large cities that are fortified to the sky. 2 The Anakim are strong and tall, and you know them. You’ve heard it said, ‘Who can stand up against the Anakim?’ 3 But know today that the LORD your God is going ahead of you as a consuming fire. He will destroy and subdue them before you. He will dispossess and destroy them quickly, just as the LORD told you. 4 After the LORD has expelled them before you, you are not to say to yourselves, ‘The LORD caused me to enter and possess this land because of my righteousness.’ 5 On the contrary, it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is dispossessing them before you to confirm what the LORD promised by an oath to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 6 Know that it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving to you this good land to inherit, for you are a stubborn people.”
Israel Broke the Covenant
7 “Remember—and don’t ever forget—how you provoked the LORD your God in the desert. From the day that you came out of the land of Egypt until you came to this place you have been rebelling against the LORD. 8 At Horeb you continually rebelled against the LORD, so that he was angry enough to destroy you. 9 Then I went up to the mountain to receive the two stone Tablets of the Covenant that the LORD had established with you. I stayed on the mountain for 40 days and nights without eating food or drinking water. 10 Then the LORD gave me the two stone tablets on which God inscribed with his own finger all the words that the LORD spoke to you on the mountain from the middle of the fire that day when you were all assembled together. 11 At the end of 40 days and nights, the LORD gave to me the two stone Tablets of the Covenant.
12 “Then the LORD told me, ‘Get going! Go down from here at once! Your people whom you brought out of Egypt have become corrupt. They have turned quickly from the way that I commanded them, and have cast an idol for their use.’
13 “Then the LORD told me, ‘I have examined this people, and they are stubborn indeed. 14 Let me alone! I will destroy them and blot out their name under heaven. Then I’ll make you into a nation that will be mighty and more numerous than they are.’
15 “So I turned and went down from the mountain while the mountain was on fire. The two Tablets of the Covenant were in both of my hands. 16 Then I saw how you had really sinned against the LORD your God! You had made for yourselves a calf, a cast idol. You had turned aside quickly from the way that the LORD your God had commanded. 17 So I grabbed the two tablets and then threw them out of my hands, breaking them before your eyes. 18 I fell down in the LORD’s presence, just as I had the first 40 days and nights. I did not eat food or drink water because of your sin. You had sinned by committing this evil in the sight of the LORD, thereby provoking him to anger. 19 I feared the anger and wrath of the LORD against you, because he was irate enough to destroy you. But the LORD also listened to me at that time. 20 It was as had been the case with Aaron, the LORD was very angry and about to destroy him, but I prayed for Aaron at that time. 21 Now, when you made the calf that made you sin, I grabbed it, burned it with fire, crushed it, and ground it thoroughly until it was pulverized to powder. Then I threw the powder into the river that was flowing from the mountain.”
Moses Interceded for Israel
21 “You provoked the LORD again at Taberah, Massah, and Kibroth-hattaavah. 23 When the LORD sent you from Kadesh-barnea and told you, ‘Go possess the land that I gave you,’ instead you disobeyed what the LORD your God said. You didn’t trust him or listen to his voice. 24 You have been rebelling against the LORD since the day I knew you. 26 I fell down in the LORD’s presence for 40 days and nights, because the LORD said he was ready to destroy you. 26 So I prayed to the LORD and said, ‘Oh LORD my God, don’t destroy your people and your inheritance whom you redeemed by your power. You brought them out from Egypt in a powerful way. 27 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Don’t pay attention to the stubbornness, wickedness, and sinfulness of this people. 28 Otherwise, the people of the land from which you brought us will say, “The LORD wasn’t able to bring them out of the land that he had promised them. So he brought them out to kill them in the desert because he hated them.” 29 But they are your people and inheritance, whom you brought out by your mighty strength and awesome power.’”
A Copy of the Ten Commandments Tablets Like the First Ones
10:1 “At that time, the LORD told me, ‘Chisel two tablets of stone for yourself just like the first ones, and then come up to me on the mountain. Also make for yourself a wooden chest. 2 I’ll write on the tablets what was on the first tablets that you broke. Then place them in the wooden chest.’ 3 So I made a chest out of acacia wood and chiseled two tablets of stones just like the first ones. Then I went up the mountain with the two tablets in my hands. 4 Then the LORD inscribed on the tablets what he wrote before, that is, the Ten Commandments that the LORD declared to you on the mountain from the middle of the fire during the day of the assembly. And the LORD gave them to me. 5 Then I turned, went down the mountain, and placed the tablets in the chest that I had made. They are there now, just as the LORD commanded me.”
Aaron Dies and the Descendants of Levi are Appointed
6 “The Israelis traveled from the wells of the descendants of Jaakan to Moserah. Aaron died, and he was buried there. His son Eleazar succeeded him as priest. 7 From there they moved on to Gudgodah and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land with flowing streams. 8 At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD, to stand in the LORD’s presence, to serve, and to bless his name until this day. 9 That is why the descendants of Levi do not have a portion and an inheritance among their relatives. As for the LORD, he is their inheritance, just as the LORD your God told them. 10 When I stood on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights as I did the first time, the LORD listened to me once again. The LORD was not willing to destroy you. 11 So the LORD told me, ‘Get up and proceed to lead the people, so they may enter and take possession of the land that I promised to give their ancestors by an oath.’”
Love the LORD
12 “Now Israel, what does the LORD your God desire from you? Only this: fear him, walk in all his ways, love him, serve him with all your heart and in all your life, 13 and observe his commands and statutes that I’m commanding you today for your own good. 14 You see, heaven—even the highest heavens—belongs to the LORD, along with the earth and all that is in it, 15 yet the LORD committed himself to love your ancestors—and did so! He chose you—their descendants after them—from all the nations, as it is today. 16 Therefore, circumcise your heart and stop being stubborn. 17 For the LORD your God is the God of all gods, the LORD of all lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who does not show favoritism or take bribes. 18 He executes justice for the orphan and the widows, loves the foreigner, and gives them food and clothing.”
19 “You are to love the foreigner, because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. 20 You are to fear the LORD your God and serve him. Cling to him and swear by his name. 21 He is the one you are to praise, because he is, your God who carried out those great and awesome things for you that you witnessed. 22 Your ancestors went down to Egypt with 70 people, but the LORD your God has now made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.”
Remember God’s Power – Love and Obey the Lord
11:1 “Therefore love the LORD your God and be very careful to keep his injunctions, statutes, ordinances, and commands all the time. 2 Keep in mind today that I am not speaking to your children, who neither were aware of nor did they witness the discipline of the LORD your God, that is, his great and far-reaching power, 3 including: the signs and works that he did within Egypt to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and to all his land; 4 what he did to the Egyptian army, its horses and chariots, when he caused the waters of the Reed Sea to engulf them as they pursued you; how the LORD destroyed them, even to this day; 5 what he did for you in the desert until you came to this place; 6 and what he did to Eliab’s sons Dathan and Abiram, descendants of Reuben, when the ground opened up and swallowed them, their households, their tents, and every living thing belonging to them in the full sight of Israel. 7 Your very own eyes saw all the great things that the LORD did.”
Possessing a Fertile Land
8 “Keep all the commands that I’m giving you today, so you can be strong enough to enter and possess the land that you are crossing over to inherit 10 and so you’ll live long in the land that the LORD your God promised by an oath to give your ancestors and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 For the land that you are about to enter to inherit isn’t like the land of Egypt that you just left, where you plant a seed and irrigate it with your feet like a vegetable garden. 11 Instead, the land that you are crossing over to inherit is a land of hills and valleys that drinks water supplied by rain from heaven, 12 a land about which the LORD your God is always concerned, because the eyes of the LORD are continuously on it throughout the entire year.”
Delights of a Bountiful Land
13 “If you carefully observe the commands that I’m giving you today, to love the LORD your God and serve him with all your heart and soul, 14 then he will send rain on the land in its season—the early and latter rains —then you’ll gather grain, new wine, and oil. 15 He will provide grass on the fields for your livestock, and you’ll eat and be satisfied. 16 Be careful! Otherwise, your hearts will deceive you and you will turn away to serve other gods and worship them. 17 The wrath of God will burn against you so that he will restrain the heavens and it won’t rain. The ground won’t yield its produce and you’ll be swiftly destroyed from the good land that the LORD is about to give you. 18 Take these commands to heart and keep them in mind, tying them as reminders on your arm and as bands on your forehead. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them while sitting in your house, walking on the road, or when you are about to lie down or get up. 20 Also write them upon the doorposts of your house and gates 21 so that you and your children may live long on the land that the LORD promised to give your ancestors—as long as the sky remains above the earth.”
Boundaries of the Land
22 “If you carefully observe all of these commands that I’m giving you to do—to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cling to him, 23 then the LORD will dispossess all these nations before you and you’ll dispossess nations that are even greater and stronger than you. 24 Every place upon which the soles of your feet tread will be yours as boundaries—from the desert to Lebanon and from the River (that is, from the Euphrates) to the Mediterranean Sea. 25 No one will be able to stand against you. The LORD your God will instill terror and fear of you throughout the entire land wherever you go, just as he promised you. 26 Look! I’m about to grant you a blessing and a curse— 27 a blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I’m giving you today, 28 or a curse if you don’t obey the commands of the LORD your God, by turning from the way that I’m commanding you today and following other gods whom you have not known.”
Declaration of the Blessings and Curses
29 “When the LORD brings you to the land that you are about to enter to inherit, repeat the blessings on Mount Gerizim and the curses on Mount Ebal. 30 They’re across the Jordan River to the west, aren’t they, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah opposite Gilgal near the Oak of Moreh? 31 For you are about to cross the Jordan River to go in and possess the land that the LORD your God is about to give you to inherit and live in. 32 Be careful to obey all the statutes and ordinances that I’m placing before you today.”
The One Place of Worship – Destroying Altars to False Gods
12:1 “These are the statutes and ordinances that you must carefully observe in the land that the LORD God of your ancestors has given you to possess every day that you live on the earth. 2 Be sure you destroy there all the places where the nations that you’re going to dispossess serve their gods—upon the high mountains and hills and under every leafy tree. 3 Tear down their altars, cut down their sacred poles, and burn them. Cut down the carved images of their gods to erase their memory from that place.”
Sacrifice at the Central Sanctuary
4 “You must not act like this with respect to the LORD your God. 5 Instead, you must seek to enter only the place that the LORD your God will choose among your tribes. There he will establish his name and live. 6 Bring your burnt offerings there, along with your sacrifices, your tithes, your hand-carried gifts, your offerings in fulfillment of promises, your freely given offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. 7 Then you and your household will eat in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice with all the works of your hand with which he blessed you.
8 “You must not act as we have been doing here today, where everyone acts as they see fit, 9 for you haven’t arrived yet to your allotted place that the LORD your God is about to give you. 10 But after you have crossed the Jordan River and settled in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and after you have received relief from the enemies around you and are living securely, 11 then bring to the place that the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling place—where he will establish his name—everything that I’m commanding you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, your hand-carried gifts, and all your best offerings in fulfillment of promises that you pledged to the LORD.
12 “Rejoice in the presence of the LORD your God—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the descendant of Levi who is in your city—for there is no territorial allotment for him as you have. 13 Be careful not to offer burnt offerings at any location you happen to see 14 instead of at the place the LORD will choose in one of the tribal areas. There you may offer burnt offerings, and there you may do everything that I’m commanding you.”
Instructions Pertaining to Food
15 “You may slaughter and eat as much meat as you desire, according to the blessing of the LORD your God, when he provides for you in all your cities. Both ritually unqualified and qualified people may eat it as they would gazelle and deer. 16 Only, you must not consume the blood; instead, pour it out on the ground as you would water.
17 “You won’t be allowed to eat your tithe of grain, new wine, oil, the firstborn of your herd and flock, your voluntary offerings that you pledged, your free-will offerings, and the works of your hands in your own cities. 18 You’ll eat only in the presence of the LORD your God at the place that he will choose—you, your sons and your daughters, your male and female servants, and the descendant of Levi who is in your cities. Rejoice in the presence of the LORD your God in everything you undertake. 19 Be careful not to forget the descendant of Levi while you live in the land. 20 When the LORD your God enlarges your territory—just as he told you—and you say ‘I want to eat meat’ since you desire to eat it, you may do so as much as you please.
21 “If the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish his name is distant from you, then you may slaughter from your herd and your flock what the LORD has provided for you, as he instructed you. You may consume them in your cities as much as you please. 22 You may eat them, just as you would gazelle and deer. Ritually unqualified and qualified people may eat them. 23 Only be sure to refrain from eating blood, because blood is the source of life and you must not consume blood with the meat. 24 You must not consume it; instead, pour it on the ground as you would water. 25 You must not eat it, so that life will go well for you and for your children after you. Then you’ll do what is right in the eyes of the LORD.
26 “You may carry and bring only your consecrated gifts and offerings in fulfillment of promises to the place that the LORD will choose. 27 You must offer your burnt offerings, both the meat and the blood, on the altar of the LORD your God. You must offer the blood by pouring it on the altar of the LORD your God while you consume the meat. 28 Be sure to observe all these words that I’m commanding you, in order that life may go well for you and your children after you forever, for this is good and right in the eyes of the LORD your God.”
Don’t Become Ensnared
29 “When the LORD your God eliminates the nations that you are about to dispossess so you can live in their land, 30 after they have been destroyed in your sight, be careful not to be ensnared as they were. Otherwise, you will seek their gods and ask yourselves, ‘How do these nations serve their gods? I will do likewise.’ 31 You must not do the same to the LORD your God, because they practiced in the presence of their gods every sort of abomination that the LORD hates. Moreover, they sacrificed their sons and daughters to their gods. 32 Now as to everything I’m commanding you, you must be careful to observe it. Don’t add to or subtract from it.
Dealing with False Prophets Worshiping Other Gods
13:1 “A prophet or a diviner of dreams may arise among you, give you an omen or a miracle 2 that takes place, and then he may tell you, ‘Let’s follow other gods (whom you have not known) and let’s serve them.’ Even though the sign or portent comes to pass, 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or that diviner of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to make known whether or not you’ll continue to love the LORD your God with all your heart and soul. 4 You must follow the LORD your God, fear him, observe his commandments, listen to his voice, serve him, and cling to him. 5 That prophet or diviner of dreams must be executed, because he advocated rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, and because he lured you from the way in which the LORD your God instructed you to live. Purge the evil from among you.”
Dealing with Idolaters
6 “Your own blood brother, your son, your daughter, your beloved wife, or your friend who is like your soul mate may entice you quietly. He may tell you, ‘Let’s go and serve other gods,’ (whom neither you nor your ancestors have known 7 from the gods of the people that surround you—whether near or far from you—from one end of the earth to the other). 8 You must not yield to him, listen to him, look with pity on him, show compassion to him, or even cover up for him. 9 But you must surely execute him. You must be the first to put him to death with your own hand, and then the hands of the whole community. 10 Stone him to death, because he sought to lure you from the LORD your God who brought you from the land of Egypt, from the land of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear about it, be afraid, and won’t do this evil thing again among you.
12 “You may hear in one of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you to inhabit 13 that worthless men have come from among you to entice those who live in the towns. They may say, ‘Let’s go and serve other gods that you haven’t known.’ 14 You must thoroughly investigate and inquire if it is true that this detestable thing exists among you. If it is so, 15 then put the inhabitants of the town to death by the sword. Devote everything in it to divine destruction—even its livestock—by the sword. 16 Gather whatever you’ve taken as spoils at the public square of the town, then burn the town, along with whatever you’ve taken, as an offering to the LORD your God. It will remain a permanent mound of ruins, never to be rebuilt again. 17 Moreover, you must never take any item from those condemned things, so the LORD may yet relent from his burning anger and extend compassion, have mercy, and cause you to increase in number—as he promised by an oath to your ancestors— 18 if you obey the voice of the LORD your God by observing all his commands that I’m commanding you today. Do what is right in the sight of the LORD your God.”
Refrain from Cutting Yourselves
14:1 “You are children of the LORD your God. You must not lacerate yourselves or shave your foreheads on account of the dead, 2 because you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD chose to make you his precious possession from among all the peoples of the earth.”
Refrain from Unclean Food
3 “You must not eat any detestable food. 4 These are the animals that you may eat: ox, sheep, goat, 5 deer, gazelle, roebuck, wild goat, ibex, antelope, and mountain sheep. 6 You may eat every animal with a divided hoof—those with split cloven hooves—that chews the cud. 7 However, you must not eat these animals that chew the cud or have a divided hoof: the camel, hare, and rock badger. Even though they chew the cud, their hooves are not divided. Therefore they are unclean for you. 8 And also the pig, because even though its hoof is divided, it does not chew the cud. It is therefore unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or even touch their carcasses.
9 “You may choose to eat from these creatures in the water: you may eat anything with fin and scale, 10 but you may not eat anything without fin and scale, since it is unclean to you.
11 “You may eat all clean birds. 12 But you must not eat from any of these: the eagle, vulture, osprey, 13 buzzard, any kind of kite, 14 any kind of raven, 15 the ostrich, night hawk, seagull, any kind of falcon, 16 the little owl, the great owl, the horned owl, 17 the pelican, the carrion vulture, the cormorant, 18 the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat. 19 Any winged, swarming insect is unclean to you. They must not be eaten. 20 You may eat every bird that is clean.
21 “You must not eat any carcass. But you may give it to the alien in your cities so he may eat it or sell it to a foreigner, for you are a holy people to the LORD your God.
“You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
Remember to Tithe
22 “Be sure to tithe annually from everything you plant that yields a harvest in the field. 23 Then in the presence of the LORD your God, in the place where he’ll choose to establish his name, you may consume the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your livestock and flock, so that you’ll learn to revere the LORD your God all your life. 24 Now the way may be distant from you, so that you are unable to transport your tithe because you have been blessed by the LORD your God and the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish his name may be distant from you. 25 In that case, convert it into cash, secure the money, and then bring it to the place where the LORD will choose. 26 You may spend the money to your heart’s content to buy livestock, flocks, wine, strong drink, and whatever you desire. You and your household may eat there and rejoice in the presence of the LORD your God.”
The Levitical Tithe
27 “But you must not forget the descendant of Levi in your town because there is no tribal allotment for him as there is for you. 28 Every third year, bring all the tithes of your produce of that year and store it in your cities 29 so the descendants of Levi—who have no tribal allotment as you do—foreigners, orphans, and widows who live in your cities may come, eat, and be satisfied. That way, the LORD your God shall bless you in everything you
The Year for Canceling Debts
15:1 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. 2 This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel the loan he has made to his fellow Israelite. He shall not require payment from his fellow Israelite or brother, because the LORD’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. 3 You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your brother owes you. 4 However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, 5 if only you fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. 6 For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.
7 If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. 8 Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs. 9 Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10 Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.
12 If a fellow Hebrew, a man or a woman, sells himself to you and serves you six years, in the seventh year you must let him go free. 13 And when you release him, do not send him away empty-handed. 14 Supply him liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.
16 But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, 17 then take an awl and push it through his ear lobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your maidservant.
18 Do not consider it a hardship to set your servant free, because his service to you these six years has been worth twice as much as that of a hired hand. And the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do.
The Firstborn Animals
19 Set apart for the LORD your God every firstborn male of your herds and flocks. Do not put the firstborn of your oxen to work, and do not shear the firstborn of your sheep. 20 Each year you and your family are to eat them in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose. 21 If an animal has a defect, is lame or blind, or has any serious flaw, you must not sacrifice it to the LORD your God. 22 You are to eat it in your own towns. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat it, as if it were gazelle or deer. 23 But you must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water.
Celebrate the Passover
16:1 “Observe the month of Abib, keeping the Passover to the LORD your God, because the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt during the night in the month of Abib. 2 Then sacrifice sheep and cattle for the Passover to the LORD your God at the place where the LORD your God will choose to establish his name. 3 You must not eat any yeast with it. Instead, for seven days eat bread without yeast—the bread of affliction—because you left the land of Egypt in haste. Remember the day you went out of the land of Egypt for the rest of your lives. 4 Yeast is not to be seen in any of your territories for seven days. The meat is not to remain from the evening of the first day until morning.
5 “You must not sacrifice the Passover in just any of your cities that the LORD your God is about to give you. 6 But at the place where your God will choose to establish his name, you are to sacrifice the Passover in the evening at dusk, at the time of day you left Egypt. 7 Boil and eat the Passover meal at the place that the LORD your God will choose. In the morning you may go back to your tents. 8 Eat bread without yeast for six days. Then on the seventh day, hold an assembly to the LORD your God. Don’t do any work.”
Celebrate the Festival of Weeks
9 “Count off seven weeks from when the sickle is first put to standing grain. 10 Then observe the Festival of Weeks in the presence of the LORD your God by giving your tribute and the freewill offering of your hands in proportion to the manner in which the LORD your God blessed you. 11 Rejoice in the presence of the LORD your God with your son, daughter, male and female slaves, the descendant of Levi who is in your city, the stranger, the orphan, and the widow among you, at the place where the LORD your God will choose to establish his name. 12 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, so keep and observe these statutes.”
Celebrate the Festival of Tents also called Feast of Sukkot or Tabernacles
13 “Celebrate the Festival of Tents for seven days after you harvest from your threshing floor and your wine press. 14 Rejoice in your festival—you, your son, your daughter, your male and female slaves, the descendants of Levi, foreigners, orphans, and widows who live in your cities. 15 For seven days you are to celebrate in the presence of the LORD your God at the place where the LORD will choose; for the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in everything you do, and your joy will be complete.
16 “Every male must appear in the presence of the LORD your God three times a year at the place where he will choose: for the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Seven Weeks, and the Festival of Tents. He must not appear in the LORD’s presence empty-handed, 17 but each one must appear with his own gift, proportional to the blessing that the LORD your God has given you.”
18 “Appoint judges and civil servants according to your tribes in all your cities that the LORD your God is about to give you, so they may judge the people impartially. 19 You must not twist justice, show favoritism, or take bribes, because a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the speech of the righteous. 20 You are to pursue justice—and only justice—so you may live and possess the land that the LORD your God is about to give you.”
21 “You are not to set up a sacred pole beside the altar of the LORD your God that you will build. 22 Furthermore, you are not to erect for yourselves a sacred stone pillar, because the LORD your God detests these things.
17:1 You are not to sacrifice to the LORD your God an ox or a sheep that has a defect or any flaw in it, because that is detestable to the LORD your God.”
Death to the Idolater
2 “You may discover that a man or woman living in one of your cities that the LORD your God is about to give you has done evil in the eyes of the LORD your God by transgressing his covenant. 3 He may be following and serving other gods by bowing down to them—that is, to the sun, the moon, or to any of the heavenly host (something I did not command). 4 When it is reported to you or you hear of it, then investigate it thoroughly. When the truth has been established that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, 5 summon the man or the woman who did this evil thing to your city gates. Then stone the man or the woman to death. 6 Based on the testimony of two or three witnesses, they must surely die. But they are not to die based on the testimony of one person. 7 Let the witnesses be the first to begin executing them, then the rest of the people shall follow. By doing this you will purge evil from among you.”
Deciding Difficult Cases
8 “If a case is too difficult for you to decide with respect to bloodshed, civil claims, assault and battery, or other matters of dispute within your courts, bring it to the place that the LORD your God will choose. 9 Present the case to the Levitical priest or the judge at that time. When you have inquired and they have announced the verdict, 10 carry out the verdict that was declared to you at the place that the LORD will choose. Carefully observe all of their instructions to you 11 in accordance with what the Law says, and in accordance with the verdict that will be handed to you. You must not deviate from the verdict that they declare to you either to the right or to the left. 12 If a man presumptuously disregards the priest who is serving the LORD your God there or the judge, that person must die so you will purge evil from Israel. 13 Then all the people who hear will be afraid and will not act presumptuously again.”
Duties of the Future King
14 “When you have come to the land that the LORD your God is about to give you, and you have taken possession of it, and have settled in it, then you will say, ‘I will appoint a king over me like all the nations around me.’ 15 You will certainly set a king over you, whom the LORD your God will choose from among your relatives, but you must not place a foreign king over you who is not from your relatives. 16 Only he must not amass horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt to obtain more horses. For the LORD said you must never return that way again. 17 Also, he must not accumulate wives for himself (otherwise, his affection will become diverted), nor accumulate for himself excessive quantities of silver and gold. 18 When he occupies his royal throne, he must make a copy of this Law for himself from a scroll used by the Levitical priests. 19 It is to remain with him the rest of his life so he may learn to fear the LORD his God and observe all the words of this Law and these statutes, in order to fulfill them. 20 He is not to exalt himself over his relatives, nor turn aside from the commandment—neither to the right nor to the left—so that he and his sons may reign long in Israel.”
Provision for the Descendants Priests and Levites
18:1 “The Levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi, will not have a portion or an inheritance within Israel. Instead, they will eat the burnt offerings of the LORD, because that is their inheritance. 2 But they will not have an inheritance among their relatives, because the LORD alone is their inheritance—as he promised them.”
Provision for the Priests
3 “A portion of what the people offer in sacrifice, whether cattle or sheep, is to be due the priests. They must set aside the shoulder, jowls, and stomach for the priest. 4 Give them the first gatherings of your grain, wine, oil, and wool from the shearing of your flock. 5 For the LORD your God has chosen them and their descendants from among your tribes to stand and serve in the name of the LORD all their lives.”
Provision for the Itinerant Levite
6 “Any descendant of Levi who wishes to do so may come from any city or part of Israel where he resides to the place that the LORD will choose. 7 There he may serve in the name of the LORD his God. Like his fellow descendants of Levi who stand there in the LORD’s presence, 8 he may eat the same share as they do regardless of what he receives from his ancestral estate.”
9 “When you enter the land that the LORD your God is about to give you, don’t learn the detestable practices of those nations there. 10 There must never be found among you anyone who sacrifices his son or daughter in fire, practices divination, interprets omens, practices sorcery, 11 casts spells, or who is a medium, an occultist, or a necromancer. 12 Whoever practices these things is detestable to the LORD, and the LORD your God will expel them before you because of these things. 13 You must be completely faithful to the LORD your God, 14 because those nations that you are about to dispossess listen to those who practice witchcraft and divination. But the LORD does not allow you to act this way.”
Discerning the True Prophet
15 “The LORD your God will raise up a prophet like me for you from among your relatives. You must listen to him, 18 16because this is what you asked from the LORD your God at Horeb when you were assembled together: ‘Don’t let us hear the voice of the LORD our God again, or even see this great fire—otherwise, we will die.’
17 “Then the LORD told me: ‘What they have suggested is good. 18 I will raise up a prophet like you from among their relatives, and I will place my words in his mouth so that he may expound everything that I have commanded to them. 19 But if someone will not listen to those words that the prophetf speaks in my name, I will hold him accountable. 20 Even then, if the prophet speaks presumptuously in my name, which I didn’t authorize him to speak, or if he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die.’ 21 Now you may ask yourselves, ‘How will we be able to discern that the LORD has not spoken?’ 22 Whenever a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, and the oracle does not come about or the word is not fulfilled, then the LORD has not spoken it. The prophet will have spoken presumptuously, so you need not fear him.”
Cities of Refuge
19:1 When the LORD your God has destroyed the nations whose land he is giving you, and when you have driven them out and settled in their towns and houses, 2 then set aside for yourselves three cities centrally located in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess. 3 Build roads to them and divide into three parts the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, so that anyone who kills a man may flee there.
4 This is the rule concerning the man who kills another and flees there to save his life—one who kills his neighbor unintentionally, without malice aforethought. 5 For instance, a man may go into the forest with his neighbor to cut wood, and as he swings his ax to fell a tree, the head may fly off and hit his neighbor and kill him. That man may flee to one of these cities and save his life. 6 Otherwise, the avenger of blood might pursue him in a rage, overtake him if the distance is too great, and kill him even though he is not deserving of death, since he did it to his neighbor without malice aforethought. 7 This is why I command you to set aside for yourselves three cities.
8 If the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he promised on oath to your forefathers, and gives you the whole land he promised them, 9 because you carefully follow all these laws I command you today—to love the LORD your God and to walk always in his ways—then you are to set aside three more cities. 10 Do this so that innocent blood will not be shed in your land, which the LORD your God is giving you as your inheritance, and so that you will not be guilty of bloodshed.
11 But if a man hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him, assaults and kills him, and then flees to one of these cities, 12 the elders of his town shall send for him, bring him back from the city, and hand him over to the avenger of blood to die. 13 Show him no pity. You must purge from Israel the guilt of shedding innocent blood, so that it may go well with you.
14 Do not move your neighbor’s boundary stone set up by your predecessors in the inheritance you receive in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess.
15 One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
16 If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime, 17 the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. 18 The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, 19 then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you. 20 The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you. 21 Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
Going to War
20:1 When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. 2 When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. 3 He shall say: “Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. 4 For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
5 The officers shall say to the army: “Has anyone built a new house and not dedicated it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else may dedicate it. 6 Has anyone planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else enjoy it. 7 Has anyone become pledged to a woman and not married her? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else marry her.” 8 Then the officers shall add, “Is any man afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that his brothers will not become disheartened too.” 9 When the officers have finished speaking to the army, they shall appoint commanders over it.
10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you.12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.
16 However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the LORD your God has commanded you. 18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the LORD your God.
19 When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it to capture it, do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees of the field people, that you should besiege them? 20 However, you may cut down trees that you know are not fruit trees and use them to build siege works until the city at war with you falls.
Atonement for an Unsolved Murder
21:1 If a man is found slain, lying in a field in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed him, 2 your elders and judges shall go out and measure the distance from the body to the neighboring towns. 3 Then the elders of the town nearest the body shall take a heifer that has never been worked and has never worn a yoke 4 and lead her down to a valley that has not been plowed or planted and where there is a flowing stream. There in the valley they are to break the heifer’s neck. 5 The priests, the sons of Levi, shall step forward, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister and to pronounce blessings in the name of the LORD and to decide all cases of dispute and assault. 6 Then all the elders of the town nearest the body shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley, 7 and they shall declare: “Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it done. 8 Accept this atonement for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, O LORD, and do not hold your people guilty of the blood of an innocent man.” And the bloodshed will be atoned for. 9 So you will purge from yourselves the guilt of shedding innocent blood, since you have done what is right in the eyes of the LORD.
Marrying a Captive Woman
10 When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. 14 If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.
The Right of the Firstborn
15 If a man has two wives, and he loves one but not the other, and both bear him sons but the firstborn is the son of the wife he does not love, 16 when he wills his property to his sons, he must not give the rights of the firstborn to the son of the wife he loves in preference to his actual firstborn, the son of the wife he does not love. 17 He must acknowledge the son of his unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double share of all he has. That son is the first sign of his father’s strength. The right of the firstborn belongs to him.
A Rebellious Son
18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.
22 If a man guilty of a capital offense is put to death and his body is hung on a tree, 23 you must not leave his body on the tree overnight. Be sure to bury him that same day, because anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse. You must not desecrate the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.
Hospitality to Neighbors
22:1 “When you see the ox or sheep of your fellow countryman straying, don’t go away and leave them. Instead, be sure to return them to him. 2 If your fellow countryman doesn’t live near you or you don’t know who he is, bring the animal to your house and let it remain with you until he claims it. Then return it to him. 3 Do the same for his donkey, his garment, and for anything lost that belongs to your fellow countryman. When you find it, you must not ignore it. 4 When you see the donkey or the ox of your fellow countryman fallen on the road, don’t ignore them. Instead be sure to help them get up.”
5 “A woman must not wear what is appropriate to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, because anyone who does this is detestable to the LORD your God.
6 “When you encounter a bird’s nest along the road, whether in a tree or on the ground, and the mother bird is sitting on its chicks or eggs, don’t take the mother along with its young. 7 You may take the young but be sure to release the mother, so that life will go well for you and that you may have a long life.
8 “When you build a new house, install a parapet along your roof so that if someone falls from the roof, you won’t bring guilt of bloodshed on your house.”
Principles of Distinction
9 “Don’t plant two kinds of seeds in your vineyard. Otherwise, the entire crop will have to be forfeited, both the seed that you have sown and the produce from it.
10 “Don’t plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.
11 “Don’t wear material made from wool and linen mixed together.
12 “Sew tassels for yourselves on the four corners of the garment with which you cover yourself.”
Integrity in Marriage
13 “Suppose a man marries a wife but after having sexual relations with her, he despises her, 14 invents charges against her, and defames her by saying, ‘I have married this woman, but when I had sexual relations with her I found that she wasn’t a virgin.’ 15 Then the father of the young lady, along with her mother, is to bring evidence of the young lady’s virginity to the elders at the gate. 16 The father of the young lady is to then say to the elders: ‘I have given my daughter to this man as a wife, but he despises her. 17 Now look, he has invented charges against her by saying, “I haven’t found your daughter to be a virgin.” But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.’ Then they are to spread the cloth before the elders of the city. 18 The elders of that city will then take the man, punish him, 19 fine him 100 shekels of silver, and then give them to the young lady’s father, because he had defamed a virgin of Israel. She is to remain his wife and he can’t divorce her as long as he lives. 20 But if this charge is true, and the evidence of the young lady’s virginity weren’t found, 21 they are to bring her to the door of her father’s house. Then the men of the city are to stone her with boulders until she dies for doing a detestable thing in Israel—acting like a prostitute while in her father’s house. By doing this, you will remove this evil from among you.
22 “If a man is caught having sexual relations with a married woman, then both of them must die—the man who had sex with the woman and the woman herself—so that this evil will be removed from Israel.
23 “If a man meets a young virgin lady engaged to be married in the city and has sexual relations with her, 24 then the two must be brought to the city gate and there they must be stoned to death—the girl because she was in a city but did not cry out for help, and the man who abused a woman who was engaged to another man. By doing this you are to remove this evil from among you.
25 “If a man meets a girl in the country who is engaged to be married and then rapes her, the man alone—the one who had sexual relations with her—must die. 26 As for the young lady, don’t do anything to her. The young lady did nothing worthy of death. This case is similar to when a man attacks his countryman and kills him. 27 Since he found her in the country, the engaged girl may have cried out, but there was no one to rescue her.
28 “However, if a man meets a girl who isn’t engaged to be married, and he seizes her, rapes her, and is later found out, 29 then the man who raped her must give 50 shekels of silver to the girl’s father. Furthermore, he must marry her. Because he had violated her, he is to not divorce her as long as he lives.
30 “A man must not marry his father’s wife, so that he will not dishonor his father’s memory.”
Qualifications for Assembling
23:1 “No man whose testicles have been crushed or whose penis has been cut off may participate in the assembly of the LORD. 2 Furthermore, no one born due to an illicit sexual relationship may participate in the assembly of the LORD, including his descendants to the tenth generation. 3 “No Ammonite or Moabite may participate in the assembly of the LORD, and none of their descendants shall be admitted to the assembly of the LORD, to the tenth generation, 4 because they didn’t come to meet you with food and water along the way as you were coming out of Egypt. Instead, they hired Beor’s son Balaam from Pethor in Aram-naharaim to curse you. 5 However, the LORD your God didn’t listen to Balaam. The LORD your God turned Balaam’s curse into a blessing, because the LORD your God loves you. 6 Don’t seek a peace treaty with them as long as you live. 7 Don’t detest Edomites, since they are related to you. Don’t detest Egyptians, either, because you were strangers in their land. 8 Their grandchildren may participate in the assembly of the LORD.”
9 “When you are encamped for battle against your enemies, be on guard against every form of impropriety. 10 If someone among you becomes unclean due to nocturnal emissions, he must leave the camp and stay outside. 11 As evening approaches he must wash himself with water. Then at sunset, he may return to the camp.
12 “Choose a place outside the camp for a latrine. 13 Include a spade among your equipment so that when you squat to relieve yourself, you can dig a hole and then cover your excrement. 14 For the LORD your God is on the move within your camp to deliver you and to hand your enemies over to you. Therefore your camp must be holy so that he will not see anything indecent among you and turn away from you.”
Treatment of Slaves
15 “Don’t hand over a slave who escaped from his master when he runs to you. 16 Let him live among you wherever he chooses in any of your cities that he likes. Don’t mistreat him.”
Cultic Prostitution Prohibited
17 “There are to be no cultic prostitutes among the daughters or the sons of Israel. 18 Don’t bring the earnings of a female prostitute nor the income of a male prostitute into the house of the LORD your God as payment for any vow. Both of these are detestable to the LORD your God.”
19 “Don’t charge interest to your relatives, whether for money, food, or for anything that has been loaned at interest. 20 You may charge interest to a foreigner, but don’t charge interest to your relatives, so the LORD your God may bless you in everything you undertake in the land that you are about to enter and possess.
21 “When you make a vow to the LORD your God, don’t delay paying it, because the LORD your God will certainly demand payment from you, and then you will be guilty of sin. 22 But if you refrain from making a vow, then you won’t be guilty. 23 Be sure you do whatever you promise, because you have given your word voluntarily to the LORD your God.
24 “When you enter your countrymen’s vineyard, you may eat the grapes to your satisfaction, but don’t take any in a basket. 25 When you enter your countrymen’s grain fields, you may pluck the grain with your hand, but don’t put a sickle to his standing grain.”
24:1 “If a man chooses to enter into marriage with a woman, but she finds herself displeasing to him because he has found something objectionable about her, he must draw up divorce papers, hand them to her, and then send her out of his house. 2 If she goes out from his house, becomes the wife of another man, 3 and this second husband dislikes her, he, also, must draw up divorce papers, hand them to her, and then send her away from his house. Should the second husband die, 4 her first husband who married her and divorced her earlier must not remarry her, because she was defiled, since this is detestable to the LORD. Don’t defile the land that the LORD your God is about to give you as a possession.
5 “When a man is newly married, he must not be sent out to war or have a related duty placed on him. Let him stay home for one year and be happy with his wife whom he has married.
6 “Don’t take a pair of millstones, especially the upper millstone, as collateral for a loan, because this means taking a man’s livelihood.
7 “If a man is found kidnapping his relative, a fellow Israeli, and mistreats or sells him, that kidnapper must die. By doing this, you will remove this evil from among you.
8 “In cases of leprosy, be very careful to observe exactly what the Levitical priests instructed you. Carefully follow what I have commanded them. 9 Remember what the LORD your God did to Miriam along the way as you were coming out of Egypt.”
Respecting the Poor
10 “When you loan something to your neighbor, don’t enter his house to seize what he offered as collateral. 11 Stay outside and let the man to whom you made the loan bring it out to you. 12 If he is a poor man, don’t go to sleep with his collateral in your possession. 13 Be sure to return his garment to him at sunset so that he may sleep with it, and he will bless you. It will be a righteous deed in the presence of the LORD your God. 14 Don’t take advantage of a hired person who is poor and needy, whether he’s your fellow citizen or a foreigner who lives in your city. 15 Pay his wages that same day before the sun sets, because he is poor and his livelihood depends on it. Otherwise, he may cry out to the LORD against you, and you will incur guilt.”
16 “Fathers must not be put to death on account of their children’s sin; nor shall children die on account of their fathers’ sin. Each person is to be put to death for his own sin.
17 “Don’t deny justice to a foreigner or to an orphan, nor take a widow’s garment as collateral for a loan. 18 Remember to observe this because you were slaves in Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you from there. That is why I am commanding you to do this.
19 “When you are reaping in the field, and you overlook a sheaf, don’t return to get it. Let it remain for the foreigner, the orphan, or the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless everything you undertake. 20 When you harvest the olives from your trees, don’t go back to the branches a second time. What remains is for the foreigner, the orphan, or the widow. 21 When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, don’t go back a second time. What remains are for the foreigner, the orphan, or the widow. 22 Remember to do this because you were slaves in the land of Egypt. That is why I’m commanding you to do this.”
Limitations on Punishment
25:1 “When there is a conflict between individuals, let them come to court to judge the case, decide who is innocent, and condemn the guilty person. 2 If the guilty person deserves a beating, the judge will make him lie down and be beaten in his presence with the number of lashes fit for his crime. 3 But he must not be beaten more than 40 lashes, because if he receives more than 40 lashes, your brother will be humiliated in your eyes.
4 “Don’t muzzle an ox while it is threshing grain.”
5 “When two brothers are living together and one of them dies without leaving a son, his widow must not be married outside the family to a foreigner. Instead, the brother-in-law must go to her, take her as his wife, and by doing so perform the duty of a brother-in-law. 6 The firstborn whom she will bear will continue the name of the dead brother, so his name will not be erased from Israel. 7 But if the man does not want to marry his brother’s widow, then she must go to the elders at the city gate and declare, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to perform the duty of a brother-in-law in order to preserve the name of his brother in Israel. He is not willing to perform the duty of a brother-in-law.’ 8 Then the elders of the city are to summon him and speak with him. If he insists on saying, ‘I don’t want to marry her,’ 9 then she is to approach her brother-in-law in the presence of the elders, remove his sandal, spit in his face, and say in response, ‘May this be done to the man who does not preserve the lineage of his brother.’ 10 Then his family name in Israel will be known ‘as the family of the one whose sandal was removed.’”
Limiting a Wife’s Defense
11 “If two men are fighting together, and the wife of one comes to rescue her husband from the grasp of his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes his genitals, 12 you are to cut off her hand. Don’t show any pity.”
13 “Don’t have different weights in your bag—one heavy and one light. 14 Don’t have different measuring devices in your house—one large and one small. 15 You must have honest weights and measuring devices, so you may live long in the land that the LORD your God is about to give you, 16 for anyone who does these things—anyone who deals dishonestly—is detestable to the LORD your God.”
Annihilation of the Amalekites
17 “Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the road while you were coming out of Egypt, 18 how when you were very tired and weary, they lay in wait for you on the road and eliminated everyone who was lagging behind. They had no fear of God. 19 Therefore, when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your enemies who surround you in the land that he is about to give you to possess as an inheritance, you must completely erase the memory of the Amalekites from under heaven. Don’t forget!”
Gift of the Firstfruits and Tithes
26:1 “When you arrive in the land that the LORD your God is about to give you as an inheritance, take possession of it and settle in it. 2 Gather all the first produce of the ground that you harvest from your land that the LORD your God is about to give you, place it in a basket, and bring it to the place where the LORD your God will choose to establish his name. 3 Approach the priest who is in charge at that time and say to him, ‘I acknowledge today to the LORD your God that I’ve arrived in the land that the LORD promised our ancestors to give us.’ 4 Then the priest will take the basket from you and place it in front of the altar of the LORD your God. 5 Then you are to affirm and declare in the presence of the LORD your God:
‘A wandering Aramean was my ancestor, who went down to Egypt and traveled there with very few family members, yet there he became a great, powerful, and populous nation. 6 But the Egyptians oppressed us, afflicted us, and assigned us to hard labor. 7 So we cried out to the LORD God of our ancestors, and he heard our cries and observed our affliction, trouble, and oppression. 8 The LORD brought us out of Egypt with his awesome power, with great terror, signs, and wonders. 9 And then we arrived at this place, and he gave this land to us, flowing with milk and honey. 10 Now, look—I brought the first produce of the land that you, LORD, have given me.’
Then set it in the presence of the LORD your God and worship him. 11 Rejoice with the descendants of Levi and the foreigner among you at all the good things that the LORD your God has given you and your family.”
12 “When you have finished your harvest, reserve the tithe in the third year (the year of the tithe), and give the entire tithe to the descendants of Levi, to the foreigners, to the orphans, and to the widows, so they may eat and be satisfied in your cities. 13 Then declare in the presence of the LORD your God:
‘I’ve removed the holy offering from my house and given it to the descendants of Levi, to the foreigners, to the orphans, and to the widows just as you have commanded me. I haven’t violated or forgotten your commands. 14 I haven’t eaten any part of it while mourning, nor removed any part of it while unclean, nor offered any of it to the dead. I’ve obeyed the voice of the LORD my God and did all that he commanded me. 15 Look down from your holy habitation in heaven and bless your people Israel and the land that you have given us, just as you promised our ancestors—a land flowing with milk and honey.’”
Living for the Glory of God
16 “The LORD your God is commanding you this very day to observe these statutes and judgments. Be careful to obey them with all your heart and soul. 17 You have declared this very day that the LORD will be your God. You are to walk in his ways, keep his statutes, commands, and judgments, and obey his voice. 18 The LORD affirmed this day that you are his prized possession. Therefore observe his commands, 19 so he may elevate you far above all the nations that he has made. Then you will live to the praise, fame, and glory of God, and so be a nation that is holy to the LORD your God, as he has promised.”
Stone Memorials on Mount Ebal
27:1 Moses and the elders of Israel gave these orders to the people: “Observe all of the commandments that I’m giving you today. 2 On the day you cross over the Jordan River to the land that the LORD your God is about to give you, set up large stones and coat them with plaster. 3 Then inscribe on them all the words of this law when you’ve crossed over into the land that the LORD your God is about to give you—a land flowing with milk and honey—just as the LORD God of your ancestors promised you.
4 “When you have crossed the Jordan River, set up these stones about which I’m commanding you today on Mount Ebal, and coat them with plaster. 5 Then build an altar there to the LORD your God, an altar of stones that hasn’t been worked with iron tools. 6 Build the altar to the LORD your God with uncut stones, then offer a burnt offering to him. 7 Offer a burnt offering there, then eat and rejoice in the presence of the LORD your God. 8 Inscribe on the stones plainly and distinctly all the words of this Law.”
9 Then Moses and the Levitical priests spoke to Israel. They said, “Be quiet and listen, Israel! Today you have become the people of the LORD your God. 10 Listen to his voice and carry out his commands and statutes that I’m giving you today.”
Penalties for Disobedience
11 Moses gave the people these commands that day:
12 “When you cross the Jordan River, these tribes are to stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people—Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. 13 The tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali are to stand on Mount Ebal to pronounce the curse. 14 The descendants of Levi are to declare in a loud voice to every Israeli:
15 “‘Cursed is the one who makes a sculptured or cast image—a detestable thing to the Lord, the work of a craftsman—and sets it up secretly.’
“Then all the people are to respond by saying, ‘Amen!’
16 “Cursed is the one who treats his father and mother with dishonor.’
“Then all the people are to respond by saying, ‘Amen!’
17 “‘Cursed is the one who moves his neighbor’s boundary stone.’
“Then all the people are to respond by saying, ‘Amen!’
18 “‘Cursed is the one who misleads a blind person on the road.
“Then all the people are to respond by saying, ‘Amen!’
19 “‘Cursed is the one who perverts justice due the foreigner, the orphan, or the widow.’
“Then all the people are to respond by saying, ‘Amen!’
20 “Cursed is the one who has sexual relations with his father’s wife, because he has disgraced his father.
“Then all the people are to respond by saying, ‘Amen!’
21 “‘Cursed is the one who has sexual relations with any animal.
“Then all the people are to respond by saying, ‘Amen!’
22 “‘Cursed is the one who has sexual relations with his sister, the daughter of his father or mother.
“Then all the people are to respond by saying, ‘Amen!’
23 “‘Cursed is the one who has sexual relations with his mother-in-law.
“Then all the people are to respond by saying, ‘Amen!’
24 “‘Cursed is one who strikes his neighbor secretly.
“Then all the people are to respond by saying, ‘Amen!’
25 “‘Cursed is one who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person.
“Then all the people are to respond by saying, ‘Amen!’
26 “‘Cursed is the one who doesn’t uphold the words of this Law and observe them.
“Then all the people are to respond by saying, ‘Amen!’”
Blessings for Obedience
28:1 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God:
3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.
6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
7 The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.
8 The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.
9 The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you. 11 The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your forefathers to give you.
12 The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 24 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.
Curses for Disobedience
15 However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.
17 Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.
18 The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
19 You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.
20 The LORD will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him. 21 The LORD will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. 22 The LORD will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. 23 The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. 24 The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.
25 The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. 26 Your carcasses will be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away. 27 The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. 28 The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. 29 At midday you will grope about like a blind man in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.
30 You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and ravish her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit. 31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them. 32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand. 33 A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days. 34 The sights you see will drive you mad. 35 The LORD will afflict your knees and legs with painful boils that cannot be cured, spreading from the soles of your feet to the top of your head.
36 The LORD will drive you and the king you set over you to a nation unknown to you or your fathers. There you will worship other gods, gods of wood and stone. 37 You will become a thing of horror and an object of scorn and ridicule to all the nations where the LORD will drive you.
38 You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it. 39 You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. 40 You will have olive trees throughout your country but you will not use the oil, because the olives will drop off. 41 You will have sons and daughters but you will not keep them, because they will go into captivity. 42 Swarms of locusts will take over all your trees and the crops of your land.
43 The alien who lives among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. 44 He will lend to you, but you will not lend to him. He will be the head, but you will be the tail.
45 All these curses will come upon you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the LORD your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. 46 They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. 47 Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, 48 therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the LORD sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.
49 The LORD will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young. 51 They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine or oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined. 52 They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the LORD your God is giving you.
53 Because of the suffering that your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the LORD your God has given you. 54 Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, 55 and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities. 56 The most gentle and sensitive woman among you—so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of her foot—will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter 57 the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For she intends to eat them secretly during the siege and in the distress that your enemy will inflict on you in your cities.
58 If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the LORD your God— 59 the LORD will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. 60 He will bring upon you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. 61 The LORD will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. 62 You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the LORD your God. 63 Just as it pleased the LORD to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess.
64 Then the LORD will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. 65 Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the LORD will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. 66 You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. 67 In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”—because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see. 68 The LORD will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.
Renewal of the Covenant
29:1 These are the terms of the covenant the LORD commanded Moses to make with the Israelites in Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with them at Horeb.
2 Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them:
Your eyes have seen all that the LORD did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials and to all his land. 3 With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those miraculous signs and great wonders. 4 But to this day the LORD has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear. 5 During the forty years that I led you through the desert, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. 6 You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the LORD your God.
7 When you reached this place, Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan came out to fight against us, but we defeated them. 8 We took their land and gave it as an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh.
9 Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do. 10 All of you are standing today in the presence of the LORD your God—your leaders and chief men, your elders and officials, and all the other men of Israel, 11 together with your children and your wives, and the aliens living in your camps who chop your wood and carry your water. 12 You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the LORD your God, a covenant the LORD is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, 13 to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 14 I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you 15 who are standing here with us today in the presence of the LORD our God but also with those who are not here today.
16 You yourselves know how we lived in Egypt and how we passed through the countries on the way here. 17 You saw among them their detestable images and idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold. 18 Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.
19 When such a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way.” This will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. 20 The LORD will never be willing to forgive him; his wrath and zeal will burn against that man. All the curses written in this book will fall upon him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven. 21 The LORD will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for disaster, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law.
22 Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the LORD has afflicted it. 23 The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur—nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in fierce anger. 24 All the nations will ask: “Why has the LORD done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?”
25 And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27 Therefore the LORD’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28 In furious anger and in great wrath the LORD uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”
29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
Prosperity After Turning to the Lord
30:1 When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come upon you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 5 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back. 5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your fathers, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers. 6 The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. 7 The LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. 8 You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands I am giving you today. 9 Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers, 10 if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
The Offer of Life or Death
11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Joshua to Succeed Moses
31:1 Then Moses went out and spoke these words to all Israel: 2 “I am now a hundred and twenty years old and I am no longer able to lead you. The LORD has said to me, ‘You shall not cross the Jordan.’ 3 The LORD your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua also will cross over ahead of you, as the LORD said. 4 And the LORD will do to them what he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, whom he destroyed along with their land. 5 The LORD will deliver them to you, and you must do to them all that I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
7 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. 8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
The Reading of the Law
9 So Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 Then Moses commanded them: “At the end of every seven years, in the year for canceling debts, during the Feast of Tabernacles, 11 when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose, you shall read this law before them in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the aliens living in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the LORD your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. 13 Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the LORD your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
Israel’s Rebellion Predicted
14 The LORD said to Moses, “Now the day of your death is near. Call Joshua and present yourselves at the Tent of Meeting, where I will commission him.” So Moses and Joshua came and presented themselves at the Tent of Meeting.
15 Then the LORD appeared at the Tent in a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood over the entrance to the Tent. 16 And the LORD said to Moses: “You are going to rest with your fathers, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them. 17 On that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and difficulties will come upon them, and on that day they will ask, ‘Have not these disasters come upon us because our God is not with us?’ 18 And I will certainly hide my face on that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods.
19 “Now write down for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them. 20 When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their forefathers, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting me and breaking my covenant. 21 And when many disasters and difficulties come upon them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants. I know what they are disposed to do, even before I bring them into the land I promised them on oath.” 22 So Moses wrote down this song that day and taught it to the Israelites.
23 The LORD gave this command to Joshua son of Nun: “Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you.”
24 After Moses finished writing in a book the words of this law from beginning to end, 25 he gave this command to the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD: 26 “Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God. There it will remain as a witness against you. 27 For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you have been rebellious against the LORD while I am still alive and with you, how much more will you rebel after I die! 28 Assemble before me all the elders of your tribes and all your officials, so that I can speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth to testify against them. 29 For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall upon you because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD and provoke him to anger by what your hands have made.”
The Song of Moses
30 And Moses recited the words of this song from beginning to end in the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel:
32:1 Listen, O heavens, and I will speak;
hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
2 Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.
3 I will proclaim the name of the LORD.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.
5 They have acted corruptly toward him;
to their shame they are no longer his children,
but a warped and crooked generation.
6 Is this the way you repay the LORD,
O foolish and unwise people?
Is he not your Father, your Creator,
who made you and formed you?
7 Remember the days of old;
consider the generations long past.
Ask your father and he will tell you,
your elders, and they will explain to you.
8 When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
when he divided all mankind,
he set up boundaries for the peoples
according to the number of the sons of Israel.
9 For the LORD’s portion is his people,
Jacob his allotted inheritance.
10 In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest
and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
and carries them on its pinions.
12 The LORD alone led him;
no foreign god was with him.
13 He made him ride on the heights of the land
and fed him with the fruit of the fields.
He nourished him with honey from the rock,
and with oil from the flinty crag,
14 with curds and milk from herd and flock
and with fattened lambs and goats,
with choice rams of Bashan
and the finest kernels of wheat.
You drank the foaming blood of the grape.
15 Jeshurun grew fat and kicked;
filled with food, he became heavy and sleek.
He abandoned the God who made him
and rejected the Rock his Savior.
16 They made him jealous with their foreign gods
and angered him with their detestable idols.
17 They sacrificed to demons, which are not God—
gods they had not known,
gods that recently appeared,
gods your fathers did not fear.
18 You deserted the Rock, who fathered you;
you forgot the God who gave you birth.
19 The LORD saw this and rejected them
because he was angered by his sons and daughters.
20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said,
“and see what their end will be;
for they are a perverse generation,
children who are unfaithful.
21 They made me jealous by what is no god
and angered me with their worthless idols.
I will make them envious by those who are not a people;
I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding.
22 For a fire has been kindled by my wrath,
one that burns to the realm of death
It will devour the earth and its harvests
and set afire the foundations of the mountains.
23 “I will heap calamities upon them
and spend my arrows against them.
24 I will send wasting famine against them,
consuming pestilence and deadly plague;
I will send against them the fangs of wild beasts,
the venom of vipers that glide in the dust.
25 In the street the sword will make them childless;
in their homes terror will reign.
Young men and young women will perish,
infants and gray-haired men.
26 I said I would scatter them
and blot out their memory from mankind,
27 but I dreaded the taunt of the enemy,
lest the adversary misunderstand
and say, ‘Our hand has triumphed;
the LORD has not done all this.’”
28 They are a nation without sense,
there is no discernment in them.
29 If only they were wise and would understand this
and discern what their end will be!
30 How could one man chase a thousand,
or two put ten thousand to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
unless the LORD had given them up?
31 For their rock is not like our Rock,
as even our enemies concede.
32 Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom
and from the fields of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are filled with poison,
and their clusters with bitterness.
33 Their wine is the venom of serpents,
the deadly poison of cobras.
34 “Have I not kept this in reserve
and sealed it in my vaults?
35 It is mine to avenge; I will repay.
In due time their foot will slip;
their day of disaster is near
and their doom rushes upon them.”
36 The LORD will judge his people
and have compassion on his servants
when he sees their strength is gone
and no one is left, slave or free.
37 He will say: “Now where are their gods,
the rock they took refuge in,
38 the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices
and drank the wine of their drink offerings?
Let them rise up to help you!
Let them give you shelter!
39 “See now that I myself am He!
There is no god besides me.
I put to death and I bring to life,
I have wounded and I will heal,
and no one can deliver out of my hand.
40 I lift my hand to heaven and declare:
As surely as I live forever,
41 when I sharpen my flashing sword
and my hand grasps it in judgment,
I will take vengeance on my adversaries
and repay those who hate me.
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
while my sword devours flesh:
the blood of the slain and the captives,
the heads of the enemy leaders.”
43 Rejoice, O nations, with his people,
for he will avenge the blood of his servants;
he will take vengeance on his enemies
and make atonement for his land and people.
44 Moses came with Joshua son of Nun and spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people. 45 When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. 47 They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
Moses to Die on Mount Nebo
48 On that same day the LORD told Moses, 49 “Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. 50 There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. 51 This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites. 52 Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel.”
Moses Blesses the Tribes
33:1 This is the blessing that Moses the man of God pronounced on the Israelites before his death. 2 He said:
“The LORD came from Sinai
and dawned over them from Seir;
he shone forth from Mount Paran.
He came with myriads of holy ones
from the south, from his mountain slopes.
3 Surely it is you who love the people;
all the holy ones are in your hand.
At your feet they all bow down,
and from you receive instruction,
4 the law that Moses gave us,
the possession of the assembly of Jacob.
5 He was king over Jeshurun
when the leaders of the people assembled,
along with the tribes of Israel.
6 “Let Reuben live and not die,
nor his men be few.”
7 And this he said about Judah:
“Hear, O LORD, the cry of Judah;
bring him to his people.
With his own hands he defends his cause.
Oh, be his help against his foes!”
8 About Levi he said:
“Your Thummim and Urim belong
to the man you favored.
You tested him at Massah;
you contended with him at the waters of Meribah.
9 He said of his father and mother,
‘I have no regard for them.’
He did not recognize his brothers
or acknowledge his own children,
but he watched over your word
and guarded your covenant.
10 He teaches your precepts to Jacob
and your law to Israel.
He offers incense before you
and whole burnt offerings on your altar.
11 Bless all his skills, O LORD,
and be pleased with the work of his hands.
Smite the loins of those who rise up against him;
strike his foes till they rise no more.”
12 About Benjamin he said:
“Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him,
for he shields him all day long,
and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.”
13 About Joseph he said:
“May the LORD bless his land
with the precious dew from heaven above
and with the deep waters that lie below;
14 with the best the sun brings forth
and the finest the moon can yield;
15 with the choicest gifts of the ancient mountains
and the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills;
16 with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness
and the favor of him who dwelt in the burning bush.
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince among his brothers.
17 In majesty he is like a firstborn bull;
his horns are the horns of a wild ox.
With them he will gore the nations,
even those at the ends of the earth.
Such are the ten thousands of Ephraim;
such are the thousands of Manasseh.”
18 About Zebulun he said:
“Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out,
and you, Issachar, in your tents.
19 They will summon peoples to the mountain
and there offer sacrifices of righteousness;
they will feast on the abundance of the seas,
on the treasures hidden in the sand.”
20 About Gad he said:
“Blessed is he who enlarges Gad’s domain!
Gad lives there like a lion,
tearing at arm or head.
21 He chose the best land for himself;
the leader’s portion was kept for him.
When the heads of the people assembled,
he carried out the LORD’s righteous will,
and his judgments concerning Israel.”
22 About Dan he said:
“Dan is a lion’s cub,
springing out of Bashan.”
23 About Naphtali he said:
“Naphtali is abounding with the favor of the LORD
and is full of his blessing;
he will inherit southward to the lake.”
24 About Asher he said:
“Most blessed of sons is Asher;
let him be favored by his brothers,
and let him bathe his feet in oil.
25 The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze,
and your strength will equal your days.
26 “There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,
who rides on the heavens to help you
and on the clouds in his majesty.
27 The eternal God is your refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
He will drive out your enemy before you,
saying, ‘Destroy him!’
28 So Israel will live in safety alone;
Jacob’s spring is secure
in a land of grain and new wine,
where the heavens drop dew.
29 Blessed are you, O Israel!
Who is like you,
a people saved by the LORD?
He is your shield and helper
and your glorious sword.
Your enemies will cower before you,
and you will trample down their high places.”
Moses Ascends Pisgah
34:1 Moses ascended from the desert plain of Moab toward Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the LORD showed him the entire land, from Gilgal as far as Dan, 9 all of Naphtali, the territories of Ephraim and Manasseh, and the entire territory of Judah all the way to out over the sea, 3 including the Negev, the Arabah, the valley of Jericho, and the city of the palm trees as far as Zoar. 4 Then the LORD told him: “This is the land that I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by an oath when I said, ‘I’ll give it to your descendants.’ I’ll let you see it with your eyes, but you won’t cross over there.”
5 So Moses, the servant of the LORD, died there in the land of Moab, just as the LORD had said. 6 He was buried in the valley opposite Beth Peor, in the land of Moab, but no one knows to this day where his burial place is. 7 Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eyesight wasn’t impaired and he was still vigorous and strong. 8 The Israelis mourned for Moses at the desert plain of Moab for 30 days, after which the period of mourning for Moses was completed.
The Epitaph for Moses
9 Now Nun’s son Joshua was full of the spirit of wisdom, because Moses had placed his hands on him, so Israelis listened to him and did what the LORD had commanded Moses. 10 No prophet ever rose again in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew with such great intimacy.
11 What signs and wonders the LORD sent him to do throughout the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to all of his servants who lived in the whole land!
12 What great power and great terror Moses displayed on behalf of all Israel!
Other modules in this unit:
- The 7 days of Creation, Genesis 2:4-3:24
- Day One – Night and Day
- Day Two – sky and sea
- Day Three – Land and Vegetation
- Day Four – Stars, Sun and Moon
- Day Five – Sea creatures including fish and Birds
- Day Six – Animals and Mankind
- Day Seven – Rest
- Ark, Genesis 8:1- 10:20
- Hagar and Ishmael – Genesis 16:11–17:27
- Rebekah the wife of Isaac the son of Abraham, Genesis 24:1-67
- Laban Meets Jacob, Genesis 29:1-30:43
- Laban pursues Jacob, Genesis 31:1-55
- Esau Meets Jacob, Genesis 32:1-33:20 and Genesis 36:1-43
- Jacob Moves to Egypt in a cart, Genesis 46:8 – 47:12
- 2nd 40 Years, Exodus 2:26-7:6
- Moses – 3rd set of 40 years, the book of Exodus 7:8 – 40:38
- Moses – 10 Plagues, Exodus 7:14-12:36
- Rosh Hashanah or Yom Teruah (The Day of the Sounding of Shofar)
- Feast of Tabernacle – Succouth or Sykkot
- Moses – Yom Kippur, means “Day of Atonement”
- Moses – 37 years, Numbers 14:1-36:13
- Balaam, Numbers 22:1-24:25
- Three Sermons, the whole book of Deuteronomy 1:1-34:12
- Deborah the 4th Judge of Israel sends for Barak her army commander, Judges 4:9 to 5:31
- Gideon the fifth judge of Israel – Judges 6:1-8:35
- Eli the Priest and the ninth Judge of Israel, 1 Samuel 1:1-4:22
- Ruth the Moabitess, Ruth 1:16-4:22
- Jephthah the Gileadite the tenth Judge of Israel, Judges 11:16-40 & 12:1-7
- Samson the fourteenth Judge of Israel, Judges 14:1-16:31
- David’s soldiers, 1 Samuel 21:1-30:31
- The 20 Kings of Judah who ruled between – 931BC-586BC
- King Jeroboam, 1 Kings 11:34-14:20
- The 19 Kings of Israel – 931BC-722BC
- King Ahab 7th King of Israel, 1 Kings 17:1-22:40
- Hezekiah King of Judah – Continued from 2 Kings 18:1-12
- Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls, Nehemiah 2:11-3:32
- The Gospel of Luke
- The Gospel of Matthew
- Arranged Marriages
- Dates that Jesus might have been born
- Herodian Dynasty
- Possible Dates of Jesus’ Death
- OUTLINE HISTORY OF THE APOSTLES