The Greatest Commandment
(Matthew 22:34–40; Mark 12:28–34)
1 These are the commandments and statutes and ordinances that the LORD your God has instructed me to teach you to follow in the land that you are about to enter and possess, 2 so that you and your children and grandchildren may fear the LORD your God all the days of your lives by keeping all His statutes and commandments that I give you, and so that your days may be prolonged. 3 Hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe them, so that you may prosper and multiply greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you.
6 These words I am commanding you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 And you shall teach them diligently to your children and speak of them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as reminders on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.
10 And when the LORD your God brings you into the land He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that He would give you—a land with great and splendid cities that you did not build, 11 with houses full of every good thing with which you did not fill them, with wells that you did not dig, and with vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant—and when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful not to forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
13 Fear the LORD your God, serve Him only, and take your oaths in His name. c 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you. 15 For the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God. Otherwise the anger of the LORD your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth.
16 Do not test the LORD your God as you tested Him at Massah. d 17 You are to diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God and the testimonies and statutes He has given you. 18 Do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, so that it may be well with you and that you may enter and possess the good land that the LORD your God swore to give your fathers, 19 driving out all your enemies before you, as the LORD has said.
Teach Your Children
20 In the future, when your son asks, “What is the meaning of the decrees and statutes and ordinances that the LORD our God has commanded you?” 21 then you are to tell him, “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 Before our eyes the LORD inflicted great and devastating signs and wonders on Egypt, on Pharaoh, and on all his household. 23 But He brought us out from there to lead us in and give us the land that He had sworn to our fathers.
24 And the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes and to fear the LORD our God, that we may always be prosperous and preserved, as we are to this day. 25 And if we are careful to observe every one of these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us, then that will be our righteousness.”
4 a Or The LORD our God is One LORD or The LORD is our God, the LORD is One or The LORD is our God, the LORD alone ; cited in Mark 12:29
5 b Cited in Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, and Luke 10:27
13 c Or serve Him, and take your oaths only in His name ; cited in Matthew 4:10 and Luke 4:8
16 d Massah means testing ; see Exodus 17:7; cited in Matthew 4:7 and Luke 4:12.