False prophets and false gods
1#13:2 in HebNow if a prophet or a dream interpreter appears among you and performs a sign or wonder for you, 2and the sign or wonder that was spoken actually occurs; if he says: "Come on! We should follow other gods"—ones you haven’t experienced—"and we should worship them," 3you must not listen to that prophet’s or dream interpreter’s words, because the Lord your God is testing you to see if you love the Lord your God with all your mind and all your being. 4You must follow the Lord your God alone! Revere him! Follow his commandments! Obey his voice! Worship him! Cling to him—no other! 5That prophet or dream interpreter must be executed because he encouraged you to turn away from the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, who redeemed you from the house of slavery; they tried to lead you away from the path the Lord your God commanded you to take. Remove#Or burn such evil from your community!
6Similarly, if one of your relatives—even one of your own siblings—or your own son or daughter or your dear spouse or best friend entices you secretly, if someone like that says: "Come on! We should follow and worship other gods"—ones that neither you nor your ancestors have experienced, 7gods from all the neighboring peoples, whether nearby or far away, from one end of the earth to the other—8don’t give in to them! Don’t obey them! Don’t have any mercy on them! Don’t have compassion on them and don’t protect them! 9Instead, you must execute them. Your own hand must be against them from the beginning of the execution; the hand of all the people will be involved at the end. 10Stone them until they are dead because they desired to lead you away from the Lord your God, the one who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 11All Israel will hear about this and be afraid. They won’t do that sort of evil thing among you again.
12Or if you hear about one of your towns the Lord your God is giving you to inhabit, that 13certain wicked people have gone out from your community and they’ve led the citizens of their town astray by saying: "Come on! We should follow and worship other gods"—ones you haven’t experienced before; 14at that point you must look into this situation very carefully to see if it’s true. And if it’s definitely true that this detestable thing was done in your community, 15you must completely strike down the inhabitants of that city with the sword. Place it and all that is in it under the ban.#See note at 2:34. Put its animals to the sword. 16Gather all the plunder into the middle of the town’s square. Then burn the city and all of its plunder as an entirely burned offering to the Lord your God. It must remain a heap of rubble forever. It must not be rebuilt. 17Don’t hold on to any of the banned items—this will ensure that the Lord turns from his great anger and is compassionate to you, showing you mercy and multiplying you just like he swore to your ancestors. 18You must definitely obey the Lord your God’s voice, keeping all his commandments that I am giving you right now, by doing what is right in the Lord your God’s eyes!
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