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Deuteronomy 9 Good News Translation (GNT)

The People's Disobedience

“Listen, people of Israel! Today you are about to cross the Jordan River and occupy the land belonging to nations greater and more powerful than you. Their cities are large, with walls that reach the sky. The people themselves are tall and strong; they are giants, and you have heard it said that no one can stand against them. But now you will see for yourselves that the Lord your God will go ahead of you like a raging fire. He will defeat them as you advance, so that you will drive them out and destroy them quickly, as he promised.

“After the Lord your God has driven them out for you, do not say to yourselves that he brought you in to possess this land because you deserved it. No, the Lord is going to drive these people out for you because they are wicked. It is not because you are good and do what is right that the Lord is letting you take their land. He will drive them out because they are wicked and because he intends to keep the promise that he made to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You can be sure that the Lord is not giving you this fertile land because you deserve it. No, you are a stubborn people.

“Never forget how you made the Lord your God angry in the desert. From the day that you left Egypt until the day you arrived here, you have rebelled against him. Even at Mount Sinai you made the Lord angry—angry enough to destroy you. I went up the mountain to receive the stone tablets on which was written the covenant that the Lord had made with you. I stayed there forty days and nights and did not eat or drink anything. 10 Then the Lord gave me the two stone tablets on which he had written with his own hand what he had said to you from the fire on the day that you were gathered there at the mountain. 11 Yes, after those forty days and nights the Lord gave me the two stone tablets on which he had written the covenant.

12 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go down the mountain at once, because your people, whom you led out of Egypt, have become corrupt and have done evil. They have already turned away from what I commanded them to do, and they have made an idol for themselves.’

13 “The Lord also said to me, ‘I know how stubborn these people are. 14 Don't try to stop me. I intend to destroy them so that no one will remember them any longer. Then I will make you the father of a nation larger and more powerful than they are.’

15 “So I turned and went down the mountain, carrying the two stone tablets on which the covenant was written. Flames of fire were coming from the mountain. 16 I saw that you had already disobeyed the command that the Lord your God had given you, and that you had sinned against him by making yourselves a metal idol in the form of a bull-calf. 17 So there in front of you I threw the stone tablets down and broke them to pieces. 18 Then once again I lay face downward in the Lord's presence for forty days and nights and did not eat or drink anything. I did this because you had sinned against the Lord and had made him angry. 19 I was afraid of the Lord's fierce anger, because he was furious enough to destroy you; but once again the Lord listened to me. 20 The Lord was also angry enough with Aaron to kill him, so I prayed for Aaron at the same time. 21 I took that sinful thing that you had made—that metal bull-calf—and threw it into the fire. Then I broke it in pieces, ground it to dust, and threw the dust into the stream that flowed down the mountain.

22 “You also made the Lord your God angry when you were at Taberah, Massah, and Kibroth Hattaavah. 23 And when he sent you from Kadesh Barnea with orders to go and take possession of the land that he was giving you, you rebelled against him; you did not trust him or obey him. 24 Ever since I have known you, you have rebelled against the Lord.

25 “So I lay face downward in the Lord's presence those forty days and nights, because I knew that he was determined to destroy you. 26 And I prayed, ‘Sovereign Lord, don't destroy your own people, the people you rescued and brought out of Egypt by your great strength and power. 27 Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and do not pay any attention to the stubbornness, wickedness, and sin of this people. 28 Otherwise, the Egyptians will say that you were unable to take your people into the land that you had promised them. They will say that you took your people out into the desert to kill them, because you hated them. 29 After all, these are the people whom you chose to be your own and whom you brought out of Egypt by your great power and might.’

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Deuteronomy 9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Consequences of Rebelling against God

Hear, O Israel! You are about to cross the Jordan today, to go in and dispossess nations larger and mightier than you, great cities, fortified to the heavens, a strong and tall people, the offspring of the Anakim, whom you know. You have heard it said of them, “Who can stand up to the Anakim?” Know then today that the Lord your God is the one who crosses over before you as a devouring fire; he will defeat them and subdue them before you, so that you may dispossess and destroy them quickly, as the Lord has promised you.

When the Lord your God thrusts them out before you, do not say to yourself, “It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to occupy this land”; it is rather because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you. It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you are going in to occupy their land; but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is dispossessing them before you, in order to fulfill the promise that the Lord made on oath to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

Know, then, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to occupy because of your righteousness; for you are a stubborn people. Remember and do not forget how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness; you have been rebellious against the Lord from the day you came out of the land of Egypt until you came to this place.

Even at Horeb you provoked the Lord to wrath, and the Lord was so angry with you that he was ready to destroy you. When I went up the mountain to receive the stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant that the Lord made with you, I remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water. 10 And the Lord gave me the two stone tablets written with the finger of God; on them were all the words that the Lord had spoken to you at the mountain out of the fire on the day of the assembly. 11 At the end of forty days and forty nights the Lord gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant. 12 Then the Lord said to me, “Get up, go down quickly from here, for your people whom you have brought from Egypt have acted corruptly. They have been quick to turn from the way that I commanded them; they have cast an image for themselves.” 13 Furthermore the Lord said to me, “I have seen that this people is indeed a stubborn people. 14 Let me alone that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and more numerous than they.”

15 So I turned and went down from the mountain, while the mountain was ablaze; the two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands. 16 Then I saw that you had indeed sinned against the Lord your God, by casting for yourselves an image of a calf; you had been quick to turn from the way that the Lord had commanded you. 17 So I took hold of the two tablets and flung them from my two hands, smashing them before your eyes. 18 Then I lay prostrate before the Lord as before, forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all the sin you had committed, provoking the Lord by doing what was evil in his sight. 19 For I was afraid that the anger that the Lord bore against you was so fierce that he would destroy you. But the Lord listened to me that time also. 20 The Lord was so angry with Aaron that he was ready to destroy him, but I interceded also on behalf of Aaron at that same time. 21 Then I took the sinful thing you had made, the calf, and burned it with fire and crushed it, grinding it thoroughly, until it was reduced to dust; and I threw the dust of it into the stream that runs down the mountain.

22 At Taberah also, and at Massah, and at Kibroth-hattaavah, you provoked the Lord to wrath. 23 And when the Lord sent you from Kadesh-barnea, saying, “Go up and occupy the land that I have given you,” you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God, neither trusting him nor obeying him. 24 You have been rebellious against the Lord as long as he has[a] known you.

25 Throughout the forty days and forty nights that I lay prostrate before the Lord when the Lord intended to destroy you, 26 I prayed to the Lord and said, “Lord God, do not destroy the people who are your very own possession, whom you redeemed in your greatness, whom you brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 27 Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; pay no attention to the stubbornness of this people, their wickedness and their sin, 28 otherwise the land from which you have brought us might say, ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring them into the land that he promised them, and because he hated them, he has brought them out to let them die in the wilderness.’ 29 For they are the people of your very own possession, whom you brought out by your great power and by your outstretched arm.”

Footnotes:

  1. Deuteronomy 9:24 Sam Gk: MT I have
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 9 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

“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; 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?’ 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) “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. 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. 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! 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. Also in Horev you made Adonai angry — Adonai was angry enough with you to destroy you! 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.’

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Deuteronomy 9 The Message (MSG)

1-2 Attention, Israel! This very day you are crossing the Jordan to enter the land and dispossess nations that are much bigger and stronger than you are. You’re going to find huge cities with sky-high fortress-walls and gigantic people, descendants of the Anakites—you’ve heard all about them; you’ve heard the saying, “No one can stand up to an Anakite.”

Today know this: God, your God, is crossing the river ahead of you—he’s a consuming fire. He will destroy the nations, he will put them under your power. You will dispossess them and very quickly wipe them out, just as God promised you would.

4-5 But when God pushes them out ahead of you, don’t start thinking to yourselves, “It’s because of all the good I’ve done that God has brought me in here to dispossess these nations.” Actually it’s because of all the evil these nations have done. No, it’s nothing good that you’ve done, no record for decency that you’ve built up, that got you here; it’s because of the vile wickedness of these nations that God, your God, is dispossessing them before you so that he can keep his promised word to your ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

6-10 Know this and don’t ever forget it: It’s not because of any good that you’ve done that God is giving you this good land to own. Anything but! You’re stubborn as mules. Keep in mind and don’t ever forget how angry you made God, your God, in the wilderness. You’ve kicked and screamed against God from the day you left Egypt until you got to this place, rebels all the way. You made God angry at Horeb, made him so angry that he wanted to destroy you. When I climbed the mountain to receive the slabs of stone, the tablets of the covenant that God made with you, I stayed there on the mountain forty days and nights: I ate no food; I drank no water. Then God gave me the two slabs of stone, engraved with the finger of God. They contained word for word everything that God spoke to you on the mountain out of the fire, on the day of the assembly.

11-12 It was at the end of the forty days and nights that God gave me the two slabs of stone, the tablets of the covenant. God said to me, “Get going, and quickly. Get down there, because your people whom you led out of Egypt have ruined everything. In almost no time at all they have left the road that I laid out for them and gone off and made for themselves a cast god.”

13-14 God said, “I look at this people and all I see are hardheaded, hardhearted rebels. Get out of my way now so I can destroy them. I’m going to wipe them off the face of the map. Then I’ll start over with you to make a nation far better and bigger than they could ever be.”

15-17 I turned around and started down the mountain—by now the mountain was blazing with fire—carrying the two tablets of the covenant in my two arms. That’s when I saw it: There you were, sinning against God, your God—you had made yourselves a cast god in the shape of a calf! So soon you had left the road that God had commanded you to walk on. I held the two stone slabs high and threw them down, smashing them to bits as you watched.

18-20 Then I prostrated myself before God, just as I had at the beginning of the forty days and nights. I ate no food; I drank no water. I did this because of you, all your sins, sinning against God, doing what is evil in God’s eyes and making him angry. I was terrified of God’s furious anger, his blazing anger. I was sure he would destroy you. But once again God listened to me. And Aaron! How furious he was with Aaron—ready to destroy him. But I prayed also for Aaron at that same time.

21 But that sin-thing that you made, that calf-god, I took and burned in the fire, pounded and ground it until it was crushed into a fine powder, then threw it into the stream that comes down the mountain.

22 And then there was Camp Taberah (Blaze), Massah (Testing-Place), and Camp Kibroth Hattaavah (Graves-of-the-Craving)—more occasions when you made God furious with you.

23-24 The most recent was when God sent you out from Kadesh Barnea, ordering you: “Go. Possess the land that I’m giving you.” And what did you do? You rebelled. Rebelled against the clear orders of God, your God. Refused to trust him. Wouldn’t obey him. You’ve been rebels against God from the first day I knew you.

25-26 When I was on my face, prostrate before God those forty days and nights after God said he would destroy you, I prayed to God for you, “My Master, God, don’t destroy your people, your inheritance whom, in your immense generosity, you redeemed, using your enormous strength to get them out of Egypt.

27-28 “Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; don’t make too much of the stubbornness of this people, their evil and their sin, lest the Egyptians from whom you rescued them say, ‘God couldn’t do it; he got tired and wasn’t able to take them to the land he promised them. He ended up hating them and dumped them in the wilderness to die.’

29 “They are your people still, your inheritance whom you powerfully and sovereignly rescued.”

The Message (MSG)

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

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