Deuteronomy 31:1–34:12

Joshua to Succeed Moses

31 Then Moses went out and spoke these words to all Israel: “I am now a hundred and twenty years oldi and I am no longer able to lead you.j The Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not cross the Jordan.’k The Lord your God himself will crossl over ahead of you.m He will destroy these nationsn before you, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua also will crosso over ahead of you, as the Lord said. And the Lord will do to them what he did to Sihon and Og,p the kings of the Amorites, whom he destroyed along with their land. The Lord will deliverq them to you, and you must do to them all that I have commanded you. Be strong and courageous.r Do not be afraid or terrifieds because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you;t he will never leave youu nor forsakev you.”

Then Moses summoned Joshua and saidw to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them,x and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;y he will never leave you nor forsake you.z Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Public Reading of the Law

So Moses wrotea down this law and gave it to the Levitical priests, who carriedb the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 Then Moses commanded them: “At the end of every seven years, in the year for canceling debts,c during the Festival of Tabernacles,d 11 when all Israel comes to appeare before the Lord your God at the place he will choose,f you shall read this lawg before them in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learnh to feari the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. 13 Their children,j who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”

Israel’s Rebellion Predicted

14 The Lord said to Moses, “Now the day of your deathk is near. Call Joshual and present yourselves at the tent of meeting, where I will commission him.m” So Moses and Joshua came and presented themselves at the tent of meeting.n

15 Then the Lord appeared at the tent in a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood over the entrance to the tent.o 16 And the Lord said to Moses: “You are going to rest with your ancestors,p and these people will soon prostituteq themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsaker me and break the covenant I made with them. 17 And in that day I will become angrys with them and forsaket them; I will hideu my facev from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disastersw and calamities will come on them, and in that day they will ask, ‘Have not these disasters come on us because our God is not with us?’x 18 And I will certainly hide my face in that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods.

19 “Now writey down this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witnessz for me against them. 20 When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their ancestors,a and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other godsb and worship them,c rejecting me and breaking my covenant.d 21 And when many disasters and calamities come on them,e this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants. I know what they are disposed to do,f even before I bring them into the land I promised them on oath.” 22 So Moses wroteg down this song that day and taught it to the Israelites.

23 The Lord gave this commandh to Joshua son of Nun: “Be strong and courageous,i for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you.”

24 After Moses finished writingj in a book the words of this lawk from beginning to end, 25 he gave this command to the Levites who carriedl the ark of the covenant of the Lord: 26 “Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God. There it will remain as a witness against you.m 27 For I know how rebelliousn and stiff-neckedo you are. If you have been rebellious against the Lord while I am still alive and with you, how much more will you rebel after I die! 28 Assemble before me all the elders of your tribes and all your officials, so that I can speak these words in their hearing and call the heavens and the earth to testify against them.p 29 For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corruptq and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disasterr will fall on you because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord and arouse his anger by what your hands have made.”

The Song of Moses

30 And Moses recited the words of this song from beginning to end in the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel:

32 Listen,s you heavens,t and I will speak;

hear, you earth, the words of my mouth.u

Let my teaching fall like rainv

and my words descend like dew,w

like showersx on new grass,

like abundant rain on tender plants.

I will proclaimy the name of the Lord.z

Oh, praise the greatnessa of our God!

He is the Rock,b his works are perfect,c

and all his ways are just.

A faithful Godd who does no wrong,

uprighte and just is he.f

They are corrupt and not his children;

to their shame they are a warped and crooked generation.g

Is this the way you repayh the Lord,

you foolishi and unwise people?j

Is he not your Father,k your Creator,a

who made you and formed you?l

Remember the days of old;m

consider the generations long past.n

Ask your father and he will tell you,

your elders, and they will explain to you.o

When the Most Highp gave the nations their inheritance,

when he divided all mankind,q

he set up boundariesr for the peoples

according to the number of the sons of Israel.b s

For the Lord’s portiont is his people,

Jacob his allotted inheritance.u

10 In a desertv land he found him,

in a barren and howling waste.w

He shieldedx him and cared for him;

he guarded him as the apple of his eye,y

11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest

and hovers over its young,z

that spreads its wings to catch them

and carries them aloft.a

12 The Lord alone ledb him;c

no foreign god was with him.d

13 He made him ride on the heightse of the land

and fed him with the fruit of the fields.

He nourished him with honey from the rock,f

and with oilg from the flinty crag,

14 with curds and milk from herd and flock

and with fattened lambs and goats,

with choice rams of Bashanh

and the finest kernels of wheat.i

You drank the foaming blood of the grape.j

15 Jeshurunc k grew fatl and kicked;

filled with food, they became heavy and sleek.

They abandonedm the God who made them

and rejected the Rockn their Savior.

16 They made him jealouso with their foreign gods

and angeredp him with their detestable idols.

17 They sacrificedq to false gods,r which are not God—

gods they had not known,s

gods that recently appeared,t

gods your ancestors did not fear.

18 You deserted the Rock, who fathered you;

you forgotu the God who gave you birth.

19 The Lord saw this and rejected themv

because he was angered by his sons and daughters.w

20 “I will hide my facex from them,” he said,

“and see what their end will be;

for they are a perverse generation,y

children who are unfaithful.z

21 They made me jealousa by what is no god

and angered me with their worthless idols.b

I will make them envious by those who are not a people;

I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding.c

22 For a fire will be kindled by my wrath,d

one that burns down to the realm of the dead below.e

It will devourf the earth and its harvestsg

and set afire the foundations of the mountains.h

23 “I will heap calamitiesi on them

and spend my arrowsj against them.

24 I will send wasting faminek against them,

consuming pestilencel and deadly plague;m

I will send against them the fangs of wild beasts,n

the venom of viperso that glide in the dust.p

25 In the street the sword will make them childless;

in their homes terrorq will reign.r

The young men and young women will perish,

the infants and those with gray hair.s

26 I said I would scattert them

and erase their name from human memory,u

27 but I dreaded the taunt of the enemy,

lest the adversary misunderstandv

and say, ‘Our hand has triumphed;

the Lord has not done all this.’ ”w

28 They are a nation without sense,

there is no discernmentx in them.

29 If only they were wise and would understand thisy

and discern what their end will be!z

30 How could one man chase a thousand,

or two put ten thousand to flight,a

unless their Rock had sold them,b

unless the Lord had given them up?c

31 For their rock is not like our Rock,d

as even our enemies concede.e

32 Their vine comes from the vine of Sodomf

and from the fields of Gomorrah.

Their grapes are filled with poison,g

and their clusters with bitterness.h

33 Their wine is the venom of serpents,

the deadly poison of cobras.i

34 “Have I not kept this in reserve

and sealed it in my vaults?j

35 It is mine to avenge;k I will repay.l

In due time their foot will slip;m

their day of disaster is near

and their doom rushes upon them.n

36 The Lord will vindicate his peopleo

and relentp concerning his servantsq

when he sees their strength is gone

and no one is left, slaver or free.d

37 He will say: “Now where are their gods,

the rock they took refuge in,s

38 the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices

and drank the wine of their drink offerings?t

Let them rise up to help you!

Let them give you shelter!

39 “See now that I myself am he!u

There is no god besides me.v

I put to deathw and I bring to life,x

I have wounded and I will heal,y

and no one can deliver out of my hand.z

40 I lift my handa to heaven and solemnly swear:

As surely as I live forever,b

41 when I sharpen my flashing …

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