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Deuteronomy 9 Common English Bible (CEB)

Against false piety and immodesty

Listen, Israel! Today you will cross the Jordan River to enter and take possession of nations larger and more powerful than you, along with huge cities with fortifications that reach to the sky. These people are large and tall—they are the Anakim. You know and have heard what people say: “Who can stand up to the Anakim?” Know right now that the Lord your God, who is crossing over before you, is an all-consuming fire! He will wipe them out! He will subdue them before you! Then you will take possession of their land, eliminating them quickly, exactly as the Lord told you.

Once the Lord your God has driven them out before you, don’t think to yourself, It’s because I’m righteous that the Lord brought me in to possess this land. It is instead because of these nations’ wickedness that the Lord is removing them before you. You aren’t entering and taking possession of their land because you are righteous or because your heart is especially virtuous; rather, it is because these nations are wicked—that’s why the Lord your God is removing them before you, and because he wishes to establish the promise he made to your ancestors: to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Gold calf

Know then that the Lord your God isn’t giving you this excellent land for you to possess on account of your righteousness—because you are a stubborn people! Remember—don’t ever forget!—how you made the Lord your God furious in the wilderness. From the very first day you stepped out of Egypt until you arrived at this place, you have been rebels against the Lord. Even at Horeb you angered the Lord! He was so enraged by you that he threatened to wipe you out. When I went up on the mountain to get the stone tablets, the covenant tablets that the Lord made with you, I was up there forty days and forty nights. I ate no bread, drank no water. 10 The Lord gave me the two stone tablets, written by God’s finger, and on them were all the words that the Lord had said to you on the mountain, out of the very fire itself, on the day we assembled. 11 At the end of those forty days and nights, the Lord gave me the two stone tablets—the covenant tablets. 12 Then the Lord said to me, “Get going! Get down from here quickly because your people, whom you brought out of Egypt, have ruined everything! They couldn’t wait to turn from the path I commanded them! They’ve made themselves an idol out of cast metal.”

13 The Lord said more to me: “I have seen this people. Look! What a stubborn people they are! 14 Now stand back. I am going to wipe them out. I will erase their name from under heaven, then I will make a nation out of you—one stronger and larger than they were.”

15 So I went down the mountain while it was blazing with fire. The two covenant tablets were in my two hands. 16 It was then that I saw how you sinned against the Lord your God: you made yourselves a calf, an idol made of cast metal! You couldn’t wait to turn from the path the Lord commanded you! 17 I grabbed the two tablets and threw them down with my own hands, shattering them while you watched. 18 Then I fell before the Lord as I had done the previous forty days and forty nights. I ate no bread and drank no water, all because of the sin that you had committed by doing such evil in the Lord’s sight, infuriating him. 19 I was afraid of the massive anger and rage the Lord had for you—he was going to wipe you out! However, the Lord listened to me again in that moment.

20 But the Lord was furious with Aaron—he was going to wipe him out! So I also prayed hard for Aaron at that time. 21 And as for that sinful thing you made, that calf, I took it and I burned it with fire. Then I smashed it, grinding it thoroughly until it was as fine as dust. Then I dumped the dust into the stream that ran down the mountain.

22 Also at Taberah, again at Massah, and then again at Kibroth-hattaavah, you have been the kind of people who make the Lord angry. 23 And then, when the Lord sent you from Kadesh-barnea, telling you: “Go up and take possession of the land that I’m giving you,” you disobeyed the Lord your God’s command. You didn’t trust him. You didn’t obey God’s voice. 24 You’ve been rebellious toward the Lord from the day I[a] met you.

Moses’ intercessory prayer

25 But I fell on my knees in the Lord’s presence forty days and forty nights, lying flat out, because the Lord planned on wiping you out. 26 But I prayed to the Lord! I said: Lord, my Lord! Don’t destroy your people, your own possession, whom you saved by your own power, whom you brought out of Egypt with a strong hand! 27 Remember your servants: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! Don’t focus on this people’s stubbornness, wickedness, and sin. 28 Otherwise, that land out of which you brought us will say: The Lord wasn’t strong enough to bring them into the land he’d promised them. Because he didn’t care for them in the least, he brought them out to die in the desert. 29 But these are your people! Your own possession! The people you brought out by your great power and by your outstretched arm!

Footnotes:

  1. Deuteronomy 9:24 LXX, Sam he (God) met you
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Deuteronomy 9 New International Version (NIV)

Not Because of Israel’s Righteousness

Hear, Israel: You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky. The people are strong and tall—Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: “Who can stand up against the Anakites?” But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the Lord has promised you.

After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you. It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.

The Golden Calf

Remember this and never forget how you aroused the anger of the Lord your God in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against the Lord. At Horeb you aroused the Lord’s wrath so that he was angry enough to destroy you. When I went up on the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant that the Lord had made with you, I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water. 10 The Lord gave me two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God. On them were all the commandments the Lord proclaimed to you on the mountain out of the fire, on the day of the assembly.

11 At the end of the forty days and forty nights, the Lord gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant. 12 Then the Lord told me, “Go down from here at once, because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have become corrupt. They have turned away quickly from what I commanded them and have made an idol for themselves.”

13 And the Lord said to me, “I have seen this people, and they are a stiff-necked people indeed! 14 Let me alone, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven. And I will make you into a nation stronger and more numerous than they.”

15 So I turned and went down from the mountain while it was ablaze with fire. And the two tablets of the covenant were in my hands. 16 When I looked, I saw that you had sinned against the Lord your God; you had made for yourselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. You had turned aside quickly from the way that the Lord had commanded you. 17 So I took the two tablets and threw them out of my hands, breaking them to pieces before your eyes.

18 Then once again I fell prostrate before the Lord for forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water, because of all the sin you had committed, doing what was evil in the Lord’s sight and so arousing his anger. 19 I feared the anger and wrath of the Lord, for he was angry enough with you to destroy you. But again the Lord listened to me. 20 And the Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but at that time I prayed for Aaron too. 21 Also I took that sinful thing of yours, the calf you had made, and burned it in the fire. Then I crushed it and ground it to powder as fine as dust and threw the dust into a stream that flowed down the mountain.

22 You also made the Lord angry at Taberah, at Massah and at Kibroth Hattaavah.

23 And when the Lord sent you out from Kadesh Barnea, he said, “Go up and take possession of the land I have given you.” But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. You did not trust him or obey him. 24 You have been rebellious against the Lord ever since I have known you.

25 I lay prostrate before the Lord those forty days and forty nights because the Lord had said he would destroy you. 26 I prayed to the Lord and said, “Sovereign Lord, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed by your great power and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 27 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Overlook the stubbornness of this people, their wickedness and their sin. 28 Otherwise, the country from which you brought us will say, ‘Because the Lord was not able to take them into the land he had promised them, and because he hated them, he brought them out to put them to death in the wilderness.’ 29 But they are your people, your inheritance that you brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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