ha-Seifer ha-Torat Mosheh /

The Book of the Teaching of Moses

Devarim / Deuteronomy

 

(for an explanation of the format, notes and conventions used in this translation, please see the page on The Translation of the Torah and the Prophets. For an explanation of my methodology, see the page on The Original Torah Project).

If you have any questions, please email me at: shmuliq.parzal@googlemail.com

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS IS AN INTERPRETATIVE ADAPTATION OF THE HEBREW TEXT, NOT A LITERAL TRANSLATION. The intent is to give the modern reader an understanding of the sense and intent of the original, rather than a word for word rendering. Unless one is conversant in the idioms of Hebrew, and the nuances of ancient Israelite culture, a literal rendering will give you the words, but not the message.

words in italics without brackets - words not found in the traditional Masoretic text, but attested in one or more other Bible version (Samaritan Pentateuch [SP], Dead Sea Scrolls Bible [DSS], Greek Septuagint [LXX]).

[words in square brackets] - words implied by the Hebrew words, inserted to help give the sense of the Hebrew words in natural, Modern English.

{words in brace brackets} - words not in any version of the biblical text, but inserted to help explain a cultural or historical detail that would have been implicitly understood by an ancient Hebrew, but which might not be by a modern reader; also, words inserted for narrative clarification (like a midrash to explain something vital to an understanding of the narrative, but which is unclear in the traditional text). These should be considered as 'in-text footnotes', rather than face accusations of 'adding to Torah', since one of the purposes of this translation is to clarify the narrative, in order to make the meaning of the story clearer.

{words in italics in brace brackets} - hypothetical, reconstructed words, theorised to have been in the original text; the second purpose of this translation is to try to reconstruct what might have been the original text of the Bible.

('words in italics in plain brackets') - translations of Hebrew names, the meanings of which are important to understand in English.

Page last updated on: 16th Oct 2020

(Deuteronomy now: 36% translated)

Chapter 1: The Command to leave Choreiv

 

1:1 These are the sermons which Mosheh addressed to the whole of Israel on the other side of the [River] Jordan in the wilderness, on the plains opposite Sūf, between Pārān, Tofel, Lāvān, Chatseiroth and Di-zāhāv –

1:2 [it is] an eleven-day [journey] from Choreiv by way of Mount Sei`īr, [going] by the Qādheish-barnéia` [route].

1:3 So it was that in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, Mosheh spoke to the Israelites, in accordance with all the instructions that Yahveh had given for them;

1:4 [this was] after [God] had struck down Sīchon, king of the Emorrites, who used to rule in Cheshbōn, and `Ōgh, king of Bāshān, who used to rule at `Ashtāroth in Edhre`ī.

1:5 Across the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Mosheh resolved to expound this teaching, saying:

1:6 “Yahveh our God made a declaration to us at Choreiv and said, ‘You have remained long enough at this mountain.

1:7 Pack up [therefore] and journey forth, and go to the hill-country of the Emorrites, and to {the lands of} all their neighbours on the plains, in the hill-country, in the lowlands, in the Negev, by the seacoast – in the land of the Canaanites and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the River Euphrates.

1:8 See, I have placed the Land at your disposal. Go in therefore and take possession of the land which I, Yahveh, swore to your patriarchs – to Avrāhām, to Yitzchāq and to Ya`aqov – to give to them and to their descendants after them.”

 

Mosheh recalls how Leaders and Judges were Appointed

 

1:9 Now, I explained to you at that time, saying, “I am unable to bear you by myself.

1:10 Yahveh your God has greatly increased your numbers, and here you are today as numerous as the multitude of stars in the heavens.

1:11 May Yahveh, the God of your patriarchs, make you a thousand times more numerous and bless you, just as God has promised you!

1:12 But however can I bear your troubles, your burdens and your disputes by myself?

1:13 Choose therefore wise, discerning, and well-respected men from among your tribes, and I will appoint them as leaders over you.”

1:14 You answered me, and said, “The plan which you have proposed to be done [sounds] good.”

1:15 So I took the leaders of your tribes – wise and well-respected men – and commissioned them as leaders over you: captains over thousands, captains over hundreds, captains over fifties, and captains over tens, as well as police officers for your tribes.

1:16 {Then I appointed the judges}, and I charged your judges at that time, saying, “Hear out the issues between your kinsfolk, and judge righteously between every man and his fellow countryman, and between the foreigner who sojourns with him.

1:17 You shall not show partiality in judgment, but you shall hear out the lowly and the great alike. Nor should you fear the status of any individual, for {if the judgment is just, then} the judgment is from God. If any case is too hard for you, then you shall bring it to me, and I will hear it.”

1:18 Thus, at that time, I gave you instructions about all the things you should do.

 

When Israel Sent out Scouts to reconnoitre the Land

 

1:19 When we departed from Choreiv, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which you have seen, by way of the hill-country of the Emorrites, just as Yahveh our God commanded us, and we went as far as Qādheish-barnéia`.

1:20 I said to you, “You have arrived in the hill-country of the Emorrites, which Yahveh our God is about to give to us.

1:21 See, Yahveh your God has placed the Land at your disposal. Go up therefore and take possession of it, just as Yahveh, the God of your patriarchs, has proclaimed to you. Be not afraid, nor be discouraged.”

1:22 So all of you approached me and said, “Let us send out men ahead of us, so that they might reconnoitre the Land for us, and bring back word to us concerning by what route we should go up into it, and what cities we should enter.”

1:23 I approved of the plan, so I selected twelve men from among you – one from each tribe.

1:24 So they got ready and went up into the hill country; eventually they arrived in the Valley of Eshkol and began scouting it out.

1:25 They made sure to get their hands on some of the fruit of the Land, and brought it back down to us. They also brought back a report to us, and said, “The land which Yahveh our God is giving us is good.”

 

When Israel rebelled and refused to enter the Land

 

1:26 However, you were unwilling to go up {into the Land}, and rebelled against the orders of Yahveh your God.

1:27 You grumbled in your tents, and said, “It is because Yahveh hates us that God has brought us out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hands of the Emorrites so they can wipe us out.

1:28 What kind of a place are we going up into! Our kinsmen have filled our hearts with dismay, saying, ‘The people there are far greater and loftier than we are! The cities are huge, with fortified walls up to the skies! And what’s more, we’ve seen the descendants of the [ancient] giants there!’

1:29 So I said to you, “Do not be terrified, nor be afraid of them.

1:30 It is Yahveh your God who is going at your head; it is [God] who shall fight for you, just as in everything that God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes –  

1:31 just like in the wilderness, where you saw how Yahveh your God carried you along the whole route that you travelled, in the same way a man would carry his own child, until you came to this place.

1:32 Yet despite knowing these things, you did not trust in Yahveh your God,

1:33 who has gone ahead of you on all the stages of your journeys, to seek out places for you to pitch your tents, in {a pillar of} fire by night, and in {a pillar of} cloud by day, showing you by what route you should go.

1:34 Yahveh heard the sound of your [grumbling] words and was incensed, and made a vow, saying,

1:35 [1:35-36a] “Not a single one of these people, this evil generation, will see the good land which I swore to give to your ancestors, except for Kāleiv son of Yėfunneh.

1:36 [1:36b] He shall see it, and to him and to his children I will give the land upon which he has trod, because he was willing to fulfil the bidding of Yahveh.”

1:37 Yahveh was also incensed with me because of you, saying, “Neither shall you enter {the Land}.

1:38 But Yėhoshúa` son of Nūn, who stands before you, he is the one who shall enter {the Land and lead them}. He is the one you shall imbue with authority, for he it is who will {lead} Israel to take possession of it.

1:39 Moreover, your little ones, who you said would become prey – your children, who on that day were unable to discern between good and evil – they shall enter, and to them will I give it, and they shall take possession of it.

1:40 But as for you, turn around, and journey forth into the wilderness by way of the Red Sea.”

1:41 [1:41a] Then you responded and said to me, “We have sinned against Yahveh! We shall go up now and do battle, according to everything that Yahveh our God has commanded us!”

1:42 [1:41b] So each of you strapped on his weapons of war, and recklessly presumed to go up into the hill-country.

1:43 [1:42] However, Yahveh said to me, “Warn them, ‘Do not go up nor engage in battle, for I am not in your midst – in which case you will be routed by your enemies!’

1:44 [1:43] So I warned you, but you would not listen. Instead, you rebelled against the express command of Yahveh, and defiantly went up into the hill-country.

1:45 [1:44] Therefore the Emorrites, who lived in the hill-country, came out against you, and pursued you just as bees do, and harried you from Sei`īr all the way to Chormāh.

1:46 [1:45] Then you returned and wept before Yahveh, but Yahveh would neither listen to your voices, nor give ear [to your pleas].

1:47 [1:46] So you spent many years in Qādheish, equal {in years to} the {number of} days you spent [there] {waiting for the scouts to return}.

1:48 [2:1] Then we pulled up camp, and set out towards the wilderness by way of {the coastline of} the Red Sea, just as Yahveh ordered me, and we camped around Mount Sei`īr for some while.

 

Chapter 2: The End of the Wilderness Years

 

2:1 [2:2] Then Yahveh spoke to me, saying,

2:2 [2:3] “You have been circling this mountain long enough. Now turn north.

2:3 [2:4a] However, you must give strict instructions to the people and say: ‘You will be passing through the territory of your kinsmen, the descendants of `Eisāv, who dwell in Sei`īr.

2:4 [2:4b-5a] Although they will be afraid of you, be very careful not to provoke them;

2:5 [2:5b] for I will not give you any of their land – not even so much as the length of a foot – because I have given the highlands of Sei`īr to `Eisāv as an inherited possession.

2:6 [2:6] You may purchase food from them with silver so that you may eat, and you may also buy water from them with silver so that you may drink.

2:7 [2:7a] For Yahveh your God has blessed you in everything you have undertaken to do –

2:8 [2:7b] consider your wanderings [through] that great and terrible wilderness, and call to mind [how] Yahveh your God has been with you these forty years, and you have not lacked a thing.”

 

2:9 [2:8] So we moved on from our kinsmen, the descendants of `Eisāv, who live in Sei`īr, away from the `Arāvāh highway and away from Eylat and `Etsyon Géver; and we turned instead to march on in the direction of the Wilderness of Moab.

2:10 [2:9] Yahveh then said to me, “Do not harass the Moabites, nor provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land as an inheritance, because I have [already] assigned Ār to the descendants of Lō as an inheritance.”

 

2:11 [2:10] Now the Emites lived there in times past – a people as great, as numerous and as tall as the [giant] Anaqites.

2:12 [2:11] These people, like the Anaqites, were also considered to be descendants of the Refā’īm, but the Moabites call them Emites (‘the Terrifying Ones’).

2:13 [2:12] The Chorites also formerly lived in Sei`īr, but the `Eisāvites dispossessed them, wiping them out completely, and settling there in their place – just as Israel will do with the land of their inheritance, which Yahveh has assigned to them.

 

2:14 [2:13] {Then God said}, “Now arise and set out, and cross over the Zéredh river-valley!” So we crossed over the Zéredh river-valley.

 

2:15 [2:14] Now the length of time we spent around Qādheish-barnéia`, until we crossed over the Zéredh river-valley, was thirty-eight years – until such time as [that] whole {faithless} generation of men of warrior-age had perished from the midst of the camp, just as Yahveh had sworn to them.

2:16 [2:15] For the [decisive might] of Yahveh was indeed against them, [intent on] eliminating them from the midst of the camp, until they were completely gone.

 

God orders the Israelites not to take the lands of the Ammonites or Moabites

 

2:17 [2:16] So it came to pass, once that entire [generation of] men of warrior-age were dead and gone from the midst of the people,

2:18 [2:17] that Yahveh spoke to me, saying,

2:19 [2:18] “Today, you are going to cross over the borderland of Moab at Ār.

2:20 [2:19] You will then be close to the Ammonites; do not harass them or start a fight with them, for I will not give you any of the land of the Ammonites as an inheritance, because I have [already] assigned it to the descendants of Lō as an inheritance.”

 

2:21 [2:20] Now, that was also considered Refā’īm-country, for Refā’īm formerly lived there too, but the Ammonites called them Zamzummites (‘People of mumbling speech’).

2:22 [2:21] They [too] were a great and numerous people, and as tall as the [giant] Anaqites. However, Yahveh diminished them, so that [the Ammonites] were able to dispossess them and live [there] in their place,

2:23 [2:22] just as [God] had done for the `Eisāvites, who live in Sei`īr, when [God] diminished the Chorites before them, so that they were able to dispossess them, and settle [there] in their place, {as is the case} even to this day.

2:24 [2:23] Just so too with the `Avvites, who used to live in villages as far {south} as Gaza, {so that} the Kaftorites, who came out of Kaftor (‘Crete’), were able to dispossess them and settle in their place.

 

Chapter 3: The Defeat of Sichon and Ogh

 

King Sīchon Defeated

 

3:1 [2:24] {Then God said}, “Arise then! Advance across the Arnon River-valley!  Behold, I have given Sīchon the Emorrite, king of Cheshbōn, and his land into your hands. Start taking possession of it, and engage him in battle.

3:2 [2:25] This day I will begin to put the fear and dread of you upon peoples everywhere under the heavens, so that they will tremble and quake because of you, whenever they come to hear reports of you.”

 

3:3 [2:26] So I sent messengers out of the Wilderness of Qėdeimōth to Sīchon, king of Cheshbōn, with an offer of peace, saying,

3:4 [2:27] “Let me pass through your territory. I will keep strictly to the main highway; I will not turn aside either to the right or the left.

3:5 [2:28] Sell me food for silver so that I may eat, and give me water for silver so that I may drink; just allow me to pass through on foot,

3:6 [2:29] just as the `Eisāvites who dwell in Sei`īr and the Moabites who dwell in Ār have done for me, until I pass over the Jordan into the land which Yahveh our God is giving us.”

 

3:7 [2:30] However Sīchon, king of Cheshbōn, refused to let us pass through, for Yahveh your God had hardened his resolve and made his heart obstinate, so that [God] might deliver him into your hands, as is now the case.

3:8 [2:31] Then Yahveh said to me, “See, I begin by delivering Sīchon, the Emorrite king of Cheshbōn, and his land over to you. Start taking possession of it, so that you may occupy his land.”

3:9 [2:32] So Sīchon came out to face us – he and all his men – to do battle near Yáchats.

3:10 [2:33] However, Yahveh our God delivered him over to us, and we slew him, along with his sons and all his troops.

3:11 [2:34] We took over all his towns at that time, and we proscribed to destruction the men, the women, and the children of every town. We left no survivors.

3:12 [2:35] We took only the livestock as plunder for ourselves, along with the [material] spoils of the cities which we had captured.

3:13 [2:36] From `Aro`eir – which is on the banks of the Arnon River-valley – from the town that is in the river-valley itself, all the way to Gil`ādh, there was not one walled town too high for us; Yahveh our God delivered everything into our hands.

3:14 [2:37] Only you did not encroach upon the land of the Ammonites, nor on any place along the River Yabboq, or on the cities in the hill country, or indeed on any place Yahveh our God had forbidden to us.

 

King `Ōgh Defeated

 

3:15 [3:1] Then we turned and went up the main road to Bāshān, and `Ōgh, the king of Bāshān, came out to face us – he and all his men – to do battle at Edhre`ī.

3:16 [3:2] Then Yahveh said to me, “Do not fear him, for I will deliver him and all his people and his country into your hands; and you shall do to him as you did to Sīchon, king of the Emorrites, who ruled in Cheshbōn.”

3:17 [3:3] So Yahveh our God also delivered `Ōgh, the king of Bāshān, with all his men, into our hands, and we dealt him such a crushing blow that there was no survivor left.

3:18 [3:4] At that time we captured all his towns; there was not a single walled town which we did not take over from them: sixty towns [in all], the whole region of Argov – the {entire} kingdom of `Ōgh in Bāshān,

3:19 [3:5] {even though} all these towns were fortified with high walls, double gates and solid bars, in addition to a great many [unwalled] villages.

3:20 [3:6] We proscribed them to destruction, just as we had done to {the towns of} Sīchon, king of Cheshbōn, proscribing to destruction the men, women, and children of every town.

3:21 [3:7] However, we took all the livestock and the [material] spoil of the cities as plunder for ourselves.

3:22 [3:8] Thus at that time, we seized from the two kings of the Emorrites [all of their] territory that was across the Jordan, from the Arnon River-valley as far as Mount Chermōn –  

3:23 [3:9] Chermōn is called Siryon by the Sidonians, and the Emorrites call it Sėnīr –  

3:24 [3:10] all the towns of the tableland: the whole of Gil`ādh, and the whole of Bāshān, as far as Salkhāh and Edhre`ī – {all the} towns of the kingdom of `Ōgh in Bāshān.

3:25 [3:11a] As a side note, only `Ōgh, king of Bāshān, had remained of those who were descended from the [giant] Refa’īm.

3:26 [3:11b] Notably, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron. Is it not in Rabbah of the Ammonites? It is nine cubits long and four cubits wide, measured by the standard cubit.

 

Chapter 4: Division of the Land on the East Side of the Jordan

 

4:1 [3:12] Now this is the land which we took possession of at that time: [the portion] from `Aro`eir, which is by the Wadi Arnon, together with half of the hill country of Gil`ādh and its towns, I assigned to the Reubenites and to the Gadites.

4:2 [3:13a] The rest of Gil`ādh, along with the whole of Bāshān, the kingdom of `Ōgh, I assigned to the half-tribe of Manasseh – the whole region of the Argov;

4:2 [3:13a] the whole of that [region of] Bāshān is known as Refa’im country.

4:3 [3:14] The Manassite [clan of] Yā’īr took the whole region of Argov – that is, Bāshān – as far as the border of the Gėshurites and the Ma`akhathites, and renamed the villages after themselves, Chavoth Yā’īr, as [they are known as] to this day.

4:4 [3:15] I assigned [land in] Gil`ādh to [the clan of] Makhīr.

4:5 [3:16] To the Reuvenites and to the Gadites, I assigned {the territory} from Gil`ādh right down as far as the Wadi Arnon, the middle of the river-valley being the border, and up to the Wadi Yabboq, which is the [northernmost] border of the Ammonites.

4:6 [3:17] {Then we took} the plain, with the Jordan as the border, from Kinnereth right down as far as the sea of the `Arāvāh – that is, the Salt Sea (‘Dead Sea’) – [as far as the area] at the foot of the slopes of [Mount] Pisgāh on the east.

4:7 [3:18a] Then I commanded you at that time, saying,

4:8 [3:18b] “Yahveh your God has given you this land to take possession of it. All you warriors shall cross over as shock-troops, ahead of your Israelite kinsfolk;

4:9 [3:19] only your wives, your little ones, and your livestock – for I know that you have much livestock – shall remain in the towns which I have assigned to you,

4:10 [3:20a] until Yahveh has given rest to your fellow tribes, [in the same way] as {God has} to you, and until they too have taken possession of the land which Yahveh your God has assigned to them beyond the Jordan.

4:11 [3:20b] [Only] then shall each of you return to his homestead, which I have assigned to you.”

 

Mosheh’s Instructions to Yehoshua`

 

4:12 [3:21] I also gave strict orders to Yėhoshúa` at that time, saying, “You have seen everything that Yahveh your God has done to these two kings with your own eyes; so shall Yahveh do to all the kingdoms there, into which you cross over.

4:13 [3:22] Do not fear them, for it will be Yahveh your God who will be fighting for you.”

 

Mosheh is Forbidden to Cross the Jordan

 

4:14 [3:23] Then I pleaded with Yahveh at that time, saying,

4:15 [3:24] “O my Sovereign Yahveh, You have only just begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty power; for what mighty being is there in heaven or on earth who can perform such deeds and powerful acts as Yours?

4:16 [3:25] Permit me then, I beg of You, to cross over and see the good land that lies beyond the Jordan, that good hill-country {that stretches as far as} the Lebanon [foothills].”

4:17 [3:26] But Yahveh was exceedingly cross indeed with me because of you, and would not listen to me, so Yahveh said to me, “Enough of this! Speak to Me no more of this matter.

4:18 [3:27] Now get up to the top of Pisgāh, and cast your eyes to the west and to the north, to the south and to the east; look at it well, for you are not going to be crossing over this Jordan.

4:19 [3:28] Instead, give your orders to Yėhoshúa` – encourage him and strengthen him, for it is he who will be crossing over at the head of this people, and it is he who will be leading them to take possession of the land which you survey.”

4:20 [3:29] Meanwhile, we remained in the valley opposite Beyt Pė`ōr.

Chapter 5: Faithfulness to God’s Commandments is the True Path to Life

 

5:1 [4:1] “Now therefore, O Israel, pay heed to the statutes and the laws which I myself am teaching you to observe, in order that that you may live to enter and take possession of the land which Yahveh, the God of your ancestors, is giving you.

5:2 [4:2] You shall not add [anything] to the words which I am enjoining upon you, nor shall you take anything away from them, but rather you shall keep the commandments of Yahveh your God which I enjoin upon you.

5:3 [4:3] You saw with your very own eyes what Yahveh did [during the incident of the] Baal of Pė`ōr, when Yahveh your God wiped out from among you every [last] person who followed the Baal of Pė`ōr,

5:4 [4:4] while you, who held fast to Yahveh your God, are alive to this day – every one of you.

5:5 [4:5] See, I have taught you statutes and laws, just as Yahveh my God has commanded me, for you to abide by in the land where you are about to enter and take possession of.

5:6 [4:6] Therefore, {be sure} to observe them faithfully, for this will be {proof of} your wisdom and your discernment, {which will stand out} in the sight of the nations who, on hearing of all these statutes, will then say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and perceptive people.”

5:7 [4:7] For what great nation is there who has a god so close to it as Yahveh our God is whenever we call on [God]?

5:8 [4:8] Or what great nation is there that has statutes and laws as equitable as the entirety of this Teaching is, which I am setting before you today?

 

The Supreme Importance of the Revelation at Choreiv

 

5:9 [4:9] Only take the utmost care and watch yourselves diligently all the days of your life, in case you forget the things which you have seen with your own eyes, and they fade away from your memory; rather, make them known to your children and to your grandchildren –

5:10 [4:10a] {especially what happened on the} day when you stood before Yahveh your God at Choreiv, when Yahveh said to me,

5:11 [4:10b] ‘Gather the people together to Me, so that I may let them hear My words, in order that they might learn to have a reverent respect for Me all the days that they live on the earth, and so that they may teach their children.’

5:12 [4:11] Then you drew near and stood at the foot of the mountain; and the mountain was ablaze with flames that reached right up to the very skies, with thick, dark cloud, and an exceedingly loud sound.

5:13 [4:12] Then Yahveh spoke to you out of the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words but perceived no form – just a voice.

5:14 [4:13] Then [God] declared to you {the essence of} [God’s] Covenant which [God] commanded you to observe – the Ten Proclamations; and [God] wrote them on two tablets of stone.

5:15 [4:14] At the same time, Yahveh commanded me to teach you statutes and laws, for you to observe in the land which you are about to cross over the Jordan to possess.

 

Warnings about abandoning the Covenant and worshipping idols

 

5:16 [4:15] Since you did not see any form at all on the day that Yahveh spoke to you at Choreiv from the midst of the fire, for your own sake therefore, be most careful,

5:17 [4:16a] in case you become corrupted, and you [end up] making for yourselves graven images in the form of all kinds of figures,

5:18 [4:16b-17] such as in the shape of a man or a woman, or in the shape of any [kind of] beast that is on the earth, or in the shape of any [kind of] winged bird that flies in the skies,

5:19 [4:18] or in the shape of any [kind of] thing that creeps on the ground, or in the shape of any [kind of] fish that is in the waters beneath the earth.

5:20 [4:19] {So beware}, in case when you lift up your eyes to the heavens, and you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, and all the hosts of heaven, you feel drawn to bow down to them and serve them; for these are the things that Yahveh your God has apportioned to all nations under the whole of heaven,

5:21 [4:20] but it is you that Yahveh has taken, and brought you out of the iron furnace – from Egypt – {and forged you} to become God’s very own people and possession, as you are today.

5:22 [4:21] {As a case in point}: on account of you Yahveh was angry with me, and swore that I would not cross over the Jordan, and that I would not enter that good land which Yahveh your God is giving you as an inheritance.

5:23 [4:22] So I must die in this country. I will not be crossing over the Jordan, but you shall go over and take possession of that good land.

5:24 [4:23] So take diligent care therefore, that you do not forget the Covenant of Yahveh your God which [God] cut with you, by making yourself graven images, or the likeness of anything that Yahveh your God has forbidden to you;

5:25 [4:24] for Yahveh your God is a consuming fire, a zealous God.

Ruination and Exile

5:26 [4:25] When you have produced children and grandchildren, and have been long established in the Land, should you then corrupt yourselves by making graven images, or the likeness of anything, and do things which Yahveh your God considers evil, and so bring about God’s displeasure,

5:27 [4:26a] I call the heavens and the earth in witness against you today, that you will speedily be wiped clean off the face of the land that you are going across the Jordan to possess.

5:28 [4:26b] You will not long endure on it, but will [instead] fall into complete ruination.

5:29 [4:27] Then Yahveh will scatter you among the nations, and you will be left few in number among the peoples where Yahveh will drive you.

5:30 [4:28] There you will serve false gods, the work of human hands – [gods] of wood and stone, which can neither see nor hear, nor eat nor smell.

5:31 [4:29] However, if you set about seeking Yahveh your God even there, you will find {God}, if you seek [God] with all your heart [and mind], and with all your soul.

5:32 [4:30] You will be in dire straits because of all the things that have befallen you, but eventually, if you return to Yahveh your God and are again obedient to [God’s] voice –  

5:33 [4:31] for Yahveh your God is a merciful God – [God] will not abandon you or destroy you, or forget the covenant which [God] made on oath to your patriarchs.

 

The Privilege of being chosen by God

 

5:34 [4:32a] Indeed, you have only to ask around, from one end of the horizon to the other, and inquire about the bygone ages that came before you – since the day that God first created human beings on earth:  

5:35 [4:32b] Has anything as grand as this {ever happened before}? Or has anything like it been heard of [before]?

5:36 [4:33] Has any [pagan] people ever heard the voice of the living God speaking {to them} out of the midst of the fire, just like you have heard, and still lived?

5:37 [4:34] Or has any pagan god ever gone and tried to take for himself a nation from within another nation with such [withering] ordeals, or with such signs and wonders, or through war, or with such great power and unparalleled displays of might, or with such grand, [awe-inspiring] spectacles, as YHVH your God did for you, right before your very eyes?

5:38 [4:35] [These things] were shown to you, so that you might know that Yahveh alone is God, and that there is no one else besides Him.

5:39 [4:36] Out of heaven [God] made [God’s] voice become audible, so that [God] might give you firm guidance; and on earth, [God] made [God’s] great fire become visible to you, so that out of the midst of the fire you were able to hear [God’s] words.

5:40 [4:37] Because [God] loved your patriarchs, [God] chose {you} their descendants after them, and personally brought you out of Egypt with [God’s] mighty power,

5:41 [4:38] driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you are, to bring you into their land, and give you it as an inheritance, as is still the case.

5:42 [4:39] Know therefore today, and fix it in your mind, that Yahveh alone is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.

5:43 [4:40] Therefore, you shall observe [God’s] statutes and [God’s] commandments which I myself enjoin upon you today, so that things may go well with you and with your descendants after you, in order that you may long endure on the soil which Yahveh your God is assigning to you for all time.”

 

The Cities of Refuge on the East Bank of the Jordan

 

5:44 [4:41-42a] Then Mosheh set apart three cities across the Jordan, toward the east, so that any manslayer could flee there –

5:45 [4:42b] in other words, anyone who killed his neighbour unintentionally, without having had any previous enmity towards him, could flee to one of these cities and live:

5:46 [4:43] Bétser in the wilderness, on the plateau for the Reuvenites; Ramoth in Gil`ādh for the Gadites, and Golān in Bāshān for the Manassites.

 

Chapter 6: The Torah

 

Introduction to the Law

 

6:1 [4:44] This then is the Torah which Mosheh set before the Israelites.

6:2 [4:45] These are the stipulations, the ordinances and the rulings which Mosheh proclaimed to the Israelites in the wilderness, after they came out of Egypt,

6:3 [4:46] {and were still} across on the other side of the Jordan, in the valley opposite Beyt Pė`ōr, in the land of Sīchon, king of the Emorrites, who ruled in Cheshbōn, whom Mosheh and the Israelites defeated, after they had come out of Egypt –  

6:4 [4:47] for they had taken possession of his land, and the land of `Ōgh, king of Bāshān, the two kings of the Emorrites, who [ruled] across on the easternmost side of the Jordan.

6:5 [4:48] {The captured territory stretched} from `Aro`eir, which is by the edge of the Wadi Arnon, right up as far as Mount Sī’on – that is, Chermōn –  

6:6 [4:49] along the whole river plain across the eastern side of the Jordan, right down as far as the Sea of the `Arāvāh, [as far as] the foot of the slopes of [Mount] Pisgāh.

 

The Ten Proclamations

 

6:7 [5:1a] There, Mosheh summoned the whole of Israel and said to them,

6:8 [5:1b] “Hear, O Israel, the ordinances and statutes which I myself am proclaiming in your hearing today, so that you may learn them, and faithfully put them into practice.

6:9 [5:2] It was Yahveh our God who cut a covenant with us at Choreiv.

6:10 [5:3] [However], it was not with our ancestors that Yahveh cut this covenant, but with us, with those of us who are here today – all of us who are living.

6:11 [5:4] Yahveh spoke with you directly, from the midst of the fire on the mountain.

6:12 [5:5] However, [as for me], I was standing between Yahveh and you at that time to declare to you the words of Yahveh; for you were afraid when faced with the fire, and would not go {near} the mountain. And [God] said:

 

6:13 [5:6] ‘I am Yahveh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from a state of slavery.

6:14 [5:7] You shall have no other gods besides Me.

6:15 [5:8] You shall not make for yourself an idol, or the likeness of anything in the skies above, or on the earth below, or in the waters beneath the earth;

6:16 [5:9] You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I, Yahveh your God, am a zealous God, who pursues the iniquity of parents down to the children of the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me {and despise My ways},

6:17 [5:10] but who shows faithful love to [the] thousandth [generation] of those who love Me and keep My commandments.

6:18 [5:11] You shall not use the name of Yahveh your God for false, deceptive or evil purposes, for Yahveh will not acquit the one who misuses [God’s] name.

6:19 [5:12] Observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy, just as Yahveh your God has commanded you.

6:20 [5:13-14a] Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath [dedicated] to Yahveh your God.

6:21 [5:14b] On it you shall not do any work – neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the foreigner resident [among you] within your city-gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, just as you do.

6:22 [5:15] Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and that Yahveh your God brought you out from there with great power and unparalleled displays of might; therefore Yahveh your God has commanded you to keep the Sabbath day and sanctify it.

6:23 [5:16] Honour your father and your mother, just as Yahveh your God has commanded you, so that things may go well for you, and so that you may endure a long time upon the soil that Yahveh your God is giving you.

6:24 [J: 5:17a, X: 5:17] You shall not commit murder.

6:25 [J: 5:17b, X: 5:18] You shall not commit adultery.

6:26 [J: 5:17c, X: 5:19] You shall not steal.

6:27 [J: 5:17d, X: 5:20] You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.

6:28 [J: 5:18, X: 5:21] You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor shall you yearn after your neighbour’s house or his fields, his manservant or his maidservant, his oxen, his donkeys or any of his animals, nor anything that belongs to your neighbour.’

 

6:29 [J: 5:19a, X: 5:22a] These are the proclamations which Yahveh decreed to your entire assembly with a loud voice at the mountain, out from the midst of the fire, the dark cloud and the dense fog – and nothing more.

6:30 [J: 5:19b, X: 5:22b] Then [God] wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.”

 

Chapter 7: When the Israelites appointed Mosheh to receive God’s Message from God on their behalf

 

7:1 [J: 5:20, X: 5:23] “Now when you heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was ablaze with fire, you came up to me – all the chieftains of your tribes, and [all] your elders.

7:2 [J: 5:21, X: 5:24] You said, ‘Behold, Yahveh our God has just shown us [God’s] Glory and [God’s] greatness, and we have heard [God’s] voice from the midst of the fire. We have [also] seen today that human beings can survive, even though God has spoken to them.

7:3 [J: 5:22, X: 5:25] But now, why should we risk death again? For this great fire will consume us! If we carry on listening to the voice of Yahveh our God any longer, then [surely] we will die!

7:4 [J: 5:23, X: 5:26] For who is there out of all mortal flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and yet survived?

7:5 [J: 5:24, X: 5:27] You approach {the fire} [therefore], and hear everything that Yahveh our God is going to say. Then you shall relay back to us everything that Yahveh our God has spoken to you, and we will willingly do it.”

7:6 [J: 5:25, X: 5:28] Yahveh heard the words of your plea when you spoke to me, and Yahveh said to me, “I have heard the words of this people’s plea, which they have made to you. They have done well in everything they have asked!

7:7 [J: 5:26, X: 5:29] O would that there were such a heart in them that they might {always} revere Me in awe, and always keep all My commandments, so that everything might go well with them and with their children forever!

7:8 [J: 5:27, X: 5:30] Go therefore and say to them, ‘Return to your tents!’

7:9 [J: 5:28, X: 5:31] But as for you, stand here by Me, so that I may declare to you all the commandments, the ordinances and the statutes which you shall teach them, so that they may observe them in the land which I am about to give them to take possession of.”

7:10 [J: 5:29, X: 5:32] Therefore, be careful to do just as Yahveh your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside [from God’s commandments], neither to the right nor to the left.

7:11 [J: 5:30, X: 5:33] You shall follow the entirety of the Way which Yahveh your God has enjoined upon you, so that you may thrive, and so that things may go well for you, and so that you may endure a long time in the land which you are going to take possession of.

 

Conclusion

 

7:12 [6:1] These then are the commandments, the ordinances and the statutes which Yahveh your God commanded [me] to teach you, so that you may observe them in the land that you are crossing over into to take possession of,

7:13 [6:2] and so that you may [develop] a reverent awe for Yahveh your God, [enough that you] observe all God’s customs and commandments which I enjoin upon you today – not just you, but also your children and your children’s children – all the days of your life, so that you may long endure {in the Land}.

7:14 [6:3] Comply [with them], O Israel, and be careful to put them into practice, so that things may go well for you, and so that you may increase greatly {in number} in the Land, which is rich in abundant natural bounty, just as Yahveh the God of your Patriarchs has promised you.

Chapter 8: The Great Commandment

 

8:1 [LXX 6:3b] Now these are [God’s] ordinances and statues – everything that Yahveh enjoined upon the Israelites in the wilderness, after they had come out from the land of Egypt:

8:2 [6:4] “Hear, O Israel: Yahveh is our God, Yahveh alone!

8:3 [6:5] And you shall love Yahveh your God with all your heart [and mind], with all your soul, and with all your might.

8:4 [6:6] Take to heart these instructions which I enjoin upon you today.

8:5 [6:7] Impress them upon your children; recite them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up;

8:6 [6:8] bind them like a sign on your hand, and let them be like a frontlet between your eyes;

8:7 [6:9] inscribe them on the doorposts of your houses and on your [city] gates.

8:8 [6:10a] Then it shall be, when Yahveh your God brings you into the land which [God] swore to your patriarchs, Avrāhām, Yitzchāq, and Ya`aqov, to give you –

8:9 [6:10b-11a] a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, hewn-out cisterns you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant –  

8:10 [6:11b-12] then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget Yahveh your God, who brought you out of Egypt, from a state of slavery.

 

Loyalty to Yahveh alone

 

8:11 [6:13] You shall revere [only] Yahveh your God, and serve [only] [Yahveh]; to [Yahveh] alone shall you hold fast, and [only] by [Yahveh’s] Name shall you swear.

8:12 [6:14] You shall not go after other gods – any gods of the people who live around you;

8:13 [6:15] for Yahveh your God is a God who burns with jealousy in your midst. Otherwise, the anger of Yahveh your God will flare up against you, and will wipe you clean off the face of the soil {that God has given you}.

8:14 [6:16] You shall not test Yahveh your God, as you tested {God} in Massāh.

8:15 [6:17] [Rather], you shall diligently keep the commandments of Yahveh your God, along with [God’s] stipulations and [God’s] statutes which [God] has enjoined upon you.

8:16 [6:18] You shall [also] do whatever Yahveh regards as [ethically] upright and good, so that things may go well for you, and so that you may {live to} enter and take possession of the good land which Yahveh your God swore on oath to your patriarchs,

8:17 [6:19] and so that all your enemies may be driven out before you, just as Yahveh has promised.

 

The future Legacy of Yahveh

 

8:18 [6:20] Then it shall be, when your child asks you in time to come, saying, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, ordinances and statutes which Yahveh our God has enjoined upon you?”

8:19 [6:21] then you shall say to your child, “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and Yahveh brought us out of Egypt with great might.

8:20 [6:22] Before our very eyes, Yahveh also wrought signs and wonders – both great and devastating – against Egypt, against Pharaoh, and against his entire household.

8:21 [6:23] It was us that [God] brought out from there, so that [God] might bring us in [to this country], to give us the land which [God] swore on oath to our patriarchs.

8:22 [6:24] Yahveh commanded us to carry out all these decrees, {so that we would} revere Yahveh our God in awe, for our lasting good, and for our survival, as is the case to this day.

8:23 [6:25] It will therefore be counted towards us as a righteous thing in our favour, if we are careful to carry out this entire [body of] commandments in the presence of Yahveh our God, just as [God] has enjoined upon us.”

 

Chapter 9: The Chosen People

 

9:1 [7:1] When Yahveh your God brings you into the land which you yourselves are entering to take possession of, and has dislodged many nations there before you – the Cheytites, the Girgashites, the Emorrites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Yebusites – seven nations greater and mightier than you;

9:2 [7:2] and when Yahveh your God delivers them over to you and you defeat them, then you must proscribe them to complete destruction. You shall make no terms with them, nor give them any quarter.

9:3 [7:3] What is more, you shall not intermarry with them. You shall not give your daughters to their {pagan} sons, nor take their {pagan} daughters for your sons.

9:4 [7:4a] For they will [end up] turning your children away from following Me, and they will serve other gods.

9:5 [7:4b] Then the anger of Yahveh will flare up against you, and [God] will quickly bring you to ruin.

9:6 [7:5] Instead, this is how you shall deal with them: You shall destroy their altars, smash their Baal-stones to pieces, cut down their Asherah-poles, and consign their graven images to the fire.

9:7 [7:6a] For you are a people consecrated to Yahveh your God.

9:8 [7:6b] Out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth, it is you that Yahveh your God has chosen to be [God’s] people, God’s own treasured possession.

 

Why God chose Israel

 

9:9 [7:7] It is not because you were more numerous than all [other] peoples that Yahveh grew attached to you or chose you, for you are [among] the smallest of all peoples.

9:10 [7:8] Rather, it is because of the love that Yahveh had for you, and it is because [God] kept the oath which [God] swore to your patriarchs, that Yahveh brought you out {of Egypt} with such great might, and redeemed you from a state of slavery, away from the control of the Pharaoh, king of Egypt.

9:11 [7:9] Know therefore that Yahveh your God [alone] is God, the faithful God, who steadfastly keeps covenant to the thousandth generation, with those who love [God] and keep [God’s] commandments,

9:12 [7:10] yet who repays ruination right back into the laps of those who hate [God]. [God] will not be slack with those who hate [God]; [God] will repay them right back into their laps.

 

The Blessings that come from keeping the Covenant

 

9:13 [7:11] Therefore keep the commandments, the ordinances and the statutes which I am commanding you today, by doing them.

9:14 [7:12] And it shall be, that if you really do heed these decrees and faithfully keep them, then Yahveh your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love which [God] swore on oath to your patriarchs.

9:15 [7:13a] [God] will love you and bless you and increase you in number.

9:16 [7:13b] [God] will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your soil – your fresh grain, your new wine, and your fresh oil, the calving of your herd and the lambing of your flock, upon the soil which Yahveh swore to your patriarchs on oath to give you.

9:17 [7:14] You shall be blessed above all peoples. There will not be a single infertile male or female among you, or among your livestock.

9:18 [7:15] Yahveh will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you have seen and are familiar with, but will lay them instead upon all those who hate you.

9:19 [7:16a] Only you must completely destroy all the peoples whom Yahveh your God is going to deliver over to you.

9:20 [7:16b] Do not look upon them with any pity, nor shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.

 

The Power of God to help Israel

 

9:21 [7:17] If you say in your heart, “These nations are greater than I; how can I [possibly] dispossess them?”

9:22 [7:18] you should not be afraid of them. Rather, you should confidently remember what Yahveh your God did to the Pharaoh and to the whole of Egypt –  

9:23 [7:19a] the great trials which you saw with your very eyes, along with the signs and wonders, the great power, and unparalleled displays of might, by which Yahveh your God brought you out {of Egypt};

9:24 [7:19b] for thus Yahveh your God will [also] do to all the peoples whom you are afraid to face.

9:25 [7:20] Moreover, Yahveh your God will send out {plagues to hunt them down, as if by swarms of} wasps among them, until the survivors who are hiding from you have perished.

9:26 [7:21] [Therefore], you must not be frightened of them, for Yahveh your God is among you – a Mighty One, great and awesome.

9:27 [7:22] Yahveh your God will drive out those nations from before you, little by little. You will not be able to destroy all of them at once, otherwise the wild beasts {will overrun the Land, and} they will become too numerous for you.

9:28 [7:23] However, Yahveh your God will deliver them over to you, and will throw them into a great confusion, until they are destroyed.

9:29 [7:24] [God] will also deliver their kings into your hands, so that you may erase all memory of them from under heaven; no man will be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them.

 

A firm Reminder to destroy all Idols

 

9:30 [7:25a] Only you must be sure to consign the graven images of their gods to the fire.

9:31 [7:25b] You must not crave the silver or gold that is on them, nor should you keep any of it for yourselves, in case you become snared by them – for they are an abomination to Yahveh your God.

9:32 [7:26a] Nor shall you bring any abomination into your home, otherwise you will be proscribed to destruction like them.

9:33 [7:26b] Instead, you must reject them as utterly abominable and abhorrent, for they are objects proscribed for destruction.

Chapter 10: The Reason for the Ordeals in the Wilderness

 

10:1 [8:1] You must be careful to keep the entire [body of] commandments that I am enjoining upon you today, so that you may thrive and multiply, and [so that] you may enter and take possession of the land which Yahveh swore on oath to your patriarchs.

10:2 [8:2] You must remember the long route that Yahveh your God led you these [past] forty years in the wilderness, so that [God] might test you by hardships, in order to learn what was in your heart – whether or not you would keep [God’s] commandments.

10:3 [8:3a] [God] subjected you to the hardship of hunger, and then fed you with manna – something which neither you nor your ancestors had ever known –

10:4 [8:3b] so that [God] might make you realise that human beings do not live by bread alone, but rather that human beings shall live by every [single] thing which is produced at the command of Yahveh.

10:5 [8:4] Consider how your mantles did not wear out [and fall] off you, nor did your feet become blistered these forty years!

10:6 [8:5] You must also consider in your heart that, just as a man disciplines his son, so too Yahveh your God disciplines you.

10:7 [8:6] Therefore you must keep the commandments of Yahveh your God – walk in [God’s] ways, and revere [God] in awe.

 

The Pitfalls of Plenty in the Promised Land

 

10:8 [8:7] Now, Yahveh your God is bringing you into a good and spacious land, a land of watery brooks, fountains and springs that flow from hill and valley;

10:9 [8:8] a land of wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of olive oil and date-syrup;

10:10 [8:9] a land where you may eat food without having to skimp on anything, and in which you will not lack anything – a land whose very stones are iron, and out of whose hills you may quarry copper.

10:11 [8:10] So when you have eaten and had your fill, then you shall bless Yahveh your God for the good land which [God] has given you.

10:12 [8:11] However, you must watch yourselves, lest you forget Yahveh your God, and fail to keep [God’s] commandments, [God’s] statutes, and [God’s] ordinances which I am enjoining upon you today.

10:13 [8:12] Otherwise, when you have eaten and had your fill, and have built fine houses and occupied them;

10:14 [8:13] and when your herds [of cattle] and your flocks [of sheep and goats] have multiplied, and your silver and your gold have increased for you, and everything that you own has prospered,

10:15 [8:14] then your heart might become self-proud, and you might forget Yahveh your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from a state of slavery –

10:16 [8:15a] the One who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, with its venomous serpents and scorpions –

10:17 [8:15b] {and in} [that] parched land where there was no water, the One who brought forth water for you out of [solid] flint rock;

10:18 [8:16] the One who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known [before], in order to test you by hardships, but only to benefit you in the end;

10:19 [8:17] and then you say to yourselves, “My own power and the might of my [own] hands have won me this abundance!”

 

Remember God, Who gave you that Plenty

 

10:20 [8:18] Therefore, you must remember Yahveh your God, for it is [God] who shall give you the ability to produce [that] abundance, in fulfilment of [God’s] Covenant which [God] swore to your patriarchs – to Avrāhām, Yitzchāq, and Ya`aqov – just as is the case this present day.

10:21 [8:19] For it will be, that if you should ever in any way forget Yahveh your God, and go after other gods, and serve them and worship them, then I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you today, that you will come to utter ruination;

10:22 [8:20] for just like the nations which Yahveh will bring to ruin before you, so shall you also be brought to ruin, as a direct consequence of you not paying heed to what Yahveh your God has said.

 

Chapter 11: Israel is not being given Canaan because of any Virtue on Israel’s Part

 

11:1 [9:1] Listen, O Israel! You are about to cross over the Jordan, to go in and dispossess nations greater and more numerous than yourselves, {who live in} great cities with fortified walls sky-high –  

11:2 [9:2] great and lofty peoples, [such as] the descendants of the Anaqites, of whom you are aware, and of whom you have heard it said, “Who can stand up to the children of Anaq?”

11:3 [9:3a] Understand therefore today, that Yahveh your God is the One who is crossing over at your head, like a consuming fire.

11:4 [9:3b] [God] is the One who is going to put an end to them, and [God] is the One who is going to subdue them before you, so that you will be able to drive them out and destroy them quickly, just as Yahveh has promised you.

11:5 [9:4] However, after Yahveh your God has driven them out before you, do not then say in your heart, “It is on account of my own virtue that Yahveh has brought me in to take possession of this land,” because it is actually on account of the wickedness of these nations that Yahveh is driving them out before you.

11:6 [9:5] So it is not because of your virtue or moral rectitude that you are able to go in and take possession of their land, but rather, it is because of the wickedness of these nations that Yahveh your God is driving them out before you – and also, in order to fulfil the promise which Yahveh swore on oath to your patriarchs Avrāhām, Yitzchāq, and Ya`aqov.

11:7 [9:6] Understand [and take to heart] therefore, that it is not on account of any virtue of yours that Yahveh your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.

 

The Episode of the Golden Calf

 

11:8 [9:7] Remember, and never forget how you provoked Yahveh your God to anger in the wilderness – how, from the day that you departed from the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have continued to be defiant against Yahveh.

11:9 [9:8] Also at Choreiv, how you so provoked Yahveh to anger, that Yahveh was angry enough with you to [want to] destroy you!

11:10 [9:9] I had gone up onto the mountain in order to receive the tablets of stone – the tablets of the Covenant which Yahveh had cut with you – and I had remained on the mountain for forty days and forty nights. I had not eaten any food, nor drunk any water.

11:11 [9:10] Yahveh was going to give me the two tablets of stone, inscribed by God Himself; for on them were [written] all the exact words which Yahveh had proclaimed to you at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly.

11:12 [9:11] And so it was, that at the end of forty days and forty nights, Yahveh gave me the two tablets of stone – the Tablets of the Covenant.

11:13 [9:12] But then Yahveh said to me, “Arise, and hurry down from here, for your people whom you brought out of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have been quick to turn aside from the Way which I enjoined upon them; they have made an idol for themselves of cast metal.”

11:14 [9:13] Furthermore, Yahveh spoke to me, saying, “I have seen {the hearts of} this people, and indeed, they are a stiff-necked people.

11:15 [9:14] So leave Me be, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under the heavens, and instead I will make of you a nation mightier and more numerous than they.”

11:16 [9:15] So I started down from the mountain, while the mountain itself was ablaze with fire; and [I had] the two tablets of the Covenant in my two hands.

11:17 [9:16] I looked out, and you had indeed sinned against Yahveh your God, by making for yourselves a calf of cast metal – so quickly had you turned aside from the Way which Yahveh had enjoined upon you!

11:18 [9:17] With that, I took hold of the two tablets and flung them away with both my hands, shattering them before your eyes.

11:19 [9:18] Then I prostrated myself [in supplication] before Yahveh, just as I had done before, for forty days and forty nights. Once again, I did not eat any food nor drink any water because of the [tremendous] sin which you had committed, by doing what was heinous in the sight of Yahveh, and so provoking [God] to anger;

11:20 [9:19] for I was in dread of the anger and fierce indignation which had risen up in Yahveh against you, [such that God was ready] to destroy you. But Yahveh listened to [my supplication] on that occasion as well.

11:21 [9:20] Yahveh was exceedingly angry with Aharon too, enough to [want to] destroy him, so I also interceded for Aharon at the same time.

11:22 [9:21] As for that sinful thing you had made – the calf – I took it and consigned it to the fire. Then I broke it into pieces, and ground it down thoroughly, until it was as fine as dust. Then I threw the dust into the brook that flowed down from the mountain.

 

Israel’s repeated Defiance

 

11:23 [9:22] Also at Tav`eirāh, at Massāh and at Qivroth ha-Ta’avāh, you likewise provoked Yahveh to anger.

11:24 [9:23] And then again, when Yahveh sent you from Qādheish-barnéia`, saying, “Go up and take possession of the land which I have assigned to you,” you defied the instructions of Yahveh your God, and you did not trust in [God] or pay heed to what [God] had said.

11:25 [9:24] You have been defiant towards Yahveh from the day [you first encountered God] {in the wilderness}!

 

The Prayer of Mosheh for Clemency on behalf of Israel

 

11:26 [9:25] So again I prostrated myself [in supplication] before Yahveh for forty days and forty nights; I prostrated myself because Yahveh had said [God] would destroy you.

11:27 [9:26] I prayed therefore to Yahveh, and said, “O Yahveh my Sovereign, do not annihilate Your very own people and Your inheritance, whom You have redeemed in Your majesty, and whom You have brought out of Egypt with such great might!

11:28 [9:27] Give thought to Your servants, Avrāhām, Yitzchāq, and Ya`aqov, and pay no regard to the stubbornness of this people, or to their iniquity or sin.

11:29 [9:28] Otherwise, the inhabitants of the land out of which You brought us might say, ‘Because Yahveh was not able to bring them into the land which [God] promised them, and out of [God’s] hatred for them, [God] has brought them out to put them to death in the wilderness!’

11:30 [9:29] And yet they are Your very own people and Your inheritance, whom You brought out from the land of Egypt by Your great power, and by Your unparalleled acts of might.”

 

Chapter 12: The Second Pair of Tablets

 

12:1 [10:1] At that time Yahveh said to me, “Carve out for yourself two tablets of stone, just like the first ones; then have an ark of wood made for yourself, and come up onto the mountain to Me.

12:2 [10:2] I will inscribe on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you shattered; then you shall place them inside the ark.”

12:3 [10:3] So I had an ark made out of acacia wood, and carved out two tablets of stone just like the first ones. Then I went up onto the mountain, with the two tablets in my hands.

12:4 [10:4] [God] inscribed on the tablets the exact same inscription that was on the first – the Ten Proclamations which Yahveh addressed to you at the mountain out of the midst of the fire, on the day of the Assembly; then Yahveh gave them to me.

12:5 [10:5] After that, I turned round and came back down from the mountain, and placed the tablets in the ark which I had had made; and there they have remained, just as Yahveh instructed me.

 

12:6 [10:6a, cf Num 33:31] Now the Israelites set out from Moseirāh to Bė’eiroth B’ney-Ya`āqān.

12:7 [10:7, cf Num 33:32b-34a] From there they journeyed to Gudhgodh, and from Gudhgodh to Yōţvāth, a land of well-watered rivers.

12:8 [SP Dt 10:6d, cf MT Num 33:37] {In the second year they eventually came to Qādheish, and in the fortieth year, they set out and came to Mount Hor}.

12:9 [10:6b] There Aharon died, and he was buried there. Afterwards his son Elė`āzār became [High] Priest in his stead.

 

12:10 [10:8] Then at that time, {after the incident of the golden calf}, Yahveh set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the Ark of Yahveh’s Covenant, to stand in attendance before Yahveh, and to bless {Israel} in [God’s] Name, as is still the case to this day.

12:11 [10:9] That is why the Levites have no portion or inheritance {of land} with their kinsmen. Yahveh alone is their inheritance, just as Yahveh your God promised them.

12:12 [10:10] As for me, I stayed on the mountain just like the first time, for forty days and forty nights; and Yahveh listened to [my supplication] at that time as well, so that Yahveh agreed not to destroy you.

12:13 [10:11] Then Yahveh said to me, “Arise, and resume your march at the head of this people, so that they may go in and take possession of the land which I swore on oath to their patriarchs to assign to them.”

 

The Essence of what it means to adhere to Torah

 

12:14 [10:12] Now, O Israel, what does Yahveh your God require of you? Only this: to revere Yahveh your God in awe, to walk in all [God’s] ways, to love [God], and to serve Yahveh your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

12:15 [10:13] keeping the commandments of Yahveh your God and [God’s] statutes, which I am enjoining upon you today for your good.

12:16 [10:14] Mark well: the skies and the highest heaven belong to Yahveh your God, as well as the [entire] earth and all that is in it!

12:17 [10:15] Yet it was to your patriarchs that Yahveh was drawn in [God’s] love for them; and thus [God] chose you, their direct descendants after them, from among all peoples, as is the case today.

12:18 [10:16] Therefore, circumcise the thickness from around your hearts, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.

12:19 [10:17] For Yahveh your God is God Most Supreme, and the Most Supreme Sovereign – the great, the mighty and the awesome God, who shows no partiality and takes no bribes.

12:20 [10:18] but upholds the cause of the orphan and the widow, and has kind regard for the alien resident [among you], providing them with food and clothing.

12:21 [10:19] Therefore, you too should have kind regard for the aliens resident {among you}, for you were also once aliens resident in the land of Egypt.

12:22 [10:20] Yahveh your God alone shall you revere in awe; [Yahveh] alone shall you serve, and to [Yahveh] alone shall you cling, and in [Yahveh’s] Name alone shall you swear oaths.

12:23 [10:21] [Yahveh] alone is your splendour, and [Yahveh] alone is your God, who wrought for you those marvellous and awesome deeds which your own eyes have seen.

12:24 [10:22] Your ancestors went down into Egypt [numbering] just seventy individuals, but now Yahveh your God has made you as numerous as the stars of the skies.

 

Chapter 13: Having Witnessed God’s Deeds should make Israel more willing to remain loyal to God’s Ways

 

13:1 [11:1] Therefore, you must love Yahveh your God, and always keep [God’s] observances, [God’s] statutes, [God’s] ordinances, and [God’s] commandments.

13:2 [11:2] Be mindful this day, that it was not your children who experienced or witnessed the discipline of Yahveh your God, or [God’s] majesty, [God’s] great power, or [God’s] unparalleled displays of might;

13:3 [11:3] nor [God’s] signs and [God’s] deeds which [God] performed in the midst of Egypt against the Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and against his whole country;

13:4 [11:4] or what [God] did to the army of Egypt – to their cavalry and their charioteers – when [God] made the water of the Sea of Reeds flow back over them when they were pursuing you, and how Yahveh destroyed them once and for all;

13:5 [11:5] or what [God] did for you in the wilderness before you arrived in this place;

13:6 [11:6] or what [God] did to Dāthān and Avīrām, the sons of Elī’āv the Reubenite, when the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up completely from the midst of Israel, along with their households, their tents, and every living thing that had come along with them;

13:7 [11:7] but rather it was you who saw with your own eyes all the great deeds of Yahveh which [God] performed.

 

Keeping God’s Commandments

 

13:8 [11:8] Therefore, you must keep the entire {body of} commandments which I am enjoining upon you today, so that you will grow strong and increase in number, {such that you will be able} to enter and take possession of the land which you are about to go across the Jordan to possess,

13:9 [11:9] and so that you may long endure upon the soil which Yahveh swore on oath to your patriarchs, to assign to them and to their descendants after them – a land overflowing in abundant natural bounty.

13:10 [11:10] For the land into which you yourselves are entering to possess is not like the land of Egypt from whence you came, where you sowed your seed and had to water it like a planted garden, {by forming irrigation channels} with your feet;

13:11 [11:11] but the Land, which you are entering to take possession of, is a land of [fertile] hills and valleys, which soaks up water {directly} from the rain of the skies –  

13:12 [11:12] a land which Yahveh your God Himself looks after; for the [watchful gaze] of Yahveh your God is always upon it, from the beginning of the year right to its very end.

 

God’s Promises as a Reward for Obedience

 

13:13 [11:13] And so it shall be, that if you really do obey My precepts which I am commanding you today – to love Yahveh your God, and to serve [God] with all your heart and with all your soul,

13:14 [11:14] that I will grant rain for your land in its season – the autumn rain and the spring rain – so that you may gather in your cereal crop, your new wine and your fresh oil.

13:15 [11:15] I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.

13:16 [11:16] However, be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them.

13:17 [11:17] Then Yahveh’s wrath will flare up against you, and [God] will shut up the skies, so that there will be no rain, and the Land will not yield its produce; then you will soon be wiped clean from the good land which Yahveh is giving you.

13:18 [11:18] Therefore, you must impress these words of Mine upon your very heart and soul; you must bind them like a sign on your hand, and let them serve as frontlets between your eyes.

13:19 [11:19] You shall teach them diligently to your children, speaking of them whether you stay at home or whether you are away; or when you lie down, and when you get up.

13:20 [11:20] You shall write them on the doorposts of your houses [of prayer] and on your [city] gates,

13:21 [11:21] so that you and your children may long flourish on the soil which Yahveh swore on oath to your patriarchs to assign to them, for as long as there is a sky above the earth.

 

God will drive out the Canaanites

 

13:22 [11:22] For if you diligently keep this entire {body of} commandments which I am enjoining today upon you to do – to love Yahveh your God, to walk in all [God’s] ways, and to hold fast to [God] –

13:23 [11:23] then Yahveh will dislodge all those nations from before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than you.

13:24 [11:24] Every place where the soles of your feet tread will be yours. Your borders will stretch from the [Negev] desert to {the foothills of} the Lebanon; and from the River {Jordan} as far as the Mediterranean Sea.

13:25 [11:25] No man will be able to stand against you, for Yahveh your God shall instil the fear and dread of you {in the hearts of the inhabitants of} the entire land where you tread, just as [God] has promised you.

 

Notes:

12:6-9 (MT 10:6-7) - these verses seem to be a later editor's note, since they do not fit with speech either side of them.

           In MT Dt 10:6a, the text has 'from Bė’eiroth B’ney-Ya`āqān to Moseirāh'. However, in MT Num 33:31, the order is the other way round. Furthermore, in Numbers there are other intervening stations between Moseirah and the place where Aaron died - Mount Hor (see Num 33:30-38). Only the Samaritan text reflects this correction. However, since the point of the editorial addition (MT Dt 10:6-7) is to note that Aaron died before entering the Land, as a punishment for his part in the Golden Calf incident, I felt it unnecessary to list out all the stations along the way like the Samaritan text does.

           Also, in Dt, Aaron's death seems to occur at the beginning of the wanderings in the second year, at Moseirah. However, Numbers 13.38 says that Aaron died in the 40th year at Mt Hor. The order of these verses has therefore been amended - something that the Samaritan text does as well to reflect the order of events in Numbers 33:30-38

13:24 - the borders of the Land: The Hebrew says, 'and from the River, the River Euphrates, as far as the Hinder Sea'. In my humble opinion, I think the words 'the River Euphrates' were a later addition to justify David's Empire, and that 'the River' originally meant 'the River Jordan'.

         Basically, this verse was originally stating compass-point locations, "south to north, and east to west". However, if the Euphrates was indeed meant instead of the Jordan, then it has become "south to north, north-east to west". Also, the particular words used here for 'Mediterranean Sea' in Hebrew is 'the Hinder Sea' - ie the Sea behind it; in relation to the Land of Israel, the Mediterranean Sea is behind the River Jordan, not the Euphrates.

 

   
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