Contemporary English Version
The Most Important Commandment
Moses said to Israel:
6 The Lord told me to give you these laws and teachings,[a] so you can obey them in the land he is giving you. Soon you will cross the Jordan River and take that land. 2 And if you and your descendants want to live a long time, you must always worship the Lord and obey his laws. 3 Pay attention, Israel! Our ancestors worshiped the Lord, and he promised to give us this land that is rich with milk and honey. Be careful to obey him, and you will become a successful and powerful nation.
4 Listen, Israel! The Lord our God is the only true God![b] 5 So love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. 6 Memorize his laws 7 and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you’re at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning. 8 Write down copies and tie them to your wrists and foreheads to help you obey them. 9 Write these laws on the door frames of your homes and on your town gates.
Worship Only the Lord
Moses said to Israel:
10 The Lord promised your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that he would give you this land. Now he will take you there and give you large towns, with good buildings that you didn’t build, 11 and houses full of good things that you didn’t put there. The Lord will give you wells[c] that you didn’t have to dig, and vineyards and olive orchards that you didn’t have to plant. But when you have eaten so much that you can’t eat any more, 12 don’t forget it was the Lord who set you free from slavery and brought you out of Egypt. 13 Worship and obey the Lord your God with fear and trembling, and promise that you will be loyal to him.
14 Don’t have anything to do with gods that are worshiped by the nations around you. 15 If you worship other gods, the Lord will be furious and wipe you off the face of the earth. The Lord your God is with you, 16 so don’t try to make him prove that he can help you, as you did at Massah.[d] 17 Always obey the laws that the Lord has given you 18-19 and live in a way that pleases him. Then you will be able to go in and take this good land from your enemies, just as he promised your ancestors.
20 Someday your children will ask, “Why did the Lord give us these laws and teachings?”
21 Then you will answer:
We were slaves of the king of Egypt, but the Lord used his great power and set us free. 22 We saw him perform miracles and make horrible things happen to the king, his officials, and everyone else. 23 The Lord rescued us from Egypt, so he could bring us into this land, as he had promised our ancestors. 24-25 That’s why the Lord our God demands that we obey his laws and worship him with fear and trembling. And if we do, he will protect us and help us be successful.