Deuteronomy 10-12 Common English Bible (CEB)
10 At that time the Lord told me: Carve two stone tablets, just like the first ones, and hike up the mountain to me. Construct a wooden chest as well. 2 I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets—the ones you smashed—then you will place them in the chest.
3 So I built a chest out of acacia wood and carved two stone tablets just like the first ones. Then I hiked up the mountain holding the two tablets in my hands. 4 God wrote on the new tablets what had been written on the first set: the Ten Commandments that the Lord spoke to you on the mountain, from the very fire itself, on the day we assembled there. Then the Lord gave them to me.
5 So I came back down the mountain. I put the tablets in the chest that I’d made, and that’s where they are now, exactly as the Lord commanded me.
(6 Now, the Israelites had set out from Beeroth-bene-jaakan[a] to Moserah. It was there that Aaron died and was buried. His son Eleazar succeeded him in the priestly role. 7 From there the Israelites traveled to Gudgodah, then from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, which is a land with flowing streams. 8 At that time, the Lord selected the tribe of Levi to carry the chest containing the Lord’s covenant, to minister before the Lord, to serve him, and to offer blessings in his name. That’s the way things are right now. 9 That’s why the Levites don’t have a stake or inheritance with the rest of their relatives. The Lord is the Levites’ inheritance, just as the Lord your God promised them.)
10 Just as the first time, I remained on the mountain forty days and nights. And the Lord listened to me again in this instance. The Lord wasn’t willing to destroy you. 11 Then the Lord told me: Get going. Lead the people so they can enter and take possession of the land that I promised I’d give to their ancestors.
What the Lord requires
12 Now in light of all that, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you? Only this: to revere the Lord your God by walking in all his ways, by loving him, by serving the Lord your God with all your heart and being, 13 and by keeping the Lord’s commandments and his regulations that I’m commanding you right now. It’s for your own good!
14 Clearly, the Lord owns the sky, the highest heavens, the earth, and everything in it. 15 But the Lord adored your ancestors, loving them and choosing the descendants that followed them—you!—from all other people. That’s how things still stand now. 16 So circumcise your hearts[b] and stop being so stubborn, 17 because the Lord your God is the God of all gods and Lord of all lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God who doesn’t play favorites and doesn’t take bribes. 18 He enacts justice for orphans and widows, and he loves immigrants, giving them food and clothing. 19 That means you must also love immigrants because you were immigrants in Egypt. 20 Revere the Lord your God, serve him, cling to him, swear by his name alone! 21 He is your praise, and he is your God—the one who performed these great and awesome acts that you witnessed with your very own eyes. 22 Your ancestors went down to Egypt with a total of seventy people, but now look! The Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the nighttime sky!
11 So love the Lord your God and follow his instruction, his regulations, his case laws, and his commandments always. 2 And know right now what your children haven’t known or yet witnessed:[c]
The Lord your God’s discipline, his power, his mighty hand and outstretched arm;
3 the signs and the acts that he performed in the heart of Egyptian territory, against Egypt’s King Pharaoh and all his land;
4 what God did to the Egyptian army, to its horses and chariots—how he made the water of the Reed Sea[d] flow over their heads when they chased after you, but the Lord destroyed them, and that’s how things stand right now;
5 what the Lord did for you in the desert, until you arrived at this place;
6 and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, the descendants of Eliab the Reubenite, when the ground opened up its mouth and swallowed them, their families, their tents, and every living thing they possessed in the presence of all Israel.
7 Your own eyes witnessed each of these powerful acts the Lord performed. 8 So keep every part of the commandment that I am giving you today so that you stay strong to enter and take possession of the land that you are crossing over to possess, 9 and so that you might prolong your life on the fertile land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants—a land full of milk and honey.
10 The land you are about to enter and possess is definitely not like the land of Egypt, where you came from, where you sowed your seed and irrigated it by hand[e] like a vegetable garden. 11 No, the land you are entering to possess is a land of hills and valleys, where your drinking water will be rain from heaven. 12 It’s a land that the Lord cares for: the Lord’s eyes are on it constantly from the first of the year until the very end of the year.
13 Now, if you completely obey God’s[f] commandments that I am giving you right now, by loving the Lord your God and by serving him with all your heart and all your being, 14 then he[g] will provide rain for your land at the right time—early rain and late rain—so you can stock up your grain, wine, and oil. 15 He[h] will also make your fields lush for your livestock, and you will eat and be satisfied. 16 But watch yourselves! Otherwise, your heart might be led astray so you stray away, serving other gods and worshipping them. 17 Then the Lord’s anger would burn against you. He will close the sky up tight. There won’t be any rain, and the ground won’t yield any of its crops. You will quickly disappear off the wonderful land the Lord is giving to you.
18 Place these words I’m speaking on your heart and in your very being. Tie them on your hand as a sign. They should be on your forehead as a symbol.[i] 19 Teach them to your children, by talking about them when you are sitting around your house and when you are out and about, when you are lying down and when you are getting up. 20 Write them on your house’s doorframes and on your city’s gates. 21 Do all that so your days and your children’s days on the fertile land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors are many—indeed, as many as the number of days that the sky’s been over the earth!
22 It’s true: if you carefully keep all this commandment that I’m giving you, by doing it, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in all his ways, and by clinging to him, 23 then the Lord will clear out all these nations before you. You will inherit what belonged to nations that are larger and stronger than you are. 24 Every place you set foot on will be yours: your territory will run from the wilderness all the way to the Lebanon range, and from the Euphrates River all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. 25 No one will be able to stand up to you. Just as he promised, the Lord your God will make the entire land deathly afraid of you wherever you advance in it.
Ceremony on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal
26 Pay attention! I am setting blessing and curse before you right now: 27 the blessing if you obey the Lord your God’s commandments that I am giving you right now, 28 but the curse if you don’t obey the Lord your God’s commandments and stray from the path that I am giving you today by following other gods that you have not known. 29 Now when the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of, put the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal. (30 Aren’t both of these mountains across the Jordan River, down along the western road in the region of the Canaanites who live in the desert plain, across from Gilgal, next to the Moreh Oak Grove?)
31 So then, once you cross the Jordan River to enter and possess the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you take possession of it, settling down in it, 32 you must carefully follow the regulations and the case laws that I am laying out before you right now.
Regulations and the case laws:
Worship at the location the Lord selects
12 These are the regulations and the case laws that you must carefully keep in the fertile land the Lord, your ancestors’ God, has given to you to possess for as long as you live on that land:
2 You must completely destroy every place where the nations that you are displacing worshipped their gods—whether on high mountains or hills or under leafy green trees. 3 Rip down their altars and shatter their sacred stones. Burn their sacred poles[j] with fire. Hack their gods’ idols into pieces. Wipe out their names from that place.
4 Don’t act like they did toward the Lord your God!
5 Instead, you must search for the location the Lord your God will select from all your tribes to put his name there, as his residence, and you must go there. 6 You must bring your entirely burned offerings, your sacrifices, your tenth-part gifts, your contributions,[k] your payments for solemn promises, your spontaneous gifts, and the oldest offspring of your herds and flocks to that place. 7 You will have a feast there, each of you and your families, in the Lord your God’s presence, and you will celebrate all you have done because the Lord your God has blessed you. 8 Don’t act like we’ve been acting here lately—everyone doing what seems right to them— 9 because up to this point you haven’t yet reached the place of rest or the inheritance the Lord your God is giving you. 10 But you are about to cross the Jordan River and will settle in the land the Lord your God is giving you as your inheritance. Then he will give you rest from all your enemies on every side so that you live safely and securely. 11 At that point, you must bring all that I am commanding you, your entirely burned offerings, your sacrifices, your tenth-part gifts, your contributions, and all your best payments that you solemnly promised to the Lord, to the location the Lord your God selects for his name to reside. 12 Then you will rejoice in the Lord your God’s presence: each of you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites who dwell in your cities because they have no designated inheritance.
13 But watch yourself! Make sure you don’t offer up your entirely burned offerings in just any place you see. 14 No, only at the location the Lord selects from one of your tribal areas—that’s where you must offer up your entirely burned offerings and that’s where you must perform everything I’m telling you. 15 However, whenever you wish, you may slaughter and eat meat, as the Lord your God sees fit to bless you with such in your cities. People who are polluted and people who are purified can join in the feast, as they would if they were eating gazelle or deer. 16 But you must not consume any of the animals’ blood. Pour it out on the ground, just like water.
17 Within your cities you are not allowed to eat any of the following: your tenth-part gifts of grain, wine, and oil; the oldest offspring of your herds and flocks; any of the payments you have solemnly promised; your spontaneous gifts or your contributions. 18 Only in the presence of the Lord your God, at the location the Lord your God selects, can you eat these things—that holds true for you, your son and daughter, your male and female servant, and the Levite who lives in your city. Then celebrate all you have done in the Lord your God’s presence. 19 But watch yourself: as long as you are on the land, don’t forget about the Levites.
20 Once the Lord your God has enlarged your territory, as he promised you, and you think to yourself, I’d like to eat some meat (because you have the desire to do so), feel free to do so whenever you want. 21 But if the location that the Lord your God will choose to put his name is far away from where you live, then slaughter an animal from your herd or flock that the Lord has given you, just as I have commanded you, and eat it in your cities whenever you wish. 22 But be sure to eat it as if it were gazelle or deer. People who are polluted and people who are purified can feast on it together.
23 Furthermore, make sure that you don’t consume any of the blood, because blood is life. You must not consume the life along with the meat. 24 You must not consume any of it. Pour it out on the ground, just like water. 25 You must not consume any of it so that things go well for you and for your children later because you did what was right in the Lord’s eyes.
26 Note that you must bring your sacred offerings and your payments for solemn promises to the location the Lord selects, 27 offering up your entirely burned sacrifices—both meat and blood—on the Lord your God’s altar. The blood from your sacrifices must be poured out on the Lord your God’s altar, but you are allowed to eat the meat. 28 Observe and obey all these words that I am commanding you so that things always go well for you and your children later because you did what was good and right in the Lord your God’s eyes.
29 Once the Lord your God has removed from before you all the nations that you are entering and taking possession of, and you have displaced them and are living in their land, 30 then watch yourself! Don’t be trapped by following their practices after they’ve been wiped out before you. Don’t go investigating their gods, thinking, How did these nations worship their gods? I want to do the very same thing!
31 Don’t act like they did toward the Lord your God because they did things for their gods that are detestable to the Lord, which he hates. They even burned their own sons and daughters with fire for their gods!
32 [l] Everything I’m commanding you, you must do it with utmost care! Don’t add anything to it or take anything away from it.