18 The priests are from the tribe of Levi, and that tribe will not receive a share of the land with the Israelites. They will eat the offerings made to the Lord by fire, which is their share. 2 They will not inherit any of the land like their brothers, but they will inherit the Lord himself, as he has promised them.
3 When you offer a bull or sheep as a sacrifice, you must share with the priests, giving them the shoulder, the cheeks, and the inner organs. 4 Give them the first of your grain, new wine, and oil, as well as 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 to stand and serve the Lord always.
6 If a Levite moves from one of your towns anywhere in Israel where he lives and comes to the place the Lord will choose, because he wants to serve the Lord there, 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. That is separate from what he has received from the sale of family possessions.
Do Not Follow Other Nations
9 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, don’t learn to do the hateful things the other nations do. 10 Don’t let anyone among you offer a son or daughter as a sacrifice in the fire. Don’t let anyone use magic or witchcraft, or try to explain the meaning of signs. 11 Don’t let anyone try to control others with magic, and 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. Because the other nations do these things, the Lord your God will force them out of the land ahead of you. 13 But 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, who is one of your own people. Listen to him. 16 This is what you asked the Lord your God to do when you were gathered at Mount Sinai. You said, “Don’t make us listen to the voice of the Lord our God again, and don’t make us look at this terrible fire anymore, or 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, who is 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 if a prophet says something I did not tell him to say as though he were speaking for me, or if a prophet speaks 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 If what a prophet says in the name of the Lord does not happen, it is not the Lord’s message. That prophet was speaking his own ideas. Don’t be afraid of him.
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