Laws of the Sanctuary

12 “These are the statutes and the judgments which you shall carefully [a]follow in the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess [b](A)as long as you live on the [c]earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you are going to dispossess serve their gods, on the (B)high mountains, on the hills, and under every leafy tree. And (C)you shall tear down their altars and smash their memorial stones to pieces, and burn their [d]Asherim in the fire, and cut to pieces the carved images of their gods; and you shall (D)eliminate their name from that place. You shall not act this way toward the Lord your God. (E)But you shall seek the Lord at the place which the Lord your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and you shall come there. You shall bring there your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, (F)your tithes, the [e]contribution of your hand, your vowed offerings, your [f]voluntary offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. There you and your households shall eat before the Lord your God, and (G)rejoice in all [g]your undertakings in which the Lord your God has blessed you.

“You shall not do at all what we are doing here today, (H)everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes; for you have not as yet come to (I)the resting place and the (J)inheritance which the Lord your God is giving you. 10 When you cross the Jordan and live in the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and (K)He gives you rest from all your enemies around you so that you live in security, 11 (L)then it shall come about that the place in which the Lord your God will choose for His name to dwell, there you shall bring everything that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the [h]contribution of your hand, and all your choice vowed offerings which you will vow to the Lord. 12 And you shall (M)rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your sons and daughters, your male and female slaves, and the (N)Levite who is within your gates, since (O)he has no portion or inheritance with you.

13 (P)Be careful that you do not offer your burnt offerings in any cultic place that you see, 14 but only in the place which the Lord chooses in one of your tribes: there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do everything that I command you.

15 (Q)However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your gates, [i]whatever you desire, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you; the unclean and the clean alike may eat it, as (R)the gazelle and the deer. 16 (S)Only you shall not eat the blood; (T)you are to pour it out on the ground like water. 17 (U)You are not allowed to eat within your gates the tithe of your grain, new wine, or oil, or the firstborn of your herd or flock, or any of your vowed offerings which you vow, or your [j]voluntary offerings, or the [k]contribution of your hand. 18 But (V)you shall eat them before the Lord your God in (W)the place which the Lord your God will choose, you and your son and daughter, and your male and female slaves, and the (X)Levite who is within your gates; and you shall (Y)rejoice before the Lord your God in all [l]your undertakings. 19 (Z)Be careful that you do not abandon the Levite [m]as long as you live in your land.

20 “When the Lord your God extends your border (AA)as He has [n]promised you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ because [o]you desire to eat meat, then you may eat meat, [p]whatever you desire. 21 If the place where the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, then you may slaughter animals from your herd and flock which the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your gates [q]whatever you desire. 22 Just as a gazelle or a deer is eaten, so you may eat it; the unclean and the clean alike may eat it. 23 Only be sure (AB)not to eat the blood, for the blood is the [r]life, and you shall not eat the [s]life with the flesh. 24 You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the ground like water. 25 You shall not eat it, so that (AC)it may go well for you and your sons after you, since (AD)you will be doing what is right in the sight of the Lord. 26 (AE)Only your holy things which you may have and your vowed offerings, you shall take and go to the place which the Lord chooses. 27 And (AF)you shall offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of the Lord your God; and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the Lord your God, and (AG)you shall eat the flesh.

28 “Be careful and listen to all these words which I am commanding you, so that (AH)it may go well for you and your sons after you forever, for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.

29 “When (AI)the Lord your God cuts off from you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and live in their land, 30 be careful that you are not ensnared [t]to follow them, after they are destroyed from your presence, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?’ 31 (AJ)You shall not behave this way toward the Lord your God, because every abominable act which the Lord hates, they have done for their gods; for (AK)they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire for their gods.

32 [u](AL)Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; (AM)you shall not add to nor take anything away from it.

Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 12:1 Lit perform
  2. Deuteronomy 12:1 Lit all the days
  3. Deuteronomy 12:1 Lit ground
  4. Deuteronomy 12:3 I.e., wooden symbols of a female deity (Asherah)
  5. Deuteronomy 12:6 Or uplifted offering
  6. Deuteronomy 12:6 Or freewill offerings
  7. Deuteronomy 12:7 Lit the putting forth of your hand
  8. Deuteronomy 12:11 Or uplifted offering
  9. Deuteronomy 12:15 Lit in every desire of your soul
  10. Deuteronomy 12:17 Or freewill offerings
  11. Deuteronomy 12:17 Or uplifted offering
  12. Deuteronomy 12:18 Lit the putting forth of your hand
  13. Deuteronomy 12:19 Lit all your days upon your land
  14. Deuteronomy 12:20 Lit spoken to
  15. Deuteronomy 12:20 Lit your soul desires
  16. Deuteronomy 12:20 Lit in every desire of your soul
  17. Deuteronomy 12:21 Lit in every desire of your soul
  18. Deuteronomy 12:23 Lit soul
  19. Deuteronomy 12:23 Lit soul
  20. Deuteronomy 12:30 Lit after them
  21. Deuteronomy 12:32 Lit Everything that