Laws of the Sanctuary
1“These are the statutes and the judgments which you shall carefully observe in the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess as long as you live on the earth. 2You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. 3You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their #I.e. wooden symbols of a female deityAsherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place. 4You shall not act like this toward the Lord your God. 5But you shall seek the Lord at the place which the Lord your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come. 6There you shall bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the contribution of your hand, your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. 7There also you and your households shall eat before the Lord your God, and rejoice in all your undertakings in which the Lord your God has blessed you.
8“You shall not do at all what we are doing here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes; 9for you have not as yet come to the resting place and the inheritance which the Lord your God is giving you. 10When you cross the Jordan and live in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies around you so that you live in security, 11then it shall come about that the place in which the Lord your God will choose for His name to dwell, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings which you will vow to the Lord. 12And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion or inheritance with you.
13“Be careful that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every cultic place you see, 14but in the place which the Lord chooses in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.
15“However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your gates, whatever you desire, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and the deer. 16Only you shall not eat the blood; you are to pour it out on the ground like water. 17You are not allowed to eat within your gates the tithe of your grain or new wine or oil, or the firstborn of your herd or flock, or any of your votive offerings which you vow, or your freewill offerings, or the contribution of your hand. 18But you shall eat them before the Lord your God in the place which the Lord your God will choose, you and your son and daughter, and your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God in all your undertakings. 19Be careful that you do not forsake the Levite as long as you live in your land.
20“When the Lord your God extends your border as He has promised you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ because you desire to eat meat, then you may eat meat, whatever you desire. 21If the place which the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, then you may slaughter of your herd and flock which the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your gates whatever you desire. 22Just as a gazelle or a deer is eaten, so you will eat it; the unclean and the clean alike may eat of it. 23Only be sure not to eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh. 24You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the ground like water. 25You shall not eat it, so that it may be well with you and your sons after you, for you will be doing what is right in the sight of the Lord. 26Only your holy things which you may have and your votive offerings, you shall take and go to the place which the Lord chooses. 27And you shall offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of the Lord your God; and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the Lord your God, and you shall eat the flesh.
28“Be careful to listen to all these words which I command you, so that it may be well with you and your sons after you forever, for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.
29“When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?’ 31You shall not behave thus toward the Lord your God, for every abominable act which the Lord hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.
32“Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.