Deuteronomy 13

1 Yf there a ryse amonge you a prophett or a dreamer of dreames and geue the a sygne or a wondre,
2 and that sygne or wonder which he hath sayed come to passe, and then saye: lat vs goo after straunge Goddes which thou hast not knowen, and let vs serue them:
3 herken not vnto the wordes of that prophete or dreamer of dreames. For the Lorde thy God tepteth you, to wete whether ye loue the Lord youre God with all youre hertes ad with al youre soules.
4 For ye must walke after the Lorde youre God ad feare him and kepe his comaudmentes and herken vnto his voyce and serue him and cleaue vnto him.
5 And that prophete or dreamer of dreames shall dye for it, because he hath spoke to turne you awaye fro the Lorde youre God which broughte you out of the londe of Egipte ad delyuered you out of the housse of bondage, to thrust the out of the waye whiche the Lorde thy God commaunded the to walke in: and so thou shalt put euell awaye from the.
6 Yf thy brother the sonne of thy mother or thyne awne sonne or thy doughter or the wife that lieth in thy bosome or thy frende which is as thyne awne soule vnto the, entyce the secretly sayenge: let vs goo and serue straunge goddes which thou hast not knowe nor yet thy fathers,
7 of the goddes of the people whiche are roude aboute the, whether thei be nye vnto the or farre of from the, from the one ende of the lande vnto the other:
8 Se thou consente not vnto him nor herken vnto him: no let not thyne eye pitye him nor haue compassyon on hym, nor kepe him secrett, but cause him to be slayne:
9 Thine hande shalbe first apon hym to kyll him: and then the handes off all the people.
10 And thou shalt stone hym with stones that he dye, because he hath gone aboute to thrust the awaye from the Lord thy God which brought the out of Egipte the housse of bondage.
11 And all Israel shall heare and feare ad shall doo no moare any soche wekednesse as this is, amonge them.
12 Yf thou shalt heare saye of one of thy cities which the Lorde thy God hath geuen the to dwell in,
13 that certen beyng the childern of Beliall are gone out from amonge you and haue moued the enhabiters of their citie sayeng: lat vs goo and serue straunge Goddes whiche ye haue not knowen.
14 Then seke and make serche and enquere diligently. Yf it be true and the thinge of a suertie that soch abhominacion is wrought among you:
15 then thou shalt smyte the dwellers of that citie with the edge of the swerde, and destroye it mercylesse and all that is therin, and euen the very catell thereof with the edge of the swerde.
16 And gather all the spoyle of it in to the myddes of the streates thereof, and burne with fire: both the citie and all the spoyle thereof euery whitte vnto the Lord thy God. And it shalbe an hepe for euer and shall not be bylt agayne.
17 And se that their cleaue nought of the damned thinge in thine hande, that the Lorde maye turne fro his fearse wrath and shewe the mercye ad haue compassion on the and multiplye the, as he hath sworne vnto thy fathers:
18 when thou hast herkened vnto the voyce of the Lorde thy God, to kepe all his comaundmentes which I comaunde the thys daye so that thou doo that which is right in the eyes of the Lorde thy God.

Deuteronomy 13 Commentary

Chapter 13

Enticers to idolatry to be put to death. (1-5) Relations who entice to idolatry not to be spared. (6-11) Idolatrous cities not to be spared. (12-18)

Verses 1-5 Moses had cautioned against the peril that might arise from the Canaanites. Here he cautions against the rise of idolatry among themselves. It is needful for us to be well acquainted with the truths and precepts of the Bible; for we may expect to be proved by temptations of evil under the appearance of good, of error in the guise of truth; nor can any thing rightly oppose such temptations, but the plain, express testimony of God's word to the contrary. And it would be a proof of sincere affection for God, that, notwithstanding specious pretences, they should not be wrought upon the forsake God, and follow other gods to serve them.

Verses 6-11 It is the policy of Satan to try to lead us to evil by those whom we love, whom we least suspect of any ill design, and whom we are desirous to please, and apt to conform to. The enticement here is supposed to come from a brother or child, who are near by nature; from a wife or friend, who are near by choice, and are to us as our souls. But it is our duty to prefer God and religion, before the nearest and dearest friends we have in the world. We must not, to please our friends, break God's law. Thou shalt not consent to him, nor go with him, not for company, or curiosity, not to gain his affections. It is a general rule, If sinners entice thee, consent thou not, Pr. 1:10 . And we must not hinder the course of God's justice.

Verses 12-18 Here is the case of a city revolting from the God of Israel, and serving other gods. The crime is supposed to be committed by one of the cities of Israel. Even when they were ordered to preserve their religion by force, yet they were not allowed to bring others to it by fire and sword. Spiritual judgments under the Christian dispensation are more terrible than the execution of criminals; we have not less cause than the Israelites had, to fear the Divine wrath. Let us then fear the spiritual idolatry of covetousness, and the love of worldly pleasure; and be careful not to countenance them in our families, by our example or by the education of our children. May the Lord write his law and truth in our hearts, there set up his throne, and shed abroad his love!

Chapter Summary


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 Commentaries

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