18 The priests are from the tribe of Levi. That tribe will not receive a share of the land with the Israelites. They will eat the offerings made to the Lord by fire. That is their share. 2 They will not inherit any of the land like their brothers. They will inherit the Lord himself. This is what he promised them.
3 When you offer a bull or sheep as a sacrifice, you must share with the priests. Give them the shoulder, the cheeks and the inner organs. 4 Give them the first of your grain, new wine and oil. Give them the first wool you cut from your sheep. 5 The Lord your God has chosen the priests and their descendants out of all your tribes. They are to stand and serve the Lord always.
6 A Levite might move from one of your towns anywhere in Israel where he lives. He is sincere and comes to the place the Lord will choose. 7 He may serve the Lord his God. He will be like his fellow Levites who serve there before the Lord. 8 They all will have an equal share of the food. This is separate from what he has received from the sale of family possessions.
Do Not Follow Other Nations
9 You will enter the land the Lord your God is giving you. But don’t learn to do the terrible things the other nations do. 10 Don’t let anyone among you offer his son or daughter as a sacrifice in the fire. Don’t let anyone use magic or witchcraft. No one should try to explain the meaning of signs. 11 Don’t let anyone try to control others with magic. Don’t let them be mediums or try to talk with the spirits of dead people. 12 The Lord hates anyone who does these things. The other nations do these things. That is why the Lord your God will force them out of the land ahead of you. 13 You must be innocent in the presence of the Lord your God.
The Lord’s Special Prophet
14 The nations you will force out listen to people who use magic and witchcraft. But the Lord your God will not let you do those things. 15 The Lord your God will give you a prophet like me. He will be one of your own people. Listen to him. 16 This is what you asked the Lord your God to do. You were gathered at Mount Sinai. You said, “Don’t make us listen to the voice of the Lord our God again. Don’t make us look at this terrible fire anymore. We will die.”
17 So the Lord said to me, “What they have said is good. 18 So I will give them a prophet like you. He will be one of their own people. I will tell him what to say. And he will tell them everything I command. 19 This prophet will speak for me. Anyone who does not listen when he speaks will answer to me. 20 But a prophet might say something I did not tell him to say. And he might say he is speaking for me. Or a prophet might speak in the name of other gods. That prophet must be killed.”
21 You might be thinking, “How can we know if a message is not from the Lord?” 22 What a prophet says in the name of the Lord might not happen. If it doesn’t, it is not the Lord’s message. That prophet was speaking his own ideas. Don’t be afraid of him.
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