New Living Translation
Moses Urges Israel to Obey
4 “And now, Israel, listen carefully to these decrees and regulations that I am about to teach you. Obey them so that you may live, so you may enter and occupy the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. 2 Do not add to or subtract from these commands I am giving you. Just obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you.
3 “You saw for yourself what the Lord did to you at Baal-peor. There the Lord your God destroyed everyone who had worshiped Baal, the god of Peor. 4 But all of you who were faithful to the Lord your God are still alive today—every one of you.
5 “Look, I now teach you these decrees and regulations just as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy. 6 Obey them completely, and you will display your wisdom and intelligence among the surrounding nations. When they hear all these decrees, they will exclaim, ‘How wise and prudent are the people of this great nation!’ 7 For what great nation has a god as near to them as the Lord our God is near to us whenever we call on him? 8 And what great nation has decrees and regulations as righteous and fair as this body of instructions that I am giving you today?
9 “But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. 10 Never forget the day when you stood before the Lord your God at Mount Sinai,[a] where he told me, ‘Summon the people before me, and I will personally instruct them. Then they will learn to fear me as long as they live, and they will teach their children to fear me also.’
11 “You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, while flames from the mountain shot into the sky. The mountain was shrouded in black clouds and deep darkness. 12 And the Lord spoke to you from the heart of the fire. You heard the sound of his words but didn’t see his form; there was only a voice. 13 He proclaimed his covenant—the Ten Commandments[b]—which he commanded you to keep, and which he wrote on two stone tablets. 14 It was at that time that the Lord commanded me to teach you his decrees and regulations so you would obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy.
A Warning against Idolatry
15 “But be very careful! You did not see the Lord’s form on the day he spoke to you from the heart of the fire at Mount Sinai. 16 So do not corrupt yourselves by making an idol in any form—whether of a man or a woman, 17 an animal on the ground, a bird in the sky, 18 a small animal that scurries along the ground, or a fish in the deepest sea. 19 And when you look up into the sky and see the sun, moon, and stars—all the forces of heaven—don’t be seduced into worshiping them. The Lord your God gave them to all the peoples of the earth. 20 Remember that the Lord rescued you from the iron-smelting furnace of Egypt in order to make you his very own people and his special possession, which is what you are today.
21 “But the Lord was angry with me because of you. He vowed that I would not cross the Jordan River into the good land the Lord your God is giving you as your special possession. 22 You will cross the Jordan to occupy the land, but I will not. Instead, I will die here on the east side of the river. 23 So be careful not to break the covenant the Lord your God has made with you. Do not make idols of any shape or form, for the Lord your God has forbidden this. 24 The Lord your God is a devouring fire; he is a jealous God.
25 “In the future, when you have children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time, do not corrupt yourselves by making idols of any kind. This is evil in the sight of the Lord your God and will arouse his anger.
26 “Today I call on heaven and earth as witnesses against you. If you break my covenant, you will quickly disappear from the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy. You will live there only a short time; then you will be utterly destroyed. 27 For the Lord will scatter you among the nations, where only a few of you will survive. 28 There, in a foreign land, you will worship idols made from wood and stone—gods that neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. 29 But from there you will search again for the Lord your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.
30 “In the distant future, when you are suffering all these things, you will finally return to the Lord your God and listen to what he tells you. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.
There Is Only One God
32 “Now search all of history, from the time God created people on the earth until now, and search from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything as great as this ever been seen or heard before? 33 Has any nation ever heard the voice of God[c] speaking from fire—as you did—and survived? 34 Has any other god dared to take a nation for himself out of another nation by means of trials, miraculous signs, wonders, war, a strong hand, a powerful arm, and terrifying acts? Yet that is what the Lord your God did for you in Egypt, right before your eyes.
35 “He showed you these things so you would know that the Lord is God and there is no other. 36 He let you hear his voice from heaven so he could instruct you. He let you see his great fire here on earth so he could speak to you from it. 37 Because he loved your ancestors, he chose to bless their descendants, and he personally brought you out of Egypt with a great display of power. 38 He drove out nations far greater than you, so he could bring you in and give you their land as your special possession, as it is today.
39 “So remember this and keep it firmly in mind: The Lord is God both in heaven and on earth, and there is no other. 40 If you obey all the decrees and commands I am giving you today, all will be well with you and your children. I am giving you these instructions so you will enjoy a long life in the land the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”
Eastern Cities of Refuge
41 Then Moses set apart three cities of refuge east of the Jordan River. 42 Anyone who killed another person unintentionally, without previous hostility, could flee there to live in safety. 43 These were the cities: Bezer on the wilderness plateau for the tribe of Reuben; Ramoth in Gilead for the tribe of Gad; Golan in Bashan for the tribe of Manasseh.
Introduction to Moses’ Second Address
44 This is the body of instruction that Moses presented to the Israelites. 45 These are the laws, decrees, and regulations that Moses gave to the people of Israel when they left Egypt, 46 and as they camped in the valley near Beth-peor east of the Jordan River. (This land was formerly occupied by the Amorites under King Sihon, who ruled from Heshbon. But Moses and the Israelites destroyed him and his people when they came up from Egypt. 47 Israel took possession of his land and that of King Og of Bashan—the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan. 48 So Israel conquered the entire area from Aroer at the edge of the Arnon Gorge all the way to Mount Sirion,[d] also called Mount Hermon. 49 And they conquered the eastern bank of the Jordan River as far south as the Dead Sea,[e] below the slopes of Pisgah.)
New International Version
4 Now, Israel, hear the decrees(A) and laws I am about to teach(B) you. Follow them so that you may live(C) and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. 2 Do not add(D) to what I command you and do not subtract(E) from it, but keep(F) the commands(G) of the Lord your God that I give you.
3 You saw with your own eyes what the Lord did at Baal Peor.(H) The Lord your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of Peor, 4 but all of you who held fast to the Lord your God are still alive today.
5 See, I have taught(I) you decrees and laws(J) as the Lord my God commanded(K) me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering(L) to take possession of it. 6 Observe(M) them carefully, for this will show your wisdom(N) and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”(O) 7 What other nation is so great(P) as to have their gods near(Q) them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? 8 And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws(R) as this body of laws I am setting before you today?
9 Only be careful,(S) and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach(T) them to your children(U) and to their children after them. 10 Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb,(V) when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn(W) to revere(X) me as long as they live in the land(Y) and may teach(Z) them to their children.” 11 You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain(AA) while it blazed with fire(AB) to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness.(AC) 12 Then the Lord spoke(AD) to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form;(AE) there was only a voice.(AF) 13 He declared to you his covenant,(AG) the Ten Commandments,(AH) which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets. 14 And the Lord directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and laws(AI) you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.
15 You saw no form(AJ) of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb(AK) out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully,(AL) 16 so that you do not become corrupt(AM) and make for yourselves an idol,(AN) an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, 17 or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air,(AO) 18 or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. 19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun,(AP) the moon and the stars(AQ)—all the heavenly array(AR)—do not be enticed(AS) into bowing down to them and worshiping(AT) things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. 20 But as for you, the Lord took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace,(AU) out of Egypt,(AV) to be the people of his inheritance,(AW) as you now are.
21 The Lord was angry with me(AX) because of you, and he solemnly swore that I would not cross the Jordan and enter the good land the Lord your God is giving you as your inheritance. 22 I will die in this land;(AY) I will not cross the Jordan; but you are about to cross over and take possession of that good land.(AZ) 23 Be careful not to forget the covenant(BA) of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol(BB) in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. 24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire,(BC) a jealous God.(BD)
25 After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt(BE) and make any kind of idol,(BF) doing evil(BG) in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, 26 I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses(BH) against you(BI) this day that you will quickly perish(BJ) from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter(BK) you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive(BL) among the nations to which the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made gods(BM) of wood and stone,(BN) which cannot see or hear or eat or smell.(BO) 29 But if from there you seek(BP) the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart(BQ) and with all your soul.(BR) 30 When you are in distress(BS) and all these things have happened to you, then in later days(BT) you will return(BU) to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful(BV) God; he will not abandon(BW) or destroy(BX) you or forget(BY) the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.
The Lord Is God
32 Ask(BZ) now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth;(CA) ask from one end of the heavens to the other.(CB) Has anything so great(CC) as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? 33 Has any other people heard the voice of God[a] speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived?(CD) 34 Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation,(CE) by testings,(CF) by signs(CG) and wonders,(CH) by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm,(CI) or by great and awesome deeds,(CJ) like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?
35 You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other.(CK) 36 From heaven he made you hear his voice(CL) to discipline(CM) you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. 37 Because he loved(CN) your ancestors and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength,(CO) 38 to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance,(CP) as it is today.
39 Acknowledge(CQ) and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.(CR) 40 Keep(CS) his decrees and commands,(CT) which I am giving you today, so that it may go well(CU) with you and your children after you and that you may live long(CV) in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.
Cities of Refuge(CW)
41 Then Moses set aside three cities east of the Jordan, 42 to which anyone who had killed a person could flee if they had unintentionally(CX) killed a neighbor without malice aforethought. They could flee into one of these cities and save their life. 43 The cities were these: Bezer in the wilderness plateau, for the Reubenites; Ramoth(CY) in Gilead, for the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, for the Manassites.
Introduction to the Law
44 This is the law Moses set before the Israelites. 45 These are the stipulations, decrees and laws Moses gave them when they came out of Egypt 46 and were in the valley near Beth Peor east of the Jordan, in the land of Sihon(CZ) king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon and was defeated by Moses and the Israelites as they came out of Egypt. 47 They took possession of his land and the land of Og king of Bashan, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan. 48 This land extended from Aroer(DA) on the rim of the Arnon Gorge to Mount Sirion[b](DB) (that is, Hermon(DC)), 49 and included all the Arabah east of the Jordan, as far as the Dead Sea,[c] below the slopes of Pisgah.