New Revised Standard Version
The first discourse of Moses
1 These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel beyond the Jordan – in
the wilderness, on the plain opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban,
Hazeroth, and Di-zahab. 2 (By the way of Mount Seir it takes eleven days to
reach Kadesh-barnea from Horeb.) 3 In the fortieth year, on the first day of
the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the Israelites just as the LORD had
commanded him to speak to them. 4 This was after he had defeated King Sihon of
the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, and King Og of Bashan, who reigned in
Ashtaroth and in Edrei. 5 Beyond the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses
undertook to expound this law as follows:
6 The LORD our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, "You have stayed long enough
at this mountain. 7 Resume your journey, and go into the hill country of the
Amorites as well as into the neighboring regions – the Arabah, the hill
country, the Shephelah, the Negeb, and the seacoast – the land of the
Canaanites and the Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. 8
See, I have set the land before you; go in and take possession of the land
that I swore to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to
them and to their descendants after them."
9 At that time I said to you, "I am unable by myself to bear you. 10 The LORD
your God has multiplied you, so that today you are as numerous as the stars of
heaven. 11 May the LORD, the God of your ancestors, increase you a thousand
times more and bless you, as he has promised you! 12 But how can I bear the
heavy burden of your disputes all by myself? 13 Choose for each of your tribes
individuals who are wise, discerning, and reputable to be your leaders." 14
You answered me, "The plan you have proposed is a good one." 15 So I took the
leaders of your tribes, wise and reputable individuals, and installed them as
leaders over you, commanders of thousands, commanders of hundreds, commanders
of fifties, commanders of tens, and officials, throughout your tribes. 16 I
charged your judges at that time: "Give the members of your community a fair
hearing, and judge rightly between one person and another, whether citizen or
resident alien. 17 You must not be partial in judging: hear out the small and
the great alike; you shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is
God's. Any case that is too hard for you, bring to me, and I will hear it." 18
So I charged you at that time with all the things that you should do.
From Horeb to Kadesh
19 Then, just as the LORD our God had ordered us, we set out from Horeb and
went through all that great and terrible wilderness that you saw, on the way
to the hill country of the Amorites, until we reached Kadesh-barnea. 20 I said
to you, "You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the LORD our
God is giving us. 21 See, the LORD your God has given the land to you; go up,
take possession, as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has promised you; do
not fear or be dismayed."
22 All of you came to me and said, "Let us send men ahead of us to explore the
land for us and bring back a report to us regarding the route by which we
should go up and the cities we will come to." 23 The plan seemed good to me,
and I selected twelve of you, one from each tribe. 24 They set out and went up
into the hill country, and when they reached the Valley of Eshcol they spied
it out 25 and gathered some of the land's produce, which they brought down to
us. They brought back a report to us, and said, "It is a good land that the
LORD our God is giving us."
26 But you were unwilling to go up. You rebelled against the command of the
LORD your God; 27 you grumbled in your tents and said, "It is because the LORD
hates us that he has brought us out of the land of Egypt, to hand us over to
the Amorites to destroy us. 28 Where are we headed? Our kindred have made our
hearts melt by reporting, 'The people are stronger and taller than we; the
cities are large and fortified up to heaven! We actually saw there the
offspring of the Anakim!'" 29 I said to you, "Have no dread or fear of them.
30 The LORD your God, who goes before you, is the one who will fight for you,
just as he did for you in Egypt before your very eyes, 31 and in the
wilderness, where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as one
carries a child, all the way that you traveled until you reached this place.
32 But in spite of this, you have no trust in the LORD your God, 33 who goes
before you on the way to seek out a place for you to camp, in fire by night,
and in the cloud by day, to show you the route you should take."
34 When the LORD heard your words, he was wrathful and swore: 35 "Not one of
these – not one of this evil generation – shall see the good land that I swore
to give to your ancestors, 36 except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He shall see it,
and to him and to his descendants I will give the land on which he set foot,
because of his complete fidelity to the LORD." 37 Even with me the LORD was
angry on your account, saying, "You also shall not enter there. 38 Joshua son
of Nun, your assistant, shall enter there; encourage him, for he is the one
who will secure Israel's possession of it. 39 And as for your little ones, who
you thought would become booty, your children, who today do not yet know right
from wrong, they shall enter there; to them I will give it, and they shall
take possession of it. 40 But as for you, journey back into the wilderness, in
the direction of the Red Sea."
41 You answered me, "We have sinned against the LORD! We are ready to go up
and fight, just as the LORD our God commanded us." So all of you strapped on
your battle gear, and thought it easy to go up into the hill country. 42 The
LORD said to me, "Say to them, 'Do not go up and do not fight, for I am not in
the midst of you; otherwise you will be defeated by your enemies.'" 43
Although I told you, you would not listen. You rebelled against the command of
the LORD and presumptuously went up into the hill country. 44 The Amorites who
lived in that hill country then came out against you and chased you as bees
do. They beat you down in Seir as far as Hormah. 45 When you returned and wept
before the LORD, the LORD would neither heed your voice nor pay you any
The circuit via Transjordan
46 After you had stayed at Kadesh as many days as you did, [Deuteronomy 2]
1 we journeyed back into the wilderness, in the direction of the Red Sea, as
the LORD had told me and skirted Mount Seir for many days. 2 Then the LORD
said to me: 3 "You have been skirting this hill country long enough. Head
north, 4 and charge the people as follows: You are about to pass through the
territory of your kindred, the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. They
will be afraid of you, so, be very careful 5 not to engage in battle with
them, for I will not give you even so much as a foot's length of their land,
since I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession. 6 You shall purchase
food from them for money, so that you may eat; and you shall also buy water
from them for money, so that you may drink. 7 Surely the LORD your God has
blessed you in all your undertakings; he knows your going through this great
wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have
lacked nothing." 8 So we passed by our kin, the descendants of Esau who live
in Seir, leaving behind the route of the Arabah, and leaving behind Elath and
When we had headed out along the route of the wilderness of Moab, 9 the LORD
said to me: "Do not harass Moab or engage them in battle, for I will not give
you any of its land as a possession, since I have given Ar as a possession to
the descendants of Lot." 10 (The Emim – a large and numerous people, as tall
as the Anakim – had formerly inhabited it. 11 Like the Anakim, they are
usually reckoned as Rephaim, though the Moabites call them Emim. 12 Moreover,
the Horim had formerly inhabited Seir, but the descendants of Esau
dispossessed them, destroying them and settling in their place, as Israel has
done in the land that the LORD gave them as a possession.) 13 "Now then,
proceed to cross over the Wadi Zered."
So we crossed over the Wadi Zered. 14 And the length of time we had traveled
from Kadesh-barnea until we crossed the Wadi Zered was thirty-eight years,
until the entire generation of warriors had perished from the camp, as the
LORD had sworn concerning them. 15 Indeed, the LORD's own hand was against
them, to root them out from the camp, until all had perished.
16 Just as soon as all the warriors had died off from among the people, 17 the
LORD spoke to me, saying, 18 "Today you are going to cross the boundary of
Moab at Ar. 19 When you approach the frontier of the Ammonites, do not harass
them or engage them in battle, for I will not give the land of the Ammonites
to you as a possession, because I have given it to the descendants of Lot." 20
(It also is usually reckoned as a land of Rephaim. Rephaim formerly inhabited
it, though the Ammonites call them Zamzummim, 21 a strong and numerous people,
as tall as the Anakim. But the LORD destroyed them from before the Ammonites
so that they could dispossess them and settle in their place. 22 He did the
same for the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir, by destroying the Horim
before them so that they could dispossess them and settle in their place even
to this day. 23 As for the Avvim, who had lived in settlements in the vicinity
of Gaza, the Caphtorim, who came from Caphtor, destroyed them and settled in
their place.) 24 "Proceed on your journey and cross the Wadi Arnon. See, I
have handed over to you King Sihon the Amorite of Heshbon, and his land. Begin
to take possession by engaging him in battle. 25 This day I will begin to put
the dread and fear of you upon the peoples everywhere under heaven; when they
hear report of you, they will tremble and be in anguish because of you."
26 So I sent messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to King Sihon of
Heshbon with the following terms of peace: 27 "If you let me pass through your
land, I will travel only along the road; I will turn aside neither to the
right nor to the left. 28 You shall sell me food for money, so that I may eat,
and supply me water for money, so that I may drink. Only allow me to pass
through on foot – 29 just as the descendants of Esau who live in Seir have
done for me and likewise the Moabites who live in Ar – until I cross the
Jordan into the land that the LORD our God is giving us." 30 But King Sihon of
Heshbon was not willing to let us pass through, for the LORD your God had
hardened his spirit and made his heart defiant in order to hand him over to
you, as he has now done.
31 The LORD said to me, "See, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to
you. Begin now to take possession of his land." 32 So when Sihon came out
against us, he and all his people for battle at Jahaz, 33 the LORD our God
gave him over to us; and we struck him down, along with his offspring and all
his people. 34 At that time we captured all his towns, and in each town we
utterly destroyed men, women, and children. We left not a single survivor. 35
Only the livestock we kept as spoil for ourselves, as well as the plunder of
the towns that we had captured. 36 From Aroer on the edge of the Wadi Arnon
(including the town that is in the wadi itself) as far as Gilead, there was no
citadel too high for us. The LORD our God gave everything to us. 37 You did
not encroach, however, on the land of the Ammonites, avoiding the whole upper
region of the Wadi Jabbok as well as the towns of the hill country, just as
the LORD our God had charged.
1 When we headed up the road to Bashan, King Og of Bashan came out against us,
he and all his people, for battle at Edrei. 2 The LORD said to me, "Do not
fear him, for I have handed him over to you, along with his people and his
land. Do to him as you did to King Sihon of the Amorites, who reigned in
Heshbon." 3 So the LORD our God also handed over to us King Og of Bashan and
all his people. We struck him down until not a single survivor was left. 4 At
that time we captured all his towns; there was no citadel that we did not take
from them – sixty towns, the whole region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in
Bashan. 5 All these were fortress towns with high walls, double gates, and
bars, besides a great many villages. 6 And we utterly destroyed them, as we
had done to King Sihon of Heshbon, in each city utterly destroying men, women,
and children. 7 But all the livestock and the plunder of the towns we kept as
spoil for ourselves.
8 So at that time we took from the two kings of the Amorites the land beyond
the Jordan, from the Wadi Arnon to Mount Hermon 9 (the Sidonians call Hermon
Sirion, while the Amorites call it Senir), 10 all the towns of the tableland,
the whole of Gilead, and all of Bashan, as far as Salecah and Edrei, towns of
Og's kingdom in Bashan. 11 (Now only King Og of Bashan was left of the remnant
of the Rephaim. In fact his bed, an iron bed, can still be seen in Rabbah of
the Ammonites. By the common cubit it is nine cubits long and four cubits
wide.) 12 As for the land that we took possession of at that time, I gave to
the Reubenites and Gadites the territory north of Aroer, that is on the edge
of the Wadi Arnon, as well as half the hill country of Gilead with its towns,
13 and I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh the rest of Gilead and all of
Bashan, Og's kingdom. (The whole region of Argob: all that portion of Bashan
used to be called a land of Rephaim; 14 Jair the Manassite acquired the whole
region of Argob as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites,
and he named them – that is, Bashan – after himself, Havvoth-jair, as it is to
this day.) 15 To Machir I gave Gilead. 16 And to the Reubenites and the
Gadites I gave the territory from Gilead as far as the Wadi Arnon, with the
middle of the wadi as a boundary, and up to the Jabbok, the wadi being
boundary of the Ammonites; 17 the Arabah also, with the Jordan and its banks,
from Chinnereth down to the sea of the Arabah, the Dead Sea, with the lower
slopes of Pisgah on the east.
18 At that time, I charged you as follows: "Although the LORD your God has
given you this land to occupy, all your troops shall cross over armed as the
vanguard of your Israelite kin. 19 Only your wives, your children, and your
livestock – I know that you have much livestock – shall stay behind in the
towns that I have given to you. 20 When the LORD gives rest to your kindred,
as to you, and they too have occupied the land that the LORD your God is
giving them beyond the Jordan, then each of you may return to the property
that I have given to you." 21 And I charged Joshua as well at that time,
saying: "Your own eyes have seen everything that the LORD your God has done to
these two kings; so the LORD will do to all the kingdoms into which you are
about to cross. 22 Do not fear them, for it is the LORD your God who fights
23 At that time, too, I entreated the LORD, saying: 24 "O Lord GOD, you have
only begun to show your servant your greatness and your might; what god in
heaven or on earth can perform deeds and mighty acts like yours! 25 Let me
cross over to see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and
the Lebanon." 26 But the LORD was angry with me on your account and would not
heed me. The LORD said to me, "Enough from you! Never speak to me of this
matter again! 27 Go up to the top of Pisgah and look around you to the west,
to the north, to the south, and to the east. Look well, for you shall not
cross over this Jordan. 28 But charge Joshua, and encourage and strengthen
him, because it is he who shall cross over at the head of this people and who
shall secure their possession of the land that you will see." 29 So we
remained in the valley opposite Beth-peor.
Exhortation to obey the Torah
1 So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching
you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the
LORD, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. 2 You must neither add
anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the
commandments of the LORD your God with which I am charging you. 3 You have
seen for yourselves what the LORD did with regard to the Baal of Peor – how
the LORD your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of
Peor, 4 while those of you who held fast to the LORD your God are all alive
5 See, just as the LORD my God has charged me, I now teach you statutes and
ordinances for you to observe in the land that you are about to enter and
occupy. 6 You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and
discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say,
"Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!" 7 For what other
great nation has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is whenever we call
to him? 8 And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as
this entire law that I am setting before you today?
9 But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the
things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the
days of your life; make them known to your children and your children's
children – 10 how you once stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when the
LORD said to me, "Assemble the people for me, and I will let them hear my
words, so that they may learn to fear me as long as they live on the earth,
and may teach their children so"; 11 you approached and stood at the foot of
the mountain while the mountain was blazing up to the very heavens, shrouded
in dark clouds. 12 Then the LORD spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the
sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. 13 He declared to you
his covenant, which he charged you to observe, that is, the ten commandments;
and he wrote them on two stone tablets. 14 And the LORD charged me at that
time to teach you statutes and ordinances for you to observe in the land that
you are about to cross into and occupy.
15 Since you saw no form when the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire,
take care and watch yourselves closely, 16 so that you do not act corruptly by
making an idol for yourselves, in the form of any figure – the likeness of
male or female, 17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the
likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, 18 the likeness of anything
that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under
the earth. 19 And when you look up to the heavens and see the sun, the moon,
and the stars, all the host of heaven, do not be led astray and bow down to
them and serve them, things that the LORD your God has allotted to all the
peoples everywhere under heaven. 20 But the LORD has taken you and brought you
out of the iron-smelter, out of Egypt, to become a people of his very own
possession, as you are now.
21 The LORD was angry with me because of you, and he vowed that I should not
cross the Jordan and that I should not enter the good land that the LORD your
God is giving for your possession. 22 For I am going to die in this land
without crossing over the Jordan, but you are going to cross over to take
possession of that good land. 23 So be careful not to forget the covenant that
the LORD your God made with you, and not to make for yourselves an idol in the
form of anything that the LORD your God has forbidden you. 24 For the LORD
your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God.
25 When you have had children and children's children, and become complacent
in the land, if you act corruptly by making an idol in the form of anything,
thus doing what is evil in the sight of the LORD your God, and provoking him
to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that you
will soon utterly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to
occupy; you will not live long on it, but will be utterly destroyed. 27 The
LORD will scatter you among the peoples; only a few of you will be left among
the nations where the LORD will lead you. 28 There you will serve other gods
made by human hands, objects of wood and stone that neither see, nor hear, nor
eat, nor smell. 29 From there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will
find him if you search after him with all your heart and soul. 30 In your
distress, when all these things have happened to you in time to come, you will
return to the LORD your God and heed him. 31 Because the LORD your God is a
merciful God, he will neither abandon you nor destroy you; he will not forget
the covenant with your ancestors that he swore to them.
32 For ask now about former ages, long before your own, ever since the day
that God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of heaven to the
other: has anything so great as this ever happened or has its like ever been
heard of? 33 Has any people ever heard the voice of a god speaking out of a
fire, as you have heard, and lived? 34 Or has any god ever attempted to go and
take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by
signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by
terrifying displays of power, as the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before
your very eyes? 35 To you it was shown so that you would acknowledge that the
LORD is God; there is no other besides him. 36 From heaven he made you hear
his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, while you
heard his words coming out of the fire. 37 And because he loved your
ancestors, he chose their descendants after them. He brought you out of Egypt
with his own presence, by his great power, 38 driving out before you nations
greater and mightier than yourselves, to bring you in, giving you their land
for a possession, as it is still today. 39 So acknowledge today and take to
heart that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is
no other. 40 Keep his statutes and his commandments, which I am commanding you
today for your own well-being and that of your descendants after you, so that
you may long remain in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for all
41 Then Moses set apart on the east side of the Jordan three cities 42 to
which a homicide could flee, someone who unintentionally kills another person,
the two not having been at enmity before; the homicide could flee to one of
these cities and live: 43 Bezer in the wilderness on the tableland belonging
to the Reubenites, Ramoth in Gilead belonging to the Gadites, and Golan in
Bashan belonging to the Manassites.
The second discourse of Moses
44 This is the law that Moses set before the Israelites. 45 These are the
decrees and the statutes and ordinances that Moses spoke to the Israelites
when they had come out of Egypt, 46 beyond the Jordan in the valley opposite
Beth-peor, in the land of King Sihon of the Amorites, who reigned at Heshbon,
whom Moses and the Israelites defeated when they came out of Egypt. 47 They
occupied his land and the land of King Og of Bashan, the two kings of the
Amorites on the eastern side of the Jordan: 48 from Aroer, which is on the
edge of the Wadi Arnon, as far as Mount Sirion (that is, Hermon), 49 together
with all the Arabah on the east side of the Jordan as far as the Sea of the
Arabah, under the slopes of Pisgah.
The revelation at Sinai/Horeb; Making the past present
1 Moses convened all Israel, and said to them:
Hear, O Israel, the statutes and ordinances that I am addressing to you today;
you shall learn them and observe them diligently. 2 The LORD our God made a
covenant with us at Horeb. 3 Not with our ancestors did the LORD make this
covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today. 4 The LORD spoke
with you face to face at the mountain, out of the fire. 5 (At that time I was
standing between the LORD and you to declare to you the words of the LORD; for
you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain.) And he
6 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the
house of slavery; 7 you shall have no other gods before me.
8 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything
that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the
water under the earth. 9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I
the LORD your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of
parents, to the third and fourth generation of those who reject me, 10 but
showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and
keep my commandments.
11 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the
LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
12 Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded
you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 14 But the seventh day
is a sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work – you, or your
son or your daughter, or your male or female slave, or your ox or your donkey,
or any of your livestock, or the resident alien in your towns, so that your
male and female slave may rest as well as you. 15 Remember that you were a
slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there
with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God
commanded you to keep the sabbath day.
16 Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, so
that your days may be long and that it may go well with you in the land that
the LORD your God is giving you.
17 You shall not murder.
18 Neither shall you commit adultery.
19 Neither shall you steal.
20 Neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbor.
21 Neither shall you covet your neighbor's wife.
Neither shall you desire your neighbor's house, or field, or male or female
slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Moses as mediator
22 These words the LORD spoke with a loud voice to your whole assembly at the
mountain, out of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, and he added no
more. He wrote them on two stone tablets, and gave them to me. 23 When you
heard the voice out of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire,
you approached me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders; 24 and you
said, "Look, the LORD our God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we
have heard his voice out of the fire. Today we have seen that God may speak to
someone and the person may still live. 25 So now why should we die? For this
great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any
longer, we shall die. 26 For who is there of all flesh that has heard the
voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and remained alive?
27 Go near, you yourself, and hear all that the LORD our God will say. Then
tell us everything that the LORD our God tells you, and we will listen and do
28 The LORD heard your words when you spoke to me, and the LORD said to me: "I
have heard the words of this people, which they have spoken to you; they are
right in all that they have spoken. 29 If only they had such a mind as this,
to fear me and to keep all my commandments always, so that it might go well
with them and with their children forever! 30 Go say to them, 'Return to your
tents.' 31 But you, stand here by me, and I will tell you all the
commandments, the statutes and the ordinances, that you shall teach them, so
that they may do them in the land that I am giving them to possess." 32 You
must therefore be careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you; you
shall not turn to the right or to the left. 33 You must follow exactly the
path that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live, and that
it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you are
The requirement of loyalty to God
1 Now this is the commandment – the statutes and the ordinances – that the
LORD your God charged me to teach you to observe in the land that you are
about to cross into and occupy, 2 so that you and your children and your
children's children may fear the LORD your God all the days of your life, and
keep all his decrees and his commandments that I am commanding you, so that
your days may be long. 3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe them
diligently, so that it may go well with you, and so that you may multiply
greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, as the LORD, the God of your
ancestors, has promised you.
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. 5 You shall love the
LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your
might. 6 Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7
Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when
you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8 Bind them as a sign on
your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, 9 and write them on the
doorposts of your house and on your gates.
10 When the LORD your God has brought you into the land that he swore to your
ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you – a land with fine,
large cities that you did not build, 11 houses filled with all sorts of goods
that you did not fill, hewn cisterns that you did not hew, vineyards and olive
groves that you did not plant – and when you have eaten your fill, 12 take
care that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of
Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13 The LORD your God you shall fear; him
you shall serve, and by his name alone you shall swear. 14 Do not follow other
gods, any of the gods of the peoples who are all around you, 15 because the
LORD your God, who is present with you, is a jealous God. The anger of the
LORD your God would be kindled against you and he would destroy you from the
face of the earth.
16 Do not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah. 17
You must diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his
decrees, and his statutes that he has commanded you. 18 Do what is right and
good in the sight of the LORD, so that it may go well with you, and so that
you may go in and occupy the good land that the LORD swore to your ancestors
to give you, 19 thrusting out all your enemies from before you, as the LORD
20 When your children ask you in time to come, "What is the meaning of the
decrees and the statutes and the ordinances that the LORD our God has
commanded you?" 21 then you shall say to your children, "We were Pharaoh's
slaves in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22
The LORD displayed before our eyes great and awesome signs and wonders against
Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his household. 23 He brought us out from there
in order to bring us in, to give us the land that he promised on oath to our
ancestors. 24 Then the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to
fear the LORD our God, for our lasting good, so as to keep us alive, as is now
the case. 25 If we diligently observe this entire commandment before the LORD
our God, as he has commanded us, we will be in the right."
Risks to covenantal faith upon entry to the land; the war of conquest
1 When the LORD your God brings you into the land that you are about to enter
and occupy, and he clears away many nations before you – the Hittites, the
Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and
the Jebusites, seven nations mightier and more numerous than you – 2 and when
the LORD your God gives them over to you and you defeat them, then you must
utterly destroy them. Make no covenant with them and show them no mercy. 3 Do
not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their
daughters for your sons, 4 for that would turn away your children from
following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the LORD would be kindled
against you, and he would destroy you quickly. 5 But this is how you must deal
with them: break down their altars, smash their pillars, hew down their sacred
poles, and burn their idols with fire. 6 For you are a people holy to the LORD
your God; the LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on earth to
be his people, his treasured possession.
7 It was not because you were more numerous than any other people that the
LORD set his heart on you and chose you – for you were the fewest of all
peoples. 8 It was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath that he swore
to your ancestors, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and
redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of
Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who
maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments,
to a thousand generations, 10 and who repays in their own person those who
reject him. He does not delay but repays in their own person those who reject
him. 11 Therefore, observe diligently the commandment – the statutes and the
ordinances – that I am commanding you today.
12 If you heed these ordinances, by diligently observing them, the LORD your
God will maintain with you the covenant loyalty that he swore to your
ancestors; 13 he will love you, bless you, and multiply you; he will bless the
fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and
your oil, the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock, in the land
that he swore to your ancestors to give you. 14 You shall be the most blessed
of peoples, with neither sterility nor barrenness among you or your livestock.
15 The LORD will turn away from you every illness; all the dread diseases of
Egypt that you experienced, he will not inflict on you, but he will lay them
on all who hate you. 16 You shall devour all the peoples that the LORD your
God is giving over to you, showing them no pity; you shall not serve their
gods, for that would be a snare to you.
17 If you say to yourself, "These nations are more numerous than I; how can I
dispossess them?" 18 do not be afraid of them. Just remember what the LORD
your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, 19 the great trials that your eyes
saw, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and the outstretched arm by which
the LORD your God brought you out. The LORD your God will do the same to all
the peoples of whom you are afraid. 20 Moreover, the LORD your God will send
the pestilence against them, until even the survivors and the fugitives are
destroyed. 21 Have no dread of them, for the LORD your God, who is present
with you, is a great and awesome God. 22 The LORD your God will clear away
these nations before you little by little; you will not be able to make a
quick end of them, otherwise the wild animals would become too numerous for
you. 23 But the LORD your God will give them over to you, and throw them into
great panic, until they are destroyed. 24 He will hand their kings over to you
and you shall blot out their name from under heaven; no one will be able to
stand against you, until you have destroyed them. 25 The images of their gods
you shall burn with fire. Do not covet the silver or the gold that is on them
and take it for yourself, because you could be ensnared by it; for it is
abhorrent to the LORD your God. 26 Do not bring an abhorrent thing into your
house, or you will be set apart for destruction like it. You must utterly
detest and abhor it, for it is set apart for destruction.
The temptation to pride and self-sufficiency in the land
1 This entire commandment that I command you today you must diligently
observe, so that you may live and increase, and go in and occupy the land that
the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors. 2 Remember the long way that the
LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to
humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you
would keep his commandments. 3 He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by
feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were
acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread
alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 4 The clothes
on your back did not wear out and your feet did not swell these forty years. 5
Know then in your heart that as a parent disciplines a child so the LORD your
God disciplines you. 6 Therefore keep the commandments of the LORD your God,
by walking in his ways and by fearing him. 7 For the LORD your God is bringing
you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and
underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, 8 a land of wheat and
barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and
honey, 9 a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack
nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine
copper. 10 You shall eat your fill and bless the LORD your God for the good
land that he has given you.
The peril of prosperity
11 Take care that you do not forget the LORD your God, by failing to keep his
commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you
today. 12 When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in
them, 13 and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and
gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then do not exalt
yourself, forgetting the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of
Egypt, out of the house of slavery, 15 who led you through the great and
terrible wilderness, an arid wasteland with poisonous snakes and scorpions. He
made water flow for you from flint rock, 16 and fed you in the wilderness with
manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in
the end to do you good. 17 Do not say to yourself, "My power and the might of
my own hand have gotten me this wealth." 18 But remember the LORD your God,
for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his
covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today. 19 If you do
forget the LORD your God and follow other gods to serve and worship them, I
solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. 20 Like the nations that
the LORD is destroying before you, so shall you perish, because you would not
obey the voice of the LORD your God.
The already broken and renewed covenant
1 Hear, O Israel! You are about to cross the Jordan today, to go in and
dispossess nations larger and mightier than you, great cities, fortified to
the heavens, 2 a strong and tall people, the offspring of the Anakim, whom you
know. You have heard it said of them, "Who can stand up to the Anakim?" 3 Know
then today that the LORD your God is the one who crosses over before you as a
devouring fire; he will defeat them and subdue them before you, so that you
may dispossess and destroy them quickly, as the LORD has promised you.
4 When the LORD your God thrusts them out before you, do not say to yourself,
"It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to occupy
this land"; it is rather because of the wickedness of these nations that the
LORD is dispossessing them before you. 5 It is not because of your
righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you are going in to occupy
their land; but because of the wickedness of these nations the LORD your God
is dispossessing them before you, in order to fulfill the promise that the
LORD made on oath to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
6 Know, then, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to
occupy because of your righteousness; for you are a stubborn people. 7
Remember and do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the
wilderness; you have been rebellious against the LORD from the day you came
out of the land of Egypt until you came to this place.
8 Even at Horeb you provoked the LORD to wrath, and the LORD was so angry with
you that he was ready to destroy you. 9 When I went up the mountain to receive
the stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant that the LORD made with you, I
remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor
drank water. 10 And the LORD gave me the two stone tablets written with the
finger of God; on them were all the words that the LORD had spoken to you at
the mountain out of the fire on the day of the assembly. 11 At the end of
forty days and forty nights the LORD gave me the two stone tablets, the
tablets of the covenant. 12 Then the LORD said to me, "Get up, go down quickly
from here, for your people whom you have brought from Egypt have acted
corruptly. They have been quick to turn from the way that I commanded them;
they have cast an image for themselves." 13 Furthermore the LORD said to me,
"I have seen that this people is indeed a stubborn people. 14 Let me alone
that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will
make of you a nation mightier and more numerous than they."
15 So I turned and went down from the mountain, while the mountain was ablaze;
the two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands. 16 Then I saw that you
had indeed sinned against the LORD your God, by casting for yourselves an
image of a calf; you had been quick to turn from the way that the LORD had
commanded you. 17 So I took hold of the two tablets and flung them from my two
hands, smashing them before your eyes. 18 Then I lay prostrate before the LORD
as before, forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water,
because of all the sin you had committed, provoking the LORD by doing what was
evil in his sight. 19 For I was afraid that the anger that the LORD bore
against you was so fierce that he would destroy you. But the LORD listened to
me that time also. 20 The LORD was so angry with Aaron that he was ready to
destroy him, but I interceded also on behalf of Aaron at that same time. 21
Then I took the sinful thing you had made, the calf, and burned it with fire
and crushed it, grinding it thoroughly, until it was reduced to dust; and I
threw the dust of it into the stream that runs down the mountain.
22 At Taberah also, and at Massah, and at Kibroth-hattaavah, you provoked the
LORD to wrath. 23 And when the LORD sent you from Kadesh-barnea, saying, "Go
up and occupy the land that I have given you," you rebelled against the
command of the LORD your God, neither trusting him nor obeying him. 24 You
have been rebellious against the LORD as long as he has known you.
25 Throughout the forty days and forty nights that I lay prostrate before the
LORD when the LORD intended to destroy you, 26 I prayed to the LORD and said,
"Lord GOD, do not destroy the people who are your very own possession, whom
you redeemed in your greatness, whom you brought out of Egypt with a mighty
hand. 27 Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; pay no attention
to the stubbornness of this people, their wickedness and their sin, 28
otherwise the land from which you have brought us might say, 'Because the LORD
was not able to bring them into the land that he promised them, and because he
hated them, he has brought them out to let them die in the wilderness.' 29 For
they are the people of your very own possession, whom you brought out by your
great power and by your outstretched arm."
The second ascent to the mountain
1 At that time the LORD said to me, "Carve out two tablets of stone like the
former ones, and come up to me on the mountain, and make an ark of wood. 2 I
will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets, which you
smashed, and you shall put them in the ark." 3 So I made an ark of acacia
wood, cut two tablets of stone like the former ones, and went up the mountain
with the two tablets in my hand. 4 Then he wrote on the tablets the same words
as before, the ten commandments that the LORD had spoken to you on the
mountain out of the fire on the day of the assembly; and the LORD gave them to
me. 5 So I turned and came down from the mountain, and put the tablets in the
ark that I had made; and there they are, as the LORD commanded me.
6 (The Israelites journeyed from Beeroth-bene-jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron
died, and there he was buried; his son Eleazar succeeded him as priest. 7 From
there they journeyed to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land with
flowing streams. 8 At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry
the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister to
him, and to bless in his name, to this day. 9 Therefore Levi has no allotment
or inheritance with his kindred; the LORD is his inheritance, as the LORD your
God promised him.)
10 I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights, as I had done the
first time. And once again the LORD listened to me. The LORD was unwilling to
destroy you. 11 The LORD said to me, "Get up, go on your journey at the head
of the people, that they may go in and occupy the land that I swore to their
ancestors to give them."
Obedience as a condition for prosperity in the land
12 So now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? Only to fear
the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD
your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the
commandments of the LORD your God and his decrees that I am commanding you
today, for your own well-being. 14 Although heaven and the heaven of heavens
belong to the LORD your God, the earth with all that is in it, 15 yet the LORD
set his heart in love on your ancestors alone and chose you, their descendants
after them, out of all the peoples, as it is today. 16 Circumcise, then, the
foreskin of your heart, and do not be stubborn any longer. 17 For the LORD
your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome,
who is not partial and takes no bribe, 18 who executes justice for the orphan
and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing.
19 You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of
Egypt. 20 You shall fear the LORD your God; him alone you shall worship; to
him you shall hold fast, and by his name you shall swear. 21 He is your
praise; he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things
that your own eyes have seen. 22 Your ancestors went down to Egypt seventy
persons; and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in
Loyalty to the covenant provides the condition for life in Canaan
1 You shall love the LORD your God, therefore, and keep his charge, his
decrees, his ordinances, and his commandments always. 2 Remember today that it
was not your children (who have not known or seen the discipline of the LORD
your God), but it is you who must acknowledge his greatness, his mighty hand
and his outstretched arm, 3 his signs and his deeds that he did in Egypt to
Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and to all his land; 4 what he did to the Egyptian
army, to their horses and chariots, how he made the water of the Red Sea flow
over them as they pursued you, so that the LORD has destroyed them to this
day; 5 what he did to you in the wilderness, until you came to this place; 6
and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab son of Reuben, how in the
midst of all Israel the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, along
with their households, their tents, and every living being in their company; 7
for it is your own eyes that have seen every great deed that the LORD did.
8 Keep, then, this entire commandment that I am commanding you today, so that
you may have strength to go in and occupy the land that you are crossing over
to occupy, 9 and so that you may live long in the land that the LORD swore to
your ancestors to give them and to their descendants, a land flowing with milk
and honey. 10 For the land that you are about to enter to occupy is not like
the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sow your seed and
irrigate by foot like a vegetable garden. 11 But the land that you are
crossing over to occupy is a land of hills and valleys, watered by rain from
the sky, 12 a land that the LORD your God looks after. The eyes of the LORD
your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the
13 If you will only heed his every commandment that I am commanding you today
– loving the LORD your God, and serving him with all your heart and with all
your soul – 14 then he will give the rain for your land in its season, the
early rain and the later rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine,
and your oil; 15 and he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and
you will eat your fill. 16 Take care, or you will be seduced into turning
away, serving other gods and worshiping them, 17 for then the anger of the
LORD will be kindled against you and he will shut up the heavens, so that
there will be no rain and the land will yield no fruit; then you will perish
quickly off the good land that the LORD is giving you.
18 You shall put these words of mine in your heart and soul, and you shall
bind them as a sign on your hand, and fix them as an emblem on your forehead.
19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you are at home and
when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 20 Write them on the
doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days
of your children may be multiplied in the land that the LORD swore to your
ancestors to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.
22 If you will diligently observe this entire commandment that I am commanding
you, loving the LORD your God, walking in all his ways, and holding fast to
him, 23 then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you
will dispossess nations larger and mightier than yourselves. 24 Every place on
which you set foot shall be yours; your territory shall extend from the
wilderness to the Lebanon and from the River, the river Euphrates, to the
Western Sea. 25 No one will be able to stand against you; the LORD your God
will put the fear and dread of you on all the land on which you set foot, as
he promised you.
26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing,
if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I am commanding you
today; 28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your
God, but turn from the way that I am commanding you today, to follow other
gods that you have not known.
29 When the LORD your God has brought you into the land that you are entering
to occupy, you shall set the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount
Ebal. 30 As you know, they are beyond the Jordan, some distance to the west,
in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah, opposite Gilgal, beside
the oak of Moreh.
31 When you cross the Jordan to go in to occupy the land that the LORD your
God is giving you, and when you occupy it and live in it, 32 you must
diligently observe all the statutes and ordinances that I am setting before
The legal corpus, Deuteronomy's transformation of Israelite religion;
centralization of worship
1 These are the statutes and ordinances that you must diligently observe in
the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given you to occupy all
the days that you live on the earth.
2 You must demolish completely all the places where the nations whom you are
about to dispossess served their gods, on the mountain heights, on the hills,
and under every leafy tree. 3 Break down their altars, smash their pillars,
burn their sacred poles with fire, and hew down the idols of their gods, and
thus blot out their name from their places. 4 You shall not worship the LORD
your God in such ways. 5 But you shall seek the place that the LORD your God
will choose out of all your tribes as his habitation to put his name there.
You shall go there, 6 bringing there your burnt offerings and your sacrifices,
your tithes and your donations, your votive gifts, your freewill offerings,
and the firstlings of your herds and flocks. 7 And you shall eat there in the
presence of the LORD your God, you and your households together, rejoicing in
all the undertakings in which the LORD your God has blessed you.
8 You shall not act as we are acting here today, all of us according to our
own desires, 9 for you have not yet come into the rest and the possession that
the LORD your God is giving you. 10 When you cross over the Jordan and live in
the land that the LORD your God is allotting to you, and when he gives you
rest from your enemies all around so that you live in safety, 11 then you
shall bring everything that I command you to the place that the LORD your God
will choose as a dwelling for his name: your burnt offerings and your
sacrifices, your tithes and your donations, and all your choice votive gifts
that you vow to the LORD. 12 And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God,
you together with your sons and your daughters, your male and female slaves,
and the Levites who reside in your towns (since they have no allotment or
inheritance with you).
13 Take care that you do not offer your burnt offerings at any place you
happen to see. 14 But only at the place that the LORD will choose in one of
your tribes – there you shall offer your burnt offerings and there you shall
do everything I command you.
15 Yet whenever you desire you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your
towns, according to the blessing that the LORD your God has given you; the
unclean and the clean may eat of it, as they would of gazelle or deer. 16 The
blood, however, you must not eat; you shall pour it out on the ground like
water. 17 Nor may you eat within your towns the tithe of your grain, your
wine, and your oil, the firstlings of your herds and your flocks, any of your
votive gifts that you vow, your freewill offerings, or your donations; 18
these you shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God at the place that the
LORD your God will choose, you together with your son and your daughter, your
male and female slaves, and the Levites resident in your towns, rejoicing in
the presence of the LORD your God in all your undertakings. 19 Take care that
you do not neglect the Levite as long as you live in your land.
20 When the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he has promised you, and
you say, "I am going to eat some meat," because you wish to eat meat, you may
eat meat whenever you have the desire. 21 If the place where the LORD your God
will choose to put his name is too far from you, and you slaughter as I have
commanded you any of your herd or flock that the LORD has given you, then you
may eat within your towns whenever you desire. 22 Indeed, just as gazelle or
deer is eaten, so you may eat it; the unclean and the clean alike may eat it.
23 Only be sure that you do not eat the blood; for the blood is the life, and
you shall not eat the life with the meat. 24 Do not eat it; you shall pour it
out on the ground like water. 25 Do not eat it, so that all may go well with
you and your children after you, because you do what is right in the sight of
the LORD. 26 But the sacred donations that are due from you, and your votive
gifts, you shall bring to the place that the LORD will choose. 27 You shall
present your burnt offerings, both the meat and the blood, on the altar of the
LORD your God; the blood of your other sacrifices shall be poured out beside
the altar of the LORD your God, but the meat you may eat.
28 Be careful to obey all these words that I command you today, so that it may
go well with you and with your children after you forever, because you will be
doing what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God.
29 When the LORD your God has cut off before you the nations whom you are
about to enter to dispossess them, when you have dispossessed them and live in
their land, 30 take care that you are not snared into imitating them, after
they have been destroyed before you: do not inquire concerning their gods,
saying, "How did these nations worship their gods? I also want to do the
same." 31 You must not do the same for the LORD your God, because every
abhorrent thing that the LORD hates they have done for their gods. They would
even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 You
must diligently observe everything that I command you; do not add to it or
take anything from it.
Unconditional loyalty to God
1 If prophets or those who divine by dreams appear among you and promise you
omens or portents, 2 and the omens or the portents declared by them take
place, and they say, "Let us follow other gods" (whom you have not known) "and
let us serve them," 3 you must not heed the words of those prophets or those
who divine by dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether
you indeed love the LORD your God with all your heart and soul. 4 The LORD
your God you shall follow, him alone you shall fear, his commandments you
shall keep, his voice you shall obey, him you shall serve, and to him you
shall hold fast. 5 But those prophets or those who divine by dreams shall be
put to death for having spoken treason against the LORD your God – who brought
you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery – to
turn you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you
shall purge the evil from your midst.
6 If anyone secretly entices you – even if it is your brother, your father's
son or your mother's son, or your own son or daughter, or the wife you
embrace, or your most intimate friend – saying, "Let us go worship other
gods," whom neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7 any of the gods of
the peoples that are around you, whether near you or far away from you, from
one end of the earth to the other, 8 you must not yield to or heed any such
persons. Show them no pity or compassion and do not shield them. 9 But you
shall surely kill them; your own hand shall be first against them to execute
them, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 10 Stone them to death for
trying to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the
land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 11 Then all Israel shall hear and
be afraid, and never again do any such wickedness.
12 If you hear it said about one of the towns that the LORD your God is giving
you to live in, 13 that scoundrels from among you have gone out and led the
inhabitants of the town astray, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods,"
whom you have not known, 14 then you shall inquire and make a thorough
investigation. If the charge is established that such an abhorrent thing has
been done among you, 15 you shall put the inhabitants of that town to the
sword, utterly destroying it and everything in it – even putting its livestock
to the sword. 16 All of its spoil you shall gather into its public square;
then burn the town and all its spoil with fire, as a whole burnt offering to
the LORD your God. It shall remain a perpetual ruin, never to be rebuilt. 17
Do not let anything devoted to destruction stick to your hand, so that the
LORD may turn from his fierce anger and show you compassion, and in his
compassion multiply you, as he swore to your ancestors, 18 if you obey the
voice of the LORD your God by keeping all his commandments that I am
commanding you today, doing what is right in the sight of the LORD your God.
The obligations of holiness
1 You are children of the LORD your God. You must not lacerate yourselves or
shave your forelocks for the dead. 2 For you are a people holy to the LORD
your God; it is you the LORD has chosen out of all the peoples on earth to be
his people, his treasured possession.
3 You shall not eat any abhorrent thing. 4 These are the animals you may eat:
the ox, the sheep, the goat, 5 the deer, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild
goat, the ibex, the antelope, and the mountain-sheep. 6 Any animal that
divides the hoof and has the hoof cleft in two, and chews the cud, among the
animals, you may eat. 7 Yet of those that chew the cud or have the hoof cleft
you shall not eat these: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger, because
they chew the cud but do not divide the hoof; they are unclean for you. 8 And
the pig, because it divides the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean for
you. You shall not eat their meat, and you shall not touch their carcasses.
9 Of all that live in water you may eat these: whatever has fins and scales
you may eat. 10 And whatever does not have fins and scales you shall not eat;
it is unclean for you.
11 You may eat any clean birds. 12 But these are the ones that you shall not
eat: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey, 13 the buzzard, the kite of any kind;
14 every raven of any kind; 15 the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the
hawk of any kind; 16 the little owl and the great owl, the water hen 17 and
the desert owl, the carrion vulture and the cormorant, 18 the stork, the heron
of any kind; the hoopoe and the bat. 19 And all winged insects are unclean for
you; they shall not be eaten. 20 You may eat any clean winged creature.
21 You shall not eat anything that dies of itself; you may give it to aliens
residing in your towns for them to eat, or you may sell it to a foreigner. For
you are a people holy to the LORD your God.
You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk.
22 Set apart a tithe of all the yield of your seed that is brought in yearly
from the field. 23 In the presence of the LORD your God, in the place that he
will choose as a dwelling for his name, you shall eat the tithe of your grain,
your wine, and your oil, as well as the firstlings of your herd and flock, so
that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. 24 But if, when the LORD
your God has blessed you, the distance is so great that you are unable to
transport it, because the place where the LORD your God will choose to set his
name is too far away from you, 25 then you may turn it into money. With the
money secure in hand, go to the place that the LORD your God will choose; 26
spend the money for whatever you wish – oxen, sheep, wine, strong drink, or
whatever you desire. And you shall eat there in the presence of the LORD your
God, you and your household rejoicing together. 27 As for the Levites resident
in your towns, do not neglect them, because they have no allotment or
inheritance with you.
28 Every third year you shall bring out the full tithe of your produce for
that year, and store it within your towns; 29 the Levites, because they have
no allotment or inheritance with you, as well as the resident aliens, the
orphans, and the widows in your towns, may come and eat their fill so that the
LORD your God may bless you in all the work that you undertake.
Remission of debts and manumission of slaves
1 Every seventh year you shall grant a remission of debts. 2 And this is the
manner of the remission: every creditor shall remit the claim that is held
against a neighbor, not exacting it of a neighbor who is a member of the
community, because the LORD's remission has been proclaimed. 3 Of a foreigner
you may exact it, but you must remit your claim on whatever any member of your
community owes you. 4 There will, however, be no one in need among you,
because the LORD is sure to bless you in the land that the LORD your God is
giving you as a possession to occupy, 5 if only you will obey the LORD your
God by diligently observing this entire commandment that I command you today.
6 When the LORD your God has blessed you, as he promised you, you will lend to
many nations, but you will not borrow; you will rule over many nations, but
they will not rule over you.
An appeal to conscience
7 If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of
your towns within the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be
hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor. 8 You should rather
open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be.
9 Be careful that you do not entertain a mean thought, thinking, "The seventh
year, the year of remission, is near," and therefore view your needy neighbor
with hostility and give nothing; your neighbor might cry to the LORD against
you, and you would incur guilt. 10 Give liberally and be ungrudging when you
do so, for on this account the LORD your God will bless you in all your work
and in all that you undertake. 11 Since there will never cease to be some in
need on the earth, I therefore command you, "Open your hand to the poor and
needy neighbor in your land."
12 If a member of your community, whether a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is
sold to you and works for you six years, in the seventh year you shall set
that person free. 13 And when you send a male slave out from you a free
person, you shall not send him out empty-handed. 14 Provide liberally out of
your flock, your threshing floor, and your wine press, thus giving to him some
of the bounty with which the LORD your God has blessed you. 15 Remember that
you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; for
this reason I lay this command upon you today. 16 But if he says to you, "I
will not go out from you," because he loves you and your household, since he
is well off with you, 17 then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his
earlobe into the door, and he shall be your slave forever.
You shall do the same with regard to your female slave.
18 Do not consider it a hardship when you send them out from you free persons,
because for six years they have given you services worth the wages of hired
laborers; and the LORD your God will bless you in all that you do.
19 Every firstling male born of your herd and flock you shall consecrate to
the LORD your God; you shall not do work with your firstling ox nor shear the
firstling of your flock. 20 You shall eat it, you together with your
household, in the presence of the LORD your God year by year at the place that
the LORD will choose. 21 But if it has any defect – any serious defect, such
as lameness or blindness – you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your God; 22
within your towns you may eat it, the unclean and the clean alike, as you
would a gazelle or deer. 23 Its blood, however, you must not eat; you shall
pour it out on the ground like water.
The festival calendar
1 Observe the month of Abib by keeping the passover to the LORD your God, for
in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night. 2
You shall offer the passover sacrifice to the LORD your God, from the flock
and the herd, at the place that the LORD will choose as a dwelling for his
name. 3 You must not eat with it anything leavened. For seven days you shall
eat unleavened bread with it – the bread of affliction – because you came out
of the land of Egypt in great haste, so that all the days of your life you may
remember the day of your departure from the land of Egypt. 4 No leaven shall
be seen with you in all your territory for seven days; and none of the meat of
what you slaughter on the evening of the first day shall remain until morning.
5 You are not permitted to offer the passover sacrifice within any of your
towns that the LORD your God is giving you. 6 But at the place that the LORD
your God will choose as a dwelling for his name, only there shall you offer
the passover sacrifice, in the evening at sunset, the time of day when you
departed from Egypt. 7 You shall cook it and eat it at the place that the LORD
your God will choose; the next morning you may go back to your tents. 8 For
six days you shall continue to eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day
there shall be a solemn assembly for the LORD your God, when you shall do no
9 You shall count seven weeks; begin to count the seven weeks from the time
the sickle is first put to the standing grain. 10 Then you shall keep the
festival of weeks to the LORD your God, contributing a freewill offering in
proportion to the blessing that you have received from the LORD your God. 11
Rejoice before the LORD your God – you and your sons and your daughters, your
male and female slaves, the Levites resident in your towns, as well as the
strangers, the orphans, and the widows who are among you – at the place that
the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his name. 12 Remember that you
were a slave in Egypt, and diligently observe these statutes.
13 You shall keep the festival of booths for seven days, when you have
gathered in the produce from your threshing floor and your wine press. 14
Rejoice during your festival, you and your sons and your daughters, your male
and female slaves, as well as the Levites, the strangers, the orphans, and the
widows resident in your towns. 15 Seven days you shall keep the festival to
the LORD your God at the place that the LORD will choose; for the LORD your
God will bless you in all your produce and in all your undertakings, and you
shall surely celebrate.
16 Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God at
the place that he will choose: at the festival of unleavened bread, at the
festival of weeks, and at the festival of booths. They shall not appear before
the LORD empty-handed; 17 all shall give as they are able, according to the
blessing of the LORD your God that he has given you.
Laws of public officials; the organization of justice
18 You shall appoint judges and officials throughout your tribes, in all your
towns that the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall render just
decisions for the people. 19 You must not distort justice; you must not show
partiality; and you must not accept bribes, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the
wise and subverts the cause of those who are in the right. 20 Justice, and
only justice, you shall pursue, so that you may live and occupy the land that
the LORD your God is giving you.
Prohibitions against Canaanite cultic objects
21 You shall not plant any tree as a sacred pole beside the altar that you
make for the LORD your God; 22 nor shall you set up a stone pillar – things
that the LORD your God hates.
1 You must not sacrifice to the LORD your God an ox or a sheep that has a
defect, anything seriously wrong; for that is abhorrent to the LORD your God.
2 If there is found among you, in one of your towns that the LORD your God is
giving you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the LORD your
God, and transgresses his covenant 3 by going to serve other gods and
worshiping them – whether the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven,
which I have forbidden – 4 and if it is reported to you or you hear of it, and
you make a thorough inquiry, and the charge is proved true that such an
abhorrent thing has occurred in Israel, 5 then you shall bring out to your
gates that man or that woman who has committed this crime and you shall stone
the man or woman to death. 6 On the evidence of two or three witnesses the
death sentence shall be executed; a person must not be put to death on the
evidence of only one witness. 7 The hands of the witnesses shall be the first
raised against the person to execute the death penalty, and afterward the
hands of all the people. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
Justice at the central sanctuary
8 If a judicial decision is too difficult for you to make between one kind of
bloodshed and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of
assault and another – any such matters of dispute in your towns – then you
shall immediately go up to the place that the LORD your God will choose, 9
where you shall consult with the levitical priests and the judge who is in
office in those days; they shall announce to you the decision in the case. 10
Carry out exactly the decision that they announce to you from the place that
the LORD will choose, diligently observing everything they instruct you. 11
You must carry out fully the law that they interpret for you or the ruling
that they announce to you; do not turn aside from the decision that they
announce to you, either to the right or to the left. 12 As for anyone who
presumes to disobey the priest appointed to minister there to the LORD your
God, or the judge, that person shall die. So you shall purge the evil from
Israel. 13 All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not act
The law of the king
14 When you have come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, and
have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, "I will set a king
over me, like all the nations that are around me," 15 you may indeed set over
you a king whom the LORD your God will choose. One of your own community you
may set as king over you; you are not permitted to put a foreigner over you,
who is not of your own community. 16 Even so, he must not acquire many horses
for himself, or return the people to Egypt in order to acquire more horses,
since the LORD has said to you, "You must never return that way again." 17 And
he must not acquire many wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away;
also silver and gold he must not acquire in great quantity for himself. 18
When he has taken the throne of his kingdom, he shall have a copy of this law
written for him in the presence of the levitical priests. 19 It shall remain
with him and he shall read in it all the days of his life, so that he may
learn to fear the LORD his God, diligently observing all the words of this law
and these statutes, 20 neither exalting himself above other members of the
community nor turning aside from the commandment, either to the right or to
the left, so that he and his descendants may reign long over his kingdom in
The Levitical priesthood
1 The levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi, shall have no allotment or
inheritance within Israel. They may eat the sacrifices that are the LORD's
portion 2 but they shall have no inheritance among the other members of the
community; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them.
3 This shall be the priests' due from the people, from those offering a
sacrifice, whether an ox or a sheep: they shall give to the priest the
shoulder, the two jowls, and the stomach. 4 The first fruits of your grain,
your wine, and your oil, as well as the first of the fleece of your sheep, you
shall give him. 5 For the LORD your God has chosen Levi out of all your
tribes, to stand and minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for
6 If a Levite leaves any of your towns, from wherever he has been residing in
Israel, and comes to the place that the LORD will choose (and he may come
whenever he wishes), 7 then he may minister in the name of the LORD his God,
like all his fellow-Levites who stand to minister there before the LORD. 8
They shall have equal portions to eat, even though they have income from the
sale of family possessions.
The Mosaic prophet
9 When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you must
not learn to imitate the abhorrent practices of those nations. 10 No one shall
be found among you who makes a son or daughter pass through fire, or who
practices divination, or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, 11 or
one who casts spells, or who consults ghosts or spirits, or who seeks oracles
from the dead. 12 For whoever does these things is abhorrent to the LORD; it
is because of such abhorrent practices that the LORD your God is driving them
out before you. 13 You must remain completely loyal to the LORD your God. 14
Although these nations that you are about to dispossess do give heed to
soothsayers and diviners, as for you, the LORD your God does not permit you to
15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your
own people; you shall heed such a prophet. 16 This is what you requested of
the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said: "If I
hear the voice of the LORD my God any more, or ever again see this great fire,
I will die." 17 Then the LORD replied to me: "They are right in what they have
said. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own
people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to
them everything that I command. 19 Anyone who does not heed the words that the
prophet shall speak in my name, I myself will hold accountable. 20 But any
prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, or who presumes to speak in my
name a word that I have not commanded the prophet to speak – that prophet
shall die." 21 You may say to yourself, "How can we recognize a word that the
LORD has not spoken?" 22 If a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD but the
thing does not take place or prove true, it is a word that the LORD has not
spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; do not be frightened by it.
Cities of refuge
1 When the LORD your God has cut off the nations whose land the LORD your God
is giving you, and you have dispossessed them and settled in their towns and
in their houses, 2 you shall set apart three cities in the land that the LORD
your God is giving you to possess. 3 You shall calculate the distances and
divide into three regions the land that the LORD your God gives you as a
possession, so that any homicide can flee to one of them.
4 Now this is the case of a homicide who might flee there and live, that is,
someone who has killed another person unintentionally when the two had not
been at enmity before: 5 Suppose someone goes into the forest with another to
cut wood, and when one of them swings the ax to cut down a tree, the head
slips from the handle and strikes the other person who then dies; the killer
may flee to one of these cities and live. 6 But if the distance is too great,
the avenger of blood in hot anger might pursue and overtake and put the killer
to death, although a death sentence was not deserved, since the two had not
been at enmity before. 7 Therefore I command you: You shall set apart three
8 If the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he swore to your ancestors
– and he will give you all the land that he promised your ancestors to give
you, 9 provided you diligently observe this entire commandment that I command
you today, by loving the LORD your God and walking always in his ways – then
you shall add three more cities to these three, 10 so that the blood of an
innocent person may not be shed in the land that the LORD your God is giving
you as an inheritance, thereby bringing bloodguilt upon you.
11 But if someone at enmity with another lies in wait and attacks and takes
the life of that person, and flees into one of these cities, 12 then the
elders of the killer's city shall send to have the culprit taken from there
and handed over to the avenger of blood to be put to death. 13 Show no pity;
you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, so that it may go
well with you.
14 You must not move your neighbor's boundary marker, set up by former
generations, on the property that will be allotted to you in the land that the
LORD your God is giving you to possess.
The integrity of the judicial system
15 A single witness shall not suffice to convict a person of any crime or
wrongdoing in connection with any offense that may be committed. Only on the
evidence of two or three witnesses shall a charge be sustained. 16 If a
malicious witness comes forward to accuse someone of wrongdoing, 17 then both
parties to the dispute shall appear before the LORD, before the priests and
the judges who are in office in those days, 18 and the judges shall make a
thorough inquiry. If the witness is a false witness, having testified falsely
against another, 19 then you shall do to the false witness just as the false
witness had meant to do to the other. So you shall purge the evil from your
midst. 20 The rest shall hear and be afraid, and a crime such as this shall
never again be committed among you. 21 Show no pity: life for life, eye for
eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
Rules for waging holy war
1 When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots, an
army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them; for the LORD your
God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. 2 Before you
engage in battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the troops, 3 and
shall say to them: "Hear, O Israel! Today you are drawing near to do battle
against your enemies. Do not lose heart, or be afraid, or panic, or be in
dread of them; 4 for it is the LORD your God who goes with you, to fight for
you against your enemies, to give you victory." 5 Then the officials shall
address the troops, saying, "Has anyone built a new house but not dedicated
it? He should go back to his house, or he might die in the battle and another
dedicate it. 6 Has anyone planted a vineyard but not yet enjoyed its fruit? He
should go back to his house, or he might die in the battle and another be
first to enjoy its fruit. 7 Has anyone become engaged to a woman but not yet
married her? He should go back to his house, or he might die in the battle and
another marry her." 8 The officials shall continue to address the troops,
saying, "Is anyone afraid or disheartened? He should go back to his house, or
he might cause the heart of his comrades to melt like his own." 9 When the
officials have finished addressing the troops, then the commanders shall take
charge of them.
10 When you draw near to a town to fight against it, offer it terms of peace.
11 If it accepts your terms of peace and surrenders to you, then all the
people in it shall serve you at forced labor. 12 If it does not submit to you
peacefully, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it; 13 and when
the LORD your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all its males to the
sword. 14 You may, however, take as your booty the women, the children,
livestock, and everything else in the town, all its spoil. You may enjoy the
spoil of your enemies, which the LORD your God has given you. 15 Thus you
shall treat all the towns that are very far from you, which are not towns of
the nations here. 16 But as for the towns of these peoples that the LORD your
God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not let anything that breathes
remain alive. 17 You shall annihilate them – the Hittites and the Amorites,
the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites – just as the
LORD your God has commanded, 18 so that they may not teach you to do all the
abhorrent things that they do for their gods, and you thus sin against the
LORD your God.
19 If you besiege a town for a long time, making war against it in order to
take it, you must not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them.
Although you may take food from them, you must not cut them down. Are trees in
the field human beings that they should come under siege from you? 20 You may
destroy only the trees that you know do not produce food; you may cut them
down for use in building siegeworks against the town that makes war with you,
until it falls.
Atonement for an unsolved murder
1 If, in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess, a body is
found lying in open country, and it is not known who struck the person down, 2
then your elders and your judges shall come out to measure the distances to
the towns that are near the body. 3 The elders of the town nearest the body
shall take a heifer that has never been worked, one that has not pulled in the
yoke; 4 the elders of that town shall bring the heifer down to a wadi with
running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer's
neck there in the wadi. 5 Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come
forward, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister to him and to
pronounce blessings in the name of the LORD, and by their decision all cases
of dispute and assault shall be settled. 6 All the elders of that town nearest
the body shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the
wadi, 7 and they shall declare: "Our hands did not shed this blood, nor were
we witnesses to it. 8 Absolve, O LORD, your people Israel, whom you redeemed;
do not let the guilt of innocent blood remain in the midst of your people
Israel." Then they will be absolved of bloodguilt. 9 So you shall purge the
guilt of innocent blood from your midst, because you must do what is right in
the sight of the LORD.
Miscellaneous civil and family laws; legal obligations toward female
10 When you go out to war against your enemies, and the LORD your God hands
them over to you and you take them captive, 11 suppose you see among the
captives a beautiful woman whom you desire and want to marry, 12 and so you
bring her home to your house: she shall shave her head, pare her nails, 13
discard her captive's garb, and shall remain in your house a full month,
mourning for her father and mother; after that you may go in to her and be her
husband, and she shall be your wife. 14 But if you are not satisfied with her,
you shall let her go free and not sell her for money. You must not treat her
as a slave, since you have dishonored her.
Legal protection of the less-favored wife
15 If a man has two wives, one of them loved and the other disliked, and if
both the loved and the disliked have borne him sons, the firstborn being the
son of the one who is disliked, 16 then on the day when he wills his
possessions to his sons, he is not permitted to treat the son of the loved as
the firstborn in preference to the son of the disliked, who is the firstborn.
17 He must acknowledge as firstborn the son of the one who is disliked, giving
him a double portion of all that he has; since he is the first issue of his
virility, the right of the firstborn is his.
The rebellious son
18 If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father
and mother, who does not heed them when they discipline him, 19 then his
father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders
of his town at the gate of that place. 20 They shall say to the elders of his
town, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is
a glutton and a drunkard." 21 Then all the men of the town shall stone him to
death. So you shall purge the evil from your midst; and all Israel will hear,
and be afraid.
Treatment of the executed
22 When someone is convicted of a crime punishable by death and is executed,
and you hang him on a tree, 23 his corpse must not remain all night upon the
tree; you shall bury him that same day, for anyone hung on a tree is under
God's curse. You must not defile the land that the LORD your God is giving you
Various moral and religious responsibilities of citizenship; moral duties
toward the neighbor
1 You shall not watch your neighbor's ox or sheep straying away and ignore
them; you shall take them back to their owner. 2 If the owner does not reside
near you or you do not know who the owner is, you shall bring it to your own
house, and it shall remain with you until the owner claims it; then you shall
return it. 3 You shall do the same with a neighbor's donkey; you shall do the
same with a neighbor's garment; and you shall do the same with anything else
that your neighbor loses and you find. You may not withhold your help.
4 You shall not see your neighbor's donkey or ox fallen on the road and ignore
it; you shall help to lift it up.
5 A woman shall not wear a man's apparel, nor shall a man put on a woman's
garment; for whoever does such things is abhorrent to the LORD your God.
6 If you come on a bird's nest, in any tree or on the ground, with fledglings
or eggs, with the mother sitting on the fledglings or on the eggs, you shall
not take the mother with the young. 7 Let the mother go, taking only the young
for yourself, in order that it may go well with you and you may live long.
8 When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof;
otherwise you might have bloodguilt on your house, if anyone should fall from
9 You shall not sow your vineyard with a second kind of seed, or the whole
yield will have to be forfeited, both the crop that you have sown and the
yield of the vineyard itself.
10 You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.
11 You shall not wear clothes made of wool and linen woven together.
12 You shall make tassels on the four corners of the cloak with which you
Violations of marriage law; false accusation of breach of marital contract
13 Suppose a man marries a woman, but after going in to her, he dislikes her
14 and makes up charges against her, slandering her by saying, "I married this
woman; but when I lay with her, I did not find evidence of her virginity." 15
The father of the young woman and her mother shall then submit the evidence of
the young woman's virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. 16 The
father of the young woman shall say to the elders: "I gave my daughter in
marriage to this man but he dislikes her; 17 now he has made up charges
against her, saying, 'I did not find evidence of your daughter's virginity.'
But here is the evidence of my daughter's virginity." Then they shall spread
out the cloth before the elders of the town. 18 The elders of that town shall
take the man and punish him; 19 they shall fine him one hundred shekels of
silver (which they shall give to the young woman's father) because he has
slandered a virgin of Israel. She shall remain his wife; he shall not be
permitted to divorce her as long as he lives.
20 If, however, this charge is true, that evidence of the young woman's
virginity was not found, 21 then they shall bring the young woman out to the
entrance of her father's house and the men of her town shall stone her to
death, because she committed a disgraceful act in Israel by prostituting
herself in her father's house. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
Adultery and rape
22 If a man is caught lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall
die, the man who lay with the woman as well as the woman. So you shall purge
the evil from Israel.
23 If there is a young woman, a virgin already engaged to be married, and a
man meets her in the town and lies with her, 24 you shall bring both of them
to the gate of that town and stone them to death, the young woman because she
did not cry for help in the town and the man because he violated his
neighbor's wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
25 But if the man meets the engaged woman in the open country, and the man
seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. 26
You shall do nothing to the young woman; the young woman has not committed an
offense punishable by death, because this case is like that of someone who
attacks and murders a neighbor. 27 Since he found her in the open country, the
engaged woman may have cried for help, but there was no one to rescue her.
28 If a man meets a virgin who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with
her, and they are caught in the act, 29 the man who lay with her shall give
fifty shekels of silver to the young woman's father, and she shall become his
wife. Because he violated her he shall not be permitted to divorce her as long
as he lives.
30 A man shall not marry his father's wife, thereby violating his father's
Restrictions on access to Israel's assembly
1 No one whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off shall be
admitted to the assembly of the LORD.
2 Those born of an illicit union shall not be admitted to the assembly of the
LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of their descendants shall be
admitted to the assembly of the LORD.
3 No Ammonite or Moabite shall be admitted to the assembly of the LORD. Even
to the tenth generation, none of their descendants shall be admitted to the
assembly of the LORD, 4 because they did not meet you with food and water on
your journey out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam son of
Beor, from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. 5 (Yet the LORD your God
refused to heed Balaam; the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for
you, because the LORD your God loved you.) 6 You shall never promote their
welfare or their prosperity as long as you live.
7 You shall not abhor any of the Edomites, for they are your kin. You shall
not abhor any of the Egyptians, because you were an alien residing in their
land. 8 The children of the third generation that are born to them may be
admitted to the assembly of the LORD.
Special rules for the military camp
9 When you are encamped against your enemies you shall guard against any
10 If one of you becomes unclean because of a nocturnal emission, then he
shall go outside the camp; he must not come within the camp. 11 When evening
comes, he shall wash himself with water, and when the sun has set, he may come
back into the camp.
12 You shall have a designated area outside the camp to which you shall go. 13
With your utensils you shall have a trowel; when you relieve yourself outside,
you shall dig a hole with it and then cover up your excrement. 14 Because the
LORD your God travels along with your camp, to save you and to hand over your
enemies to you, therefore your camp must be holy, so that he may not see
anything indecent among you and turn away from you.
The heightened moral responsibilities of the covenant community;
prohibition of the return of escaped slaves
15 Slaves who have escaped to you from their owners shall not be given back to
them. 16 They shall reside with you, in your midst, in any place they choose
in any one of your towns, wherever they please; you shall not oppress them.
Restrictions on prostitution
17 None of the daughters of Israel shall be a temple prostitute; none of the
sons of Israel shall be a temple prostitute. 18 You shall not bring the fee of
a prostitute or the wages of a male prostitute into the house of the LORD your
God in payment for any vow, for both of these are abhorrent to the LORD your
Financial ethics, vows, gathering by the needy
19 You shall not charge interest on loans to another Israelite, interest on
money, interest on provisions, interest on anything that is lent. 20 On loans
to a foreigner you may charge interest, but on loans to another Israelite you
may not charge interest, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all your
undertakings in the land that you are about to enter and possess.
21 If you make a vow to the LORD your God, do not postpone fulfilling it; for
the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and you would incur guilt. 22
But if you refrain from vowing, you will not incur guilt. 23 Whatever your
lips utter you must diligently perform, just as you have freely vowed to the
LORD your God with your own mouth.
24 If you go into your neighbor's vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes,
as many as you wish, but you shall not put any in a container.
25 If you go into your neighbor's standing grain, you may pluck the ears with
your hand, but you shall not put a sickle to your neighbor's standing grain.
Laws promoting social harmony
1 Suppose a man enters into marriage with a woman, but she does not please him
because he finds something objectionable about her, and so he writes her a
certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house;
she then leaves his house 2 and goes off to become another man's wife. 3 Then
suppose the second man dislikes her, writes her a bill of divorce, puts it in
her hand, and sends her out of his house (or the second man who married her
dies); 4 her first husband, who sent her away, is not permitted to take her
again to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that would be abhorrent
to the LORD, and you shall not bring guilt on the land that the LORD your God
is giving you as a possession.
5 When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be charged
with any related duty. He shall be free at home one year, to be happy with the
wife whom he has married.
6 No one shall take a mill or an upper millstone in pledge, for that would be
taking a life in pledge.
7 If someone is caught kidnapping another Israelite, enslaving or selling the
Israelite, then that kidnaper shall die. So you shall purge the evil from your
8 Guard against an outbreak of a leprous skin disease by being very careful;
you shall carefully observe whatever the levitical priests instruct you, just
as I have commanded them. 9 Remember what the LORD your God did to Miriam on
your journey out of Egypt.
10 When you make your neighbor a loan of any kind, you shall not go into the
house to take the pledge. 11 You shall wait outside, while the person to whom
you are making the loan brings the pledge out to you. 12 If the person is
poor, you shall not sleep in the garment given you as the pledge. 13 You shall
give the pledge back by sunset, so that your neighbor may sleep in the cloak
and bless you; and it will be to your credit before the LORD your God.
14 You shall not withhold the wages of poor and needy laborers, whether other
Israelites or aliens who reside in your land in one of your towns. 15 You
shall pay them their wages daily before sunset, because they are poor and
their livelihood depends on them; otherwise they might cry to the LORD against
you, and you would incur guilt.
16 Parents shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be
put to death for their parents; only for their own crimes may persons be put
17 You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice; you shall
not take a widow's garment in pledge. 18 Remember that you were a slave in
Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you
to do this.
19 When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field,
you shall not go back to get it; it shall be left for the alien, the orphan,
and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all your
undertakings. 20 When you beat your olive trees, do not strip what is left; it
shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow.
21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, do not glean what is left; it
shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow. 22 Remember that you were a
slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I am commanding you to do this.
Laws promoting social harmony
1 Suppose two persons have a dispute and enter into litigation, and the judges
decide between them, declaring one to be in the right and the other to be in
the wrong. 2 If the one in the wrong deserves to be flogged, the judge shall
make that person lie down and be beaten in his presence with the number of
lashes proportionate to the offense. 3 Forty lashes may be given but not more;
if more lashes than these are given, your neighbor will be degraded in your
4 You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.
5 When brothers reside together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife
of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her
husband's brother shall go in to her, taking her in marriage, and performing
the duty of a husband's brother to her, 6 and the firstborn whom she bears
shall succeed to the name of the deceased brother, so that his name may not be
blotted out of Israel. 7 But if the man has no desire to marry his brother's
widow, then his brother's widow shall go up to the elders at the gate and say,
"My husband's brother refuses to perpetuate his brother's name in Israel; he
will not perform the duty of a husband's brother to me." 8 Then the elders of
his town shall summon him and speak to him. If he persists, saying, "I have no
desire to marry her," 9 then his brother's wife shall go up to him in the
presence of the elders, pull his sandal off his foot, spit in his face, and
declare, "This is what is done to the man who does not build up his brother's
house." 10 Throughout Israel his family shall be known as "the house of him
whose sandal was pulled off."
11 If men get into a fight with one another, and the wife of one intervenes to
rescue her husband from the grip of his opponent by reaching out and seizing
his genitals, 12 you shall cut off her hand; show no pity.
13 You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, large and small. 14
You shall not have in your house two kinds of measures, large and small. 15
You shall have only a full and honest weight; you shall have only a full and
honest measure, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your
God is giving you. 16 For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are
abhorrent to the LORD your God.
17 Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey out of Egypt, 18 how he
attacked you on the way, when you were faint and weary, and struck down all
who lagged behind you; he did not fear God. 19 Therefore when the LORD your
God has given you rest from all your enemies on every hand, in the land that
the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot
out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; do not forget.
1 When you have come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you as an
inheritance to possess, and you possess it, and settle in it, 2 you shall take
some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the
land that the LORD your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket
and go to the place that the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his
name. 3 You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time, and say to
him, "Today I declare to the LORD your God that I have come into the land that
the LORD swore to our ancestors to give us." 4 When the priest takes the
basket from your hand and sets it down before the altar of the LORD your God,
5 you shall make this response before the LORD your God: "A wandering Aramean
was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in
number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous. 6 When the
Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, by imposing hard labor on us, 7
we cried to the LORD, the God of our ancestors; the LORD heard our voice and
saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. 8 The LORD brought us out of
Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of
power, and with signs and wonders; 9 and he brought us into this place and
gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 So now I bring the
first of the fruit of the ground that you, O LORD, have given me." You shall
set it down before the LORD your God and bow down before the LORD your God. 11
Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall
celebrate with all the bounty that the LORD your God has given to you and to
12 When you have finished paying all the tithe of your produce in the third
year (which is the year of the tithe), giving it to the Levites, the aliens,
the orphans, and the widows, so that they may eat their fill within your
towns, 13 then you shall say before the LORD your God: "I have removed the
sacred portion from the house, and I have given it to the Levites, the
resident aliens, the orphans, and the widows, in accordance with your entire
commandment that you commanded me; I have neither transgressed nor forgotten
any of your commandments: 14 I have not eaten of it while in mourning; I have
not removed any of it while I was unclean; and I have not offered any of it to
the dead. I have obeyed the LORD my God, doing just as you commanded me. 15
Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel
and the ground that you have given us, as you swore to our ancestors – a land
flowing with milk and honey."
16 This very day the LORD your God is commanding you to observe these statutes
and ordinances; so observe them diligently with all your heart and with all
your soul. 17 Today you have obtained the LORD's agreement: to be your God;
and for you to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, his commandments, and
his ordinances, and to obey him. 18 Today the LORD has obtained your
agreement: to be his treasured people, as he promised you, and to keep his
commandments; 19 for him to set you high above all nations that he has made,
in praise and in fame and in honor; and for you to be a people holy to the
LORD your God, as he promised.
The ceremonies at Shechem
1 Then Moses and the elders of Israel charged all the people as follows: Keep
the entire commandment that I am commanding you today. 2 On the day that you
cross over the Jordan into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you
shall set up large stones and cover them with plaster. 3 You shall write on
them all the words of this law when you have crossed over, to enter the land
that the LORD your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as
the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you. 4 So when you have crossed
over the Jordan, you shall set up these stones, about which I am commanding
you today, on Mount Ebal, and you shall cover them with plaster. 5 And you
shall build an altar there to the LORD your God, an altar of stones on which
you have not used an iron tool. 6 You must build the altar of the LORD your
God of unhewn stones. Then offer up burnt offerings on it to the LORD your
God, 7 make sacrifices of well-being, and eat them there, rejoicing before the
LORD your God. 8 You shall write on the stones all the words of this law very
9 Then Moses and the levitical priests spoke to all Israel, saying: Keep
silence and hear, O Israel! This very day you have become the people of the
LORD your God. 10 Therefore obey the LORD your God, observing his commandments
and his statutes that I am commanding you today.
11 The same day Moses charged the people as follows: 12 When you have crossed
over the Jordan, these shall stand on Mount Gerizim for the blessing of the
people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. 13 And these
shall stand on Mount Ebal for the curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and
Naphtali. 14 Then the Levites shall declare in a loud voice to all the
15 "Cursed be anyone who makes an idol or casts an image, anything abhorrent
to the LORD, the work of an artisan, and sets it up in secret." All the people
shall respond, saying, "Amen!"
16 "Cursed be anyone who dishonors father or mother." All the people shall
17 "Cursed be anyone who moves a neighbor's boundary marker." All the people
shall say, "Amen!"
18 "Cursed be anyone who misleads a blind person on the road." All the people
shall say, "Amen!"
19 "Cursed be anyone who deprives the alien, the orphan, and the widow of
justice." All the people shall say, "Amen!"
20 "Cursed be anyone who lies with his father's wife, because he has violated
his father's rights." All the people shall say, "Amen!"
21 "Cursed be anyone who lies with any animal." All the people shall say,
22 "Cursed be anyone who lies with his sister, whether the daughter of his
father or the daughter of his mother." All the people shall say, "Amen!"
23 "Cursed be anyone who lies with his mother-in-law." All the people shall
24 "Cursed be anyone who strikes down a neighbor in secret." All the people
shall say, "Amen!"
25 "Cursed be anyone who takes a bribe to shed innocent blood." All the people
shall say, "Amen!"
26 "Cursed be anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by observing
them." All the people shall say, "Amen!"
The consequences of obedience or disobedience: blessing or curse
1 If you will only obey the LORD your God, by diligently observing all his
commandments that I am commanding you today, the LORD your God will set you
high above all the nations of the earth; 2 all these blessings shall come upon
you and overtake you, if you obey the LORD your God:
3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.
4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your ground, and the
fruit of your livestock, both the increase of your cattle and the issue of
5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go
7 The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before
you; they shall come out against you one way, and flee before you seven ways.
8 The LORD will command the blessing upon you in your barns, and in all that
you undertake; he will bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving
you. 9 The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he has sworn to you,
if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in his ways. 10 All
the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the
LORD, and they shall be afraid of you. 11 The LORD will make you abound in
prosperity, in the fruit of your womb, in the fruit of your livestock, and in
the fruit of your ground in the land that the LORD swore to your ancestors to
give you. 12 The LORD will open for you his rich storehouse, the heavens, to
give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all your undertakings.
You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow. 13 The LORD will make
you the head, and not the tail; you shall be only at the top, and not at the
bottom – if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am
commanding you today, by diligently observing them, 14 and if you do not turn
aside from any of the words that I am commanding you today, either to the
right or to the left, following other gods to serve them.
Consequences of disobedience
15 But if you will not obey the LORD your God by diligently observing all his
commandments and decrees, which I am commanding you today, then all these
curses shall come upon you and overtake you:
16 Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field.
17 Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
18 Cursed shall be the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your ground, the
increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock.
19 Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go
20 The LORD will send upon you disaster, panic, and frustration in everything
you attempt to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly, on account of
the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me. 21 The LORD will make
the pestilence cling to you until it has consumed you off the land that you
are entering to possess. 22 The LORD will afflict you with consumption, fever,
inflammation, with fiery heat and drought, and with blight and mildew; they
shall pursue you until you perish. 23 The sky over your head shall be bronze,
and the earth under you iron. 24 The LORD will change the rain of your land
into powder, and only dust shall come down upon you from the sky until you are
25 The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go
out against them one way and flee before them seven ways. You shall become an
object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your corpses shall be
food for every bird of the air and animal of the earth, and there shall be no
one to frighten them away. 27 The LORD will afflict you with the boils of
Egypt, with ulcers, scurvy, and itch, of which you cannot be healed. 28 The
LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness, and confusion of mind; 29 you
shall grope about at noon as blind people grope in darkness, but you shall be
unable to find your way; and you shall be continually abused and robbed,
without anyone to help. 30 You shall become engaged to a woman, but another
man shall lie with her. You shall build a house, but not live in it. You shall
plant a vineyard, but not enjoy its fruit. 31 Your ox shall be butchered
before your eyes, but you shall not eat of it. Your donkey shall be stolen in
front of you, and shall not be restored to you. Your sheep shall be given to
your enemies, without anyone to help you. 32 Your sons and daughters shall be
given to another people, while you look on; you will strain your eyes looking
for them all day but be powerless to do anything. 33 A people whom you do not
know shall eat up the fruit of your ground and of all your labors; you shall
be continually abused and crushed, 34 and driven mad by the sight that your
eyes shall see. 35 The LORD will strike you on the knees and on the legs with
grievous boils of which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to
the crown of your head. 36 The LORD will bring you, and the king whom you set
over you, to a nation that neither you nor your ancestors have known, where
you shall serve other gods, of wood and stone. 37 You shall become an object
of horror, a proverb, and a byword among all the peoples where the LORD will
38 You shall carry much seed into the field but shall gather little in, for
the locust shall consume it. 39 You shall plant vineyards and dress them, but
you shall neither drink the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm shall eat
them. 40 You shall have olive trees throughout all your territory, but you
shall not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives shall drop off. 41 You
shall have sons and daughters, but they shall not remain yours, for they shall
go into captivity. 42 All your trees and the fruit of your ground the cicada
shall take over. 43 Aliens residing among you shall ascend above you higher
and higher, while you shall descend lower and lower. 44 They shall lend to you
but you shall not lend to them; they shall be the head and you shall be the
45 All these curses shall come upon you, pursuing and overtaking you until you
are destroyed, because you did not obey the LORD your God, by observing the
commandments and the decrees that he commanded you. 46 They shall be among you
and your descendants as a sign and a portent forever.
47 Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and with gladness of
heart for the abundance of everything, 48 therefore you shall serve your
enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in
nakedness and lack of everything. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until
he has destroyed you. 49 The LORD will bring a nation from far away, from the
end of the earth, to swoop down on you like an eagle, a nation whose language
you do not understand, 50 a grim-faced nation showing no respect to the old or
favor to the young. 51 It shall consume the fruit of your livestock and the
fruit of your ground until you are destroyed, leaving you neither grain, wine,
and oil, nor the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock, until it
has made you perish. 52 It shall besiege you in all your towns until your high
and fortified walls, in which you trusted, come down throughout your land; it
shall besiege you in all your towns throughout the land that the LORD your God
has given you. 53 In the desperate straits to which the enemy siege reduces
you, you will eat the fruit of your womb, the flesh of your own sons and
daughters whom the LORD your God has given you. 54 Even the most refined and
gentle of men among you will begrudge food to his own brother, to the wife
whom he embraces, and to the last of his remaining children, 55 giving to none
of them any of the flesh of his children whom he is eating, because nothing
else remains to him, in the desperate straits to which the enemy siege will
reduce you in all your towns. 56 She who is the most refined and gentle among
you, so gentle and refined that she does not venture to set the sole of her
foot on the ground, will begrudge food to the husband whom she embraces, to
her own son, and to her own daughter, 57 begrudging even the afterbirth that
comes out from between her thighs, and the children that she bears, because
she is eating them in secret for lack of anything else, in the desperate
straits to which the enemy siege will reduce you in your towns.
Undoing the Exodus
58 If you do not diligently observe all the words of this law that are written
in this book, fearing this glorious and awesome name, the LORD your God, 59
then the LORD will overwhelm both you and your offspring with severe and
lasting afflictions and grievous and lasting maladies. 60 He will bring back
upon you all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were in dread, and they shall
cling to you. 61 Every other malady and affliction, even though not recorded
in the book of this law, the LORD will inflict on you until you are destroyed.
62 Although once you were as numerous as the stars in heaven, you shall be
left few in number, because you did not obey the LORD your God. 63 And just as
the LORD took delight in making you prosperous and numerous, so the LORD will
take delight in bringing you to ruin and destruction; you shall be plucked off
the land that you are entering to possess. 64 The LORD will scatter you among
all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other; and there you shall serve
other gods, of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have
known. 65 Among those nations you shall find no ease, no resting place for the
sole of your foot. There the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing
eyes, and a languishing spirit. 66 Your life shall hang in doubt before you;
night and day you shall be in dread, with no assurance of your life. 67 In the
morning you shall say, "If only it were evening!" and at evening you shall
say, "If only it were morning!" – because of the dread that your heart shall
feel and the sights that your eyes shall see. 68 The LORD will bring you back
in ships to Egypt, by a route that I promised you would never see again; and
there you shall offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female
slaves, but there will be no buyer.
Third discourse of Moses; the ratification ceremony for the covenant of the
Plains of Moab
1 These are the words of the covenant that the LORD commanded Moses to make
with the Israelites in the land of Moab, in addition to the covenant that he
had made with them at Horeb.
2 Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: You have seen all that the LORD
did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants
and to all his land, 3 the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and
those great wonders. 4 But to this day the LORD has not given you a mind to
understand, or eyes to see, or ears to hear. 5 I have led you forty years in
the wilderness. The clothes on your back have not worn out, and the sandals on
your feet have not worn out; 6 you have not eaten bread, and you have not
drunk wine or strong drink – so that you may know that I am the LORD your God.
7 When you came to this place, King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan
came out against us for battle, but we defeated them. 8 We took their land and
gave it as an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe
of Manasseh. 9 Therefore diligently observe the words of this covenant, in
order that you may succeed in everything that you do.
10 You stand assembled today, all of you, before the LORD your God – the
leaders of your tribes, your elders, and your officials, all the men of
Israel, 11 your children, your women, and the aliens who are in your camp,
both those who cut your wood and those who draw your water – 12 to enter into
the covenant of the LORD your God, sworn by an oath, which the LORD your God
is making with you today; 13 in order that he may establish you today as his
people, and that he may be your God, as he promised you and as he swore to
your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 14 I am making this
covenant, sworn by an oath, not only with you who stand here with us today
before the LORD our God, 15 but also with those who are not here with us
today. 16 You know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through
the midst of the nations through which you passed. 17 You have seen their
detestable things, the filthy idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold,
that were among them. 18 It may be that there is among you a man or woman, or
a family or tribe, whose heart is already turning away from the LORD our God
to serve the gods of those nations. It may be that there is among you a root
sprouting poisonous and bitter growth. 19 All who hear the words of this oath
and bless themselves, thinking in their hearts, "We are safe even though we go
our own stubborn ways" (thus bringing disaster on moist and dry alike) – 20
the LORD will be unwilling to pardon them, for the LORD's anger and passion
will smoke against them. All the curses written in this book will descend on
them, and the LORD will blot out their names from under heaven. 21 The LORD
will single them out from all the tribes of Israel for calamity, in accordance
with all the curses of the covenant written in this book of the law. 22 The
next generation, your children who rise up after you, as well as the foreigner
who comes from a distant country, will see the devastation of that land and
the afflictions with which the LORD has afflicted it – 23 all its soil burned
out by sulfur and salt, nothing planted, nothing sprouting, unable to support
any vegetation, like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim,
which the LORD destroyed in his fierce anger – 24 they and indeed all the
nations will wonder, "Why has the LORD done thus to this land? What caused
this great display of anger?" 25 They will conclude, "It is because they
abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their ancestors, which he made
with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt. 26 They turned and
served other gods, worshiping them, gods whom they had not known and whom he
had not allotted to them; 27 so the anger of the LORD was kindled against that
land, bringing on it every curse written in this book. 28 The LORD uprooted
them from their land in anger, fury, and great wrath, and cast them into
another land, as is now the case." 29 The secret things belong to the LORD our
God, but the revealed things belong to us and to our children forever, to
observe all the words of this law.
Reassurance of restoration
1 When all these things have happened to you, the blessings and the curses
that I have set before you, if you call them to mind among all the nations
where the LORD your God has driven you, 2 and return to the LORD your God, and
you and your children obey him with all your heart and with all your soul,
just as I am commanding you today, 3 then the LORD your God will restore your
fortunes and have compassion on you, gathering you again from all the peoples
among whom the LORD your God has scattered you. 4 Even if you are exiled to
the ends of the world, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from
there he will bring you back. 5 The LORD your God will bring you into the land
that your ancestors possessed, and you will possess it; he will make you more
prosperous and numerous than your ancestors.
6 Moreover, the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your
descendants, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and
with all your soul, in order that you may live. 7 The LORD your God will put
all these curses on your enemies and on the adversaries who took advantage of
you. 8 Then you shall again obey the LORD, observing all his commandments that
I am commanding you today, 9 and the LORD your God will make you abundantly
prosperous in all your undertakings, in the fruit of your body, in the fruit
of your livestock, and in the fruit of your soil. For the LORD will again take
delight in prospering you, just as he delighted in prospering your ancestors,
10 when you obey the LORD your God by observing his commandments and decrees
that are written in this book of the law, because you turn to the LORD your
God with all your heart and with all your soul.
The original continuation of chapter 29
11 Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for
you, nor is it too far away. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, "Who
will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and
observe it?" 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, "Who will
cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may
hear it and observe it?" 14 No, the word is very near to you; it is in your
mouth and in your heart for you to observe.
15 See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity.
16 If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I am commanding you
today, by loving the LORD your God, walking in his ways, and observing his
commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become
numerous, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are
entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but
are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you
today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are
crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth to
witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings
and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, 20 loving
the LORD your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life
to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the LORD
swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
The death of Moses and the formation of the Torah; Moses makes arrangements
for his death
1 When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 2 he said to
them: "I am now one hundred twenty years old. I am no longer able to get
about, and the LORD has told me, 'You shall not cross over this Jordan.' 3 The
LORD your God himself will cross over before you. He will destroy these
nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua also will cross over
before you, as the LORD promised. 4 The LORD will do to them as he did to
Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when he destroyed
them. 5 The LORD will give them over to you and you shall deal with them in
full accord with the command that I have given to you. 6 Be strong and bold;
have no fear or dread of them, because it is the LORD your God who goes with
you; he will not fail you or forsake you."
7 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel: "Be
strong and bold, for you are the one who will go with this people into the
land that the LORD has sworn to their ancestors to give them; and you will put
them in possession of it. 8 It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be
with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."
9 Then Moses wrote down this law, and gave it to the priests, the sons of
Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders
of Israel. 10 Moses commanded them: "Every seventh year, in the scheduled year
of remission, during the festival of booths, 11 when all Israel comes to
appear before the LORD your God at the place that he will choose, you shall
read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people –
men, women, and children, as well as the aliens residing in your towns – so
that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God and to observe
diligently all the words of this law, 13 and so that their children, who have
not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you
live in the land that you are crossing over the Jordan to possess."
14 The LORD said to Moses, "Your time to die is near; call Joshua and present
yourselves in the tent of meeting, so that I may commission him." So Moses and
Joshua went and presented themselves in the tent of meeting, 15 and the LORD
appeared at the tent in a pillar of cloud; the pillar of cloud stood at the
entrance to the tent.
16 The LORD said to Moses, "Soon you will lie down with your ancestors. Then
this people will begin to prostitute themselves to the foreign gods in their
midst, the gods of the land into which they are going; they will forsake me,
breaking my covenant that I have made with them. 17 My anger will be kindled
against them in that day. I will forsake them and hide my face from them; they
will become easy prey, and many terrible troubles will come upon them. In that
day they will say, 'Have not these troubles come upon us because our God is
not in our midst?' 18 On that day I will surely hide my face on account of all
the evil they have done by turning to other gods. 19 Now therefore write this
song, and teach it to the Israelites; put it in their mouths, in order that
this song may be a witness for me against the Israelites. 20 For when I have
brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I promised on
oath to their ancestors, and they have eaten their fill and grown fat, they
will turn to other gods and serve them, despising me and breaking my covenant.
21 And when many terrible troubles come upon them, this song will confront
them as a witness, because it will not be lost from the mouths of their
descendants. For I know what they are inclined to do even now, before I have
brought them into the land that I promised them on oath." 22 That very day
Moses wrote this song and taught it to the Israelites.
23 Then the LORD commissioned Joshua son of Nun and said, "Be strong and bold,
for you shall bring the Israelites into the land that I promised them; I will
be with you."
24 When Moses had finished writing down in a book the words of this law to the
very end, 25 Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant
of the LORD, saying, 26 "Take this book of the law and put it beside the ark
of the covenant of the LORD your God; let it remain there as a witness against
you. 27 For I know well how rebellious and stubborn you are. If you already
have been so rebellious toward the LORD while I am still alive among you, how
much more after my death! 28 Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and
your officials, so that I may recite these words in their hearing and call
heaven and earth to witness against them. 29 For I know that after my death
you will surely act corruptly, turning aside from the way that I have
commanded you. In time to come trouble will befall you, because you will do
what is evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger through the work
of your hands."
The Song of Moses
30 Then Moses recited the words of this song, to the very end, in the hearing
of the whole assembly of Israel:
1 Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak;
let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
2 May my teaching drop like the rain,
my speech condense like the dew;
like gentle rain on grass,
like showers on new growth.
3 For I will proclaim the name of the LORD;
ascribe greatness to our God!
4 The Rock, his work is perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God, without deceit,
just and upright is he;
5 yet his degenerate children have dealt falsely with him,
a perverse and crooked generation.
6 Do you thus repay the LORD,
O foolish and senseless people?
Is not he your father, who created you,
who made you and established you?
7 Remember the days of old,
consider the years long past;
ask your father, and he will inform you;
your elders, and they will tell you.
8 When the Most High apportioned the nations,
when he divided humankind,
he fixed the boundaries of the peoples
according to the number of the gods;
9 the LORD's own portion was his people,
Jacob his allotted share.
10 He sustained him in a desert land,
in a howling wilderness waste;
he shielded him, cared for him,
guarded him as the apple of his eye.
11 As an eagle stirs up its nest,
and hovers over its young;
as it spreads its wings, takes them up,
and bears them aloft on its pinions,
12 the LORD alone guided him;
no foreign god was with him.
13 He set him atop the heights of the land,
and fed him with produce of the field;
he nursed him with honey from the crags,
with oil from flinty rock;
14 curds from the herd, and milk from the flock,
with fat of lambs and rams;
Bashan bulls and goats,
together with the choicest wheat –
you drank fine wine from the blood of grapes.
15 Jacob ate his fill;
Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked.
You grew fat, bloated, and gorged!
He abandoned God who made him,
and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.
16 They made him jealous with strange gods,
with abhorrent things they provoked him.
17 They sacrificed to demons, not God,
to deities they had never known,
to new ones recently arrived,
whom your ancestors had not feared.
18 You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you;
you forgot the God who gave you birth.
19 The LORD saw it, and was jealous;
he spurned his sons and daughters.
20 He said: I will hide my face from them,
I will see what their end will be;
for they are a perverse generation,
children in whom there is no faithfulness.
21 They made me jealous with what is no god,
provoked me with their idols.
So I will make them jealous with what is no people,
provoke them with a foolish nation.
22 For a fire is kindled by my anger,
and burns to the depths of Sheol;
it devours the earth and its increase,
and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.
23 I will heap disasters upon them,
spend my arrows against them:
24 wasting hunger,
The teeth of beasts I will send against them,
with venom of things crawling in the dust.
25 In the street the sword shall bereave,
and in the chambers terror,
for young man and woman alike,
nursing child and old gray head.
26 I thought to scatter them
and blot out the memory of them from humankind;
27 but I feared provocation by the enemy,
for their adversaries might misunderstand
and say, "Our hand is triumphant;
it was not the LORD who did all this."
28 They are a nation void of sense;
there is no understanding in them.
29 If they were wise, they would understand this;
they would discern what the end would be.
30 How could one have routed a thousand,
and two put a myriad to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
the LORD had given them up?
31 Indeed their rock is not like our Rock;
our enemies are fools.
32 Their vine comes from the vinestock of Sodom,
from the vineyards of Gomorrah;
their grapes are grapes of poison,
their clusters are bitter;
33 their wine is the poison of serpents,
the cruel venom of asps.
34 Is not this laid up in store with me,
sealed up in my treasuries?
35 Vengeance is mine, and recompense,
for the time when their foot shall slip;
because the day of their calamity is at hand,
their doom comes swiftly.
36 Indeed the LORD will vindicate his people,
have compassion on his servants,
when he sees that their power is gone,
neither bond nor free remaining.
37 Then he will say: Where are their gods,
the rock in which they took refuge,
38 who ate the fat of their sacrifices,
and drank the wine of their libations?
Let them rise up and help you,
let them be your protection!
39 See now that I, even I, am he;
there is no god besides me.
I kill and I make alive;
I wound and I heal;
and no one can deliver from my hand.
40 For I lift up my hand to heaven,
and swear: As I live forever,
41 when I whet my flashing sword,
and my hand takes hold on judgment;
I will take vengeance on my adversaries,
and will repay those who hate me.
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
and my sword shall devour flesh –
with the blood of the slain and the captives,
from the long-haired enemy.
43 Praise, O heavens, his people,
worship him, all you gods!
For he will avenge the blood of his children,
and take vengeance on his adversaries;
he will repay those who hate him,
and cleanse the land for his people.
44 Moses came and recited all the words of this song in the hearing of the
people, he and Joshua son of Nun. 45 When Moses had finished reciting all
these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them: "Take to heart all the words
that I am giving in witness against you today; give them as a command to your
children, so that they may diligently observe all the words of this law. 47
This is no trifling matter for you, but rather your very life; through it you
may live long in the land that you are crossing over the Jordan to possess."
Moses commanded to die
48 On that very day the LORD addressed Moses as follows: 49 "Ascend this
mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, across from
Jericho, and view the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites for
a possession; 50 you shall die there on the mountain that you ascend and shall
be gathered to your kin, as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was
gathered to his kin; 51 because both of you broke faith with me among the
Israelites at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, by
failing to maintain my holiness among the Israelites. 52 Although you may view
the land from a distance, you shall not enter it – the land that I am giving
to the Israelites."
The blessing of Moses
1 This is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the
Israelites before his death. 2 He said:
The LORD came from Sinai,
and dawned from Seir upon us;
he shone forth from Mount Paran.
With him were myriads of holy ones;
at his right, a host of his own.
3 Indeed, O favorite among peoples,
all his holy ones were in your charge;
they marched at your heels,
accepted direction from you.
4 Moses charged us with the law,
as a possession for the assembly of Jacob.
5 There arose a king in Jeshurun,
when the leaders of the people assembled –
the united tribes of Israel.
6 May Reuben live, and not die out,
even though his numbers are few.
7 And this he said of Judah:
O LORD, give heed to Judah,
and bring him to his people;
strengthen his hands for him,
and be a help against his adversaries.
8 And of Levi he said:
Give to Levi your Thummim,
and your Urim to your loyal one,
whom you tested at Massah,
with whom you contended at the waters of Meribah;
9 who said of his father and mother,
"I regard them not";
he ignored his kin,
and did not acknowledge his children.
For they observed your word,
and kept your covenant.
10 They teach Jacob your ordinances,
and Israel your law;
they place incense before you,
and whole burnt offerings on your altar.
11 Bless, O LORD, his substance,
and accept the work of his hands;
crush the loins of his adversaries,
of those that hate him, so that they do not rise again.
12 Of Benjamin he said:
The beloved of the LORD rests in safety –
the High God surrounds him all day long –
the beloved rests between his shoulders.
13 And of Joseph he said:
Blessed by the LORD be his land,
with the choice gifts of heaven above,
and of the deep that lies beneath;
14 with the choice fruits of the sun,
and the rich yield of the months;
15 with the finest produce of the ancient mountains,
and the abundance of the everlasting hills;
16 with the choice gifts of the earth and its fullness,
and the favor of the one who dwells on Sinai.
Let these come on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince among his brothers.
17 A firstborn bull – majesty is his!
His horns are the horns of a wild ox;
with them he gores the peoples,
driving them to the ends of the earth;
such are the myriads of Ephraim,
such the thousands of Manasseh.
18 And of Zebulun he said:
Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out;
and Issachar, in your tents.
19 They call peoples to the mountain;
there they offer the right sacrifices;
for they suck the affluence of the seas
and the hidden treasures of the sand.
20 And of Gad he said:
Blessed be the enlargement of Gad!
Gad lives like a lion;
he tears at arm and scalp.
21 He chose the best for himself,
for there a commander's allotment was reserved;
he came at the head of the people,
he executed the justice of the LORD,
and his ordinances for Israel.
22 And of Dan he said:
Dan is a lion's whelp
that leaps forth from Bashan.
23 And of Naphtali he said:
O Naphtali, sated with favor,
full of the blessing of the LORD,
possess the west and the south.
24 And of Asher he said:
Most blessed of sons be Asher;
may he be the favorite of his brothers,
and may he dip his foot in oil.
25 Your bars are iron and bronze;
and as your days, so is your strength.
26 There is none like God, O Jeshurun,
who rides through the heavens to your help,
majestic through the skies.
27 He subdues the ancient gods,
shatters the forces of old;
he drove out the enemy before you,
and said, "Destroy!"
28 So Israel lives in safety,
untroubled is Jacob's abode
in a land of grain and wine,
where the heavens drop down dew.
29 Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you,
a people saved by the LORD,
the shield of your help,
and the sword of your triumph!
Your enemies shall come fawning to you,
and you shall tread on their backs.
The death of Moses
1 Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of
Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the LORD showed him the whole land:
Gilead as far as Dan, 2 all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all
the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, 3 the Negeb, and the Plain – that
is, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees – as far as Zoar. 4 The LORD
said to him, "This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to
Jacob, saying, 'I will give it to your descendants'; I have let you see it
with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there." 5 Then Moses, the servant
of the LORD, died there in the land of Moab, at the LORD's command. 6 He was
buried in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor, but no one knows
his burial place to this day. 7 Moses was one hundred twenty years old when he
died; his sight was unimpaired and his vigor had not abated. 8 The Israelites
wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the period of mourning
for Moses was ended.
9 Joshua son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, because Moses had laid
his hands on him; and the Israelites obeyed him, doing as the LORD had
10 Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD
knew face to face. 11 He was unequaled for all the signs and wonders that the
LORD sent him to perform in the land of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his
servants and his entire land, 12 and for all the mighty deeds and all the
terrifying displays of power that Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.