Complete Jewish Bible
Parashah 46: ‘Ekev (Because) 7:12–11:25
12 “Because you are listening to these rulings, keeping and obeying them, Adonai your God will keep with you the covenant and mercy that he swore to your ancestors. 13 He will love you, bless you and increase your numbers; he will also bless the fruit of your body and the fruit of your ground — your grain, wine, olive oil and the young of your cattle and sheep — in the land he swore to your ancestors that he would give you. 14 You will be blessed more than all other peoples; there will not be a sterile male or female among you, and the same with your livestock. 15 Adonai will remove all illness from you — he will not afflict you with any of Egypt’s dreadful diseases, which you have known; instead, he will lay them on those who hate you. 16 You are to devour all the peoples that Adonai your God hands over to you — show them no pity, and do not serve their gods, because that will become a trap for you. 17 If you think to yourselves, ‘These nations outnumber us; how can we dispossess them?’ 18 nevertheless, you are not to be afraid of them; you are to remember well what Adonai your God did to Pharaoh and all of Egypt — 19 the great ordeals which you yourself saw, and the signs, wonders, strong hand and outstretched arm by which Adonai your God brought you out. Adonai will do the same to all the peoples of whom you are afraid. 20 Moreover, Adonai your God will send the hornet among them until those who are left and those who hide themselves perish ahead of you. 21 You are not to be frightened of them, because Adonai your God is there with you, a God great and fearsome. 22 Adonai your God will expel those nations ahead of you little by little; you can’t put an end to them all at once, or the wild animals will become too numerous for you. 23 Nevertheless, Adonai your God will give them over to you, sending one disaster after another upon them until they have been destroyed. 24 He will hand their kings over to you, and you will wipe out their name from under heaven; none of them will be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them. 25 You are to burn up completely the carved statues of their gods. Don’t be greedy for the silver or gold on them; don’t take it with you, or you will be trapped by it; for it is abhorrent to Adonai your God. 26 Don’t bring something abhorrent into your house, or you will share in the curse that is on it; instead, you are to detest it completely, loathe it utterly; for it is set apart for destruction.
8 “All the mitzvot I am giving you today you are to take care to obey, so that you will live, increase your numbers, enter and take possession of the land Adonai swore about to your ancestors. 2 You are to remember everything of the way in which Adonai led you these forty years in the desert, humbling and testing you in order to know what was in your heart — whether you would obey his mitzvot or not. 3 He humbled you, allowing you to become hungry, and then fed you with man, which neither you nor your ancestors had ever known, to make you understand that a person does not live on food alone but on everything that comes from the mouth of Adonai. 4 During these forty years the clothing you were wearing didn’t grow old, and your feet didn’t swell up. 5 Think deeply about it: Adonai was disciplining you, just as a man disciplines his child. 6 So obey the mitzvot of Adonai your God, living as he directs and fearing him. 7 For Adonai your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with streams, springs and water welling up from the depths in valleys and on hillsides. 8 It is a land of wheat and barley, grapevines, fig trees and pomegranates; a land of olive oil and honey; 9 a land where you will eat food in abundance and lack nothing in it; a land where the stones contain iron and the hills can be mined for copper. 10 So you will eat and be satisfied, and you will bless Adonai your God for the good land he has given you.
(ii) 11 “Be careful not to forget Adonai your God by not obeying his mitzvot, rulings and regulations that I am giving you today. 12 Otherwise, after you have eaten and are satisfied, built fine houses and lived in them, 13 and increased your herds, flocks, silver, gold and everything else you own, 14 you will become proud-hearted. Forgetting Adonai your God — who brought you out of the land of Egypt, where you lived as slaves; 15 who led you through the vast and fearsome desert, with its poisonous snakes, scorpions and waterless, thirsty ground; who brought water out of flint rock for you; 16 who fed you in the desert with man, unknown to your ancestors; all the while humbling and testing you in order to do you good in the end — 17 you will think to yourself, ‘My own power and the strength of my own hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 No, you are to remember Adonai your God, because it is he who is giving you the power to get wealth, in order to confirm his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as is happening even today. 19 If you forget Adonai your God, follow other gods and serve and worship them, I am warning you in advance today that you will certainly perish. 20 You will perish just like the nations that Adonai is causing to perish ahead of you, because you will not have heeded the voice of Adonai your God.”
9 “Listen, Isra’el! You are to cross the Yarden today, to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, great cities fortified up to the sky; 2 a people great and tall, the ‘Anakim, whom you know about and of whom you have heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the descendants of ‘Anak?’ 3 Therefore understand today that Adonai your God will himself cross ahead of you as a devouring fire; he will destroy them and bring them down before you. Thus will you drive them out and cause them to perish quickly, as Adonai has said to you.
(iii) 4 “Don’t think to yourself, after your God has pushed them out ahead of you, ‘It is to reward my righteousness that Adonai has brought me in to take possession of this land.’ No, it is because these nations have been so wicked that Adonai is driving them out ahead of you. 5 It is not because of your righteousness, or because your heart is so upright, that you go in to take possession of their land; but to punish the wickedness of these nations that Adonai your God is driving them out ahead of you, and also to confirm the word which Adonai swore to your ancestors, Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov. 6 Therefore, understand that it is not for your righteousness that Adonai your God is giving you this good land to possess.
“For you are a stiffnecked people! 7 Remember, don’t forget, how you made Adonai your God angry in the desert. From the day you left the land of Egypt till you arrived at this place, you have been rebelling against Adonai. 8 Also in Horev you made Adonai angry — Adonai was angry enough with you to destroy you! 9 I had gone up the mountain to receive the stone tablets, the tablets on which was written the covenant Adonai had made with you. I stayed on the mountain forty days and nights without eating food or drinking water. 10 Then Adonai gave me the two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God; and on them was written every word Adonai had said to you from the fire on the mountain the day of the assembly. 11 Yes, after forty days and nights Adonai gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant. 12 Then Adonai said to me, ‘Get up, and hurry down from here, because your people, whom you led out of Egypt, have become corrupt. So quickly have they turned aside from the way I ordered them to follow! They have made themselves a metal image!’ 13 Moreover, Adonai said to me, ‘I have seen this people, and what a stiffnecked people they are! 14 Let me alone, so that I can put an end to them and blot out their name from under heaven! I will make out of you a nation bigger and stronger than they.’ 15 I came down from the mountain. The mountain was blazing fire, and the two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands. 16 I looked, and there, you had sinned against Adonai your God! You had made yourselves a metal calf, you had turned aside quickly from the way Adonai had ordered you to follow. 17 I seized the two tablets, threw them out of my two hands and broke them before your eyes. 18 Then I fell down before Adonai, as I had the first time, for forty days and nights, during which time I neither ate food nor drank water, all because of the sin you committed by doing what was evil in the sight of Adonai and thus provoking him. 19 I was terrified that because of how angry Adonai was at you, of how heatedly displeased he was, that he would destroy you. But Adonai listened to me that time too. 20 In addition, Adonai was very angry with Aharon and would have destroyed him; but I prayed for Aharon also at the same time. 21 I took your sin, the calf you had made, and burned it up in the fire, beat it to pieces, and ground it up still smaller, until it was as fine as dust; then I threw its dust into the stream coming down from the mountain.
22 “Again at Tav‘erah, Massah and Kivrot-HaTa’avah you made Adonai angry; 23 and when Adonai sent you off from Kadesh-Barnea by saying, ‘Go up and take possession of the land I have given you,’ you rebelled against the order of Adonai your God — you neither trusted him nor heeded what he said. 24 You have been rebelling against Adonai from the day I first knew you!
25 “So I fell down before Adonai for those forty days and nights; and I lay there; because Adonai had said he would destroy you. 26 I prayed to Adonai ; I said, ‘Adonai Elohim! Don’t destroy your people, your inheritance! You redeemed them through your greatness, you brought them out of Egypt with a strong hand! 27 Remember your servants Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov! Don’t focus on the stubbornness of this people, or on their wickedness or on their sin. 28 Otherwise, the land you brought us out of will say, “It is because Adonai wasn’t able to bring them into the land he promised them and because he hated them that he has brought them out to kill them in the desert.” 29 But in fact they are your people, your inheritance, whom you brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm.’
10 (iv) “At that time Adonai said to me, ‘Cut yourself two stone tablets like the first ones, come up to me on the mountain, and make yourself an ark of wood. 2 I will inscribe on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke; and you are to put them in the ark.’ 3 So I made an ark of acacia-wood and cut two stone tablets like the first, then climbed the mountain with the two tablets in my hand. 4 He inscribed the tablets with the same inscription as before, the Ten Words which Adonai proclaimed to you from the fire on the mountain the day of the assembly; and Adonai gave them to me. 5 I turned, came down the mountain and put the tablets in the ark I had made; and there they remain; as Adonai ordered me.
6 “The people of Isra’el traveled from the wells of B’nei-Ya‘akan to Moserah, where Aharon died and was buried; and El‘azar his son took his place, serving in the office of cohen. 7 From there they traveled to Gudgod, and from Gudgod to Yotvatah, a region with running streams. 8 At that time Adonai set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark for the covenant of Adonai and to stand before Adonai to serve him and to bless in his name, as they still do today. 9 This is why Levi has no share or inheritance with his brothers; Adonai is his inheritance, as Adonai your God had said to him.
10 “I stayed on the mountain forty days and nights, as previously; and Adonai listened to me that time too — Adonai would not destroy you. 11 Then Adonai said to me, ‘Get up, and go on your way at the head of the people, so that they can enter and take possession of the land I swore to their ancestors that I would give them.’
(v) 12 “So now, Isra’el, all that Adonai your God asks from you is to fear Adonai your God, follow all his ways, love him and serve Adonai your God with all your heart and all your being; 13 to obey, for your own good, the mitzvot and regulations of Adonai which I am giving you today. 14 See, the sky, the heaven beyond the sky, the earth and everything on it all belong to Adonai your God. 15 Only Adonai took enough pleasure in your ancestors to love them and choose their descendants after them — yourselves — above all peoples, as he still does today. 16 Therefore, circumcise the foreskin of your heart; and don’t be stiffnecked any longer! 17 For Adonai your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty and awesome God, who has no favorites and accepts no bribes. 18 He secures justice for the orphan and the widow; he loves the foreigner, giving him food and clothing. 19 Therefore you are to love the foreigner, since you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. 20 You are to fear Adonai your God, serve him, cling to him and swear by his name. 21 He is your praise, and he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things, which you have seen with your own eyes. 22 Your ancestors went down into Egypt with only seventy people, but now Adonai your God has made your numbers as many as the stars in the sky!
11 “Therefore, you are to love Adonai your God and always obey his commission, regulations, rulings and mitzvot. 2 Today it is you I am addressing — not your children, who haven’t known or experienced the discipline of Adonai your God, his greatness, his strong hand, his outstretched arm, 3 his signs and his actions which he did in Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt and to his entire country. 4 They didn’t experience what he did to Egypt’s army, horses and chariots — how Adonai overwhelmed them with the water of the Sea of Suf as they were pursuing you, so that they remain destroyed to this day. 5 They didn’t experience what he kept doing for you in the desert until you arrived at this place; 6 or what he did to Datan and Aviram, the sons of Eli’av the descendant of Re’uven — how the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, along with their households, tents and every living thing in their company, there in front of all Isra’el. 7 But you have seen with your own eyes all these great deeds of Adonai. 8 Therefore, you are to keep every mitzvah I am giving you today; so that you will be strong enough to go in and take possession of the land you are crossing over to conquer; 9 and so that you will live long in the land Adonai swore to give to your ancestors and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.
(vi) 10 “For the land you are entering in order to take possession of it isn’t like the land of Egypt. There you would sow your seed and had to use your feet to operate its irrigation system, as in a vegetable garden. 11 But the land you are crossing over to take possession of is a land of hills and valleys, which soaks up water when rain falls from the sky. 12 It is a land Adonai your God cares for. The eyes of Adonai your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
13 “So if you listen carefully to my mitzvot which I am giving you today, to love Adonai your God and serve him with all your heart and all your being; 14 then, [says Adonai,] ‘I will give your land its rain at the right seasons, including the early fall rains and the late spring rains; so that you can gather in your wheat, new wine and olive oil; 15 and I will give your fields grass for your livestock; with the result that you will eat and be satisfied.’ 16 But be careful not to let yourselves be seduced, so that you turn aside, serving other gods and worshipping them. 17 If you do, the anger of Adonai will blaze up against you. He will shut up the sky, so that there will be no rain. The ground will not yield its produce, and you will quickly pass away from the good land Adonai is giving you. 18 Therefore, you are to store up these words of mine in your heart and in all your being; tie them on your hand as a sign; put them at the front of a headband around your forehead; 19 teach them carefully to your children, talking about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up; 20 and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates — 21 so that you and your children will live long on the land Adonai swore to your ancestors that he would give them for as long as there is sky above the earth.
(vii & Maftir) 22 “For if you will take care to obey all these mitzvot I am giving you, to do them, to love Adonai your God, to follow all his ways and to cling to him, 23 then Adonai will expel all these nations ahead of you; and you will dispossess nations bigger and stronger than you are. 24 Wherever the sole of your foot steps will be yours; your territory will extend from the desert to the L’vanon and from the River, the Euphrates River, to the Western Sea. 25 No one will be able to withstand you; Adonai your God will place the fear and dread of you on all the land you step on, as he told you.
Haftarah ‘Ekev: Yesha‘yahu (Isaiah) 49:14–51:3
B’rit Hadashah suggested readings for Parashah ‘Ekev: Mattityahu (Matthew) 4:1–11; Luke 4:1–13; Ya‘akov (James) 5:7–11