The Covenant Setting
1:1 This is what 1 Moses said to the assembly of Israel 2 in the Transjordanian 3 wastelands, the arid country opposite 4 Suph, 5 between 6 Paran 7 and Tophel, 8 Laban, 9 Hazeroth, 10 and Di Zahab 11 1:2 Now it is ordinarily an eleven-day journey 12 from Horeb 13 to Kadesh Barnea 14 by way of Mount Seir. 15 1:3 However, it was not until 16 the first day of the eleventh month 17 of the fortieth year 18 that Moses addressed the Israelites just as 19 the Lord had instructed him to do. 1:4 This took place after the defeat 20 of King Sihon 21 of the Amorites, whose capital was 22 in Heshbon, 23 and King Og of Bashan, whose capital was 24 in Ashtaroth, 25 specifically in Edrei. 26 1:5 So it was in the Transjordan, in Moab, that Moses began to deliver these words: 27
Events at Horeb
1:6 The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb and said, “You have stayed 28 in the area of this mountain long enough. 1:7 Get up now, 29 resume your journey, heading for 30 the Amorite hill country, to all its areas 31 including the arid country, 32 the highlands, the Shephelah, 33 the Negev, 34 and the coastal plain – all of Canaan and Lebanon as far as the Great River, that is, the Euphrates. 1:8 Look! I have already given the land to you. 35 Go, occupy the territory that I, 36 the Lord, promised 37 to give to your ancestors 38 Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to their descendants.” 39 1:9 I also said to you at that time, “I am no longer able to sustain you by myself. 1:10 The Lord your God has increased your population 40 to the point that you are now as numerous as the very stars of the sky. 41 1:11 Indeed, may the Lord, the God of your ancestors, make you a thousand times more numerous than you are now, blessing you 42 just as he said he would! 1:12 But how can I alone bear up under the burden of your hardship and strife? 1:13 Select wise and practical 43 men, those known among your tribes, whom I may appoint as your leaders.” 1:14 You replied to me that what I had said to you was good. 1:15 So I chose 44 as your tribal leaders wise and well-known men, placing them over you as administrators of groups of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, and also as other tribal officials. 1:16 I furthermore admonished your judges at that time that they 45 should pay attention to issues among your fellow citizens 46 and judge fairly, 47 whether between one citizen and another 48 or a citizen and a resident foreigner. 49 1:17 They 50 must not discriminate in judgment, but hear the lowly 51 and the great alike. Nor should they be intimidated by human beings, for judgment belongs to God. If the matter being adjudicated is too difficult for them, they should bring it before me for a hearing.
Instructions at Kadesh Barnea
1:18 So I instructed you at that time regarding everything you should do. 1:19 Then we left Horeb and passed through all that immense, forbidding wilderness that you saw on the way to the Amorite hill country as the Lord our God had commanded us to do, finally arriving at Kadesh Barnea. 1:20 Then I said to you, “You have come to the Amorite hill country which the Lord our God is about to give 52 us. 1:21 Look, he 53 has placed the land in front of you! 54 Go up, take possession of it, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, said to do. Do not be afraid or discouraged!” 1:22 So all of you approached me and said, “Let’s send some men ahead of us to scout out the land and bring us back word as to how we should attack it and what the cities are like there.” 1:23 I thought this was a good idea, 55 so I sent 56 twelve men from among you, one from each tribe. 1:24 They left and went up to the hill country, coming to the Eshcol Valley, 57 which they scouted out. 1:25 Then they took 58 some of the produce of the land and carried it back down to us. They also brought a report to us, saying, “The land that the Lord our God is about to give us is good.”
Disobedience at Kadesh Barnea
1:26 You were not willing to go up, however, but instead rebelled against the Lord your God. 59 1:27 You complained among yourselves privately 60 and said, “Because the Lord hates us he brought us from Egypt to deliver us over to the Amorites so they could destroy us! 1:28 What is going to happen to us? Our brothers have drained away our courage 61 by describing people who are more numerous 62 and taller than we are, and great cities whose defenses appear to be as high as heaven 63 itself! Moreover, they said they saw 64 Anakites 65 there.” 1:29 So I responded to you, “Do not be terrified 66 of them! 1:30 The Lord your God is about to go 67 ahead of you; he will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt 68 1:31 and in the desert, where you saw him 69 carrying you along like a man carries his son. This he did everywhere you went until you came to this very place.” 1:32 However, through all this you did not have confidence in the Lord your God, 1:33 the one who was constantly going before you to find places for you to set up camp. He appeared by fire at night and cloud by day, to show you the way you ought to go.
Judgment at Kadesh Barnea
1:34 When the Lord heard you, he became angry and made this vow: 70 1:35 “Not a single person 71 of this evil generation will see the good land that I promised to give to your ancestors! 1:36 The exception is Caleb son of Jephunneh; 72 he will see it and I will give him and his descendants the territory on which he has walked, because he has wholeheartedly followed me.” 73 1:37 As for me, the Lord was also angry with me on your account. He said, “You also will not be able to go there. 1:38 However, Joshua son of Nun, your assistant, 74 will go. Encourage him, because he will enable Israel to inherit the land. 75 1:39 Also, your infants, who you thought would die on the way, 76 and your children, who as yet do not know good from bad, 77 will go there; I will give them the land and they will possess it. 1:40 But as for you, 78 turn back and head for the desert by the way to the Red Sea.” 79
Unsuccessful Conquest of Canaan
1:41 Then you responded to me and admitted, “We have sinned against the Lord. We will now go up and fight as the Lord our God has told us to do.” So you each put on your battle gear and prepared to go up to the hill country. 1:42 But the Lord told me: “Tell them this: ‘Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you and you will be defeated by your enemies.’” 1:43 I spoke to you, but you did not listen. Instead you rebelled against the Lord 80 and recklessly went up to the hill country. 1:44 The Amorite inhabitants of that area 81 confronted 82 you and chased you like a swarm of bees, striking you down from Seir as far as Hormah. 83 1:45 Then you came back and wept before the Lord, but he 84 paid no attention to you whatsoever. 85 1:46 Therefore, you remained at Kadesh for a long time – indeed, for the full time. 86
The Journey from Kadesh Barnea to Moab
2:1 Then we turned and set out toward the desert land on the way to the Red Sea 87 just as the Lord told me to do, detouring around Mount Seir for a long time. 2:2 At this point the Lord said to me, 2:3 “You have circled around this mountain long enough; now turn north. 2:4 Instruct 88 these people as follows: ‘You are about to cross the border of your relatives 89 the descendants of Esau, 90 who inhabit Seir. They will be afraid of you, so watch yourselves carefully. 2:5 Do not be hostile toward them, because I am not giving you any of their land, not even a footprint, for I have given Mount Seir 91 as an inheritance for Esau. 2:6 You may purchase 92 food to eat and water to drink from them. 2:7 All along the way I, the Lord your God, 93 have blessed your every effort. 94 I have 95 been attentive to 96 your travels through this great wasteland. These forty years I have 97 been with you; you have lacked for nothing.’”
2:8 So we turned away from our relatives 98 the descendants of Esau, the inhabitants of Seir, turning from the desert route, 99 from Elat 100 and Ezion Geber, 101 and traveling the way of the Moab wastelands. 2:9 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not harass Moab and provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land as your territory. This is because I have given Ar 102 to the descendants of Lot 103 as their possession. 2:10 (The Emites 104 used to live there, a people as powerful, numerous, and tall as the Anakites. 2:11 These people, as well as the Anakites, are also considered Rephaites; 105 the Moabites call them Emites. 2:12 Previously the Horites 106 lived in Seir but the descendants of Esau dispossessed and destroyed them and settled in their place, just as Israel did to the land it came to possess, the land the Lord gave them.) 107 2:13 Now, get up and cross the Wadi Zered.” 108 So we did so. 109 2:14 Now the length of time it took for us to go from Kadesh Barnea to the crossing of Wadi Zered was thirty-eight years, time for all the military men of that generation to die, just as the Lord had vowed to them. 2:15 Indeed, it was the very hand of the Lord that eliminated them from within 110 the camp until they were all gone.
Instructions Concerning Ammon
2:16 So it was that after all the military men had been eliminated from the community, 111 2:17 the Lord said to me, 2:18 “Today you are going to cross the border of Moab, that is, of Ar. 112 2:19 But when you come close to the Ammonites, do not harass or provoke them because I am not giving you any of the Ammonites’ land as your possession; I have already given it to Lot’s descendants 113 as their possession.
2:20 (That also is considered to be a land of the Rephaites. 114 The Rephaites lived there originally; the Ammonites call them Zamzummites. 115 2:21 They are a people as powerful, numerous, and tall as the Anakites. But the Lord destroyed the Rephaites 116 in advance of the Ammonites, 117 so they dispossessed them and settled down in their place. 2:22 This is exactly what he did for the descendants of Esau who lived in Seir when he destroyed the Horites before them so that they could dispossess them and settle in their area to this very day. 2:23 As for the Avvites 118 who lived in settlements as far west as Gaza, Caphtorites 119 who came from Crete 120 destroyed them and settled down in their place.)
2:24 Get up, make your way across Wadi Arnon. Look! I have already delivered over to you Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, 121 and his land. Go ahead! Take it! Engage him in war! 2:25 This very day I will begin to fill all the people of the earth 122 with dread and to terrify them when they hear about you. They will shiver and shake in anticipation of your approach.” 123
Defeat of Sihon, King of Heshbon
2:26 Then I sent messengers from the Kedemoth 124 Desert to King Sihon of Heshbon with an offer of peace: 2:27 “Let me pass through your land; I will keep strictly to the roadway. 125 I will not turn aside to the right or the left. 2:28 Sell me food for cash 126 so that I can eat and sell me water to drink. 127 Just allow me to go through on foot, 2:29 just as the descendants of Esau who live at Seir and the Moabites who live in Ar did for me, until I cross the Jordan to the land the Lord our God is giving us.” 2:30 But King Sihon of Heshbon was unwilling to allow us to pass near him because the Lord our 128 God had made him obstinate 129 and stubborn 130 so that he might deliver him over to you 131 this very day. 2:31 The Lord said to me, “Look! I have already begun to give over Sihon and his land to you. Start right now to take his land as your possession.” 2:32 When Sihon and all his troops 132 emerged to encounter us in battle at Jahaz, 133 2:33 the Lord our God delivered him over to us and we struck him down, along with his sons 134 and everyone else. 135 2:34 At that time we seized all his cities and put every one of them 136 under divine judgment, 137 including even the women and children; we left no survivors. 2:35 We kept only the livestock and plunder from the cities for ourselves. 2:36 From Aroer, 138 which is at the edge of Wadi Arnon (it is the city in the wadi), 139 all the way to Gilead there was not a town able to resist us – the Lord our God gave them all to us. 2:37 However, you did not approach the land of the Ammonites, the Wadi Jabbok, 140 the cities of the hill country, or any place else forbidden by the Lord our God.
Defeat of King Og of Bashan
3:1 Next we set out on 141 the route to Bashan, 142 but King Og of Bashan and his whole army 143 came out to meet us in battle at Edrei. 144 3:2 The Lord, however, said to me, “Don’t be afraid of him because I have already given him, his whole army, 145 and his land to you. You will do to him exactly what you did to King Sihon of the Amorites who lived in Heshbon.” 3:3 So the Lord our God did indeed give over to us King Og of Bashan and his whole army and we struck them down until not a single survivor was left. 146 3:4 We captured all his cities at that time – there was not a town we did not take from them – sixty cities, all the region of Argob, 147 the dominion of Og in Bashan. 3:5 All of these cities were fortified by high walls, gates, and locking bars; 148 in addition there were a great many open villages. 149 3:6 We put all of these under divine judgment 150 just as we had done to King Sihon of Heshbon – every occupied city, 151 including women and children. 3:7 But all the livestock and plunder from the cities we kept for ourselves. 3:8 So at that time we took the land of the two Amorite kings in the Transjordan from Wadi Arnon to Mount Hermon 152 3:9 (the Sidonians 153 call Hermon Sirion 154 and the Amorites call it Senir), 155 3:10 all the cities of the plateau, all of Gilead and Bashan as far as Salecah 156 and Edrei, 157 cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 3:11 Only King Og of Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaites. (It is noteworthy 158 that his sarcophagus 159 was made of iron. 160 Does it not, indeed, still remain in Rabbath 161 of the Ammonites? It is thirteen and a half feet 162 long and six feet 163 wide according to standard measure.) 164
Distribution of the Transjordanian Allotments
3:12 This is the land we brought under our control at that time: The territory extending from Aroer 165 by the Wadi Arnon and half the Gilead hill country with its cities I gave to the Reubenites and Gadites. 166 3:13 The rest of Gilead and all of Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to half the tribe of Manasseh. 167 (All the region of Argob, 168 that is, all Bashan, is called the land of Rephaim. 3:14 Jair, son of Manasseh, took all the Argob region as far as the border with the Geshurites 169 and Maacathites 170 (namely Bashan) and called it by his name, Havvoth-Jair, 171 which it retains to this very day.) 3:15 I gave Gilead to Machir. 172 3:16 To the Reubenites and Gadites I allocated the territory extending from Gilead as far as Wadi Arnon (the exact middle of the wadi was a boundary) all the way to the Wadi Jabbok, the Ammonite border. 3:17 The Arabah and the Jordan River 173 were also a border, from the sea of Chinnereth 174 to the sea of the Arabah (that is, the Salt Sea), 175 beneath the watershed 176 of Pisgah 177 to the east.
Instructions to the Transjordanian Tribes
3:18 At that time I instructed you as follows: “The Lord your God has given you this land for your possession. You warriors are to cross over before your fellow Israelites 178 equipped for battle. 3:19 But your wives, children, and livestock (of which I know you have many) may remain in the cities I have given you. 3:20 You must fight 179 until the Lord gives your countrymen victory 180 as he did you and they take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them on the other side of the Jordan River. Then each of you may return to his own territory that I have given you.” 3:21 I also commanded Joshua at the same time, “You have seen everything the Lord your God did to these two kings; he 181 will do the same to all the kingdoms where you are going. 182 3:22 Do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God will personally fight for you.”
Denial to Moses of the Promised Land
3:23 Moreover, at that time I pleaded with the Lord, 3:24 “O, Lord God, 183 you have begun to show me 184 your greatness and strength. 185 (What god in heaven or earth can rival your works and mighty deeds?) 3:25 Let me please cross over to see the good land on the other side of the Jordan River – this good hill country and the Lebanon!” 186 3:26 But the Lord was angry at me because of you and would not listen to me. Instead, he 187 said to me, “Enough of that! 188 Do not speak to me anymore about this matter. 3:27 Go up to the top of Pisgah and take a good look to the west, north, south, and east, 189 for you will not be allowed to cross the Jordan. 3:28 Commission 190 Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, because he will lead these people over and will enable them to inherit the land you will see.” 3:29 So we settled down in the valley opposite Beth Peor. 191
The Privileges of the Covenant
4:1 Now, Israel, pay attention to the statutes and ordinances 192 I am about to teach you, so that you might live and go on to enter and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, 193 is giving you. 4:2 Do not add a thing to what I command you nor subtract from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I am delivering to 194 you. 4:3 You have witnessed what the Lord did at Baal Peor, 195 how he 196 eradicated from your midst everyone who followed Baal Peor. 197 4:4 But you who remained faithful to the Lord your God are still alive to this very day, every one of you. 4:5 Look! I have taught you statutes and ordinances just as the Lord my God told me to do, so that you might carry them out in 198 the land you are about to enter and possess. 4:6 So be sure to do them, because this will testify of your wise understanding 199 to the people who will learn of all these statutes and say, “Indeed, this great nation is a very wise 200 people.” 4:7 In fact, what other great nation has a god so near to them like the Lord our God whenever we call on him? 4:8 And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just 201 as this whole law 202 that I am about to share with 203 you today?
Reminder of the Horeb Covenant
4:9 Again, however, pay very careful attention, 204 lest you forget the things you have seen and disregard them for the rest of your life; instead teach them to your children and grandchildren. 4:10 You 205 stood before the Lord your God at Horeb and he 206 said to me, “Assemble the people before me so that I can tell them my commands. 207 Then they will learn to revere me all the days they live in the land, and they will instruct their children.” 4:11 You approached and stood at the foot of the mountain, a mountain ablaze to the sky above it 208 and yet dark with a thick cloud. 209 4:12 Then the Lord spoke to you from the middle of the fire; you heard speech but you could not see anything – only a voice was heard. 210 4:13 And he revealed to you the covenant 211 he has commanded you to keep, the ten commandments, 212 writing them on two stone tablets. 4:14 Moreover, at that same time the Lord commanded me to teach you statutes and ordinances for you to keep in the land which you are about to enter and possess. 213
The Nature of Israel’s God
4:15 Be very careful, 214 then, because you saw no form at the time the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the middle of the fire. 4:16 I say this 215 so you will not corrupt yourselves by making an image in the form of any kind of figure. This includes the likeness of a human male or female, 4:17 any kind of land animal, any bird that flies in the sky, 4:18 anything that crawls 216 on the ground, or any fish in the deep waters of the earth. 217 4:19 When you look up 218 to the sky 219 and see the sun, moon, and stars – the whole heavenly creation 220 – you must not be seduced to worship and serve them, 221 for the Lord your God has assigned 222 them to all the people 223 of the world. 224 4:20 You, however, the Lord has selected and brought from Egypt, that iron-smelting furnace, 225 to be his special people 226 as you are today. 4:21 But the Lord became angry with me because of you and vowed that I would never cross the Jordan nor enter the good land that he 227 is about to give you. 228 4:22 So I must die here in this land; I will not cross the Jordan. But you are going over and will possess that 229 good land. 4:23 Be on guard so that you do not forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he has made with you, and that you do not make an image of any kind, just as he 230 has forbidden 231 you. 4:24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire; he is a jealous God. 232
Threat and Blessing following Covenant Disobedience
4:25 After you have produced children and grandchildren and have been in the land a long time, 233 if you become corrupt and make an image of any kind 234 and do other evil things before the Lord your God that enrage him, 235 4:26 I invoke heaven and earth as witnesses against you 236 today that you will surely and swiftly be removed 237 from the very land you are about to cross the Jordan to possess. You will not last long there because you will surely be 238 annihilated. 4:27 Then the Lord will scatter you among the peoples and there will be very few of you 239 among the nations where the Lord will drive you. 4:28 There you will worship gods made by human hands – wood and stone that can neither see, hear, eat, nor smell. 4:29 But if you seek the Lord your God from there, you will find him, if, indeed, you seek him with all your heart and soul. 240 4:30 In your distress when all these things happen to you in the latter days, 241 if you return to the Lord your God and obey him 242 4:31 (for he 243 is a merciful God), he will not let you down 244 or destroy you, for he cannot 245 forget the covenant with your ancestors that he confirmed by oath to them.
The Uniqueness of Israel’s God
4:32 Indeed, ask about the distant past, starting from the day God created humankind 246 on the earth, and ask 247 from one end of heaven to the other, whether there has ever been such a great thing as this, or even a rumor of it. 4:33 Have a people ever heard the voice of God speaking from the middle of fire, as you yourselves have, and lived to tell about it? 4:34 Or has God 248 ever before tried to deliver 249 a nation from the middle of another nation, accompanied by judgments, 250 signs, wonders, war, strength, power, 251 and other very terrifying things like the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? 4:35 You have been taught that the Lord alone is God – there is no other besides him. 4:36 From heaven he spoke to you in order to teach you, and on earth he showed you his great fire from which you also heard his words. 252 4:37 Moreover, because he loved 253 your ancestors, he chose their 254 descendants who followed them and personally brought you out of Egypt with his great power 4:38 to dispossess nations greater and stronger than you and brought you here this day to give you their land as your property. 255 4:39 Today realize and carefully consider that the Lord is God in heaven above and on earth below – there is no other! 4:40 Keep his statutes and commandments that I am setting forth 256 today so that it may go well with you and your descendants and that you may enjoy longevity in the land that the Lord your God is about to give you as a permanent possession.
The Narrative Concerning Cities of Refuge
4:41 Then Moses selected three cities in the Transjordan, toward the east. 4:42 Anyone who accidentally killed someone 257 without hating him at the time of the accident 258 could flee to one of those cities and be safe. 4:43 These cities are Bezer, in the desert plateau, for the Reubenites; Ramoth in Gilead for the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan for the Manassehites.
The Setting and Introduction of the Covenant
4:44 This is the law that Moses set before the Israelites. 259 4:45 These are the stipulations, statutes, and ordinances that Moses spoke to the Israelites after he had brought them out of Egypt, 4:46 in the Transjordan, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, in the land of King Sihon of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon. (It is he whom Moses and the Israelites attacked after they came out of Egypt. 4:47 They possessed his land and that of King Og of Bashan – both of whom were Amorite kings in the Transjordan, to the east. 4:48 Their territory extended 260 from Aroer at the edge of the Arnon valley as far as Mount Siyon 261 – that is, Hermon – 4:49 including all the Arabah of the Transjordan in the east to the sea of the Arabah, 262 beneath the watershed 263 of Pisgah.)
The Opening Exhortation
5:1 Then Moses called all the people of Israel together and said to them: 264 “Listen, Israel, to the statutes and ordinances that I am about to deliver to you today; learn them and be careful to keep them! 5:2 The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 5:3 He 265 did not make this covenant with our ancestors 266 but with us, we who are here today, all of us living now. 5:4 The Lord spoke face to face with you at the mountain, from the middle of the fire. 5:5 (I was standing between the Lord and you at that time to reveal to you the message 267 of the Lord, because you were afraid of the fire and would not go up the mountain.) He said:
The Ten Commandments
5:6 “I am the Lord your God, he who brought you from the land of Egypt, from the place of slavery. 5:7 You must not have any other gods 268 besides me. 269 5:8 You must not make for yourself an image 270 of anything in heaven above, on earth below, or in the waters beneath. 271 5:9 You must not worship or serve them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. I punish 272 the sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons for the sin of the fathers who reject 273 me, 274 5:10 but I show covenant faithfulness 275 to the thousands 276 who choose 277 me and keep my commandments. 5:11 You must not make use of the name of the Lord your God for worthless purposes, 278 for the Lord will not exonerate anyone who abuses his name that way. 279 5:12 Be careful to observe 280 the Sabbath day just as the Lord your God has commanded you. 5:13 You are to work and do all your tasks in six days, 5:14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath 281 of the Lord your God. On that day you must not do any work, you, your son, your daughter, your male slave, your female slave, your ox, your donkey, any other animal, or the foreigner who lives with you, 282 so that your male and female slaves, like yourself, may have rest. 5:15 Recall that you were slaves in the land of Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there by strength and power. 283 That is why the Lord your God has commanded you to observe 284 the Sabbath day. 5:16 Honor 285 your father and your mother just as the Lord your God has commanded you to do, so that your days may be extended and that it may go well with you in the land that he 286 is about to give you. 5:17 You must not murder. 287 5:18 You must not commit adultery. 5:19 You must not steal. 5:20 You must not offer false testimony against another. 288 5:21 You must not desire 289 another man’s 290 wife, nor should you crave his 291 house, his field, his male and female servants, his ox, his donkey, or anything else he owns.” 292
The Narrative of the Sinai Revelation and Israel’s Response
5:22 The Lord said these things to your entire assembly at the mountain from the middle of the fire, the cloud, and the darkness with a loud voice, and that was all he said. 293 Then he inscribed the words 294 on two stone tablets and gave them to me. 5:23 Then, when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness while the mountain was ablaze, all your tribal leaders and elders approached me. 5:24 You said, “The Lord our God has shown us his great glory 295 and we have heard him speak from the middle of the fire. It is now clear to us 296 that God can speak to human beings and they can keep on living. 5:25 But now, why should we die, because this intense fire will consume us! If we keep hearing the voice of the Lord our God we will die! 5:26 Who is there from the entire human race 297 who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the middle of the fire as we have, and has lived? 5:27 You go near so that you can hear everything the Lord our God is saying and then you can tell us whatever he 298 says to you; then we will pay attention and do it.” 5:28 When the Lord heard you speaking to me, he 299 said to me, “I have heard what these people have said to you – they have spoken well. 5:29 If only it would really be their desire to fear me and obey 300 all my commandments in the future, so that it may go well with them and their descendants forever. 5:30 Go and tell them, ‘Return to your tents!’ 5:31 But as for you, remain here with me so I can declare to you all the commandments, 301 statutes, and ordinances that you are to teach them, so that they can carry them out in the land I am about to give them.” 302 5:32 Be careful, therefore, to do exactly what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn right or left! 5:33 Walk just as he 303 has commanded you so that you may live, that it may go well with you, and that you may live long 304 in the land you are going to possess.
Exhortation to Keep the Covenant Principles
6:1 Now these are the commandments, 305 statutes, and ordinances that the Lord your God instructed me to teach you so that you may carry them out in the land where you are headed 306 6:2 and that you may so revere the Lord your God that you will keep all his statutes and commandments 307 that I am giving 308 you – you, your children, and your grandchildren – all your lives, to prolong your days. 6:3 Pay attention, Israel, and be careful to do this so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in number 309 – as the Lord, God of your ancestors, 310 said to you, you will have a land flowing with milk and honey.
The Essence of the Covenant Principles
6:4 Listen, Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 311 6:5 You must love 312 the Lord your God with your whole mind, 313 your whole being, 314 and all your strength. 315
Exhortation to Teach the Covenant Principles
6:6 These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind, 6:7 and you must teach 316 them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, 317 as you lie down, and as you get up. 6:8 You should tie them as a reminder on your forearm 318 and fasten them as symbols 319 on your forehead. 6:9 Inscribe them on the doorframes of your houses and gates. 320
Exhortation to Worship the Lord Exclusively
6:10 Then when the Lord your God brings you to the land he promised your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give you – a land with large, fine cities you did not build, 6:11 houses filled with choice things you did not accumulate, hewn out cisterns you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant – and you eat your fill, 6:12 be careful not to forget the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, that place of slavery. 321 6:13 You must revere the Lord your God, serve him, and take oaths using only his name. 6:14 You must not go after other gods, those 322 of the surrounding peoples, 6:15 for the Lord your God, who is present among you, is a jealous God and his anger will erupt against you and remove you from the land. 323
Exhortation to Obey the Lord Exclusively
6:16 You must not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah. 324 6:17 Keep his 325 commandments very carefully, 326 as well as the stipulations and statutes he commanded you to observe. 6:18 Do whatever is proper 327 and good before the Lord so that it may go well with you and that you may enter and occupy the good land that he 328 promised your ancestors, 6:19 and that you may drive out all your enemies just as the Lord said.
Exhortation to Remember the Past
6:20 When your children 329 ask you later on, “What are the stipulations, statutes, and ordinances that the Lord our God commanded you?” 6:21 you must say to them, 330 “We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt in a powerful way. 331 6:22 And he 332 brought signs and great, devastating wonders on Egypt, on Pharaoh, and on his whole family 333 before our very eyes. 6:23 He delivered us from there so that he could give us the land he had promised our ancestors. 6:24 The Lord commanded us to obey all these statutes and to revere him 334 so that it may always go well for us and he may preserve us, as he has to this day. 6:25 We will be innocent if we carefully keep all these commandments 335 before the Lord our God, just as he demands.” 336
The Dispossession of Nonvassals
7:1 When the Lord your God brings you to the land that you are going to occupy and forces out many nations before you – Hittites, 337 Girgashites, 338 Amorites, 339 Canaanites, 340 Perizzites, 341 Hivites, 342 and Jebusites, 343 seven 344 nations more numerous and powerful than you – 7:2 and he 345 delivers them over to you and you attack them, you must utterly annihilate 346 them. Make no treaty 347 with them and show them no mercy! 7:3 You must not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 7:4 for they will turn your sons away from me to worship other gods. Then the anger of the Lord will erupt against you and he will quickly destroy you. 7:5 Instead, this is what you must do to them: You must tear down their altars, shatter their sacred pillars, 348 cut down their sacred Asherah poles, 349 and burn up their idols. 7:6 For you are a people holy 350 to the Lord your God. He 351 has chosen you to be his people, prized 352 above all others on the face of the earth.
The Basis of Israel’s Election
7:7 It is not because you were more numerous than all the other peoples that the Lord favored and chose you – for in fact you were the least numerous of all peoples. 7:8 Rather it is because of his 353 love 354 for you and his faithfulness to the promise 355 he solemnly vowed 356 to your ancestors 357 that the Lord brought you out with great power, 358 redeeming 359 you from the place of slavery, from the power 360 of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 7:9 So realize that the Lord your God is the true God, 361 the faithful God who keeps covenant faithfully 362 with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 7:10 but who pays back those who hate 363 him as they deserve and destroys them. He will not ignore 364 those who hate him but will repay them as they deserve! 7:11 So keep the commandments, statutes, and ordinances that I today am commanding you to do.
Promises of Good for Covenant Obedience
7:12 If you obey these ordinances and are careful to do them, the Lord your God will faithfully keep covenant with you 365 as he promised 366 your ancestors. 7:13 He will love and bless you, and make you numerous. He will bless you with many children, 367 with the produce of your soil, your grain, your new wine, your oil, the offspring of your oxen, and the young of your flocks in the land which he promised your ancestors to give you. 7:14 You will be blessed beyond all peoples; there will be no barrenness 368 among you or your livestock. 7:15 The Lord will protect you from all sickness, and you will not experience any of the terrible diseases that you knew in Egypt; instead he will inflict them on all those who hate you.
Exhortation to Destroy Canaanite Paganism
7:16 You must destroy 369 all the people whom the Lord your God is about to deliver over to you; you must not pity them or worship 370 their gods, for that will be a snare to you. 7:17 If you think, “These nations are more numerous than I – how can I dispossess them?” 7:18 you must not fear them. You must carefully recall 371 what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and all Egypt, 7:19 the great judgments 372 you saw, the signs and wonders, the strength and power 373 by which he 374 brought you out – thus the Lord your God will do to all the people you fear. 7:20 Furthermore, the Lord your God will release hornets 375 among them until the very last ones who hide from you 376 perish. 7:21 You must not tremble in their presence, for the Lord your God, who is present among you, is a great and awesome God. 7:22 He, 377 the God who leads you, will expel the nations little by little. You will not be allowed to destroy them all at once lest the wild animals overrun you. 7:23 The Lord your God will give them over to you; he will throw them into a great panic 378 until they are destroyed. 7:24 He will hand over their kings to you and you will erase their very names from memory. 379 Nobody will be able to resist you until you destroy them. 7:25 You must burn the images of their gods, but do not covet the silver and gold that covers them so much that you take it for yourself and thus become ensnared by it; for it is abhorrent 380 to the Lord your God. 7:26 You must not bring any abhorrent thing into your house and thereby become an object of divine wrath 381 along with it. 382 You must absolutely detest 383 and abhor it, 384 for it is an object of divine wrath.
The Lord’s Provision in the Desert
8:1 You must keep carefully all these commandments 385 I am giving 386 you today so that you may live, increase in number, 387 and go in and occupy the land that the Lord promised to your ancestors. 388 8:2 Remember the whole way by which he 389 has brought you these forty years through the desert 390 so that he might, by humbling you, test you to see if you have it within you to keep his commandments or not. 8:3 So he humbled you by making you hungry and then feeding you with unfamiliar manna. 391 He did this to teach you 392 that humankind 393 cannot live by bread 394 alone, but also by everything that comes from the Lord’s mouth. 395 8:4 Your clothing did not wear out nor did your feet swell all these forty years. 8:5 Be keenly aware that just as a parent disciplines his child, 396 the Lord your God disciplines you. 8:6 So you must keep his 397 commandments, live according to his standards, 398 and revere him. 8:7 For the Lord your God is bringing you to a good land, a land of brooks, 399 springs, and fountains flowing forth in valleys and hills, 8:8 a land of wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, and pomegranates, of olive trees and honey, 8:9 a land where you may eat food 400 in plenty and find no lack of anything, a land whose stones are iron 401 and from whose hills you can mine copper. 8:10 You will eat your fill and then praise the Lord your God because of the good land he has given you.
Exhortation to Remember That Blessing Comes from God
8:11 Be sure you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments, ordinances, and statutes that I am giving you today. 8:12 When you eat your fill, when you build and occupy good houses, 8:13 when your cattle and flocks increase, when you have plenty of silver and gold, and when you have abundance of everything, 8:14 be sure 402 you do not feel self-important and forget the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt, the place of slavery, 8:15 and who brought you through the great, fearful desert of venomous serpents 403 and scorpions, an arid place with no water. He made water flow 404 from a flint rock and 8:16 fed you in the desert with manna (which your ancestors had never before known) so that he might by humbling you test you 405 and eventually bring good to you. 8:17 Be careful 406 not to say, “My own ability and skill 407 have gotten me this wealth.” 8:18 You must remember the Lord your God, for he is the one who gives ability to get wealth; if you do this he will confirm his covenant that he made by oath to your ancestors, 408 even as he has to this day. 8:19 Now if you forget the Lord your God at all 409 and follow other gods, worshiping and prostrating yourselves before them, I testify to you today that you will surely be annihilated. 8:20 Just like the nations the Lord is about to destroy from your sight, so he will do to you 410 because you would not obey him. 411
Theological Justification of the Conquest
9:1 Listen, Israel: Today you are about to cross the Jordan so you can dispossess the nations there, people greater and stronger than you who live in large cities with extremely high fortifications. 412 9:2 They include the Anakites, 413 a numerous 414 and tall people whom you know about and of whom it is said, “Who is able to resist the Anakites?” 9:3 Understand today that the Lord your God who goes before you is a devouring fire; he will defeat and subdue them before you. You will dispossess and destroy them quickly just as he 415 has told you. 9:4 Do not think to yourself after the Lord your God has driven them out before you, “Because of my own righteousness the Lord has brought me here to possess this land.” It is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is driving them out ahead of you. 9:5 It is not because of your righteousness, or even your inner uprightness, 416 that you have come here to possess their land. Instead, because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out ahead of you in order to confirm the promise he 417 made on oath to your ancestors, 418 to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 9:6 Understand, therefore, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is about to give you this good land as a possession, for you are a stubborn 419 people!
The History of Israel’s Stubbornness
9:7 Remember – don’t ever forget 420 – how you provoked the Lord your God in the desert; from the time you left the land of Egypt until you came to this place you were constantly rebelling against him. 421 9:8 At Horeb you provoked him and he was angry enough with you to destroy you. 9:9 When I went up the mountain to receive the stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant that the Lord made with you, I remained there 422 forty days and nights, eating and drinking nothing. 9:10 The Lord gave me the two stone tablets, written by the very finger 423 of God, and on them was everything 424 he 425 said to you at the mountain from the midst of the fire at the time of that assembly. 9:11 Now at the end of the forty days and nights the Lord presented me with the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant. 9:12 And he said to me, “Get up, go down at once from here because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have sinned! They have quickly turned from the way I commanded them and have made for themselves a cast metal image.” 426 9:13 Moreover, he said to me, “I have taken note of these people; they are a stubborn 427 lot! 9:14 Stand aside 428 and I will destroy them, obliterating their very name from memory, 429 and I will make you into a stronger and more numerous nation than they are.”
9:15 So I turned and went down the mountain while it 430 was blazing with fire; the two tablets of the covenant were in my hands. 9:16 When I looked, you had indeed sinned against the Lord your God and had cast for yourselves a metal calf; 431 you had quickly turned aside from the way he 432 had commanded you! 9:17 I grabbed the two tablets, threw them down, 433 and shattered them before your very eyes. 9:18 Then I again fell down before the Lord for forty days and nights; I ate and drank nothing because of all the sin you had committed, doing such evil before the Lord as to enrage him. 9:19 For I was terrified at the Lord’s intense anger 434 that threatened to destroy you. But he 435 listened to me this time as well. 9:20 The Lord was also angry enough at Aaron to kill him, but at that time I prayed for him 436 too. 9:21 As for your sinful thing 437 that you had made, the calf, I took it, melted it down, 438 ground it up until it was as fine as dust, and tossed the dust into the stream that flows down the mountain. 9:22 Moreover, you continued to provoke the Lord at Taberah, 439 Massah, 440 and Kibroth-Hattaavah. 441 9:23 And when he 442 sent you from Kadesh-Barnea and told you, “Go up and possess the land I have given you,” you rebelled against the Lord your God 443 and would neither believe nor obey him. 9:24 You have been rebelling against him 444 from the very first day I knew you!
Moses’ Plea on Behalf of the Lord’s Reputation
9:25 I lay flat on the ground before the Lord for forty days and nights, 445 for he 446 had said he would destroy you. 9:26 I prayed to him: 447 O, Lord God, 448 do not destroy your people, your valued property 449 that you have powerfully redeemed, 450 whom you brought out of Egypt by your strength. 451 9:27 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; ignore the stubbornness, wickedness, and sin of these people. 9:28 Otherwise the people of the land 452 from which you brought us will say, “The Lord was unable to bring them to the land he promised them, and because of his hatred for them he has brought them out to kill them in the desert.” 453 9:29 They are your people, your valued property, 454 whom you brought out with great strength and power. 455
The Opportunity to Begin Again
10:1 At that same time the Lord said to me, “Carve out for yourself two stone tablets like the first ones and come up the mountain to me; also make for yourself a wooden ark. 456 10:2 I will write on the tablets the same words 457 that were on the first tablets you broke, and you must put them into the ark.” 10:3 So I made an ark of acacia 458 wood and carved out two stone tablets just like the first ones. Then I went up the mountain with the two tablets in my hands. 10:4 The Lord 459 then wrote on the tablets the same words, 460 the ten commandments, 461 which he 462 had spoken to you at the mountain from the middle of the fire at the time of that assembly, and he 463 gave them to me. 10:5 Then I turned, went down the mountain, and placed the tablets into the ark I had made – they are still there, just as the Lord commanded me.
Conclusion of the Historical Resume
10:6 “During those days the Israelites traveled from Beeroth Bene-Yaaqan 464 to Moserah. 465 There Aaron died and was buried, and his son Eleazar became priest in his place. 10:7 From there they traveled to Gudgodah, 466 and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, 467 a place of flowing streams. 10:8 At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi 468 to carry the ark of the Lord’s covenant, to stand before the Lord to serve him, and to formulate blessings 469 in his name, as they do to this very day. 10:9 Therefore Levi has no allotment or inheritance 470 among his brothers; 471 the Lord is his inheritance just as the Lord your God told him. 10:10 As for me, I stayed at the mountain as I did the first time, forty days and nights. The Lord listened to me that time as well and decided not to destroy you. 10:11 Then he 472 said to me, “Get up, set out leading 473 the people so they may go and possess 474 the land I promised to give to their ancestors.” 475
An Exhortation to Love Both God and People
10:12 Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you except to revere him, 476 to obey all his commandments, 477 to love him, to serve him 478 with all your mind and being, 479 10:13 and to keep the Lord’s commandments and statutes that I am giving 480 you today for your own good? 10:14 The heavens – indeed the highest heavens – belong to the Lord your God, as does the earth and everything in it. 10:15 However, only to your ancestors did he 481 show his loving favor, 482 and he chose you, their descendants, 483 from all peoples – as is apparent today. 10:16 Therefore, cleanse 484 your heart and stop being so stubborn! 485 10:17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God who is unbiased and takes no bribe, 10:18 who justly treats 486 the orphan and widow, and who loves resident foreigners, giving them food and clothing. 10:19 So you must love the resident foreigner because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. 10:20 Revere the Lord your God, serve him, be loyal to him and take oaths only in his name. 10:21 He is the one you should praise; 487 he is your God, the one who has done these great and awesome things for you that you have seen. 10:22 When your ancestors went down to Egypt, they numbered only seventy, but now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of the sky. 488
Reiteration of the Call to Obedience
11:1 You must love the Lord your God and do what he requires; keep his statutes, ordinances, and commandments 489 at all times. 11:2 Bear in mind today that I am not speaking 490 to your children who have not personally experienced the judgments 491 of the Lord your God, which revealed 492 his greatness, strength, and power. 493 11:3 They did not see 494 the awesome deeds he performed 495 in the midst of Egypt against Pharaoh king of Egypt and his whole land, 11:4 or what he did to the army of Egypt, including their horses and chariots, when he made the waters of the Red Sea 496 overwhelm them while they were pursuing you and he 497 annihilated them. 498 11:5 They did not see 499 what he did to you in the desert before you reached this place, 11:6 or what he did to Dathan and Abiram, 500 sons of Eliab the Reubenite, 501 when the earth opened its mouth in the middle of the Israelite camp 502 and swallowed them, their families, 503 their tents, and all the property they brought with them. 504 11:7 I am speaking to you 505 because you are the ones who saw all the great deeds of the Lord!
The Abundance of the Land of Promise
11:8 Now pay attention to all the commandments 506 I am giving 507 you today, so that you may be strong enough to enter and possess the land where you are headed, 508 11:9 and that you may enjoy long life in the land the Lord promised to give to your ancestors 509 and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. 11:10 For the land where you are headed 510 is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, a land where you planted seed and which you irrigated by hand 511 like a vegetable garden. 11:11 Instead, the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy 512 is one of hills and valleys, a land that drinks in water from the rains, 513 11:12 a land the Lord your God looks after. 514 He is constantly attentive to it 515 from the beginning to the end of the year. 516 11:13 Now, if you pay close attention 517 to my commandments that I am giving you today and love 518 the Lord your God and serve him with all your mind and being, 519 11:14 then he promises, 520 “I will send rain for your land 521 in its season, the autumn and the spring rains, 522 so that you may gather in your grain, new wine, and olive oil. 11:15 I will provide pasture 523 for your livestock and you will eat your fill.”
Exhortation to Instruction and Obedience
11:16 Make sure you do not turn away to serve and worship other gods! 524 11:17 Then the anger of the Lord will erupt 525 against you and he will close up the sky 526 so that it does not rain. The land will not yield its produce, and you will soon be removed 527 from the good land that the Lord 528 is about to give you. 11:18 Fix these words of mine into your mind and being, 529 and tie them as a reminder on your hands and let them be symbols 530 on your forehead. 11:19 Teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, 531 as you lie down, and as you get up. 11:20 Inscribe them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates 11:21 so that your days and those of your descendants may be extended in the land which the Lord promised to give to your ancestors, like the days of heaven itself. 532 11:22 For if you carefully observe all of these commandments 533 I am giving you 534 and love the Lord your God, live according to his standards, 535 and remain loyal to him, 11:23 then he 536 will drive out all these nations ahead of you, and you will dispossess nations greater and stronger than you. 11:24 Every place you set your foot 537 will be yours; your border will extend from the desert to Lebanon and from the River (that is, the Euphrates) as far as the Mediterranean Sea. 538 11:25 Nobody will be able to resist you; the Lord your God will spread the fear and terror of you over the whole land on which you walk, just as he promised you.
Anticipation of a Blessing and Cursing Ceremony
11:26 Take note – I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 539 11:27 the blessing if you take to heart 540 the commandments of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, 11:28 and the curse if you pay no attention 541 to his 542 commandments and turn from the way I am setting before 543 you today to pursue 544 other gods you have not known. 11:29 When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are to possess, you must pronounce the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal. 545 11:30 Are they not across the Jordan River, 546 toward the west, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah opposite Gilgal 547 near the oak 548 of Moreh? 11:31 For you are about to cross the Jordan to possess the land the Lord your God is giving you, and you will possess and inhabit it. 11:32 Be certain to keep all the statutes and ordinances that I am presenting to you today.