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 (New Living Translation)

1 This book records the words that Moses spoke to all the people of Israel while they were in the wilderness east of the Jordan River. They were camped in the Jordan Valley near Suph, between Paran on one side and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Di-zahab on the other. 2 Normally it takes only eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai to Kadesh-barnea, going by way of Mount Seir. 3 But forty years after the Israelites left Mount Sinai, on a day in midwinter, Moses gave these speeches to the Israelites, telling them everything the LORD had commanded him to say. 4 This was after he had defeated King Sihon of the Amorites, who had ruled in Heshbon, and King Og of Bashan, who had ruled in Ashtaroth and Edrei. 5 So Moses addressed the people of Israel while they were in the land of Moab east of the Jordan River. He began to explain the law as follows: 6 "When we were at Mount Sinai, the LORD our God said to us, 'You have stayed at this mountain long enough. 7 It is time to break camp and move on. Go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all the neighboring regions -- the Jordan Valley, the hill country, the western foothills, the Negev, and the coastal plain. Go to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, and all the way to the great Euphrates River. 8 I am giving all this land to you! Go in and occupy it, for it is the land the LORD swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to all their descendants.'" 9 "At that time I told you, 'You are too great a burden for me to carry all by myself. 10 The LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars! 11 And may the LORD, the God of your ancestors, multiply you a thousand times more and bless you as he promised! 12 But how can I settle all your quarrels and problems by myself? 13 Choose some men from each tribe who have wisdom, understanding, and a good reputation, and I will appoint them as your leaders.'" 14 "You agreed that my plan was a good one. 15 So I took the wise and respected men you had selected from your tribes and appointed them to serve as judges and officials over you. Some were responsible for a thousand people, some for a hundred, some for fifty, and some for ten. 16 I instructed the judges, 'You must be perfectly fair at all times, not only to fellow Israelites, but also to the foreigners living among you. 17 When you make decisions, never favor those who are rich; be fair to lowly and great alike. Don't be afraid of how they will react, for you are judging in the place of God. Bring me any cases that are too difficult for you, and I will handle them.'" 18 And at that time I gave you instructions about everything you were to do. 19 "Then, just as the LORD our God directed us, we left Mount Sinai and traveled through the great and terrifying wilderness, which you yourselves saw, and headed toward the hill country of the Amorites. When we arrived at Kadesh-barnea, 20 I said to you, 'You have now reached the land that the LORD our God is giving us. 21 Look! He has placed it in front of you. Go and occupy it as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has promised you. Don't be afraid! Don't be discouraged!'" 22 "But you responded, 'First, let's send out scouts to explore the land for us. They will advise us on the best route to take and decide which towns we should capture.'" 23 This seemed like a good idea to me, so I chose twelve scouts, one from each of your tribes. 24 They crossed into the hills and came to the valley of Eshcol and explored it. 25 They picked some of its fruit and brought it back to us. And they reported that the land the LORD our God had given us was indeed a good land. 26 "But you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God and refused to go in. 27 You murmured and complained in your tents and said, 'The LORD must hate us, bringing us here from Egypt to be slaughtered by these Amorites. 28 How can we go on? Our scouts have demoralized us with their report. They say that the people of the land are taller and more powerful than we are, and that the walls of their towns rise high into the sky! They have even seen giants there -- the descendants of Anak!'" 29 "But I said to you, 'Don't be afraid! 30 The LORD your God is going before you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt. 31 And you saw how the LORD your God cared for you again and again here in the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.' 32 But even after all he did, you refused to trust the LORD your God, 33 who goes before you looking for the best places to camp, guiding you by a pillar of fire at night and a pillar of cloud by day. 34 "When the LORD heard your complaining, he became very angry. So he solemnly swore, 35 'Not one of you from this entire wicked generation will live to see the good land I swore to give your ancestors, 36 except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see this land because he has followed the LORD completely. I will give to him and his descendants some of the land he walked over during his scouting mission.'" 37 "And the LORD was also angry with me because of you. He said to me, 'You will never enter the Promised Land! 38 Instead, your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will lead the people into the land. Encourage him as he prepares to enter it. 39 I will give the land to your innocent children. You were afraid they would be captured, but they will be the ones who occupy it. 40 As for you, turn around now and go on back through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. '" 41 "Then you confessed, 'We have sinned against the LORD! We will go into the land and fight for it, as the LORD our God has told us.'" So your men strapped on their weapons, thinking it would be easy to conquer the hill country. 42 "But the LORD said to me, 'Tell them not to attack, for I will not go with them. If they do, they will be crushed by their enemies.'" 43 This is what I told you, but you would not listen. Instead, you again rebelled against the LORD's command and arrogantly went into the hill country to fight. 44 But the Amorites who lived there came out against you like a swarm of bees. They chased and battered you all the way from Seir to Hormah. 45 Then you returned and wept before the LORD, but he refused to listen. 46 So you stayed there at Kadesh for a long time. 1 "When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are about to enter and occupy, he will clear away many nations ahead of you: the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. These seven nations are all more powerful than you. 2 When the LORD your God hands these nations over to you and you conquer them, you must completely destroy them. Make no treaties with them and show them no mercy. 3 Do not intermarry with them, and don't let your daughters and sons marry their sons and daughters. 4 They will lead your young people away from me to worship other gods. Then the anger of the LORD will burn against you, and he will destroy you. 5 Instead, you must break down their pagan altars and shatter their sacred pillars. Cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols. 6 For you are a holy people, who belong to the LORD your God. Of all the people on earth, the LORD your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure. 7 "The LORD did not choose you and lavish his love on you because you were larger or greater than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! 8 It was simply because the LORD loves you, and because he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors. That is why the LORD rescued you with such amazing power from your slavery under Pharaoh in Egypt. 9 Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and constantly loves those who love him and obey his commands. 10 But he does not hesitate to punish and destroy those who hate him. 11 Therefore, obey all these commands, laws, and regulations I am giving you today. 12 "If you listen to these regulations and obey them faithfully, the LORD your God will keep his covenant of unfailing love with you, as he solemnly promised your ancestors. 13 He will love you and bless you and make you into a great nation. He will give you many children and give fertility to your land and your animals. When you arrive in the land he swore to give your ancestors, you will have large crops of grain, grapes, and olives, and great herds of cattle, sheep, and goats. 14 You will be blessed above all the nations of the earth. None of your men or women will be childless, and all your livestock will bear young. 15 And the LORD will protect you from all sickness. He will not let you suffer from the terrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will bring them all on your enemies! 16 "You must destroy all the nations the LORD your God hands over to you. Show them no mercy and do not worship their gods. If you do, they will trap you. 17 Perhaps you will think to yourselves, 'How can we ever conquer these nations that are so much more powerful than we are?' 18 But don't be afraid of them! Just remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all the land of Egypt. 19 Remember the great terrors the LORD your God sent against them. You saw it all with your own eyes! And remember the miraculous signs and wonders, and the amazing power he used when he brought you out of Egypt. The LORD your God will use this same power against the people you fear. 20 And then the LORD your God will send hornets to drive out the few survivors still hiding from you! 21 "No, do not be afraid of those nations, for the LORD your God is among you, and he is a great and awesome God. 22 The LORD your God will drive those nations out ahead of you little by little. You will not clear them away all at once, for if you did, the wild animals would multiply too quickly for you. 23 But the LORD your God will hand them over to you. He will throw them into complete confusion until they are destroyed. 24 He will put their kings in your power, and you will erase their names from the face of the earth. No one will be able to stand against you, and you will destroy them all. 25 "You must burn their idols in fire, and do not desire the silver or gold with which they are made. Do not take it or it will become a snare to you, for it is detestable to the LORD your God. 26 Do not bring any detestable objects into your home, for then you will be set apart for destruction just like them. You must utterly detest such things, for they are set apart for destruction. 1 "Hear, O Israel! Today you are about to cross the Jordan River to occupy the land belonging to nations much greater and more powerful than you. They live in cities with walls that reach to the sky! 2 They are strong and tall -- descendants of the famous Anakite giants. You've heard the saying, 'Who can stand up to the Anakites?' 3 But the LORD your God will cross over ahead of you like a devouring fire to destroy them. He will subdue them so that you will quickly conquer them and drive them out, just as the LORD has promised." 4 "After the LORD your God has done this for you, don't say to yourselves, 'The LORD has given us this land because we are so righteous!' No, it is because of the wickedness of the other nations that he is doing it. 5 It is not at all because you are such righteous, upright people that you are about to occupy their land. The LORD your God will drive these nations out ahead of you only because of their wickedness, and to fulfill the oath he had sworn to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 6 I will say it again: The LORD your God is not giving you this good land because you are righteous, for you are not -- you are a stubborn people." 7 "Remember how angry you made the LORD your God out in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until now, you have constantly rebelled against him. 8 Remember how angry you made the LORD at Mount Sinai, where he was ready to destroy you. 9 That was when I was on the mountain receiving the tablets of stone inscribed with the covenant that the LORD had made with you. I was there for forty days and forty nights, and all that time I ate nothing and drank no water. 10 The LORD gave me the covenant, the tablets on which God himself had written all the words he had spoken to you from the fire on the mountain." 11 "At the end of the forty days and nights, the LORD handed me the two stone tablets with the covenant inscribed on them. 12 Then the LORD said to me, 'Go down immediately because the people you led out of Egypt have become corrupt. They have already turned from the way I commanded them to live and have cast an idol for themselves from gold.'" 13 "The LORD said to me, 'I have been watching this people, and they are extremely stubborn. 14 Leave me alone so I may destroy them and erase their name from under heaven. Then I will make a mighty nation of your descendants, a nation larger and more powerful than they are.'" 15 "So I came down from the fiery mountain, holding in my hands the two stone tablets of the covenant. 16 There below me I could see the gold calf you had made in your terrible sin against the LORD your God. How quickly you had turned from the path the LORD had commanded you to follow! 17 So I raised the stone tablets and dashed them to the ground. I smashed them before your very eyes. 18 Then for forty days and nights I lay prostrate before the LORD, neither eating bread nor drinking water. I did this because you had sinned by doing what the LORD hated, thus making him very angry. 19 How I feared for you, for the LORD was ready to destroy you. But again he listened to me. 20 The LORD was so angry with Aaron that he wanted to destroy him. But I prayed for Aaron, and the LORD spared him. 21 I took your sin -- the calf you had made -- and I melted it in the fire and ground it into fine dust. I threw the dust into the stream that cascades down the mountain." 22 "You also made the LORD angry at Taberah, Massah, and Kibroth-hattaavah. 23 And at Kadesh-barnea the LORD sent you out with this command: 'Go up and take the land I have given you.' But you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God and refused to trust him or obey him. 24 Yes, you have been rebelling against the LORD as long as I have known you." 25 "That is why I fell down and lay before the LORD for forty days and nights when he was ready to destroy you. 26 I prayed to the LORD and said, 'O Sovereign LORD, do not destroy your own people. They are your special possession, redeemed from Egypt by your mighty power and glorious strength. 27 Overlook the stubbornness and sin of these people, but remember instead your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 28 If you destroy these people, the Egyptians will say, "The LORD destroyed them because he wasn't able to bring them to the land he had sworn to give them." Or they might say, "He destroyed them because he hated them; he brought them into the wilderness to slaughter them." 29 "But they are your people and your special possession, whom you brought from Egypt by your mighty power and glorious strength." 1 "At that time the LORD said to me, 'Prepare two stone tablets like the first ones, and make a sacred chest of wood to keep them in. Return to me on the mountain, 2 and I will write on the tablets the same words that were on the ones you smashed. Then place the tablets in the sacred chest -- the Ark of the Covenant.'" 3 "So I made a chest of acacia wood and cut two stone tablets like the first two, and I took the tablets up the mountain. 4 The LORD again wrote the terms of the covenant -- the Ten Commandments -- on them and gave them to me. They were the same words the LORD had spoken to you from the heart of the fire on the mountain as you were assembled below. 5 Then I came down and placed the tablets in the Ark of the Covenant, which I had made, just as the LORD commanded me. And the tablets are still there in the Ark." 6 "The people of Israel set out from the wells of the people of Jaakan and traveled to Moserah, where Aaron died and was buried. His son Eleazar became the high priest in his place. 7 Then they journeyed to Gudgodah, and from there to Jotbathah, a land with brooks of water. 8 At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the Ark of the LORD's covenant, to minister before the LORD, and to pronounce blessings in his name. These are still their duties. 9 That is why the Levites have no share or inheritance reserved for them among the other Israelite tribes. The LORD himself is their inheritance, as the LORD your God told them." 10 "As I said before, I stayed on the mountain in the LORD's presence for forty days and nights, as I had done the first time. And once again the LORD yielded to my pleas and didn't destroy you. 11 But the LORD said to me, 'Get up and lead the people into the land I swore to give their ancestors, so they may take possession of it.'" 12 "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? He requires you to fear him, to live according to his will, to love and worship him with all your heart and soul, 13 and to obey the LORD's commands and laws that I am giving you today for your own good. 14 The highest heavens and the earth and everything in it all belong to the LORD your God. 15 Yet the LORD chose your ancestors as the objects of his love. And he chose you, their descendants, above every other nation, as is evident today. 16 Therefore, cleanse your sinful hearts and stop being stubborn." 17 "The LORD your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and takes no bribes. 18 He gives justice to orphans and widows. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. 19 You, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. 20 You must fear the LORD your God and worship him and cling to him. Your oaths must be in his name alone. 21 He is your God, the one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done mighty miracles that you yourselves have seen. 22 When your ancestors went down into Egypt, there were only seventy of them. But now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky!" 1 "Since you are the people of the LORD your God, never cut yourselves or shave the hair above your foreheads for the sake of the dead. 2 You have been set apart as holy to the LORD your God, and he has chosen you to be his own special treasure from all the nations of the earth." 3 "You must not eat animals that are ceremonially unclean. 4 These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, 5 the deer, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope, and the mountain sheep." 6 "Any animal that has split hooves and chews the cud may be eaten, 7 but if the animal doesn't have both, it may not be eaten. So you may not eat the camel, the hare, or the rock badger. They chew the cud but do not have split hooves. 8 And the pig may not be eaten, for though it has split hooves, it does not chew the cud. All these animals are ceremonially unclean for you. You may not eat or even touch the dead bodies of such animals." 9 "As for marine animals, you may eat whatever has both fins and scales. 10 You may not, however, eat marine animals that do not have both fins and scales. They are ceremonially unclean for you." 11 "You may eat any bird that is ceremonially clean. 12 These are the birds you may not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey, 13 the buzzard, kites of all kinds, 14 ravens of all kinds, 15 the ostrich, the nighthawk, the seagull, hawks of all kinds, 16 the little owl, the great owl, the white owl, 17 the pelican, the carrion vulture, the cormorant, 18 the stork, herons of all kinds, the hoopoe, and the bat." 19 "All flying insects are ceremonially unclean for you and may not be eaten. 20 But you may eat any winged creature that is ceremonially clean." 21 "Do not eat anything that has died a natural death. You may give it to a foreigner living among you, or you may sell it to a foreigner. But do not eat it yourselves, for you are set apart as holy to the LORD your God." Do not boil a young goat in its mother's milk." 22 "You must set aside a tithe of your crops -- one-tenth of all the crops you harvest each year. 23 Bring this tithe to the place the LORD your God chooses for his name to be honored, and eat it there in his presence. This applies to your tithes of grain, new wine, olive oil, and the firstborn males of your flocks and herds. The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to fear the LORD your God. 24 Now the place the LORD your God chooses for his name to be honored might be a long way from your home. 25 If so, you may sell the tithe portion of your crops and herds and take the money to the place the LORD your God chooses. 26 When you arrive, use the money to buy anything you want -- an ox, a sheep, some wine, or beer. Then feast there in the presence of the LORD your God and celebrate with your household. 27 And do not forget the Levites in your community, for they have no inheritance as you do." 28 "At the end of every third year bring the tithe of all your crops and store it in the nearest town. 29 Give it to the Levites, who have no inheritance among you, as well as to the foreigners living among you, the orphans, and the widows in your towns, so they can eat and be satisfied. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all your work." 1 "At the end of every seventh year you must cancel your debts. 2 This is how it must be done. Creditors must cancel the loans they have made to their fellow Israelites. They must not demand payment from their neighbors or relatives, for the LORD's time of release has arrived. 3 This release from debt, however, applies only to your fellow Israelites -- not to the foreigners living among you. 4 There should be no poor among you, for the LORD your God will greatly bless you in the land he is giving you as a special possession. 5 You will receive this blessing if you carefully obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today. 6 The LORD your God will bless you as he has promised. You will lend money to many nations but will never need to borrow! You will rule many nations, but they will not rule over you!" 7 "But if there are any poor people in your towns when you arrive in the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tightfisted toward them. 8 Instead, be generous and lend them whatever they need. 9 Do not be mean-spirited and refuse someone a loan because the year of release is close at hand. If you refuse to make the loan and the needy person cries out to the LORD, you will be considered guilty of sin. 10 Give freely without begrudging it, and the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do. 11 There will always be some among you who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share your resources freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need." 12 "If an Israelite man or woman voluntarily becomes your servant and serves you for six years, in the seventh year you must set that servant free. 13 "When you release a male servant, do not send him away empty-handed. 14 Give him a generous farewell gift from your flock, your threshing floor, and your winepress. Share with him some of the bounty with which the LORD your God has blessed you. 15 Remember that you were slaves in the land of Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you! That is why I am giving you this command. 16 But suppose your servant says, 'I will not leave you,' because he loves you and your family, and he is well off with you. 17 In that case, take an awl and push it through his earlobe into the door. After that, he will be your servant for life." You must do the same for your female servants." 18 "Do not consider it a hardship when you release your servants. Remember that for six years they have given you the services worth double the wages of hired workers, and the LORD your God will bless you in all you do." 19 "You must set aside for the LORD your God all the firstborn males from your flocks and herds. Do not use the firstborn of your herds to work your fields, and do not shear the firstborn of your flocks. 20 Instead, you and your family must eat these animals in the presence of the LORD your God each year at the place he chooses. 21 But if this firstborn animal has any defect, such as being lame or blind, or if anything else is wrong with it, you must not sacrifice it to the LORD your God. 22 Instead, use it for food for your family at home. Anyone may eat it, whether ceremonially clean or unclean, just as anyone may eat a gazelle or deer. 23 But do not eat the blood. You must pour it out on the ground like water." 1 "In honor of the LORD your God, always celebrate the Passover at the proper time in early spring, for that was when the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 Your Passover sacrifice may be from either the flock or the herd, and it must be sacrificed to the LORD your God at the place he chooses for his name to be honored. 3 Eat it with bread made without yeast. For seven days eat only bread made without yeast, as you did when you escaped from Egypt in such a hurry. Eat this bread -- the bread of suffering -- so that you will remember the day you departed from Egypt as long as you live. 4 Let no yeast be found in any house throughout your land for seven days. And do not let any of the meat of the Passover lamb remain until the next morning." 5 "The Passover must not be eaten in the towns that the LORD your God is giving you. 6 It must be offered at the place the LORD your God will choose for his name to be honored. Sacrifice it there as the sun goes down on the anniversary of your exodus from Egypt. 7 Roast the lamb and eat it in the place the LORD your God chooses. Then go back to your tents the next morning. 8 For the next six days you may not eat bread made with yeast. On the seventh day the people must assemble before the LORD your God, and no work may be done on that day." 9 "Count off seven weeks from the beginning of your grain harvest. 10 Then you must celebrate the Festival of Harvest to honor the LORD your God. Bring him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings you have received from him. 11 It is a time to celebrate before the LORD your God at the place he chooses for his name to be honored. Celebrate with your whole family, all your servants, the Levites from your towns, and the foreigners, orphans, and widows who live among you. 12 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, so be careful to obey all these laws." 13 "Another celebration, the Festival of Shelters, must be observed for seven days at the end of the harvest season, after the grain has been threshed and the grapes have been pressed. 14 This festival will be a happy time of rejoicing with your family, your servants, and with the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows from your towns. 15 For seven days celebrate this festival to honor the LORD your God at the place he chooses, for it is the LORD your God who gives you bountiful harvests and blesses all your work. This festival will be a time of great joy for all." 16 "Each year every man in Israel must celebrate these three festivals: the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Harvest, and the Festival of Shelters. They must appear before the LORD your God at the place he chooses on each of these occasions, and they must bring a gift to the LORD. 17 All must give as they are able, according to the blessings given to them by the LORD your God." 18 "Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in all the towns the LORD your God is giving you. They will judge the people fairly throughout the land. 19 You must never twist justice or show partiality. Never accept a bribe, for bribes blind the eyes of the wise and corrupt the decisions of the godly. 20 Let true justice prevail, so you may live and occupy the land that the LORD your God is giving you." 21 "You must never set up an Asherah pole beside the altar of the LORD your God. 22 And never set up sacred pillars for worship, for the LORD your God hates them." 1 "Never sacrifice a sick or defective ox or sheep to the LORD your God, for he detests such gifts." 2 "Suppose a man or woman among you, in one of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, has done evil in the sight of the LORD your God and has violated the covenant 3 by serving other gods or by worshiping the sun, the moon, or any of the forces of heaven, which I have strictly forbidden. 4 When you hear about it, investigate the matter thoroughly. If it is true that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, 5 then that man or woman must be taken to the gates of the town and stoned to death. 6 But never put a person to death on the testimony of only one witness. There must always be at least two or three witnesses. 7 The witnesses must throw the first stones, and then all the people will join in. In this way, you will purge all evil from among you." 8 "Suppose a case arises in a local court that is too hard for you to decide -- for instance, whether someone is guilty of murder or only of manslaughter, or a difficult lawsuit, or a case involving different kinds of assault. Take such cases to the place the LORD your God will choose, 9 where the Levitical priests and the judge on duty will hear the case and decide what to do. 10 The decision they make at the place the LORD chooses will always stand. You must do exactly what they say. 11 After they have interpreted the law and reached a verdict, the sentence they impose must be fully executed; do not modify it in any way. 12 Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. 13 Then everyone will hear about it and be afraid to act so arrogantly." 14 "You will soon arrive in the land the LORD your God is giving you, and you will conquer it and settle there. Then you may begin to think, 'We ought to have a king like the other nations around us.' 15 If this happens, be sure that you select as king the man the LORD your God chooses. You must appoint a fellow Israelite, not a foreigner. 16 The king must not build up a large stable of horses for himself, and he must never send his people to Egypt to buy horses there, for the LORD has told you, 'You must never return to Egypt.' 17 The king must not take many wives for himself, because they will lead him away from the LORD. And he must not accumulate vast amounts of wealth in silver and gold for himself." 18 "When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy these laws on a scroll for himself in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 He must always keep this copy of the law with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the LORD his God by obeying all the terms of this law. 20 This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. This will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel." 1 "Remember that the Levitical priests and the rest of the tribe of Levi will not be given an inheritance of land like the other tribes in Israel. Instead, the priests and Levites will eat from the offerings given to the LORD by fire, for that is their inheritance. 2 They will have no inheritance of their own among the Israelites. The LORD himself is their inheritance, just as he promised them." 3 "These are the parts the priests may claim as their share from the oxen and sheep that the people bring as offerings: the shoulder, the cheeks, and the stomach. 4 You must also give to the priests the first share of the grain, the new wine, the olive oil, and the wool at shearing time. 5 For the LORD your God chose the tribe of Levi out of all your tribes to minister in the LORD's name forever." 6 "Any Levite who so desires may come from any town in Israel, from wherever he is living, to the place the LORD chooses. 7 He may minister there in the name of the LORD his God, just like his fellow Levites who are serving the LORD there. 8 He may eat his share of the sacrifices and offerings, even if he has a private source of income." 9 "When you arrive in the land the LORD your God is giving you, be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nations living there. 10 For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, 11 or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is an object of horror and disgust to the LORD. It is because the other nations have done these things that the LORD your God will drive them out ahead of you. 13 You must be blameless before the LORD your God. 14 The people you are about to displace consult with sorcerers and fortune-tellers, but the LORD your God forbids you to do such things." 15 "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites, and you must listen to that prophet. 16 For this is what you yourselves requested of the LORD your God when you were assembled at Mount Sinai. You begged that you might never again have to listen to the voice of the LORD your God or see this blazing fire for fear you would die." 17 "Then the LORD said to me, 'Fine, I will do as they have requested. 18 I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I will tell that prophet what to say, and he will tell the people everything I command him. 19 I will personally deal with anyone who will not listen to the messages the prophet proclaims on my behalf. 20 But any prophet who claims to give a message from another god or who falsely claims to speak for me must die.' 21 You may wonder, 'How will we know whether the prophecy is from the LORD or not?' 22 If the prophet predicts something in the LORD's name and it does not happen, the LORD did not give the message. That prophet has spoken on his own and need not be feared." 1 "The LORD your God will soon destroy the nations whose land he is giving you, and you will displace them and settle in their towns and homes. 2 Then you must set apart three cities of refuge in the land the LORD your God is giving you to occupy. 3 Divide the land the LORD your God is giving you into three districts, with one of these cities in each district. Keep the roads to these cities in good repair so that anyone who has killed someone can flee there for safety." 4 "If someone accidentally kills a neighbor without harboring any previous hatred, the slayer may flee to any of these cities and be safe. 5 For example, suppose someone goes into the forest with a neighbor to cut wood. And suppose one of them swings an ax and the ax head flies off the handle, killing the other person. In such cases, the slayer could flee to one of the cities of refuge and be safe. 6 If the distance to the nearest city of refuge was too far, an enraged avenger might be able to chase down and kill the person who caused the death. The slayer would die, even though there was no death sentence and the first death had been an accident. 7 That is why I am commanding you to set aside three cities of refuge." 8 "If the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he solemnly promised your ancestors, and gives you all the land he promised them, 9 you must designate three additional cities of refuge. (He will give you this land if you obey all the commands I have given you -- if you always love the LORD your God and walk in his ways.) 10 That way you will prevent the death of innocent people in the land the LORD your God is giving you as a special possession, and you will not be held responsible for murder." 11 "But suppose someone hates a neighbor and deliberately ambushes and murders that neighbor and then escapes to one of the cities of refuge. 12 In that case, the leaders of the murderer's hometown must have the murderer brought back from the city of refuge and handed over to the dead person's avenger to be killed. 13 Do not feel sorry for that murderer! Purge the guilt of murder from Israel so all may go well with you." 14 "When you arrive in the land the LORD your God is giving you as a special possession, never steal someone's land by moving the boundary markers your ancestors set up to mark their property." 15 "Never convict anyone of a crime on the testimony of just one witness. The facts of the case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 16 If a malicious witness comes forward and accuses someone of a crime, 17 then both the accuser and accused must appear before the priests and judges who are on duty before the LORD. 18 They must be closely questioned, and if the accuser is found to be lying, 19 the accuser will receive the punishment intended for the accused. In this way, you will cleanse such evil from among you. 20 Those who hear about it will be afraid to do such an evil thing again. 21 You must never show pity! Your rule should be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." 1 "When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The LORD your God, who brought you safely out of Egypt, is with you! 2 Before you go into battle, the priest will come forward to speak with the troops. 3 He will say, 'Listen to me, all you men of Israel! Do not be afraid as you go out to fight today! Do not lose heart or panic. 4 For the LORD your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!'" 5 "Then the officers of the army will address the troops and say, 'Has anyone just built a new house but not yet dedicated it? If so, go home! You might be killed in the battle, and someone else would dedicate your house! 6 Has anyone just planted a vineyard but not yet eaten any of its fruit? If so, go home! You might die in battle, and someone else would eat from it! 7 Has anyone just become engaged? Well, go home and get married! You might die in the battle, and someone else would marry your fianc‚e.' 8 Then the officers will also say, 'Is anyone terrified? If you are, go home before you frighten anyone else.' 9 When the officers have finished saying this to their troops, they will announce the names of the unit commanders." 10 "As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. 11 If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. 12 But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. 13 When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. 14 But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you. 15 But these instructions apply only to distant towns, not to the towns of nations nearby." 16 "As for the towns of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as a special possession, destroy every living thing in them. 17 You must completely destroy the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, just as the LORD your God has commanded you. 18 This will keep the people of the land from teaching you their detestable customs in the worship of their gods, which would cause you to sin deeply against the LORD your God." 19 "When you are besieging a town and the war drags on, do not destroy the trees. Eat the fruit, but do not cut down the trees. They are not enemies that need to be attacked! 20 But you may cut down trees that you know are not valuable for food. Use them to make the equipment you need to besiege the town until it falls." 1 "Suppose someone is found murdered in a field in the land the LORD your God is giving you, and you don't know who committed the murder. 2 In such cases, your leaders and judges must determine which town is nearest the body. 3 Then the leaders of that town must select a young cow that has never been trained or yoked to a plow. 4 They must lead it to a valley that is neither plowed nor planted with a stream running through it. There they must break the cow's neck. 5 The Levitical priests must go there also, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister before him and to pronounce blessings in the LORD's name. And they are to decide all lawsuits and punishments." 6 "The leaders of the town nearest the body must wash their hands over the young cow whose neck was broken. 7 Then they must say, 'Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did we see it happen. 8 O LORD, forgive your people Israel whom you have redeemed. Do not charge your people Israel with the guilt of murdering an innocent person.' Then they will be absolved of the guilt of this person's blood. 9 By following these instructions and doing what is right in the LORD's sight, you will cleanse the guilt of murder from your community." 10 "Suppose you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God hands them over to you and you take captives. 11 And suppose you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you are attracted to her and want to marry her. 12 If this happens, you may take her to your home, where she must shave her head, cut her fingernails, 13 and change all her clothes. Then she must remain in your home for a full month, mourning for her father and mother. After that you may marry her. 14 But if you marry her and then decide you do not like her, you must let her go free. You may not sell her or treat her as a slave, for you have humiliated her." 15 "Suppose a man has two wives, but he loves one and not the other, and both have given him sons. And suppose the firstborn son is the son of the wife he does not love. 16 When the man divides the inheritance, he may not give the larger inheritance to his younger son, the son of the wife he loves. 17 He must give the customary double portion to his oldest son, who represents the strength of his father's manhood and who owns the rights of the firstborn son, even though he is the son of the wife his father does not love." 18 "Suppose a man has a stubborn, rebellious son who will not obey his father or mother, even though they discipline him. 19 In such cases, the father and mother must take the son before the leaders of the town. 20 They must declare: 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious and refuses to obey. He is a worthless drunkard.' 21 Then all the men of the town must stone him to death. In this way, you will cleanse this evil from among you, and all Israel will hear about it and be afraid." 22 "If someone has committed a crime worthy of death and is executed and then hanged on a tree, 23 the body must never remain on the tree overnight. You must bury the body that same day, for anyone hanging on a tree is cursed of God. Do not defile the land the LORD your God is giving you as a special possession." 1 "If you see your neighbor's ox or sheep wandering away, don't pretend not to see it. Take it back to its owner. 2 If it does not belong to someone nearby or you don't know who the owner is, keep it until the owner comes looking for it; then return it. 3 Do the same if you find your neighbor's donkey, clothing, or anything else your neighbor loses. Don't pretend you did not see it." 4 "If you see your neighbor's ox or donkey lying on the road, do not look the other way. Go and help your neighbor get it to its feet!" 5 "A woman must not wear men's clothing, and a man must not wear women's clothing. The LORD your God detests people who do this." 6 "If you find a bird's nest on the ground or in a tree and there are young ones or eggs in it with the mother sitting in the nest, do not take the mother with the young. 7 You may take the young, but let the mother go, so you may prosper and enjoy a long life." 8 "Every new house you build must have a barrier around the edge of its flat rooftop. That way you will not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your household if someone falls from the roof." 9 "Do not plant any other crop between the rows of your vineyard. If you do, you are forbidden to use either the grapes from the vineyard or the produce of the other crop." 10 "Do not plow with an ox and a donkey harnessed together." 11 "Do not wear clothing made of wool and linen woven together." 12 "You must put tassels on the four corners of your cloaks." 13 "Suppose a man marries a woman and, after sleeping with her, changes his mind about her 14 and falsely accuses her of having slept with another man. He might say, 'I discovered she was not a virgin when I married her.' 15 If the man does this, the woman's father and mother must bring the proof of her virginity to the leaders of the town. 16 Her father must tell them, 'I gave my daughter to this man to be his wife, and now he has turned against her. 17 He has accused her of shameful things, claiming that she was not a virgin when he married her. But here is the proof of my daughter's virginity.' Then they must spread the cloth before the judges. 18 The judges must then punish the man. 19 They will fine him one hundred pieces of silver, for he falsely accused a virgin of Israel. The payment will be made to the woman's father. The woman will then remain the man's wife, and he may never divorce her." 20 "But suppose the man's accusations are true, and her virginity could not be proved. 21 In such cases, the judges must take the girl to the door of her father's home, and the men of the town will stone her to death. She has committed a disgraceful crime in Israel by being promiscuous while living in her parents' home. Such evil must be cleansed from among you." 22 "If a man is discovered committing adultery, both he and the other man's wife must be killed. In this way, the evil will be cleansed from Israel." 23 "Suppose a man meets a young woman, a virgin who is engaged to be married, and he has sexual intercourse with her. If this happens within a town, 24 you must take both of them to the gates of the town and stone them to death. The woman is guilty because she did not scream for help. The man must die because he violated another man's wife. In this way, you will cleanse the land of evil." 25 "But if the man meets the engaged woman out in the country, and he rapes her, then only the man should die. 26 Do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no crime worthy of death. This case is similar to that of someone who attacks and murders a neighbor. 27 Since the man raped her out in the country, it must be assumed that she screamed, but there was no one to rescue her." 28 "If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, 29 he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her." 30 "A man must not have intercourse with his father's wife, for this would violate his father." 1 "If a man's testicles are crushed or his penis is cut off, he may not be included in the assembly of the LORD." 2 "Those of illegitimate birth and their descendants for ten generations may not be included in the assembly of the LORD." 3 "No Ammonites or Moabites, or any of their descendants for ten generations, may be included in the assembly of the LORD. 4 These nations did not welcome you with food and water when you came out of Egypt. Instead, they tried to hire Balaam son of Beor from Pethor in Aram-naharaim to curse you 5 (But the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam. He turned the intended curse into a blessing because the LORD your God loves you.) 6 You must never, as long as you live, try to help the Ammonites or the Moabites in any way." 7 "Do not detest the Edomites or the Egyptians, because the Edomites are your relatives, and you lived as foreigners among the Egyptians. 8 The third generation of Egyptians who came with you from Egypt may enter the assembly of the LORD." 9 "When you go to war against your enemies, stay away from everything impure." 10 "Any man who becomes ceremonially defiled because of a nocturnal emission must leave the camp and stay away all day. 11 Toward evening he must bathe himself, and at sunset he may return to the camp." 12 "Mark off an area outside the camp for a latrine. 13 Each of you must have a spade as part of your equipment. Whenever you relieve yourself, you must dig a hole with the spade and cover the excrement. 14 The camp must be holy, for the LORD your God moves around in your camp to protect you and to defeat your enemies. He must not see any shameful thing among you, or he might turn away from you." 15 "If slaves should escape from their masters and take refuge with you, do not force them to return. 16 Let them live among you in whatever town they choose, and do not oppress them." 17 "No Israelite man or woman may ever become a temple prostitute. 18 Do not bring to the house of the LORD your God any offering from the earnings of a prostitute, whether a man or a woman, for both are detestable to the LORD your God." 19 "Do not charge interest on the loans you make to a fellow Israelite, whether it is money, food, or anything else that may be loaned with interest 20 You may charge interest to foreigners, but not to Israelites, so the LORD your God may bless you in everything you do in the land you are about to enter and occupy." 21 "When you make a vow to the LORD your God, be prompt in doing whatever you promised him. For the LORD your God demands that you promptly fulfill all your vows. If you don't, you will be guilty of sin 22 However, it is not a sin to refrain from making a vow. 23 But once you have voluntarily made a vow, be careful to do as you have said, for you have made a vow to the LORD your God." 24 "You may eat your fill of grapes from your neighbor's vineyard, but do not take any away in a basket. 25 And you may pluck a few heads of your neighbor's grain by hand, but you may not harvest it with a sickle." 1 "Suppose a man marries a woman but later discovers something about her that is shameful. So he writes her a letter of divorce, gives it to her, and sends her away. 2 If she then leaves and marries another man 3 and the second husband also divorces her or dies, 4 the former husband may not marry her again, for she has been defiled. That would be detestable to the LORD. You must not bring guilt upon the land the LORD your God is giving you as a special possession." 5 "A newly married man must not be drafted into the army or given any other special responsibilities. He must be free to be at home for one year, bringing happiness to the wife he has married. 6 "It is wrong to take a pair of millstones, or even just the upper millstone, as a pledge, for the owner uses it to make a living." 7 "If anyone kidnaps a fellow Israelite and treats him as a slave or sells him, the kidnapper must die. You must cleanse the evil from among you." 8 "Watch all contagious skin diseases carefully and follow the instructions of the Levitical priests; obey the commands I have given them. 9 Remember what the LORD your God did to Miriam as you were coming from Egypt." 10 "If you lend anything to your neighbor, do not enter your neighbor's house to claim the security. 11 Stand outside and the owner will bring it out to you. 12 If your neighbor is poor and has only a cloak to give as security, do not keep the cloak overnight. 13 Return the cloak to its owner by sunset so your neighbor can sleep in it and bless you. And the LORD your God will count it as a righteous act." 14 "Never take advantage of poor laborers, whether fellow Israelites or foreigners living in your towns. 15 Pay them their wages each day before sunset because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they might cry out to the LORD against you, and it would be counted against you as sin." 16 "Parents must not be put to death for the sins of their children, nor the children for the sins of their parents. Those worthy of death must be executed for their own crimes." 17 "True justice must be given to foreigners living among you and to orphans, and you must never accept a widow's garment in pledge of her debt. 18 Always remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God redeemed you. That is why I have given you this command." 19 "When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don't go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all you do. 20 When you beat the olives from your olive trees, don't go over the boughs twice. Leave some of the olives for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. 21 This also applies to the grapes in your vineyard. Do not glean the vines after they are picked, but leave any remaining grapes for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. 22 Remember that you were slaves in the land of Egypt. That is why I am giving you this command." 1 "Suppose two people take a dispute to court, and the judges declare that one is right and the other is wrong. 2 If the person in the wrong is sentenced to be flogged, the judge will command him to lie down and be beaten in his presence with the number of lashes appropriate to the crime. 3 No more than forty lashes may ever be given; more than forty lashes would publicly humiliate your neighbor." 4 "Do not keep an ox from eating as it treads out the grain." 5 "If two brothers are living together on the same property and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Instead, her husband's brother must marry her and fulfill the duties of a brother-in-law. 6 The first son she bears to him will be counted as the son of the dead brother, so that his name will not be forgotten in Israel. 7 But if the dead man's brother refuses to marry the widow, she must go to the town gate and say to the leaders there, 'My husband's brother refuses to preserve his brother's name in Israel -- he refuses to marry me.' 8 The leaders of the town will then summon him and try to reason with him. If he still insists that he doesn't want to marry her, 9 the widow must walk over to him in the presence of the leaders, pull his sandal from his foot, and spit in his face. She will then say, 'This is what happens to a man who refuses to raise up a son for his brother.' 10 Ever afterward his family will be referred to as 'the family of the man whose sandal was pulled off'!" 11 "If two Israelite men are fighting and the wife of one tries to rescue her husband by grabbing the testicles of the other man, 12 her hand must be cut off without pity." 13 "You must use accurate scales when you weigh out merchandise, 14 and you must use full and honest measures. 15 Yes, use honest weights and measures, so that you will enjoy a long life in the land the LORD your God is giving you. 16 Those who cheat with dishonest weights and measures are detestable to the LORD your God." 17 "Never forget what the Amalekites did to you as you came from Egypt. 18 They attacked you when you were exhausted and weary, and they struck down those who were lagging behind. They had no fear of God. 19 Therefore, when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your enemies in the land he is giving you as a special possession, you are to destroy the Amalekites and erase their memory from under heaven. Never forget this!" 1 "Suppose all these things happen to you -- the blessings and the curses I have listed -- and you meditate on them as you are living among the nations to which the LORD your God has exiled you. 2 If at that time you return to the LORD your God, and you and your children begin wholeheartedly to obey all the commands I have given you today, 3 then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you back from all the nations where he has scattered you. 4 Though you are at the ends of the earth, the LORD your God will go and find you and bring you back again. 5 He will return you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will possess that land again. He will make you even more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors!" 6 "The LORD your God will cleanse your heart and the hearts of all your descendants so that you will love him with all your heart and soul, and so you may live! 7 The LORD your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and persecutors. 8 Then you will again obey the LORD and keep all the commands I am giving you today. 9 The LORD your God will make you successful in everything you do. He will give you many children and numerous livestock, and your fields will produce abundant harvests, for the LORD will delight in being good to you as he was to your ancestors. 10 The LORD your God will delight in you if you obey his voice and keep the commands and laws written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and soul." 11 "This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand or perform. 12 It is not up in heaven, so distant that you must ask, 'Who will go to heaven and bring it down so we can hear and obey it?' 13 It is not beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, 'Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear and obey it?' 14 The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it." 15 "Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between prosperity and disaster, between life and death. 16 I have commanded you today to love the LORD your God and to keep his commands, laws, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and become a great nation, and the LORD your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy. 17 But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, 18 then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy." 19 "Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live! 20 Choose to love the LORD your God and to obey him and commit yourself to him, for he is your life. Then you will live long in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
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