See, I have taught1 you decrees and laws2 as the LORD my God commanded3 me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering4 to take possession of it.
Observe5 them carefully, for this will show your wisdom6 and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people."77
What other nation is so great8 as to have their gods near9 them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him?
And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws10 as this body of laws I am setting before you today?
Only be careful,11 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. Teach12 them to your children13 and to their children after them.
Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb,14 when he said to me, "Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn15 to revere16 me as long as they live in the land17 and may teach18 them to their children."
You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain19 while it blazed with fire20 to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness.2112
Then the LORD spoke22 to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form;23 there was only a voice.2413
He declared to you his covenant,25 the Ten Commandments,26 which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets.
And the LORD directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and laws27 you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.
You saw no form28 of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb29 out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully,3016
so that you do not become corrupt31 and make for yourselves an idol,32 an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman,
or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air,3318
or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below.
And when you look up to the sky and see the sun,34 the moon and the stars35--all the heavenly array36--do not be enticed37 into bowing down to them and worshiping38 things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.
But as for you, the LORD took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace,39 out of Egypt,40 to be the people of his inheritance,41 as you now are.
The LORD was angry with me42 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.
I will die in this land;43 I will not cross the Jordan; but you are about to cross over and take possession of that good land.4423
Be careful not to forget the covenant45 of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol46 in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden.
For the LORD your God is a consuming fire,47 a jealous God.4825
After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time--if you then become corrupt49 and make any kind of idol,50 doing evil51 in the eyes of the LORD your God and provoking him to anger,
I call heaven and earth as witnesses52 against you53 this day that you will quickly perish54 from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed.
The LORD will scatter55 you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive56 among the nations to which the LORD will drive you.
There you will worship man-made gods57 of wood and stone,58 which cannot see or hear or eat or smell.5929
But if from there you seek60 the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart61 and with all your soul.6230
When you are in distress63 and all these things have happened to you, then in later days64 you will return65 to the LORD your God and obey him.
For the LORD your God is a merciful66 God; he will not abandon67 or destroy68 you or forget69 the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.