Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
Parashah 51: Nitzavim (Standing) 29:9(10)–30:20
[In regular years read with Parashah 52, in leap years read separately]
9 (10) “Today you are standing, all of you, before Adonai your God — your heads, your tribes, your leaders and your officers — all the men of Isra’el, 10 (11) along with your little ones, your wives and your foreigners here with you in your camp, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water. 11 (12) The purpose is that you should enter into the covenant of Adonai your God and into his oath which Adonai your God is making with you today, (LY: ii) 12 (13) so that he can establish you today for himself as a people, and so that for you he will be God — as he said to you and as he swore to your ancestors, to Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov.
13 (14) “But I am not making this covenant and this oath only with you. 14 (15) Rather, I am making it both with him who is standing here with us today before Adonai our God and also with him who is not here with us today. (LY: iii) 15 (16) For you know how we lived in the land of Egypt and how we came directly through the nations you passed through; 16 (17) and you saw their detestable things and their idols of wood, stone, silver and gold that they had with them. 17 (18) So let there not be among you a man, woman, family or tribe whose heart turns away today from Adonai our God to go and serve the gods of those nations. Let there not be among you a root bearing such bitter poison and wormwood. 18 (19) If there is such a person, when he hears the words of this curse, he will bless himself secretly, saying to himself, ‘I will be all right, even though I will stubbornly keep doing whatever I feel like doing; so that I, although “dry,” [sinful,] will be added to the “watered” [righteous].’ 19 (20) But Adonai will not forgive him. Rather, the anger and jealousy of Adonai will blaze up against that person. Every curse written in this book will be upon him. Adonai will blot out his name from under heaven. 20 (21) Adonai will single him out from all the tribes of Isra’el to experience what is bad in all the curses of the covenant written in this book of the Torah.
21 (22) “When the next generation, your children who will grow up after you, and the foreigner who arrives from a distant land, see the plagues of that land and the diseases with which Adonai has made it sick, 22 (23) and that the whole land has become burning sulfur and salt, that it isn’t being sown or bearing crops or even producing grass — like the overthrow of S’dom, ‘Amora, Admah and Tzvoyim, which Adonai overthrew in his furious anger — 23 (24) then all the nations will ask, ‘Why did Adonai do this to this land? What is the meaning of such frenzied, furious anger?’ 24 (25) People will answer, ‘It’s because they abandoned the covenant of Adonai, the God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt. 25 (26) They went and served other gods, prostrating themselves before them, gods they had not known and which he had not assigned them. 26 (27) For this reason, the anger of Adonai blazed up against this land and brought upon it every curse written in this book; 27 (28) and Adonai, in anger, fury and incensed with indignation, uprooted them from their land and threw them out into another land — as it is today.’
28 (29) “Things which are hidden belong to Adonai our God. But the things that have been revealed belong to us and our children forever, so that we can observe all the words of this Torah.
30 (RY: ii, LY: iv) “When the time arrives that all these things have come upon you, both the blessing and the curse which I have presented to you; and you are there among the nations to which Adonai your God has driven you; then, at last, you will start thinking about what has happened to you; 2 and you will return to Adonai your God and pay attention to what he has said, which will be exactly what I am ordering you to do today — you and your children, with all your heart and all your being. 3 At that point, Adonai your God will reverse your exile and show you mercy; he will return and gather you from all the peoples to which Adonai your God scattered you. 4 If one of yours was scattered to the far end of the sky, Adonai your God will gather you even from there; he will go there and get you. 5 Adonai your God will bring you back into the land your ancestors possessed, and you will possess it; he will make you prosper there, and you will become even more numerous than your ancestors. 6 Then Adonai your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your children, so that you will love Adonai your God with all your heart and all your being, and thus you will live. (RY: iii, LY: v) 7 Adonai your God will put all these curses on your enemies, on those who hated and persecuted you; 8 but you will return and pay attention to what Adonai says and obey all his mitzvot which I am giving you today. 9 Then Adonai your God will give you more than enough in everything you set out to do — the fruit of your body, the fruit of your livestock, and the fruit of your land will all do well; for Adonai will once again rejoice to see you do well, just as he rejoiced in your ancestors.
10 “However, all this will happen only if you pay attention to what Adonai your God says, so that you obey his mitzvot and regulations which are written in this book of the Torah, if you turn to Adonai your God with all your heart and all your being. (LY: vi) 11 For this mitzvah which I am giving you today is not too hard for you, it is not beyond your reach. 12 It isn’t in the sky, so that you need to ask, ‘Who will go up into the sky for us, bring it to us and make us hear it, so that we can obey it?’ 13 Likewise, it isn’t beyond the sea, so that you need to ask, ‘Who will cross the sea for us, bring it to us and make us hear it, so that we can obey it?’ 14 On the contrary, the word is very close to you — in your mouth, even in your heart; therefore, you can do it!
(RY: iv, LY: vii) 15 “Look! I am presenting you today with, on the one hand, life and good; and on the other, death and evil — 16 in that I am ordering you today to love Adonai your God, to follow his ways, and to obey his mitzvot, regulations and rulings ; for if you do, you will live and increase your numbers; and Adonai your God will bless you in the land you are entering in order to take possession of it. 17 But if your heart turns away, if you refuse to listen, if you are drawn away to prostrate yourselves before other gods and serve them; (LY: Maftir) 18 I am announcing to you today that you will certainly perish; you will not live long in the land you are crossing the Yarden to enter and possess.
19 “I call on heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have presented you with life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore, choose life, so that you will live, you and your descendants, 20 loving Adonai your God, paying attention to what he says and clinging to him — for that is the purpose of your life! On this depends the length of time you will live in the land Adonai swore he would give to your ancestors Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov.”
Haftarah Nitzavim: Yesha‘yahu (Isaiah) 61:10–63:9
B’rit Hadashah suggested readings for Parashah Nitzavim: Romans 9:30–10:13; Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 12:14 –15
Parashah 52: Vayelekh (He went) 31:1–30
[In regular years read with Parashah 51, in leap years read separately]
31 Moshe went and spoke the following words to all Isra’el: 2 “I am 120 years old today. I can’t get around any longer; moreover, Adonai has said to me, ‘You will not cross this Yarden.’ 3 Adonai your God — he will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations ahead of you, and you will dispossess them. Y’hoshua — he will cross over ahead of you, as Adonai has said. (LY: ii) 4 Adonai will do to them what he did to Sichon and ‘Og, the kings of the Emori, and to their land — he destroyed them. 5 Adonai will defeat them ahead of you, and you are to do to them just as I have ordered you to do. 6 Be strong, be bold, don’t be afraid or frightened of them, for Adonai your God is going with you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
(RY: v, LY: iii) 7 Next Moshe summoned Y’hoshua and, in the sight of all Isra’el, said to him, “Be strong, be bold, for you are going with this people into the land Adonai swore to their ancestors he would give them. You will be the one causing them to inherit it. 8 But Adonai — it is he who will go ahead of you. He will be with you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you, so don’t be afraid or downhearted.”
9 Then Moshe wrote down this Torah and gave it to the cohanim, the descendants of Levi who carried the ark with the covenant of Adonai, and to all the leaders of Isra’el. (LY: iv) 10 Moshe gave them these orders: “At the end of every seven years, during the festival of Sukkot in the year of sh’mittah, 11 when all Isra’el have come to appear in the presence of Adonai at the place he will choose, you are to read this Torah before all Isra’el, so that they can hear it. 12 Assemble the people — the men, the women, the little ones and the foreigners you have in your towns — so that they can hear, learn, fear Adonai your God and take care to obey all the words of this Torah; 13 and so that their children, who have not known, can hear and learn to fear Adonai your God, for as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Yarden to possess.”
(RY: vi, LY: v) 14 Adonai said to Moshe, “The time is coming for you to die. Summon Y’hoshua, and present yourselves in the tent of meeting, so that I can commission him.” Moshe and Y’hoshua went and presented themselves in the tent of meeting. 15 Adonai appeared in the tent in a column of cloud; the column of cloud stood above the entrance to the tent. 16 Adonai said to Moshe, “You are about to sleep with your ancestors. But this people will get up and offer themselves as prostitutes to the foreign gods of the land where they are going. When they are with those gods, they will abandon me and break my covenant which I have made with them. 17 Then my anger will flare up, and I will abandon them and hide my face from them. They will be devoured, and many calamities and troubles will come upon them. Then they will ask, ‘Haven’t these calamities come upon us because our God isn’t here with us?’ 18 But I will be hiding my face from them because of all the evil they will have done in turning to other gods.
19 “Therefore, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the people of Isra’el. Have them learn it by heart, so that this song can be a witness for me against the people of Isra’el. (RY: vii, LY: vi) 20 For when I have brought them into the land I swore to their ancestors, flowing with milk and honey; and they have eaten their fill, grown fat and turned to other gods, serving them and despising me, and broken my covenant; 21 then, after many calamities and troubles have come upon them, this song will testify before them as a witness, because their descendants will still be reciting it and will not have forgotten it. For I know how they think even now, even before I have brought them into the land about which I swore.” 22 So Moshe wrote this song that same day and taught it to the people of Isra’el.
23 Adonai also commissioned Y’hoshua the son of Nun with these words: “Be strong and full of courage; for you are to bring the people of Isra’el into the land about which I swore to them; and I will be with you.”
24 Moshe kept writing the words of this Torah in a book until he was done. When he had finished, (LY: vii) 25 Moshe gave these orders to the L’vi’im who carried the ark with the covenant of Adonai: 26 “Take this book of the Torah and put it next to the ark with the covenant of Adonai your God, so that it can be there to witness against you. 27 For I know how rebellious and stiffnecked you are! Here, even while I am still alive with you today, you have rebelled against Adonai; so how much more will you do so after my death? (Maftir) 28 Assemble for me all the leaders of your tribes and your officials, so that I can say these things in their hearing, calling heaven and earth to witness against them — 29 because I know that after my death you will become very corrupt and turn aside from the way that I have ordered you, and that disaster will come upon you in the acharit-hayamim, because you will do what Adonai sees as evil and provoke him by your deeds.”
30 Then Moshe spoke in the hearing of the whole assembly of Isra’el the words of this song, from beginning to end:
Haftarah Vayelekh: Hoshea (Hosea) 14:2(1)–10(9); Mikhah (Micah) 7:18–20; Yo’el (Joel) 2:15–27
B’rit Hadashah suggested reading for Parashah Vayelekh: Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 13:5–8
Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 New International Version (NIV)
9 Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do. 10 All of you are standing today in the presence of the Lord your God—your leaders and chief men, your elders and officials, and all the other men of Israel, 11 together with your children and your wives, and the foreigners living in your camps who chop your wood and carry your water. 12 You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the Lord your God, a covenant the Lord is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, 13 to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 14 I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you 15 who are standing here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God but also with those who are not here today.
16 You yourselves know how we lived in Egypt and how we passed through the countries on the way here. 17 You saw among them their detestable images and idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold. 18 Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.
19 When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. 20 The Lord will never be willing to forgive them; his wrath and zeal will burn against them. All the curses written in this book will fall on them, and the Lord will blot out their names from under heaven. 21 The Lord will single them out from all the tribes of Israel for disaster, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law.
22 Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the Lord has afflicted it. 23 The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur—nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, which the Lord overthrew in fierce anger. 24 All the nations will ask: “Why has the Lord done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?”
25 And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27 Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28 In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”
29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
Prosperity After Turning to the Lord
30 When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes[a] and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. 5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. 6 The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. 7 The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. 8 You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. 9 Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
The Offer of Life or Death
11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Joshua to Succeed Moses
31 Then Moses went out and spoke these words to all Israel: 2 “I am now a hundred and twenty years old and I am no longer able to lead you. The Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not cross the Jordan.’ 3 The Lord your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua also will cross over ahead of you, as the Lord said. 4 And the Lord will do to them what he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, whom he destroyed along with their land. 5 The Lord will deliver them to you, and you must do to them all that I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
7 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. 8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Public Reading of the Law
9 So Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the Levitical priests, who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 Then Moses commanded them: “At the end of every seven years, in the year for canceling debts, during the Festival of Tabernacles, 11 when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose, you shall read this law before them in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. 13 Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
Israel’s Rebellion Predicted
14 The Lord said to Moses, “Now the day of your death is near. Call Joshua and present yourselves at the tent of meeting, where I will commission him.” So Moses and Joshua came and presented themselves at the tent of meeting.
15 Then the Lord appeared at the tent in a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood over the entrance to the tent. 16 And the Lord said to Moses: “You are going to rest with your ancestors, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them. 17 And in that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and calamities will come on them, and in that day they will ask, ‘Have not these disasters come on us because our God is not with us?’ 18 And I will certainly hide my face in that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods.
19 “Now write down this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them. 20 When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their ancestors, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting me and breaking my covenant. 21 And when many disasters and calamities come on them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants. I know what they are disposed to do, even before I bring them into the land I promised them on oath.” 22 So Moses wrote down this song that day and taught it to the Israelites.
23 The Lord gave this command to Joshua son of Nun: “Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you.”
24 After Moses finished writing in a book the words of this law from beginning to end, 25 he gave this command to the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord: 26 “Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God. There it will remain as a witness against you. 27 For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you have been rebellious against the Lord while I am still alive and with you, how much more will you rebel after I die! 28 Assemble before me all the elders of your tribes and all your officials, so that I can speak these words in their hearing and call the heavens and the earth to testify against them. 29 For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall on you because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord and arouse his anger by what your hands have made.”
The Song of Moses
30 And Moses recited the words of this song from beginning to end in the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel: