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False Prophets

13 Prophets or ·those who tell the future with dreams [L dreamers of dreams] might come to you and ·say they will show [L give] you a sign or a ·miracle [wonder]. The sign or ·miracle [wonder] might even happen, and then they might say, “Let’s serve other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let’s ·worship [L go after] them.” But you must not listen to those prophets or dreamers. The Lord your God is testing you, to ·find out [know] if you love him with ·your whole being [L all your heart/mind and all your soul]. Serve only the Lord your God. ·Respect [Fear] him, keep his commands, and ·obey him [L listen to his voice]. Serve him and ·be loyal [cling] to him. The prophets or dreamers must be killed, because they said you should turn against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and ·saved [ransomed; redeemed] you from the ·land where you were slaves [L house of bondage]. They tried to turn you from ·doing what [L the way] the Lord your God commanded you to ·do [go]. You must ·get rid of [banish; purge] the evil among you.

Someone might try to ·lead you to serve other gods [L secretly entice you]—it might be your brother, your son or daughter, the wife you ·love [embrace], or a ·close [intimate] friend. The person might say, “Let’s go and worship other gods.” (These are gods that neither you nor your ·ancestors [fathers] have known, gods of the people who live around you, either nearby or far away, from one end of the ·land [or earth] to the other.) Do not ·give in to [agree with; consent to] such people. Do not listen or ·feel sorry for [L let your eyes look compassionately on] them, and do not ·let them go free [pity them] or ·protect [shield] them. You must ·put them to death [kill them]. ·You must be the first one to start [L Your own hand will be the first on them] to kill them, and then ·everyone else must join in [L the hand of all the people]. 10 You must ·throw stones at them until they die [stone them to death], because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, ·where you were slaves [L the house of bondage]. 11 Then everyone in Israel will hear about this and be afraid, and no one among you will ever do such an evil thing again.

Cities to Destroy

12 The Lord your God is giving you cities in which to live, and you might hear something about one of them. Someone might say 13 that ·evil people [worthless people; scoundrels] have moved in among you. And they might lead the people of that city away from God, saying, “Let’s go and ·worship [L serve] other gods.” (These are gods you have not known.) 14 Then you must ask about it, ·looking into [investigating] the matter and checking carefully whether it is true. If it is proved that a ·hateful [detestable; abhorrent; abominable] thing has happened among you, 15 you must ·kill [L strike] with a sword everyone who lives in that city. ·Destroy the city completely and kill everyone in it [Devote that city to the Lord; 20:15–18; Josh. 6:17], as well as the animals, with a sword. 16 Gather up ·everything those people owned [L all its plunder], and put it in the middle of the city square. Then completely burn the city and ·everything they owned [L all its plunder] as a burnt offering [Lev. 1:1–17] to the Lord your God. That city should never be rebuilt; let it be ·ruined [a ruin heap] forever. 17 Don’t ·keep for yourselves [L grasp in your hand] any of the ·things found in that city [L devoted things; 20:15–18; Josh. 6:17], so the Lord will not be angry anymore. He will give you ·mercy and feel sorry for you, and he [L …mercy/compassion, and his mercy/compassion] will make your nation grow larger, as he ·promised [swore] to your ·ancestors [fathers]. 18 You will have ·obeyed [L listened to the voice of] the Lord your God by keeping all his commands that I am ·giving [commanding] to you today, and you will be doing what ·the Lord says is right [L is right/virtuous in the eyes of the Lord].