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Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Parashat D’varim

Devarim: The Words that Moses Spoke

These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan—in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Di-Zahab. It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea.

Now Moses spoke to Bnei-Yisrael, according to all Adonai had commanded him for them—in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, after he had struck down Sihon king of the Amorites who lived in Heshbon, and Og king of the Bashan who lived in Ashtaroth and Edrei.

Across the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses began to explain this Torah saying, Adonai our God spoke to us at Horeb saying: ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn, journey on, and enter the hill country of the Amorites and all their neighbors, in the Arabah, the hill country, the lowland, the Negev, and by the seashore—the land of the Canaanites and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the Euphrates. See, I have set the land before you. Enter and possess the land that Adonai swore to your fathers—to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob—to give to them and to their descendants after them.’[a]

Bad Report and Poor Response

“I spoke to you at that time saying: ‘I am not able to bear the burden of you by myself. 10 Adonai your God has multiplied you—and here you are today, like the stars of the heavens in number.

11 “‘May Adonai, God of your fathers, increase you a thousand times as many as you are, and may He bless you just as He has promised you! 12 How can I bear your load and burden and bickering by myself? 13 Choose for yourselves wise and discerning men, well known to your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.’

14 “You answered me and said: ‘The thing you have said to do is good.’ 15 So I took the heads of your tribes, men who were wise and well known, and appointed them as heads over you—leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, leaders of tens, and officials for your tribes.

16 “I commanded your judges at that time saying: ‘Hear cases between your brothers, and judge fairly[b] between a man and his brother or the outsider with him. 17 You must not show partiality in judgment[c]—you must hear the small and the great alike. Fear no man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me and I will hear it.’

18 “I commanded you at that time everything you should do.

19 “Then we journeyed from Horeb and went through all that great and terrible wilderness that you saw on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, as Adonai our God commanded us. Then we came to Kadesh-barnea. 20 I said to you: ‘You have come to the hill country of the Amorites, which Adonai our God is giving to us. 21 See, Adonai your God has set the land before you—go up, take possession, as Adonai God of your fathers has promised you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.’

22 “Then all of you came near to me and said: ‘Let’s send men ahead of us to explore the land for us and bring us back word about the way we should go up and the cities we will enter.’

23 “The idea seemed good to me, so I took twelve men from among you—one man for each tribe. 24 They turned and went up into the hill country, and they came to the Wadi Eshcol and spied it out. 25 They took in their hands some of the fruit of the land and brought it down to us. They also brought back word to us and said, ‘Good is the land that Adonai our God is giving to us.’

26 “Yet you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of Adonai your God. 27 In your tents you grumbled and said: ‘Because Adonai hates us, He has brought us out from the land of Egypt to hand us over to the Amorites, to destroy us! 28 Where are we going? Our brothers have discouraged our hearts saying, “The people are greater and taller than we are! The cities are great and fortified up to the heavens! Besides, we have even seen the children of Anakim there!”’

29 “Then I said to you, ‘Don’t tremble or be afraid of them. 30 Adonai your God, who goes before you, He Himself will fight for you—just as He did for you in Egypt before your own eyes, 31 and in the wilderness, where you saw how Adonai your God carried you as a man carries his son, everywhere you went until you came to this place.’ 32 Yet for all this you did not trust in Adonai your God— 33 the One who goes before you on the way to scout out a place for you to camp and to show you the way you should go, in fire by night and in the cloud by day.

34 “When Adonai heard the tone[d] of your words, He was angry and swore an oath saying, 35 ‘Not one of these men of this evil generation will see the good land that I swore to give your fathers— 36 except Caleb the son of Jephunneh. He will see it—yet to him and his children I will give the land that he has walked on, because he has followed Adonai wholeheartedly.’

37 Adonai was even angry with me on your account, saying, ‘You will not enter there, either. 38 Joshua son of Nun, who stands before you, will enter there—encourage him, for he will enable Israel to inherit it.

39 “‘Moreover, your little ones—whom you said would become plunder, and your children who today have no knowledge of good or evil—they will enter there. To them I will give it and they will possess it. 40 But as for you, turn around and journey into the wilderness by way of the Sea of Reeds[e].’

41 “Then you answered and said to me, ‘We have sinned against Adonai. We will go up and fight, just as Adonai our God commanded us.’ So each of you strapped on his weapons of war, figuring it was easy to go up to the hill country.

42 “But Adonai said to me, ‘Tell them, “Do not go up and fight—for I am not with you, and you will be defeated by your enemies.”’

43 “So I told you, but you would not listen—you rebelled against the command of Adonai and presumptuously went up into the hill country. 44 The Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you, and they chased you as bees do and scattered you from Seir to Hormah. 45 Then you returned and wept before Adonai, but Adonai did not listen to your voice or pay attention to you.

46 “So you stayed in Kadesh many days—like the days you had spent before.

Moses Recalls Wilderness Journey

“Then we turned and journeyed into the wilderness by the way to the Sea of Reeds, just as Adonai told me. We went around the hill country of Seir for many days.

Adonai spoke to me saying, ‘You have gone around this hill country long enough—turn to the north. Command the people saying, “You are about to cross into the territory of your relatives, the sons of Esau, who dwell in Seir. They will be afraid of you, so be very careful. Do not provoke them, for I will not give you any of their land—not even a footprint—because I have given the hill country of Seir to Esau as a possession. You are to buy food from them for money so that you may eat, and you are also to buy water from them for money so that you may drink. For Adonai your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand—He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These 40 years Adonai your God has been with you—you have lacked nothing.”’

“So we went on past our relatives the sons of Esau who dwell in Seir, away from the way of the Arabah from Elath and Ezion-geber. We turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab.

Adonai said to me, ‘Do not harass Moab or engage them in battle. For I will not give you any of his land for a possession, because I have given Ar to the children of Lot for a possession. 10 (The Emim used to live there—a great and numerous people, as tall as the Anakim. 11 These people also are considered Rephaim, like the Anakim; but the Moabites call them Emim. 12 Now the Horites used to live in Seir, but the sons of Esau drove them out and destroyed them from before themselves and settled in their place—just as Israel did to the land of its possession that Adonai gave to them.) 13 Now rise up, and cross over the Wadi Zered.’ So we went over the Wadi Zered.

14 “The time that we traveled from Kadesh-barnea until we crossed over the Wadi Zered was 38 years—until all the generation of the men of war from within the camp came to an end, as Adonai had sworn to them. 15 Indeed, the hand of Adonai was against them, to destroy them from within the camp until they came to their end.[f]

16 “Now when all the men of war had finished dying from among the people, 17 Adonai spoke to me saying, 18 ‘Today you are about to cross the border of Moab at Ar. 19 When you come opposite the sons of Ammon, do not harass or provoke them—for I will not give you any of the land of the sons of Ammon for a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot for a possession. 20 (That also is considered a land of Rephaim. Rephaim used to live there, but the Ammonites call them Zamzummim— 21 a great and numerous people, as tall as the Anakim. But Adonai destroyed them from before them, and the Ammonites dispossessed them and settled in their place. 22 It was just as Adonai did for the sons of Esau, who dwell in Seir, when He destroyed the Horites before them. They drove them out and settled in their place even to this day. 23 As for the Avvim who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorim who came from Crete destroyed them and settled in their place.)

Defeat of Sihon and Og

24 “‘Rise up, journey on, and cross over the Wadi Arnon. See, I have handed over Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land—begin to possess it! Engage him in battle! 25 This very day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the peoples everywhere under heaven. When they hear the report about you, they will tremble and twist in anguish because of you.’

26 “So I sent messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon with words of shalom saying, 27 ‘Let me pass through your land—I will go only by way of the road. I will not turn to the right or to the left. 28 You will sell me food for money so that I may eat and give me water for money so that I may drink. Just let me pass through on foot— 29 as the sons of Esau dwelling in Seir and the Moabites in Ar did for me—until I cross over the Jordan into the land that Adonai our God is giving to us.’ 30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him, because Adonai your God stiffened his spirit and hardened his heart, in order to hand him over to you this very day.[g]

31 Adonai said to me, ‘See, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you—begin to take possession in order to take hold of his land.’

32 “Then Sihon came out against us—he and all his people—to battle at Jahaz. 33 Adonai our God gave him over to us, and we struck him down along with his sons and all his people. 34 We captured all his cities at that time, and utterly put under a ban of judgment every city—men, women and children. We left no survivor. 35 We took only the livestock as plunder for ourselves, as the spoils of the cities we captured. 36 From Aroer which is on the edge of the Wadi Arnon and the city by the wadi, all the way up to the Gilead, there was not a town too high for us. Adonai our God gave everything over to us. 37 Only you did not come near the land of the sons of Ammon—all along the Wadi Jabbok and the cities of the hill country and wherever Adonai our God had commanded.

“Next we turned and went up the way to the Bashan. King Og of the Bashan came out against us—he and all his people—for battle at Edrei. But Adonai said to me, ‘Do not fear him, for I have handed him over and all his people and his land. You will do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon.’

“So Adonai our God also handed over King Og of the Bashan and all his people, and we struck him down until no survivor was left. We captured all his cities at that time—there was not a town that we did not take from them—sixty cities, the whole region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in the Bashan. All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates and bars, in addition to a great many unwalled towns. We utterly destroyed them, just as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying every city—men, women and children. But all the livestock and the spoils of the cities we took as plunder for ourselves.

“So at that time we took from the hand of the two kings of the Amorites the land across the Jordan, from the Wadi Arnon to Mount Hermon. (Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir.) 10 We took all the cities of the plain and all the Gilead and all the Bashan, as far as Salcah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in the Bashan. 11 (For only King Og of the Bashan survived from the remnant of the Rephaim. In fact, his bed was made of iron—is it not in Rabbah of the Ammonites? Nine cubits was its length and four cubits its width, according to the cubit of a man.)

Possession East of Jordan

12 “This land we took in possession at that time—from Aroer by the Wadi Arnon and half the hill country of the Gilead and its cities—I gave to the Reubenites and Gadites. 13 The rest of the Gilead and all of the Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh—all the region of the Argob. (All the Bashan is called the land of Rephaim. 14 Jair son of Manasseh took all the region of Argob, as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maachathites. He called them—the Bashan—after his own name, Havvoth-jair’s Villages, as it is the case to this day.)

15 “To Machir I gave the Gilead. 16 To the Reubenite and Gadites I gave from the Gilead as far as the Wadi Arnon—the middle of the wadi as the border—and as far as Jabbok, the wadi that is the border of the sons of Ammon, 17 and the Arabah, with the Jordan as the border from Kinneret as far as the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, under the slopes of Pisgah eastward.

18 “I commanded you at that time, saying, ‘Adonai your God has given you this land to possess it. Ready for battle, you will cross over ahead of your brothers Bnei-Yisrael—all the men of valor. 19 Only your wives and your little ones and your livestock (I know that you have much livestock) may stay in your cities that I have given you, 20 until Adonai gives rest to your brothers as He has for you, and they also possess the land that Adonai your God is giving them across the Jordan. Then you may return, each man to his possession that I have given you.’

21 “I commanded Joshua at that time saying, ‘Your eyes have seen all that Adonai your God has done to these two kings. Adonai will do the same to all the kingdoms you are about to cross into. 22 You must not fear them, for it is Adonai your God who fights for you.’


  1. Deuteronomy 1:8 Cf. Heb. 6:13-14.
  2. Deuteronomy 1:16 Heb. tzedek, or with righteousness.
  3. Deuteronomy 1:17 cf. Jacob 2:1, 9.
  4. Deuteronomy 1:34 Heb. kol, or voice of.
  5. Deuteronomy 1:40 Heb. Yam Suph.
  6. Deuteronomy 2:15 cf. Judah 5.
  7. Deuteronomy 2:30 cf. Rom. 9:18.
Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.


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