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Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Parashah 44: D’varim (Words) 1:1–3:22

These are the words Moshe spoke to all Isra’el on the far side of the Yarden River, in the desert, in the ‘Aravah, across from Suf, between Pa’ran and Tofel, Lavan, Hatzerot and Di-Zahav. It is eleven days’ journey from Horev to Kadesh-Barnea by way of Mount Se‘ir.

On the first day of the eleventh month of the fortieth year, Moshe spoke to the people of Isra’el, reviewing everything Adonai had ordered him to tell them. This was after he had defeated Sichon, king of the Emori, who lived in Heshbon, and ‘Og, king of Bashan, who lived in ‘Ashtarot, at Edre‘i. There, beyond the Yarden, in the land of Mo’av, Moshe took it upon himself to expound this Torah and said:

Adonai spoke to us in Horev. He said, ‘You have lived long enough by this mountain. Turn, get moving and go to the hill-country of the Emori and all the places near there in the ‘Aravah, the hill-country, the Sh’felah, the Negev and by the seashore — the land of the Kena‘ani, and the L’vanon, as far as the great river, the Euphrates River. I have set the land before you! Go in, and take possession of the land Adonai swore to give to your ancestors Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov, and their descendants after them.’

“At that time I told you, ‘You are too heavy a burden for me to carry alone. 10 Adonai your God has multiplied your numbers, so that there are as many of you today as there are stars in the sky. 11 May Adonai, the God of your ancestors, increase you yet a thousandfold and bless you, as he has promised you! (ii) 12 But you are burdensome, bothersome and quarrelsome! How can I bear it by myself alone? 13 Pick for yourselves from each of your tribes men who are wise, understanding and knowledgeable; and I will make them heads over you.’

14 “You answered me, ‘What you have said would be a good thing for us to do.’ 15 So I took the heads of your tribes, men wise and knowledgable, and made them heads over you — leaders in charge of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens, and officers, tribe by tribe. 16 At that time I commissioned your judges, ‘Hear the cases that arise between your brothers; and judge fairly between a man and his brother, and the foreigner who is with him. 17 You are not to show favoritism when judging, but give equal attention to the small and to the great. No matter how a person presents himself, don’t be afraid of him; because the decision is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, bring to me and I will hear it.’ 18 I also gave you orders at that time concerning all the things you were to do.

19 “So we left Horev and went through all that vast and fearsome desert which you saw on the way to the hill-country of the Emori, as Adonai our God ordered us; and we arrived at Kadesh-Barnea. 20 There I said to you, ‘You have come to the hill-country of the Emori, which Adonai our God is giving to us. 21 Look! Adonai your God has placed the land before you. Go up, take possession, as Adonai, the God of your ancestors, has told you. Don’t be afraid, don’t be dismayed.’

(iii) 22 “You approached me, every one of you, and said, ‘Let’s send men ahead of us to explore the country for us and bring back word concerning what route we should use in going up and what the cities we will encounter are like.’ 23 The idea seemed good to me, so I took twelve of your men, one from each tribe; 24 and they set out, went up into the hills, came to the Eshkol Valley and reconnoitered it. 25 They took some of the produce of the land and brought it down to us; they also brought back word to us — ‘The land Adonai our God is giving to us is good.’

26 “But you would not go up. Instead you rebelled against the order of Adonai your God; 27 and in your tents you complained, ‘It’s because Adonai hated us that he has brought us out of the land of Egypt, only to hand us over to the Emori to destroy us. 28 What sort of place is it that we’re heading for? Our brothers made our courage fail when they said, “The people are bigger and taller than we are; the cities are great and fortified up to the sky; and finally, we have seen ‘Anakim there.”’

29 “I answered you, ‘Don’t be fearful, don’t be afraid of them. 30 Adonai your God, who is going ahead of you, will fight on your behalf, just as he accomplished all those things for you in Egypt before your eyes, 31 and likewise in the desert, where you saw how Adonai your God carried you, like a man carries his child, along the entire way you traveled until you arrived at this place. 32 Yet in this matter you don’t trust Adonai your God, 33 even though he went ahead of you, seeking out places for you to pitch your tents and showing you which way to go, by fire at night and by a cloud during the day.’

34 Adonai heard what you were saying, became angry and swore, 35 ‘Not a single one of these people, this whole evil generation, will see the good land I swore to give to your ancestors, 36 except Kalev the son of Y’funeh — he will see it; I will give him and his descendants the land he walked on, because he has fully followed Adonai.’

37 “Also, because of you Adonai was angry with me and said, ‘You too will not go in there. 38 Y’hoshua the son of Nun, your assistant — he will go in there. So encourage him, because he will enable Isra’el to take possession of it. (iv) 39 Moreover, your little ones, who you said would be taken as booty, and your children who don’t yet know good from bad — they will go in there; I will give it to them, and they will have possession of it. 40 But as for yourselves, turn around and head into the desert by the road to the Sea of Suf.’

41 “Then you answered me, ‘We have sinned against Adonai. Now we will go up and fight, in accordance with everything Adonai our God ordered us.’ And every man among you put on his arms, considering it an easy matter to go up into the hill-country. 42 But Adonai said to me, ‘Tell them, “Don’t go up, and don’t fight, because I am not there with you; if you do, your enemies will defeat you.”’ 43 So I told you, but you wouldn’t listen. Instead, you rebelled against Adonai’s order, took matters into your own hands and went up into the hill-country; 44 where the Emori living in that hill-country came out against you like bees, defeated you in Se‘ir and chased you back all the way to Hormah. 45 You returned and cried before Adonai, but Adonai neither listened to what you said nor paid you any attention. 46 This is why you had to stay in Kadesh as long as you did.

“Then we turned and began traveling into the desert along the road to the Sea of Suf, as Adonai had said to me; and we skirted Mount Se‘ir for a long time. (v) Finally Adonai said to me, ‘You have been going around this mountain long enough! Head north, and give this order to the people: “You are to pass through the territory of your kinsmen the descendants of ‘Esav who live in Se‘ir. They will be afraid of you, so be very cautious, and don’t get into disputes with them; for I am not going to give you any of their land, no, not even enough for one foot to stand on; inasmuch as I have given Mount Se‘ir to ‘Esav as his possession. Pay them money for the food you eat, and pay them money for the water you drink. For Adonai your God has blessed you in everything your hands have produced. He knows that you have been traveling through this vast desert; these forty years Adonai your God has been with you; and you have lacked nothing.’

“So we went on past our kinsmen the descendants of ‘Esav living in Se‘ir, left the road through the ‘Aravah from Eilat and ‘Etzyon-Gever, and turned to pass along the road through the desert of Mo’av. Adonai said to me, ‘Don’t be hostile toward Mo’av or fight with them, because I will not give you any of their land to possess, since I have already given ‘Ar to the descendants of Lot as their territory.’” 10 (The Emim used to live there, a great and numerous people as tall as the ‘Anakim. 11 They are also considered Refa’im, as are the ‘Anakim, but the Mo’avim call them Emim. 12 In Se‘ir the Horim used to live, but the descendants of ‘Esav dispossessed and destroyed them, settling in their place. Isra’el did similarly in the land it came to possess, which Adonai gave to them.) 13 “‘Now get going, and cross Vadi Zered!’

“So we crossed Vadi Zered. 14 The time between our leaving Kadesh-Barnea and our crossing Vadi Zered was thirty-eight years — until the whole generation of men capable of bearing arms had been eliminated from the camp, as Adonai had sworn they would be. 15 Moreover, Adonai’s hand was against them to root them out of the camp until the last of them was gone. 16 When all the men who were able to bear arms had died and were no longer part of the people, 17 Adonai said to me, 18 ‘Today you are to cross the border of Mo’av at ‘Ar. 19 When you approach the descendants of ‘Amon, don’t bother them or fight with them, for I will not give you any of the territory of the people of ‘Amon to possess, since I have given it to the descendants of Lot as their territory.’”

20 (This too is considered a land of the Refa’im: Refa’im, whom the Emori call Zamzumim, used to live there. 21 They were a large, numerous people, as tall as the ‘Anakim; but Adonai destroyed them as the people of ‘Amon advanced and settled in their place — 22 just as he destroyed the Horim as descendants of ‘Esav advanced into Se‘ir and settled in their place, where they live to this day. 23 It was the same with the ‘Avim, who lived in villages as far away as ‘Azah — the Kaftorim, coming from Kaftor, destroyed them and settled in their place.)

24 “‘Get up, get moving, and cross the Arnon Valley! Here, I have put in your hands Sichon the Emori, king of Heshbon, and his land; commence the conquest, begin the battle! 25 Today I will start putting the fear and dread of you into all the peoples under heaven, so that the mere mention of your name will make them quake and tremble before you.’

26 “I sent envoys from the K’demot Desert to Sichon king of Heshbon with a peaceable message, 27 ‘Let me pass through your land. I will keep to the road, turning neither right nor left. 28 You will sell me food to eat for money and give me water to drink for money. I only want to pass through. 29 Do as the people of ‘Esav living in Se‘ir and the Mo’avim living in ‘Ar did with me, until I cross the Yarden into the land Adonai our God is giving us.’

30 “But Sichon king of Heshbon would not let us pass through his territory, because Adonai your God had hardened his spirit and made him stubborn, so that he could hand him over to you, as is the case today. (vi) 31 Adonai said to me, ‘See, I have begun handing over Sichon and his territory before you; start taking possession of his land.’ 32 Then Sichon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Yahatz; 33 and Adonai our God handed him over to us, so that we defeated him, his sons and all his people. 34 At that time we captured all his cities and completely destroyed every city — men, women, little ones — we left none of them. 35 As booty for ourselves we took only the cattle, along with the spoil from the cities we had captured. 36 From ‘Aro‘er, on the edge of the Arnon Valley, and from the city in the valley, all the way to Gil‘ad, there was not one city too well fortified for us to capture — Adonai our God gave all of them to us. 37 The only land you didn’t approach was that of the descendants of ‘Amon — the region around the Yabok River, the cities in the hills and wherever else Adonai our God forbade us to go.

“Then we turned and went up the road to Bashan, and ‘Og the king of Bashan came out against us with all his people to fight at Edre‘i. Adonai said to me, ‘Don’t be afraid of him; for I have handed him, all his people and his territory over to you; you will do to him as you did to Sichon king of the Emori, who lived at Heshbon.’ So Adonai our God also handed over to us ‘Og the king of Bashan with all his people, and we defeated him until he had no one left. At that time we captured all his cities; there was not one city of theirs that we didn’t capture. There were sixty cities, all the region of Argov, the kingdom of ‘Og in Bashan; all of them fortified cities with high walls, gates and bars — in addition to a great number of unwalled towns. We completely destroyed them, as we did with Sichon king of Heshbon, annihilating every city —men, women and little ones. But we took all the livestock, along with the spoil from the cities, as booty for ourselves.

“At that time we captured the territory of the two kings of the Emori east of the Yarden between the Arnon Valley and Mount Hermon,” the Hermon which the Tzidonim call Siryon and the Emori call S’nir, 10 “all the cities of the plain, all Gil‘ad and all Bashan, as far as Salkhah and Edre‘i, cities of the kingdom of ‘Og in Bashan.” 11 ‘Og king of Bashan was the last survivor of the Refa’im. His bed was made of iron; it is still in Rabbah with the people of ‘Amon. It was nine cubits long and four cubits wide, using the normal cubit [thirteen-and-a-half by six feet].

12 “Of this land that we took possession of then, I assigned to the Re’uveni and the Gadi the territory extending from ‘Aro‘er along the Arnon Valley together with half the hill-country of Gil‘ad, including its cities. 13 The rest of Gil‘ad and all Bashan, the kingdom of ‘Og, I gave to the half-tribe of M’nasheh.”

The whole region of Argov together with all of Bashan form what is called the land of Refa’im. 14 Ya’ir the son of M’nasheh took all the region of Argov, as far as the border with the G’shuri and the Ma‘akhati; he named this whole area, including Bashan, after himself — it remains Havot-Ya’ir to this day.

(vii) 15 “I gave Gil‘ad to Machir; 16 and to the Re’uveni and the Gadi I gave the territory from Gil‘ad to the Arnon Valley, with the middle of the valley as the border, as far as the Yabok River, which is the border with the people of ‘Amon; 17 the ‘Aravah too, the Yarden being its border, from Kinneret to the Sea of the ‘Aravah, the Dead Sea, at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah to the east.

18 “At that time I gave you this order: ‘Adonai your God has given you this land to possess. But all of you who are fit to fight must cross over, armed, ahead of your brothers the people of Isra’el. 19 Your wives, your little ones and your livestock — I know you have much livestock — will stay in your cities which I have given you, (Maftir) 20 until Adonai allows your brothers to rest, as he has allowed you; and they too take possession of the land Adonai your God is giving them on the west side of the Yarden. At that point you will return, each man to his own possession which I have given you.’

21 “Also at that time I gave this order to Y’hoshua: ‘Your eyes have seen everything that Adonai your God has done to these two kings. Adonai will do the same to all the kingdoms you encounter when you cross over. 22 Don’t be afraid of them, because Adonai your God will fight on your behalf.’

Haftarah D’varim: Yesha‘yahu (Isaiah) 1:1–27

B’rit Hadashah suggested readings for Parashah D’varim: Yochanan (John) 15:1–11; Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 3:7–4:11

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

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