Then Moses went and spoke these words to all the Israelites:
"I am now one hundred twenty years old, and I cannot lead you anymore. The Lord told me I would not cross the Jordan River;
the Lord your God will lead you across himself. He will destroy those nations for you, and you will take over their land. Joshua will also lead you across, as the Lord has said.
The Lord will do to those nations what he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, when he destroyed them and their land.
The Lord will give those nations to you; do to them everything I told you.
Be strong and brave. Don't be afraid of them and don't be frightened, because the Lord your God will go with you. He will not leave you or forget you."
Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in front of the people, "Be strong and brave, because you will lead these people into the land the Lord promised to give their ancestors, and help them take it as their own.
The Lord himself will go before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forget you. Don't be afraid and don't worry."
So Moses wrote down these teachings and gave them to the priests and all the older leaders of Israel. (The priests are the sons of Levi, who carry the Ark of the Agreement with the Lord.)
Then Moses commanded them: "Read these teachings for all Israel to hear at the end of every seven years, which is the year to cancel what people owe. Do it during the Feast of Shelters, when all the Israelites will come to appear before the Lord your God and stand at the place he will choose.
Gather all the people: the men, women, children, and foreigners living in your towns so that they can listen and learn to respect the Lord your God and carefully obey everything in this law.
Since their children do not know this law, they must hear it. They must learn to respect the Lord your God for as long as they live in the land you are crossing the Jordan River to take for your own."
The Lord said to Moses, "Soon you will die. Get Joshua and come to the Meeting Tent so that I may command him." So Moses and Joshua went to the Meeting Tent.
The Lord appeared at the Meeting Tent in a cloud; the cloud stood over the entrance of the Tent.
And the Lord said to Moses, "You will soon die. Then these people will not be loyal to me but will worship the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will leave me, breaking the Agreement I made with them.
Then I will become very angry at them, and I will leave them. I will turn away from them, and they will be destroyed. Many terrible things will happen to them. Then they will say, 'It is because God is not with us that these terrible things are happening.'
I will surely turn away from them then, because they have done wrong and have turned to other gods.
"Now write down this song and teach it to the Israelites. Then have them sing it, because it will be my witness against them.
When I bring them into the land I promised to their ancestors, a fertile land, they will eat as much as they want and get fat. Then they will turn to other gods and serve them. They will reject me and break my Agreement.
Then when many troubles and terrible things happen to them, this song will testify against them, because the song will not be forgotten by their descendants. I know what they plan to do, even before I take them into the land I promised them."
So Moses wrote down the song that day, and he taught it to the Israelites.
Then the Lord gave this command to Joshua son of Nun: "Be strong and brave, because you will lead the people of Israel to the land I promised them, and I will be with you."
After Moses finished writing all the words of the teachings in a book,
he gave a command to the Levites, who carried the Ark of the Agreement with the Lord.
He said, "Take this Book of the Teachings and put it beside the Ark of the Agreement with the Lord your God. It must stay there as a witness against you.
I know how stubborn and disobedient you are. You have disobeyed the Lord while I am alive and with you, and you will disobey even more after I die!
Gather all the older leaders of your tribes and all your officers to me so that I may say these things for them to hear, and so that I may ask heaven and earth to testify against them.
I know that after I die you will become completely evil. You will turn away from the commands I have given you. Terrible things will happen to you in the future when you do what the Lord says is evil, and you will make him angry with the idols you have made."
And Moses spoke this whole song for all the people of Israel to hear: