A A A A A
Bible Book List

Deuteronomy 4 Good News Translation (GNT)

Moses Urges Israel to Be Obedient

Then Moses said to the people, “Obey all the laws that I am teaching you, and you will live and occupy the land which the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. Do not add anything to what I command you, and do not take anything away. Obey the commands of the Lord your God that I have given you. You yourselves saw what the Lord did at Mount Peor. He destroyed everyone who worshiped Baal there, but those of you who were faithful to the Lord your God are still alive today.

“I have taught you all the laws, as the Lord my God told me to do. Obey them in the land that you are about to invade and occupy. Obey them faithfully, and this will show the people of other nations how wise you are. When they hear of all these laws, they will say, ‘What wisdom and understanding this great nation has!’

“No other nation, no matter how great, has a god who is so near when they need him as the Lord our God is to us. He answers us whenever we call for help. No other nation, no matter how great, has laws so just as those that I have taught you today. Be on your guard! Make certain that you do not forget, as long as you live, what you have seen with your own eyes. Tell your children and your grandchildren 10 about the day you stood in the presence of the Lord your God at Mount Sinai,[a] when he said to me, ‘Assemble the people. I want them to hear what I have to say, so that they will learn to obey me as long as they live and so that they will teach their children to do the same.’

11 “Tell your children how you went and stood at the foot of the mountain which was covered with thick clouds of dark smoke and fire blazing up to the sky. 12 Tell them how the Lord spoke to you from the fire, how you heard him speaking but did not see him in any form at all. 13 He told you what you must do to keep the covenant he made with you—you must obey the Ten Commandments, which he wrote on two stone tablets. 14 The Lord told me to teach you all the laws that you are to obey in the land that you are about to invade and occupy.

Warning against Idolatry

15 “When the Lord spoke to you from the fire on Mount Sinai, you did not see any form. For your own good, then, make certain 16 that you do not sin by making for yourselves an idol in any form at all—whether man or woman, 17 animal or bird, 18 reptile or fish. 19 Do not be tempted to worship and serve what you see in the sky—the sun, the moon, and the stars. The Lord your God has given these to all other peoples for them to worship. 20 But you are the people he rescued from Egypt, that blazing furnace. He brought you out to make you his own people, as you are today. 21 Because of you the Lord your God was angry with me and solemnly declared that I would not cross the Jordan River to enter the fertile land which he is giving you. 22 I will die in this land and never cross the river, but you are about to go across and occupy that fertile land. 23 Be certain that you do not forget the covenant that the Lord your God made with you. Obey his command not to make yourselves any kind of idol, 24 because the Lord your God is like a flaming fire; he tolerates no rivals.

25 “Even when you have been in the land a long time and have children and grandchildren, do not sin by making for yourselves an idol in any form at all. This is evil in the Lord's sight, and it will make him angry. 26 I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that, if you disobey me, you will soon disappear from the land. You will not live very long in the land across the Jordan that you are about to occupy. You will be completely destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among other nations, where only a few of you will survive. 28 There you will serve gods made by human hands, gods of wood and stone, gods that cannot see or hear, eat or smell. 29 There you will look for the Lord your God, and if you search for him with all your heart, you will find him. 30 When you are in trouble and all those things happen to you, then you will finally turn to the Lord and obey him. 31 He is a merciful God. He will not abandon you or destroy you, and he will not forget the covenant that he himself made with your ancestors.

32 “Search the past, the time before you were born, all the way back to the time when God created human beings on the earth. Search the entire earth. Has anything as great as this ever happened before? Has anyone ever heard of anything like this? 33 Have any people ever lived after hearing a god speak to them from a fire, as you have? 34 Has any god ever dared to go and take a people from another nation and make them his own, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt? Before your very eyes he used his great power and strength; he brought plagues and war, worked miracles and wonders, and caused terrifying things to happen. 35 The Lord has shown you this, to prove to you that he alone is God and that there is no other. 36 He let you hear his voice from heaven so that he could instruct you; and here on earth he let you see his holy fire, and he spoke to you from it. 37 Because he loved your ancestors, he chose you, and by his great power he himself brought you out of Egypt. 38 As you advanced, he drove out nations greater and more powerful than you, so that he might bring you in and give you their land, the land which still belongs to you. 39 So remember today and never forget: the Lord is God in heaven and on earth. There is no other god. 40 Obey all his laws that I have given you today, and all will go well with you and your descendants. You will continue to live in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to be yours forever.”

The Cities of Refuge East of the Jordan

41 Then Moses set aside three cities east of the Jordan River 42 to which a man could escape and be safe if he had accidentally killed someone who had not been his enemy. He could escape to one of these cities and not be put to death. 43 For the tribe of Reuben there was the city of Bezer, on the desert plateau; for the tribe of Gad there was Ramoth, in the territory of Gilead; and for the tribe of Manasseh there was Golan, in the territory of Bashan.

Introduction to the Giving of God's Law

44 Moses gave God's laws and teachings to the people of Israel. 45-46 It was after they had come out of Egypt and were in the valley east of the Jordan River, opposite the town of Bethpeor, that he gave them these laws. This was in the territory that had belonged to King Sihon of the Amorites, who had ruled in the town of Heshbon. Moses and the people of Israel defeated him when they came out of Egypt. 47 They occupied his land and the land of King Og of Bashan, the other Amorite king who lived east of the Jordan. 48 This land extended from the town of Aroer, on the edge of the Arnon River, all the way north to Mount Sirion,[b] that is, Mount Hermon. 49 It also included all the region east of the Jordan River as far south as the Dead Sea and east to the foot of Mount Pisgah.

Footnotes:

  1. Deuteronomy 4:10 Sinai; or Horeb.
  2. Deuteronomy 4:48 One ancient translation Sirion; Hebrew Sion.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Deuteronomy 4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Moses Commands Obedience

So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the commandments of the Lord your God with which I am charging you. You have seen for yourselves what the Lord did with regard to the Baal of Peor—how the Lord your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of Peor, while those of you who held fast to the Lord your God are all alive today.

See, just as the Lord my God has charged me, I now teach you statutes and ordinances for you to observe in the land that you are about to enter and occupy. You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!” For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is whenever we call to him? And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?

But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children— 10 how you once stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when the Lord said to me, “Assemble the people for me, and I will let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me as long as they live on the earth, and may teach their children so”; 11 you approached and stood at the foot of the mountain while the mountain was blazing up to the very heavens, shrouded in dark clouds. 12 Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. 13 He declared to you his covenant, which he charged you to observe, that is, the ten commandments;[a] and he wrote them on two stone tablets. 14 And the Lord charged me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances for you to observe in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy.

15 Since you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire, take care and watch yourselves closely, 16 so that you do not act corruptly by making an idol for yourselves, in the form of any figure—the likeness of male or female, 17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth. 19 And when you look up to the heavens and see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, do not be led astray and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples everywhere under heaven. 20 But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron-smelter, out of Egypt, to become a people of his very own possession, as you are now.

21 The Lord was angry with me because of you, and he vowed that I should not cross the Jordan and that I should not enter the good land that the Lord your God is giving for your possession. 22 For I am going to die in this land without crossing over the Jordan, but you are going to cross over to take possession of that good land. 23 So be careful not to forget the covenant that the Lord your God made with you, and not to make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything that the Lord your God has forbidden you. 24 For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God.

25 When you have had children and children’s children, and become complacent in the land, if you act corruptly by making an idol in the form of anything, thus doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, and provoking him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that you will soon utterly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to occupy; you will not live long on it, but will be utterly destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples; only a few of you will be left among the nations where the Lord will lead you. 28 There you will serve other gods made by human hands, objects of wood and stone that neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. 29 From there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and soul. 30 In your distress, when all these things have happened to you in time to come, you will return to the Lord your God and heed him. 31 Because the Lord your God is a merciful God, he will neither abandon you nor destroy you; he will not forget the covenant with your ancestors that he swore to them.

32 For ask now about former ages, long before your own, ever since the day that God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of heaven to the other: has anything so great as this ever happened or has its like ever been heard of? 33 Has any people ever heard the voice of a god speaking out of a fire, as you have heard, and lived? 34 Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by terrifying displays of power, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? 35 To you it was shown so that you would acknowledge that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him. 36 From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, while you heard his words coming out of the fire. 37 And because he loved your ancestors, he chose their descendants after them. He brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power, 38 driving out before you nations greater and mightier than yourselves, to bring you in, giving you their land for a possession, as it is still today. 39 So acknowledge today and take to heart that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. 40 Keep his statutes and his commandments, which I am commanding you today for your own well-being and that of your descendants after you, so that you may long remain in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for all time.

Cities of Refuge East of the Jordan

41 Then Moses set apart on the east side of the Jordan three cities 42 to which a homicide could flee, someone who unintentionally kills another person, the two not having been at enmity before; the homicide could flee to one of these cities and live: 43 Bezer in the wilderness on the tableland belonging to the Reubenites, Ramoth in Gilead belonging to the Gadites, and Golan in Bashan belonging to the Manassites.

Transition to the Second Address

44 This is the law that Moses set before the Israelites. 45 These are the decrees and the statutes and ordinances that Moses spoke to the Israelites when they had come out of Egypt, 46 beyond the Jordan in the valley opposite Beth-peor, in the land of King Sihon of the Amorites, who reigned at Heshbon, whom Moses and the Israelites defeated when they came out of Egypt. 47 They occupied his land and the land of King Og of Bashan, the two kings of the Amorites on the eastern side of the Jordan: 48 from Aroer, which is on the edge of the Wadi Arnon, as far as Mount Sirion[b] (that is, Hermon), 49 together with all the Arabah on the east side of the Jordan as far as the Sea of the Arabah, under the slopes of Pisgah.

Footnotes:

  1. Deuteronomy 4:13 Heb the ten words
  2. Deuteronomy 4:48 Syr: Heb Sion
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Deuteronomy 4 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

And now, O Israel, hear the commandments and judgments which I teach thee: that doing them, thou mayst live, and entering in mayst possess the land which the Lord the God of your fathers will give you.

You shall not add to the word that I speak to you, neither shall you take away from it: keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

Your eyes have seen all that the Lord hath done against Beelphegor, how he hath destroyed all his worshippers from among you.

But you that adhere to the Lord your God, are all alive until this present day.

You know that I have taught you statutes and justices, as the Lord my God hath commanded me: so shall you do them in the land which you shall possess:

And you shall observe, and fulfill them in practice. For this is your wisdom, and understanding in the sight of nations, that hearing all these precepts, they may say: Behold a wise and understanding people, a great nation.

Neither is there any other nation so great, that hath gods so nigh them, as our God is present to all our petitions.

For what other nation is there so renowned that hath ceremonies, and just judgments, and all the law, which I will set forth this day before your eyes?

Keep thyself therefore, and thy soul carefully. Forget not the words that thy eyes have seen, and let them not go out of thy heart all the days of thy life. Thou shalt teach them to thy sons and to thy grandsons,

10 From the day in which thou didst stand before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord spoke to me, saying: Call together the people unto me, that they may hear my words, and may learn to fear me all the time that they live on the earth, and may teach their children.

11 And you came to the foot of the mount, which burned even unto heaven: and there was darkness, and a cloud and obscurity in it.

12 And the Lord spoke to you from the midst of the fire. You heard the voice of his words, but you saw not any form at all.

13 And he shewed you his covenant, which he commanded you to do, and the ten words that he wrote in two tables of stone.

14 And he commanded me at that time that I should teach you the ceremonies and judgments which you shall do in the land, that you shall possess.

15 Keep therefore your souls carefully. You saw not any similitude in the day that the Lord God spoke to you in Horeb from the midst of the fire:

16 Lest perhaps being deceived you might make you a graven similitude, or image of male or female,

17 The similitude of any beasts, that are upon the earth, or of birds, that fly under heaven,

18 Or of creeping things, that move on the earth, or of fishes, that abide in the waters under the earth:

19 Lest perhaps lifting up thy eyes to heaven, thou see the sun and the moon, and all the stars of heaven, and being deceived by error thou adore and serve them, which the Lord thy God created for the service of all the nations, that are under heaven.

20 But the Lord hath taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace of Egypt, to make you his people of inheritance, as it is this present day.

21 And the Lord was angry with me for your words, and he swore that I should not pass over the Jordan, nor enter into the excellent land, which he will give you.

22 Behold I die in this land, I shall not pass over the Jordan: you shall pass, and possess the goodly land.

23 Beware lest thou ever forget the covenant of the Lord thy God, which he hath made with thee: and make to thyself a graven likeness of those things which the Lord hath forbid to be made:

24 Because the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

25 If you shall beget sons and grandsons, and abide in the land, and being deceived, make to yourselves any similitude, committing evil before the Lord your God, to provoke him to wrath:

26 I call this day heaven and earth to witness, that you shall quickly perish out of the land, which, when you have passed over the Jordan, you shall possess. You shall not dwell therein long, but the Lord will destroy you,

27 And scatter you among all nations, and you shall remain a few among the nations, to which the Lord shall lead you.

28 And there you shall serve gods, that were framed with men's hands: wood and stone, that neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.

29 And when thou shalt seek there the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him: yet so, if thou seek him with all thy heart, and all the affliction of thy soul.

30 After all the things aforesaid shall and thee, in the latter time thou shalt return to the Lord thy God, and shalt hear his voice.

31 Because the Lord thy God is a merciful God: he will not leave thee, nor altogether destroy thee, nor forget the covenant, by which he swore to thy fathers.

32 Ask of the days of old, that have been before thy time from the day that God created man upon the earth, from one end of heaven to the other end thereof, if ever there was done the like thing, or it hath been known at any time,

33 That a people should hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of fire, as thou hast heard, and lived:

34 If God ever did so as to go, and take to himself a nation out of the midst of nations by temptations, signs, and wonders, by fight, and a strong hand, and stretched out arm, and horrible visions according to all the things that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt, before thy eyes.

35 That thou mightest know that the Lord he is God, and there is no other besides him.

36 From heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might teach thee. And upon earth he shewed thee his exceeding great fire, and thou didst hear his words out of the midst of the fire,

37 Because he loved thy fathers, and chose their seed after them. And he brought thee out of Egypt, going before thee with his great power,

38 To destroy at thy coming very great nations, and stronger than thou art, and to bring thee in, and give thee their land for a possession, as thou seest at this present day.

39 Know therefore this day, and think in thy heart that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and in the earth beneath, and there is no other.

40 Keep his precepts and commandments, which I command thee: that it may be well with thee, and thy children after thee, and thou mayst remain a long time upon the land, which the Lord thy God will give thee.

41 Then Moses set aside three cities beyond the Jordan at the east side,

42 That any one might flee to them who should kill his neighbour unwillingly, and was not his enemy a day or two before, and that he might escape to some one of these cities:

43 Bosor in the wilderness, which is situate in the plains of the tribe of Ruben: and Ramoth in Galaad, which is in the tribe of Gad: and Golan in Basan, which is in the tribe of Manasses.

44 This is the law, that Moses set before the children of Israel,

45 And these are the testimonies and ceremonies and judgments, which he spoke to the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt,

46 Beyond the Jordan in the valley over against the temple of Phogor, in the land of Sehon king of the Amorrhites, that dwelt in Hesebon, whom Moses slew. And the children of Israel coming out of Egypt,

47 Possessed his land, and the land of Og king of Basan, of the two kings of the Amorrhites, who were beyond the Jordan towards the rising of the sun:

48 From Aroer, which is situate upon the bank of the torrent Amen, unto mount Sion, which is also called Hermon,

49 All the plain beyond the Jordan at the east side, unto the see of the wilderness, and unto the foot of mount Phasga.

Deuteronomy 4 The Message (MSG)

1-2 Now listen, Israel, listen carefully to the rules and regulations that I am teaching you to follow so that you may live and enter and take possession of the land that God, the God-of-Your-Fathers, is giving to you. Don’t add a word to what I command you, and don’t remove a word from it. Keep the commands of God, your God, that I am commanding you.

3-4 You saw with your own eyes what God did at Baal Peor, how God destroyed from among you every man who joined in the Baal Peor orgies. But you, the ones who held tight to God, your God, are alive and well, every one of you, today.

5-6 Pay attention: I’m teaching you the rules and regulations that God commanded me, so that you may live by them in the land you are entering to take up ownership. Keep them. Practice them. You’ll become wise and understanding. When people hear and see what’s going on, they’ll say, “What a great nation! So wise, so understanding! We’ve never seen anything like it.”

7-8 Yes. What other great nation has gods that are intimate with them the way God, our God, is with us, always ready to listen to us? And what other great nation has rules and regulations as good and fair as this Revelation that I’m setting before you today?

Just make sure you stay alert. Keep close watch over yourselves. Don’t forget anything of what you’ve seen. Don’t let your heart wander off. Stay vigilant as long as you live. Teach what you’ve seen and heard to your children and grandchildren.

10 That day when you stood before God, your God, at Horeb, God said to me, “Assemble the people in my presence to listen to my words so that they will learn to fear me in holy fear for as long as they live on the land, and then they will teach these same words to their children.”

11-13 You gathered. You stood in the shadow of the mountain. The mountain was ablaze with fire, blazing high into the very heart of Heaven. You stood in deep darkness and thick clouds. God spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but you saw nothing—no form, only a voice. He announced his covenant, the Ten Words, by which he commanded you to live. Then he wrote them down on two slabs of stone.

14 And God commanded me at that time to teach you the rules and regulations that you are to live by in the land which you are crossing over the Jordan to possess.

15-20 You saw no form on the day God spoke to you at Horeb from out of the fire. Remember that. Carefully guard yourselves so that you don’t turn corrupt and make a form, carving a figure that looks male or female, or looks like a prowling animal or a flying bird or a slithering snake or a fish in a stream. And also carefully guard yourselves so that you don’t look up into the skies and see the sun and moon and stars, all the constellations of the skies, and be seduced into worshiping and serving them. God set them out for everybody’s benefit, everywhere. But you—God took you right out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to become the people of his inheritance—and that’s what you are this very day.

21-22 But God was angry with me because of you and the things you said. He swore that I’d never cross the Jordan, never get to enter the good land that God, your God, is giving you as an inheritance. This means that I am going to die here. I’m not crossing the Jordan. But you will cross; you’ll possess the good land.

23-24 So stay alert. Don’t for a minute forget the covenant which God, your God, made with you. And don’t take up with any carved images, no forms of any kind—God, your God, issued clear commands on that. God, your God, is not to be trifled with—he’s a consuming fire, a jealous God.

25-28 When the time comes that you have children and grandchildren, put on years, and start taking things for granted, if you then become corrupt and make any carved images, no matter what their form, by doing what is sheer evil in God’s eyes and provoking his anger—I can tell you right now, with Heaven and Earth as witnesses, that it will be all over for you. You’ll be kicked off the land that you’re about to cross over the Jordan to possess. Believe me, you’ll have a very short stay there. You’ll be ruined, completely ruined. God will scatter you far and wide; a few of you will survive here and there in the nations where God will drive you. There you can worship your homemade gods to your hearts’ content, your wonderful gods of wood and stone that can’t see or hear or eat or smell.

29-31 But even there, if you seek God, your God, you’ll be able to find him if you’re serious, looking for him with your whole heart and soul. When troubles come and all these awful things happen to you, in future days you will come back to God, your God, and listen obediently to what he says. God, your God, is above all a compassionate God. In the end he will not abandon you, he won’t bring you to ruin, he won’t forget the covenant with your ancestors which he swore to them.

32-33 Ask questions. Find out what has been going on all these years before you were born. From the day God created man and woman on this Earth, and from the horizon in the east to the horizon in the west—as far back as you can imagine and as far away as you can imagine—has as great a thing as this ever happened? Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? Has a people ever heard, as you did, a god speaking out of the middle of the fire and lived to tell the story?

34 Or has a god ever tried to select for himself a nation from within a nation using trials, miracles, and war, putting his strong hand in, reaching his long arm out, a spectacle awesome and staggering, the way God, your God, did it for you in Egypt while you stood right there and watched?

35-38 You were shown all this so that you would know that God is, well, God. He’s the only God there is. He’s it. He made it possible for you to hear his voice out of Heaven to discipline you. Down on Earth, he showed you the big fire and again you heard his words, this time out of the fire. He loved your ancestors and chose to work with their children. He personally and powerfully brought you out of Egypt in order to displace bigger and stronger and older nations with you, bringing you out and turning their land over to you as an inheritance. And now it’s happening. This very day.

39-40 Know this well, then. Take it to heart right now: God is in Heaven above; God is on Earth below. He’s the only God there is. Obediently live by his rules and commands which I’m giving you today so that you’ll live well and your children after you—oh, you’ll live a long time in the land that God, your God, is giving you.

41-42 Then Moses set aside three towns in the country on the east side of the Jordan to which someone who had unintentionally killed a person could flee and find refuge. If the murder was unintentional and there was no history of bad blood, the murderer could flee to one of these cities and save his life:

43 Bezer in the wilderness on the tableland for the Reubenites, Ramoth in Gilead for the Gadites, and Golan in Bashan for the Manassites.

44-49 This is the Revelation that Moses presented to the People of Israel. These are the testimonies, the rules and regulations Moses spoke to the People of Israel after their exodus from Egypt and arrival on the east side of the Jordan in the valley near Beth Peor. It was the country of Sihon king of the Amorites who ruled from Heshbon. Moses and the People of Israel fought and beat him after they left Egypt and took his land. They also took the land of Og king of Bashan. The two Amorite kings held the country on the east of the Jordan from Aroer on the bank of the Brook Arnon as far north as Mount Siyon, that is, Mount Hermon, all the Arabah plain east of the Jordan, and as far south as the Sea of the Arabah (the Dead Sea) beneath the slopes of Mount Pisgah.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes