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Chapter 6

This then is the commandment, the statutes and the ordinances,(A) which the Lord, your God, has commanded that you be taught to observe in the land you are about to cross into to possess, so that you, that is, you, your child, and your grandchild, may fear the Lord, your God, by keeping, as long as you live, all his statutes and commandments(B) which I enjoin on you, and thus have long life. Hear then, Israel, and be careful to observe them, that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly; for the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you a land flowing with milk and honey.(C)

The Great Commandment.[a] (D)Hear, O Israel![b] The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength.(E) (F)Take to heart these words which I command you today.(G) Keep repeating them to your children. Recite them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up.(H) Bind them on your arm as a sign[c] and let them be as a pendant on your forehead.(I) Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.(J)

Fidelity in Prosperity. 10 (K)When the Lord, your God, brings you into the land which he swore to your ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that he would give you, a land with fine, large cities that you did not build,(L) 11 with houses full of goods of all sorts that you did not garner, with cisterns that you did not dig, with vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant; and when, therefore, you eat and are satisfied,(M) 12 (N)be careful not to forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that house of slavery. 13 (O)The Lord, your God, shall you fear; him shall you serve,[d] and by his name shall you swear. 14 (P)You shall not go after other gods, any of the gods of the surrounding peoples— 15 for the Lord, your God who is in your midst, is a passionate God—lest the anger of the Lord, your God, flare up against you and he destroy you from upon the land.

16 You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test, as you did at Massah.(Q) 17 But keep the commandments of the Lord, your God, and the decrees and the statutes he has commanded you. 18 Do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may go well with you, and you may enter in and possess the good land which the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors, 19 driving all your enemies out of your way, as the Lord has promised.(R)

Instruction to Children. 20 (S)Later on, when your son asks you, “What do these decrees and statutes and ordinances mean?”(T) which the Lord, our God, has enjoined on you, 21 (U)you shall say to your son, “We were once slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand(V) 22 and wrought before our eyes signs and wonders, great and dire, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and his whole house. 23 He brought us from there to bring us in and give us the land he had promised on oath to our ancestors.(W) 24 (X)The Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes in fear of the Lord, our God, that we may always have as good a life as we have today. 25 This is our justice before the Lord, our God: to observe carefully this whole commandment he has enjoined on us.”

Footnotes

  1. 6:4–5 This passage, an expansion of the first commandment (5:6–10), contains the basic principle of the whole Mosaic law, the keynote of the Book of Deuteronomy: since the Lord alone is God, Israel must love him with an undivided heart. Jesus cited these words as “the greatest and the first commandment,” embracing in itself the whole law of God (Mt 22:37–38; Mk 12:29–30; Lk 10:27).
  2. 6:4 Hear, O Israel!: in Hebrew, shema yisra’el; hence this passage (vv. 4–9), containing the Great Commandment, is called the Shema. In later Jewish tradition, 11:13–21 and Nm 15:37–41 were added to form a prayer recited every evening and morning. The Lord is our God, the Lord alone: other possible translations are “the Lord our God is one Lord”; “the Lord our God, the Lord is one”; “the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.”
  3. 6:8 Bind them…as a sign: these injunctions were probably meant merely in a figurative sense; cf. Ex 13:9, 16. In the late postexilic period, they were taken quite literally, and devout Jews tied on their arms and foreheads “phylacteries,” boxes containing strips of parchment on which these words were inscribed; cf. Mt 23:5.
  4. 6:13 Him shall you serve: the verb could be translated as either “serve” or “worship” (cf. 5:9).

Love the Lord Your God

These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear(A) the Lord your God as long as you live(B) by keeping all his decrees and commands(C) that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.(D) Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey(E) so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly(F) in a land flowing with milk and honey,(G) just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised(H) you.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a](I) Love(J) the Lord your God with all your heart(K) and with all your soul and with all your strength.(L) These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.(M) Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.(N) Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.(O) Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.(P)

10 When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build,(Q) 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig,(R) and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied,(S) 12 be careful that you do not forget(T) the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

13 Fear the Lord(U) your God, serve him only(V) and take your oaths(W) in his name.(X) 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the Lord your God(Y), who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16 Do not put the Lord your God to the test(Z) as you did at Massah. 17 Be sure to keep(AA) the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you.(AB) 18 Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight,(AC) so that it may go well(AD) with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors, 19 thrusting out all your enemies(AE) before you, as the Lord said.

20 In the future, when your son asks you,(AF) “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?” 21 tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.(AG) 22 Before our eyes the Lord sent signs and wonders—great and terrible—on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. 23 But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. 24 The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God,(AH) so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.(AI) 25 And if we are careful to obey all this law(AJ) before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.(AK)

Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 6:4 Or The Lord our God is one Lord; or The Lord is our God, the Lord is one; or The Lord is our God, the Lord alone

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