Moses Commands Obedience
1“Now, O Israel, listen to #Lev. 19:37; 20:8; 22:31; Deut. 5:1; 8:1; Ezek. 20:11; (Rom. 10:5)the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you. 2#Deut. 12:32; (Josh. 1:7); Prov. 30:6; (Rev. 22:18, 19)You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. 3Your eyes have seen what the Lord did at #Num. 25:1–9; Josh. 22:17; Ps. 106:28Baal Peor; for the Lord your God has destroyed from among you all the men who followed Baal of Peor. 4But you who held fast to the Lord your God are alive today, every one of you.
5“Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. 6Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is #Deut. 30:19, 20; 32:46, 47; Job 28:28; Ps. 19:7; 111:10; Prov. 1:7; (2 Tim. 3:15)your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’
7“For #(Deut. 4:32–34; 2 Sam. 7:23)what great nation is there that has #(Ps. 46:1; Is. 55:6)God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? 8And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day? 9Only take heed to yourself, and diligently #Prov. 4:23keep yourself, lest you #Deut. 29:2–8forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And #Gen. 18:19; Deut. 4:10; 6:7, 20–25; Ps. 78:5, 6; Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:4teach them to your children and your grandchildren, 10especially concerning #Ex. 19:9, 16, 17the day you stood before the Lord your God in Horeb, when the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’
11“Then you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the midst of heaven, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness. 12#Deut. 5:4, 22And the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; #Ex. 19:17–19; 20:22; 1 Kin. 19:11–18you only heard a voice. 13#Deut. 9:9, 11So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, #Ex. 34:28; Deut. 10:4the Ten Commandments; and #Ex. 24:12He wrote them on two tablets of stone. 14And #Ex. 21:1the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might observe them in the land which you cross over to possess.
Beware of Idolatry
15#Josh. 23:11“Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no #Is. 40:18form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, 16lest you #Ex. 32:7; Deut. 9:12; 31:29act corruptly and #Ex. 20:4, 5make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: #Rom. 1:23the likeness of male or female, 17the likeness of any animal that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, 18the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water beneath the earth. 19And take heed, lest you #Deut. 17:3; Job 31:26–28lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, #2 Kin. 21:3all the host of heaven, you feel driven to #(Rom. 1:25)worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage. 20But the Lord has taken you and #1 Kin. 8:51; Jer. 11:4brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be #Deut. 7:6; 27:9; (Titus 2:14)His people, an inheritance, as you are this day. 21Furthermore #Num. 20:12; Deut. 1:37; 3:26the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, and swore that #Num. 27:13, 14I would not cross over the Jordan, and that I would not enter the good land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. 22But #2 Pet. 1:13–15I must die in this land, #Deut. 3:27I must not cross over the Jordan; but you shall cross over and possess #Deut. 3:25that good land. 23Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God which He made with you, #Ex. 20:4, 5; Deut. 4:16and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the Lord your God has forbidden you. 24For #Ex. 24:17; Deut. 9:3; Is. 33:14; Heb. 12:29the Lord your God is a consuming fire, #Ex. 20:5; 34:14a jealous God.
25“When you beget children and grandchildren and have grown old in the land, and act corruptly and make a carved image in the form of anything, and #2 Kin. 17:17do evil in the sight of the Lord your God to provoke Him to anger, 26#Deut. 30:18, 19; 2 Chr. 36:14–20; Is. 1:2; Mic. 6:2I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you will soon utterly perish from the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess; you will not prolong your days in it, but will be utterly destroyed. 27And the Lord #Lev. 26:33; Deut. 28:62; Neh. 1:8will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord will drive you. 28And #Deut. 28:64; 1 Sam. 26:19; Jer. 16:13there you will serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, #Ps. 115:4–7; 135:15–17; Is. 44:9; 46:7which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. 29#(Lev. 26:39–45; Deut. 30:1–3; 2 Chr. 15:4; Neh. 1:9)But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the #Gen. 49:1; Deut. 31:29; Jer. 23:20; Hos. 3:5latter days, when you #Joel 2:12; Heb. 1:2turn to the Lord your God and obey His voice 31(for the Lord your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor #Lev. 26:44; Jer. 30:11destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.
32“For #Deut. 32:7; Job 8:8ask now concerning the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask #Deut. 28:64; Matt. 24:31from one end of heaven to the other, whether any great thing like this has happened, or anything like it has been heard. 33#Ex. 20:22; 24:11; Deut. 5:24–26Did any people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and live? 34Or did God ever try to go and take for Himself a nation from the midst of another nation, #Deut. 7:19by trials, #Ex. 7:3by signs, by wonders, by war, #Ex. 13:3by a mighty hand and #Ex. 6:6an outstretched arm, #Deut. 26:8and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord Himself is God; #Ex. 8:10; 9:14; (Deut. 4:39; 32:12, 39; 1 Sam. 2:2; Is. 43:10–12; 44:6–8; 45:5–7); Mark 12:32there is none other besides Him. 36#Ex. 19:9, 19; 20:18, 22; Deut. 4:33; Neh. 9:13; Heb. 12:19, 25Out of heaven He let you hear His voice, that He might instruct you; on earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words out of the midst of the fire. 37And because #Deut. 7:7, 8; 10:15; 33:3He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and #Ex. 13:3, 9, 14He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power, 38#Deut. 7:1driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day. 39Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that #Deut. 4:35; Josh. 2:11the Lord Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. 40#Lev. 22:31; Deut. 5:16; 32:46, 47You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”
Cities of Refuge East of the Jordan
41Then Moses #Num. 35:6; Deut. 19:2–13; Josh. 20:7–9set apart three cities on this side of the Jordan, toward the rising of the sun, 42#Deut. 19:4that the manslayer might flee there, who kills his neighbor unintentionally, without having hated him in time past, and that by fleeing to one of these cities he might live: 43#Josh. 20:8Bezer in the wilderness on the plateau for the Reubenites, Ramoth in Gilead for the Gadites, and Golan in Bashan for the Manassites.
Introduction to God’s Law
44Now this is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel. 45These are the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which Moses spoke to the children of Israel after they came out of Egypt, 46on this side of the Jordan, #Deut. 3:29in the valley opposite Beth Peor, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon, whom Moses and the children of Israel #Num. 21:24; Deut. 1:4defeated after they came out of Egypt. 47And they took possession of his land and the land #Num. 21:33–35of Og king of Bashan, two kings of the Amorites, who were on this side of the Jordan, toward the rising of the sun, 48#Deut. 2:36; 3:12from Aroer, which is on the bank of the River Arnon, even to Mount Sion (that is, #Deut. 3:9; Ps. 133:3Hermon), 49and all the plain on the east side of the Jordan as far as the Sea of the Arabah, below the #Deut. 3:17slopes of Pisgah.