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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 International Version (NIV)

Obedience Commanded

Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.

You saw with your own eyes what the Lord did at Baal Peor. The Lord your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of Peor, but all of you who held fast to the Lord your God are still alive today.

See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. 10 Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.” 11 You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fire to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. 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, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets. 14 And the Lord directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and laws you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.

Idolatry Forbidden

15 You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, 16 so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, 17 or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, 18 or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. 19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. 20 But as for you, the Lord took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are.

21 The Lord was angry with me because of you, and he solemnly swore that I would not cross the Jordan and enter the good land the Lord your God is giving you as your inheritance. 22 I will die in this land; I will not cross the Jordan; but you are about to cross over and take possession of that good land. 23 Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. 24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

25 After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, 26 I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. 29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.

The Lord Is God

32 Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? 33 Has any other people heard the voice of God[a] speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? 34 Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?

35 You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other. 36 From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. 37 Because he loved your ancestors and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength, 38 to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today.

39 Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. 40 Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.

Cities of Refuge

41 Then Moses set aside three cities east of the Jordan, 42 to which anyone who had killed a person could flee if they had unintentionally killed a neighbor without malice aforethought. They could flee into one of these cities and save their life. 43 The cities were these: Bezer in the wilderness plateau, for the Reubenites; Ramoth in Gilead, for the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, for the Manassites.

Introduction to the Law

44 This is the law Moses set before the Israelites. 45 These are the stipulations, decrees and laws Moses gave them when they came out of Egypt 46 and were in the valley near Beth Peor east of the Jordan, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon and was defeated by Moses and the Israelites as they came out of Egypt. 47 They took possession of his land and the land of Og king of Bashan, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan. 48 This land extended from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge to Mount Sirion[b] (that is, Hermon), 49 and included all the Arabah east of the Jordan, as far as the Dead Sea,[c] below the slopes of Pisgah.

Footnotes:

  1. Deuteronomy 4:33 Or of a god
  2. Deuteronomy 4:48 Syriac (see also 3:9); Hebrew Siyon
  3. Deuteronomy 4:49 Hebrew the Sea of the Arabah
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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