Deuteronomy Chapter 7-9 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Israel, God’s Special People

7 “The Lord your God will lead you into the land that you are entering to take for your own. The Lord will force out many nations for you—the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites—seven nations greater and more powerful than you. 2The Lord your God will put these nations under your power. And you will defeat them. You must destroy them completely. Don’t make an agreement with them. Don’t show them mercy. 3Don’t marry any of those people, and don’t let your sons or daughters marry any of the people from those other nations. 4Why? Because those people will turn your children away from following me. Then your children will serve other gods. And the Lord will become very angry at you. He will quickly destroy you.

Destroy False Gods

5“This is what you must do to those nations: You must smash their altars* and break their memorial stones* into pieces. Cut down their Asherah poles* and burn their statues! 6Why? Because you are the Lord’s own people. From all the people on earth, the Lord your God chose you to be his special people—people that belong only to him. 7Why did the Lord love and choose you? It was not because you are such a large nation. You had the fewest of all people! 8But the Lord brought you out of Egypt with great power. He made you free from slavery. He freed you from the control of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Why? Because the Lord loves you and because he wanted to keep the promise he made to your ancestors.* 9“So remember that the Lord your God is the only God, and you can trust him! He keeps his Agreement. He shows his love and kindness to all people who love him and obey his commands. He continues to show his love and kindness through a thousand generations. 10But the Lord punishes people who hate him. He will destroy them. He will not be slow to punish people who hate him. 11So you must be careful to obey the commands, laws, and rules that I give you today. 12“If you listen to these laws, and if you are careful to obey them, then the Lord your God will keep his Agreement of love with you. He promised this to your ancestors.* 13He will love you and bless you. He will make your nation grow. He will bless your children. He will bless your fields with good crops. He will give you grain, new wine, and oil. He will bless your cows with baby calves and your sheep with lambs. You will have all these blessings in the land that he promised your ancestors* to give you. 14“You will be blessed more than all people. Every husband and wife will be able to have children. Your cows will be able to have calves. 15And the Lord will take away all sickness from you. The Lord will not let you catch any of the terrible diseases that you had in Egypt. But the Lord will make your enemies catch those diseases. 16You must destroy all the people that the Lord your God helps you defeat. Don’t feel sorry for them. Don’t worship their gods! Why? Because they are a trap—{they will ruin your life}.

The Lord Promises to Help His People

17“Don’t say in your heart, ‘These nations are stronger than we are. How can we force them out?’ 18You must not be afraid of them. You must remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all the people of Egypt. 19You saw the great troubles he gave them. You saw the amazing things he did. You saw the Lord use his great power and strength to bring you out of Egypt. The Lord your God will use that same power against all the people you fear. 20“The Lord your God will even send the hornet* to find all the people that escape from you and hide themselves. He will destroy all those people. 21Don’t be afraid of those people. Why? Because the Lord your God is with you. He is a great and awesome God. 22The Lord your God will force those nations to leave your country little by little. You will not destroy them all at once. If you did, then the wild animals would grow to be too many for you. 23But the Lord your God will let you defeat those nations. The Lord will confuse them in battle, until they are destroyed. 24The Lord will help you defeat their kings. You will kill them, and the world will forget they ever lived. No man will be able to stop you. You will destroy them all! 25“You must throw the statues of their gods into the fire and burn them. You must not want to keep the silver or the gold that is on those statues. You must not take that silver or gold for yourselves. It will be like a trap to you—{it will ruin your life}. Why? Because the Lord your God hates those idols. 26And you must not bring any of those terrible idols into your homes. You must hate those terrible things! You must destroy those idols!

altar(s) A table or raised area used for offering sacrifices. memorial stones Stones that were set up to help people remember the false gods they worshiped. Asherah poles Poles used to honor the goddess Asherah. People thought she could help them have many children.  ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from.  hornet A stinging insect, like a large wasp or bee. Here, it might mean God’s angel or his great power.

Remember the Lord

8 “You must obey all the commands that I give you today. Why? Because then you will live and grow to become a great nation. You will get the land that the Lord promised to your ancestors.* 2And you must remember the whole trip that the Lord your God has led you through these 40 years in the desert. The Lord was testing you. He wanted to make you humble. He wanted to know the things in your heart. He wanted to know if you would obey his commands. 3The Lord humbled you and let you be hungry. Then he fed you with manna* —something you did not know about before. It was something your ancestors* had never seen. Why did the Lord do these things? Because he wanted you to know that it is not just bread that keeps people alive. People’s lives depend on what the Lord says. 4These past 40 years, your clothes did not wear out, and your feet did not swell. {Why? Because the Lord protected you!} 5You must remember that the Lord your God did all those things for you. God was like a father teaching and correcting his son. 6“You must obey the commands of the Lord your God. Follow him and respect him. 7The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with rivers and pools of water. Water flows out of the ground in the valleys and hills. 8It is a land with wheat and barley, grape vines, fig trees, and pomegranates.* It is a land with olive oil and honey. 9There you will have plenty of food. You will have everything you need. It is a land where the rocks are iron. You can dig copper out of the hills. 10You will have all you want to eat. Then you will praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.

Don’t Forget What the Lord Did

11“Be careful. Don’t forget the Lord your God! Be careful to obey the commands, laws, and rules that I give you today. 12Then you will have plenty to eat, and you will build good houses and live in them. 13Your cows, sheep, and goats will grow large. You will get plenty of gold and silver. You will have plenty of everything! 14When that happens, you must be careful not to become proud. You must not forget the Lord your God. You were slaves in Egypt. But the Lord made you free and brought you out of that land. 15The Lord led you through that great and terrible desert. Poisonous snakes and scorpions* were in that desert! The ground was dry, and there was no water anywhere. But the Lord gave you water out of the rock. 16In the desert, the Lord fed you manna* —something your ancestors* had never seen. The Lord tested you. Why? Because the Lord made you humble so that things would go well for you in the end. 17Don’t ever say to yourself, ‘I got all this wealth by my own power and ability.’ 18Remember the Lord your God. Remember that he is the One who gives you power to do those things! Why does the Lord do this? Because he wants to keep the Agreement that he made with your ancestors* —just like he is doing today! 19“Don’t ever forget the Lord your God. Don’t ever follow other gods! Don’t worship and serve them. If you do that, then I warn you today: You will surely be destroyed! 20The Lord is destroying other nations for you. But if you follow those other gods, then you will be destroyed just like them! Why? Because you stopped listening to the Lord your God!

ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from.  ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from. manna The special food God sent to the people of Israel while they wandered through the desert for 40 years. pomegranate(s) A red fruit with many small seeds inside it. Each seed is covered with the soft, juicy part of the fruit. scorpions Insects with stingers in their tails that cause pain.

The Lord Will Be with Israel

9 “Listen, you people of Israel! You will go across the Jordan River today. You will go into that land to force out nations greater and stronger than you. Their cities are big and have walls as high as the sky! 2The people there are tall and strong. They are the Anakites.* You know about those people. You heard our spies say, ‘No person can win against the Anakites.’ 3But you can be sure that it is the Lord your God who goes across the river before you—and God is like a fire that destroys! The Lord will destroy those nations. He will make them fall before you. You will force those nations out. You will quickly destroy them. The Lord has promised you that this will happen. 4“The Lord your God will force those nations out for you. But don’t say to yourselves, ‘The Lord brought us to live in this land because we are such good people!’ {That is not the reason!} The Lord forced those nations out because they were evil—{not because you were good}. 5You are going in to take their land, but not because you are good and live right. You are going in, and the Lord your God is forcing those people out because of the evil way they lived. And the Lord wants to keep the promise he made to your ancestors* —Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 6The Lord your God is giving you that good land to live in, but you should know that it is not because you are good. The truth is that you are very stubborn people!

Remember the Lord’s Anger

7“Don’t forget that you made the Lord your God angry in the desert! You have refused to obey the Lord from the day you left the land of Egypt to the day you came to this place. 8You made the Lord angry at Mount Horeb (Sinai). The Lord was angry enough to destroy you! 9I went up the mountain to get the flat stones. The Agreement that the Lord made with you was written on those stones. I stayed on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights. I did not eat any food or drink any water. 10The Lord gave me the flat stones. God wrote his commands on the stones with his finger. God wrote everything he said to you from the fire when you were gathered together at the mountain.  11“So, at the end of 40 days and 40 nights, the Lord gave me two flat stones—the stones of the Agreement. 12Then the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and quickly go down from here. The people you brought out of Egypt have ruined themselves. They stopped obeying my commands so quickly! They melted gold and made an idol for themselves.’ 13“The Lord also said to me, ‘I have watched these people. They are very stubborn! 14Let me destroy these people completely, so no one will even remember their names! Then I will make another nation from you that is stronger and greater than these people.’

The Golden Calf

15“Then I turned and came down from the mountain. The mountain was burning with fire. And the two flat stones of the Agreement were in my hands. 16I looked and I saw you had sinned against the Lord your God. I saw the calf you made from melted gold! You stopped obeying the Lord so quickly! 17So I took the two flat stones and threw them down. There before your eyes I broke the stones to pieces. 18Then I bowed down before the Lord with my face to the ground for 40 days and 40 nights, like I did before. I did not eat any food or drink any water. I did this because you had sinned so badly. You did the thing that is evil to the Lord, and you made him angry. 19I was afraid of the Lord’s terrible anger. He was angry enough to destroy you. But the Lord listened to me again. 20The Lord was very angry with Aaron—enough to destroy him! So I also prayed for Aaron at that time. 21I took that terrible thing—the calf you made—and burned it in the fire. I broke it into small pieces. And I crushed the pieces until they were dust. Then I threw the dust into the river that came down from the mountain.

Moses Asks God to Forgive Israel

22“Also, at Taberah, Massah, and Kibroth Hattaavah you made the Lord angry. 23And you did not obey when the Lord told you to leave Kadesh Barnea. He said, ‘Go up and take the land I am giving you.’ But you refused to obey the Lord your God. You did not trust him. You did not listen to his command. 24All the time that I have known you, you have refused to obey the Lord. 25“So I bowed down before the Lord 40 days and 40 nights. Why? Because the Lord said he would destroy you. 26I prayed to the Lord. I said: Lord my Master, don’t destroy your people. They belong to you. You freed them and brought them out of Egypt with your great power and strength. 27Remember {your promise to} your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Forget how stubborn these people are. Don’t look at their evil ways or their sins. 28If you punish your people, the Egyptians might say, ‘The Lord was not able to take his people into the land he promised them. And he hated them. So he took them into the desert to kill them.’ 29But they are your people, Lord. They belong to you. You brought them out of Egypt with your great power and strength.

ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from. Anakites Descendants of Anak, a family famous for tall and powerful fighting men. See Num. 13:33.

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