Deuteronomy 1:1-18 Good News Translation (GNT)
1 In this book are the words that Moses spoke to the people of Israel when they were in the wilderness east of the Jordan River. They were in the Jordan Valley near Suph, between the town of Paran on one side and the towns of Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab on the other. (2 It takes eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai to Kadesh Barnea by way of the hill country of Edom.) 3 On the first day of the eleventh month of the fortieth year after they had left Egypt, Moses told the people everything the Lord had commanded him to tell them. 4 This was after the Lord[a] had defeated King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled in the town of Heshbon, and King Og of Bashan, who ruled in the towns of Ashtaroth and Edrei. 5 It was while the people were east of the Jordan in the territory of Moab that Moses began to explain God's laws and teachings.
He said, 6 “When we were at Mount Sinai, the Lord our God said to us, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7 Break camp and move on. Go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all the surrounding regions—to the Jordan Valley, to the hill country and the lowlands, to the southern region, and to the Mediterranean coast. Go to the land of Canaan and on beyond the Lebanon Mountains as far as the great Euphrates River. 8 All of this is the land which I, the Lord, promised to give to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to their descendants. Go and occupy it.’”
Moses Appoints Judges
9 Moses said to the people, “While we were still at Mount Sinai, I told you, ‘The responsibility for leading you is too much for me. I can't do it alone. 10 The Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky. 11 May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, make you increase a thousand times more and make you prosperous, as he promised! 12 But how can I alone bear the heavy responsibility for settling your disputes? 13 Choose some wise, understanding, and experienced men from each tribe, and I will put them in charge of you.’ 14 And you agreed that this was a good thing to do. 15 So I took the wise and experienced leaders you chose from your tribes, and I placed them in charge of you. Some were responsible for a thousand people, some for a hundred, some for fifty, and some for ten. I also appointed other officials throughout the tribes.
16 “At that time I instructed them, ‘Listen to the disputes that come up among your people. Judge every dispute fairly, whether it concerns only your own people or involves foreigners who live among you. 17 Show no partiality in your decisions; judge everyone on the same basis, no matter who they are. Do not be afraid of anyone, for the decisions you make come from God. If any case is too difficult for you, bring it to me, and I will decide it.’ 18 At the same time I gave you instructions for everything else you were to do.
Deuteronomy 1:1-18 New International Version (NIV)
The Command to Leave Horeb
1 These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel in the wilderness east of the Jordan—that is, in the Arabah—opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab. 2 (It takes eleven days to go from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea by the Mount Seir road.)
3 In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them. 4 This was after he had defeated Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, and at Edrei had defeated Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth.
5 East of the Jordan in the territory of Moab, Moses began to expound this law, saying:
6 The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7 Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites; go to all the neighboring peoples in the Arabah, in the mountains, in the western foothills, in the Negev and along the coast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the Euphrates. 8 See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the Lord swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.”
The Appointment of Leaders
9 At that time I said to you, “You are too heavy a burden for me to carry alone. 10 The Lord your God has increased your numbers so that today you are as numerous as the stars in the sky. 11 May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised! 12 But how can I bear your problems and your burdens and your disputes all by myself? 13 Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.”
14 You answered me, “What you propose to do is good.”
15 So I took the leading men of your tribes, wise and respected men, and appointed them to have authority over you—as commanders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens and as tribal officials. 16 And I charged your judges at that time, “Hear the disputes between your people and judge fairly, whether the case is between two Israelites or between an Israelite and a foreigner residing among you. 17 Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.” 18 And at that time I told you everything you were to do.