Blessing and Curse
11:26. “Behold! I AM setting before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27. a blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD* your God, which I command you this day 28. and a curse, if you will not obey the commandments of the LORD* your God, but turn aside out of the Way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which you have not known. 29. And it will be, when the LORD* your God has brought you in to the land where you are going to possess it, that you will put the blessing upon Mount Gerizim, and the curse upon Mount Ebal. 30. Behold, they are on the other side of the Jordan, by the way where the sun goes down, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the plain over against Gilgal, beside the oak of Moreh. 31. For you will cross the Jordan to go in to possess the land which the LORD* your God gives you and you will posses it and live there. 32. And you will observe to do all the statutes and judgments which I set before you this day.”
Statutes and Judgments
12.1. “These are the statutes and judgments, which you will observe to do in the land, which the LORD* God of your fathers gives you to possess it, all the days that you live upon the earth. 2. You will utterly destroy all the places in which the nations that you will possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, upon the hills, and under every green tree. 3. And you will demolish their altars, break their pillars, burn their groves with fire. You will chop down the graven images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. 4. You will not do so to the LORD* your God. 5. But to the place which the LORD* your God will choose out of all your tribes to put His name there, you will seek His dwelling place, and there you will come, 6. and there you will bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, heave offerings of your hand, your vows, your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks. 7. And there you will eat before the LORD* your God and you will rejoice in all that you put your hand to, you and your households, in which the LORD* your God has blessed you. 8. You will not do after all the things that we are doing here this day, each man doing whatever is right in his own eyes. 9. For you have not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the LORD* your God is giving you. 10. But when you go over the Jordan and live in the land which the LORD* your God gives you to inherit, and when He gives you rest from your enemies all around, so that you dwell in safety, 11. then it will be that the place which the LORD* your God will choose to cause His name to dwell there, there you will bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which you vow to the LORD*. 12. And you will rejoice before the LORD* your God, you, your sons, your daughters, your menservants, your maid servants, and the Levite that is within your gates, forasmuch as he has no part or inheritance with you. 13. Guard yourself that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every place that you see, 14. but in the place which the LORD* will choose in one of your tribes, there you will offer your burnt offerings, and there you will do all that I command you.
12:15. “Nevertheless you may kill and eat meat in all your gates, after all the lust of your soul, according to the blessing of the LORD* your God which He has given you. The unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the roebuck and as of the deer, 16. only you will not eat the blood, you will pour it upon the earth as water.
12:17. “You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain, of your wine, of your oil, the firstlings of your herd or of your flock, any of your vows which you vow, your freewill offerings, or heave offering of your hand, 18. but you must eat them before the LORD* your God in the place which the LORD* your God will choose: you, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, and the Levite who is within your gates. And you will rejoice before the LORD* your God in all that you put your hands to. 19. Watch out for yourself so you do not forsake the Levite as long as you live on your land.
12:20. “When the LORD* your God enlarges your border, as He has promised you, and you say ‘I shall eat meat.’ because your soul longs to eat meat, you may eat meat after all the lust of your body. 21. If the place which the LORD* your God has chosen to put His name is too far from you, then you will kill of your herd and of your flock, which the LORD* has given you, as I have commanded you and you will eat in your gates after all the lust of your body. 22. Even as the roebuck and the deer are eaten, so you will eat them, the unclean and the clean alike will eat them. 23. Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life and you may not eat the life with the flesh. 24. You will not eat it. You will pour it upon the earth as water. 25. You will not eat it, so it may go well with you and with your children after you, when you will do what is right in the sight of the LORD*.
12:26. “Only your holy things which you have and your vows, you will take and go to the place which the LORD* will choose 27. and you will offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the LORD* your God. And the blood of your sacrifices will be poured out upon the altar of the LORD* your God and you will eat the meat. 28. Be careful to listen to all these words which I command you, so it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD* your God.
12:29. “When the LORD* your God will cut off the nations from before you, where you go to possess them and you succeed them and live in their land, 30. watch out for yourself so you are not trapped by following them, after they are destroyed from before you and that you do not inquire after their gods saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? Even so I shall do like them.’ 31. You will not do so to the LORD* your God, for every abomination to the LORD*, which He hates, have they done to their gods: for they have even burned their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.”
13.1. “Whatever I command you, be careful to do it: you will not add to it or take from it.” (Rev. 22:19)
Warning of Testing
13:2. “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams rises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 3. and the sign or the wonder comes to pass of which he spoke to you saying, ‘Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them.’ 4. You will not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD* your God does test you, to know whether you love the LORD* your God with all your heart and with all your being. (Rev. 13:14) 5. You will walk after the LORD* your God and revere Him, keep His commandments, obey His voice, and you will serve Him and cleave to Him. 6. And that prophet or that dreamer of dreams will be put to death, because he has spoken to turn you away from the LORD* your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust you out of the Way which the LORD* your God commanded you to walk in. So you will put the bad away from your midst.
13:7. “If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter or the wife of your bosom or your friend that is as your own being entices you secretly saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which you or your fathers have not known, 8. of the gods of the peoples that are around you, near you or far from you, from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth, 9. you will not agree with him or listen to him: neither will your eye pity him, nor will you spare, nor will you conceal him, 10. but you will surely kill him. Your hand will be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 11. And you will stone him with stones, so he dies, because he has sought to thrust you away from the LORD* your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 12. And all Israel will hear and be in awe, and will no longer do any such wickedness as this is in your midst.
13:13. “If you will hear in one of your cities, which the LORD* your God has given you to live there saying, 14. ‘Men, wicked fellows, have gone out from your midst and have taken the inhabitants of their city saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which you have not known.’ 15. Then you will inquire and search and ask diligently and, behold, if it is true and is certain that such an abomination is done in your midst, 16. you will surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly and all that is in it and its animals with the edge of the sword. 17. And you will gather all its spoils into the middle of its street and will burn entirely the city and all its spoils with fire for the LORD* your God, and it will be a heap forever. It will not be built again. 18. And none of the cursed thing will cling to your hand, so the LORD* will turn from the fierceness of His anger and show you compassion and have compassion upon you and multiply you, as He has sworn to your fathers, 19. when you listen to the voice of the LORD* your God, to keep all His commandments which I command you this day, to do what is right in the eyes of the LORD* your God.”
Do not Copy Heathen Practices
14.1. “You are the children of the LORD* your God: you will not cut yourselves, or make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. 2. For you are a holy people to the LORD* your God and the LORD* has chosen you to be a peculiar people to Himself, above all the peoples that are on the earth.
14:3. “You will not eat any abominable thing. 4. These are the animals which you will eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, 5. the deer, the roebuck, the fallow deer, the wild goat, the antelope, the wild ox, and the chamois. 6. And every animal that parts the hoof, splits the hoof into two halves, and chews the cud among the animals – that you will eat. 7. Nevertheless these you will not eat of those that chew the cud or of those that divide the cloven hoof; the camel, the hare, and the rock badger, for they chew the cud, but do not divide the hoof; they are unclean to you. 8. And the swine, because it divides the hoof, yet does not chew the cud, it is unclean to you; you will not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass.
14:9. “These you will eat of all that are in the waters: you will eat all that have fins and scales, 10. and whatever does not have fins and scales you may not eat. It is unclean for you.
14:11. “You will eat all clean birds. 12. But these are they of which you will not eat: the eagle, the bearded vulture, the ospray, 13. the vulture, the kite, the falcon after its kind, 14. every raven after its kind, 15. the owl, the night hawk, the tern, the hawk after its kind, 16. the little owl, the great owl, the swan, 17. the pelican, the Egyptian vulture, the cormorant, 18. the stork, the heron after its kind, the lapwing, and the bat. 19. And every creeping thing that flies is unclean to you: they will not be eaten. 20. You may eat all clean fowls.
14:21. “You will not eat anything that dies of itself: you will give it to the stranger that is in your gates, so he may eat it or you may sell it to an alien, for you are a holy people to the LORD* your God.
“You will not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.”
14:22. “You will truly tithe all the increase of your seed that the field brings forth year by year. 23. And you will eat before the LORD* your God, in the place which He will choose to place His name, there, the tithe of your grain, of your wine, of your oil, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks, so you can learn to revere the LORD* your God always. 24. And if the distance is too far for you, so that you are not able to carry it, or if the place which the LORD* your God will choose to set His name there is too far from you, when the LORD* your God has blessed you, 25. then you will turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and will go to the place which the LORD* your God will choose, 26. and you will give that money for whatever your body wants, for oxen, for sheep, for wine, for strong drink, or for whatever your inner being asks of you, and you will eat there before the LORD* your God and you will rejoice, you, your household, 27. and the Levite that is within your gates. You will not forsake him, for he has no part or inheritance with you.
14:28. “At the end of three years you will bring forth all the tithe of your increase the same year and will lay it up within your gates, 29. and the Levite (because he has no part or inheritance with you), the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your gates will come, and. will eat and be satisfied, so the LORD* your God will bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.”
Release, Every Seventh Year
15.1. “At the end of seven years you will make a release. 2. And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor who lends to his neighbor will release it. He will not ask for it of his neighbor, or of his brother because a release has been proclaimed to the LORD*. 3. You may demand it from a foreigner but your hand will release that which is yours with your brother, 4. but there will be no poor among you, for the LORD* will greatly bless you in the land which the LORD* your God gives you for an inheritance to possess it: 5. only if you carefully listen to the voice of the LORD* your God, to guard to do all these commandments which I command you this day. 6. For the LORD* your God blesses you, as He promised you, and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow, and you will reign over many nations, but they will not reign over you.
15:7. “If there is a poor man with you of one of your brothers within any of your gates in your land which the LORD* your God gives you, you will not harden your heart or shut your hand from your poor brother, 8. but you will open your hand wide to him and will surely lend him sufficient for his need, for that which he lacks. (1 John 3:17) 9. Beware that there is not a wicked thought in your heart saying, “The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand” and your eye is evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing and he cries to the LORD* against you then it is a sin for you. 10. You will surely give to him and your heart will not be grieved when you give to him. Because of this, the LORD* your God will bless you in all your works and in all that you put your hand to. 11. For the poor will never cease out of the land. (Matt. 26:11, John 12:8) Therefore I command you saying, “You will open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor, and to your needy in your land.”
Bond Servant Release
15:12. “And if your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you, he will serve you six years and in the seventh year you will let him go free from you. 13. And when you send him out free from you, you will not let him go away empty. 14. You will furnish him liberally from your flock, from your threshing floor, and from your wine press. You will give to him from that with which the LORD* your God has blessed you. 15. And you will remember that you were a bondman in the land of Egypt and the LORD* your God redeemed you. Therefore I command you this today. 16. And it will be, if he says to you, I shall not go away from you, because he loves you and your house, because he is well with you, 17. then you will take an awl and thrust it through his ear to the door and he will be your servant forever. And you will also do likewise for your maidservant. 18. It will not seem hard to you when you send him away free from you, for to the double of the hire of a hireling has he served you six years, and the LORD* your God will bless you in all that you do.”
Firstborn of Herd and Flock
15:19. “All the firstling males that come from your herd and your flock you will sanctify to the LORD* your God. You will do no work with the firstling of your ox or shear the firstling of your sheep. 20. You will eat it before the LORD* your God year by year in the place which the LORD* will choose, you and your household. 21. And if there is any blemish in it, as if it is lame, blind, or has any ill blemish, you will not sacrifice it to the LORD* your God. 22. You will eat it within your gates, the unclean and the clean will eat it alike, like the roebuck and the deer. 23. Only you will not eat its blood. You will pour it on the ground like water.”
16.1. “Observe the month of Aviv and keep the Passover to the LORD* your God, for in the month of Aviv the LORD* your God brought you out of Egypt by night. 2. Therefore you will sacrifice the Passover to the LORD* your God, from the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD* will choose to place His name there. 3. You will eat no leavened bread with it.”
Feast of Unleavened Bread
“You will eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, for seven days, for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste, so you will remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life. 4. And there will be no leavened bread seen with you in your entire border seven days. Neither will anything of the meat, which you sacrificed the first day at evening, remain all night until the morning. 5. You may not sacrifice the Passover offering within any of your gates, which the LORD* your God gives you, 6. but at the place which the LORD* your God will choose to place His name. There you will sacrifice the Passover offering at evening, at the going down of the sun, at the season that you came out of Egypt. 7. And you will roast and eat it in the place which the LORD* your God will choose, and you will turn in the morning and go to your tents. 8. Six days you will eat unleavened bread and on the seventh day will be a solemn assembly to the LORD* your God, you will do no work on it.”
Feast of Weeks
16:9. “You will number seven weeks for yourselves: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as you begin to put the sickle to the grain. 10. And you will keep the Feast of Weeks, Shavuot, to the LORD* your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you will give to the LORD* your God, according as the LORD* your God has blessed you. 11. And you will rejoice before the LORD* your God, you, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, the Levite that is within your gates, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow that are in your midst, in the place which the LORD* your God has chosen to place His name there. 12. And you will remember that you were a bondman in Egypt, and you will observe and do these statutes.”
Feast of Booths
16:13. “You will observe the Feast of Booths, Sukkot, seven days, after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and from your wine press. 14. And you will rejoice in your feast, you, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your gates. 15. You will keep a solemn feast to the LORD* your God for seven days in the place which the LORD* will choose, because the LORD* your God will bless you in all your increase and in all the works of your hands, therefore you will surely rejoice.”
Three Feasts Mandatory Each Year
16:16. “Three times in a year all your males will appear before the LORD* your God in the place which He will choose during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, in the Feast of Weeks, and in the Feast of Sukkot. And they will not appear before the LORD* empty: 17. each man will give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD* your God which He has given you.”
Next week’s Torah readings: Shoftim