Deuteronomy 11; Deuteronomy 12; Deuteronomy 13

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Deuteronomy 11

1 Love the LORD your God, and do what he wants you to do. Always obey his laws, rules, and commands.
2 Remember today the discipline you learned from the LORD your God. ([I'm not talking] to your children. They didn't see or experience any of this.) You saw and experienced his great power--his mighty hand and powerful arm.
3 You saw the miraculous signs and deeds he did in Egypt to Pharaoh (the king of Egypt) and to his whole country.
4 You saw what he did to the Egyptian army, its horses and chariots. He drowned them in the Red Sea when they pursued you. So the LORD destroyed them forever.
5 You saw what he did for you in the desert until you came here.
6 You also saw what he did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, from the tribe of Reuben. In the middle of all the Israelites the ground opened up and swallowed them, their families, their tents, and every living creature with them.
7 You saw with your own eyes all these spectacular things that the LORD did.
8 Obey all the commands I'm giving you today. Then you will have the strength to enter and take possession of the land once you've crossed [the Jordan River].
9 Then you will also live for a long time in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors and their descendants--a land flowing with milk and honey.
10 The land you're about to enter and take possession of isn't like the land you left in Egypt. There you used to plant your seed, and you had to water it like a vegetable garden.
11 The land you're about to enter is a land with hills and valleys, watered by rain from the sky.
12 It is a land the LORD your God cares about. He watches over it all year long.
13 If you faithfully obey the commands that I'm giving you today, love the LORD your God, and serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
14 I will send rain on your land at the right time, both in the fall and in the spring. Then you will gather your own grain, new wine, and olive oil.
15 I will provide grass in the fields for your animals, and you will be able to eat all you want.
16 Be careful, or you'll be tempted to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them.
17 The LORD will become angry with you. He'll shut the sky so that there'll be no rain. Then the ground won't grow any crops, and you'll quickly disappear from this good land the LORD is giving you.
18 Take these words of mine to heart and keep them in mind. [Write them down,] tie them around your wrist, and wear them as headbands as a reminder.
19 Teach them to your children, and talk about them when you're at home or away, when you lie down or get up.
20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
21 Then you and your children will live for a long time in this land that the LORD swore to give to your ancestors--as long as there's a sky above the earth.
22 Faithfully obey all these commands I'm giving you. Love the LORD your God, follow all his directions, and be loyal to him.
23 Then the LORD will force all these people out of your way. Then you will take possession of [the land belonging to] people taller and stronger than you.
24 I will give you every place on which you set foot. Your borders will be from the desert to Lebanon, from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea.
25 No one will be able to stop you. As the LORD your God promised, he will make people terrified of you wherever you go in this land.
26 Today I'm giving you the choice of a blessing or a curse.
27 You'll be blessed if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I'm giving you today.
28 You'll be cursed if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God, if you turn from the way I'm commanding you to live today, and if you worship other gods you never knew.
29 When the LORD your God brings you into the land you're about to enter, recite the blessing from Mount Gerizim and the curse from Mount Ebal.
30 (These mountains are on the west side of the Jordan, beyond the road that goes west, in the region of the Canaanites who live on the plains facing Gilgal, next to the oak trees of Moreh.)
31 You're about to cross the Jordan River to enter and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you. When you take possession of it and live there,
32 be careful to obey all the laws and rules I'm giving you today.

Deuteronomy 12

1 Here are the laws and rules you must faithfully obey in the land that the LORD God of your ancestors is giving you as your own. You must obey them as long as you live in the land.
2 Completely destroy all the worship sites on the high mountains, on the hills, and under every large tree. The people you're forcing out worship their gods in these places.
3 Tear down their altars, crush their sacred stones, burn their poles dedicated to the goddess Asherah, cut down their idols, and wipe out the names of their gods from those places.
4 Never worship the LORD your God in the way they worship their gods.
5 The LORD your God will choose a place out of all your tribes to live and put his name. Go there and worship him.
6 Bring him your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, one-tenth of your income, your contributions, the offerings you vow to bring, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your cattle, sheep, and goats.
7 There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families will eat and enjoy everything you've worked for, because the LORD your God has blessed you.
8 Never worship in the way that it's being done here today, where everyone does whatever he considers right.
9 Up until now you haven't come to your place of rest, the property the LORD your God is giving you.
10 But you will cross the Jordan River and settle in the land the LORD your God is giving you as your own property. He will give you peace from all your enemies around you so that you will live securely.
11 Then the LORD your God will choose a place where his name will live. You must bring everything I command you to that place. Bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, one-tenth of your income, your contributions, and all the best offerings you vow to bring to the LORD.
12 Enjoy yourselves in the presence of the LORD your God along with your sons, daughters, male and female slaves, and the Levites. (The Levites live in your cities because they have no land of their own as you have.)
13 Be careful that you don't sacrifice your burnt offerings wherever you want.
14 Instead, sacrifice them [only] at the place that the LORD will choose in one of your tribes. There you must do everything I command you.
15 In whatever city you live, you may slaughter and eat as much meat as you want from what the LORD your God has blessed you with. Clean and unclean people may eat it as if they were eating a gazelle or a deer.
16 But never eat the blood. Pour it on the ground like water.
17 You may not eat [the LORD's offerings] in your cities. Those offerings are: one-tenth of your grain, new wine, and olive oil; the firstborn of your cattle, sheep, or goats; the offerings you vow to bring; your freewill offerings; and your contributions.
18 Instead, you, your sons and daughters, male and female slaves, and the Levites who live in your cities must eat these in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose. There in the presence of the LORD your God enjoy everything you've worked for.
19 Don't forget to take care of the Levites as long as you live in your land.
20 The LORD your God will expand your [country's] borders as he promised. You will say, "I'm hungry for meat." Then eat as much meat as you want.
21 If the place the LORD your God chooses to put his name is too far away from you, you may slaughter an animal from the herds or flocks that the LORD has given you. Eat as much as you want in your city. I have commanded you to do this.
22 Eat it as you would eat a gazelle or a deer: Clean and unclean people may eat it together.
23 However, be sure you never eat blood, because blood contains life. Never eat the life with the meat.
24 Never eat blood. Pour it on the ground like water.
25 If you don't eat blood, things will go well for you and your descendants. You will be doing what the LORD considers right.
26 Take the holy things and the offerings you have vowed to bring, and go to the place the LORD will choose.
27 Sacrifice the meat and the blood of your burnt offerings on the altar of the LORD your God. The blood of your sacrifices is to be poured out beside the altar of the LORD your God, but you may eat the meat.
28 Be sure you obey all these instructions I'm giving you. Then things will always go well for you and your descendants because you will be doing what the LORD your God considers good and right.
29 The LORD your God will destroy the nations where you're going and force them out of your way. You will take possession of their land and live there.
30 After they've been destroyed, be careful you aren't tempted to follow their customs. Don't even ask about their gods and say, "How did these people worship their gods? We want to do what they did."
31 Never worship the LORD your God in the way they worship their gods, because everything they do for their gods is disgusting to the LORD. He hates it! They even burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods.
32 Be sure to do everything I command you. Never add anything to it or take anything away from it.

Deuteronomy 13

1 One of your people, claiming to be a prophet or to have prophetic dreams, may predict a miraculous sign or an amazing thing.
2 What he predicts may even take place. But don't listen to that prophet or dreamer if he says, "Let's worship and serve other gods." (Those gods may be gods you've never heard of.)
3 The LORD your God is testing you to find out if you really love him with all your heart and with all your soul.
4 Worship the LORD your God, fear him, obey his commands, listen to what he says, serve him, and be loyal to him.
5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and freed you from slavery. He was trying to lead you away from following the directions the LORD your God gave you. You must get rid of this evil.
6 Your own brother, son, or daughter, the wife you love, or your best friend may secretly tempt you, saying, "Let's go worship other gods." (Those gods may be gods that you and your ancestors never knew.
7 They may be the gods of the people around you, who live near or far, from one end of the land to the other.)
8 Don't be influenced by any of these people or listen to them. Have no pity on them. Don't feel sorry for them or protect them.
9 You must put them to death. You must start the execution. Then all the other people will join you in putting them to death.
10 Stone them to death because they were trying to lead you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of slavery in Egypt.
11 All Israel will hear about it and be afraid. Then no one among you will ever do such a wicked thing again.
12 You may hear that the residents in one of the cities which the LORD your God is giving you to live in
13 have been led away from the LORD your God by worthless people. You may hear that these people have been saying, "Let's worship other gods." (Those gods may be gods you've never heard of.)
14 Then make a thorough investigation. If it is true, and you can prove that this disgusting thing has been done among you,
15 you must kill the residents of that city with swords and destroy that city and everyone in it, including the animals, because they are claimed by God.
16 Gather their goods into the middle of the city square. Then burn their city and all their goods as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. It must remain a mound of ruins and never be rebuilt.
17 Don't ever take any of the things claimed for destruction. Then the LORD will stop being angry and will show you mercy. In his mercy he will make your population increase, as he swore to your ancestors.
18 The LORD your God will do this if you listen to him, obey all the commands that I'm giving you today, and do what he considers right.