Deuteronomy 13:1-5

1 "If a prophet or 1a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,
2 and 2the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, 'Let us go after other gods,' which you have not known, 'and let us serve them,'
3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God 3is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4 You shall 4walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and 5hold fast to him.
5 But 6that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. 7So you shall purge the evil[a] from your midst.

Deuteronomy 13:1-5 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO DEUTERONOMY 13

In this chapter the Israelites are taught how to discern a false prophet, shun and punish him, De 13:1-5, what to do with enticers to idolatry, not only not to consent to them, but, without favour and affection to them, endeavour to bring them to just punishment, and be the first that should inflict it on them, De 13:6-11 and how to behave towards a city drawn into idolatry, as to inquire the truth of it; then make war against it; destroy all in it, men, women, children, and cattle; and burn the spoil of it, and suffer not anything at all belonging to it to cleave unto them, De 13:12-18.

Deuteronomy 13:1-5 In-Context

1 "If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,
2 and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, 'Let us go after other gods,' which you have not known, 'and let us serve them,'
3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4 You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him.
5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
6 "If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter or the wife you embrace or your friend who is as your own soul entices you secretly, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods,'which neither you nor your fathers have known,
7 some of the gods of the peoples who are around you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other,
8 you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him.
9 But you shall kill him. Your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people.

Cross References 7

  • 1. Jeremiah 23:25, 32; Jeremiah 27:9; Jeremiah 29:8; Zechariah 10:2
  • 2. [Deuteronomy 18:22; Jeremiah 28:9]
  • 3. Deuteronomy 8:2
  • 4. 2 Kings 23:3; 2 Chronicles 34:31
  • 5. See Deuteronomy 10:20
  • 6. Deuteronomy 18:20; [Jeremiah 2:8; Jeremiah 14:14, 15; Zechariah 13:3]
  • 7. Deuteronomy 17:7; Deuteronomy 19:19; Deuteronomy 21:21; Deuteronomy 22:21; Deuteronomy 24:7; [1 Corinthians 5:13]

Footnotes 1