Reading 55/341, Deuteronomy 16-19

The prophecy of the "prophet like Moses" is made here. This becomes a very important prophecy in Israel.

...Deuteronomy...

Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to the Lord your God, for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you forth out of Egypt by night. You shall sacrifice the Passover to the Lord your God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the Lord shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there. You shall eat no leavened bread with it. Seven days you shall eat with unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, for you came forth out of the land of Egypt in haste. This is so that you may remember the day when you came forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life. There shall be no yeast seen with you in all your borders for seven days, nor shall any of the flesh, which you sacrifice the first day at evening, remain all night until the morning. You may not sacrifice the Passover within just any of your gates, which the Lord your God gives you, but at the place which the Lord your God shall choose, to cause his name to dwell in: there you shall sacrifice the Passover at evening, at the going down of the sun, at the time when you came forth out of Egypt. You shall roast and eat it in the place which the Lord your God shall choose, and you shall return in the morning and go to your tents. Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly to the Lord your God. You shall do no work on it.

Seven weeks you shall count, from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain you shall count seven weeks. You shall keep the feast of weeks to the Lord your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give, according to how the Lord your God blesses you. You shall rejoice before the Lord your God: you, and your son, and your daughter, and your male servant, and your female servant, and the Levite who is within your gates, and the immigrant, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are in the midst of you, in the place which the Lord your God shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there. You shall remember that you were a bondservant in Egypt, and you shall observe and do these statutes. You shall keep the feast of booths seven days, after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and from your winepress, and you shall rejoice in your feast: you, and your son, and your daughter, and your male servant, and your female servant, and the Levite, and the immigrant, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your gates. Seven days you shall keep a feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord shall choose; because the Lord your God will bless you in all your yield, and in all the work of your hands, and you shall be altogether joyful. Three times in a year shall all your males appear before the Lord your God in the place which he shall choose, in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of booths, and they shall not appear before the Lord emptyhanded; every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which he has given you.

You shall appoint judges and officers within all your gates, which the Lord your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not pervert justice; you shall not respect persons; nor shall you take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. Justice alone you shall follow, that you may live, and inherit the land which the Lord your God gives you. You shall not plant any tree as an Asherah beside the altar of the Lord your God, which you shall make. Nor shall you set up a pillar, which the Lord your God hates. You shall not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep which has a blemish, or any defect, for that is an abomination to the Lord your God. If there be found in the midst of you, within any of your gates which the Lord your God gives you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, in transgressing his covenant, and has gone and served other gods, and worshiped them, or the sun, or the moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded, and it is told you, and you have heard of it, then you shall inquire diligently, and behold, if it is true, and the thing certain, that such abomination has been done in Israel, then you shall bring forth that man or that woman, who has done this evil thing, to your gates, the man or the woman, and you shall stone them to death with stones. By the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death; by the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. The hand of the witnesses shall be the first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall put away the evil from the midst of you.

If there arises a matter too hard for you in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within your gates; then you shall arise, and go up to the place which the Lord your God shall choose, and you shall come to the Levite priests, and to whoever is the judge in those days, and you shall inquire, and they shall show you the sentence of judgment. You shall do according to the sentence which they shall show you from that place which the Lord shall choose, and you shall carefully do according to all that they teach you, according to the tenor of the law which they shall teach you, and according to the judgment which they tell you, you shall do; you shall not turn aside from the sentence which they show you, not to the right hand, nor to the left. The man who does presumptuously, in not listening to the priest who stands to minister there before the Lord your God, or to the judge, that man shall die, and you shall put away the evil from Israel. All the people shall hear, and fear, and no longer act presumptuously.

When you have come to the land which the Lord your God gives you, and possess it, and dwell therein, and say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are round about me’, you shall surely set him king over you whom the Lord your God shall choose, one from among your brothers shall you set as king over you; you may not put an immigrant over you, who is not your brother. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he may multiply horses; because the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall henceforth return no more that way.’ Nor shall he multiply wives to himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. It shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write a copy of this law in a book, out of the copy before the Levite priests, and it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them, lest his heart be lifted up above his brothers, and he turn aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left, to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel.

The Levite priests, all the tribe of Levi, shall have neither portion nor inheritance with Israel. They shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire as their inheritance. They shall have no inheritance among their brothers. The Lord is their inheritance, as he has spoken to them. This shall be the priests' due from the people, from those who offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep, that they shall give to the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the stomach. The first fruits of your grain, of your new wine, and of your oil, and the first of the fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. For the Lord your God has chosen him out of all your tribes, to stand and minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons forever. If a Levite comes from any of your gates out of all Israel, where he lives as an immigrant, and comes with all the desire of his soul to the place which the Lord shall choose, then he shall minister in the name of the Lord his God, as all his brothers the Levites do, who stand there before the Lord. They shall have like portions to eat, besides what comes of the sale of his patrimony.

When you are come into the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to do according to the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found with you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices sorcery, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a consulter with a familiar spirit, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God will drive them out from before you. You shall be perfect with the Lord your God. For these nations, that you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice sorcery, and to diviners, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you so to do.

The Lord your God will raise up to you a prophet from the midst of you, of your brothers, like me; to him you shall listen; according to all that you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, nor let me see this great fire any longer, lest I die.’ The Lord said to me, ‘They have well said what they have spoken. I will raise them up a prophet from among their brothers, like you, and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him. It shall happen, that whoever will not listen to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. But the prophet, who shall speak a word presumptuously in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who shall speak in the name of other gods, that very prophet shall die.’ If you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’, when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not follow, nor happen, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken, the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you shall not be afraid of him.

When the Lord your God cuts off the nations, whose land the Lord your God gives you, and you succeed them, and dwell in their cities, and in their houses, you shall set apart three cities for you in the midst of your land, which the Lord your God gives you to possess. You shall prepare the way, and divide the borders of your land, which the Lord your God causes you to inherit, into three parts, that every manslayer may flee there. This is the case of the manslayer who flees there and lives, who killed his neighbor accidentally, and did not hate him in time past, as when a man goes into the forest with his neighbor to hew wood, and his hand fetches a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the handle, and lights on his neighbor, so that he dies; he shall flee to one of these cities and live, lest the avenger of blood pursue the manslayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and strike him mortally. For he does not deserve death, inasmuch as he did not hate him in time past. Therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall set apart three cities for yourselves.’ If the Lord your God enlarges your border, as he has sworn to your fathers, and gives you all the land which he promised to give to your fathers; if you shall keep all this commandment to do it, which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to walk ever in his ways, then you shall add three more cities for yourselves, besides these three, that innocent blood not be shed in the midst of your land, which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance; such blood be on you. But if any man hates his neighbor, and lies in wait for him, and rises up against him, and strikes him mortally so that he dies, and he flees into one of these cities, then the elders of his city shall send and bring him there, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall put away the innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with you.

You shall not remove your neighbor's landmark, which the people of old have set, in your inheritance which you shall inherit, in the land that the Lord your God gives you to possess. One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sins. By the mouth of two witnesses, or by the mouth of three witnesses, a matter will be established. If an unrighteous witness rises up against any man to testify against him of wrong-doing, then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who shall be in those days, and the judges shall make diligent inquisition, and, behold, if the witness is a false witness, and has testified falsely against his brother; then you shall do to him, as he had thought to do to his brother, so you shall put away the evil from the midst of you. Those who remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil in the midst of you. Your eyes shall not pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

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