Bible: Deuteronomy 1-11

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 Ammonitesland 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

5:6I 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

10:6During 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.

NET Bible Study Environment