291These are the terms of the covenant that the LORD commanded Moses to make with the people of Israel in the land of Moab; all this was in addition to the covenant which the LORD had made with them at Mount Sinai.
2Moses called together all the people of Israel and said to them, “You saw for yourselves what the LORD did to the king of Egypt, to his officials, and to his entire country. 3You saw the terrible plagues, the miracles, and the great wonders that the LORD performed. 4But to this very day he has not let you understand what you have experienced. 5For forty years the LORD led you through the desert, and your clothes and sandals never wore out. 6You did not have bread to eat or wine or beer to drink, but the LORD provided for your needs in order to teach you that he is your God. 7
And when we came to this place, King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan came out to fight against us. But we defeated them, 8
took their land, and divided it among the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh. 9Obey faithfully all the terms of this covenant, so that you will be successful in everything you do.
10“Today you are standing in the presence of the LORD your God, all of you — your leaders and officials, your men, 11women, and children, and the foreigners who live among you and cut wood and carry water for you. 12You are here today to enter into this covenant that the LORD your God is making with you and to accept its obligations, 13so that the LORD may now confirm you as his people and be your God, as he promised you and your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 14You are not the only ones with whom the LORD is making this covenant with its obligations. 15He is making it with all of us who stand here in his presence today and also with our descendants who are not yet born.
16“You remember what life was like in Egypt and what it was like to travel through the territory of other nations. 17You saw their disgusting idols made of wood, stone, silver, and gold. 18
Make sure that no man, woman, family, or tribe standing here today turns from the LORD our God to worship the gods of other nations. This would be like a root that grows to be a bitter and poisonous plant. 19Make sure that there is no one here today who hears these solemn demands and yet convinces himself that all will be well with him, even if he stubbornly goes his own way. That would destroy all of you, good and evil alike. 20The LORD will not forgive such a man. Instead, the LORD's burning anger will flame up against him, and all the disasters written in this book will fall on him until the LORD has destroyed him completely. 21The LORD will make an example of him before all the tribes of Israel and will bring disaster on him in accordance with all the curses listed in the covenant that is written in this book of the LORD's teachings.
22“In future generations your descendants and foreigners from distant lands will see the disasters and sufferings that the LORD has brought on your land. 23
The fields will be a barren waste, covered with sulphur and salt; nothing will be planted, and not even weeds will grow there. Your land will be like the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, of Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD destroyed when he was furiously angry. 24Then the whole world will ask, ‘Why did the LORD do this to their land? What was the reason for his fierce anger?’ 25And the answer will be, ‘It is because the LORD's people broke the covenant they had made with him, the God of their ancestors, when he brought them out of Egypt. 26They served other gods that they had never worshipped before, gods that the LORD had forbidden them to worship. 27And so the LORD became angry with his people and brought on their land all the disasters written in this book. 28The LORD became furiously angry, and in his great anger he uprooted them from their land and threw them into a foreign land, and there they are today.’
29“There are some things that the LORD our God has kept secret; but he has revealed his Law, and we and our descendants are to obey it for ever.
301“I have now given you a choice between a blessing and a curse. When all these things have happened to you, and you are living among the nations where the LORD your God has scattered you, you will remember the choice I gave you. 2If you and your descendants will turn back to the LORD and with all your heart obey his commands that I am giving you today, 3then the LORD your God will have mercy on you. He will bring you back from the nations where he has scattered you, and he will make you prosperous again. 4Even if you are scattered to the farthest corners of the earth, the LORD your God will gather you together and bring you back, 5so that you may again take possession of the land where your ancestors once lived. And he will make you more prosperous and more numerous than your ancestors ever were. 6The LORD your God will give you and your descendants obedient hearts, so that you will love him with all your heart, and you will continue to live in that land. 7He will turn all these curses against your enemies, who hated you and oppressed you, 8and you will again obey him and keep all his commands that I am giving you today. 9The LORD will make you prosperous in all that you do; you will have many children and a lot of livestock, and your fields will produce abundant crops. He will be as glad to make you prosperous as he was to make your ancestors prosperous, 10but you will have to obey him and keep all his laws that are written in this book of his teachings. You will have to turn to him with all your heart.
11“The command that I am giving you today is not too difficult or beyond your reach. 12
It is not up in the sky. You do not have to ask, ‘Who will go up and bring it down for us, so that we can hear it and obey it?’ 13Nor is it on the other side of the ocean. You do not have to ask, ‘Who will go across the ocean and bring it to us, so that we may hear it and obey it?’ 14No, it is here with you. You know it and can quote it, so now obey it.
15“Today I am giving you a choice between good and evil, between life and death. 16If you obey the commands of the LORD your God,30.16 One ancient translation If you obey the commands of the LORD your God; Hebrew does not have these words. which I give you today, if you love him, obey him, and keep all his laws, then you will prosper and become a nation of many people. The LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are about to occupy. 17But if you disobey and refuse to listen, and are led away to worship other gods, 18you will be destroyed — I warn you here and now. You will not live long in that land across the Jordan that you are about to occupy. 19I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God's blessing and God's curse, and I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life. 20
Love the LORD your God, obey him and be faithful to him, and then you and your descendants will live long in the land that he promised to give your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
311Moses continued speaking to the people of Israel, 2
and said, “I am now 120 years old and am no longer able to be your leader. And besides this, the LORD has told me that I will not cross the Jordan. 3The LORD your God himself will go before you and destroy the nations living there, so that you can occupy their land; and Joshua will be your leader, as the LORD has said. 4
The LORD will destroy those people, just as he defeated Sihon and Og, kings of the Amorites, and destroyed their country. 5The LORD will give you victory over them, and you are to treat them exactly as I have told you. 6Be determined and confident. Do not be afraid of them. Your God, the LORD himself, will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.”
7Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the presence of all the people of Israel, “Be determined and confident; you are the one who will lead these people to occupy the land that the LORD promised to their ancestors. 8
The LORD himself will lead you and be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you, so do not lose courage or be afraid.”
9So Moses wrote down God's Law and gave it to the levitical priests, who were in charge of the LORD's Covenant Box, and to the leaders of Israel. 10
He commanded them, “At the end of every seven years, when the year that debts are cancelled comes round, read this aloud at the Festival of Shelters. 11Read it to the people of Israel when they come to worship the LORD your God at the one place of worship. 12Call together all the men, women, and children, and the foreigners who live in your towns, so that everyone may hear it and learn to honour the LORD your God and to obey his teachings faithfully. 13In this way your descendants who have never heard the Law of the LORD your God will hear it. And so they will learn to obey him as long as they live in the land that you are about to occupy across the Jordan.”
14Then the LORD said to Moses, “You haven't much longer to live. Call Joshua and bring him to the Tent, so that I may give him his instructions.” Moses and Joshua went to the Tent, 15and the LORD appeared to them there in a pillar of cloud that stood by the door of the Tent.
16The LORD said to Moses, “You will soon die, and after your death the people will become unfaithful to me and break the covenant that I made with them. They will abandon me and worship the pagan gods of the land they are about to enter. 17When that happens, I will become angry with them; I will abandon them, and they will be destroyed. Many terrible disasters will come upon them, and then they will realize that these things are happening to them because I, their God, am no longer with them. 18And I will refuse to help them then, because they have done evil and worshipped other gods.
19“Now, write down this song. Teach it to the people of Israel, so that it will stand as evidence against them. 20I will take them into this rich and fertile land, as I promised their ancestors. There they will have all the food they want, and they will live comfortably. But they will turn away and worship other gods. They will reject me and break my covenant, 21and many terrible disasters will come on them. But this song will still be sung, and it will stand as evidence against them. Even now, before I take them into the land that I promised to give them, I know what they are thinking.”
22That same day Moses wrote down the song and taught it to the people of Israel.
Then the LORD spoke to Joshua son of Nun and said to him, “Be confident and determined. You will lead the people of Israel into the land that I promised them, and I will be with you.”
24Moses wrote God's Law in a book, taking care not to leave out anything. 25When he finished, he said to the levitical priests, who were in charge of the LORD's Covenant Box, 26“Take this book of God's Law and place it beside the Covenant Box of the LORD your God, so that it will remain there as a witness against his people. 27I know how stubborn and rebellious they are. They have rebelled against the LORD during my lifetime, and they will rebel even more after I am dead. 28Assemble all your tribal leaders and officials before me, so that I can tell them these things; I will call heaven and earth to be my witnesses against them. 29I know that after my death the people will become wicked and reject what I have taught them. And in time to come they will meet with disaster, because they will have made the LORD angry by doing what he has forbidden.”
30Then Moses recited the entire song while all the people of Israel listened.