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Deuteronomy 12 (Complete Jewish Bible)

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1 Here are the laws and rulings you are to observe and obey in the land ADONAI, the God of your ancestors, has given you to possess as long as you live on earth. 2 You must destroy all the places where the nations you are dispossessing served their gods, whether on high mountains, on hills, or under some leafy tree. 3 Break down their altars, smash their standing-stones to pieces, burn up their sacred poles completely and cut down the carved images of their gods. Exterminate their name from that place. 4 "But you are not to treat ADONAI your God this way. 5 Rather, you are to come to the place where ADONAI your God will put his name. He will choose it from all your tribes; and you will seek out that place, which is where he will live, and go there. 6 You will bring there your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tenths [that you set aside for ADONAI], the offerings that you give, the offerings you have vowed, your voluntary offerings, and the firstborn of your cattle and sheep. 7 There you will eat in the presence of ADONAI your God; and you will rejoice over everything you set out to do, you and your households, in which ADONAI your God has blessed you. 8 You will not do things the way we do them here today, where everyone does whatever in his own opinion seems right; 9 because you haven't yet arrived at the rest and inheritance which ADONAI your God is giving you. 10 But when you cross the Yarden and live in the land ADONAI your God is having you inherit, and he gives you rest from all your surrounding enemies, so that you are living in safety; 11 then you will bring all that I am ordering you to the place ADONAI your God chooses to have his name live -your burnt offerings, sacrifices, tenths, the offering from your hand, and all your best possessions that you dedicate to ADONAI; 12 and you will rejoice in the presence of ADONAI your God - you, your sons and daughters, your male and female slaves and the Levi staying with you, inasmuch as he has no share or inheritance with you. 13 "Be careful not to offer your burnt offerings just anywhere you see, 14 but do it in the place ADONAI will choose in one of your tribal territories; there is where you are to offer your burnt offerings and do everything I order you to do. 15 However, you may slaughter and eat meat wherever you live and whenever you want, in keeping with the degree to which ADONAI your God has blessed you. The unclean and the clean may eat it, as if it were gazelle or deer. 16 But don't eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water. 17 "You are not to eat on your own property the tenth of your grain, new wine or olive oil [that you set aside for ADONAI], or the firstborn of your cattle or sheep, or any offering you have vowed, or your voluntary offering, or the offering from your hand. 18 No, you are to eat these in the presence of ADONAI your God in the place ADONAI your God will choose -you and your sons, daughters, male and female slaves, and the Levi who is your guest; and you are to rejoice before ADONAI your God in everything you undertake to do. 19 As long as you are living on your property, take care not to abandon the Levi. 20 "When ADONAI your God expands your territory, as he has promised you, and you say, 'I want to eat meat,' simply because you want to eat meat, then you may eat meat, as much as you want. 21 If the place which ADONAI your God chooses to place his name is too far away from you; then you are to slaughter animals from your cattle or sheep, which ADONAI has given you; and eat on your own property, as much as you want. 22 Eat it as you would gazelle or deer; the unclean and clean alike may eat it. 23 Just take care not to eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you are not to eat the life with the meat. 24 Don't eat it, but pour it out on the ground like water. 25 Do not eat it, so that things will go well with you and with your children after you, as you do what ADONAI sees as right. 26 Only the things set aside for God which you have, and the vows you have vowed to make, you must take and go to the place which ADONAI will choose. 27 There you will offer your burnt offerings, the meat and the blood, on the altar of ADONAI your God. The blood of your sacrifices is to be poured out on the altar of ADONAI your God, and you will eat the meat. 28 Obey and pay attention to everything I am ordering you to do, so that things will go well with you and with your descendants after you forever, as you do what ADONAI sees as good and right. 29 "When ADONAI your God has cut off ahead of you the nations you are entering in order to dispossess, and when you have dispossessed them and are living in their land; 30 be careful, after they have been destroyed ahead of you, not to be trapped into following them; so that you inquire after their gods and ask, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I want to do the same.' 31 You must not do this to ADONAI your God! For they have done to their gods all the abominations that ADONAI hates! They even burn up their sons and daughters in the fire for their gods! 32 "Everything I am commanding you, you are to take care to do. Do not add to it or subtract from it.
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