The Place He Chooses
1“These are the statutes and ordinances that you are to make sure to do in the land that Adonai, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess—all the days that you live on the earth.
2You must utterly destroy all the places where the nations that you will dispossess served their gods—on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree.
3You are to tear down their altars, smash their pillars, burn their Asherah poles in the fire and cut down the carved images of their gods, and you are to obliterate their name from that place.
4“You are not to act like this toward Adonai your God.
5Rather you are to seek only the place Adonai your God chooses from all your tribes to put His Name to dwell—there you will come.
6There you are to bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes, the offering of your hand, your vow and freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock.
7There you and your households will eat before Adonai your God and rejoice in every undertaking of your hand, as Adonai your God has blessed you.
8You will not do all the things as we are doing here today—everyone doing what is right in his own eyes.
9For you have not yet come to the resting place and the inheritance that Adonai your God is giving you.
10But when you cross over the Jordan and settle in the land that Adonai your God enables you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies around you, you will dwell in safety.
11“Then the place Adonai your God chooses to make His Name dwell, there you are to bring all that I command you—your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes, the offering of your hand, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to Adonai.
12Then you will rejoice before Adonai your God—you and your sons and daughters, your slaves and maids, and the Levite in your towns, for he has no portion or inheritance among you.
13Be careful that you do not offer your burnt offerings in any place you see.
14Rather do so only in the place Adonai chooses in one of your tribes—there you are to offer your burnt offerings, and there you are to do all I am commanding you.
15“However, you may slaughter and eat meat within all your gates—whatever your soul’s desire, according to the blessing Adonai your God has given you. Either the unclean or clean may eat of it, as they would a gazelle and or deer.
16But you are not to eat the blood—you are to pour it out on the ground like water.
17You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain or new wine or oil, or the firstborn of your herd or of your flock, or any of your vow offerings that you vow, or your freewill offerings, or the offering of your hand.
18Rather you are to eat them before Adonai your God in the place Adonai your God chooses—you, your son and daughter, your slave and maid, and the Levite within your gates—and you will rejoice before Adonai your God in every undertaking of your hand.
19Be careful that you do not neglect the Levite as long as you live on the earth.
20“When Adonai your God enlarges your territory as He has promised you, and you say, ‘I want to eat meat,’ because your soul craves meat, then you may eat meat—all your soul’s desire.
21If the place Adonai your God chooses to put His Name is too far from you, then you may slaughter any of your herd and flock that Adonai has given you—as I have commanded you—and you may eat within your gates, all your soul’s desire.
22Just as the gazelle or hart is eaten, so you may eat it—the unclean and clean alike may eat it.
23Only be sure that you do not eat the blood—for the blood is the life, and you are not to eat the life with the meat.
24You are not to eat it—you are to pour it out on the ground like water.
25You are not to eat it, so that it may go well with you and your children after you, when you do what is right in Adonai’s eyes.
26“Only the holy things and vow offerings that are yours are you to take and go to the place that Adonai chooses.
27You are to offer your burnt offerings—the flesh and the blood—on the altar of Adonai your God. The blood of your sacrifices is to be poured out on the altar of Adonai your God, but the meat you are to eat.
28Take care and listen to all these words that I am commanding you, so that it may go well with you and your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the eyes of Adonai your God.
29“When Adonai your God cuts off before you the nations that you are going in to dispossess, when you have dispossessed them and settled in their land,
30be careful not to be trapped into imitating them after they have been destroyed before you. Do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods? I will do the same.’
31You are not to act like this toward Adonai your God! For every abomination of Adonai, which He hates, they have done to their gods—they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.