Deuteronomy 4
Introduction to the Stipulations
1“Now, Israel, listen to the rules and to the regulations that I am teaching you to do, in order that you may live and you may go in and you may take possession of the land that Yahweh, the God of your ancestors,#Or “fathers” is giving to you. 2You must not add to the word that I am commanding you, and you shall not take away from it in order to keep#Or “observe” the commands of Yahweh your God that I am commanding you to observe. 3Your eyes have seen#Literally “your eyes the seeing what” what Yahweh did with#Or “in” the case of Baal Peor, for each#Literally “every one of” man that followed after Baal Peor Yahweh your God destroyed from your midst. 4But you, the ones holding fast to Yahweh your God, are all alive today.#Literally “the day”
5See, I now teach#Or “I have taught” (compare NASB, NEB) you rules and regulations just as Yahweh my God has commanded me, to observe them just so in the midst of the land where you are going, to take possession of it. 6And you must observe them diligently,#Literally “you must observe and you must do” for that is your wisdom and your insight before the eyes of the people, who will hear all of these rules, and they will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people.’ 7For what great nation has for it a god near to it as Yahweh our God, whenever#Literally “in every matter/every time we call ” we call upon him? 8And what other great nation has for it#Literally “which/that is for him it” just rules and regulations just like#Literally “as” this whole#Literally “all of” law that I am setting before#Literally “to the face of” you today?#Literally “the day”
9“However, take care#Literally “watch” for yourself and watch your inner self#Or “soul” closely, so that you do not forget the things that your eyes have seen, so that they do not slip from your mind all the days of your life; and you shall make them known to your children and to your grandchildren.#Literally “the children of your children” 10Remember the day that you stood before#Literally “to the face of” Yahweh your God at Horeb when Yahweh said to me,#Literally “when to say Yahweh” ‘Summon for me the people so that I can tell them my words, that they may learn to fear me all of the days they are alive on the earth and so that they may teach their children.’ 11And so you came near, and you stood under the mountain, and the mountain was burning with fire up to the heart of the heaven, dark with a very thick cloud.#Literally “darkness, cloud, and very thick darkness” 12And Yahweh spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you heard#Literally “you were hearing” a sound of words, but you did not see#Literally “you were not seeing” a form—only a voice. 13And he declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments,#Literally “the ten words” which he charged you to observe,#Literally “to do” and he wrote them on the two tablets of stone. 14And Yahweh charged me at that time to teach you rules and regulations for your observation of them#Literally “for your doing them” in the land that you are about to cross into#Literally “about to cross into there” to take possession of it.
15“So you must be very careful for yourselves,#Literally “watch yourselves diligently with respect to your souls” because you did not see#Or “have not seen” any form on the day Yahweh spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, 16so that you do not ruin yourselves#Literally “corrupt yourselves” and make for yourselves a divine image in a form of any image, a replica of male or female, 17a replica of any animal that is upon the earth, a replica of any winged bird that flies in the air, 18a replica of any creeping thing on the ground, a replica of any fish that is in the water below#Literally “under” the earth. 19And do this so that you do not lift#Literally “And lest you lift up” your eyes toward heaven and observe#Literally “see” the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of the heaven, and be led astray and bow down to them and serve them, things that Yahweh your God has allotted to all of the peoples under all of the heaven. 20But Yahweh has taken you and brought you out from the furnace of iron, from Egypt, to be a people of inheritance to#Or “for”; a people of inheritance = a people who is his very own possession him, as it is this day.#Literally “as the day the this” = as you are now
21“And Yahweh was angry with me because of you,#Literally “because of your matter” and he swore that I would not cross the Jordan#Literally “not I to cross the Jordan” and that I would not go to the good land#Literally “not I going to the land” that Yahweh your God is giving you as an inheritance. 22For I am going to die in this land; I am not going to cross the Jordan, but you are going to cross, and you are going to take possession of this good land. 23Watch out for yourselves so that you do not forget the covenant of Yahweh your God that he had made#Literally “cut” with you and make for yourselves a divine image of the form of anything that Yahweh your God has forbidden,#Literally “has commanded you about” 24for Yahweh your God is a devouring fire, a jealous#Or “zealous” or “impassioned” God.
25“When you have had children and grandchildren#Literally “children of children” and you have grown old in the land and you act corruptly and you make a divine image of the form of anything and you do evil in the eyes of Yahweh your God, thus provoking him to anger, 26I call#Or “I shall call to witness” to witness against you today the heaven and the earth, that you will perish soon and completely from the land that you are crossing the Jordan into it to take possession of it; you will not live long on it,#Literally “you will not extend days” but you will be completely destroyed. 27And Yahweh will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number#Literally “people of number,” as opposed to people without number among the nations to where Yahweh will lead you.#Literally “he will lead Yahweh you there” 28And you will there serve gods made by human hands,#Literally “the work of the hands of human” of wood and stone, gods that cannot see and cannot hear and cannot eat and cannot smell. 29But from there you shall seek Yahweh your God and will find him, if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.#Or “inner self” 30In your distress#Literally “In the distress for you” when#Hebrew “and” all these things have found you in the latter days,#Literally “in the last of the days” then#Hebrew “and” you will return to Yahweh your God, and you will listen to his voice. 31For Yahweh your God is a compassionate God; he will not abandon you,#Literally “will not leave you alone” and he will not destroy you, and he will not forget the covenant of your ancestors#Or “fathers” that he swore to them.
32“Yes, ask, please, about former days that preceded you#Literally “that they were to the face of you” from the day that God created humankind on the earth; ask even from one end of the heaven up to the other end of heaven whether anything ever happened#Literally “was it ever” like this great thing or whether anything like it was ever heard.#Literally “was it ever heard as it” 33Has a people ever heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire, just as you heard it, and lived? 34Or has a god ever attempted to go to take for himself#Hebrew “for him” a nation from the midst of a nation, using trials and signs and wonders and war, with an outstretched arm and with great and awesome deeds, like all that Yahweh your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35You yourselves#Emphatic use of pronoun; plural meaning implied were shown this wonder in order for you to acknowledge that Yahweh is the God;#The definite article indicates that Israel’s God is alone the true God and the one who revealed himself to them there is no other God besides him.#Literally “except him” or “to him alone” 36From heaven he made you hear his voice to teach you, and on the earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from the midst of the fire. 37And because he loved your ancestors#Or “fathers” he chose their descendants#Literally “seed” after them. And he brought you forth from Egypt with his own presence,#Literally “with his faces” by his great strength, 38to drive out nations greater and more numerous than you from before you,#Literally “from your face” to bring you and to give to you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day. 39So you shall acknowledge today,#Literally “the day” and you must call to mind#Literally “you shall bring back to your heart” that Yahweh is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath. There is no other God. 40And you shall keep his rules and his commandments that I am commanding you today,#Literally “the day” so that it may go well#Literally “he/it is good” for you and for your children#Or “descendants” after you, and so that you may remain a long time#Literally “you may make long/prolong days” on the land that Yahweh your God is giving to you during all of those days.”
41Then Moses set apart three cities on the other side of the Jordan,#Literally “in the beyond of the Jordan” toward the east,#Literally “toward rising of the sun” 42in order for a manslayer#Literally “a killer of a man” to flee there who has killed his neighbor without intent#Literally “without previous knowledge” and was not hating him previously,#Literally “the day before yesterday” and so he could flee to one of these cities and be safe.#Literally “and live” 43He set apart Bezer in the wilderness#Or “desert” in the land of the plateau of the Reubenites;#Hebrew “Reubenite” Ramoth in Gilead of the Gadites,#Hebrew “Gadite” and Golan in Bashan of the Manassites.#Hebrew “Manassite”
44Now this is the law#Hebrew “the torah” = teaching, instruction, law that Moses set before#Literally “before the faces of” the Israelites;#Literally “sons/children of Israel” 45these are the legal provisions and the rules and the regulations that Moses spoke to the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” when they left Egypt,#Literally “at their going out from Egypt” 46beyond the Jordan in the valley opposite Beth Peor in the land of Sihon the king of the Amorites,#Hebrew “Amorite” who was reigning in Heshbon and whom Moses and the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” defeated when they came out of Egypt.#Literally “at their going out from Egypt” 47And so they took possession of his land and the land of Og king of Bashan, the two kings of the Amorites#Hebrew “Amorite” who were beyond the Jordan, eastward,#Literally “toward the rising of the sun” 48from Aroer, which is on the bank of the wadi#A valley that is dry most of the year, but contains a stream during the rainy season of Arnon and as far as Mount Sirion; that is, Hermon, 49and all of the Arabah#Or “valley” in this instance beyond the Jordan, eastward, and as far as the Sea of the Arabah#Commonly known today as the Dead Sea under the slopes of Pisgah.
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