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Deuteronomy 12Amplified Bible (AMP)

Laws of the Sanctuary

12 “These are the statutes and judgments (precepts) which you shall be careful to do in the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess as long as you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and the hills and under every green [leafy] tree. You shall tear down their altars and smash their [idolatrous] pillars and burn their [a]Asherim in the fire; you shall cut down the carved and sculpted images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place. You shall not act like this toward the Lord your God. But you shall seek the Lord at the place which the Lord your God will choose out of all your tribes to establish His [b]Name there for His dwelling [place], and there you shall come [to worship Him]. There you shall bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the contribution of your hand, your votive (pledged, vowed) offerings, your freewill (voluntary) offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. And there you and your households shall eat before the Lord your God, and rejoice in all to which you put your hand, in which the Lord your God has blessed you.

“You shall not do at all what we are doing here [in the camp] today, every man doing whatever is right in his [own] eyes. For you have not yet come to the resting place and to the inheritance which the Lord your God is giving you. 10 When you cross the Jordan and live in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies around you so that you live in security, 11 then it shall come about that the place which the Lord your God will choose for His Name [and Presence] to dwell; there you shall bring everything that I am commanding you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes and the [voluntary] contribution of your hand [as a first gift from the fruits of the ground], and all your choice votive offerings which you vow to the Lord. 12 And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your sons and your daughters, and your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your [city] gates, since he has no portion or inheritance with you.

13 “Be careful that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every [cultic] place you see, 14 but [only] in the place which the Lord will choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do everything that I am commanding you.

15 “However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your [city] gates, whatever you wish, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you [as His generous provision for daily life]. The [ceremonially] unclean and the clean may eat it, such as the gazelle and the deer. 16 Only you shall not eat the blood; you are to pour it out on the ground like water. 17 You are forbidden to eat within your [city] gates the tithe of your grain or new wine or oil, or the firstborn of your herd or flock, or any of your votive offerings, or your freewill offerings, or the contribution of your hand. 18 But you shall eat them before the Lord your God in the place which the Lord your God will choose, you and your son and your daughter, and your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your [city] gates; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God in all [c]that you undertake. 19 Be careful that you do not neglect the Levite [who serves God] [d]as long as you live in your land.

20 “When the Lord your God extends your territory, as He promised you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ because you want to eat meat, then you may eat meat, whatever [e]you wish. 21 If the place which the Lord your God chooses to put His Name (Presence) is too far away from you, then you may slaughter [animals] from your herd or flock which the Lord has given you, just as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your [city] gates whatever you wish. 22 Just as the gazelle or the deer is eaten, so you may eat it [but not make it an offering]; the [ceremonially] unclean and the clean alike may eat it. 23 Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life (soul), and you shall not eat the life with the meat. 24 You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the ground like water. 25 You shall not eat it, so that all may be well with you and with your children after you, because you will be doing what is right in the sight of the Lord. 26 However, you shall take your holy things which you have [to offer] and your votive (pledged, vowed) offerings, you shall take them and go to the place which the Lord will choose. 27 And you shall offer your burnt offerings, the meat and the blood, on the altar of the Lord your God; and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the Lord your God, and you shall eat the meat.

28 “Be careful to listen to all these words which I am commanding you, so that it may be well with you and with your [f]children after you forever, because you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.

29 “When the Lord your God cuts off and destroys before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and settle in their land, 30 beware that you are not lured (ensnared) into following them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods, so that I too may do likewise?’ 31 You shall not behave this way toward the Lord your God, for they have done for their gods every repulsive thing which the Lord hates; for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire [as sacrifices] to their gods.

32 “Everything I command you, you shall be careful to do it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.

Footnotes:

  1. Deuteronomy 12:3 Wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah.
  2. Deuteronomy 12:5 The “Name” of God is equivalent to His gracious presence in passages such as this one. The place where God puts His Name is the place where He chooses to dwell.
  3. Deuteronomy 12:18 Lit the putting forth of your hand.
  4. Deuteronomy 12:19 Lit all your days on.
  5. Deuteronomy 12:20 Lit your soul desires.
  6. Deuteronomy 12:28 Lit sons.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Deuteronomy 12New International Version (NIV)

The One Place of Worship

12 These are the decrees and laws you must be careful to follow in the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you to possess—as long as you live in the land. Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains, on the hills and under every spreading tree, where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.

You must not worship the Lord your God in their way. But you are to seek the place the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you.

You are not to do as we do here today, everyone doing as they see fit, since you have not yet reached the resting place and the inheritance the Lord your God is giving you. 10 But you will cross the Jordan and settle in the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and he will give you rest from all your enemies around you so that you will live in safety. 11 Then to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name—there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the Lord. 12 And there rejoice before the Lord your God—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites from your towns who have no allotment or inheritance of their own. 13 Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings anywhere you please. 14 Offer them only at the place the Lord will choose in one of your tribes, and there observe everything I command you.

15 Nevertheless, you may slaughter your animals in any of your towns and eat as much of the meat as you want, as if it were gazelle or deer, according to the blessing the Lord your God gives you. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat it. 16 But you must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water. 17 You must not eat in your own towns the tithe of your grain and new wine and olive oil, or the firstborn of your herds and flocks, or whatever you have vowed to give, or your freewill offerings or special gifts. 18 Instead, you are to eat them in the presence of the Lord your God at the place the Lord your God will choose—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites from your towns—and you are to rejoice before the Lord your God in everything you put your hand to. 19 Be careful not to neglect the Levites as long as you live in your land.

20 When the Lord your God has enlarged your territory as he promised you, and you crave meat and say, “I would like some meat,” then you may eat as much of it as you want. 21 If the place where the Lord your God chooses to put his Name is too far away from you, you may slaughter animals from the herds and flocks the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you, and in your own towns you may eat as much of them as you want. 22 Eat them as you would gazelle or deer. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat. 23 But be sure you do not eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the meat. 24 You must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water. 25 Do not eat it, so that it may go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord.

26 But take your consecrated things and whatever you have vowed to give, and go to the place the Lord will choose. 27 Present your burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord your God, both the meat and the blood. The blood of your sacrifices must be poured beside the altar of the Lord your God, but you may eat the meat. 28 Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God.

29 The Lord your God will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess. But when you have driven them out and settled in their land, 30 and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.” 31 You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.

32 See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.[a]

Footnotes:

  1. Deuteronomy 12:32 In Hebrew texts this verse (12:32) is numbered 13:1.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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