34：5 上主的仆人梅瑟遂死在那 ，按上主所预定的，死在摩阿布地。
BOOK ENDS. Seraphim, April 2009.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 1
- INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSES
- THE FIRST DISCOURSE OF MOSES
Its time and place
1:1 These are the words spoken beyond Jordan to the whole of Israel. (In the wilderness, in the Arabah facing Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab.
1:2 It is eleven day’s march from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea.)[*a]
1:3 It was in the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, that Moses spoke to the sons of Israel as Yahweh had ordered.
1:4 He had defeated Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who lived at Ashtaroth and Edrei.
1:5 There, in the land of Moab beyond the Jordan, Moses set himself to expound this Law. He said:
The final Instructions at Horeb
1:6 ‘Yahweh our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain.
1:7 Move or from here, continue your journey, go to the highlands of the Amorites, to those who make their home in the Arabah, in the highlands, in the lowlands, in the Negeb and in the coastland; go into the land of Canaan and to Lebanon as far as the great river Euphrates.
1:8 This is the land I have made over to you; go and take possession of the land that Yahweh swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and to their descendants after them.”
1:9 ‘It was then that I told you: I cannot carry the burden of you by myself.
1:10 Yahweh your God has multiplied you, till now you are like the stars of heaven in number.
1:11 And Yahweh your God is going to increase you a thousand times more, and bless you as he promised.
1:12 So how can I carry the heavy burden of you and your bickerings, all by myself?
1:13 Bring me wise men, shrewd and tested, out of each of your tribes, therefore, and I will make them your leaders.
1:14 And you answered me, “Your plan is a good one”.
1:15 And so I selected tribal leaders for you, wise[*b] men and tested, and appointed them to lead you: captains of thousands, hundreds, fifties, tens, and scribes for your tribes too.
1:16 At that same time I told your judges: You must give your brothers a fair hearing and see justice done between a man and his brother or the stranger who lives with him.
1:17 You must be impartial in judgement and give an equal hearing to small and great alike. Do not be afraid of any man, for the judgement is God’s. Should a case be too difficult, bring it to me and I will hear it.
1:18 And I gave you directions at that time for everything you were to do.
Kadesh: the Israelites lose faith
1:19 ‘So we left Horeb and came to the vast and terrible wilderness you have seen. We made for the highlands of the Amorites, as Yahweh our God had ordered, and arrived at Kadesh-barnea.
1:20 It was then that I said to you: Now you have reached these Amorite highlands which Yahweh our God is giving to us.
1:21 See, Yahweh your God has made over this land to you. March in, take possession of it as Yahweh the God of your fathers ordered you; do not be afraid or discouraged.
1:22 Then you all came to me and said, “Let us send men ahead of us to explore the country; they will report to us which way we must go and what towns we shall come to”.
1:23 This seemed good advice to me and I selected twelve of your men, one from each tribe.
1:24 These men made towards the highlands and went up into them; they reached the Valley of Eshcol and reconnoitred it.
1:25 They collected some of the fruit of the country and brought it down to us; and they made us this report, “It is a prosperous land that Yahweh our God has given us”.
1:26 Yet you refused to go up into it and you rebelled against the voice of Yahweh your God.
1:27 You grumbled in your tents; “It is because he hates us” you said “that Yahweh brought us out of the land of Egypt to put us under the power of the Amorites and so destroy us.
1:28 What kind of place are we making for? Our own brothers have made us lose heart: It is a people, they say, bigger and stronger than we are; their cities are immense, with walls reaching to the sky. And we saw Anakim there too.”
1:29 ‘And I said to you: Do not take fright, do not be afraid of them.
1:30 Yahweh your God goes in front of you and will be fighting on your side as you saw him fight for you in Egypt.
1:31 In the wilderness, too, you saw him: how Yahweh carried you, as a man carries his child, all along the road you travelled on the way to this place.
1:32 But for all this, you put not faith in Yahweh your God,
1:33 who had gone in front of you on the journey to find you a camping ground, by night in the fire to light your path, by day in the cloud.
Yahweh’s instructions at Kadesh
1:34 ‘Yahweh heard this talk of yours and, in his anger, took this oath,
1:35 “Not one of these men, this perverse generation, shall see the rich land that I swore to give to your fathers,
1:36 except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He shall see it. To him and to his sons I will give the land he has set foot on, for he has followed Yahweh in all things”.
1:37 Yahweh was angry with me too, on your account. “You shall not go in either” he said.
1:38 “Your servant Joshua son of Nun, he shall be the one to enter. Give him encouragement, for it is he who shall bring Israel to take possession of the land.
1:39 But your little ones who, you said, would be seized as booty, these children of yours who do not yet know good from evil, these shall go in there; I will give it to them and they shall possess it.
1:40 As for you, turn round, go back into the wilderness, in the direction of the Sea of Suph.”
1:41 ‘You answered me then, “We have sinned against Yahweh our God. We will go up and fight as Yahweh our God has ordered us.” And each one of you buckled on his arms and blithely marched up into the highlands.
1:42 But Yahweh said to me, “Tell them this: Do not go up and fight. I am not among you. You will be defeated by your enemies.”
1:43 And I did tell you, but you would not listen, and you rebelled against the voice of Yahweh: you still dared to go up into the highlands.
1:44 The Amorites, who live in that country of hills, came swarming out against you like bees, pursued you and struck you down in Seir and as far away as Hormah.
1:45 And when you returned you shed tears in the presence of Yahweh, but he did not listen to your cries and paid no heed to you.
1:46 For many a day you had to stay at Kadesh, your full tally of days.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 2
Israel’s relations with Edom and Moab
2:1 ‘We turned round, therefore, and made for the wilderness, in the direction of the Sea of Suph, as Yahweh had ordered me. For many days we wandered about the highlands of Seir.
2:2 Yahweh then said to me,
2:3 “You have wandered long enough in these highlands. Go north.
2:4 And give the people this order: You are about to pass through the territory of your kinsmen, the sons of Esau who live in Seir. They are frightened of you; but take care
2:5 not to provoke them. For I will give you none of their land, no, not so much as a foot’s length of it. I have given the highlands of Seir to Esau as his domain.
2:6 Pay them in money for what food you eat; and pay them in money for all the water you drink.
2:7 Yahweh your God has blessed you in all you do; he has watched over your journeying through this vast wilderness. Yahweh your God has been with you these forty years and you have never been in want.”
2:8 ‘So we passed beyond those kinsmen of ours, the sons of Esau who live in Seir, by the Arabah and Elath and Ezion-geber road; then, changing direction, we took the road towards the wilderness of Moab.
2:9 And Yahweh said to me, “Make no attack on Moab and do not provoke him to fight, for I will give you
none of his land. I have given Ar into the possession of the sons of Lot.’
2:10 (At one time the Emim lived there, a great and numerous people, tall as the Anakim;[*a]
2:11 and, like the Anakim, they were accounted Rephaim, though the Moabites call them Emim.
2:12 The Horites,[*b] too, lived in Seir at one time; these, however, were dispossessed and exterminated by the sons of Esau who settled there in place of them, just as Israel did in their own land, the heritage they received from Yahweh.)
2:13 ‘Forward, then! Cross the wadi Zered!”
The arrival in Transjordania
‘And so we crossed the wadi Zered.
2:14 Now from Kadesh-barnea to the wadi Zered our wanderings had taken thirty-eight years, so that the whole generation of men fit for war was lost to the camp, as Yahweh had sworn to them.
2:15 The hand of Yahweh fell upon them in the camp until they had perished entirely.
2:16 When all the men fit for war had been carried off by death from among the people, down to the last man,
2:17 Yahweh said this to me,
2:18 “You are now about to cross Ar, the land of Moab,
2:19 and to approach the frontier of the sons of Ammon. Make no attack on them and do not provoke them, for I will give you none of the land belonging to the sons of Ammon. I have given it to the sons of Lot as their domain.’
2:20 (This also was accounted a land of Rephaim; at one time the Rephaim lived there, though the Ammonites call them Zamzummim,
2:21 a great and numerous people, tall as the Anakim. Yahweh exterminated them before the advancing Ammonites who dispossessed them and settled there in place of them,
2:22 just as he had exterminated the Horites in front of the sons of Esau who live in Seir, so that they dispossessed them and settled there in place of them and are still there now.
2:23 It was the same with the Avvites who had their encampments as far as Gaza: the Caphtorim, coming from Caphtor,[*c] exterminated them, settling there in place of them.)
2:24 ‘Break camp, set out and cross the wadi Arnon. See, I am putting Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, at your mercy, and his country too. Set about the conquest; engage him in battle.
2:25 Today and henceforth I spread the terror and fear of you among the peoples under all heaven: all who hear the sound of your coming will tremble and be in dread.”
The conquest of Sihon’s kingdom
2:26 ‘So from the wilderness of Kedemoth I sent envoys to Sihon king of Heshbon with this message of peace:
2:27 I mean to pass through your land. I shall go my way, straying neither right nor left.
2:28 What food I eat, sell me in return for money; and I will pay for all the water I drink. Only give me leave to march through, just as the sons of Esau who live in Seir gave me leave,
2:29 and the Moabites who live in Ar, until I cross the Jordan into the land that Yahweh our God is giving to us.
2:30 ‘But Sihon king of Heshbon would not give us leave to pass through his land: Yahweh your God has made his spirit obstinate and his heart stubborn, so as to leave him at your mercy, as he still is.
2:31 And Yahweh said to me, “You see, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his land over to you. Set about the conquest; seize his land.”
2:32 Sihon then, with all his people, marched out against us to give battle at Jahaz.
2:33 And Yahweh our God delivered him over to us: we defeated him, with his sons and all his people.
2:34 Then we captured all his cities and laid whole towns under ban, men, women, children; we spared nothing
2:35 but the livestock which we took as our spoil, as also the plunder from the towns we captured.
2:36 From Aroer on the height above the wadi Arnon, and from the town at the bottom of the ravine, as far as Gilead, not one town was beyond our reach; Yahweh our God delivered them all over to us.
2:37 The country of the Ammonites alone you did not go near, neither the region of wadi Jabbok nor the towns of the hill country, nor anywhere forbidden us by Yahweh our God.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 3
The end of the stay in Transjordania
3:1 ‘We then turned in the direction of Bashan and went up there. And Og king of Bashan marched out against us, he and all his people, to give battle at Edrei.
3:2 And Yahweh said to me, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have put him at your mercy, with all his people and his land. Deal with him as you dealt with Sihon the king of the Amorites who lives in Heshbon.”
3:3 So Yahweh our God put Og king of Bashan at our mercy too, with all his people. We struck him down and not a thing remained to him.
3:4 We captured all his towns at that time; there was not a town of theirs we did not take: sixty towns, the whole confederation of Argob, Og’s capital in Bashan,
3:5 all strongholds enclosed in high walls and fortified with gates and bars, not to mention the Perizzite[*a] towns, which were very many.
3:6 We laid them under ban as we had done with Sihon king of Heshbon, laying the whole town, men, women, children, under the ban;
3:7 but we seized the livestock and the spoil from these towns as our plunder.
3:8 ‘So at that time we took the land of the two Amorite kings beyond Jordan, from the wadi Arnon to Mount Hermon
3:9 (the Sidonians call Hermon Sirion and the Amorites call it Senir):
3:10 all the towns of the tableland, all Gilead, and all Bashan as far as Salecah and Edrei, the capital cities of Og in Bashan.
3:11 (Og king of Bashan was the last survivor of the Rephaim; his bed was the bed of iron[*b] that can be seen at Rabbah-of-the-Ammonites, nine cubits long and four wide, in the common cubit.)
3:12 ‘At that time, therefore, we occupied this land, onwards from Aroer on the wadi Arnon. To Reuben and Gad I gave half the highlands of Gilead with its towns.
3:13 To the half-tribe of Manasseh I gave the rest of Gilead and the whole of Bashan, Og’s kingdom. (The whole confederation of Argob and the whole of Bashan is called the country of the Rephaim.
3:14 Since Jair son of Manasseh occupied the whole confederation of Argob as far as the frontiers of the Geshurites and Maacathites, he gave his name to those towns that are still called the Encampments of Jair.)
3:15 To Machir I gave Gilead.
3:16 To the Reubenites and the Gadites I gave the region from Gilead to the wadi Arnon, the middle of the ravine marking the boundary, and up as far as the Jabbok, the wadi marking the frontier of the Ammonites.
3:17 The Arabah and the Jordan serve as frontiers from Chinnereth down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea), at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah on the east.
The last instructions of Moses
3:18 ‘Then I gave you this command: Yahweh your God has given you this land for your own. All you fighting men must take up arms and march at the head of your brothers, the sons of Israel.
3:19 Only your wives, your children and your flocks (you have many flocks, I know) shall stay behind in the towns I have given you,
3:20 until such time as Yahweh settles your brothers as he has settled you, and they too occupy the land that Yahweh your God is giving them beyond the Jordan; then you shall return, each to the domain I have given you.
3:21 I then gave Joshua this order: You can see with your own eyes all that Yahweh has done to these two kings; Yahweh will do the same to all the kingdoms through which you pass.
3:22 Do not be afraid of them: Yahweh your God himself is fighting for you.
3:23 ‘And I pleaded then with Yahweh.
3:24 My Lord Yahweh, I said, you that have begun to reveal your greatness and your power to your servant, you whose works and mighty deeds no one in heaven or on earth can rival,
3:25 may I not go across and see this prosperous land beyond the Jordan, this prosperous country of hills, and Lebanon?
3:26 But because of you, Yahweh was angry with me and would take no notice of me. “Enough!” he said “Speak to me no more of this.
3:27 Climb to the top of Pisgah; let your eyes turn towards the west, the north, the south, the east. Look well, for across this Jordan you shall not go.
3:28 Give Joshua your instructions; encourage him, strengthen him; for it is he who shall go across at the head of his people; it is he who shall put them in possession of the land that you will see.”
3:29 ‘So we stayed in the valley close to Beth-peor
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 4
The apostasy at Peor. Where true wisdom lies
4:1 ‘And now, Israel, take notice of the laws and customs that I teach you today, and observe them, that you may have life and may enter and take possession of the land that Yahweh the God of your fathers is giving you.
4:2 You must add nothing to what I command you, and take nothing from it, but keep the commandments of Yahweh your God just as I lay them down for you.
4:3 You can see with your own eyes what Yahweh has done at Baal-peor; all the followers of the Baal of Peor have been wiped out from among you by Yahweh your God;
4:4 but all of you who stayed faithful to Yahweh your God are still alive today.
4:5 See, as Yahweh my God has commanded me, I teach you the laws and customs that you are to observe in the land you are to enter and make your own.
4:6 Keep them, observe them, and they will demonstrate to the peoples your wisdom and understanding. When they come to know of all these laws they will exclaim, “No other people is as wise and prudent as this great nation”.
4:7 And indeed, what great nation is there that has its gods so near as Yahweh our God is to us whenever we call to him?
4:8 And what great nation is there that has laws and customs to match this whole Law that I put before you today?
The revelation at Horeb; its demands
4:9 ‘But take care what you do and be on your guard. Do not forget the things your eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your heart all the days of your life; rather, tell them to your children and to your children’s children.
4:10 The day you stood at Horeb in the presence of Yahweh your God, Yahweh said to me, “Call the people round me that I may let them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days they live on earth, and teach this to their children”.
4:11 So you came and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain flamed to the very sky, a sky darkened by cloud, murky and thunderous.
4:12 Then Yahweh spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words but saw no shape, there was only a voice.
4:13 And Yahweh revealed his covenant to you and commanded you to observe it, the Ten Sayings which he inscribed on two tablets of stone.
4:14 He ordered me then to teach you the laws and customs that you were to observe in the land towards which you are going to make it your own.[*a]
4:15 ‘Take great care what you do, therefore: since you saw no shape on that day at Horeb when Yahweh spoke to you from the midst of the fire,
4:16 see that you do not act perversely, making yourselves a carved image in the shape of anything at all: whether it be in the likeness of man or of woman,
4:17 or of any beast on the earth, or of any bird that flies in the heavens,
4:18 or of any reptile that crawls on the ground, or of any fish in the waters under the earth.
4:19 When you raise your eyes to heaven, when you see the sun, the moon, the stars, all the array of heaven, do not be tempted to worship them and serve them. Yahweh your God has allotted them to all the peoples under heaven,
4:20 but as for you, Yahweh has taken you, and brought you out from the furnace of iron, from Egypt, to be a people all his own, as you still are today.
Of punishment to come, and of conversion
4:21 ‘Yahweh has been angry with me on your account; he has sworn that I shall not cross the Jordan or enter the prosperous land which Yahweh your God is giving you as your heritage.
4:22 Yes, I am to die in this country; I shall not go across this Jordan; you will go over and take possession of that rich land.
4:23 Take care therefore not to forget the covenant which Yahweh your God has made with you, by making a carved image of anything that Yahweh your God has forbidden you;
4:24 for Yahweh your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
4:25 ‘When you have begotten children and grandchildren and you have lived long in the land, if you act perversely, making a carved image in one shape or another, doing what displeases Yahweh and angers him,
4:26 on that day I will call heaven and earth to witness against you; and at once you will vanish from the land which you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You shall not live there long; you shall be utterly destroyed.
4:27 Yahweh will scatter you among the peoples, and only a small number of you will remain among the nations where Yahweh will have driven you.
4:28 There you will pay service to gods that human hands have made, of wood and of stone, that cannot see or hear, eat or smell.
4:29 ‘But you will seek Yahweh your God from there, and if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul, you shall find him.
4:30 In your distress, all that I have said will overtake you, but at the end of days[*b] you will return to Yahweh your God and listen to his voice.
4:31 For Yahweh your God is a merciful God and will not desert or destroy you or forget the covenant he made on oath with your fathers.
The splendour of the divine election
4:32 ‘Put this question, then, to the ages that are past, that went before you, from the time God created man on earth: Was there ever a word so majestic, from one end of heaven to the other? Was anything ever heard?
4:33 Did ever a people hear the voice of the living God speaking from the heart of the fire, as you heard it, and remain alive?
4:34 Has any god ventured to take to himself one nation from the midst of another by ordeals, signs, wonders, war with mighty hand and outstretched arm, by fearsome terrors – all this that Yahweh your God did for you before your eyes in Egypt?
4:35 This he showed you so that you might know that Yahweh is God indeed and that there is no other.
4:36 He let you hear his voice out of heaven for your instruction; on earth he let you see his great fire, and from the heart of the fire you heard his word.
4:37 Because he loved your fathers and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out from Egypt, openly showing his presence and his great power,
4:38 driving out in front of you nations greater and more powerful than yourself, and brought you into their land to give it you for your heritage, as it is still today.
4:39 Understand this today, therefore, and take it to heart: Yahweh is God indeed, in heaven above as on earth beneath, he and no other.
4:40 Keep his laws and commandments as I give them to you today, so that you and your children may prosper and live long in the land that Yahweh your God gives you for ever.’
- THE SECOND DISCOURSE OF MOSES
Its time and place
4:41 Then Moses set apart three cities to the east, beyond the Jordan,
4:42 where a man might find refuge who had killed his fellow unwittingly and with no previous feud against him: by taking flight to one of these cities he could save his life.
4:43 These were, for the Reubenites, Bezer in the wilderness on the tableland; for the Gadites, Ramoth in Gilead; for the Manassites, Golan in Bashan.
4:44 This is the Law which Moses put before the sons of Israel.
4:45 These are the decrees and laws and customs that Moses proclaimed to the sons of Israel when they came out of Egypt,
4:46 beyond the Jordan in the valley near Beth-peor, in the land of Sihon the Amorite king who lived at Heshbon. Moses and the sons of Israel had defeated him when they came out of Egypt,
4:47 and had taken possession of his land and of the land of Og king of Bashan – two kings of the Amorites to the east beyond the Jordan,
4:48 from Aroer on the height above the wadi Arnon as far as Mount Sirion (which is Hermon) –
4:49 and of all the Arabah east of the Jordan as far as the Sea of the Arabah, at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 5
5:1 Moses called the whole of Israel together and said to them:
The Ten Commandments
‘Listen, Israel, to the laws and customs that I proclaim in your hearing today. Learn them and take care to observe them.
5:2 ‘Yahweh our God made a covenant with us at Horeb.
5:3 It was not with our fathers that Yahweh made this covenant, but with us, with us who are here, all living today.
5:4 On the mountain, from the heart of the fire, Yahweh spoke to you face to face,
5:5 and I stood all the time between Yahweh and yourselves to tell you of Yahweh’s words, for you were afraid of the fire and had not gone up the mountain. He said:
5:6 “I am Yahweh your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
5:7 “You shall have no gods except me.
5:8 “You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven above or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth;
5:9 you shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God and I punish the fathers’ fault in the sons, the grandsons and the great-grandsons of those who hate me;
5:10 but I show kindness to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments.
5:11 “You shall not utter the name of Yahweh your God to misuse it, for Yahweh will not leave unpunished the man who utters his name to misuse it.
5:12 “Observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy, as Yahweh your God has commanded you.
5:13 For six days you shall labour and do all your work,
5:14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath for Yahweh your God. You shall do no work that day, neither you nor your son nor your daughter nor your servants, men or women, nor your ox nor your donkey nor any of your animals, nor the stranger who lives with you. Thus your servant, man or woman, shall rest as you do.
5:15 Remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and that Yahweh your God brought you out from there with mighty hand and outstretched arm; because of this, Yahweh your God has commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
5:16 “Honour your father and your mother, as Yahweh your God has commanded you, so that you may have long life and may prosper in the land that Yahweh your God gives to you.
5:17 “You shall not kill.
5:18 “You shall not commit adultery.
5:19 “You shall not steal.
5:20 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
5:21 “You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, you shall not set your heart on his house, his field, his servant – man or woman – his ox, his donkey or anything that is his.”
5:22 ‘These are the words Yahweh spoke to you when you were all assembled on the mountain. With a great voice he spoke to you from the heart of the fire, in cloud and thick darkness. He added nothing, but wrote them on two tablets of stone which he gave to me.
Moses the mediator
5:23 ‘Now when you had heard this voice coming out of the darkness, while the mountain was all on fire, you came to me, all of you, heads of tribes and elders,
5:24 and said, “See how Yahweh our God has shown us his glory and his greatness and we have heard his voice from the middle of the fire. Today we have seen that God can speak with man and man still live.
5:25 Why should we die now, when this great fire is ready to devour us, and when we are sure to perish if we hear the voice of Yahweh our God a second time?
5:26 For what creature of flesh could possibly live after hearing, as we have heard, the voice of the living God speaking from the heart of the fire?
5:27 You, then, go near and hear everything Yahweh our God will say and tell us all that Yahweh our God says to you; we will listen and observe it.”
5:28 ‘Yahweh heard the words you spoke to me, and he said to me, “I have heard this people’s words. All they have spoken is well said.
5:29 If only their heart were always so, set on the fear of me and the keeping of my commandments, so that they and their children might prosper for ever!
5:30 Go and say to them: Return to your tents.
5:31 But you will stand here by me and I shall tell you all the commandments, the laws and the customs that you must teach them, which they must observe in the land I am giving them for their possession.”
To love Yahweh is the essence of the Law
5:32 ‘Keep this, observe it. This is what Yahweh our God has commanded you. Stray neither to right nor to left.
5:33 Follow the whole way that Yahweh has marked for you and you shall live, you shall prosper and shall live long in the land you are to possess.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 6
6:1 These then are the commandments, the laws and the customs[*a] which Yahweh your God has instructed me to teach you that you may observe them in the land which you are going to make your own.
6:2 Thus, if you fear Yahweh your God all the days of your life and if you keep all his laws and commandments which I lay on you, you will have a long life, you and your son and your grandson.
6:3 Listen then, Israel, keep and observe what will make you prosper and give you great increase, as Yahweh the God of your fathers has promised you, giving you a land where milk and honey flow.
6:4 ‘Listen, Israel: Yahweh our God is the one Yahweh.
6:5 You shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength.
6:6 Let these words I urge on you today be written on your heart.
6:7 You shall repeat them to your children and say them over to them whether at rest in your house or walking abroad, at your lying down or at your rising;
6:8 you shall fasten them on your hand as a sign and on your forehead as a circlet;
6:9 you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
6:10 ‘When Yahweh has brought you into the land which he swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that he would give you, with great and prosperous cities not of your building,
6:11 houses full of good things not furnished by you, wells you did not dig, vineyards and olives you did not plant, when you have eaten these and had your fill,
6:12 then take care you do not forget Yahweh who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
6:13 You must fear Yahweh your God, you must serve him, by his name you must swear.
An appeal for loyalty
6:14 ‘Do not follow other gods, gods of the peoples round you,
6:15 for Yahweh your God who dwells among you is a jealous God; his anger could blaze out against you and wipe you from the face of the earth.
6:16 Do not put Yahweh your God to the test as you tested him at Massah.
6:17 Keep the commandments of Yahweh your God and his decrees and laws that he has laid down for you,
6:18 and do what is right and good in the eyes of Yahweh so that you may prosper and take possession of the rich land which Yahweh swore to give to your fathers,
6:19 driving out your enemies before you; this was the promise of Yahweh.
6:20 ‘In times to come, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the decrees and laws and customs that Yahweh our God has laid down for you?”
6:21 you shall tell your son, “Once we were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, and Yahweh brought us out of Egypt by his mighty hand.
6:22 Before our eyes Yahweh worked great and terrible signs and wonders against Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his House.
6:23 And he brought us out from there to lead us into the land he swore to our fathers he would give to us.
6:24 And Yahweh commanded us to observe all these laws and to fear Yahweh our God, so as to be happy for ever and to live, as he has granted us to do until now.
6:25 For us right living will mean this: to keep and observe all these commandments before Yahweh our God as he has directed us.”
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 7
Israel a people apart
7:1 ‘When Yahweh your God has led you into the land you are entering to make your own, many nations will fall before you: Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites,[*a] seven nations greater and stronger than yourselves.
7:2 Yahweh your God will deliver them over to you and you will conquer them. You must lay them under ban. You must make no covenant with them nor show them any pity.
7:3 You must not marry with them: you must not give a daughter of yours to a son of theirs, nor take a daughter of theirs for a son of yours,
7:4 for this would turn away your son from following me to serving other gods and the anger of Yahweh would blaze out against you and soon destroy you.
7:5 Instead, deal with them like this: tear down their altars, smash their standing-stones, cut down their sacred poles and set fire to their idols.
7:6 For you are a people consecrated to Yahweh your God; it is you that Yahweh our God has chosen to be his very own people out of all the peoples on the earth.
God’s election and his favour
7:7 ‘If Yahweh set his heart on you and chose you, it was not because you out-numbered other peoples: you were the least of all peoples.
7:8 It was for love of you and to keep the oath he swore to your fathers that Yahweh brought you out with his mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
7:9 Know then that Yahweh your God is God indeed, the faithful God who is true to his covenant and his graciousness for a thousand generations towards those who love him and keep his commandments,
7:10 but who punishes in their own persons those that hate him. He is not slow to destroy the man who hates him; he makes him work out his punishment in person.
7:11 You are therefore to keep and observe the commandments and statutes and ordinances that I lay down for you today.
7:12 ‘Listen to these ordinances, be true to them and observe them, and in return Yahweh your God will be true to the covenant and the kindness he promised your fathers solemnly.
7:13 He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers; he will bless the fruit of your body and the produce of your soil, your corn, your wine, your oil, the issue of your cattle, the young of your flock, in the land he swore to your fathers he would give you.
7:14 You will be more blessed than all peoples. No man or woman among you shall be barren, no male or female of your beasts infertile.
7:15 Yahweh will keep all sickness far from you; he will not afflict you with those evil plagues of Egypt which you have known, but will save them for all those who hate you.
7:16 ‘Devour, then, all these peoples whom Yahweh your God delivers over to you, show them no pity, do not serve their gods, for otherwise you would be ensnared.
The power of Yahweh
7:17 ‘You may say in your heart, “These nations outnumber me; how shall I be able to dispossess them?”
7:18 Do not be afraid of them: remember how Yahweh your God dealt with Pharaoh and all Egypt,
7:19 the great ordeals your own eyes have seen, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm with which Yahweh your God has brought you out. So will Yahweh your God deal with all the peoples whom you fear to face.
7:20 And what is more, Yahweh your God will send hornets to destroy those who remain and hide from you.
7:21 ‘Do not be afraid of them, for Yahweh your God is among you, a God who is great and terrible.
7:22 Little by little Yahweh your God will destroy these nations before you; you will not be able to make an end of them at once, or the wild beasts would grow too many for you.
7:23 But Yahweh your God will deliver them over to you and will harass them until they are destroyed.
7:24 He will deliver their kings into your hands and you will blot out their names from under heaven; none shall withstand you, until you have destroyed them all.
7:25 ‘You must set fire to all the carved images of their gods, not coveting the gold and silver that covers them; take it and you will be caught in a snare: it is detestable to Yahweh your God.
7:26 You must not bring any detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will come under the ban too. You must regard them as unclean and loathsome, for they are under the ban.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 8
The ordeal in the wilderness
8:1 ‘All the commandments I enjoin on you today you must keep and observe so that you may live and increase in numbers and enter into the land that Yahweh promised on oath to your fathers, and make it your own.
8:2 Remember how Yahweh your God led you for forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, to test you and know your inmost heart – whether you would keep his commandments or not.
8:3 He humbled you, he made you feel hunger, he fed you with manna which neither you nor your fathers had known, to make you understand that man does not live on bread alone but that man lives on everything that comes from the mouth of Yahweh.
8:4 The clothes on your back did not wear out and your feet were not swollen, all those forty years.
8:5 Learn from this that Yahweh your God was training you as a man trains his child,
8:6 and keep the commandments of Yahweh your God, and so follow his ways and reverence him.
The Promised Land and its temptations
8:7 ‘But Yahweh your God is bringing you into a prosperous land, a land of streams and springs, of waters that well up from the deep in valleys and hills,
8:8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines, of figs, of pomegranates, a land of olives, of oil, of honey,
8:9 a land where you will eat bread without stint, where you will want nothing, a land where the stones are of iron, where the hills may be quarried for copper.
8:10 You will eat and have all you want and you will bless Yahweh your God in the rich land he has given you.
8:11 ‘Take care you do not forget Yahweh your God, neglecting his commandments and customs and laws which I lay on you today.
8:12 When you have eaten and had all you want, when you have built fine houses to live in,
8:13 when you have seen your flocks and herds increase, your silver and gold abound and all your possessions grow great,
8:14 do not become proud of heart. Do not then forget Yahweh your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery:
8:15 who guided you through this vast and dreadful wilderness, a land of fiery serpents, scorpions, thirst; who in this waterless place brought you water from the hardest rock;
8:16 who in this wilderness fed you with manna that your fathers had not known, to humble you and test you and so make your future the happier.
8:17 Beware of saying in your heart, “My own strength and the might of my own hand won this power for me”.
8:18 Remember Yahweh your God: it was he who gave you this strength and won you this power, thus keeping the covenant then, as today, that he swore to your fathers.
8:19 Be sure that if you forget Yahweh your God, if you follow other gods, if you serve them and bow down before them – I warn you today – you will most certainly perish.
8:20 Like the nations Yahweh is to destroy before you, so you yourselves shall perish, for not having listened to the voice of Yahweh your God.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 9
The victory comes from Yahweh, not from Israel’s merits
9:1 ‘Listen, Israel; today you are about to cross the Jordan, to go and dispossess nations greater and stronger than yourself, to capture great cities fortified to the sky.
9:2 A people great and tall, these Anakim, as you know; you have heard the saying: Who can stand up to the sons of Anak?
9:3 Be therefore sure today that Yahweh your God himself will go in front of you, a devouring fire that will destroy them, and he himself will subdue them for you; so you will dispossess them and destroy them quickly as Yahweh has promised you.
9:4 Do not say in your heart, when Yahweh your God has driven them before you, “It is for my own goodness that Yahweh has brought me to possession of this land”; when it is for their wickedness that Yahweh dispossesses these nations for you.
9:5 It is not for any goodness or sincerity of yours that you are entering their land to possess it; no, it is for the wickedness of these nations that Yahweh your God is dispossessing them for you, and to keep the word that he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
9:6 Be in fact sure, then, that it is not for any goodness of yours that Yahweh gives you this rich land to possess, for you are a headstrong people.
Israel’s conduct at Horeb; Moses intercedes
9:7 ‘Remember; never forget how you provoked Yahweh your God in the wilderness. From the day you came out of the land of Egypt you have been rebels against Yahweh.
9:8 At Horeb you provoked Yahweh, and Yahweh was so angry with you that he was ready to destroy you.
9:9 I had gone up the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant that Yahweh was making with you. I stayed forty days and forty nights on the mountain, eating no bread, drinking no water.
9:10 Yahweh gave me the two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God, and all the words on them that Yahweh had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the Assembly.
9:11 At the end of the forty days and forty nights, after he had given me the two tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant,
9:12 Yahweh said to me, “Leave this place, go down quickly, for your people whom you brought out of Egypt have broken faith. They have been quick to leave the way I marked out for them; they have made themselves an idol of cast metal.”
9:13 Then Yahweh said to me, “I have seen this people, and what a headstrong people they are!
9:14 Let me destroy them, and wipe out their name from under heaven, and make out of you a nation mightier and greater than they.”
9:15 ‘So I went down the mountain again and it was blazing with fire, and in my hands were the two tablets of the covenant.
9:16 And I looked and there you were, you had been sinning against Yahweh your God. You had made yourself a calf of cast metal; you had been quick to leave the way Yahweh marked out for you.
9:17 I seized the two tablets and with my two hands threw them down and broke them before your eyes.
9:18 Then I fell prostrate before Yahweh; as before, I passed forty days and forty nights eating no bread and drinking no water, for all the sin you had committed in doing what was displeasing to Yahweh, thus arousing his anger.
9:19 For I was afraid of this anger, of the fury which so roused Yahweh against you that he was ready to destroy you. And once more Yahweh heard my prayer.
9:20 Yahweh was enraged with Aaron too and was ready to destroy him, and I pleaded for Aaron also.
9:21 That work of sin, the calf you had made, I took and burned and broke to pieces, and grinding it to fine dust I threw its dust into the stream that comes down from the mountain.
Israel sins again. A prayer of Moses
9:22 ‘At Taberah too and at Massah and Kibroth-hattaavah you provoked Yahweh.
9:23 And when Yahweh wanted you to leave Kadesh-barnea, saying, “Go up and take possession of the land I have given you”, you rebelled against the command of Yahweh your God and did not believe him or listen to his voice.
9:24 You have been rebels against Yahweh from the day he first knew you.
9:25 ‘So I fell prostrate before Yahweh and lay there these forty days and forty nights, for Yahweh had said he would destroy you.
9:26 And I pleaded with Yahweh. My Lord Yahweh, I said, do not destroy your people, your heritage whom in your greatness you have redeemed, whom you have brought out of Egypt with your mighty hand.
9:27 Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; take no notice of this people’s stubbornness, their wickedness, and their sin,
9:28 so that it may not be said in the land from which you brought us, “Yahweh was not able to bring them to the land he promised them. It was because he hated them that he brought them out, to die in the wilderness.”
9:29 But they are your people and your heritage whom you brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 10
The ark of the covenant; the choice of Levi
10:1 ‘Yahweh then said to me, “Cut two stone tablets like the first, and come up to me on the mountain. Make an ark of wood;
10:2 on the tablets I shall inscribe the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke, and you will put them in the ark.”
10:3 So I made an ark of acacia wood, cut two stone tablets like the first and went up the mountain with the two tablets in my hand.
10:4 And he inscribed the tablets as he had inscribed them before with the Ten Sayings that Yahweh had spoken to you on the mountain from the middle of the fire on the day of the Assembly. Then Yahweh gave them to me.
10:5 I came down the mountain again and put the tablets in the ark I had made, and there they stayed as Yahweh had commanded me.
10:6 [*a]’The sons of Israel left the wells of the Bene-jaakan for Moserah, where Aaron died; he was buried there, and his son Eleazar succeeded him in the priesthood.
10:7 From there they set out for Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah for Jotbathah, a land of water-streams.
10:8 Yahweh then set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of Yahweh’s covenant, to stand in the presence of Yahweh, to do him service and in his name to pronounce blessing as they still do today.
10:9 Levi therefore has no share or inheritance with his brothers: Yahweh is his inheritance, as Yahweh your God told him.
10:10 ‘And I, as before, stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights. And again Yahweh heard my prayer and agreed not to destroy you.
10:11 And Yahweh said to me, “Now go on your way at the head of this people, that they may go and take possession of the land I swore to their fathers I would give them”.
Circumcision of the heart
10:12 ‘And now, Israel, what does Yahweh your God ask of you? Only this: to fear Yahweh your God, to follow all his ways, to love him, to serve Yahweh your God with all your heart and all your soul,
10:13 to keep the commandments and laws of Yahweh that for your good I lay down for you today.
10:14 ‘To Yahweh your God belong indeed heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth and all it contains;
10:15 yet it was on your fathers that Yahweh set his heart for love of them, and after them of all the nations chose their descendants, you yourselves, up to the present day.
10:16 Circumcise your heart then and be obstinate no longer;
10:17 for Yahweh your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, triumphant and terrible, never partial, never to be bribed.
10:18 It is he who sees justice done for the orphan and the widow, who loves the stranger and gives him food and clothing.
10:19 Love the stranger then, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
10:20 It is Yahweh your God you must fear and serve; you must cling to him; in his name take your oaths.
10:21 He it is you must praise, he is your God: for you he has done these great and terrible things you have seen with your own eyes;
10:22 and though your fathers numbered only seventy when they went down to Egypt, Yahweh your God has made you as many as the stars of heaven.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 11
11:1 ‘You must love Yahweh your God and always keep his injunctions, his laws, his customs, his commandments.
11:2 Mark, this day, how it was you who received the instruction, not your sons. They have not known or seen the lessons of Yahweh your God, his greatness, the might of his hand, the strength of his arm,
11:3 the signs and the deeds he performed in Egypt itself against Pharaoh and all his land;
11:4 what he did to the armies of Egypt, to their horses and their chariots, how he poured the waters of the Sea of Reeds over them as they pursued you, leaving no trace of them to this day;
11:5 what he did for you in the wilderness before you reached this place;
11:6 what he did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab the Reubenite, how, right in the midst of all Israel, the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them with their households, their tents and all their retinue.
11:7 It is your eyes that have seen all this great work that Yahweh has done.
Promises and warnings
11:8 ‘You must keep all the commandments I enjoin on you today, so that you may have the strength to conquer the land into which you are to cross to make it your own,
11:9 and to live long in the land which Yahweh swore to give to your fathers and their descendants, a land where milk and honey flow.
11:10 ‘For the land which you are to enter and make your own is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you sowed your seed and watered it by tread[*a] like a vegetable garden.
11:11 No, the land into which you are to cross to make it your own is a land of hills and valleys watered by the rain from heaven.
11:12 Yahweh your God takes care of this land, the eyes of Yahweh your God are on it always, from the year’s beginning to its end.
11:13 And it is most sure that if you faithfully obey the commandments I enjoin on you today, loving Yahweh your God and serving him with all your heart and all your soul,
11:14 “I will give your land rain in season, autumn rain and spring, so that you may harvest your corn, your wine, your oil;
11:15 I shall provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and have all you want”.
11:16 Take care your heart is not seduced, that you do not go astray, serving other gods and worshipping them,
11:17 or the anger of Yahweh will blaze out against you, he will shut up the heavens and there will be no rain, the land will not yield its produce and you will quickly die in the prosperous land that Yahweh is giving you.
11:18 ‘Let these words of mine remain in your heart and in your soul; fasten them on your hand as a sign and on your forehead as a circlet.
11:19 Teach them to your children and say them over to them, whether at rest in your house or walking abroad, at your lying down or at your rising.
11:20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,
11:21 so that you and your children may live long in the land that Yahweh swore to your fathers he would give them for as long as there is a sky above the earth.
11:22 For if you faithfully keep and observe all these commandments that I enjoin on you today, loving Yahweh your God, following all his ways and clinging to him,
11:23 Yahweh will dispossess all these nations for you, and you shall dispossess nations greater and more powerful than yourselves.
11:24 Wherever the sole of your foot treads shall be yours; your territory shall stretch from the wilderness and from Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, to the Western Sea.
11:25 No man will be able to stand against you; Yahweh your God will make you feared and dreaded throughout the land that you tread, just as he promised you.
11:26 ‘See, I set before you today a blessing and a curse:
11:27 a blessing, if you obey the commandments of Yahweh our God that I enjoin on you today;
11:28 a curse, if you disobey the commandments of Yahweh your God and leave the way I have marked out for you today, by going after other gods you have not known.
11:29 And when Yahweh your God has brought you into the land which you are to enter and make your own, you shall set the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal.
11:30 These mountains, as you know, are beyond the Jordan on the westward road, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Plain, opposite Gilgal, near the Oak of Moreh.
11:31 You shall indeed cross the Jordan to enter and make the land your own that Yahweh your God is giving you. You shall possess it and you shall live in it,
11:32 and you must keep and observe all the laws and customs that I set before you today.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 12
- THE DEUTERONOMIC CODE
12:1 ‘Now these are the laws and customs that you must keep and observe, in the land that Yahweh the God of your fathers has granted you to possess, for as long as you live in that land.
- RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES
The place of worship
12:2 ‘You must destroy completely all the places where the nations you dispossess have served their gods, on high mountains, on hills, under any spreading tree;
12:3 you must tear down their altars, smash their pillars, cut down their sacred poles, set fire to the carved images of their gods and wipe out their name from that place.
12:4 ‘Not so are you to behave towards Yahweh your God.
12:5 You must seek Yahweh your God only in the place he himself will choose from among all your tribes, to set his name there and give it a home.
12:6 There you shall bring your holocausts and your sacrifices, your tithes, the offerings from your hands, your votive offerings and your voluntary offerings, the first-born of your herd and flock;
12:7 there you will eat in the presence of Yahweh your God and be thankful for all that your hands have presented, you and your households blessed by Yahweh your God.[*a]
12:8 ‘You must not act as we do here today: every man does what seems right to him,
12:9 for as yet you have not come to the resting place and the inheritance that Yahweh your God is giving you.
12:10 You are about to cross the Jordan and live in the land that Yahweh your God grants you to inherit; he will give you relief from all the enemies that surround you, and you shall live in security.
12:11 To the place chosen by Yahweh your God as a home for his name, to that place you are to bring all that I command you: your holocausts and your sacrifice, your tithes, the offerings from your hands, and all the best of your possessions that you vow to Yahweh.
12:12 There you shall rejoice in the presence of Yahweh your God, you and your sons and daughters, your serving men and women, and the Levite who lives in your towns, since he has no share or inheritance with you.
Regulations concerning sacrifice
12:13 ‘Take care you do not offer your holocausts in all the sacred places you see;
12:14 only in the place that Yahweh chooses in one of your tribes may you offer your holocausts and do all I command you.
12:15 ‘Still, whenever you want you may slaughter and eat flesh in any of your towns, as much as the blessing of Yahweh affords you. Clean or unclean may eat it, just as if it were gazelle or deer.
12:16 Only you must not consume the blood but pour it out like water on the ground.
12:17 ‘In your towns you may not consume the tithes of your corn, your wine or your oil, or the first-born of your herd or flock, or any of your votive offerings or voluntary offerings, or anything your hands have presented.
12:18 You must eat these in the presence of Yahweh your God in the place Yahweh your God chooses and there alone, you and your son and daughter, your serving man or woman and the Levite who lives in your towns. You shall rejoice in the presence of Yahweh your God over all that your hands have presented.
12:19 In your land take care never to neglect the Levite.
12:20 ‘When Yahweh your God enlarges your territory as he has promised you, and you say, “I should like to eat meat”, if you want to eat meat you may eat as much as you like.
12:21 If the place in which Yahweh your God chooses to set his name is too far away, you may slaughter any of your herd or flock that Yahweh has given you in the way that I have laid down for you; you may eat in your towns as much as you will.
12:22 But you must eat it as you would gazelle or deer; clean or unclean alike may eat it.
12:23 Only take care not to consume the blood, for the blood is the life, and you must not consume the life with the flesh.
12:24 You must not consume it but pour it out like water on the ground.
12:25 You must not consume it, and then you and your sons after you will prosper, doing what is right in the eyes of Yahweh.
12:26 But the holy things you have and those you have vowed you must go and take to the place that Yahweh chooses.
12:27 The holocaust of flesh and blood you must offer on the altar of Yahweh your God; and, in your sacrifices, the blood must be poured out on the altar of Yahweh your God; the flesh you may eat yourselves.
12:28 Be faithful in keeping all the instructions that I give you and obey them, so that you and your sons after you may be happy for always, doing what is good and right in the eyes of Yahweh your God.
Against Canaanite cults
12:29 ‘When Yahweh your God has annihilated in front of you the nations that you are to dispossess, and when you have dispossessed them and made your home in their country,
12:30 be careful you are not caught in a trap: do not imitate them once they have been destroyed in front of you, or go enquiring after their gods, saying, “How did these nations worship their gods? I will go and do the same.”
12:31 This is not the way for you to behave towards Yahweh your God. For Yahweh detests all this and hates what they have done for their gods, even burning their sons and daughters in the fire for their gods.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 13
13:1 <32 ‘All I command you, you must keep and observe, adding nothing to it, taking nothing away.
Against the enticements of idolatry
13:2 <1 ‘If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and offers to do a sign or a wonder for you,
13:3 <2 and the sign or wonder comes about; and if he then says to you, “Come, then, let us follow other gods (whom you have not known) and serve them”,
13:4 <3 you are not to listen to the words of that prophet or to the dreams of that dreamer. Yahweh your God is testing you to know if you love Yahweh your God with all your heart and all your soul.
13:5 <4 Yahweh your God you shall follow, him you shall fear, his commandments you shall keep, his voice you shall obey, him shall you serve, to him shall you cling.
13:6 <5 That prophet or that dreamer of dreams must be put to death, for he has preached apostasy from Yahweh your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, and he would have made you turn aside from the way that Yahweh your God marked out for you. You must banish this evil from among you.
13:7 <6 ‘If your brother, the son of your father or of your mother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or the friend with whom you share your life, if one of these secretly tries to entice you, saying. “Come, let us serve other gods”, whom neither you nor your fathers have known,
13:8 <7 gods from among those of the peoples far or near surrounding you, from one end of the earth to the other,
13:9 <8 you must not give way to him, nor listen to him, you must show him no pity, you must not spare him, you must not conceal his guilt.
13:10 <9 No, you must kill him; your hand is to be the first raised against him in putting him to death, the hand of all the people will come next.
13:11 <10 You must stone him to death, for he has tried to lure you away from Yahweh your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery.
13:12 <11 All Israel shall hear of it and be afraid and never again commit such wickedness among you.
13:13 <12 ‘If you hear that in one of the towns which Yahweh your God has given you for a home,
13:14 <13 there are men, scoundrels from your own stock, who have led fellow citizens astray, saying “Come, let us serve other gods” whom you have not known,
13:15 <14 it is your duty to look into the matter, examine it, and inquire most carefully. If it is proved and confirmed that such a hateful thing has taken place among you,
13:16 <15 then you must kill all the inhabitants of that town without giving any quarter; you must lay it under ban, the town and all it contains.
13:17 <16 You must gather all the wealth of it in the public square, and set fire to the town and all its goods, offering it all to Yahweh your God. It shall be a ruin for all time, never to be built again.
13:18 <17 From what is thus banned you must keep nothing back, so that Yahweh may turn from the ferocity of his anger and show you mercy, and have pity on you and increase your numbers as he swore to your fathers;
13:19 <18 that is, provided you listen to the voice of Yahweh your God, keeping all the commandments of his that I enjoin on you today, and doing what is right in the eyes of Yahweh your God.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 14
Against an idolatrous practice
14:1 ‘You are sons of Yahweh your God. You must not gash yourselves or shave your foreheads for one who is dead.[*a]
14:2 For you are a people consecrated to Yahweh your God, and Yahweh has chosen you to be his very own people out of all the peoples on the earth.
Clean and unclean animals
14:3 ‘You must eat nothing that is detestable.
14:4 These are the animals you may eat: ox, sheep, goat,
14:5 deer, gazelle, roebuck, ibex, antelope, oryx, mountain sheep.
14:6 You may eat any animal that has a divided and cloven hoof and that is a ruminant.
14:7 Of those, however, that are ruminant and those that have a divided and cloven hoof you may not eat the following: the camel, the hare and the hyrax, which are ruminant but have no cloven hoof; you must hold them unclean.
14:8 So also the pig, which though it has a cloven hoof is not ruminant; you must hold it unclean. You must not eat the meat of such animals nor touch their dead bodies.
14:9 ‘Of all that lives in water you may eat the following: whatever has fins and scales may be eaten.
14:10 But you must not eat anything that has not fins and scales: you must hold it unclean.
14:11 ‘You may eat all clean birds,
14:12 but the following birds you must not eat: the tawny vulture, the griffon, the osprey,
14:13 the kite and the several kinds of buzzard,
14:14 all kinds of raven,
14:15 the ostrich, the screech owl, the seagull, the several kinds of hawk,
14:16 owl, barn owl, ibis,
14:17 pelican, white vulture, cormorant,
14:18 stork, the several kinds of heron, hoopoe and bat.
14:19 You are to hold all winged insects to be unclean and must not eat them.
14:20 You may eat anything winged that is clean.
14:21 ‘You must not eat any animal that has died a natural death. You may give it for food to the alien who lives in your towns, or sell it to a foreigner. ‘You are not to boil a kid in its mother’s milk.
The annual tithe
14:22 ‘Every year you must take a tithe of all that your sowing yields on the land,
14:23 and in the presence of Yahweh your God, in the place he chooses to give his name a home, you are to eat the tithe of your corn, your wine and your oil and the first-born of your herd and flock; so shall you learn to fear Yahweh your God always.
14:24 ‘If the road is too long for you, if you cannot bring your tithe because the place in which Yahweh chooses to make a home for his name is too far, when Yahweh your God has blessed you,
14:25 you must turn your tithe into money, and with the money clasped in your hand you must go to the place chosen by Yahweh;
14:26 there you may spend the money on whatever you like, oxen, sheep, wine, strong drink, anything your heart desires. You are to eat there in the presence of Yahweh your God and rejoice, you and your household.
14:27 Do not neglect the Levite who lives in your towns, since he has no share or inheritance with you.
The third-year tithe
14:28 ‘At the end of every three years you must take all the tithes of your harvests for that year and deposit them at your doors.
14:29 Then the Levite (since he has no share or inheritance with you), the stranger, the orphan and the widow who live in your towns may come and eat and have all they want. So shall Yahweh your God bless you in all the work that your hands undertake.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 15
The sabbatical year
15:1 ‘At the end of every seven years you must grant a remission.
15:2 Now the nature of the remission is this: every creditor who holds the person of his neighbour in bond[*a] must grant him remission; he may not exact payment from his fellow or his brother once the latter appeals to Yahweh for remission.
15:3 From a foreigner you may exact payment, but you must remit whatever claim you have on your brother.
15:4 Let there be no poor among you then. For Yahweh will bless you in the land Yahweh your God gives you for your inheritance
15:5 only if you pay careful attention to the voice of Yahweh your God, keeping and observing all these commandments that I enjoin on you today.
15:6 If Yahweh your God blesses you as he promised, you will be creditors to many nations and debtors to none; you will rule over many nations and be ruled by none.
15:7 Is there a poor man among you, one of your brothers, in any town of yours in the land that Yahweh your God is giving you? Do not harden your heart or close your hand against that poor brother of yours,
15:8 but be open-handed with him and lend him enough for his needs.
15:9 Do not allow this mean thought in your heart, “The seventh year, the year of remission is near”, and look coldly on your poor brother and give him nothing; he could appeal against you to Yahweh and it would be a sin for you.
15:10 When you give to him, you must give with an open heart; for this Yahweh your God will bless you in all you do and in all your giving.
15:11 Of course there will never cease to be poor in the land; I command you therefore: Always be open-handed with your brother, and with anyone in your country who is in need and poor.
15:12 ‘If your fellow Hebrew, man or woman, is sold to you, he can serve you for six years. In the seventh year you must set him free,
15:13 and in setting him free you must not let him go empty-handed.
15:14 You must make him a generous provision from your flock, your threshing-floor, your winepress; as Yahweh your God has blessed you, so you must give to him.
15:15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and that Yahweh your God redeemed you; that is why I lay this charge on you today.
15:16 ‘But if he says to you, “I do not want to leave you”, if he loves you and your household and is happy with you,
15:17 you are to take an awl and drive it through his ear into the door and he shall be your servant for all time. You are to do the same for your maidservant.
15:18 ‘Do not think it hard on you to have to give him his freedom; he is worth twice the cost of a hired servant and has served you for six years. So shall Yahweh your God bless you in all you do.
15:19 ‘You must consecrate every first-born male from your herd and flock to Yahweh your God. You must not put the first-born of your herd to work nor shear the first-born of your flock.
15:20 You are to eat it, you and your household, each year, in the presence of Yahweh your God, in the place Yahweh chooses.
15:21 If it has a blemish, if it is lame or blind, or has any serious defect at all, you must not sacrifice it to Yahweh your God.
15:22 You must eat it at home, unclean and clean together, as you would gazelle or deer;
15:23 only you must not consume the blood, but pour it out like water on the ground.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 16
The feasts: Passover and Unleavened Bread
16:1 ‘Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover for Yahweh your God, because it was in the month of Abib that Yahweh your God brought you out of Egypt by night.
16:2 You must sacrifice a Passover from your flock or herd for Yahweh your God in the place where Yahweh chooses to give his name a home.
16:3 You must not eat leavened bread with this; for seven days you must eat it with unleavened bread, the bread of emergency, for it was in great haste that you came out of the land of Egypt; so you will remember, all the days of your life, the day you came out of the land of Egypt.
16:4 For seven days no leaven must be found in any house throughout your territory, nor must any of the meat that you sacrifice in the evening of the first day be kept overnight until morning.
16:5 You may not sacrifice the Passover in any of the towns that Yahweh your God gives you;
16:6 but only in the place where Yahweh your God chooses to give his name a home, there you must sacrifice the Passover, in the evening at sunset, at the hour at which you came out of Egypt.
16:7 You must cook it and eat it in the place Yahweh your God chooses, and in the morning you are to return and go to your tents.
16:8 For six days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the seventh day there shall be an assembly for Yahweh your God; and you must do no work.
16:9 ‘You are to count seven weeks, counting these seven weeks from the time you begin to put your sickle into the standing corn.
16:10 You must then celebrate the feast of weeks for Yahweh your God with the gift of a voluntary offering from your hand in proportion to the way that Yahweh your God has blessed you.
16:11 You must rejoice in the presence of Yahweh your God in the place where Yahweh your God chooses to give his name a home, you and your son and daughter, your serving men and women, the Levite who lives in your towns, the stranger, the orphan and the widow who live among you.
16:12 Remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and carefully observe these laws.
16:13 ‘You must celebrate the feast of Tabernacles for seven days, at the time when you gather in the produce of your threshing-floor and winepress.
16:14 You must rejoice at your feast, you and your son and daughter, your serving men and women, the Levite, the stranger, the orphan and the widow who live in your towns.
16:15 For seven days you are to celebrate the feast for Yahweh your God in the place Yahweh chooses, for Yahweh your God will bless you in all your harvest and all your handiwork, and you will be filled with joy.
16:16 ‘Three times a year all your menfolk are to appear before Yahweh your God in the place he chooses: at the feast of Unleavened Bread, at the feast of Weeks, at the feast of Tabernacles. No one must appear before Yahweh empty-handed,
16:17 but every man must give what he can, in proportion to the blessing that Yahweh your God gives you.
16:18 ‘You are to appoint judges and scribes in each of the towns that Yahweh is giving you, for all your tribes; these must administer an impartial judgement to the people.
16:19 You must not pervert the law; you must be impartial, you must take no bribes, for a bribe blinds wise men’s eyes and jeopardises the cause of the just.
16:20 Strict justice must be your ideal, so that you may live in rightful possession of the land that Yahweh your God is giving you.
Abuses in worship
16:21 ‘You must not plant a sacred pole of any wood whatsoever beside the altar that you put up for Yahweh your God;
16:22 nor must you set up a standing-stone, a thing Yahweh your God would abhor.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 17
17:1 To Yahweh your God you must sacrifice nothing from herd or flock that has any blemish or defect whatsoever, for Yahweh your God holds this detestable.
17:2 ‘If there is anyone, man or woman, among you in any of the towns Yahweh your God is giving you, who does what is displeasing to Yahweh your God by violating his covenant,
17:3 who goes and serves other gods and worships them, or the sun or the moon or any of heaven’s array – a thing I have forbidden –
17:4 and this person is denounced to you; if after careful inquiry it is found true and confirmed that this hateful thing has been done in Israel,
17:5 you must take the man or woman guilty of this evil deed outside your city gates, and there you must stone that man or woman to death.
17:6 A man may be put to death only on the word of two witnesses or three; and no man may be put to death on the word of one witness alone.
17:7 The witnesses shall be the first to raise their hands against him in putting him to death, then all the people shall follow. You must banish this evil from your midst.
17:8 ‘If a case comes before you which is too difficult for you, a case of murder, legal rights or assault, or any dispute at all in your towns, you must make your way to the place Yahweh your God chooses,
17:9 and approach the levitical priests and the judge then in office. They will hold an inquiry and give a decision for you.
17:10 You must abide by the decision they pronounce for you in that place which Yahweh chooses, and you must take care to carry out all their instructions.
17:11 You must abide by the verdict they give you and by the decision they declare to you, swerving neither right nor left of the sentence they have pronounced for you.
17:12 If anyone presumes to disobey either the priest who is there in the service of Yahweh your God, or the judge, that man must die. You must banish this evil from Israel.
17:13 And all the people shall hear of it and be afraid and not act presumptuously a second time.
17:14 When you reach the land that Yahweh your God gives you, and take possession of it and live there, if you say to yourself, “I will appoint a king over me like all the surrounding nations”,
17:15 it must be a king of Yahweh’s choosing whom you appoint over you; it must be one from among your brothers that is appointed king over you; you are not to give yourself a foreign king who is no brother of yours.
17:16 ‘Ensure that he does not increase the number of his horses, or make the people go back to Egypt to increase his cavalry, for Yahweh said to you, “You must never go back that way again”.
17:17 Nor must he increase the number of his wives, for that could lead his heart astray. Nor must he increase his gold and silver excessively.
17:18 When he is seated on his royal throne he must write a copy of this Law on a scroll for his own use at the dictation of the Levitical priests.
17:19 It must never leave him and he must read it every day of his life and learn to fear Yahweh his God by keeping all the words of this Law and observing these laws.
17:20 So his heart will not look down on his brothers and he will swerve neither right nor left from these commandments. If he does this, he will have long days on his throne, he and his sons, in Israel.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 18
The levitical priesthood
18:1 ‘The levitical priests, that is to say the whole of the tribe of Levi, shall have no share or inheritance with Israel; they shall live on the foods offered to Yahweh and on his dues.
18:2 This tribe is to have no inheritance among their brothers; Yahweh will be their inheritance as he promised them.
18:3 ‘These are the priests’ dues from the people, from those who offer an ox or a sheep in sacrifice: the priest is to be given the shoulder, the cheeks and the stomach.
18:4 You must give him the first-fruits of your corn, your wine, your oil, as well as the first of your sheep’s shearing.
18:5 For Yahweh your God has chosen him out of all your tribes to stand before Yahweh your God, to do the duties of the sacred ministry, and to bless in Yahweh’s name, him and his sons for all time.
18:6 ‘If the Levite living in one of your towns anywhere in Israel decides to come to the place Yahweh chooses,
18:7 he shall minister there in the name of Yahweh his God like all his fellow Levites who stand ministering there in the presence of Yahweh,
18:8 and shall eat equal shares with them, no count being taken of the claims he has on the levitical families for the goods he has sold.
18:9 ‘When you come into the land Yahweh your God gives you, you must not fall into the habit of imitating the detestable practices of the natives.
18:10 There must never be anyone among you who makes his son or daughter pass through fire, who practises divination, who is soothsayer, augur or sorcerer,
18:11 who uses charms, consults ghosts or spirits, or calls up the dead.
18:12 For the man who does these things is detestable to Yahweh your God; it is because of these detestable practices that Yahweh your God is driving these nations before you.
18:13 ‘You must be entirely faithful to Yahweh your God.
18:14 For these nations whom you are dispossessing may listen to soothsayers and diviners, but this is not the gift that Yahweh your God gives to you:
18:15 Yahweh your God will raise up for you a prophet like myself, from among yourselves, from your own brothers; to him you must listen.
18:16 This is what you yourselves asked of Yahweh your God at Horeb on the day of the Assembly. “Do not let me hear again” you said “the voice of Yahweh my God, nor look any longer on this great fire, or I shall die”;
18:17 and Yahweh said to me, “All they have spoken is well said.
18:18 I will raise up a prophet like yourself for them from their own brothers; I will put my words into his mouth and he shall tell them all I command him.
18:19 The man who does not listen to my words that he speaks in my name, shall be held answerable to me for it.
18:20 But the prophet who presumes to say in my name a thing I have not commanded him to say, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.”
18:21 ‘You may say in your heart, “How are we to know what word was not spoken by Yahweh?”
18:22 When a prophet speaks in the name of Yahweh and the thing does not happen and the word is not fulfilled, then it has not been spoken by Yahweh. The prophet has spoken with presumption. You have nothing to fear from him.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 19
- ON THE LAW OF RETALIATION
Homicide and cities of refuge
19:1 ‘When Yahweh your God has annihilated the nations whose land Yahweh your God gives you, and you have dispossessed them and you live in their towns and in their houses,
19:2 you are to set aside three cities in the land Yahweh is giving you for your possession.
19:3 You must keep the approaches to them in good order and divide into three parts the area of the land Yahweh your God is giving into your possession, so that any homicide may be able to find a refuge in them.
19:4 Here is the case of how a man may save his life by taking refuge there. ‘If anyone has struck his fellow accidentally, not having any previous feud with him
19:5 (for example, he goes with his fellow into the forest to cut wood; his arm swings the axe to fell a tree; the head slips off the handle and strikes his companion dead), that man may take refuge in one of these cities and save his life.
19:6 It must not be allowed that the avenger of blood, in the heat of his anger, should pursue the killer and that the length of the road should help him to overtake and fatally wound him; for the man has not deserved to die, having had no previous feud with his companion.
19:7 ‘I command you therefore: You are to set aside three cities,
19:8 and if Yahweh your God enlarges your territory, as he swore to your fathers he would, and gives you the whole land he promised to give your fathers –
19:9 provided you keep and observe all the commandments I enjoin on you today, loving Yahweh your God and always following his ways – then to those three cities you will add three more.
19:10 In this way, innocent blood will not be shed in the land Yahweh your God gives for your inheritance; otherwise there would be blood-guilt on you.
19:11 ‘But if it happens that a man has a feud with his fellow and lies in wait for him and falls on him and wounds him fatally and he dies, and the man takes refuge in one of these cities,
19:12 the elders of his own town shall send to have him seized and hand him over to the avenger of blood to die.
19:13 You are to show him no pity. You must banish the shedding of innocent blood from Israel, and then you will prosper.
19:14 ‘You must not displace your neighbour’s boundary mark, set by your forbears, in the inheritance you receive in the land Yahweh is giving into your possession.
19:15 ‘A single witness cannot suffice to convict a man of a crime or offence of any kind; whatever the misdemeanour, the evidence of two witnesses or three is required to sustain the charge.
19:16 ‘If a malicious witness appears against a man to accuse him of rebellion,
19:17 both parties to this dispute before Yahweh must be brought before the priests and judges then in office.
19:18 The judges must make a careful inquiry, and if it turns out that the witness who accused his brother is a lying witness,
19:19 you must deal with him as he would have dealt with his brother. You must banish this evil from your midst.
19:20 Others will hear of it and be afraid and never again do such an evil thing among you.
19:21 You are to show no pity.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 20
The ‘lex talionis’
‘Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
War and combatants
20:1 ‘When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, you must not be afraid of them; Yahweh your God is with you, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
20:2 When you are about to join battle the priest is to come forward and address the people.
20:3 He is to say to them, “Listen, Israel; now that you are about to join battle against your enemies, do not be faint-hearted. Let there be no fear or trembling or alarm as you face them.
20:4 Yahweh your God goes with you to fight for you against your enemies and to save you.”
20:5 Then the scribes are to address the people in words like these: “Is there any man here who has built a new house and not yet dedicated it? Let him go home lest he die in battle and another perform the dedication.
20:6 “Is there any man here who has planted a vineyard and not yet enjoyed its fruit? Let him go home lest he die in battle and another enjoy its fruit.
20:7 Is there any man here who has betrothed a wife and not yet taken her? Let him go home lest he die in battle and another take her.”
20:8 ‘The scribes shall also address the people like this: “Is there any man here who is fearful and faint of heart? Let him go home lest he make his fellows lose heart too.”
20:9 ‘And when the scribes have finished speaking to the people, commanders will be appointed to lead them.
20:10 When you advance to the attack on any town, first offer it terms of peace.
20:11 If it accepts these and opens its gates to you, all the people to be found in it shall do forced labour for you and be subject to you.
20:12 But if it refuses peace and offers resistance, you must lay siege to it.
20:13 Yahweh your God shall deliver it into your power and you are to put all its menfolk to the sword.
20:14 But the women, the children, the livestock and all that the town contains, all its spoil, you may take for yourselves as booty. You will devour the spoil of your enemies which Yahweh your God has delivered to you.
20:15 ‘That is how you will treat the far-distant towns not belonging to the nations near you.
20:16 But as regards the towns of those peoples which Yahweh your God gives you as your own inheritance, you must not spare the life of any living thing.
20:17 Instead, you must lay them under ban, the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, as Yahweh your God commanded,
20:18 so that they may not teach you to practise all the detestable practices they have in honour of their gods and so cause you to sin against Yahweh your God.
20:19 ‘If, when attacking a town, you have to besiege it for a long time before you capture it, you must not destroy its trees by taking an axe to them: eat their fruit but do not cut them down. Is the tree in the fields human that you should besiege it too?
20:20 Any trees, however, which you know are not fruit trees, you may mutilate and cut down and use to build siege-works against the hostile town until it falls.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 21
The unidentified murderer
21:1 ‘In the land Yahweh is giving you as your possession, if a murdered man is discovered lying in open country and it is not known who killed him,
21:2 your elders and scribes must go and measure the distance between the victim and
21:3 the surrounding towns, and establish which town is nearest the victim. Then the elders of that town are to take a heifer that has not yet been put to work or used as a draught animal under the yoke.
21:4 And the elders of that town must bring the heifer down to a watercourse that is never dry at a spot that has been neither ploughed nor sown, and there by the watercourse they must break the heifer’s neck.
21:5 And the priests, the sons of Levi, shall then come forward, for these are the men Yahweh your God has chosen to do him service and to bless in the name of Yahweh, and it is their business to settle all cases of dispute or of violence.
21:6 All the elders of the town nearest the murdered man shall then wash their hands in the watercourse, over the slaughtered heifer.
21:7 They are to pronounce these words, “Our hands did not shed this blood and our eyes saw nothing.
21:8 Cover your people Israel whom you have redeemed, Yahweh, and let no innocent blood be shed among your people Israel.” So they will be covered against blood-vengeance.
21:9 You must banish all shedding of innocent blood from among you if you mean to do what is right in the eyes of Yahweh.
- ON MARRIAGE
Women taken in war
21:10 ‘When you go to war against your enemies and Yahweh your God delivers them into your power and you take prisoners,
21:11 if you see a beautiful woman among the prisoners and find her desirable, you may make her your wife
21:12 and bring her to your home. She is to shave her head and cut her nails
21:13 and take off her prisoner’s garb; she is to stay inside your house and must mourn her father and mother for a full month. Then you may go to her and be a husband to her, and she shall be your wife.
21:14 Should she cease to please you, you will let her go where she wishes, not selling her for money: you are not to make any profit out of her, since you have had the use of her.
21:15 If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and the loved one and the unloved both bear him children, and if the first-born son is of the unloved wife,
21:16 then when the man comes to bequeath his goods to his sons, he may not treat the son of the wife whom he loves as the first-born at the expense of the son of the wife he does not love, the true first-born.
21:17 He must acknowledge as first-born the son of the wife he does not love and give to him a double share of his estate, for this son is the first-fruit of his strength, and the right of the first-born is his.
The rebellious son
21:18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not listen to the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and even when they punish him still will not pay attention to them,
21:19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of the town at the gate of that place.
21:20 And they shall say to the elders of his town, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious and will not listen to us; he is a wastrel and a drunkard”.
21:21 Then all his fellow citizens shall stone him to death. You must banish this evil from your midst. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.
21:22 If a man guilty of a capital offence is put to death and you hang him on a tree,
21:23 his body must not remain on the tree overnight; you must bury him the same day, for one who has been hanged is accursed of God, and you must not defile the land that Yahweh your God gives you for an inheritance.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 22
22:1 ‘If you see your brother’s ox or one of his sheep straying there must be no evasion: you must take them back to your brother.
22:2 And if he is not close at hand or you do not know who he is, you must take them home with you and keep them by you until your brother comes for them; you will then return them to him.
22:3 ‘You are to do the same with his donkey, the same with his cloak, the same with anything your brother loses and that you find; there must be no evasion.
22:4 ‘You must not make off when you see your brother’s ox or donkey fall on the road, but must help your brother to put it on its feet again.
22:5 ‘A woman must not wear men’s clothes nor a man put on women’s dress; anyone who does this is detestable to Yahweh your God.
22:6 ‘If, when out walking, you come across a bird’s nest, in a tree or on the ground, with chicks or eggs and the mother bird sitting on the chicks or the eggs, you must not take the mother who is brooding the chicks.
22:7 Let the mother go; the young you may take for yourself. So shall you prosper and have a long life.
22:8 ‘When you build a new house you are to give your roof a parapet; then your house will not incur blood-vengeance through anyone falling from it.
22:9 ‘You must not sow any other seed in your vineyard lest the whole of its produce become consecrated, both the crop you have sown and the produce of your vineyard.
22:10 ‘You must not plough with ox and donkey together.
22:11 ‘You must not wear clothing woven part of wool, part of linen.
22:12 ‘You are to make tassels for the four corners of the cloak in which you wrap yourself.
A young wife’s reputation
22:13 ‘If a man marries a wife, and sleeps with her and then turns against her,
22:14 and taxes her with misconduct and publicly defames her by saying, “I married this woman and when I slept with her I did not find the evidence of her virginity”,
22:15 the girl’s father and mother must take her and produce the evidence of her virginity before the elders of the town at the gate.
22:16 The girl’s father shall then declare to the elders, “I gave this man my daughter for a wife and he has turned against her,
22:17 and now he taxes her with misconduct: I found no evidence of virginity in your daughter, he says. But the evidence of my daughter’s virginity is here”. And they shall spread the cloth out before the elders of the town.
22:18 Then the elders of the town shall take the man and flog him
22:19 and fine him one hundred silver shekels for publicly defaming a virgin of Israel, and give this money to the girl’s father. She shall remain his wife and as long as he lives he may not repudiate her.
22:20 ‘But if the accusation that the girl cannot show the evidence of virginity is substantiated,
22:21 they shall take her to the door of her father’s house and her fellow citizens shall stone her to death for having committed an infamy in Israel by disgracing her father’s House. You must banish this evil from your midst.
Adultery and fornication
22:22 ‘If a man is caught sleeping with another man’s wife, both must die, the man who has slept with her and the woman herself. You must banish this evil from Israel.
22:23 ‘If a virgin is betrothed and a man meets her in the city and sleeps with her,
22:24 you shall take them both out to the gate of the town and stone them to death the girl, because she did not cry for help in the town; the man, because he has violated the wife of his fellow. You must banish this evil from your midst.
22:25 But if the man has met the betrothed girl in the open country and has taken her by force and lain with her, only the man who lay with her shall die;
22:26 you must do nothing to the girl, for hers is no capital offence. The case is like that of a man who attacks and kills his fellow;
22:27 for he came across her in the open country and the betrothed girl could have cried out without anyone coming to her rescue.
22:28 ‘If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed and seizes her and lies with her and is caught in the act,
22:29 the man who has lain with her must give the girl’s father fifty silver shekels; she shall be his wife since he has violated her, and as long as he lives he may not repudiate her.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 23
23:1 A man must not take his fathers wife, and must not withdraw the skirt of his father’s cloak from her.[*a]
Some who are excluded from public worship
23:2 A man whose testicles have been crushed or whose male member has been cut off is not to be admitted to the assembly of Yahweh.
23:3 No bastard[*b] is to be admitted to the assembly of Yahweh.
23:4 No Ammonite or Moabite is to be admitted to the assembly of Yahweh; not even their descendants to the tenth generation may be admitted to the assembly of Yahweh, and this is for all time;
23:5 because they did not come to meet you with bread and water when you were on your way out of Egypt, and because they hired Balaam son of Beor from Pethor in Aram of the Two Rivers to curse you.
23:6 But Yahweh your God refused to listen to Balaam, and Yahweh your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because Yahweh your God loved you.
23:7 Never, as long as you live, shall you seek their welfare or their prosperity.
23:8 ‘You are not to regard the Edomite as detestable, for he is your brother; nor the Egyptian, because you were a stranger in his land.
23:9 The third generation of children born to these may be admitted to the assembly of Yahweh.
The camp and legal purity
23:10 ‘When you are in camp, at war with your enemies, you must keep clear of all evil.
23:11 If any man among you is unclean by reason of a nocturnal emission, he must go out of the camp and not come into it again;
23:12 towards evening he must wash himself, and he may return to the camp at sunset.
23:13 ‘You are not to regard the Edomite as detestable, for he is your brother;
23:14 nor must have a mattock among your equipment, and with this mattock, when you go outside to ease yourself, you must dig a hole and cover your excrement.
23:15 For Yahweh your God goes about within your camp to guard you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must therefore be a holy place; Yahweh must not see anything improper among you or he would turn away from you.
- ON PROTECTING THE WEAK
Protection of the Israelite
23:16 ‘You must not allow a master to imprison a slave who has escaped from him and come to you.
23:17 He shall live with you, among you, wherever he pleases in any one of your towns he chooses; you are not to molest him.
23:18 ‘There must be no sacred prostitute among the daughters of Israel, and no sacred prostitute among the sons of Israel.
23:19 You must not bring to the house of Yahweh your God the wages of a prostitute or the earnings of a dog,[*c] whatever vow you may have made, for both are detestable to Yahweh your God.
23:20 ‘You must not lend on interest to your brother, whether the loan be of money or food or anything else that may earn interest.
23:21 You may demand interest on a loan of a foreigner, but you must not demand interest from your brother; so that Yahweh your God may bless you in all your giving in the land you are to enter and make your own.
23:22 ‘If you make a vow to Yahweh your God, you must not be lazy in keeping it; be sure that Yahweh your God requires it, and to withhold it would be a sin.
23:23 But if you had refrained from making a vow, there would be no sin for you.
23:24 Whatever passes your lips you must keep to, and the vow that you have freely made with your own mouth to Yahweh your God must be fulfilled.
23:25 ‘If you go through your neighbour’s vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes, as many as you wish, but you must not put any in your basket.
23:26 If you go through your neighbour’s standing corn, you may pick the ears with your hand, but you must not put a sickle into your neighbour’s corn.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 24
24:1 ‘Supposing a man has taken a wife and consummated the marriage; but she has not pleased him and he has found some impropriety of which to accuse her; so he has made out a writ of divorce for her and handed it to her and then dismissed her from his house;
24:2 she leaves his home and goes away to become the wife of another man.
24:3 If this other man takes a dislike to her and makes out a writ of divorce for her and hands it to her and dismisses her from his house (or if this other man who took her as his wife happens to die),
24:4 her first husband, who has repudiated her, may not take her back as his wife now that she has been defiled in this way. For that is detestable in the sight of Yahweh, and you must not bring guilt on the land that Yahweh your God gives for your inheritance.
More protective measures
24:5 ‘If a man is newly married, he shall not join the army nor is he to be pestered at home; he shall be left at home free of all obligations for one year to bring joy to the wife he has taken.
24:6 ‘No man may take a mill or a millstone in pledge; that would be to take life itself in pledge.
24:7 ‘If anyone is found kidnapping one of his brothers, one of the sons of Israel, whether he makes him his slave or sells him, that thief must die. You must banish this evil from your midst.
24:8 ‘In a case of leprosy, take care you faithfully observe and follow exactly all that the levitical priests direct you to do. You are to keep and observe all that I have commanded them.
24:9 Remember what Yahweh your God did to Miriam when you were on your way out of Egypt.
24:10 ‘If you are making your fellow a loan on pledge, you are not to go into his house and seize the pledge, whatever it may be.
24:11 You must stay outside, and the man to whom you are making the loan shall bring the pledge out to you.
24:12 And if the man is poor, you are not to go to bed with his pledge in your possession;
24:13 you must return it to him at sunset so that he can sleep in his cloak and bless you; and it will be a good action on your part in the sight of Yahweh your God.
24:14 You are not to exploit the hired servant who is poor and destitute, whether he is one of your brothers or a stranger who lives in your towns.
24:15 You must pay him his wage each day, not allowing the sun to set before you do, for he is poor and is anxious for it; otherwise he may appeal to Yahweh against you, and it would be a sin for you.
24:16 ‘Fathers may not be put to death for their sons, nor sons for fathers. Each is to be put to death for his own
24:17 ‘You must not pervert justice in dealing with a stranger or an orphan, nor take a widow’s garment in pledge.
24:18 Remember that you were a slave in Egypt and that Yahweh your God redeemed you from there. That is why I lay this charge on you.
24:19 ‘When reaping the harvest in your field, if you have overlooked a sheaf in that field, do not go back for it. Leave it for the stranger, the orphan and the widow, so that Yahweh your God may bless you in all your undertakings.
24:20 ‘When you beat your olive trees you must not go over the branches twice. Let anything left be for the stranger, the orphan and the widow.
24:21 ‘When you harvest your vineyard you must not pick it over a second time. Let anything left be for the stranger, the orphan and the widow.
24:22 ‘Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt. That is why I lay this charge on you.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 25
25:1 ‘If men have any dispute they must go to court for the judges to decide between them; these must declare the one who is right to be in the right, the one who in the wrong to be in the wrong.
25:2 If the one who is in the wrong deserves a flogging, the judge shall make him lie down and have him flogged in his presence
with the number of strokes proportionate to his offence.
25:3 He may impose forty strokes but no more, lest the flogging be too severe and your brother be degraded in your eyes.
25:4 ‘You must not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the corn.
The levirate law
25:5 ‘If brothers live together and one of them dies childless, the dead man’s wife must not marry a stranger outside the family. Her husband’s brother must come to her and, exercising his levirate, make her his wife,
25:6 and the first son she bears shall assume the dead brother’s name; and so his name will not be blotted out in Israel.
25:7 But if the man declines to take his brother’s wife, she must go to the elders at the gate and say, “I have no levir willing to perpetuate the name of his brother in Israel; he declines to exercise his levirate in my favour”.
25:8 The elders of the town shall summon the man and talk to him. If he appears before them, and shall say, “I refuse to take her”,
25:9 then she to whom he owes levirate shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, take the sandal off his foot, spit in his face, and pronounce the following words, “This is what we do to the man who does not restore his brother’s house”,
25:10 and the man shall be surnamed in Israel, House-of-the-Unshod.
Modesty in brawls
25:11 When two men are fighting together, if the wife of one intervenes to protect her husband from the other’s blows by putting out her hand and seizing the other by the private parts,
25:12 you shall cut her hand off and show no pity.
25:13 ‘You are not to keep two different weights in your bag, one heavy, one light.
25:14 You are not to keep two different measures in your house, one large, one small.
25:15 You must keep one weight, full and accurate, so that you may have a long life is in the land that Yahweh your God is giving you.
25:16 For anyone who does things of this kind and acts dishonestly is detestable to Yahweh your God.
25:17 ‘Remember how Amalek treated you when you were on your way out of Egypt.
25:18 He met you on your way and, after you had gone by, he fell on you from the rear and cut off the stragglers; when you were faint and weary he had no fear of God.
25:19 When Yahweh your God has granted you peace from all the enemies surrounding you in the land Yahweh your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you are to blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 26
- RITUAL PRESCRIPTIONS
26:1 ‘When you come to the land Yahweh your God is giving you for an inheritance, when you have taken possession of it and are living in it,
26:2 you must set aside the first-fruits of all the produce of the soil raised by you in the land Yahweh is giving you. You must put them in a pannier and go to the place where Yahweh your God chooses to give his name a home.
26:3 You must go to the priest then in office and say to him, “Today I declare to Yahweh my God that I have come to the land Yahweh swore to our fathers he would give us”.
26:4 ‘The priest shall then take the pannier from your hand and lay it before the altar of Yahweh your God.
26:5 Then, in the sight of Yahweh your God, you must make this pronouncement: “My father was a wandering Aramaean. He went down into Egypt to find refuge there, few in numbers; but there he became a nation, great, mighty, and strong.
26:6 The Egyptians ill-treated us, they gave us no peace and inflicted harsh slavery on us.
26:7 But we called on Yahweh the God of our fathers. Yahweh heard our voice and saw our misery, our toil and our oppression;
26:8 and Yahweh brought us out of Egypt with mighty hand and outstretched arm, with great terror, and with signs and wonders.
26:9 He brought us here and gave us this land, a land where milk and honey flow.
26:10 Here then I bring the first-fruits of the produce of the soil that you, Yahweh, have given me”. ‘You must then lay them before Yahweh your God, and bow down in the sight of Yahweh your God.
26:11 Then you are to feast on all the good things Yahweh has given you, you and your household, and with you the Levite and the stranger who lives among you.
The third-year tithe
26:12 ‘In the third year, the tithing year, when you have finished reckoning the tithe of all your produce and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the orphan and the widow, and they have eaten it in your towns and had their fill,
26:13 you are to say in the sight of Yahweh your God: “I have cleared my house of all that was consecrated. Yes, I have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the orphan and the widow, in accordance with all the commandments you laid on me, not going beyond your commandments, not forgetting them.
26:14 I have not eaten any bread of mourning; I have consumed nothing that was unclean; I have offered nothing to the dead. I have obeyed the voice of Yahweh my God and I have done all as you commanded me.
26:15 Look down from the dwelling place of your holiness, from heaven, and bless your people Israel and the soil you have given us as you swore to our fathers, a land where milk and honey flow”.
III. CONCLUDING DISCOURSE
- END OF THE SECOND DISCOURSE
Israel, the people of Yahweh
26:16 ‘Yahweh your God today commands you to observe these laws and customs; you must keep and observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
26:17 ‘You have today made this declaration about Yahweh; that he will be your God, but only if you follow his ways, keep his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and listen to his voice.
26:18 And Yahweh has today made this declaration about you: that you will be his very own people as he promised you, but only if you keep all his commandments;
26:19 then for praise and renown and honour he will set you high above all the nations he has made, and you will be a people consecrated to Yahweh, as he promised.’
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 27
The writing of the Law
27:1 Moses and the elders gave the people this command: “Keep all the commandments I enjoin on you today.
27:2 After you have crossed the Jordan into the land Yahweh your God is giving you, you are to set up tall stones and coat them with lime
27:3 and write on them all the words of this Law, the moment you cross to enter the land Yahweh your God is giving you, a land where milk and honey flow, as Yahweh the God of your fathers promised you.
27:4 ‘And when you have crossed the Jordan, you are to set up these stones on Mount Ebal, as today I command you, and you are to coat them with lime.
27:5 There you must build Yahweh your God an altar of stones that no iron tool has worked.
27:6 You must build the altar to Yahweh your God of undressed stone, and on this altar you will offer holocausts to Yahweh your God,
27:7 and immolate communion sacrifices and eat them there, rejoicing in the sight of Yahweh your God.
27:8 On these stones you must write all the words of this Law; cut them carefully.’
27:9 Then Moses and the levitical priests said to all Israel: ‘Be silent, Israel, and listen. Today you have become a people for Yahweh your God.
27:10 You must listen to the voice of Yahweh your God and observe the commandments and laws I enjoin on you today.
27:11 And the same day Moses gave the people this order:
27:12 ‘When you have crossed the Jordan, the following tribes shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people: Simeon and Levi, Judah and Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin.
27:13 And the following tribes shall stand on Mount Ebal for the curse: Reuben, Gad and Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali.
27:14 The Levites shall then speak and proclaim loudly to all the Israelites:
27:15 “A curse on the man who carves or casts an idol, a thing detestable to Yahweh, the work of a craftsman’s hands, and sets it up in secret.” And all the people shall answer saying: Amen.
27:16 “A curse on him who treats his father or mother dishonourably.” And all the people shall say: Amen.
27:17 “A curse on him who displaces his neighbour’s boundary mark.” And all the people shall say: Amen.
27:18 “A curse on him who leads a blind man astray on the road.” And all the people shall say: Amen.
27:19 “A curse on him who tampers with the rights of the stranger, the orphan and the widow.” And all the people shall say: Amen.
27:20 “A curse on him who sleeps with his father’s wife and withdraws the skirt of his father’s cloak from her.” And all the people shall say: Amen.
27:21 “A curse on him who lies with any kind of animal.” And all the people shall say: Amen.
27:22 “A curse on him who sleeps with his sister, the daughter of his father or of his mother.” And all the people shall say: Amen.
27:23 “A curse on him who sleeps with his mother-in-law.” And all the people shall say: Amen.
27:24 “A curse on him who strikes down his neighbour in secret.” And all the people shall say: Amen.
27:25 “A curse on him who accepts a bribe to take an innocent life.” And all the people shall say: Amen.
27:26 “A curse on him who does not maintain the words of the Law by observing them.” And all the people shall say: Amen.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 28
28:1 ‘But if you obey the voice of Yahweh your God faithfully, keeping and observing all those commandments of his that I enjoin on you today, Yahweh your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.
28:2 All the blessings that follow shall come up with you and overtake you if only you obey the voice of Yahweh your God.
28:3 ‘You will be blessed in the town and blessed in the country.
28:4 Blessed will be the fruit of your body, the produce of your soil, the issue of your livestock, the increase of your cattle, the young of your flock.
28:5 Blessed will be your pannier and your bread bin.
28:6 Blessed will you be coming in, and blessed going out.
28:7 The enemies that rise against you Yahweh will conquer for your sake; they will come at you by one way and flee before you by seven.
28:8 Yahweh will summon a blessing for you in your barns and in all your undertakings, and will bless you in the land that Yahweh is giving you.
28:9 ‘Yahweh will make of you a people consecrated to himself as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of Yahweh your God and follow his ways.
28:10 All the peoples of the earth will see that you bear the name of Yahweh and will go in fear of you.
28:11 Yahweh will give you great store of good things, the fruit of your body, the fruit of your cattle and the produce of your soil, in the land he swore to your fathers he would give you.
28:12 Yahweh will open the heavens to you, his rich treasure house, to give you seasonable rain for your land and to bless all the work of your hands. You will make many nations your subjects, yet you will be subject to none.
28:13 Yahweh will put you at the head, not at the tail; you will always be on top and never underneath, if you obey the commandments of Yahweh your God that I enjoin on you today, keeping and observing them,
28:14 not swerving to right or left from any of the works I enjoin on you today by following any other gods and serving them.
28:15 ‘But if you do not obey the voice of Yahweh your God nor keep and observe all those commandments and statutes of his that I enjoin on you today, then all the curses that follow shall come up with you and overtake you.
28:16 ‘You will be accursed in the town and accursed in the country.
28:17 Accursed will be your pannier and your bread bin.
28:18 Accursed will be the fruit of your body, the produce of your soil, the increase of your cattle, the young of your flock.
28:19 Accursed will you be coming in, and accursed going out.
28:20 ‘Yahweh will send on you curses, frustration, imprecation in return for all your offerings, until you are destroyed and speedily perish for your perverse behaviour, and for deserting me.
28:21 Yahweh will infect you with the plague until it has consumed you on the land which you are entering to make your own.
28:22 Yahweh will strike you down with consumption, fever, inflammation, burning fever, drought, blight, mildew, and these will pursue you to your ruin.
28:23 The heavens above you will be brass, the earth beneath you iron.
28:24 Yahweh will turn the rain on your land to dust and sand; it will fall on you from the heavens until you perish.
28:25 Yahweh will have you defeated in front of your enemies; you will come at them by one way and flee before them by seven; and you will become a thing of horror for all the kingdoms of the earth.
28:26 Your carcase will be carrion for all the birds of heaven and all the beasts of the earth, with no one to scare them away.
28:27 ‘Yahweh will strike you down with Egyptian boils, with swellings in the groin, with scurvy and the itch for which you will find no cure.
28:28 Yahweh will strike you down with madness, blindness, distraction of mind,
28:29 until you grope your way at noontide like a blind man groping in the dark, and your steps will lead you nowhere. ‘You will never be anything but exploited and plundered continually, and no one will come to your help.
28:30 Betroth a wife, another man will have her; build a house, you will not live in it; plant a vineyard, you will not gather its first-fruits.
28:31 Your ox will be killed before your eyes and you will eat none of it; your donkey will be carried off in your presence and not be restored to you; your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will come to your help.
28:32 Your sons and daughters will be handed over to another people, and every day you will wear your eyes out watching eagerly for them, while your hands are powerless.
28:33 A nation you do not know will eat the fruit of your soil and of your labour. You will never be anything but exploited and crushed continually.
28:34 You will be driven mad by the sights your eyes will see.
28:35 Yahweh will strike you down with foul boils on knee and leg, for which you will find no cure, from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.
28:36 ‘Yahweh will send you and the king you set over you, to a nation that neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you will serve other gods of wood and of stone.
28:37 You will become a thing of horror, a proverb, and a byword to all the peoples among whom Yahweh takes you.
28:38 ‘You will cast seed in plenty on the fields but harvest little, for the locust will devour it.
28:39 You will plant and till your vineyards but not drink wine or gather grapes, for the grub will eat them up.
28:40 You will grow olive trees throughout your territory but not anoint yourself with oil, for your olive trees will be cut down.
28:41 You will father sons and daughters but they will not be yours, for they will go into captivity.
28:42 All your trees and all the produce of your soil will become the prey of insects.
28:43 ‘The stranger living among you will rise higher and higher at your expense, and you yourselves sink lower and lower.
28:44 He will make you his chattel, you will not make him yours; he it is who will be at the head, and you at the tail.
28:45 All these curses will come up with you, will pursue you and overtake you until you perish for not obeying the voice of Yahweh your God by keeping those commandments and laws of his that he enjoined on you.
28:46 They will be a sign and a wonder over you and your descendants for ever.
Of war and exile to come
28:47 ‘For failing to serve Yahweh your God in the joy and happiness that come from an abundance of all things,
28:48 you will submit to the enemies that Yahweh will send against you, in hunger, thirst, nakedness, utter destitution. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until you perish.
28:49 ‘Yahweh will raise against you a far-off nation from the ends of the earth, like an eagle taking wing. This will be a nation whose language you do not understand,
28:50 a nation grim of face, with neither respect for the old, nor pity for the young.
28:51 They will eat the offspring of your cattle and the produce of your soil until you perish, leaving you neither corn nor wine nor oil nor increase of your cattle nor young of your flock, until they make an end of you.
28:52 They will besiege you in all your towns until your loftiest and most strongly fortified walls collapse, the walls on which you relied within your frontiers. They will besiege you in all the towns that Yahweh gives you.
28:53 During the siege and in the distress to which your enemies will reduce you, you will eat the fruit of your body, the flesh of those sons and daughters of yours whom Yahweh has given you.
28:54 The tenderest and most fastidious among you will glower at his brother, even at the wife he cherishes and at the children that are left to him,
28:55 grudging them a share in the flesh of those children of his that he is eating, for during the siege and in the distress to which your enemies will reduce you in all your towns, there will be nothing left to him.
28:56 The tenderest and most fastidious woman among you, so tender, so fastidious that she has never ventured to set the sole of her foot to the ground, will glower at the husband she cherishes, even at her son and her daughter,
28:57 and hide from them the afterbirth of her womb and the child she bears to eat them, so utter will be the destitution during the siege and in the distress to which your enemies will reduce you in all your towns.
28:58 ‘If you do not keep and observe all the words of this Law that are written in this book, in the fear of this name of glory and awe: Yahweh your God,
28:59 Yahweh will strike you down with monstrous plagues, you and your descendants: with plagues grievous and lasting, diseases pernicious and enduring.
28:60 Once more he will bring on you the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will infect you.
28:61 Further, Yahweh will bring on you every sickness, every plague, not mentioned in the Book of this Law, until you perish.
28:62 There will be only a handful of you left, you who were as many as the stars of heaven. ‘For not obeying the voice of Yahweh your God,
28:63 just as Yahweh took delight in giving you prosperity and increase, so now he will take delight in bringing you ruin and destruction. You will be torn from the land which you are entering to make your own.
28:64 Yahweh will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other; there you will serve other gods of wood and of stone that neither you nor your fathers have known.
28:65 Among these nations there will be no repose for you, no rest for the sole of your foot; Yahweh will give you a quaking heart, weary eyes, halting breath.
28:66 Your life from the outset will be a burden to you; night and day you will go in fear, uncertain of your life.
28:67 In the morning you will say, “How I wish it were evening!”, and in the evening, “How I wish it were morning!”, such terror will grip your heart, such sights your eyes will see.
28:68 Yahweh will take you back to Egypt by sea and by land, though I had promised you: You will not see it again. And there you will want to sell yourselves to your enemies as serving men and women, but no one will buy you.’
28:69 <1 These are the words of the covenant which Yahweh ordered Moses to make with the sons of Israel in the land of Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with them at Horeb.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 29
- THE THIRD AND LAST DISCOURSE
The exodus and the covenant recalled
29:1 <2 Moses called the whole of Israel together and said to them: ‘You have seen all that Yahweh did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, to his servants and to his whole land,
29:2 <3 the great ordeals your own eyes witnessed, the signs and those great wonders.
29:3 <4 But until today Yahweh has given you no heart to understand, no eyes to see, no ears to hear.
29:4 <5 ‘For forty years I led you in the wilderness; the clothes on your back did not wear out and your sandals did not wear off your feet.
29:5 <6 You had no bread to eat, you drank no wine, no strong drink, learning thus that I, Yahweh, am your God.
29:6 <7 When you reached this place, Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan came out against us to do battle, but we defeated them.
29:7 <8 We conquered their land and gave it as an inheritance to Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh.
29:8 <9 ‘Keep the words of this covenant and observe them and you will thrive in all you do.
29:9 <10 All of you stand here today in the presence of Yahweh your God: your heads of tribes, your elders, your scribes, all the men of Israel,
29:10 <11 with your children and your wives (and the stranger too who is in your camp, whether he cuts wood or draws water for you),
29:11 <12 and you are about to enter into the covenant of Yahweh your God, a covenant ratified with dire sanctions, which he has made with you today,
29:12 <13 and by which, today, he makes a nation of you and he himself becomes a God to you, as he has promised and as he has sworn to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The covenant and generations to come
29:13 <14 ‘Not with you alone do I make this covenant today and pronounce these sanctions,
29:14 <15 but with him also who is not here today, as well as with him who stands with us here in the presence of Yahweh our God.
29:15 <16 ‘Yes, you know those among whom we lived in Egypt, those through whose lands we journeyed, the nations through whom we have passed.
29:16 <17 You have seen their abominations and their idols, the wood, the stone, the silver and gold they have in their countries.
29:17 <18 ‘Let there be no man or woman among you, no clan or tribe, whose heart turns away from Yahweh your God today to go and serve the gods of those nations. Let there be no root among you bearing fruit that is poisonous and bitter.
29:18 <19 If, after hearing these sanctions, such a man should bless himself in his heart and say, “I may follow the dictates of my own heart and still lack nothing; much water drives away thirst”,
29:19 <20 Yahweh will not pardon him. The wrath and jealousy of Yahweh will blaze against such a man; every curse written in this book will fall on him, and Yahweh will blot out his name from under heaven.
29:20 <21 Yahweh will single him out from all the tribes of Israel to his destruction, in accordance with all the curses of the covenant written in the Book of this Law.
29:21 <22 ‘The future generation, your children who are to come after you, as also the stranger from a distant country, will see the plagues of that land and the diseases Yahweh will inflict on it, and will exclaim,
29:22 <23 “Sulphur, salt, scorched earth, the whole land through! No one will sow, nothing grow, no grass spring ever again. Like this, Sodom and Gomorrah were overthrown, Admah and Zeboiim, which Yahweh overthrew in his anger and his wrath.”
29:23 <24 And all the nations will exclaim, “Why has Yahweh treated this land like this? Why this great blaze of anger?”
29:24 <25 And people will say, “Because they deserted the covenant of Yahweh, the God of their fathers, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt;
29:25 <26 because they went and served other gods and worshipped them, gods they had not known, gods that were no part of their heritage from him,
29:26 <27 for this the anger of Yahweh has blazed against this land, bringing on it all the curses written in this book.
29:27 <28 In anger, in fury, in fierce wrath Yahweh has torn them from their country and flung them into another land where they are today.”
Return from exile and repentance
29:28 <29 ‘Things hidden belong to Yahweh our God but things revealed are ours and our children’s for all time, so that we may observe all the words of this Law.
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 30
30:1 And when all these words come true for you, the blessing and the curse I have set before you, if you meditate on them in your heart wherever among the nations Yahweh your God drives you,
30:2 if you return to Yahweh your God, if you obey his voice with all your heart and soul in everything I enjoin on you today, you and your children,
30:3 then Yahweh your God will bring back your captives, he will have pity on you and gather you once again out of all the peoples where Yahweh your God has scattered you.
30:4 Had you wandered to the ends of the heavens, Yahweh your God would gather you even from there, would come there to reclaim you
30:5 and bring you back to the land your fathers possessed, that you in your turn might make it your own, prospering there and increasing even more than your fathers.
30:6 ‘Yahweh your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, until you love Yahweh your God with all your heart and soul, and so have life.
30:7 Yahweh your God will make all these curses recoil on your foes and on your enemies who have persecuted you.
30:8 And once again you will obey the voice of Yahweh your God and keep all those commandments of his that I enjoin on you today.
30:9 Yahweh your God will give you great prosperity in all your undertakings, in the fruit of your body, the fruit of your cattle and in the produce of your soil. For once again Yahweh will take delight in your prosperity as he took delight in the prosperity of your fathers,
30:10 if only you obey the voice of Yahweh your God, keeping those commandments and laws of his that are written in the Book of this Law, and if you return to Yahweh your God with all your heart and soul.
30:11 ‘For this Law that I enjoin on you today is not beyond your strength or beyond your reach.
30:12 It is not in heaven, so that you need to wonder, “Who will go up to heaven for us and bring it down to us, so that we may hear it and keep it?”
30:13 Nor is it beyond the seas, so that you need to wonder, “Who will cross the seas for us and bring it back to us, so that we may hear it and keep it?”
30:14 No, the Word is very near to you, it is in your mouth and in your heart for your observance.
The two ways
30:15 ‘See, today I set before you life and prosperity, death and disaster.
30:16 If you obey the commandments of Yahweh your God that I enjoin on you today, if you love Yahweh your God and follow his ways, if you keep his commandments, his laws, his customs, you will live and increase, and Yahweh your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to make your own.
30:17 But if your heart strays, if you refuse to listen, if you let yourself be drawn into worshipping other gods and serving them,
30:18 I tell you today, you will most certainly perish; you will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
30:19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today: I set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live,
30:20 in the love of Yahweh your God, obeying his voice, clinging to him; for in this your life consists, and on this depends your long stay in the land which Yahweh swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob he would give them.’
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 31
- THE LAST DAYS OF MOSES
Joshua and his mission
31:1 Moses proceeded to address these words to the whole of Israel,
31:2 ‘I am one hundred and twenty years old now, and can no longer come and go as I will. Yahweh has said to me, “You shall not cross this Jordan”.
31:3 It is Yahweh your God who will cross it at your head to destroy these nations facing you and dispossess them; and Joshua too shall cross at your head, as Yahweh has said.
31:4 Yahweh will treat them as he treated Sihon and Og the Amorite kings and their land, destroying them.
31:5 Yahweh will hand them over to you, and you will deal with them in exact accordance with the commandments I have enjoined on you.
31:6 Be strong, stand firm, have no fear of them, no terror, for Yahweh your God is going with you; he will not fail you or desert you.’
31:7 Then Moses summoned Joshua and in the presence of all Israel said to him, ‘Be strong, stand firm; you are going with this people into the land Yahweh swore to their fathers he would give them; you are to give it into their possession.
31:8 Yahweh himself will lead you; he will be with you; he will not fail you or desert you. Have no fear, do not be disheartened by anything.’
The ritual reading of the Law
31:9 Moses committed this Law to writing and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of Yahweh’s covenant, and to all the elders of Israel.
31:10 And Moses gave them this command: ‘At the end of every seven years, at the time fixed for the year of remission, at the feast of Tabernacles,
31:11 when the whole of Israel comes to look on the face of Yahweh your God in the place he chooses,
31:12 you must proclaim this Law in the hearing of all Israel. ‘Call the people together, men, women, children, and the stranger who lives with you, for them to hear it and learn to fear Yahweh your God and keep and observe all the words of this Law.
31:13 Their children, who as yet do not know it, shall hear it and learn to fear Yahweh your God for as long as you live in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.’
31:14 Yahweh said to Moses, ‘And now the time draws near when you must die. Summon Joshua and take your stand at the Tent of Meeting, that I may give him his orders.’ And Moses and Joshua came and took their stand at the Tent of Meeting.
31:15 And Yahweh showed himself at the Tent in a pillar of cloud; the pillar of cloud stood at the door of the Tent.
31:16 Yahweh said to Moses, ‘And now you will soon be sleeping with your fathers. This people will start playing the harlot, following the alien gods of the land they are invading. They will desert me and break this covenant of mine that I have made with them.
31:17 On that day my anger shall blaze against them; I will forsake them and hide my face from them. A host of disasters and misfortunes will overtake them to devour them, and when that day comes they will say, “If such disasters overtake me, surely Yahweh my God cannot be with me?”
31:18 Yes indeed, I shall hide my face that day for all the evil they have done by turning to other gods.
The song of witness
31:19 ‘Now write down this song which you must use; teach it to the sons of Israel, put it into their mouths that it may be a witness on my behalf against the sons of Israel;
31:20 against Israel whom I am bringing into the land I swore to his fathers I would give him, a land where milk and honey flow; against Israel who will eat and take his fill and grow fat, then turn to other gods to serve them, and despise me and break my covenant.
31:21 When a host of disasters and misfortunes overtake him, this song shall stand as Witness against him, for his descendants must not forget it. Yes, even today, before I have brought him to the land I promised on oath, I know what plans he has in mind.’
31:22 So on that same day, Moses wrote out this song and taught it to the sons of Israel.
31:23 He gave Joshua son of Nun this order: ‘Be strong and stand firm, for you are to bring the sons of Israel to the land I swore I would give them, and I myself will be with you.’
The Law placed beside the ark
31:24 When Moses had finished writing in a book the words of this Law to the very end,
31:25 he gave this command to the Levites who carried the ark of Yahweh’s covenant:
31:26 “Take this Book of the Law and put it beside the ark of the covenant of Yahweh your God. Let it lie there as a witness against you.
31:27 For I know how defiant you are and how stubborn. If today while I am still alive and with you, you defy Yahweh, how much more will you defy him after my death!
Israel assembles to hear the song
31:28 ‘Gather round me all the elders of your tribes, and your scribes, so that I may let them hear these words and call heaven and earth to witness against them.
31:29 For I know that after my death you are sure to act perversely; you will leave the way I have marked out for you; in days to come disaster will fall on you for doing what is displeasing to Yahweh, provoking him by your behaviour.’
31:30 Then in the hearing of Israel’s full assembly Moses spoke the words of this song to the very end:
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 32
- THE SONG OF MOSES
32:1 ‘Listen, heavens, while I speak; earth, hear the words that I am saying.
32:2 May my teaching fall like the rain, may my word drop down like the dew, like showers on fresh grass and light rain on the turf.
32:3 For I proclaim the name of Yahweh. Oh, tell the greatness of our God!
32:4 ‘He is the Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are Equity. A God faithful, without unfairness, Uprightness itself and Justice.
32:5 They have acted perversely, those he begot without blemish, a deceitful and underhand brood.
32:6 Is this the return you make to Yahweh? O foolish, unwise people! Is not this your father, who gave you being, who made you, by whom you subsist?
32:7 Think back on the days of old, think over the years, down the ages. Ask of your father, let him teach you; of your elders, let them enlighten you.
32:8 When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided the sons of men, he fixed their bounds according to the number of the sons of God;[*a]
32:9 but Yahweh’s portion was his people, Jacob his share of inheritance.
32:10 ‘In the waste lands he adopts him, in the howling desert of the wilderness. He protects him, rears him, guards him as the pupil of his eye.
32:11 Like an eagle watching its nest, hovering over its young, he spreads out his wings to hold him, he supports him on his pinions.
32:12 ‘Yahweh alone is his guide, with him is no alien god.
32:13 He gives him the heights of the land to ride, he feeds him on the yield of the mountains, he gives him honey from the rock to taste, and oil from the flinty crag;
32:14 curds from the cattle, milk from the flock, with rich food of the pastures, rams of Bashan’s breed, and goats, rich food of the wheat’s ear, and blood of the fermenting grape for drink.
32:15 ‘Jacob ate and had his fill, Jeshurun grew fat, turned restive. (You grew fat, gross, bloated.) He disowned the God who made him, dishonoured the Rock, his salvation.
32:16 They roused him to jealousy with alien gods, with things detestable they angered him.
32:17 They sacrificed to demons who are not God, to gods they did not know, newcomers of yesterday whom their fathers had never feared.
32:18 (You forget the Rock who begot you, unmindful now of the God who fathered you.)
32:19 Yahweh has seen this, and in his anger cast off his sons and his daughters.
32:20 “1 shall hide my face from them,” he says “and see what becomes of them. For they are a deceitful brood, children with no loyalty in them.
32:21 They have roused me to jealousy with what is no god, they have angered me with their beings of nothing; I, then, will rouse them to jealousy with what is no people, I will anger them with an empty-headed nation.
32:22 Yes, a fire has blazed from my anger, it will burn to the depths of Sheol; it will devour the earth and all its produce, it will set fire to the foundations of the mountains.
32:23 I will hurl disasters on them, and on them I will spend all my arrows.
32:24 For weapons I shall have barns of famine, fever and consumption for poison. I will send the sharp teeth of the wild beast, and the venom of creeping things against them.
32:25 Outside, the sword shall carry off their children, and terror shall reign within. Youth and maid alike shall perish, suckling and greybeard both together.
32:26 I should crush them to dust, I said, I should wipe out their memory among men,
32:27 did I not fear the boasting of the enemy. But let not their foes be mistaken! Let them not say: Our own power wins the victory, Yahweh plays no part in this.
32:28 What a nation of short sight it is; in them there is no understanding.
32:29 Were they wise, they would succeed, they would be able to read their destiny.
32:30 How else could one man rout a thousand, how could two put ten thousand to flight, were it not that their Rock has sold them, that Yahweh has delivered them up?
32:31 “But their rock is not like our Rock; our enemies are no intercessors.[*b]
32:32 For their stock springs from the vinestock of Sodom and from the groves of Gomorrah: their grapes are poisonous grapes, their clusters are envenomed;
32:33 their wine is the poison of serpents, the vipers’ cruel venom.
32:34 But he, is he not something precious to me, sealed inside my treasury?
32:35 Vengeance is mine, and requital, for the time when they make a false step. For it is close, the day of their ruin; their doom comes at speed.
32:36 (For Yahweh will see his people righted, he will take pity on his servants.) For he will see to it that their power fails, that, serf or freeman, there is not one remaining.
32:37 Where are their gods? he will ask then, the rock where they thought to take refuge,
32:38 who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their libations? Let these arise and help you, let these be the shelter above you!
32:39 See now that I, I am He, and beside me there is no other god. It is I who deal death and life; when I have struck it is I who heal (and none can deliver from my hand).
32:40 “Yes, I lift up my hand to heaven, and I say: As surely as I live for ever,
32:41 when I have whetted my flashing sword I will take up the cause of Right, I will give my foes as good again, I will repay those who hate me.
32:42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall feed on flesh: the blood of wounded and captives, the skulls of the enemy leaders.”
32:43 ‘Heavens, rejoice with him, let the sons of God pay him homage! Nations, rejoice with his people, let God’s envoys tell of his power! For he will avenge the blood of his servants, he will give his foes as good again, he will repay those who hate him and purify the land of his people.’
32:44 Moses came with Joshua son of Nun and recited all the words of this song in the people’s hearing.
The Law, the source of life
32:45 When Moses had finished reciting these words[*c] to all Israel,
32:46 he said to them, ‘Take all these words to heart; I call them to witness against you today. You must order your children to keep and observe all the words of this Law.
32:47 It is no idle thing you will be doing, for the Law is your life, and by its means you will live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.’
Moses’ death foretold
32:48 Yahweh spoke to Moses that same day and said to him,
32:49 ‘Climb Mount Nebo, that mountain of the Abarim range, in the land of Moab, opposite Jericho, and view the land of Canaan which I am giving the sons of Israel as their domain.
32:50 Die on the mountain you have climbed, and be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people.
32:51 Because you broke faith with me among the sons of Israel that time at Meribath-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, because you did not display my holiness among the sons of Israel,
32:52 you may see this land only from afar; you cannot enter it, this land that I am giving to the sons of Israel.’
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 33
33:1 This is the blessing that Moses, the man of God, pronounced over the sons of Israel before he died.
33:2 He said: ‘Yahweh came from Sinai. For them, after Seir, he rose on the horizon, after Mount Paran he shone forth. For them he came, after the mustering at Kadesh, from his zenith as far as the foothills.
33:3 ‘You who have such love for the forefathers, in your hand are all the holy ones. At your feet they fell, under your guidance went swiftly on.
33:4 (Moses enjoined a law on us.) The assembly of Jacob comes into its inheritance;
33:5 there was a king in Jeshurun when the heads of the people foregathered and the tribes of Jacob were all assembled.
33:6 ‘May Reuben live and not die, live too, his small band of warriors!’
33:7 Of Judah he said this: ‘Listen, Yahweh, to the voice of Judah and bring him back to his people. That his hands may defend his rights, come to his help against his foes.’
33:8 Of Levi he said: ‘Grant to Levi[*a] your Urim, your Thummim to the one you favoured after you had tested him at Massah and striven with him at the waters of Meribah.
33:9 He says of his father and mother, “I have not seen them”. His brothers he does not know, nor does he know his children. Yes, they have kept your word, they hold firmly to your covenant.
33:10 They teach your customs to Jacob, your Law to Israel. They send incense rising to your nostrils, place the holocaust on your altar.
33:11 Yahweh, bless his worthiness, and accept the work of his hands. Crush the loins of his enemies and of his foes, till they rise no more.’
33:12 Of Benjamin he said: ‘Beloved of Yahweh, he rests in safety. The Most High[*b] protects him day after day and dwells between his hillsides.’
33:13 Of Joseph he said: ‘His land is blessed by Yahweh. For him the best of heaven’s dew and of the deep that lies below,
33:14 the best of what the sun makes grow, of what springs with every month,
33:15 the first-fruits of the ancient mountains, the best from the hills of old,
33:16 the best of the land and all it holds, the favour of him who dwells in the Bush. May the hair grow thick on the head of Joseph, of the consecrated one among his brothers!
33:17 First-born of the bull, his the glory. His horns are the wild ox’s horns, with them he tosses the peoples to the very ends of the earth. Such are the myriads of Ephraim, such are the thousands of Manasseh.’
33:18 Of Zebulun he said: ‘Prosper, Zebulun, in your voyages abroad, and you, Issachar, in your tents!
33:19 On the mountain where the people come to pray they offer sacrifices for success, for they taste the riches of the seas, and the treasures hidden in the sands.’
33:20 Of Gad he said: ‘Blessed be he who gives Gad space enough! He lies there like a lioness; he has savaged arm and face and head.
33:21 Then he took the first portion for himself; he saw that there a leader’s share was kept for him. He came as leader of the people, having executed the justice of Yahweh and his sentences on Israel.’
33:22 Of Dan he said: ‘Dan is a lion cub leaping from Bashan. ‘
33:23 Of Naphtali he said: ‘Naphtali, sated with favours, filled with the blessings of Yahweh: the Sea and the South are his domain.’
33:24 Of Asher he said: ‘Most blessed of the sons may Asher be! Let him be privileged among his brothers and bathe his feet in oil!
33:25 Be your bolts of iron and of bronze
33:26 and your security as lasting as your days! There is none like the God of Jeshurun: he rides the heavens to your rescue,
33:27 rides the clouds in his majesty. The God of old, he is your refuge. Here below, he is the age-old arm driving the enemy before you;
33:28 it is he who cries, “Destroy!” Israel rests in safety. The well spring of Jacob is chosen out for a land of corn and wine;
33:29 there heaven itself rains down dew. Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a victorious people? In Yahweh is the shield that protects you and the marching sword leading to your triumph. Your enemies will try to corrupt you, but you yourself shall trample on their backs.’
JB DEUTERONOMY Chapter 34
The death of Moses
34:1 Then, leaving the plains of Moab, Moses went up Mount Nebo, the peak of Pisgah opposite Jericho, and Yahweh showed him the whole land; Gilead as far as Dan,
34:2 all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea,
34:3 the Negeb, and the stretch of the Valley of Jericho, city of palm trees, as far as Zoar.[*a]
34:4 Yahweh said to him, ‘This is the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying: I will give it to your descendants. I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you shall not cross into it.’
34:5 There in the land of Moab, Moses the servant of Yahweh died as Yahweh decreed;
34:6 he buried him in the valley, in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but to this day no one has ever found his grave.
34:7 Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye undimmed, his vigour unimpaired.
34:8 The sons of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab for thirty days. The days of weeping for the mourning rites of Moses came to an end.
34:9 Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. It was he that the sons of Israel obeyed, carrying out the order that Yahweh had given to Moses.
34:10 Since then, never has there been such a prophet in Israel as Moses, the man Yahweh knew face to face.
34:11 What signs and wonders Yahweh caused him to perform in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh and all his servants and his whole land!
34:12 How mighty the hand and great the fear that Moses wielded in the sight of all Israel!
END OF JB DEUTERONOMY [34 Chapters].