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Deuteronomy 31:1-29 (New International Version)

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Joshua to Succeed Moses

1 Then Moses went out and spoke these words to all Israel: 2 "I am now a hundred and twenty years old1 and I am no longer able to lead you.2 The LORD has said to me, 'You shall not cross the Jordan.'3 3 The LORD your God himself will cross4 over ahead of you.5 He will destroy these nations6 before you, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua also will cross7 over ahead of you, as the LORD said. 4 And the LORD will do to them what he did to Sihon and Og,8 the kings of the Amorites, whom he destroyed along with their land. 5 The LORD will deliver9 them to you, and you must do to them all that I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous.10 Do not be afraid or terrified11 because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you;12 he will never leave you13 nor forsake14 you." 7 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said15 to him in the presence of all Israel, "Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their forefathers to give them,16 and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. 8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you;17 he will never leave you nor forsake you.18 Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

The Reading of the Law

9 So Moses wrote19 down this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried20 the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 Then Moses commanded them: "At the end of every seven years, in the year for canceling debts,21 during the Feast of Tabernacles,22 11 when all Israel comes to appear23 before the LORD your God at the place he will choose,24 you shall read this law25 before them in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people--men, women and children, and the aliens living in your towns--so they can listen and learn26 to fear27 the LORD your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. 13 Their children,28 who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the LORD your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess."

Israel's Rebellion Predicted

14 The LORD said to Moses, "Now the day of your death29 is near. Call Joshua30 and present yourselves at the Tent of Meeting, where I will commission him.31" So Moses and Joshua came and presented themselves at the Tent of Meeting.32 15 Then the LORD appeared at the Tent in a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood over the entrance to the Tent.33 16 And the LORD said to Moses: "You are going to rest with your fathers,34 and these people will soon prostitute35 themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake36 me and break the covenant I made with them. 17 On that day I will become angry37 with them and forsake38 them; I will hide39 my face40 from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters41 and difficulties will come upon them, and on that day they will ask, 'Have not these disasters come upon us because our God is not with us?'42 18 And I will certainly hide my face on that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods. 19 "Now write43 down for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness44 for me against them. 20 When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their forefathers,45 and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods46 and worship them,47 rejecting me and breaking my covenant.48 21 And when many disasters and difficulties come upon them,49 this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants. I know what they are disposed to do,50 even before I bring them into the land I promised them on oath." 22 So Moses wrote51 down this song that day and taught it to the Israelites. 23 The LORD gave this command52 to Joshua son of Nun: "Be strong and courageous,53 for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you." 24 After Moses finished writing54 in a book the words of this law55 from beginning to end, 25 he gave this command to the Levites who carried56 the ark of the covenant of the LORD: 26 "Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God. There it will remain as a witness against you.57 27 For I know how rebellious58 and stiff-necked59 you are. If you have been rebellious against the LORD while I am still alive and with you, how much more will you rebel after I die! 28 Assemble before me all the elders of your tribes and all your officials, so that I can speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth to testify against them.60 29 For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt61 and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster62 will fall upon you because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD and provoke him to anger by what your hands have made."
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