Deuteronomy 3:21-5:33 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
The Transfer of Israel’s Leadership
21 “I commanded Joshua at that time: Your own eyes have seen everything the Lord your God has done to these two kings. The Lord will do the same to all the kingdoms you are about to enter. 22 Don’t be afraid of them, for the Lord your God fights for you.
23 “At that time I begged the Lord: 24 Lord God, You have begun to show Your greatness and power to Your servant, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can perform deeds and mighty acts like Yours? 25 Please let me cross over and see the beautiful land on the other side of the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.
26 “But the Lord was angry with me on account of you and would not listen to me. The Lord said to me, ‘That’s enough! Do not speak to Me again about this matter. 27 Go to the top of Pisgah and look to the west, north, south, and east, and see it with your own eyes, for you will not cross this Jordan. 28 But commission Joshua and encourage and strengthen him, for he will cross over ahead of the people and enable them to inherit this land that you will see.’ 29 So we stayed in the valley facing Beth-peor.
Call to Obedience
4 “Now, Israel, listen to the statutes and ordinances I am teaching you to follow, so that you may live, enter, and take possession of the land Yahweh, the God of your fathers, is giving you. 2 You must not add anything to what I command you or take anything away from it, so that you may keep the commands of the Lord your God I am giving you. 3 Your eyes have seen what the Lord did at Baal-peor, for the Lord your God destroyed every one of you who followed Baal of Peor. 4 But you who have remained faithful[a] to the Lord your God are all alive today. 5 Look, I have taught you statutes and ordinances as the Lord my God has commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to possess. 6 Carefully follow them, for this will show your wisdom and understanding in the eyes of the peoples. When they hear about all these statutes, they will say, ‘This great nation is indeed a wise and understanding people.’ 7 For what great nation is there that has a god near to it as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to Him? 8 And what great nation has righteous statutes and ordinances like this entire law I set before you today?
9 “Only be on your guard and diligently watch yourselves, so that you don’t forget the things your eyes have seen and so that they don’t slip from your mind as long as you live. Teach them to your children and your grandchildren. 10 The day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Assemble the people before Me, and I will let them hear My words, so that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth and may instruct their children.’ 11 You came near and stood at the base of the mountain, a mountain blazing with fire into the heavens and enveloped in a dense, black cloud. 12 Then the Lord spoke to you from the fire. You kept hearing the sound of the words, but didn’t see a form; there was only a voice. 13 He declared His covenant to you. He commanded you to follow the Ten Commandments, which He wrote on two stone tablets. 14 At that time the Lord commanded me to teach you statutes and ordinances for you to follow in the land you are about to cross into and possess.
Worshiping the True God
15 “For your own good, be extremely careful—because you did not see any form on the day the Lord spoke to you out of the fire at Horeb— 16 not to act corruptly and make an idol for yourselves in the shape of any figure: a male or female form, 17 or the form of any beast on the earth, any winged creature that flies in the sky, 18 any creature that crawls on the ground, or any fish in the waters under the earth. 19 When you look to the heavens and see the sun, moon, and stars—all the array of heaven—do not be led astray to bow down and worship them. The Lord your God has provided them for all people everywhere under heaven. 20 But the Lord selected you and brought you out of Egypt’s iron furnace to be a people for His inheritance, as you are today.
21 “The Lord was angry with me on your account. He swore that I would not cross the Jordan and enter the good land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. 22 I won’t be crossing the Jordan because I am going to die in this land. But you are about to cross over and take possession of this good land. 23 Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that He made with you, and make an idol for yourselves in the shape of anything He has forbidden you. 24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
25 “When you have children and grandchildren and have been in the land a long time, and if you act corruptly, make an idol in the form of anything, and do what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, provoking Him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that you will quickly perish from the land you are about to cross the Jordan to possess. You will not live long there, but you will certainly be destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be reduced to a few survivors[b] among the nations where the Lord your God will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see, hear, eat, or smell. 29 But from there, you will search for the Lord your God, and you will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart and all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, you will return to the Lord your God in later days and obey Him. 31 He will not leave you, destroy you, or forget the covenant with your fathers that He swore to them by oath, because the Lord your God is a compassionate God.
32 “Indeed, ask about the earlier days that preceded you, from the day God created man on the earth and from one end of the heavens to the other: Has anything like this great event ever happened, or has anything like it been heard of? 33 Has a people heard God’s voice speaking from the fire as you have, and lived? 34 Or has a god attempted to go and take a nation as his own out of another nation, by trials, signs, wonders, and war, by a strong hand and an outstretched arm, by great terrors, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 You were shown these things so that you would know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides Him. 36 He let you hear His voice from heaven to instruct you. He showed you His great fire on earth, and you heard His words from the fire. 37 Because He loved your fathers, He chose their descendants after them and brought you out of Egypt by His presence and great power, 38 to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you in and give you their land as an inheritance, as is now taking place. 39 Today, recognize and keep in mind that the Lord is God in heaven above and on earth below; there is no other. 40 Keep His statutes and commands, which I am giving you today, so that you and your children after you may prosper and so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”
Cities of Refuge
41 Then Moses set apart three cities across the Jordan to the east. 42 Someone could flee there who committed manslaughter, killing his neighbor accidentally without previously hating him. He could flee to one of these cities and stay alive: 43 Bezer in the wilderness on the plateau land, belonging to the Reubenites; Ramoth in Gilead, belonging to the Gadites; or Golan in Bashan, belonging to the Manassites.
Introduction to the Law
44 This is the law Moses gave the Israelites. 45 These are the decrees, statutes, and ordinances Moses proclaimed to them after they came out of Egypt, 46 across the Jordan in the valley facing Beth-peor in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites. He lived in Heshbon, and Moses and the Israelites defeated him after they came out of Egypt. 47 They took possession of his land and the land of Og king of Bashan, the two Amorite kings who were across the Jordan to the east, 48 from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Valley as far as Mount Sion (that is, Hermon) 49 and all the Arabah on the east side of the Jordan as far as the Dead Sea below the slopes of Pisgah.
The Ten Commandments
5 Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “Israel, listen to the statutes and ordinances I am proclaiming as you hear them today. Learn and follow them carefully. 2 The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3 He did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with all of us who are alive here today. 4 The Lord spoke to you face to face from the fire on the mountain. 5 At that time I was standing between the Lord and you to report the word[c] of the Lord to you, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain. And He said:
6 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.
The People’s Response
22 “The Lord spoke these commands in a loud voice to your entire assembly from the fire, cloud, and thick darkness on the mountain; He added nothing more. He wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me. 23 All of you approached me with your tribal leaders and elders when you heard the voice from the darkness and while the mountain was blazing with fire. 24 You said, ‘Look, the Lord our God has shown us His glory and greatness, and we have heard His voice from the fire. Today we have seen that God speaks with a person, yet he still lives. 25 But now, why should we die? This great fire will consume us and we will die if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any longer. 26 For who out of all mankind has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the fire, as we have, and lived? 27 Go near and listen to everything the Lord our God says. Then you can tell us everything the Lord our God tells you; we will listen and obey.’
28 “The Lord heard your[d] words when you spoke to me. He said to me, ‘I have heard the words that these people have spoken to you. Everything they have said is right. 29 If only they had such a heart to fear Me and keep all My commands always, so that they and their children will prosper forever. 30 Go and tell them: Return to your tents. 31 But you stand here with Me, and I will tell you every command—the statutes and ordinances—you are to teach them, so that they may follow them in the land I am giving them to possess.’
32 “Be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you are not to turn aside to the right or the left. 33 Follow the whole instruction the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live, prosper, and have a long life in the land you will possess.