Chapter 4

  1. Therefore shall you lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house, and upon your gates, that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord swore unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth. For if you shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them — to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him — then will the Lord drive out all these nations from before you, and you shall possess greater nations, and mightier than yourselves. Every place on which the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours, from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the outermost sea shall your border be. There shall no man be able to stand before you, for the Lord your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that you shall tread upon, as he has said unto you.
  2. Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse: a blessing if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you this day, and a curse if you will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods which you have not known. And it shall come to pass, when the Lord your God has brought you in unto the land to which you go to possess it, that you shall put the blessing upon Mount Gerizim, and the curse upon Mount Ebal. Are they not on the other side of Jordan, by the way where the sun goes down, in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the plain opposite Gilgal, beside the plains of Moreh? For you shall pass over Jordan to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God gives you, and you shall possess it and dwell therein. And you shall observe to do all the statutes and judgments which I set before you this day.
  3. These are the statutes and judgments which you shall observe to do in the land which the Lord God of your fathers gives you to possess it, all the days that you live upon the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places wherein the nations which you shall possess served their gods — upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree. And you shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire. And you shall hew down the engraved images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. You shall not do so unto the Lord your God. But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose, out of all your tribes, to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall you seek; and there you shall come. And there you shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks. And there you shall eat before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice in all that you put your hand unto, you and your households, wherein the Lord your God has blessed you.
  4. You shall not do after all the things that we do here this day — every man whatever is right in his own eyes. For you are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance which the Lord your God gives you. But when you go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the Lord your God gives you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety, then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there. There shall you bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which you vow unto the Lord. And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God — you, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates, forasmuch as he has no part nor inheritance with you.
  5. Take heed to yourself that you offer not your burnt offerings in every place that you see, but in the place which the Lord shall choose in one of your tribes. There you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.
  6. Notwithstanding, you may kill and eat flesh in all your gates, whatever your soul lusts after, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which he has given you. The unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the roebuck and as of the hart, only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it upon the earth as water. You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain, or of your wine, or of your oil, or the firstlings of your herds or of your flock, nor any of your vows which you vow, nor your freewill offerings, or heave offering of your hand, but you must eat them before the Lord your God in the place which the Lord your God shall choose — you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite that is within your gates. And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God in all that you put your hands unto. Take heed to yourself that you forsake not the Levite as long as you live upon the earth.
  7. When the Lord your God shall enlarge your border, as he has promised you, and you shall say, I will eat flesh, because your soul longs to eat flesh, you may eat flesh, whatever your soul lusts after. If the place which the Lord your God has chosen to put his name there is too far from you, then you shall kill of your herd and of your flock which the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you, and you shall eat in your gates whatever your soul lusts after. Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten, so you shall eat them; the unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike. Only be sure that you eat not the blood, for the blood is the life, and you may not eat the life with the flesh. You shall not eat it; you shall pour it upon the earth as water. You shall not eat it, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, when you shall do that which is right in the sight of the Lord. Only your holy things which you have, and your vows, you shall take and go unto the place which the Lord shall choose. And you shall offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the Lord your God. And the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the Lord your God, and you shall eat the flesh.
  8. Observe and hear all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, for ever, when you do that which is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.
  9. When the Lord your God shall cut off the nations from before you, where you go to possess them, and you succeed them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not snared by following them after they are destroyed from before you, and that you inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise. You shall not do so unto the Lord your God, for every abomination to the Lord, which he hates, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burned in the fire to their gods.
  10. Whatever thing I command you, observe to do it; you shall not add unto it, nor diminish from it.
  11. If there arise among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass whereof he spoke unto you, saying, Let us go after other gods which you have not known, and let us serve them — you shall not listen unto the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God proves you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and you shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death, because he has spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust you out of the way which the Lord your God commanded you to walk in. So shall you put the evil away from your midst.
  12. If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend, who is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods which you have not known (you, nor your fathers) — namely, of the gods of the people who are round about you, near unto you, or far off from you, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth — you shall not consent unto him, nor listen unto him, neither shall your eye pity him, neither shall you spare, neither shall you conceal him. But you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. And you shall stone him with stones, that he die, because he has sought to thrust you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.
  13. If you shall hear say in one of your cities which the Lord your God has given you to dwell there, saying, Certain men, the children of Belial, have gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods which you have not known — then shall you inquire, and make search, and ask diligently, and behold, if it is truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you, you shall surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. And you shall gather all the spoil of it into the middle of the street thereof, and shall burn with fire the city and all the spoil thereof, every whit, for the Lord your God. And it shall be a heap for ever; it shall not be built again. And there shall cleave naught of the cursed thing to your hand, that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and show you mercy, and have compassion upon you, and multiply you, as he has sworn unto your fathers, when you shall listen to the voice of the Lord your God, to keep all his commandments which I command you this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the Lord your God.






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