1“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. 12It 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, 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. 20Love 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.”
1Moses continued speaking to the people of Israel, 2and 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. 4The 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. 8The 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.”
The Law is to be Read Every Seven Years
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. 10He 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.”
The LORD's Last Instruction to Moses
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.
23Then 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.”
The Song of Moses
30Then Moses recited the entire song while all the people of Israel listened.
1“Earth and sky, hear my words,
listen closely to what I say.
2My teaching will fall like drops of rain
and form on the earth like dew.
My words will fall like showers on young plants,
like gentle rain on tender grass.
3I will praise the name of the LORD,
and his people will tell of his greatness.
4“The LORD is your mighty defender,
perfect and just in all his ways;
Your God is faithful and true;
he does what is right and fair.
5But you are unfaithful, unworthy to be his people,
a sinful and deceitful nation.
6Is this the way you should treat the LORD,
you foolish, senseless people?
He is your father, your Creator,
he made you into a nation.
7“Think of the past, of the time long ago;
ask your parents to tell you what happened,
ask the old people to tell of the past.
8The Most High assigned nations their lands;
he determined where peoples should live.
He assigned to each nation a heavenly being,
9but Jacob's descendants he chose for himself.
10“He found them wandering through the desert,
a desolate, windswept wilderness.
He protected them and cared for them,
as he would protect himself.
11Like an eagle teaching its young to fly,
catching them safely on its spreading wings,
the LORD kept Israel from falling.
12The LORD alone led his people
without the help of a foreign god.
13“He let them rule the highlands,
and they ate what grew in the fields.
They found wild honey among the rocks;
their olive trees flourished in stony ground.
14Their cows and goats gave plenty of milk;
they had the best sheep, goats, and cattle,
the finest wheat, and the choicest wine.
15“The LORD's people grew rich, but rebellious;
they were fat and stuffed with food.
They abandoned God their Creator
and rejected their mighty saviour.
16Their idolatry made the LORD jealous;
the evil they did made him angry.
17They sacrificed to gods that are not real,
new gods their ancestors had never known,
gods that Israel had never obeyed,
18They forgot their God, their mighty saviour,
the one who had given them life.
19“When the LORD saw this, he was angry
and rejected his sons and daughters.
20‘I will no longer help them,’ he said;
‘then I will see what happens to them,
those stubborn, unfaithful people.
21With their idols they have made me angry,
jealous with their so-called gods,
gods that are really not gods.
So I will use a so-called nation to make them angry;
I will make them jealous with a nation of fools.
22My anger will flame up like fire
and burn everything on earth.
It will reach to the world below
and consume the roots of the mountains.
23“ ‘I will bring on them endless disasters
and use all my arrows against them.
24They will die from hunger and fever;
they will die from terrible diseases.
I will send wild animals to attack them,
and poisonous snakes to bite them.
25War will bring death in the streets;
terrors will strike in the homes.
Young men and young women will die;
neither babies nor old people will be spared.
26I would have destroyed them completely,
so that no one would remember them.
27But I could not let their enemies boast
that they had defeated my people,
when it was I myself who had crushed them.’
28“Israel is a nation without sense;
they have no wisdom at all.
29They fail to see why they were defeated;
they cannot understand what happened.
30Why were a thousand defeated by one,
and 10,000 by only two?
The LORD, their God, had abandoned them;
their mighty God had given them up.
31Their enemies know that their own gods are weak,
not mighty like Israel's God.
32Their enemies, corrupt as Sodom and Gomorrah,
are like vines that bear bitter and poisonous grapes,
33like wine made from the venom of snakes.
34“The LORD remembers what their enemies have done;
he waits for the right time to punish them.
35The LORD will take revenge and punish them;
the time will come when they will fall;
the day of their doom is near.
36The LORD will rescue his people
when he sees that their strength is gone.
He will have mercy on those who serve him,
when he sees how helpless they are.
37Then the LORD will ask his people,
‘Where are those mighty gods you trusted?
38You fed them with the fat of your sacrifices
and offered them wine to drink.
Let them come and help you now;
let them run to your rescue.
39“ ‘I, and I alone, am God;
no other god is real.
I kill and I give life, I wound and I heal,
and no one can oppose what I do.
40As surely as I am the living God,
I raise my hand and I vow
41that I will sharpen my flashing sword
and see that justice is done.
I will take revenge on my enemies
and punish those who hate me.
42My arrows will drip with their blood,
and my sword will kill all who oppose me.
I will spare no one who fights against me;
even the wounded and prisoners will die.’
43“Nations, you must praise the LORD's people —
he punishes all who kill them.
He takes revenge on his enemies
and forgives the sins of his people.”
44Moses and Joshua son of Nun recited this song, so that the people of Israel could hear it.
Moses' Final Instructions
45When Moses had finished giving God's teachings to the people, 46he said, “Make sure you obey all these commands that I have given you today. Repeat them to your children, so that they may faithfully obey all God's teachings. 47These teachings are not empty words; they are your very life. Obey them and you will live long in that land across the Jordan that you are about to occupy.”