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Deuteronomy 4 Expanded Bible (EXB)

Moses Tells Israel to Obey

Now, Israel, listen to the ·laws [statutes; ordinances; requirements] and commands I will teach you. Obey them so that you will live and so that you will go over and ·take [possess] the land the Lord, the God of your ·ancestors [fathers], is giving to you. Don’t add to ·these commands [L the word], and don’t leave anything out, but obey the commands of the Lord your God that I ·give [command] you.

·You [L Your eyes] have seen for yourselves what the Lord did at Baal Peor, how the Lord your God destroyed everyone among you who ·followed [L walked after] Baal in Peor [Num. 25:1–18]. But all of you who ·continued following [clung to] the Lord your God are still alive today.

Look, I have taught you the ·laws [statutes; ordinances; requirements] and rules the Lord my God commanded me. Now you can obey the laws in the land you are entering, in the land you will ·take [possess]. ·Obey these laws carefully [Keep/Guard and do/obey], in order to show the other nations that you have wisdom and ·understanding [discernment]. When they hear about these laws, they will say, “This great nation of Israel is wise and ·understanding [discerning].” ·No [L What…?] other nation is as great as we are. Their gods do not come near them, but the Lord our God comes near when we pray to him. ·And no [L What…?] other nation has such good ·teachings [statutes; ordinances; requirements] and commands as those I am giving to you today.

But be ·careful [on guard]! Watch out and don’t forget the things ·you [L your eyes] have seen. Don’t ·forget them [L let them turn aside/slip from your heart/mind] ·as long as you live [L all the days of your life], but ·teach them [make them known] to your children and grandchildren. 10 Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at ·Mount Sinai [L Horeb; C another name for Sinai]. He said to me, “·Bring the people together [Assemble the people] so I can ·tell them [L let them hear] what I have to say. Then they will ·respect [fear] me ·as long as [L all the days] they live in the land, and they will teach these things to their children.” 11 When you ·came [approached] and stood at the bottom of the mountain, it blazed with fire that reached to the sky, and black clouds made it very dark [Ex. 19:16–20]. 12 The Lord spoke to you from the fire. You heard the sound of words, but you did not see ·him [L a form]; there was only a voice. 13 The Lord told you about his ·Agreement [Covenant; Treaty], the Ten ·Commandments [L Words]. He told you to obey them, and he wrote them on two stone tablets. 14 Then at that time the Lord commanded me to teach you the ·laws [statutes; ordinances; requirements] and rules that you must obey in the land you will ·take [possess] when you cross ·the Jordan River [L there].

Laws About Idols

15 Since the Lord spoke to you from the fire at ·Mount Sinai [L Horeb; 4:10], but you did not see ·him [L any form], watch yourselves carefully! 16 Don’t ·sin [ruin/destroy/spoil/corrupt yourselves] by making idols of any kind, and don’t make statues—of men or women, 17 of animals on earth or birds that fly in the air, 18 of anything that ·crawls [swarms] on the ground, or of fish in the water below. 19 When you ·look up at [L lift your eyes to] the ·sky [heavens], you see the sun, moon, and stars, and ·everything in the sky [all the host of heaven]. But don’t bow down and worship them [5:8–9; Ex. 20:4–5], because the Lord your God has ·made these things [apportioned them] for all people everywhere [32:8]. 20 But the Lord brought you out of Egypt, ·which tested you like a furnace for melting iron [L the iron-smelter; 1 Kin. 8:51; Jer. 11:4], and he made you his ·very own people [L inheritance], as ·you are now [L this day].

21 The Lord was angry with me because of you, and he swore that I would not cross the Jordan River to go into the good land the Lord your God is giving you as ·your own [L an inheritance]. 22 I will die here in this land and not cross the Jordan [34:1–8], but you will soon go across and take that good land. 23 Be careful. Don’t forget the ·Agreement [Covenant; Treaty] of the Lord your God that he made with you, and don’t make any idols for yourselves, as the Lord your God has commanded you not to do. 24 The Lord your God is a jealous God [5:9; 6:15; Ex. 20:5; 34:14; Josh. 24:19; Nah. 1:2], ·like a fire that burns things up [a consuming fire].

25 Even after you have ·lived [grown old; or become complacent] in the land a long time and have had children and grandchildren, don’t ·do evil things [ruin/destroy/spoil/corrupt yourselves]. Don’t make any kind of idol, and don’t do what ·the Lord your God says is evil [L what is evil/wrong in the eyes of the Lord your God], because that will make him angry. 26 If you do, I ask heaven and earth to ·speak [witness] against you this day that you will quickly be removed from this land that you are crossing the Jordan River to ·take [possess]. You will not live there long after that, but you will be completely destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among the other nations. Only a few of you will be left alive, and those few will be in other nations where the Lord will ·send [lead] you. 28 There you will ·worship [serve] gods made by ·people [L human hands], gods made of wood and stone, that cannot see, hear, eat, or smell. 29 But even there you can look for the Lord your God, and you will find him if you look for him with ·your whole being [L all your heart/mind and all your inner being]. 30 It will be ·hard [distressful] when all these things happen to you. But after that you will come back to the Lord your God and ·obey [hear] him, 31 because the Lord your God is a merciful God [Ex. 34:6; 2 Chr. 30:9; Neh. 9:31; Ps. 111:4; Joel 2:3]. He will not ·leave [fail] you or ·destroy [ruin; spoil] you. He will not forget the ·Agreement [Covenant; Treaty] with your ·ancestors [fathers], which he ·swore [promised] to them.

The Lord Is Great

32 ·Nothing like this has ever happened before! Look at the past [L Ask about the former days], long before ·you were even born [L you]. Go all the way back to when God ·made [created] humans on the earth [Gen. 1:26–27], and look from one end of heaven to the other. ·Nothing like this has ever [L Has anything as great as this…?] been heard of! 33 ·No [L What…?] other people have ever heard God speak from a fire and have still lived. But you have. 34 ·No [L What…?] other god has ever taken for himself one nation out of another. But the Lord your God did this for you in Egypt, right before your own eyes. He did it with tests, signs, miracles, war, and great sights, by his ·great power [L strong hand] and ·strength [L outstretched arm].

35 He ·showed you [revealed] things so you would know that the Lord is God, and there is no other God besides him. 36 He spoke to you from heaven to ·teach [instruct; or discipline] you. He ·showed [revealed to] you his great fire on earth, and you heard him speak from the fire. 37 Because the Lord loved your ·ancestors [fathers; Gen. 12:1–3], he chose you, their ·descendants [L seed], and he brought you out of Egypt himself by his great strength. 38 He ·forced [dispossessed] nations out of their land ahead of you, nations that were bigger and stronger than you were. The Lord did this so he could bring you into their land and give it to you as your ·own [L inheritance], ·and this land is yours today [L as it is this day].

39 Know and ·believe [take to heart; bear in mind] today that the Lord is God. He is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other god! 40 Obey his ·laws [statutes; ordinances; requirements] and commands that I am giving you today so that things will go well for you and your children. Then you will live a long time in the land that the Lord your God is giving to you forever.

Cities of Safety

41 Moses ·chose [set apart] three cities east ·of [beyond] the Jordan River, 42 where a person who ·accidentally [unintentionally] killed someone could go [Num. 35:9–34]. If the person was not killed because of hatred, the murderer’s life could be saved by running to one of these cities. 43 These were the cities: Bezer in the ·desert [wilderness] high plain was for the Reubenites; Ramoth in Gilead was for the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan was for the Manassites.

The Laws Moses Gave

44 These are the ·teachings [laws; instructions] Moses gave to the ·people [L sons; T children] of Israel. 45 They are the rules, ·commands [statutes; ordinances; requirements], and laws he gave ·them [L the sons/T children of Israel] when they came out of Egypt. 46 They were in the ·valley [glen] near Beth Peor, ·east of [beyond] the Jordan River, in the land of Sihon. Sihon king of the Amorites ruled in Heshbon and was ·defeated [L struck] by Moses and the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] as they came out of Egypt [Num. 21:21–32]. 47 ·The Israelites [L They] took his land and the land of Og king of Bashan [Num. 21:33–35], the two Amorite kings east ·of [beyond] the Jordan River. 48 This land went from Aroer, on the edge of the Arnon ·Ravine [Wadi], to Mount Hermon. 49 It included all the ·Jordan Valley [L Arabah] ·east of [beyond] the Jordan River, and it went as far as the ·Dead [L Salt] Sea below Mount Pisgah.

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