God’s Law of Love
Love and Obey the
*LORD your God
Version and Commentary
(2800 word vocabulary) on the
Book of Deuteronomy
commentary has been through
boxes are from the Bible.
list at the end explains words with a
*star by them.
three main opinions about who wrote
the book of Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy says that Moses wrote it. In
Deuteronomy 1:5 it says, ‘Moses began to explain God’s law.’ In
31:9 it says, ‘Moses wrote down this law.’ In Deuteronomy 31:24 it
wrote in a book all the words of God’s laws.’ 2 Kings 14:6 refers to
of the Law of Moses’. Then it refers to Deuteronomy 24:16. Jesus said
Moses wrote the book. (See Matthew 19:7-8 and John 5:46-47.) In Mark
Sadducees said that Moses wrote the book. (The Sadducees were a group
people. They belonged to the religion of the *Jews when Jesus was
read only the first five books of the Bible.) In Acts 3:22, Peter says
Moses wrote the book. Also, Paul says that in Romans 10:5, 19. The
tempted Jesus when he was in the *desert. And Jesus used the book of
Deuteronomy to answer the devil. The book describes what Moses taught
*Israelites just before his death. Probably scribes wrote what Moses
were people who wrote things for other people.) They added some
They wrote also about Moses’ death. In the first few chapters of
the author often refers to old names of people and places. An author
later would not have known those names.
people say that a *prophet wrote it
about the year 630 *B.C. (*B.C. means before Christ. So, 630 *B.C.
refers to an
event that happened 630 years before Jesus’ birth.) They do not know
of the *prophet. He wanted Jerusalem to be the very important place of
*worship. He hid the book in the *temple. The chief priest, Hilkiah,
book and he gave it to King Josiah. Then Josiah made the religion in
*Israel better. The story of Josiah is in 2 Kings chapters 21 and 22.
However, this theory
(an idea that nobody has proved) seems doubtful.
people say that a priest wrote the book
after that event. King Josiah’s changes did not last. There were
Nehemiah was alive. They described what they wanted the *Israelites to
The *Israelites had returned to their own country. People wanted the
*Israelites to be free from foreigners after this. This idea seems
was the author, the date of the book
was probably about 1406 *B.C. We read this in 1 Kings 6:1. The 4th year
Solomon’s rule was 480 years after the *Israelites escaped from Egypt.
We know that Solomon began to rule in 970 *B.C. Therefore they escaped
from Egypt in 1446 *B.C. The *Israelites went into the country called
Canaan 40 years later.
Moses wrote Deuteronomy just before then. So, the date is about 1406
Deuteronomy means ‘the second law’.
This translates the Greek title of the book. (Greek is the language in
country called Greece. People used to speak that language in the whole
near the Mediterranean Sea.) The title in the Hebrew language is ‘these
words’. (Hebrew is the language that the *Israelites spoke.) The book
just repeat earlier laws. It is a record of the *covenant relationship
God and the *Israelites. The book teaches people how to love God and
neighbours. There are 100 references from Deuteronomy in the *New
Deuteronomy is still important for Christians today, although the
different. The book is sometimes called ‘The Book of *Covenant Life’.
What the book contains
contains three speeches that Moses
gave. He gave them just before the *Israelites entered Canaan. Canaan
was the country that God had given to the *Israelites. God wanted the
obey the law. Deuteronomy is about the relationship with God by means
*covenant of the law. The law is not just a series of rules to obey. It
explains how people should make this relationship work. Deuteronomy
us how to show our love for God and for people. Moses told the
do things because God had given *grace and love to them. The Christian
· 1:1-4 The beginning: When Moses wrote the book.
· 1:5 to 4:43 First Speech: Moses reminds the
*Israelites about the
things that God has done for them in the past.
to 28:68 Second Speech: Practical rules for
how we should live.
· 29:1 to 30:20 Third Speech: Choose to live in
the way that God wants
you to live.
· 31:1 to 33:29 From Moses to Joshua.
· 34:1-12 Moses dies.
is like the agreements that some kings
used to make at that time. That was in the nation called the Hittites.
made the agreement with the people whose country they *captured. The
to the people who made the agreement. A king would describe what he had
for his nation in the past. Then, he would tell the people what he
them to do. Often these agreements warned about *curses if people did
the agreement. The three sections of Deuteronomy are very similar to
the *Israelites that God would send
to them another *prophet like him (Deuteronomy 18:15-19). Jesus was
that *prophet. (See John 1:45.) The *Israelites went through the
*desert and Jesus was in
the *desert too. Moses spoke about *blessings and *curses and Jesus
*blessings and *curses. (See Luke 6:20-26.) Moses climbed a mountain
and he told
people to obey his commands. Jesus did that also. (See Matthew
1:1-4 The beginning: When
Moses wrote the book.
the words that Moses spoke to all the people in *Israel. The
in the *desert on the east side of the River Jordan. They were in the
Jordan valley near Suph. They were between Paran and the towns called
Hazeroth and Dizahab. v2 It takes 11 days to travel
from *Mount Sinai to Kadesh Barnea by the *Mount Seir route.
It was the
first day of the 11th month of the 40th year.
Moses told the
*Israelites everything that the *LORD had ordered him to tell them. v4
That was after he had defeated Sihon, the king of the *Amorites. Sihon
the town called Heshbon. Moses had also defeated Og, the king of
Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth and Edrei.
tells us that Moses was the speaker. He
spoke to the *Israelites. They were in Moab on the east of the Jordan
valley. The *desert is a place where there is not much water. The
bushes are small.
It has poor soil and people cannot grow crops there. So, not many
there. It was 40 years since they had left Egypt. Soon the *Israelites
enter the country that God had promised to them. Now they remembered
happened at *Mount Sinai. (Sometimes this is called *Mount Horeb.)
There God showed the *Israelites who he was. God had acted in powerful
ways. He freed
the *Israelites from Egypt. By Moses, God had given laws to them. God
how to build the special tent. That was where God met with the
And, God told them how they should bring *sacrifices. He also told them
can walk from *Mount Sinai to Kadesh
Barnea in 11 days. But the *Israelites arrived at the edge of the
God had promised to them after nearly a year. Then they became afraid
people who were already in the country. So, God told the *Israelites to
round the country where they were. Moses was speaking 38 years later.
come again to the edge of the country that God had promised to them.
read about this from verse 19. They defeated King Sihon and King Og.
Numbers 22:21-35.) ‘These are the words’ is an important phrase. (See
Kings used it at the beginning of an agreement between themselves and
people that they ruled over. Moses used it at the beginning of the
that God made with the *Israelites.
First Speech: 1:5 to 4:43 –
The things that God had done for the *Israelites in the past
to explain God’s law. He did that while the *Israelites were in Moab,
on the east side of the River Jordan.
our God said this to us when we were at *Mount Sinai. “You have stayed
enough at this mountain. v7 Now leave. Go into the
hills where the
*Amorites live. Go to the people who live in the Jordan valley. They
both the hills and the plains. Go to the people who are in the south
and along the coast. Go to the *Canaanites’ country and go to Lebanon.
Go to the great River Euphrates. v8 God has given
to you this country. Go
and possess it.” The *LORD promised this to your *ancestors Abraham,
Jacob. He said that he would give the country to them and to their
reminded the *Israelites about God’s
promise to give the country to them. That was what God promised to
later to Isaac and to Jacob. The *Amorites lived in hills at the
of the country. Canaan and the Lebanon were in the north. The coast is
coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The River Euphrates is in the east.
promise to Abraham is in Genesis 15:18-21.
encourages us to develop in our Christian
lives. In Hebrews chapter 4 the writer warns his readers and he reminds
about this fact. Some of the *Israelites did not reach the country that
promised to them. Hebrews 4:11 says this. ‘So we must do everything
receive that rest with God. Nobody should imitate the behaviour of
who refused to obey God. Then none of us will fail.’
time, I told you this. “I cannot look after you by myself. You have
a load that is too heavy for me to carry. v10 The
*LORD your God has
increased your numbers. Today there seem as many of you as there are
the sky. v11 I pray that the *LORD, the God of your
increase you a thousand times more. I pray that he will *bless you. He
promised to do that! v12 I cannot deal with your
problems, your troubles
and your quarrels by myself. They are like loads. They are too heavy
for me to
carry by myself. v13 Choose some wise men who
understand. They must have
experience. Choose them from each of your *tribes. I will make them the
of your *tribes.”
answered, “That is a good thing to do.”
So I took
the leaders of your *tribes who had wisdom and experience. I gave to
authority over you. They were leaders of groups of 1000, 100, 50 or 10
They were also officials over the *tribes. v16 I
gave this order to your
judges. “Listen to the arguments between your people. You must make
*judgements between one *Israelite man and another man who is also an
*Israelite. You must also make fair *judgements between *Israelites and
foreigners. v17 Do not respect one person most when
*judgements. Listen to important people. And listen to people who are
important. Do not be afraid of anyone because you are doing this job
If any argument is too difficult for you, I will listen to it.” v18
the same time, I told you everything that you should do.’
(the father of Moses’ wife) suggested
that Moses should have helpers. (See Exodus 18:17-27.) Here Moses
selection of these leaders. They should have experience and wisdom.
make *judgements when the *Israelites had arguments. They should not
*Israelites to foreigners. They should not prefer rich people to poor
If they could not settle an argument, then Moses had to deal with it.
Deuteronomy 16:18 Moses told the *Israelites to appoint these rulers
went into the country.
what the *LORD our God ordered us to do. We left *Mount Sinai. Then we
through that vast *desert that frightened us. We went to the hills
*Amorites live. So, we reached Kadesh-Barnea. v20
Then I spoke to you.
“You have reached the hills where the *Amorites live. The *LORD our God
giving the hills to us. v21 Look, the *LORD your
God has given the
country to you. Go and possess it. The *LORD, the God of your
told you to do that. Do not be afraid and do not be anxious.”
After that, you all came
and you spoke to me. “Let us send men ahead
of us. They can discover what kind of country it is. They can tell us
route to take. And they can tell us what kind of towns there are.”
with that plan. So I chose 12 men, one from each *tribe. v24
into the hills. And they explored the valley called Eshcol. v25
brought back some fruit that they had picked there. They reported to
country that the *LORD our God is giving to us is very good.” ’
reminded the *Israelites about their first
journey. They went from *Mount Sinai to the borders of the country
called Canaan. Kadesh Barnea was the town on the border. Moses told
them to ‘possess the country’.
Those words appear over 50 times in the book. If the *Israelites gave
honour to God, they would not need to be afraid of anyone. They sent 12
to discover more about the country. One man came from each *tribe. That
is in the Book of Numbers chapters 13 and 14. Eshcol is a valley to the
of the town called Hebron. Eshcol is famous because of the quality of
refused to obey what the *LORD your God ordered. You would not enter
country. v27 In your tents, you complained. You
said, “The *LORD hates
us. He brought us out of Egypt. Then he will give us to the *Amorites
they can kill us. v28 We have no idea where we can
go! The men whom we
sent have made us afraid. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller
are. The cities are large. Their walls are so high that they seem to
sky. We even saw giant men there!’ ”
said, “Do not let those people frighten you. Do not be afraid of them. v30
The *LORD your God is going in front of you. He will fight for you. He
that in the same way that you saw him act in Egypt v31
and in the
*desert. You saw how the *LORD your God looked after you. He carried
exactly like a father carries his son. He did that all the way until
reached this place.”
although the *LORD did that, you did not trust the *LORD your God. v33
He went ahead of you. He was in a cloud of fire during the night. And
he was in
a white cloud during the day. He provided places for you to camp. And
you the way that you should go.’
*Israelites doubted God’s promise. They
refused to obey him because they did not trust him. They believed that
brought them out from Egypt to kill them. They did not think that they
*capture the cities. They were afraid because the people in those
very tall and strong. Moses told the *Israelites that they need not be
God would look after them in the same way that a father would look
A father carries his son if his son is too weak or tired. God had led
*Israelites through the *desert, but they would not trust him.
believe that Jesus frees them from
*sin. Therefore, they can trust him to help them with the difficulties
lives. Hebrews 3:7-19 warns us against doubt. We must continue to the
we must make every effort. God’s goodness in the past should give to us
confidence to trust him in the future.
heard what you said. He was very angry and he made a serious statement.
“None of you wicked people will see the good country that I promised to
your *ancestors. v36 Only Caleb, the son of
Jephunneh, will see it. He
has remained loyal to me, the *LORD. I will give to him and to his
land where he walked.”
became angry with me because of you. He said this. “You, Moses, will
the country either. v38 Your helper, Joshua, the
son of Nun, will enter
it. Encourage him. He will lead the *Israelites as they possess the
Your little children, who still do not know right things from wrong
will enter the country. You said that your enemies would seize those
But I will give the country to them. They will possess it. v40
must now turn round. Go back into the *desert and follow the route to
the Red Sea.” ’
verses describe God’s anger. None of the
*Israelites who left Egypt entered into the country. Only Joshua and
in, because they obeyed God completely. Even Moses did not get in
did not obey God about another matter. Numbers 20:1-13 tells the story.
told Moses to speak to a rock and then the rock would provide water.
not trust God enough just to speak to the rock. Moses was angry and he
rock. That was a serious error. Moses was the leader but he did not
So God said that Moses was not suitable to lead the *Israelites into
country. This shows that God has very high standards for leaders.
this. ‘Do not try to work together
with people who do not believe!’ (See 2 Corinthians 6:14.) Many people
believe God. We might have to work and to live with those people. They
persuade us to doubt God. But do not follow their behaviour. Instead,
remain loyal to God.
replied: “We have *sinned against the *LORD. But now we will go into
country. We will fight even as the *LORD our God ordered us to do.”
of you took your military arms in order to fight. You thought that it
easy to go into the hills.
*LORD said to me, “Tell them not to attack. I will not be with them.
enemies will defeat them.”
I told you
what the *LORD had said. You did not listen. You did not obey what the
ordered you to do. Because you were proud, you went up into the hills. v44
Then the *Amorites, who lived there, came out to fight you. They chased
like a large group of insects called bees. The *Amorites chased you
from *Mount Seir to Hormah. There they defeated you. v45
So you returned and you cried to the
*LORD. He would not listen or give any attention to you. v46
in Kadesh for a long time.’
*Israelites wanted to go into the
country. God had told the *Israelites to turn round (verse 40). They
had to go
back. When the *Israelites heard that, they tried to attack their
the *Amorites defeated them. God did not help the *Israelites because
not obey him. They tried to win the battle by themselves. But they
could not do
anything unless God was with them. They had to learn that fact.
Corinthians 3:10-15 says that God will examine
people’s work. If the fire of God burns a person’s work, he will lose
reward. To go into the country would be a reward for Moses. But he lost
reward, although he did enter heaven.
*Israelites tried to fight the *Amorites by
themselves. The disciples (students) of Jesus made the same mistake as
*Israelites did. They could not send the wicked spirit out of a boy.
are alive but we cannot see them.) The disciples tried to do this by
themselves. They had not prayed for God to help them. The power to send
spirits out of people came from Jesus only. (See Mark 9:14-29.)
turned back and we went towards the *desert. We travelled along the way
to the Red Sea as the *LORD had told us to do. We travelled round the
hills in Seir (Edom) for a long time.
*LORD said this to me. v3 “You have gone round this
mountain for long
enough. Now turn to the north. v4 Tell the
*Israelites this. ‘You are
ready now to go through the country that belongs to your relatives, the
*descendants of Esau. They live in Seir. They will be afraid of you,
careful. v5 Do not start a war against them because
I will not give to
you any of their country. I will not give to you enough land on which
to put a
foot. I have given to Esau’s family the hills in Seir. It is their
You must pay them with money for your food and water.’ ”
your God has *blessed you in everything that you have done. He has
of you as you have travelled through this vast *desert. The *LORD your
been with you for 40 years. You have had everything that you needed.’
ordered the *Israelites to travel on. The
people in Edom did not allow them to go through Seir. (See Numbers
20:14-21.) The people in Edom were afraid of the *Israelites. God told
the *Israelites not
to attack the people in Edom or to take their country. God had given
country to the family of Esau. Moses reminded the people that God had
for them during their long journey. He had given to them everything
needed in the *desert. They should not desire areas of country that
Philippians 4:19, Paul reminds Christians
that God will supply all their needs. He will do that by means of the
that Jesus provides.
‘So we went
past the land that belonged to the family of Esau. They are our
live in Seir. We travelled along the route to the towns called Elath
Ezion-Geber. Then we turned and we travelled along the *desert route to
*LORD said to me, “Do not attack the *Moabites. Do not start a war
them. I will not give any of their land to you as your possession. I
the city called Ar to the family of Lot. It is their possession.” v10
strong and large group of people called the ‘Emites’ used to live in
were as tall as the people called *Anakites. v11
Many people called the
*Anakites ‘*Rephaites’. And they also called the people who lived in Ar
‘Rephaites’. But the *Moabites called them the ‘Emites’. v12
who were called Horites used to live in Seir. But the family of Esau
their land. The family of Esau killed them and Esau’s family lived
instead of the Horites. Also the *Israelites did a similar thing in the
that the *LORD gave to them for their possession.)
*LORD said, “Go across the Zered Valley.” So we did.
the Zered Valley 38 years after we had left Kadesh Barnea. By then, all
who were old enough to fight had died. The *LORD had declared that this
happen. v15 The *LORD continued to oppose them
until they had all died.
At last, none of them remained alive in the camp.
had all died, v17 the *LORD spoke to me. v18
“Today you must go
near to the region called Moab. It will be at the place called Ar. v19
When you approach the *Ammonites, do not attack them. Do not start a
against them. I will not give any of their land to you to possess. I
it to the family of Lot. It is their possession.” ’
call that place ‘the country of the *Rephaites’. The *Rephaite people
live there. The *Ammonites called them the ‘Zamzummin’. v21
They were a
strong and large group of people. And they were as tall as the
*LORD *destroyed the Zamzummin people. So, the *Ammonites *captured
country and they lived there. v22 The *LORD did a
similar thing for the
family of Esau, who lived in Seir. He *destroyed the people called the
So, the people from the country called Edom *captured their country.
people from Edom still live there today. v23 The
people called Avvites,
lived there. But the people from Crete *destroyed them. The people from
Crete *captured the land right up to the city called Gaza.)
the *Israelites which territory they
must not *capture. God had given that territory to the families of Esau
and Lot. This statement taught them that there was only one God. He had
given to each nation
its own country. No false god had given it to them. The *Rephaites were
of very tall people. They lived in Canaan before the *Israelites
name ‘Emite’ means ‘the terrible people’. The word ‘Zamzummin’ means
wicked men’. *Israelite men were old enough to fight when they were 20
old. (See Numbers 1:3.) Moses reminded the *Israelites that they had
for 38 years in the *desert. During that time, all the people who had
left Egypt over 20 years old had died.
not enter the country that God had
given to the *Israelites. The writer of the Book of Hebrews tells us
for that. ‘They were not able to enter because they did not trust God.’
Hebrews 3:19.) The writer encourages Christians to trust God. Then they
receive the good things that God promises.
across the River Arnon. I will hand over to you Sihon, who is the
of Heshbon, and his territory. Begin to possess his territory and to
him. v25 From today I will make people everywhere
to be afraid of you.
They will hear reports about you. They will tremble and they will be
afraid of you.”
Kedemoth *desert, I sent people with a message that offered peace. They
this message to Sihon, king of Heshbon. v27 “Let us
go through your
country. We will stay on the main road and we will not leave it. v28
will pay for our food and water. We just want to walk through your
We will do that until we go across the River Jordan. Then we will reach
country that the *LORD our God is giving to us. The family of Esau in
the *Moabites in Ar allowed us to do that.” v30 But
King Sihon of
Heshbon would not let us go through his country. He refused and he
change his decision. The *LORD your God made that happen. The *LORD did
because he wanted you to defeat him. Now it has happened.
said this to me. “Look, I have begun to give to you King Sihon and his
Now start to *capture and to possess his territory.”
with all his army to fight us at the town called Jahaz. v33
our God helped us to *capture him. We killed him and his sons and we
his army. v34 Also we *captured all his towns and
we *destroyed them. We
killed everyone. We killed the men, the women and the children. Nobody
alive. v35 But we took the animals and we took the
from the towns. v36 The *LORD our God gave to us
all the towns from
Aroer to Gilead. Aroer is on the edge of the valley called Arnon. We
*captured the town in the middle of the valley. No town was too strong
to *capture. v37 You obeyed what the *LORD our God
had ordered. You did
not go near to the country of the *Ammonites. You did not go near to
by the River Jabbok. And you did not go near to the towns in the hills.’
*Israelites defeated two *Amorite kings and
they took the territory of the *Amorites. The first king was Sihon,
Heshbon. Moses offered to go through his territory in peace and to pay
and drink. Sihon would not allow the *Israelites to do that. Because of
decision, God made Sihon refuse to change his mind. When a person
is very hard for that person ever to change. That happened to Pharaoh
the *Israelites left Egypt. (See Exodus 7:1-5.) God ordered the
kill or to *destroy certain people or objects. Those people gave honour
false gods. The objects were things to which they gave honour. The
would imitate those people if they left them alive. (Read the notes on
7 verses 1-5 for more explanation about that.)
turned and we went along the route towards Bashan. Og, king of Bashan,
came out with his whole army to fight us. He wanted to fight us at the
Edrei. v2 But the *LORD said to me, “Do not be
afraid of him. I will give
him, his whole army and his country to you. Fight against him in the
as you fought against Sihon, king of the *Amorites. Sihon ruled in
So the *LORD our God
handed over to us Og, king of Bashan, and all
his army. We killed all of them. We left none of them alive. v4
same time, we *captured all his towns. We *captured all of his 60
took the whole region called Argob. It was Og’s *kingdom in Bashan. v5
All those towns had high walls with gates and bars to protect them.
also many villages without walls. v6 We *destroyed
them completely as we
had done with Sihon, king of Heshbon. We *destroyed all the towns. We
the men, the women and the children. v7 But we took
for ourselves all
the animals and the people’s possessions from the towns.
So at that
time, we *captured the territory on the east of the River Jordan. We
from those two *Amorite kings. That territory was from the River Arnon
to *Mount Hermon. v9 (The people from the country
called Sidon called *Mount Hermon
“Sirion”. The *Amorites call it “Senir”.) v10 We
*captured all the towns
on the plain. We *captured the regions called Gilead and Bashan up to
and Edrei. Those were the towns in Og’s *kingdom in Bashan. v11
of Bashan, was the last of the *Rephaites. His bed was iron. It was
more than 13 foot long and 6 foot wide (4 metres long and 2 metres
wide.) It is still in Rabbah, the town where
the *Ammonites live.’
Bashan was a region that
grew good crops. It had good land for *cattle and it had large forests.
high hills also. It was to the north and north east of the region
called Galilee. There were more than 60 towns with high walls and gates
to protect them. They
called that region Argob. The *Israelites *destroyed the towns and all
people who lived in them. They did not kill the animals. They did not
the things that they had taken from the towns. Some students think that
word for ‘bed’ (verse 11) means ‘the box for his dead body’. Because Og
king, the bed or the box for his body was very large. People may have
box from a rock that contained iron rather than all of iron.
the *Israelites to destroy some people
and some things. Sometimes things can cause people to *sin. Jesus told
to free themselves from anything like that. (See Matthew 5:27-30.) He
mean that people should damage their bodies. But they must do
the country that we *captured at that time. I gave to the *tribes of
Gad the territory to the north of Aroer near the River Arnon. That
half of the hills in the region called Gilead together with its towns. v13
I gave the rest of Gilead and all of Bashan to half the *tribe of
That was where Og ruled. (People used to call the whole region of Argob
in Bashan “the land that belongs to the *Rephaites”. v14
Jair, a *descendant of
Manasseh, took the whole region called Argob. That region went to the
Geshur and Maacath. He named the region after himself. Today people
still call Bashan “the villages that belong to Jair”.) v15
I gave Gilead to Machir. v16
I gave the territory from Gilead to the River Arnon to the *tribes of
and Gad. Their boundary was the middle of the river. And their boundary
River Jabbok. That was the boundary with the *Ammonites. v17
border was the River Jordan in the Arabah valley. That was all the land
from Galilee to the Dead Sea. It is below the slopes of *Mount Pisgah.’
describes how he divided the land to the
east of the River Jordan. He gave some land to the *tribes of Reuben
He gave the rest of the land to half the *tribe called Manasseh. Those
had especially asked for that land. So Moses let them live there. They
had to help the rest of the *tribes to possess their parts of the land.
could not rest until they had done that.
‘I gave to
you this command at that time. “The *LORD your God has given to you
country to possess it. But all your brave fighters with their military
must go ahead of the other *Israelites. They are your relatives. v19
However, your wives, your children and your animals can stay. I know
have many animals. They can stay in the towns that I have given to you.
That will be until the *LORD allows your relatives, the other
live in peace like you. Then they too will possess the country that the
your God is giving to them. Their country is across the River Jordan
country. Then you can return to the country that I have given to you as
gave this command to Joshua. “You have seen all that the *LORD your God
those two kings. The *LORD will do the same to all the *kingdoms where
go. v22 Do not be afraid of the people there. The
*LORD your God will
fight for you.” ’
*Israelites who wanted to live on the east
of the River Jordan still had to help the other *Israelites. The nation
act as a group, with God as their leader. Their wives, their families
*cattle would remain in their country. Perhaps the men who were too
too old to fight would look after them. The men who crossed the River
return to their own country. However, they had to help the other
first. Moses ordered Joshua to lead the battle. Moses told him not to
afraid. Moses reminded Joshua about what God had done to the two kings,
and Og. God would help Joshua to defeat other kings in the same way.
remember how God has helped us in the
past. That will help us to trust him in the future.
prayed to the *LORD very strongly. v24 “*LORD, our
*Lord, I am your
servant. You have begun to show me the great and powerful things that
do. No false god in the sky or on the earth can do the great things
do. v25 Let me cross over the River Jordan and see
the good country. I
want to see the pleasant hills and Lebanon.”
because of you, the *LORD was angry with me. He would not listen to me.
Instead, he said, “That is enough! Do not speak to me about this again.
Go up to the top of *Mount Pisgah. Look to the north, south, east and
can look at the country, but you will not go across the River Jordan. v28
But appoint Joshua for his work. Encourage him and give him strength.
lead the *Israelites across. And they will possess the country that you
see.” v29 So we remained in the valley near Beth
prayer shows that he knew God well. Moses
believed that there was only one real God. He asked God very strongly
him lead the *Israelites into the country. God did not allow him to do
God punished Moses because the *Israelites’ action caused him to do
things. (Our notes about chapter 1 verses 34-39 also refer to this
Numbers chapter 20, we read how Moses brought water out of the rock. He
speak to the rock. He hit the rock. He did not obey God. God told Moses
would be able to see the country. However, like Abraham, he had to
God would *keep his promises. Joshua would lead the *Israelites to
country. God told Moses that he should encourage Joshua to do that.
not always say ‘yes’ to our prayers. In
the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked God to take away his trouble. But
prayed to do what God wanted. (See Mark 14:36.) We need to pray in the
way. God may not give to us what we desire. But he can make us content
it. So that gives a result that is as good or better.
everyone in *Israel, listen to the rules and the laws that I will teach
Obey them so that you can live. Then you will go into the country and
possess it. The *LORD, the God of your *ancestors, is giving it to you.
Do not add anything to the *commandments that I am giving to you. Do
anything away from them. *Keep the *commandments of the *LORD your God
ordered you to *keep.
You saw what the *LORD did
at Baal Peor. The *LORD your God
*destroyed everyone who gave honour to *Baal. v4
Those people who
remained loyal to the *LORD are still alive today.
taught to you all the rules and the laws that the *LORD my God ordered
you should obey them in the country that you will enter to possess. v6
Obey them carefully. That will show the people in other nations how
are. When they hear about all these rules, they will say this. “This
has wisdom and knowledge.” v7 No other nation has a
god who is so near
to them. The *LORD our God is near to us whenever we pray to him. No
nation is that great. v8 No other nation has such
fair rules and laws
like the laws that I am teaching to you today. No other nation is so
described all the good things that God
has done for the *Israelites. Because of that, they should obey God.
something similar in Romans 12:1, ‘God has
shown his kindness to you. Therefore I am appealing to you. Offer your
the people to obey God’s laws. The
result would be that they would live for a long time. Also, they would
the country that God was giving to them. They should not add or take
anything from God’s laws.
that too. In Matthew 5:18, Jesus
said, ‘Even the smallest detail will not disappear from God’s Law.’ The
Revelation warns people about this. They must not add or take away from
book’. (See Revelation 22:18-19.)
that Moses gave were God’s laws. The
same basic rules remain, although different circumstances may require
changes. We read in Mark 7:19 that Jesus declared all foods ‘*clean’.
It is a
basic rule that we must have *clean minds. After Jesus came, his people
need the laws about ceremonies. The ceremonies were ways to describe
happen in the future. By his death, Jesus *kept those laws perfectly.
the *Israelites *worshipped the false
god called *Baal at Peor. Moses reminded them about that event. The
story is in
Numbers chapter 25. Some men went to *Moabite women and they did wrong
sex with those women. The men also *worshipped the women’s false god.
result, many people died with a disease. And the priests killed other
The people who did not *worship *Baal were still alive. The *Israelites
obey the laws that were in God’s *covenant. Then they would remain
their new country. Those laws would prove to other nations that the
had a great God. Those fair laws would show that God’s laws were better
the laws of other nations.
‘Be careful and watch
yourselves. Do not forget the things that you
have seen. Remember them as long as you live. Teach them to your
to your grandchildren. v10 Remember the day when
you stood in front of the
*LORD your God at *Mount Sinai. He said this to me. “Tell the people to
together in front of me. They must listen to what I will say. Then,
learn to respect me as long as they live on the earth. Also they will
their children.” v11 You came near and you stood at
the edge of the
mountain. It burned with flames that reached up to the sky. There were
clouds and great darkness. v12 Then the *LORD spoke
to you from the
fire. You heard him speak. But you saw no shape. You only heard a
He told you about his *covenant, the Ten *Commandments. He wrote them
blocks of stone and he told you to obey them. v14
Soon you will cross
the River Jordan to possess the country. The *LORD told me to teach all
rules and laws to you. And you must obey them in the country.’
reminded the *Israelites that God gave to
them the Ten *Commandments at *Mount Sinai. God spoke to them but they
see God. Therefore, they must not make an image of him. They must be
not to forget God. They should tell their children and their
must remember what God has done. They
should tell their children about him.
flames, clouds and darkness show that God is
magnificent. Moses warned the people. They had to obey what God had
12:18-27, the writer tells his
readers this. ‘You have not come to a mountain that burns with fire. …
have come to … the city of God, who is alive. … You have come to Jesus,
made the new *covenant.’ But the writer warns them. ‘Make sure that you
refuse to listen [to God].’ We must listen to God and we must obey him.
less excuse than the *Israelites. We have a better *covenant because we
God by means of Jesus. He died so that God can forgive us. And Jesus
people free from wrong things. God will now forgive our *sins, so we
continue to be afraid. Jeremiah 31:33-34 describes the promises of the
*covenant was a relationship and a special
promise between God and his people. Deuteronomy refers to the *covenant
times. The *Israelites could show that they were God’s people. They did
when they obeyed his *commandments.
have to trust Jesus in order to be part
of the new *covenant. To trust Jesus means that first we have to
*sins. Then God will forgive us.
the *Israelites to obey his laws.
Christians must show their *faith by what they do. James 2:14-26 tells
that. In Matthew 7:21, Jesus says this. ‘Not everyone who says to me
*Lord,” will enter the heavenly *kingdom. My Father is in heaven. And
people who obey him will enter there.’ The good deeds that we do will
*salvation to us. But they are evidence that we are obeying God.
*LORD spoke to you at *Mount Sinai from the fire, you did not see any
very careful v16 that you do not act in a wicked
manner. Do not make an
*idol for yourself in any shape. Do not make an *idol like a man or a
or an animal or a bird. v18 Do not make an *idol in
the shape of an
animal that moves along the ground. Do not make an *idol in the shape
of a fish
in the water. v19 And be careful when you look up
to the sky. Do not
give honour to the sun, the moon, the stars or to anything that you see
sky. Those are things that the *LORD your God has given to all nations
share. v20 But you are the people whom the *LORD
rescued from Egypt. Egypt was like a very hot fire that melts metal.
The *LORD rescued you in order to
make you his own people. That is what you are today.
was angry with me because of you. He made a serious statement. He said
would not go across the River Jordan. I would not enter the good
the *LORD your God is giving to you as a possession. v22
I will die in
this country. I will not go across the River Jordan. You will go across
will possess that good country. v23 Make sure that
you do not forget the
*covenant. The *LORD your God made it with you. Do not make an *idol in
shape of anything that the *LORD your God has not allowed. v24
your God is like a fire that burns everything. He is a jealous God.’
reminded the people that they did not see
any shape of God at *Mount Sinai. They must not make an image of God.
nations made their false gods in many shapes. Moses made a list of the
that those nations used. Most of those images were in the religions of
*Canaanites, the *Egyptians and the nation called the Hittites. Moses
*Israelites not to give honour to the sun, the moon or the stars. The
*Israelites were different from other nations. God rescued them from
difficult situation in Egypt. He made them his special people.
tells Christians that they are special
too. In 1 Peter 2:9 he says this. ‘You are … God’s own people. God
to declare the wonderful things that he has done. He called you out of
into his wonderful light.’ He also warns Christians not to do wrong
reminded the *Israelites that he would not
go into the new country. That was because he had done the wrong thing.
*Israelites would go into the new country, but they must be careful.
not make any *idol, because God is very *holy. If they did not continue
*worship God, he would be very angry. God did not want the people to
any false gods. The *Israelites should put God first. That is the only
must *worship God in a way that will
please him. When they *worship him, they must respect him. ‘Our God is
fire that *destroys.’ (See Hebrews 12:28-29.)
have lived in the country for a long time, you will have children and
grandchildren. But do not behave in a wicked manner. Do not make an
any shape. If you do such an evil thing, it will make God very angry. v26
Heaven and earth are my *witnesses against you today. You will soon
from the country that you will go across the River Jordan to possess.
not live there for a long time. God will *destroy you. v27
will scatter you among the other nations. Only a few of you will remain
among the nations where the *LORD will send you. v28
There you will
serve false gods that people have made from wood and stone. Those false
cannot see or hear. They cannot eat or smell. v29
But even there, if you
look for the *LORD your God, you will find him. That will happen if you
look for him with your entire mind and with your entire strength. v30
All those things will happen to you and you will have trouble. Then you
turn back to the *LORD your God and you will obey him. v31
*mercy. He will not neglect you or *destroy you. He will not forget the
*covenant that he made with your *ancestors. That was the *LORD’s
a danger that the *Israelites would
forget God’s *covenant. They might enjoy the good things in the country
then they might start to *worship *idols. (People believed that *idols
models of their false gods.) If they did that, God would be angry with
Many *Israelites would die. Other *Israelites would leave their
enemy would force them to live in foreign countries. There they would
*idols that people had made. That happened after an enemy defeated
Samaria. (See 2 Kings 17:6.) And it happened when an enemy defeated
Jerusalem. (See 2
Kings 24:10-16.) Even then, if they returned to God, he would forgive
would remember his *covenant and he would show *mercy.
In 1 John
1:9, the writer says this to
Christians. ‘If we confess our *sins to God, he will forgive us.’
about the past, from the day when God created people on the earth. Ask
the period before you were born. Look from one end of the sky to the
Nothing like this has ever happened before. Nobody has ever heard about
anything as great as this. v33 No other nation has
ever heard the voice
of God speak out of fire. But you have, and you are still alive. v34
false god has tried to take people from another nation and to make them
special people. God did that for you in Egypt. You saw him use his
and strength. He used tests, *signs, *wonders and war. He made terrible
has shown those things to you. He has proved that he is the only God.
no other God. v36 He allowed you to hear his voice
out of the place
where he lives. In that way, he taught you. On earth, he let you see
fire. You heard his words from out of the fire. v37
He brought you out
of Egypt by his great power. He came with you himself. He did that
loved your *ancestors. So he chose their *descendants. v38
He forced out
nations who were greater and stronger than you. He brought you into
country and he gave it to you to possess. It belongs to you today.
this today and remember it. The *LORD is God in heaven above and He is
the earth below. There is no other God. v40 So
*keep his rules and his
*commandments that I am telling you today. If you do that, good things
happen to you and to your *descendants. You will live in the country
*LORD your God is giving to you for always.’
ended his first speech and he told this to
the *Israelites. No other nation had received direct knowledge from a
in this way. God loved his people, the *Israelites. He rescued them
and he gave a country to them. He did that by his great power and by
the use of
events. God loved them and he chose them as his special people. God did
things for his people. That was proof that God existed. No other power
that. The *Israelites should obey God’s laws. Then they and their
would enjoy God’s *blessings for always.
how this is the same for Christians
in Romans 8:28. ‘In all things, God works
to help those people who love him. They are the people whom God chose
of his plan.’
made three towns to the east of the River Jordan. v42
Suppose that a man
had killed a person by accident. But he did not kill that person
hated him. Then the man could run away. And he could go to one of those
Nobody would kill him there. v43 For the *tribe
called Reuben, the town
was Bezer. It was in the *desert. For the *tribe called Gad, the town
called Ramoth. It was in the region called Gilead. For the *tribe
Manasseh, the town was called Golan. It was in the region called Bashan.
cities were in the south, in the centre
and in the north of this area. In that society, if someone killed a
dead person’s closest relative could get *revenge. If a person had
someone by accident, he could go to one of those cities. There he would
from *revenge. In chapter 19, you can read more about those cities and
Second speech: 4:44 to 28:68
– Practical rules for how we
the law that Moses gave to the *Israelites. v45 He
gave to the
*Israelites these orders, rules and laws after they had come out from
They were in the valley near Beth Peor. It was on the east of the River
They were in the territory that had belonged to Sihon, king of the
Sihon had ruled in Heshbon, but Moses and the *Israelites defeated him.
was when they came out from Egypt. v47 They
possessed the land that
belonged to Sihon. Also they possessed the land that belonged to Og,
Bashan. Those were the two *Amorite kings to the east of the River
That land was the area from Aroer to *Mount Sirion (Hermon). Aroer was
edge of the River Arnon. v49 It also included the
entire valley to the
east of the River Jordan. It was the area right up to the Dead Sea
slopes of *Mount Pisgah.
starts a new section. It is Moses’
second speech. He reminds the *Israelites about all the *commandments.
given those *commandments 40 years before. It tells us where and when
gave his speech. He gave his speech after they had *captured the
country to the
east of the River Jordan. In this speech, Moses repeated the
God. Moses also told the *Israelites how to behave in the new country.
called together all the *Israelites and he spoke to them. ‘People in
hear the rules and the laws that I am telling to you today. Learn them
sure to *keep them. v2 The *LORD our God made a
*covenant with us at
*Mount Sinai. v3 The *LORD did not make that
*covenant with our fathers.
He made it with all of us who are alive today. v4
The *LORD spoke to you
directly from the fire on the mountain. v5 At that
time I stood between
you and the *LORD. I told you what he said. You were afraid because of
fire. So you did not go up on the mountain. This is what the *LORD said:
“I am the
*LORD your God who rescued you from Egypt. You were *slaves there.
You must never
give honour to any false gods. I am your only God.
Do not make
an *idol in the shape of anything that is in the sky or on the earth.
make it in the shape of anything that is in the water or under the
Do not kneel down in front of any *idols, and do not give honour to
them. I am
the *LORD your God and I am a jealous God. I will punish the people who
me. I will punish them and their *descendants down to the 3rd
*generation. v10 But I show constant
love to 1000s of *generations
of the people who love me. And I show constant love to the people who
Do not use
the name of the *LORD your God for wrong purposes. The *LORD will not
anyone who does that.
*celebrate the *Sabbath day and you must keep it *holy. The *LORD your
ordered this. v13 You can do all your work for 6
days. v14 The 7th
day is the *Sabbath day. During that day, you must do no
you nor your son or daughter, nor your male and female *slaves must
Neither your *ox, your *donkey nor any of your *cattle must work. The
foreigners who live in your country must not work. Your *slaves must
you do. v15 Remember that all of you were *slaves
in Egypt. The *LORD
your God brought you out of Egypt with great power. That is why the
God has ordered you to *celebrate the *Sabbath
Give honour to your
father and to your mother because the *LORD your God
has ordered that. If you do, you will live for a long time. Everything
good in the country that the *LORD your God is giving to you.
not murder anyone.
not have sex with someone else’s wife or husband.
not tell lies about other people.
not desire your neighbour’s wife. Do not desire his house, his land,
*slaves, his *ox or his *donkey. Do not desire anything else that he
Moses reminded the *Israelites about
the *covenant that God had made with their fathers. God spoke to the
But Moses had to tell them what God said. They were too afraid to go
God. In the same way, Jesus stands between God and us. Jesus is the
God. (See John 1:1.) Exodus 24:4-8 describes the ceremony that
*covenant. Moses took blood that came from the *sacrifices. He splashed
the *altar and over the people. Hebrews 9:16-22 also describes this
It is the blood that makes things and people *clean. Jesus died as a
and now his blood makes us *clean from *sin.
Moses repeated the Ten *Commandments.
The *Israelites had been *slaves in Egypt. When they were slaves, they
free. However, they had their own possessions and homes. The *Egyptians
own the *Israelites. God had rescued them. Therefore, God had the
ask them to obey his *commandments. He told them not to give honour to
false god. He told them not to make an *idol to which they would give
It was right for God to be jealous. He did not want the people to
false gods. The *Israelites should put God first. That is the only
demanded the same thing from the people
who followed him. Matthew 16:24: ‘If anyone wants to follow me, he must
“no” to himself. He must take his cross and he must carry it.’ God
wants us to
give honour to him only. When people do not obey God, the results can
for 3 or 4 *generations. But when people obey him, the results can last
*Israelites must not use God’s name in a
wrong way. Some people hope that they will obtain God’s power in that
must not do that in order to get their selfish desires.
taught his disciples (students) to pray,
‘We pray that your name will receive *holy honour.’
*Israelites must *celebrate the 7th day
in the week as a day when they rest. The *Sabbath reminded the
God had freed them from their situation as *slaves. Exodus chapter 20
another reason for the *Sabbath. It reminded the people that God had
*celebrate Sunday. It is a special
day because Jesus became alive again on that day. He died and then he
alive again. Because of those events, God can forgive our *sins.
*Israelites would live for a long time if
they respected their parents. God promised that. It was the first
where God promised something.
Ephesians 6:1-2, Paul says that Christians
should respect their parents also.
*Israelites must not murder. They must not kill
someone on purpose.
*Israelites must not have sex with someone
who was married to someone else.
*Israelites must not steal property that
belonged to someone else.
*Israelites must not tell lies about other
the *Israelites must not even desire
anything or anyone that belonged to someone else.
To do a
wrong thing is not just an action. The
thought or intention is also wrong. In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus said
two *commandments describe all the other *commandments. ‘Love God’ and
spoke these *commandments on the mountain to all of you. He spoke them
loud voice. He spoke them from out of the fire, the cloud and the great
darkness. He did not add anything else to them. Then he wrote them on
blocks of stone and he gave them to me.
the voice that came out from the darkness. Then all the leaders of your
and the older men came to me. The whole mountain was on fire. v24
said, “Look. The *LORD our God has shown us that he is magnificent and
We have heard his voice out of the fire. Today we have seen this. A
live, even if God speaks to him. v25 But we do not
want to die. The fire
will burn us completely. We will die if we continue to hear the voice
*LORD our God. v26 We have heard the voice of the
God who is alive. It
came from the fire. Nobody else has lived after he has heard God’s
that. v27 Go near. Listen to all that the *LORD our
God says. Then tell
us what the *LORD our God tells you. We will listen and we will obey.”
The *LORD heard you when
you spoke to me. The *LORD said this. “I
have heard what the people said to you. Everything that they said was
I wish that they would always think like this. I wish that they would
give honour to me. I wish that they would *keep my *commandments. Then
things would happen to them and their children for always.
tell the *Israelites to return to their tents. v31
But you stay here
with me. Then I can give to you all the *commandments, rules and laws
must teach to them. They must obey them in the country that I am giving
be careful to do what the *LORD your God has ordered you to do. Do not
to *keep his *commandments. v33 Obey them all. Then
you will live and
good things will happen to you. You will live for a long time in the
that you will possess.’
reminded the *Israelites about the time
when God told them about his laws. The people were afraid of God
because he was
very *holy. Nobody had taught them that God would forgive them. They
somebody who would go between them and God. So the people asked Moses
instead of them. God spoke his message and he wrote it down. The people
promised to obey. God showed that he loved them. This is what He said.
always obeyed him, their life would be good. Moses encouraged the
obey God. If they did, then they would live for a long time in their
When nations and people obey God’s *covenant, he blesses them.
all the *commandments, rules and laws that the *LORD your God ordered
teach to you. Obey them in the country that you will cross the River
possess. v2 Then you, your children and their
children must *fear the
*LORD your God for as long as you live. You must *keep all his rules
*commandments that I order you. Then, you will have long life. v3
*Israelites, listen and be careful to obey. Then your life will be
you will grow and you will become a nation with many people. You will
live in a
rich and *fertile country. The *LORD, the God of your *ancestors, has
that to you.’
taught the *Israelites all that God had
ordered him to teach. Moses also emphasised that the *Israelites needed
God. The *Israelites would stay in the country if they were loyal to
his followers to do this when they
told the Good News to people. ‘Teach them to obey everything that I
ordered you to do.’ (See Matthew 28:20.)
‘*Israelites, listen to this. “The *LORD is our God. The *LORD is one
You must love the *LORD your God completely.” v6
You must remember the *commandments
that I am giving to you today. v7 Carefully teach
them to your children.
Talk about the *commandments when you are at home. Talk about them when
walk along the road. Think about them when you lie down. Think about
you rise up. v8 Tie them on your hands and wear
them on the front of
your heads. v9 Write them on the sides of your
doors and on your gates.’
call these words the Shema. Shema is a
word in Hebrew, the language of the *Old Testament. The word ‘listen’
4 is the English translation of the word ‘Shema’. *Jews pray the words
verses 4-6 twice every day. The *LORD God is the only God. He is the
There are no other gods. We should obey God’s laws because we love him.
should love him with every part of our lives. In Jeremiah 31:33, God
to give to people a love for his laws. Then they would choose to obey
what Jesus told his disciples
(students). ‘If you love me, you will obey my *commandments.’ (See John
the *Jews to teach their families about
his *commandments. God told them to tie the *commandments on their
heads, doors and gates. God may have meant that the *Jews should never
the *commandments. They must affect every part of a *Jewish person’s
However, some *Jews have done exactly what these verses said. They
*commandments and then they tied them onto their hands and onto their
They fixed them onto their doors and gates also. They thought that they
*keeping God’s laws in that way. But that did not prove that they loved
And they did not always behave in the right way.
today can easily do the same thing. They
may go to church. They may read the Bible and pray. But those things
value unless Christians behave in the right way too. Then that will
they love God.
your God promised to give a country to your *ancestors, Abraham, Isaac
Jacob. It will have large cities that you did not build. They will be
successful. v11 It will have houses. They will be
full of good things
that you did not put in them. There will be wells that you did not dig.
will be *grape plants and *olive trees that you did not plant. God will
you into the country. Then you will have all that you want to eat. v12
So be careful that you do not forget the *LORD. He brought you out of
out of the country where you were *slaves.
*LORD your God and serve only him. Speak only his name when you make
promises. v14 The people, who are round you,
*worship false gods. But
you must not *worship those false gods. v15 The
*LORD your God is
present with you. He is a jealous God. If you *worship false gods, the
your God will become very angry with you. He will remove you from the
Do not try to prove that the *LORD your God can help you. You did that
Massah. v17 Be sure to *keep all the *commandments,
orders and rules
that the *LORD your God has ordered you. v18 Do
what the *LORD says. Do
right things and do good things. Then your life will be good. You will
to go in and to possess the good country. The *LORD promised to give
country to your *ancestors. v19 You will also force
out all your enemies
as the *LORD promised to you.’
warned the *Israelites. They must not
forget what God had done for them. When they reached the country,
would be ready for them. They would be so pleased with this that they
forget God. But God was jealous because he did not want the people to
any false gods. It was right for God to be jealous. It was because he
want them to *worship any false god. The *Israelites should respect God
they should serve him only. That is the only right way. If they did not
that, God would be angry. He would ruin them completely. That happened
*Israel’s history. In the time of Amos, people were very rich and they
the *Lord. They remembered his *festivals, but they did not obey his
Sometimes they gave honour to false gods. Those false gods did not
high standards that God wanted. Jesus said that the *Pharisees were
Matthew 23:23: ‘You give to God a 10th of your
herbs, but you
neglect *justice, *mercy and truth.’ (Herbs are plants that give
reminded the *Israelites about an event at
Massah. (See Exodus 17:1-7.) The *Israelites were complaining because
not have any water. Moses had brought them out of Egypt. But the people
that he had done the wrong thing. They did not believe that God could
water at that place. If the *Israelites obeyed God now, they would be
defeat their enemies. Then they could possess the country.
*Pharisees wanted Jesus to prove that he was
the Son of God. (See Matthew 16:1-4.) They asked him to perform a great
refused to do that. Jesus used Deuteronomy 6:16 when the devil tempted
jump off the *temple. (See Matthew 4:7.) Then the devil tempted Jesus
him. Jesus referred to Deuteronomy 6:13. (See Matthew 4:10.)
future, your children will ask you this. “The *LORD our God ordered us
all these orders, rules and laws. What do they mean?” v21
Tell them, “We
were *slaves of the king of Egypt. The *LORD brought us out of Egypt
great power. v22 We ourselves saw the *LORD do
great *signs and
*wonders. He did terrible things to the *Egyptians, to their king
Pharaoh and to all his family. v23 But the *LORD
brought us out from
Egypt to bring us here. He gave to us this country that he had promised
*ancestors. v24 The *LORD ordered us to obey all
these rules and to
*fear the *LORD our God. Then, we will do well and we will remain
We must be careful to obey all the laws that the *LORD our God has
to obey. When we do that, we become good people. And we shall please
future, the children of the *Israelites
would ask them about God’s laws. Moses told the *Israelites what to
children. They would tell the children how God brought the *Israelites
Egypt with great power. *Israelites believed God because of what he had
for them. The law was a guide for how to behave in the right way. If
obeyed the law, good things would happen to them. They would enjoy
taught the same idea in Matthew 5:1-12. We
will enjoy God’s *blessings if we obey him.
‘The *LORD your God will
bring you into the country that you will
possess. He will force out 7 nations that are larger and more powerful
you. Those nations are called the Hittites, the Girgashites, the
*Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites. v2
your God will hand over those nations to you. You will defeat them and
*destroy them completely. Do not make an agreement with them. Do not
any *mercy. v3 Do not marry them. Do not let your
daughters marry their
sons. Do not let your sons marry their daughters. v4
If you do, they
will persuade your sons to leave the *LORD. Then your sons will serve
gods. The *LORD will be angry with you and he will quickly *destroy
This is what you must do. Ruin their *altars and break their *holy
down the columns of their female false god called Asherah. Burn their
the *Israelites what to do when they
entered the country. The nations in the list did not obey God. They
the country that God was now giving to the *Israelites. They gave
false gods. Those nations were more powerful than the *Israelites, but
were not more powerful than God. God ordered the *Israelites to
enemies. Then their enemies could not tempt them to *worship *idols.
This was a
war that would bring punishment on the enemies of God. The *Israelites
make agreements with those nations or marry them. When the *Israelites
obey, they did not follow God. We can learn from the lives of Achan,
7) and Saul (1 Samuel chapter 15). We can see the results when the
did not *destroy their enemies. The Asherah was a female false god. Her
was the false god called *Baal. People who joined this religion behaved
badly. This bad behaviour, especially in the ways that they had sex,
physical effect on them. But the *Israelites were God’s special people.
had to be *holy because God was *holy.
Christians to avoid greed (strong
desire for possessions or for too much food). He also told them to
(wrong desire for sex). They must not do wrong acts of sex. Paul also
Christians must not have anger and bad language. They must not lie.
Colossians 3:5-9.) They must not mix with people who do not believe
God. (See 2
Corinthians 6:14.) God does not tell us to fight a war against people.
tells us to fight against wrong things. That includes wrong things that
our lives and in society.
*holy people who belong to the *LORD your God. The *LORD your God has
you from everyone on earth to be his special nation. v7
The *LORD loved
you and chose you. He did not do that because you were bigger than
nations. In fact, you were the smallest nation on the earth. v8
*LORD loved you. He did what he had promised to your *ancestors. He
out from Egypt with his great power. He rescued you when you were
the king of Egypt. v9 Remember that the *LORD your
God is the only God.
He is the *faithful God. He will *keep his *covenant of constant love.
*keep it with a 1000 *generations of people. Those people love and obey
But he will *destroy those people who hate him. He will not hesitate to
the people who hate him. v11 Therefore *keep the
rules and the laws that I have ordered you today.’
not give any reason why he chose the
*Israelites as his special nation. They were not a large nation. God
just because he loved them! In Hosea 14:4, God says this. ‘I will love
freely.’ He rescued them from Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And that
he loved them. So, the *Israelites should obey God’s *commandments.
show that they were grateful to him.
Christians also. That was because of
his *grace. He did not choose people because they were great or
people. He did not choose them because they had done great deeds. God
people because he wanted them to be *holy. He rescued them from *sin.
these *commandments and *keep them carefully. Then the *LORD your God
*keep his *covenant with you. He will show his constant love to you. He
promised that to your *ancestors. v13 He will love
you and he will *bless
you. He will increase your numbers so that you will have many children.
*bless your fields so that you will have corn, wine and oil from
will have many *cattle and sheep. He promised to your *ancestors that
give this country to you. v14 God will *bless you
more than God will
*bless any other nation. All of you will have children. All of your
will have young animals. v15 The *LORD will protect
you from all
illness. He will not cause you to have any of the illnesses that you
Egypt. He will cause them to happen to all who hate you. v16
You must *destroy
all the nations that the *LORD your God hands over to you. Do not show
*mercy. Do not serve their false gods because that will cause you to
*Israelites obeyed God, they would enjoy
his *blessings on them and on their country. They must kill all the
that were living in their country. Perhaps the *Israelites would not do
Instead, perhaps they would serve the false gods in those nations. If
that, then they would have problems.
not tell Christians to kill their
enemies. But Christians must separate themselves from everything that
their body or their *spirit not *clean. (See 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:2.)
Christians must not imitate the standards of people who do not believe
Christians must let God change their thoughts. (See Romans 12:1-2.)
must improve the culture of their nation. They must not let that
say this. “These nations are stronger than we are. We cannot force them
Do not be afraid of them. Remember what the *LORD your God did to
to all Egypt. v19 You yourselves saw the great
tests, the *signs and the
*wonders. You saw the power and strength that the *LORD your God freed
with. The *LORD your God will do the same to all the nations that you
afraid of now. v20 Also, the *LORD your God will
send the insect called
a hornet among those nations. The people will run away and they will
hide. But God will even *destroy them. v21 Do not
be afraid of those
people. The *LORD your God is with you. He is a great God and people
*fear him. v22 The *LORD your God will force out
those nations slowly as
you advance. He will not allow you to *destroy them all at once. If you
the wild animals would increase in the country round you. v23
*LORD your God will hand over your enemies to you. He will confuse them
you *destroy them all. v24 He will hand over their
kings to you. You
will kill them and people will forget them. Nobody will be able to stop
You will *destroy them. v25 You must burn their
*idols. Do not desire
the silver or gold that is on the *idols. Do not take it to own it. If
it might cause you to *sin. The *LORD your God hates *idols. v26
bring any of those *idols into your house. If you do, God will *destroy
God has *cursed those *idols completely. So you must hate them. And you
think that they are terrible.’
There is a
remedy for fear. You should remember
what God did in the past. Again, Moses reminded the *Israelites how God
them out from Egypt. Moses told them how God defeated the *Egyptians.
do the same to their enemies now. We are not sure what the word
A hornet is an insect with a powerful sting. It could mean this. Those
will attack and sting the enemies of the *Israelites. But the word
could be a way to describe an army from another nation. This army might
the enemies of the *Israelites when the *Israelites enter the country.
confuse their enemies. Those enemies might *destroy themselves. That
when ice from the sky struck the *Amorite army. (See Joshua 10:11.) It
happened to Sisera’s army. They could not get out of the mud after it
heavily. (See Judges chapter 4.) God forced out only a few of the
enemies at a time. So the number of the wild animals would not become
large. God was testing them. He would see whether the *Israelites would
him. They must avoid everything that would persuade them to leave God.
included the kings and the *idols from the other nations. The
not always do what God told them. The story of Achan in Joshua 7 shows
happened on that occasion.
to have the important place in our
life. Jesus said this in Matthew 6:24. ‘You cannot serve God and
money.’ In 1
John 5:21 we read this. ‘Dear children, make sure that you avoid
People may say that they love God. So they must hate what he hates.
to *keep all the *commandments that I ordered you today. Then you will
you will increase in numbers. You will be able to enter and to possess
country. The *LORD promised this country to your *ancestors. v2
how the *LORD your God led you in the *desert for 40 years. He did that
away your pride. And he wanted to examine you. Then he would discover
intended to do. He would see whether you would *keep his *commandments.
maybe you would not *keep them. v3 He took away
your pride. He allowed
you to be hungry. Then he gave to you *manna to eat. You and your
had never known that food before. He did that to teach you that people
live only on bread. They also need every word that the *LORD speaks. v4
During those 40 years, your clothes did not wear out. And your feet did
become unnaturally large because you had to walk too much. v5
that the *LORD your God corrects you. And he punishes you. He does that
same way that a father gives discipline to his children.
*keep the *commandments of the *LORD your God. Behave in the way that
told you. And *fear him. v7 *Fear him because the
*LORD your God will
bring you into a good country. It has rivers, fountains and water that
from the ground. Water flows in the valleys and in the hills. v8
land produces wheat and grain called barley. It produces *grapes and
fruits called figs. And it produces fruit called pomegranates and
honey. v9 There will always be enough bread. You
will not have a lack of
anything. Its rocks have iron in them. And you can dig a red metal
copper out of the hills.
eat and you will feel full. Then you must thank the *LORD your God
has given to you such a good country.’
reminded the *Israelites about what God
had done in the past. Then he told them what God would do in the
they were in the *desert, God taught them to trust him. He wanted to
their pride, so he allowed them to have difficulties. He wanted to see
would really trust him. *Manna was the food that Numbers 11:8-9
gave that food to them every day. Without it, they had nothing to eat.
taught them that they needed more than food in order to live.
need God to speak to us and to feed our
*spirits. The main way that God speaks is by means of the Bible. One
devil tempted Jesus. Then Jesus used this verse to answer the devil.
hungry. So the devil suggested that Jesus should change stones into
Jesus said that he needed God to speak to him. That was more important
than food. (See Matthew 4:4.)
reminded the *Israelites about other
things. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not suffer.
did allow them to suffer sometimes, just as a parent punishes his
child. God did
that so that they would learn lessons. The *Israelites should obey God
should *fear him. God would bring them into a country with plenty of
land would produce many crops, and they would have enough to eat. There
be plenty of iron and red metal. They should thank God. And they should
what he had given to them.
our *faith by events that happen in
our lives. He also gives to us everything to enjoy. (See 1 Timothy
careful not to forget the *LORD your God. Do not forget to obey his
*commandments and his rules that I order you today. v12
You will have
all that you want to eat. You will build good houses and you will live
v13 You will have a lot of *cattle and sheep, silver
and gold and many
possessions. v14 Make sure that you do not become
proud. Do not forget
the *LORD your God. He brought you out of the country called Egypt. And
been *slaves there. v15 He led you through the
large, terrible *desert
where there were poisonous snakes. And there were small animals called
scorpions. And they could sting you. There was no water in the *desert.
made water to flow out of the rock for you. v16 In
the *desert, he gave
to you *manna to eat. That was something that your *ancestors had never
did that to make you humble. He wanted to see what you would do. Then,
end, good things would happen to you. v17 You must
never think that your
power and your strength made you rich. v18 You must
always remember the
*LORD your God. He gives to you the power to produce wealth. That is
is still *faithful to his *covenant today. He promised that to your
forget the *LORD your God. Do not follow false gods. Do not *worship
serve them. I warn you about this. If you do forget the *LORD your God,
*destroy you. v20 The *LORD is *destroying the
nations round you. If you
do not obey the *LORD your God, he will *destroy you too.’
warns the *Israelites again. They must not
forget what God had done for them. There was a danger that they might
They might forget that God had given everything to them. They might say
they had achieved it all by themselves. God reminds them how he had
them out from Egypt. He had taken them through the *desert. He had
and water to them. *Manna was the food that God gave to them. The word
‘What is it?’ Nobody had seen that food before. God had tested them. He
to see if they would trust him. He was *faithful and he would *keep his
*covenant. But if the *Israelites would not obey God, he would punish
teaches that wealth is a gift from
God. We depend on him for everything. We pray, ‘Give us today our bread
today.’ Paul reminds Christians that God is *faithful, in 2 Timothy
we do not believe, he will remain true. He cannot deny who he is.’ In
3:12 to 4:13 the writer warns Christians not to be like certain people.
did not follow the God who is alive. The writer tells Christians to
effort. If they obey God, then they will not fail.
‘Listen to this,
*Israelites. Now you will go across the River
Jordan. You will go into the country and you will possess it. It
nations that are greater and stronger than you. Their cities are large.
have walls round them that reach the sky. v2 The
people are tall and
strong. They are the *Anakites. They are giant people. People have said
nobody can fight against them. v3 But you can be
sure that the *LORD
your God will go ahead of you. He is like a fierce fire. He will
*Anakites as you advance. You will force them out and you will kill
The *LORD has promised that.
*LORD your God has forced them out ahead of you, do not think this.
has brought us here to possess this country. That is because we are so
No. The *LORD will force out those people because they are wicked. v5
The reason is not that you are so good. The reason is not that you
the right way. That is not why the *LORD your God is allowing you to
country. He is forcing out these nations ahead of you because they are
He wants to do what he promised to your *ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac
Jacob. v6 The *LORD your God is giving to you this
good country to
possess. But you can be sure about this. He is not giving it to you
are good. Instead, you do not like to obey God.’
the *Israelites that their enemies
would oppose them. However, God was stronger than their enemies. God
defeat those enemies as easily as a fire burns a piece of land.
did not do that because the *Israelites were good. God was forcing out
people in the country because they were wicked people. He was doing it
because of his promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God said that he
the country to his people, the *Israelites. However, his people were
Often they did not obey God. They would not change the way that they
this in Romans 5:8. ‘God loves us.
This is how he shows it. While we were still wicked people, Christ died
of us.’ In Ephesians 2:8-9 he says, ‘God saves us by *faith by means of
*grace. And that is not the result of your own efforts, but it is God’s
Not one of us can say that he saved himself. The things that we do
us. Only the gift of God can do that. So nobody can tell people how
this. Do not forget how you made the *LORD your God angry in the
refused to obey the *LORD from the day that you left Egypt. You did it
you arrived here. v8 Also, at *Mount Sinai, you
made the *LORD so angry
that he wanted to kill you all. v9 I went up the
mountain to receive the
blocks of stone. The *LORD had written on them the *covenant that he
with you. I stayed on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights. I did not
drink anything. v10 Then the *LORD gave to me the
two blocks of stone.
God himself had written all the *LORD’s *commandments on them. He had
them to you from the fire. That happened on the day when you gathered
I was there
for 40 days and 40 nights. After that the *LORD gave to me the two
stone that he had written the *covenant on. v12
Then the *LORD said this
to me. “Get up and go down the mountain at once. Your people whom you
out from Egypt are ruining themselves. Already they have not obeyed
ordered them to do. They have made an *idol out of metal for
*LORD said this to me. “I know that these people do not like to obey
I will *destroy them so that nobody will remember them. Do not try to
I will make you into a nation. It will be stronger and more powerful
turned and I went down the mountain. It was on fire. I carried the two
of the *covenant in my hands. v16 I saw that you
had *sinned against the
*LORD your God. You had made an *idol out of metal in the shape of a
*bull. Almost immediately you did not obey the *commandments that the
ordered you to obey. v17 So I took the two stones
and I threw them down.
They broke into pieces in front of you.
I lay with my face on the ground. I lay in front of the *LORD for 40
40 nights. I did not eat or drink anything. You had *sinned against the
and so you had made him angry. That is why I did it. v19
I was afraid of
the *LORD’s fierce anger. He was angry enough with you to *destroy you.
again, the *LORD listened to me. v20 He was so
angry that he wanted to
kill Aaron. But I prayed for Aaron too. v21 I took
that *sinful thing,
the young *bull that you had made from metal. I burned it in the fire.
broke it into pieces and I made it into dust. I threw that dust into
that flowed down the mountain.’
reminded the *Israelites about the time
when they had made a *bull from gold. Very often in those countries,
wrote agreements on stones. Moses went up a mountain to receive the
on stones. But the *Israelites, with Aaron’s help, had made a metal
chapter 8 verse 19 God said this. He would *destroy them if they
false god. Now God said that he would do this. He would make another
from the family of Moses. So, Moses went down the mountain. He saw the
that they had made out of metal. He threw down and broke the two blocks
That showed the *Israelites that they had not obeyed God’s
prayed for the people. His prayer is in verses 25-29, below. He also
Aaron, who had made the model of the *bull. Then Moses broke the model
*bull and he made it into dust. God was ready to *destroy the nation if
had not prayed for them. Moses had to pray even for Aaron, who was the
priest. It was Aaron’s responsibility to speak God’s words to the
4:14-16, the writer tells this to
Christians. They have a chief priest (Jesus) who has not *sinned. He
sympathise with their weaknesses. Christians can approach God with
They will receive *mercy and *grace when they need help. Jesus is a
chief priest. He is not like Aaron. Moses prayed for the *Israelites.
prays for his people. He prays that God will forgive their *sin. He
that he has died instead of the people.
made the *LORD angry at Taberah, Massah, and at Kibroth Hattaavah.
said this when he sent you out from Kadesh Barnea. “Go out and possess
country. I have given it to you.” But, you did not obey what the *LORD
ordered you to do. You did not trust him or obey him. v24
refused to obey the *LORD ever since I have known you.’
reminds the *Israelites about other
occasions when they did not obey God. They complained about the
things at Taberah. The name means ‘it burns’. God sent fire that burnt
*Israelites. (See Numbers 11:1-3.) At Massah, the *Israelites
they had no water. Moses hit a rock and water came out. (See Exodus
Kibroth Hattaavah, the *Israelites complained about *manna (the food
gave to them in the *desert). They said that they wanted meat too. (See
11:31-34.) Finally at Kadesh Barnea they did not trust God. Moses sent
to explore the country. Two men said that the *Israelites could possess
country. But the *Israelites did not believe those men. Instead, they
kill those two men. (See Numbers chapter 14.)
Corinthians 10:1-12, Paul reminds us about
these events. Paul warns his readers not to give honour to *idols. He
tells them not to complain. ‘These things happened in order to warn us.
might think that he is standing firmly. But he should be careful that
not fall.’ God wants us to obey him.
with my face on the ground. I lay front of the *LORD for 40 days and 40
The *LORD had said that he would *destroy you. v26
And I prayed to the
*LORD. “*LORD you are the king of the whole world. Do not *destroy your
people. They belong to you. You brought them out from Egypt by your
strength and power. v27 Remember your servants
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Do not look at the bad thoughts, the wicked acts and the *sin of these
If you *destroy them, the *Egyptians will say this. ‘The *LORD was
take them into the country that he had promised to them. He hated them,
took them into the *desert to kill them.’ v29 But
*LORD, they are your
people. You chose them and they belong to you. You brought them out
by your great power and strength.” ’
Moses’ prayer. The *Israelites had done
many wrong things. Moses asked God to forgive them. He reminded God
that he had
brought them out of Egypt. They were *descendants of Abraham, Isaac and
had obeyed God. If God did not help the *Israelites, the *Egyptians
laugh. They would say that God was unable to *keep his promise.
tells us that ‘the prayer of a good
man has a powerful effect.’ The Bible tells us that God will show
when we pray, we can remind God about his promises.
*LORD spoke to me. “Cut two blocks from stone like the first ones.
Also, make a
wooden box. Then come up to me on the mountain. v2
I will write the same
words on the new blocks as the words on the blocks that you broke. Then
must put the blocks in the box.”
So I made a
box from the wood of acacia trees. I cut two blocks from stone like the
ones and I took them up the mountain. v4 The *LORD
wrote on the blocks
the words that he had written before. He wrote those 10 *Commandments
He spoke them on the mountain. He spoke from the fire on the day when
gathered on the mountain. Then the *LORD gave the blocks to me. v5
turned and I came back down the mountain. I put the blocks in the box
had made. The *LORD had ordered that. The blocks are there now.’
listened to Moses’ prayer and God wrote the
*covenant again. The blocks of stone were like the first ones that
broken. That meant that the *covenant was the same. The *covenant was
will be your God and you will be my people.’
the same thing to Christians today. But
we have a new *covenant. Jeremiah 31:33-34 describes the promises of
*covenant. God will now forgive our *sins. Jesus died to free people
things. To be part of the new *covenant today we have to trust Jesus.
Jesus means this. First, we have to confess our *sins. Then God will
and we will have a relationship with him. We will belong to God and he
the blocks in a box. Later they put
this box in the place where they gave honour to God. When kings of
nations made agreements with people, they did something similar.
gave honour to false gods, they did not give honour to the *LORD God.
*Israelites travelled from the wells of Jaakan’s relatives to Moserah.
died there and they buried him. And Eleazar, his son, became the priest
of him. v7 From that place they travelled to
Gudgodah and on to
Jotbathah. That was land with streams of water. v8
Then the *LORD
appointed the *tribe of Levi to carry the box of the *covenant of the
The *tribe of Levi would serve the *LORD as priests. And they would
*blessings as they spoke his name. They still do that today. v9
of that, the *tribe of Levi did not receive any land like the other
did. Instead, they received the *LORD himself as their gift. That
the *LORD your God had told them.)
probably added this after the writer
had finished Deuteronomy. Aaron’s son became a priest after Aaron had
*tribe of Levi carried the box of the *covenant. They served God. They
the *Israelites and spoke the name of God. They had a lot to do and so
would not have had time to grow crops. Instead, they received money and
the *offerings that the other *Israelites made to God.
this in 1 Corinthians 9:7-12.
Christian teachers should receive payment for their work. ‘We have
We have planted things in you that are about God. So we should harvest
We should receive physical benefits from you.’
‘Now I had
stayed on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights, as I did the first
*LORD listened to me at that time also. He did not want to *destroy
“Go,” the *LORD said to me. “Lead the people on their way. Then they
and possess the country. I promised to give this country to their
Moses had prayed, God forgave the
*Israelites’ *sin. They could now enter the country that God had
do not deserve that God forgives
their *sins. God forgives us because Jesus died in our place.
*Israelites, listen to what the *LORD your God wants you to do. He
wants you to
*fear the *LORD your God. Do what he has told you to do. Love him. He
to serve the *LORD your God. Do all this completely. v13
*Keep all the
*commandments and the rules that the *LORD ordered you to do. I am
to you today for your benefit.
heavens and the highest heavens belong to the *LORD your God. The earth
everything on it belongs to him. v15 But the *LORD
was very happy to
choose your *ancestors and he loved them. He chose you, their
of all other nations. He loves you still today. v16
Make your minds
morally pure. Do not still refuse to obey him. v17
The *LORD your God is
far greater than every false god. And he is the very powerful ruler
rulers. He is the great God. He is powerful and you should *fear him.
not have favourites. He will not do something because you give him
God defends widows and children who have no father. He loves the
who live among us. He gives them food and clothes. v19
So love those
foreigners. You used to be foreigners in Egypt. v20
*Fear the *LORD your
God and serve him. Be loyal to him. When you make your promises, speak
only. v21 Praise him. He is your God. You saw the
great and wonderful
things that he did for you. v22 When your
*ancestors went to Egypt, there
were only 70 of them. And now the *LORD your God has increased you. You
many people as there are stars in the sky.’
reminded the *Israelites about the things
that God had done for them. Then he told them what God wanted them to
wanted them to respect him and to love him. He wanted them to obey
the people loved God, then they would do all those things. They would
and they would serve him. God gave laws to them for their benefit.
must love God because he loved them first. God had everyone in the
to choose from, but he chose the *Israelites. He loved and chose their
*ancestors. And he loved and chose the *Israelites too. God does not
why he did that.
often describes how much God loves
people. John 3:16 says, ‘God loved the world so much that he gave his
only Son. So everyone who trusts him will never really die. Instead,
have eternal life.’ (Eternal life means to be completely alive in our
When we trust Jesus, we receive this life as a special gift. When we
life, we can live to please God. It is the best way to live.) Ephesians
1 tells us that God chose Christians. ‘Before he made the world, he
He wants us to live *holy lives. He wants us to do nothing wrong, but
things that are good. He loved us. So he chose to make us his sons and
daughters by Jesus Christ.’ (See Ephesians 1:4, 5.) So Christians are,
*Israelites, the people who belong to God. Christians trust God to free
from *sin. Now, people from every nation can receive God’s promises.
Matthew 28:19.) ‘There is neither *Jew nor non-*Jew. … You are all one
people because you belong to Jesus Christ. And because you belong to
are Abraham’s children.’ (See Galatians 3:28-29.)
describes how great God is. He makes
proper *judgements about everybody. Nobody can make him change his
gift will make God change his decision. The *Israelites must love other
in the same way that God loves them. The *Israelites must help the
children without parents and the foreigners who live among them. The
*Israelites knew what it was like to be in a foreign country.
should help those people who were in a similar situation.
12:13 says this. Christians should let
foreigners stay in their homes. James 1:27 says, ‘Look after children
parents and also look after widows.’
reminded the *Israelites again, about what
God had done for their nation. He had done great *signs and *wonders to
them from Egypt. There were only 70 of them when they went down into
they were a great nation, exactly as God had promised to Abraham. ‘Look
sky and try to count the stars. You will have as many *descendants as
(See Genesis 15:5.)
7:9 describes the view in heaven. ‘I
saw a great crowd of people that nobody can count. There were people
from every nation, *tribe, group of people and language.’
‘Therefore, love the *LORD
your God. Always *keep his instructions,
his rules and his *commandments. v2 Remember today
discipline. Your children did not see or have an experience of it. They
see how great the *LORD is. They did not see his power v3
wonderful acts in Egypt. They did not see what he did to Pharaoh, the
Egypt, and to his whole country. v4 They did not
see how God completely
defeated the *Egyptian army with its horses and its carts for war. They
chasing you. But the *LORD drowned them in the Red Sea. v5
did not see what he did for you all the way through the *desert. v6
did not see what he did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, from
*tribe of Reuben. The earth opened up and it swallowed them. It took
their tents and every living thing that belonged to them. All the
there saw it. v7 You saw all the great things that
the *LORD has done.
you must *keep all the *commandments that I order you today. Then you
strong. You will go in and you will possess the country. You will go
River Jordan in order to possess the country. v9
Then you will live
there for a long time. The *LORD promised to your *ancestors that he
it to them and to their *descendants. It would be a country with plenty
chapter shows that *Israelites had a
choice. Either they could obey God or they could refuse to obey him.
asked each *Israelite to obey God. God promised to the *Israelites a
country with plenty of crops. But they had to obey his *commandments.
what 1 John 5:3 says. ‘To love God means
to obey his *commandments. His *commandments are not too difficult for
talking to all the *Israelites. Many
of them were less than 20 years old when they left Egypt. There were
children who had been born in the *desert. Moses reminded them all how
left Egypt. Often they had not obeyed God. So Moses reminded them what
happened as a result. Dathan, Abiram and Korah opposed Moses. Numbers
16 describes what happened to those 3 men. When they refused God’s
refused God himself.
refuse God when they refuse Jesus. They
might not realise that. Hebrews 12:25 says this. ‘Do not refuse the
Person who speaks.’
country that you will possess is not like Egypt. When you lived in
sowed seeds in the fields. Then you had to dig channels to water them. v11
The country where you will go in order to possess it has mountains and
It gets water from rain that comes from the sky. v12
The *LORD your God
looks after it. The *LORD your God constantly watches it during the
the *commandments that I order you today. Love the *LORD your God.
completely. v14 If you do, he will send rain on
your land in the autumn
and in the spring. So, you will have grain, wine and oil. v15
be grass in your fields for your *cattle. You will have enough to eat
will be full.
Do not let
anything or anybody persuade you to leave the *LORD. You might serve
honour to false gods. v17 Then, the *LORD will be
angry. He will stop
the rain and the crops will not grow. Then you will die very soon in
country that the *LORD has given to you.’
compared Egypt to the country that God had
promised to the *Israelites. In Egypt, people had to get water from the
Nile to water their crops. They dug channels that took water from the
These channels led water to their fields. They used their feet to send
different fields. If people dug channels for water, they would get good
In their new country, the *Israelites had to depend on God for the
they obeyed him, the rains would come. In autumn, it rained in October.
spring, it rained in April. Then they would have good crops. The rain
October helped the farmers to plough the land. The rain in April helped
crops to grow. If it did not rain, the crops would not grow. Then there
be no food. The people did not follow God when Elijah was alive. As a
was very little food for three years.
not always *bless us when we obey him.
Sometimes we have troubles because we trust Jesus. But we should thank
he does *bless us. Jesus said this. ‘The *kingdom of God and his right
must be the most important things to you. If you do that, he will
with all other things.’ (See Matthew 6:33.)
think about these words and remember them. Tie them on your arms. Wear
the front of your heads to remind you. v19 Teach
them to your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home. Talk about them when you walk
road. Talk about them when you lie down. And talk about them when you
rise up. v20
Write them on the sides of the doors of your houses. Write them on your
Then you and your children will live for a long time in the country.
promised to give the country to your *ancestors. You will live there as
there is a sky above the earth.
*keep all the *commandments that I have ordered you to *keep. Love the
your God. Do what he asks you to do. Be loyal to him. v23
If you do
those things, then the *LORD will force out all those nations ahead of
will force out nations that are greater and more powerful than you. v24
You will own all the ground on which you walk. Your territory will be
*desert to the country called Lebanon. It will be from the River
the western sea. v25 Nobody will be able to stop
you. Wherever you go,
the *LORD your God will make the people to be very afraid of you. He
repeated what he had said in chapter
6:6-9. The *Israelites must remember to obey God’s words. If they were
God’s *covenant, they would possess the country for always. God would
all the other nations. The southern border of this country would be the
at Sinai. Its northern border would be the mountains in Lebanon. Its
the east would be the River Euphrates. Its western border would be the
Mediterranean Sea. The *Israelites possessed this area of land only
was king. They did not do so before or after that time.
am giving to you the choice between a *blessing and a *curse. v27
the *commandments of the *LORD your God that I ordered you today. Then
have a *blessing. v28 Perhaps you will not obey the
*commandments of the
*LORD your God. Perhaps you will *worship false gods whom you have not
*worshipped before. If you do that, you will have a *curse. v29
*LORD your God will bring you into the country that you will possess.
does that, you must announce the *blessing from *Mount Gerizim. Then
announce the *curse from *Mount Ebal. v30 Those
mountains are across the
River Jordan. They are on the west of the road near the great trees of
This is in the territory that belongs to the *Canaanites. They live in
Jordan valley near Gilgal. v31 You will soon go
across the River Jordan.
And you will enter and possess the country. The *LORD your God is
giving it to
you. You will *capture it and you will live there. v32
Make sure that
you obey me. You must obey all the rules and the laws that I am giving
*Israelites had a choice. They could serve
the *Lord. Or they could serve false gods that they had not known. The
of their choice would be either a *blessing or a *curse. *Mount Gerizim
the south side and so it was the place of *blessing. The two hills were
centre of the country.
people can choose. They can have the
wonderful heavenly life that God gives. It starts now and it never
Christ gives it to them. But if they refuse Christ, God will be angry
for always. John 3:18 says this. ‘God will not decide to punish anyone
believes the Son. But God has already decided that he must punish some
Some people refuse to believe who his one and only Son is. God must
anyone who refuses to believe that.’
be careful to *keep these rules and laws for as long as you live in the
country. The *LORD, the God of your *ancestors, has given this country
to possess it. v2 You will take the country from
the people who live
there. Destroy completely all the places where the people served their
gods. Those places are on the high mountains, on the hills and under
trees. v3 Pull down their *altars and break their
*holy stones. Burn in
the fire the poles where they *worshipped Asherah, their female false
down their *idols so that people will not give honour to them again in
Do not give
honour to the *LORD your God as these people give honour to their false
But look for the place that the *LORD your God will choose. He will
place from the territory of all the *tribes. God will be there in a
way. You must go to that place. v6 There you must
bring your *burnt
offerings and your *sacrifices. Bring your *tithes and the special
you have promised to give. Bring your *freewill offerings. Bring all
*cattle and sheep that are born first. v7 There, in
front of the *LORD
your God, you and your families shall eat. The *LORD your God has
Therefore, you will enjoy everything for which you have worked.’
12-26 tell us about laws. They would
govern the life of the *Israelites in the country that God was giving
Some laws were the laws that they knew already. Other laws were laws
new situation. The first part of these laws deals with how they should
honour to God. The *Israelites must destroy the *altars where the
their false gods. They must not imitate the way that the *Canaanites
their false gods. The *Israelites must give honour to God at the place
would choose. During their early history, the *Israelites *worshipped
different places. At first they *worshipped God at Shechem, then at
then at Shiloh. Jerusalem became the chief place of *worship when David
offerings were *offerings of the best
animals. The priests burnt the animals completely. Other kinds of
were gifts to God in order to thank him. Or the *offerings were
And the people asked God to forgive their *sin. The people thanked God
gave honour to God. Then, when they gave a *sacrifice, they burnt part
animal. The priest and the person who gave the *offering shared the
rest of the
meat. The *tithes were a 10th part of a
person’s animals, fruit and
grain. They brought these *offerings to the place where they
The people, together with their families, went to eat and to be happy
in front of God.
new country, you must not do what we do today. Today, everyone does
believes to be right. v9 You have not yet reached
the country where you
can live in peace. The *LORD your God is giving it to you. v10
will go across the River Jordan and you will live in the country. The
your God is giving it to you as a possession. He will give you peace
your enemies round you. And you will live in safety. v11
Then go to the place
that the *LORD your God will choose. God will be there in a special
will give honour to him there. Also you must bring to that place
that I have told you. You must bring your *burnt offerings and
your *tithes and *offerings. You must bring also the special gifts that
have promised to give to the *LORD. v12 There you
and your families and
your male and female *slaves will be happy. They will be happy in front
*LORD your God. The *Levites from your towns, who do not possess any
be happy also. v13 Do not *sacrifice your *burnt
offerings anywhere that
seems right to you. v14 Give them only at the place
that the *LORD will
choose in one of your *tribes. There you must do everything that I have
you to do.
can kill your animals for food in any of your towns. You can eat as
much of the
meat as you want. All of you, whether you are *clean or not *clean, can
The *LORD your God gives it to you as a *blessing. You can eat it as if
the *deer or the *antelope. v16 But you must not
use the blood as food.
You must pour out the blood on the ground like water. v17
You must not
eat any of your *offerings in your own towns. You must not eat the
your corn, your wine or your oil there. In your towns, you must not eat
young animals that are born first to your sheep or to your *cattle. You
not eat what you have promised to give to the *LORD. Nor must you eat
*offerings that you choose to give. And you must not eat the special
your towns. v18 Instead, you must eat them in front
of the *LORD your
God. That will be in the place that the *LORD your God will choose. You
eat there. Your sons and your daughters will eat there. Your male and
female *slaves and the *Levites from your towns will eat there also.
be happy there in front of the *LORD your God because of everything
have done. v19 Do not neglect the *Levites as long
as you live in the
rules about *worship. The *Israelites
did not start to *keep the rules while they travelled in the *desert.
when they began to live in the country, they had peace. Then they had
all their *sacrifices and their *offerings to the chief place that God
chosen. They should kill the meat for the *sacrifices only at that
*Israelites must not use the *altars that belonged to the *Canaanites.
*Israelites ate, they should be happy. And they must not forget the
did not own any land.
*desert, the *Israelites ate all their
meat as a *sacrifice. In their new country, they would eat meat for
ordinary meals. They would kill animals for food in the towns where
The people did not have to be *clean in order to eat the animals.
people had to be *clean in order to eat the food for *sacrifices. They
eat the meat for *sacrifices only at the chief place for *worship. God
them that the blood caused the animal to live. They had to pour out the
They must never eat the blood in any meat. They had to give back the
God. (See Leviticus 17:10-14.)
*Israelites gave some *sacrifices as a way
to thank God. They brought other *sacrifices, often lambs (young
*sin *offerings. Those *sacrifices were to ask God to forgive them.
pointed toward Jesus who is called the
‘Lamb of God’. (See John 1:29.) A ‘lamb’ usually means a young sheep.
it describes Jesus as a *sacrifice. Jesus died to rescue us from *sin.
not make you free with silver or gold, but with the precious blood of
(See 1 Peter 1:18-19.) So now we do not have to bring a *sacrifice of
your God will give to you more territory, as he promised to do. Then
think, “I would like some meat.” You can eat as much as you want. v21
Perhaps the place that the *LORD your God has chosen is too far away
Then you can kill any of the *cattle or sheep that the *LORD has given
You can eat as many as you wish in your own towns. I have ordered you
that. v22 Anyone, whether that person is *clean or
not *clean, can eat
the meat. They can eat it, as they would eat a *deer or an *antelope. v23
But be sure that you do not eat the blood. The blood causes the animal
You must not eat the blood with the meat. v24 Do
not use the blood as
your food. You must pour the blood out on the ground like water. v25
not eat it. Then good things will happen to you and to your
will do what the *LORD considers to be right.
the *holy things and the gifts that you have promised to the *LORD. Go
place that the *LORD will choose. v27 Give the
*burnt offerings, the
blood and the meat, there on the *altar of the *LORD your God. Pour out
blood of your *sacrifices on the *altar. You can eat the meat. v28
sure that you obey all my commands. Then good things will happen to you
your *descendants for always. You will do what the *LORD your God
be good and right.
your God will *destroy the nations as you go into their country. You
them out and you will live in their country. v30
But do not ask how they
serve their false gods. Do not try to serve those gods in the same way.
do, then that will cause trouble for you. v31 Do
not give honour to the
*LORD your God in their way. When they give honour to their false gods,
all kinds of terrible things. The *LORD hates those things. They even
their sons and their daughters as *sacrifices to their false gods.
to do everything that I have ordered you to do. Do not add anything to
do not leave anything out.’
the *Israelites again about how to
eat meat. God would choose a special place. So Moses told them what to
they lived too far away from that place. Moses explains verse 15 more
God did not allow them to eat blood. The blood caused the animal to
Instead, they must pour the blood out on the ground. Then they would
it on an *altar that belonged to a false god. If they obeyed, they
receive God’s *blessing.
do not *worship God in only one
place. When Jesus died, that was a *sacrifice for *sin. So now we do
to give any animals for *sacrifice. Hebrews chapter 10 teaches us that.
*Israelites must not *worship false gods.
The *Israelites must not kill their children and call it a *sacrifice
or someone who explains the meaning of dreams might promise to you a
*sign or a
*wonder. v2 Then he might ask you to *worship false
gods. And he might
ask you to serve those false gods. You have not known these false gods
Even if the *sign or *wonder happens, v3 do not
listen to that person.
The *LORD your God is testing you. The *LORD wants to discover whether
him completely. v4 You must *worship the *LORD your
God and you must
*fear him. *Keep his *commandments and obey him. Serve him and be loyal
v5 You must kill that *prophet or that person who
explains the meaning
of dreams. That is because he told you to refuse to obey the *LORD your
has tried to persuade you away from what the *LORD your God has told
you to do.
The *LORD brought you out of Egypt. He rescued you when you were
*prophet has tried to change your minds. You must stop that kind of
*prophets were true *prophets. A
*prophet might try to persuade people not to give honour to God. But
not listen to him. Even if his *prophecy came true, they must not
would use this situation. God would see what the *Israelites would do.
would see whether they were loyal to God. The people must not refuse to
God. Instead, they should obey the *Lord and *worship him loyally. They
kill the false *prophet who tried to persuade them away from God.
Corinthians chapter 5, Paul tells the
Christians at Corinth to remove a wicked man from the church. But in 2
Corinthians chapter 2, Paul tells them to forgive the man. That was
man was sorry about his *sins.
people might encourage you to give honour secretly to false gods. They
false gods to whom you and your *ancestors have never given honour
Those people might include your brother or your son or your daughter.
might include the wife whom you love or your closest friend. v7
people round you might give honour to those false gods. The people
might live near
you or they might live far away. v8 You must not do
what those people
say. Do not listen to them. Do not show *mercy to them. Do not protect
You must kill them. You must be the first person to throw stones at
let everyone else throw stones at them too. v10
Throw stones at them
until you have killed them. They tried to persuade you to leave the
God. The *LORD rescued you when you were *slaves in Egypt. v11
the people in *Israel will hear about it. They will be afraid. Nobody
such a wicked thing again.’
days, relationships in a family were
very strong. But the *Israelites must kill even a member of their
family if he
or she encouraged people to *worship *idols. The other members of the
would throw the first stone. To kill a family member was a severe
But God allowed it in order to keep the whole nation *holy. It showed
serious the wrong action was. That person did not deserve to live with
follow Jesus, we must be loyal to our
Christian family. They must be more important than our physical family.
must be more important than a person’s own family. (See Matthew
your God will give to you towns in which to live. But you might hear
one of the towns. v13 “Wicked men from among you
have persuaded the
people in their town to do wrong things. They have told people to go
give honour to false gods.” (You have never given honour to those gods
v14 You must discover whether that is true. You must
ask and you must
examine it carefully. If that terrible thing is true, v15
then kill all
the people in the town. *Destroy the town and the animals too. v16
together all the people’s possessions into the middle of the town. Then
must burn completely the town and everything in it. Burn it as a *burnt
offering to the *LORD your God. You must ruin the town and you must
rebuild it. v17 Do not keep any of the things that
God has *cursed. Then
the *LORD will not continue to be angry. He will pity you. He will have
on you. And he will increase your numbers. He promised that to your
v18 Obey the *LORD your God. *Keep all his
*commandments that I have
given to you today. Do what he wants you to do.’
people who gave honour to *idols
would affect whole towns. If a town allowed that to happen, the
must *destroy it. In those days, unity in a town or in a group of
very strong. So they all were guilty. But the *Israelites had to be
that the town was guilty.
not allow them to keep anything from the
town for themselves. That meant that people would not *destroy a town
own advantage. The *Israelites *destroyed towns like Jericho (Joshua
and Gibeah (Judges 20:42-48). If all the people involved themselves in
very wicked behaviour, they all suffered the punishment. If there were
people in the town, they should have left. They should not remain where
*worship false gods.
called Achan took goods from one of those
towns. In Joshua 7, you can read what happened as a result of his act.
note this. Joshua 6:23 says that Rahab escaped from Jericho because of
*faith.) The *Israelites should not live with people who did not
If they did, the *Israelites would not continue their beliefs.
Colossians 3:5, Paul tells Christians:
‘Destroy the power of all the evil desires in your life that belong to
world.’ For example, avoid wrong sex. Do not greatly desire possessions
much food. Here ‘this world’ refers to the people who do not obey God.
the children of the *LORD your God. When someone dies, do not cut
Do not shave the front of your head. v2 You belong
to the *LORD your
God. The *LORD has chosen you to be his special nation. He chose you
out of all
the nations that live on the earth.
Do not eat
anything that is not *clean. v4 You can eat
*cattle, sheep, goats, v5
*deer, wild sheep, wild goats and *antelopes. v6
Some animals have the
hard part of the foot in two parts. And they bring back food from their
to eat again. You can eat those animals. v7 You
must not eat the camel,
the rabbit or the type of rabbit called a coney. Those animals bring
food but they do not have the hard part of the foot in two parts. For
those animals are not *clean. v8 The pig is not
*clean also. It has the
hard part of its foot two parts, but it does not bring back its food.
not eat any of those animals. You must not touch their dead bodies.
have hard things on their body that help them to swim. And they have
material that covers their skin. You can eat any kind of fish like
But other fish do not have hard things on their body that help them to
And they do not have hard material that covers their skin. You must not
things like that that live in the water. They are not *clean.
eat any *clean bird. v12 But you must not eat these
vulture, black vulture, v13 red kite, all types of
kite or falcon. v14
And you must not eat any of these birds: any kind of raven, v15-16
horned owl, screech owl, gull or hawk. v16 You must
not eat any of these
birds: little owl, great owl or white owl. v17 And
you must not eat any
of these birds: desert owl, osprey, cormorant, v18
stork, heron, hoopoe,
insects crawl and fly too. You cannot that kind of insect. v20
can eat any *clean insect.
Do not eat
anything that is already dead. The foreigners who live in your towns
it. You can sell it to foreigners. But you belong to the *LORD your
are his special nation.
Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s
*Israelites were God’s special nation.
Because of that, they should look after their bodies. They should not
what other nations did in their religion. God did not want the
cut their bodies. God made people as the image of himself. People must
spoil that image.
Corinthians 6:9-20 Paul says this. The
Christian’s body is the place where the Holy Spirit lives. ‘Therefore
honour to God with your body.’
not allow the *Israelites to eat certain
animals. Those animals might be bad for their health. Pigs, shell-fish
that have a hard outer cover) and birds that eat dead bodies can all
disease. Other nations gave honour to certain animals. So God told the
*Israelites not eat those animals. People in Cyprus gave honour to the
People in Egypt gave honour to certain fish and snakes. God allowed the
*Israelites to eat *clean insects. A locust is a *clean insect. John
(See Matthew 3:4.) The *Israelites must not eat animals that had died
natural way. That was partly because there might be poisons in the
Also, the blood was still in the animal’s body. That law did not apply
foreigners. God did not allow the *Israelites to cook a goat in its
milk. That was a *Canaanite custom. They thought that it increased
desire for sex. The *Israelites must *keep God’s laws. Then their
show that they gave honour to God.
7:15 Jesus said this. ‘Nothing that goes
into a man from outside will
make him not *clean. What comes out of a man makes him not *clean.’
Mark adds in verse 19, ‘In this way, Jesus declared that all foods are
Jesus was referring to the law about waste products from people’s
was using this law to refer to bad thoughts. Those bad thoughts lead to
actions. (See Mark 7:20-23.) Non-*Jewish Christians did not have to
*Jewish laws about food. The stories in Acts chapters 10 and 15 show
a 10th of all that your fields produce each
year. Make sure that you
do that. v23 Go to the place that the *LORD your
God has chosen. The
*LORD will be there in a special way. There, in front of the *LORD, eat
part of your corn, new wine, and oil. You can also eat the
that are born first to your sheep and to your *cattle. Do that so that
learn to respect the *LORD your God always. v24
Perhaps the place is too
far away. Perhaps you cannot carry to that place the *tithe with which
*LORD your God has *blessed you. (That will happen if the place is very
away. The *LORD your God has chosen the place himself. And the*LORD
there in a special way.) v25 If so, sell that 10th
your harvest. Take the money with you to the place that the *LORD your
chosen. v26 Buy whatever you desire with the money.
You can buy *cattle,
sheep, or strong alcohol or whatever you desire. Then, in front of the
your God, you and your family can eat. And you can be happy. v27
neglect the *Levites who live in your towns. They do not own any land.
At the end
of every three years, bring all the *tithes of that year’s harvest.
Store it in
your towns. v29 This is for the *Levites. (They do
not own any land.) It
is also for the foreigners, the widows and the children without parents
live in your towns. They can eat. They can have all that they need.
They can be
full. Then the *LORD your God will *bless you in all the work that you
the *Israelites to bring a 10th of
the harvest from their land and to give it to God. That reminded them
everything came from God. They must go to the place that God chose.
go to thank him. They ate their *tithe at the place that God had
did that so that they would not eat it at a place for foreign gods.
lived too far from the place to bring their *tithe. So they would sell
they would bring the money. Then they would buy food to eat there.
people used that as a way to get money unfairly from other people. That
the evil actions for which Jesus forced the traders from the *temple in
2:13-17. People who bought animals had to pay more than the animals
worth.) The person and his family would be happy as they ate the meal.
also shared it with the *Levites who had nothing to give. Every three
the people stored the *tithe in the local town. Then they gave it to
*Levites and to the poor people.
that the *Pharisees were wrong. They
gave a 10th of everything to God, but they
forgot *justice, *mercy
and *faith. (See Matthew 23:23.) Paul said this about the Christians in
Macedonia. ‘They gave as much as they could give. In fact, they gave
than they really could afford. But first they gave themselves to the
(See 2 Corinthians 8:3, 5.) ‘Each man should give what he has decided
God loves the person who gives gladly.’ (See 2 Corinthians 9:7.) The
we give is important. It is more important than the amount that we give.
‘At the end
of every 7 years, you must cancel debts. v2 This is
what you must do.
Everyone who has lent money to another *Israelite must cancel the debt.
not ask for payment. The *LORD has declared that he must cancel the
You can demand what a foreigner owes to you. But you must not demand
another *Israelite owes to you. v4 However, there
should be no poor
people among you because the *LORD your God will *bless you in the
is giving this country to you as your own possession. v5
But you must
obey the *LORD your God. And you must be careful to obey everything
that I have
told you today. v6 The *LORD your God will *bless
you as he has promised.
You will lend money to many nations. But you will not need them to lend
to you. You will rule over many nations, but no nation will rule over
that there is a poor *Israelite man. He is in one of the towns that the
your God is giving to you. Do not be selfish. Do not refuse to help
man. v8 Instead, be generous. Lend him as much as
he needs. v9 Do
not have this wicked thought. “The 7th year,
the year to cancel
debts, is near.” So you refuse to lend him anything. He will then cry
the *LORD against you. You will be guilty of a *sin. v10
Give to him
freely and unselfishly. Then the *LORD your God will *bless you in
that you do. v11 There will always be poor people
in the country.
Therefore, give in a generous way to other *Israelites. Be generous to
who is poor. Be generous to those who have needs.’
these laws to *Israelites. They grew
most of their own food. If they owed money, it was because of unusual
circumstances. (Today many people have debts because they do not spend
a responsible way.) God wanted the *Israelites to look after people who
poor. During one year in every 7 years, the people did not grow crops
fields. Therefore, they could not pay their debts. In that year, the
people had to cancel all debts. In that way, rich people showed that
the poor people. The *Israelite society was like a family who should
the whole family. But there were different rules for foreigners. The
did not have to cancel the debts of foreigners. (R. K. Harrison says
usually foreigners asked other people to lend them money for business.
Foreigners did not ask other people for a loan because they needed
*Israelites obeyed God and his *commandments,
he would *bless them. Then the *Israelites would never owe money to
nations. Other nations would never rule over the people in *Israel.
*Israel would lend money to other nations. They would rule over the
nations. The *Israelites should be generous. They should lend money to
if people did not give back the money.
If we obey
God, we will be generous to people.
Jesus said to his followers, ‘Love your enemies. Do good things to
and do not expect anything back.’ (See Luke 6:35.) 1 John 3:17 tells us
‘Let us suppose that a rich person does not help his poor neighbour. We
say that the love of God is in the rich person.’ The writer of
that *Israelites would not obey God. Therefore, there would always be
people (verse 11). However, there would also be opportunities to help
that another *Israelite, whether a man or a woman, sells himself to you
*slave. After that person has served you for 6 years, you must free
When you free him, do not send him away without anything. v14
generous. Give to him from your sheep, your corn and your wine. The
God has been generous to you. So be as generous to your *slave. v15
Remember that you were *slaves in Egypt. Remember that the *LORD your
you. That is why I am giving this command to you today.
*slave might not want to leave. He might love you and your family. He
want to stay with you. v17 Then take him to the
door of your house.
There push a sharp piece of metal through his ear into the door. He
your *slave for as long as he lives. Do the same thing to your female
not seem a hard thing to free your *slave. He has served you during
years. That has been worth twice as much to you as a servant whom you
that and the *LORD your God will *bless you and all your work.’
is about *Israelites who were *slaves.
To be a *slave was not a bad thing for the *Israelites. They had to
their *slaves well. And the *Israelites had to respect their *slaves.
served other people in order to pay their debts. When their owners
the owners gave them generous gifts. That would help them in their new
And it would remind their owners about what God had done. God had freed
*Israelites when they were *slaves in Egypt. Sometimes a *slave wanted
remain with his master. The master made a hole in the slave’s ear. To
he would push a piece of metal through the slave’s ear and into the
showed that the slave wanted to join the master’s home.
12:1, Paul says that we should give
ourselves to God as his servants. We should do that because of what
done for us. Paul explains this in 2 Corinthians 5:15 as well.
that this law deals with men and women in
the same way. The owner should not complain when he freed his *slave.
cost the owner a lot to hire a servant. So his *slave’s service was
valuable. Even if the owner did not get back the money, he still gained
the males that are born first to your *cattle and to your sheep. They
the *LORD your God. Do not use any of those *cattle for work. Do not
the wool from any of those sheep. v20 Each year,
you and your family
must eat them in front of the *LORD your God. Do that in the place that
*LORD chooses. v21 An animal may have weak legs or
it may be blind. If
it is not perfect, you must not *sacrifice it to the *LORD your God. v22
Instead, you should eat it in your own town. All of you can eat it in
way that you eat *deer or *antelope. You can eat it whether you are
not *clean. v23 But do not use the blood as your
food. Pour out the
blood on the ground like water.’
*Israelites must give to God all their
animals that are born first. They must not use them to work in the
must not cut off their wool. The people should kill those animals at
that God had chosen. And they should eat them there. That happened
The *Israelites must not *sacrifice animals that were not perfect.
they could eat them at home. The animals did not have to be *clean for
people to do that. Moses repeats the instruction not to eat the blood
animal. See chapter 12 verses 15-16.
passage reminds us about Jesus. He gave
himself as a *sacrifice on our behalf. He was perfect and he had no
Otherwise, God would not have accepted his *sacrifice.
*celebrate the *Passover to the *LORD your God in the month called
Abib. On a
night in that month, the *LORD your God brought you out of Egypt. v2
*Sacrifice an animal from your sheep or your *cattle. *Sacrifice to the
your God as the *Passover. Do that at the place that the *LORD has
*LORD will be there in a special way. v3 With this
meal, do not eat
bread that you make with *yeast. For 7 days you must eat bread without
The name of this bread is the bread of troubles, because you had to
in a hurry. So you will remember the time when you left Egypt. You will
remember it for as long as you live. v4 For 7 days
nobody in your
country can have any *yeast in his house. Give the *sacrifice on the
the first day. Eat all the meat in the evening. None of the meat must
until the morning.
*sacrifice the *Passover only in the place that the *LORD your God has
You must not *sacrifice it in any other town that the *LORD your God
you. You must *sacrifice the *Passover at sunset. That was the time at
you left Egypt. v7 Cook the meat. Eat it at the
place that the *LORD
your God has chosen. Then return to your tents in the morning. v8
must eat bread without *yeast for 6 days. On the 7th day you must meet
honour to the *LORD your God. Do not do any work on that day.’
instructions about how to *celebrate
the *Passover. Abib means ‘the month of the green ears’. (The ear is
of a grain plant that contains seeds.) Abib was in the spring. The
were celebrating the time when God rescued them from Egypt. They had
slaves there. They used to *celebrate *Passover in their homes or
tents. Here Moses
told them to *celebrate in the place that God had chosen. Exodus
describes the original *Passover. The *sacrifice was a young sheep (or
goat). In the *desert, the *Israelites *celebrated the *Passover
they entered the country, they would scatter to every part of the
Moses told them to gather together when they *celebrated the *Passover.
after the *Passover was the 7 day
*Festival of bread without *yeast. It would remind the *Israelites that
Egypt very quickly. They did not have time to add *yeast as they made
bread. They would also remember their years in the *desert. On the last
the *festival, they would meet together to give honour to God. After
*Passover *festival in the *desert, they would return to their tents.
when they lived in the country, they returned to their homes. The very
important word at this time was ‘remember’. Every *Passover *festival
*Jews *celebrate today ends with these words. ‘Next year it will be in
Jerusalem.’ The *Jews expect that they will be able to go to Jerusalem.
they will *celebrate in the way that they used to *celebrate.
refers to the *Passover in 1 Corinthians
5:7-8. He says, ‘Let us *celebrate the *festival. We must not use the
*yeast, which means hate and wicked behaviour. Instead, we must use the
without *yeast.’ Here *yeast represents wicked behaviour. And bread
*yeast represents true and sincere behaviour.
weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the corn. v10
the *Festival of Weeks to give honour to the *LORD your God. Bring to
*offering that you choose to bring. It should be in proportion to the
*blessings that the *LORD your God has given to you. v11
Be happy in
front of the *LORD your God together with your children, and your male
female *slaves. Come together also with the *Levites, foreigners,
without parents and widows who live with you. Do this at the place that
will choose. He will be there in a special way. v12
Remember that you
were *slaves in Egypt. *Keep these rules and obey them.’
*festival happened 7 weeks after the
beginning of the harvest. There were 7 weeks between the beginning of
harvest and the end of the wheat harvest. Therefore, people called it
*Festival of Weeks. Later, people called it the *Festival of Pentecost.
‘Pentecost’ means 50. The *Festival of Pentecost was 50 days after the
at the start of the *Passover. The *Israelites had to give a gift to
gift was in proportion to how God had *blessed them. They shared a
with their families and with those who had no possessions.
It was on
this day that God gave his Holy
Spirit. (See Acts 2:14-21.) Then God began to bring a ‘harvest’ of
all nations into the church.
the *Festival of Shelters for 7 days. Separate the grain from your corn
press your *grapes. Then *celebrate this *festival. v14
Be happy at your
*festival together with your children and your male slaves and your
slaves. Include the *Levites, the foreigners, the children without
the widows who live in your towns. v15 For 7 days,
*festival to the *LORD your God. *Celebrate at the place that the *LORD
choose. You will be completely happy. The *LORD your God will *bless
harvest and all your work.
men must give honour to the *LORD your God 3 times a year. They must go
place that he will choose. They must go to the *Festival of Bread
*yeast, the *Festival of Weeks and the *Festival of Shelters. No man
in front of the *LORD without a gift. v17 Each
person must bring a gift
in proportion to how the *LORD your God has *blessed him.’
the final *festival that they
*celebrated in the year. It happened after the grain and wine harvests.
years at this *festival, people read the law publicly. Then everyone
it. During this *festival, they lived in shelters. That reminded them
their journey through the *desert. During their journey, they had lived
tents. The *festival was a happy time, in which the *Israelites
God’s *blessings to them. They remembered how God had provided them
and water. The last day of the *festival was the very important day.
It was on
that day that Jesus said this.
‘Whoever needs to drink should come to me. And then they can drink.’
7:37.) But Jesus was not speaking about ordinary water. Jesus is the
this *festival is really about. He will supply not only the people’s
food and water. He will supply the needs of their *spirits.
times a year, every man must go to the
place to give honour to God. This is the place that Moses mentions in
and 11. This would remind each man that he depended on God for
the *festivals, the *Israelites were happy. They thanked God and they
their food with each other. Paul tells Christians: ‘Always be glad
belong to the *Lord. Do not worry about anything. But ask God for what
need. And when you pray, be thankful. If you do that, God will make you
and content. He will keep your thoughts and minds safe as you trust
Jesus.’ (See Philippians 4:4-7.)
who came to the *festival had to bring a
gift. This gift was in proportion to how God had *blessed them.
Corinthians 16:2 Paul said this. ‘Each
person in your church should put aside a sum of money in proportion to
judges and other officials in each of your *tribes. Do that in every
town that the
*LORD your God is giving to you. The judges must make fair decisions
people. v19 The judges must be fair. They must not
have favourites. They
must not accept money to make wrong decisions. Such gifts cause wise
seem blind. Also, gifts cause honest men to change the words of good
You must follow *justice and only *justice. Then you will possess the
that *LORD your God is giving to you. And you will continue to live in
Moses, with some helpers, was judge
in *Israel. Now the *Israelites appointed judges and other helpers in
every part of the country. These leaders must be fair. They must not
gifts. They must deal with everyone alike. If they obey God’s laws,
enjoy his *blessing.
*altar to the *LORD your God. Do not put next to it a wooden pole to
false god called Asherah. v22 Do not put up a stone
to give honour to *idols.
The *LORD your God hates those things.’
verses warn the *Israelites not to give
honour to *idols. The wooden pole was where people gave honour to a
false god. It was called Asherah. The stone was where people gave
another false god. It was called Baal. The people must give honour to
sheep or *cattle are not perfect, do not *sacrifice them to the *LORD
The *LORD your God hates such *sacrifices.
hear that a man or a woman has *sinned against the *LORD your God. This
lives in one of the towns that the *LORD your God is giving to you. He
*kept the *covenant laws. v3 He has given honour to
false gods or he has
served them. Perhaps he has given honour to the sun or the moon or the
That is against God’s command. v4 If you hear such
a report, then you
must inquire into it carefully. It might be true that someone has done
evil thing in *Israel. v5 If so, take the man or
woman who has done this
wicked act to your city gate. Then throw stones at that person until he
You can do that only if two or three *witnesses speak against him. You
kill him if there was only one *witness. v7 The
*witnesses must throw
the first stones. Then the rest of the people must throw stones at that
You must remove completely the wicked behaviour that is among you.’
the *Israelites again about
*sacrifices. They must not give an animal as a *sacrifice if it was not
perfect. (See Deuteronomy 15:21.) The *Israelites punished severely
anyone who *worshipped
false gods. The people would take the guilty person to the gate of the
That was the place where judges had their court. Two or three
*witnesses had to
see that the person had given honour to false gods. The *witnesses
stones at the guilty person first. If the *witnesses had not told the
then other people would kill the *witnesses.
the situation might be too difficult for a local judge to make a
might involve a murder. Or it might be a situation when someone kills
person by accident. It might be an argument about the owner of
might be about injuries that somebody did on purpose. In those
to the place that the *LORD your God will choose. v9
Go to the priests
who are *Levites. Go to the person who is the judge at that time. Ask
them decide. v10 They will give to you their
decision at the place that
the *LORD will choose. You must be careful to do whatever they tell
Obey the law that they teach to you. Follow the decisions that they
you. Do everything that they tell you to do. v12
The judge or the priest
on duty serves the *LORD your God there. So you must kill any proud
refuses to obey them. In that way you will remove that evil thing from
v13 Everyone will hear and everyone will be afraid.
They will not refuse
to obey again.’
decisions were too difficult for local
judges to make. There are three situations here. The first was about a
death. They had to decide whether it was by accident or by plan. The
about which person had particular rights. The third was about a serious
The head of the court was probably the chief priest. The court made the
decision. The *Lord helped the judges to make the decision. Also, the
had good experience. The people must act in agreement with the
decisions of the
judges. The people killed anyone who refused to obey the judge or the
That was because that person was acting against God.
‘You will enter
the country that the *LORD your God is giving to you. You will live
you will possess it. Then you will want to have a king as other nations
Be careful to appoint the king that the *LORD your God chooses. The
be a man from your own nation. He must be an *Israelite. Do not make a
foreigner your king. v16 The king must not own
large numbers of horses.
He must not send people to Egypt to buy horses. The *LORD has told you
go back that way again. v17 The king must not have
many wives, because
that would make him not continue to follow the *LORD. He must not make
rich with gold and silver.
becomes king, he must write a copy of this law. He will copy it from
that the priests have. The priests come from the family called Levi. v19
The king must keep this book near to him. He must read from it during
life. Then he will learn how to respect the *LORD his God. And he will
*keep all the words of this law and these rules. v20
He will not think
that he is better than the other *Israelites. Also, he will not refuse
to obey the
*commandments. As a result, he and his *descendants will rule over the
called *Israel for a long time.’
section tells the *Israelites what to do if
they wanted a king. God was their real king. Any human king must be a
whom God had chosen. He must not be a foreigner. Maybe that was because
foreigner might want to give honour to false gods. The king must not be
the kings of foreign countries. He must not have many horses.
cannot have a large army. He must not have many wives. He must not
rich. All those things would make him trust other things. Then he would
continue to trust the *Lord. Solomon started well, but then he did not
those rules. He obtained horses from Egypt. (See 1 Kings 10:28.) He had
main wives and 300 other wives as well. (See 1 Kings 11:3.) He had more
than all the other kings of the earth. (See 1 Kings 10:23.) As a
*kingdom divided into two after his death. The king must have a copy of
that he would study. If he obeyed this law, he and his family would
*Israel for a long time.
command to read God’s law every day is good.
Christians should read the Bible regularly. And then we will learn what
wants us to do. We will not think that we are better than other people.
receive God’s *blessing. Joshua had to study and to obey the book of
God told him to do that. He said, ‘then you will do well and you will
successful.’ (See Joshua 1:8.)
priests are *Levites. They and all the *tribe called Levi, will not
share of the land in *Israel. The people burn *offerings in order to
to the *LORD. But part of those offerings (that they do not burn) will
for the *Levites. That is their share. v2 The
*Levites will not own any
land in the country as the other *tribes do. The *LORD will supply
that they need. He promised that to them.
what the people must do. When the people *sacrifice a *bull or a sheep,
must give the shoulder to the priest. They must also give the lower
part of the
head and the stomach of the animal to the priest. v4
You must give to
the priests the first share of the corn, wine, oil and the wool from
sheep. v5 The *LORD your God has chosen the
*Levites and their
*descendants out of all your *tribes. They must serve him as priests
can come from any town in *Israel. He can come to the place that the
choose. v7 He can serve the *LORD his God there. He
will be like all the
other *Levites. They serve there in front of the *LORD already. v8
might have received money from his family. But all the *Levites will
the same amount of food.’
would look after the priests,
because the priests did not own any land. The priests worked at the
of *worship. There they gave *sacrifices. The rest of the *tribe called
had other duties. They included their duty to teach the *Israelites
law. The *Israelites gave *offerings that they burned with fire. They
*burnt offering and the grain *offerings, the *peace offerings and the
offerings. People burned the *burnt offering completely, but the
have a share of the other *offerings. God had chosen the *Levites to
and his people. Verses 6-8 refer to *Levites who were not priests. They
serve God at the chief place of *worship if they wanted to. They would
their share of the food, even if they had money of their own.
Corinthians 9:7-14, Paul says this. ‘Those
who announce the good news should live from the good news.’ That was
so they should receive payment, food or goods as their wages.
‘You will enter
the country that the *LORD your God is giving to you. Do not learn the
practices of the nations that are there. v10 Do not
children in the fire. Do not say what will happen in the future. Do not
words that have magic power. You must not use objects that have magic
Do not be a person who does acts of magic. v11 Do
not use secret powers.
Do not talk with evil *spirits. Do not try to contact the *spirits of
people. v12 The *LORD hates people who do those
terrible things. That is
why the *LORD your God will force the nations out of the country in
front of you.
v13 Be completely loyal to the *LORD your God.
possess the country of those nations. Some people there say what will
the future. And they listen to those people. They listen to people with
powers. But the *LORD your God does not allow you to do that.’
the *Israelites what God did not want
them to do. They must not *sacrifice their children. Other nations did
They hoped that their false gods would forgive their *sins. Micah
this in Micah 6:7. Micah says that a man
might try to offer his oldest son to God. But that gift would not be
pay for the man’s *sin. Even the death of that son would not be
not allow the *Israelites to contact
dead people. They should not try to use words with magic powers or use
any other way. They should not study the stars to see if the stars
We need to
warn people about this. Many people
do those things today. Magic is wrong. Some people believe that they
special powers. But those special powers belong to God only. That is
your God will send to you a *prophet who is like me. He will come from
your own nation. You must listen to him. v16 All
this is a result of what
you wanted from the *LORD your God at *Mount Sinai. When you gathered,
asked God this. “Do not let us hear the voice of the *LORD our God
not let us see this great fire again. Otherwise we will die.”
said this to me. “What they say is good. v18 I will
send to them a
*prophet like you from among their own nation. I will tell him what to
will tell the people all that I order him. v19 This
*prophet will speak
a message from me. If someone does not listen to the *prophet, that
responsible to me. v20 A *prophet might proudly
pretend to speak a
message from me that I have not given to him. Also a *prophet might
use the name of false gods. If that happens, you must kill the
ask this. “How will we know that the *LORD has not given a particular
v22 The *prophet will say from the *LORD that
certain things will
happen. If those things do not happen, the *LORD did not give that
That *prophet has spoken because he was proud. Do not be afraid of him.’
promised that he would speak to the
*Israelites by a *prophet. This *prophet would be an *Israelite, he
be a foreigner. He would be like Moses. The people were too afraid to
directly, so God sent his messages by *prophets. The *Israelites must
*prophet. If they did not obey him, God would punish them. They must
*prophet who did not speak God’s messages. They would know if a
not a true *prophet by these tests. The first test was if his *prophecy
happen. The second test was this. The *prophet used the name of false
he spoke his messages. The third test was if the *prophet said things
been many *prophets since the time of
Moses. God had spoken to his people by means of those *prophets. But
Testament says that Moses’ *prophecy came true in Jesus. (See Acts
your God will *destroy the nations whose country he is giving to you.
force them out. You will live in their towns and houses. v2
three cities in the country that the *LORD your God is giving to you to
possess. They must be easy to reach. v3 Build roads
to them. Divide into
three parts the country that the *LORD your God is giving to you to
Then anyone who kills a person can go to one of those cities.
A man might
kill by accident a person who is not his enemy. The man can go to any
cities to save himself. v5 For example, a man might
go into the forest
with his neighbour to cut wood. As he is chopping down a tree, the top
axe might come off. It might hit his neighbour and kill him. That man
can go to
one of the cities to save himself. v6 A relative of
the dead man could
get *revenge because of the man’s death. The relative might be very
might run after the man and catch him. Then the relative would kill
city was too far for the man to reach. He did not intend to kill his
So the man did not deserve to die. His neighbour was not his enemy. v7
That is why I order you to choose three cities.’
ordered the *Israelites to choose three
cities on the west of the River Jordan. Those cities would be in
addition to the
three cities on the east of the River Jordan. They were cities for
had killed another person by accident. The relatives of the dead person
not get *revenge. A judge must decide first whether the killer was
three cities had to be in places that people could reach easily. Moses
example of someone who kills another person by accident. The dead man’s
relative must not get *revenge while he was still angry. See the notes
your God may increase the size of your territory. He told your
*ancestors that he
would do that. He may give to you all the country that he promised to
your*ancestors. v9 He will do that if you obey all
You must love the *LORD your God. And you must behave in the way that
taught you. Then you must select three more cities. v10
Do that so that
innocent people will not die in the country. This is the country that
your God is giving to you to possess. Then you will not be guilty of
of innocent people.’
*Israelites never added the extra three
cities. God did not give all the country to them because they did not
that a man hates his neighbour. So the man hides and waits. Then he
neighbour and hits him. The neighbour dies. Then the first man runs
away to one
of these cities. v12 The rulers of his town must
send for the man. They
must bring him back to his town. They must give him to the relative who
*revenge because of the murder. Then the relative will kill the man. v13
Do not give him any *mercy. Make sure that nobody in *Israel is guilty
innocent man’s death. Then your life will be good.’
read more about these cities in Numbers
35:6-34. Perhaps the man killed someone by accident or perhaps he
person. The rulers of a city would look at the evidence. Then they
what to do. If a man murdered someone, the dead person’s relative could
that man. But the relative could do that only if the man was guilty.
man might kill someone by accident. Then he had to stay in the city
chief priest died. Notice that God wanted *justice. He did not want
kill an innocent person. In the same way, he did not want a guilty
person to be
move the stone that marks your neighbour’s boundary. Your *ancestors
those stones in the land long ago. The *LORD your God has given the
land to you.
It belongs to you.’
This was a
serious crime. People needed their
land so that they could produce crops. Their crops kept people alive.
moved the position of the stone, they were stealing somebody’s land.
their land, people had no method to remain alive.
*witness is not enough to give evidence against a person about a crime
*sin. Two or three *witnesses need to prove that a man is guilty.
that a man wrongly accuses another man about a crime. v17
Both men must
stand in front of the *LORD. They must stand in front of the priests
judges who are serving at that time. v18 The judges
will examine the
matter carefully. They may find that the *witness has told a lie. He
falsely accused another *Israelite. v19 Then the
*witness must receive
the punishment that he had intended for the other person. You must
evil thing from among you. v20 The rest of the
people will hear about
this and they will be afraid. Nobody will ever do such a wicked thing
Do not show any *mercy. The punishment is to be this. Take a life in
for a life. Take an eye in exchange for an eye. Take a tooth in
tooth. Take a hand in exchange for a hand. And take a foot in exchange
strict laws about evidence in court.
There had to be two or three *witnesses to prove that someone was
were several witnesses when the *Jews were accusing Jesus. However,
14:55-59 says that they did not agree with each other! A false witness
the same punishment as he had intended for his enemy. But this
its limits. It should not be more severe than the crime. That was the
of *justice that God decided.
5:38, Jesus spoke severely about the
*Pharisees. They used this rule in people’s personal relationships.
that we should be more generous. We should not get *revenge. We should
‘Do not be
afraid when you go to fight against your enemies. You may see horses
that men use in war. You may see an army that is bigger than your army.
*LORD your God, who rescued you from Egypt, is with you. v2
you go into battle, a priest will speak to the army. v3
He will say
this. “*Israelite men, listen. Today you are going into battle against
enemies. Do not lose courage. Do not be afraid. Do not tremble. Do not
terror because of your enemies. v4 The *LORD your
God is going with you.
He will fight for you against your enemies and you will win.”
officers will say this to the army. “Has anyone built a new house but
he has not
begun to live in it yet? If so, he can go home. Because, if he dies in
someone else will live in his house. v6 Has anyone
just planted a field
of *grapes but he has not begun to enjoy its fruit? Let him go home. He
die in the battle and someone else will enjoy its fruit. v7
just agreed to marry a woman but not yet married her? If so, he can go
might die in the battle and someone else will marry the woman.” v8
the officers will say this to the *Israelites. “Is anyone afraid? Has
lost courage? Let him go home. He might make the rest of the army lose
also.” v9 When the officers have finished these
orders to the army, they
shall appoint officers to lead it.’
*Israelites would be afraid of chariots
(carts with two wheels that men use in war) and horses. They did not
chariots until Solomon was king. The priest would speak to the army and
would encourage the men. The priest would remind the army that God was
them. They should not be afraid. The law in Deuteronomy was very kind
*Israelites. Men with a new house, a new field of *grapes or a new wife
have to fight. When people agreed to marry, it was a serious promise
This decision was as definite as the actual marriage. Usually the man
the bride’s father some money before the wedding. Before people began
in a new house, they would say a special prayer to God.
were afraid might cause other men to be
afraid. Men who were afraid might not think about things carefully.
they might make bad decisions in the battle because of their fear.
were afraid did not have *faith. People who fight God’s wars must trust
power. Notice what Gideon did in Judges chapter 7. He sent home those
were afraid. Timothy became afraid easily. So in 1 Timothy 6:12, Paul
encouraged him to ‘fight the good fight of *faith’. In 1 Timothy 5:23,
gave this advice to Timothy. ‘Do not continue to drink only water, but
little wine. Do that to make your stomach well, because you are ill so
Deuteronomy reminds us about the Christian’s responsibility toward
people. And we see that in the *New Testament too.
go to attack a city, offer peace to the people there. v11
give in and they might open the gates of their city. If so, they will
your slaves. You will force them to work for you. v12
Some people may
refuse to give in. They may choose to fight. If they do, then surround
with your army. v13 When the *LORD your God gives
it to you, kill all
the men with your swords. v14 Take for yourselves
the women, the
children, the *cattle and everything else that is in the city. You can
everything that the *LORD your God has given to you from your enemies. v15
You must do that with those cities that are far away from you. They do
belong to the nations that are near you.
possess cities in the country that the *LORD your God is giving to you.
you must kill everyone. v17 The *LORD your God has
ordered you to
*destroy completely all the people there. You must kill the people in
nations called the Hittites, the *Amorites, the *Canaanites, the
the Hivites and the Jebusites. v18 That is because
they will teach you
to do terrible things. They do those things to give honour to their
Then you will *sin against the *LORD your God.
are trying to possess a city, do not cut down its trees. Do not do
if you have to surround the city for a long time. Eat the fruit, but do
down the trees. They are not your enemies. v20
However, you can cut down
other trees that do not produce fruit. You can make things from them
you to attack the city. You can do that until you possess the city.’
*Israelites could offer an agreement for
peace to people who lived in cities a long distance away. The people
agree to that. Then they would become slaves of the *Israelites. (That
to the people from Gibeon. They pretended that they had come from a
distance away. See Joshua 9:1-27.) If the city refused this agreement
peace, the *Israelites killed all the men. The *Israelites could keep
women, the children and the animals for themselves. If the cities were
their country, the *Israelites must *destroy everyone and everything.
seems severe to us. But the people who lived in Canaan were very evil.
*Israelites had not attacked them, those enemies might have *destroyed
*Israelites. Also, the *Israelites might have *worshipped the false
their enemies. Their enemies *worshipped false gods. That involved many
practices that God hated. Therefore, the commands are not about a
must fight another nation. Rather, the commands are about God’s people.
must be against those nations that hate God. *Israelites accepted
other nations who wanted to *worship *Israel’s God.
taught Christians to love their enemies.
But Jesus taught that Christians should be against evil things. In
5:29-30, he says this. A person’s eye or hand might make him do
is wrong. So the person should take out his eye or cut off his hand.
eye refers to thoughts and the hand refers to actions. So a person
remove whatever makes him do wrong things. Paul explains to the
Corinth what that means. (See 2 Corinthians 10:5.) ‘We control our
like prisoners.’ Revelation 21:27 says this. ‘Anything that is not
certainly never enter the city.’ (‘The city’ means the place where God
warns the *Israelites not to cut down
fruit trees when they attack a city. If they did that, they would
soil and the supply of food. However, they could use other trees.
that there has been a murder. Then someone finds the dead body in a
is in the country that the *LORD your God will give to you. You do not
killed the person. v2 Your leaders and judges must
go out. They must
measure the distance from the body to each of the nearest towns. v3
the leaders in the town that is nearest to the body must choose a young
This cow has never worn a wooden bar that joins two animals together.
has never worked. v4 They will take this cow to a
valley where there is
a stream. Nobody has ploughed the land or has planted anything there.
they must break the cow’s neck. v5 The priests who
come from the family
of Levi must go there. They must make decisions in circumstances of
or physical attack. The *LORD your God has chosen them to serve. And
a *blessing from the *LORD. v6 Then the leaders of
the town that is nearest
the body will wash their hands over that cow. v7
They will say this. “We
did not murder this man. We do not know who did it. v8
your people in *Israel, whom you rescued from Egypt. Do not consider us
responsible for the murder of an innocent man.” Then they will not
be responsible for the man’s death. v9 In that way,
you will remove the
crime of the innocent man’s murder. You will have done what the *LORD
somebody carried out a murder, the whole
society became not *clean. The leaders and judges had to act. The
judges had to
be certain that the measurement was correct. They killed a cow. God
its blood covered the *sin. The stream would remove the blood of the
priests would tell the leaders what to say. They said it over the body
animal. They would ask God to forgive the sin. Then there would be no
results from the murder. And the relatives of the dead man should not
on the city.
days, people believed that they shared
responsibility. Today many societies do not believe that this is true.
ceremony like this is not necessary now.
*LORD your God allows you to defeat your enemies in a battle, you can
people as prisoners. v11 You may see among them a
beautiful woman that
you desire. If so, you can take her as your wife. v12
Take her to your
home. She will shave her head. Then she will cut the nails on her
And she will change her clothes. She must stay in your house. She will
about the loss of her parents for a month. After that, you can go to
you can marry her. v14 If she does not please you,
let her go free. You
must not sell her or deal with her as a slave. That is because you have
allowed the woman a month to be sad for her
parents. Perhaps her father had died in the battle. Her mother then
belong to another master. The woman had to shave her head and she had
her clothes. That meant that her previous life had ended. At the end of
month, the man could marry her. If later the man did not like her, he
divorce her. He must not sell her as a slave, but she could go free.
*Israelites dealt with women better than any other country did. The
acted in a way that showed sympathy.
teachers said that a man could divorce his
wife for any reason. Jesus said that it was wrong for a man to divorce
wife. But he could divorce her only if she had sex with another man.
and Jesus give freedom and honour to women.
that a man has two wives. He loves one wife but he does not love the
wife. Both of his wives give birth to sons. The son of the wife, whom
not love, is born first. v16 Then the man decides
to divide his property
among his sons. But he must not give to the son of his favourite wife
that belongs to the first son. v17 He must give the
double share of what
he has to his first son. He must do that even if the first son is not
of his favourite wife. This son was the first son that he had. He must
this son the share that he should have.’
born first should receive a double share
in the property. The father must not give the double share to the son
favourite wife. (Jacob did that with Joseph in Genesis 37:3-4. But when
happened, it was because of God’s gift. The son could not demand it.
Jacob’s first son had lost his place. See Genesis 49:3-4.) God wanted a
be fair to all his wives. A man could have a favourite wife, but he had
man has a son who will not obey his father or his mother. He will not
rules and he refuses to change. The son does not listen to his parents
even if they
punish him. v19 His father and his mother must take
him to the leaders
at the gate of the town. v20 The parents will say
this to the leaders.
“Our son will not change his mind and he opposes us. He will not do
tell him. He wastes money and he is a drunk.” v21
Then all the men in
the town will throw stones at him to kill him. So you will remove the
person from among you. Everyone in *Israel will hear and they will be
law supported the authority of the
parents. Clearly, the son was out of control. He refused to obey God’s
*commandments and he would not change his mind. The *sins of which they
the son were probably just examples. The parents had to agree that they
take their wicked son to the leaders. If a son’s behaviour was very
bad, he had
to die. This son opposed his parents and he refused to change his
Therefore, the son must not continue to live in that society. The
not kill their son. Instead, all the men in the town had to carry out
punishment that the leaders had ordered. There are no examples in the
when that actually happened. However, these verses show the
parents. But it showed also the importance of how people behave in
society. God wanted the *Israelites to *keep his commands and to be
7:10-13, Jesus says that we should give
honour to our parents. We should always help them and not refuse. We
say this. ‘I cannot help my parents because I have given my money to
God.’ In Ephesians
6:4, Paul tells parents not to make their children become angry.
children refuse to obey when parents do that.
Suppose that the people
kill a man. They do that because he is
guilty of a crime. Then they hang his body on a tree. v23
You must not
leave the body there during the night. Bury him the same day. If you
person on a tree he receives God’s *curse. You must not ruin the land.
*LORD your God has given the country to you. It belongs to you.
people *sinned in certain ways the
punishment was death. Then often they would hang the body on a pole.
was a piece of wood that they cut from a tree.) They had to bury the
before sunset, or it would make the land not *clean.
that Joseph of Arimathea buried the body
of Jesus before sunset. (See John 19:31-38.) In Galatians 3:13, Paul
Jesus’ death. Jesus felt the experience of God’s *curse and God’s
when he died. As Jesus did that, he freed us from God’s *curse.
‘You may see
that your neighbour’s *ox or sheep is loose. If you do, you must not
Take the animal back to your neighbour. v2 If its
owner lives far away,
take the animal to your home with you. Also, you must do that if you do
know the animal’s owner. When the owner comes to look for his animal,
it to him. v3 Do the same if you find your
neighbour’s *donkey or his
coat or anything else. Do not avoid it.
neighbour’s *donkey or *ox has fallen down on the road do not avoid it.
your neighbour to get the animal up again.
not wear men’s clothes and men must not wear women’s clothes. The *LORD
God hates anyone who does that.
find a bird’s nest along the road with young birds or eggs in it. It
either in a tree or on the ground. If the mother is sitting on the eggs
her young birds, do not take the mother. v7 You can
take the young
birds, but you must let the mother go. Then you will have a long life.
will be rich and successful.
build a new house, put a fence round the edge of the roof. Then you
will not be
responsible for the death of anyone who falls from the roof.
plant two kinds of seed in the place where you grow *grapes. If you do,
must not use the *grapes or the other crop.
plough with an *ox and a *donkey that you have put together with a
people make things from two different materials, wool and a material
linen. But you must not wear clothes that someone made from those two
pieces of cotton and tie them on the 4 corners of your coat.’
must help their neighbour when their
neighbour’s animals were causing trouble. People from other countries
the enemies of the *Israelites had to obey this law too. Jesus taught
thing in the story of the Good Samaritan. (See Luke 10:30-37.) A
a person from Samaria. He was not a *Jew. In fact, the two were
the Good Samaritan helped the *Jew who was in trouble. People wore
the opposite sex when they *worshipped foreign gods. The sexes are
they are different. People say that this law opposes transvestism.
(Transvestism means to wear clothes that belong to someone of the
sex.) Both of those activities hide the difference between the sexes.
*Israelites should care about animals and
birds. The laws about birds and about how to plough with animals show
use them properly. Luke 12:6 says, ‘People sell 5 birds for 2 small
God does not forget one bird.’ People must not use animals or birds in
unfair and selfish way. It was wrong to use a wooden bar to make strong
weak animals work together. Also, the *ox was a *clean animal that
could give as a *sacrifice. The *donkey was not a *clean animal and
could not give it as a *sacrifice.
*Israel, roofs were usually flat. People
often ate and slept on them. The law to put a fence round the roof of a
shows care towards other people.
*Israelites must not mix different crops in
the same field. They must not wear clothes that people had made out of
different materials. We are not sure why they had those laws. Perhaps
showed that the *Israelites should *worship only one God. They should
themselves from the false gods in other nations. The long pieces of
the edge of their clothes reminded them to *keep God’s law.
‘A man may
marry a girl and have sex with her. Then he decides that he does not
like her. v14
He accuses her wrongly and he says this. “She was not a *virgin when I
her.” v15 Then the girl’s parents will prove to the
town’s leaders that
she was a *virgin. v16 The girl’s father will say
this to the leaders.
“I gave my daughter to this man to be his wife. But he does not like
Now he is accusing her falsely. He says this. She was not a *virgin
married her. But here is the proof that she was.” Then he will show the
the evidence on the cloth. v18 The leaders of the
town will take the
husband and whip him. v19 They will make him pay
100 silver coins and
they will give the money to the girl’s father. That is because he has
shame on an *Israelite girl. She will continue to be his wife. He
divorce her as long as he lives.
man may accuse the girl. And what the man says is true. There may be no
that the girl was a *virgin. v21 They must take her
to the entrance to
her father’s house. There the men from the city must throw stones at
kill her. She has done a terrible thing in *Israel. She had sex before
married. She was still living in her father’s house. That is how you
remove the evil thing from among you.’
usually rather young when they agreed
to marry a man. But they stayed in their parent’s house until they
married. In this example, the husband married the girl and he had sex
Then he said that she was not a *virgin. If he accused her falsely, the
whipped the man. Then he had to pay 100 silver coins as a punishment.
twice the amount that people usually paid for a bride. He could never
his wife. If he were telling the truth, the men from the city would
stones at the girl to kill her. Most societies today would not kill
because of this *sin. But the law shows this: It is important to God
people should not have sex in a wrong way. Strong families are
because they make a strong society. But the man who accused the girl
produce evidence. If there were none, they would punish the man himself.
‘If a man
has sex with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman shall die.
remove the evil thing from *Israel.
that a man in a town has sex with an unmarried girl. She has promised
someone else. v24 You will take both of them to the
gate of the city.
There, you will throw stones at them to kill them. The girl must die
reason: She was in a town and she did not call for help. The man must
because he had sex with another man’s wife. You must remove the evil
that a man meets an unmarried girl out in the country. She has promised
marry another man. If he forces her to have sex, only the man must die.
You must not do anything to the girl. She has not *sinned. She does not
to die. It is the same as when a man murders his neighbour. v27
found the unmarried girl in the country. Although she cried for help,
nobody to help her.
that a girl had not promised to marry a man. Then a man forces her to
with him. If people have caught him, v29 he must
pay the girl’s father
50 silver coins. The man must marry the girl because he forced her to
with him. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
should have sex with his father’s wife. That would bring shame to his
If a man
has sex with another man’s wife, both
of them must die. Suppose that a man has sex in a town with a girl. She
promised to marry someone else. In those times, the promise to marry
important as the marriage. The leaders must throw stones at them to
both. The man will die because of his *sin. The girl will die because
not call for help. If this happens in the country, the leaders will not
stones at the girl. If she called for help, nobody would hear her
there. If a
girl had not promised to marry someone, the man had to pay the usual
a bride. Then he had to marry the girl. The law did not allow him to
her. The law did not allow a man to marry a wife that belonged to his
(Absalom did that when he turned against his father David. See 2 Samuel
should have sex only with his wife. And a
wife should have sex only with her husband. Both the *Old Testament and
*New Testament teach that.
‘A person may squeeze hard
or cut off the sex parts of a man. The
man with the physical damage cannot go to the *LORD’s house.
cannot go to the *LORD’s house if his father and mother are not both
*Israelites. Also, his *descendants can never go there, not even after
*Ammonite or *Moabite or any of their children can go to the *LORD’s
even after 10 *generations. v4 They refused to give
bread and water to
you on your way out of Egypt. They hired Beor’s son, Balaam from Pethor
Naharaim, to *curse you. v5 But the *LORD your God
would not listen to
Balaam. Instead, the *LORD your God turned the *curse into a *blessing
The *LORD your God did that because he loves you. v6
Do not ask for
their peace or their friendship for as long as you live.
Do not hate
a person from the country called Edom. That is because he is your
not hate an *Egyptian, because you lived as strangers in his country. v8
The third *generation of their children can go to the *LORD’s house.’
people could not belong to the *Lord’s
people. They must not join in *worship. People that were not perfect in
bodies could not give *offerings to the *Lord. However, they could eat
of the *offerings. Sometimes the *Canaanites cut off a man’s sex parts
purpose. Sometimes an *Israelite man or woman married someone with a
religion. Their children could not belong to the *Lord’s people. The
*Israelites did not include *Ammonites and *Moabites as part of their
They did not help the *Israelites when they left Egypt. Balaam had
*curse the *Israelites. (See Numbers chapters 22-24.) But because God
*Israelites, the *curse became a *blessing. *Israelites should be
the people from Edom. They were the *descendants of Esau, Jacob’s
the *Israelites were *descendants of Jacob. Also *Israelites should be
with the *Egyptians, because the *Israelites had lived in Egypt in the
things changed. They would accept into
God’s family a person without sex parts. But that person had to *keep
*covenant. (See Isaiah 56:3.) Although Ruth was a *Moabite, she became
God’s people. The people in Egypt will say, ‘There is no other God.’
Isaiah 45:14.) However, God did not accept the people from Edom. (See
verses which show that many kinds of
people can enter the *kingdom of God. They do not have to belong to a
particular nation. Here are two of those verses: ‘I will mention Egypt
Babylonia among those who know me.’ (See Psalm 87:4.) ‘There is neither
nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. You are all united when you
to Jesus Christ.’ (See Galatians 3:28.) Paul uses the word ‘Greek’ to
anyone who is not a *Jew.
‘When you are in a camp at
the time of war, avoid every evil thing. v10
Someone may become not *clean. During the night, a man may produce
his sex part. If so, he must go outside the camp and he must stay
When the evening comes, he can wash himself. When the sun goes down, he
return to the camp.
place outside the camp where you can go to the toilet. v13
Have a tool with
which to dig. When you go to the toilet, use the tool to cover up the
from your body. v14 The *LORD your God is with you
in your camp. He will
protect you. He will cause you to defeat your enemies. Therefore, you
your camp *holy. God may see something that is not clean. If he does,
not continue to go with you.’
health were important. The principle
in the law was this. Anything that comes from a person’s body is
*Israelites must have clean bodies and clean clothes. They must bury
waste from their bodies. If camps were not clean, then disease would
very quickly. God was present in the camp. If they did not keep the
and clean, God would not stay with them.
makes a connection between what makes a
person unclean in the body and not *clean in the *spirit. (See Mark
In Hebrews 10:22, the writer tells Christians to come near to God. The
says that they must have a *clean conscience. They must wash their
pure water. That does not refer to a physical wash. Instead, it means
people must live in a moral way.
may escape from his master and he may come to you. Do not hand him over
master. v16 The slave shall live wherever he likes
among you. He can
choose any town in which he wants to live. You must be kind to him.
*Israelite man or woman can sell his or her body for sex in a *temple. v18
Somebody might have money that they had earned in that way. They must
it into the house of the *LORD your God. You must not pay that kind of
because of a promise to God. The *LORD your God hates those acts.
charge extra money when you lend food, money or anything else to
*Israelite. v20 You can charge a foreigner extra
money. But you must not
charge another *Israelite extra money. Then the *LORD your God will
everything that you do. He will *bless you in the country that you will
promise something to the *LORD your God, do not be slow to *keep your
Otherwise the *LORD your God will demand that you *keep it. Then you
guilty of *sin. v22 If you do not promise
something, you will not be
guilty. v23 You must do everything that you promise
to do. You chose to
promise it to the *LORD your God.
You can go
into your neighbour’s field of *grapes. You can eat all the *grapes
want. But you must not put any *grapes in a basket. v25
You can go into
your neighbour’s field of corn. You can pick with your hands the part
corn that contains seeds. But you must not cut any corn with a tool.’
when a slave was in a foreign
country, he ran away from his master. The law allowed him to live in
wherever he wanted to live. The *Israelites must not make these people
must not sell their bodies for sex.
They certainly must not do that in ceremonies of religion. The
that. They *worshipped the false female god called Astarte. If anybody
money in that way, he or she must not give the money to God. God hated
people used their bodies in that way.
sometimes lent money to other
*Israelites. But they must not charge people for money that they lent.
they lent money because people were poor. The *Israelites could charge
for what they lent to foreigners. That was because foreigners were
merchants or traders. They were not poor. They used the money for their
business. Jesus told his followers to lend and to expect nothing back.
was free to promise something to God.
But he was also free not to promise something. However, if he did
something, he must *keep his promise. And he must not postpone the day
allowed people to pick *grapes. And they
could pick from the fields the part of corn that contained seeds.
pick them when they were hungry. But they must not take more than they
eat. That would rob their neighbour. The *Pharisees spoke badly about
followers. But Jesus said that they could eat the corn. (See Luke
laws taught about how to look after other people.
that a man marries a woman. Later, he decides that she does not please
finds something about her that he does not like. So, he writes out a
divorce and he gives it to her. Then he sends her away. v2
After she has
left his house, she marries another man. v3 Then
her second husband
decides that he does not want her. He writes out a note of divorce and
it to her. Then he sends her away from his home. Or perhaps he dies. v4
Her first husband, who divorced her, cannot marry her again. She is not
*clean. The *LORD would hate that. The *LORD your God is giving the
country to you
to possess. You must not do such a terrible *sin in that country.’
man divorces his wife. He must not marry
her again if her second husband divorces her. He must not marry her
even if her
second husband dies. We do not know why the first man wanted to divorce
wife. He had to write down his reason. It was not because his wife had
someone else. Death was the punishment for that *sin. The first husband
not claim back his first wife again. So this law protected his second
it increased the importance of women. Also, the law would help to
divorces. A public official had to prepare the note of divorce.
wife had not been loyal to him, he refused to divorce her. So, when he
her, he could take her back home as his wife. Jeremiah refers to this
Jeremiah chapter 3. The people in *Israel were not loyal to God, but
not leave them.
women are equal when they are married.
Jesus taught that. (See Mark 10:1-12.) God allowed divorce only because
were *sinful. God said that a marriage should be between one man and
(See Genesis 2:21-24.) God said that they should be loyal to each other
their entire lives.
‘If a man
has just married, he must not go to war. He must not do any other
He is free to stay at home for one year. Then he can be happy with his
Do not take
a pair of flat stones that people used to make corn into flour. Do not
even one of them as *security for a debt. That would take away a
to remain alive.
Perhaps you will see that
a man is taking an *Israelite as a
prisoner. Perhaps he wants to make him a slave. Perhaps he wants to
You must kill the man who does that act. Then you will remove the evil
suffer from a disease on their skin. The priests from the family of
give instructions to you. You must do what they tell you to do. You
what I ordered them to do. v9 Remember what the
*LORD your God did to
Miriam. He did it after you came out of Egypt.
that you lend something to your neighbour. Do not enter his house to
something as *security. v11 Stay outside and let
him bring it to you
himself. v12 He may be a poor man. So do not sleep
in the coat that he
has given to you. v13 Give it back to him in the
evening so that he can sleep
in it. Then he will *bless you. And what you do will please the *LORD
bridegroom did not have to do any public
duty for one year. That meant that he did not have to fight in the
army. It was
important that he should have a child first. The family is very
not allow people to take away a person’s
flat stones. A person must not take them as *security for a debt. If a
could not break up his corn with his flat stones, he could not make his
*Israelites must kill anyone who stole
another person as a prisoner. That was God’s serious punishment for an
*Israelites had to obey the laws about how
to deal with diseases on their skin. Those laws are in Leviticus
and 14. Even Moses’ sister had to obey the laws. (See Numbers chapter
had to separate the people with those diseases from the rest of the
Then the disease would not spread.
*Israelites could lend money to the poor
people. But they must not make the poor people pay extra money for
However, they could take some kind of *security. The *security was
coat in which a person slept. The person who lent the money must not
home of the man with the debt. The person who lent the money could not
*security. Instead, he must return the coat each night so that the poor
could be warm and comfortable. These laws show that God cares about
cheat a poor servant that you hire. He may be an *Israelite. Or he may
foreigner who lives in one of your towns. v15 Pay
his wages to him each
day before sunset. He is poor and he needs his wages. If you do not pay
will cry to the *LORD against you. Then you will be guilty of *sin.
not kill parents because their children have *sinned. And you must not
children because their parents have sinned. You can kill a person only
of the *sins that he has done.
Do not take away *justice
from foreigners or from children without
parents. Do not take a widow’s coat as *security for a loan. v18
Remember that you were *slaves in Egypt. The *LORD your God freed you
there. That is why I am giving that command to you.
harvest your crops, you may forget to bring in some corn. Do not go
back to get
it. Leave it for the foreigners, the widows and the children without
Then the *LORD your God will *bless you in everything that you do. v20
When you have picked the *olives once, do not go back to get more.
remains for the foreigner, the widows and the children without parents.
When you have gathered your *grapes once, do not go back a second time.
what remains for the foreigner, the widows and the children without
Remember that you were a *slave in Egypt. That is why I have given that
people to receive their wages.
Employers used to pay their workers every day. If they did not pay
workers would call to God. God would consider that the employer was
Moses told them that that would happen.
accuses rich Christians who are in a poor
world. ‘You have not paid the wages of those who worked in your fields.
money that you kept from them calls to God against you. The *Lord of
has heard the cries of the workers.’ (See James 5:4.)
emphasised personal responsibility. When
Jeremiah speaks about God’s new *covenant, he says this in Jeremiah
‘Everyone will die because of the wrong things that he has done.’ The
*Israelites must look after the poor people, especially foreigners,
children without parents. In Egypt, God had shown to the *Israelites
loved them. Therefore, they must show other people that they love them.
harvest, they must leave part of the crops. That was for the poor
had no land. We see that this happened in the story of Ruth. Boaz told
workers to drop some corn on purpose. Then Ruth picked it up. (See Ruth
The gifts that they gave to the poor people were really *offerings to
God. As a
result, God would *bless the people who gave. Proverbs 19:17 says this.
is kind to the poor people is lending to the *Lord. The *Lord will
because of what he has done.’ And James 1:27 says this. ‘Religion that
Father considers right and *clean is this: Look after widows and
without parents when they are suffering.’
two men have an argument and they go to court. The judges declare that
one man is
innocent. Then he declares that the other man is guilty. v2
guilty man deserves punishment, the judge will make him lie down. Then
will whip him in front of the judge. The number of strokes will depend
crime that he has done. v3 He must not receive more
than 40 strokes. If
he received more, that would cause him great shame.’
was very important. The judge declared
that the person was guilty. After that, they could whip him. They must
that man before the judge made his decision. The judge had to say what
punishment the man should receive. All punishment must happen in front
judge. They must not punish anyone more severely than he deserved. They
respected the criminal’s value as a person. The maximum was 40 strokes.
they whipped someone only 39 times. They wanted to make sure that they
count wrongly! Paul suffered that punishment 5 times. (See 2
cover the mouth of an *ox when it is walking on the corn.’
created everything. The *Israelites must
show love and they must be kind to everything. They used an *ox to walk
their corn. That separated the grain from the stem. Sometimes the *ox
stop to eat some grain. They must allow the *ox to feed in that way.
that verse when he writes about Christian workers. They provide
the Christians’ *spirits. So the workers should receive physical
their work. (See 1 Corinthians 9:9.)
that two brothers live in the same property. Then one of them dies
son. His widow must not marry someone who is outside the family. It is
of her husband’s brother to marry her. v6 The first
son that she has
will have the name of the dead brother. So the name of his family will
If the man
does not want to marry his brother’s wife, she must go to the town’s
She will say this to them. “My husband’s brother will not do his duty.
refuses to give to his brother a *descendant among the *Israelites.” v8
Then the town’s leaders will order him to talk to them. If he still
marry her, v9 his brother’s widow will go up to
him. In front of the
leaders, she will take off one of his shoes. Then she will cough water
face and she will say this. “This man refuses to build up his brother’s
That is what happens to him.” v10 The *Israelites
will give his family
this name: “The family of the man whose shoe they pulled off.” ’
custom made sure that a woman’s dead
husband had a son. In that society, it was very important for a man to
son. That son continued to use the name of the family. The reason why
married was to build up the family as a social unit. People believed
of yourself went into your children. So your name continued to live
you had died. If the brother refused to do his duty, he had to go to
leaders. If he still refused, the widow took off one of his shoes. Then
coughed water in his face. They did that because most people could not
that two men are fighting. Then the wife of one man comes to rescue her
from the other man. If she grasps the other man’s sex parts, v12
her hand. Do not show *mercy.’
the only place in the *Old Testament
that orders this kind of punishment. It follows the laws about family
*descendants. Nothing and nobody should damage a man so that he cannot
have in your bag unfair objects with which you weigh things. Do not
heavy object and one light object. v14 Do not have
in your house unfair
objects to measure things with. Do not have one large and one small
measurements. v15 You must weigh and measure things
honestly. Then you
will live for a long time in the country that the *LORD your God is
giving to you.
v16 The *LORD your God hates anyone who cheats.’
usually used stones to weigh their
goods. They often used heavy stones to weigh goods when they bought
they would get them for a cheap price. But they used light stones to
goods when they sold them. Then they would get more money. The
pots to measure liquids or goods like grain. But they often used pots
wrong size. God wanted the *Israelites to be completely honest. They
weigh and measure everything correctly. God would punish the people if
used pots and stones of different sizes. Amos says in chapter 8:5 that
people did not obey these laws.
the time when you were coming out of Egypt. You met the people called
Amalekites. Remember what they did to you. v18 They
did not *fear God.
You were so tired that you could not do anything. Then they attacked
killed all those who were going slowly at the back of your people. v19
The *LORD your God will give the country to you to possess. He will
give you a
rest from all your enemies. When he has done that, kill all the
people. Then nobody will continue to remember them. Do not forget!’
called the Amalekites attacked the
*Israelites at Rephidim. Exodus 17:8-16 describes the battle. God
Amalekites because they did not show *mercy to the weak people. In 1
15:3, God gave the command to King Saul to *destroy the Amalekite
your God is giving this country to you to possess. You will own it and
live there. v2 Then take some of the first part of
each crop that you
harvest from the land. That crop comes from the soil in the country
*LORD your God is giving to you. Put the first part of the crop into a
Go to the place that the *LORD your God will choose. v3
Go to the priest
who is serving at that time. Say this to him. “I declare today to the
your God that I have come to this country. That is what the *LORD
our *ancestors. He promised that he would give this country to us.” v4
The priest will take the basket from you. He will place it in front of
*altar of the *LORD your God. v5 Then you will say
this to the *LORD
your God. “My father came from the country called Aram. And he wandered
the country. He went down into Egypt with a few people. He lived there
became a large and powerful nation. v6 The
*Egyptians were cruel to us. They
made us suffer and they made us work very hard. v7
Then we cried to the
*LORD who is the God of our *ancestors. The *LORD heard us. He saw that
very sad. He saw our troubles and our difficulties. v8
So the *LORD used
his great power and strength as he brought us out of Egypt. He did
*wonders. He caused terrible things to happen. v9
He brought us to this
place. Then he gave to us this rich and *fertile country. v10
bring the first part of the harvest that you, *LORD, have given to me.”
the basket in front of the *LORD your God. And *worship in front of the
your God. v11 You and the *Levites and the
foreigners who are among you
will be happy. You will do that because of all the good things that the
your God has given to you.’
*Israelites must give to the *LORD a part of
the crops that they had grown in the country. They took the crops to
at the place that God chose. The priest put the crops in front of the
Then they thanked God for his kindness. Verses 5-10 are either a
prayer, or a
statement of what they believed. The person who came from Aram was
During his life, Jacob moved from Canaan to Haran in the country called
He also married two women who came from Aram. At last, he and his
down into Egypt. In the end, God rescued them from there, and God
to possess their new country. Now they gave the *offering. It came from
first crops in the country. In that way, the person thanked God for the
The *Lord promised this country to the person’s *ancestors. Perhaps
joined in a *holy meal. This ceremony might have been a part of the
of Shelters. We should thank God especially for the special events in
lives. They are the times when we see God’s goodness to us.
third year, put aside a 10th of all your crops.
This is the year of
the *tithe. Give it to the *Levite, the foreigner, the children without
and the widows. Then they will have all that they need to eat in your
Then say this to the *LORD your God. “I have taken the *holy *tithe out
house. I have given it to the *Levites, the foreigners, the children
parents and the widows. That is what you ordered me to do. I have not
or forgotten any of your *commandments. v14 I have
not eaten any of the *tithes
while I was sad. I have not taken any of it out of my house when I was
I have not given any of it to dead people. I have obeyed the *LORD my
have done everything that you ordered me to do. v15
Look down from your
*holy place in heaven. *Bless your nation, *Israel. *Bless also the
that you have given to us. This is the country that you promised to our
*ancestors. It is a country that is rich and *fertile.” ’
verses repeat what is in chapter 14 verses
22-29. Every third year, they kept a 10th of
their crops in the
villages. That was to help the poor people. It would help the *Levites
not own any land. The men in *Israel had to declare that they had
law about the *tithe. They had to take every part of it out of their
They had to give it to the people who needed it. They would not use it
part of an *offering to dead people. That was a custom of the people in
Each *Israelite man had to obey God. Then he could pray that God would
his nation and his country. He would declare that he depended on God
Philippians 4:12-13, Paul said this. ‘I know
how to live when I need things. And I know how to live when I have
Everywhere and in all circumstances, I have learned the secret of how
content. I have learned to be full and to be hungry. I have learned to
plenty and not to have enough. I am ready for anything because Christ
the *LORD your God commands you to *keep all his rules and his laws.
completely. v17 Today you have declared these
things. The *LORD is your
God. You will do what he wants you to do. You will *keep all his rules,
*commandments and his laws. And you have declared that you will listen
to him. v18
The *LORD has declared today that you are his special nation. He
you would be. You must *keep all his *commandments. v19
He will make you
greater than any other nation that he has created. You will have more
and fame. People will praise you more than any other nation. You will
*holy nation for the *LORD your God, as he promised.’
promised that the *Israelites would be
his special people. Also, the *Israelites declared that the *LORD was
God. But all the *Israelites needed to obey God’s laws in order to
things from him. Peter uses this idea to refer to Christians and the
1 Peter 2:9. ‘You are the people whom God chose. You are royal priests.
a *holy nation. You belong to God. God has called you out of darkness
wonderful light. He has done that for a reason. He wants you to tell
about the great things that he has done.’
Moses and the leaders of
the *Israelites ordered the people. ‘*Keep
all the *commandments that I order you today. v2
You must do the
following things when you have gone across the River Jordan. There you
find the country that the *LORD your God is giving to you. Put up some
stones. And cover them with material that is like white paint. v3
on the stones all the words of this law. Do that when you have entered
country. The *LORD your God is giving to you a rich and *fertile
*LORD, the God of your *ancestors, promised to give this country to
When you have crossed the River Jordan, put up the stones on *Mount
what I order you today. Cover the stones with material that is like
paint. v5 Build an *altar of stone there to the
*LORD your God. Do not
use any metal tools on the stones. v6 Build the
*altar to the *LORD your
God with stones that you have not cut. Give *burnt offerings on the
the *LORD your God. v7 *Sacrifice and eat your
there. Be happy in front of the *LORD your God. v8
You shall write very
clearly on the stones. Write all the words of this law.’
together with the priests who were *Levites, spoke to all the
‘*Israelites, be quiet and listen. Today you have become the nation
belongs to the *LORD your God. v10 Obey the *LORD
your God. *Keep all
his *commandments and his rules that I order you today.’
tells the people how they must remember
God’s *covenant with them. They must put up some stones. They must
of the law on the stones so that everyone could read them. People who
the future would be able to read them also. The *Israelites must put up
*altar at *Mount Ebal. They must make it of stones that they did not
nations made their *altars out of stones that they cut. *Israel must be
They must read the *curses publicly from *Mount Ebal. (That is where
built his first *altar.) They must read the *blessings from *Mount
*burnt offerings showed that the *Israelites were completely loyal to
the *fellowship offerings, they thanked for what God had done on their
Verses 9-10 may be part of a speech that urged the people to obey the
*covenant. God gave the *covenant to them first. It was his free gift.
not have to do good works to obtain the *covenant. They obeyed God
were grateful for his *blessings.
Moses gave this command to the people.
have gone across the River Jordan, these *tribes shall stand on *Mount
They are Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin. There they
*bless the people. v13 These *tribes shall stand on
*Mount Ebal to
announce *curses. They are Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and
*Levites will speak these words to the *Israelites in a loud voice:
*curses anyone who makes an *idol out of stone, wood or metal. The
the *idols that men make. And God *curses anyone who *worships them
Then all the people shall say, “We agree.”
*curses anyone who brings shame on his father or on his mother.” Then
people shall say, “We agree.”
*curses anyone who moves the stone at his neighbour’s boundary.” Then
people shall say, “We agree.”
*curses anyone who leads a blind man in the wrong direction.” Then all
people shall say, “We agree.”
*curses anyone who is not kind to foreigners, children without parents
widows.” Then all the people shall say, “We agree.”
*curses anyone who has sex with his father’s wife. That brings shame on
father.” Then all the people shall say, “We agree.”
*curses anyone who has sex with an animal.” Then all the people shall
*curses anyone who has sex with his sister, his father’s daughter or
mother’s daughter.” Then all the people shall say, “We agree.”
“God *curses anyone who
has sex with his wife’s mother.” Then all
the people shall say, “We agree.”
*curses anyone who kills another person secretly.” Then all the people
say, “We agree.”
*curses anyone who accepts money as a payment to kill an innocent
all the people shall say, “We agree.”
*curses anyone who does not accept all of this law in order to obey
all the people shall say, “We agree.” ’
divided the people into two groups when
they declared publicly the *curses and *blessings. This passage gives
*curses. The *blessings probably were the opposite of the *curses. Six
*tribes stood on *Mount Gerizim, which was the southern hill. They were
*tribes who were *descendants of Rachel and Leah. The other 6 *tribes
*Mount Ebal, which was the northern hill. They were the *tribes who
*descendants of the servants of Rachel and Leah. They also included the
of Zebulun and the *tribe of Reuben. The *blessings and *curses were on
of all the *tribes. They were not just on behalf of the *tribes that
them. There were 12 *curses because there were 12 *tribes.
not make images. God created all
things. However, nobody knew what God looked like. So nobody could make
image of God. Parents provide shelter, food and protection for their
Therefore, people should love and show honour to their parents. People
change the position of the stone at their neighbour’s boundary.
people moved the stone to steal extra property. They must not lead
in a wrong direction. They must love and look after the foreigners, the
and the children without parents. They must not have sex with animals
or with close
family members. They must not kill another person secretly. They must
receive money because they killed someone.
*curse came on all *sin. Moses named many
*sins. People could hide most of those *sins from other people. But
not hide their *sins from God.
carefully to the *LORD your God. *Keep and obey all his *commandments.
ordering that to you today. If you do, the *LORD your God will make you
than any other nation on earth. v2 If you obey the
*LORD your God, you
will have all these *blessings:
*bless you in your towns and in the country.
*bless your children. He will *bless your crops. He will *bless your
sheep and your young *cattle.
*bless the grain that you harvest. You will always be able to make
*bless you when you come in. And he will *bless you when you go out.
will defeat your enemies whenever they attack you. They will attack you
one direction, but they will run away in seven directions.
will send a *blessing on your buildings where you store your crops. And
send a *blessing on all the work that you do. The *LORD your God will
you in the country that he is giving to you.
You must *keep
the *commandments of the *LORD your God. And you must do what he wants
do. Then the *LORD will make you his *holy nation as he has promised to
Then all the nations will see that the *LORD has chosen you as his own
They will be afraid of you. v11 The *LORD will give
to you many
possessions. He will give to you many children, many *cattle and good
in your country. This is the country that he promised to your
give to you.
will open up his stores in heaven. He will send the rain from the sky
proper time. He will *bless all that you do. You will lend to many
you will not ask for anything from them. v13 The
*LORD will make you the
leader. He will not make you the follower. You must obey carefully all
*commandments of the *LORD your God that today I have ordered you to
you will always be at the top and not at the bottom. v14
Do not leave
these commands in any way. Do not *worship false gods or serve them.’
promised all these *blessings to the
*Israelites if they obeyed his commands. God did not give the *covenant
*Israelites because they deserved it. (See Deuteronomy 7:6-7.) But they
receive the *blessings of the *covenant only if they obeyed it. The
were for the nation, the family and each person. The *blessings
work in the city and in the fields. The *blessings affected the
children, their crops, their *cattle and their daily food. God would
and provide for his people. He would make them the leaders of other
But to enjoy those *blessings they must continue to obey God.
giving to you these *commandments and rules today. Suppose that you do
the *LORD your God. Suppose that you do not continue to *keep his
carefully. All these *curses will happen to you.
*curse your towns and your fields.
*curse your crops of grain and the food that you prepare.
have only a few children, poor crops and a few *cattle and sheep.
*curse you when you go in. And he will *curse you when you go out.
will send upon you *curses, *disaster and trouble in everything that
You have done evil acts and you have left him. Therefore, he will
and quickly ruin you. v21 The *LORD will send
diseases to attack you. He
will leave none of you in the country that you will soon enter to
The *LORD will send these particular problems to attack you. He will
bodies to be sore and you will be hot because of the diseases. He will
very hot winds and a lack of water. Diseases called blight and mildew
attack your crops. Because of those *disasters you will die. v23
will fall and the ground will be as hard as iron. v24
Instead of rain in
your country, the *LORD will send dust and sand. He will do that until
more *curses than *blessings. Perhaps
it is better to warn someone about punishment. It may have more effect
promise a *blessing. The *curses are the opposite of the *blessings.
defeated the *Israelites’ enemies. He caused the enemies to become
God warned the *Israelites too. And this would cause them to be afraid.
will have diseases that make them very ill. Bad weather and disease
their crops not to grow. Because of all those things, the *Israelites
will allow your enemies to defeat you. You will attack them from one
but you will run away in seven directions. All the people in every
see what happens to you. You will be an awful sight. v26
The birds in
the air and the animals on the earth will eat your dead bodies. Nobody
frighten them away. v27 The *LORD will send painful
spots under your
skin as he did on the *Egyptians. You will have unpleasant things that
your body. And you will have diseases on your skin. Your skin will hurt
Nobody will be able to cure you of those things. v28
You will go mad.
The *LORD will make you blind and confused. v29 At
midday you will have
to feel round, like a blind man. You will not succeed in anything that
Day after day, people will be cruel to you and they will rob you.
come to help you.
make plans to marry a woman, but someone else will have sex with her.
build a house, but you will never live in it. You will plant a field of
*grapes, but you will never eat its fruit. v31 You
will see someone kill
your *ox. But you will not eat it. Someone will take your *donkey from
cruelly and you will not get it back. Someone will give your sheep to
enemies. And nobody will rescue them. v32 You will
see someone give your
children as slaves to foreigners. Every day you will look for your
return, but they will not return. v33 You will work
hard to produce your
crops but a foreign nation will take them all. You will receive nothing
terrible cruelty. v34 The things that you see will
make you go mad. v35
The *LORD will cover your knees and your legs with painful spots under
skin. Nobody will be able to cure them. The painful spots will cover
your head to your feet.
will force you and your king to go to another nation. Neither you nor
*ancestors will have known that nation. There, you will *worship false
that they make out of wood and out of stone. v37
The *LORD will send you
into other countries. The people there will look at you with disgust
The people there will laugh at you.’
that the *Israelites were not very
*faithful. He warns them what would happen. If they are not *faithful,
enemies will defeat them. Nobody will bury the people who have died.
eat their bodies. The *Israelites will have many diseases that nobody
The *Israelites will not know what to do. They will be like blind
enemies will take the *Israelites’ wives, their property and their
They will not be able to stop their enemies. The worst thing will be
enemies will take the *Israelites out of their country. They will make
*Israelites serve false gods. People make these false gods out of wood
stone. All that happened to *Israel in 721 *B.C. And it happened to
598 *B.C. Psalm 137:1-3 describes how their enemies laughed at them.
enemies demanded songs of joy. “Sing to us one of the songs from Zion
sow plenty of seeds but you will have only a little harvest. Insects
locusts will eat your crops. v39 You will plant
fields of *grapes and
you will look after them. But you will not pick the *grapes or drink
Tiny animals called worms will eat them. v40 *Olive
trees will grow
everywhere in your country. But you will not put the oil on your body
the *olives will drop off the trees. v41 You will
have sons and
daughters, but you will lose them. The enemy will take them away as
Insects will eat all your trees and your crops.
foreigners who live in your country will continue to get more power.
will lose your power. v44 The foreigners will lend
money to you, but you
will have no money to lend to them. In the end, they will be the
you will be the followers.
*curses will come upon you. They will come after you and they will
Then people will *destroy you. That is because you did not obey the
God. You did not *keep all his *commandments and his rules that he
to do. v46 These *curses will be a *sign and a
*wonder to you and to your
*descendants for always.’
*blessings in the first part of the
chapter. But these events in these verses are the opposite of those
There would be very big problems with the country’s trade and supply of
Insects called locusts fly in huge groups. And they very quickly eat
in a field that is full of crops. Worms would eat the plants that
*grapes. (Worms are tiny animals without legs.) The *olives would fall
trees before they were ripe. Enemies would take the children of the
*Israelites. Those children would probably have to work very hard on
the enemy’s country. The ‘foreigner’ may refer to the *Canaanites. They
live in the country that God gave to the *Israelites. Perhaps they
enjoy the country again. God would take away his *blessings from
his people did not obey him.
your God *blessed you. But you did not serve him in a joyful and happy
Because of that, you will serve the enemies that the *LORD will send
you. You will be hungry and you will not have enough to drink. You will
naked. You will need everything. The *LORD will deal with you severely
has *destroyed you.
will bring against you a nation from far away. You will not understand
language. That nation will come upon you like a large bird called an
Its people will have very fierce faces. They will not respect old
they will not pity young people. v51 They will eat
your young *cattle
and your crops. You will die because you are hungry. They will not
corn, wine, oil, young *cattle or young sheep. Then you will die. v52
They will attack all the cities that are in the country. The high,
that you trusted will fall down. Your enemies will surround all the
the country that the *LORD your God is giving to you.
cause you to suffer so much that you will even eat your children. You
the bodies of the sons and daughters that the *LORD your God has given
to you. v54
Even the gentlest man will not pity his own brother. Nor will he pity
whom he loves. He will not pity the rest of his children. v55
not give to them any of the bodies of his own children that he is
will have no other food, because the enemy will cause you to suffer so
your towns. v56 The gentlest woman, who would not
even walk anywhere, will
do these things too. She will not give anything to the husband, whom
or to her own children. v57 She will not give to
them the material that
comes out of her body after the birth of a baby. Nor will she give to
baby who has just been born. She will eat both of them secretly. That
because of her great trouble when the enemy surrounds the city.’
given to the *Israelites so many good
things. But they would forget to thank him. And they would forget to
As a result, their enemies would attack them. Their enemies would come
long distance away. Because the *Israelites would not praise God,
nation would attack them. The *Israelites would not understand those
languages. The enemies would be like a large bird that arrives
would *destroy everything and everybody. There would be no food for the
*Israelites, so that they would even have to eat their own children!
happened to the *Israelites several times. In 2 Kings 6:28-29, it tells
about two women in the town called Samaria. They made a plan to eat
children and they did eat one child. Jeremiah 19:9 says that the same
would happen in Jerusalem too.
that you do not obey carefully all the law in this book. Suppose that
not give honour to the wonderful and powerful name of the *LORD your
The *LORD will send to you and to your *descendants terrible diseases,
*disasters and serious illnesses. v60 He will send
to you again all the
terrible diseases that you had in Egypt. You will never recover. v61
*LORD will send to you every kind of illness and *disaster. This book
law does not even record them. Then you will die. v62
Then you, who were
as many as the stars in the sky, will become few in number. That will
because you did not obey the *LORD your God. v63
The *LORD was happy to
give to you good things. And he was happy to make you increase in
he will be happy to ruin and to *destroy you. God will take you out of
country that you had entered to possess.
*LORD will scatter you among the nations. You will go from one end of
to the other end. There you will serve false gods that people make out
and stone. Neither you nor your *ancestors have known those false gods.
You will not find any peace among those nations. There will be nowhere
you can stay. The *LORD will give to you an anxious mind. Your sight
weak. You will feel full of despair. v66 You will
be in danger. During
the day and the night, terror will fill you. You will be in constant
death. v67 In the morning, you will wish for the
evening. In the
evening, you will wish for the morning. That will be because of the
fills your minds. The things that you will see will also make you
The *LORD will send you back to Egypt in ships. I had said that you
make that journey again. There you will try to sell yourselves as male
female slaves to your enemies. But nobody will buy you.’
11 verses 10-16, God had promised
physical *blessings. They would come if the whole *Israelite nation
But the people might forget to serve and to obey God. Then they would
the diseases that they had in Egypt. They would decrease in numbers.
serve *idols, and they would not continue to serve the *Lord. They
their country and they would not feel safe. Finally, they would go back
where they began. They would try to be *slaves in Egypt, but nobody
to buy them!
The third speech: 29:1 to
30:20 – Choose to Live in the
way that God Wants You to Live
These are the words of the
*covenant. The *LORD ordered Moses to
make it with the *Israelites in the country called Moab. This was in
to the *covenant that he had made with them at *Mount Sinai.
called all the *Israelites together and he spoke to them:
‘You saw all that the *LORD did in Egypt to
the king, to all his officials and to all his country. v3
You saw the
great troubles, the *signs and the great *wonders. v4
But the *LORD has
not given to you yet a mind that understands. You do not understand
eyes see. You do not understand what your ears hear. v5
“I led you for
40 years in the *desert. Your clothes and your shoes did not wear out. v6
You did not eat bread or drink wine or strong alcohol. I did those
that you would know this: I am the *LORD your God.”
You came to
this place. Sihon, king of Heshbon, and Og, king of Bashan, fought
against us. But
we defeated them. v8 We took their country. We gave
it to the *tribe of
Reuben, the *tribe of Gad and half the *tribe of Manasseh. It belongs
carefully all the words of this *covenant. Then you will succeed in all
of the *covenant’ (verse 1) may refer
to chapters 1-28. But in chapters 29 and 30 Moses repeats the *covenant
new *generation of *Israelites. He reminds them about their history.
urges them to be *faithful to God. The *Israelites had all escaped from
And they had all had the experience of the journey through the *desert.
However, the people that Moses spoke to in verse 1 had not had that
themselves. But they were part of the nation called *Israel.
tells them how he had provided for them
(verses 5-6). God provided for them so that their clothes did not wear
had given to them food and water. He helped them to defeat the kings.
to them the country so that it belonged to them. They had done nothing
deserve it. But each *tribe received a share of the land as their
That was similar to a father who divided his land among his sons before
death. However, the *Israelites did not appreciate properly what God
for them. They refused to trust him. As a result, God did not allow
understand what he had done. For that reason, the *Israelites did not
the *prophets. And later, many did not listen to Jesus himself.
are standing in front of the *LORD your God. The chiefs of your
leaders, your officials, and all the men from *Israel, are here. v11
Your wives and your children are here. The foreigners are also here.
your wood and they collect your water. v12 You are
here in order to
enter into this *covenant with the *LORD your God. The *LORD is making
*covenant with you today with his promise. v13
Today he is establishing
this. You are his people and he will be your God. This is what he told
this is what he promised to you and your *ancestors Abraham, Isaac and
I am not making this *covenant and this promise just with you. v15
stand here with us in front of the *LORD our God today. But I am also
this *covenant and this promise with those who are not here today.’
reminds the *Israelites that they are in
front of God. All the people were there. God was reminding them about
promises that he had already made in his *covenant. God had made his
and his promises with Abraham. God also made his *covenant and his
with the *Israelites who had left Egypt. But the *covenant was also for
who were not yet born. Each new *generation had to accept the *covenant
17:20-21, Jesus prayed for his
followers. But he included the future *generations in his prayer.)
remember how we lived in Egypt. You know how we passed through the
the way here. v17 You saw the terrible *idols that
they made out of
wood, stone, silver and gold. v18 Make sure that no
man or woman, no
family or *tribe here today, leaves the *LORD our God. Make sure that
not *worship the false gods of those nations. That would be like a root
grows into a poisonous plant.
may hear this serious *covenant and then he may *bless himself. He
shall be safe. So I shall continue to do what pleases me.” That would
all of you, good people and evil people alike. v20
The *LORD will not
forgive that person. Instead, the *LORD will be angry with the man. All
*curses that are in this book will come upon him. The *LORD will
and the *LORD will remove his name from the world. v21
The *LORD will
separate him out from all the *tribes in *Israel and he will send
him. That man will suffer all the *curses of the *covenant that are in
book of the law.’
reminds the people again about how God
rescued them from Egypt. Moses reminds them about their journey. He
not to give honour to *idols. That would be like a poisonous plant. The
may look good. But it produces poison that could kill a person. Suppose
decides not to listen to Moses. Suppose that other people start to
*idols. It would ruin the whole nation. People would not enjoy the
the *covenant if they did not belong to it personally. God would not
person if that person decided to *sin on purpose. Nobody would remember
name. The *Israelites thought that that was a terrible thing.
chapter 5, Ananias and Sapphira
pretended to be better than they were. They did what pleased them. But
them died very suddenly. Jesus told his followers that they should not
that. They should not make people think that they were better than
people. (See Matthew 6:1-6.)
next *generation of your children, and people from foreign countries,
the *disasters that have happened. They will see how the *LORD has sent
to this country. v23 The land will burn and it will
have no use. Salt
and a yellow chemical called sulphur will cover the soil. There will be
grass. Nothing will grow there. It will be like the cities called Sodom
Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim. The *LORD *destroyed those cities because
very angry. v24 All the nations will ask, “Why did
the *LORD do this to
the country? Why was he so angry?”
will be this. “It is because these people now do not obey the
is the *covenant that they had with the *LORD, the God of their
*LORD made that *covenant with them when he brought them out of Egypt. v26
But they went away and they served false gods. They *worshipped false
they had not known before. They were false gods whom the *LORD had not
them. v27 Therefore the *LORD was very angry with
the country. So, he
brought upon the country all the *curses that are in this book. v28
*LORD became very angry. Because he was so very angry, he made the
their country. He forced them into another country, where they are
people stood on the plains of Moab, they
could see the edges of the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea was 46 miles long.
The land used to produce good crops. But God *destroyed it as a
punishment. The people
who lived there had done wrong things. The same thing could happen to
of the country if the people started to serve *idols.
chapters 9-11, Paul describes how many
*Jews have refused to accept God. But Paul says that *Jewish people can
return to God. And he will show *mercy to them.
some things that the *LORD our God has kept as a secret. But the things
has shown to us belong to us and to our children for always. So, we
not know everything. Only God knows
certain things. For example, only God knows what will happen in the
There are many things that God has not told us yet. However, God has
shown to us
all that we need to know. God has taught us clearly what to do. We must
what God desires us to do. As soon as we understand those things we
them. We must do them because we love God. And also, we must do them in
to obey God.
*blessings and *curses, that I have told you about, will happen to you.
live among the nations to which the *LORD your God has scattered you.
remember. v2 Suppose that you and your *descendants
return to the *LORD
your God. Then you obey completely all the commands that I am giving to
today. v3 Then the *LORD your God will have *mercy
on you. You will not
continue to be prisoners. He will bring you back from the nations where
*LORD your God has scattered you. v4 Maybe he
scattered you to the most
distant country in the world. Even then, the *LORD your God will gather
from there and he will bring you back. v5 He will
bring you to the
country that belonged to your *ancestors. Then you will possess it. The
will make you richer and more successful. You will be more in number
*ancestors were. v6 The *LORD your God will give to
you and to your
*descendants, a desire to obey him. So, you will love the *LORD your
completely and you will live. v7 The *LORD your God
will put all these
*curses on your enemies. They hate and they attack you. v8
You will obey
the *LORD again. You will *keep all his *commandments that I order you
Then the *LORD your God will make you successful in all that you do.
have many children and many *cattle. Your fields will produce many
*LORD was glad to make your *ancestors successful. In the same way, he
glad to make you successful. v10 You will have to
obey the *LORD your
God. You will have to *keep all his *commandments and his rules that
this book of the law. You will have to return and *worship the *LORD
his speech with a hopeful message.
Also, he urges the people to obey God’s commands. God might have sent
*Israelites away from their country because they did not love God. And
not obeyed him. But if they returned to God, then God would show *mercy
them. If the *Israelites returned to the *Lord, then he would *bless
again. They would own more than they had before. Then they would change
that they were thinking. The Bible calls this ‘repentance’. They would
love and to obey him. Jeremiah writes about this in Jeremiah 31:33-34.
write my laws on their minds. I will forgive their *sins. I will not
to remember the wrong things that they have done.’ When a person obeys
result is *blessing. Jeremiah 32:41 says, ‘It will give me pleasure to
things for them.’
people believe that the *Jewish nation will
believe Jesus. Paul writes about this in Romans chapters 9-11. He says
Gentiles will believe Jesus. (Gentiles are people who are not *Jews.)
believe Jesus when most *Jews do not believe. But one day, *Jews will
*blessings that the Gentiles have. As a result, the *Jews will trust
they will receive God’s *mercy. So, ‘all *Israel will receive
Romans 11:26.) This may mean that the whole *Israelite nation will
at that time. But some people do not agree with that. For those people,
*Israel’ refers to all the non-*Jewish Christians plus all the *Jews
*commandment that I am giving to you today is not too difficult for
you. It is
not too hard for what you are able to do. v12 It is
not in heaven. You
do not have to ask this. “Who will go up to heaven and bring it down
Then we will hear it and we will do it.” v13 It is
not on the other side
of the sea, so that you have to ask this question. “Who will go across
to get it? Then they can bring it to us. And we can hear it and we can
do it.” v14
No, the words are very near to you. They are in your minds and you can
about them. So, you can obey them too.
Today I am
giving to you a choice. You can choose to live and then good things
to you. Or you can choose death and then very bad things will happen to
Today, I order you to love the *LORD your God. You must do what he
you must *keep his *commandments, rules and laws. Then you will live
will increase in numbers. The *LORD your God will *bless you in the
that you will enter to possess.
you will not obey and you will refuse to listen. People may persuade
*worship and to serve false gods. v18 If so, I tell
you that God will
*destroy you. You will cross the River Jordan and you will enter the
possess it. But you will not stay there for a long time.
heaven and earth to be a *witness against you today. I have given to
choice. You can choose to live or to die. And you can choose between
and *curses. Therefore, choose to live, so that you and your
live. v20 Love the *LORD your God. Obey what he
says. Be *faithful to
him. The *LORD makes you alive. He will let you live for many years in
country. He promised to give this country to your *ancestors, Abraham,
ends his speech he gives the people a
choice. God’s commands were not difficult for the *Israelites to
They could discover them easily. God had spoken from the place where he
But the people could understand him easily. The commands did not come
long distance away. God had not written them in a foreign language.
could repeat the *commandments and they could obey the *commandments.
command was that everyone should love God. If they loved God, then
else would happen too. It was a choice to live or to die. It was a
between good things and evil things. ‘To live’ and ‘to die’ do not
just physical things. God wants to give *blessings. ‘To live’ means
enjoy his *blessings. ‘To die’ means that people suffer the *curses.
31:1 – 33:29 From Moses to
continued to speak to all the *Israelites. v2 ‘I am
now 120 years old. I
cannot continue to lead you. The *LORD has said to me, “You shall not
the River Jordan.” v3 The *LORD your God himself
will cross over ahead
of you. He will *destroy the nations that are in front of you. Then you
possess their country. Also, the *LORD has told you that Joshua will
across the river. v4 Sihon and Og were the kings of
the *Amorites. The
*LORD will do to those nations what he did to those kings and to their
He destroyed them. v5 The *LORD will hand over
those nations to you. You
must do to them everything that I have ordered you to do. v6
Have courage. You must not be afraid of those nations. The *LORD your
with you. He will always help you and he will not leave you.’
called Joshua. And Moses spoke to Joshua in front of all the
strong. Have courage. You will go with these people into the country.
has promised it to their *ancestors. And you must cause them to possess
They will continue to possess it in the future. v8
The *LORD himself
will lead you and he will be with you. He will not leave you and he
help you. Do not be afraid. Do not lose courage.’
finished his work. He was now 120
years old and he could not continue to lead them. Moses appointed
Joshua as the
new leader, although God was their actual leader. God had caused them
Sihon and Og. In the future, he would cause them to defeat other
had helped them to *destroy nations when Moses led them. In the future,
would help them to *destroy nations under the leadership of Joshua.
and the people should be strong and have courage. God would be with
need not be afraid.
about the Christian’s war against
evil things in Ephesians 6:10-18. He encourages Christians. He says to
‘Be strong in the *Lord and be strong in his great power.’
So Moses wrote down this law. He gave it to the priests, who were
the sons of Levi. They carried the box of the *covenant of the *LORD.
gave the law to the leaders of *Israel. v10-11
Moses gave this command
to them. ‘At the end of every 7 years, in the year when you cancel
these laws. Do it at the *Festival of Shelters when all *Israelites
give honour to the *LORD your God. They must come to the place that he
choose. Then read this law aloud to them, so that they will hear it. v12
Call all the people. Call the men, women, children and foreigners who
in your towns. Then they will listen, and they will learn to *fear the
your God. They will learn to obey all this law carefully. v13
children, who do not know the law, will hear it. And the children will
*fear the *LORD your God for as long as you live in the country. You
across the River Jordan in order to possess this country.’
wrote down this law.’ But Moses probably
had people to help him. The priests kept the laws safely. Every 7
the *Festival of Shelters, they would read the laws aloud. Everyone,
children, would hear the laws. As a result, they would respect and obey
said to Moses, ‘You will die soon. Call Joshua. Go with him to the tent
you meet. Then I will give to him his instructions.’ Moses and Joshua
appeared to them there in the shape of a cloud. The cloud was at the
to the tent. v16 The *LORD said to Moses, ‘You will
die soon. Then the
people will serve the foreign false gods in the country that they had
The people will not be loyal me. They will not *keep the *covenant that
with them. v17 Then I will be angry with them. I
will leave them and I
will not help them. I will *destroy them. Many *disasters and troubles
happen to them. When those things happen, they will say this. “These
have happened to us because our God is not with us.” v18
I will not help
them because they have done evil things. They have served false gods.
down this song. Teach it to the *Israelites and make them sing it. It
will be a
*witness for me against the *Israelites. v20 I will
take them into a
country that has plenty of good things. I promised that to their
They will have plenty to eat. They will fill themselves and they will
fat. Then they will start to follow false gods. And they will serve
They will leave me. They will refuse to obey my *covenant. v21
and difficulties will happen to them. This song will remind them about
said to them. Their *descendants will not forget it. I promised to give
country to them. But I know what they intend to do. They are thinking
before I take them into the country.’ v22 Then
Moses wrote down the song
that day and he taught it to the *Israelites.
*LORD gave this command to Joshua the son of Nun. ‘Be strong. Take
will bring the *Israelites into the country that I promised to give to
will be with you.’
Joshua the next leader of the people.
God wanted Joshua to be certain about it. The cloud had guided them
their journey. Now the cloud was at the entrance to the tent. That
God was there. God told Joshua to be strong and to have courage. God
Joshua that he, Joshua, would lead the people into the country. God
that he would be with Joshua. God warned Moses that the people would
continue to follow God. He told Moses to write a song. People remember
words of a song more easily than ordinary speech. Then people would
God would not help them. The song would remind them about all that God
for them. The song would warn them not to leave God. If they refused to
the *covenant, then the *curses of the *covenant would happen.
wrote in a book all the words of God’s laws. v25
Then he gave a command
to the *Levites. They carried the box of the *covenant of the *LORD.
said, v26 ‘Take this book of the law. Place it next
to the box of the
*covenant of the *LORD your God. It will remain there as a *witness
you. v27 I know this. You refuse to obey and you
will not change your
behaviour. You have refused to obey the *LORD while I am still alive.
refuse even more after I die! v28 Gather all the
leaders of the *tribes
and your officials and come together in front of me. Then I can say
things to them. I will call heaven and earth as my *witness against
I know that after my death you will become completely wicked. You will
continue to do the things that I have ordered you to do. The *LORD will
evil things that you will do in the future. So you will suffer
*idols that you will make will cause the *LORD to be angry.’
priests had to look after the book of God’s
law. They had to put the law next to the box of the *covenant. Then the
*Israelites would know when they had done wrong things.
the *Israelites listened, Moses spoke the words of this song from the
to the end:
and I will speak.
Oh earth, hear the words that I
My lessons will
come down like the rain.
My words will form on the earth
like the mist in the morning.
They will be like showers of rain on
They will be like much rain on
I will call
aloud the name of the *LORD.
Oh, tell people that our God is
He is the
rock that is strong. What he does is perfect.
He is a *faithful God. He does
not do anything that is wrong.
He does what is right and fair.
The people have
not been *faithful to him.
They are not his children. They
are *sinful and foolish.
not deal with the *LORD in
You are foolish and stupid
The *LORD is your father. He created
He made you into a nation and
he made you firm.’
describes a *trial in a court. The
place where God lives and the earth are like *witnesses in this *trial.
praises God. God is great and he is perfect. God made his people and he
protects them too. God’s lessons are like the rain. The rain helps
to grow. In a similar way, God’s lessons should have a good effect on
people. God looks after his people. But the people have been foolish.
not been *faithful or grateful.
long time ago. Think about the *generations in the past.
Ask your father. He will tell you what
Ask your leaders to tell you the story.
God, who is
the great God, divided the land between the different nations.
He decided where the boundaries should
He made the boundaries of the *tribes of the
*Israelites that depended on their size.
share was his people.
He chose Jacob’s *descendants
as his special people.
found the *Israelites in a *desert.
It was empty and strong winds
blew across it.
He guarded and looked after the
He protected them as he would
protect his own eyes.
like an eagle that teaches its young birds to fly.
The large bird called the eagle
spreads its wings to catch its young birds.
And it carries them on its
alone led his people.
No false god helped them.
them rule the mountains.
He fed them with the harvest
that came from the fields.
He satisfied them with honey that came
from the rocks.
He gave them oil from the hard
and the goats in *Israel gave plenty of milk.
*Israel had fat sheep and male
sheep from the region called Bashan.
And *Israel had goats and the finest
*Israelites drank wine from the
juice of the *grape.’
section shows what God had done for his
people. God chose the nation called *Israel from among the nations. He
a special country for them. He brought them through the *desert. He
them like an eagle looks after its young birds. (An eagle is a very
bird.) He provided all that they would need in the country. There were
gods to lead the *Israelites away from the right actions.
*LORD’s people became rich and they refused to obey him.
They ate and they became fat.
They left the God who had made them.
God had protected them; God had
But they did not honour
God jealous because they served false gods.
They made him angry because
they *worshipped terrible *idols.
*sacrificed to devils and they did not *sacrifice to God.
The *Israelites had not known
those false gods in the past.
Those false gods were new to them.
The *Israelite *ancestors did
not *worship them.
not follow the God who protected you.
He made you. You forgot the God
who made you live.’
section, Moses accuses the *Israelites.
They were like fat animals that would not follow their owner.
served false gods and they did not continue to trust God. Some false
the new ones that they had met in their new country. They had forgotten
who had created them. Moses had seen that kind of thing happen before
Remember the story about the young cow that Aaron had made out of gold.
Exodus 32.) Moses knew what would happen in the future.
saw it with disgust.
His sons and his daughters made
not continue to be with them,” he said.
“I will see what happens to
They refuse to obey me and I cannot
me jealous with their false gods that have no value.
Their *idols have no value, and
those *idols made me angry.
I will cause a nation that has no
value to make *Israel jealous.
I will use a foolish nation to
make *Israel angry.
will be like a fire.
It will burn down to hell.
My anger will *destroy the earth and
It will make the base of the
mountains burn with fire.
send many *disasters upon *Israel.
I will use up all my arrows
*Israelites will become weak because of hunger.
They will be very hot in their
bodies and they will have terrible diseases.
I will send wild animals to attack
I will send poisonous snakes to
be war in their streets and there will be terror in their homes.
Young men and young women will
die. Babies and old men will all die.
that I would scatter the *Israelites.
Nobody will remember them.
But I was
afraid that their enemies would be proud.
They would not understand.
Their enemies would say, ‘We have
The *LORD has not done it.’ ”
*Israel do not listen to advice.
They do not have any wisdom.
were wise they would understand this.
Then they would know what would
happen to them finally.
could not possibly chase 1000 men.
Two men could not cause 10 000
men to run away.
That could happen only if God, their
strong Rock, would not help them.
It could happen only if the
*LORD had left them.
gods of our enemies are not like our God, the strong rock.
Our enemies know that this is true.
enemies are as bad as the people from Sodom and Gomorrah.
Their enemies are like plants that
produce poisonous and bitter *grapes.
is like the poison of snakes.
I will store it in a safe place.
I will get
*revenge. I will punish those people who do wrong things.
The time will come when they
will suffer defeat.
Their day of *disaster is near.
Their punishment will happen
will make a judgement on his people.
He will have *mercy on his
He will see that they have lost their
Nobody remains, slave or free.
will say, “Their gods have not been able to do anything.
They were sure that their false
gods would protect them.
those false gods with their *sacrifices.
They gave them wine from their
Let those false gods come. And let
them help you!
Let them protect you!
I am the
There is no real god apart from
I kill and I make alive.
I cause injuries and I will
Nobody can rescue anyone from my hand.
I am the
God who lives for always. I raise my hand towards heaven.
I promise this to you.
make my sharp sword to shine.
I will hold it in my hand to
I will get *revenge on my enemies.
I will punish those who hate
of my enemies will cover my arrows.
My sword will kill those who
Blood will flow from those who die and
from the prisoners.
My sword will cut off the heads
of the leaders of the enemy.”
nations, be happy with God’s people.
God will punish those who kill
God will get *revenge on his enemies.
God will remove the *sins of
his country and of his people.’
19-25 are the judgement of the judge at
the end of the *trial. God is the judge and he decides how to punish
He will leave them. He will not help them. They will not be able to get
from his anger. They *worshipped false gods that had no value. So,
do not *worship God will attack *Israel. There will be hunger and
animals, war and death will attack them.
1:18-32 announces similar punishments
for people who refuse to accept God’s truth today. Paul says that God
them to carry out their *sinful desires. Then they received in
result of the wrong things that they did.)
will not ruin his people completely. God
ought to send the *Israelites away so that people would forget them.
what they deserved. God will not do that because his enemies might
proud. God allowed the enemies to be successful for only one reason.
his enemies to punish his people, the *Israelites. God punished his
people in a
very hard way. But the punishment for God’s enemies would be greater.
is as wicked as Sodom and Gomorrah. (God *destroyed those two towns in
of Abraham and Lot. See Genesis 19:24.) God will remember their wicked
Then he will punish the *Israelites’ enemies. God will show his people
were foolish to trust false gods. God promises to show *mercy on his
to punish their enemies. People from all nations will join to give
God. He will take away the *sin of his people and he will cover it.
15:10, Paul uses the first part of
Deuteronomy 32:43. He describes how the Gentiles will trust God.
people who are not *Jews.)
Joshua, son of Nun, spoke the words of this song so that the
hear it. v45 Moses finished his speech to all the
Then he said this to them. ‘Remember every word that I have said to you
Order your children to obey carefully all the words that have taught to
These commands are important words. They cause you to live. You will
River Jordan to possess the country. Obey what I have taught to you.
will live for a long time in that country.’
day, the *LORD said this to Moses. v49 ‘Go up to
*Mount Nebo in the
Abarim mountains. It is in Moab, opposite Jericho. Look at the country
Canaan, which I am giving to the *Israelites for their possession. v50
You will die on the mountain that you climb. There you will join your
*ancestors. In the same way, your brother, Aaron, died on *Mount Hor
joined his *ancestors. v51 Neither of you were
*faithful to me at the
waters of Meribah Kadesh. That was in the *desert of Zin. There, you
give honour to me in front of the people. v52 So
you will see the
country from a distance. But you will not enter the country that I am
ordered the *Israelites to remember the
song and the law. If they obeyed the laws, they would choose to live.
Moses to climb *Mount Nebo, where he would die. His brother had died on
of a mountain too. God did not allow Moses to enter the country that he
promised to the *Israelites. That was because of what happened at
Numbers 20:10-13.) You can read more about this in the explanation on
This is the *blessing that
Moses, God’s *prophet, gave to the
*Israelites. Moses did this before he died.
came from *Mount Sinai.
He rose like the sun over Seir.
He shone from *Mount Paran.
He came with 1000s of *holy *angels.
There was fire at his right
you love the people. You look after the *holy people.
They all bend down at your
feet. You give instructions to them.
to us the law that belongs to the people from Jacob.
The *LORD was king over
his people *Israel.
He was king when the
leader and *tribes of the *Israelites gathered together.’
Moses’ last words to the people before
he died. People considered that the last words of a father were an
statement of his desires. Genesis 27:27-29 contains Isaac’s last words
Jacob. (Isaac believed that Jacob was Esau.) Here Moses *blesses the
He was like a father who was blessing his children. Moses was saying
happen to them in the future. Moses describes God as a king who comes
angels. Angels are God’s army of servants from heaven. God wanted the
*Israelites to know what he wanted them to do. God did that as he gave
live and do not let him die.
Do not allow Reuben’s *tribe to
become few in number.’
Reuben was the first of Jacob’s sons,
he did not receive the benefits of the oldest son. (See Genesis
Instead, those benefits went to Joseph (Genesis 49:26). Reuben allowed
to become a slave. Many people in the *tribe of Reuben died because
against Moses. (See Numbers 16:1-30.) Moses prays that the *tribe will
Moses said this about
‘Oh *LORD, hear the cry of Judah.
Unite Judah with the other *tribes.
Help him against his enemies as
he fights to defend himself.’
This is a
prayer for help for Judah when that
*tribe would need that help. The Philistines (people from Philistia)
not mention Simeon in this *blessing.
Perhaps Moses includes the *tribe of Simeon in the *blessing of Judah.
Moses said this about Levi.
‘Your *Urim and Thummin, *LORD, are
for the man whom you chose.
You tested him at Massah. You
quarrelled with him at the waters of Meribah.
more loyal to you than to his parents, to his brothers or to his
He obeyed your words and he *kept
They will teach your laws
to Jacob and your instructions to *Israel.
They will put a substance with a sweet
smell in front of you.
They will give whole *burnt
offerings on your *altar.
make them strong.
I pray that his work will
enemies, so that they will not attack again.’
the *blessing on Moses’ own *tribe. The
words Urim and Thummin mean ‘perfect lights’. They were probably
stones. The chief priest carried them. Somehow, God used them to tell
decisions to the chief priest. ‘The man whom you chose’ probably means
chief priest. The events at Massah and Meribah are in Exodus 17:1-7. It
that the *tribe of Levi was *faithful to God on those occasions.
They had a
duty to serve God. That was more
important than their duty to their families. This *blessing refers to
of the young cow that Aaron made out of gold. (See Exodus 32:25-29.)
*Levites had killed even members of their own family who were not
The *Levites had two tasks. They guarded God’s law and they taught it
people. Some *Levites were priests and they gave *sacrifices. Moses
God will *destroy Levi’s enemies. Perhaps he is referring to the story
in Numbers 16:1-11.
Moses said this about
‘The *LORD loves this *tribe. I pray that
Benjamin will live safely with God.
God always looks after Benjamin.
Benjamin lives under the protection of the
The *LORD carries Benjamin, his little
son whom he loves, on his shoulders.’
of Benjamin will have a safe place in
which to live. Benjamin had land to the north-west of Judah, near
The place on which the *Israelites built the *temple was in Benjamin’s
this about Joseph.
‘I ask the *LORD to *bless Joseph’s
I ask God to send mist from the
sky above and to send up water from below.
will have the best fruit that the sun has made ripe.
He will have the best fruit in
each month during the year.
Let there be the richest
things from the old mountains.
Let there be the best
fruits from the ancient hills.
I ask God
to fill his land with the best gifts of the earth.
God was in the bush that was burning.
I ask him to *bless Joseph.
I ask that the *tribe of Joseph will
receive all these *blessings.
He was the leader of his
Joseph is as strong as a
He has *horns like a wild *ox.
He will use them to push away nations to
the ends of the earth.
His horns are the 10 000s of
Ephraim and the 1000s of Manasseh.’
the longest *blessing. He has the
double *blessing that a father usually gave to the oldest son. Both
sons led *tribes. Ephraim became the very important *tribe. God
with *fertile land and good crops. There is a reference in verse 16 to
story about the bush that was burning. (See Exodus 3:2.) An *ox is a
animal. Joseph has power too. *Horns are often a way to refer to power.
*tribes of his two sons are like the *horns on the *ox. That means that
will have military power.
This is what Moses said
about Zebulun and Issachar.
‘Oh Zebulun, be happy when you go out.
Oh Issachar, be happy in your
call people to come to their mountain.
There they will give right
They will get their wealth from the
They will get secret valuable
things from the sand.’
will have success in trade. And they
will succeed when they catch fish. Issachar will succeed in
says that they will give the right *sacrifices to God. They will give
when they have success.
what Moses said about Gad.
‘Give honour to God! He makes Gad’s
territory to be large.
Gad lives there like a lion
that tears at an arm or a head.
the best land for himself.
He got the leader’s part. The
leaders of the people gathered.
Gad did what the *LORD declared to be
They made the right *judgements
the area east of the River Jordan. He
chose the best part. But he obeyed God. He helped the rest of the
to *capture their own land.
This is what Moses said
‘Dan is a young lion. He jumps out of
the energy of a young lion. Later, the
*tribe moved to the north near Bashan. Perhaps Moses speaks a *prophecy
Moses said this about
‘The *LORD is very pleased with
They are full of the *LORD’s
Naphtali’s land reaches to the sea in
will have the beautiful and *fertile
land by the Sea of Galilee. The *tribe will receive God’s *blessing.
This is what Moses said
‘Asher shall have the *blessing of
Let Asher’s brothers give
honour to him.
Let him wash his feet in oil from
Asher’s gates will be
strong, with bars of iron and of *bronze.
His strength will last for as
long as he lives.’
have a *fertile territory. Moses
prays that Asher’s brothers will give honour to him. His land was
because of its *olive trees. People came into the*Israelites’ country
it. And they had to come along the road through Asher’s land. But Moses
that its towns will have strong defences.
promise is like Matthew 28:20. ‘I will
always be with you until the end of this age.’
‘There is nobody who is
like the God of Jeshurun (*Israel).
God rides on the heavens as he
comes to help you.
He is magnificent as he rides on the
The God, who lives for
always, is your place of safety.
His arms that last for always
will support you.
He will force out your enemy in front
He tells you to *destroy your
in *Israel will live in
Jacob’s supply of water is
They will have a land that is full of
corn and new wine.
Mist drops down from the sky.
*Israel, you are happy. There is nobody who is like you.
The *LORD has saved your
The *LORD will protect you and help
you. You will use his sword to overcome.
Your enemies will be afraid of
You will walk all over their *holy
praises God again at the end of the poem.
God comes to help his people. He will support them. He will force out
enemies. As a result, they will live safely in their country. They will
water, grain, wine and the mist that comes on cool nights. God has
*Israel. Their enemies will be afraid of them.
34:1-12 Moses Dies
climbed from the plains of Moab to *Mount Nebo. He went to the top of
Pisgah, which is east of Jericho. There, the *LORD showed to him the
country. Moses saw Gilead’s land as far north as Dan. v2
He saw also all
of Naphtali’s land, Ephraim’s land and Manasseh’s land. He saw Judah’s
across to the Mediterranean Sea. v3 He saw the
southern area. And he saw
the whole area from the valley of Jericho to Zoar. Jericho was the city
trees called palm trees. v4 Then the *LORD said
this to Moses. ‘This is
the country that I promised to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I said
would give it to their *descendants. I have let you see it. But you
will not go
Then Moses, the *LORD’s
servant, died there in the country called Moab.
That happened as the *LORD had said. v6 The *LORD
buried Moses in a
valley in Moab. That was opposite Beth-peor. Still today, nobody knows
Moses’ grave is. v7 Moses was 120 years old when he
died. His sight was
still good and he was still strong. v8 The
*Israelites wept for 30 days
in the plains of Moab, because Moses had died. Then the time ended when
were weeping because of Moses.
made Joshua, the son of Nun, wise. That was because Moses had put his
Joshua. So the *Israelites listened to what Joshua said. They did what
*LORD had ordered Moses to do.
Since that time, there has
never been a *prophet like Moses in
*Israel. The *LORD knew him ‘face to face’. v11
Moses did all those
*signs and *wonders. The *LORD sent him to do them in Egypt. Moses did
against Pharaoh the king, his officials and his whole country. v12
Nobody has ever had such great power as Moses had. Nobody has ever done
great or terrible acts as Moses did. All the *Israelites saw them.
the story of Moses’ death. He climbed
the mountain range of Nebo to the top of *Mount Pisgah. It was 2740
feet high. From that mountain, Moses saw the Jordan valley up to *Mount
Hermon. That was 120 miles to the north. He saw all the country to the
west, towards the Mediterranean Sea. He saw
also the rich plain of Jericho. There were many trees called palm trees
Palm trees do not have branches but they have large leaves at their
Moses died there.
marked Moses’ grave with a stone. The
reason for that was probably so that nobody would *worship his dead
did not die because he was old. His eye-sight and strength were still
However, he had finished his work. The people wept for 30 days because
had died. John describes the death of Jesus in his book. (See John
‘Jesus said, “I have finished (my work).” When Jesus said that, he let
put his hands on Joshua. That was the
way that Moses appointed Joshua as the next leader. Joshua received the
wisdom. Moses was the greatest of all the *prophets in *Israel. God
to him than to anyone else. The *LORD knew Moses ‘face to face’. That
that he spoke with Moses in a personal way. The great *sign and the
wonderful act in the *Old Testament was when God rescued the
*Israelites from Egypt.
Moses did not bring the people into the country that God had promised
All the *prophets reminded the people that God had spoken by Moses.
formed the nation of the *Jews. When Moses died, God himself buried
Moab. Moses’ period of government had ended. Later, Moses appeared with
on the mountain with Jesus. (See Matthew 17:3.) The story of Jesus ends
him in the place of honour at God’s side. (See Luke 24:51.) There will
end to Jesus’ government. (See Isaiah 9:7.)
a table on which people give gifts or *sacrifices to God or to a
someone from the nation called Ammon; anything with a relationship to
The Ammonites were relatives of the *Israelites.
~ a nation
of people who were among the original inhabitants in the country called
anything that has a relationship with that nation. There may have been
than one nation that had that name. The *Israelites had to travel
Amorite country as they went to Canaan.
ancient nation that was famous for its very tall people.
people in your family who lived before you.
~ a servant
of God that sometimes brings messages from him.
an animal like a *deer that can run very fast.
~ the name
of a false god of the *Canaanites.
before Christ came to the earth.
~ to say or
to do something good to a person; to ask God to be good to someone.
a good thing that God does for us; when someone asks God to do
good things for a person or for people; when a person speaks good words
~ a metal
that people make out of copper and tin.
~ male farm
animal; (the female is called a cow). The *Israelites made a metal
image of a
bull, which they *worshipped as an *idol.
~ a priest
burned the whole animal on the *altar.
people who originally lived in the country called Canaan.
~ to take
something and to keep it; to take people and to make them prisoners.
cows and *bulls.
to praise an event or a person with honour and with happiness.
good in thought and in action. But, in the *Old Testament, many
things could make a person not clean towards God. For example, if they
a dead body, that would make them not clean. And the *Israelites must
animals that God called not clean.
a rule or a command that God gave to the *Jews; the 10 rules that
God gave to Moses. That was on the mountain called *Mount Sinai (or
command from someone who has authority.
the special promise that God made to his people. God’s *covenant
with the *Israelites established a relationship between him and them.
must obey him.
the opposite of a *blessing; bad things that God will do to people
because they have been wicked; to say that God will curse someone.
an animal. It has long legs and it runs quickly. It eats grass and
a person in your family who will live after you.
~ a wild
place where there are small bushes and not much water. It has poor soil
people cannot grow crops there. So, not many people live there.
damage something so that it does not continue to exist; to kill people
an event that makes people suffer and causes great damage and
an animal like a small horse with short legs and long ears.
~ people poured
out wine as if they were giving it
to God or to a false god.
someone from the country called Egypt; anything with a relationship
The *Israelites were *slaves in Egypt before God freed them.
strong belief and trust.
when someone always does what they have promised to do; when someone
is loyal at all times.
~ to be
afraid; to respect someone who is very great.
~ an *offering
that people shared and
land that can produce many crops.
a happy time when people meet together to remember a person or a
*Israelites built shelters to
live in for a week. That reminded them about their *ancestors’ journey
~ a time when
people were happy about
the wheat harvest; it happened 7 weeks after the *Passover.
~ an *offering
that a person chose to
a period of about 20 to 30 years. During that time, children grow
up and they have their own children.
God’s *mercy and kindness, which are free gifts to us.
small green or purple soft fruit that people can use to make wine.
~ an *offering
that a person made because he or she
morally good; something completely good and perfect; something
that people consider to be very important in their religion.
Spirit ~ the
Holy Spirit is God, even as Jesus and the Father are God. But there are
three Gods. The Bible teaches that there is only one God.
~ hard hollow bones that grow on the heads of
*cattle or other
an image of a false god that people give honour to; an object of
wood, stone or metal that people *worship.
~ the nation of people from the family of
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob;
the name of the country that God gave to that nation.
a person from the nation called *Israel; Israelites is another
name for the *Jews.
a person who belongs to the family of the *Israelites. Jews are
*descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
~ a word
that describes a *Jew or anything that belongs to the *Jews.
when God or a judge says what is right or wrong.
when things are completely fair.
to do whatever you should do because of a promise or a law; to
respect and to give honour to the law.
a country or a nation that a king or a queen rules; the kingdom of
God (or heaven) means the people whom God rules.
*Israelite who belonged to the *tribe of Levi. Levi was a son of Jacob.
had special duties connected to *worship. All *Israelite priests were
a name for God. It translates the word ‘Adonai’ in the Hebrew
language, which means ‘my ruler’. The word ‘lord’ (without a capital
means an ordinary ruler.
~ God gave
this special name to himself. It translates the word ‘Yahweh’ in the
language. It is the *Covenant name for God. It links to the words ‘I
means that God has always been here.
~ a food
like bread. God provided this food in a special way for the *Israelites
in the *desert.
kindness instead of punishment.
from the nation called Moab; anything with a relationship to Moab. The
were relatives of the *Israelites.
For example, ‘Mount Sinai’ means the mountain called Sinai.
the second part of the Bible. It tells about Jesus Christ and his
gifts (also called *sacrifices) that a person gives to God, or to
a false god.
the first part of the Bible, it tells about the history and the beliefs
small green or black fruit that comes from a tree. Oil comes from
a strong farm animal like a *bull that can pull the plough.
a *festival to *celebrate when God freed the *Israelites from
~ an *offering
to give thanks. People shared it and
they ate it as a meal.
a group of *Jews who thought that they obeyed all the laws of
their religion. Those laws were all the *commandments that God gave to
plus extra laws.
messages that God gave to a person, often about future events. But
*prophets pretended to have messages from God.
~ a person who hears God’s words and tells them
to other people. But
there were sometimes false prophets.
an ancient nation. It did not still exist when Moses was alive.
to get revenge means to return an injury that someone has done to
you. God’s revenge is his desire to give the punishment that a person
Saturday, the 7th day of the week, when
not work. There were also special Sabbaths that were not always on a
something valuable that people give to God, or to a false god; or,
to make such a gift.
when God saves people from the results of *sin and from punishment
something of value that a person takes to make sure that someone
will pay back money.
an unusual event that God uses to teach people something. But
sometimes false prophets promised signs.
~ when people
do something wrong against God or against other people; or, not to obey
refers to an action or to a desire that is against God’s law; a
wrong or wicked action; a person who does those things is sinful.
who are not free; they have to work for their master. When the
slaves in Egypt they were not free. However, they had their own home
possessions. The *Egyptians did not own the *Israelites.
~ spirits are alive, but we cannot see them.
There are good spirits
that are usually called angels. Bad spirits are also called evil
demons. Their leader is called Satan. A person also has a spirit. Our
can speak to God and God can speak to our spirit.
the chief place of *worship for the *Jews. King Solomon built the
first temple for God in Jerusalem. But the word can refer to a similar
for a false god.
a tenth of something. To tithe means that people give a tenth of
their money or of their possessions.
an examination in a court to see if someone is guilty of a crime.
a group of people from the same race, who all came from one
person. The tribes of *Israel were the 12 large families of Jacob’s
and Thummin ~
Urim and Thummim were valuable stones. The main priest kept them in the
of the ephod. The priest used those objects to discover God’s decision
situation. We do not know how God did that. The ephod was a special
short coat that the main priest wore over his other clothes.
who has not had sex.
who sees an event and tells about it. To witness is to tell what you
an event that astonishes people and it shows God’s power. But
other people who did not love God sometimes did them too.
when people show honour to God, or to a false god. People may sing
or pray. Or they may kneel down or give a *sacrifice.
a substance that makes bread rise.
Henry ~ Joshua ~ Marshall Pickering,
Schulz ~ Deuteronomy: The Gospel of Love
~ Moody Publishers, 1971
Thompson ~ Deuteronomy ~ Tyndale Old
Testament Commentaries ~ Inter-Varsity Press
Harrison ~ Deuteronomy ~ New Bible
Commentary (revised) ~ Inter-Varsity Press
Standard Version of the Bible