Reading 51/341, Deuteronomy 3-4

Remember, that the majority of this text is Moses speaking (in case you are wondering who "we" are in the first sentence.


Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan, and Og, the king of Bashan, came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. The Lord said to me, ‘Do not fear him; for I have delivered him, and all his people, and his land, into your hand, and you shall do to him as you did to Sihon, king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.’ So the Lord our God delivered into our hand Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people, and we struck him until no one was left on his side. We took all his cities at that time; there was not a city which we did not take from them: sixty cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All these cities were fortified with high walls, gates, and bars; besides a large number of unwalled towns. We utterly destroyed them, as we did to Sihon, king of Heshbon, utterly destroying every inhabited city, with the women and the little ones. But all the livestock, and the spoil of the cities, we took as plunder for ourselves. We took the land at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, from the valley of the Arnon to Mount Hermon (the Sidonians call Hermon, Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir); all the cities of the plain, and all Gilead, and all Bashan, to Salecah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. For only Og, king of Bashan remained of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bed was a bed of iron. Is it not in Rabbah of the children of Ammon? Nine cubits was the length of it, and four cubits the width of it, after the cubit of a man.

This land we took possession of at that time, from Aroer, which is by the valley of the Arnon, and half the hill country of Gilead, and the cities of it, I gave to the Reubenites and to the Gadites, and the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, all Bashan. This is called the land of Rephaim. Jair, the son of Manasseh, took all the region of Argob, to the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and called them (Bashan) after his own name, Havvoth-jair, to this day. I gave Gilead to Machir. To the Reubenites and to the Gadites I gave from Gilead to the valley of the Arnon, the middle of the valley, and the border of it, to the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon; the Arabah also, and the Jordan and the border of it, from Chinnereth to the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, under the slopes of Pisgah eastward. I commanded you at that time, saying, ‘The Lord your God has given you this land to possess it, you shall pass over armed before your brothers the children of Israel, all the men of valor. But your wives, and your little ones, and your livestock, (I know that you have much livestock), shall abide in your cities which I have given you, until the Lord give rest to your brothers, like he has to you, and they also possess the land which the Lord your God gives them beyond the Jordan, then you shall return, every man to his possession, which I have given you.’ I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the Lord your God has done to these two kings, so shall the Lord do to all the kingdoms where you go over. You shall not fear them; for the Lord your God fights for you.’

I begged the Lord at that time, saying, ‘Lord God, you have begun to show your servant your greatness, and your strong hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth, that can act according to your works, and according to your mighty acts? Please let me go over and see the good land that is beyond the Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.’ But the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, and did not listen to me, and the Lord said to me, ‘Let this suffice you; speak no more to me of this matter. Go up to the top of Pisgah, and lift up your eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and see with your eyes, for you shall not go over this Jordan. But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him, for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which you shall see.’ So we abode in the valley over against Beth Peor.

Now, Israel, listen to the statutes and to the ordinances, which I teach you, to do them; that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, gives you. You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor shall you diminish from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. Your eyes have seen what the Lord did because of Baal-peor; for all the men who followed Baal-peor, the Lord your God has destroyed them from the midst of you. But you who held to the Lord your God are alive, every one of you this day. Behold, I have taught you statutes and ordinances, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do so in the midst of the land where you go in to possess it. Keep therefore and do them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who shall hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there, that has a god so near to them, as the Lord our God is whenever we call on him? What great nation is there, that has statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Only take heed of yourself, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes saw, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life, but make them known to your children and your children's children.

The day that you stood before the Lord your God in Horeb, when the Lord said to me, ‘Assemble before me the people, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’ You came near and stood under the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the heart of the sky, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness. The Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire, you heard the voice of words, but you saw no form; you only heard a voice. He declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, the ten commandments, and he wrote them on two tablets of stone. The Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances, that you might do them in the land where you go over to possess it. Take therefore good heed of yourselves, for you saw no manner of form on the day that the Lord spoke to you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire. Lest you corrupt yourselves, and make yourself an engraved image in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth, and lest you lift up your eyes to the sky, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the army of the sky, you are drawn away and worship them, and serve them, which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole sky. But the Lord has taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be to him a people of inheritance, as at this day.

Furthermore the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, and swore that I should not go over the Jordan, and that I should not go in to that good land, which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance, but I must die in this land, I must not go over the Jordan; but you shall go over, and possess that good land. Take heed of yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make an engraved image in the form of anything which the Lord your God has forbidden you. For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God. When you father children, and children's children, and you have been long in the land, and corrupt yourselves, and make an engraved image in the form of anything, and do what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, to provoke him to anger, I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you shall soon utterly perish from off the land where you go over the Jordan to possess it; you shall not prolong your days on it, but shall be utterly destroyed. The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you shall be left few in number among the nations, where the Lord shall lead you away. There you shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which nor see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But from there you shall seek the Lord your God, and you shall find him, when you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in oppression, and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you shall return to the Lord your God, and listen to his voice, for the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not fail you, nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which he swore to them.

For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and from the one end of the sky to the other, whether there has been any such thing as this great thing is, or has been heard like it. Did ever a people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and live? Or has God tried to go and take a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand, by an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God, that there is no one else besides him. Out of heaven he made you to hear his voice, that he might instruct you, and on earth he made you to see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire. Because he loved your fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought you out with his presence, with his great power, out of Egypt: to drive out nations from before you greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as on this day. Know therefore this day, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no one else. You shall keep his statutes, and his commandments, which I command you this day, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land, which the Lord your God gives you forever.”

Then Moses set apart three cities beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise, that the manslayer might flee there, who kills his neighbor unaware, and did not hate him in time past, and that fleeing to one of these cities he might live: Bezer in the desert, in the plain country, for the Reubenites; Ramoth in Gilead, for the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, for the Manassites. This is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel, these are the testimonies, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which Moses spoke to the children of Israel, when they came forth out of Egypt, beyond the Jordan, in the valley across from Beth-peor, in the land of Sihon, king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon, whom Moses and the children of Israel struck, when they came forth out of Egypt. They took his land in possession, and the land of Og, king of Bashan: the two kings of the Amorites, who were beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise; from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, to Mount Sirion (this is Hermon), and all the Arabah beyond the Jordan eastward, to the sea of the Arabah, under the slopes of Pisgah.

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