1“You must love the lord your God and always obey his requirements, decrees, regulations, and commands. 2Keep in mind that I am not talking now to your children, who have never experienced the discipline of the lord your God or seen his greatness and his strong hand and powerful arm. 3They didn’t see the miraculous signs and wonders he performed in Egypt against Pharaoh and all his land. 4They didn’t see what the lord did to the armies of Egypt and to their horses and chariots—how he drowned them in the Red Sea# Hebrew sea of reeds. as they were chasing you. He destroyed them, and they have not recovered to this very day!
5“Your children didn’t see how the lord cared for you in the wilderness until you arrived here. 6They didn’t see what he did to Dathan and Abiram (the sons of Eliab, a descendant of Reuben) when the earth opened its mouth in the Israelite camp and swallowed them, along with their households and tents and every living thing that belonged to them. 7But you have seen the lord perform all these mighty deeds with your own eyes!
The Blessings of Obedience
8“Therefore, be careful to obey every command I am giving you today, so you may have strength to go in and take over the land you are about to enter. 9If you obey, you will enjoy a long life in the land the lord swore to give to your ancestors and to you, their descendants—a land flowing with milk and honey! 10For the land you are about to enter and take over is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you planted your seed and made irrigation ditches with your foot as in a vegetable garden. 11Rather, the land you will soon take over is a land of hills and valleys with plenty of rain—12a land that the lord your God cares for. He watches over it through each season of the year!
13“If you carefully obey the commands I am giving you today, and if you love the lord your God and serve him with all your heart and soul, 14then he will send the rains in their proper seasons—the early and late rains—so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil. 15He will give you lush pastureland for your livestock, and you yourselves will have all you want to eat.
16“But be careful. Don’t let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the lord and serve and worship other gods. 17If you do, the lord’s anger will burn against you. He will shut up the sky and hold back the rain, and the ground will fail to produce its harvests. Then you will quickly die in that good land the lord is giving you.
18“So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 19Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 20Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the lord swore to give your ancestors.
22“Be careful to obey all these commands I am giving you. Show love to the lord your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him. 23Then the lord will drive out all the nations ahead of you, though they are much greater and stronger than you, and you will take over their land. 24Wherever you set foot, that land will be yours. Your frontiers will stretch from the wilderness in the south to Lebanon in the north, and from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.# Hebrew to the western sea. 25No one will be able to stand against you, for the lord your God will cause the people to fear and dread you, as he promised, wherever you go in the whole land.
26“Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse! 27You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the lord your God that I am giving you today. 28But you will be cursed if you reject the commands of the lord your God and turn away from him and worship gods you have not known before.
29“When the lord your God brings you into the land and helps you take possession of it, you must pronounce the blessing at Mount Gerizim and the curse at Mount Ebal. 30(These two mountains are west of the Jordan River in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Jordan Valley,# Hebrew the Arabah. near the town of Gilgal, not far from the oaks of Moreh.) 31For you are about to cross the Jordan River to take over the land the lord your God is giving you. When you take that land and are living in it, 32you must be careful to obey all the decrees and regulations I am giving you today.