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Obedience Commanded

4 Now, Israel, hear the decreesn and laws I am about to teacho you. Follow them so that you may livep and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. Do not addq to what I command you and do not subtractr from it, but keeps the commandst of the Lord your God that I give you.

You saw with your own eyes what the Lord did at Baal Peor.u The Lord your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of Peor, but all of you who held fast to the Lord your God are still alive today.

See, I have taughtv you decrees and lawsw as the Lord my God commandedx me, so that you may follow them in the land you are enteringy to take possession of it. Observez them carefully, for this will show your wisdoma and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”b What other nation is so greatc as to have their gods neard them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and lawse as this body of laws I am setting before you today?

Only be careful,f and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teachg them to your childrenh and to their children after them. 10 Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb,i when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learnj to reverek me as long as they live in the landl and may teachm them to their children.” 11 You came near and stood at the foot of the mountainn while it blazed with fireo to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness.p 12 Then the Lord spokeq to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form;r there was only a voice.s 13 He declared to you his covenant,t the Ten Commandments,u which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets. 14 And the Lord directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and lawsv you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.

Idolatry Forbidden

15 You saw no formw of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horebx out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully,y 16 so that you do not become corruptz and make for yourselves an idol,a an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, 17 or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air,b 18 or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. 19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun,c the moon and the starsd—all the heavenly arraye—do not be enticedf into bowing down to them and worshipingg things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. 20 But as for you, the Lord took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace,h out of Egypt,i to be the people of his inheritance,j as you now are.

21 The Lord was angry with mek because of you, and he solemnly swore that I would not cross the Jordan and enter the good land the Lord your God is giving you as your inheritance. 22 I will die in this land;l I will not cross the Jordan; but you are about to cross over and take possession of that good land.m 23 Be careful not to forget the covenantn of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idolo in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. 24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire,p a jealous God.q

25 After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corruptr and make any kind of idol,s doing evilt in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, 26 I call the heavens and the earth as witnessesu against youv this day that you will quickly perishw from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatterx you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survivey among the nations to which the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made godsz of wood and stone,a which cannot see or hear or eat or smell.b 29 But if from there you seekc the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heartd and with all your soul.e 30 When you are in distressf and all these things have happened to you, then in later daysg you will returnh to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a mercifuli God; he will not abandonj or destroyk you or forgetl the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.

The Lord Is God

32 Askm now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth;n ask from one end of the heavens to the other.o Has anything so greatp as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? 33 Has any other people heard the voice of Goda speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived?q 34 Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation,r by testings,s by signst and wonders,u by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm,v or by great and awesome deeds,w like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?

35 You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other.x 36 From heaven he made you hear his voicey to disciplinez you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. 37 Because he loveda your ancestors and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength,b 38 to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance,c as it is today.

39 Acknowledged and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.e 40 Keepf his decrees and commands,g which I am giving you today, so that it may go wellh with you and your children after you and that you may live longi in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.

Cities of Refuge

4:41–43Ref—Nu 35:6–34; Dt 19:1–14; Jos 20:1–9

41 Then Moses set aside three cities east of the Jordan, 42 to which anyone who had killed a person could flee if they had unintentionallyj killed a neighbor without malice aforethought. They could flee into one of these cities and save their life. 43 The cities were these: Bezer in the wilderness plateau, for the Reubenites; Ramothk in Gilead, for the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, for the Manassites.

Introduction to the Law

44 This is the law Moses set before the Israelites. 45 These are the stipulations, decrees and laws Moses gave them when they came out of Egypt 46 and were in the valley near Beth Peor east of the Jordan, in the land of Sihonl king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon and was defeated by Moses and the Israelites as they came out of Egypt. 47 They took possession of his land and the land of Og king of Bashan, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan. 48 This land extended from Aroerm on the rim of the Arnon Gorge to Mount Sirionb n (that is, Hermono), 49 and included all the Arabah east of the Jordan, as far as the Dead Sea,c below the slopes of Pisgah.


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