Deuteronomy 12 (New American Standard)

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Laws of the Sanctuary

1 "These are the statutes and the judgments which you shall carefully observe in the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess a1as long as you live on the bearth. 2 "You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the 2high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. 3 "3You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their cAsherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and 4obliterate their name from that place. 4 "You shall not act like this toward the LORD your God. 5 "5But you shall seek the LORD at the place which the LORD your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come. 6 "There you shall bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, 6your tithes, the dcontribution of your hand, your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. 7 "There also you and your households shall eat before the LORD your God, and 7rejoice in all eyour undertakings in which the LORD your God has blessed you. 8 "You shall not do at all what we are doing here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes; 9 for you have not as yet come to 8the resting place and the 9inheritance which the LORD your God is giving you. 10 "When you cross the Jordan and live in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and 10He gives you rest from all your enemies around you so that you live in security, 11 11then it shall come about that the place in which the LORD your God will choose for His name to dwell, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the fcontribution of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings which you will vow to the LORD. 12 "And you shall 12rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your sons and daughters, your male and female servants , and the 13Levite who is within your gates, since 14he has no portion or inheritance with you. 13 "15Be careful that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every cultic place you see, 14 but in the place which the LORD chooses in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you. 15 "16However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your gates, gwhatever you desire, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of 17the gazelle and the deer. 16 "18Only you shall not eat the blood; 19you are to pour it out on the ground like water. 17 "20You are not allowed to eat within your gates the tithe of your grain or new wine or oil, or the firstborn of your herd or flock, or any of your votive offerings which you vow, or your freewill offerings, or the hcontribution of your hand. 18 "But 21you shall eat them before the LORD your God in 22the place which the LORD your God will choose, you and your son and daughter, and your male and female servants , and the 23Levite who is within your gates; and you shall 24rejoice before the LORD your God in all iyour undertakings. 19 "25Be careful that you do not forsake the Levite jas long as you live in your land. 20 "When the LORD your God extends your border 26as He has promised you, and you say, 'I will eat meat,' because kyou desire to eat meat, then you may eat meat, lwhatever you desire. 21 "If the place which the LORD your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, then you may slaughter of your herd and flock which the LORD has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your gates mwhatever you desire. 22 "Just as a gazelle or a deer is eaten, so you will eat it; the unclean and the clean alike may eat of it. 23 "Only be sure 27not to eat the blood, for the blood is the nlife, and you shall not eat the olife with the flesh. 24 "You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the ground like water. 25 "You shall not eat it, so that 28it may be well with you and your sons after you, for 29you will be doing what is right in the sight of the LORD. 26 "30Only your holy things which you may have and your votive offerings, you shall take and go to the place which the LORD chooses. 27 "And 31you shall offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of the LORD your God; and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the LORD your God, and 32you shall eat the flesh. 28 "Be careful to listen to all these words which I command you, so that 33it may be well with you and your sons after you forever , for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God. 29 "When 34the LORD your God cuts off before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 beware that you are not ensnared pto follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?' 31 "35You shall not behave thus toward the LORD your God, for every abominable act which the LORD hates they have done for their gods; for 36they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 "q37Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; 38you shall not add to nor take away from it.
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