Deuteronomy 29

God repeats his promise

1 The Lord told Moses to make this promise to the Israelites in the country called Moab. He must join it with the promise that the Lord made to them at Mount Horeb. 2 Moses caused all the people to come together. Then he said to them:

You have seen what the Lord did to the king of Egypt, to his officers and to his country. 3 You saw with your own eyes all the great and powerful things that he did. 4 But until now the Lord has not let you understand. Your eyes do not really see and your ears do not really hear. 5 The Lord says, ‘I led you through this desert for 40 years. Your clothes and shoes are still fresh and good. 6 You did not eat bread or drink any alcohol. I am the Lord your God. I wanted you to know that I am your God.’

7 When we arrived here, Sihon, king of Heshbon, and Og, king of Bashan, fought against us. But we beat them. 8 We marched into their country and we gave it to the tribes of Reuben and Gad. We also gave some of it to part of the tribe of Manasseh.

9 Be careful to obey the words of this promise. If you do that, everything will be good for you. Everything that you do will be good.

10 You are all standing today in front of the Lord your God. Your leaders, your important men, your officers and your older men are all here. 11 Your children, your wives and the foreign people are all here. The foreign people live with you. They cut wood and carry water for you. 12 You are standing here to agree to a promise with the Lord your God. The Lord is making this promise to you today. He is making it special by using serious and powerful words. 13 He tells you again today that you are his own people. He has promised to be your God. He made the same promise to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 14 I am making this promise, using serious and powerful words. It is not only for you. 15 You are standing here with us today, in front of the Lord our God. But I make the promise also to those people who are not here today.

16 You know how we lived in Egypt. You remember how we travelled through other countries on the way here. 17 You saw their gods, which the Lord hates. They made them from wood, stone, silver and gold. 18 Be very careful that no one forgets the Lord our God. Do not let any man, woman or family or tribe pray to the false gods of these countries. This would become like a root of poison among you.

19 Everyone who hears these serious words must obey them. He must not say to himself, ‘I will be safe, whatever happens. I will do whatever I want!’ If you say that, very bad things will destroy you and your fields. This will happen to both good and bad people. 20 The Lord will never forgive such a person. He will be angry and as powerful as a burning fire. The Lord will send on him all the bad things that I have written in this scroll. The Lord will destroy him completely. 21 The Lord will make him a very bad sign to all the Israelites. This scroll of the Law tells about many troubles and bad things. The Lord will cause these things to happen to that man.

22 In future days, your children and your grandchildren will see your troubles. Foreign people also will see your many illnesses and troubles. And they will know that the Lord has done this. 23 The whole country will become a desert of salt and bad dirt. No one will plant seed, because nothing will grow there. Your country will be the same as the cities called Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim. The Lord destroyed these cities when he was very, very angry. 24 All the people in the country will ask, ‘Why has the Lord destroyed this country? Why is he so very angry?’

25 And the answer will be: ‘Because these people stopped obeying their promise to the Lord, the God of their fathers. He made a promise to them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went away and prayed to other gods. They obeyed these strange gods that he had not given to them. 27 So the Lord was angry with the people in this country. The scroll of the Law tells about many troubles and bad things. The Lord caused these things to happen to his people and to their country. 28 The Lord was so angry that he removed them from their country. He would not let them remain there. He made them to go into a foreign country and they are there today.’

29 Some secret things belong only to the Lord our God. He does not tell us about those things. But he has told us about many other things. These things belong to us and to our children for all time, so that we will obey all his rules.