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Laws for the Levites

18 The Levitical priests—in fact, the whole tribe of Levi—will receive no land or property of their own like the rest of the Israelites. They will eat what has been sacrificed to Yahweh. These sacrifices will be what they receive.[a] So the Levites will have no land of their own like the other Israelites. Yahweh will be their inheritance, as he promised them.

This is what the people owe the priests whenever they sacrifice an ox, a sheep, or a goat: the shoulder, jaws, and stomach. Also, give them the first produce harvested: grain, new wine, olive oil, and the first wool you shear from your sheep. Out of all your tribes, Yahweh your Elohim has chosen the Levites and their descendants to do the work of serving in the name of Yahweh forever.

A Levite from any of your cities in Israel may come from where he has been living to the place Yahweh will choose. He may come as often as he wants and may serve in the name of Yahweh his Elohim like all the other Levites who do their work in Yahweh’s presence. If he does, he’ll get the same amount of food as they do, in addition to what he gets from selling his family’s goods.[b]

Laws about Prophets

When you come to the land that Yahweh your Elohim is giving you, never learn the disgusting practices of those nations. 10 You must never sacrifice your sons or daughters by burning them alive, practice black magic, be a fortuneteller, witch, or sorcerer, 11 cast spells, ask ghosts or spirits for help, or consult the dead. 12 Whoever does these things is disgusting to Yahweh. Yahweh your Elohim is forcing these nations out of your way because of their disgusting practices. 13 You must have integrity in dealing with Yahweh your Elohim. 14 These nations you are forcing out listen to fortunetellers and to those who practice black magic. But Yahweh your Elohim won’t let you do anything like that.

15 Yahweh your Elohim will send you a prophet, an Israelite like me. You must listen to him. 16 This is what you asked Yahweh your Elohim to give you on the day of the assembly at Mount Horeb. You said, “We never want to hear the voice of Yahweh our Elohim or see this raging fire again. If we do, we’ll die!”

17 Yahweh told me, “What they’ve said is good. 18 So I will send them a prophet, an Israelite like you. I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19 Whoever refuses to listen to the words that prophet speaks in my name will answer to me. 20 But any prophet who dares to say something in my name that I didn’t command him to say or who speaks in the name of other gods must die.”

21 You may be wondering, “How can we recognize that Yahweh didn’t speak this message?” 22 If a prophet speaks in Yahweh’s name and what he says doesn’t happen or come true, then it didn’t come from Yahweh. That prophet has spoken on his own authority. Never be afraid of him.


  1. Deuteronomy 18:1 Or “They are to eat the sacrifices offered by fire to the Lord or any of the other sacrifices to the Lord.”
  2. Deuteronomy 18:8 Hebrew meaning of “what he gets from selling his family’s goods” uncertain.