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12 These are the statutes and ordinances, which ye shall take heed to do in the land, which Jehovah the God of thy fathers is giving thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.

Ye shall utterly destroy all the places wherein the nations which ye shall dispossess have served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree;

and ye shall break down their altars, and shatter their statues, and burn their Asherahs with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and ye shall destroy the names of them out of that place.

Ye shall not do so unto Jehovah your God;

but unto the place which Jehovah your God will choose out of all your tribes to set his name there, his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come;

and thither ye shall bring your burnt-offerings and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and the heave-offering of your hand, and your vows, and your voluntary-offerings, and the firstlings of your kine and of your sheep;

and ye shall eat there before Jehovah your God, and ye shall rejoice, ye and your households, in all the business of your hand, wherein Jehovah thy God hath blessed thee.

Ye shall not do after all that we do here this day, each one whatever is right in his own eyes.

For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance which Jehovah thy God giveth thee.

10 But when ye have gone over the Jordan, and dwell in the land which Jehovah your God causeth you to inherit, and when he hath given you rest from all your enemies round about, and ye dwell in safety,

11 then there shall be a place which Jehovah your God will choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you: your burnt-offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave-offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye shall vow to Jehovah.

12 And ye shall rejoice before Jehovah your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your bondmen, and your handmaids, and the Levite that is within your gates; for he hath no portion nor inheritance with you.

13 Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt-offerings in every place that thou seest;

14 but in the place which Jehovah will choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt-offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee.

15 Nevertheless, according to all the desire of thy soul thou mayest slay and eat flesh in all thy gates, according to the blessing of Jehovah thy God which he hath given thee: the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the gazelle, and the hart.

16 Only, ye shall not eat the blood; ye shall pour it upon the earth as water.

17 Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy new wine, or of thine oil, or the firstlings of thy kine or of thy sheep, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy voluntary-offerings, nor the heave-offering of thy hand;

18 but before Jehovah thy God shalt thou eat them in the place which Jehovah thy God will choose, thou and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy bondman, and thy handmaid, and the Levite that is within thy gates; and thou shalt rejoice before Jehovah thy God in all the business of thy hand.

19 Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite all the days thou shalt be in thy land.

20 When Jehovah thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he promised thee, and thou say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh, thou mayest eat flesh, according to all the desire of thy soul.

21 If the place which Jehovah thy God will choose to set his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt slay of thy kine and of thy sheep which Jehovah hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates according to all the desire of thy soul.

22 Even as the gazelle and the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat them: the unclean and the clean alike may eat of them.

23 Only, be sure that thou eat not the blood; for the blood is the life, and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh;

24 thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it upon the earth as water:

25 thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do what is right in the eyes of Jehovah.

26 But thy hallowed things which thou hast, and what thou hast vowed, thou shalt take, and come to the place which Jehovah will choose;

27 and thou shalt offer thy burnt-offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of Jehovah thy God; and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of Jehovah thy God, and the flesh shalt thou eat.

28 Take heed to hear all these words which I command thee, that it may be well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest what is good and right in the eyes of Jehovah thy God.

29 When Jehovah thy God cutteth off from before thee the nations whither thou goest, to take possession of them, and thou hast dispossessed them, and dwellest in their land,

30 take heed to thyself that thou be not ensnared [to follow] after them, after that they are destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.

31 Thou shalt not do so to Jehovah thy God; for every [thing that is] abomination to Jehovah, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters have they burned in the fire to their gods.

32 Everything that I command you, ye shall take heed to do it; thou shalt not add thereto, nor take from it.

The One Place of Worship

12 These are the decrees(A) and laws you must be careful to follow in the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you to possess—as long as you live in the land.(B) Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains,(C) on the hills and under every spreading tree,(D) where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods. Break down their altars, smash(E) their sacred stones and burn(F) their Asherah(G) poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names(H) from those places.

You must not worship the Lord your God in their way.(I) But you are to seek the place the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name(J) there for his dwelling.(K) To that place you must go; there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes(L) and special gifts, what you have vowed(M) to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks.(N) There, in the presence(O) of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice(P) in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you.

You are not to do as we do here today, everyone doing as they see fit,(Q) since you have not yet reached the resting place(R) and the inheritance(S) the Lord your God is giving you. 10 But you will cross the Jordan and settle in the land the Lord your God is giving(T) you as an inheritance, and he will give you rest(U) from all your enemies around you so that you will live in safety. 11 Then to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name(V)—there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the Lord.(W) 12 And there rejoice(X) before the Lord your God—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites(Y) from your towns who have no allotment or inheritance(Z) of their own. 13 Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings anywhere you please.(AA) 14 Offer them only at the place the Lord will choose(AB) in one of your tribes, and there observe everything I command you.

15 Nevertheless, you may slaughter your animals in any of your towns and eat as much of the meat as you want, as if it were gazelle or deer,(AC) according to the blessing the Lord your God gives you. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat it. 16 But you must not eat the blood;(AD) pour(AE) it out on the ground like water.(AF) 17 You must not eat in your own towns the tithe(AG) of your grain and new wine and olive oil,(AH) or the firstborn of your herds and flocks, or whatever you have vowed to give,(AI) or your freewill offerings or special gifts.(AJ) 18 Instead, you are to eat(AK) them in the presence of the Lord your God at the place the Lord your God will choose(AL)—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites from your towns—and you are to rejoice(AM) before the Lord your God in everything you put your hand to. 19 Be careful not to neglect the Levites(AN) as long as you live in your land.(AO)

20 When the Lord your God has enlarged your territory(AP) as he promised(AQ) you, and you crave meat(AR) and say, “I would like some meat,” then you may eat as much of it as you want. 21 If the place where the Lord your God chooses to put his Name(AS) is too far away from you, you may slaughter animals from the herds and flocks the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you, and in your own towns you may eat as much of them as you want.(AT) 22 Eat them as you would gazelle or deer.(AU) Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat. 23 But be sure you do not eat the blood,(AV) because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the meat.(AW) 24 You must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water.(AX) 25 Do not eat it, so that it may go well(AY) with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is right(AZ) in the eyes of the Lord.

26 But take your consecrated things and whatever you have vowed to give,(BA) and go to the place the Lord will choose. 27 Present your burnt offerings(BB) on the altar of the Lord your God, both the meat and the blood. The blood of your sacrifices must be poured beside the altar of the Lord your God, but you may eat(BC) the meat. 28 Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well(BD) with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God.

29 The Lord your God will cut off(BE) before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess. But when you have driven them out and settled in their land,(BF) 30 and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared(BG) by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.”(BH) 31 You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates.(BI) They even burn their sons(BJ) and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.(BK)

32 See that you do all I command you; do not add(BL) to it or take away from it.[a]

Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 12:32 In Hebrew texts this verse (12:32) is numbered 13:1.

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