Moses Encourages the People
1 Moses went and spoke these words to all of Israel. 2 He said to them, “I am 120 years old today. I can no longer come and go. The Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not go over this Jordan.’ 3 The Lord your God himself will go over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua will go over ahead of you, as the Lord has spoken. 4 The Lord will do to them as he did to Sihon and to Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when he destroyed them. 5 The Lord will deliver them up before you, and you shall do to them according to all the commandments which I have given you. 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear nor be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God himself who goes with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you.”
Joshua to Succeed Moses
7 Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. 8 It is the Lord himself who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”
The Reading of the Law
9 Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who bore the Ark of the Lord’s covenant, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 Moses commanded them, saying, “At the end of every seven years, at the set time of the year of release, in the feast of booths, 11 when all Israel has come to appear before the Lord your God in the place which he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people, the men and the women and the little ones, and the foreigners who are within your gates, that they may hear, learn, fear the Lord your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, 13 and that their children, who have not known of it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live in the land where you are going over the Jordan to possess.”
God’s Charge to Joshua
14 The Lord said to Moses, “Your days are approaching when you must die. Call Joshua, and present yourselves in the Tent of Meeting, that I may commission him.”
Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves in the Tent of Meeting.
15 The Lord appeared in the Tent in a pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud stood over the Tent’s door. 16 The Lord said to Moses, “You shall rest with your fathers. This people will rise up and play the prostitute after the strange gods of the land where they are going to be among them, and will forsake me and break my covenant which I have made with them. 17 Then my anger shall burn against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many disasters and troubles shall come on them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Haven’t these disasters come on us because our God is not among us?’ 18 I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods.
19 Now therefore write this song for yourselves and teach it to the Israelites. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the Israelites. 20 For when I have brought them into the land which I swore to their fathers, flowing with milk and honey, and they have eaten and filled themselves, and grown fat, then they will turn to other gods, and serve them, and despise me, and break my covenant. 21 It will happen, when many disasters and troubles have come on them, that this song will testify before them as a witness, for it will not be forgotten out of the mouths of their descendants, for I know their ways and what they are doing today, before I have brought them into the land which I promised them.”
22 So Moses wrote this song the same day and taught it to the Israelites.
23 He commissioned Joshua the son of Nun and said, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the Israelites into the land which I swore to them. I will be with you.”
The Law Placed in the Ark
24 When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, 25 Moses commanded the Levites, who bore the ark of the Lord’s covenant, saying, 26 “Take this book of the law and put it by the side of the ark of the Lord your God’s covenant, that it may be there for a witness against you. 27 For I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. While I am yet alive with you today, you have been rebellious against the Lord. How much more after my death? 28 Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to witness against them. 29 For I know that after my death you will utterly corrupt yourselves and turn away from the way which I have commanded you, and disaster will happen to you in the latter days, because you will do that which is evil in the Lord’s sight, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.”
Moses Begins his Song
30 Moses spoke in the ears of all the assembly of Israel the words of this song, until they were finished.