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Moses Tells Israel to Obey

“Now, O Israel, listen to the Laws I am teaching you. Do them so that you may live and go in to take the land for your own that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. Do not add to the Word that I tell you, and do not take away from it. Keep the Laws of the Lord your God which I tell you. Your eyes saw what the Lord did because of Baal-peor. The Lord your God destroyed from among you all the men who followed the Baal of Peor. But you who stayed faithful to the Lord your God are all alive today. See, I have taught you Laws just as the Lord my God told me. So you are to live by them in the land you are going to have for your own. Keep them and do them. For this will show how wise and understanding you are. The people who will hear all these Laws will say, ‘For sure this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near as the Lord our God is to us every time we call to Him? What great nation is there that has laws as right as this whole Law which I am giving you today?

“Only be careful. Keep watch over your life. Or you might forget the things you have seen. Do not let them leave your heart for the rest of your life. But teach them to your children and to your grandchildren. 10 Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Mount Sinai. The Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people together before Me, so I may let them hear My words. Then they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and they may teach their children.’ 11 You came near and stood at the bottom of the mountain. And the mountain burned with fire into the heavens, which were covered with darkness and black clouds. 12 Then the Lord spoke to you from the center of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no body. There was only a voice. 13 He told you His agreement which He told you to keep, the Ten Laws. And He wrote them on two pieces of stone. 14 The Lord told me at that time to teach you Laws. So you might obey them in the land that you are going to have for your own.

Israel Not to Worship False Gods

15 “So watch yourselves and be careful. For you saw no body on the day the Lord spoke to you in the fire at Mount Sinai. 16 Do not become sinful and make a false god for yourselves that looks like a body or object, like a male or female, 17 or like an animal on the earth, or a bird with wings that flies in the sky, 18 or like anything that moves on the ground, or like any fish in the water below the earth. 19 Be careful not to lift up your eyes toward heaven and see the sun and moon and stars, all the things of heaven, and be pulled away and worship them and serve them. The Lord your God has given these things to all the nations under the whole heavens. 20 But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron stove, out of Egypt, to be His own people, as you are this day.

21 “The Lord was angry with me because of you. He swore that I should not cross the Jordan, and that I should not go into the good land the Lord your God is giving you for your own. 22 For I must die in this land. I will not cross the Jordan. But you will cross and take that good land for your own. 23 So watch yourselves, so that you do not forget the agreement the Lord your God made with you, or make a false god for yourselves that looks like something which the Lord your God has told you not to do. 24 For the Lord your God is an all-burning fire, a jealous God.

25 “When you become the father of children and grandchildren and have grown old in the land, if you become sinful and make a god that looks like anything, and anger the Lord your God by doing what is bad in His eyes, 26 I call heaven and earth to speak against you this day. You will soon be destroyed from the land you are crossing the Jordan to have for your own. You will not live long on it, but will all be destroyed. 27 The Lord will spread you out among the nations. And there will not be many of you left among the nations where the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will work for gods made by man’s hands out of wood and stone. They do not see or hear or eat or smell. 29 But from there you will look for the Lord your God. And you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and soul. 30 When you are in trouble and all these things have happened to you in later days, you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice. 31 For the Lord your God is a God of loving-pity. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the agreement He promised to your fathers.

32 “Ask about the past days, the days before your time, since the day that God made man on the earth. Ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything been done like this great thing? Has anything been heard like it? 33 Have any people ever heard the voice of God speaking from the center of the fire, as you have heard it, and still live? 34 Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation, by trials, special things to see, great works, war, a powerful hand, a long arm, and spreading much fear? The Lord your God did this for you in Egypt in front of your eyes. 35 It was shown to you so you might know that the Lord is God. There is no other except Him. 36 He let you hear His voice from the heavens to teach you. On earth He let you see His great fire. And you heard His words from the center of the fire. 37 He loved your fathers, so He chose their children after them. He Himself brought you from Egypt by His great power. 38 He drove out from in front of you nations greater and more powerful than you. And He brought you in and gave you their land for your own, as it is today. 39 So know this day, take it to your heart, that the Lord is God in the heavens above and on the earth below. There is no other. 40 Keep His Laws which I am giving you today. Then it may go well with you and your children after you. And you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”

41 Then Moses set apart three cities east of the Jordan 42 where a person may run to, if he killed his neighbor without meaning to and had not hated him in the past. He might save his life by running to one of these cities: 43 Bezer in the desert on the plain for the Reubenites, and Ramoth in Gilead for the Gadites, and Golan in Bashan for the Manassites.

44 This is the Law which Moses gave to the children of Israel. 45 These are the Laws which Moses spoke to the children of Israel when they came out of Egypt. 46 They were on the other side of the Jordan, in the valley beside Beth-peor, in the land of Sihon, king of the Amorites who lived at Heshbon. Moses and the sons of Israel won the war against him when they came out of Egypt. 47 They took for their own his land and the land of Og king of Bashan, the two kings of the Amorites, east of the Jordan, 48 from Aroer beside the valley of Arnon, as far as Mount Sion (that is, Hermon). 49 They took all the Arabah east of the Jordan, as far as the sea of the Arabah at the bottom of the hills of Pisgah.