The False Prophet

13 “If a prophet or someone who has dreams arises among you and proclaims a sign or wonder to you, and that sign or wonder he has promised you comes about, but he says, ‘Let us follow other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us worship them,’ do not listen to that prophet’s words or to that dreamer. For the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul. You must follow the Lord your God and fear Him. You must keep His commands and listen to His voice; you must worship Him and remain faithful[a] to Him.(A) That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he has urged rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the place of slavery,(B) to turn you from the way the Lord your God has commanded you to walk. You must purge the evil from you.

Don’t Tolerate Idolatry

“If your brother, the son of your mother,[b] or your son or daughter, or the wife you embrace, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and worship other gods’—which neither you nor your fathers have known, any of the gods of the peoples around you, near you or far from you, from one end of the earth to the other— you must not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity,[c] and do not spare him or shield him. Instead, you must kill him. Your hand is to be the first against him to put him to death, and then the hands of all the people.(C) 10 Stone him to death for trying to turn you away from the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. 11 All Israel will hear and be afraid, and they will no longer do anything evil like this among you.(D)

12 “If(E) you hear it said about one of your cities the Lord your God is giving you to live in, 13 that wicked men have sprung up among you, led the inhabitants of their city astray, and said, ‘Let us go and worship other gods,’ which you have not known, 14 you are to inquire, investigate, and interrogate thoroughly. If the report turns out to be true that this detestable thing has happened among you, 15 you must strike down the inhabitants of that city with the sword. Completely destroy everyone in it as well as its livestock with the sword. 16 You are to gather all its spoil in the middle of the city square and completely burn up the city and all its spoil for the Lord your God. The city must remain a mound of ruins forever; it is not to be rebuilt. 17 Nothing set apart for destruction is to remain in your hand, so that the Lord will turn from His burning anger and grant you mercy, show you compassion, and multiply you as He swore to your fathers. 18 This will occur if you obey the Lord your God, keeping all His commands I am giving you today, doing what is right in the sight of the Lord your God.

Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 13:4 Lit and hold on
  2. Deuteronomy 13:6 DSS, Sam, LXX read If the son of your father or the son of your mother
  3. Deuteronomy 13:8 Lit Your eye must not pity him

Worshiping Other Gods

13 [a]If a prophet,(A) or one who foretells by dreams,(B) appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and if the sign(C) or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods”(D) (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet(E) or dreamer.(F) The Lord your God is testing(G) you to find out whether you love(H) him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow,(I) and him you must revere.(J) Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast(K) to him. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death(L) for inciting rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn(M) you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil(N) from among you.

If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices(O) you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods”(P) (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield(Q) to them or listen to them. Show them no pity.(R) Do not spare them or shield them. You must certainly put them to death.(S) Your hand(T) must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away(U) from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid,(V) and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.

12 If you hear it said about one of the towns the Lord your God is giving you to live in 13 that troublemakers(W) have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known), 14 then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly.(X) And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you,(Y) 15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. You must destroy it completely,[b](Z) both its people and its livestock.(AA) 16 You are to gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town(AB) and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God.(AC) That town is to remain a ruin(AD) forever, never to be rebuilt, 17 and none of the condemned things[c] are to be found in your hands. Then the Lord will turn from his fierce anger,(AE) will show you mercy,(AF) and will have compassion(AG) on you. He will increase your numbers,(AH) as he promised(AI) on oath to your ancestors— 18 because you obey the Lord your God by keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right(AJ) in his eyes.

Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 13:1 In Hebrew texts 13:1-18 is numbered 13:2-19.
  2. Deuteronomy 13:15 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  3. Deuteronomy 13:17 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.

13 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,

And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;

Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;

Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;

Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:

But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

11 And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.

12 If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the Lord thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,

13 Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;

14 Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;

15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.

16 And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the Lord thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.

17 And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers;

18 When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the Lord thy God.

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