The Command to Leave Horeb

These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel in the wilderness east of the Jordan(A)—that is, in the Arabah(B)—opposite Suph, between Paran(C) and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab. (It takes eleven days to go from Horeb(D) to Kadesh Barnea(E) by the Mount Seir(F) road.)(G)

In the fortieth year,(H) on the first day of the eleventh month,(I) Moses proclaimed(J) to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them. This was after he had defeated Sihon(K) king of the Amorites,(L) who reigned in Heshbon,(M) and at Edrei had defeated Og(N) king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth.(O)

East of the Jordan in the territory of Moab,(P) Moses began to expound this law, saying:

The Lord our God said to us(Q) at Horeb,(R) “You have stayed long enough(S) at this mountain. Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites;(T) go to all the neighboring peoples in the Arabah,(U) in the mountains, in the western foothills, in the Negev(V) and along the coast, to the land of the Canaanites(W) and to Lebanon,(X) as far as the great river, the Euphrates.(Y) See, I have given you this land(Z).(AA) Go in and take possession of the land the Lord swore(AB) he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.”

The Appointment of Leaders

At that time I said to you, “You are too heavy a burden(AC) for me to carry alone.(AD) 10 The Lord your God has increased(AE) your numbers(AF) so that today you are as numerous(AG) as the stars in the sky.(AH) 11 May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, increase(AI) you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised!(AJ) 12 But how can I bear your problems and your burdens and your disputes all by myself?(AK) 13 Choose some wise, understanding and respected men(AL) from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.”

14 You answered me, “What you propose to do is good.”

15 So I took(AM) the leading men of your tribes,(AN) wise and respected men,(AO) and appointed them to have authority over you—as commanders(AP) of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens and as tribal officials.(AQ) 16 And I charged your judges at that time, “Hear the disputes between your people and judge(AR) fairly,(AS) whether the case is between two Israelites or between an Israelite and a foreigner residing among you.(AT) 17 Do not show partiality(AU) in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone,(AV) for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.”(AW) 18 And at that time I told you everything you were to do.(AX)

Spies Sent Out

19 Then, as the Lord our God commanded us, we set out from Horeb and went toward the hill country of the Amorites(AY) through all that vast and dreadful wilderness(AZ) that you have seen, and so we reached Kadesh Barnea.(BA) 20 Then I said to you, “You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the Lord our God is giving us. 21 See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession(BB) of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid;(BC) do not be discouraged.”(BD)

22 Then all of you came to me and said, “Let us send men ahead to spy(BE) out the land(BF) for us and bring back a report about the route we are to take and the towns we will come to.”

23 The idea seemed good to me; so I selected(BG) twelve of you, one man from each tribe. 24 They left and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshkol(BH) and explored it. 25 Taking with them some of the fruit of the land, they brought it down to us and reported,(BI) “It is a good land(BJ) that the Lord our God is giving us.”(BK)

Rebellion Against the Lord

26 But you were unwilling to go up;(BL) you rebelled(BM) against the command of the Lord your God. 27 You grumbled(BN) in your tents and said, “The Lord hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. 28 Where can we go? Our brothers have made our hearts melt in fear. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller(BO) than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites(BP) there.’”

29 Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid(BQ) of them.(BR) 30 The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight(BS) for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, 31 and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried(BT) you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”(BU)

32 In spite of this,(BV) you did not trust(BW) in the Lord your God, 33 who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day,(BX) to search(BY) out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.

34 When the Lord heard(BZ) what you said, he was angry(CA) and solemnly swore:(CB) 35 “No one from this evil generation shall see the good land(CC) I swore to give your ancestors, 36 except Caleb(CD) son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly.(CE)

37 Because of you the Lord became angry(CF) with me also and said, “You shall not enter(CG) it, either. 38 But your assistant, Joshua(CH) son of Nun, will enter it. Encourage(CI) him, because he will lead(CJ) Israel to inherit(CK) it. 39 And the little ones that you said would be taken captive,(CL) your children who do not yet know(CM) good from bad—they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it. 40 But as for you, turn around and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea.[a](CN)

41 Then you replied, “We have sinned against the Lord. We will go up and fight, as the Lord our God commanded us.” So every one of you put on his weapons, thinking it easy to go up into the hill country.

42 But the Lord said to me, “Tell them, ‘Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.’”(CO)

43 So I told you, but you would not listen. You rebelled against the Lord’s command and in your arrogance you marched up into the hill country. 44 The Amorites who lived in those hills came out against you; they chased you like a swarm of bees(CP) and beat you down from Seir(CQ) all the way to Hormah.(CR) 45 You came back and wept before the Lord,(CS) but he paid no attention(CT) to your weeping and turned a deaf ear(CU) to you. 46 And so you stayed in Kadesh(CV) many days—all the time you spent there.


  1. Deuteronomy 1:40 Or the Sea of Reeds

Wanderings in the Wilderness

Then we turned back and set out toward the wilderness along the route to the Red Sea,[a](A) as the Lord had directed me. For a long time we made our way around the hill country of Seir.(B)

Then the Lord said to me, “You have made your way around this hill country long enough;(C) now turn north. Give the people these orders:(D) ‘You are about to pass through the territory of your relatives the descendants of Esau,(E) who live in Seir.(F) They will be afraid(G) of you, but be very careful. Do not provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land, not even enough to put your foot on. I have given Esau the hill country of Seir as his own.(H) You are to pay them in silver for the food you eat and the water you drink.’”

The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched(I) over your journey through this vast wilderness.(J) These forty years(K) the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.(L)

So we went on past our relatives the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. We turned from(M) the Arabah(N) road, which comes up from Elath and Ezion Geber,(O) and traveled along the desert road of Moab.(P)

Then the Lord said to me, “Do not harass the Moabites or provoke them to war, for I will not give you any part of their land. I have given Ar(Q) to the descendants of Lot(R) as a possession.”

10 (The Emites(S) used to live there—a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites.(T) 11 Like the Anakites, they too were considered Rephaites,(U) but the Moabites called them Emites. 12 Horites(V) used to live in Seir, but the descendants of Esau drove them out. They destroyed the Horites from before them and settled in their place, just as Israel did(W) in the land the Lord gave them as their possession.)

13 And the Lord said, “Now get up and cross the Zered Valley.(X)” So we crossed the valley.

14 Thirty-eight years(Y) passed from the time we left Kadesh Barnea(Z) until we crossed the Zered Valley. By then, that entire generation(AA) of fighting men had perished from the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them.(AB) 15 The Lord’s hand was against them until he had completely eliminated(AC) them from the camp.

16 Now when the last of these fighting men among the people had died, 17 the Lord said to me, 18 “Today you are to pass by the region of Moab at Ar.(AD) 19 When you come to the Ammonites,(AE) do not harass them or provoke them to war,(AF) for I will not give you possession of any land belonging to the Ammonites. I have given it as a possession to the descendants of Lot.(AG)

20 (That too was considered a land of the Rephaites,(AH) who used to live there; but the Ammonites called them Zamzummites. 21 They were a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites.(AI) The Lord destroyed them from before the Ammonites, who drove them out and settled in their place. 22 The Lord had done the same for the descendants of Esau, who lived in Seir,(AJ) when he destroyed the Horites from before them. They drove them out and have lived in their place to this day. 23 And as for the Avvites(AK) who lived in villages as far as Gaza,(AL) the Caphtorites(AM) coming out from Caphtor[b](AN) destroyed them and settled in their place.)

Defeat of Sihon King of Heshbon

24 “Set out now and cross the Arnon Gorge.(AO) See, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite,(AP) king of Heshbon, and his country. Begin to take possession of it and engage(AQ) him in battle. 25 This very day I will begin to put the terror(AR) and fear(AS) of you on all the nations under heaven. They will hear reports of you and will tremble(AT) and be in anguish because of you.”

26 From the Desert of Kedemoth(AU) I sent messengers to Sihon(AV) king of Heshbon offering peace(AW) and saying, 27 “Let us pass through your country. We will stay on the main road; we will not turn aside to the right or to the left.(AX) 28 Sell us food to eat(AY) and water to drink for their price in silver. Only let us pass through on foot(AZ) 29 as the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir, and the Moabites, who live in Ar, did for us—until we cross the Jordan into the land the Lord our God is giving us.” 30 But Sihon king of Heshbon refused to let us pass through. For the Lord(BA) your God had made his spirit stubborn(BB) and his heart obstinate(BC) in order to give him into your hands,(BD) as he has now done.

31 The Lord said to me, “See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his country over to you. Now begin to conquer and possess his land.”(BE)

32 When Sihon and all his army came out to meet us in battle(BF) at Jahaz, 33 the Lord our God delivered(BG) him over to us and we struck him down,(BH) together with his sons and his whole army. 34 At that time we took all his towns and completely destroyed[c](BI) them—men, women and children. We left no survivors. 35 But the livestock(BJ) and the plunder(BK) from the towns we had captured we carried off for ourselves. 36 From Aroer(BL) on the rim of the Arnon Gorge, and from the town in the gorge, even as far as Gilead,(BM) not one town was too strong for us. The Lord our God gave(BN) us all of them. 37 But in accordance with the command of the Lord our God,(BO) you did not encroach on any of the land of the Ammonites,(BP) neither the land along the course of the Jabbok(BQ) nor that around the towns in the hills.


  1. Deuteronomy 2:1 Or the Sea of Reeds
  2. Deuteronomy 2:23 That is, Crete
  3. Deuteronomy 2:34 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.

The Parable of the Tenants(A)

12 Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard.(B) He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.

“He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all,(C) saying, ‘They will respect my son.’

“But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.

“What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture:

“‘The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;(D)
11 the Lord has done this,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes’[a]?”(E)

12 Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd;(F) so they left him and went away.(G)

Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar(H)

13 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians(I) to Jesus to catch him(J) in his words. 14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax[b] to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”

But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”(K)

And they were amazed at him.

Marriage at the Resurrection(L)

18 Then the Sadducees,(M) who say there is no resurrection,(N) came to him with a question. 19 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.(O) 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children. 21 The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third. 22 In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too. 23 At the resurrection[c] whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”

24 Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures(P) or the power of God? 25 When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.(Q) 26 Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’[d]?(R) 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!”

The Greatest Commandment(S)

28 One of the teachers of the law(T) came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f](U) 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g](V) There is no commandment greater than these.”

32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him.(W) 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”(X)

34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”(Y) And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.(Z)

Whose Son Is the Messiah?(AA)(AB)

35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts,(AC) he asked, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David?(AD) 36 David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit,(AE) declared:

“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
    “Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
    under your feet.”’[h](AF)

37 David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”

The large crowd(AG) listened to him with delight.

Warning Against the Teachers of the Law

38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.(AH) 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

The Widow’s Offering(AI)

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put(AJ) and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”(AK)


  1. Mark 12:11 Psalm 118:22,23
  2. Mark 12:14 A special tax levied on subject peoples, not on Roman citizens
  3. Mark 12:23 Some manuscripts resurrection, when people rise from the dead,
  4. Mark 12:26 Exodus 3:6
  5. Mark 12:29 Or The Lord our God is one Lord
  6. Mark 12:30 Deut. 6:4,5
  7. Mark 12:31 Lev. 19:18
  8. Mark 12:36 Psalm 110:1

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