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Moses Commands Obedience

Now therefore, listen, O Israel, to the statutes and to the judgments which I am teaching you to do, so that you may live; and go in and possess the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor shall you take anything from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

Your eyes have seen what the Lord did at Baal Peor; for the Lord your God has destroyed from among you all the men who followed Baal of Peor. But you who held fast to the Lord your God are alive to this day, every one of you.

See, I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do so in the land where you are entering to possess it. Therefore, keep and do them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations which shall hear all these statutes, and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” For what nation is there so great, who has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is in all things whenever we call on Him? And what nation is there so great that has statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I am setting before you today?

Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; but teach them to your sons, and your grandsons. 10 Especially concerning the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when the Lord said to me, “Gather the people together to Me, so that I will let them hear My words so that they may learn to fear Me all the days they shall live on the earth, and so that they may teach their children.” 11 Then you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire up to the midst of heaven, with darkness, a cloud, a thick cloud. 12 Then the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words but saw no form—only a voice was heard. 13 He declared to you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even the Ten Commandments, and He wrote them on two tablets of stone. 14 The Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, so that you might do them in the land which you are crossing over to possess.

Idolatry Forbidden

15 Give good care to yourselves, for you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you in Horeb from the midst of the fire, 16 lest you corrupt yourselves and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 17 the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flies in the air, 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth. 19 And beware, lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, you are led astray and worship them, and serve them, that which the Lord your God has allotted to all nations under the whole heaven. 20 But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be to Him a people of inheritance, as you are today.

21 Furthermore, the Lord was angry with me because of you and swore that I should not cross over the Jordan, and that I would not go into that good land which the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance. 22 So I must die in this land. I shall not cross over the Jordan, but you shall go over and possess that good land. 23 Watch yourselves, so that you do not forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which He made with you, and make yourself a graven image or the likeness of anything as the Lord your God has forbidden you. 24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire. He is a jealous God.

25 When you produce children and grandchildren and you have remained a long time in the land, and you corrupt yourselves and make a graven image, or the likeness of anything, and do evil in the sight of the Lord your God, to provoke Him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you will surely and suddenly perish from off the land that you are going across the Jordan to possess. You will not prolong your days on it, but shall be completely destroyed. 27 The Lord shall scatter you among the peoples, and you shall be left few in number among the nations where the Lord shall lead you. 28 There you will serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. 29 But if from there you will seek the Lord your God, you will find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things come upon you, even in the latter days, if you turn to the Lord your God and shall be obedient to His voice 31 (for the Lord your God is a merciful God), He will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.

32 Indeed, ask about the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man[a] on the earth, and ask from one end of heavens to the other, whether there has ever been any such thing as this great thing, or has anything like it ever been heard? 33 Has a people ever heard the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and lived? 34 Or has God ever tried to take for Himself a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched-out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

35 To you it was shown so that you might know that the Lord, He is God. There is no one else besides Him. 36 Out of heaven He let you hear His voice so that He might instruct you, and on earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words out of the midst of the fire. 37 Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them and personally brought you out of Egypt with His mighty power 38 to drive out nations from before you greater and mightier than you are, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is today.

39 Know therefore today, and consider it in your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. 40 Therefore, you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you this day, so that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and so that you may prolong your days in the land, which the Lord your God gives you, forever.

Cities of Refuge(A)

41 Then Moses set apart three cities across the Jordan, toward the east, 42 that the manslayer might flee there, that is, anyone who killed his neighbor unintentionally without hating him in time past could flee to one of these cities and live: 43 Bezer in the wilderness in the plateau of the Reubenites, and Ramoth in Gilead of the Gadites, and Golan in Bashan of the Manassites.

Introduction to the Law

44 This is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel. 45 These are the testimonies, and the statutes, and the ordinances which Moses spoke to the children of Israel, after they came out of Egypt, 46 on this side of the Jordan, in the valley over against Beth Peor, in the land of Sihon, king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon, whom Moses and the children of Israel struck down, after they had come out of Egypt. 47 They possessed his land, and the land of Og, king of Bashan, the two kings of the Amorites, who were across the Jordan toward the east, 48 from Aroer, which is by the edge of the River Arnon, even as far as Mount Sion (that is, Hermon), 49 with all the Arabah across the Jordan to the east, even to the sea of the Arabah, under the slopes of Pisgah.


  1. Deuteronomy 4:32 Or Adam.