The Command to Leave Horeb
1 These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel in the wilderness east of the Jordan—in the Arabah opposite Suph—between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab.
2 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb a to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. 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 lived in Heshbon, and then at Edrei had defeated Og king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth.
6 The LORD our God said to us at Horeb: “You have stayed at this mountain long enough. 7 Resume your journey and go to the hill country of the Amorites; go to all the neighboring peoples in the Arabah, in the hill country, in the foothills, c in the Negev, and along the seacoast to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great River Euphrates.
8 See, I have placed the land before you. Enter and possess the land that the LORD swore He would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to their descendants after them.”
Moses Appoints Leaders
9 At that time I said to you, “I cannot carry the burden for you alone. 10 The LORD your God has multiplied you, so that today you are as numerous as the stars in the sky. 11 May the LORD, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand times over and bless you as He has promised. 12 But how can I bear your troubles, burdens, and disputes all by myself? 13 Choose for yourselves wise, understanding, and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will appoint them as your leaders.”
14 And you answered me and said, “What you propose to do is good.”
15 So I took the leaders of your tribes, wise and respected men, and appointed them as leaders over you—as commanders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens, and as officers for your tribes.
16 At that time I charged your judges: “Hear the disputes between your brothers, and judge fairly between a man and his brother or a foreign resident. 17 Show no partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be intimidated by anyone, for judgment belongs to God. And bring to me any case too difficult for you, and I will hear it.”
18 And at that time I commanded you all the things you were to do.
Twelve Spies Sent Out
19 And just as the LORD our God had commanded us, we set out from Horeb and went toward the hill country of the Amorites, through all the vast and terrifying wilderness you have seen. When we reached Kadesh-barnea, 20 I said: “You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the LORD our God is giving us. 21 See, the LORD your God has placed the land before you. Go up and take possession of it as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has told you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”
22 Then all of you approached me and said, “Let us send men ahead of us to search out the land and bring us word of what route to follow and which cities to enter.”
23 The plan seemed good to me, so I selected twelve men from among you, one from each tribe. 24 They left and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshcol and spied out the land. 25 They took some of the fruit of the land in their hands, carried it down to us, and brought us word: “It is a good land that the LORD our God is giving us.”
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, “Because the LORD hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to be annihilated. 28 Where can we go? Our brothers have made our hearts melt, saying: ‘The people are larger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the heavens. We even saw the descendants of the Anakim there.’ ”
29 So I said to you: “Do not be terrified or afraid of them! 30 The LORD your God, who goes before you, will fight for you, just as you saw Him do for you in Egypt 31 and in the wilderness, where the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way by which you traveled until you reached this place.”
32 But in spite of all this, you did not trust the LORD your God, 33 who went before you on the journey, in the fire by night and in the cloud by day, to seek out a place for you to camp and to show you the road to travel.
34 When the LORD heard your words, He grew angry and swore an oath, saying, 35 “Not one of the men of this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your fathers, 36 except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land on which he has set foot, because he followed the LORD wholeheartedly.”
37 The LORD was also angry with me on your account, and He said, “Not even you shall enter the land. 38 Joshua son of Nun, who stands before you, will enter it. Encourage him, for he will enable Israel to inherit the land. 39 And the little ones you said would become captives—your children who on that day did not know good from evil—will enter the land that I will give them, and they will possess it. 40 But you are to turn back and head for the wilderness along the route to the Red Sea. d”
The Defeat at Hormah
41 “We have sinned against the LORD,” you replied. “We will go up and fight, as the LORD our God has commanded us.” Then each of you put on his weapons of war, thinking it easy to go up into the hill country.
42 But the LORD said to me, “Tell them not to go up and fight, for I am not with you to keep you from defeat by your enemies.”
43 So I spoke to you, but you would not listen. You rebelled against the command of the LORD and presumptuously went up into the hill country.
44 Then the Amorites who lived in the hills came out against you and chased you like a swarm of bees. They routed you from Seir all the way to Hormah. 45 And you returned and wept before the LORD, but He would not listen to your voice or give ear to you.
46 For this reason you stayed in Kadesh for a long time—a very long time.
2 a That is, Mount Sinai, or possibly a mountain in the range containing Mount Sinai; also in verses 6 and 19
5 b Note that Deuteronomy 1:6 through Deuteronomy 4:40 may be presented as a continuous section of unbroken speech by Moses. In place of multiple levels of nested quotes, this section has been set apart with a double space.
7 c Hebrew Shephelah or lowlands ; that is, the western foothills of Judea
40 d Or the Sea of Reeds
Wanderings in the Wilderness
2 At this time the LORD said to me, 3 “You have been wandering around this hill country long enough; turn to the north 4 and command the people: ‘You will pass through the territory of your brothers, the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. They will be afraid of you, so you must be very careful. 5 Do not provoke them, for I will not give you any of their land, not even a footprint, because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as his possession. 6 You are to pay them in silver for the food you eat and the water you drink.’ ”
7 Indeed, the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. The LORD your God has been with you these forty years, and you have lacked nothing.
8 So we passed by our brothers, the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. We turned away from the Arabah road, which comes up from Elath and Ezion-geber, and traveled along the road of the Wilderness 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 of their land, because I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot as their possession.”
10 (The Emites used to live there, a people great and many, as tall as the Anakites. 11 Like the Anakites, they were also regarded as Rephaim, though the Moabites called them Emites. 12 The 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 that the LORD gave them as their possession.)
13 “Now arise and cross over the Brook of Zered.”
So we crossed over the Brook of Zered.
14 The time we spent traveling from Kadesh-barnea until we crossed over the Brook of Zered was thirty-eight years, until that entire generation of fighting men had perished from the camp, as the LORD had sworn to them. 15 Indeed, the LORD’s hand was against them, to eliminate them from the camp, until they had all perished.
16 Now when all the fighting men among the people had died, 17 the LORD said to me, 18 “Today you are going to cross the border of Moab at Ar. 19 But when you get close to the Ammonites, do not harass them or provoke them, for I will not give you any of the land of the Ammonites. I have given it to the descendants of Lot as their possession.”
20 (That too was regarded as the land of the Rephaim, who used to live there, though the Ammonites called them Zamzummites. 21 They were a people great and many, as tall as the Anakites. But the LORD destroyed them from before the Ammonites, who drove them out and settled in their place, 22 just as He had done 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 the Avvim, who lived in villages as far as Gaza, were destroyed by the Caphtorites, who came out of Caphtor b and settled in their place.)
The Defeat of Sihon
24 “Arise, set out, and cross the Arnon Valley. See, I have delivered into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land. Begin to take possession of it and engage him in battle. 25 This very day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon all the nations under heaven. They will hear the reports of you and tremble in anguish because of you.”
26 So from the Wilderness of Kedemoth I sent messengers with an offer of peace to Sihon king of Heshbon, saying, 27 “Let us pass through your land; we will stay on the main road. We will not turn to the right or to the left. 28 You can sell us food to eat and water to drink in exchange for silver. Only let us pass through on foot, 29 just 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 that the LORD our God is giving us.”
30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass through, for the LORD your God had made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate, that He might deliver him into your hand, as is the case this day.
31 Then the LORD said to me, “See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his land over to you. Now begin to conquer and possess his land.”
34 At that time we captured all his cities and devoted to destruction c the people of every city, including women and children. We left no survivors. 35 We carried off for ourselves only the livestock and the plunder from the cities we captured.
36 From Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Valley, along with the city in the valley, even as far as Gilead, not one city had walls too high for us. The LORD our God gave us all of them. 37 But you did not go near the land of the Ammonites, or the land along the banks of the Jabbok River, or the cities of the hill country, or any place that the LORD our God had forbidden.
1 a Or the Sea of Reeds
23 b That is, Crete
34 c Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.
The Defeat of Og
1 Then we turned and went up the road to Bashan, and Og king of Bashan and his whole army came out to meet us in battle at Edrei. 2 But the LORD said to me, “Do not fear him, for I have delivered him into your hand, along with all his people and his land. Do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon.”
3 So the LORD our God also delivered Og king of Bashan and his whole army into our hands. We struck them down until no survivor was left.
4 At that time we captured all sixty of his cities. There was not a single city we failed to take—the entire region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 5 All these cities were fortified with high walls and gates and bars, and there were many more unwalled villages. 6 We devoted them to destruction, a as we had done to Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children of every city.
7 But all the livestock and plunder of the cities we carried off for ourselves.
8 At that time we took from the two kings of the Amorites the land across the Jordan, from the Arnon Valley as far as Mount Hermon— 9 which the Sidonians call Sirion but the Amorites call Senir— 10 all the cities of the plateau, all of Gilead, and all of Bashan as far as the cities of Salecah and Edrei in the kingdom of Og.
Land Division East of the Jordan
(Numbers 32:1–42; Joshua 13:8–14)
12 So at that time we took possession of this land. To the Reubenites and Gadites I gave the land beyond Aroer along the Arnon Valley, and half the hill country of Gilead, along with its cities.
13 To the half-tribe of Manasseh I gave the rest of Gilead and all of Bashan, the kingdom of Og. (The entire region of Argob, the whole territory of Bashan, used to be called the land of the Rephaim.) 14 Jair, a descendant of Manasseh, took the whole region of Argob as far as the border of the Geshurites and Maacathites. He renamed Bashan after himself, Havvoth-jair, c by which it is called to this day.
15 To Machir I gave Gilead, 16 and to the Reubenites and Gadites I gave the territory from Gilead to the Arnon Valley (the middle of the valley was the border) and up to the Jabbok River, the border of the Ammonites. 17 The Jordan River in the Arabah bordered it from Chinnereth to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea d) with the slopes of Pisgah to the east.
18 At that time I commanded you: “The LORD your God has given you this land to possess. All your men of valor are to cross over, armed for battle, ahead of your brothers, the Israelites. 19 But your wives, your children, and your livestock—I know that you have much livestock—may remain in the cities I have given you, 20 until the LORD gives rest to your brothers as He has to you, and they too have taken possession of the land that the LORD your God is giving them across the Jordan. Then each of you may return to the possession I have given you.”
21 And at that time I commanded Joshua: “Your own eyes have seen all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings. The LORD will do the same to all the kingdoms you are about to enter. 22 Do not be afraid of them, for the LORD your God Himself will fight for you.”
Moses Forbidden to Cross the Jordan
23 At that time I also pleaded with the LORD: 24 “O Lord GOD, You have begun to show Your greatness and power to Your servant. For what god in heaven or on earth can perform such works and mighty acts as Yours? 25 Please let me cross over and see the good land beyond the Jordan—that pleasant hill country as well as Lebanon!”
26 But the LORD was angry with me on account of you, and He would not listen to me. “That is enough,” the LORD said to me. “Do not speak to Me again about this matter. 27 Go to the top of Pisgah and look to the west and north and south and east. See the land with your own eyes, for you will not cross this Jordan. 28 But commission Joshua, encourage him, and strengthen him, for he will cross over ahead of the people and enable them to inherit the land that you will see.”
29 So we stayed in the valley opposite Beth-peor.
6 a Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.
11 b Og’s bed was approximately 14 feet long and 6 feet wide (4.3 meters long and 1.8 meters wide).
14 c Or the villages of Jair
17 d That is, the Dead Sea
An Exhortation to Obedience
1 Hear now, O Israel, the statutes and ordinances I am teaching you to follow, so that you may live and may enter and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. 2 You must not add to or subtract from what I command you, so that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I am giving you.
3 Your eyes have seen what the LORD did at Baal-peor, for the LORD your God destroyed from among you all who followed Baal of Peor. 4 But you who held fast to the LORD your God are alive to this day, every one of you.
5 See, I have taught you statutes and ordinances just as the LORD my God has commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land that you are about to enter and possess. 6 Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding in the sight of the peoples, who will hear of all these statutes and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”
7 For what nation is great enough to have a god as near to them as the LORD our God is to us whenever we call on Him? 8 And what nation is great enough to have righteous statutes and ordinances like this entire law I set before you today?
9 Only be on your guard and diligently watch yourselves, so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen, and so that they do not slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and grandchildren. 10 The day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, a the LORD said to me, “Gather the people before Me to hear My words, so that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach them to their children.”
11 You came near and stood at the base of the mountain, a mountain blazing with fire to the heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. 12 And the LORD spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; there was only a voice. 13 He declared to you His covenant, which He commanded you to follow—the Ten Commandments b that He wrote on two tablets of stone.
14 At that time the LORD commanded me to teach you the statutes and ordinances you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.
A Warning against Idolatry
(Deuteronomy 12:29–32; Ezekiel 6:1–7)
15 So since you saw no form of any kind on the day the LORD spoke to you out of the fire at Horeb, be careful 16 that you do not act corruptly and make an idol for yourselves of any form or shape, whether in the likeness of a male or female, 17 of any beast that is on the earth or bird that flies in the air, 18 or of any creature that crawls on the ground or fish that is in the waters below.
19 When you look to the heavens and see the sun and moon and stars—all the host of heaven—do not be enticed to bow down and worship what the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. 20 Yet the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of His inheritance, as you are today.
21 The LORD, however, was angry with me on account of you, and He swore that I would not cross the Jordan to enter the good land that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance. 22 For I will not be crossing the Jordan, because I must die in this land. But you shall cross over and take possession of that good land.
23 Be careful that you do not forget the covenant of the LORD your God that He made with you; do not make an idol for yourselves in the form of anything He has forbidden you. 24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, c a jealous God.
25 After you have children and grandchildren and you have been in the land a long time, if you then act corruptly and make an idol of any form—doing evil in the sight of the LORD your God and provoking Him to anger— 26 I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live long upon it, but will be utterly destroyed.
27 Then the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the LORD will drive you. 28 And there you will serve man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell.
29 But if from there you will seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice. 31 For the LORD your God is a merciful God; He will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers, which He swore to them by oath.
The LORD Alone Is God
32 Indeed, ask now from one end of the heavens to the other about the days that long preceded you, from the day that God created man on earth: Has anything as great as this ever happened or been reported? 33 Has a people ever heard the voice of God d speaking out of the fire, as you have, and lived? 34 Or has any god tried to take as his own a nation out of another nation—by trials, signs, wonders, and war, by a strong hand and an outstretched arm, and by great terrors—as the LORD your God did for you in Egypt, before your eyes?
35 You were shown these things so that you would know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides Him.
36 He let you hear His voice from heaven to discipline you, and on earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words out of the fire. 37 Because He loved your fathers, He chose their descendants after them and brought you out of Egypt by His presence and great power, 38 to drive out before you nations greater and mightier than you, and to bring you into their land and give it to you for your inheritance, as it is this day.
39 Know therefore this day and take to heart that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other. 40 Keep His statutes and commandments, which I am giving you today, so that you and your children after you may prosper, and that you may live long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for all time.
Cities of Refuge
(Numbers 35:9–34; Deuteronomy 19:1–14; Joshua 20:1–9)
To save one’s own life, he could flee to one of these cities: 43 Bezer in the wilderness on the plateau belonging to the Reubenites, Ramoth in Gilead belonging to the Gadites, or Golan in Bashan belonging to the Manassites.
Introduction to the Law
44 This is the law that Moses set before the Israelites. 45 These are the testimonies, statutes, and ordinances that Moses proclaimed to them after they had come out of Egypt, 46 while they were in the valley across the Jordan facing Beth-peor in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon and was defeated by Moses and the Israelites after they had come out of Egypt.
47 They took possession of the land belonging to Sihon and to Og king of Bashan—the two Amorite kings across the Jordan to the east— 48 extending from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Valley as far as Mount Siyon e (that is, Hermon), 49 including all the Arabah on the east side of the Jordan and as far as the Sea of the Arabah, f below the slopes of Pisgah.
10 a That is, Mount Sinai, or possibly a mountain in the range containing Mount Sinai; also in verse 15
13 b Hebrew the Ten Words
24 c Cited in Hebrews 12:29
33 d Or of a god
48 e Or Sion ; Syriac Sirion
49 f That is, the Dead Sea
The Covenant at Horeb
The Ten Commandments
5 At that time I was standing between the LORD and you to declare to you the word of the LORD, because you were afraid of the fire and would not go up the mountain. And He said: 6 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
8 You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in the heavens above, on the earth below, or in the waters beneath. 9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on their children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 10 but showing loving devotion to a thousand generations d of those who love Me and keep My commandments.
11 You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave anyone unpunished who takes His name in vain.
12 Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God, on which you must not do any work—neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox or donkey or any of your livestock, nor the foreigner within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest as you do. 15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. That is why the LORD your God has commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
Moses Intercedes for the People
(Exodus 20:18–21; Hebrews 12:18–29)
22 The LORD spoke these commandments in a loud voice to your whole assembly out of the fire, the cloud, and the deep darkness on the mountain; He added nothing more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.
23 And when you heard the voice out of the darkness while the mountain was blazing with fire, all the heads of your tribes and your elders approached me, 24 and you said, “Behold, the LORD our God has shown us His glory and greatness, and we have heard His voice out of the fire. Today we have seen that a man can live even if God speaks with him. 25 But now, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us, and we will die, if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any longer. 26 For who of all flesh has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the fire, as we have, and survived? 27 Go near and listen to all that the LORD our God says. Then you can tell us everything the LORD our God tells you; we will listen and obey.”
28 And the LORD heard the words you spoke to me, and He said to me, “I have heard the words that these people have spoken to you. They have done well in all that they have spoken. 29 If only they had such a heart to fear Me and keep all My commandments always, so that it might be well with them and with their children forever. 30 Go and tell them: ‘Return to your tents.’ 31 But you stand here with Me, that I may speak to you all the commandments and statutes and ordinances you are to teach them to follow in the land that I am giving them to possess.”
32 So be careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you; you are not to turn aside to the right or to the left. 33 You must walk in all the ways that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.
1 a Note that Deuteronomy 5:1 through Deuteronomy 26:19 may be presented as a continuous section of unbroken speech by Moses. In place of multiple levels of nested quotes, this section has been set apart with a double space.
2 b That is, Mount Sinai, or possibly a mountain in the range containing Mount Sinai
7 c Or besides Me
10 d Hebrew loving devotion to thousands ; forms of the Hebrew chesed are translated here and in most cases throughout the Scriptures as loving devotion ; the range of meaning includes love , goodness , kindness , faithfulness , and mercy , as well as loyalty to a covenant .
16 e Cited in Matthew 15:4, Matthew 19:19, Mark 7:10, Luke 18:20, and Ephesians 6:2–3
17 f Cited in Matthew 5:21, Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, Romans 13:9, and James 2:11
18 g Cited in Matthew 5:27, Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, Romans 13:9, and James 2:11
19 h Cited in Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, and Romans 13:9
20 i Cited in Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, and Luke 18:20
21 j Cited in Romans 7:7 and Romans 13:9
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.
Drive Out the Nations
1 When the LORD your God brings you into the land that you are entering to possess, and He drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— 2 and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you to defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. a Make no treaty b with them and show them no mercy.
3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 because they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods. Then the anger of the LORD will burn against you, and He will swiftly destroy you.
5 Instead, this is what you are to do to them: tear down their altars, smash their sacred pillars, cut down their Asherah poles, and burn their idols in the fire. 6 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His prized possession out of all peoples on the face of the earth.
7 The LORD did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than the other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But because the LORD loved you and kept the oath He swore to your fathers, He brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His covenant of loving devotion for a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments. 10 But those who hate Him He repays to their faces with destruction; He will not hesitate to repay to his face the one who hates Him.
11 So keep the commandments and statutes and ordinances that I am giving you to follow this day.
The Promises of God
12 If you listen to these ordinances and keep them carefully, then the LORD your God will keep His covenant and the loving devotion that He swore to your fathers. 13 He will love you and bless you and multiply you. He will bless the fruit of your womb and the produce of your land—your grain, new wine, and oil, the young of your herds and the lambs of your flocks—in the land that He swore to your fathers to give you. 14 You will be blessed above all peoples; among you there will be no barren man or woman or livestock.
15 And the LORD will remove from you all sickness. He will not lay upon you any of the terrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but He will inflict them on all who hate you. 16 You must destroy all the peoples the LORD your God will deliver to you. Do not look on them with pity. Do not worship their gods, for that will be a snare to you.
17 You may say in your heart, “These nations are greater than we are; how can we drive them out?” 18 But do not be afraid of them. Be sure to remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and all Egypt: 19 the great trials that you saw, the signs and wonders, and the mighty hand and outstretched arm by which the LORD your God brought you out. The LORD your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear.
20 Moreover, the LORD your God will send the hornet against them until even the survivors hiding from you have perished. 21 Do not be terrified by them, for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God.
22 The LORD your God will drive out these nations before you little by little. You will not be enabled to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals would multiply around you. 23 But the LORD your God will give them over to you and throw them into great confusion, until they are destroyed. 24 He will hand their kings over to you, and you will wipe out their names from under heaven. No one will be able to stand against you; you will annihilate them.
25 You must burn up the images of their gods; do not covet the silver and gold that is on them or take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it; for it is detestable to the LORD your God. 26 And you must not bring any detestable thing into your house, or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. You are to utterly detest and abhor it, because it is set apart for destruction.
2 a Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering; also twice in verse 26.
2 b Forms of the Hebrew berit are translated in most passages as covenant .
Remember the LORD Your God
1 You must carefully follow every commandment I am giving you today, so that you may live and multiply, and enter and possess the land that the LORD swore to give your fathers. 2 Remember that these forty years the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness, so that He might humble you and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commandments.
3 He humbled you, and in your hunger He gave you manna to eat, which neither you nor your fathers had known, so that you might understand that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. a 4 Your clothing did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.
5 So know in your heart that just as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you. 6 Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, walking in His ways and fearing Him.
7 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks and fountains and springs that flow through the valleys and hills; 8 a land of wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of olive oil and honey; 9 a land where you will eat food without scarcity, where you will lack nothing; a land whose rocks are iron and whose hills are ready to be mined for copper. 10 When you eat and are satisfied, you are to bless the LORD your God for the good land that He has given you.
11 Be careful not to forget the LORD your God by failing to keep His commandments and ordinances and statutes, which I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses in which to dwell, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud, and you will forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
15 He led you through the vast and terrifying wilderness with its venomous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty and waterless land. He brought you water from the rock of flint. 16 He fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers had not known, in order to humble you and test you, so that in the end He might cause you to prosper.
17 You might say in your heart, “The power and strength of my hands have made this wealth for me.” 18 But remember that it is the LORD your God who gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm His covenant that He swore to your fathers even to this day.
19 If you ever forget the LORD your God and go after other gods to worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish. 20 Like the nations that the LORD has destroyed before you, so you will perish if you do not obey the LORD your God.
Assurance of Victory
1 Hear, O Israel: Today you are about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities fortified to the heavens. 2 The people are strong and tall, the descendants of the Anakim. You know about them, and you have heard it said, “Who can stand up to the sons of Anak?” 3 But understand that today the LORD your God goes across ahead of you as a consuming fire; He will destroy them and subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them swiftly, as the LORD has promised you.
4 When the LORD your God has driven them out before you, do not say in your heart, “Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land.” Rather, the LORD is driving out these nations before you because of their wickedness.
5 It is not because of your righteousness or uprightness of heart that you are going in to possess their land, but it is because of their wickedness that the LORD your God is driving out these nations before you, to keep the promise He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 6 Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.
The Golden Calf
(Exodus 32:1–35; Acts 7:39–43)
7 Remember this, and never forget how you provoked the LORD your God in the wilderness. From the day you left the land of Egypt until you reached this place, you have been rebelling against the LORD.
8 At Horeb a you provoked the LORD, and He was angry enough to destroy you. 9 When I went up on the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant that the LORD made with you, I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights. I ate no bread and drank no water.
10 Then the LORD gave me the two stone tablets, inscribed by the finger of God with the exact words that the LORD spoke to you out of the fire on the mountain on the day of the assembly. 11 And at the end of forty days and forty nights, the LORD gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant. 12 And the LORD said to me, “Get up and go down from here at once, for your people, whom you brought out of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. How quickly they have turned aside from the way that I commanded them! They have made for themselves a molten image.”
13 The LORD also said to me, “I have seen this people, and they are indeed a stiff-necked people. 14 Leave Me alone, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven. Then I will make you into a nation mightier and greater than they are.”
15 So I went back down the mountain while it was blazing with fire, with the two tablets of the covenant in my hands. 16 And I saw how you had sinned against the LORD your God; you had made for yourselves a molten calf. You had turned aside quickly from the way that the LORD had commanded you. 17 So I took the two tablets and threw them out of my hands, shattering them before your eyes.
18 Then I fell down before the LORD for forty days and forty nights, as I had done the first time. I did not eat bread or drink water because of all the sin you had committed in doing what was evil in the sight of the LORD and provoking Him to anger. 19 For I was afraid b of the anger and wrath that the LORD had directed against you, enough to destroy you. But the LORD listened to me this time as well.
20 The LORD was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but at that time I also prayed for Aaron. 21 And I took that sinful thing, the calf you had made, and burned it in the fire. Then I crushed it and ground it to powder as fine as dust, and I cast it into the stream that came down from the mountain.
22 You continued to provoke the LORD at Taberah, c at Massah, d and at Kibroth-hattaavah. e 23 And when the LORD sent you out from Kadesh-barnea, He said, “Go up and possess the land that I have given you.”
But you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God. You neither believed Him nor obeyed Him. 24 You have been rebelling against the LORD since the day I came to know you. 25 So I fell down before the LORD for forty days and forty nights, because the LORD had said He would destroy you.
26 And I prayed to the LORD and said, “O Lord GOD, do not destroy Your people, Your inheritance, whom You redeemed through Your greatness and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 27 Remember Your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Overlook the stubbornness of this people and the wickedness of their sin. 28 Otherwise, those in the land from which You brought us out will say, ‘Because the LORD was not able to bring them into the land He had promised them, and because He hated them, He has brought them out to kill them in the wilderness.’ 29 But they are Your people, Your inheritance, whom You brought out by Your great power and outstretched arm.”
8 a That is, Mount Sinai, or possibly a mountain in the range containing Mount Sinai
19 b LXX And I am greatly terrified ; cited in Hebrews 12:21
22 c Taberah means burning ; see Numbers 11:3.
22 d Massah means testing ; see Exodus 17:7.
22 e Kibroth-hattaavah means graves of craving ; see Numbers 11:34.
New Stone Tablets
1 At that time the LORD said to me, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the originals, come up to Me on the mountain, and make an ark of wood. 2 And I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke; and you are to place them in the ark.”
3 So I made an ark of acacia wood, chiseled out two stone tablets like the originals, and went up the mountain with the two tablets in my hands. 4 And the LORD wrote on the tablets what had been written previously, the Ten Commandments a that He had spoken to you on the mountain out of the fire on the day of the assembly. The LORD gave them to me, 5 and I went back down the mountain and placed the tablets in the ark I had made, as the LORD had commanded me; and there they have remained.
6 The Israelites traveled from Beeroth Bene-jaakan b to Moserah, where Aaron died and was buried, and Eleazar his son succeeded him as priest. 7 From there they traveled to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land with streams of water.
8 At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to serve Him, and to pronounce blessings in His name, as they do to this day. 9 That is why Levi has no portion or inheritance among his brothers; the LORD is his inheritance, as the LORD your God promised him.
10 I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights, like the first time, and that time the LORD again listened to me and agreed not to destroy you.
11 Then the LORD said to me, “Get up. Continue your journey ahead of the people, that they may enter and possess the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.”
A Call to Obedience
12 And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God by walking in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD that I am giving you this day for your own good?
14 Behold, to the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, and the earth and everything in it. 15 Yet the LORD has set His affection on your fathers and loved them. And He has chosen you, their descendants after them, above all the peoples, even to this day.
16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and stiffen your necks no more. 17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God, showing no partiality and accepting no bribe. 18 He executes justice for the fatherless and widow, and He loves the foreigner, giving him food and clothing. 19 So you also must love the foreigner, since you yourselves were foreigners in the land of Egypt.
20 You are to fear the LORD your God and serve Him. Hold fast to Him and take your oaths in His name. 21 He is your praise and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome wonders that your eyes have seen. 22 Your fathers went down to Egypt, seventy in all, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.
4 a Hebrew the Ten Words
6 b Or from the wells of the Bene-jaakan
Obedience and Discipline
1 You shall therefore love the LORD your God and always keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances, and His commandments.
2 Know this day that it is not your children who have known and seen the discipline of the LORD your God: His greatness, His mighty hand, and His outstretched arm; 3 the signs and works He did in Egypt to Pharaoh king of Egypt and all his land; 4 what He did to the Egyptian army and horses and chariots when He made the waters of the Red Sea a engulf them as they pursued you, and how He destroyed them completely, even to this day; 5 what He did for you in the wilderness until you reached this place; 6 and what He did in the midst of all the Israelites to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab the Reubenite, when the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, their households, their tents, and every living thing that belonged to them.
7 For it is your own eyes that have seen every great work that the LORD has done.
God’s Great Blessings
8 You shall therefore keep every commandment I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and possess the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 9 and so that you may live long in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.
10 For the land that you are entering to possess is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and irrigated on foot, like a vegetable garden. 11 But the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks in the rain from heaven. 12 It is a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning to the end of the year.
13 So if you carefully obey the commandments I am giving you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 then I will provide b rain for your land in season, the autumn and spring rains, that you may gather your grain, new wine, and oil. 15 And I will provide grass in the fields for your livestock, and you will eat and be satisfied.
16 But be careful that you are not enticed to turn aside to worship and bow down to other gods, 17 or the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you. He will shut the heavens so that there will be no rain, nor will the land yield its produce, and you will soon perish from the good land that the LORD is giving you.
Remember God’s Words
18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as reminders on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, speaking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that as long as the heavens are above the earth, your days and those of your children may be multiplied in the land that the LORD swore to give your fathers.
22 For if you carefully keep all these commandments I am giving you to follow—to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him— 23 then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and stronger than you. 24 Every place where the sole of your foot treads will be yours. Your territory will extend from the wilderness to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the Western Sea. c 25 No man will be able to stand against you; the LORD your God will put the fear and dread of you upon all the land, wherever you set foot, as He has promised you.
A Blessing and a Curse
26 See, today I am setting before you a blessing and a curse— 27 a blessing if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I am giving you today, 28 but a curse if you disobey the commandments of the LORD your God and turn aside from the path I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.
29 When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal. 30 Are not these mountains across the Jordan, west of the road toward the sunset, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah opposite Gilgal near the Oak d of Moreh?
31 For you are about to cross the Jordan to enter and possess the land that the LORD your God is giving you. When you take possession of it and settle in it, 32 be careful to follow all the statutes and ordinances that I am setting before you today.
4 a Or the Sea of Reeds
14 b Hebrew; SP, LXX, and Vulgate He will provide ; also in verse 15
24 c That is, the Mediterranean Sea, also called the Great Sea
30 d SP, LXX, and Syriac (see Genesis 12:6); Hebrew Oaks or Terebinths or Great Trees
One Place for Worship
1 These are the statutes and ordinances you must be careful to follow all the days you live in the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess.
2 Destroy completely all the places where the nations you are dispossessing have served their gods—atop the high mountains, on the hills, and under every green tree. 3 Tear down their altars, smash their sacred pillars, burn up their Asherah poles, cut down the idols of their gods, and wipe out their names from every place. 4 You shall not worship the LORD your God in this way.
5 Instead, you must seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to establish as a dwelling for His Name, and there you must go. 6 To that place you are to bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and heave offerings, your vow offerings and freewill offerings, as well as the firstborn of your herds and flocks. 7 There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your households shall eat and rejoice in all you do, because the LORD your God has blessed you.
8 You are not to do as we are doing here today, where everyone does what seems right in his own eyes. 9 For you have not yet come to the resting place and the inheritance that the LORD your God is giving you.
10 When you cross the Jordan and live in the land that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, and He gives you rest from all the enemies around you and you dwell securely, 11 then the LORD your God will choose a dwelling for His Name. And there you are to bring everything I command you:your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice offerings you vow to the LORD. 12 And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God—you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levite within your gates, since he has no portion or inheritance among you.
13 Be careful not to offer your burnt offerings in just any place you see; 14 you must offer them only in the place the LORD will choose in one of your tribal territories, and there you shall do all that I command you.
15 But whenever you want, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your gates, according to the blessing the LORD your God has given you. Both the ceremonially clean and unclean may eat it as they would a gazelle or deer, 16 but you must not eat the blood; pour it on the ground like water.
17 Within your gates you must not eat the tithe of your grain or new wine or oil, the firstborn of your herds or flocks, any of the offerings that you have vowed to give, or your freewill offerings or special gifts. 18 Instead, you must eat them in the presence of the LORD your God at the place the LORD your God will choose—you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levite within your gates. Rejoice before the LORD your God in all you do, 19 and be careful not to neglect the Levites as long as you live in your land.
20 When the LORD your God expands your territory as He has promised, and you crave meat and say, “I want to eat meat,” you may eat it whenever you want. 21 If the place where the LORD your God chooses to put His Name is too far from you, then you may slaughter any of the herd or flock He has given you, as I have commanded you, and you may eat it within your gates whenever you want. 22 Indeed, you may eat it as you would eat a gazelle or deer; both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat it. 23 Only be sure not to eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the meat. 24 You must not eat the blood; pour it on the ground like water. 25 Do not eat it, so that it may go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is right in the eyes of the LORD.
26 But you are to take your holy things and your vow offerings and go to the place the LORD will choose. 27 Present the meat and blood of your burnt offerings on the altar of the LORD your God. The blood of your other sacrifices must be poured out beside the altar of the LORD your God, but you may eat the meat. 28 Be careful to obey all these things I command you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the LORD your God.
A Warning against Idolatry
(Deuteronomy 4:15–31; Ezekiel 6:1–7)
29 When the LORD your God cuts off before you the nations you are entering to dispossess, and you drive them out and live in their land, 30 be careful not to be ensnared by their ways after they have been destroyed before you. Do not inquire about their gods, asking, “How do these nations serve their gods? I will do likewise.”
31 You must not worship the LORD your God in this way, because they practice for their gods every abomination which the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.
32 See that you do everything I command you; do not add to it or subtract from it.
Idolaters to Be Put to Death
1 If a prophet or dreamer of dreams arises among you and proclaims a sign or wonder to you, 2 and if the sign or wonder he has spoken to you comes about, but he says, “Let us follow other gods (which you have not known) and let us worship them,” 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. For the LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You are to follow the LORD your God and fear Him. Keep His commandments and listen to His voice;serve Him and hold fast to Him.
5 Such a prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he has advocated rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way in which the LORD your God has commanded you to walk. So you must purge the evil from among you. a
6 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you embrace, b or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (which neither you nor your fathers have known, 7 the gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, whether from one end of the earth or the other), 8 you must not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity, and do not spare him or shield him.
9 Instead, you must surely kill him. Your hand must be the first against him to put him to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone him to death for trying to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such a wicked thing among you.
Idolatrous Cities to Be Destroyed
12 If, regarding one of the cities the LORD your God is giving you to inhabit, you hear it said 13 that wicked men have arisen from among you and have led the people of their city astray, saying, “Let us go and serve other gods” (which you have not known), 14 then you must inquire, investigate, and interrogate thoroughly. And if it is established with certainty that this abomination has been committed among you, 15 you must surely put the inhabitants of that city to the sword. Devote to destruction c all its people and livestock.
16 And you are to gather all its plunder in the middle of the public square, and completely burn the city and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God. The city must remain a mound of ruins forever, never to be rebuilt.
17 Nothing devoted to destruction shall cling to your hands, so that the LORD will turn from His fierce anger, grant you mercy, show you compassion, and multiply you as He swore to your fathers, 18 because you obey the LORD your God, keeping all His commandments I am giving you today and doing what is right in the eyes of the LORD your God.
5 a Cited in 1 Corinthians 5:13
6 b Hebrew the wife of your bosom
15 c Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering; similarly in verse 17.
Clean and Unclean Animals
(Leviticus 11:1–47; Acts 10:9–16)
1 You are sons of the LORD your God; do not cut yourselves or shave your foreheads on behalf of the dead, 2 for you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD has chosen you to be a people for His prized possession out of all the peoples on the face of the earth.
The ox, the sheep, the goat,
5 the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer,
the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope,
and the mountain sheep.
6 You may eat any animal that has a split hoof divided in two and that chews the cud.
7 But of those that chew the cud or have a completely divided hoof, you are not to eat the following:
or the rock badger. b
Although they chew the cud, they do not have a divided hoof. They are unclean for you, 8 as well as the pig; though it has a divided hoof, it does not chew the cud. It is unclean for you. You must not eat its meat or touch its carcass.
the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture,
13 the red kite, the falcon, any kind of kite,
14 any kind of raven,
16 the little owl, the great owl, the white owl,
17 the desert owl, the osprey, the cormorant,
18 the stork, any kind of heron,
the hoopoe, or the bat.
21 You are not to eat any carcass; you may give it to the foreigner residing within your gates, and he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. For you are a holy people belonging to the LORD your God.
(Leviticus 27:30–34; Deuteronomy 26:1–15; Nehemiah 13:10–14)
22 You must be sure to set aside a tenth of all the produce brought forth each year from your fields. 23 And you are to eat a tenth of your grain, new wine, and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks, in the presence of the LORD your God at the place He will choose as a dwelling for His Name, so that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.
24 But if the distance is too great for you to carry that with which the LORD your God has blessed you, because the place where the LORD your God will choose to put His Name is too far away, 25 then exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place the LORD your God will choose. 26 Then you may spend the money on anything you desire: cattle, sheep, wine, strong drink, or anything you wish. You are to feast there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice with your household. 27 And do not neglect the Levite within your gates, since he has no portion or inheritance among you.
28 At the end of every three years, bring a tenth of all your produce for that year and lay it up within your gates. 29 Then the Levite (because he has no portion or inheritance among you), the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow within your gates may come and eat and be satisfied. And the LORD your God will bless you in all the work of your hands.
4 a The precise identification of some of the birds and animals in this chapter is uncertain.
7 b Or the coney or the hyrax
15 c Literally the daughter of the ostrich or the daughter of the owl
The Seventh Year
(Exodus 23:10–13; Leviticus 25:1–7)
1 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. 2 This is the manner of remission: Every creditor shall cancel what he has loaned to his neighbor. He is not to collect anything from his neighbor or brother, because the LORD’s time of release has been proclaimed. 3 You may collect something from a foreigner, but you must forgive whatever your brother owes you.
4 There will be no poor among you, however, because the LORD will surely bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, 5 if only you obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commandments I am giving you today. 6 When the LORD your God blesses you as He has promised, you will lend to many nations but borrow from none; you will rule over many nations but be ruled by none.
Generosity in Lending and Giving
7 If there is a poor man among your brothers within any of the gates in the land that the LORD your God is giving you, then you are not to harden a your heart or shut your hand from your poor brother. 8 Instead, you are to open your hand to him and freely loan him whatever he needs.
9 Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought in your heart: “The seventh year, the year of release, is near,” so that you look upon your poor brother begrudgingly and give him nothing. He will cry out to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin.
10 Give generously to him, and do not let your heart be grieved when you do so. And because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything to which you put your hand. 11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land; that is why I am commanding you to open wide your hand to your brother and to the poor and needy in your land.
13 And when you release him, do not send him away empty-handed. 14 You are to furnish him liberally from your flock, your threshing floor, and your winepress. You shall give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you. 15 Remember that you were slaves in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; that is why I am giving 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 household and is well off with you, 17 then take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he will become your servant for life. And treat your maidservant the same way.
18 Do not regard it as a hardship to set your servant free, because his six years of service were worth twice the wages of a hired hand. And the LORD your God will bless you in all you do.
19 You must set apart to the LORD your God every firstborn male produced by your herds and flocks. You are not to put the firstborn of your oxen to work, nor are you to shear the firstborn of your flock. 20 Each year you and your household are to eat it before the LORD your God in the place the LORD will choose.
21 But 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 Eat it within your gates; both the ceremonially unclean and clean may eat it as they would a gazelle or a deer. 23 But you must not eat the blood; pour it on the ground like water.
7 a Or make strong or make courageous
12 b Or sells himself
Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread
(Exodus 12:14–28; Leviticus 23:4–8; Numbers 28:16–25)
2 You are to offer to the LORD your God the Passover sacrifice from the herd or flock in the place the LORD will choose as a dwelling for His Name. 3 You must not eat leavened bread with it; for seven days you are to eat with it unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left the land of Egypt in haste—so that you may remember for the rest of your life the day you left the land of Egypt.
4 No leaven is to be found in all your land for seven days, and none of the meat you sacrifice in the evening of the first day shall remain until morning.
5 You are not to sacrifice the Passover animal in any of the towns that the LORD your God is giving you. 6 You must only offer the Passover sacrifice at the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for His Name. Do this in the evening as the sun sets, at the same time you departed from Egypt. 7 And you shall roast it and eat it in the place the LORD your God will choose, and in the morning you shall return to your tents.
8 For six days you must eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day you shall hold a solemn assembly to the LORD your God, and you must not do any work.
The Feast of Weeks
9 You are to count off seven weeks from the time you first put the sickle to the standing grain. 10 And you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks b to the LORD your God with a freewill offering that you give in proportion to how the LORD your God has blessed you, 11 and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God in the place He will choose as a dwelling for His Name—you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levite within your gates, as well as the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widows among you.
12 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and carefully follow these statutes.
The Feast of Tabernacles
13 You are to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles c for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. 14 And you shall rejoice in your feast—you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levite, as well as the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widows among you.
15 For seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the LORD your God in the place He will choose, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that your joy will be complete.
16 Three times a year all your men are to appear before the LORD your God in the place He will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, d the Feast of Weeks, e and the Feast of Tabernacles. f No one should appear before the LORD empty-handed. 17 Everyone must appear with a gift as he is able, according to the blessing the LORD your God has given you.
Judges and Justice
18 You are to appoint judges and officials for your tribes in every town that the LORD your God is giving you. They are to judge the people with righteous judgment.
19 Do not deny justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous.
20 Pursue justice, and justice alone, so that you may live, and you may possess the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
Forbidden Forms of Worship
1 a Abib was the first month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar, usually occurring within the months of March and April; twice in this verse.
10 b That is, Shavuot; see footnotes for verse 16.
13 c Or Booths or Shelters ; see footnotes for verse 16.
16 d That is, the seven-day period after the Passover during which no leaven may be eaten; see Exodus 12:14–20.
16 e That is, Shavuot, the late spring feast of pilgrimage to Jerusalem; it is also known as the Feast of Harvest (see Exodus 23:16) or the Feast of Pentecost (see Acts 2:1).
16 f That is, Sukkot, the autumn feast of pilgrimage to Jerusalem; also translated as the Feast of Booths or the Feast of Shelters and originally called the Feast of Ingathering (see Exodus 23:16 and Exodus 34:22).
1 You shall not sacrifice to the LORD your God an ox or a sheep with any defect or serious flaw, for that is detestable to the LORD your God.
Purge the Idolater
2 If a man or woman among you in one of the towns that the LORD your God gives you is found doing evil in the sight of the LORD your God by transgressing His covenant 3 and going to worship other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or moon or any of the host of heaven—which I have forbidden— 4 and if it is reported and you hear about it, you must investigate it thoroughly.
If the report is true and such an abomination has happened in Israel, 5 you must bring out to your gates the man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you must stone that person to death. 6 On the testimony of two or three witnesses a man shall be put to death, but he shall not be executed on the testimony of a lone witness. 7 The hands of the witnesses shall be the first in putting him to death, and after that, the hands of all the people. So you must purge the evil from among you. a
Courts of Law
8 If a case is too difficult for you to judge, whether the controversy within your gates is regarding bloodshed, lawsuits, or assaults, you must go up to the place the LORD your God will choose. 9 You are to go to the Levitical priests and to the judge who presides at that time. Inquire of them, and they will give you a verdict in the case.
10 You must abide by the verdict they give you at the place the LORD will choose. Be careful to do everything they instruct you, 11 according to the terms of law they give and the verdict they proclaim. Do not turn aside to the right or to the left from the decision they declare to you.
12 But the man who acts presumptuously, refusing to listen either to the priest who stands there to serve the LORD your God, or to the judge, must be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel. 13 Then all the people will hear and be afraid, and will no longer behave arrogantly.
Guidelines for a King
(1 Samuel 8:1–9)
14 When you enter the land that the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” 15 you are to appoint over yourselves the king whom the LORD your God shall choose. Appoint a king from among your brothers; you are not to set over yourselves a foreigner who is not one of your brothers.
16 But the king must not acquire many horses for himself or send the people back to Egypt to acquire more horses, for the LORD has said, ‘You are never to go back that way again.’ 17 He must not take many wives for himself, lest his heart go astray. He must not accumulate for himself large amounts of silver and gold.
18 When he is seated on his royal throne, he must write for himself a copy of this instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to remain with him, and he is to read from it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear the LORD his God by carefully observing all the words of this instruction and these statutes. 20 Then his heart will not be exalted above his countrymen, and he will not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or to the left, in order that he and his sons may reign many years over his kingdom in Israel.
Provision for Priests and Levites
(1 Corinthians 9:1–18)
1 The Levitical priests—indeed the whole tribe of Levi—shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They are to eat the offerings made by fire to the LORD; that is their inheritance. 2 Although they have no inheritance among their brothers, the LORD is their inheritance, as He promised them.
3 This shall be the priests’ share from the people who offer a sacrifice, whether a bull or a sheep: the priests are to be given the shoulder, the jowls, and the stomach. 4 You are to give them the firstfruits of your grain, new wine, and oil, and the first wool sheared from your flock. 5 For the LORD your God has chosen Levi and his sons out of all your tribes to stand and minister in His name for all time.
6 Now if a Levite moves from any town of residence throughout Israel and comes in all earnestness to the place the LORD will choose, 7 then he shall serve in the name of the LORD his God like all his fellow Levites who stand there before the LORD. 8 They shall eat equal portions, even though he has received money from the sale of his father’s estate.
9 When you enter the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, a practices divination or conjury, interprets omens, practices sorcery, 11 casts spells, consults a medium or spiritist, or inquires of the dead. 12 For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD. And because of these detestable things, the LORD your God is driving out the nations before you.
A Prophet Like Moses
15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must listen to him. b 16 This is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb c on the day of the assembly, when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God or see this great fire anymore, so that we will not die!”
17 Then the LORD said to me, “They have spoken well. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. 19 And I will hold accountable anyone who does not listen to My words that the prophet speaks in My name. d 20 But if any prophet dares to speak a message in My name that I have not commanded him to speak, or to speak in the name of other gods, that prophet must be put to death.”
21 You may ask in your heart, “How can we recognize a message that the LORD has not spoken?” 22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD and the message does not come to pass or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.
10 a Literally makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire
15 b Cited in Acts 3:22
16 c That is, Mount Sinai, or possibly a mountain in the range containing Mount Sinai
19 d See Acts 3:23.
Cities of Refuge
(Numbers 35:9–34; Deuteronomy 4:41–43; Joshua 20:1–9)
1 When the LORD your God has cut off the nations whose land He is giving you, and when you have driven them out and settled in their cities and houses, 2 then you are to set apart for yourselves three cities within the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess. 3 You are to build roads for yourselves a and divide into three regions the land that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, so that any manslayer can flee to these cities.
4 Now this is the situation regarding the manslayer who flees to one of these cities to save his life, having killed his neighbor accidentally, without intending to harm him: 5 If he goes into the forest with his neighbor to cut timber and swings his axe to chop down a tree, but the blade flies off the handle and strikes and kills his neighbor, he may flee to one of these cities to save his life.
6 Otherwise, the avenger of blood might pursue the manslayer in a rage, overtake him if the distance is great, and strike him dead though he did not deserve to die, since he did not intend any harm. 7 This is why I am commanding you to set apart for yourselves three cities.
8 And if the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as He swore to your fathers, and gives you all the land He promised them, 9 and if you carefully keep all these commandments I am giving you today, loving the LORD your God and walking in His ways at all times, then you are to add three more cities to these three.
10 Thus innocent blood will not be shed in the land that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, so that you will not be guilty of bloodshed.
11 If, however, a man hates his neighbor and lies in wait, attacks him and kills him, and then flees to one of these cities, 12 the elders of his city must send for him, bring him back, and hand him over to the avenger of blood to die. 13 You must show him no pity. You are to purge from Israel the guilt of shedding innocent blood, that it may go well with you.
14 You must not move your neighbor’s boundary marker, which was set up by your ancestors to mark the inheritance you shall receive in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess.
The Testimony of Two or Three Witnesses
15 A lone witness is not sufficient to establish any wrongdoing or sin against a man, regardless of what offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. b
16 If a false witness testifies against someone, accusing him of a crime, 17 both parties to the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD, before the priests and judges who are in office at that time. 18 The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is proven to be a liar who has falsely accused his brother, 19 you must do to him as he intended to do to his brother. So you must purge the evil from among you. c 20 Then the rest of the people will hear and be afraid, and they will never again do anything so evil among you. 21 You must show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, d hand for hand, and foot for foot.
Laws of Warfare
1 When you go out to war against your enemies and see horses, chariots, and an army larger than yours, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you. 2 When you are about to go into battle, the priest is to come forward and address the army, 3 saying to them, “Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle with your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be alarmed or terrified because of them. 4 For the LORD your God goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.”
5 Furthermore, the officers are to address the army, saying, “Has any man built a new house and not dedicated it? Let him return home, or he may die in battle and another man dedicate it. 6 Has any man planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy its fruit? Let him return home, or he may die in battle and another man enjoy its fruit. 7 Has any man become pledged to a woman and not married her? Let him return home, or he may die in battle and another man marry her.”
8 Then the officers shall speak further to the army, saying, “Is any man afraid or fainthearted? Let him return home, so that the hearts of his brothers will not melt like his own.”
9 When the officers have finished addressing the army, they are to appoint commanders to lead it.
10 When you approach a city to fight against it, you are to make an offer of peace. 11 If they accept your offer of peace and open their gates, all the people there will become forced laborers to serve you.
12 But if they refuse to make peace with you and wage war against you, lay siege to that city. 13 When the LORD your God has delivered it into your hand, you must put every male to the sword. 14 But the women, children, livestock, and whatever else is in the city—all its spoil—you may take as plunder, and you shall use the spoil of your enemies that the LORD your God gives you. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are far away from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.
16 However, in the cities of the nations that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 For you must devote them to complete destruction a —the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—as the LORD your God has commanded you, 18 so that they cannot teach you to do all the detestable things they do for their gods, and so cause you to sin against the LORD your God.
19 When you lay siege to a city for an extended time while fighting against it to capture it, you must not destroy its trees by putting an axe to them, because you can eat their fruit. You must not cut them down. Are the trees of the field human, that you should besiege them? 20 But you may destroy the trees that you know do not produce fruit. Use them to build siege works against the city that is waging war against you, until it falls.
17 a Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.
Atonement for an Unsolved Murder
1 If one is found slain, lying in a field in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed him, 2 your elders and judges must come out and measure the distance from the victim to the neighboring cities.
3 Then the elders of the city nearest the victim shall take a heifer that has never been yoked or used for work, 4 bring the heifer to a valley with running water that has not been plowed or sown, and break its neck there by the stream.
5 And the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come forward, for the LORD your God has chosen them to serve Him and pronounce blessings in His name and to give a ruling in every dispute and case of assault. 6 Then all the elders of the city nearest the victim shall wash their hands by the stream over the heifer whose neck has been broken, 7 and they shall declare, “Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it. 8 Accept this atonement, O LORD, for Your people Israel whom You have redeemed, and do not hold the shedding of innocent blood against them.”
And the bloodshed will be atoned for. 9 So you shall purge from among you 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 hand and you take them captive, 11 if you see a beautiful woman among them, and you desire her and want to take her as your wife, 12 then you shall bring her into your house. She must shave her head, trim her nails, 13 and put aside the clothing of her captivity.
After she has lived in your house a full month and mourned her father and mother, you may have relations with her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. 14 And if you are not pleased with her, you are to let her go wherever she wishes. But you must not sell her for money or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.
Inheritance Rights of the Firstborn
15 If a man has two wives, one beloved and the other unloved, and both bear him sons, but the unloved wife has the firstborn son, 16 when that man assigns his inheritance to his sons he must not appoint the son of the beloved wife as the firstborn over the son of the unloved wife.
17 Instead, he must acknowledge the firstborn, the son of his unloved wife, by giving him a double portion of all that he has. For that son is the firstfruits 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 does not listen to them when disciplined, 19 his father and mother are to lay hold of him and bring him to the elders of his city, to the gate of his hometown, 20 and say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he does not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.”
Cursed Is Anyone Hung on a Tree
22 If a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is executed, and you hang his body on a tree, b 23 you must not leave the body on the tree overnight, but you must be sure to bury him that day, because anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse. c You must not defile the land that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.
1 If you see your brother’s ox or sheep straying, you must not ignore it; a be sure to return it to your brother. 2 If your brother does not live near you, or if you do not know who he is, you are to take the animal home to remain with you until your brother comes seeking it; then you can return it to him. 3 And you shall do the same for his donkey, his cloak, or anything your brother has lost and you have found. You must not ignore it.
4 If you see your brother’s donkey or ox fallen on the road, you must not ignore it;you must help him lift it up.
5 A woman must not wear men’s clothing, and a man must not wear women’s clothing, for whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD your God.
6 If you come across a bird’s nest with chicks or eggs, either in a tree or on the ground along the road, and the mother is sitting on the chicks or eggs, you must not take the mother along with the young. 7 You may take the young, but be sure to let the mother go, so that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days.
8 If you build a new house, you are to construct a railing around your roof, so that you do not bring bloodguilt on your house if someone falls from it.
10 Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.
11 Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.
12 You are to make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear.
13 Suppose a man marries a woman, has relations with her, and comes to hate her, 14 and he then accuses her of shameful conduct and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman and had relations with her, but I discovered she was not a virgin.”
15 Then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring the proof of her virginity to the city elders at the gate 16 and say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he has come to hate her. 17 And now he has accused her of shameful conduct, saying, ‘I discovered that your daughter was not a virgin.’ But here is the proof of her virginity.” And they shall spread out the cloth before the city elders.
18 Then the elders of that city shall take the man and punish him. 19 They are also to fine him a hundred shekels of silver c and give them to the young woman’s father, because this man has given a virgin of Israel a bad name. And she shall remain his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.
20 If, however, this accusation is true, and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house, and there the men of her city will stone her to death. For she has committed an outrage in Israel by being promiscuous in her father’s house. So you must purge the evil from among you. d
22 If a man is found lying with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.
23 If there is a virgin pledged in marriage to a man, and another man encounters her in the city and sleeps with her, 24 you must take both of them out to the gate of that city and stone them to death—the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. So you must purge the evil from among you.
25 But if the man encounters a betrothed woman in the open country, and he overpowers her and lies with her, only the man who has done this must die. 26 Do nothing to the young woman, because she has committed no sin worthy of death. This case is just like one in which a man attacks his neighbor and murders him. 27 When he found her in the field, the betrothed woman cried out, but there was no one to save her.
28 If a man encounters a virgin who is not pledged in marriage, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are discovered, 29 then the man who lay with her must pay the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, e and she must become his wife because he has violated her. He must not divorce her as long as he lives.
1 a Or you must not hide yourself
9 b Or will be forfeited to the sanctuary
19 c 100 shekels is approximately 2.5 pounds or 1.1 kilograms of silver.
21 d Here and in verse 24; cited in 1 Corinthians 5:13
29 e 50 shekels is approximately 1.26 pounds or 569.8 grams of silver.
30 f Or uncover his father’s skirt
Exclusion from the Congregation
1 No man with crushed or severed genitals may enter the assembly of the LORD.
2 No one of illegitimate birth may enter the assembly of the LORD, nor may any of his descendants, even to the tenth generation.
3 No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, even to the tenth generation. 4 For they did not meet you with food and water on your way out of Egypt, and they hired Balaam son of Beor from Pethor in Aram-naharaim a to curse you. 5 Yet the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam, and the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loves you. 6 You are not to seek peace or prosperity from them as long as you live.
7 Do not despise an Edomite, for he is your brother. Do not despise an Egyptian, because you lived as a foreigner in his land. 8 The third generation of children born to them may enter the assembly of the LORD.
Uncleanness in the Camp
9 When you are encamped against your enemies, then you shall keep yourself from every wicked thing. 10 If any man among you becomes unclean because of a nocturnal emission, he must leave the camp and stay outside. 11 When evening approaches, he must wash with water, and when the sun sets he may return to the camp.
12 You must have a place outside the camp to go and relieve yourself. 13 And you must have a digging tool in your equipment so that when you relieve yourself you can dig a hole and cover up your excrement.
14 For the LORD your God walks throughout your camp to protect you and deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, lest He see anything unclean among you and turn away from you.
17 No daughter or son of Israel is to be a shrine prostitute. 18 You must not bring the wages of a prostitute, whether female or male, b into the house of the LORD your God to fulfill any vow, because both are detestable to the LORD your God.
19 Do not charge your brother interest on money, food, or any other type of loan. 20 You may charge a foreigner interest, but not your brother, so that the LORD your God may bless you in everything to which you put your hand in the land that you are entering to possess.
21 If you make a vow to the LORD your God, do not be slow to keep it, because He will surely require it of you, and you will be guilty of sin. 22 But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty of sin. 23 Be careful to follow through on what comes from your lips, because you have freely vowed to the LORD your God with your own mouth.
24 When you enter your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes, but you must not put any in your basket.
25 When you enter your neighbor’s grainfield, you may pluck the heads of grain with your hand, but you must not put a sickle to your neighbor’s grain.
4 a That is, Mesopotamia; Aram-naharaim means Aram of the two rivers , likely the region between the Euphrates and Balih Rivers in northwestern Mesopotamia.
18 b Hebrew or a dog
Marriage and Divorce Laws
(Matthew 5:31–32; Luke 16:18)
2 If, after leaving his house, she goes and becomes another man’s wife, 3 and the second man hates her, writes her a certificate of divorce, hands it to her, and sends her away from his house, or if he dies, 4 then the husband who divorced her first may not remarry her after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination to the LORD. You must not bring sin upon the land that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.
5 If a man is newly married, he must not be sent to war or be pressed into any duty. For one year he is free to stay at home and bring joy to the wife he has married.
6 Do not take a pair of millstones or even an upper millstone as security for a debt, because that would be taking one’s livelihood as security.
8 In cases of infectious skin diseases, c be careful to diligently follow everything the Levitical priests instruct you. Be careful to do as I have commanded them. 9 Remember what the LORD your God did to Miriam on the journey after you came out of Egypt.
10 When you lend anything to your neighbor, do not enter his house to collect security. 11 You are to stand outside while the man to whom you are lending brings the security out to you. 12 If he is a poor man, you must not go to sleep with the security in your possession; 13 be sure to return it to him by sunset, so that he may sleep in his own cloak and bless you, and this will be credited to you as righteousness before the LORD your God.
14 Do not oppress a hired hand who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother or a foreigner residing in one of your towns. 15 You are to pay his wages each day before sunset, because he is poor and depends on them. Otherwise he may cry out to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin.
17 Do not deny justice to the foreigner or the fatherless, and do not take a widow’s cloak as security. 18 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you from that place. Therefore I am commanding you to do this.
19 If you are harvesting in your field and forget a sheaf there, do not go back to get it. It is to be left for the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
20 When you beat the olives from your trees, you must not go over the branches again. What remains will be for the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow.
21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you must not go over the vines again. What remains will be for the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow. 22 Remember that you were slaves in the land of Egypt. Therefore I am commanding you to do this.
1 a Cited in Matthew 5:31; see also Mark 10:4.
7 b Cited in 1 Corinthians 5:13
8 c Forms of the Hebrew tzaraath , traditionally translated as leprosy , were used for various skin diseases; see Leviticus 13.
16 d Cited in 2 Kings 14:6 and 2 Chronicles 25:4
Fairness and Mercy
1 If there is a dispute between men, they are to go to court to be judged, so that the innocent may be acquitted and the guilty condemned.
2 If the guilty man deserves to be beaten, the judge shall have him lie down and be flogged in his presence with the number of lashes his crime warrants. 3 He may receive no more than forty lashes, lest your brother be beaten any more than that and be degraded in your sight.
Widowhood and Marriage
5 When brothers dwell together and one of them dies without a son, the widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother is to take her as his wife and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law for her. b 6 The first son she bears will carry on the name of the dead brother, so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel.
7 But if the man does not want to marry his brother’s widow, she is to go to the elders at the city gate and say, “My husband’s brother refuses to preserve his brother’s name in Israel. He is not willing to perform the duty of a brother-in-law for me.”
8 Then the elders of his city shall summon him and speak with him. If he persists and says, “I do not want to marry her,” 9 his brother’s widow shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, remove his sandal, spit in his face, and declare, “This is what is done to the man who will not maintain his brother’s line.” 10 And his family name in Israel will be called “The House of the Unsandaled.”
11 If two men are fighting, and the wife of one steps in to rescue her husband from the one striking him, and she reaches out her hand and grabs his genitals, 12 you are to cut off her hand. You must show her no pity.
Standard Weights and Measures
(Proverbs 11:1–3; Ezekiel 45:10–12)
15 You must maintain accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. 16 For everyone who behaves dishonestly in regard to these things is detestable to the LORD your God.
Revenge on the Amalekites
19 When the LORD your God gives you rest from the enemies around you in the land that He is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you are to blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!
Offering Firstfruits and Tithes
(Leviticus 27:30–34;Deuteronomy 14:22–29; Nehemiah 13:10–14)
1 When you enter the land that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you take possession of it and settle in it, 2 you are to take some of the firstfruits of all your produce from the soil of the land that the LORD your God is giving you and put them in a basket. Then go to the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for His Name, 3 to the priest who is serving at that time, and say to him, “I declare today to the LORD your God that I have entered the land that the LORD swore to our fathers to give us.”
4 Then the priest shall take the basket from your hands and place it before the altar of the LORD your God, 5 and you are to declare before the LORD your God, “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down to Egypt few in number and lived there and became a great nation, mighty and numerous. 6 But the Egyptians mistreated us and afflicted us, putting us to hard labor. 7 So we called out to the LORD, the God of our fathers; and the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction, toil, and oppression. 8 Then the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror, signs, and wonders. 9 And He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land that You, O LORD, have given me.”
Then you are to place the basket before the LORD your God and bow down before Him. 11 So you shall rejoice—you, the Levite, and the foreigner dwelling among you—in all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household.
12 When you have finished laying aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you are to give it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat and be filled within your gates.
13 Then you shall declare in the presence of the LORD your God, “I have removed from my house the sacred portion and have given it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all the commandments You have given me. I have not transgressed or forgotten Your commandments. 14 I have not eaten any of the sacred portion while in mourning, or removed any of it while unclean, or offered any of it for the dead. I have obeyed the LORD my God; I have done everything You commanded me. 15 Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel and the land You have given us as You swore to our fathers—a land flowing with milk and honey.”
Obey the LORD’s Commands
16 The LORD your God commands you this day to follow these statutes and ordinances. You must be careful to follow them with all your heart and with all your soul.
17 Today you have proclaimed that the LORD is your God and that you will walk in His ways, keep His statutes and commandments and ordinances, and listen to His voice.
18 And today the LORD has proclaimed that you are His people and treasured possession as He promised, that you are to keep all His commandments, 19 that He will set you high in praise and name and honor above all the nations He has made, and that you will be a holy people to the LORD your God, as He has promised.
The Altar on Mount Ebal
1 Then Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people: “Keep all the commandments I am giving you today.
2 And on the day you cross the Jordan into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, set up large stones and coat them with plaster. 3 Write on them all the words of this law when you have crossed over to enter the land that the LORD your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you. 4 And when you have crossed the Jordan, you are to set up these stones on Mount Ebal, as I am commanding you today, and you are to coat them with plaster.
5 Moreover, you are to build there an altar to the LORD your God, an altar of stones. You must not use any iron tool on them. 6 You shall build the altar of the LORD your God with uncut stones and offer upon it burnt offerings to the LORD your God. 7 There you are to sacrifice your peace offerings, eating them and rejoicing in the presence of the LORD your God. 8 And you shall write distinctly upon these stones all the words of this law.”
9 Then Moses and the Levitical priests spoke to all Israel: “Be silent, O Israel, and listen! This day you have become the people of the LORD your God. 10 You shall therefore obey the voice of the LORD your God and follow His commandments and statutes I am giving you today.”
Curses Pronounced from Ebal
11 On that day Moses commanded the people: 12 “When you have crossed the Jordan, these tribes shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. 13 And these tribes shall stand on Mount Ebal to deliver the curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.
14 Then the Levites shall proclaim in a loud voice to every Israelite:
15 ‘Cursed is the man who makes a carved idol or molten image—an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of a craftsman—and sets it up in secret.’
And let all the people say, ‘Amen!’
16 ‘Cursed is he who dishonors his father or mother.’
And let all the people say, ‘Amen!’
17 ‘Cursed is he who moves his neighbor’s boundary stone.’
And let all the people say, ‘Amen!’
18 ‘Cursed is he who lets a blind man wander in the road.’
And let all the people say, ‘Amen!’
19 ‘Cursed is he who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless, or the widow.’
And let all the people say, ‘Amen!’
And let all the people say, ‘Amen!’
21 ‘Cursed is he who lies with any animal.’
And let all the people say, ‘Amen!’
22 ‘Cursed is he who sleeps with his sister, the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother.’
And let all the people say, ‘Amen!’
23 ‘Cursed is he who sleeps with his mother-in-law.’
And let all the people say, ‘Amen!’
24 ‘Cursed is he who strikes down his neighbor in secret.’
And let all the people say, ‘Amen!’
25 ‘Cursed is he who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person.’
And let all the people say, ‘Amen!’
The Blessings of Obedience
1 “Now if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God and are careful to follow all His commandments I am giving you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings will come upon you and overtake you, if you will obey the voice of 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,
as well as the produce of your land
and the offspring of your livestock—
the calves of your herds
and the lambs of your flocks.
5 Your basket and kneading bowl will be blessed.
6 You will be blessed when you come in
and blessed when you go out.
7 The LORD will cause the enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you. They will march out against you in one direction but flee from you in seven.
8 The LORD will decree a blessing on your barns and on everything to which you put your hand; the LORD your God will bless you in the land He is giving you. 9 The LORD will establish you as His holy people, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways. 10 Then all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will stand in awe of you.
11 The LORD will make you prosper abundantly—in the fruit of your womb, the offspring of your livestock, and the produce of your land—in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give you.
12 The LORD will open the heavens, His abundant storehouse, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations, but borrow from none.
13 The LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you will only move upward and never downward, if you hear and carefully follow the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am giving you today. 14 Do not turn aside to the right or to the left from any of the words I command you today, and do not go after other gods to serve them.
The Curses of Disobedience
(Leviticus 20:1–9; Leviticus 26:14–39)
15 If, however, you do not obey the LORD your God by carefully following all His commandments and statutes 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 kneading bowl will be cursed.
18 The fruit of your womb will be cursed,
as well as the produce of your land,
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 curses upon you, confusion and reproof in all to which you put your hand, until you are destroyed and quickly perish because of the wickedness you have committed in forsaking Him. a
21 The LORD will make the plague cling to you until He has exterminated you from the land that you are entering to possess. 22 The LORD will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, b and with blight and mildew; these will pursue you until you perish. 23 The sky over your head will be bronze, and the earth beneath you iron.
24 The LORD will turn the rain of your land into dust and powder; it will descend on you from the sky until you are destroyed.
25 The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will march out against them in one direction but flee from them in seven. You will be an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your corpses will be food for all the birds of the air and beasts of the earth, with no one to scare them away.
27 The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors and scabs and itch from which you cannot be cured.
28 The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness, and confusion of mind, 29 and at noon you will grope about like a blind man in the darkness. You will not prosper in your ways. Day after day you will be oppressed and plundered, with no one to save you.
30 You will be pledged in marriage to a woman, but another man will violate her. You will build a house but will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard but will not enjoy its fruit. 31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will not eat any of it. Your donkey will be taken away and not returned to you. Your flock will be given to your enemies, and no one will save you.
32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, while your eyes grow weary looking for them day after day, with no power in your hand. 33 A people you do not know will eat the produce of your land and of all your toil. All your days you will be oppressed and crushed. 34 You will be driven mad by the sights you see.
35 The LORD will afflict you with painful, incurable boils on your knees and thighs, from the soles of your feet to the top of your head.
36 The LORD will bring you and the king you appoint to a nation neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone. 37 You will become an object of horror, scorn, and ridicule among all the nations to which the LORD will drive you.
38 You will sow much seed in the field but harvest little, because the locusts will consume it. 39 You will plant and cultivate vineyards, but will neither drink the wine nor gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. 40 You will have olive trees throughout your territory but will never anoint yourself with oil, because the olives will drop off. 41 You will father sons and daughters, but they will not remain yours, because they will go into captivity. 42 Swarms of locusts will consume all your trees and the produce of your land.
43 The foreigner living among you will rise higher and higher above you, while you sink down lower and lower. 44 He will lend to you, but you will not lend to him. He will be the head, and you will be the tail.
45 All these curses will come upon you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, since you did not obey the LORD your God and keep the commandments and statutes He gave you. 46 These curses will be a sign and a wonder upon you and your descendants forever.
47 Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and gladness of heart in all your abundance, 48 you will serve your enemies the LORD will send against you in famine, thirst, nakedness, and destitution. He will place an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you.
49 The LORD will bring a nation from afar, from the ends of the earth, to swoop down upon you like an eagle—a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a ruthless nation with no respect for the old and no pity for the young. 51 They will eat the offspring of your livestock and the produce of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain or new wine or oil, no calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks, until they have caused you to perish. 52 They will besiege all the cities throughout your land, until the high and fortified walls in which you trust have fallen. They will besiege all your cities throughout the land that the LORD your God has given you.
53 Then you will eat the fruit of your womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters whom the LORD your God has given you, in the siege and distress that your enemy will inflict on you.
54 The most gentle and refined man among you will begrudge his brother, the wife he embraces, c and the rest of his children who have survived, 55 refusing to share with any of them the flesh of his children he will eat because he has nothing left in the siege and distress that your enemy will inflict on you within all your gates. d
56 The most gentle and refined woman among you, so gentle and refined she would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground, will begrudge the husband she embraces e and her son and daughter 57 the afterbirth that comes from between her legs and the children she bears, because she will secretly eat them for lack of anything else in the siege and distress that your enemy will inflict on you within your gates.
58 If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name—the LORD your God— 59 He will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary disasters, severe and lasting plagues, and terrible and chronic sicknesses. 60 He will afflict you again with all the diseases you dreaded in Egypt, and they will cling to you.
61 The LORD will also bring upon you every sickness and plague 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 few in number, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God.
63 Just as it pleased the LORD to make you prosper and multiply, so also it will please Him to annihilate you and destroy you. And you will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess.
64 Then the LORD will scatter you among all the nations, from one end of the earth to the other, and 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, not even a resting place for the sole of your foot. There the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and a despairing soul.
66 So your life will hang in doubt before you, and you will be afraid night and day, never certain of survival. 67 In the morning you will say, ‘If only it were evening!’ and in the evening you will say, ‘If only it were morning!’—because of the dread in your hearts of the terrifying sights you will see.
68 The LORD will return you to Egypt in ships by a route that I said you should never see again. There you will sell yourselves to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.”
20 a Hebrew Me
22 b Or sword
54 c Hebrew the wife of his bosom
55 d Or within all your cities ; similarly in verse 57
56 e Hebrew the husband of her bosom
The Covenant in Moab
2 Moses summoned all Israel and proclaimed to them, “You have seen with your own eyes everything the LORD did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials, and to all his land. 3 You saw with your own eyes the great trials, and those miraculous signs and wonders. 4 Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a mind to understand, eyes to see, or ears to hear.
5 For forty years I led you in the wilderness,
yet your clothes and sandals did not wear out.
6 You ate no bread and drank no wine or strong drink,
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 against us in battle, 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 So keep and follow the words of this covenant, that you may prosper in all you do.
10 All of you are standing today before the LORD your God—you leaders of tribes, b elders, officials, and all the men of Israel, 11 your children and wives, and the foreigners in your camps who cut your wood and draw your water— 12 so that you may enter into the covenant of the LORD your God, which He is making with you today, and into His oath, 13 and so that He may establish you today as His people, and He may be your God as He promised you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
14 I am making this covenant and this oath not only with you, 15 but also with those who are standing here with us today in the presence of the LORD our God, as well as with those who are not here today.
16 For you yourselves know how we lived in the land of Egypt and how we passed through the nations on the way here. 17 You saw the abominations and idols among them made 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 bears such poisonous and bitter fruit, c 19 because when such a person hears the words of this oath, d he invokes a blessing on himself, saying, ‘I will have peace, even though I walk in the stubbornness of my own heart.’
This will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. 20 The LORD will never be willing to forgive him. Instead, His anger and jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse written in this book will fall upon him. The LORD will blot out his name from under heaven 21 and 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 Then the generation to come—your sons who follow you and the foreigner who comes from a distant land—will see the plagues of the land and the sicknesses the LORD has inflicted on it. 23 All its soil will be a burning waste of sulfur and salt, unsown and unproductive, with no plant growing on it, just like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in His fierce anger.
24 So all the nations will ask, ‘Why has the LORD done such a thing to this land? Why this great outburst of anger?’
25 And the people will answer, ‘It is because they abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt. 26 They went and served other gods, and they worshiped gods they had not known—gods that the LORD had not given to them. 27 Therefore the anger of the LORD burned against this land, and He brought upon it every curse written in this book. 28 The LORD uprooted them from their land in His anger, rage, and great wrath, and He cast them into another land, where they are today.’
29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, so that we may follow all the words of this law.
The Promise of Restoration
1 “When all these things come upon you—the blessings and curses I have set before you—and you call them to mind in all the nations to which the LORD your God has banished you, 2 and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey His voice with all your heart and all your soul according to everything I am giving you today, 3 then He will restore you from captivity a and have compassion on you and gather you from all the nations to which the LORD your God has scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the farthest horizon, b He will gather you and return you from there. c
5 And the LORD your God will bring you into the land your fathers possessed, and you will take possession of it. He will cause you to prosper and multiply more than your fathers. 6 The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, and you will love Him with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.
7 Then the LORD your God will put all these curses upon your enemies who hate you and persecute you. 8 And you will again obey the voice of the LORD and follow all His commandments I am giving you today. 9 So the LORD your God will make you abound in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the offspring of your livestock, and the produce of your land. Indeed, the LORD will again delight in your goodness, as He delighted in that of your fathers, 10 if you obey the LORD your God by keeping His commandments and statutes that are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to Him with all your heart and with all your soul.
The Choice of Life or Death
11 For this commandment I give you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should need to ask, ‘Who will ascend into heaven d to get it for us and proclaim it, that we may obey it?’ 13 And it is not beyond the sea, that you should need to ask, ‘Who will cross the sea e to get it for us and proclaim it, that we may obey it?’ 14 But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, f so that you may obey it.
15 See, I have set before you today life and goodness, as well as death and disaster. 16 For I am commanding you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, statutes, and ordinances, so that you may live and increase, and the LORD your God may bless you in the land that you are entering to possess.
17 But if your heart turns away and you do not listen, but are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you today that you will surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.
19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life, so that you and your descendants may live, 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, obey Him, and hold fast to Him. For He is your life, and He will prolong your life in the land that the LORD swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
Joshua to Succeed Moses
1 When Moses had finished speaking a these words to all Israel, 2 he said to them, “I am now a hundred and twenty years old; I am no longer able to come and go, and 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 dispossess them. Joshua will cross ahead of you, as the LORD has said. 4 And the LORD will do to them as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, when He destroyed them along with their land.
5 The LORD will deliver them over to you, and you must do to them exactly as I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or terrified of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” b
7 Then Moses called for Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you will go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance. 8 The LORD Himself goes before you; He will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid or 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, at the appointed time in the year of remission of debt, during the Feast of Tabernacles, c 11 when all Israel comes before the LORD your God at the place He will choose, you are to read this law in the hearing of all Israel.
12 Assemble the people—men, women, children, and the foreigners within your gates—so that they may listen and learn to fear the LORD your God and to follow carefully all the words of this law. 13 Then their children who do not know the law will listen and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
God Commissions Joshua
14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, the time of your death is near. Call Joshua and present yourselves at the Tent of Meeting, so that I may commission him.”
So Moses and Joshua went 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 will soon rest with your fathers, and these people will rise up and prostitute themselves with the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake Me and break the covenant I have made with them.
17 On that day My anger will burn against them, and I will abandon them and hide My face from them, so that they will be consumed, and many troubles and afflictions will befall them.
On that day they will say, ‘Have not these disasters come upon us because our God is no longer with us?’
18 And on that day I will surely hide My face because of all the evil they have done by turning to other gods.
19 Now therefore, write down for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites;have them recite it, so that it may be a witness for Me against them. 20 When I have brought them into the land that I swore to give their fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey, they will eat their fill and prosper. Then they will turn to other gods and worship them, and they will reject Me and break My covenant. 21 And when many troubles and afflictions have come upon them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten from the lips of their descendants. For I know their inclination, even before I bring them into the land that I swore to give them.”
22 So that very day Moses wrote down this song and taught it to the Israelites.
23 Then the LORD commissioned Joshua son of Nun and said, “Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land that I swore to give them, and I will be with you.”
The Law Placed in the Ark
24 When Moses had 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, so that it may remain there as a witness against you. 27 For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you are already rebelling against the LORD while I am still alive, how much more will you rebel after my death!
28 Assemble before me all the elders of your tribes and all your officers so that I may speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth to witness against them. 29 For I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt and turn from the path I have commanded you. And in the days to come, disaster will befall you because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD to provoke Him to anger by the work of your hands.”
Moses Begins His Song
30 Then Moses recited aloud to the whole assembly of Israel the words of this song from beginning to end:
1 a DSS and LXX; MT When Moses went out and spoke
6 b Cited in Hebrews 13:5; here and in verse 8
10 c That is, Sukkot, the autumn feast of pilgrimage to Jerusalem; also translated as the Feast of Booths or the Feast of Shelters and originally called the Feast of Ingathering (see Exodus 23:16 and Exodus 34:22).
The Song of Moses
1 Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak;
hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
2 Let my teaching fall like rain
and my speech settle like dew,
like gentle rain on new grass,
like showers on tender plants.
3 For I will proclaim the name of the LORD.
Ascribe greatness to our God!
4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect;
all His ways are just.
A God of faithfulness without injustice,
5 His people have acted corruptly toward Him;
the spot on them is not that of His children,
but of a perverse and crooked generation. a
6 Is this how you repay the LORD,
O foolish and senseless people?
Is He not your Father and Creator?
Has He not made you and established you?
7 Remember the days of old;
consider the years long past.
Ask your father, and he will tell you,
8 When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
when He divided the sons of man,
He set the boundaries of the peoples
according to the number of the sons of God. b
9 But the LORD’s portion is His people,
Jacob His allotted inheritance.
10 He found him in a desert land,
in a barren, howling wilderness;
He surrounded him, He instructed him,
He guarded him as the apple c of His eye.
11 As an eagle stirs up its nest
and hovers over its young,
He spread His wings to catch them
and carried them on His pinions. d
12 The LORD alone led him,
and no foreign god was with him.
13 He made him ride on the heights of the land
and fed him the produce of the field.
He nourished him with honey from the rock
and oil from the flinty crag,
14 with curds from the herd and milk from the flock,
with the fat of lambs,
with rams from Bashan, and goats,
with the choicest grains of wheat.
From the juice of the finest grapes
you drank the wine.
becoming fat, bloated, and gorged.
He abandoned the God who made him
and scorned the Rock of his salvation.
16 They provoked His jealousy with foreign gods;
they enraged Him with abominations.
17 They sacrificed to demons, not to God,
to gods they had not known,
to newly arrived gods,
which your fathers did not fear.
18 You ignored the Rock who brought you forth;
you forgot the God who gave you birth.
19 When the LORD saw this, He rejected them,
provoked to anger by His sons and daughters.
20 He said: “I will hide My face from them;
I will see what will be their end.
For they are a perverse generation—
21 They have provoked My jealousy by that which is not God;
they have enraged Me with their worthless idols.
So I will make them jealous by those who are not a people; f
I will make them angry by a nation without understanding. g
22 For a fire has been kindled by My anger,
and it burns to the depths of Sheol;
it consumes the earth and its produce,
and scorches the foundations of the mountains.
23 I will heap disasters upon them;
I will spend My arrows against them.
24 They will be wasted from hunger
and ravaged by pestilence and bitter plague;
I will send the fangs of wild beasts against them,
with the venom of vipers that slither in the dust.
25 Outside, the sword will take their children,
and inside, terror will strike
the young man and the young woman,
the infant and the gray-haired man.
26 I would have said that I would cut them to pieces
and blot out their memory from mankind,
27 if I had not dreaded the taunt of the enemy,
lest their adversaries misunderstand and say:
‘Our own hand has prevailed;
it was not the LORD who did all this.’ ”
28 Israel is a nation devoid of counsel,
with no understanding among them.
29 If only they were wise, they would understand it;
they would comprehend their fate.
30 How could one man pursue 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,
even our enemies concede. h
32 But their vine is from the vine of Sodom
and from the fields of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are poisonous;
their clusters are bitter.
33 Their wine is the venom of serpents,
the deadly poison of cobras.
34 “Have I not stored up these things,
In due time their foot will slip;
for their day of disaster is near,
and have compassion on His servants
when He sees that their strength is gone
and no one remains, slave or free.
37 He will say: “Where are their gods,
the rock in which they took refuge,
38 which ate the fat of their sacrifices
and drank the wine of their drink offerings?
Let them rise up and help you;
let them give you shelter!
39 See now that I am He;
there is no God besides Me.
I bring death and I give life;
I wound and I heal,
and there is no one
who can deliver from My hand.
40 For I lift up 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 captives,
43 Rejoice, O heavens, with Him,
and let all God’s angels worship Him. k
Rejoice, O nations, with His people; l
for He will avenge the blood of His children. m
He will take vengeance on His adversaries
and repay those who hate Him; n
He will cleanse His land
and His people.
44 Then Moses came with Joshua o son of Nun and recited all the words of this song in the hearing of the people. 45 When Moses had finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all these words I testify among you today, so that you may command your children to carefully follow all the words of this law. 47 For they are not idle words to you, because they are your life, and by them you will live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
Moses’ Death Foretold
48 On that same day the LORD said to Moses, 49 “Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo, in the land of Moab across from Jericho, and view the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites as their own possession.
50 And there on the mountain that you climb, 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 For at the waters of Meribah-kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin, both of you broke faith with Me among the Israelites by failing to treat Me as holy in their presence. 52 Although you shall see from a distance the land that I am giving the Israelites, you shall not enter it.”
5 a Cited in Philippians 2:15
8 b DSS; LXX according to the number of the angels of God ; MT according to the number of the sons of Israel
10 c Literally the pupil
11 d Pinions are the outer parts of a bird’s wings, including the flight feathers.
15 e Jeshurun means the upright one , a term of endearment for Israel.
21 f Or not a nation ; see also LXX.
21 g Cited in Romans 10:19
31 h Hebrew; LXX but our enemies are void of understanding
35 i LXX; Hebrew Vengeance is Mine, and recompense ; cited in Romans 12:19 and Hebrews 10:30
36 j Or will judge His people ; see also LXX; cited in Hebrews 10:30
43 k See DSS and LXX; MT lacks Rejoice, O heavens, with Him, and let all God’s angels worship Him. Cited in Hebrews 1:6
43 l Cited in Romans 15:10
43 m DSS and LXX; MT servants
43 n LXX and Vulgate; MT lacks and repay those who hate Him
44 o LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate; Hebrew Hoshea , a variant of Joshua
Moses Blesses the Twelve Tribes
“The LORD came from Sinai
and dawned upon us a from Seir;
He shone forth from Mount Paran
and came with myriads of holy ones,
with flaming fire at His right hand. b
3 Surely You love the people;
all the holy ones are in Your hand,
and they sit down at Your feet; c
each receives Your words—
4 the law that Moses gave us,
the possession of the assembly of Jacob.
when the leaders of the people gathered,
when the tribes of Israel came together.
6 Let Reuben live and not die,
nor e his men be few.”
7 And concerning Judah he said:
“O LORD, hear the cry of Judah
and bring him to his people.
With his own hands he defends his cause,
but may You be a help against his foes.”
8 Concerning Levi he said:
“Give Your Thummim to Levi
and Your Urim to Your godly one, f
whom You tested at Massah g
and contested at the waters of Meribah. h
9 He said of his father and mother,
‘I do not consider them.’
He disregarded his brothers
and did not know his own sons,
for he kept i Your word
and maintained Your covenant.
10 He will teach Your ordinances to Jacob
and Your law to Israel;
he will set incense before You
and whole burnt offerings on Your altar.
11 Bless his substance, O LORD,
and accept the work of his hands.
Smash the loins of those who rise against him,
and of his foes so they can rise no more.”
12 Concerning Benjamin he said:
“May the beloved of the LORD
rest secure in Him;
God shields j him all day long,
and upon His shoulders he rests.”
13 Concerning Joseph he said:
“May his land be blessed by the LORD
with the precious dew from heaven above
and the deep waters that lie beneath,
14 with the bountiful harvest from the sun
and the abundant yield of the seasons,
15 with the best of the ancient mountains
and the bounty of the everlasting hills,
16 with the choice gifts of the land and everything in it,
and with the favor of Him who dwelt in the burning bush.
May these rest on the head of Joseph
and crown the brow of the prince of his brothers.
17 His majesty is like a firstborn bull,
and his horns are like those of a wild ox.
With them he will gore the nations,
even to the ends of the earth.
Such are the myriads of Ephraim,
and such are the thousands of Manasseh.”
18 Concerning Zebulun he said:
“Rejoice, Zebulun, in your journeys,
and Issachar, in your tents.
19 They will call the peoples to a mountain;
there they will offer sacrifices of righteousness.
For they will feast on the abundance of the seas
and the hidden treasures of the sand.”
20 Concerning Gad he said:
“Blessed is he who enlarges
the domain of Gad!
He lies down like a lion
and tears off an arm or a head.
21 He chose the best land for himself,
because a ruler’s portion was reserved for him there.
He came with the leaders of the people;
he administered the LORD’s justice
and His ordinances for Israel.”
22 Concerning Dan he said:
“Dan is a lion’s cub,
leaping out of Bashan.”
23 Concerning Naphtali he said:
“Naphtali is abounding with favor,
full of the blessing of the LORD;
he shall take possession
of the sea k and the south.”
24 And concerning Asher he said:
“May Asher be the most blessed of sons;
may he be the most favored among his brothers
and dip his foot in oil.
25 May the bolts of your gate be iron and bronze,
and may your strength match your days.”
26 “There is none like the God of Jeshurun,
who rides the heavens to your aid,
and the clouds in His majesty.
27 The eternal God is your dwelling place,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
He drives out the enemy before you,
giving the command, ‘Destroy him!’
28 So Israel dwells securely;
the fountain of Jacob lives untroubled
in a land of grain and new wine,
where even the heavens drip with dew.
29 Blessed are you, O Israel!
Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD?
He is the shield that protects you,
the sword in which you boast.
Your enemies will cower before you,
and you shall trample their high places.”
2 a LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate; Hebrew upon them
2 b Or with myriads of holy ones from the south, from His mountain slopes
3 c Or they follow in Your steps
5 d Jeshurun means the upright one , a term of endearment for Israel; also in verse 26.
6 e Or but let
8 f DSS and LXX; MT does not include to Levi ; literally Let Your Perfections and Your Lights be to Your godly one .
8 g Massah means testing ; see Exodus 17:7.
8 h Meribah means quarreling ; see Exodus 17:7.
9 i Hebrew they kept , most likely referring to Levi in the plural; similarly twice in verse 10
12 j LXX; Hebrew He shields
23 k Or the west
The Death of Moses
1 Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which faces Jericho. And the LORD showed him the whole land—from Gilead as far as Dan, 2 all of Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, a 3 the Negev, and the region from the Valley of Jericho (the City of Palms) all the way to Zoar.
4 And the LORD said to him, “This is the land that I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you will not cross into it.”
5 So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, as the LORD had said. 6 And He buried him b in a valley in the land of Moab facing Beth-peor, and no one to this day knows the location of his grave.
7 Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak, and his vitality had not diminished. 8 The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days, until the time of weeping and mourning for Moses came to an end.
9 Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites obeyed him and did as the LORD had commanded Moses. 10 Since that time, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face— 11 no prophet who did all the signs and wonders that the LORD sent Moses to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and to all his officials and all his land, 12 and no prophet who performed all the mighty acts of power and awesome deeds c that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
2 a That is, the Mediterranean Sea, also called the Great Sea
6 b SP and some LXX manuscripts they buried him
12 c Or terrifying deeds