If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder,
and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them,"
you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.
It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.
If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known,
gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other),
do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him.
You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people.
Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.
If you hear it said about one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you to live in
that wicked men have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods you have not known),
then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you,
you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock.
Gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God. It is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt.
None of those condemned things shall be found in your hands, so that the LORD will turn from his fierce anger; he will show you mercy, have compassion on you, and increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your forefathers,
because you obey the LORD your God, keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes.
You are the children of the LORD your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave the front of your heads for the dead,
for you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be his treasured possession.
Do not eat any detestable thing.
These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat,
the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope and the mountain sheep.
You may eat any animal that has a split hoof divided in two and that chews the cud.
However, of those that chew the cud or that have a split hoof completely divided you may not eat the camel, the rabbit or the coney. Although they chew the cud, they do not have a split hoof; they are ceremonially unclean for you.
The pig is also unclean; although it has a split hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses.
Of all the creatures living in the water, you may eat any that has fins and scales.
But anything that does not have fins and scales you may not eat; for you it is unclean.
You may eat any clean bird.
But these you may not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture,
the red kite, the black kite, any kind of falcon,
any kind of raven,
the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk,
the little owl, the great owl, the white owl,
the desert owl, the osprey, the cormorant,
the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.
All flying insects that swarm are unclean to you; do not eat them.
But any winged creature that is clean you may eat.
Do not eat anything you find already dead. You may give it to an alien living in any of your towns, and he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. But you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk.
Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.
Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always.
But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the LORD your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the LORD will choose to put his Name is so far away),
then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the LORD your God will choose.
Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice.
And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own.
At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns,
so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.
This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel the loan he has made to his fellow Israelite. He shall not require payment from his fellow Israelite or brother, because the LORD's time for canceling debts has been proclaimed.
You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your brother owes you.
However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you,
if only you fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today.
For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.
If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother.
Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs.
Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: "The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near," so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin.
Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.
There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.
If a fellow Hebrew, a man or a woman, sells himself to you and serves you six years, in the seventh year you must let him go free.
And when you release him, do not send him away empty-handed.
Supply him liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you.
Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.
But if your servant says to you, "I do not want to leave you," because he loves you and your family and is well off with you,
then take an awl and push it through his ear lobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your maidservant.
Do not consider it a hardship to set your servant free, because his service to you these six years has been worth twice as much as that of a hired hand. And the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do.
Set apart for the LORD your God every firstborn male of your herds and flocks. Do not put the firstborn of your oxen to work, and do not shear the firstborn of your sheep.
Each year you and your family are to eat them in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose.
If an animal has a defect, is lame or blind, or has any serious flaw, you must not sacrifice it to the LORD your God.
You are to eat it in your own towns. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat it, as if it were gazelle or deer.
But you must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
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