Deuteronomy 4 (Complete Jewish Bible)

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1 "Now, Isra'el, listen to the laws and rulings I am teaching you, in order to follow them, so that you will live; then you will go in and take possession of the land that ADONAI, the God of your fathers, is giving you. 2 In order to obey the mitzvot of ADONAI your God which I am giving you, do not add to what I am saying, and do not subtract from it. 3 You saw with your own eyes what ADONAI did at Ba'al-P'or, that ADONAI destroyed from among you all the men who followed Ba'al-P'or; 4 but you who stuck with ADONAI your God are still alive today, every one of you. 5 Look, I have taught you laws and rulings, just as ADONAI my God ordered me, so that you can behave accordingly in the land where you are going in order to take possession of it. 6 Therefore, observe them; and follow them; for then all peoples will see you as having wisdom and understanding. When they hear of all these laws, they will say, 'This great nation is surely a wise and understanding people.' 7 For what great nation is there that has God as close to them as ADONAI our God is, whenever we call on him? 8 What great nation is there that has laws and rulings as just as this entire Torah which I am setting before you today? 9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves diligently as long as you live, so that you won't forget what you saw with your own eyes, so that these things won't vanish from your hearts. Rather, make them known to your children and grandchildren - 10 the day you stood before ADONAI your God at Horev, when ADONAI said to me, 'Gather the people to me, and I will make them hear my very words, so that they will learn to hold me in awe as long as they live on earth, and so that they will teach their children.' 11 You approached and stood at the foot of the mountain; and the mountain blazed with fire to the heart of heaven, with darkness, clouds and thick mist. 12 Then ADONAI spoke to you out of the fire! You heard the sound of words but saw no shape, there was only a voice. 13 He proclaimed his covenant to you, which he ordered you to obey, the Ten Words; and he wrote them on two stone tablets. 14 At that time ADONAI ordered me to teach you laws and rulings, so that you would live by them in the land you are entering in order to take possession of it. 15 "Therefore, watch out for yourselves! Since you did not see a shape of any kind on the day ADONAI spoke to you in Horev from the fire, 16 do not become corrupt and make yourselves a carved image having the shape of any figure - not a representation of a human being, male or female, 17 or a representation of any animal on earth, or a representation of any bird that flies in the air, 18 or a representation of anything that creeps along on the ground, or a representation of any fish in the water below the shoreline. 19 For the same reason, do not look up at the sky, at the sun, moon, stars and everything in the sky, and be drawn away to worship and serve them; ADONAI your God has allotted these to all the peoples under the entire sky. 20 No, you ADONAI has taken and brought out of the smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of inheritance for him, as you are today. 21 "But ADONAI was angry with me on account of you and swore that I would not cross the Yarden and go into that good land, which ADONAI your God is giving you to inherit. 22 Rather, I must die in this land and not cross the Yarden; but you are to cross and take possession of that good land. 23 Watch out for yourselves, so that you won't forget the covenant of ADONAI your God, which he made with you, and make yourself a carved image, a representation of anything forbidden to you by ADONAI your God. 24 For ADONAI your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. 25 "When you have had children and grandchildren, lived a long time in the land, become corrupt and made a carved image, a representation of something, and thus done what is evil in the sight of ADONAI your God and provoked him; 26 I call on the sky and the earth to witness against you today that you will quickly disappear from the land that you are crossing the Yarden to possess. You will not prolong your days there but will be completely destroyed. 27 ADONAI will scatter you among the peoples; and among the nations to which ADONAI will lead you away, you will be left few in number. 28 There you will serve gods which are the product of human hands, made of wood and stone, which can't see, hear, eat or smell. 29 However, from there you will seek ADONAI your God; and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and being. 30 In your distress, when all these things have come upon you, in the acharit-hayamim, you will return to ADONAI your God and listen to what he says; 31 for ADONAI your God is a merciful God. He will not fail you, destroy you, or forget the covenant with your ancestors which he swore to them. 32 "Indeed, inquire about the past, before you were born: since the day God created human beings on the earth, from one end of heaven to the other, has there ever been anything as wonderful as this? Has anyone heard anything like it? 33 Did any other people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of a fire, as you have heard, and stay alive? 34 Or has God ever tried to go and take for himself a nation from the very bowels of another nation, by means of ordeals, signs, wonders, war, a mighty hand, an outstretched arm and great terrors -like all that ADONAI your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? 35 This was shown to you, so that you would know that ADONAI is God, and there is no other beside him. 36 From heaven he caused you to hear his voice, in order to instruct you; and on earth he caused you to see his great fire; and you heard his very words coming out from the fire. 37 Because he loved your ancestors, chose their descendants after them and brought you out of Egypt with his presence and great power, 38 in order to drive out ahead of you nations greater and stronger than you, so that he could bring you in and give you their land as an inheritance, as is the case today; 39 know today, and establish it in your heart, that ADONAI is God in heaven above and on earth below - there is no other. 40 Therefore, you are to keep his laws and mitzvot which I am giving you today, so that it will go well with you and with your children after you, and so that you will prolong your days in the land ADONAI your God is giving you forever." 41 Then Moshe separated three cities on the east side of the Yarden, toward the sunrise, 42 to which a killer might flee, that is, someone who kills by mistake a person whom he did not previously hate, and upon fleeing to one of these cities might live there. 43 The cities were Betzer in the desert, in the flatland, for the Re'uveni; Ramot in Gil'ad for the Gadi; and Golan in Bashan for the M'nashi. 44 This is the Torah which Moshe placed before the people of Isra'el - 45 these are the instructions, laws and rulings which Moshe presented to the people of Isra'el after they had come out of Egypt - 46 beyond the Yarden River, in the valley across from Beit-P'or, in the land of Sichon king of the Emori, who lived at Heshbon, whom Moshe and the people of Isra'el defeated when they came out of Egypt; 47 and they took possession of his land and the land of 'Og king of Bashan, the two kings of the Emori, who were beyond the Yarden toward the sunrise; 48 from 'Aro'er on the edge of the Arnon Valley to Mount Si'on," that is, Mount Hermon, 49 "with all the 'Aravah beyond the Yarden eastward, all the way to the Dead Sea at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah.
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