New English Translation
The Covenant Setting
1 This is what[a] Moses said to all of Israel in the Transjordanian[b] wilderness, the arid rift valley opposite[c] Suph,[d] between[e] Paran[f] and Tophel,[g] Laban,[h] Hazeroth,[i] and Di Zahab.[j] 2 Now it is ordinarily an eleven-day journey[k] from Horeb[l] to Kadesh Barnea[m] by way of Mount Seir.[n] 3 However, it was not until[o] the first day of the eleventh month[p] of the fortieth year[q] that Moses addressed the Israelites just as[r] the Lord had instructed him to do. 4 This took place after the defeat[s] of King Sihon[t] of the Amorites, whose capital was[u] in Heshbon,[v] and King Og of Bashan, whose capital was[w] in Ashtaroth,[x] specifically in Edrei.[y] 5 So it was in the Transjordan, in Moab, that Moses began to deliver these words:[z]
Events at Horeb
6 The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb and said, “You have stayed[aa] in the area of this mountain long enough. 7 Head out[ab] and resume your journey. Enter the Amorite hill country, and all its neighboring areas, including the rift valley,[ac] the hill country, the foothills,[ad] the Negev,[ae] and the coastal plain—all of Canaan and Lebanon as far as the Great River, that is, the Euphrates. 8 Look! I have already given the land to you.[af] Go, occupy the territory that I,[ag] the Lord, promised[ah] to give to your ancestors[ai] Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to their descendants.”[aj] 9 I also said to you at that time, “I am no longer able to sustain you by myself. 10 The Lord your God has increased your population[ak] to the point that you are now as numerous as the very stars of the sky.[al] 11 Indeed, may the Lord, the God of your ancestors, make you a thousand times more numerous than you are now, blessing you[am] just as he said he would! 12 But how can I alone bear up under the burden of your hardship and strife? 13 Select wise and practical[an] men, those known among your tribes, whom I may appoint as your leaders.” 14 You replied to me that what I had said to you was good. 15 So I chose[ao] as your tribal leaders wise and well-known men, placing them over you as administrators of groups of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, and also as other tribal officials. 16 I furthermore admonished your judges at that time that they[ap] should pay attention to issues among your fellow citizens[aq] and judge fairly,[ar] whether between one person and a native Israelite[as] or a resident foreigner.[at] 17 They[au] must not discriminate in judgment, but hear the lowly[av] and the great alike. Nor should they be intimidated by human beings, for judgment belongs to God. If the matter being adjudicated is too difficult for them, they should bring it before me for a hearing.
Instructions at Kadesh Barnea
18 So I instructed you at that time regarding everything you should do. 19 Then we left Horeb and passed through all that immense, forbidding wilderness that you saw on the way to the Amorite hill country as the Lord our God had commanded us to do, finally arriving at Kadesh Barnea. 20 Then I said to you, “You have come to the Amorite hill country, which the Lord our God is about to give[aw] us. 21 Look, he[ax] has placed the land in front of you![ay] Go up, take possession of it, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, said to do. Do not be afraid or discouraged!” 22 So all of you approached me and said, “Let’s send some men ahead of us to scout out the land and bring us back word as to how we should attack it and what the cities are like there.” 23 I thought this was a good idea,[az] so I sent[ba] twelve men from among you, one from each tribe. 24 They left and went up to the hill country, coming to the Eshcol Valley,[bb] which they scouted out. 25 Then they took[bc] some of the produce of the land and carried it back down to us. They also brought a report to us, saying, “The land that the Lord our God is about to give us is good.”
Disobedience at Kadesh Barnea
26 You were not willing to go up, however, but instead rebelled against the Lord your God.[bd] 27 You complained among yourselves privately[be] and said, “Because the Lord hates us he brought us from Egypt to deliver us over to the Amorites so they could destroy us! 28 What is going to happen to us? Our brothers have drained away our courage[bf] by describing people who are more numerous[bg] and taller than we are, and great cities whose defenses appear to be as high as heaven[bh] itself! Moreover, they said they saw[bi] Anakites[bj] there.” 29 So I responded to you, “Do not be terrified[bk] of them! 30 The Lord your God is about to go[bl] ahead of you; he will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt[bm] 31 and in the wilderness, where you saw him[bn] carrying you along like a man carries his son. This he did everywhere you went until you came to this very place.” 32 However, through all this you did not have confidence in the Lord your God, 33 who would go before you on the way to find places for you to camp, appearing in a fire at night and in a cloud by day to show you the way you ought to go.
Judgment at Kadesh Barnea
34 When the Lord heard you, he became angry and made this vow:[bo] 35 “Not a single person[bp] of this evil generation will see the good land that I promised to give to your ancestors! 36 The exception is Caleb son of Jephunneh;[bq] he will see it and I will give him and his descendants the territory on which he has walked, because he has wholeheartedly followed me.”[br] 37 As for me, the Lord was also angry with me on your account. He said, “You also will not be able to go there. 38 However, Joshua son of Nun, your assistant,[bs] will go. Encourage him, because he will enable Israel to inherit the land.[bt] 39 Also, your infants, who you thought would die on the way,[bu] and your children, who as yet do not know good from bad,[bv] will go there; I will give them the land and they will possess it. 40 But as for you,[bw] turn back and head for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.”[bx]
Unsuccessful Conquest of Canaan
41 Then you responded to me and admitted, “We have sinned against the Lord. We will now go up and fight as the Lord our God has told us to do.” So you each put on your battle gear and prepared to go up to the hill country. 42 But the Lord told me: “Tell them this: ‘Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you and you will be defeated by your enemies.’” 43 I spoke to you, but you did not listen. Instead you rebelled against the Lord[by] and recklessly went up to the hill country. 44 The Amorite inhabitants of that area[bz] confronted[ca] you and chased you like a swarm of bees, striking you down from Seir as far as Hormah.[cb] 45 Then you came back and wept before the Lord, but he[cc] paid no attention to you whatsoever.[cd] 46 Therefore, you remained at Kadesh for a long time—indeed, for the full time.[ce]
The Journey from Kadesh Barnea to Moab
2 Then we turned and set out toward the wilderness on the way to the Red Sea[cf] just as the Lord told me to do, detouring around Mount Seir for a long time. 2 At this point the Lord said to me, 3 “You have circled around this mountain long enough; now turn north. 4 Instruct[cg] these people as follows: ‘You are about to cross the border of your relatives[ch] the descendants of Esau,[ci] who inhabit Seir. They will be afraid of you, so watch yourselves carefully. 5 Do not be hostile toward them, because I am not giving you any of their land, not even a footprint, for I have given Mount Seir[cj] as an inheritance for Esau. 6 You may purchase[ck] food to eat and water to drink from them. 7 All along the way I, the Lord your God,[cl] have blessed your every effort.[cm] I have[cn] been attentive to[co] your travels through this great wilderness. These forty years I have[cp] been with you; you have lacked nothing.’”
8 So we turned away from our relatives[cq] the descendants of Esau, the inhabitants of Seir, turning from the route of the rift valley[cr] which comes up from[cs] Elat[ct] and Ezion Geber,[cu] and traveling the way of the wilderness of Moab. 9 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not harass Moab and provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land as your territory. This is because I have given Ar[cv] to the descendants of Lot[cw] as their possession. 10 (The Emites[cx] used to live there, a people as powerful, numerous, and tall as the Anakites. 11 These people, as well as the Anakites, are also considered Rephaites;[cy] the Moabites call them Emites. 12 Previously the Horites[cz] lived in Seir, but the descendants of Esau dispossessed and destroyed them and settled in their place, just as Israel did to the land it came to possess, the land the Lord gave them.)[da] 13 Now, get up and cross the Wadi Zered.”[db] So we did so.[dc] 14 Now the length of time it took for us to go from Kadesh Barnea to the crossing of Wadi Zered was thirty-eight years, time for all the military men of that generation to die, just as the Lord had vowed to them. 15 Indeed, it was the very hand of the Lord that eliminated them from within[dd] the camp until they were all gone.
Instructions Concerning Ammon
16 So it was that after all the military men had been eliminated from the community,[de] 17 the Lord said to me, 18 “Today you are going to cross the border of Moab, that is, of Ar.[df] 19 But when you come close to the Ammonites, do not harass or provoke them because I am not giving you any of the Ammonites’ land as your possession; I have already given it to Lot’s descendants[dg] as their possession.”
20 (That also is considered to be a land of the Rephaites.[dh] The Rephaites lived there originally; the Ammonites call them Zamzummites.[di] 21 They are a people as powerful, numerous, and tall as the Anakites. But the Lord destroyed the Rephaites[dj] in advance of the Ammonites,[dk] so they dispossessed them and settled down in their place. 22 This is exactly what he did for the descendants of Esau who lived in Seir when he destroyed the Horites before them so that they could dispossess them and settle in their area to this very day. 23 As for the Avvites[dl] who lived in settlements as far west as Gaza, Caphtorites[dm] who came from Crete[dn] destroyed them and settled down in their place.)
24 “Get up, make your way across Wadi Arnon. Look, I have already delivered over to you Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon,[do] and his land. Go ahead—take it! Engage him in war! 25 This very day I will begin to fill all the people of the earth[dp] with dread and to terrify them when they hear about you. They will shiver and shake in anticipation of your approach.”[dq]
Defeat of Sihon, King of Heshbon
26 Then I sent messengers from the Kedemoth[dr] wilderness to King Sihon of Heshbon with an offer of peace: 27 “Let me pass through your land; I will keep strictly to the roadway.[ds] I will not turn aside to the right or the left. 28 Sell me food for cash[dt] so that I can eat and sell me water to drink.[du] Just allow me to go through on foot, 29 just as the descendants of Esau who live at Seir and the Moabites who live in Ar did for me, until I cross the Jordan to the land the Lord our God is giving us.” 30 But King Sihon of Heshbon was unwilling to allow us to pass near him because the Lord our[dv] God had made him obstinate[dw] and stubborn[dx] so that he might deliver him over to you[dy] this very day. 31 The Lord said to me, “Look! I have already begun to give over Sihon and his land to you. Start right now to take his land as your possession.” 32 When Sihon and all his troops[dz] emerged to encounter us in battle at Jahaz,[ea] 33 the Lord our God delivered him over to us and we struck him down, along with his sons[eb] and everyone else.[ec] 34 At that time we seized all his cities and put every one of them[ed] under divine judgment,[ee] including even the women and children; we left no survivors. 35 We kept only the livestock and plunder from the cities for ourselves. 36 From Aroer,[ef] which is at the edge of Wadi Arnon (it is the city in the wadi),[eg] all the way to Gilead there was not a town able to resist us—the Lord our God gave them all to us. 37 However, you did not approach the land of the Ammonites, the Wadi Jabbok,[eh] the cities of the hill country, or any place else forbidden by the Lord our God.
Defeat of King Og of Bashan
3 Next we set out on[ei] the route to Bashan,[ej] but King Og of Bashan and his whole army[ek] came out to meet us in battle at Edrei.[el] 2 The Lord, however, said to me, “Don’t be afraid of him because I have already given him, his whole army,[em] and his land to you. You will do to him exactly what you did to King Sihon of the Amorites who lived in Heshbon.” 3 So the Lord our God did indeed give over to us King Og of Bashan and his whole army, and we struck them down until not a single survivor was left.[en] 4 We captured all his cities at that time—there was not a town we did not take from them—sixty cities, all the region of Argob,[eo] the dominion of Og in Bashan. 5 All of these cities were fortified by high walls, gates, and locking bars;[ep] in addition there were a great many open villages.[eq] 6 We put all of these under divine judgment[er] just as we had done to King Sihon of Heshbon—every occupied city,[es] including women and children. 7 But all the livestock and plunder from the cities we kept for ourselves. 8 So at that time we took the land of the two Amorite kings in the Transjordan from Wadi Arnon to Mount Hermon[et] 9 (the Sidonians[eu] call Hermon Sirion[ev] and the Amorites call it Senir),[ew] 10 all the cities of the plateau, all of Gilead and Bashan as far as Salecah[ex] and Edrei,[ey] cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 11 Only King Og of Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaites. (It is noteworthy[ez] that his sarcophagus[fa] was made of iron.[fb] Does it not, indeed, still remain in Rabbath[fc] of the Ammonites? It is 13½ feet[fd] long and 6 feet[fe] wide according to standard measure.)[ff]
Distribution of the Transjordanian Allotments
12 This is the land we brought under our control at that time: The territory extending from Aroer[fg] by the Wadi Arnon and half the Gilead hill country with its cities I gave to the Reubenites and Gadites.[fh] 13 The rest of Gilead and all of Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to half the tribe of Manasseh.[fi] (All the region of Argob,[fj] that is, all Bashan, is called the land of Rephaim. 14 Jair, son of Manasseh, took all the Argob region as far as the border with the Geshurites[fk] and Maacathites[fl]—namely Bashan—and called it by his name, Havvoth Jair,[fm] which it retains to this very day.) 15 I gave Gilead to Machir.[fn] 16 To the Reubenites and Gadites I allocated the territory extending from Gilead as far as Wadi Arnon (the exact middle of the wadi was a boundary) all the way to the Wadi Jabbok, the Ammonite border. 17 The rift valley[fo] and the Jordan River[fp] were also a border, from the Sea of Kinnereth[fq] to the sea of the rift valley (that is, the Salt Sea),[fr] beneath the slopes[fs] of Pisgah[ft] to the east.
Instructions to the Transjordanian Tribes
18 At that time I instructed you as follows: “The Lord your God has given you this land for your possession. You warriors are to cross over equipped for battle before your fellow Israelites.[fu] 19 But your wives, children, and livestock (of which I know you have many) may remain in the cities I have given you. 20 You must fight[fv] until the Lord gives your countrymen victory[fw] as he did you and they take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them on the other side of the Jordan River. Then each of you may return to his own territory that I have given you.” 21 I also commanded Joshua at the same time, “You have seen everything the Lord your God did to these two kings; he[fx] will do the same to all the kingdoms where you are going.[fy] 22 Do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God will personally fight for you.”
Denial to Moses of the Promised Land
23 Moreover, at that time I pleaded with the Lord, 24 “O, Sovereign Lord,[fz] you have begun to show me[ga] your greatness and strength.[gb] (What god in heaven or earth can rival your works and mighty deeds?) 25 Let me please cross over to see the good land on the other side of the Jordan River—this good hill country and the Lebanon!”[gc] 26 But the Lord was angry at me because of you and would not listen to me. Instead, he[gd] said to me, “Enough of that![ge] Do not speak to me anymore about this matter. 27 Go up to the top of Pisgah and take a good look to the west, north, south, and east,[gf] for you will not be allowed to cross the Jordan. 28 Commission[gg] Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, because he will lead these people over and will enable them to inherit the land you will see.” 29 So we settled down in the valley opposite Beth Peor.[gh]
The Privileges of the Covenant
4 Now, Israel, pay attention to the statutes and ordinances[gi] I am about to teach you, so that you might live and go on to enter and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors,[gj] is giving you. 2 Do not add a thing to what I command you nor subtract from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I am delivering to[gk] you. 3 You have witnessed what the Lord did at Baal Peor,[gl] how he[gm] eradicated from your midst everyone who followed Baal Peor.[gn] 4 But you who remained faithful to the Lord your God are still alive to this very day, every one of you. 5 Look! I have taught you statutes and ordinances just as the Lord my God told me to do, so that you might carry them out in[go] the land you are about to enter and possess. 6 So be sure to do them, because this will testify of your wise understanding[gp] to the people who will learn of all these statutes and say, “Indeed, this great nation is a very wise[gq] people.” 7 In fact, what other great nation has a god so near to them like the Lord our God whenever we call on him? 8 And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just[gr] as this whole law[gs] that I am about to share with[gt] you today?
Reminder of the Horeb Covenant
9 Again, however, pay very careful attention,[gu] lest you forget the things you have seen and disregard them for the rest of your life; instead teach them to your children and grandchildren. 10 You[gv] stood before the Lord your God at Horeb and he[gw] said to me, “Assemble the people before me so that I can tell them my commands.[gx] Then they will learn to revere me all the days they live in the land, and they will instruct their children.” 11 You approached and stood at the foot of the mountain, a mountain ablaze to the sky above it[gy] and yet dark with a thick cloud.[gz] 12 Then the Lord spoke to you from the middle of the fire; you heard speech but you could not see anything—only a voice was heard.[ha] 13 And he revealed to you the covenant[hb] he has commanded you to keep, the Ten Commandments,[hc] writing them on two stone tablets. 14 Moreover, at that same time the Lord commanded me to teach you statutes and ordinances for you to keep in the land that you are about to enter and possess.[hd]
The Nature of Israel’s God
15 Be very careful,[he] then, because you saw no form at the time the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the middle of the fire. 16 I say this[hf] so you will not corrupt yourselves by making an image in the form of any kind of figure. This includes the likeness of a human male or female, 17 any kind of land animal, any bird that flies in the sky, 18 anything that crawls[hg] on the ground, or any fish in the deep waters under the earth.[hh] 19 When you look up[hi] to the sky[hj] and see the sun, moon, and stars—the whole heavenly creation[hk]—you must not be seduced to worship and serve them,[hl] for the Lord your God has assigned[hm] them to all the people[hn] of the world.[ho] 20 You, however, the Lord has selected and brought from Egypt, that iron-smelting furnace,[hp] to be his special people[hq] as you are today. 21 But the Lord became angry with me because of you and vowed that I would never cross the Jordan nor enter the good land that he[hr] is about to give you.[hs] 22 So I must die here in this land; I will not cross the Jordan. But you are going over and will possess that[ht] good land. 23 Be on guard so that you do not forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he has made with you, and that you do not make an image of any kind, just as he[hu] has forbidden[hv] you. 24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire; he is a jealous God.[hw]
Threat and Blessing following Covenant Disobedience
25 After you have produced children and grandchildren and have been in the land a long time,[hx] if you become corrupt and make an image of any kind[hy] and do other evil things before the Lord your God that enrage him,[hz] 26 I invoke heaven and earth as witnesses against you[ia] today that you will surely and swiftly be removed[ib] from the very land you are about to cross the Jordan to possess. You will not last long there because you will surely be[ic] annihilated. 27 Then the Lord will scatter you among the peoples and there will be very few of you[id] among the nations where the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will worship gods made by human hands—wood and stone that can neither see, hear, eat, nor smell. 29 But if you seek the Lord your God from there, you will find him, if, indeed, you seek him with all your heart and soul.[ie] 30 In your distress when all these things happen to you in future days, if you return to the Lord your God and obey him[if] 31 (for he[ig] is a merciful God), he will not let you down[ih] or destroy you, for he cannot[ii] forget the covenant with your ancestors that he confirmed by oath to them.
The Uniqueness of Israel’s God
32 Indeed, ask about the distant past, starting from the day God created humankind[ij] on the earth, and ask[ik] from one end of heaven to the other, whether there has ever been such a great thing as this, or even a rumor of it. 33 Have a people ever heard the voice of God speaking from the middle of fire, as you yourselves have, and lived to tell about it? 34 Or has God[il] ever before tried to deliver[im] a nation from the middle of another nation, accompanied by judgments,[in] signs, wonders, war, strength, power,[io] and other very terrifying things like the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? 35 You have been taught that the Lord alone is God—there is no other besides him. 36 From heaven he spoke to you in order to teach you, and on earth he showed you his great fire from which you also heard his words.[ip] 37 Moreover, because he loved[iq] your ancestors, he chose their[ir] descendants who followed them and personally brought you out of Egypt with his great power 38 to dispossess nations greater and stronger than you and brought you here this day to give you their land as your property.[is] 39 Today realize and carefully consider that the Lord is God in heaven above and on earth below—there is no other! 40 Keep his statutes and commandments that I am setting forth[it] today so that it may go well with you and your descendants and that you may enjoy longevity in the land that the Lord your God is about to give you as a permanent possession.”
The Narrative Concerning Cities of Refuge
41 Then Moses selected three cities in the Transjordan, toward the east. 42 Anyone who accidentally killed someone[iu] without hating him at the time of the accident[iv] could flee to one of those cities and be safe. 43 These cities are Bezer, in the wilderness plateau, for the Reubenites; Ramoth in Gilead for the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan for the Manassehites.
The Setting and Introduction of the Covenant
44 This is the law that Moses set before the Israelites.[iw] 45 These are the stipulations, statutes, and ordinances that Moses spoke to the Israelites after he had brought them out of Egypt, 46 in the Transjordan, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, in the land of King Sihon of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon. (It is he whom Moses and the Israelites attacked after they came out of Egypt. 47 They possessed his land and that of King Og of Bashan—both of whom were Amorite kings in the Transjordan, to the east. 48 Their territory extended[ix] from Aroer at the edge of the Arnon valley as far as Mount Siyon[iy]—that is, Hermon— 49 including all the rift valley of the Transjordan in the east to the sea of the rift valley,[iz] beneath the slopes[ja] of Pisgah.)
The Opening Exhortation
5 Then Moses called all the people of Israel together and said to them:[jb] “Listen, Israel, to the statutes and ordinances that I am about to deliver to you today; learn them and be careful to keep them! 2 The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3 He[jc] did not make this covenant with our ancestors[jd] but with us, we who are here today, all of us living now. 4 The Lord spoke face to face with you at the mountain, from the middle of the fire. 5 (I was standing between the Lord and you at that time to reveal the Lord’s message to you, because you were afraid of the fire and would not go up the mountain.) He said:
The Ten Commandments
6 “I am the Lord your God—he who brought you from the land of Egypt, from the place of slavery.
8 “You must not make for yourself an image[jg] of anything in heaven above, on earth below, or in the waters beneath.[jh] 9 You must not worship or serve them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. I punish[ji] the sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons for the sin of the fathers who reject[jj] me,[jk] 10 but I show covenant faithfulness[jl] to the thousands[jm] who choose[jn] me and keep my commandments.
12 “Be careful to observe[jq] the Sabbath day just as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 You are to work and do all your tasks in six days, 14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath[jr] of the Lord your God. On that day you must not do any work, you, your son, your daughter, your male slave, your female slave, your ox, your donkey, any other animal, or the resident foreigner who lives with you,[js] so that your male and female slaves, like yourself, may have rest. 15 Recall that you were slaves in the land of Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there by strength and power.[jt] That is why the Lord your God has commanded you to observe[ju] the Sabbath day.
16 “Honor[jv] your father and your mother just as the Lord your God has commanded you to do, so that your days may be extended and that it may go well with you in the land that he[jw] is about to give you.
17 “You must not murder.[jx]
18 “You must not commit adultery.
19 “You must not steal.
20 “You must not offer false testimony against another.[jy] 21 You must not desire[jz] another man’s[ka] wife, nor should you crave his[kb] house, his field, his male and female servants, his ox, his donkey, or anything else he owns.”[kc]
The Narrative of the Sinai Revelation and Israel’s Response
22 The Lord said these things to your entire assembly at the mountain from the middle of the fire, the cloud, and the darkness with a loud voice, and that was all he said.[kd] Then he inscribed the words[ke] on two stone tablets and gave them to me. 23 Then, when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness while the mountain was ablaze, all your tribal leaders and elders approached me. 24 You said, “The Lord our God has shown us his great glory,[kf] and we have heard him speak from the middle of the fire. It is now clear to us[kg] that God can speak to human beings and they can keep on living. 25 But now, why should we die, because this intense fire will consume us? If we keep hearing the voice of the Lord our God we will die! 26 Who is there from the entire human race[kh] who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the middle of the fire as we have, and has lived? 27 You go near so that you can hear everything the Lord our God is saying and then you can tell us whatever he[ki] says to you; then we will pay attention and do it.” 28 When the Lord heard you speaking to me, he[kj] said to me, “I have heard what these people have said to you—they have spoken well. 29 If only it would really be their desire to fear me and obey[kk] all my commandments in the future, so that it may go well with them and their descendants forever. 30 Go and tell them, ‘Return to your tents!’ 31 But as for you, remain here with me so I can declare to you all the commandments,[kl] statutes, and ordinances that you are to teach them, so that they can carry them out in the land I am about to give them.”[km] 32 Be careful, therefore, to do exactly what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn right or left! 33 Walk just as he[kn] has commanded you so that you may live, that it may go well with you, and that you may live long[ko] in the land you are going to possess.
Exhortation to Keep the Covenant Principles
6 Now these are the commandments,[kp] statutes, and ordinances that the Lord your God instructed me to teach you so that you may carry them out in the land where you are headed[kq] 2 and that you may so revere the Lord your God that you will keep all his statutes and commandments[kr] that I am giving[ks] you—you, your children, and your grandchildren—all your lives, to prolong your days. 3 Pay attention, Israel, and be careful to do this so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in number[kt]—as the Lord, the God of your ancestors,[ku] said to you, you will have a land flowing with milk and honey.
The Essence of the Covenant Principles
Exhortation to Teach the Covenant Principles
6 These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind, 7 and you must teach[la] them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road,[lb] as you lie down, and as you get up. 8 You should tie them as a reminder on your forearm[lc] and fasten them as symbols[ld] on your forehead. 9 Inscribe them on the doorframes of your houses and gates.[le]
Exhortation to Worship the Lord Exclusively
10 Then when the Lord your God brings you to the land he promised your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give you—a land with large, fine cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with choice things you did not accumulate, hewn-out cisterns you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—and you eat your fill, 12 be careful not to forget the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, that place of slavery.[lf] 13 You must revere the Lord your God, serve him, and take oaths using only his name. 14 You must not go after other gods, those[lg] of the surrounding peoples, 15 for the Lord your God, who is present among you, is a jealous God—his anger will erupt against you and remove you from the land.[lh]
Exhortation to Obey the Lord Exclusively
16 You must not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah.[li] 17 Keep his[lj] commandments very carefully,[lk] as well as the stipulations and statutes he commanded you to observe. 18 Do whatever is proper[ll] and good before the Lord so that it may go well with you and that you may enter and occupy the good land that he[lm] promised your ancestors, 19 and that you may drive out all your enemies just as the Lord said.
Exhortation to Remember the Past
20 When your children[ln] ask you later on, “What are the stipulations, statutes, and ordinances that the Lord our God commanded you?” 21 you must say to them,[lo] “We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt in a powerful way.[lp] 22 And he[lq] brought signs and great, devastating wonders on Egypt, on Pharaoh, and on his whole family[lr] before our very eyes. 23 He delivered us from there so that he could give us the land he had promised our ancestors. 24 The Lord commanded us to obey all these statutes and to revere him[ls] so that it may always go well for us and he may preserve us, as he has to this day. 25 We will be innocent if we carefully keep all these commandments[lt] before the Lord our God, just as he demands.”[lu]
The Dispossession of Nonvassals
7 When the Lord your God brings you to the land that you are going to occupy and forces out many nations before you—Hittites,[lv] Girgashites,[lw] Amorites,[lx] Canaanites,[ly] Perizzites,[lz] Hivites,[ma] and Jebusites,[mb] seven[mc] nations more numerous and powerful than you— 2 and he[md] delivers them over to you and you attack them, you must utterly annihilate[me] them. Make no treaty[mf] with them and show them no mercy! 3 You must not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters[mg] to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 for they[mh] will turn your sons away from me to worship other gods. Then the anger of the Lord will erupt against you and he will quickly destroy you. 5 Instead, this is what you must do to them: You must tear down their altars, shatter their sacred pillars,[mi] cut down their sacred Asherah poles,[mj] and burn up their idols. 6 For you are a people holy[mk] to the Lord your God. He[ml] has chosen you to be his people, prized[mm] above all others on the face of the earth.
The Basis of Israel’s Election
7 It is not because you were more numerous than all the other peoples that the Lord favored and chose you—for in fact you were the least numerous of all peoples. 8 Rather it is because of his[mn] love[mo] for you and his faithfulness to the promise[mp] he solemnly vowed[mq] to your ancestors[mr] that the Lord brought you out with great power,[ms] redeeming[mt] you from the place of slavery, from the power[mu] of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 So realize that the Lord your God is the true God,[mv] the faithful God who keeps covenant faithfully[mw] with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10 but who pays back those who hate[mx] him as they deserve and destroys them. He will not ignore[my] those who hate him but will repay them as they deserve! 11 So keep the commandments, statutes, and ordinances that I today am commanding you to do.
Promises of Good for Covenant Obedience
12 If you obey these ordinances and are careful to do them, the Lord your God will faithfully keep covenant with you[mz] as he promised[na] your ancestors. 13 He will love and bless you, and make you numerous. He will bless you with many children,[nb] with the produce of your soil, your grain, your new wine, your olive oil, the offspring of your oxen, and the young of your flocks in the land that he promised your ancestors to give you. 14 You will be blessed beyond all peoples; there will be no barrenness[nc] among you or your livestock. 15 The Lord will protect you from all sickness, and you will not experience any of the terrible diseases that you knew in Egypt; instead he will inflict them on all those who hate you.
Exhortation to Destroy Canaanite Paganism
16 You must destroy[nd] all the people whom the Lord your God is about to deliver over to you; you must not pity them or worship[ne] their gods, for that will be a snare to you. 17 If you think, “These nations are more numerous than I—how can I dispossess them?” 18 you must not fear them. You must carefully recall[nf] what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and all Egypt, 19 the great judgments[ng] you saw, the signs and wonders, the strength and power[nh] by which he[ni] brought you out—thus the Lord your God will do to all the people you fear. 20 Furthermore, the Lord your God will release hornets[nj] among them until the very last ones who hide from you[nk] perish. 21 You must not tremble in their presence, for the Lord your God, who is present among you, is a great and awesome God. 22 He,[nl] the God who leads you, will expel the nations little by little. You will not be allowed to destroy them all at once lest the wild animals overrun you. 23 The Lord your God will give them over to you; he will throw them into a great panic[nm] until they are destroyed. 24 He will hand over their kings to you, and you will erase their very names from memory.[nn] Nobody will be able to resist you until you destroy them. 25 You must burn the images of their gods, but do not covet the silver and gold that covers them so much that you take it for yourself and thus become ensnared by it; for it is abhorrent[no] to the Lord your God. 26 You must not bring any abhorrent thing into your house and thereby become an object of divine wrath[np] along with it.[nq] You must absolutely detest[nr] and abhor it,[ns] for it is an object of divine wrath.
The Lord’s Provision in the Desert
8 You must keep carefully all these commandments[nt] I am giving[nu] you today so that you may live, increase in number,[nv] and go in and occupy the land that the Lord promised to your ancestors.[nw] 2 Remember the whole way by which he[nx] has brought you these forty years through the wilderness so that he might, by humbling you, test you to see if you have it within you to keep his commandments or not. 3 So he humbled you by making you hungry and then feeding you with unfamiliar manna.[ny] He did this to teach you[nz] that humankind[oa] cannot live by bread[ob] alone, but also by everything that comes from the Lord’s mouth.[oc] 4 Your clothing did not wear out nor did your feet swell all these forty years. 5 Be keenly aware that just as a parent disciplines his child,[od] so the Lord your God disciplines you. 6 So you must keep his[oe] commandments, live according to his standards,[of] and revere him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you to a good land, a land of brooks,[og] springs, and fountains flowing forth in valleys and hills, 8 a land of wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, and pomegranates, of olive trees and honey, 9 a land where you may eat food[oh] in plenty and find no lack of anything, a land whose stones are iron[oi] and from whose hills you can mine copper. 10 You will eat your fill and then praise the Lord your God because of the good land he has given you.
Exhortation to Remember That Blessing Comes from God
11 Be sure you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments, ordinances, and statutes that I am giving you today. 12 When you eat your fill, when you build and occupy good houses, 13 when your cattle and flocks increase, when you have plenty of silver and gold, and when you have abundance of everything, 14 be sure[oj] you do not feel self-important and forget the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt, the place of slavery, 15 and who brought you through the great, fearful wilderness of venomous serpents[ok] and scorpions, an arid place with no water. He made water flow[ol] from a flint rock and 16 fed you in the wilderness with manna (which your ancestors had never before known) so that he might by humbling you test you[om] and eventually bring good to you. 17 Be careful[on] not to say, “My own ability and skill[oo] have gotten me this wealth.” 18 You must remember the Lord your God, for he is the one who gives ability to get wealth; if you do this he will confirm his covenant that he made by oath to your ancestors,[op] even as he has to this day. 19 Now if you forget the Lord your God at all[oq] and follow other gods, worshiping and prostrating yourselves before them, I testify to you today that you will surely be annihilated. 20 Just like the nations the Lord is about to destroy from your sight, so he will do to you[or] because you would not obey him.[os]
Theological Justification of the Conquest
9 Listen, Israel: Today you are about to cross the Jordan so you can dispossess the nations there, people greater and stronger than you who live in large cities with extremely high fortifications.[ot] 2 They include the Anakites,[ou] a numerous[ov] and tall people whom you know about and of whom it is said, “Who is able to resist the Anakites?” 3 Understand today that the Lord your God who goes before you is a devouring fire; he will defeat and subdue them before you. You will dispossess and destroy them quickly just as he[ow] has told you. 4 Do not think to yourself after the Lord your God has driven them out before you, “Because of my own righteousness the Lord has brought me here to possess this land.” It is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is driving them out ahead of you. 5 It is not because of your righteousness, or even your inner uprightness,[ox] that you have come here to possess their land. Instead, because of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God is driving them out ahead of you in order to confirm the promise he[oy] made on oath to your ancestors,[oz] to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 6 Understand, therefore, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is about to give you this good land as a possession, for you are a stubborn[pa] people!
The History of Israel’s Stubbornness
7 Remember—don’t ever forget[pb]—how you provoked the Lord your God in the wilderness; from the time you left the land of Egypt until you came to this place you were constantly rebelling against him.[pc] 8 At Horeb you provoked him and he was angry enough with you to destroy you. 9 When I went up the mountain to receive the stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant that the Lord made with you, I remained there[pd] forty days and nights, eating and drinking nothing. 10 The Lord gave me the two stone tablets, written by the very finger[pe] of God, and on them was everything[pf] he[pg] said to you at the mountain from the midst of the fire at the time of that assembly. 11 Now at the end of the forty days and nights the Lord presented me with the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant. 12 And he said to me, “Get up, go down at once from here because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have sinned! They have quickly turned from the way I commanded them and have made for themselves a cast metal image.”[ph] 13 Moreover, he said to me, “I have taken note of these people; they are a stubborn[pi] lot! 14 Stand aside[pj] and I will destroy them, obliterating their very name from memory,[pk] and I will make you into a stronger and more numerous nation than they are.”
15 So I turned and went down the mountain while it[pl] was blazing with fire; the two tablets of the covenant were in my hands. 16 When I looked, you had indeed sinned against the Lord your God and had cast for yourselves a metal calf;[pm] you had quickly turned aside from the way he[pn] had commanded you! 17 I grabbed the two tablets, threw them down,[po] and shattered them before your very eyes. 18 Then I again fell down before the Lord for forty days and nights; I ate and drank nothing because of all the sin you had committed, doing such evil before the Lord as to enrage him. 19 For I was terrified at the Lord’s intense anger[pp] that threatened to destroy you. But he[pq] listened to me this time as well. 20 The Lord was also angry enough at Aaron to kill him, but at that time I prayed for him[pr] too. 21 As for your sinful thing[ps] that you had made, the calf, I took it, melted it down,[pt] ground it up until it was as fine as dust, and tossed the dust into the stream that flows down the mountain. 22 Moreover, you continued to provoke the Lord at Taberah,[pu] Massah,[pv] and Kibroth Hattaavah.[pw] 23 And when he[px] sent you from Kadesh Barnea and told you, “Go up and possess the land I have given you,” you rebelled against the Lord your God[py] and would neither believe nor obey him. 24 You have been rebelling against him[pz] from the very first day I knew you!
Moses’ Plea on Behalf of God’s Reputation
25 I lay flat on the ground before the Lord for forty days and nights,[qa] for he[qb] had said he would destroy you. 26 I prayed to him:[qc] O, Sovereign Lord,[qd] do not destroy your people, your valued property[qe] that you have powerfully redeemed,[qf] whom you brought out of Egypt by your strength.[qg] 27 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; ignore the stubbornness, wickedness, and sin of these people. 28 Otherwise the people of the land[qh] from which you brought us will say, “The Lord was unable to bring them to the land he promised them, and because of his hatred for them he has brought them out to kill them in the wilderness.” 29 They are your people, your valued property,[qi] whom you brought out with great strength and power.[qj]
The Opportunity to Begin Again
10 At that same time the Lord said to me, “Carve out for yourself two stone tablets like the first ones and come up the mountain to me; also make for yourself a wooden ark.[qk] 2 I will write on the tablets the same words[ql] that were on the first tablets you broke, and you must put them into the ark.” 3 So I made an ark of acacia[qm] wood and carved out two stone tablets just like the first ones. Then I went up the mountain with the two tablets in my hands. 4 The Lord[qn] then wrote on the tablets the same words,[qo] the Ten Commandments,[qp] which he[qq] had spoken to you at the mountain from the middle of the fire at the time of that assembly, and he[qr] gave them to me. 5 Then I turned, went down the mountain, and placed the tablets into the ark I had made—they are still there, just as the Lord commanded me.
Conclusion of the Historical Résumé
6 During those days the Israelites traveled from Beeroth Bene Jaakan[qs] to Moserah.[qt] There Aaron died and was buried, and his son Eleazar became priest in his place. 7 From there they traveled to Gudgodah,[qu] and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah,[qv] a place of flowing streams. 8 At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi[qw] to carry the ark of the Lord’s covenant, to stand before the Lord to serve him, and to formulate blessings[qx] in his name, as they do to this very day. 9 Therefore Levi has no allotment or inheritance[qy] among his brothers;[qz] the Lord is his inheritance just as the Lord your God told him. 10 As for me, I stayed at the mountain as I did the first time, forty days and nights. The Lord listened to me that time as well and decided not to destroy you. 11 Then he[ra] said to me, “Get up, set out leading[rb] the people so they may go and possess[rc] the land I promised to give to their ancestors.”[rd]
An Exhortation to Love Both God and People
12 Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you except to revere him,[re] to obey all his commandments,[rf] to love him, to serve him[rg] with all your mind and being,[rh] 13 and to keep the Lord’s commandments and statutes that I am giving[ri] you today for your own good? 14 The heavens—indeed the highest heavens—belong to the Lord your God, as does the earth and everything in it. 15 However, only to your ancestors did he[rj] show his loving favor,[rk] and he chose you, their descendants,[rl] from all peoples—as is apparent today. 16 Therefore, cleanse[rm] your hearts and stop being so stubborn![rn] 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God who is unbiased and takes no bribe, 18 who justly treats[ro] the orphan and widow, and who loves resident foreigners, giving them food and clothing. 19 So you must love the resident foreigner because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. 20 Revere the Lord your God, serve him, be loyal to him, and take oaths only in his name. 21 He is the one you should praise;[rp] he is your God, the one who has done these great and awesome things for you that you have seen. 22 When your ancestors went down to Egypt, they numbered only seventy, but now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of the sky.[rq]
Reiteration of the Call to Obedience
11 You must love the Lord your God and do what he requires; keep his statutes, ordinances, and commandments[rr] at all times. 2 Bear in mind today that I am not speaking[rs] to your children who have not personally experienced the judgments[rt] of the Lord your God, which revealed[ru] his greatness, strength, and power.[rv] 3 They did not see[rw] the awesome deeds he performed[rx] in the midst of Egypt against Pharaoh king of Egypt and his whole land, 4 or what he did to the army of Egypt, including their horses and chariots, when he made the waters of the Red Sea[ry] overwhelm them while they were pursuing you and he[rz] annihilated them.[sa] 5 They did not see[sb] what he did to you in the wilderness before you reached this place, 6 or what he did to Dathan and Abiram,[sc] sons of Eliab the Reubenite,[sd] when the earth opened its mouth in the middle of the Israelite camp[se] and swallowed them, their families,[sf] their tents, and all the property they brought with them.[sg] 7 I am speaking to you[sh] because you are the ones who saw with your own eyes all the great deeds of the Lord.
The Abundance of the Land of Promise
8 Now pay attention to all the commandments[si] I am giving[sj] you today, so that you may be strong enough to enter and possess the land where you are headed,[sk] 9 and that you may enjoy long life in the land the Lord promised to give to your ancestors[sl] and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 For the land where you are headed[sm] is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, a land where you planted seed and which you irrigated by hand[sn] like a vegetable garden. 11 Instead, the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy[so] is one of hills and valleys, a land that drinks in water from the rains,[sp] 12 a land the Lord your God looks after.[sq] He is constantly attentive to it[sr] from the beginning to the end of the year.[ss] 13 Now, if you pay close attention[st] to my commandments that I am giving you today and love[su] the Lord your God and serve him with all your mind and being,[sv] 14 then he promises,[sw] “I will send rain for your land[sx] in its season, the autumn and the spring rains,[sy] so that you may gather in your grain, new wine, and olive oil. 15 I will provide pasture[sz] for your livestock and you will eat your fill.”
Exhortation to Instruction and Obedience
16 Make sure you do not turn away to serve and worship other gods![ta] 17 Then the anger of the Lord will erupt[tb] against you, and he will close up the sky[tc] so that it does not rain. The land will not yield its produce, and you will soon be removed[td] from the good land that the Lord[te] is about to give you. 18 Fix these words of mine into your mind and being,[tf] tie them as a reminder on your hands, and let them be symbols[tg] on your forehead. 19 Teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road,[th] as you lie down, and as you get up. 20 Inscribe them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates 21 so that your days and those of your descendants may be extended in the land that the Lord promised to give to your ancestors, like the days of heaven itself.[ti] 22 For if you carefully observe all of these commandments[tj] I am giving you[tk] and love the Lord your God, live according to his standards,[tl] and remain loyal to him, 23 then he[tm] will drive out all these nations ahead of you, and you will dispossess nations greater and stronger than you. 24 Every place you set your foot[tn] will be yours; your border will extend from the desert to Lebanon and from the River (that is, the Euphrates) as far as the Mediterranean Sea.[to] 25 Nobody will be able to resist you; the Lord your God will spread the fear and terror of you over the whole land on which you walk, just as he promised you.
Anticipation of a Blessing and Cursing Ceremony
26 Take note—I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse:[tp] 27 the blessing if you take to heart[tq] the commandments of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, 28 and the curse if you pay no attention[tr] to his[ts] commandments and turn from the way I am setting before[tt] you today to pursue[tu] other gods you have not known. 29 When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are to possess, you must pronounce the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal.[tv] 30 Are they not across the Jordan River,[tw] toward the west, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the rift valley opposite Gilgal[tx] near the oak[ty] of Moreh? 31 For you are about to cross the Jordan to possess the land the Lord your God is giving you, and you will possess and inhabit it. 32 Be certain to keep all the statutes and ordinances that I am presenting to you today.
The Central Sanctuary
12 These are the statutes and ordinances you must be careful to obey as long as you live in the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors,[tz] has given you to possess.[ua] 2 You must by all means destroy[ub] all the places where the nations you are about to dispossess worship their gods—on the high mountains and hills and under every leafy tree.[uc] 3 You must tear down their altars, shatter their sacred pillars,[ud] burn up their sacred Asherah poles,[ue] and cut down the images of their gods; you must eliminate their very memory from that place. 4 You must not worship the Lord your God the way they worship. 5 But you must seek only the place he[uf] chooses from all your tribes to establish his name as his place of residence,[ug] and you must go there. 6 And there you must take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the personal offerings you have prepared,[uh] your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. 7 Both you and your families[ui] must feast there before the Lord your God and rejoice in all the output of your labor with which he[uj] has blessed you. 8 You must not do as we are doing here today, with everyone[uk] doing what seems best to him, 9 for you have not yet come to the final stop[ul] and inheritance the Lord your God is giving you. 10 When you do go across the Jordan River[um] and settle in the land he[un] is granting you as an inheritance and you find relief from all the enemies who surround you, you will live in safety.[uo] 11 Then you must come to the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to reside, bringing[up] everything I am commanding you—your burnt offerings, sacrifices, tithes, the personal offerings you have prepared,[uq] and all your choice votive offerings that you devote to him.[ur] 12 You shall rejoice in the presence of the Lord your God, along with your sons, daughters, male and female servants, and the Levites in your villages[us] (since they have no allotment or inheritance with you).[ut] 13 Make sure you do not offer burnt offerings in any place you wish, 14 for you may do so[uu] only in the place the Lord chooses in one of your tribal areas—there you may do everything I am commanding you.[uv]
Regulations for Eating Sacrificial and Non-Sacrificial Foods
15 On the other hand, you may slaughter and eat meat as you please when the Lord your God blesses you[uw] in all your villages.[ux] Both the ritually pure and impure may eat it, whether it is a gazelle or an ibex. 16 However, you must not eat blood—pour it out on the ground like water. 17 You will not be allowed to eat in your villages your tithe of grain, new wine, olive oil, the firstborn of your herd and flock, any votive offerings you have vowed, or your freewill and personal offerings. 18 Only in the presence of the Lord your God may you eat these, in the place he[uy] chooses. This applies to you, your son, your daughter, your male and female servants, and the Levites[uz] in your villages. In that place you will rejoice before the Lord your God in all the output of your labor.[va] 19 Be careful not to overlook the Levites as long as you live in the land.
The Sanctity of Blood
20 When the Lord your God extends your borders as he said he would do and you say, “I want to eat meat just as I please,”[vb] you may do so as you wish.[vc] 21 If the place he[vd] chooses to locate his name is too far for you, you may slaughter any of your herd and flock he[ve] has given you just as I have stipulated; you may eat them in your villages[vf] just as you wish. 22 As you eat the gazelle or ibex, so you may eat these; the ritually impure and pure alike may eat them. 23 However, by no means eat the blood, for the blood is life itself[vg]—you must not eat the life with the meat. 24 You must not eat it! You must pour it out on the ground like water. 25 You must not eat it so that it may go well with you and your children after you; you will be doing what is right in the Lord’s sight.[vh] 26 But the holy things and votive offerings that belong to you, you must pick up and take to the place the Lord will choose.[vi] 27 You must offer your burnt offerings, both meat and blood, on the altar of the Lord your God; the blood of your other sacrifices[vj] you must pour out on his[vk] altar while you eat the meat. 28 Pay careful attention to all these things I am commanding you so that it may always go well with you and your children after you when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.
The Abomination of Pagan Gods
29 When the Lord your God eliminates the nations from the place where you are headed and you dispossess them, you will settle down in their land.[vl] 30 After they have been destroyed from your presence, be careful not to be ensnared like they are; do not pursue their gods and say, “How do these nations serve their gods? I will do the same.” 31 You must not worship the Lord your God the way they do![vm] For everything that is abhorrent[vn] to him,[vo] everything he hates, they have done when worshiping their gods. They even burn up their sons and daughters before their gods!
Idolatry and False Prophets
32 (13:1)[vp] You[vq] must be careful to do everything I am commanding you. Do not add to it or subtract from it![vr] 13 1 Suppose a prophet or one who foretells by dreams[vs] should appear among you and show you a sign or wonder,[vt] 2 and the sign or wonder should come to pass concerning what he said to you, namely, “Let us follow other gods”—gods whom you have not previously known—“and let us serve them.” 3 You must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer,[vu] for the Lord your God will be testing you to see if you love him[vv] with all your mind and being.[vw] 4 You must follow the Lord your God and revere only him; and you must observe his commandments, obey him, serve him, and remain loyal to him. 5 As for that prophet or dreamer,[vx] he must be executed because he encouraged rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt, redeeming you from that place of slavery, and because he has tried to entice you from the way the Lord your God has commanded you to go. In this way you must purge evil from among you.[vy]
False Prophets in the Family
6 Suppose your own full brother,[vz] your son, your daughter, your beloved wife, or your closest friend should seduce you secretly and encourage you to go and serve other gods[wa] that neither you nor your ancestors[wb] have previously known,[wc] 7 the gods of the surrounding people (whether near you or far from you, from one end of the earth[wd] to the other). 8 You must not give in to him or even listen to him; do not feel sympathy for him or spare him or cover up for him. 9 Instead, you must kill him without fail![we] Your own hand must be the first to strike him,[wf] and then the hands of the whole community. 10 You must stone him to death[wg] because he tried to entice you away from the Lord your God, who delivered you from the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. 11 Thus all Israel will hear and be afraid; no longer will they continue to do evil like this among you.[wh]
Punishment of Community Idolatry
12 Suppose you should hear in one of your cities, which the Lord your God is giving you as a place to live, that 13 some evil people[wi] have departed from among you to entice the inhabitants of their cities,[wj] saying, “Let’s go and serve other gods” (whom you have not known before).[wk] 14 You must investigate thoroughly and inquire carefully. If it is indeed true that such a disgraceful thing is being done among you,[wl] 15 you must by all means[wm] slaughter the inhabitants of that city with the sword; annihilate[wn] with the sword everyone in it, as well as the livestock. 16 You must gather all of its plunder into the middle of the plaza[wo] and burn the city and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. It will be an abandoned ruin[wp] forever—it must never be rebuilt again. 17 You must not take for yourself anything that has been placed under judgment.[wq] Then the Lord will relent from his intense anger, show you compassion, have mercy on you, and multiply you as he promised your ancestors. 18 Thus you must obey the Lord your God, keeping all his commandments that I am giving[wr] you today and doing what is right[ws] before him.[wt]
The Holy and the Profane
14 You are children[wu] of the Lord your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave your forehead bald[wv] for the sake of the dead. 2 For you are a people holy[ww] to the Lord your God. He[wx] has chosen you to be his people, prized[wy] above all others on the face of the earth.
3 You must not eat any forbidden thing.[wz] 4 These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, 5 the ibex,[xa] the gazelle,[xb] the deer,[xc] the wild goat, the antelope,[xd] the wild oryx,[xe] and the mountain sheep.[xf] 6 You may eat any animal that has hooves divided into two parts and that chews the cud.[xg] 7 However, you may not eat the following animals among those that chew the cud or those that have divided hooves: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger.[xh] (Although they chew the cud, they do not have divided hooves and are therefore ritually impure to you.) 8 Also, the pig is ritually impure to you; though it has divided hooves,[xi] it does not chew the cud. You may not eat their meat or even touch their remains.
9 These you may eat from among water creatures: anything with fins and scales you may eat, 10 but whatever does not have fins and scales you may not eat; it is ritually impure to you.
11 All ritually clean birds[xj] you may eat. 12 These are the ones you may not eat: the eagle,[xk] the vulture,[xl] the black vulture,[xm] 13 the kite, the black kite, the dayyah[xn] after its species, 14 every raven after its species, 15 the ostrich,[xo] the owl,[xp] the seagull, the falcon[xq] after its species, 16 the little owl, the long-eared owl, the white owl,[xr] 17 the jackdaw,[xs] the carrion vulture, the cormorant, 18 the stork, the heron after its species, the hoopoe, and the bat.
19 And any swarming winged thing[xt] is impure[xu] to you—they may not be eaten.[xv] 20 You may eat any winged creature that is clean. 21 You may not eat any corpse, though you may give it to the resident foreigner who is living in your villages[xw] and he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. You are a people holy to the Lord your God. Do not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.[xx]
The Offering of Tithes
22 You must be certain to tithe[xy] all the produce of your seed that comes from the field year after year. 23 In the presence of the Lord your God, in the place he chooses to locate his name, you must eat from the tithe of your grain, your new wine,[xz] your olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always. 24 When he[ya] blesses you, if the[yb] place where he chooses to locate his name is distant, 25 you may convert the tithe into money, secure the money,[yc] and travel to the place the Lord your God chooses for himself. 26 Then you may spend the money however you wish for cattle, sheep, wine, beer, or whatever you desire. You and your household may eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and enjoy it. 27 As for the Levites in your villages, you must not ignore them, for they have no allotment or inheritance along with you. 28 At the end of every three years you must bring all the tithe of your produce, in that very year, and you must store it up in your villages. 29 Then the Levites (because they have no allotment or inheritance with you), the resident foreigners, the orphans, and the widows of your villages may come and eat their fill so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work you do.
The Year of Debt Release
15 At the end of every seven years you must declare a cancellation of debts.[yd] 2 This is the nature of the cancellation: Every creditor must remit what he has loaned to another person;[ye] he must not force payment from his fellow Israelite,[yf] for it is to be recognized as “the Lord’s cancellation of debts.” 3 You may exact payment from a foreigner, but whatever your fellow Israelite[yg] owes you, you must remit. 4 However, there should not be any poor among you, for the Lord[yh] will surely bless[yi] you in the land that he[yj] is giving you as an inheritance,[yk] 5 if you carefully obey[yl] him[ym] by keeping[yn] all these commandments that I am giving[yo] you today. 6 For the Lord your God will bless you just as he has promised; you will lend to many nations but will not borrow from any, and you will rule over many nations but they will not rule over you.
The Spirit of Liberality
7 If a fellow Israelite[yp] from one of your villages[yq] in the land that the Lord your God is giving you should be poor, you must not harden your heart or be insensitive[yr] to his impoverished condition.[ys] 8 Instead, you must be sure to open your hand to him and generously lend[yt] him whatever he needs.[yu] 9 Be careful lest you entertain the wicked thought that the seventh year, the year of cancellation of debts, has almost arrived, and your attitude[yv] be wrong toward your impoverished fellow Israelite[yw] and you do not lend[yx] him anything; he will cry out to the Lord against you, and you will be regarded as having sinned.[yy] 10 You must by all means lend[yz] to him and not be upset by doing it,[za] for because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you attempt. 11 There will never cease to be some poor people in the land; therefore, I am commanding you to make sure you open[zb] your hand to your fellow Israelites[zc] who are needy and poor in your land.
Release of Debt Slaves
12 If your fellow Hebrew[zd]—whether male or female[ze]—is sold to you and serves you for six years, then in the seventh year you must let that servant[zf] go free.[zg] 13 If you set them free, you must not send them away empty-handed. 14 You must supply them generously[zh] from your flock, your threshing floor, and your winepress—as the Lord your God has blessed you, you must give to them. 15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore, I am commanding you to do this thing today. 16 However, if the servant[zi] says to you, “I do not want to leave[zj] you,” because he loves you and your household, since he is well off with you, 17 you shall take an awl and pierce a hole through his ear to the door.[zk] Then he will become your servant permanently (this applies to your female servant as well). 18 You should not consider it difficult to let him go free, for he will have served you for six years, twice[zl] the time of a hired worker; the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.
Giving God the Best
19 You must set apart[zm] for the Lord your God every firstborn male born to your herds and flocks. You must not work the firstborn of your bulls or shear the firstborn of your flocks. 20 You and your household must eat them annually before the Lord your God in the place he[zn] chooses. 21 If one of them has any kind of blemish—lameness, blindness, or anything else[zo]—you may not offer it as a sacrifice to the Lord your God. 22 You may eat it in your villages,[zp] whether you are ritually impure or clean,[zq] just as you would eat a gazelle or an ibex. 23 However, you must not eat its blood; you must pour it out on the ground like water.
16 Observe the month Abib[zr] and keep the Passover to the Lord your God, for in that month[zs] he[zt] brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 You must sacrifice the Passover animal[zu] (from the flock or the herd) to the Lord your God in the place where he[zv] chooses to locate his name. 3 You must not eat any yeast with it; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast, as symbolic of affliction,[zw] for you came out of Egypt hurriedly. You must do this so you will remember for the rest of your lives the day you came out of the land of Egypt. 4 There must not be a scrap of yeast within your land[zx] for seven days, nor can any of the meat you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain until the next morning.[zy] 5 You may not sacrifice the Passover in just any of your villages[zz] that the Lord your God is giving you, 6 but you must sacrifice it[aaa] in the evening in[aab] the place where he[aac] chooses to locate his name, at sunset, the time of day you came out of Egypt. 7 You must cook[aad] and eat it in the place the Lord your God chooses; you may return the next morning to your tents. 8 You must eat bread made without yeast for six days. The seventh day you are to hold an assembly for the Lord your God; you must not do any work on that day.[aae]
The Feast of Weeks
9 You must count seven weeks; you must begin to count them[aaf] from the time you begin to harvest the standing grain. 10 Then you are to celebrate the Feast of Weeks[aag] before the Lord your God with the voluntary offering[aah] that you will bring, in proportion to how he[aai] has blessed you. 11 You shall rejoice before him[aaj]—you, your son, your daughter, your male and female slaves, the Levites in your villages,[aak] the resident foreigners,[aal] the orphans, and the widows among you—in the place where the Lord chooses to locate his name. 12 Furthermore, remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and so be careful to observe these statutes.
The Feast of Temporary Shelters
13 You must celebrate the Feast of Shelters[aam] for seven days, at the time of the grain and grape harvest.[aan] 14 You are to rejoice in your festival, you, your son, your daughter, your male and female slaves, the Levites, the resident foreigners, the orphans, and the widows who are in your villages.[aao] 15 You are to celebrate the festival seven days before the Lord your God in the place he[aap] chooses, for he[aaq] will bless you in all your productivity and in whatever you do;[aar] so you will indeed rejoice! 16 Three times a year all your males must appear before the Lord your God in the place he chooses for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Shelters; and they must not appear before him[aas] empty-handed. 17 Every one of you must give as you are able,[aat] according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.
Provision for Justice
18 You must appoint judges and civil servants[aau] for each tribe in all your villages[aav] that the Lord your God is giving you, and they must judge the people fairly.[aaw] 19 You must not pervert justice or show favor. Do not take a bribe, for bribes blind the eyes of the wise and distort[aax] the words of the righteous.[aay] 20 You must pursue justice alone[aaz] so that you may live and inherit the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Examples of Legal Cases
21 You must not plant any kind of tree as a sacred Asherah pole[aba] near the altar of the Lord your God which you build for yourself. 22 You must not erect a sacred pillar,[abb] a thing the Lord your God detests.
17 You must not sacrifice to him[abc] a bull or sheep that has a blemish or any other defect, because that is considered offensive[abd] to the Lord your God. 2 Suppose a man or woman is discovered among you in one of your villages[abe] that the Lord your God is giving you who sins before the Lord your God[abf] and breaks his covenant 3 by serving other gods and worshiping them—the sun,[abg] moon, or any other heavenly bodies that I have not permitted you to worship.[abh] 4 When it is reported to you and you hear about it, you must investigate carefully. If it is indeed true that such a disgraceful thing[abi] is being done in Israel, 5 you must bring to your city gates[abj] that man or woman who has done this wicked thing—that very man or woman—and you must stone that person to death.[abk] 6 At the testimony of two or three witnesses the person must be executed. They cannot be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. 7 The witnesses[abl] must be first to begin the execution, and then all the people[abm] are to join in afterward. In this way you will purge the evil from among you.
Appeal to a Higher Court
8 If a matter is too difficult for you to judge—bloodshed,[abn] legal claim,[abo] or assault[abp]—matters of controversy in your villages[abq]—you must leave there and go up to the place the Lord your God chooses.[abr] 9 You will go to the Levitical priests and the judge in office in those days and seek a solution; they will render a verdict. 10 You must then do as they have determined at that place the Lord chooses. Be careful to do just as you are taught. 11 You must do what you are instructed, and the verdict they pronounce to you, without fail. Do not deviate right or left from what they tell you. 12 The person who pays no attention[abs] to the priest currently serving the Lord your God there, or to the judge—that person must die, so that you may purge evil from Israel. 13 Then all the people will hear and be afraid, and not be so presumptuous again.
Provision for Kingship
14 When you come to the land the Lord your God is giving you and take it over and live in it and then say, “I will select a king like all the nations surrounding me,” 15 you must select without fail[abt] a king whom the Lord your God chooses. From among your fellow citizens[abu] you must appoint a king—you may not designate a foreigner who is not one of your fellow Israelites.[abv] 16 Moreover, he must not accumulate horses for himself or allow the people to return to Egypt to do so,[abw] for the Lord has said you must never again return that way. 17 Furthermore, he must not marry many[abx] wives lest his affections turn aside, and he must not accumulate much silver and gold. 18 When he sits on his royal throne he must make a copy of this law[aby] on a scroll[abz] given to him by the Levitical priests. 19 It must be with him constantly, and he must read it as long as he lives, so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and observe all the words of this law and these statutes and carry them out. 20 Then he will not exalt himself above his fellow citizens or turn from the commandments to the right or left, and he and his descendants will enjoy many years ruling over his kingdom[aca] in Israel.
Provision for Priests and Levites
18 The Levitical priests[acb]—indeed, the entire tribe of Levi—will have no allotment or inheritance with Israel; they may eat the burnt offerings of the Lord and of his inheritance.[acc] 2 They[acd] will have no inheritance in the midst of their fellow Israelites;[ace] the Lord alone is their inheritance, just as he had told them. 3 This shall be the priests’ fair allotment[acf] from the people who offer sacrifices, whether bull or sheep—they must give to the priest the shoulder, the jowls, and the stomach. 4 You must give them the best of your[acg] grain, new wine, and olive oil, as well as the best of your wool when you shear your flocks. 5 For the Lord your God has chosen them and their sons from all your tribes to stand[ach] and serve in his name[aci] permanently. 6 Suppose a Levite comes by his own free will[acj] from one of your villages, from any part of Israel where he is living,[ack] to the place the Lord chooses 7 and serves in the name of the Lord his God like his fellow Levites who stand there before the Lord. 8 He must eat the same share they do, despite any profits he may gain from the sale of his family’s inheritance.[acl]
- Deuteronomy 1:1 tn Heb “These are the words.”
- Deuteronomy 1:1 tn Heb “on the other side of the Jordan.” This would appear to favor authorship by someone living on the west side of the Jordan, that is, in Canaan, whereas the biblical tradition locates Moses on the east side (cf. v. 5). However the Hebrew phrase בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן (beʿever hayyarden) is a frozen form meaning “Transjordan,” a name appropriate from any geographical vantage point. To this day, one standing east of the Jordan can describe himself as being in Transjordan.
- Deuteronomy 1:1 tn The Hebrew term מוֹל (mol) may also mean “in front of” or “near” (cf. NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).
- Deuteronomy 1:1 sn This place is otherwise unattested and its location is unknown. Perhaps it is Khirbet Sufah, 4 mi (6 km) SSE of Madaba, Jordan.
- Deuteronomy 1:1 tn The Hebrew term בֵּין (ben) may suggest “in the area of.”
- Deuteronomy 1:1 sn Paran is the well-known desert area between Mount Sinai and Kadesh Barnea (cf. Num 10:12; 12:16).
- Deuteronomy 1:1 sn Tophel refers possibly to eṭ-Ṭafîleh, 15 mi (25 km) SE of the Dead Sea, or to Dâbîlu, another name for Paran. See H. Cazelles, “Tophel (Deut. 1:1),” VT 9 (1959): 412-15.
- Deuteronomy 1:1 sn Laban. Perhaps this refers to Libnah (Num 33:20).
- Deuteronomy 1:1 sn Hazeroth. This probably refers to ʿAin Khadra. See Y. Aharoni, The Land of the Bible, 199-200.
- Deuteronomy 1:1 sn Di Zahab. Perhaps this refers to Mina al-Dhahab on the eastern Sinai coast.
- Deuteronomy 1:2 sn An eleven-day journey was about 140 mi (233 km).
- Deuteronomy 1:2 sn Horeb is another name for Sinai. “Horeb” occurs 9 times in the Book of Deuteronomy and “Sinai” only once (33:2). “Sinai” occurs 13 times in the Book of Exodus and “Horeb” only 3 times.
- Deuteronomy 1:2 sn Kadesh Barnea. Possibly this refers to ʿAin Qudeis, about 50 mi (80 km) southwest of Beer Sheba, but more likely to ʿAin Qudeirat, 5 mi (8 km) NW of ʿAin Qudeis. See R. Cohen, “Did I Excavate Kadesh Barnea?” BAR 7 (1981): 20-33.
- Deuteronomy 1:2 sn Mount Seir is synonymous with Edom. “By way of Mount Seir” refers to the route from Horeb that ended up in Edom Cf. CEV “by way of the Mount Seir Road”; TEV “by way of the hill country of Edom.”
- Deuteronomy 1:3 tn Heb “in” or “on.” Here there is a contrast between the ordinary time of eleven days (v. 2) and the actual time of forty years, so “not until” brings out that vast disparity.
- Deuteronomy 1:3 sn The eleventh month is Shebat in the Hebrew calendar, January/February in the modern (Gregorian) calendar.
- Deuteronomy 1:3 sn The fortieth year would be 1406 b.c. according to the “early” date of the exodus. See E. H. Merrill, Kingdom of Priests, 66-75.
- Deuteronomy 1:3 tn Heb “according to all which.”
- Deuteronomy 1:4 tn Heb “when he struck [or “smote”].”
- Deuteronomy 1:4 sn See Deut 2:26-3:22.
- Deuteronomy 1:4 tn Heb “who lived.”
- Deuteronomy 1:4 sn Heshbon is probably modern Tell Hesban, about 7.5 mi (12 km) south southwest of Amman, Jordan.
- Deuteronomy 1:4 tn Heb “who lived.”
- Deuteronomy 1:4 sn Ashtaroth is probably Tell ʿAshtarah, about 22 mi (35 km) due east of the Sea of Galilee.
- Deuteronomy 1:4 sn Edrei is probably modern Derʿa, 60 mi (95 km) south of Damascus (see Num 21:33; Josh 12:4; 13:12, 31).
- Deuteronomy 1:5 tn Heb “this instruction”; KJV, NIV, NRSV “this law”; TEV “God’s laws and teachings.” The Hebrew noun תּוֹרָה (torah) is derived from the verb יָרָה (yarah, “to teach”) and here it refers to the Book of Deuteronomy, not the Pentateuch as a whole.
- Deuteronomy 1:6 tn Heb “lived”; “dwelled.”
- Deuteronomy 1:7 tn Heb “turn”; NAB “Leave here”; NIV, TEV “Break camp.”
- Deuteronomy 1:7 sn As a geographic feature the rift valley (עֲרָבָה, ʿaravah) extends from Galilee to the Gulf of Aqaba. The reference here probably includes the Jordan Valley and continues to the wider part of the rift valley below the Dead Sea. Some versions transliterate the name as Arabah (ASV, NAB, NIV, NRSV).
- Deuteronomy 1:7 tn The שְׁפֵלָה (shephelah) is the geographical region between the Mediterranean coastal plain and the hill country, sometimes called the “western foothills” (NIV, CEV, NLT), “Judean foothills” (Holman), “lowland” (NASB, ESV), or by the Hebrew “Shephelah” (NRSV).
- Deuteronomy 1:7 sn The Negev is the area of central, southern Judah, south of the hill country and Beer Sheba and west of the rift valley. As a geographic feature it is a depression extending south to the gulf of Aqaba, but the reference here is probably to the northern portion of the region.
- Deuteronomy 1:8 tn Heb “I have placed before you the land.”
- Deuteronomy 1:8 tn Heb “the Lord.” Since the Lord is speaking, it is preferable for clarity to supply the first person pronoun in the translation.
- Deuteronomy 1:8 tn Heb “swore” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT). This refers to God’s promise, made by solemn oath, to give the patriarchs the land.
- Deuteronomy 1:8 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 11, 21, 35).
- Deuteronomy 1:8 tn Heb “their seed after them.”
- Deuteronomy 1:10 tn Heb “multiplied you.”
- Deuteronomy 1:10 tn Or “heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.
- Deuteronomy 1:11 tn Heb “may he bless you.”
- Deuteronomy 1:13 tn The Hebrew verb נְבֹנִים (nevonim, from בִּין [bin]) is a Niphal referring to skill or intelligence (see T. Fretheim, NIDOTTE 1:652-53).
- Deuteronomy 1:15 tn Or “selected”; Heb “took.”
- Deuteronomy 1:16 tn Or “you.” A number of English versions treat the remainder of this verse and v. 17 as direct discourse rather than indirect discourse (cf. KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).
- Deuteronomy 1:16 tn Heb “brothers.” The term “brothers” could, in English, be understood to refer to siblings, so “fellow citizens” has been used in the translation.
- Deuteronomy 1:16 tn The Hebrew word צֶדֶק (tsedeq, “fairly”) carries the basic idea of conformity to a norm of expected behavior or character, one established by God himself. Fair judgment adheres strictly to that norm or standard (see D. Reimer, NIDOTTE 3:750).
- Deuteronomy 1:16 tn Heb “between a man and his brother.” The first use of “brother” in this verse refers broadly to fellow citizens. This second use is narrower, being in opposition to the “resident foreigner.” The גֵּר (ger) “resident foreigner” was not simply a foreigner (Hebrew נֵכָר; nekar) but was essentially a naturalized citizen and had equal protection under the law. This is one of the verses designed to ensure that equal treatment (see also Deut 10:16-19; 16:18-20; Exod 12:49; Num 15:16, 29).
- Deuteronomy 1:16 sn On the Hebrew ger (גֵּר) “resident foreigner,” see notes at Exod 12:19 and Deut 29:11.
- Deuteronomy 1:17 tn Heb “you,” and throughout the verse (cf. NASB, NRSV).
- Deuteronomy 1:17 tn Heb “the small,” but referring to social status, not physical stature.
- Deuteronomy 1:20 tn The Hebrew participle has an imminent future sense here, although many English versions treat it as a present tense (“is giving us,” NAB, NIV, NRSV) or a predictive future (“will give us,” NCV).
- Deuteronomy 1:21 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” The pronoun (“he”) has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons, to avoid repetition.
- Deuteronomy 1:21 tn Or “has given you the land” (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV).
- Deuteronomy 1:23 tn Heb “the thing was good in my eyes.”
- Deuteronomy 1:23 tn Or “selected” (so NIV, NRSV, TEV); Heb “took.”
- Deuteronomy 1:24 tn Or “the Wadi Eshcol” (so NAB).sn The Eshcol Valley is a verdant valley near Hebron, still famous for its viticulture (cf. Num 13:22-23). The Hebrew name “Eshcol” means “trestle,” that is, the frame on which grape vines grow.
- Deuteronomy 1:25 tn The Hebrew text includes “in their hand,” which is unnecessary and somewhat redundant in English style.
- Deuteronomy 1:26 tn Heb “the mouth of the Lord your God.” To include “the mouth” would make for odd English style. The mouth stands by metonymy for the Lord’s command, which in turn represents the Lord himself.
- Deuteronomy 1:27 tn Heb “in your tents,” that is, privately.
- Deuteronomy 1:28 tn Heb “have caused our hearts to melt.”
- Deuteronomy 1:28 tn Heb “greater.” Many English versions understand this to refer to physical size or strength rather than numbers (cf. “stronger,” NAB, NIV, NRSV; “bigger,” NASB).
- Deuteronomy 1:28 tn Or “as the sky.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.
- Deuteronomy 1:28 tn Heb “we have seen.”
- Deuteronomy 1:28 tn Heb “the sons of the Anakim.”sn Anakites were giant people (Num 13:33; Deut 2:10, 21; 9:2) descended from a certain Anak whose own forefather Arba founded the city of Kiriath Arba, i.e., Hebron (Josh 21:11).
- Deuteronomy 1:29 tn Heb “do not tremble and do not be afraid.” Two synonymous commands are combined for emphasis.
- Deuteronomy 1:30 tn The Hebrew participle indicates imminent future action here, though some English versions treat it as a predictive future (“will go ahead of you,” NCV; cf. also TEV, CEV).
- Deuteronomy 1:30 tn Heb “according to all which he did for you in Egypt before your eyes.”
- Deuteronomy 1:31 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” The pronoun (“him”) has been employed in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Deuteronomy 1:34 tn Heb “and swore,” i.e., made an oath or vow.
- Deuteronomy 1:35 tn Heb “Not a man among these men.”
- Deuteronomy 1:36 sn Caleb had, with Joshua, brought back to Israel a minority report from Canaan urging a conquest of the land, for he was confident of the Lord’s power (Num 13:6, 8, 16, 30; 14:30, 38).
- Deuteronomy 1:36 tn Heb “the Lord.” The pronoun (“me”) has been employed in the translation, since it sounds strange to an English reader for the Lord to speak about himself in third person.
- Deuteronomy 1:38 tn Heb “the one who stands before you”; NAB “your aide”; TEV “your helper.”
- Deuteronomy 1:38 tn Heb “it”; the referent (the land) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Deuteronomy 1:39 tn Heb “would be a prey.”
- Deuteronomy 1:39 sn Do not know good from bad. This is a figure of speech called a merism (suggesting a whole by referring to its extreme opposites). Other examples are the tree of “the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen 2:9), the boy who knows enough “to reject the wrong and choose the right” (Isa 7:16; 8:4), and those who “cannot tell their right hand from their left” (Jonah 4:11). A young child is characterized by lack of knowledge.
- Deuteronomy 1:40 tn The Hebrew pronoun is plural, as are the following verbs, indicating that Moses and the people are addressed (note v. 41).
- Deuteronomy 1:40 tn Heb “the Reed Sea.” “Reed” is a better translation of the Hebrew סוּף (suf), traditionally rendered “red.” The name “Red Sea” is based on the LXX which referred to it as ἐρυθρᾶς θαλάσσης (eruthras thalassēs, “red sea”). Nevertheless, because the body of water in question is known in modern times as the Red Sea, this term was used in the translation. The part of the Red Sea in view here is not the one crossed in the exodus but its eastern arm, now known as the Gulf of Eilat or Gulf of Aqaba.
- Deuteronomy 1:43 tn Heb “the mouth of the Lord.” See note at 1:26.
- Deuteronomy 1:44 tn Heb “in that hill country,” repeating the end of v. 43.
- Deuteronomy 1:44 tn Heb “came out to meet.”
- Deuteronomy 1:44 sn Hormah is probably Khirbet el-Meshash, 5.5 mi (9 km) west of Arad and 7.5 mi (12 km) SE of Beer Sheba. Its name is a derivative of the verb חָרָם (kharam, “to ban; to exterminate”). See Num 21:3.
- Deuteronomy 1:45 tn Heb “the Lord.” The pronoun (“he”) has been employed in the translation here for stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 1:45 tn Heb “did not hear your voice and did not turn an ear to you.”
- Deuteronomy 1:46 tn Heb “like the days which you lived.” This refers to the rest of the forty-year period in the desert before Israel arrived in Moab.
- Deuteronomy 2:1 tn Heb “Reed Sea.” See note on the term “Red Sea” in Deut 1:40.
- Deuteronomy 2:4 tn Heb “command” (so KJV, NASB); NRSV “charge the people as follows.”
- Deuteronomy 2:4 tn Heb “brothers”; NAB “your kinsmen.”
- Deuteronomy 2:4 sn The descendants of Esau (Heb “sons of Esau”; the phrase also occurs in 2:8, 12, 22, 29). These are the inhabitants of the land otherwise known as Edom, south and east of the Dead Sea. Jacob’s brother Esau had settled there after his bitter strife with Jacob (Gen 36:1-8). “Edom” means “reddish,” probably because of the red sandstone of the region, but also by popular etymology because Esau, at birth, was reddish (Gen 25:25).
- Deuteronomy 2:5 sn Mount Seir is synonymous with Edom.
- Deuteronomy 2:6 tn Heb includes “with silver.”
- Deuteronomy 2:7 tn The Hebrew text does not have the first person pronoun; it has been supplied for purposes of English style (the Lord is speaking here).
- Deuteronomy 2:7 tn Heb “all the work of your hands.”
- Deuteronomy 2:7 tn Heb “he has.” This has been converted to first person in the translation in keeping with English style.
- Deuteronomy 2:7 tn Heb “known” (so ASV, NASB); NAB “been concerned about.”
- Deuteronomy 2:7 tn Heb “the Lord your God has.” This has been replaced in the translation by the first person pronoun (“I”) in keeping with English style.
- Deuteronomy 2:8 tn Or “brothers”; NRSV “our kin.”
- Deuteronomy 2:8 sn As a geographic feature the rift valley (עֲרָבָה, ʿaravah) extends from the Gulf of Aqaba to Galilee. Traveling up the middle of the rift valley probably would have been the easiest path, at least up to the Dead Sea.
- Deuteronomy 2:8 tn Heb “from.”
- Deuteronomy 2:8 sn Elat was a port city at the head of the eastern arm of the Red Sea, that is, the Gulf of Aqaba (or Gulf of Eilat). Solomon (1 Kgs 9:28), Uzziah (2 Kgs 14:22), and Ahaz (2 Kgs 16:5-6) used it as a port but eventually it became permanently part of Edom. It may be what is known today as Tell el-Kheleifeh. Modern Eilat is located farther west along the northern coast. See G. Pratico, “Nelson Glueck’s 1938-1940 Excavations at Tell el-Kheleifeh: A Reappraisal,” BASOR 259 (1985): 1-32.
- Deuteronomy 2:8 sn Ezion Geber. A place near the Gulf of Aqaba, Ezion-geber must be distinguished from Elat (cf. 1 Kgs 9:26-28; 2 Chr 8:17-18). It was, however, also a port city (1 Kgs 22:48-49). It may be the same as the modern site Gezirat al-Fauran, 15 mi (24 km) south-southwest from Tell el-Kheleifah.
- Deuteronomy 2:9 sn Ar was a Moabite city on the Arnon River east of the Dead Sea. It is mentioned elsewhere in the “Book of the Wars of Yahweh” (Num 21:15; cf. 21:28; Isa 15:1). Here it is synonymous with the whole land of Moab.
- Deuteronomy 2:9 sn The descendants of Lot. Following the destruction of the cities of the plain, Sodom and Gomorrah, as God’s judgment, Lot fathered two sons by his two daughters, namely, Moab and Ammon (Gen 19:30-38). Thus, these descendants of Lot in and around Ar were the Moabites.
- Deuteronomy 2:10 sn Emites. These giant people, like the Anakites (Deut 1:28), were also known as Rephaites (v. 11). They appear elsewhere in the narrative of the invasion of the kings of the east where they are said to have lived around Shaveh Kiriathaim, perhaps 9 to 11 mi (15 to 18 km) east of the north end of the Dead Sea (Gen 14:5).
- Deuteronomy 2:11 sn Rephaites. The earliest reference to this infamous giant race is, again, in the story of the invasion of the eastern kings (Gen 14:5). They lived around Ashteroth Karnaim, probably modern Tel Ashtarah (cf. Deut 1:4), in the Bashan plateau east of the Sea of Galilee. Og, king of Bashan, was a Rephaite (Deut 3:11; Josh 12:4; 13:12). Other texts speak of them or their kinfolk in both Transjordan (Deut 2:20; 3:13) and Canaan (Josh 11:21-22; 14:12, 15; 15:13-14; Judg 1:20; 1 Sam 17:4; 1 Chr 20:4-8). They also appear in extra-biblical literature, especially in connection with the city state of Ugarit. See C. L’Heureux, “Ugaritic and Biblical Rephaim,” HTR 67 (1974): 265-74.
- Deuteronomy 2:12 sn Horites. Most likely these are the same as the well-known people of ancient Near Eastern texts described as Hurrians. They were geographically widespread and probably non-Semitic. Genesis speaks of them as the indigenous peoples of Edom that Esau expelled (Gen 36:8-19, 31-43) and also as among those who confronted the kings of the east (Gen 14:6).
- Deuteronomy 2:12 tn Most modern English versions, beginning with the ASV (1901), regard vv. 10-12 as parenthetical to the narrative.
- Deuteronomy 2:13 sn Wadi Zered. Now known as Wadi el-Ḥesa, this valley marked the boundary between Moab to the north and Edom to the south.
- Deuteronomy 2:13 tn Heb “we crossed the Wadi Zered.” This has been translated as “we did so” for stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 2:15 tn Heb “from the middle of.” Although many recent English versions leave this expression untranslated, the point seems to be that these soldiers did not die in battle but “within the camp.”
- Deuteronomy 2:16 tn Heb “and it was when they were eliminated, all the men of war, to die from the midst of the people.”
- Deuteronomy 2:18 sn Ar. See note on this word in Deut 2:9.
- Deuteronomy 2:19 sn Lot’s descendants. See note on this phrase in Deut 2:9.
- Deuteronomy 2:20 sn Rephaites. See note on this word in Deut 2:11.
- Deuteronomy 2:20 sn Zamzummites. Just as the Moabites called Rephaites by the name Emites, the Ammonites called them Zamzummites (or Zazites; Gen 14:5).
- Deuteronomy 2:21 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the Rephaites) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Deuteronomy 2:21 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the Ammonites) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Deuteronomy 2:23 sn Avvites. Otherwise unknown, these people were probably also Anakite (or Rephaite) giants who lived in the lower Mediterranean coastal plain until they were expelled by the Caphtorites.
- Deuteronomy 2:23 sn Caphtorites. These peoples are familiar from both the OT (Gen 10:14; 1 Chr 1:12; Jer 47:4; Amos 9:7) and ancient Near Eastern texts (Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, 2:37-38; ANET 138). They originated in Crete (OT “Caphtor”) and are identified as the ancestors of the Philistines (Gen 10:14; Jer 47:4).
- Deuteronomy 2:23 tn Heb “Caphtor”; the modern name of the island of Crete is used in the translation for clarity (cf. NCV, TEV, NLT).
- Deuteronomy 2:24 sn Heshbon is the name of a prominent site (now Tel Hesbān, about 7.5 mi [12 km] south southwest of Amman, Jordan). Sihon made it his capital after having driven Moab from the area and forced them south to the Arnon (Num 21:26-30). Heshbon is also mentioned in Deut 1:4.
- Deuteronomy 2:25 tn Heb “under heaven” (so NIV, NRSV).
- Deuteronomy 2:25 tn Heb “from before you.”
- Deuteronomy 2:26 sn Kedemoth. This is probably Aleiyan, about 8 mi (13 km) north of the Arnon and between Dibon and Mattanah.
- Deuteronomy 2:27 tn Heb “in the way in the way” (בַּדֶּרֶךְ בַּדֶּרֶךְ, badderekh badderekh). The repetition lays great stress on the idea of resolute determination to stick to the path. IBHS 116 §7.2.3c.
- Deuteronomy 2:28 tn Heb “silver.”
- Deuteronomy 2:28 tn Heb “and water for silver give to me so that I may drink.”
- Deuteronomy 2:30 tc The translation follows the LXX in reading the first person pronoun. The MT, followed by many English versions, has a second person masculine singular pronoun, “your.”
- Deuteronomy 2:30 tn Heb “hardened his spirit” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV); NIV “made his spirit stubborn.”
- Deuteronomy 2:30 tn Heb “made his heart obstinate” (so KJV, NASB); NRSV “made his heart defiant.”
- Deuteronomy 2:30 tn Heb “into your hand.”
- Deuteronomy 2:32 tn Heb “people.”
- Deuteronomy 2:32 sn Jahaz. This is probably Khirbet el-Medeiyineh. See J. Dearman, “The Levitical Cities of Reuben and Moabite Toponymy,” BASOR 276 (1984): 55-57.
- Deuteronomy 2:33 tc The translation follows the Qere or marginal reading; the Kethib (consonantal text) has the singular, “his son.”
- Deuteronomy 2:33 tn Heb “all his people.”
- Deuteronomy 2:34 tn Heb “every city of men.” This apparently identifies the cities as inhabited.
- Deuteronomy 2:34 tn Heb “under the ban” (נַחֲרֵם, nakharem). The verb employed is חָרַם (kharam, usually in the Hiphil) and the associated noun is חֵרֶם (kherem). See J. Naudé, NIDOTTE, 2:276-77, and, for a more thorough discussion, Susan Niditch, War in the Hebrew Bible, 28-77.sn Divine judgment refers to God’s designation of certain persons, places, and things as objects of his special wrath and judgment because, in his omniscience, he knows them to be impure and hopelessly unrepentant.
- Deuteronomy 2:36 sn Aroer. Now known as ʿAraʾir on the northern edge of the Arnon river, Aroer marked the southern limit of Moab and, later, of the allotment of the tribe of Reuben (Josh 13:9, 16).
- Deuteronomy 2:36 tn Heb “the city in the wadi.” This enigmatic reference may refer to Ar or, more likely, to Aroer itself. Epexegetically the text might read, “From Aroer…, that is, the city in the wadi.” See D. L. Christensen, Deuteronomy 1-11 (WBC), 49.
- Deuteronomy 2:37 sn Wadi Jabbok. Now known as the Zerqa River, this is a major tributary of the Jordan that normally served as a boundary between Ammon and Gad (Deut 3:16).
- Deuteronomy 3:1 tn Heb “turned and went up.”
- Deuteronomy 3:1 sn Bashan. This plateau country, famous for its oaks (Isa 2:13) and cattle (Deut 32:14; Amos 4:1), was north of Gilead along the Yarmuk River.
- Deuteronomy 3:1 tn Heb “people.”
- Deuteronomy 3:1 sn Edrei is probably modern Derʿa, 60 mi (95 km) south of Damascus (see Num 21:33; Josh 12:4; 13:12, 31; also mentioned in Deut 1:4).
- Deuteronomy 3:2 tn Heb “people.”
- Deuteronomy 3:3 tn Heb “was left to him.” The final phrase “to him” is redundant in English and has been left untranslated.
- Deuteronomy 3:4 sn Argob. This is a subdistrict of Bashan, perhaps north of the Yarmuk River. See Y. Aharoni, Land of the Bible, 314.
- Deuteronomy 3:5 tn Or “high walls and barred gates” (NLT); Heb “high walls, gates, and bars.” Since “bars” could be understood to mean “saloons,” the qualifying adjective “locking” has been supplied in the translation.
- Deuteronomy 3:5 tn The Hebrew term פְּרָזִי (perazi) refers to rural areas, at the most “unwalled villages” (KJV, NASB “unwalled towns”).
- Deuteronomy 3:6 tn Heb “we put them under the ban” (נַחֲרֵם, nakharem). See note at 2:34.sn The divine curse. See note on this phrase in Deut 2:34.
- Deuteronomy 3:6 tn Heb “city of men.”
- Deuteronomy 3:8 sn Mount Hermon. This is the famous peak at the southern end of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range known today as Jebel es-Sheik.
- Deuteronomy 3:9 sn Sidonians were Phoenician inhabitants of the city of Sidon (now in Lebanon), about 47 mi (75 km) north of Mount Carmel.
- Deuteronomy 3:9 sn Sirion. This name is attested in the Ugaritic texts as sryn. See UT 495.
- Deuteronomy 3:9 sn Senir. Probably this was actually one of the peaks of Hermon and not the main mountain (Song of Songs 4:8; 1 Chr 5:23). It is mentioned in a royal inscription of Shalmaneser III of Assyria (saniru; see ANET 280).
- Deuteronomy 3:10 sn Salecah. Today this is known as Salkhad, in Jordan, about 31 mi (50 km) east of the Jordan River in the Hauran Desert.
- Deuteronomy 3:10 sn Edrei. See note on this term in 3:1.
- Deuteronomy 3:11 tn Heb “Behold” (הִנֵּה, hinneh).
- Deuteronomy 3:11 tn The Hebrew term עֶרֶשׂ (ʿeres), traditionally translated “bed” (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT) is likely a basaltic (volcanic) stone sarcophagus of suitable size to contain the coffin of the giant Rephaite king. Its iron-like color and texture caused it to be described as an iron container. See A. Millard, “King Og’s Iron Bed: Fact or Fancy?” BR 6 (1990): 16-21, 44; cf. also NEB “his sarcophagus of basalt”; TEV, CEV “his coffin.”
- Deuteronomy 3:11 tn Or “of iron-colored basalt.” See note on the word “sarcophagus” earlier in this verse.
- Deuteronomy 3:11 sn Rabbath. This place name (usually occurring as Rabbah; 2 Sam 11:11; 12:27; Jer 49:3) refers to the ancient capital of the Ammonite kingdom, now the modern city of Amman, Jordan. The word means “great [one],” probably because of its political importance. The fact that the sarcophagus “still remain[ed]” there suggests this part of the verse is post-Mosaic, having been added as a matter of explanation for the existence of the artifact and also to verify the claim as to its size.
- Deuteronomy 3:11 tn Heb “9 cubits.” Assuming a length of 18 in (45 cm) for the standard cubit, this would be 13.5 ft (4.1 m) long.
- Deuteronomy 3:11 tn Heb “4 cubits.” This would be 6 ft (1.8 m) wide.
- Deuteronomy 3:11 tn Heb “by the cubit of man.” This probably refers to the “short” or “regular” cubit of approximately 18 in (45 cm).
- Deuteronomy 3:12 tn The words “the territory extending” are not in the Hebrew text; they are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.sn Aroer. See note on this term in Deut 2:36.
- Deuteronomy 3:12 sn Reubenites and Gadites. By the time of Moses’ address the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh had already been granted permission to settle in the Transjordan, provided they helped the other tribes subdue the occupants of Canaan (cf. Num 32:28-42).
- Deuteronomy 3:13 sn Half the tribe of Manasseh. The tribe of Manasseh split into clans, with half opting to settle in Bashan and the other half in Canaan (cf. Num 32:39-42; Josh 17:1-13).
- Deuteronomy 3:13 sn Argob. See note on this term in v. 4.
- Deuteronomy 3:14 sn Geshurites. Geshur was a city and its surrounding area somewhere northeast of Bashan (cf. Josh 12:5 ; 13:11, 13). One of David’s wives was Maacah, the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur and mother of Absalom (cf. 2 Sam 13:37; 15:8; 1 Chr 3:2).
- Deuteronomy 3:14 sn Maacathites. These were the people of a territory southwest of Mount Hermon on the Jordan River. The name probably has nothing to do with David’s wife from Geshur (see note on “Geshurites” earlier in this verse).
- Deuteronomy 3:14 sn Havvoth Jair. The Hebrew name means “villages of Jair,” the latter being named after a son (i.e., descendant) of Manasseh who took the area by conquest.
- Deuteronomy 3:15 sn Machir was the name of another descendant of Manasseh (cf. Num 32:41; 1 Chr 7:14-19). Eastern Manasseh was thus divided between the Jairites and the Machirites.
- Deuteronomy 3:17 sn The rift valley extends from Galilee to the Gulf of Aqaba. The Jordan River runs through it from Galilee to the Dead Sea, so the rift valley, the Jordan, and the Dead Sea work together naturally as a boundary.
- Deuteronomy 3:17 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity (also in vv. 20, 25).
- Deuteronomy 3:17 tn Heb “from Kinnereth.” The words “the sea of” have been supplied in the translation as a clarification.sn Kinnereth. This is another name for the Sea of Galilee, so called because its shape is that of a harp (the Hebrew term for “harp” is כִּנּוֹר, kinnor).
- Deuteronomy 3:17 sn The Salt Sea is another name for the Dead Sea (cf. Gen 14:3; Josh 3:16).
- Deuteronomy 3:17 sn The slopes (אֲשֵׁדוֹת, ʾashedot) refer to the ascent from the rift valley, generally in the region of the Dead Sea, up to the flatlands (or wilderness).
- Deuteronomy 3:17 sn Pisgah. This appears to refer to a small range of mountains, the most prominent peak of which is Mount Nebo (Num 21:20; 23:14; Deut 3:27; cf. 34:1). Pisgah is east of the northern tip of the Dead Sea. The slopes ascend approximately 3600 feet from the Dead Sea to Pisgah, while the plains to the east lie only a few hundred feet below these heights.
- Deuteronomy 3:18 tn Heb “your brothers, the sons of Israel.”
- Deuteronomy 3:20 tn The words “you must fight” are not present in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity.
- Deuteronomy 3:20 tn Heb “gives your brothers rest.”
- Deuteronomy 3:21 tn Heb “the Lord.” The translation uses the pronoun (“he”) for stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 3:21 tn Heb “which you are crossing over there.”
- Deuteronomy 3:24 tn Heb “Lord Yahweh.” The phrase אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה (ʾadonay yehvih) is customarily rendered by Jewish tradition as “Lord God.”
- Deuteronomy 3:24 tn Heb “your servant.” The pronoun is used in the translation to clarify that Moses is speaking of himself, since in contemporary English one does not usually refer to oneself in third person.
- Deuteronomy 3:24 tn Heb “your strong hand” (so NIV), a symbol of God’s activity.
- Deuteronomy 3:25 tn The article is retained in the translation (“the Lebanon,” cf. also NAB, NRSV) to indicate that a region (rather than the modern country of Lebanon) is referred to here. Other recent English versions accomplish this by supplying “mountains” after “Lebanon” (TEV, CEV, NLT).
- Deuteronomy 3:26 tn Heb “the Lord.” For stylistic reasons the pronoun (“he”) has been used in the translation here.
- Deuteronomy 3:26 tn Heb “much to you” (an idiom).
- Deuteronomy 3:27 tn Heb “lift your eyes to the west, north, south, and east and see with your eyes.” The translation omits the repetition of “your eyes” for stylistic reasons.
- Deuteronomy 3:28 tn Heb “command”; KJV, NASB, NRSV “charge Joshua.”
- Deuteronomy 3:29 sn Beth Peor. This is probably the spot near Pisgah where Balaam attempted to curse the nation Israel (Num 23:28). The Moabites also worshiped Baal there by the name “Baal [of] Peor” (Num 25:1-5).
- Deuteronomy 4:1 tn These technical Hebrew terms (חֻקִּים [khuqqim] and מִשְׁפָּטִים [mishpatim]) occur repeatedly throughout the Book of Deuteronomy to describe the covenant stipulations to which Israel had been called to subscribe (see, in this chapter alone, vv. 1, 5, 6, 8). The word חֻקִּים derives from the verb חֹק (khoq, “to inscribe; to carve”) and מִשְׁפָּטִים (mishpatim) from שָׁפַט (shafat, “to judge”). They are virtually synonymous and are used interchangeably in Deuteronomy.
- Deuteronomy 4:1 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 31, 37).
- Deuteronomy 4:2 tn Heb “commanding.”
- Deuteronomy 4:3 tc The LXX and Syriac read “to Baal Peor,” that is, the god worshiped at that place; see note on the name “Beth Peor” in Deut 3:29.
- Deuteronomy 4:3 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 4:3 tn Or “followed the Baal of Peor” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV), referring to the pagan god Baal.
- Deuteronomy 4:5 tn Heb “in the midst of” (so ASV).
- Deuteronomy 4:6 tn Heb “it is wisdom and understanding.”
- Deuteronomy 4:6 tn Heb “wise and understanding.”
- Deuteronomy 4:8 tn Or “pure”; or “fair”; Heb “righteous.”
- Deuteronomy 4:8 tn The Hebrew phrase הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת (hattorah hazzot), in this context, refers specifically to the Book of Deuteronomy. That is, it is the collection of all the חֻקִּים (khuqqim, “statutes,” 4:1) and מִשְׁפָּטִים (mishpatim, “ordinances,” 4:1) to be included in the covenant text. In a full canonical sense, of course, it pertains to the entire Pentateuch or Torah.
- Deuteronomy 4:8 tn Heb “place before.”
- Deuteronomy 4:9 tn Heb “watch yourself and watch your soul carefully.”
- Deuteronomy 4:10 tn The text begins with “(the) day (in) which.” In the Hebrew text v. 10 is subordinate to v. 11, but for stylistic reasons the translation treats v. 10 as an independent clause, necessitating the omission of the subordinating temporal phrase at the beginning of the verse.
- Deuteronomy 4:10 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 4:3.
- Deuteronomy 4:10 tn Heb “my words.” See v. 13; in Hebrew the “ten commandments” are the “ten words.”
- Deuteronomy 4:11 tn Heb “a mountain burning with fire as far as the heart of the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.
- Deuteronomy 4:11 tn Heb “darkness, cloud, and heavy cloud.”
- Deuteronomy 4:12 tn The words “was heard” are supplied in the translation to avoid the impression that the voice was seen.
- Deuteronomy 4:13 sn This is the first occurrence of the word בְּרִית (berit, “covenant”) in the Book of Deuteronomy but it appears commonly hereafter (4:23, 31; 5:2, 3; 7:9, 12; 8:18; 9:9, 10, 11, 15; 10:2, 4, 5, 8; 17:2; 29:1, 9, 12, 14, 15, 18, 21, 25; 31:9, 16, 20, 25, 26; 33:9). Etymologically, it derives from the notion of linking or yoking together. See M. Weinfeld, TDOT 2:255.
- Deuteronomy 4:13 tn Heb “the ten words.”
- Deuteronomy 4:14 tn Heb “to which you are crossing over to possess it.”
- Deuteronomy 4:15 tn Heb “give great care to your souls.”
- Deuteronomy 4:16 tn The words “I say this” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text v. 16 is subordinated to “Be careful” in v. 15, but this makes for an unduly long sentence in English.
- Deuteronomy 4:18 tn Heb “creeping thing.”
- Deuteronomy 4:18 tn Heb “under the earth.”
- Deuteronomy 4:19 tn Heb “lest you lift up your eyes.” In the Hebrew text vv. 16-19 are subordinated to “Be careful” in v. 15, but this makes for an unduly long sentence in English.
- Deuteronomy 4:19 tn Or “heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.
- Deuteronomy 4:19 tn Heb “all the host of heaven.”
- Deuteronomy 4:19 tn In the Hebrew text the verbal sequence in v. 19 is “lest you look up…and see…and be seduced…and worship them…and serve them.” However, the first two actions are not prohibited in and of themselves. The prohibition pertains to the final three actions. The first two verbs describe actions that are logically subordinate to the following actions and can be treated as temporal or circumstantial: “lest, looking up…and seeing…, you are seduced.” See Joüon 2:635 §168.h.
- Deuteronomy 4:19 tn Or “allotted.”
- Deuteronomy 4:19 tn Or “nations.”
- Deuteronomy 4:19 tn Heb “under all the heaven.”sn The OT views the heavenly host as God’s council, which surrounds his royal throne ready to do his bidding (see 1 Kgs 22:19). God has given this group, sometimes called the “sons of God” (cf. Job 1:6; 38:7; Ps 89:6), jurisdiction over the nations. See Deut 32:8 (LXX). Some also see this assembly as the addressee in Ps 82. While God delegated his council to rule over the nations, he established a theocratic government over Israel and ruled directly over his chosen people via the Mosaic covenant. See v. 20, as well as Deut 32:9.
- Deuteronomy 4:20 tn A כּוּר (kur) was not a source of heat but a crucible (“iron-smelting furnace”) in which precious metals were melted down and their impurities burned away (see I. Cornelius, NIDOTTE 2:618-19); cf. NAB “that iron foundry, Egypt.” The term is a metaphor for intense heat. Here it refers to the oppression and suffering Israel endured in Egypt. Since a crucible was used to burn away impurities, it is possible that the metaphor views Egypt as a place of refinement to bring Israel to a place of submission to divine sovereignty.
- Deuteronomy 4:20 tn Heb “to be his people of inheritance.” The Lord compares his people to valued property inherited from one’s ancestors and passed on to one’s descendants.
- Deuteronomy 4:21 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 4:3.
- Deuteronomy 4:21 tn The Hebrew text includes “(as) an inheritance,” or “(as) a possession.”
- Deuteronomy 4:22 tn Heb “this.” The translation uses “that” to avoid confusion; earlier in the verse Moses refers to Transjordan as “this land.”
- Deuteronomy 4:23 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 4:3.
- Deuteronomy 4:23 tn Heb “commanded.”
- Deuteronomy 4:24 tn The juxtaposition of the Hebrew terms אֵשׁ (ʾesh, “fire”) and קַנָּא (qannaʾ, “jealous”) is interesting in light of Deut 6:15 where the Lord is seen as a jealous God whose anger bursts into a destructive fire. For God to be “jealous” means that his holiness and uniqueness cannot tolerate pretended or imaginary rivals. It is not petty envy but response to an act of insubordination that must be severely judged (see H. Peels, NIDOTTE 3:937-40).
- Deuteronomy 4:25 tn Heb “have grown old in the land,” i.e., been there for a long time.
- Deuteronomy 4:25 tn Heb “a form of anything.” Cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV, TEV “an idol.”
- Deuteronomy 4:25 tn The infinitive construct is understood here as indicating the result, not the intention, of their actions.
- Deuteronomy 4:26 sn I invoke heaven and earth as witnesses against you. This stock formula introduces what is known form-critically as a רִיב (riv) or controversy pattern. It is commonly used in the ancient Near Eastern world in legal contexts and in the OT as a forensic or judicial device to draw attention to Israel’s violation of the Lord’s covenant with them (see Deut 30:19; Isa 1:2; 3:13; Jer 2:9). Since court proceedings required the testimony of witnesses, the Lord here summons heaven and earth (that is, all creation) to testify to his faithfulness, Israel’s disobedience, and the threat of judgment.
- Deuteronomy 4:26 tn Or “be destroyed”; KJV “utterly perish”; NLT “will quickly disappear”; CEV “you won’t have long to live.”
- Deuteronomy 4:26 tn Or “be completely” (so NCV, TEV). It is not certain here if the infinitive absolute indicates the certainty of the following action (cf. NIV) or its degree.
- Deuteronomy 4:27 tn Heb “you will be left men (i.e., few) of number.”
- Deuteronomy 4:29 tn Or “mind and being.” See Deut 6:5.
- Deuteronomy 4:30 tn Heb “hear his voice.” The expression is an idiom meaning “obey,” occurring in Deut 8:20; 9:23; 13:18; 21:18, 20; 26:14, 17; 27:10; 28:1-2, 15, 45, 62; 30:2, 8, 10, 20.
- Deuteronomy 4:31 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 4:3.
- Deuteronomy 4:31 tn Heb “he will not drop you,” i.e., “will not abandon you” (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).
- Deuteronomy 4:31 tn Or “will not.” The translation understands the imperfect verbal form to have an added nuance of capability here.
- Deuteronomy 4:32 tn The Hebrew term אָדָם (ʾadam) may refer either to Adam or, more likely, to “man” in the sense of the human race (“mankind,” “humankind”). The idea here seems more universal in scope than reference to Adam alone would suggest.
- Deuteronomy 4:32 tn The verb is not present in the Hebrew text but has been supplied in the translation for clarification. The challenge has both temporal and geographical dimensions. The people are challenged to (1) inquire about the entire scope of past history and (2) conduct their investigation on a worldwide scale.
- Deuteronomy 4:34 tn The translation assumes the reference is to Israel’s God in which case the point is this: God’s intervention in Israel’s experience is unique in the sense that he has never intervened in such power for any other people on earth. The focus is on the uniqueness of Israel’s experience. Some understand the divine name here in a generic sense, “a god,” or “any god.” In this case God’s incomparability is the focus (cf. v. 35, where this theme is expressed).
- Deuteronomy 4:34 tn Heb “tried to go to take for himself.”
- Deuteronomy 4:34 tn Heb “by testings.” The reference here is the judgments upon Pharaoh in the form of plagues. See Deut 7:19 (cf. v. 18) and 29:3 (cf. v. 2).
- Deuteronomy 4:34 tn Heb “by strong hand and by outstretched arm.”
- Deuteronomy 4:36 tn Heb “and his words you heard from the midst of the fire.”
- Deuteronomy 4:37 tn The concept of love here is not primarily that of emotional affection but of commitment or devotion. This verse suggests that God chose Israel to be his special people because he loved the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) and had promised to bless their descendants. See as well Deut 7:7-9.
- Deuteronomy 4:37 tc The LXX, Smr, Syriac, Targum, and Vulgate read a third person masculine plural suffix for the MT’s third person masculine singular, “his descendants.” Cf. Deut 10:15. Quite likely the MT should be emended in this instance.
- Deuteronomy 4:38 tn Heb “(as) an inheritance,” that is, landed property that one can pass on to one’s descendants.
- Deuteronomy 4:40 tn Heb “commanding” (so NRSV).
- Deuteronomy 4:42 tn Heb “the slayer who slew his neighbor without knowledge.”
- Deuteronomy 4:42 tn Heb “yesterday and a third (day).” The point is that there was no animosity between the two parties at the time of the accident and therefore no motive for the killing.
- Deuteronomy 4:44 tn Heb “the sons of Israel” (likewise in the following verse).
- Deuteronomy 4:48 tn The words “their territory extended” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text vv. 47-49 are all one sentence, but for the sake of English style and readability the translation divides the text into two sentences.
- Deuteronomy 4:48 sn Mount Siyon (the Hebrew name is שִׂיאֹן [siʾon], not to be confused with Zion [צִיּוֹן, tsiyyon]) is another name for Mount Hermon, also called Sirion and Senir (cf. Deut 3:9).
- Deuteronomy 4:49 sn The sea of the rift valley refers to the Dead Sea, also known as the Salt Sea in OT times (cf. Deut 3:17).
- Deuteronomy 4:49 sn The “slopes” refer to the ascent from the rift valley up to the plains in the east. The slopes of Pisgah are across from the northern tip of the Dead Sea.
- Deuteronomy 5:1 tn Heb “and Moses called to all Israel and he said to them”; NAB, NASB, NIV “Moses summoned (convened NRSV) all Israel.”
- Deuteronomy 5:3 tn Heb “the Lord.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 5:3 tn Heb “fathers.”
- Deuteronomy 5:7 tn Heb “there must not be for you other gods.” The expression “for you” indicates possession.
- Deuteronomy 5:7 tn Heb “upon my face,” or “before me” (עַל־פָּנָיַ, ʿal panaya). Some understand this in a locative sense: “in my sight.” The translation assumes that the phrase indicates exclusion. The idea is that of placing any other god before the Lord in the sense of taking his place. Contrary to the view of some, this does not leave the door open for a henotheistic system where the Lord is the primary god among others. In its literary context the statement must be taken in a monotheistic sense. See, e.g., 4:39; 6:13-15.
- Deuteronomy 5:8 tn Heb “an image, any likeness.”
- Deuteronomy 5:8 tn Heb “under the earth” (so ASV, NASB, NRSV); NCV “below the land.”
- Deuteronomy 5:9 tn In the Hebrew text the form is a participle, which is subordinated to what precedes. For the sake of English style, the translation divides this lengthy verse into two sentences.
- Deuteronomy 5:9 tn Heb “who hate” (so NAB, NIV, NLT). Just as “to love” (אָהֵב, ʾahev) means in a covenant context “to choose, obey,” so “to hate” (שָׂנֵא, saneʾ) means “to reject, disobey” (cf. the note on the word “loved” in Deut 4:37; see also 5:10).
- Deuteronomy 5:9 tn Heb “visiting the sin of fathers upon sons and upon a third (generation) and upon a fourth (generation) of those who hate me.” God sometimes punishes children for the sins of a father (cf. Num 16:27, 32; Josh 7:24-25; 2 Sam 21:1-9). On the principle of corporate solidarity and responsibility in OT thought see J. Kaminsky, Corporate Responsibility in the Hebrew Bible (JSOTSup). In the idiom of the text, the father is the first generation and the “sons” the second generation, making grandsons the third and great-grandsons the fourth. The reference to a third and fourth generation is a way of emphasizing that the sinner’s punishment would last throughout his lifetime. In this culture, where men married and fathered children at a relatively young age, it would not be unusual for one to see his great-grandsons. In an Aramaic tomb inscription from Nerab dating to the seventh century b.c., Agbar observes that he was surrounded by “children of the fourth generation” as he lay on his death bed (see ANET 661). The language of the text differs from Exod 34:7, the sons are the first generation, the grandsons (literally, “sons of the sons”) the second, great-grandsons the third, and great-great-grandsons the fourth. One could argue that formulation in Deut 5:9 (see also Exod 20:5) is elliptical/abbreviated or that the text suffers from an accidental scribal omission (the repetition of the words “sons” would invite accidental omission).
- Deuteronomy 5:10 tn This theologically rich term (חֶסֶד, khesed) describes God’s loyalty to those who keep covenant with him. Sometimes it is used synonymously with בְּרִית (berit, “covenant”; Deut 7:9), and sometimes interchangeably with it (Deut 7:12). See H.-J. Zobel, TDOT 5:44-64.
- Deuteronomy 5:10 tc By a slight emendation (לֲאַלֻּפִים [laʾallufim] for לַאֲלָפִים [laʾalafim]) “clans” could be read in place of the MT reading “thousands.” However, no ms or versional evidence exists to support this emendation.tn Another option is to understand this as referring to “thousands (of generations) of those who love me” (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT). See Deut 7:9.
- Deuteronomy 5:10 tn Heb “love.” See note on the word “reject” in v. 9.
- Deuteronomy 5:11 tn Heb “take up the name of the Lord your God to emptiness”; KJV “take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” The idea here is not cursing or profanity in the modern sense of these terms, but rather the use of the divine Name for unholy, mundane purposes, that is, for meaningless (Hebrew שָׁוְא [shavʾ]) and empty ends. In ancient Israel this would include using the Lord’s name as a witness in vows one did not intend to keep.
- Deuteronomy 5:11 tn Heb “who takes up his name to emptiness.”
- Deuteronomy 5:12 tn Heb “to make holy,” that is, to put to special use, in this case, to sacred purposes (cf. vv. 13-15).
- Deuteronomy 5:14 tn There is some degree of paronomasia (wordplay) here: “the seventh (הַשְּׁבִיעִי, hasheviʿi) day is the Sabbath (שַׁבָּת, shabbat).” Otherwise, the words have nothing in common, since “Sabbath” is derived from the verb שָׁבַת (shavat, “to cease”).
- Deuteronomy 5:14 tn Heb “in your gates”; NRSV, CEV “in your towns”; TEV “in your country.”
- Deuteronomy 5:15 tn Heb “by a strong hand and an outstretched arm,” the hand and arm symbolizing divine activity and strength. Cf. NLT “with amazing power and mighty deeds.”
- Deuteronomy 5:15 tn Or “keep” (so KJV, NRSV).
- Deuteronomy 5:16 tn The imperative here means, literally, “regard as heavy” (כַּבֵּד, kabbed). The meaning is that great importance must be ascribed to parents by their children.
- Deuteronomy 5:16 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “He” in 5:3.
- Deuteronomy 5:17 tn Traditionally “kill” (so KJV, ASV, RSV, NAB). The verb here (רָצַח, ratsakh) is generic for homicide but in the OT both killing in war and capital punishment were permitted and even commanded (Deut 13:5, 9; 20:13, 16-17), so the technical meaning here is “murder.”
- Deuteronomy 5:20 tn Heb “your neighbor.” Clearly this is intended generically, however, and not to be limited only to those persons who live nearby (frequently the way “neighbor” is understood in contemporary contexts). So also in v. 20.
- Deuteronomy 5:21 tn The Hebrew verb used here (חָמַד, khamad) is different from the one translated “crave” (אָוַה, ʾavah) in the next line. The former has sexual overtones (“lust” or the like; cf. Song of Sol 2:3) whereas the latter has more the idea of a desire or craving for material things.
- Deuteronomy 5:21 tn Heb “your neighbor’s.” See note on the term “fellow man” in v. 19.
- Deuteronomy 5:21 tn Heb “your neighbor’s.” The pronoun is used in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Deuteronomy 5:21 tn Heb “or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
- Deuteronomy 5:22 tn Heb “and he added no more” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV); NLT “This was all he said at that time.”
- Deuteronomy 5:22 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the words spoken by the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Deuteronomy 5:24 tn Heb “his glory and his greatness.”
- Deuteronomy 5:24 tn Heb “this day we have seen.”
- Deuteronomy 5:26 tn Heb “who is there of all flesh.”
- Deuteronomy 5:27 tn Heb “the Lord our God.” See note on “He” in 5:3.
- Deuteronomy 5:28 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “He” in 5:3.
- Deuteronomy 5:29 tn Heb “keep” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV).
- Deuteronomy 5:31 tn Heb “commandment.” The MT actually has the singular (הַמִּצְוָה, hammitsvah), suggesting perhaps that the following terms (חֻקִּים [khuqqim] and מִשְׁפָּטִים [mishpatim]) are in epexegetical apposition to “commandment.” That is, the phrase could be translated “the entire command, namely, the statutes and ordinances.” This would essentially make מִצְוָה (mitsvah) synonymous with תּוֹרָה (torah), the usual term for the whole collection of law.
- Deuteronomy 5:31 tn Heb “to possess it” (so KJV, ASV); NLT “as their inheritance.”
- Deuteronomy 5:33 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 5:33 tn Heb “may prolong your days”; NAB “may have long life”; TEV “will continue to live.”
- Deuteronomy 6:1 tn Heb “commandment.” The word מִצְוָה (mitsvah) again is in the singular, serving as a comprehensive term for the whole stipulation section of the book. See note on the word “commandments” in 5:31.
- Deuteronomy 6:1 tn Heb “where you are going over to possess it” (so NASB); NRSV “that you are about to cross into and occupy.”
- Deuteronomy 6:2 tn Here the terms are not the usual חֻקִּים (khuqqim) and מִשְׁפָּטִים (mishpatim; as in v. 1) but חֻקֹּת (khuqqot, “statutes”) and מִצְוֹת (mitsvot, “commandments”). It is clear that these terms are used interchangeably and that their technical precision ought not be overly stressed.
- Deuteronomy 6:2 tn Heb “commanding.” For stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy, “giving” has been used in the translation.
- Deuteronomy 6:3 tn Heb “may multiply greatly” (so NASB, NRSV); the words “in number” have been supplied in the translation for clarity.
- Deuteronomy 6:3 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 10, 18, 23).
- Deuteronomy 6:4 tn Heb “the Lord, our God, the Lord, one.” (1) One option is to translate: “The Lord is our God, the Lord alone” (cf. NAB, NRSV, NLT). This would be an affirmation that the Lord was the sole object of their devotion. This interpretation finds support from the appeals to loyalty that follow (vv. 5, 14). (2) Another option is to translate: “The Lord is our God, the Lord is unique.” In this case the text would be affirming the people’s allegiance to the Lord, as well as the Lord’s superiority to all other gods. It would also imply that he is the only one worthy of their worship. Support for this view comes from parallel texts such as Deut 7:9 and 10:17, as well as the use of “one” in Song 6:8-9, where the starstruck lover declares that his beloved is unique (literally, “one,” that is, “one of a kind”) when compared to all other women.sn Verses 4-5 constitute the so-called Shema (after the first word שְׁמַע, shemaʿ, “hear”), widely regarded as the very heart of Jewish confession and faith. When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment of all, he quoted this text (Matt 22:37-38).
- Deuteronomy 6:5 tn The verb אָהֵב (ʾahev, “to love”) in this setting communicates not so much an emotional idea as one of covenant commitment. To love the Lord is to be absolutely loyal and obedient to him in every respect, a truth Jesus himself taught (cf. John 14:15). See also the note on the word “loved” in Deut 4:37.
- Deuteronomy 6:5 tn Heb “heart.” In OT physiology the heart (לֵב, לֵבָב; levav, lev) was considered the seat of the mind or intellect, so that one could think with one’s heart. See A. Luc, NIDOTTE 2:749-54.
- Deuteronomy 6:5 tn Heb “soul”; “being.” Contrary to Hellenistic ideas of a soul that is discrete and separate from the body and spirit, OT anthropology equated the “soul” (נֶפֶשׁ, nefesh) with the person himself. It is therefore best in most cases to translate נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) as “being” or the like. See H. W. Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament, 10-25; D. Fredericks, NIDOTTE 3:133-34.
- Deuteronomy 6:5 sn For NT variations on the Shema see Matt 22:37-39; Mark 12:29-30; Luke 10:27.
- Deuteronomy 6:7 tn Heb “repeat” (so NLT). If from the root I שָׁנַן (shanan), the verb means essentially to “engrave,” that is, “to teach incisively” (Piel); note NAB “Drill them into your children.” Cf. BDB 1041-42 s.v.
- Deuteronomy 6:7 tn Or “as you are away on a journey” (cf. NRSV, TEV, NLT); NAB “at home and abroad.”
- Deuteronomy 6:8 sn Tie them as a sign on your forearm. Later Jewish tradition referred to the little leather containers tied to the forearms and foreheads as tefillin. They were to contain the following passages from the Torah: Exod 13:1-10, 11-16; Deut 6:5-9; 11:13-21. The purpose was to serve as a “sign” of covenant relationship and obedience.
- Deuteronomy 6:8 sn Fasten them as symbols on your forehead. These were also known later as tefillin (see previous note) or phylacteries (from the Greek term). These box-like containers, like those on the forearms, held the same scraps of the Torah. It was the hypocritical practice of wearing these without heartfelt sincerity that caused Jesus to speak scathingly about them (cf. Matt 23:5).
- Deuteronomy 6:9 sn The Hebrew term מְזוּזֹת (mezuzot) refers both to the door frames and to small cases attached on them containing scripture texts (always Deut 6:4-9 and 11:13-21; and sometimes the decalogue; Exod 13:1-10, 11-16; and Num 10:35-36). See J. H. Tigay, Deuteronomy (JPSTC), 443-44.
- Deuteronomy 6:12 tn Heb “out of the house of slavery” (so NASB, NRSV).
- Deuteronomy 6:14 tn Heb “from the gods.” The demonstrative pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 6:15 tn Heb “lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you and destroy you from upon the surface of the ground.” Cf. KJV, ASV “from off the face of the earth.”
- Deuteronomy 6:16 sn The place name Massah (מַסָּה, massah) derives from a root (נָסָה, nasah) meaning “to test; to try.” The reference here is to the experience in the Sinai desert when Moses struck the rock to obtain water (Exod 17:1-2). The complaining Israelites had, thus, “tested” the Lord, a wickedness that gave rise to the naming of the place (Exod 17:7; cf. Deut 9:22; 33:8).
- Deuteronomy 6:17 tn Heb “the commandments of the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 6:17 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute before the finite verb to emphasize the statement. The imperfect verbal form is used here with an obligatory nuance that can be captured in English through the imperative. Cf. NASB, NRSV “diligently keep (obey NLT).”
- Deuteronomy 6:18 tn Heb “upright.”
- Deuteronomy 6:18 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on the word “his” in v. 17.
- Deuteronomy 6:20 tn Heb “your son.”
- Deuteronomy 6:21 tn Heb “to your son.”
- Deuteronomy 6:21 tn Heb “by a strong hand.” The image is that of a warrior who, with weapon in hand, overcomes his enemies. The Lord is commonly depicted as a divine warrior in the Book of Deuteronomy (cf. 5:15; 7:8; 9:26; 26:8).
- Deuteronomy 6:22 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on the word “his” in v. 17.
- Deuteronomy 6:22 tn Heb “house,” referring to the entire household.
- Deuteronomy 6:24 tn Heb “the Lord our God.” See note on the word “his” in v. 17.
- Deuteronomy 6:25 tn The term “commandment” (מִצְוָה, mitsvah), here in the singular, refers to the entire body of covenant stipulations.
- Deuteronomy 6:25 tn Heb “as he has commanded us” (so NIV, NRSV).
- Deuteronomy 7:1 sn Hittites. The center of Hittite power was in Anatolia (central modern Turkey). In the Late Bronze Age (1550-1200 b.c.) they were at their zenith, establishing outposts and colonies near and far. Some elements were obviously in Canaan at the time of the Conquest (1400-1350 b.c.).
- Deuteronomy 7:1 sn Girgashites. These cannot be ethnically identified and are unknown outside the OT. They usually appear in such lists only when the intention is to have seven groups in all (see also the note on the word “seven” later in this verse).
- Deuteronomy 7:1 sn Amorites. Originally from the upper Euphrates region (Amurru), the Amorites appear to have migrated into Canaan beginning in 2200 b.c. or thereabouts.
- Deuteronomy 7:1 sn Canaanites. These were the indigenous peoples of the land, going back to the beginning of recorded history (ca. 3000 b.c.). The OT identifies them as descendants of Ham (Gen 10:6), the only Hamites to have settled north and east of Egypt.
- Deuteronomy 7:1 sn Perizzites. This is probably a subgroup of Canaanites (Gen 13:7; 34:30).
- Deuteronomy 7:1 sn Hivites. These are usually thought to be the same as the Hurrians, a people well-known in ancient Near Eastern texts. They are likely identical to the Horites (see note on the term “Horites” in Deut 2:12).
- Deuteronomy 7:1 sn Jebusites. These inhabited the hill country, particularly in and about Jerusalem (cf. Num 13:29; Josh 15:8; 2 Sam 5:6; 24:16).
- Deuteronomy 7:1 sn Seven. This is an ideal number in the OT, one symbolizing fullness or completeness. Therefore, the intent of the text here is not to be precise and list all of Israel’s enemies but simply to state that Israel will have a full complement of foes to deal with. For other lists of Canaanites, some with fewer than seven peoples, see Exod 3:8; 13:5; 23:23, 28; 33:2; 34:11; Deut 20:17; Josh 3:10; 9:1; 24:11. Moreover, the “Table of Nations” (Gen 10:15-19) suggests that all of these (possibly excepting the Perizzites) were offspring of Canaan and therefore Canaanites.
- Deuteronomy 7:2 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 7:2 tn In the Hebrew text the infinitive absolute before the finite verb emphasizes the statement. The imperfect has an obligatory nuance here. Cf. ASV “shalt (must NRSV) utterly destroy them”; CEV “must destroy them without mercy.”
- Deuteronomy 7:2 tn Heb “covenant” (so NASB, NRSV); TEV “alliance.”
- Deuteronomy 7:3 sn Heb “Do not give your daughter to his son.” The command (beginning at 7:1) is given in the singular form of “you” to emphasize individual responsibility. At this point, the Hebrew also switches from the plural (see previous clause) to the singular in reference to the Canaanite sons and daughters. While the principle applies to everyone in the nation, the rhetorical presentation is of an individual father making a decision about his specific child and a particular potential spouse.
- Deuteronomy 7:4 tn Heb “he will,” envisioning a particular case. See note in previous verse.
- Deuteronomy 7:5 sn Sacred pillars. The Hebrew word (מַצֵּבֹת, matsevot) denotes a standing pillar, usually made of stone. Its purpose was to mark the presence of a shrine or altar thought to have been visited by deity. Though sometimes associated with pure worship of the Lord (Gen 28:18, 22; 31:13; 35:14; Exod 24:4), these pillars were usually associated with pagan cults and rituals (Exod 23:24; 34:13; Deut 12:3; 1 Kgs 14:23; 2 Kgs 17:10; Hos 3:4; 10:1; Jer 43:13).
- Deuteronomy 7:5 sn Sacred Asherah poles. A leading deity of the Canaanite pantheon was Asherah, wife/sister of El and goddess of fertility. She was commonly worshiped at shrines in or near groves of evergreen trees, or, failing that, at places marked by wooden poles (Hebrew אֲשֵׁרִים [ʾasherim], as here). They were to be burned or cut down (Deut 12:3; 16:21; Judg 6:25, 28, 30; 2 Kgs 18:4).
- Deuteronomy 7:6 tn That is, “set apart.”
- Deuteronomy 7:6 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 7:6 tn Or “treasured” (so NIV, NRSV); NLT “his own special treasure.” The Hebrew term סְגֻלָּה (segullah) describes Israel as God’s choice people, those whom he elected and who are most precious to him (cf. Exod 19:4-6; Deut 14:2; 26:18; 1 Chr 29:3; Ps 135:4; Eccl 2:8 Mal 3:17). See E. Carpenter, NIDOTTE 3:224.
- Deuteronomy 7:8 tn Heb “the Lord’s.” See note on “He” in 7:6.
- Deuteronomy 7:8 tn For the verb אָהֵב (ʾahev, “to love”) as a term of choice or election, see note on the word “loved” in Deut 4:37.
- Deuteronomy 7:8 tn Heb “oath.” This is a reference to the promises of the so-called “Abrahamic Covenant” (cf. Gen 15:13-16).
- Deuteronomy 7:8 tn Heb “swore on oath.”
- Deuteronomy 7:8 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 12, 13).
- Deuteronomy 7:8 tn Heb “by a strong hand” (NAB similar); NLT “with such amazing power.”
- Deuteronomy 7:8 sn Redeeming you from the place of slavery. The Hebrew verb translated “redeeming” (from the root פָּדָה, padah) has the idea of redemption by the payment of a ransom. The initial symbol of this was the Passover lamb, offered by Israel to the Lord as ransom in exchange for deliverance from bondage and death (Exod 12:1-14). Later, the firstborn sons of Israel, represented by the Levites, became the ransom (Num 3:11-13). These were all types of the redemption effected by the death of Christ who described his atoning work as “a ransom for many” (Matt 20:28; cf. 1 Pet 1:18).
- Deuteronomy 7:8 tn Heb “hand” (so KJV, NRSV), a metaphor for power or domination.
- Deuteronomy 7:9 tn Heb “the God.” The article here expresses uniqueness; cf. TEV “is the only God”; NLT “is indeed God.”
- Deuteronomy 7:9 tn Heb “who keeps covenant and loyalty.” The syndetic construction of בְּרִית (berit) and חֶסֶד (khesed) should be understood not as “covenant” plus “loyalty” but as an adverbial construction in which חֶסֶד (“loyalty”) modifies the verb שָׁמַר (shamar, “keeps”).
- Deuteronomy 7:10 tn For the term “hate” as synonymous with rejection or disobedience see note on the word “reject” in Deut 5:9 (cf. NRSV “reject”).
- Deuteronomy 7:10 tn Heb “he will not hesitate concerning.”
- Deuteronomy 7:12 tn Heb “will keep with you the covenant and loyalty.” On the construction used here, see v. 9.
- Deuteronomy 7:12 tn Heb “which he swore on oath.” The relative pronoun modifies “covenant,” so one could translate “will keep faithfully the covenant (or promise) he made on oath to your ancestors.”
- Deuteronomy 7:13 tn Heb “will bless the fruit of your womb” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV).
- Deuteronomy 7:14 sn One of the ironies about the promises to the patriarchs concerning offspring was the characteristic barrenness of the wives of the men to whom these pledges were made (cf. Gen 11:30; 25:21; 29:31). Their affliction is in each case described by the very Hebrew word used here (עֲקָרָה, ʿaqarah), an affliction that will no longer prevail in Canaan.
- Deuteronomy 7:16 tn Heb “devour” (so NRSV); KJV, NAB, NASB “consume.” The verbal form (a perfect with vav consecutive) is understood here as having an imperatival or obligatory nuance (cf. the instructions and commands that follow). Another option is to take the statement as a continuation of the preceding conditional promises and translate “and you will destroy.”
- Deuteronomy 7:16 tn Or “serve” (so KJV, NIV, NRSV).
- Deuteronomy 7:18 tn Heb “recalling, you must recall.” The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute before the finite verb for emphasis. Cf. KJV, ASV “shalt well remember.”
- Deuteronomy 7:19 tn Heb “testings” (so NAB), a reference to the plagues. See note at 4:34.
- Deuteronomy 7:19 tn Heb “the strong hand and outstretched arm.” See 4:34.
- Deuteronomy 7:19 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 7:20 tn The meaning of the term translated “hornets” (צִרְעָה, tsirʿah) is debated. Various suggestions are “discouragement” (HALOT 1056-57 s.v.; cf. NEB, TEV, CEV “panic”; NCV “terror”) and “leprosy” (J. H. Tigay, Deuteronomy [JPSTC], 360, n. 33; cf. NRSV “the pestilence”), as well as “hornet” (BDB 864 s.v.; cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NLT). The latter seems most suitable to the verb שָׁלַח (shalakh, “send”; cf. Exod 23:28; Josh 24:12).
- Deuteronomy 7:20 tn Heb “the remnant and those who hide themselves.”
- Deuteronomy 7:22 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 7:19.
- Deuteronomy 7:23 tn Heb “he will confuse them (with) great confusion.” The verb used here means “shake, stir up” (see Ruth 1:19; 1 Sam 4:5; 1 Kgs 1:45; Ps 55:2); the accompanying cognate noun refers to confusion, unrest, havoc, or panic (1 Sam 5:9, 11; 14:20; 2 Chr 15:5; Prov 15:16; Isa 22:5; Ezek 7:7; 22:5; Amos 3:9; Zech 14:13).
- Deuteronomy 7:24 tn Heb “you will destroy their name from under heaven” (cf. KJV); NRSV “blot out their name from under heaven.”
- Deuteronomy 7:25 tn The Hebrew word תּוֹעֵבָה (toʿevah, “abhorrent; detestable”) describes anything detestable to the Lord because of its innate evil or inconsistency with his own nature and character. Frequently such things (or even persons) must be condemned to annihilation (חֵרֶם, kherem) lest they become a means of polluting or contaminating others (cf. Deut 13:17; 20:17-18). See M. Grisanti, NIDOTTE 4:315.
- Deuteronomy 7:26 tn Heb “come under the ban” (so NASB); NRSV “be set apart for destruction.” The same phrase occurs again at the end of this verse.sn The Hebrew word translated an object of divine wrath (חֵרֶם, kherem) refers to persons or things placed under God’s judgment, usually to the extent of their complete destruction. See note on the phrase “divine judgment” in Deut 2:34.
- Deuteronomy 7:26 tn Or “like it is.”
- Deuteronomy 7:26 tn This Hebrew verb (שָׁקַץ, shaqats) is essentially synonymous with the next verb (תָעַב, taʿav; cf. תּוֹעֵבָה, toʿevah; see note on the word “abhorrent” in v. 25), though its field of meaning is more limited to cultic abomination (cf. Lev 11:11, 13; Ps 22:25).
- Deuteronomy 7:26 tn Heb “detesting you must detest and abhorring you must abhor.” Both verbs are preceded by a cognate infinitive absolute indicating emphasis.
- Deuteronomy 8:1 tn The singular term (מִצְוָה, mitsvah) includes the whole corpus of covenant stipulations, certainly the book of Deuteronomy at least (cf. Deut 5:28; 6:1, 25; 7:11; 11:8, 22; 15:5; 17:20; 19:9; 27:1; 30:11; 31:5). The plural (מִצְוֹת, mitsvot) refers to individual stipulations (as in vv. 2, 6).
- Deuteronomy 8:1 tn Heb “commanding” (so NASB). For stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy, “giving” has been used in the translation (likewise in v. 11).
- Deuteronomy 8:1 tn Heb “multiply” (so KJV, NASB, NLT); NIV, NRSV “increase.”
- Deuteronomy 8:1 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 16, 18).
- Deuteronomy 8:2 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Deuteronomy 8:3 tn Heb “manna which you and your ancestors did not know.” By popular etymology the word “manna” comes from the Hebrew phrase מָן הוּא (man huʾ), i.e., “What is it?” (Exod 16:15). The question remains unanswered to this very day. Elsewhere the material is said to be “white like coriander seed” with “a taste like honey cakes” (Exod 16:31; cf. Num 11:7). Modern attempts to associate it with various desert plants are unsuccessful for the text says it was a new thing and, furthermore, one that appeared and disappeared miraculously (Exod 16:21-27).
- Deuteronomy 8:3 tn Heb “in order to make known to you.” In the Hebrew text this statement is subordinated to what precedes, resulting in a very long sentence in English. The translation makes this statement a separate sentence for stylistic reasons.
- Deuteronomy 8:3 tn Heb “the man,” but in a generic sense, referring to the whole human race (“mankind” or “humankind”).
- Deuteronomy 8:3 tn The Hebrew term may refer to “food” in a more general sense (cf. CEV).
- Deuteronomy 8:3 sn Jesus quoted this text to the devil in the midst of his forty-day fast to make the point that spiritual nourishment is incomparably more important than mere physical bread (Matt 4:4; cf. Luke 4:4).
- Deuteronomy 8:5 tn Heb “just as a man disciplines his son.” The Hebrew text reflects the patriarchal idiom of the culture.
- Deuteronomy 8:6 tn Heb “the commandments of the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 8:6 tn Heb “by walking in his ways.” The “ways” of the Lord refer here to his moral standards as reflected in his commandments. The verb “walk” is used frequently in the Bible (both OT and NT) for one’s moral and ethical behavior.
- Deuteronomy 8:7 tn Or “wadis.”
- Deuteronomy 8:9 tn The Hebrew term may refer to “food” in a more general sense (cf. NASB, NCV, NLT) or “bread” in particular (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV).
- Deuteronomy 8:9 sn A land whose stones are iron. Since iron deposits are few and far between in Palestine, the reference here is probably to iron ore found in mines as opposed to the meteorite iron more commonly known in that area.
- Deuteronomy 8:14 tn The words “be sure” are not in the Hebrew text; vv. 12-14 are part of the previous sentence. For stylistic reasons a new sentence was started at the beginning of v. 12 in the translation and the words “be sure” repeated from v. 11 to indicate the connection.
- Deuteronomy 8:15 tn Heb “flaming serpents”; KJV, NASB “fiery serpents”; NAB “saraph serpents.” This figure of speech (metonymy) probably describes the venomous and painful results of snakebite. The feeling from such an experience would be like a burning fire (שָׂרָף, saraf).
- Deuteronomy 8:15 tn Heb “the one who brought out for you water.” In the Hebrew text this continues the preceding sentence, but the translation begins a new sentence here for stylistic reasons.
- Deuteronomy 8:16 tn Heb “in order to humble you and in order to test you.” See 8:2.
- Deuteronomy 8:17 tn For stylistic reasons a new sentence was started at the beginning of v. 17 in the translation and the words “be careful” supplied to indicate the connection.
- Deuteronomy 8:17 tn Heb “my strength and the might of my hand.”
- Deuteronomy 8:18 tc Smr and Lucian add “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” the standard way of rendering this almost stereotypical formula (cf. Deut 1:8; 6:10; 9:5, 27; 29:13; 30:20; 34:4). The MT’s harder reading presumptively argues for its originality, however.
- Deuteronomy 8:19 tn Heb “if forgetting, you forget.” The infinitive absolute is used for emphasis; the translation indicates this with the words “at all” (cf. KJV).
- Deuteronomy 8:20 tn Heb “so you will perish.”
- Deuteronomy 8:20 tn Heb “listen to the voice of the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 9:1 tn Heb “fortified to the heavens” (so NRSV); NLT “cities with walls that reach to the sky.” This is hyperbole.
- Deuteronomy 9:2 sn Anakites. See note on this term in Deut 1:28.
- Deuteronomy 9:2 tn Heb “great and tall.” Many English versions understand this to refer to physical size or strength rather than numbers (cf. “strong,” NIV, NCV, NRSV, NLT).
- Deuteronomy 9:3 tn Heb “the Lord.” The pronoun has been used in the translation in keeping with contemporary English style to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 9:5 tn Heb “uprightness of your heart” (so NASB, NRSV). The Hebrew word צְדָקָה (tsedaqah, “righteousness”), though essentially synonymous here with יֹשֶׁר (yosher, “uprightness”), carries the idea of conformity to an objective standard. The term יֹשֶׁר has more to do with an inner, moral quality (cf. NAB, NIV “integrity”). Neither, however, was grounds for the Lord’s favor. As he states in both vv. 4-5, the main reason he allowed Israel to take this land was the sinfulness of the Canaanites who lived there (cf. Gen 15:16).
- Deuteronomy 9:5 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 9:3.
- Deuteronomy 9:5 tn Heb “fathers.”
- Deuteronomy 9:6 tn Heb “stiff-necked” (so KJV, NAB, NIV).sn The Hebrew word translated stubborn means “stiff-necked.” The image is that of a draft animal that is unsubmissive to the rein or yoke and refuses to bend its neck to draw the load. This is an apt description of OT Israel (Exod 32:9; 33:3, 5; 34:9; Deut 9:13).
- Deuteronomy 9:7 tn By juxtaposing the positive זְכֹר (zekhor, “remember”) with the negative אַל־תִּשְׁכַּח (ʾal tishkakh, “do not forget”), Moses makes a most emphatic plea.
- Deuteronomy 9:7 tn Heb “the Lord” (likewise in the following verse with both “him” and “he”). See note on “he” in 9:3.
- Deuteronomy 9:9 tn Heb “in the mountain.” The demonstrative pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Deuteronomy 9:10 sn The very finger of God. This is a double figure of speech (1) in which God is ascribed human features (anthropomorphism) and (2) in which a part stands for the whole (synecdoche). That is, God, as Spirit, has no literal finger nor, if he had, would he write with his finger. Rather, the sense is that God himself—not Moses in any way—was responsible for the composition of the Ten Commandments (cf. Exod 31:18; 32:16; 34:1).
- Deuteronomy 9:10 tn Heb “according to all the words.”
- Deuteronomy 9:10 tn Heb “the Lord” (likewise at the beginning of vv. 12, 13). See note on “he” in 9:3.
- Deuteronomy 9:12 tc Heb “a casting.” The MT reads מַסֵּכָה (massekhah, “a cast thing”) but some mss and Smr add עֵגֶל (ʿegel, “calf”), “a molten calf” or the like (Exod 32:8). Perhaps Moses here omits reference to the calf out of contempt for it.
- Deuteronomy 9:13 tn Heb “stiff-necked.” See note on the word “stubborn” in 9:6.
- Deuteronomy 9:14 tn Heb “leave me alone.”
- Deuteronomy 9:14 tn Heb “from under heaven.”
- Deuteronomy 9:15 tn Heb “the mountain.” The translation uses a pronoun for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 9:16 tn On the phrase “metal calf,” see note on the term “metal image” in v. 12.
- Deuteronomy 9:16 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 9:3.
- Deuteronomy 9:17 tn The Hebrew text includes “from upon my two hands,” but as this seems somewhat obvious and redundant, it has been left untranslated for stylistic reasons.
- Deuteronomy 9:19 tn Heb “the anger and the wrath.” Although many English versions translate as two terms, this construction is a hendiadys which serves to intensify the emotion (cf. NAB, TEV “fierce anger”).
- Deuteronomy 9:19 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 9:3.
- Deuteronomy 9:20 tn Heb “Aaron.” The pronoun is used in the translation to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 9:21 tn Heb “your sin.” This is a metonymy in which the effect (sin) stands for the cause (the metal calf).
- Deuteronomy 9:21 tn Heb “burned it with fire.”
- Deuteronomy 9:22 sn Taberah. By popular etymology this derives from the Hebrew verb בָעַר (baʿar, “to burn”), thus, here, “burning.” The reference is to the Lord’s fiery wrath against Israel because of their constant complaints against him (Num 11:1-3).
- Deuteronomy 9:22 sn Massah. See note on this term in Deut 6:16.
- Deuteronomy 9:22 sn Kibroth Hattaavah. This place name means in Hebrew “burial places of appetite,” that is, graves that resulted from overindulgence. The reference is to the Israelites stuffing themselves with the quail God had provided and doing so with thanklessness (Num 11:31-35).
- Deuteronomy 9:23 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 9:3.
- Deuteronomy 9:23 tn Heb “the mouth of the Lord your God,” that is, against the commandment that he had spoken.
- Deuteronomy 9:24 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 9:3.
- Deuteronomy 9:25 tn The Hebrew text includes “when I prostrated myself.” Since this is redundant, it has been left untranslated.
- Deuteronomy 9:25 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 9:3.
- Deuteronomy 9:26 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 9:3.
- Deuteronomy 9:26 tn Heb “Lord Yahweh” (אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה, ʾadonay yehvih). The phrase is customarily rendered by Jewish tradition as “Lord God” (אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהִים, ʾadonay ʾelohim).
- Deuteronomy 9:26 tn Heb “your inheritance”; NLT “your special (very own NRSV) possession.” Israel is compared to landed property that one would inherit from his ancestors and pass on to his descendants.
- Deuteronomy 9:26 tn Heb “you have redeemed in your greatness.”
- Deuteronomy 9:26 tn Heb “by your strong hand.”
- Deuteronomy 9:28 tc The MT reads only “the land.” Smr supplies עַם (ʿam, “people”) and LXX and its dependents supply “the inhabitants of the land.” The truncated form found in the MT is adequate to communicate the intended meaning; the words “the people of” are supplied in the translation for clarity.
- Deuteronomy 9:29 tn Heb “your inheritance.” See note at v. 26.
- Deuteronomy 9:29 tn Heb “an outstretched arm.”
- Deuteronomy 10:1 tn Or “chest” (so NIV, CEV); NLT “sacred chest”; TEV “wooden box.” This chest was made of acacia wood; it is later known as the ark of the covenant.
- Deuteronomy 10:2 sn The same words. The care with which the replacement copy must be made underscores the importance of verbal precision in relaying the Lord’s commandments.
- Deuteronomy 10:3 sn Acacia wood (Heb “shittim wood”). This is wood from the acacia, the most common timber tree of the Sinai region. Most likely it is the species Acacia raddiana because this has the largest trunk. See F. N. Hepper, Illustrated Encyclopedia of Bible Plants, 63.
- Deuteronomy 10:4 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Deuteronomy 10:4 tn Heb “according to the former writing.” See note on the phrase “the same words” in v. 2.
- Deuteronomy 10:4 tn Heb “ten words.” The “Ten Commandments” are known in Hebrew as the “Ten Words,” which in Greek became the “Decalogue.”
- Deuteronomy 10:4 tn Heb “the Lord.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 10:4 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” earlier in this verse.
- Deuteronomy 10:6 sn Beeroth Bene Jaakan. This Hebrew name could be translated “the wells of Bene Jaakan” or “the wells of the sons of Jaakan,” a site whose location cannot be determined (cf. Num 33:31-32; 1 Chr 1:42).
- Deuteronomy 10:6 sn Moserah. Since Aaron in other texts (Num 20:28; 33:38) is said to have died on Mount Hor, this must be the Arabah region in which Hor was located.
- Deuteronomy 10:7 sn Gudgodah. This is probably the same as Haggidgad, which is also associated with Jotbathah (Num 33:33).
- Deuteronomy 10:7 sn Jotbathah. This place, whose Hebrew name can be translated “place of wadis,” is possibly modern Ain Tabah, just north of Eilat, or Tabah, 6.5 mi (11 km) south of Eilat on the west shore of the Gulf of Aqaba.
- Deuteronomy 10:8 sn The Lord set apart the tribe of Levi. This was not the initial commissioning of the tribe of Levi to this ministry (cf. Num 3:11-13; 8:12-26), but with Aaron’s death it seemed appropriate to Moses to reiterate Levi’s responsibilities. There is no reference in the Book of Numbers to this having been done, but the account of Eleazar’s succession to the priesthood there (Num 20:25-28) would provide a setting for this to have occurred.
- Deuteronomy 10:8 sn To formulate blessings. The most famous example of this is the priestly “blessing formula” of Num 6:24-26.
- Deuteronomy 10:9 sn Levi has no allotment or inheritance. As the priestly tribe, Levi would have no land allotment except for forty-eight towns set apart for their use (Num 35:1-8; Josh 21:1-42). But theirs was a far greater inheritance, for the Lord himself was their apportionment, that is, service to him would be their full-time and lifelong privilege (Num 18:20-24; Deut 18:2; Josh 13:33).
- Deuteronomy 10:9 tn That is, among the other Israelite tribes.
- Deuteronomy 10:11 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 10:4.
- Deuteronomy 10:11 tn Heb “before” (so KJV, ASV); NAB, NRSV “at the head of.”
- Deuteronomy 10:11 tn After the imperative these subordinated jussive forms (with prefixed vav) indicate purpose or result.
- Deuteronomy 10:11 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 15, 22).
- Deuteronomy 10:12 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 10:4.
- Deuteronomy 10:12 tn Heb “to walk in all his ways” (so KJV, NIV, NRSV); NAB “follow his ways exactly”; NLT “to live according to his will.”
- Deuteronomy 10:12 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 10:4.
- Deuteronomy 10:12 tn Heb “heart and soul” or “heart and being”; NCV “with your whole being.” See note on the word “being” in Deut 6:5.
- Deuteronomy 10:13 tn Heb “commanding” (so NASB, NRSV). For stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy, “giving” has been used in the translation.
- Deuteronomy 10:15 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 10:4.
- Deuteronomy 10:15 tn Heb “take delight to love.” Here again the verb אָהֵב (ʾahev, “love”), juxtaposed with בָחַר (bakhar, “choose”), is a term in covenant contexts that describes the Lord’s initiative in calling the patriarchal ancestors to be the founders of a people special to him (cf. the note on the word “loved” in Deut 4:37).
- Deuteronomy 10:15 tn The Hebrew text includes “after them,” but it is redundant in English style and has not been included in the translation.
- Deuteronomy 10:16 tn Heb “circumcise the foreskin of” (cf. KJV, ASV, NRSV). Reference to the Abrahamic covenant prompts Moses to recall the sign of that covenant, namely, physical circumcision (Gen 17:9-14). Just as that act signified total covenant obedience, so spiritual circumcision (cleansing of the heart) signifies more internally a commitment to be pliable and obedient to the will of God (cf. Deut 30:6; Jer 4:4; 9:26).
- Deuteronomy 10:16 tn Heb “your neck do not harden again.” See note on the word “stubborn” in Deut 9:6.
- Deuteronomy 10:18 tn Or “who executes justice for” (so NAB, NRSV); NLT “gives justice to.” Cf. Exod 22:21; Lev 19:33-34; Deut 24:14, 17; 27:19.
- Deuteronomy 10:21 tn Heb “your praise.” The pronoun is subjective and the noun “praise” is used here metonymically for the object of their praise (the Lord).
- Deuteronomy 10:22 tn Or “heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.
- Deuteronomy 11:1 tn This collocation of technical terms for elements of the covenant text lends support to its importance and also signals a new section of paraenesis in which Moses will exhort Israel to covenant obedience. The Hebrew term מִשְׁמָרוֹת (mishmarot, “obligations”) sums up the three terms that follow—חֻקֹּת (khuqot), מִשְׁפָּטִים (mishpatim), and מִצְוֹת (mitsvot).
- Deuteronomy 11:2 tn Heb “that not.” The words “I am speaking” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Deuteronomy 11:2 tn Heb “who have not known and who have not seen the discipline of the Lord.” The collocation of the verbs “know” and “see” indicates that personal experience (knowing by seeing) is in view. The term translated “discipline” (KJV, ASV “chastisement”) may also be rendered “instruction,” but vv. 2b-6 indicate that the referent of the term is the various acts of divine judgment the Israelites had witnessed.
- Deuteronomy 11:2 tn The words “which revealed” have been supplied in the translation to show the logical relationship between the terms that follow and the divine judgments. In the Hebrew text the former are in apposition to the latter.
- Deuteronomy 11:2 tn Heb “his strong hand and his stretched-out arm.”
- Deuteronomy 11:3 tn In the Hebrew text vv. 2-7 are one long sentence. For stylistic reasons the English translation divides the passage into three sentences. To facilitate this stylistic decision the words “They did not see” are supplied at the beginning of both v. 3 and v. 5, and “I am speaking” at the beginning of v. 7.
- Deuteronomy 11:3 tn Heb “his signs and his deeds which he did” (NRSV similar). The collocation of “signs” and “deeds” indicates that these acts were intended to make an impression on observers and reveal something about God’s power (cf. v. 2b). The word “awesome” has been employed to bring out the force of the word “signs” in this context.
- Deuteronomy 11:4 tn Heb “Reed Sea.” “Reed Sea” (or “Sea of Reeds”) is a more accurate rendering of the Hebrew expression יָם סוּף (yam suf), traditionally translated “Red Sea.” See note on the term “Red Sea” in Exod 13:18.
- Deuteronomy 11:4 tn Heb “the Lord.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 11:4 tn Heb “and the Lord destroyed them to this day” (cf. NRSV); NLT “he has kept them devastated to this very day.” The translation uses the verb “annihilated” to indicate the permanency of the action.
- Deuteronomy 11:5 tn See note on these same words in v. 3.
- Deuteronomy 11:6 sn Dathan and Abiram. These two (along with others) had challenged Moses’ leadership in the desert with the result that the earth beneath them opened up and they and their families disappeared (Num 16:1-3, 31-35).
- Deuteronomy 11:6 tn Or “the descendant of Reuben”; Heb “son of Reuben.”
- Deuteronomy 11:6 tn Heb “in the midst of all Israel” (so KJV, ASV, NRSV); NASB “among all Israel.” In the Hebrew text these words appear at the end of the verse, but they are logically connected with the verbs. To make this clear the translation places the phrase after the first verb.
- Deuteronomy 11:6 tn Heb “their houses,” referring to all who lived in their household. Cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT “households.”
- Deuteronomy 11:6 tn Heb “and all the substance which was at their feet.”
- Deuteronomy 11:7 tn On the addition of these words in the translation see note on “They did not see” in v. 3.
- Deuteronomy 11:8 tn Heb “the commandment.” The singular מִצְוָה (mitsvah, “commandment”) speaks here as elsewhere of the whole corpus of covenant stipulations in Deuteronomy (cf. 6:1, 25; 7:11; 8:1).
- Deuteronomy 11:8 tn Heb “commanding” (so NASB, NRSV). For stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy, “giving” has been used in the translation (likewise in vv. 13, 27).
- Deuteronomy 11:8 tn Heb “which you are crossing over there to possess it.”
- Deuteronomy 11:9 tn Heb “fathers” (also in v. 21).
- Deuteronomy 11:10 tn Heb “you are going there to possess it”; NASB “into which you are about to cross to possess it”; NRSV “that you are crossing over to occupy.”
- Deuteronomy 11:10 tn Heb “with your foot” (so NASB, NLT). There is a two-fold significance to this phrase. First, Egypt had no rain so water supply depended on human efforts at irrigation. Second, the Nile was the source of irrigation waters but those waters sometimes had to be pumped into fields and gardens by foot-power, perhaps the kind of machinery (Arabic shaduf) still used by Egyptian farmers (see C. Aldred, The Egyptians, 181). Nevertheless, the translation uses “by hand,” since that expression is the more common English idiom for an activity performed by manual labor.
- Deuteronomy 11:11 tn Heb “which you are crossing over there to possess it.”
- Deuteronomy 11:11 tn Heb “rain of heaven.”
- Deuteronomy 11:12 tn Heb “seeks.” The statement reflects the ancient belief that God (Baal in Canaanite thinking) directly controlled storms and rainfall.
- Deuteronomy 11:12 tn Heb “the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it” (so NIV); NASB, NRSV “always on it.” sn Constantly attentive to it. This attention to the land by the Lord is understandable in light of the centrality of the land in the Abrahamic covenant (cf. Gen 12:1, 7; 13:15; 15:7, 16, 18; 17:8; 26:3).
- Deuteronomy 11:12 sn From the beginning to the end of the year. This refers to the agricultural year that was marked by the onset of the heavy rains, thus the autumn. See note on the phrase “the former and the latter rains” in v. 14.
- Deuteronomy 11:13 tn Heb “if hearing, you will hear.” The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute to emphasize the verbal idea. The translation renders this emphasis with the word “close.”
- Deuteronomy 11:13 tn Again, the Hebrew term אָהֵב (ʾahev) draws attention to the reciprocation of divine love as a condition or sign of covenant loyalty (cf. Deut 6:5).
- Deuteronomy 11:13 tn Heb “heart and soul” or “heart and being.” See note on the word “being” in Deut 6:5.
- Deuteronomy 11:14 tn The words “he promises” do not appear in the Hebrew text but are needed in the translation to facilitate the transition from the condition (v. 13) to the promise and make it clear that the Lord is speaking the words of vv. 14-15.
- Deuteronomy 11:14 tn Heb “the rain of your land.” In this case the genitive (modifying term) indicates the recipient of the rain.
- Deuteronomy 11:14 sn The autumn and the spring rains. The “former” (יוֹרֶה, yoreh) and “latter” (מַלְקוֹשׁ, malqosh) rains come in abundance respectively in September/October and March/April. Planting of most crops takes place before the former rains fall and the harvests follow the latter rains.
- Deuteronomy 11:15 tn Heb “grass in your field.”
- Deuteronomy 11:16 tn Heb “Watch yourselves lest your heart turns and you turn aside and serve other gods and bow down to them.”
- Deuteronomy 11:17 tn Heb “will become hot”; KJV, NASB, NRSV “will be kindled”; NAB “will flare up”; NIV, NLT “will burn.”
- Deuteronomy 11:17 tn Or “heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.
- Deuteronomy 11:17 tn Or “be destroyed”; NAB, NIV “will soon perish.”
- Deuteronomy 11:17 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 11:4.
- Deuteronomy 11:18 tn Heb “heart and soul” or “heart and being.” See note on the word “being” in Deut 6:5.
- Deuteronomy 11:18 tn On the Hebrew term טוֹטָפֹת (totafot, “reminders”), cf. Deut 6:4-9.
- Deuteronomy 11:19 tn Or “as you are away on a journey” (cf. NRSV, TEV, NLT); NAB “at home and abroad.”
- Deuteronomy 11:21 tn Heb “like the days of the heavens upon the earth,” that is, forever.
- Deuteronomy 11:22 tn Heb “this commandment.” See note at Deut 5:30.
- Deuteronomy 11:22 tn Heb “commanding you to do it.” For stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy, “giving” has been used in the translation and “to do it” has been left untranslated.
- Deuteronomy 11:22 tn Heb “walk in all his ways” (so KJV, NIV); TEV “do everything he commands.”
- Deuteronomy 11:23 tn Heb “the Lord.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 11:24 tn Heb “the sole of your foot walks.” The placing of the foot symbolizes conquest and dominion, especially on land or on the necks of enemies (cf. Deut 1:36; Ps 7:13; Isa 63:3 Hab 3:19; Zech 9:13). See E. H. Merrill, NIDOTTE 1:992.
- Deuteronomy 11:24 tn Heb “the after sea,” that is, the sea behind one when one is facing east, which is the normal OT orientation. Cf. ASV “the hinder sea.”
- Deuteronomy 11:26 sn A blessing and a curse. Every extant treaty text of the late Bronze Age attests to a section known as the “blessings and curses,” the former for covenant loyalty and the latter for covenant breach. Blessings were promised rewards for obedience; curses were threatened judgments for disobedience. In the Book of Deuteronomy these are fully developed in 27:1-28:68. Here Moses adumbrates the whole by way of anticipation.
- Deuteronomy 11:27 tn Heb “listen to,” that is, obey.
- Deuteronomy 11:28 tn Heb “do not listen to,” that is, do not obey.
- Deuteronomy 11:28 tn Heb “the commandments of the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 11:28 tn Heb “am commanding” (so NASB, NRSV).
- Deuteronomy 11:28 tn Heb “walk after”; NIV “by following”; NLT “by worshiping.” This is a violation of the first commandment, the most serious of the covenant violations (Deut 5:6-7).
- Deuteronomy 11:29 sn Mount Gerizim…Mount Ebal. These two mountains are near the ancient site of Shechem and the modern city of Nablus. The valley between them is like a great amphitheater with the mountain slopes as seating sections. The place was sacred because it was there that Abraham pitched his camp and built his first altar after coming to Canaan (Gen 12:6). Jacob also settled at Shechem for a time and dug a well from which Jesus once requested a drink of water (Gen 33:18-20; John 4:5-7). When Joshua and the Israelites finally brought Canaan under control they assembled at Shechem as Moses commanded and undertook a ritual of covenant reaffirmation (Josh 8:30-35; 24:1, 25). Half the tribes stood on Mt. Gerizim and half on Mt. Ebal and in antiphonal chorus pledged their loyalty to the Lord before Joshua and the Levites who stood in the valley below (Josh 8:33; cf. Deut 27:11-13).
- Deuteronomy 11:30 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
- Deuteronomy 11:30 sn Gilgal. From a Hebrew verb root גָּלַל (galal, “to roll”) this place name means “circle” or “rolling,” a name given because God had “rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you” (Josh 5:9). It is perhaps to be identified with Khirbet el-Metjir, 1.2 mi (2 km) northeast of OT Jericho.
- Deuteronomy 11:30 tc The MT plural “oaks” (אֵלוֹנֵי, ʾeloney) should probably be altered (with many Greek texts) to the singular “oak” (אֵלוֹן, ʾelon; cf. NRSV) in line with the only other occurrence of the phrase (Gen 12:6). The Syriac, Tg. Ps.-J. read mmrʾ, confusing this place with the “oaks of Mamre” near Hebron (Gen 13:18). Smr also appears to confuse “Moreh” with “Mamre” (reading mwrʾ, a combined form), adding the clarification mwl shkm (“near Shechem”) apparently to distinguish it from Mamre near Hebron.
- Deuteronomy 12:1 tn Heb “fathers.”
- Deuteronomy 12:1 tn Heb “you must be careful to obey in the land the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess all the days which you live in the land.” This adverbial statement modifies “to obey,” not “to possess,” so the order in the translation has been rearranged to make this clear.
- Deuteronomy 12:2 tn Heb “destroying you must destroy”; KJV “Ye shall utterly (surely ASV) destroy”; NRSV “must demolish completely.” The Hebrew infinitive absolute precedes the verb for emphasis, which is reflected in the translation by the words “by all means.”
- Deuteronomy 12:2 sn Every leafy tree. This expression refers to evergreens which, because they keep their foliage throughout the year, provided apt symbolism for nature cults such as those practiced in Canaan. The deity particularly in view is Asherah, wife of the great god El, who was considered the goddess of fertility and whose worship frequently took place at shrines near or among clusters (groves) of such trees (see also Deut 7:5). See J. Hadley, NIDOTTE 1:569-70; J. DeMoor, TDOT 1:438-44.
- Deuteronomy 12:3 sn Sacred pillars. These are the stelae (stone pillars; the Hebrew term is מַצֵּבֹת, matsevot) associated with Baal worship, perhaps to mark a spot hallowed by an alleged visitation of the gods. See also Deut 7:5.
- Deuteronomy 12:3 sn Sacred Asherah poles. The Hebrew term (plural) is אֲשֵׁרִים (ʾasherim). See note on the word “(leafy) tree” in v. 2, and also Deut 7:5.
- Deuteronomy 12:5 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 12:5 tc Some scholars, on the basis of v. 11, emend the MT reading שִׁכְנוֹ (shikhno, “his residence”) to the infinitive construct לְשַׁכֵּן (leshakken, “to make [his name] to dwell”), perhaps with the third person masculine singular sf לְשַׁכְּנוֹ (leshakkeno, “to cause it to dwell”). Though the presupposed noun שֵׁכֶן (shekhen) is nowhere else attested, the parallel here with שַׁמָּה (shammah, “there”) favors retaining the MT as it stands.
- Deuteronomy 12:6 tn Heb “heave offerings of your hand.”
- Deuteronomy 12:7 tn Heb “and your houses,” referring to entire households. The pronouns “you” and “your” are plural in the Hebrew text.
- Deuteronomy 12:7 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 12:5.
- Deuteronomy 12:8 tn Heb “a man.”
- Deuteronomy 12:9 tn Heb “rest.”
- Deuteronomy 12:10 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
- Deuteronomy 12:10 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 12:5.
- Deuteronomy 12:10 tn In the Hebrew text vv. 10-11 are one long, complex sentence. For stylistic reasons the translation divides this into two sentences.
- Deuteronomy 12:11 tn Heb “and it will be (to) the place where the Lord your God chooses to cause his name to dwell you will bring.”
- Deuteronomy 12:11 tn Heb “heave offerings of your hand.”
- Deuteronomy 12:11 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 12:5.
- Deuteronomy 12:12 tn Heb “within your gates” (so KJV, NASB); NAB “who belongs to your community.”
- Deuteronomy 12:12 sn They have no allotment or inheritance with you. See note on the word “inheritance” in Deut 10:9.
- Deuteronomy 12:14 tn Heb “offer burnt offerings.” The expression “do so” has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 12:14 sn This injunction to worship in a single and central sanctuary—one limited and appropriate to the thrice-annual festival celebrations (see Exod 23:14-17; 34:22-24; Lev 23:4-36; Deut 16:16-17)—marks a departure from previous times when worship was carried out at local shrines (cf. Gen 8:20; 12:7; 13:18; 22:9; 26:25; 35:1, 3, 7; Exod 17:15). Apart from the corporate worship of the whole theocratic community, however, worship at local altars would still be permitted as in the past (Deut 16:21; Judg 6:24-27; 13:19-20; 1 Sam 7:17; 10:5, 13; 2 Sam 24:18-25; 1 Kgs 18:30).
- Deuteronomy 12:15 tn Heb “only in all the desire of your soul you may sacrifice and eat flesh according to the blessing of the Lord your God which he has given to you.”
- Deuteronomy 12:15 tn Heb “gates” (so KJV, NASB; likewise in vv. 17, 18).
- Deuteronomy 12:18 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 12:5.
- Deuteronomy 12:18 tn See note at Deut 12:12.
- Deuteronomy 12:18 tn Heb “in all the sending forth of your hands.”
- Deuteronomy 12:20 tn Heb “for my soul desires to eat meat.”
- Deuteronomy 12:20 tn Heb “according to all the desire of your soul you may eat meat.”
- Deuteronomy 12:21 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 12:5.
- Deuteronomy 12:21 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 12:5.
- Deuteronomy 12:21 tn Heb “gates” (so KJV, NASB); NAB “in your own community.”
- Deuteronomy 12:23 sn The blood is life itself. This is a figure of speech (metonymy) in which the cause or means (the blood) stands for the result or effect (life). That is, life depends upon the existence and circulation of blood, a truth known empirically but not scientifically tested and proved until the 17th century a.d. (cf. Lev 17:11).
- Deuteronomy 12:25 tc Heb “in the eyes of the Lord.” The LXX adds “your God” to create the common formula, “the Lord your God.” The MT is preferred precisely because it does not include the stereotyped formula; thus it more likely preserves the original text.
- Deuteronomy 12:26 tc Again, to complete a commonly attested wording the LXX adds after “choose” the phrase “to place his name there.” This shows insensitivity to deliberate departures from literary stereotypes. The MT reading is to be preferred.
- Deuteronomy 12:27 sn These other sacrifices would be so-called peace or fellowship offerings whose ritual required a different use of the blood from that of burnt (sin and trespass) offerings (cf. Lev 3; 7:11-14, 19-21).
- Deuteronomy 12:27 tn Heb “on the altar of the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 12:29 tn Heb “dwell in their land” (so NASB). In the Hebrew text vv. 29-30 are one long sentence. For stylistic reasons the translation divides it into two.
- Deuteronomy 12:31 tn Heb “you must not do thus to/for the Lord your God.”
- Deuteronomy 12:31 tn See note on this term at Deut 7:25.
- Deuteronomy 12:31 tn Heb “every abomination of the Lord.” See note on the word “his” in v. 27.
- Deuteronomy 12:32 sn Beginning with 12:32, the verse numbers through 13:18 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 12:32 ET = 13:1 HT, 13:1 ET = 13:2 HT, 13:2 ET = 13:3 HT, etc., through 13:18 ET = 13:19 HT. With 14:1 the verse numbers in the ET and HT are again the same.
- Deuteronomy 12:32 tn This verse highlights a phenomenon found throughout Deuteronomy, but most especially in chap. 12, namely, the alternation of grammatical singular and plural forms of the pronoun (known as Numeruswechsel in German scholarship). Critical scholarship in general resolves the “problem” by suggesting varying literary traditions—one favorable to the singular pronoun and the other to the plural—which appear in the (obviously rough) redacted text at hand. Even the ancient versions were troubled by the lack of harmony of grammatical number and in this verse, for example, offered a number of alternate readings. The MT reads “Everything I am commanding you (plural) you (plural) must be careful to do; you (singular) must not add to it nor should you (singular) subtract form it.” Smr, LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate suggest singular for the first two pronouns but a few Smr mss propose plural for the last two. What both ancient and modern scholars tend to overlook, however, is the covenantal theological tone of the Book of Deuteronomy, one that views Israel as a collective body (singular) made up of many individuals (plural). See M. Weinfeld, Deuteronomy 1-11 (AB), 15-16; J. A. Thompson, Deuteronomy (TOTC), 21-23.
- Deuteronomy 12:32 sn Do not add to it or subtract from it. This prohibition makes at least two profound theological points: (1) This work by Moses is of divine origination (i.e., it is inspired) and therefore can tolerate no human alteration; and (2) the work is complete as it stands (i.e., it is canonical).
- Deuteronomy 13:1 tn Heb “or a dreamer of dreams” (so KJV, ASV, NASB). The difference between a prophet (נָבִיא, naviʾ) and one who foretells by dreams (חֹלֵם, kholem) was not so much one of office—for both received revelation by dreams (cf. Num 12:6)—as it was of function or emphasis. The prophet was more a proclaimer and interpreter of revelation whereas the one who foretold by dreams was a receiver of revelation. In later times the role of the one who foretold by dreams was abused and thus denigrated as compared to that of the prophet (cf. Jer 23:28).
- Deuteronomy 13:1 tn The expression אוֹת אוֹ מוֹפֵת (ʾot ʾo mofet) became a formulaic way of speaking of ways of authenticating prophetic messages or other works of God (cf. Deut 28:46; Isa 20:3). The NT equivalent is the Greek term σημεῖον (sēmeion), a sign performed (used frequently in the Gospel of John, cf. 2:11, 18; 20:30-31). They could, however, be counterfeited or (as here) permitted by the Lord to false prophets as a means of testing his people.
- Deuteronomy 13:3 tn Heb “or dreamer of dreams.” See note on this expression in v. 1.
- Deuteronomy 13:3 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 13:3 tn Heb “all your heart and soul” (so NRSV, CEV, NLT); or “heart and being” (NCV “your whole being”). See note on the word “being” in Deut 6:5.
- Deuteronomy 13:5 tn Heb “or dreamer of dreams.” See note on this expression in v. 1.
- Deuteronomy 13:5 tn Heb “your midst” (so NAB, NRSV). The severity of the judgment here (i.e., capital punishment) is because of the severity of the sin, namely, high treason against the Great King. Idolatry is a violation of the first two commandments (Deut 5:6-10) as well as the spirit and intent of the Shema (Deut 6:4-5).
- Deuteronomy 13:6 tn Heb “your brother, the son of your mother.” In a polygamous society it was not rare to have half brothers and sisters by way of a common father and different mothers.
- Deuteronomy 13:6 tn In the Hebrew text these words are in the form of a brief quotation: “entice you secretly saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods.’”
- Deuteronomy 13:6 tn Heb “fathers” (also in v. 17).
- Deuteronomy 13:6 tn Heb “which you have not known, you or your fathers.” (cf. KJV, ASV; on “fathers” cf. v. 18).
- Deuteronomy 13:7 tn Or “land” (so NIV, NCV); the same Hebrew word can be translated “land” or “earth.”
- Deuteronomy 13:9 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with the words “without fail” (cf. NIV “you must certainly put him to death”).
- Deuteronomy 13:9 tn Heb “to put him to death,” but this is misleading in English for such an action would leave nothing for the others to do.
- Deuteronomy 13:10 sn Execution by means of pelting the offender with stones afforded a mechanism whereby the whole community could share in it. In a very real sense it could be done not only in the name of the community and on its behalf but by its members (cf. Lev 24:14; Num 15:35; Deut 21:21; Josh 7:25).
- Deuteronomy 13:11 sn Some see in this statement an argument for the deterrent effect of capital punishment (Deut 17:13; 19:20; 21:21).
- Deuteronomy 13:13 tn Heb “men, sons of Belial.” The Hebrew term בְּלִיַּעַל (beliyyaʿal) has the idea of worthlessness, without morals or scruples (HALOT 133-34 s.v.). Cf. NAB, NRSV “scoundrels”; TEV, CEV “worthless people”; NLT “worthless rabble.”
- Deuteronomy 13:13 tc The LXX and Tg read “your” for the MT’s “their.”
- Deuteronomy 13:13 tn The translation understands the relative clause as a statement by Moses, not as part of the quotation from the evildoers. See also v. 2.
- Deuteronomy 13:14 tc Theodotian adds “in Israel,” perhaps to broaden the matter beyond the local village.
- Deuteronomy 13:15 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, indicated in the translation by the words “by all means.” Cf. KJV, NASB “surely”; NIV “certainly.”
- Deuteronomy 13:15 tn Or “put under divine judgment. The Hebrew word (חֵרֶם, kherem) refers to placing persons or things under God’s judgment, usually to the extent of their complete destruction. Though primarily applied against the heathen, this severe judgment could also fall upon unrepentant Israelites (cf. the story of Achan in Josh 7). See also the note on the phrase “divine judgment” in Deut 2:34.
- Deuteronomy 13:16 tn Heb “street.”
- Deuteronomy 13:16 tn Heb “mound”; NAB “a heap of ruins.” The Hebrew word תֵּל (tel) refers to this day to a ruin represented especially by a built-up mound of dirt or debris (cf. Tel Aviv, “mound of grain”).
- Deuteronomy 13:17 tn Or “anything that has been put under the divine curse”; Heb “anything of the ban” (cf. NASB). See note on the phrase “divine judgment” in Deut 2:34.
- Deuteronomy 13:18 tn Heb “commanding” (so NASB, NRSV).
- Deuteronomy 13:18 tc The LXX and Smr add “and good” to bring the phrase in line with a familiar cliché (cf. Deut 6:18; Josh 9:25; 2 Kgs 10:3; 2 Chr 14:1; etc.). This is an unnecessary and improper attempt to force a text into a preconceived mold.
- Deuteronomy 13:18 tn Heb “in the eyes of the Lord your God.” See note on the word “him” in v. 3.
- Deuteronomy 14:1 tn Heb “sons” (so NASB); TEV, NLT “people.”
- Deuteronomy 14:1 sn Do not cut yourselves or shave your forehead bald. These were pagan practices associated with mourning the dead; they were not to be imitated by God’s people (though they frequently were; cf. 1 Kgs 18:28; Jer 16:6; 41:5; 47:5; Hos 7:14 [LXX]; Mic 5:1). For other warnings against such practices see Lev 21:5; Jer 16:5.
- Deuteronomy 14:2 tn Or “set apart.”
- Deuteronomy 14:2 tn Heb “The Lord.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 14:2 tn Or “treasured.” The Hebrew term סְגֻלָּה (segullah) describes Israel as God’s choice people, those whom he elected and who are most precious to him (cf. Exod 19:4-6; Deut 14:2; 26:18; 1 Chr 29:3; Ps 135:4; Eccl 2:8 Mal 3:17). See E. Carpenter, NIDOTTE 3:224.sn The Hebrew term translated “select” (and the whole verse) is reminiscent of the classic covenant text (Exod 19:4-6) which describes Israel’s entry into covenant relationship with the Lord. Israel must resist paganism and its trappings precisely because she is a holy people elected by the Lord from among the nations to be his instrument of world redemption (cf. Deut 7:6; 26:18; Ps 135:4; Mal 3:17; Titus 2:14; 1 Pet 2:9).
- Deuteronomy 14:3 tn The Hebrew word תּוֹעֵבָה (toʿevah, “forbidden; abhorrent”) describes anything detestable to the Lord because of its innate evil or inconsistency with his own nature and character. See note on the word “abhorrent” in Deut 7:25. Cf. KJV “abominable”; NIV “detestable”; NRSV “abhorrent.”sn This verse acts as a header for several short lists that describe what may and may not be eaten: land animals (vv. 4-8), water creatures (vv. 9-10), birds and bats (vv. 11-18), other winged creatures (vv. 19-20). Each set refers to clean and unclean animals.
- Deuteronomy 14:5 tn The Hebrew term אַיָּל (ʾayyal) may refer to a type of deer (cf. Arabic ʾayyal). Cf. NAB “the red deer.”
- Deuteronomy 14:5 tn The Hebrew term צְבִי (tsevi) is sometimes rendered “roebuck” (so KJV).
- Deuteronomy 14:5 tn The Hebrew term יַחְמוּר (yakhmur) may refer to a “fallow deer”; cf. Arabic yahmur (“deer”). Cf. NAB, NIV, NCV “roe deer”; NEB, NRSV, NLT “roebuck.”
- Deuteronomy 14:5 tn The Hebrew term דִּישֹׁן (dishon) is a hapax legomenon. Its referent is uncertain but the animal is likely a variety of antelope (cf. NEB “white-rumped deer”; NIV, NRSV, NLT “ibex”).
- Deuteronomy 14:5 tn The Hebrew term תְּאוֹ (teʾo; a variant is תּוֹא, toʾ) could also refer to another species of antelope. Cf. NEB “long-horned antelope”; NIV, NRSV “antelope.”
- Deuteronomy 14:5 tn The Hebrew term זֶמֶר (zemer) is another hapax legomenon with the possible meaning “wild sheep.” Cf. KJV, ASV “chamois”; NEB “rock-goat”; NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT “mountain sheep.”
- Deuteronomy 14:6 tn The Hebrew text includes “among the animals.” This has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Deuteronomy 14:7 tn The Hebrew term שָׁפָן (shafan) may refer to the “coney” (cf. KJV, NIV) or hyrax (“rock badger,” cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV, NLT).
- Deuteronomy 14:8 tc The MT lacks (probably by haplography) the phrase וְשֹׁסַע שֶׁסַע פַּרְסָה (veshosaʿ shesaʿ parsah, “and is clovenfooted,” i.e., “has parted hooves”), a phrase found in the otherwise exact parallel in Lev 11:7. The LXX and Smr attest the longer reading here. The meaning is, however, clear without it.
- Deuteronomy 14:11 tn According to HALOT the Hebrew term צִפּוֹר (tsippor) can to a “bird” or “winged creature” (HALOT 1047 s.v.). In this list it appears to include bats, while insects are put in their own list next. Hebrew terminology seems to have focused on the mode of movement or environment rather than our modern zoological taxonomies.
- Deuteronomy 14:12 tn NEB “the griffon-vulture.”
- Deuteronomy 14:12 tn The Hebrew term פֶּרֶס (peres) describes a large vulture otherwise known as the ossifrage (cf. KJV). This largest of the vultures takes its name from its habit of dropping skeletal remains from a great height so as to break the bones apart.
- Deuteronomy 14:12 tn The Hebrew term עָזְנִיָּה (ʿozniyyah) may describe the black vulture (so NIV) or it may refer to the osprey (so NAB, NRSV, NLT), an eagle-like bird subsisting mainly on fish.
- Deuteronomy 14:13 tn The Hebrew term is דַּיָּה (dayyah). This, with the previous two terms (רָאָה [raʾah] and אַיָּה [ʾayyah]), is probably a kite of some species but otherwise impossible to specify.
- Deuteronomy 14:15 tn Or “owl.” The Hebrew term בַּת הַיַּעֲנָה (bat hayyaʿanah) is sometimes taken as “ostrich” (so ASV, NAB, NASB, NRSV, NLT), but may refer instead to some species of owl (cf. KJV “owl”; NEB “desert-owl”; NIV “horned owl”).
- Deuteronomy 14:15 tn The Hebrew term תַּחְמָס (takhmas) is either a type of owl (cf. NEB “short-eared owl”; NIV “screech owl”) or possibly the nighthawk (so NRSV, NLT).
- Deuteronomy 14:15 tn The Hebrew term נֵץ (nets) may refer to the falcon or perhaps the hawk (so NEB, NIV).
- Deuteronomy 14:16 tn The Hebrew term תִּנְשֶׁמֶת (tinshemet) may refer to a species of owl (cf. ASV “horned owl”; NASB, NIV, NLT “white owl”) or perhaps even to the swan (so KJV); cf. NRSV “water hen.”
- Deuteronomy 14:17 tn The Hebrew term קָאַת (qaʾat) may also refer to a type of owl (NAB, NIV, NRSV “desert owl”) or perhaps the pelican (so KJV, NASB, NLT).
- Deuteronomy 14:19 tn The term עוֹף (ʿof) refers to winged creatures more broadly than “birds” and is repeated in v. 20. Here “swarming winged things” (שֶׁרֶץ הָעוֹף, sherets haʿof) most likely refers to “insects.”sn It is debatable whether vv. 11-20 form one list (e.g. NASB) or two (e.g. NIV) as it is taken here. Verses 11 and 20 each say “you may eat any clean X” and refer to flying creatures. The terms עוֹף (ʿof) and צִפּוֹר (tsippor, see v. 11) can both refer to birds, but are not limited to birds. Verse 12 begins and v. 19 ends with a clause saying what may not be eaten, while specific animals or classes of animals are listed in between. This has the appearance of a chiastic structure for one list. On the other hand, the lists of land animals and fish are simply divided into what one may eat and may not eat, suggesting that vv. 11-18 and 19-20 (each including both kinds of statements) are separate lists. Also an issue, the phrase in v. 19 “it is unclean” might refer back to v.12 and the singular זֶה (zeh, “this,” but translated “these in most English versions for stylistic reasons). This would help tie 12-19 together as one list, but the closer referent is “any…winged thing” earlier in v. 19. Verses 19 and 20 are also tied by the use of the term עוֹף.
- Deuteronomy 14:19 sn Lev 11:20-23 gives more details about unclean insects allowing locusts and grasshopper to be eaten. Cf. Matt 3:4; Mark 1:6.
- Deuteronomy 14:19 tc The Vulgate and fragments from the Cairo Genizah read “it shall not be eaten.” The LXX and Smr read “you shall not eat from them” (cf. 14:12). The MT, reading the Niphal (passive), is less likely to have been harmonized and the harder reading should stand.
- Deuteronomy 14:21 tn Heb “gates” (also in vv. 27, 28, 29).
- Deuteronomy 14:21 sn Do not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk. This strange prohibition—one whose rationale is unclear but probably related to pagan ritual—may seem out of place here but actually is not for the following reasons: (1) the passage as a whole opens with a prohibition against heathen mourning rites (i.e., death, vv. 1-2) and closes with what appear to be birth and infancy rites. (2) In the other two places where the stipulation occurs (Exod 23:19 and Exod 34:26) it similarly concludes major sections. (3) Whatever the practice signified it clearly was abhorrent to the Lord and fittingly concludes the topic of various breaches of purity and holiness as represented by the ingestion of unclean animals (vv. 3-21). See C. M. Carmichael, “On Separating Life and Death: An Explanation of Some Biblical Laws,” HTR 69 (1976): 1-7; J. Milgrom, “You Shall Not Boil a Kid In Its Mother’s Milk,” BRev 1 (1985): 48-55; R. J. Ratner and B. Zuckerman, “In Rereading the ‘Kid in Milk’ Inscriptions,” BRev 1 (1985): 56-58; and M. Haran, “Seething a Kid in its Mother’s Milk,” JJS 30 (1979): 23-35.
- Deuteronomy 14:22 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, indicated in the translation by the words “be certain.”
- Deuteronomy 14:23 tn This refers to wine in the early stages of fermentation. In its later stages it becomes wine (יַיִן, yayin) in its mature sense.
- Deuteronomy 14:24 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “He” in 14:2.
- Deuteronomy 14:24 tn The Hebrew text includes “way is so far from you that you are unable to carry it because the.” These words have not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons, because they are redundant.
- Deuteronomy 14:25 tn Heb “bind the silver in your hand.”
- Deuteronomy 15:1 tn The Hebrew term שְׁמִטִּת (shemittat), a derivative of the verb שָׁמַט (shamat, “to release; to relinquish”), refers to the cancellation of the debt and even pledges for the debt of a borrower by his creditor. This could be a full and final remission or, more likely, one for the seventh year only. See R. Wakely, NIDOTTE 4:155-60. Here the words “of debts” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied. Cf. NAB “a relaxation of debts”; NASB, NRSV “a remission of debts.”
- Deuteronomy 15:2 tn Heb “his neighbor,” used idiomatically to refer to another person.
- Deuteronomy 15:2 tn Heb “his neighbor and his brother.” The words “his brother” may be a scribal gloss identifying “his neighbor” (on this idiom, see the preceding note) as a fellow Israelite (cf. v. 3). In this case the conjunction before “his brother” does not introduce a second category, but rather has the force of “that is.”
- Deuteronomy 15:3 tn Heb “your brother.”
- Deuteronomy 15:4 tc After the phrase “the Lord” many mss and versions add “your God” to complete the usual full epithet.
- Deuteronomy 15:4 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with “surely.” Note however, that the use is rhetorical, for the next verse attaches a condition.
- Deuteronomy 15:4 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 15:4 tn The Hebrew text includes “to possess.”
- Deuteronomy 15:5 tn Heb “if listening you listen to the voice of.” The infinitive absolute is used for emphasis, which the translation indicates with “carefully.” The idiom “listen to the voice” means “obey.”
- Deuteronomy 15:5 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 15:4.
- Deuteronomy 15:5 tn Heb “by being careful to do.”
- Deuteronomy 15:5 tn Heb “commanding” (so NASB); NAB “which I enjoin you today.”
- Deuteronomy 15:7 tn Heb “one of your brothers” (so NASB); NAB “one of your kinsmen”; NRSV “a member of your community.” See the note at v. 2.
- Deuteronomy 15:7 tn Heb “gates.”
- Deuteronomy 15:7 tn Heb “withdraw your hand.” Cf. NIV “hardhearted or tightfisted” (NRSV and NLT similar).
- Deuteronomy 15:7 tn Heb “from your needy brother.”
- Deuteronomy 15:8 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute before both verbs. The translation indicates the emphasis with the words “be sure to” and “generously,” respectively.
- Deuteronomy 15:8 tn Heb “whatever his need that he needs for himself.” This redundant expression has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Deuteronomy 15:9 tn Heb “your eye.”
- Deuteronomy 15:9 tn Heb “your needy brother.”
- Deuteronomy 15:9 tn Heb “give” (likewise in v. 10).
- Deuteronomy 15:9 tn Heb “it will be a sin to you.”
- Deuteronomy 15:10 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with “by all means.”
- Deuteronomy 15:10 tc Heb “your heart must not be grieved in giving to him.” The LXX and Orig add, “you shall surely lend to him sufficient for his need,” a suggestion based on the same basic idea in v. 8. Such slavish adherence to stock phrases is without warrant in most cases, and certainly here.
- Deuteronomy 15:11 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with “make sure.”
- Deuteronomy 15:11 tn Heb “your brother.”
- Deuteronomy 15:12 sn Elsewhere in the OT, the Israelites are called “Hebrews” (עִבְרִי, ʿivri) by outsiders, rarely by themselves (cf. Gen 14:13; 39:14, 17; 41:12; Exod 1:15, 16, 19; 2:6, 7, 11, 13; 1 Sam 4:6; Jonah 1:9). Thus, here and in the parallel passage in Exod 21:2-6 the term עִבְרִי may designate non-Israelites, specifically a people well-known throughout the ancient Near East as ʾapiru or habiru. They lived a rather vagabond lifestyle, frequently hiring themselves out as laborers or mercenary soldiers. While accounting nicely for the surprising use of the term here in an Israelite law code, the suggestion has against it the unlikelihood that a set of laws would address such a marginal people so specifically (as opposed to simply calling them aliens or the like). More likely עִבְרִי is chosen as a term to remind Israel that when they were “Hebrews,” that is, when they were in Egypt, they were slaves. Now that they are free they must not keep their fellow Israelites in economic bondage. See v. 15.
- Deuteronomy 15:12 tn Heb “your brother, a Hebrew (male) or Hebrew (female).”
- Deuteronomy 15:12 tn Heb “him.” The singular pronoun occurs throughout the passage.
- Deuteronomy 15:12 tn The Hebrew text includes “from you.”
- Deuteronomy 15:14 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with “generously.”
- Deuteronomy 15:16 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the indentured servant introduced in v. 12) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Deuteronomy 15:16 tn Heb “go out from.” The imperfect verbal form indicates the desire of the subject here.
- Deuteronomy 15:17 sn When the bondslave’s ear was drilled through to the door, the door in question was that of the master’s house. In effect, the bondslave is declaring his undying and lifelong loyalty to his creditor. The scar (or even hole) in the earlobe would testify to the community that the slave had surrendered independence and personal rights. This may be what Paul had in mind when he said “I bear on my body the marks of Jesus” (Gal 6:17).
- Deuteronomy 15:18 tn The Hebrew term מִשְׁנֶה (mishneh, “twice”) could mean “equivalent to” (cf. NRSV) or, more likely, “double” (cf. NAB, NIV, NLT). The idea is that a hired worker would put in only so many hours per day whereas a bondslave was available around the clock.
- Deuteronomy 15:19 tn Heb “sanctify” (תַּקְדִּישׁ, taqdish), that is, put to use on behalf of the Lord.
- Deuteronomy 15:20 tn Heb “the Lord.” The translation uses a pronoun for stylistic reasons. See note on “he” in 15:4.
- Deuteronomy 15:21 tn Heb “any evil blemish”; NASB “any (+ other NAB, TEV) serious defect.”
- Deuteronomy 15:22 tn Heb “in your gates.”
- Deuteronomy 15:22 tc The LXX adds ἐν σοί (en soi, “among you”) to make clear that the antecedent is the people and not the animals. That is, the people, whether ritually purified or not, may eat such defective animals.
- Deuteronomy 16:1 sn The month Abib, later called Nisan (Neh 2:1; Esth 3:7), corresponds to March-April in the modern calendar.
- Deuteronomy 16:1 tn Heb “in the month Abib.” The demonstrative “that” has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Deuteronomy 16:1 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 16:2 tn Heb “sacrifice the Passover” (so NASB). The word “animal” has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
- Deuteronomy 16:2 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in the previous verse.
- Deuteronomy 16:3 tn Heb “bread of affliction.” Their affliction was part of the cause of why they ate this kind of bread. It could be understood as “the sort of bread made under oppressive circumstances.” The kind of bread was used to symbolize and remind of their affliction.
- Deuteronomy 16:4 tn Heb “leaven must not be seen among you in all your border.”
- Deuteronomy 16:4 tn Heb “remain all night until the morning” (so KJV, ASV). This has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Deuteronomy 16:5 tn Heb “gates.”
- Deuteronomy 16:6 tn Heb “the Passover.” The translation uses a pronoun to avoid redundancy in English.
- Deuteronomy 16:6 tc The MT reading אֶל (ʾel, “unto”) before “the place” should, following Smr, Syriac, Targums, and Vulgate, be omitted in favor of ב (bet; בַּמָּקוֹם, bammaqom), “in the place.”
- Deuteronomy 16:6 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 16:1.
- Deuteronomy 16:7 tn The rules that governed the Passover meal are found in Exod 12:1-51, and Deut 16:1-8. The word translated “cook” (בָּשַׁל, bashal) here is translated “boil” in other places (e.g. Exod 23:19, 1 Sam 2:13-15). This would seem to contradict Exod 12:9 where the Israelites are told not to eat the Passover sacrifice raw or boiled. However, 2 Chr 35:13 recounts the celebration of a Passover feast during the reign of Josiah, and explains that the people “cooked (בָּשַׁל, bashal) the Passover sacrifices over the open fire.” The use of בָּשַׁל (bashal) with “fire” (אֵשׁ, ʾesh) suggests that the word could be used to speak of boiling or roasting.
- Deuteronomy 16:8 tn The words “on that day” are not in the Hebrew text; they are supplied in the translation for clarification (cf. TEV, NLT).
- Deuteronomy 16:9 tn Heb “the seven weeks.” The translation uses a pronoun to avoid redundancy in English.
- Deuteronomy 16:10 tn The Hebrew phrase חַג שָׁבֻעוֹת (khag shavuʿot) is otherwise known in the OT (Exod 23:16) as קָצִיר (qatsir, “harvest”) and in the NT as πεντηχοστή (pentēhchostē, “Pentecost”).
- Deuteronomy 16:10 tn Heb “the sufficiency of the offering of your hand.”
- Deuteronomy 16:10 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 16:1.
- Deuteronomy 16:11 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 16:1.
- Deuteronomy 16:11 tn Heb “gates.”
- Deuteronomy 16:11 sn The ger (גֵּר) “foreign resident” or “naturalized citizen,” (see Exod 12:19 and Deut 29:10-13) could make sacrifices (Lev 17:8; 22:18; Num 15:14) and participate in Israel’s religious festivals: Passover Exod 12:48; Day of Atonement Lev 16:29; Feast of Weeks Deut 16:10-14; Feast of Tabernacles Deut 31:12.
- Deuteronomy 16:13 tn The Hebrew phrase חַג הַסֻּכֹּת (khag hassukkot, “Feast of Shelters” or “Feast of Huts”) is traditionally known as the Feast of Tabernacles. The rendering “booths” (cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV) is now preferable to the traditional “tabernacles” (KJV, ASV, NIV) in light of the meaning of the term סֻכָּה (sukkah, “hut; booth”), but “booths” are frequently associated with trade shows and craft fairs in contemporary American English. Clearer is the English term “shelters” (so NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT). This feast was a commemoration of the wanderings of the Israelites after they left Egypt, in which they dwelt in temporary shelters.
- Deuteronomy 16:13 tn Heb “when you gather in your threshing-floor and winepress.”
- Deuteronomy 16:14 tn Heb “in your gates.”
- Deuteronomy 16:15 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 16:1.
- Deuteronomy 16:15 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 16:1.
- Deuteronomy 16:15 tn Heb “in all the work of your hands” (so NASB, NIV); NAB, NRSV “in all your undertakings.”
- Deuteronomy 16:16 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 16:1.
- Deuteronomy 16:17 tn Heb “a man must give according to the gift of his hand.” This has been translated as second person for stylistic reasons, in keeping with the second half of the verse, which is second person rather than third.
- Deuteronomy 16:18 tn The Hebrew term וְשֹׁטְרִים (veshoterim), usually translated “officers” (KJV, NCV) or “officials” (NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT), derives from the verb שֹׁטֵר (shoter, “to write”). The noun became generic for all types of public officials. Here, however, it may be appositionally epexegetical to “judges,” thus resulting in the phrase, “judges, that is, civil officers,” etc. Whoever the שֹׁטְרִים are, their task here consists of rendering judgments and administering justice.
- Deuteronomy 16:18 tn Heb “gates.”
- Deuteronomy 16:18 tn Heb “with judgment of righteousness”; ASV, NASB “with righteous judgment.”
- Deuteronomy 16:19 tn Heb “twist, overturn”; NRSV “subverts the cause.”
- Deuteronomy 16:19 tn Or “innocent”; NRSV “those who are in the right”; NLT “the godly.”
- Deuteronomy 16:20 tn Heb “justice, justice.” The repetition is emphatic; one might translate as “pure justice” or “unadulterated justice” (cf. NLT “true justice”).
- Deuteronomy 16:21 tn Heb “an Asherah, any tree.”sn Sacred Asherah pole. This refers to a tree (or wooden pole) dedicated to the worship of Asherah, wife/sister of El and goddess of fertility. See also Deut 7:5.
- Deuteronomy 16:22 sn Sacred pillar. This refers to the stelae (stone pillars; the Hebrew term is מַצֵּבֹת, matsevot) associated with Baal worship, perhaps to mark a spot hallowed by an alleged visitation of the gods. See also Deut 7:5.
- Deuteronomy 17:1 tn Heb “to the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 16:1.
- Deuteronomy 17:1 tn The Hebrew word תּוֹעֵבָה (toʿevah, “an abomination”; cf. NAB) describes persons, things, or practices offensive to ritual or moral order. See M. Grisanti, NIDOTTE 4:314-18; see also the note on the word “abhorrent” in Deut 7:25.
- Deuteronomy 17:2 tn Heb “gates.”
- Deuteronomy 17:2 tn Heb “does the evil in the eyes of the Lord your God.”
- Deuteronomy 17:3 tc The MT reads “and to the sun,” thus including the sun, the moon, and other heavenly spheres among the gods. However, Theodotion and Lucian read “or to the sun,” suggesting perhaps that the sun and the other heavenly bodies are not in the category of actual deities.
- Deuteronomy 17:3 tn Heb “which I have not commanded you.” The words “to worship” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
- Deuteronomy 17:4 tn Heb “an abomination” (תּוֹעֵבָה); see note on the word “offensive” in v. 1.
- Deuteronomy 17:5 tn Heb “gates.”
- Deuteronomy 17:5 tn Heb “stone them with stones so that they die” (KJV similar); NCV “throw stones at that person until he dies.”
- Deuteronomy 17:7 tn Heb “the hand of the witnesses.” This means the two or three witnesses are to throw the first stones (cf. NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).
- Deuteronomy 17:7 tn Heb “the hand of all the people.”
- Deuteronomy 17:8 tn Heb “between blood and blood.”
- Deuteronomy 17:8 tn Heb “between claim and claim.”
- Deuteronomy 17:8 tn Heb “between blow and blow.”
- Deuteronomy 17:8 tn Heb “gates.”
- Deuteronomy 17:8 tc Several Greek recensions add “to place his name there,” thus completing the usual formula to describe the central sanctuary (cf. Deut 12:5, 11, 14, 18; 16:6). However, the context suggests that the local Levitical towns, and not the central sanctuary, are in mind.
- Deuteronomy 17:12 tn Heb “who acts presumptuously not to listen” (cf. NASB).
- Deuteronomy 17:15 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, indicated in the translation by the words “without fail.”
- Deuteronomy 17:15 tn Heb “your brothers,” but not referring to siblings (cf. NIV “your brother Israelites”; NLT “a fellow Israelite”). The same phrase also occurs in v. 20.
- Deuteronomy 17:15 tn Heb “your brothers.” See the preceding note on “fellow citizens.”
- Deuteronomy 17:16 tn Heb “in order to multiply horses.” The translation uses “do so” in place of “multiply horses” to avoid redundancy (cf. NAB, NIV).
- Deuteronomy 17:17 tn Heb “must not multiply” (cf. KJV, NASB); NLT “must not take many.”
- Deuteronomy 17:18 tn Or “instruction.” The LXX reads here τὸ δευτερονόμιον τοῦτο (to deuteronomion touto, “this second law”). From this Greek phrase the present name of the book, “Deuteronomy” or “second law” (i.e., the second giving of the law), is derived. However, the MT’s expression מִשְׁנֶה הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת (mishneh hattorah hazzoʾt) is better rendered “copy of this law.” Here the term תּוֹרָה (torah) probably refers only to the book of Deuteronomy and not to the whole Pentateuch.
- Deuteronomy 17:18 tn The Hebrew term סֵפֶר (sefer) means a “writing” or “document” and could be translated “book” (so KJV, ASV, TEV). However, since “book” carries the connotation of a modern bound book with pages (an obvious anachronism) it is preferable to render the Hebrew term “scroll” here and elsewhere.
- Deuteronomy 17:20 tc Heb “upon his kingship.” Smr supplies כִּסֵא (kiseʾ, “throne”) so as to read “upon the throne of his kingship.” This overliteralizes what is a clearly understood figure of speech.
- Deuteronomy 18:1 tn The MT places the terms “priests” and “Levites” in apposition, thus creating an epexegetical construction in which the second term qualifies the first, i.e., “Levitical priests.” This is a way of asserting their legitimacy as true priests. The Syriac renders “to the priest and to the Levite,” making a distinction between the two, but one that is out of place here.
- Deuteronomy 18:1 sn Of his inheritance. This is a figurative way of speaking of the produce of the land the Lord will give to his people. It is the Lord’s inheritance, but the Levites are allowed to eat it since they themselves have no inheritance among the other tribes of Israel.
- Deuteronomy 18:2 tn Heb “he” (and throughout the verse).
- Deuteronomy 18:2 tn Heb “brothers,” but not referring to actual siblings. Cf. NASB “their countrymen”; NRSV “the other members of the community.”
- Deuteronomy 18:3 tn Heb “judgment”; KJV, NASB, NRSV “the priest’s due.”
- Deuteronomy 18:4 tn Heb “the firstfruits of your…” (so NIV).
- Deuteronomy 18:5 tc Smr and some Greek texts add “before the Lord your God” to bring the language into line with a formula found elsewhere (Deut 10:8; 2 Chr 29:11). This reading is not likely to be original, however.
- Deuteronomy 18:5 tn Heb “the name of the Lord.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
- Deuteronomy 18:6 tn Heb “according to all the desire of his soul.”
- Deuteronomy 18:6 tn Or “sojourning.” The verb used here refers to living temporarily in a place, not settling down.
- Deuteronomy 18:8 tn Presumably this would not refer to a land inheritance, since that was forbidden to the descendants of Levi (v. 1). More likely it referred to some family possessions (cf. NIV, NCV, NRSV, CEV) or other private property (cf. NLT “a private source of income”), or even support sent by relatives (cf. TEV “whatever his family sends him”).