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Deuteronomy 12:1-28 (New International Version)

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The One Place of Worship

1 These are the decrees1 and laws you must be careful to follow in the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess--as long as you live in the land.2 2 Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains3 and on the hills and under every spreading tree4 where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods. 3 Break down their altars, smash5 their sacred stones and burn6 their Asherah7 poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names8 from those places. 4 You must not worship the LORD your God in their way.9 5 But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name10 there for his dwelling.11 To that place you must go; 6 there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes12 and special gifts, what you have vowed13 to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks.14 7 There, in the presence15 of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice16 in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you. 8 You are not to do as we do here today, everyone as he sees fit,17 9 since you have not yet reached the resting place18 and the inheritance19 the LORD your God is giving you. 10 But you will cross the Jordan and settle in the land the LORD your God is giving20 you as an inheritance, and he will give you rest21 from all your enemies around you so that you will live in safety. 11 Then to the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name22--there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the LORD.23 12 And there rejoice24 before the LORD your God, you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites25 from your towns, who have no allotment or inheritance26 of their own. 13 Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings anywhere you please.27 14 Offer them only at the place the LORD will choose28 in one of your tribes, and there observe everything I command you. 15 Nevertheless, you may slaughter your animals in any of your towns and eat as much of the meat as you want, as if it were gazelle or deer,29 according to the blessing the LORD your God gives you. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat it. 16 But you must not eat the blood;30 pour31 it out on the ground like water.32 17 You must not eat in your own towns the tithe33 of your grain and new wine and oil,34 or the firstborn of your herds and flocks, or whatever you have vowed to give,35 or your freewill offerings or special gifts.36 18 Instead, you are to eat37 them in the presence of the LORD your God at the place the LORD your God will choose38--you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites from your towns--and you are to rejoice39 before the LORD your God in everything you put your hand to. 19 Be careful not to neglect the Levites40 as long as you live in your land.41 20 When the LORD your God has enlarged your territory42 as he promised43 you, and you crave meat44 and say, "I would like some meat," then you may eat as much of it as you want. 21 If the place where the LORD your God chooses to put his Name45 is too far away from you, you may slaughter animals from the herds and flocks the LORD has given you, as I have commanded you, and in your own towns you may eat as much of them as you want.46 22 Eat them as you would gazelle or deer.47 Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat. 23 But be sure you do not eat the blood,48 because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the meat.49 24 You must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water.50 25 Do not eat it, so that it may go well51 with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is right52 in the eyes of the LORD. 26 But take your consecrated things and whatever you have vowed to give,53 and go to the place the LORD will choose. 27 Present your burnt offerings54 on the altar of the LORD your God, both the meat and the blood. The blood of your sacrifices must be poured beside the altar of the LORD your God, but you may eat55 the meat. 28 Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well56 with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the LORD your God.
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