The Agreement in Moab
1The Lord made an agreement with the Israelites at Mount Horeb. In addition to that agreement, he also commanded Moses to make another agreement with them while they were in Moab. This is that agreement.
2Moses called together all the Israelites. He said to them, “You saw everything the Lord did in the land of Egypt. You saw what he did to Pharaoh, to Pharaoh’s officers, and to his whole country. 3You saw the great troubles he gave them. You saw the miracles and amazing things he did. 4But even today, you still don’t understand what happened. The Lord has not let you really understand what you saw and heard. 5He led you through the desert for 40 years, and in all that time, your clothes and sandals did not wear out. 6You did not have any food with you. You did not have any wine or anything else to drink. But he took care of you so that you would understand that he is the Lord your God.
7“You came to this place, and King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan came out to fight against us. But we defeated them. 8Then we took their land and gave it to the people in the tribes of Reuben and Gad and to half the tribe of Manasseh. 9If you obey all the commands in this agreement, you will continue to succeed in everything you do.
10“Today all of you are standing here before the Lord your God. Your leaders, your officials, your elders, and all the other men are here. 11Your wives and children are here and also the foreigners living among you—the people who cut your wood and bring you water. 12You are all here to enter into an agreement with the Lord your God. The Lord your God is making this agreement with you today. 13With this agreement he is making you his own special people, and he himself will become your God. He told you this. He promised this to your ancestors—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 14The Lord is making this agreement with its promises with you people, but not only with you. 15Yes, he is making this agreement with all of you who stand here with us today before the Lord our God. But this agreement is also for our descendants who are not here with us today. 16You remember how we lived in the land of Egypt. And you remember how we traveled through the countries that were on our way here. 17You saw their hated things—the idols they had made from wood, stone, silver, and gold. 18Be sure that there is no man, woman, family or tribe here today who turns away from the Lord our God. No one should go and serve the gods of the other nations. People who do that are like a plant that grows bitter and poisonous fruit.
19“Some people might hear these curses and comfort themselves by saying, ‘I will continue doing what I want. Nothing bad will happen to me.’ But that attitude will bring total disaster. 20-21The Lord will not forgive them for that. No, the Lord will be angry and upset with them and punish them. The Lord will separate them from the tribes of Israel. He will completely destroy them. All the curses that are written in this book will happen to them. They are a part of the agreement that is written in this Book of Teachings.
22“In the future, your descendants and foreigners from faraway countries will see how the land has been ruined. They will see the diseases that the Lord has brought to it. 23All the land will be useless—destroyed by burning sulfur and covered with salt. The land will have nothing planted in it. Nothing will be growing—not even weeds. The land will be destroyed like Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, the cities the Lord destroyed when he was very angry.
24“All the other nations will ask, ‘Why did the Lord do this to this land? Why was he so angry?’ 25The answer will be, ‘This happened because the Israelites left the agreement of the Lord, the God of their ancestors. They stopped following the agreement he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26The Israelites started serving other gods—gods they never worshiped before. The Lord told his people not to worship those gods. 27That is why the Lord became very angry with the people of this land. So he brought to them all the curses that are written in this book. 28The Lord became very angry and upset with them. So he took them out of their land. He put them in another land, where they are today.’
29“There are some things that the Lord our God has kept secret. Only he knows these things. But he told us about some things. And these teachings are for us and our descendants forever. And we must obey all the commands in that law.