Deuteronomy 12 Lexham English Bible (LEB)
Detailed Stipulations: Purity and Unity
12 “These are the rules and the regulations that you must diligently observe[a] in the land that Yahweh, the God of your ancestors,[b] has given to you to take possession of it, during all the days that you are living on the land.
2 You must completely demolish all of the places there where they served their gods, that is, the nations whom you are about to dispossess, on the high mountains, and on the hills and under each leafy green tree.[c] 3 And you shall break down their altars, and you shall smash their stone pillars, and their Asherah poles you must burn with fire, and the images of their gods you shall hew down, and you shall blot out their names from that place. 4 You shall not worship Yahweh your God like this. 5 But only[d] to the place that Yahweh your God will choose from all of your tribes to place his name there as his dwelling shall you seek, and there you shall go. 6 And you shall bring there your burnt offerings and your sacrifices and your tithes and your donations[e] and your votive gifts and your freewill offerings and the firstling of your herd and your flock. 7 And you shall eat there before[f] Yahweh your God, and you shall rejoice in all your endeavors,[g] you and your family in which Yahweh your God has blessed you.
8 “You must not do just as we are doing here today,[h] each according to all that is right in his eyes.[i] 9 For you have not come up to now to the resting place and to the inheritance that Yahweh your God is giving to you. 10 But you will cross the Jordan, and you will settle in the land that Yahweh your God is giving you as an inheritance, and he will give rest to you from all your enemies from all around, and you will live securely, 11 and then[j] at the place that Yahweh your God will choose, to let his name dwell there, there you shall bring all the things I am commanding you, your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and your donations,[k] and all of the choice things, your votive gifts that you vow to Yahweh. 12 And you shall rejoice before[l] Yahweh your God, you and your sons and your daughters and your slaves and your slave women and the Levite who is in your towns,[m] because there is not for him a plot of ground and an inheritance with you.
13 “Take care for yourself so that you do not offer your burnt offerings at just any place that you happen to see, 14 but only[n] at the place that Yahweh will choose among one of your tribes; there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all the things that I am commanding you.
15 “But whenever you desire[o] you may slaughter, and you may eat meat according to the blessing of Yahweh your God that he has given to you in all of your towns;[p] the unclean and the clean may eat it just as they would the gazelle and as the deer. 16 Only the blood you must not eat, but on the ground you must pour it like water. 17 You are not allowed to eat in your towns[q] the tithe of your grain and your wine and your olive oil and the firstborn of your herd and your flock and all of your votive gifts that you vowed and your freewill offering and your donations.[r] 18 But only before[s] Yahweh your God you shall eat it, at the place that Yahweh your God will choose,[t] you and your son and your daughter and your slave and your slave woman and the Levite who is in your towns,[u] and you must rejoice before[v] your God in all your undertakings.[w] 19 Take care[x] so that you do not neglect the Levite all of your days on your land.
20 “When Yahweh your God enlarges your territory just as he has promised[y] to you, and you say ‘I want to eat some meat,’ because you want it,[z] whenever you desire[aa] you may eat meat. 21 If the place that[ab] Yahweh your God will choose to put his name there is too far from you, and you slaughter any of your herd and any of your flock that Yahweh has given to you just as I have commanded you, then you may eat whenever you desire in your towns.[ac] 22 Surely just as the gazelle and the deer is eaten, so both the unclean and the clean together may eat it. 23 Only, be sure not to eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the meat. 24 You shall not eat it, but on the ground you shall pour it out like water. 25 You shall not eat it, so that it will go well[ad] for you and your children after you, because then you will be doing what is[ae] right in the eyes of Yahweh. 26 Only your holy objects that are yours[af] and your votive gifts you must carry and you must bring to the place that Yahweh will choose. 27 And you shall offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood on the altar of Yahweh your God, and the blood of your sacrifices you shall pour out on the altar of Yahweh your God, but the meat you may eat. 28 Be careful to obey[ag] all these things that I am commanding you, so that it will go well[ah] for you and for your children after you forever,[ai] because then you will be doing what is[aj] good and right[ak] in the eyes of Yahweh your God.
29 “When Yahweh your God has cut off the nations whom you are about to go to,[al] to dispossess them before you,[am] and you have dispossessed them, and you live in their land, 30 take care[an] so that you are not ensnared into imitating them[ao] after their being destroyed from before you,[ap] and so that you not enquire concerning their gods, saying,[aq] ‘How did these nations serve their gods, and thus I myself[ar] want to do also.’ 31 You must not do so toward Yahweh your God, because of every detestable thing they have done for their gods Yahweh hates, for even their sons and their daughters they would burn in the fire to their gods. 32 [as] All of the things[at] that I am commanding you, you must diligently observe;[au] you shall not add to it, and you shall not take away from it.”