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Deuteronomy 12 (Lexham English Bible)

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Detailed Stipulations: Purity and Unity

1 "These [are] the rules and the regulations {that you must diligently observe}a in the land that Yahweh, [the] God of your ancestors,b has given to you to take possession of it, [during] all the days that you [are] living on the land. 2 You must completely demolish all [of] the places there where [they] served their gods, [that is], the nations whom you [are] about to dispossess, on the high mountains, and on the hills and under each leafy green tree.c 3 And you shall break down their altars, and you shall smash their stone pillars, and their Asherah poles you must burn with fire, and the images of their gods you shall hew down, and you shall blot out their names from that place. 4 You shall not worship Yahweh your God like this. 5 {But only}d to the place that Yahweh your God will choose from all [of] your tribes to place his name there as his dwelling shall you seek, and there you shall go. 6 And you shall bring there your burnt offerings and your sacrifices and your tithes and {your donations}e and your votive gifts and your freewill offerings and the firstling of your herd and your flock. 7 And you shall eat there {before}f Yahweh your God, and you shall rejoice {in all your endeavors},g you and your family [in] which Yahweh your God has blessed you. 8 "You must not do [just] as we [are] doing here {today},h {each according to all that is right in his eyes}.i 9 For you have not come up to now to the resting place and to the inheritance that Yahweh your God [is] giving to you. 10 But you will cross the Jordan, and you will settle in the land that Yahweh your God [is] giving you as an inheritance, and he will give rest to you from all your enemies from all around, and you will live securely, 11 {and then}j [at] the place that Yahweh your God will choose, to let his name dwell there, there you shall bring all [the things] I [am] commanding you, your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and {your donations},k and all [of] the choice [things], your votive gifts that you vow to Yahweh. 12 And you shall rejoice {before}l Yahweh your God, you and your sons and your daughters and your slaves and your slave women and the Levite who [is] in your {towns},m because there is not for him a plot of ground and an inheritance with you. 13 "Take care for yourself so that you do not offer your burnt offerings at [just] any place that you happen to see, 14 {but only}n at the place that Yahweh will choose among one of your tribes; there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all [the things] that I [am] commanding you. 15 "But {whenever you desire}o you may slaughter, and you may eat meat according to the blessing of Yahweh your God that he has given to you in all [of] your {towns};p the unclean and the clean may eat it [just] as [they would] the gazelle and as the deer. 16 Only the blood you must not eat, [but] on the ground you must pour it like water. 17 You are not allowed to eat in your {towns}q the tithe of your grain and your wine and your olive oil and the firstborn of your herd and your flock and all [of] your votive gifts that you vowed and your freewill offering and {your donations}.r 18 But only {before}s Yahweh your God you shall eat it, at the place that Yahweh your God will choose,t you and your son and your daughter and your slave and your slave woman and the Levite who [is] in your {towns},u and you must rejoice {before}v your God {in all your undertakings}.w 19 {Take care}x so that you do not neglect the Levite all [of] your days on your land. 20 "When Yahweh your God enlarges your territory [just] as he has {promised}y to you, and you say 'I want to eat [some] meat,' {because you want it},z {whenever you desire}aa you may eat meat. 21 If the place thatbb Yahweh your God will choose to put his name there is [too] far from you, and you slaughter any of your herd and any of your flock that Yahweh has given to you [just] as I have commanded you, then you may eat whenever you desire in your {towns}.cc 22 Surely [just] as the gazelle and the deer is eaten, so [both] the unclean and the clean together may eat it. 23 Only, be sure not to eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the meat. 24 You shall not eat it, [but] on the ground you shall pour it out like water. 25 You shall not eat it, so that {it will go well}dd for you [and] your children after you, because [then] you will [be] doing what isee right in the eyes of Yahweh. 26 Only your holy objects {that are yours}ff and your votive gifts you must carry and you must bring to the place that Yahweh will choose. 27 And you shall offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood on the altar of Yahweh your God, and the blood of your sacrifices you shall pour out on the altar of Yahweh your God, but the meat you may eat. 28 {Be careful to obey}gg all these things that I [am] commanding you, so that {it will go well}hh for you and for your children after you {forever},ii because then you will [be] doing what isjj good and rightkk in the eyes of Yahweh your God. 29 "When Yahweh your God has cut off the nations whom you [are] {about to go to},ll to dispossess them {before you},mm and you have dispossessed them, and you live in their land, 30 {take care}nn so that you are not ensnared {into imitating them}oo after their being destroyed from {before you},pp and so that you not enquire concerning their gods, {saying},qq 'How did these nations serve their gods, and [thus] {I myself}rr want to do also.' 31 You must not do so toward Yahweh your God, because of every detestable thing they have done for their gods Yahweh hates, for even their sons and their daughters they would burn in the fire to their gods. 32 ss All of the thingstt that I [am] commanding you, {you must diligently observe};uu you shall not add to it, and you shall not take away from it."
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