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Deuteronomy 4:1-40 (New International Version)

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Obedience Commanded

1 Hear now, O Israel, the decrees1 and laws I am about to teach2 you. Follow them so that you may live3 and may go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. 2 Do not add4 to what I command you and do not subtract5 from it, but keep6 the commands7 of the LORD your God that I give you. 3 You saw with your own eyes what the LORD did at Baal Peor.8 The LORD your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of Peor, 4 but all of you who held fast to the LORD your God are still alive today. 5 See, I have taught9 you decrees and laws10 as the LORD my God commanded11 me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering12 to take possession of it. 6 Observe13 them carefully, for this will show your wisdom14 and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people."15 7 What other nation is so great16 as to have their gods near17 them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? 8 And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws18 as this body of laws I am setting before you today? 9 Only be careful,19 and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach20 them to your children21 and to their children after them. 10 Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb,22 when he said to me, "Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn23 to revere24 me as long as they live in the land25 and may teach26 them to their children." 11 You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain27 while it blazed with fire28 to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness.29 12 Then the LORD spoke30 to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form;31 there was only a voice.32 13 He declared to you his covenant,33 the Ten Commandments,34 which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets. 14 And the LORD directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and laws35 you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.

Idolatry Forbidden

15 You saw no form36 of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb37 out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully,38 16 so that you do not become corrupt39 and make for yourselves an idol,40 an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, 17 or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air,41 18 or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. 19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun,42 the moon and the stars43--all the heavenly array44--do not be enticed45 into bowing down to them and worshiping46 things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. 20 But as for you, the LORD took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace,47 out of Egypt,48 to be the people of his inheritance,49 as you now are. 21 The LORD was angry with me50 because of you, and he solemnly swore that I would not cross the Jordan and enter the good land the LORD your God is giving you as your inheritance. 22 I will die in this land;51 I will not cross the Jordan; but you are about to cross over and take possession of that good land.52 23 Be careful not to forget the covenant53 of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol54 in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden. 24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire,55 a jealous God.56 25 After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time--if you then become corrupt57 and make any kind of idol,58 doing evil59 in the eyes of the LORD your God and provoking him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth as witnesses60 against you61 this day that you will quickly perish62 from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27 The LORD will scatter63 you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive64 among the nations to which the LORD will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made gods65 of wood and stone,66 which cannot see or hear or eat or smell.67 29 But if from there you seek68 the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart69 and with all your soul.70 30 When you are in distress71 and all these things have happened to you, then in later days72 you will return73 to the LORD your God and obey him. 31 For the LORD your God is a merciful74 God; he will not abandon75 or destroy76 you or forget77 the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.

The LORD Is God

32 Ask78 now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created man on the earth;79 ask from one end of the heavens to the other.80 Has anything so great81 as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of ? 33 Has any other people heard the voice of Goda speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived?82 34 Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation,83 by testings,84 by miraculous signs85 and wonders,86 by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm,87 or by great and awesome deeds,88 like all the things the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? 35 You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other.89 36 From heaven he made you hear his voice90 to discipline91 you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. 37 Because he loved92 your forefathers and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength,93 38 to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance,94 as it is today. 39 Acknowledge95 and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.96 40 Keep97 his decrees and commands,98 which I am giving you today, so that it may go well99 with you and your children after you and that you may live long100 in the land the LORD your God gives you for all time.
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