An Exhortation to Obedience

1 Now, Israel, listen to the statutes and to the ordinances which I am teaching you and do them so that you may live and go in and possess the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. 2 You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor shall you take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I am commanding you.

3 Your eyes have seen what the Lord did because of Baal Peor, for the Lord your God has destroyed all the men who followed Baal Peor from among you. 4 But you who were faithful to the Lord your God are all alive today.

5 I have taught you statutes and ordinances, just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do so in the midst of the land where you are going in to possess. 6 Keep them, therefore, and do them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the people who shall hear all these statutes and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”

7 For what great nation is there that has a god so near to them as the Lord our God who is near whenever we call on him? 8 What great nation is there that has statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law which I have set before you today?

9 Only be careful, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes saw, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life, but make them known to your children and your children’s children— 10 the day that you stood before the Lord your God in Horeb, when the Lord said to me, “Assemble the people to me, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth and that they may teach their children.”

11 You came near and stood under the mountain. The mountain burned with fire to the very heart of the sky, with a heavy cloud of smoke and thick darkness. 12 The Lord spoke to you from the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of his voice and his words, but you saw no form. You only heard a voice. 13 He declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform: the Ten Commandments. He wrote them on two stone tablets. 14 The Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess.

Warning against Idolatry

15 Be very careful, for you saw no kind of form on the day that the Lord spoke to you in Horeb from the midst of the fire, 16 lest you corrupt yourselves and make yourself a carved image in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky, 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth.

19 Lest you lift up your eyes to the sky, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you are drawn away and worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the entire heavens. 20 But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be to him a people of inheritance, as it is today.

21 Furthermore, the Lord was angry with me because of you and swore that I would not go over the Jordan and that I would not go in to that good land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, 22 but I must die in this land. I must not go over the Jordan, but you will go over and possess that good land. 23 Be careful, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you and make yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the Lord your God has forbidden you. 24 For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God.

25 When you shall father children and grandchildren, and you shall have been in the land for a long time, and corrupt yourselves, making a carved image in the form of anything, or when you do that which is evil in the Lord your God’s sight, provoking him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you will soon utterly perish from off the land which you go over the Jordan to possess. You will not prolong your days on it but will utterly be destroyed.

27 The Lord will scatter you among the people, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord will lead you away. 28 There you shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.

29 But from there you shall seek the Lord your God, and you shall find him when you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in oppression, and all these things have come on you, in the latter days you shall return to the Lord your God and listen to his voice. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not fail you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which he swore to them.

The Lord Alone is God

32 For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that the Lord created man on the earth, and from one end of the sky to the other, whether there has been anything as great as this thing, or has been heard like it? 33 Did a people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of fire, as you have heard, and live? 34 Or has the Lord tried to go and take a nation for himself from among another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand, by an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

35 It was shown to you so that you might know that the Lord is God. There is no one else besides him. 36 Out of heaven he caused you to hear his voice so that he might instruct you. On earth he caused you to see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire. 37 Because he loved your fathers, therefore he chose their offspring after them and brought you out with his presence, with his great power, out of Egypt; 38 to drive out nations from before you greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is today.

39 Know therefore today, and take it to heart, that the Lord himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath. There is no one else. 40 You shall keep his statutes and his commandments which I am commanding you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.

Cities of Refuge

41 Then Moses set apart three cities beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise, 42 that the a man who has killed someone might flee–the one who has killed his neighbor unintentionally and without malice, that he might flee to one of these cities for refuge and live: 43 Bezer in the wilderness, in the plain country, for the Reubenites, and Ramoth in Gilead for the Gadites, and Golan in Bashan for the Manassites.

Introduction to the Law

44 This is the law which Moses set before the Israelites. 45 These are the testimonies and the statutes and the ordinances which Moses spoke to the Israelites when they came out of Egypt, 46 beyond the Jordan, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon, whom Moses and the Israelites struck when they came out of Egypt.

47 The Israelites took possession of the land of Sihon king of the Amorites and the land of Og king of Bashan, the two kings of the Amorites, who were beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise; 48 from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, to Mount Sion (also called Hermon), 49 and all the Arabah beyond the Jordan eastward, to the sea of the Arabah, under the slopes of Pisgah.

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