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Deuteronomy Contemporary English Version (CEV)

 

Chapter 1


The Final Speeches of Moses
1-5This book contains the speeches that Moses made while Israel was in the land of Moab, camped near the town of Suph in the desert east of the Jordan River. The town of Paran was in one direction from their camp, and the towns of
Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab were in the opposite direction. Earlier, Moses had defeated the Amorite King Sihon of Heshbon. Moses had also defeated King Og of Bashan, who used to live in Ashtaroth for part of the year and in Edrei for the rest of the year.
Although it takes only eleven days to walk from Mount Sinai to Kadesh-Barnea by way of the Mount Seir Road, these speeches were not made until forty years after Israel left Egypt. The LORD's Command at Mount Sinai
The LORD had given Moses his laws for the people of Israel. And on
the first day of the eleventh month, Moses began explaining those laws by saying:

THE FIRST SPEECH: MOSES REVIEWS THE PAST
6People of Israel, when we were in our camp at Mount Sinai, the LORD our God told us: You have stayed here long enough. 7Leave this place and go into the land that belongs to
the Amorites and their neighbors the Canaanites. This land includes the Jordan River valley, the hill country, the western foothills, the Southern Desert, the Mediterranean seacoast, the Lebanon Mountains, and all the territory as far as the Euphrates River. 8I give you this land, just as I promised your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Now you must go and take the land.
Moses said:


Leaders Were Appointed


(Exodus 18.13-27)
9Right after the LORD commanded us to leave Mount Sinai, I told you:
Israel, being your leader is too big a job for one person.
10The LORD our God has blessed us, and so now there are as many of us as there are stars in the sky. 11God has even promised to bless us
a thousand times more, and I pray that he will. 12But I cannot take care of all your problems and settle all your arguments alone. 13Each tribe must choose some experienced men who are known for their wisdom and understanding, and I will make those men the official leaders of their tribes.
14You answered, " That's a good idea!" 15Then I took these men, who were already wise and respected leaders, and I appointed them as your official leaders. Some of them became military officers in charge of groups of a thousand, or a hundred, or fifty, or ten, 16and others became judges. I gave these judges the following instructions:
When you settle legal cases, your decisions must be fair. It doesn't matter if the case is between two Israelites, or between an Israelite and a foreigner living in your community.
17And it doesn't matter if one is helpless and the other is powerful. Don't be afraid of anyone! No matter who shows up in your court, God will help you make a fair decision.
If any case
is too hard for you, bring the people to me, and I will make the decision.
18After I gave these instructions to the judges, I taught you the LORD's commands.
Moses said to Israel:


Men Were Sent To Explore the Hill Country


(Numbers 13.1-33)
19The LORD had commanded us to leave Mount Sinai and go to the hill country that belonged to the Amorites, so we started out into the huge desert. You remember how frightening it was, but soon we were at Kadesh-Barnea, 20-21and I told you, " We have reached the hill country. It belongs to the Amorites now, but the LORD our God is giving it to us. He is the same God our ancestors worshiped, and he has told us to go in and take this land, so don't hesitate and be afraid."
22Then all of you came to me and said, " Before we go into the land, let's send some men to explore it. When they come back, they can tell us about the towns we will find and what roads we should take to get there."
23It seemed like a good idea, so I chose twelve men, one from each tribe. 24They explored the hill country as far as Bunch Valley 25and even brought back some of the fruit. They said, " The LORD our God is giving us good land." Moses said to Israel:


Israel Refused To Obey the LORD


(Numbers 14.1-45)
26You did not want to go into the land, and you refused to obey the LORD your God. 27You stayed
in your tents and grumbled, " The LORD must hate us--he brought us out of Egypt, just so he could hand us over to the Amorites and get rid of us. 28We are afraid, because the men who explored the land told us that the cities are large, with walls that reach to the sky. The people who live there are taller and stronger than we are, and some of them are Anakim. We have nowhere to go." 29Then I said, " Don't worry! 30The LORD our God will lead the way. He will fight on our side, just as he did when we saw him do all those things to the Egyptians. 31And you know that the LORD has taken care of us the whole time we've been in the desert, just as you might carry one of your children."
32But you still would not trust the LORD, 33even though he had always been with us in the desert. During the daytime, the LORD was in the cloud, leading us in the right direction and showing us where to camp. And at night, he was there in the fire. 34You had made the LORD angry, and he said:
35You people of this generation are evil, and I refuse to let you go into the good land that I promised your ancestors. 36Caleb son of Jephunneh is the only one of your generation that I will allow to go in. He obeyed me completely, so I will give him and his descendants the land he explored.
37The LORD was even angry with me because of you people, and he said, " Moses, I won't let you go into the land either. 38Instead, I will let Joshua your assistant lead Israel to conquer the land. So encourage him." 39Then the LORD spoke to you again:
People of Israel, you said that your innocent young children would be taken prisoner in the battle for the land. But someday I will let them go into the land, and with my help they will conquer it and live there.
40Now, turn around and go back into the desert by way of Red Sea Road. 41Then you told me, " We disobeyed the LORD our God, but now we want to obey him. We will go into the hill country and fight, just as he told us to do." So you picked up your weapons, thinking it would be easy to take over the hill country.
42But the LORD said, " Moses, warn them not to go into the hill country. I won't help them fight, and their enemies will defeat them."
43I told you what the LORD had said, but you paid no attention. You disobeyed him and went into the hill country anyway. You thought you were so great! 44But when
the Amorites in the hill country attacked from their towns, you ran from them as you would run from a swarm of bees. The Amorites chased your troops into Seir as far as Hormah, killing them as they went. 45Then you came back to the place of worship at Kadesh-Barnea and wept, but the LORD would not listen to your prayers.

Israel Spent Years in the Desert


Moses said to Israel:
46After we had been in Kadesh for a few months, we obeyed the LORD and headed back into the desert by way of Red Sea Road.

Chapter 2
1We spent many years wandering around outside the hill country of Seir, 2until the LORD said: Moses, 3Israel has wandered in these hills long enough. Turn and go north. 4And give the people these orders: " Be very careful, because you will soon
go through the land that belongs to your relatives, the descendants of Esau. They are afraid of you, 5but don't start a war with them. I have given them the hill country of Seir, so I won't give any of it to you, not even enough to set a foot on. 6And as you go through their land, you will have to buy food and water from them." 7The LORD has helped us and taken care of us during the past forty years that we have been in this huge desert. We've had everything we needed, and the LORD has blessed us and made us successful in whatever we have done.
8We went past the territory that belonged to our relatives, the descendants of Esau. We followed Arabah Road that starts in the south at
Elath and Ezion-Geber, then we turned onto the desert road that leads to Moab. 9The LORD told me, " Don't try to start a war with Moab. Leave them alone, because I gave the land of Ar to them, and I will not let you have any of it."

Tribes That Lived near Canaan
10Before the LORD gave the Moabites their land, a large and powerful tribe lived there. They were the Emim, and they were as tall as the Anakim. 11The
Moabites called them Emim, though others sometimes used the name Rephaim for both the Anakim and the Emim. 12The Horites used to live in Seir, but the Edomites took over that region. They killed many of the Horites and forced the rest of them to leave, just as Israel did to the people in the land that the LORD gave them.

Israel Crossed the Zered Gorge


Moses said to Israel:
13When we came to the Zered Gorge along the southern border of Moab, the LORD told us to cross the gorge into Moab, and we did. 14This was thirty-eight years after we left Kadesh-Barnea, and by that time all the men who had been in the army at Kadesh-Barnea had died, just as the LORD had said they would. 15-16The LORD kept getting rid of them until finally none of them were left. 17Then the LORD told me, 18" Moses, now go past the town of Ar and cross Moab's northern border 19into Ammon. But don't start a war with the Ammonites. I gave them their land, and I won't give any of it to Israel."

More Nations That Lived near Canaan
20Before the Ammonites conquered the land that the LORD had given them, some of the Rephaim used to live there, although the Ammonites called them Zamzummim. 21The Zamzummim were a large and powerful tribe and were as tall as the Anakim. But the LORD helped
the Ammonites, and they killed many of the Zamzummim and forced the rest to leave. Then the Ammonites settled there. 22The LORD helped them as he had helped the Edomites, who killed many of the Horites in Seir and forced the rest to leave before settling there themselves. 23A group called the Avvim used to live in villages as far south as Gaza, but the Philistines killed them and settled on their land.

Israel Crossed the Arnon Gorge


Moses said:
24After we went through Ammon, the LORD told us:
Israel, pack up your possessions, take down your tents, and cross the Arnon River gorge. The territory of the Amorite King Sihon of Heshbon lies
on the other side of the river, but I now give you his land. So attack and take it! 25Today I will start making all other nations afraid of you. They will tremble with fear when anyone mentions you, and they will be terrified when you show up. Moses said to Israel:


The Defeat of King Sihon of Heshbon


(Numbers 21.21-30)
26After we had crossed the Arnon and had set up camp in the Kedemoth Desert, I sent messengers to King Sihon of Heshbon, telling him that his nation and ours could be at peace. I said:
27Please let Israel go across your country. We will walk straight through, without turning off the road. 28-29You can even sell us food and water, and we will pay with silver. We need to reach the Jordan River and cross it, because the LORD our God is giving us the land on the west side. The Edomites and Moabites have already let us cross their land. Please let us cross your land as well. 30-31But Sihon refused to let us go across his country, because the LORD made him stubborn and eager to fight us. The LORD told me, " I am going to help you defeat Sihon and take his land, so attack him!"
32We met Sihon and his army in battle at Jahaz, 33and the LORD our God helped us defeat them. We killed Sihon, his sons, and everyone else in his army. 34Then we captured and destroyed every town in Sihon's kingdom, killing everyone, 35but keeping the livestock and everything else of value. 36The LORD helped us capture every town from the Arnon River gorge north to the boundary of Gilead, including the town of Aroer on the edge of the gorge and the town in the middle of the gorge.
37However, we stayed away from all the Ammonite towns, both in the hill country and near the Jabbok River, just as the LORD had commanded.
Moses said to Israel:


Chapter 3


The Defeat of King Og of Bashan


(Numbers 21.31-35)
1When we turned onto the road that leads to Bashan, King Og of Bashan led out his whole army to fight us at Edrei. 2But the LORD told me, " Moses, don't be afraid of King Og. I am going to help you defeat him and his army and take over his land. Destroy him and his people, just as you did with the Amorite King Sihon of Heshbon."
3-6The LORD our God helped us destroy Og and his army and conquer his entire kingdom of Bashan, including the Argob region. His kingdom had lots of villages and sixty towns with high walls and gates that locked with bars. We completely destroyed them all, killing everyone, 7but keeping the livestock and everything else of value. 8Sihon and Og had ruled Amorite kingdoms east of the Jordan River. Their land stretched from the Arnon River gorge in the south to Mount Hermon in the north, and we captured it all. 9Mount Hermon is called Mount Sirion by the people of Sidon, and it is called Mount Senir by the Amorites. 10We captured all the towns in the highlands, all of Gilead, and all of Bashan as far as Salecah and Edrei, two of the towns that Og had ruled.


Og's Coffin
11King Og was the last of the Rephaim, and his coffin is in the town of Rabbah in Ammon. It is made of hard black rock and is thirteen and a half feet long and six feet wide. Moses said to Israel:


The Land East of the Jordan River Is Divided


(Numbers 32.1-42)
12-17I gave some of the land and towns we captured to the tribes of Reuben and Gad. Their share started at the Arnon River gorge in the south, took in the town of Aroer on the edge of the gorge, and went far enough north to include the southern half of the Gilead region. The northern part of their land went as far east as the upper Jabbok River gorge, which formed their border with the Ammonites. I also gave them the eastern side of the Jordan River valley, from Lake Galilee south to the Dead Sea below the slopes of Mount Pisgah. I gave the northern half of Gilead and all of the Bashan region to half the
tribe of Manasseh. Bashan had belonged to King Og, and the Argob region in Bashan used to be called the Land of the Rephaim. Jair from the Manasseh tribe conquered the Argob region as far west as the kingdoms of Geshur and Maacah. The Israelites even started calling Bashan by the name " Villages of Jair," and that is still its name. I gave the northern half of Gilead to the Machir clan. 18-19At that time I told the men of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh:
The LORD our God told me to give you this land with its towns, and that's what I have done. Now your wives and children can stay here with your large flocks of sheep and goats and your large herds of cattle. But all of you men that can serve in our army must cross the Jordan River and help the other tribes, because they are your relatives.
20The LORD will let them defeat the enemy nations on the west side of the Jordan and take their land. Afterwards, you can come back here to the land I gave you.
21-22Then I told Joshua, " You saw how the LORD our God helped us destroy King Sihon and King Og. So don't be afraid! Wherever you go, the LORD will fight on your side and help you destroy your enemies."


God Refused To Let Moses Enter Canaan


Moses said to Israel:
23At that time I prayed and begged, 24" Our LORD, it seems that you have just
begun to show me your great power. No other god in the sky or on earth is able to do the mighty things that you do. 25The land west of the Jordan is such good land. Please let me cross the Jordan and see the hills and the Lebanon Mountains."
26But the LORD
was angry with me because of you people, and he refused to listen. " That's enough!" he said. " I don't want to hear any more. 27Climb to the top of Mount Pisgah and look north, south, east, and west. Take a good look, but you are not going to cross the Jordan River. 28Joshua will lead Israel across the Jordan to take the land, so help him be strong and brave and tell him what he must do." 29After this we stayed in the valley at Beth-Peor.


Chapter 4


Israel Must Obey God


Moses said:
1Israel, listen to these laws and teachings! If you obey them, you will live, and you will go in and take the land that the LORD is giving you. He is the God your ancestors worshiped, 2and now he is your God. I am telling you everything he has commanded, so don't add anything or take anything away.
3You saw how he killed everyone who worshiped the god Baal Peor. 4But all of you that were faithful to the LORD your God are still alive today. 5-8No other nation has laws that are as fair as the ones
the Lord my God told me to give you. If you faithfully obey them when you enter the land, you will show other nations how wise you are. In fact, everyone that hears about your laws will say, " That great nation certainly is wise!" And what makes us greater than other nations? We have a God who is close to us and answers our prayers.
9You must be very careful not to forget the things you have seen God do for you. Keep reminding yourselves, and tell your children and grandchildren as well. 10Do you remember the day you stood in the LORD's presence at Mount Sinai? The LORD said, " Moses, bring the people of Israel here. I want to speak to them so they will obey me as long as they live, and so they will teach their children to obey me too." 11Mount Sinai was surrounded by deep dark clouds, and fire went up to the sky. You came to the foot of the mountain, 12and the LORD spoke to you from the fire. You could hear him and understand what he was saying, but you couldn't see him. 13The LORD said he was making an agreement with you, and he told you that your part of the agreement is to obey the Ten Commandments. Then the LORD wrote these Commandments on two flat stones.
14That's when the LORD commanded me to give you the laws and teachings you must obey in the land that you will conquer west of the Jordan River.


Don't Worship Idols


Moses said to Israel:
15When God spoke to you from the fire, he was invisible. So be careful 16not to commit the sin of worshiping idols. Don't make idols to be worshiped, whether they are shaped like men, women, 17animals, birds, 18reptiles, or fish. 19And when you see the sun or moon or stars, don't be tempted to bow down and worship them. The LORD put them there for all the other nations to worship. 20But you are the LORD's people, because he led you through fiery trials and rescued you from Egypt.
21The LORD was angry at me because of what you said, and he told me that he would not let me cross the Jordan River into the good land that he is giving you. 22So I must stay here and die on this side of the Jordan, but you will cross the river and take the land.
23Always remember the agreement that the LORD your God made with you, and don't make an idol in any shape or form. 24The LORD will be angry if you worship other gods, and he can be like a fire destroying everything in its path.
25-26Soon you will cross the Jordan River and settle down in the land. Then in the years to come, you will have children, and they will give you grandchildren. After many years, you might lose your sense of right and wrong and make idols, even though the LORD your God hates them. So I am giving you fair warning today, and I call the earth and the sky as witnesses. If you ever make idols, the LORD will be angry, and you won't have long to live, because the LORD will let you be wiped out. 27Only a few of you will survive, and the LORD will force you to leave the land and will scatter you among the nations. 28There you will have to worship gods made of wood and stone, and these are nothing but idols that can't see or hear or eat or smell.
29-30In all of your troubles, you may finally decide that you want to worship only the LORD. And if you turn back to him and obey him completely, he will again be your God. 31The LORD your God will have mercy--he won't destroy you or desert you. The LORD will remember his promise, and he will keep the agreement he made with your ancestors.
32-34When the LORD your God
brought you out of Egypt, you saw how he fought for you and showed his great power by performing terrifying miracles. You became his people, and at Mount Sinai you heard him talking to you out of fiery flames. And yet you are still alive! Has anything like this ever happened since the time God created humans? No matter where you go or who you ask, you will get the same answer. No one has ever heard of another god even trying to do such things as the LORD your God has done for you.
35-36The LORD wants you to know he is the only true God, and he wants you to obey him. That's why he let you see his mighty miracles and his fierce fire on earth, and why you heard his voice from that fire and from the sky.
37The LORD loved your ancestors and decided that you would be his people. So the LORD used his great power to bring you out of Egypt. 38Now you face other nations more powerful than you are, but the LORD has already started forcing them out of their land and giving it to you.
39So remember that the LORD is the only true God, whether in the sky above or on the earth below. 40Today I am explaining his laws and teachings. And if you always obey them, you and your descendants will live long and be successful in the land the LORD is giving you.


Safe Towns
41-43Moses said, " People of Israel, you must set aside the following three towns east of the Jordan River as Safe Towns: Bezer in the desert highlands belonging to the Reuben tribe; Ramoth in Gilead, belonging to the Gad tribe; and Golan in Bashan, belonging to the Manasseh tribe. If you kill a neighbor without meaning to, and if you had not been angry with that person, you can run to one of these towns and find safety." Israel at Beth-Peor


THE SECOND SPEECH: MOSES TELLS WHAT THE LORD DEMANDS
44-46The Israelites had come from Egypt and were camped east of the Jordan River near Beth-Peor, when Moses gave these laws and teachings. The land around their camp had once belonged to King Sihon of Heshbon. But Moses and the Israelites defeated him 47and King Og of Bashan, and took their lands. These two Amorite kings had ruled the territory east of the Jordan River 48from the town of Aroer on the edge of the Arnon River gorge, north to Mount Hermon. 49Their land included the eastern side of the Jordan River valley, as far south as the Dead Sea below the slopes of Mount Pisgah.

Chapter 5


The Ten Commandments


(Exodus 20.1-17)
1Moses called together the people of
Israel and said:
Today I am telling you the laws and teachings that you must follow, so listen carefully.
2The LORD our God made an agreement with our nation at Mount Sinai. 3That agreement wasn't only with our ancestors but with us, who are here today. 4The LORD himself spoke to you out of the fire, 5but you were afraid of the fire and refused to go up the mountain. So I spoke with the LORD for you, then I told you that he had said: 6I am the LORD your God, the one who brought you out of Egypt where you were slaves.
7Do not worship any god except me.
8Do not make idols that look like anything in the sky or on earth or in the ocean under the earth. 9Don't bow down and worship idols. I am the LORD your God, and I demand all your love. If you reject me and worship idols, I will punish your families for three or four generations. 10But if you love me and obey my laws, I will be kind to your families for thousands of generations.
11Do not misuse my name. I am the LORD your God, and I will punish anyone who misuses my name. 12Show respect for the Sabbath Day--it belongs to me. 13You have six days when you can do your work, 14but
the seventh day of the week belongs to me, your God. No one is to work on that day--not you, your children, your oxen or donkeys or any other animal, not even those foreigners who live in your towns. And don't make your slaves do any work. 15This special day of rest will remind you that I reached out my mighty arm and rescued you from slavery in Egypt.
16Respect your father and mother, and you will live a long and successful life in the land I am giving you.
17Do not murder.
18Be faithful in marriage.
19Do not steal.
20Do not tell lies about others.
21Do not want anything that belongs to someone else. Don't want anyone's wife or husband, house, land, slaves, oxen, donkeys, or anything else.
22When we were gathered on the mountain, the LORD spoke to us in a loud voice from the dark fiery cloud. The LORD gave us these commands, and only these. Then he wrote them on two flat stones and gave them to me.
Moses said to Israel:


The People Were Afraid


(Exodus 20.18-21)
23When fire blazed from the mountain, and you
heard the voice coming from the darkness, your tribal leaders came to me 24and said:
Today the LORD our God has shown us how powerful and glorious he is. He spoke to us from the fire, and we learned that people can live, even though God speaks to them.
25But we don't want to take a chance on being killed by that terrible fire, and if we keep on hearing the LORD's voice, we will die. 26Has anyone else ever heard the only true God speaking from fire, as we have? And even if they have, would they live to tell about it? 27Moses, go up close and listen to the LORD. Then come back and tell us, and we will do everything he says.
28The LORD heard you and said:
Moses, I heard what the people said to you, and I approve.
29I wish they would always worship me with fear and trembling and be this willing to obey me! Then they and
their children would always enjoy a successful life.
30Now, tell them to return to their tents, 31but you come back here to me. After I tell you my laws and teachings, you will repeat them to the people, so they can obey these laws in the land I am giving them.


Moses said:
32Israel, you must carefully obey the LORD's commands. 33Follow them, because they make a path that will lead to a long successful life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.


Chapter 6


The Most Important Commandment


Moses said to Israel:
1The LORD told me to give you these laws and teachings, so you can obey
them in the land he is giving you. Soon you will cross the Jordan River and take that land. 2And if you and your descendants want to live a long time, you must always worship the LORD and obey his laws. 3Pay attention, Israel! Our ancestors worshiped the LORD, and he promised to give us this land that is rich with milk and honey. Be careful to obey him, and you will become a successful and powerful nation. 4Listen, Israel! The LORD our God is the only true God! 5So love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. 6Memorize his laws 7and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you're at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning. 8Write down copies and tie them to your wrists and foreheads to help you obey them. 9Write these laws on the door frames of your homes and on your town gates.

Worship Only the LORD


Moses said to Israel:
10The LORD promised your ancestors
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that he would give you this land. Now he will take you there and give you large towns, with good buildings that you didn't build, 11and houses full of good things that you didn't put there. The LORD will give you wells that you didn't have to dig, and vineyards and olive orchards that you didn't have to plant. But when you have eaten so much that you can't eat any more, 12don't forget it was the LORD who set you free from slavery and brought you out of Egypt. 13Worship and obey the LORD your God with fear and trembling, and promise that you will be loyal to him. 14Don't have anything to do with gods that are worshiped by the nations around you. 15If you worship other gods, the LORD will be furious and wipe you off the face of the earth. The LORD your God is with you, 16so don't try to make him prove that he can help you, as you did at Massah. 17Always obey the laws that the LORD has given you 18-19and live in a way that pleases him. Then you will be able to go in and take this good land from your enemies, just as he promised your ancestors. 20Someday your children will ask, " Why did the LORD give us these laws and teachings?"
21Then you will answer:
We were slaves of the king of
Egypt, but the LORD used his great power and set us free. 22We saw him perform miracles and make horrible things happen to the king, his officials, and everyone else. 23The LORD rescued us from Egypt, so he could bring us into this land, as he had promised our ancestors. 24-25That's why the LORD our God demands that we obey his laws and worship him with fear and trembling. And if we do, he will protect us and help us be successful.
Moses said:


Chapter 7


Force the Other Nations Out of the Land


(Exodus 34.11-16)
1People of Israel, the LORD your God will help you take the land of the Hittites, the Girgashites
, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. These seven nations have more people and are stronger than Israel, but when you attack them, 2the LORD will force them out of the land. Then you must destroy them without mercy. Don't make any peace treaties with them, 3and don't let your sons and daughters marry any of them. 4If you do, those people will lead your descendants to worship other gods and to turn their backs on the LORD. That will make him very angry, and he will quickly destroy Israel.
5So when you conquer these nations, tear down the altars where they worship their gods. Break up their sacred stones, cut down the poles that they use in worshiping the goddess Asherah, and throw their idols in the fire.


The LORD's Chosen People


Moses said:
6Israel, you are the chosen people of the LORD your God. There are many nations on this earth, but he chose only Israel to be his very own. 7You were the weakest
of all nations, 8but the LORD chose you because he loves you and because he had made a promise to your ancestors. Then with his mighty arm, he rescued you from the king of Egypt, who had made you his slaves.
9You know that the LORD your God is the only true God. So love him and obey his commands, and he will faithfully keep his agreement with you and your descendants for a thousand generations. 10But if you turn against the LORD, he will quickly destroy you. 11So be sure to obey his laws and teachings I am giving you today.
Moses said to Israel:


The LORD Will Bless You if You Obey


(Chapter 28.1-14; Leviticus 26.3-13)
12If you completely obey these laws, the LORD your God will be loyal and keep the agreement he made with you, just as he promised our ancestors. 13The LORD will love you and bless you by giving you many children and plenty of food, wine, and olive oil. Your herds of cattle will have many calves, and your flocks of sheep will have many lambs. 14God will bless you more than any other nation--your families will grow and your livestock increase. 15You will no longer suffer with the same horrible diseases that you sometimes had in Egypt. You will be healthy, but the LORD will make your enemies suffer from those diseases.


Destroy the Nations and Their Gods


Moses said to Israel:
16When the LORD helps you defeat your enemies, you must destroy them without pity! And don't get trapped into worshiping their gods.
17You may be thinking, " How can we destroy these nations? They are more powerful than we are." 18But stop worrying! Just
remember what the LORD your God did to Egypt and its king. 19You saw how the LORD used his tremendous power to work great miracles and bring you out of Egypt. And he will again work miracles for you when you face these enemies you fear so much. 20Some of them may try to survive by hiding from you, but the LORD will make them panic, and soon they will be dead. 21So don't be frightened when you meet them in battle. The LORD your God is great and fearsome, and he will fight at your side. 22As you attack these nations, the LORD will force them out little by little. He won't let you get rid of them all at once--if he did, there wouldn't be enough people living in the land to keep down the number of wild animals. 23-24But when you attack your enemies, the LORD will make them panic, and you will easily destroy them. You will defeat them one after another until they are gone, and no one will remember they ever lived.
25After you conquer a nation, burn their idols. Don't get trapped into wanting
the silver or gold on an idol. Even the metal on an idol is disgusting to the LORD, 26so destroy it. If you bring it home with you, both you and your house will be destroyed. Stay away from those disgusting idols!


Chapter 8


The LORD Takes Care of You


Moses said:
1Israel, do you want to go into the land the LORD promised your ancestors? Do you want to capture it, live there, and become a powerful nation? Then be sure to obey every command I am giving you.
2Don't forget how the LORD your God has led you through the desert for the past forty years. He wanted to find out if you were truly willing to obey him and depend on him, 3so he made you go hungry. Then he gave you manna, a kind of food that you and your ancestors had never even heard about. The LORD was teaching you that people need more than food to live--they need every word that the LORD has spoken. 4Over the past forty years, your clothing hasn't worn out, and your feet haven't swollen. 5So keep in mind that the LORD has been correcting you, just as parents correct their children. 6Obey the commands the LORD your God has given you and worship him with fear and trembling.
7The LORD your God is bringing you
into a good land with streams that flow from springs in the valleys and hills. 8-9You can dig for copper in those hills, and the stones are made of iron ore. And you won't go hungry. Wheat and barley fields are everywhere, and so are vineyards and orchards full of fig, pomegranate, and olive trees, and there is plenty of honey.

Don't Forget the LORD


Moses said to Israel:
10After you eat and are full, give praise to the LORD your God
for the good land he gave you. 11Make sure that you never forget the LORD or disobey his laws and teachings that I am giving you today. If you always obey them, 12you will have plenty to eat, and you will build good houses to live in. 13You will get more and more cattle, sheep, silver, gold, and other possessions.
14But when all this happens, don't be proud! Don't forget that you were once slaves in Egypt and that it was the LORD who set you free. 15Remember how he led you in that huge and frightening desert where poisonous snakes
and scorpions live. There was no water, but the LORD split open a rock, and water poured out so you could drink. 16He also gave you manna, a kind of food your ancestors had never even heard about. The LORD was testing you to make you trust him, so that later on he could be good to you. 17When you become successful, don't say, " I'm rich, and I've earned it all myself." 18Instead, remember that the LORD your God gives you the strength to make a living. That's how he keeps the promise he made to your ancestors.
19-20But I'm warning you--if you forget the LORD your God and worship other gods, the LORD will destroy you, just as he destroyed the nations you fought.


Chapter 9


Why the LORD Will Help Israel


Moses said:
1Israel, listen to me! You will soon cross the Jordan River and go into the land to force out the nations that live there. They are more powerful than you are, and the walls around their cities reach to the sky. 2Some of these nations are descendants of the Anakim. You know how tall and strong they are, and you've heard that no one can defeat them in battle. 3But the LORD your God has promised to go ahead of you, like a raging fire burning everything in its path. So when you attack your enemies, it will be easy for you to
destroy them and take their land. 4-6After the LORD helps you wipe out these nations and conquer their land, don't think he did it because you are such good people. You aren't good--you are stubborn! No, the LORD is going to help you, because the nations that live there are evil, and because he wants to keep the promise he made to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Moses said to Israel:


When Israel Made an Idol


(Exodus 32)
7Don't ever forget how you kept rebelling and making the LORD angry the whole time you were in the desert. You rebelled from the day you left Egypt until the day you arrived here.
8At Mount Sinai you made the LORD so angry that he was going to destroy you. 9-11It happened during those forty days and nights that I was on the mountain, without anything to eat or drink. He had told me to come up there so he could give me the agreement he made with us. And this agreement was actually the same Ten Commandments he had announced to you when he spoke from the fire on the mountain. The LORD had written them on two flat stones with his own hand. But after giving me the two stones, 12he said: Moses, hurry down the mountain to those people you led out of Egypt. They have already disobeyed me and committed the terrible sin of making an idol.
13I've been watching the Israelites, and I've seen how stubborn and rebellious they are. 14So don't try to stop me! I am going to wipe them out, and no one on earth will remember they ever lived. Then I will let your descendants become an even bigger and more powerful nation than Israel.


Moses said:
15Fire was raging on the mountaintop as I went back down, carrying the two stones with the commandments on them. 16I saw how quickly you had sinned and disobeyed the LORD your God. There you were, worshiping the metal idol you had made in the shape of a calf. 17So I threw down the two stones and smashed them before your very eyes.
18-20I bowed down at the place of worship and prayed to the LORD, without eating or drinking for forty days and nights. You had committed a terrible sin by making that idol, and the LORD hated what you had done. He was angry enough to destroy all of you and Aaron as well. So I prayed for you and Aaron as I had done before, and this time the LORD answered my prayers. 21It was a sin for you to make that idol, so I threw it into the fire to melt it down. Then I took the lump of gold, ground it into powder, and threw the powder into the stream flowing down the mountain.
22You also made the LORD angry when you were staying at Taberah, at Massah, and at Kibroth-Hattaavah. 23Then at Kadesh-Barnea the LORD said, " I am giving you the land, so go ahead and take it!" But since you didn't trust the LORD, you rebelled and disobeyed his command. 24In fact, you've
rebelled against the LORD for as long as he has known you. 25After you had made the idol in the shape of a calf, the LORD said he was going to destroy you. So I bowed down in front of the sacred tent for forty days and nights, 26and I prayed:
Our LORD, please don't wipe out your people. You used your great power to rescue them from Egypt and to make them your very own.
27Israel's ancestors
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob obeyed you faithfully. Think about them, and not about Israel's stubbornness, evil, and sin. 28If you destroy your people, the Egyptians will say, " The LORD promised to give Israel land, but he wasn't powerful enough to keep his promise. In fact, he hated them so much that he took them into the desert and killed them." 29But you, our LORD, chose the people of Israel to be your own, and with your mighty power you rescued them from Egypt.
Moses said to the people:


Chapter 10


The Second Set of Commandments


(Exodus 34.1-10)
1The LORD told me to chisel out two flat stones, just like the ones he had given me earlier. He also commanded me to make a wooden chest, then come up the mountain and meet with him. 2He told me that he would write the same words on the new stones that he had written on the ones I broke, and that I could put these stones in this sacred chest.
3So I made a chest out of acacia wood, and I chiseled two flat stones like the ones I broke. Then I carried the stones up the mountain, 4where the LORD wrote the Ten Commandments on them, just as he had done the first time. The commandments were exactly what he had announced from the fire, when you were gathered at the mountain.
After the LORD returned the stones to me,
5I took them down the mountainside and
put them in the chest, just as he had commanded. And they are still there.
Moses said to Israel:


Aaron Died


(Numbers 20.22-29)
6Later we set up camp at the wells belonging to the descendants of Jaakan. Then we moved on and camped at Moserah
, where Aaron died and was buried, and his son Eleazar became the priest. 7Next, we camped at Gudgodah and then at Jotbathah, where there are flowing streams.

The Levites Were Appointed To Carry the Chest


Moses said to Israel:
8After I put the two stones in the sacred chest, the LORD chose
the tribe of Levi, not only to carry the chest, but also to serve as his priests at the place of worship and to bless the other tribes in his name. And they still do these things. 9The LORD promised that he would always provide for the tribe of Levi, and that's why he won't give them any land, when he divides it among the other tribes. Moses said to Israel:


The LORD Answered the Prayers of Moses


(Exodus 34.9,10,27-29)
10When I had taken the second set of stones up the mountain, I spent
forty days and nights there, just as I had done before. Once again, the LORD answered my prayer and did not destroy you. 11Instead, he told me, " Moses, get ready to lead the people into the land that I promised their ancestors."

What the LORD Wants


Moses said:
12People of Israel, what does the LORD your God want from you? The LORD wants you to respect and follow him, to love and serve him with all your heart and soul, 13and to obey his laws and teachings that I am giving you today. Do this, and all will go well for you.
14Everything belongs to the LORD your God, not only the earth and everything on it, but also the sky and the highest heavens. 15Yet the LORD loved your ancestors and wanted them to belong to him. So he chose them and their descendants rather than any other nation, and today you are still his people.
16Remember your agreement with the LORD and stop being so stubborn. 17The LORD your God is more powerful than all other gods and lords, and his tremendous power is to be feared. His decisions are always fair, and you cannot bribe him to change his mind. 18The LORD defends the rights of orphans and widows. He cares for foreigners and gives them food and clothing. 19And you should also care for them, because you were foreigners in Egypt.
20Respect the LORD your God, serve only him, and make promises in his name alone. 21Offer your praises to him, because you have seen him work such terrifying miracles for you.
22When your ancestors went to live in Egypt, there were only seventy of them. But the LORD has blessed you, and now there are more of you than there are stars in the sky.


Chapter 11


If You Are Loyal to the LORD, He Will Bless You


Moses said to Israel:
1The LORD is your God, so you must always love him and obey his laws and teachings. 2Remember, he corrected you and not your children. You are the ones who saw the LORD use his great power 3when he worked miracles in Egypt, making terrible things happen to the king and all his people. 4And when the Egyptian army chased you in their chariots, you saw the LORD drown them and their horses in the Red Sea. Egypt still suffers from that defeat! 5You saw what the LORD did for you while you were in the desert, right up to the time you arrived here. 6And you saw how the LORD made the ground open up in the middle of our camp underneath the tents of Dathan and Abiram, who were swallowed up along with their families, their animals, and their tents. 7With your own eyes, you saw the LORD's mighty power do all these things.
8Soon you will cross the Jordan River, and if you obey the laws and teachings I'm giving you today, you will be strong enough to
conquer the land 9that the LORD promised your ancestors and their descendants. It's rich with milk and honey, and you will live there and enjoy it for a long time. 10It's better land than you had in Egypt, where you had to struggle just to water your crops. 11But the hills and valleys in the promised land are watered by rain from heaven, 12because the LORD your God keeps his eye on this land and takes care of it all year long. 13The LORD your God commands you to love him and to serve him with all your heart and soul. If you obey him, 14-15he will send rain at the right seasons, so you will have more than enough food, wine, and olive oil, and there will be plenty of grass for your cattle. 16But watch out! You will be tempted to turn your backs on the LORD. And if you worship other gods, 17the LORD will become angry and keep the rain from falling. Nothing will grow in your fields, and you will die and disappear from the good land that the LORD is giving you.
18Memorize these laws and think about them. Write down copies and tie them to your wrists and your foreheads to help you obey them. 19Teach them to your children. Talk about them all the time--whether you're at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning. 20Write them on the door frames of your homes and on your town gates. 21Then you and your descendants will live a long time in the land that the LORD promised your ancestors. Your families will live there
as long as the sky is above the earth.
22Love the LORD your God and obey all the laws and teachings that I'm giving you today. If you live the way the LORD wants, 23he will help you take the land. And even though the nations there are more powerful than you, the LORD will force them to leave when you attack. 24You will capture the land everywhere you go, from the Southern Desert to the Lebanon Mountains, and from the Euphrates River west to the Mediterranean Sea. 25No one will be able to stand up to you. The LORD will make everyone terrified of you, just as he promised.
26You have a choice--do you want the LORD to bless you, or do you want him to put a curse on you? 27Today I am giving you his laws, and if you obey him, he will bless you. 28But if you disobey him and worship those gods that have never done anything for you, the LORD will put a curse on you.
29After the LORD your God helps you take the land, you must have a ceremony where you announce his blessings from Mount Gerizim and his curses from Mount Ebal. 30You know that these two mountains are west of the Jordan River in land now controlled by the Canaanites living in the Jordan River valley. The mountains are west of the road near the sacred trees of Moreh
on the other side of Gilgal.
31Soon you will cross the Jordan River to conquer the land that the LORD your God is giving you. And when you have settled there, 32be careful to obey his laws and teachings that I am giving you today.


Chapter 12


Only One Place To Worship the LORD


Moses said to Israel:
1Now I'll tell you the laws and teachings that you have to obey as long as you live. Your ancestors worshiped the LORD, and he is giving you this land. 2But the nations that live there worship other gods. So after you capture the land, you must completely destroy their places of worship--on mountains and hills or in the shade of large trees. 3Wherever these nations worship their gods, you must tear down their altars, break their sacred stones, burn the sacred poles used in worshiping the goddess Asherah, and smash their idols to pieces. Destroy these places of worship so completely that no one will remember they were ever there. 4Don't worship the LORD your God in the way those nations worship their gods. 5-19Soon you will cross the Jordan, and the LORD will help you conquer your enemies and let you live in peace, there in the land he has given you. But after you are settled, life will be different. You must not offer sacrifices just anywhere you want to. Instead, the LORD will choose a place somewhere in Israel where you must go to worship him. All of your
sacrifices and offerings must be taken there, including sacrifices to please the LORD and any gift you promise or voluntarily give him. That's where you must also take one tenth of your grain, wine, and olive oil, as well as the first-born of your cattle, sheep, and goats. You and your family and servants will eat your gifts and sacrifices and celebrate there at the place of worship, because the LORD your God has made you successful in everything you have done. And since Levites will not have any land of their own, you must ask some of them to come along and celebrate with you. Sometimes you may want to kill an animal for food and not as a sacrifice. If the LORD has blessed you and given you enough cows or sheep or goats, then you can butcher one of them where you live. You can eat it just like the meat from a deer or gazelle that you kill when you go hunting. And even those people who are unclean and unfit for worship can have some of the meat. But you must not eat the blood of any animal--let the blood drain out on the ground.
20-21The LORD has promised that later on he will give Israel more land, and some of you may not be able to travel all the way from your homes to the place of worship each time you are hungry for meat. But the LORD will give you cattle, sheep, and goats, and you can butcher any of those animals at home and eat as much as you want. 22It is the same as eating the meat from a deer or a gazelle that you kill when you go hunting. And in this way, anyone who is unclean and unfit for worship can have some of the meat. 23-24But don't eat the blood. It is the life of the animal, so let it drain out on the ground before you eat the meat. 25Do you want the LORD to make you successful? Do you want your children to be successful even after you are gone? Then do what pleases the LORD and don't eat blood.
26-27All sacrifices and offerings to the LORD must be taken to the place where he chooses to be worshiped. If you offer a sacrifice to please the LORD, all of its meat must be burned on the altar. You can eat the meat from certain kinds of sacrifices, but you must always pour out the animal's blood on the altar.
28If you obey these laws, you will be doing what the LORD your God says is right and good. Then he will help you and your descendants be successful.


Worship the LORD in the Right Way


Moses said:
29Israel, as you go into the land and attack the nations that are there, the LORD will get rid of them, and you can have their land.
30But that's when you must be especially careful not to ask, " How did those nations worship their gods? Shouldn't we worship the LORD in the same way?" 31No, you should not! The LORD hates the disgusting way those nations worship their gods, because they even burn
their sons and daughters as sacrifices.
32Obey all the laws and teachings I am giving you. Don't add any, and don't take any away.


Chapter 13


Don't Worship Other Gods


Moses said to Israel:
1-2Someday a prophet may come along who is able to perform miracles or tell what will happen in the future. Then the prophet may say, " Let's start worshiping some new gods--some gods that we know nothing about." 3If the prophet says this, don't listen! The LORD your God will be watching to find out whether or not you love him
with all your heart and soul. 4You must be completely faithful to the LORD. Worship and obey only the LORD and do this with fear and trembling, 5because he rescued you from slavery in Egypt. If a prophet tells you to disobey the LORD your God and to stop worshiping him, then that prophet is evil and must be put to death.
6-10Someone else may say to you, " Let's worship other gods." That person may be your best friend, your brother or sister, your son or daughter, or your own dear wife or husband. But you must not listen to people who say such things. Instead, you must stone them to death. You must be the first to throw the stones, then others from the community will finish the job. Don't show any pity.
The gods worshiped by other nations have never done anything for you or your ancestors. People who ask you to worship other gods are trying to get you to stop worshiping the LORD, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt. So put to death anyone who asks you to worship another god.
11And when the rest of Israel hears about it, they will be afraid, and no one else will ever do such an evil thing again.
12After the LORD your God gives you towns to live in, you may hear a rumor about one of the towns. 13You may hear that some worthless people have talked everyone there into worshiping other gods, even though these gods had never done anything for them. 14You must carefully find out if the rumor is true. Then if the people of that town have actually done such a disgusting thing in your own country, 15you must take your swords and kill every one of them, and their livestock too. 16-17Gather all the possessions
of the people who lived there, and pile them up in the marketplace, without keeping anything for yourself. Set the pile and the whole town on fire, and don't ever rebuild the town. The whole town will be a sacrifice to the LORD your God. Then he won't be angry anymore, and he will have mercy on you and make you successful, just as he promised your ancestors. 18That's why you must do what the LORD your God says is right. I am giving you his laws and teachings today, and you must obey them.


Chapter 14


Don't Mourn like Other Nations


Moses said:
1People of Israel, you are the LORD's children, so when you mourn for the dead, you must not cut yourselves or shave your forehead. 2Out
of all the nations on this earth, the LORD your God chose you to be his own. You belong to the LORD, so don't behave like those who worship other gods.

Animals That Can Be Eaten


(Leviticus 11.1-47)
3Don't eat any disgusting animals.
4-5You may eat the meat of cattle, sheep, and goats; wild
sheep and goats; and gazelles, antelopes, and all kinds of deer. 6It is all right to eat meat from any animals that have divided hoofs and also chew the cud. 7But don't eat camels, rabbits, and rock badgers. These animals chew the cud but do not have divided hoofs. You must treat them as unclean. 8And don't eat pork, since pigs have divided hoofs, but they do not chew their cud. Don't even touch a dead pig!
9You can eat any fish that has fins and scales. But there are other creatures that live in the water, 10and if they do not
have fins and scales, you must not eat them. Treat them as unclean.
11You can eat any clean bird. 12-18But don't eat the meat of any of the following birds: eagles, vultures, falcons, kites, ravens, ostriches, owls, sea gulls, hawks, pelicans, ospreys, cormorants, storks, herons, and hoopoes. You must not eat bats. 19Swarming insects are unclean, so don't eat them. 20However, you are allowed to eat certain kinds of winged insects. 21You belong to the LORD your God, so if you happen to find a dead animal, don't eat its meat. You may give it to foreigners who live in your town or sell it to foreigners who are visiting your town.
Don't boil a young goat in its mother's milk.


Give the LORD Ten Percent of Your Harvest


Moses said:
22People of Israel, every year you must set aside ten percent of your grain harvest. 23Also set aside ten percent of your wine and olive
oil, and the first-born of every cow, sheep, and goat. Take these to the place where the LORD chooses to be worshiped, and eat them there. This will teach you to always respect the LORD your God.
24But suppose you can't carry that ten percent of your harvest to the place where the LORD chooses to be worshiped. If you live too far away, or if the LORD gives you a big harvest, 25then sell this part and take the money there instead. 26When you and your family arrive, spend the money on food for a big celebration. Buy cattle, sheep, goats, wine, beer, and if there are any other kinds of food that you want, buy those too. 27And since people of the Levi tribe won't own any land for growing crops, remember to ask the Levites to celebrate with you.
28Every third year, instead of using the ten percent of your harvest for a big celebration, bring it into town and put it in a community storehouse. 29The Levites have no land of their own, so you must give them food from the storehouse. You must also give food to the poor who live in your town, including orphans, widows, and foreigners. If they have enough to eat, then the LORD your God will be pleased and make you successful in everything you do.
Moses said:


Chapter 15


Loans


(Leviticus 25.1-7)
1-2Every seven years you must announce, " The LORD says loans do not need to be paid back." Then if you have loaned money to another Israelite, you can no longer ask for payment. 3This law applies only to loans you have made to other Israelites. Foreigners will still have to pay back what you have loaned them. 4-6No one in Israel should ever be poor. The LORD your God is giving you this land, and he has promised to make you very successful, if you obey his laws and teachings that I'm giving you today. You will lend money to
many nations, but you won't have to borrow. You will rule many nations, but they won't rule you.
7After the LORD your God gives land to each of you, there may be poor Israelites in the town where you live. If there are, then don't be mean and selfish with your money. 8Instead, be kind and lend them what they need. 9Be careful! Don't say to yourself, " Soon it will be the seventh year, and then I won't be able to get my money back." It would be horrible for you to think that way and to be so selfish that you refuse to help the poor. They are your relatives, and if you don't help them, they may ask the LORD to decide whether you have done wrong. And he will say that you are guilty. 10You should be happy to give the poor what they need, because then the LORD will make you successful in everything you do.
11There will always be some Israelites who are poor and needy. That's why I am commanding you to be generous with them.
Moses said to Israel:


Setting Slaves Free


(Exodus 21.1-11)
12If any of you buy Israelites as slaves, you must set them free after six years. 13And don't just tell them they are free to leave-- 14give them sheep and goats and a good supply of grain and wine. The more the LORD has given you, the more you should give them. 15I am commanding you to obey the LORD as a reminder that you were slaves in Egypt before he set you free. 16But one of your slaves may say, " I love you and your family, and I would be better off staying with you, so please don't make me leave." 17Take the slave to the door of your house and push a sharp metal rod through one earlobe and into the door. Such slaves will belong to you for life, whether they are men or women.
18Don't complain when you have to set a slave free. After all, you got six years of service at half the cost of hiring someone to do the work. Moses said to Israel:


First-Born Animals


(Leviticus 27.26,27; Numbers 18.15-18)
19If the first-born animal of a cow or sheep or goat is a male, it must be given to the LORD. Don't put first-born cattle to work or cut wool from first-born sheep. 20Instead, each year you must take the first-born of these animals to the place where the LORD your God chooses to be worshiped. You and your family will sacrifice them to the LORD and then eat them as part of a sacred meal.
21But if the animal is
lame or blind or has something else wrong with it, you must not sacrifice it to the LORD your God. 22You can butcher it where you live, and eat it just like the meat of a deer or gazelle that you kill while hunting. Even those people who are unclean and unfit for worship can have some. 23But you must never eat the blood of an animal--let it drain out on the ground.
Moses said:


Chapter 16


Passover


(Exodus 12.1-20; Leviticus 23.4-8)
1People of Israel, you must celebrate Passover
in the month of Abib, because one night in that month years ago, the LORD your God rescued you from Egypt. 2The Passover sacrifice must be a cow, a sheep, or a goat, and you must offer it at the place where the LORD chooses to be worshiped. 3-4Eat all of the meat of the Passover sacrifice that same night. But don't serve bread made with yeast at the Passover meal. Serve the same kind of thin bread that you ate when you were slaves suffering in Egypt and when you had to leave Egypt quickly. As long as you live, this thin bread will remind you of the day you left Egypt. For seven days following Passover, don't make any bread with yeast. In fact, there should be no yeast anywhere in Israel. 5Don't offer the Passover sacrifice in just any town where you happen to live. 6It must be offered at the place where the LORD chooses to be worshiped. Kill the sacrifice at sunset, the time of day when you left Egypt. 7Then cook it and eat it there at the place of worship, returning to your tents the next morning. 8Eat thin bread for the next six days. Then on the seventh day, don't do any work. Instead, come together and worship the LORD.
Moses said to Israel:


The Harvest Festival


(Exodus 34.22; Leviticus 23.15-21)
9Seven weeks after you start your grain harvest, 10-11go to the place where the LORD chooses to be worshiped and celebrate the Harvest Festival in honor of the LORD your God. Bring him an offering as large as you can afford, depending on how big a harvest he has given you. Be sure to take along your sons and daughters and all your servants. Also invite the poor, including Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows. 12Remember that you used to be slaves in Egypt, so obey these laws. Moses said to Israel:


The Festival of Shelters


(Leviticus 23.33-43; Numbers 29.12-38)
13-15After you have finished the grain harvest and the grape harvest, take your sons and daughters and all your servants to the place where the LORD chooses to be worshiped. Celebrate the Festival of Shelters for seven days. Also invite the poor, including Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows. The LORD will give you big harvests and make you successful in everything you do. You will be completely happy, so celebrate this festival in honor of the LORD your God.
Moses said:


Three Festivals at the Place of Worship


(Exodus 23.14-17)
16Each year there are three festivals when all Israelite men must go to the place where the LORD chooses to be worshiped. These are the Festival of Thin Bread, the Harvest Festival, and the Festival of Shelters. And don't forget to take along a gift for the LORD. 17The bigger the harvest the LORD gives you, the bigger your gift should be.

Treat Everyone with Justice


Moses said to Israel:
18-19After you are settled in the towns that you will receive from the LORD your God, the people in each town must appoint judges and other officers. Those of you that become judges must be completely fair when you make legal decisions, even if someone important is involved. Don't take bribes to give unfair decisions. Bribes keep people who are wise from seeing the truth and turn honest people into liars. 20People of Israel, if you want to enjoy a long and successful life, make sure that everyone is treated with justice in the land the LORD is giving you.


Don't Set Up Sacred Poles or Stones


Moses said to Israel:
21When you build the altar for offering sacrifices to the LORD your God, don't set up a sacred pole for the worship of the goddess Asherah. 22And don't set up a sacred stone! The LORD hates these things.

Chapter 17


Sacrifices That Have Something Wrong with Them


Moses said to Israel:
1If an ox or a sheep has something wrong with it, don't offer it as a sacrifice to the LORD your God--he will be disgusted!


Put To Death People Who Worship Idols


Moses said to Israel:
2-3The LORD your God is giving you towns to live in. But later, a man or a woman in your town may start worshiping other gods, or even the sun, moon, or stars. I have warned you not to worship other gods, because whoever worships them is disobeying the LORD and breaking the agreement he made with you. 4So when you hear that someone in your town is committing this disgusting sin, you must carefully find out if that person really is guilty. 5-7But you will need
two or three witnesses--one witness isn't enough to prove a person guilty. Get rid of those who are guilty of such evil. Take them outside your town gates and have everyone stone them to death. But the witnesses must be the first to throw stones.


Difficult Cases


Moses said to Israel:
8-12It may be difficult to find out the truth in some legal cases in your town. You may not be able to decide if someone was killed accidentally or murdered. Or you may not be able to tell whether an injury or some property damage was done by accident or on purpose. If the case is too difficult, take it to the court at the place where the LORD your God chooses to be worshiped.
This court will be made up of one judge and several priests who serve at the LORD's altar. They will explain the law to you and give you their decision about the case. Do exactly what they tell you, or you will be put to death.
13When other Israelites hear about it, they will be afraid and obey the decisions of the court.

The King


Moses said:
14People of Israel, after you capture the land the LORD your God is giving you, and after you settle on it, you will say, " We want a king, just like the nations around us."
15Go ahead and appoint a king, but make sure that he is an Israelite and that he is the one the LORD has chosen.
16The king should not have many horses, especially those from Egypt. The LORD has said never to go back there again. 17And the king must not have a lot of wives--they might tempt him to be unfaithful to the LORD. Finally, the king must not try to get huge amounts of silver and gold. 18The official copy of God's laws will be kept by the priests of the Levi tribe. So, as soon as anyone becomes king, he must go to the priests and write out a copy of these laws while they watch. 19Each day the king must read and obey these laws
, so that he will learn to worship the LORD with fear and trembling 20and not think that he's better than everyone else. If the king completely obeys the LORD's commands, he and his descendants will rule Israel for many years.
Moses said to Israel:


Chapter 18


Special Privileges for Priests and Levites


(Numbers 18.8-32)
1The people of the Levi tribe, including the priests, will not receive any land. Instead, they will receive part of the sacrifices that are offered to the LORD, 2because he has promised to provide for them in this way.
3When you sacrifice a bull or sheep, the priests will be given the shoulder, the jaws, and the stomach. 4In addition, they will receive the first part of your grain harvest and part of your first batches of wine and olive oil. You must also give them the first wool that is cut from your sheep each year. 5Give these gifts to the priests, because the LORD has chosen them and their descendants out of all the tribes of Israel to be his special servants at the place of worship. 6Any Levite can leave his hometown, and go to the place where the LORD chooses to be worshiped, 7and then be a special servant of the LORD there, just like all the other Levites. 8Some Levites may have money from selling family possessions, and others may not. But all Levites serving at the place of worship will receive the same amount of food from the sacrifices and gifts brought by the people.

Don't Do Disgusting Things


Moses said to Israel:
9Soon you will go into the land that the LORD your God is giving you. The nations that live there do things that are disgusting to the LORD, and you must not follow their example. 10-11Don't sacrifice your son or daughter. And don't try to use any kind of magic or witchcraft to tell fortunes or to cast spells or to talk with spirits of the dead. 12The LORD is disgusted with anyone who does these things, and that's why he will help you destroy
the nations that are in the land. 13Never be guilty of doing any of these disgusting things!


A Prophet like Moses


Moses said to Israel:
14You will go in and take the land from nations that practice magic and witchcraft. But the LORD your God won't allow you to do those things. 15Instead, he will choose one of your own people to be a prophet just like me, and you must do what that prophet says. 16You were asking for a prophet the day you were gathered at Mount Sinai and said to the LORD, " Please don't let us hear your voice or see this terrible fire again--if we do, we will die!" 17Then the LORD told me:
Moses, they have said the right thing.
18So when I want to speak to them, I will choose one of them to be a prophet like you. I will give my message to that prophet, who will tell the people exactly what I have said. 19Since the message comes from me, anyone who doesn't obey the message will have to answer to me.
20But if I haven't spoken, and a prophet claims to have a message from me, you must kill that prophet, and you must also kill any prophet who claims to have a message from another god.


Moses said to Israel:
21You may be asking yourselves, " How can we tell if a prophet's message really comes from the LORD?" 22You will know, because if the LORD says something will happen, it will happen. And if it doesn't, you will know that the prophet was falsely claiming to speak for the LORD. Don't be afraid of any prophet whose message doesn't come from the LORD.
Moses said to Israel:


Chapter 19


Safe Towns


(Numbers 35.9-28; Joshua 20.1-9)
1Soon you will go into the land and attack the nations. The LORD your God will destroy them and give you their lands, towns, and homes. Then after you are settled, 2-4you must choose three of your towns to be Safe Towns. Divide the land into three regions with one Safe Town near the middle of each, so that a Safe Town can be easily reached from anywhere in your land.
Then, if one of you accidentally kills someone, you can run to a Safe Town and find protection from being put to death. But you must not have been angry with the person you killed.
5For example, suppose you and a friend go into the forest to cut wood. You are chopping down a tree with an ax, when the ax head slips off the handle, hits your friend, and kills him. You can run to one of the Safe Towns and save your life. 6You don't deserve to die, since you did not mean to harm your friend. But he did get killed, and his relatives might be very angry. They might even choose one of the men from their family to track you down and kill you. If it is too far to one of the Safe Towns, the victim's relative might be able to catch you and kill you. 7That's why I said there must be three Safe Towns.
8-9Israel, the LORD your God has promised that if you obey his laws and teachings I'm giving you, and if you always love him, then he will give you the land he promised your ancestors. When that happens, you must name three more Safe Towns in the new territory. 10You will need them, so innocent people won't be killed on your land while they are trying to reach a Safe Town that is too far away. You will be guilty of murder, if innocent people lose their lives because you didn't name enough Safe Towns in the land the LORD your God will give you.
11But what if you really do commit murder? Suppose one of you hates a neighbor. So you wait in a deserted place, kill the neighbor, and run to a Safe Town. 12If that happens, the leaders of your town must send messengers to bring you back from the Safe Town. They will hand you over to one of the victim's relatives, who will put you to death.
13Israel, for the good of the whole country, you must kill anyone who murders an innocent person. Never show mercy to a murderer!


Property Lines


Moses said to Israel:
14In the land the LORD is giving you, there are already stones set up to mark the property lines between fields. So don't move those stones.


Witnesses Must Tell the Truth


Moses said to Israel:
15Before you are convicted of a crime, at least two witnesses must be able to testify that you did it.
16If you accuse someone of a crime, but seem to be lying, 17-18then both you and the accused must be taken to the court at the place where the LORD is worshiped. There the priests and judges will find out if you are lying or telling the truth.
If you are lying and the accused is innocent,
19-21then you will be punished without mercy. You will receive the same punishment the accused would have received if found guilty, whether it means losing an eye, a tooth, a hand, a foot, or even your life.
Israel, the crime of telling lies in court must be punished. And when people hear what happens to witnesses that lie, everyone else who testifies in court will tell the truth.


Chapter 20


Laws for Going to War


Moses said to Israel:
1If you have to go to war, you may find yourselves facing an enemy army that is bigger than yours and that has horses and chariots. But don't be afraid! The LORD your God rescued you from Egypt, and he will help you fight. 2Before you march into battle, a priest will go to the front of the army 3and say, " Soldiers of Israel, listen to me! Today when you go into battle, don't be afraid of the enemy, and when you see them, don't panic. 4The LORD your God will fight alongside you and help you win the battle."
5Then the tribal officials will say to the troops:
If any of you have built a new house, but haven't yet moved in, you may go home. It isn't right for you to die in battle and for somebody else to live in your new house.
6If any of you have planted a vineyard but haven't had your first grape harvest, you may go home. It isn't right for you to die in battle and for somebody else to enjoy your grapes.
7If any of you are engaged to be married, you may go back home and get married. It isn't right for you to die in battle and for somebody else to marry the woman you are engaged to.
8Finally, if any of you are afraid, you may go home. We don't want you to discourage the other soldiers.
9When the officials are finished giving these orders, they will appoint officers to be in command of the army.
10-15Before you attack a town that is far from your land, offer peace to the people who live there. If they surrender and open their town gates, they will become your slaves. But if they reject your offer of peace and try to fight, surround their town and attack. Then, after the LORD helps you capture it, kill all the men. Take the women and children as slaves and keep the livestock and everything else of value.
16Whenever you capture towns in the land the LORD your God is giving you, be sure to kill all
the people and animals. 17He has commanded you to completely wipe out the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 18If you allow them to live, they will persuade you to worship their disgusting gods, and you will be unfaithful to the LORD.
19When you are attacking a town, don't chop down its fruit trees, not even if you have had the town surrounded for a long time. Fruit trees aren't
your enemies, and they produce food that you can eat, so don't cut them down. 20You may need wood to make ladders and towers to help you get over the walls and capture the town. But use only trees that you know are not fruit trees.


Chapter 21


Unsolved Murder


Moses said to Israel:
1Suppose the body of a murder victim is found in a field in the land the LORD your God is giving you, and no one knows who the murderer is. 2The judges and other leaders from the towns around there must find out what town is the closest to where the body was found. 3The leaders from that town will go to their cattle herds and choose a young cow that has never been put to work. 4-5They and some of the priests will take this cow to a nearby valley where there is a stream, but no crops. Once they reach the valley, the leaders will break the cow's neck. The priests must be there, because the LORD your God has
chosen them to be his special servants at the place of worship. The LORD has chosen them to bless the people in his name and to be judges in all legal cases, whether property or injury is involved.
6The town leaders will wash their hands over the body of the dead cow 7and say, " We had no part in this murder, and we don't know who did it. 8-9But since an innocent person was murdered, we beg you, our LORD, to accept this sacrifice and forgive Israel. We are your people, and you rescued us. Please don't hold this crime against us."
If you obey the LORD and do these things, he will forgive Israel.


Marrying a Woman Taken Prisoner in War


Moses said to Israel:
10From time to time, you men will serve as soldiers and go off to war. The LORD your God will help you defeat your enemies, and you will take many prisoners. 11-13One of these prisoners may be
a beautiful woman, and you may want to marry her. But first you must bring her into your home, and have her shave her head, cut her nails, get rid of her foreign clothes, and start wearing Israelite clothes. She will mourn a month for her father and mother, then you can marry her.
14Later on, if you are not happy with the woman, you can divorce her, and she can go free. But you have slept with her as your wife, so you cannot sell her as a slave or make her into your own slave.


Rights of a First-Born Son


Moses said to Israel:
15-17Suppose a man has two wives and loves one more than the other. The first son of either wife is the man's first-born son, even if the boy's mother is the wife the man doesn't love. Later, when the man is near death and is dividing up his property, he must give a double share to his first-born son, simply because he was the first to be born.


A Son Who Rebels


Moses said to Israel:
18A father and a mother may have a stubborn and rebellious son who refuses to obey them even after he has been punished. 19If a son is like that, his parents must drag him to the town gate, where the leaders of the town hold their meetings. 20The parents will tell the leaders, " This son of ours
is stubborn and never obeys. He spends all his time drinking and partying."
21The men of the town will stone that son to death, because they must get rid of the evil he brought into the community. Everyone in Israel will be afraid when they hear how he was punished.


The Body of a Criminal


Moses said to Israel:
22If a criminal
is put to death, and you hang the dead body on a tree, 23you must not let it hang there overnight. Bury it the same day, because the dead body of a criminal will bring God's curse on the land. The LORD your God is giving this land to you, so don't make it unclean by leaving the bodies of executed criminals on display.

Chapter 22


Helping Others


Moses said to Israel:
1If you see a cow or sheep wandering around lost, take the animal back to its owner. 2If the owner lives too far away, or if you don't know who the owner is, take the animal home with you and take care of it. The owner will come looking for the animal, and then you can give it back. 3That's what you should do if you find anything that belongs to someone else. Do whatever you can to help, whether you find a cow or sheep or donkey or some clothing.
4Oxen and donkeys that carry heavy loads can stumble and fall, and be unable to get up by themselves. So as you walk along the road, help anyone who is trying to get an ox or donkey back on its feet.


Don't Pretend To Be the Opposite Sex


Moses said to Israel:
5Women must not pretend to be men, and men must not pretend to be women. The LORD your God is disgusted with people who do that.

Don't Take a Mother Bird


Moses said to Israel:
6-7As you walk along the road, you might see a bird's nest in a tree
or on the ground. If the mother bird is in the nest with either her eggs or her baby birds, you are allowed to take the baby birds or the eggs, but not the mother bird. Let her go free, and the LORD will bless you with a long and successful life.


Put a Wall around Your Flat Roof
8If you build a house, make sure to put a low wall around the edge of the flat roof. Then if someone falls off the roof and is killed, it won't be your fault.

Laws against Mixing Different Things


Moses said to Israel:
9If you plant a vineyard, don't plant any other fruit tree or crop in it. If you do plant something else there, you must bring to the place of worship everything you harvest from the vineyard.
10Don't hitch an ox and a donkey to your plow at the same time.
11When you weave cloth for clothing, you can use thread made of flax or wool, but not both together. 12And when you make a coat, sew a tassel on each of the four corners.

When a Husband Accuses His Wife


Moses said to Israel:
13Suppose a man starts hating his wife soon after they are married. 14He might tell ugly lies about her, and say, " I married this woman, but when we slept together, I found out she wasn't a virgin."
15If this happens, the bride's father and mother must go to the town gate to show the town leaders the proof that the woman was a virgin. 16Her father will say, " I let my daughter marry this man, but he started hating her 17and accusing her of not being a virgin. But he is wrong, because here is proof that she was a virgin!" Then the bride's parents will show them the bed sheet from the woman's wedding night.
18The town leaders will beat the man with a whip 19because he accused his bride of not being a virgin. He will have to pay her father one hundred pieces
of silver and will never be allowed to divorce her.
20But if the man was right and there is no proof that his bride was a virgin, 21the men of the town will take the woman to the door of her father's house and stone her to death.
This woman brought evil into your community by sleeping with someone before she got married, and you must get rid of that evil by killing her.


Laws about Illegal Sex


Moses said:
22People of Israel, if a man is caught having sex with someone else's wife, you must put them both to death. That way, you will get rid of the evil they have done in Israel.
23-24If a man is caught in town having sex with an engaged woman who isn't screaming for help, they both must be put to death. The man is guilty of having sex with a married woman. And the woman is guilty because she didn't call for help, even though she was inside a town and people were nearby. Take them both to the town gate and stone them to death. You must get rid of the evil they brought into your community. 25If an engaged woman is raped out in the country, only the man will be put to death. 26Do not punish the woman at all; she has done nothing wrong, and certainly nothing deserving death. This crime is like murder, 27because the woman was alone out in the country when the man attacked her. She screamed,
but there was no one to help her.
28Suppose a woman isn't engaged to be married, and a man talks her into sleeping with him. If they are caught, 29they will be forced to get married. He must give her father fifty pieces of silver as a bride-price and can never divorce her. 29they will be forced to get married. He must give her father fifty pieces of silver as a bride-price and can never divorce her. 30A man must not marry a woman who was married to his father. This would be a disgrace to his father.


Chapter 23


Who Cannot Become One of the LORD's People


Moses said to Israel:
1If a man's private parts have been crushed or cut off, he cannot fully belong to the LORD's people. 2No one born outside of a legal marriage, or any of their descendants for ten generations, can fully belong to the LORD's people.
3No Ammonites or Moabites, or any of their descendants for ten generations, can become part of Israel, the LORD's people. 4This is because when you
came out of Egypt, they refused to provide you with food and water. And besides, they hired Balaam to put a curse on you. 5But the LORD your God loves you, so he refused to listen to Balaam and turned Balaam's curse into a blessing. 6Don't even think of signing a peace treaty with Moab or Ammon. 7But Edomites are your relatives, and you lived as foreigners in the country of Egypt. Now you must be kind to Edomites and Egyptians 8and let their great-grandchildren become part of Israel, the LORD's people.


Keep the Army Camp Acceptable


Moses said to Israel:
9When you men go off to fight your enemies, make sure your camp is acceptable to the LORD.
10For example, if something happens at night that makes a man unclean and unfit for worship, he must go outside the camp and stay there 11until late afternoon. Then he must take a bath, and at sunset he can go back into camp. 12Set up a place outside the camp to be used as a toilet area. 13And make sure that you have a small shovel in your equipment. When you go out to the toilet area, use the shovel to dig a hole. Then, after you relieve yourself, bury the waste in the hole. 14You must keep your camp clean of filthy and disgusting things. The LORD is always present in your camp, ready to rescue you and give you victory over your enemies. But if he sees something disgusting in your camp, he may turn around and leave.


Runaway Slaves from Other Countries


Moses said:
15When runaway slaves from other countries come to Israel and ask for protection, you must not hand them back to their owners. 16Instead, you must let them choose which one of your towns they want to live in. Don't be cruel to runaway slaves.


Temple Prostitutes


Moses said:
17People of Israel, don't any of you ever be temple prostitutes. 18The LORD your God is disgusted with men and women who are prostitutes of any kind, and he will not accept a gift from them, even if it had been promised to him.

Interest on Loans


Moses said:
19When you lend money, food, or anything else to another Israelite, you are not allowed to charge interest. 20You can charge a foreigner interest. But if you charge other Israelites interest, the LORD your God will not let you be successful in the land you are about to take.


Sacred Promises to the LORD


Moses said:
21People of Israel, if you make a sacred promise to give a gift to the LORD, then do it as soon as you can. If the LORD has to come looking for the gift you promised, you will be guilty of breaking that promise. 22On the other hand, if you never make a sacred promise, you can't be guilty of breaking it. 23You must keep whatever promises you make to the LORD. After all, you are the one who chose to make the promises.


Eating Someone Else's Produce
24If you go into a vineyard that belongs to someone else, you are allowed to eat as many grapes as you want while you are there. But don't take any with you when you leave. 25In the same way, if you are in a grain field that belongs to someone else, you can pick heads of grain and eat the kernels. But don't cut down the stalks of grain and take them with you.


Chapter 24


A Law about Divorce


Moses said to Israel:
1Suppose a woman was divorced by her first husband because he found something disgraceful about her. He wrote out divorce papers, gave them to her, and sent her away. 2Later she married another man, 3who then either divorced her in the same way or died. 4Since she has slept with her second husband, she cannot marry her first husband again. Their marriage would pollute the land that the LORD your God is giving you, and he would be disgusted.

Newlyweds


Moses said to Israel:
5If a man and a woman have been married less than one year, he must not be sent off to war or sent away to do forced labor. He must be allowed to stay home for a year and be happy with his wife.


Loans


Moses said to Israel:
6When you lend money to people, you are allowed to keep something of theirs as a guarantee that they will pay back the loan. But don't take one or both of their millstones, or else they may starve. They need these stones for grinding grain into flour to make bread.


Kidnapping


Moses said to Israel:
7If you are guilty of kidnapping Israelites and forcing them into slavery, you will be put to death to remove this evil from the community.


Skin Diseases


Moses said to Israel:
8I have told the priests what to do if any of you have leprosy, so do exactly what they say. 9And remember
what the LORD your God did to Miriam after you left Egypt.

Loans


Moses said to Israel:
10When you lend money to people, you are allowed to keep something of theirs as a guarantee that the money will be paid back. But you must not go into their house to get it. 11Wait outside, and they will bring out the item you have agreed on.
12Suppose someone is so poor that a coat is the only thing that can be offered as a guarantee on a loan. Don't keep the coat overnight. 13Instead, give it back before sunset, so the owner can keep warm and sleep and ask the LORD to bless you. Then the LORD your God will notice that you have done the right thing.


Poor People's Wages


Moses said:
14If you hire poor people to work for you, don't hold back their pay, whether they are Israelites or foreigners who live in your town. 15Pay them their wages at the end of each day, because they live in poverty and need the money to survive. If you don't pay them on time, they will complain about you to the LORD, and he will punish you.

The Death Penalty


Moses said to Israel:
16Parents must not be put to death for crimes committed by their children, and children must not be put to death for crimes committed by their parents. Don't put anyone to death for someone else's crime.


Don't Mistreat the Powerless


Moses said to Israel:
17Make sure that orphans and foreigners are treated fairly. And if you lend money to a widow and want to keep something of hers to guarantee that she will pay you back, don't take any of her clothes. 18You were slaves in Egypt until the LORD your God rescued you. That's why I am giving you these laws.


Leave Some of Your Harvest for the Poor


Moses said to Israel:
19If you forget to bring in a stack of harvested grain, don't go back in the field to get it. Leave it for the poor, including foreigners, orphans, and widows, and the LORD will make you successful in everything you do.
20When you harvest your olives, don't try to get them all for yourself, but leave some for the poor. 21And when you pick your grapes, go over the vines only once, then let the poor have what is left. 22You lived in poverty as slaves in Egypt until the LORD your God rescued you. That's why I am giving you these laws.


Chapter 25


Whipping as Punishment for a Crime


Moses said to Israel:
1-2Suppose you and someone else each accuse the other of doing something wrong, and you go to court, where the judges decide you are guilty. If your punishment is to be beaten with a whip, one of the judges will order you to lie down, and you will receive the number of lashes you deserve. 3Forty lashes is the most that you can be given, because more than that might make other Israelites think you are worthless.

Don't Muzzle an Ox


Moses said to Israel:
4Don't muzzle an ox while it is threshing grain.

A Son for a Dead Brother


Moses said to Israel:
5-6Suppose two brothers are living on the same property, when
one of them dies without having a son to carry on his name. If this happens, his widow must not marry anyone outside the family. Instead, she must marry her late husband's brother, and their first son will be the legal son of the dead man.
7But suppose the brother refuses to marry the widow. She must go to a meeting of the town leaders at the town gate and say, " My husband died without having a son to carry on his name. And my husband's brother refuses to marry me so I can have a son."
8The leaders will call the living brother to the town gate and try to persuade him to marry the widow. But if he doesn't change his mind and marry her, 9she must go over to him while the town leaders watch. She will pull off one of his sandals
and spit in his face, while saying, " That's what happens to a man who won't help provide descendants for his dead brother." 10From then on, that man's family will be known as " the family of the man whose sandal was pulled off."


When Two Men Fight


Moses said to Israel:
11If two men are fighting, and the wife of one man tries to rescue her husband by grabbing the other man's private parts, 12you must
cut off her hand. Don't have any mercy.


Be Honest in Business


Moses said to Israel:
13-14Don't try to cheat people by having two sets of weights or measures, one to get more when you are buying, and the other to give less when you are selling. 15If you weigh and measure things honestly, the LORD your God will let you enjoy a long life in the land he is giving you. 16But the LORD is disgusted with anyone who cheats or is dishonest.


Wipe Out Amalek


Moses said:
17People of Israel, do you remember what the Amalekites did to you after you came out of Egypt? 18You were tired, and they followed along behind, attacking those who could not keep up with the others. This showed that the Amalekites have no respect for God.
19The LORD your God will help you capture the land, and he will give you peace. But when that day comes, you must wipe out Amalek so completely that no one will remember they ever lived.


Chapter 26


Give the LORD the First Part of Your Harvest


Moses said to Israel:
1The LORD is giving you the land, and soon you will conquer it, settle down, 2and plant crops. And when you begin harvesting each of your crops, the very first things you pick must be put in a basket. Take them to the place where the LORD your God chooses to be worshiped, 3and tell the priest, " Long ago the LORD our God promised our ancestors that he would give us this land. And today, I thank him for keeping his promise and giving me a share of the land."
4The priest will take the basket and set it in front of the LORD's altar. 5Then, standing there in front of the place of worship, you must pray:
My ancestor was homeless,
an Aramean who went to live
in Egypt.
There were only a few
in his family then,
but they became great
and powerful,
a nation of many people.
6The Egyptians were cruel
and had no pity on us.
They mistreated our people
and forced us into slavery.
7We called out for help
to you,
the LORD God
of our ancestors.
You heard our cries;
you knew we were in trouble
and abused.
8Then you terrified the Egyptians
with your mighty miracles
and rescued us from Egypt.
9You brought us here
and gave us this land
rich with milk and honey.
10Now, LORD, I bring to you
the best of the crops
that you have given me.
After you say these things, place the basket in front of the LORD's altar and bow down to worship him.
11Then you and your family must celebrate by eating a meal at the place of worship to thank the LORD your God for giving you such a good harvest. And remember to invite the Levites and the foreigners who live in your town.


Ten Percent of the Harvest


Moses said to Israel:
12Every year you are to give ten percent of your harvest to the LORD. But every third year, this ten percent must be given to the poor who live in your town, including Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows. That way, they will have enough to eat. 13Then you must pray: Our LORD and our God, you have said that ten percent of my harvest is sacred. I have obeyed your command and given this to the poor, including the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows.
14I have not eaten any of this sacred food while I was in mourning; in fact, I never touched it when I was unclean. And none of it has been offered as a sacrifice to the spirits of the dead. I have done everything exactly as you commanded. 15Our LORD, look down from your temple in heaven and bless your people Israel. You promised our ancestors that you would give us this land rich with milk and honey, and you have kept your promise.


The LORD Is Your God, and You Are His People


Moses said to Israel:
16Today the LORD your God has commanded you to obey these laws and teachings with all your heart and soul.
17In response, you have agreed that the LORD will be your God, that you will obey all his laws and teachings, and that you will listen when he speaks to you.
18Since you have agreed to obey the LORD, he has agreed that you will be his people and that you will belong to him, just as he promised. 19The LORD created all nations, but he will make you more famous than any of them, and you will receive more praise and honor. You will belong only to the LORD your God, just as he promised.


Chapter 27


Build an Altar on Mount Ebal
1Moses stood together with the leaders and told the people of Israel:
Obey all the laws and teachings that I am giving you today.
2-4Soon you will enter
the land that the LORD your God is giving to you. He is the God your ancestors worshiped, and he has promised that this land is rich with milk and honey.
After you cross the Jordan River, go to Mount Ebal. Set up large slabs of stone, then cover them with white plaster and write on them a copy of these laws.
5At this same place, build an altar for offering sacrifices to the LORD your God. But don't use stones that have been cut with iron tools. 6Look for stones that can be used without being cut. Then offer sacrifices to please the LORD, burning them completely on the altar. 7Next, offer sacrifices to ask the LORD's blessing, and serve the meat at a sacred meal where you will celebrate in honor of the LORD. 8Don't forget to write out a copy of these laws on the stone slabs that you are going to set up. Make sure that the writing is easy to read.


Curses on Those Who Disobey
9Moses stood together
with the priests and said, " Israel, be quiet and listen to me! Today you have become the people of the LORD your God. 10So you must obey his laws and teachings that I am giving you." 11That same day, Moses gave them the following instructions:
12-13After you cross the Jordan River, you will go to Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal. The tribes of
Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin will go up on Mount Gerizim, where they will bless the people of Israel. The tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali will go up on Mount Ebal where they will agree to the curses. 14-26The people of the Levi tribe will speak each curse in a loud voice, then the rest of the people will agree to that curse by saying, " Amen!" Here are the curses: We ask the LORD to put a curse on anyone who makes an idol or worships idols, even secretly. The LORD is disgusted with idols.
We ask the LORD to put a curse on all who do not show respect for their father and mother.
We ask the LORD to put a curse on anyone who moves the rocks that mark property lines.
We ask the LORD to put a curse on anyone who tells blind people to go the wrong way.
We ask the LORD to put a curse on anyone who keeps the poor from getting justice, whether these poor are foreigners, widows, or orphans.
We ask the LORD to put a curse on any man who sleeps
with his father's wife; that man has shown no respect for his father's marriage.
We ask the LORD to put a curse on anyone who has sex with an animal.
We ask the LORD to put a curse on any man who sleeps
with his sister or his half sister or his mother-in-law.
We ask the LORD to put a curse on anyone who commits murder, even when there are no witnesses to the crime.
We ask the LORD to put a curse on anyone who accepts money to murder an innocent victim.
We ask the LORD to put a curse on anyone who refuses to obey his laws.
And so, to each of these curses, the people will answer, " Amen!"


Chapter 28


The LORD Will Bless You if You Obey


Moses said to Israel:
1-2Today I am giving you the laws and teachings of the LORD your God. Always obey them, and the LORD will make Israel the most famous and important nation on earth, and he will bless you in many ways.
3The LORD will make your businesses and your farms successful.
4You will have many children. You will harvest large crops, and your herds of cattle and
flocks of sheep and goats will produce many young.
5You will have plenty of bread to eat. 6The LORD will make you successful in your daily work.
7The LORD will help you defeat your enemies and make them scatter in all directions.
8The LORD your God is giving you the land, and he will make sure you are successful in everything you do. Your harvests will be so large that your storehouses will be full.
9If you follow and obey the LORD, he will make you his own special people, just as he promised. 10Then everyone on earth will know that you belong to the LORD, and they will be afraid of you.
11The LORD will give you a lot of children and make sure that your animals give birth to many young. The LORD promised your ancestors that this land would be yours, and he will make it produce large crops for you.
12The LORD will open the storehouses of the skies where he keeps the rain, and he will send rain on your land at just the right times. He will make you successful in everything you do. You will have plenty of money to lend to other nations, but you won't
need to borrow any yourself.
13Obey the laws and teachings that I'm giving you today, and the LORD your God will make Israel a leader among the nations, and not a follower. Israel will be wealthy and powerful, not poor and weak. 14But you must not reject any of his laws and teachings or worship other gods.
Moses said:


The LORD Will Put Curses on You if You Disobey


(Leviticus 26.14-46)
15Israel, today I am giving you the laws and teachings of the LORD your God. And if you don't obey them all, he will put many curses on you.
16Your businesses and farms will fail.
17You won't have enough bread to eat.
18You'll have only a few children, your crops will be small, and your herds of cattle and flocks of sheep and goats won't produce many young.
19The LORD will make you fail in everything you do.
20No matter what you try to accomplish, the LORD will confuse you, and you will feel his anger. You won't last long, and you may even meet with disaster, all because you rejected the LORD.
21-23The LORD will send terrible diseases to attack you, and you will never be well again. You will suffer with burning fever and swelling and pain until you die somewhere in the land that you captured.
The LORD will make the sky overhead seem like a bronze roof that keeps out the rain, and the ground under your feet will become as hard as iron. Your crops will be scorched by the hot east wind or ruined by mildew.
24He will send dust and sandstorms instead of rain, and you will be wiped out.
25The LORD will let you be defeated by your enemies, and you will scatter in all directions. You will be a horrible sight for the other nations to see, 26and no one will disturb the birds and wild animals while they eat your dead bodies.
27The LORD will make you suffer with diseases that will cause oozing sores or crusty itchy patches on your skin or boils like the ones that are common in Egypt. And there will be no cure for you! 28You will become insane and go blind. The LORD will make you so confused, 29that even in bright sunshine you will have to feel your way around like a blind person, who cannot tell day from night. For the rest of your life, people will beat and rob you, and no one will be able to stop them.
30A man will be engaged to a woman, but before they can get married, she will be raped by enemy soldiers. Some of you will build houses, but never get to live in them. If you
plant a vineyard, you won't be around long enough to enjoy the first harvest. 31Your cattle will be killed while you watch, but you won't get to eat any of the meat. Your donkeys and sheep will be stolen from you, and no one will be around to force your enemies to give them back. 32Your sons and daughters will be dragged off to a foreign country, while you stand there helpless. And even if you watch for them until you go blind, you will never see them again.
33You will work hard on your farms, but everything you harvest will be eaten by foreigners, who will mistreat you and abuse you for the rest of your life.
34What you see will be so horrible that you will go insane, 35and the LORD will punish you from head to toe with boils that never heal.
36The LORD will let you and your king be taken captive to a country that you and your ancestors have never even heard of, and there you will have to worship idols made of
wood and stone. 37People of nearby countries will shudder when they see your terrible troubles, but they will still make fun of you. 38You will plant a lot of seed, but gather a small harvest, because locusts will eat your crops. 39You will plant vineyards and work hard at taking care of them, but you won't gather any grapes, much less get any wine, and the vines themselves will be eaten by worms. 40Even if your olive trees grow everywhere in your country, the olives will fall off before they are ready, and there won't be enough olive oil for combing your hair. 41Even your infant sons and daughters will be taken as prisoners of war.
42Locusts will eat your crops and strip your trees of leaves and fruit. 43Foreigners in your towns will become wealthy and powerful, while you become poor and powerless. 44You will be so short of money that you will have to borrow from those foreigners. They will be the leaders in the community, and you will be the followers.


More Curses for Disobedience


Moses said:
45Israel, if you don't obey the laws and teachings that the LORD your God is giving you, he will send these curses to chase, attack, and destroy you. 46Then everyone will look at you and your descendants and realize that the LORD has placed you under a curse.
47If the LORD makes you wealthy, but you don't joyfully worship and honor him, 48he will send enemies to attack you and make you their slaves. Then you will live in poverty with nothing to eat, drink, or wear, and your owners will work you to death.
49Foreigners who speak a strange language will be sent to attack you without warning, just like an eagle swooping down. 50They won't show any mercy, and they will have no respect for old people or pity for children. 51They will take your cattle, sheep, goats, grain, wine, and olive oil, then leave you to starve.
52All over the land that the LORD your God gave you, the enemy army will surround your towns. You may feel safe inside your town walls, but the enemy will tear them down, 53while you wait in horror. Finally, you will get so hungry that you will eat the sons and daughters that the LORD gave you. 54-55Because of hunger, a man who had been gentle and kind will eat his own children and refuse to share the meal with his brother or wife or with his other children. 56-57A woman may have grown up in such luxury that she never had to put a foot on the ground. But times will be so bad that she will secretly eat both her newborn baby and
the afterbirth, without sharing any with her husband or her other children.


Disobedience Brings Destruction


Moses said to Israel:
58You must obey everything in The Book of God's Law. Because if you don't respect the LORD, 59he will punish you and your descendants with incurable diseases, 60like those you were so afraid of in Egypt. 61Remember! If the LORD decides to destroy your nation, he can use any disease or disaster, not just the ones written in The Book of God's Law.
62There are as many of you now as the stars in the sky, but if you disobey the LORD your God, only a few of you will be left. 63The LORD is happy to make you successful and to help your nation grow while you conquer the land. But if you disobey him, he will be just as happy to pull you up by your roots.
64Those of you that survive will be scattered to every nation on earth, and you will have to worship stone and wood idols that never helped you or your ancestors. 65You will be restless--always longing for home, but never able to return. 66You will live in constant fear of death. 67Each morning you will wake up to such terrible sights that you will say, " I wish it were night!" But at night you will be terrified and say, " I wish it were day!" 68I told you never to go back to Egypt. But now the LORD himself will load you on ships and send you back. Then you will even try to sell yourselves as slaves, but no one will be interested.


Chapter 29


The Agreement in Moab
1So Moses finished telling the Israelites what they had to do in order to keep the agreement the LORD was making with them in Moab, which was in addition to the one the LORD had
made with them at Mount Sinai. The LORD Is Your God


THE THIRD SPEECH: ISRAEL MUST KEEP ITS AGREEMENT WITH THE LORD
2-3Moses called the nation of Israel together and told them:
When you were in Egypt, you saw the LORD perform
great miracles that caused trouble for the king, his officials, and everyone else in the country. 4-6He has even told you, " For forty years I, the LORD, led you through the desert, but your clothes and your sandals didn't wear out, and I gave you special food. I did these things so you would realize that I am your God." But the LORD must give you a change of heart before you truly understand what you have seen and heard.
7When we first camped here, King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan attacked, but we defeated them. 8Then we captured
their land and divided it among the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh.


Keep the Agreement


Moses said:
9Israel, the LORD has made an agreement with you, and if you keep your part, you will be successful in everything you do. 10-12Today everyone in our nation is standing here in the LORD's presence, including leaders and officials, parents and children, and even those foreigners who cut wood and carry water for us. We are at this place of worship to promise that we will keep our part of the agreement with the LORD our God.
13-15In this agreement, the LORD promised that you would be his people and that he would be your God. He first made this promise to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and today the LORD is making this same promise to you. But it isn't just for you; it is also for your descendants.
16-17When we lived in Egypt, you saw the Egyptians worship disgusting idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold. Then as we traveled through other nations, you saw those people worship other disgusting idols. 18So make sure that everyone in your tribe remains faithful to the LORD and never starts worshiping gods of other nations.
If even one of you worships idols, you will be like the root of a plant that produces bitter, poisonous fruit.
19You may be an Israelite and know all about the LORD's agreement with us, but he won't bless you if you rebel against him. You may think you can get away with it, but you will cause the rest of Israel to be punished along with you. 20-21The LORD will be furious, and instead of forgiving you, he will separate you from the other tribes. Then he will destroy you, by piling on you all the curses in The Book of God's Law, and you will be forgotten forever. 22The LORD will strike your country with diseases and disasters. Your descendants and foreigners from distant countries will see that your land 23has become a scorching desert of salt and sulfur, where nothing is planted, nothing sprouts, and nothing grows. It will be as lifeless as the land around the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, after the LORD became angry and destroyed them. 24People from other nations will ask, " Why did the LORD destroy this country? Why was he so furious?"
25And they will be given this answer:
Our ancestors worshiped the LORD, but after he brought them out of Egypt and made an agreement with them, they rejected the agreement
26and decided to worship gods that had never helped them. The LORD had forbidden Israel to worship these gods, 27-28and so he became furious and punished the land with all the curses in The Book of God's Law. Then he pulled up Israel by the roots and tossed them into a foreign country, where they still are today.
29The LORD our God hasn't explained the present or the future, but he has commanded us to obey the laws he gave to us and our descendants.


Chapter 30


The LORD Will Bring You Back


Moses said to Israel:
1I have told you everything the LORD your God will do for you, and I've also told you the curses he will put on you if you reject him. He will scatter you in faraway countries, but when you realize that he is punishing you, 2return to him with all your heart and soul and start obeying the commands I have given to you today. 3-4Then he will stop punishing you and treat you with kindness. He may have scattered you to the farthest countries on earth, but he will bring you back 5to the land that had belonged to your ancestors and make you even more successful and powerful than they ever were.
6You and your descendants are stubborn, but the LORD will make you willing to obey him and love him with all your heart and soul, and you will enjoy a long life.
7Then the LORD your God will remove the curses from you and put them on those enemies who hate and attack you.
8You will again obey the laws and teachings of the LORD, 9and he will bless you with many children, large herds and flocks, and abundant crops. The LORD will be happy to do good things for you, just as he did for your ancestors. 10But you must decide once and for all to worship him with all your heart and soul and to obey everything in The Book of God's Law.


Choose Life, Not Death


Moses said to Israel:
11You know God's laws, and it isn't impossible to obey them. 12His commands aren't in heaven, so you can't excuse yourselves by saying, " How can we obey the LORD's commands? They are in heaven, and no one can go up to get them, then bring them down and explain them to us." 13And you can't say, " How can we obey the LORD's commands? They are across the sea, and someone must go across, then bring them back and explain them to us." 14No, these commands are nearby and you know them by heart. All you have to do is obey!
15Today I am giving you a choice. You can choose life and success or death and disaster. 16-18I am commanding you to be loyal to the LORD, to live the way he has told you, and to obey his laws and teachings. You are about to cross the Jordan River and take the land that he is giving you. If you obey him, you will live and become successful and powerful.
On the other hand, you might choose to disobey the LORD and reject him. So I'm warning you that if you bow down and worship other gods, you won't have long to live.
19Right now I call the sky and the earth to be witnesses that I am offering you this choice. Will you choose for the LORD to make you prosperous and give you a long life? Or will he put you under a curse and kill you? Choose life! 20Be completely faithful to the LORD your God, love him, and do whatever he tells you. The LORD is the only one who can give life, and he will let you live a long time in the land that he promised to your ancestors
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 
Joshua Is Appointed the Leader of Israel


Chapter 31


FINAL SPEECHES AND THE DEATH OF MOSES
1Moses again spoke to the whole nation of Israel:
2I am a hundred twenty years old, and I am no longer able to be your leader. And besides that, the LORD your God has told me that he won't let me cross the Jordan River. 3-5But he has promised that he and Joshua will lead you across the Jordan to attack the nations that live on the other side. The LORD will destroy those nations just as he destroyed Sihon and Og, those two Amorite kings. Just remember--whenever you capture a place, kill everyone who lives there.
6Be brave and strong! Don't be afraid
of the nations on the other side of the Jordan. The LORD your God will always be at your side, and he will never abandon you.
7Then Moses called Joshua up in front of the crowd and said:
Joshua, be brave and strong as you lead these people into their land. The LORD made a promise long ago to Israel's ancestors that this land would someday belong to Israel. That time has now come, and you must divide up the land among the people.
8The LORD will lead you into the land. He will always be with you and help you, so don't ever be afraid of your enemies.


Read These Laws
9Moses wrote down all of these laws and teachings and gave them to the priests and the leaders of Israel. The priests were from the Levi tribe, and they carried the sacred chest that belonged to the LORD. 10-11Moses told these priests and leaders:
Each year the Israelites must come together to celebrate the Festival of Shelters at the place where the LORD chooses to be worshiped. You must read these laws and teachings to the people at the festival every seventh year, the year when loans do not need to be repaid.
12-13Everyone must come--men, women, children, and even the foreigners who live in your towns. And each new generation will listen and learn to worship the LORD their God with fear and trembling and to do exactly what is said in God's Law.

Israel Will Reject the LORD
14The LORD told Moses, " You will soon die, so bring Joshua to the sacred tent, and I will appoint him the leader of Israel."
Moses and Joshua went to the sacred tent,
15and the LORD appeared in a thick cloud right over the entrance to the tent. 16The LORD said:
Moses, you will soon die. But Israel is going into a land where other gods are worshiped, and Israel will reject me and start worshiping these gods. The people will break the agreement I
made with them, 17and I will be so furious that I will abandon them and ignore their prayers. I will send disasters and suffering that will nearly wipe them out. Finally, they will realize that the disasters happened because I abandoned them. 18They will pray to me, but I will ignore them because they were evil and started worshiping other gods.
19Moses and Joshua, I am going to give you the words to a new song. Write them down and teach the song to the Israelites. If they learn it, they will know what I want them to do, and so they will have no excuse for not obeying me. 20I am bringing them into the land that I promised their ancestors. It is a land rich with milk and honey, and the Israelites will have more than enough food to eat. But they will get fat and turn their backs on me and start worshiping other gods. The Israelites will reject me and break the agreement that I made with them.
21When I punish the Israelites and their descendants with suffering and disasters, I will remind them that they know the words to this song, so they have no excuse for not obeying me.
I will give them the land that I promised, but I know the way they are going to live later on.
22Moses wrote down the words to the song right away, and he taught it to the Israelites. 23The LORD told Joshua, " Be brave and strong! I will help you lead the people of Israel into the land that I have promised them."
24Moses wrote down all these laws and teachings in a book, 25then he went to the Levites who carried the sacred chest and said:
26This is The Book of God's Law. Keep it beside the sacred chest that holds the agreement the LORD your God made with Israel. This book is proof that you know what the LORD wants you to do. 27I know how stubborn and rebellious you and the rest of the Israelites are. You have rebelled against the LORD while I have been alive, and it will only get worse after I am gone. 28So call together the leaders and officials of the tribes of Israel. I will bring this book and read every word of it to you, and I will call the sky and the earth as witnesses that all of you know what you are supposed to do.
29I am going to die soon, and I know that in the future you will stop caring about what is right and what is wrong, and so you will disobey the LORD and stop living the way I told you to live. The LORD will be angry, and terrible things will happen to you.


The Song of Moses
30Moses called a meeting of all the people of Israel, so he could teach them the words to the song that the LORD had given him. And here are the words:


Chapter 32
1Earth and Sky,
listen to what I say!
2Israel, I will teach you.
My words will be like gentle rain
on tender young plants,
or like dew on the grass.
3Join with me in praising
the wonderful name
of the LORD our God.
4The LORD is a mighty rock, and he never does wrong.
God can always be trusted
to bring justice.
5But you lie and cheat
and are unfaithful to him.
You have disgraced yourselves
and are no longer worthy
to be his children.
6Israel, the LORD is your Father,
the one who created you,
but you repaid him
by being foolish.
7Think about past generations.
Ask your parents
or any of your elders.
They will tell you
8that God Most High
gave land to every nation.
He assigned a guardian angel
to each of them,
9but the LORD himself
takes care of Israel.
10Israel, the LORD discovered you
in a barren desert
filled with howling winds.
God became your fortress,
protecting you
as though
you were his own eyes.
11The LORD was like an eagle
teaching its young to fly,
always ready to swoop down
and catch them on its back.
12Israel, the LORD led you,
and without the aid
of a foreign god,
13he helped you
capture the land.
Your fields were rich
with grain.
Olive trees grew
in your stony soil,
and honey was found
among the rocks.
14Your flocks and herds
produced milk and yogurt,
and you got choice meat
from your sheep and goats
that grazed in Bashan.
Your wheat was the finest,
and you drank the best wine.
15Israel, you grew fat and rebelled against God, your Creator;
you rejected the Mighty Rock, your only place of safety.
16You made God jealous and angry
by worshiping disgusting idols
and foreign gods.
17You offered sacrifices
to demons, those useless gods that never helped you,
new gods that your ancestors
never worshiped.
18You turned away
from God, your Creator;
you forgot the Mighty Rock, the source of your life.
19You were the LORD's children,
but you made him angry.
Then he rejected you
20and said,
" You are unfaithful
and can't be trusted.
So I won't answer your prayers;
I'll just watch and see
what happens to you.
21You worshiped worthless idols,
and made me jealous
and angry!
Now I will send a cruel and worthless nation
to make you jealous and angry.
22" My people, I will breathe out fire
that sends you down
to the world of the dead.
It will scorch your farmlands
and burn deep down
under the mountains.
23I'll send disaster after disaster
to strike you like arrows.
24You'll be struck by starvation
and deadly diseases,
by the fangs of wild animals
and poisonous snakes.
25Young and old alike
will be killed in the streets
and terrified at home.
26" I wanted to scatter you,
so no one would remember
that you had ever lived.
27But I dreaded the sound
of your enemies saying,
<We defeated Israel with no help
from the LORD. "
28People of Israel,
that's what the LORD
has said to you.
But you don't have good sense,
and you never listen
to advice.
29If you did, you could see
where you are headed.
30How could one enemy soldier
chase a thousand
of Israel's troops?
Or how could two of theirs
pursue ten thousand of ours?
It can only happen if the LORD
stops protecting Israel
and lets the enemy win.
31Even our enemies know
that only our God
is a Mighty Rock.
32Our enemies are grapevines
rooted in the fields
of Sodom and Gomorrah. The grapes they produce
are full of bitter poison;
33their wine is more deadly
than cobra venom.
34But the LORD has written
a list of their sins
and locked it in his vault.
35Soon our enemies will get
what they deserve -- suddenly they will slip,
and total disaster
will quickly follow.
36When only a few
of the LORD's people remain,
when their strength is gone,
and some of them are slaves,
the LORD will feel sorry for them
and give them justice.
37But first the LORD will say,
" You ran for safety to other gods--
couldn't they help you?
38You offered them wine
and your best sacrifices.
Can't those gods help you now
or give you protection?
39Don't you understand?
I am the only God;
there are no others.
I am the one who takes life
and gives it again.
I punished you with suffering.
But now I will heal you,
and nothing can stop me!
40" I make this solemn promise:
Just as I live forever,
41I will take revenge
on my hateful enemies.
I will sharpen my sword
and let it flash
like lightning.
42My arrows will get drunk
on enemy blood;
my sword will taste the flesh
and the blood
of the enemy.
It will kill prisoners,
and cut off the heads
of their leaders."
43Tell the heavens to celebrate
and all gods to bow down
to the LORD, because he will take revenge
on those hateful enemies
who killed his people.
He will forgive the sins of Israel
and purify their land.
44-45Moses spoke
the words of the song so that all the Israelites could hear, and Joshua helped him. When Moses had finished, 46he said, " Always remember this song I have taught you today. And let it be a warning that you must teach your children to obey everything written in The Book of God's Law. 47The Law isn't empty words. It can give you a long life in the land that you are going to take."

Moses Will See the Land
48Later that day the LORD said to Moses:
49Go up into the Abarim Mountain range here in Moab across the Jordan River valley from Jericho. And when you reach the top of Mount Nebo, you will be able to see the land of Canaan, which I am giving to Israel. 50Then you will die and be buried on the mountaintop, just as your brother Aaron died and was buried on Mount Hor. 51Both of you were unfaithful to me at Meribah Spring near Kadesh in the Zin Desert. I am God, but there in front of the Israelites, you did not treat me with the honor and respect I deserve. 52So I will give the land to the people of Israel, but you will only get to see it from a distance.

Chapter 33


Moses Blesses the Tribes of Israel
1Moses was a prophet, and before he died, he blessed the tribes of Israel by saying:
2The LORD came from Mount Sinai.
From Edom, he gave light
to
his people,
and
his glory was shining
from Mount Paran.
Thousands of his warriors
were with him,
and fire
was at his right hand.
3The LORD loves the tribes
of Israel, and he protects his people.
They listen to his words
and worship at his feet.
4I called a meeting
of the tribes of Israel and gave you God's Law.
5Then you and your leaders
made the LORD your king.
6Tribe of Reuben, you will live,
even though your tribe
will always be small.
7The LORD will listen to you,
tribe of Judah,
as you beg
to come safely home.
You fought your enemies alone; now the LORD will help you.
8At Massah and Meribah Spring, the LORD tested you,
tribe of Levi.
You were faithful, and so the priesthood belongs to the Levi tribe.
9Protecting Israel's agreement
with the LORD
was more important to you
than the life of your father
or mother,
or brothers or sisters,
or your own children.
10You teach God's laws to Israel, and at the place of worship
you offer sacrifices
and burn incense.
11I pray that the LORD will bless
everything you do,
and make you strong enough
to crush your enemies.
12The LORD Most High loves you, tribe of Benjamin.
He will live among your hills
and protect you.
13Descendants of Joseph,
the LORD will bless you
with precious water
from deep wells
and with dew from the sky.
14Month by month, your fruit
will ripen in the sunshine.
15You will have a rich harvest
from the slopes
of the ancient hills.
16The LORD who appeared
in the burning bush
wants to give you the best
the land can produce,
and it will be a princely crown
on Joseph's head.
17The armies of Ephraim
and Manasseh
are majestic and fierce
like a bull or a wild ox.
They will run their spears
through faraway nations.
18Be happy, Zebulun,
as your boats set sail;
be happy, Issachar,
in your tents.
19The sea will make you wealthy,
and from the sandy beach
you will get treasure. So invite the other tribes to celebrate with you
and offer sacrifices to God.
20Tribe of Gad,
the LORD will bless you
with more land.
So shout his praises!
Your tribe is like a lion
ripping up its victim.
21Your leaders met together
and chose the best land
for your tribe,
but you obeyed the LORD
and helped the other tribes.
22Tribe of Dan,
you are like a lion cub,
startled by a snake.
23The LORD is pleased with you,
people of Naphtali.
He will bless you
and give you the land
to the west and the south.
24The LORD's greatest blessing
is for you, tribe of Asher.
You will be the favorite
of all the other tribes.
You will be rich with olive oil
25and have strong town gates
with bronze and iron bolts.
Your people will be powerful
for as long as they live.
26Israel, no other god is like ours--
the clouds are his chariot
as he rides across the skies
to come and help us.
27The eternal God
is our hiding place;
he carries us in his arms.
When God tells you
to destroy your enemies,
he will make them run.
28Israel, you will live in safety;
your enemies will be gone. The dew will fall from the sky,
and you will have plenty
of grain and wine.
29The LORD has rescued you
and given you more blessings
than any other nation.
He protects you like a shield
and is your majestic sword.
Your enemies will bow in fear,
and you will trample
on their backs.


Chapter 34


The Death of Moses
1Sometime later, Moses left the lowlands of Moab. He went up Mount Pisgah to the peak of Mount
Nebo, which is across the Jordan River from Jericho. The LORD showed him all the land as far north as Gilead and the town of Dan. 2He let Moses see the territories that would soon belong to the tribes of Naphtali, Ephraim, Manasseh, and Judah, as far west as the Mediterranean Sea. 3The LORD also showed him the land in the south, from the valley near the town of Jericho, known as The City of Palm Trees, down to the town of Zoar. 4The LORD said, " Moses, this is the land I was talking about when I solemnly promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that I would give land to their descendants. I have let you see it, but you will not cross the Jordan and go in."
5And so, Moses the LORD's servant died there in Moab, just as the LORD had said. 6The LORD buried him in a valley near the town of Beth-Peor, but even today no one knows exactly where. 7Moses was a hundred twenty years old when he died, yet his eyesight was still good, and his body was strong.
8The people of Israel stayed in the lowlands of Moab, where they mourned and grieved thirty days for Moses, as was their custom.


Joshua Becomes the Leader of Israel
9Before Moses died, he had placed his hands on Joshua, and the LORD had given Joshua wisdom. The Israelites paid attention to what Joshua said and obeyed the commands that the LORD had given Moses.


Moses Was a Great Prophet
10There has never again been a prophet
in Israel like Moses. The LORD spoke face to face with him 11and sent him to perform powerful miracles in the presence of the king of Egypt and his entire nation. 12No one else has ever had the power to do such great things as Moses did for everyone to see.