Deuteronomy 11-13 Revised Standard Version

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The Greatness of the LORD

11 1  "You shall therefore love the Lord your God, and keep his charge, his statutes, his ordinances, and his commandments always. 2  And consider this day (since I am not speaking to your children who have not known or seen it), consider the discipline of the Lord your God, his greatness, his mighty hand and his outstretched arm, 3  his signs and his deeds which he did in Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt and to all his land; 4  and what he did to the army of Egypt, to their horses and to their chariots; how he made the water of the Red Sea overflow them as they pursued after you, and how the Lord has destroyed them to this day; 5  and what he did to you in the wilderness, until you came to this place; 6  and what he did to Dathan and Abi'ram the sons of Eli'ab, son of Reuben; how the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households, their tents, and every living thing that followed them, in the midst of all Israel; 7  for your eyes have seen all the great work of the Lord which he did.

The Blessings of the Promised Land

8  "You shall therefore keep all the commandment which I command you this day, that you may be strong, and go in and take possession of the land which you are going over to possess, 9  and that you may live long in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give to them and to their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10  For the land which you are entering to take possession of it is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it with your feet, like a garden of vegetables; 11  but the land which you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven, 12  a land which the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. 13  "And if you will obey my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14  he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. 15  And he will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you shall eat and be full. 16  Take heed lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, 17  and the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and he shut up the heavens, so that there be no rain, and the land yield no fruit, and you perish quickly off the good land which the Lord gives you.

18  "You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19  And you shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 20  And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates, 21  that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. 22  For if you will be careful to do all this commandment which I command you to do, loving the Lord your God, walking in all his ways, and cleaving to him, 23  then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves. 24  Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours; your territory shall be from the wilderness and Lebanon and from the River, the river Euphra'tes, to the western sea. 25  No man shall be able to stand against you; the Lord your God will lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that you shall tread, as he promised you.

26  "Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse: 27  the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day, 28  and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods which you have not known. 29  And when the Lord your God brings you into the land which you are entering to take possession of it, you shall set the blessing on Mount Ger'izim and the curse on Mount Ebal. 30  Are they not beyond the Jordan, west of the road, toward the going down of the sun, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah, over against Gilgal, beside the oak of Moreh? 31  For you are to pass over the Jordan to go in to take possession of the land which the Lord your God gives you; and when you possess it and live in it, 32  you shall be careful to do all the statutes and the ordinances which I set before you this day.

Only One Place of Worship

12 1  "These are the statutes and ordinances which you shall be careful to do in the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess, all the days that you live upon the earth. 2  You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, upon the high mountains and upon the hills and under every green tree; 3  you shall tear down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their Ashe'rim with fire; you shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy their name out of that place. 4  You shall not do so to the Lord your God.

5  But you shall seek the place which the Lord your God will choose out of all your tribes to put his name and make his habitation there; thither you shall go, 6  and thither you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the offering that you present, your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herd and of your flock; 7  and there you shall eat before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your households, in all that you undertake, in which the Lord your God has blessed you. 8  You shall not do according to all that we are doing here this day, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes; 9  for you have not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance which the Lord your God gives you. 10  But when you go over the Jordan, and live in the land which the Lord your God gives you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you live in safety, 11  then to the place which the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell there, thither you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the offering that you present, and all your votive offerings which you vow to the Lord. 12  And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your menservants and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your towns, since he has no portion or inheritance with you. 13  Take heed that you do not offer your burnt offerings at every place that you see; 14  but at the place which the Lord will choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I am commanding you. 15  "However, you may slaughter and eat flesh within any of your towns, as much as 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 the gazelle and as of the hart. 16  Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it out upon the earth like water. 17  You may not eat within your towns the tithe of your grain or of your wine or of your oil, or the firstlings of your herd or of your flock, or any of your votive offerings which you vow, or your freewill offerings, or the offering that you present; 18  but you shall eat them before the Lord your God in the place which the Lord your God will choose, you and your son and your daughter, your manservant and your maidservant, and the Levite who is within your towns; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God in all that you undertake. 19  Take heed that you do not forsake the Levite as long as you live in your land. 20  "When the Lord your God enlarges your territory, as he has promised you, and you say, 'I will eat flesh,' because you crave flesh, you may eat as much flesh as you desire. 21  If the place which the Lord your God will choose to put his name there is too far from you, then you may kill any of your herd or your flock, which the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your towns as much as you desire. 22  Just as the gazelle or the hart is eaten, so you may eat of it; the unclean and the clean alike may eat of it. 23  Only be sure that you do not eat the blood; for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh. 24  You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out upon the earth like water. 25  You shall not eat it; that all may go well with you and with your children after you, when you do what is right in the sight of the Lord. 26  But the holy things which are due from you, and your votive offerings, you shall take, and you shall go to the place which the Lord will choose, 27  and offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of the Lord your God; the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the Lord your God, but the flesh you may eat. 28  Be careful to heed all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you for ever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.

Warning against Idolatry

29  "When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30  take heed that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? --that I also may do likewise.' 31  You shall not do so to the Lord your God; for every abominable thing which the Lord hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. 32  "Everything that I command you you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to it or take from it.

13 1  "If a prophet arises among you, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2  and the sign or wonder which 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 to 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 cleave 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 bondage, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from the midst of you.

6  "If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, 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 that are round about 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 afterwards the hand of all the people. 10  You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 11  And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and never again do any such wickedness as this among you.

12  "If you hear in one of your cities, which the Lord your God gives you to dwell there, 13  that certain base fellows have gone out among you and have drawn away the inhabitants of the city, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods,' which you have not known, 14  then you shall inquire and make search and ask diligently; and behold, if it be true and certain that such an abominable thing has been done among you, 15  you shall surely put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, destroying it utterly, all who are in it and its cattle, with the edge of the sword. 16  You shall gather all its spoil into the midst of its open square, and burn the city and all its spoil with fire, as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God; it shall be a heap for ever, it shall not be built again. 17  None of the devoted things shall cleave to your hand; that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and show you mercy, and have compassion on you, and multiply you, as he swore to your fathers, 18  if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, keeping all his commandments which I command you this day, and doing what is right in the sight of the Lord your God.

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