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The Altar on Mount Ebal

27 The elders of Israel and I gave commands to the people. We said, “Obey all of the commands we’re giving you today.

2“You will go across the Jordan River. You will enter the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you do, set up some large stones. Put a coat of plaster on them. 3Write all of the words of this law on them. Do it when you have crossed over into the land the Lord your God is giving you. It’s a land that has plenty of milk and honey. The Lord is the God of your fathers. He promised you that you would enter the land. 4After you have gone across the Jordan, set up those stones on Mount Ebal. Put a coat of plaster on them. We’re commanding you today to do that.

5“Build an altar there to honor the Lord your God. Make it out of stones. Don’t use any iron tool on them. 6Use stones you find in the fields to build his altar. Then offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God. 7Sacrifice friendship offerings there. Eat them and be filled with joy in the sight of the Lord your God.

8“You must write all of the words of this law on the stones you have set up. Write the words very clearly.”

Curses for Not Obeying the Lord

9Then the priests, who are Levites, and I spoke to all of the people of Israel. We said, “Israel, be quiet! Listen! You have now become the people of the Lord your God. 10Obey him. Follow his commands and rules that we’re giving you today.”

11Here are the commands I gave the people that very day.

12You will go across the Jordan River. When you do, I want six tribes to stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people. Those tribes are Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin. 13I want the other six tribes to stand on Mount Ebal to announce some curses. Those tribes are Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali.

14The Levites will speak to all of the people of Israel in a loud voice. They will say,

15“May any man who makes a wooden or metal statue of a god and sets it up in secret be under the Lord’s curse. That statue is made by a skilled worker. And the Lord hates it.”

Then all of the people will say, “Amen!”

16“May anyone who brings shame on his father or mother be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all of the people will say, “Amen!”

17“May anyone who moves his neighbor’s boundary stone be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all of the people will say, “Amen!”

18“May anyone who leads blind people down the wrong road be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all of the people will say, “Amen!”

19“May anyone who isn’t fair in the way he treats outsiders, widows, and children whose fathers have died be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all of the people will say, “Amen!”

20“May any man who has sex with his stepmother be under the Lord’s curse. That man brings shame on his father by doing that.”

Then all of the people will say, “Amen!”

21“May anyone who has sex with animals be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all of the people will say, “Amen!”

22“May any man who has sex with his sister be under the Lord’s curse. It doesn’t matter whether she is his full sister or his half sister.”

Then all of the people will say, “Amen!”

23“May any man who has sex with his mother-in-law be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all of the people will say, “Amen!”

24“May anyone who kills his neighbor secretly be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all of the people will say, “Amen!”

25“May anyone who accepts money to kill someone who isn’t guilty of doing anything wrong be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all of the people will say, “Amen!”

26“May anyone who doesn’t honor the words of this law by obeying them be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all of the people will say, “Amen!”

NIrV

About New International Reader’s Version

The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.

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Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by International Bible Society.

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Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL READER’S VERSION™. Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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