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The Central Sanctuary

12:1 These are the statutes and ordinances you must be careful to obey as long as you live in the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors,1 has given you to possess.2 12:2 You must by all means destroy3 all the places where the nations you are about to dispossess worship their gods—on the high mountains and hills and under every leafy tree.4 12:3 You must tear down their altars, shatter their sacred pillars,5 burn up their sacred Asherah poles,6 and cut down the images of their gods; you must eliminate their very memory from that place. 12:4 You must not worship the Lord your God the way they worship. 12:5 But you must seek only the place he7 chooses from all your tribes to establish his name as his place of residence,8 and you must go there. 12:6 And there you must take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the personal offerings you have prepared,9 your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. 12:7 Both you and your families10 must feast there before the Lord your God and rejoice in all the output of your labor with which he11 has blessed you. 12:8 You must not do like we are doing here today, with everyone12 doing what seems best to him, 12:9 for you have not yet come to the final stop13 and inheritance the Lord your God is giving you. 12:10 When you do go across the Jordan River14 and settle in the land he15 is granting you as an inheritance and you find relief from all the enemies who surround you, you will live in safety.16 12:11 Then you must come to the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to reside, bringing17 everything I am commanding you—your burnt offerings, sacrifices, tithes, the personal offerings you have prepared,18 and all your choice votive offerings which you devote to him.19 12:12 You shall rejoice in the presence of the Lord your God, along with your sons, daughters, male and female servants, and the Levites in your villages20 (since they have no allotment or inheritance with you).21 12:13 Make sure you do not offer burnt offerings in any place you wish, 12:1for you may do so22 only in the place the Lord chooses in one of your tribal areas—there you may do everything I am commanding you.23


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