Deuteronomy 1; Deuteronomy 7; Deuteronomy 9; Deuteronomy 10; Deuteronomy 14; Deuteronomy 15; Deuteronomy 16; Deuteronomy 17; Deuteronomy 18; Deuteronomy 19; Deuteronomy 20; Deuteronomy 21; Deuteronomy 22; Deuteronomy 23; Deuteronomy 24; Deuteronomy 25; Deuteronomy 30 (Common English Bible w/ Apocrypha)

The first heading: Introducing Deuteronomy

1 These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan River, in the desert, on the plain across from Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Di-zahab. ( 2 It is eleven days from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea along the Mount Seir route.) 3 It was in the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, that Moses spoke to the Israelites precisely what the LORD had commanded him for them. ( 4 This was after the defeat of Sihon, the Amorite king who ruled in Heshbon, and Og, Bashan's king, who ruled in Ashtaroth and Edrei.) 5 Beyond the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses began to explain this Instruction. He said the following:

Leaving Mount Horeb

6 At Horeb, the LORD our God told us: You've been at this mountain long enough. 7 Get going! Enter the hills of the Amorites and the surrounding areas in the desert, the highlands, the lowlands, the arid southern region, and the seacoast—the land of the Canaanites—and the Lebanon range, all the way to the great Euphrates River. 8 Look, I have laid the land before you. Go and possess the land that I promised to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as to their descendants after them. 9 At that same time, I told you: I can't handle all of you by myself. 10 The LORD your God has multiplied your number—you are now as countless as the stars in the sky. 11 May the LORD, your ancestors' God, continue to multiply you—a thousand times more! And may God bless you, just as he promised. 12 But how can I handle all your troubles, burdens, and disputes by myself? 13 Now, for each of your tribes, choose wise, discerning, and well-regarded individuals. I will appoint them as your leaders. 14 You answered me: "What you have proposed is a good idea." 15 So I took leading individuals from your tribes, people who were wise and well-regarded, and I set them up as your leaders. There were commanders over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, as well as officials for each of your tribes. 16 At that same time, I commanded your judges: Listen to your fellow tribe members and judge fairly, whether the dispute is between one fellow tribe member or between a tribe member and an immigrant. 17 Don't show favoritism in a decision. Hear both sides out, whether the person is important or not. Don't be afraid of anyone because the ruling belongs to God. Any dispute that is too difficult for you to decide, bring to me and I will take care of it. 18 So at that time, I commanded you concerning everything you were to do.

The spy disaster

19 We left Horeb and journeyed through that vast and terrifying desert you saw, on the way to the hills of the Amorites, exactly as the LORD our God commanded us. Then we arrived at Kadesh-barnea. 20 I said to you: You have come to the hills of the Amorites, which the LORD our God is giving to us. 21 Look! The LORD your God has laid out the land before you. Go up and take it, just as the LORD, your ancestors' God, has promised you. Don't be afraid! Don't be frightened! 22 Then all of you approached me, saying, "Let's send spies ahead of us—they can check out the land for us. Then they can return with word about the route we should use and bring a report about the cities that we'll be entering." 23 This idea seemed good to me, so I selected twelve men, one from each tribe. 24 These set out and went up into the hills, going as far as the Cluster ravine. They walked all around that area. 25 They took some of the land's fruit and then came back down to us. They reported to us: "The land that the LORD our God is giving to us is wonderful!" 26 But you weren't willing to go up. You rejected the LORD your God's instruction. 27 You complained in your tents, saying things like, "The LORD hates us! That's why he brought us out of Egypt—to hand us over to the Amorites, to destroy us! 28 What are we doing? Our brothers have made our hearts sick by saying, ‘People far stronger and much taller than we live there, and the cities are huge, with walls sky-high! Worse still, we saw the descendants of the Anakites there!'" 29 But I said to you: Don't be terrified! Don't be afraid of them! 30 The LORD your God is going before you. He will fight for you just as he fought for you in Egypt while you watched, 31 and as you saw him do in the desert. Throughout your entire journey, until you reached this very place, the LORD your God has carried you just as a parent carries a child. 32 But you had no faith in the LORD your God about this matter, 33 even though he went ahead of you, scouting places where you should camp, in fire by night, so you could see the road you were taking, and in cloud during the daytime. 34 The LORD heard what you said. He was angry and he swore: 35 Not even one of these people—this wicked generation!—will see the wonderful land that I promised to give to your ancestors. 36 The only exception is Caleb, Jephunneh's son. He will see it. I will give the land he walked on to him and his children for this reason: he was completely devoted to the LORD. 37 (The LORD was even angry with me because of what you did. "You won't enter the land either," God said. 38 "But Nun's son Joshua, your assistant, will enter it. Strengthen him because he's the one who will help Israel inherit the land.") 39 Now as for your toddlers, those you said would be taken in war, and your young children who don't yet know right and wrong—they will enter the land. I will give it to them. They will possess it! 40 But you all must now turn around. Head back toward the wilderness along the route of the Reed Sea. 41 You replied to me: "We've sinned against the LORD! We will go up! We will fight, just as the LORD our God commanded." Each one of you grabbed your weapons. You thought it would be easy to go up into the hills. 42 But the LORD told me: Tell them: Don't go up! Don't fight because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies. 43 I reported this to you but you wouldn't listen. You disobeyed the LORD's instruction. Hotheadedly, you went up into the hills. 44 And the Amorites who lived in those hills came out to meet you in battle. They chased you like bees give chase! They gave you a beating from Seir all the way to Hormah. 45 When you came back, you cried before the LORD, but he wouldn't respond to your tears or give you a hearing. 46 And so you stayed in Kadesh-barnea for quite some time.

Dealing with foreign worship

1 Now once the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to take possession of, and he drives out numerous nations before you—the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: seven nations that are larger and stronger than you— 2 once the LORD your God lays them before you, you must strike them down, placing them under the ban. Don't make any covenants with them, and don't be merciful to them. 3 Don't intermarry with them. Don't give your daughter to one of their sons to marry, and don't take one of their daughters to marry your son, 4 because they will turn your child away from following me so that they end up serving other gods. That will make the LORD's anger burn against you, and he will quickly annihilate you. 5 Instead, this is what you must do with these nations: rip down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their sacred poles, and burn their idols 6 because you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God chose you to be his own treasured people beyond all others on the fertile land. 7 It was not because you were greater than all other people that the LORD loved you and chose you. In fact, you were the smallest of peoples! 8 No, it is because the LORD loved you and because he kept the solemn pledge he swore to your ancestors that the LORD brought you out with a strong hand and saved you from the house of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh, Egypt's king. 9 Know now then that the LORD your God is the only true God! He is the faithful God, who keeps the covenant and proves loyal to everyone who loves him and keeps his commands—even to the thousandth generation! 10 He is the God who personally repays anyone who hates him, ultimately destroying that kind of person. The LORD does not waste time with anyone who hates him; he repays them personally. 11 So make sure you carefully keep the commandment, the regulations, and the case laws that I am commanding you right now. 12 If you listen to these case laws and follow them carefully, the LORD your God will keep the covenant and display the loyalty that he promised your ancestors. 13 He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will bless the fruit of your wombs and the fruit of your fertile land—all your grain, your wine, your oil, and the offspring of your cattle and flocks—upon the very fertile land that he swore to your ancestors to give to you. 14 You will be more blessed than any other group of people. No one will be sterile or infertile—not among you or your animals. 15 The LORD will remove all sickness from you. As for all those dreadful Egyptian diseases you experienced, the Lord won't put them on you but will inflict them on all who hate you. 16 You will destroy all the peoples that the LORD your God is handing over to you. Show them no pity. And don't serve their gods because that would be a trap for you.

Against power and lack of trust

17 If you happen to think to yourself, These nations are greater than we are; how can we possibly possess their land? 18 don't be afraid of them! Remember, instead, what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and all Egypt: 19 the great trials that you saw with your own eyes, the signs and wonders, and the strong hand and outstretched arm the LORD your God used to rescue you. That's what the LORD your God will do to any people you fear. 20 The LORD your God will send terror on them until even the survivors and those hiding from you are destroyed. 21 Don't dread these nations because the LORD your God, the great and awesome God, is with you and among you. ( 22 The LORD your God will drive out these nations before you bit by bit. You won't be able to finish them off quickly; otherwise, the wild animals would become too much for you to handle.) 23 The LORD your God will lay these nations before you, throwing them into a huge panic until they are destroyed. 24 He will hand their kings over to you, and you will wipe their names out from under the skies. No one will be able to stand before you; you will crush them. 25 Burn the images of their gods. Don't desire the silver or the gold that is on them and take it for yourself, or you will be trapped by it. That is detestable to the LORD your God. 26 Don't bring any detestable thing into your house, or you will be placed under the ban too, just like it is! You must utterly detest these kinds of things, despising them completely, because they are under the ban.

Against false piety and immodesty

1 Listen, Israel! Today you will cross the Jordan River to enter and take possession of nations larger and more powerful than you, along with huge cities with fortifications that reach to the sky. 2 These people are large and tall—they are the Anakim. You know and have heard what people say: "Who can stand up to the Anakim?" 3 Know right now that the LORD your God, who is crossing over before you, is an all-consuming fire! He will wipe them out! He will subdue them before you! Then you will take possession of their land, eliminating them quickly, exactly as the LORD told you. 4 Once the LORD your God has driven them out before you, don't think to yourself, It's because I'm righteous that the LORD brought me in to possess this land. It is instead because of these nations' wickedness that the LORD is removing them before you. 5 You aren't entering and taking possession of their land because you are righteous or because your heart is especially virtuous; rather, it is because these nations are wicked—that's why the LORD your God is removing them before you, and because he wishes to establish the promise he made to your ancestors: to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Gold calf

6 Know then that the LORD your God isn't giving you this excellent land for you to possess on account of your righteousness—because you are a stubborn people! 7 Remember—don't ever forget! —how you made the LORD your God furious in the wilderness. From the very first day you stepped out of Egypt until you arrived at this place, you have been rebels against the LORD. 8 Even at Horeb you angered the LORD! He was so enraged by you that he threatened to wipe you out. 9 When I went up on the mountain to get the stone tablets, the covenant tablets that the LORD made with you, I was up there forty days and forty nights. I ate no bread, drank no water. 10 The LORD gave me the two stone tablets, written by God's finger, and on them were all the words that the LORD had said to you on the mountain, out of the very fire itself, on the day we assembled. 11 At the end of those forty days and nights, the LORD gave me the two stone tablets—the covenant tablets. 12 Then the LORD said to me, "Get going! Get down from here quickly because your people, whom you brought out of Egypt, have ruined everything! They couldn't wait to turn from the path I commanded them! They've made themselves an idol out of cast metal." 13 The LORD said more to me: "I have seen this people. Look! What a stubborn people they are! 14 Now stand back. I am going to wipe them out. I will erase their name from under heaven, then I will make a nation out of you—one stronger and larger than they were." 15 So I went down the mountain while it was blazing with fire. The two covenant tablets were in my two hands. 16 It was then that I saw how you sinned against the LORD your God: you made yourselves a calf, an idol made of cast metal! You couldn't wait to turn from the path the LORD commanded you! 17 I grabbed the two tablets and threw them down with my own hands, shattering them while you watched. 18 Then I fell before the LORD as I had done the previous forty days and forty nights. I ate no bread and drank no water, all because of the sin that you had committed by doing such evil in the LORD's sight, infuriating him. 19 I was afraid of the massive anger and rage the LORD had for you—he was going to wipe you out! However, the LORD listened to me again in that moment. 20 But the LORD was furious with Aaron—he was going to wipe him out! So I also prayed hard for Aaron at that time. 21 And as for that sinful thing you made, that calf, I took it and I burned it with fire. Then I smashed it, grinding it thoroughly until it was as fine as dust. Then I dumped the dust into the stream that ran down the mountain. 22 Also at Taberah, again at Massah, and then again at Kibroth-hattaavah, you have been the kind of people who make the LORD angry. 23 And then, when the LORD sent you from Kadesh-barnea, telling you: "Go up and take possession of the land that I'm giving you," you disobeyed the LORD your God's command. You didn't trust him. You didn't obey God's voice. 24 You've been rebellious toward the LORD from the day I met you.

Moses’ intercessory prayer

25 But I fell on my knees in the LORD's presence forty days and forty nights, lying flat out, because the LORD planned on wiping you out. 26 But I prayed to the LORD! I said: LORD, my Lord! Don't destroy your people, your own possession, whom you saved by your own power, whom you brought out of Egypt with a strong hand! 27 Remember your servants: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! Don't focus on this people's stubbornness, wickedness, and sin. 28 Otherwise, that land out of which you brought us will say: The LORD wasn't strong enough to bring them into the land he'd promised them. Because he didn't care for them in the least, he brought them out to die in the desert. 29 But these are your people! Your own possession! The people you brought out by your great power and by your outstretched arm!

New tablets

1 At that time the LORD told me: Carve two stone tablets, just like the first ones, and hike up the mountain to me. Construct a wooden chest as well. 2 I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets—the ones you smashed—then you will place them in the chest. 3 So I built a chest out of acacia wood and carved two stone tablets just like the first ones. Then I hiked up the mountain holding the two tablets in my hands. 4 God wrote on the new tablets what had been written on the first set: the Ten Commandments that the LORD spoke to you on the mountain, from the very fire itself, on the day we assembled there. Then the LORD gave them to me. 5 So I came back down the mountain. I put the tablets in the chest that I'd made, and that's where they are now, exactly as the LORD commanded me. 6 (Now, the Israelites had set out from Beeroth-bene-jaakan to Moserah. It was there that Aaron died and was buried. His son Eleazar succeeded him in the priestly role. 7 From there the Israelites traveled to Gudgodah, then from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, which is a land with flowing streams. 8 At that time, the LORD selected the tribe of Levi to carry the chest containing the LORD's covenant, to minister before the LORD, to serve him, and to offer blessings in his name. That's the way things are right now. 9 That's why the Levites don't have a stake or inheritance with the rest of their relatives. The LORD is the Levites' inheritance, just as the LORD your God promised them.) 10 Just as the first time, I remained on the mountain forty days and nights. And the LORD listened to me again in this instance. The LORD wasn't willing to destroy you. 11 Then the LORD told me: Get going. Lead the people so they can enter and take possession of the land that I promised I'd give to their ancestors.

What the LORD requires

12 Now in light of all that, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you? Only this: to revere the LORD your God by walking in all his ways, by loving him, by serving the LORD your God with all your heart and being, 13 and by keeping the LORD's commandments and his regulations that I'm commanding you right now. It's for your own good! 14 Clearly, the LORD owns the sky, the highest heavens, the earth, and everything in it. 15 But the LORD adored your ancestors, loving them and choosing the descendants that followed them—you!—from all other people. That's how things still stand now. 16 So circumcise your hearts and stop being so stubborn, 17 because the LORD your God is the God of all gods and Lord of all lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God who doesn't play favorites and doesn't take bribes. 18 He enacts justice for orphans and widows, and he loves immigrants, giving them food and clothing. 19 That means you must also love immigrants because you were immigrants in Egypt. 20 Revere the LORD your God, serve him, cling to him, swear by his name alone! 21 He is your praise, and he is your God—the one who performed these great and awesome acts that you witnessed with your very own eyes. 22 Your ancestors went down to Egypt with a total of seventy people, but now look! The LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the nighttime sky!

Complete devotion to the LORD

1 You are the LORD's children. Don't cut yourselves and don't shave your foreheads for the dead, 2 because you are a people holy to the LORD your God. You are the ones whom the LORD selected to be his own, to be a treasured people out of all other people on earth.

Dietary laws

3 Don't eat any detestable thing. 4 Here's a list of animals you are allowed to eat: ox, sheep, goat, 5 deer, gazelle, roebuck, wild goat, ibex, antelope, and mountain sheep. 6 You are also allowed to eat any animal with a divided hoof—the hoof being divided into two parts—and that rechews food among the various kinds of animals. 7 However, here's a list of animals that either rechew food or have hooves divided in two parts that you are not allowed to eat: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger—because these rechew food but don't have divided hoofs, they are off-limits for you; 8 and the pig—because it has a divided hoof but doesn't rechew food, it's off-limits for you. You may not eat these animals' meat, and you must not touch their carcasses. 9 Here's a list of the water animals you are allowed to eat: you can eat anything that has fins and scales. 10 But you aren't allowed to eat anything that lacks scales or fins. These are off-limits for you. 11 You are allowed to eat any clean bird. 12 Here's a list of those you are not allowed to eat: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey, 13 the red kite, the black kite, and any kind of bird of prey, 14 any kind of raven, 15 the ostrich, the nighthawk, the seagull, any kind of hawk, 16 the small owl and the large owl, the water hen, 17 the desert owl, the carrion vulture, the cormorant, 18 the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat. 19 Also, all winged insects are off-limits for you. They are not to be eaten. 20 Any clean winged creature can be eaten, however. 21 You must not eat any decayed animal flesh because you are a people holy to the LORD your God. You can give decayed animal flesh to the immigrants who live in your cities, and they can eat it; or you can sell it to foreigners. Don't cook a lamb in its own mother's milk.

Tenth part

22 You must reserve a tenth part of whatever your fields produce each year. 23 Eat the tenth part of your grain, wine, oil, oldest offspring of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God in the location he selects for his name to reside so that you learn to fear the LORD your God at all times. 24 But if the trip is too long, because the location the LORD your God has selected to put his name is far away from where you live so that you can't transport the tenth part—because the LORD your God will certainly bless you— 25 then you can convert it to money. Take the money with you and go to the location the LORD your God selects. 26 Then you can use the money for anything you want: cattle, sheep, wine, beer, or whatever else you might like. Then you should feast there and celebrate in the presence of the LORD your God, along with your entire household. 27 Only make sure not to neglect the Levites who are living in your cities because they don't have a designated inheritance like you do. 28 Every third year you must bring the tenth part of your produce from that year and leave it at your city gates. 29 Then the Levites, who have no designated inheritance like you do, along with the immigrants, orphans, and widows who live in your cities, will come and feast until they are full. Do this so that the LORD your God might bless you in everything you do.

Year of canceled debts

1 Every seventh year you must cancel all debts. 2 This is how the cancellation is to be handled: Creditors will forgive the loans of their fellow Israelites. They won't demand repayment from their neighbors or their relatives because the LORD's year of debt cancellation has been announced. 3 You are allowed to demand payment from foreigners, but whatever is owed you from your fellow Israelites you must forgive. 4 Of course there won't be any poor persons among you because the LORD will bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, 5 but only if you carefully obey the LORD your God's voice, by carefully doing every bit of this commandment that I'm giving you right now. 6 Once the LORD your God has blessed you, exactly as he said he would, you will end up lending to many different peoples but won't need to borrow a thing. You will dominate many different peoples, but they won't dominate you. 7 Now if there are some poor persons among you, say one of your fellow Israelites in one of your cities in the land that the LORD your God is giving you, don't be hard-hearted or tightfisted toward your poor fellow Israelites. 8 To the contrary! Open your hand wide to them. You must generously lend them whatever they need. 9 But watch yourself! Make sure no wicked thought crosses your mind, such as, The seventh year is coming—the year of debt cancellation—so that you resent your poor fellow Israelites and don't give them anything. If you do that, they will cry out to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin. 10 No, give generously to needy persons. Don't resent giving to them because it is this very thing that will lead to the LORD your God's blessing you in all you do and work at. 11 Poor persons will never disappear from the earth. That's why I'm giving you this command: you must open your hand generously to your fellow Israelites, to the needy among you, and to the poor who live with you in your land. 12 If any of your fellow Hebrews, male or female, sell themselves into your service, they can work for you for six years, but in the seventh year you must set them free from your service. 13 Furthermore, when you set them free from your service, you must not let them go empty-handed. 14 Instead, provide for them fully from your flock, food, and wine. You must give to them from that with which the LORD your God has blessed you. 15 Remember how each of you were slaves in Egypt and how the LORD your God saved you. That's why I am commanding you to do this right now. ( 16 Now if your male servant says to you: "I don't want to leave your service" because he loves you and your family and because life is good for him in your service, 17 then you may take a needle and pierce his ear with it into the doorframe. From that point on, he will be your permanent servant. Do the same thing for female servants.) 18 Don't consider it a hardship to set these servants free from your service, because they worked for you for six years—at a value double that of a paid worker. The LORD your God will bless you in everything that you do. 19 You must devote every oldest male animal from your herds or flocks to the LORD your God. Don't plow with your oldest male ox and don't shear your oldest male sheep. 20 Year after year, you and your family are allowed to eat these animals in the presence of the LORD your God, in the location the LORD selects. 21 But if there is any defect in it, lameness, blindness, any flaw whatsoever, you must not sacrifice it to the LORD your God. 22 You are allowed to eat those in your own cities, whether you are polluted or purified, just as you would eat gazelle or deer. 23 Even so, don't consume any blood. Pour it out on the ground, like water.

Passover celebration

1 Wait for the month of Abib, at which time you must perform the Passover for the LORD your God, because the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt at nighttime during the month of Abib. 2 Offer a Passover sacrifice from the flock or herd to the LORD your God at the location the LORD selects for his name to reside. 3 You must not eat anything containing yeast along with it. Instead, for seven days you must eat unleavened bread, bread symbolizing misery, along with it because you fled Egypt in a great hurry. Do this so you remember the day you fled Egypt for as long as you live. 4 No dough with yeast should appear in any of your territory for seven days. Furthermore, none of the meat that you sacrificed on the first night should remain until morning. 5 You are not permitted to offer the Passover sacrifice in any of the cities that the LORD your God is giving you. 6 Instead, you must offer the Passover sacrifice at the location the LORD your God selects for his name to reside, at evening time, when the sun sets, which was the time you fled Egypt. 7 Cook it and eat it in the location that the LORD your God selects. The next morning you can return to your tents. 8 For six days you will eat unleavened bread. The seventh day will be a celebration for the LORD your God. Don't do any work.

Festival of Weeks

9 Count out seven weeks, starting the count from the beginning of the grain harvest. 10 At that point, perform the Festival of Weeks for the LORD your God. Offer a spontaneous gift in precise measure with the blessing the LORD your God gives you. 11 Then celebrate in the presence of the LORD your God—you, your sons, your daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites who live in your cities, the immigrants, the orphans, and the widows who are among you—in the location the LORD your God selects for his name to reside. 12 Remember how each of you was a slave in Egypt, so follow these regulations most carefully.

Festival of Booths

13 Once you have collected the food and drink you need, perform the Festival of Booths for seven days. 14 Celebrate your festival: you, your sons, your daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites, the immigrants, the orphans, and the widows who live in your cities. 15 Seven days you must perform the festival for the LORD your God in the location the LORD selects because the LORD your God will bless you in all you do and in all your work. You will be overjoyed. 16 Three times a year every male among you must appear before the presence of the LORD your God in the location he will select: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Booths. They must not appear before the LORD's presence empty-handed. 17 Each one should have his gift in hand, in precise measure with the blessing the LORD your God gives you.

Judges and officials

18 Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every city that the LORD your God gives you. They must judge the people fairly. 19 Don't delay justice; don't show favoritism. Don't take bribes because bribery blinds the vision of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. 20 Righteousness! Pursue righteousness so that you live long and take possession of the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

Rules for worship

21 Don't plant any tree to serve as a sacred pole next to the altar you make for the LORD your God. 22 Don't set up any sacred stone either, because the LORD your God hates such things. 1 Don't sacrifice to the LORD your God any oxen or sheep that have defects of any kind, because that is detestable to the LORD your God.

Capital punishment

2 If someone, whether male or female, is found in your community—in one of the cities the LORD your God is giving you—who does evil in the LORD your God's eyes, by breaking God's covenant, 3 by following and serving other gods, and by bowing down to them, to the sun or the moon or any of the heavenly bodies that I haven't permitted— 4 and you hear news about it, then you must look into this situation very carefully. And if it's definitely true that this detestable thing was done in Israel, 5 then you must bring out the man or woman who has done this evil thing to the gates of the city. Stone that person until he or she is dead. 6 Capital punishment must be decided by two or three witnesses. No one may be executed on the basis of only one testimony. 7 In the execution, the hands of the witnesses must be against the guilty person from the start; the hand of all the people will be involved at the end. Remove such evil from your community!

Legal disputes

8 If some legal dispute in your cities is too difficult for you to decide—say, between different kinds of bloodshed, different kinds of legal ruling, or different kinds of injury—then take it to the location the LORD your God selects. 9 Go to the levitical priests and to the head judge in office at that time and look into things there. They will announce to you the correct ruling. 10 You must then act according to the ruling they announced to you from that location, the one the LORD selects. You must follow very carefully everything they instruct you to do. 11 Act precisely according to the instruction they give you and the ruling they announce to you. Don't deviate even a bit from the word they announce. 12 And whoever acts rashly by not listening to the priest who is in office serving the LORD your God or to the head judge will die. Remove such evil from Israel! 13 All the people will hear about this and be afraid. They won't act arrogantly anymore.

Law of the king

14 Once you have entered the land the LORD your God is giving you and you have taken possession of it and settled down in it, you might say: "Let's appoint a king over us, as all our neighboring nations have done." 15 You can indeed appoint over you a king that the LORD your God selects. You can appoint over you a king who is one of your fellow Israelites. You are not allowed to appoint over you a foreigner who is not one of your fellow Israelites. 16 That granted, the king must not acquire too many horses, and he must not return the people to Egypt in order to acquire more horses, because the LORD told you: "You will never go back by that road again." 17 The king must not take numerous wives so that his heart doesn't go astray. Nor can the king acquire too much silver and gold. 18 Instead, when he sits on his royal throne, he himself must write a copy of this Instruction on a scroll in the presence of the levitical priests. 19 That Instruction must remain with him, and he must read in it every day of his life so that he learns to revere the LORD his God by keeping all the words of this Instruction and these regulations, by doing them, 20 by not being overbearing toward his fellow Israelites, and by not deviating even a bit from the commandment. If the king does all that, he will ensure lasting rule in Israel for himself and for his successors.

Priests and Levites

1 Neither the levitical priests nor any Levite tribe member will have a designated inheritance in Israel. They can eat the sacrifices offered to the LORD, which are the LORD's portion, 2 but they won't share an inheritance with their fellow Israelites. The LORD alone is the Levites' inheritance—just as God promised them. 3 Now this is what the priests may keep from the people's sacrifices of oxen or sheep: They must give the priest the shoulder, the jaws, and the stomach. 4 You must also give the priest the first portions of your grain, wine, and oil, and the first of your sheep's shearing 5 because the LORD your God selected Levi from all of your tribes to stand and minister in the LORD's name—both him and his descendants for all time. 6 Now if a Levite leaves one of your cities or departs from any location in Israel where he's been living and, because he wants to, comes to the location the LORD selects 7 and ministers in the LORD his God's name, just like his relatives—the other Levites serving there in the LORD's presence— 8 he is allowed to eat equal portions, despite the finances he has from his family.

Communicating with God

9 Once you enter the land that the LORD your God is giving you, don't try to imitate the detestable things those nations do. 10 There must not be anyone among you who passes his son or daughter through fire; who practices divination, is a sign reader, fortune-teller, sorcerer, 11 or spell caster; who converses with ghosts or spirits or communicates with the dead. 12 All who do these things are detestable to the LORD! It is on account of these detestable practices that the LORD your God is driving these nations out before you. 13 Instead, you must be perfect before the LORD your God. 14 These nations you are displacing listened to sign readers and diviners, but the LORD your God doesn't permit you to do the same! 15 The LORD your God will raise up a prophet like me from your community, from your fellow Israelites. He's the one you must listen to. 16 That's exactly what you requested from the LORD your God at Horeb, on the day of the assembly, when you said, "I can't listen to the LORD my God's voice anymore or look at this great fire any longer. I don't want to die!" 17 The LORD said to me: What they've said is right. 18 I'll raise up a prophet for them from among their fellow Israelites—one just like you. I'll put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. 19 I myself will hold accountable anyone who doesn't listen to my words, which that prophet will speak in my name. 20 However, any prophet who arrogantly speaks a word in my name that I haven't commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods—that prophet must die. 21 Now, you might be wondering, How will we know which word God hasn't spoken? 22 Here's the answer: The prophet who speaks in the LORD's name and the thing doesn't happen or come about—that's the word the LORD hasn't spoken. That prophet spoke arrogantly. Don't be afraid of him.

Cities of refuge

1 Once the LORD your God has eliminated those nations—whose land the LORD your God is giving you—and you displace them, settling into their cities and their houses, 2 you must designate three cities for your use in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess. 3 Mark out the roads to them and divide the regions of the land the LORD your God is apportioning to you into three parts. These cities are the places to which a person who has killed can escape. 4 Here is the rule concerning a person who killed someone and is permitted to escape to one of these cities and live: If it is someone who killed his neighbor accidentally, without having hated that person previously; 5 or if someone goes into the forest with a neighbor to chop some wood, and while swinging an ax to cut down the tree, the axhead flies off its handle and hits the neighbor, who subsequently dies—these kinds of killers may escape to one of these cities and live. 6 Otherwise, the blood avenger will chase after the killer out of rage and—especially if the distance to one of these cities is too far—might catch and kill him, even though a death sentence was not in order because the killer didn't have prior malice toward the other. 7 This is why I am commanding you as follows: Designate three cities for your use. 8 Now if the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he swore to your ancestors—and he will give you all the land he swore to give to them 9 as long as you keep all this commandment that I am giving you right now by doing it, by loving the LORD your God, and by always walking in his ways—you can add three more cities for your use along with the first three. 10 Innocent blood must not be spilled in the land the LORD your God is giving to you as an inheritance, or it will be bloodshed that will be required of you. 11 But if someone does hate a neighbor and ambushes him, rising up against him and attacking him so he dies, and then escapes to one of these cities, 12 elders from the killer's hometown will send word, and the killer will be sent back from there. They will then hand him over to the blood avenger, and he will be executed. 13 Show no mercy to such killers. Remove innocent bloodshed from Israel so that things go well for you.

Property laws

14 Now in the land the LORD your God is giving you, in your allotted property that you will receive there, you must not tamper with your neighbor's property line, which has been previously established.

Rules for testimony

15 A solitary witness against someone in any crime, wrongdoing, or in any sort of misdeed that might be done is not sufficient. The decision must stand by two or three witnesses. 16 Now if a spiteful witness comes forward against someone, so as to testify against them falsely, 17 the two persons who have a legal suit must stand before the LORD, before the priests, and before the judges that are in office at that time. 18 The judges will look into the situation very carefully. If it turns out that the witness is a liar—that the witness has given false testimony against his fellow Israelite— 19 then you must do to him what he had planned to do to his fellow Israelite. Remove such evil from your community! 20 The rest of the people will hear about this and be afraid. They won't do that sort of evil thing among you again. 21 Show no mercy on this point: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

Rules for warfare

1 When you march out to battle your enemies and you see horses, chariots, and a fighting force larger than yours, don't be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, the one who brought you up from Egypt, is with you. 2 As you advance toward the war, the priest will come forward and will address the troops. 3 He will say to them: "Listen, Israel: Right now you are advancing to wage war against your enemies. Don't be discouraged! Don't be afraid! Don't panic! Don't shake in fear on account of them, 4 because the LORD your God is going with you to fight your enemies for you and to save you." 5 The officials will also say to the troops: "Is there anyone here who has just built a new house but hasn't yet dedicated it? He can leave and go back to his house; otherwise, he might die in the war and someone else would dedicate the house. 6 Or is there anyone here who has planted a vineyard but hasn't yet put it to good use? He can leave and go back to his house; otherwise, he might die in the battle and someone else would use the vineyard. 7 Or is there anyone here who is engaged but not yet married? He may leave and go back to his house; otherwise, he might die in the battle and someone else would marry his fiancée." 8 The officials will continue to address the troops, stating: "Is there anyone here who is afraid and discouraged? He can leave and go back to his house; otherwise, his comrades might lose courage just as he has." 9 Once the officials have completed their speech to the troops, the army commanders will assume leadership of the forces. 10 When you approach a city to fight against it, you should first extend peaceful terms to it. 11 If the city responds with peaceful terms and surrenders to you, then all the people in the city will serve you as forced laborers. 12 However, if the city does not negotiate peacefully with you but makes war against you, you may attack it. 13 The LORD your God will hand it over to you; you must kill all the city's males with the sword. 14 However, you can take for yourselves the women, the children, the animals, and all that is in the city—all its plunder. You can then enjoy your enemies' plunder, which the LORD your God has given you. 15 That's what you must do to all the cities that are located far away from you—specifically, those cities that don't belong to these nations here. 16 But in the case of any of the cities of these peoples—the ones the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance—you must not spare any living thing. 17 Instead, you must place these under the ban: Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—just as the LORD your God commanded you. 18 Then they can't teach you to do all the detestable things they did for their gods, with the result that you end up sinning against the LORD your God. 19 Now if you have been attacking a city for some time, fighting against it and trying to conquer it, don't destroy its trees by cutting them down with axes. You can eat from those trees; don't cut them down! Do you think a tree of the field is some sort of warrior to be attacked by you in battle? 20 That said, if you know that a tree is not a food-producing tree, you are allowed to destroy it, cutting it down and using it in the siege against the city that is fighting against you until it falls.

Unsolved homicides

1 If a corpse is found on the ground the LORD your God is giving you to possess, lying in a field, and the identity of the killer is unknown, 2 your elders and judges must come out and measure the distances to the cities nearest the body. 3 Once it is determined which city is closest to the dead body, its elders must take a young cow that hasn't been used or yet pulled a plow, 4 and those elders will take the cow down to a ravine with a flowing stream—one that has not been plowed or planted—and they will break the cow's neck right there in the river valley. 5 Then the priests, the descendants of Levi, will step forward because the LORD your God selected them to minister for him and to bless in the LORD's name, and because every legal dispute and case of assault is decided by them. 6 All the elders of the city closest to the corpse will wash their hands over the cow whose neck was broken in the river valley. 7 They will then solemnly state: "Our hands did not shed this blood. Our eyes did not see it happen. 8 LORD, please forgive your people Israel, whom you saved. Don't put the guilt of innocent bloodshed on your people Israel." Then the bloodguilt will be forgiven them. 9 But you must remove innocent bloodshed from your community; do only what is right in the LORD's eyes.

Foreign wives

10 When you wage war against your enemies and the LORD hands them over to you and you take prisoners, 11 if you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you fall in love with her and take her as your wife, 12 bringing her into your home, she must shave her head, cut her nails, 13 remove her prisoner's clothing, and live in your house, mourning her father and her mother for one month. After that, you may consummate the marriage. You will be her husband, and she will be your wife. 14 But if you aren't pleased with her, you must send her away as she wishes. You are not allowed to sell her for money or treat her as a slave because you have humiliated her.

Right of the oldest son

15 Now suppose a man has two wives—one of them loved and the other unloved. Both wives bear children, but the oldest male is the unloved wife's child. 16 On the day when the man decides what will go to each of his children as an inheritance, he isn't allowed to treat his loved wife's son as the oldest male rather than his unloved wife's son, who is the real oldest male. 17 Instead, he must acknowledge the unloved wife's son as the oldest male, giving to him two-thirds of everything that he owns, because that son is the earliest produce of his physical power. The oldest male's rights belong to that son.

Rebellious children

18 Now if someone has a consistently stubborn and rebellious child, who refuses to listen to their father and mother—even when the parents discipline him, he won't listen to them— 19 the father and mother will take the son before the elders of that city at its gates. 20 Then they will inform the city's elders: "This son of ours is consistently stubborn and rebellious, refusing to listen to us. What's more, he's wild and a drunkard." 21 Then all the people of that town will stone him until he dies. Remove such evil from your community! All Israel will hear about this and be afraid.

Hanging

22 Now if someone is guilty of a capital crime, and they are executed, and you then hang them on a tree, 23 you must not leave the body hanging on the tree but must bury it the same day because God's curse is on those who are hanged. Furthermore, you must not pollute the ground that the LORD your God is giving to you as an inheritance.

Rules for property and mixtures

1 Don't just watch your fellow Israelite's ox or sheep wandering around and do nothing about it. You must return the animal to its owner. 2 If the owner doesn't live nearby, or you don't know who owns the animal, then you must take care of it. It should stay with you until your fellow Israelite comes looking for it, at which point you must return it to him. 3 Do the same thing in the case of a donkey. Do the same thing in the case of a piece of clothing. Do the same thing in the case of anything that your fellow Israelite loses and you end up finding. You are not allowed to sit back and do nothing about it. 4 Don't just watch your fellow Israelite's donkey or ox fall down in the road and do nothing about it. You must help your fellow Israelite get the animal up again. 5 Women must not wear men's clothes, and men must not wear women's clothes. Everyone who does such things is detestable to the LORD your God. 6 If you come across a bird's nest along your way, whether in a tree or on the ground, with baby birds or eggs, and the mother is sitting on the baby birds or eggs, do not remove the mother from her young. 7 You must let the mother go, though you may take the young for yourself so that things go well for you and so you can prolong your life. 8 Whenever you build a new house, you must build a railing for the roof so that you don't end up with innocent blood on your hands because someone fell off of it. 9 Don't plant your vineyards with two types of seed; otherwise, the entire crop that you have planted and the produce of the vineyard will be unusable. 10 Don't plow with an ox and a donkey together. 11 Don't wear clothes that mix wool and linen together. 12 Make tassels for the four corners of the coat you wear.

Virgin bride

13 Suppose a man gets married and consummates the marriage but subsequently despises his wife. 14 He then spreads false claims about her to the point that she has a bad reputation, because he said such things as, "I married this woman, but when I went to have sex with her, I couldn't find any proof that she was a virgin." 15 At that point, the young woman's father and mother will bring proof of her virginity to the city's elders at the city gate. 16 The young woman's father will say to the elders: "I gave my daughter to this man to be his wife, but he doesn't like her anymore. 17 That's why he has spread false claims about her, saying, ‘I couldn't find any proof that your daughter was a virgin.' But look! Here's proof of my daughter's virginity." At that point they will spread out the blanket in front of the city's elders. 18 The city's elders must then take that husband and punish him. 19 They will fine him one hundred silver shekels, giving that to the young woman's father, because that husband gave one of Israel's virgin daughters a bad reputation. Moreover, she must remain his wife; he is never allowed to divorce her. 20 However, if the claim is true and proof of the young woman's virginity can't be produced, 21 then the city's elders will bring the young woman to the door of her father's house. The citizens of that city must stone her until she dies because she acted so sinfully in Israel by having extramarital sex while still in her father's house. Remove such evil from your community!

Inappropriate sexual behavior

22 If a man is found having sex with a woman who is married to someone else, both of them must die—the man who was having sex with the woman and the woman herself. Remove such evil from Israel! 23 If a young woman who is a virgin is engaged to one man and another man meets up with her in a town and has sex with her, 24 you must bring both of them to the city gates there and stone them until they die—the young woman because she didn't call for help in the city, and the man because of the fact that he humiliated his neighbor's wife. Remove such evil from your community! 25 But if the man met up with the engaged woman in a field, grabbing her and having sex with her there, only the man will die. 26 Don't do anything whatsoever to the young woman. She hasn't committed any capital crime—rather, this situation is exactly like the one where someone attacks his neighbor and kills him. 27 Since the man met up with her in a field, the engaged woman may well have called out for help, but there was no one to rescue her. 28 If a man meets up with a young woman who is a virgin and not engaged, grabs her and has sex with her, and they are caught in the act, 29 the man who had sex with her must give fifty silver shekels to the young woman's father. She will also become his wife because he has humiliated her. He is never allowed to divorce her. 30 A man cannot marry his father's former wife so that his father's private matters are not exposed.

The LORD’s assembly

1 No man whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off can belong to the LORD's assembly. 2 No illegitimate children can belong to the LORD's assembly either. Not even the tenth generation of such children can belong to the LORD's assembly. 3 Ammonites and Moabites can't belong to the LORD's assembly. Not even the tenth generation of such people can belong to the LORD's assembly, as a rule, 4 because they didn't help you with food or water on your journey out of Egypt, and because they hired Balaam, Beor's son, from Pethor of Mesopotamia to curse you 5 But the LORD your God wasn't interested in listening to Balaam. The LORD your God turned that curse into a blessing because the LORD your God loves you. 6 So don't be concerned with their health and well-being as long as you live. 7 Don't detest Edomites, because they are your relatives. Don't detest Egyptians because you were immigrants in their land. 8 Children born to them are permitted to belong to the LORD's assembly starting with the third generation.

Rules for the war camp

9 When you are camped in battle against your enemies, guard yourself from every possible evil. 10 If an individual in the camp becomes polluted due to a nighttime emission, he must exit the camp area and not reenter. 11 When the next evening arrives, he must wash with water; and when the sun sets, he can come back to the camp. 12 The latrines must be outside the camp. You will use them there, outside the camp. 13 Carry a shovel with the rest of your gear; once you have relieved yourself, use it to dig a hole, then refill it, covering your excrement. 14 Do these things because the LORD your God travels with you, right in the middle of your camp, ready to save you and to hand your enemies over to you. For this reason your camp must be holy. The LORD must not see anything indecent among you, or he will turn away from you

Escaped slaves

15 Don't return slaves to owners if they've escaped and come to you. 16 They can stay with you: in your own community or in any place they select from one of your cities, whatever seems good to them. Don't oppress them.

Consecrated workers

17 No Israelite daughter is allowed to be a consecrated worker. Neither is any Israelite son allowed to be a consecrated worker. 18 Don't bring a female prostitute's fee or a male prostitute's payment to the LORD your God's temple to pay a solemn promise because both of these things are detestable to the LORD your God.

Charging interest

19 Don't charge your fellow Israelites interest—whether on money, provisions, or anything one might loan 20 You can charge foreigners interest, but not your fellow Israelite. Do this so that the LORD your God blesses you in all your work on the land you are entering to possess.

Solemn promise

21 When you make a promise to the LORD your God, don't put off making good on it, because the LORD your God will certainly be expecting it from you; delaying would make you guilty 22 Now if you simply don't make any promises, you won't be guilty of anything. 23 But whatever you say, you should be sure to make good on, exactly according to the promise you freely made to the LORD your God because you promised it with your own mouth.

Neighbor’s goods

24 If you go into your neighbor's vineyard, you can eat as many grapes as you like, until full, but don't carry any away in a basket. 25 If you go into your neighbor's grain field, you can pluck ears by hand, but you aren't allowed to cut off any of your neighbor's grain with a sickle.

Marriage and divorce

1 Let's say a man marries a woman, but she isn't pleasing to him because he's discovered something inappropriate about her. So he writes up divorce papers, hands them to her, and sends her out of his house. 2 She leaves his house and ends up marrying someone else. 3 But this new husband also dislikes her, writes up divorce papers, hands them to her, and sends her out of his house (or suppose the second husband dies). 4 In this case, the first husband who originally divorced this woman is not allowed to take her back and marry her again after she has been polluted in this way because the LORD detests that. Don't pollute the land the LORD your God is giving to you as an inheritance. 5 A newly married man doesn't have to march in battle. Neither should any related duties be placed on him. He is to live free of such responsibilities for one year, so he can bring joy to his new wife.

Pawning

6 Millstones or even just the upper millstone must not be pawned, because that would be pawning someone's livelihood.

Kidnapping

7 If someone is caught kidnapping their fellow Israelites, intending to enslave the Israelite or sell them, that kidnapper must die. Remove such evil from your community!

Skin disease

8 Be on guard against outbreaks of skin disease by being very careful about what you do. You must carefully do everything the levitical priests teach you, just as I have commanded them. 9 Remember, after all, what the LORD your God did to Miriam on your departure from Egypt!

Loans

10 When you make any type of loan to your neighbor, don't enter their house to receive the collateral. 11 You must wait outside. The person to whom you are lending will bring the collateral to you out there. 12 Moreover, if the person is poor, you are not allowed to sleep in their pawned coat. 13 Instead, be certain to give the pawned coat back by sunset so they can sleep in their own coat. They will bless you, and you will be considered righteous before the LORD your God.

Payment for workers

14 Don't take advantage of poor or needy workers, whether they are fellow Israelites or immigrants who live in your land or your cities. 15 Pay them their salary the same day, before the sun sets, because they are poor, and their very life depends on that pay, and so they don't cry out against you to the LORD. That would make you guilty.

Generational punishment

16 Parents shouldn't be executed because of what their children have done; neither should children be executed because of what their parents have done. Each person should be executed for their own guilty acts.

Rights of widows, orphans, and immigrants

17 Don't obstruct the legal rights of an immigrant or orphan. Don't take a widow's coat as pledge for a loan. 18 Remember how you were a slave in Egypt but how the LORD your God saved you from that. That's why I'm commanding you to do this thing. 19 Whenever you are reaping the harvest of your field and you leave some grain in the field, don't go back and get it. Let it go to the immigrants, the orphans, and the widows so that the LORD your God blesses you in all that you do. 20 Similarly, when you beat the olives off your olive trees, don't go back over them twice. Let the leftovers go to the immigrants, the orphans, and the widows. 21 Again, when you pick the grapes of your vineyard, don't pick them over twice. Let the leftovers go to the immigrants, the orphans, and the widows. 22 Remember how you were a slave in Egypt. That's why I am commanding you to do this thing.

Corporal punishment

1 Now two people have a disagreement and they enter into litigation and their case is decided, with the judges declaring one person legally right and the other legally liable. 2 If the guilty party is to be beaten, the presiding judge will have that person lie down and be punished in his presence—the number of blows in measure with the guilt determined. 3 Give no more than forty blows. If more than that is given, your fellow Israelite would be completely disgraced in your eyes.

Working oxen

4 Don't muzzle an ox while it is threshing grain.

The brother-in-law’s duty

5 If brothers live together and one of them dies without having a son, the dead man's wife must not go outside the family and marry a stranger. Instead, her brother-in-law should go to her and take her as his wife. He will then consummate the marriage according to the brother-in-law's duty. 6 The brother-in-law will name the oldest male son that she bears after his dead brother so that his brother's legacy will not be forgotten in Israel. 7 If the brother does not want to marry his sister-in-law, she can go to the elders at the city gate, informing them: "My brother-in-law refuses to continue his brother's legacy in Israel. He's not willing to perform the brother-in-law's duty with me." 8 The city's elders will summon him and talk to him about this. If he doesn't budge, insisting, "I don't want to marry her," 9 then the sister-in-law will approach him while the elders watch. She will pull the sandal off his foot and spit in his face. Then she will exclaim: "That's what's done to any man who won't build up his own brother's family!" 10 Subsequently, that man's family will be known throughout Israel as "the house of the removed sandal."

Improper touching

11 If two men are fighting with each other—a man and his fellow Israelite—and the wife of one of them gets into the fight, trying to save her husband from his attacker and does so by reaching out and grabbing his genitals, 12 you must cut off her hand. Show no mercy.

Honest business practices

13 Don't have two different types of money weights in your bag, a heavy one and a light one. 14 Don't have two different types of ephahs in your house, a large one and a small one. 15 Instead, you must have only one weight, complete and correct, and only one ephah, also complete and correct, so that your life might be long in the fertile land the LORD your God is giving you. 16 What's more, all who do such things, all who do business dishonestly, are detestable to the LORD your God. 17 Remember, after all, what Amalek did to you on your departure from Egypt: 18 how he met up with you on the way, striking from behind those who were lagging back because you were weak and tired, and because he didn't fear God. 19 So once the LORD your God gives you relief from all the enemies that surround you in the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, you must wipe out Amalek's memory from under the heavens. Don't forget this! 1 Now, once all these things happen to you, the blessing and the curse that I'm setting before you, you must call them to mind as you sit among the various nations where the LORD your God has driven you; 2 and you must return to the LORD your God, obeying his voice, in line with all that I'm commanding you right now—you and your children—with all your mind and with all your being. 3 Then the LORD your God will restore you as you were before and will have compassion on you, gathering you up from all the peoples where the LORD your God scattered you. 4 Even if he has driven you to the far end of heaven, the LORD your God will gather you up from there; he will take you back from there. 5 The LORD your God will bring you home to the land that your ancestors possessed; you will possess it again. And he will do good things for you and multiply you—making you more numerous even than your ancestors! 6 Then the LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants so that you love the LORD your God with all your mind and with all your being in order that you may live. 7 The LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you and chase you. 8 But you will change and obey the LORD's voice and do all his commandments that I'm commanding you right now. 9 The LORD your God will help you succeed in everything you do—in your own fertility, your livestock's offspring, and your land's produce—everything will be great! Because the LORD will once again enjoy doing good things for you just as he enjoyed doing them for your ancestors, 10 and because you will be obeying the LORD your God's voice, keeping his commandments and his regulations that are written in this Instruction scroll, and because you will have returned to the LORD your God with all your heart and all your being. 11 This commandment that I'm giving you right now is definitely not too difficult for you. It isn't unreachable. 12 It isn't up in heaven somewhere so that you have to ask, "Who will go up for us to heaven and get it for us that we can hear it and do it?" 13 Nor is it across the ocean somewhere so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the ocean for us and get it for us that we can hear it and do it?" 14 Not at all! The word is very close to you. It's in your mouth and in your heart, waiting for you to do it.

Life and death

15 Look here! Today I've set before you life and what's good versus death and what's wrong. 16 If you obey the LORD your God's commandments that I'm commanding you right now by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments, his regulations, and his case laws, then you will live and thrive, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and so are misled, worshipping other gods and serving them, 18 I'm telling you right now that you will definitely die. You will not prolong your life on the fertile land that you are crossing the Jordan River to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth as my witnesses against you right now: I have set life and death, blessing and curse before you. Now choose life—so that you and your descendants will live— 20 by loving the LORD your God, by obeying his voice, and by clinging to him. That's how you will survive and live long on the fertile land the LORD swore to give to your ancestors: to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
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