These are the terms of the covenant the LORD commanded Moses to make with the Israelites in Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with them at Horeb.
Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them: Your eyes have seen all that the LORD did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials and to all his land.
With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those miraculous signs and great wonders.
But to this day the LORD has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear.
During the forty years that I led you through the desert, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet.
You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the LORD your God.
When you reached this place, Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan came out to fight against us, but we defeated them.
We took their land and gave it as an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh.
Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do.
All of you are standing today in the presence of the LORD your God--your leaders and chief men, your elders and officials, and all the other men of Israel,
together with your children and your wives, and the aliens living in your camps who chop your wood and carry your water.
You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the LORD your God, a covenant the LORD is making with you this day and sealing with an oath,
to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you
who are standing here with us today in the presence of the LORD our God but also with those who are not here today.
You yourselves know how we lived in Egypt and how we passed through the countries on the way here.
You saw among them their detestable images and idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold.
Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.
When such a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks, "I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way." This will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry.
The LORD will never be willing to forgive him; his wrath and zeal will burn against that man. All the curses written in this book will fall upon him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven.
The LORD will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for disaster, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law.
Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the LORD has afflicted it.
The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur--nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in fierce anger.
All the nations will ask: "Why has the LORD done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?"
And the answer will be: "It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt.
They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them.
Therefore the LORD's anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book.
In furious anger and in great wrath the LORD uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now."
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come upon you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations,
and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today,
then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.
Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back.
He will bring you to the land that belonged to your fathers, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers.
The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.
The LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you.
You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands I am giving you today.
Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers,
if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.
It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?"
Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?"
No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.
For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them,
I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live
and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Then Moses went out and spoke these words to all Israel:
"I am now a hundred and twenty years old and I am no longer able to lead you. The LORD has said to me, `You shall not cross the Jordan.'
The LORD your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua also will cross over ahead of you, as the LORD said.
And the LORD will do to them what he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, whom he destroyed along with their land.
The LORD will deliver them to you, and you must do to them all that I have commanded you.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, "Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance.
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
So Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel.
Then Moses commanded them: "At the end of every seven years, in the year for canceling debts, during the Feast of Tabernacles,
when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose, you shall read this law before them in their hearing.
Assemble the people--men, women and children, and the aliens living in your towns--so they can listen and learn to fear the LORD your God and follow carefully all the words of this law.
Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the LORD your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess."
The LORD said to Moses, "Now the day of your death is near. Call Joshua and present yourselves at the Tent of Meeting, where I will commission him." So Moses and Joshua came and presented themselves at the Tent of Meeting.
Then the LORD appeared at the Tent in a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood over the entrance to the Tent.
And the LORD said to Moses: "You are going to rest with your fathers, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them.
On that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and difficulties will come upon them, and on that day they will ask, `Have not these disasters come upon us because our God is not with us?'
And I will certainly hide my face on that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods.
"Now write down for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them.
When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their forefathers, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting me and breaking my covenant.
And when many disasters and difficulties come upon them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants. I know what they are disposed to do, even before I bring them into the land I promised them on oath."
So Moses wrote down this song that day and taught it to the Israelites.
The LORD gave this command to Joshua son of Nun: "Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you."
After Moses finished writing in a book the words of this law from beginning to end,
he gave this command to the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD:
"Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God. There it will remain as a witness against you.
For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you have been rebellious against the LORD while I am still alive and with you, how much more will you rebel after I die!
Assemble before me all the elders of your tribes and all your officials, so that I can speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth to testify against them.
For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall upon you because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD and provoke him to anger by what your hands have made."
And Moses recited the words of this song from beginning to end in the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel:
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.