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Deuteronomy 12:1–14:29

The Lord’s Chosen Place of Worship

12 b“These are the statutes and rules that you shall be careful to do in the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess, call the days that you live on the earth. dYou shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, eon the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. You shall tear down their altars and dash in pieces ftheir pillars and burn their gAsherim with fire. You shall chop down the carved images of their gods and hdestroy their name out of that place. iYou shall not worship the Lord your God in that way. But you shall seek jthe place that the Lord your God will choose out of all your tribes to put his name and make his habitation1 there. There you shall go, and there you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, kyour tithes and the contribution that you present, your vow offerings, your freewill offerings, and the lfirstborn of your herd and of your flock. And mthere you shall eat before the Lord your God, and nyou shall rejoice, you and your households, in all that you undertake, in which the Lord your God has blessed you.

“You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, oeveryone doing whatever is right in his own eyes, for you have not as yet come to pthe rest and to the inheritance that the Lord your God is giving you. 10 But when qyou go over the Jordan and live in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, rand when he gives you rest from all your enemies around, so that you live in safety, 11 then to jthe place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, kyour tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the Lord. 12 And nyou shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male servants and your female servants, and the Levite that is within your towns, since she has no portion or inheritance with you. 13 tTake care that you do not offer your burnt offerings at any place that you see, 14 but at jthe place that the Lord will choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I am commanding you.

15 “However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your towns, as much as you desire, uaccording to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you. vThe unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and as of the deer. 16 wOnly you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it out on the earth like water. 17 You may not eat within your towns kthe tithe of your grain or of your wine or of your oil, or the firstborn of your herd or of your flock, or any of your vow offerings that you vow, or your freewill offerings or the contribution that you present, 18 but myou shall eat them before the Lord your God in jthe place that the Lord your God will choose, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, and the Levite who is within your towns. And nyou shall rejoice before the Lord your God in all that you undertake. 19 xTake care that you do not neglect the Levite as long as you live in your land.

20 “When the Lord your God yenlarges your territory, zas he has promised you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ because you crave meat, you may eat meat whenever you desire. 21 If athe place that the Lord your God will choose to put his name there is too far from you, bthen you may kill any of your herd or your flock, which the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you, and you may eat within your towns whenever you desire. 22 Just cas the gazelle or the deer is eaten, so you may eat of it. cThe unclean and the clean alike may eat of it. 23 dOnly be sure that you do not eat the blood, efor the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh. 24 You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the earth like water. 25 You shall not eat it, fthat all may go well with you and with your children after you, gwhen you do what is right in the sight of the Lord. 26 But the hholy things that are due from you, and iyour vow offerings, you shall take, and you shall go to athe place that the Lord will choose, 27 and joffer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of the Lord your God. The blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the Lord your God, but the flesh you may eat. 28 Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, fthat it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.

Warning Against Idolatry

29 “When kthe Lord your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 take care lthat you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ 31 mYou shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every nabominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for othey even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.

32 2 “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. pYou shall not add to it or take from it.

13 “If a prophet or qa dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and rthe sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God sis testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall twalk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and uhold fast to him. But vthat prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. wSo you shall purge the evil1 from your midst.

x“If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter or ythe wife you embrace2 or your friend zwho is as your own soul entices you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ awhich neither you nor your fathers have known, some bof the gods of the peoples who are around you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other, you shall cnot yield to him or listen to him, nor dshall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him. But you shall kill him. eYour hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. 10 fYou shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 11 And gall Israel shall hear and fear and never again do any such wickedness as this among you.

12 “If you hear in one of your cities, which the Lord your God is giving you to dwell there, 13 that certain hworthless fellows have gone out among you and have drawn away the inhabitants of their city, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which you have not known, 14 then you shall inquire and make search and ask idiligently. And behold, if it be true and certain that such an abomination has been done among you, 15 you shall surely put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, devoting it to destruction,3 all who are in it and its cattle, with the edge of the sword. 16 You shall gather all its spoil into the midst of its open square and jburn the city and all its spoil with fire, as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. It shall be a kheap forever. It shall not be built again. 17 lNone of the devoted things shall stick to your hand, mthat the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger and show you mercy and have compassion on you and multiply you, nas he swore to your fathers, 18 if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, okeeping all his commandments that I am commanding you today, and doing what is right in the sight of the Lord your God.

Clean and Unclean Food

14 “You are pthe sons of the Lord your God. qYou shall not cut yourselves or make any rbaldness on your foreheads for the dead. For syou are a people holy to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

t“You shall not eat any abomination. uThese are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, the deer, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the ibex,1 the antelope, and the mountain sheep. Every animal that parts the hoof and has the hoof cloven in two and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat. Yet of those that chew the cud or have the hoof cloven you shall not eat these: the camel, the hare, and the vrock badger, because they chew the cud but do not part the hoof, are unclean for you. And the pig, because it parts the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean for you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and wtheir carcasses you shall not touch.

“Of all that are in the waters you may eat these: whatever has fins and scales you may eat. 10 And whatever does not have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean for you.

11 “You may eat all clean birds. 12 But these are the ones that you shall not eat: the eagle,2 the bearded vulture, the black vulture, 13 the kite, the falcon of any kind; 14 every raven of any kind; 15 the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk of any kind; 16 the little …

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