Pgs. 584-595

Ch. 7-11



If you receive these judgments, and observe and perform them, then will the Lord your God keep with you the covenant and the lovingkindness which He sware to your fathers. And He will love, bless, and multiply you, and will bless the children of your wombs, the fruit of your ground, your corn, wine, and oil, the herds of your oxen, and the flocks of your sheep, on the land which He sware to your fathers to give you. More blessed will you be than all peoples; there shall not be among you barren men or women, nor thy cattle (be wanting) in wool, or milk, or offspring. And the Lord will put away from thee all the diseases and evil plagues that He sent upon Mizraim which thou hast known; He will not put them upon you, but will send them forth upon all your enemies. And thou shalt consume all the nations which the Lord thy God giveth up to thee; thine eye shall not spare them nor their idols, because they would be a stumblingjblock to thee. Neither say in thy heart, These nations are greater and stronger than I am: how shall I be able to drive them out? Be not afraid of them; remember the work of power which the Lord thy God wrought upon Pharoh and all the Mizraee; the great miracles which thou didst see with thine eyes, the signs and wonders, the strength of the mighty hand, and the victory of the uplifted arm, when the Lord your God led you out free: so will the Lord your God do unto all the peoples before whom thou art afraid. Moreover, the Lord your God will send the plague of biting hornets among you, until they who have remained shall perish and disappear before you. Therefore be not downjbroken before them, for the Shekinah of the Lord your God is among you, the Great and Fearful God.


But the Lord your God will make these nations depart from before thee by little and little. You may not destroy them at once, lest the beasts of the field multiply against you, when they have come to devour their carcases. But the Lord your God will give them up before you, and will trouble them with great trouble, until they shall be consumed [JERUSALEM. And shall trouble them with great trouble, till the time that they shall be destroyed.] And He will deliver their kings into your hands, and you shall destroy their names from remembrance under the whole heavens: not a man shall stand before you until you have destroyed them. You shall burn their images with fire, nor desire the silver and gold that may be upon them, nor take them, lest through them you offend, for they are an abomination before the Lord your God. Neither may you bring their abominable idols or their servicejvessels into your houses, that you be not accursed as they but you shall utterly loathe them as a loathsome reptile, and abhor them altogether, because they are accursed.


VIII. Every commandment which I command you this day, observe ye to do, that you may live, and multiply, and go in and inherit the land which the Lord sware to your fathers. And remember all the way by which the Lord your God hath led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble and try you, to know whether you will keep His commandments or not. And He humbled thee and let thee hunger, and fed thee with the manna which thou knewest not, nor thy fathers had known, that He might make thee to know that man liveth not by bread only, but by all that is created by the Word of the Lord doth man live. [JERUSALEM. That by manna only.] Your raiment hath not waxen old upon your bodies, and your feet have not gone without covering these forty years. But you know with the thoughts of your hearts, that as a man regardeth his child, so the Lord your God hath regarded you. Keep, therefore, the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in the ways that are right before Him, and to fear Him. For the Lord your God bringeth you into a land whose fruits are celebrated, a land whose streams flow in clear waters, from sweet fountain springs, and depths that dry not up, issuing forth among the vales and mountains; a land producing wheat and barley, and growing vines from which cometh out wine sweet and ripe, and a land which yieldeth figs and pomegranates, a land whose olive trees make oil, and whose palms give honey; a land where, without poverty, you may eat bread and want nothing; a land whose sages will enact decrees unalloyed as iron, and whose disciples will propound questions weighty as brass.[JERUSALEM. A land from whose olive trees they make oil, and from whose palms they make honey......whose stones are, pure as iron, and whose hills are firm as brass.]


Be mindful, therefore, in the time when you will have eaten and are satisfied, that you render thanksgiving and blessing before the Lord your God for all the fruit of the goodly land which He hath given you, lest you forget the fear of the Lord your God, and keep not His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes, which I command you this day; lest, when you shall have eaten and are satisfied, and you have builded pleasant houses to dwell in, and your oxen and sheep are multiplied, and silver and gold are increased to you, and all things you have are multiplied, your heart be lifted up, and you forget the fear of the Lord your God, who brought you out free from the land of Mizraim, from the house of the affliction of slaves; who led thee in mercy through that great and fearful desert, a place abounding in burning serpents and scorpions with stings, a place where there is thirst but no water; but (where) He brought thee forth water out of the hard rock, and fed thee in the desert with manna which thy fathers knew not, to humble thee and to prove thee, that He may do thee good in thine end.


Beware that you say not in your heart, Our strength and the might of our hands have obtained us all these riches; but remember the Lord your God ; for He it is who giveth thee counsel whereby to get wealth; that He may confirm the covenant which He sware to your fathers at the time of this day. For it shall be that if you forget the fear of the Lord your God, and go after the idols of the Gentiles, to serve and worship them, I testify against you this day, you will surely perish; as the peoples which the Lord your God disperseth before you, so will you perish, because you were not obedient to the Word of the Lord your God.


IX. Hear, Israel: you are this day (about) to pass Jordana to enter in and possess (the country of) nations greater and stronger than you, and cities many, and fortified to the height of heaven. A people (are they) strong and tall as the giants whom you know, and of whom you have heard (say), Who can stand before the sons of the giants? Know, therefore, tojday that the Lord your God, whose glorious Shekinah goeth before you, whose Word is a consuming fire, will destroy them and drive them out before you; so shall you drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the Lord your God hath said to you. Speak not in your heart when the Lord your God hath driven them away from before you saying, For the sake of my righteousness hath the Lord brought me in to inherit this land; for on account of the sins of these people the Lord driveth them out before you. Not for your righteousness, or the integrity of your heart, will you be brought in to possess their land, but for the sins of these people the Lord your God driveth them away before you; and that the Lord may establish the word which He sware to Abraham, Izhak, and Jakob, your fathers. Know, therefore, that it is not on account of your merit that the Lord your God giveth you this glorious land to possess it; for a hardjnecked people are you. Be mindful and forget not how you have provoked unto anger, before the Lord in the wilderness, from the day that you went out of the land of Mizraim until you came to this place, and have been perverse before the Lord. (Even) at Horeb you provoked the Lord to anger, so that there was wrath before the Lord against you, to destroy you. When I had gone up to the mountain to receive the tables of marble, the tables of the covenant which the Lord had made with you, and I tarried on the mountain forty days and forty nights, I ate no bread, I drank no water; and the Lord gave to me the two tables of marble inscribed by the finger of the Lord, and upon which was written according to all the words which the Lord spake with you on the mount from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembling of the congregation. But at the end of the forty days and nights, when the Lord gave to me the two tables of marble, the tables of the covenant, the Lord said to me, Arise, go down quickly from hence, for the people who are called by thy name, whom I led forth from the land of Mizraim, have corrupted their way; they have soon gone aside from the way that I commanded them on Sinai, saying, Make not to you a likeness or image; for they have made for themselves a molten (form). And the Lord spake to me saying, the sin of this people is revealed before Me, and behold this people is hard-necked: desist from thy prayer to Me, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under the heavens; and I will make of thee a people stronger and greater than they.


And I prepared and went down from the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire; and the two tables of the covenant were upon my two hands. And I saw, and, behold, you had sinned before the Lord your God; you had made for you a molten calf, and had quickly declined from the way which the Lord had commanded to you. And taking the two tables, I cast them from my two hands and broke them; and you looked on while the tables were broken and the letters[1] fled away. [JERUSALEM. And I took both the tables and cast them down.] But I prayed for mercy as at the first before the Lord; forty days and forty nights I ate no bread, nor drank water, for all your sin whereby you had sinned in doing what was evil before the Lord to provoke Him to anger.


At that time five destroying angels were sent from the Lord to destroy Israel, Wrath, Burning, Relentlessness, Destruction, and Indignation; but when Mosheh the Rabban of Israel heard, he went and made memorial of the great and glorious Name, and called. And Abraham, Izhak, and Jakob arose from their tomb, and stood in prayer before the Lord; and forthwith three of them were restrained, and two of them, Wrath and Burning, remained. But Mosheh (yet) supplicated mercy, and were also restrained ; and he digged a grave in the land of Moab and buried them, in swearing by the great and tremendous Name; for so it is written: For I was afraid before the anger with which the Lord was angry with you to destroy you, and the Lord received my prayer at that time also.


But against Aharon was there great displeasure before the Lord, (so that) He would destroy him; but I prayed for Aharon also at that time. And your sin, the calf which you had made, I took, and burned it in fire, and crushed it well with crushing until I had bruised it into dust; and I threw the dust into the stream that descended from the mountain


And at the place of Burning, and that of the Temptation, and at the Graves of Desire [JERUSALEM. And at the Graves of Desire] you provoked to anger before the Lord. And at the time when the Lord sent you from Rekem Giah, saying: Go up and take possession of the land which I have given you, then were you perverse with the Word of the Lord your God, and would not believe Him, nor be obedient to His Word. You have been perverse before the Lord from the day that I have known you.


And I bowed down in prayer before the Lord for the forty days and nights in which I was prostrate in supplication, because the Lord had said He was about to destroy you. And I prayed before the Lord, and said: I implore mercy before Thee, 0 Lord God, that Thou wouldst not destroy Thy people and Thy heritage which Thou hast redeemed by Thy power, and led forth from Mizraim by the strength of Thy mighty hand. Remember Thy servants Abraham, Izhak, and Jakob, nor regard Thou the hard heart of this people, nor their wickedness, nor their sin: lest the inhabitants of the land from whence Thou hast led us say, that power failed before the Lord to bring them into the land of which Thou hast told them, and that because Thou didst hate them, therefore didst Thou lead them out to kill them in the wilderness. But they are Thy people and Thy heritage, whom Thou didst bring out by Thy great power, and with Thy uplifted arm.


X. At that time did the Lord say to me: Hew thee two tables of marble according to the form of the first; and ascend before Me into the mountain, and make thee an ark of wood. And I will write upon the tables the words which were upon the former ones, which thou didst break with thy entire strength; and thou shalt put them within the ark. And I made an ark of sitta wood, and hewed two marble tables according to the form of the first, and went up into the mountain, having the two tables in my hand. And He wrote upon the tables according to the former writing, the Ten Words which the Lord spake with you from the mount in the midst of the fire on the day that the congregation was gathered together, and the Lord gave them to me. And I turned and came down from the mountain, and put the tables into the ark which I had made, and there are they laid up (hidden) as the Lord commanded me.


And the children of Israel journeyed from the villages of the wells of the Beni Jahakan to Mosera[2]. There Amalek, who reigned in Arad, and who had heard that Aharon was dead, and that the Cloud of Glory had gone up, (came and) fought with them. And those of Israel who were distressed by that war sought to go back into Mizraim, and returned (towards it) six journeys; (but) the sons of Levi followed after them, and slew eight families of them, and the remainder returned. Of the sons of Levi also four families were slain. And they said one to another, What hath been the cause of this slaughter? Because we have been remiss in the mourning for Aharon the Saint. Therefore all the children of Israel observed there a mourning for Aharon's death; and there was he buried, and Elazar his son ministered in his stead. Thence they journeyed to Gudgod, and from Gudgod to Jotbath, a land flowing with streams of water. At that time the Lord distinguished the tribe of Levi, because they had been zealous (even) to slay for His honour; that they should bear the ark of the Lord's covenant, and stand before the Lord to minister unto Him and to bless in His Name until this day. Therefore the tribe of Levi hath not a portion or inheritance with his brethren; the gifts which the Lord giveth him are his inheritance, as the Lord your God hath spoken to him. But I stood in the mount praying and interceding as in the former days (of the) forty days and nights, and the Lord received my prayer at that time also, and the Lord would not destroy you. And the Lord said to me, Arise, go, lead forth the people, that they be brought in, and possess the land which I promised to their fathers to give them.


And now, Israel, what doth the Lord your God require of you, but that you fear the Lord your God, to walk in all the ways that are right before Him, and that you love Him, and serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you this day, that it may be well with you ? Behold, the heavens, and the heavens of the heavens, are be Lord's your God, and the hosts of angels are in them to minister before Him, and the earth, and whatsoever is therein. Only the Lord had pleasure in your fathers, and because He would love you He hath had favour to their children after them, as you, above all the nations upon the face of the earth, at the time of this day. Put away folly, therefore, from your heart, and be not stiffjnecked any more; for the Lord thy God is God, the Judge, and the Monarch of kings, a Great God, mighty and terrible, before whom there is no respect of persons, and who taketh no bribe; He doeth judgment for the orphan and widow, and hath compassion upon the stranger to give him food and raiment. Have pity then (yourselves) upon the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Mizraim. Revere the Lord your God, and worship before Him, and cleave closely to His fear, and swear by His Name. He is your praise, and He is your God, who hath done for thee these great and mighty acts which thou hast beheld with thy eyes. With seventy souls your fathers went down into Mizraim, and now hath the Lord your God set you as the stars of the heavens for multitude.


XI. Therefore shall you love the Lord your God, and diligently observe His Word, His statutes, and His judgments always. And know you this day, for (I speak) not with your children who have not known or seen the instruction of the law of the Lord your God, nor His greatness, nor His mighty hand, nor His uplifted arm, or His signs and works which He wrought in Mizraim, on Pharoh king of Mizraim, and on all the inhabitants of his land; what He did also to the hosts of Mizraim, to their horses and chariots, when He made the waters of the Red Sea to overwhelm their faces when they followed after you, when the Lord destroyed them unto this day's time; and what He hath done to you in the wilderness till the time that you came to this place; and what He did unto Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab bar Reuben, when the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up with the men of their house, and all their substance, in the midst of all Israel: for with your eyes have you seen all the great work of the Lord which He hath wrought. Therefore shall you keep all the precepts which I command you this day, that you may be strengthened, and go in, and inherit the land to possess which you go over; and that your days may be multiplied upon the land which the Lord sware to your fathers to give it to them and their children; a land whose fruits are rich as milk, and sweet as honey. For the land to which thou goest in to possess it is not like the land of Mizraim, from whence you have come, in which thou didst sow thy seed, and water it thyself as a garden of herbs; but the land which you pass over to inherit is a land of mountains and valleys: it drinketh water from the rain that cometh down from the heavens; it is a land which the Lord your God inquireth after by His Word, that He may bless it evermore; [JERUSALEM. A land which the Lord your God inquireth after continually.] the eyes of the Lord your God look upon it from the beginning of the year to the year's end. And it shall be that if you diligently obey My commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve Him with all your heart, and with all your soul, then will I give you the rain of your land in its time, the early in Marchesvan, and the latter in Nisan, that you may gather in your corn, your wine., and your oil. I will give herbage also in thy field for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and have enough.


Take heed to yourselves, lest you be led away by the imagination of your heart, and turn aside to serve the idols of the Gentiles, and worship them, and the Lord's anger be provoked against you, and He shut up the clouds of heaven, and let not the rain come down, and the earth yield no provender, and you perish soon from off the glorious land which the Lord shall give you. But lay these my words upon your heart, and upon your soul, and bind them, written upon tephillin, as a sign upon the upper part (wrist?) of your left hands, and let them be for tephillin over thy forehead between thy eyes. And thou shalt teach them to thy children to study them when you are sitting in your house with your kindred, and when you are walking in the way, and in the evening when you lie down, and in the morning when you arise. [JERUSALEM. And when you repose, and when you rise up.] And you shall write them upon parchment[3], upon the posts, and affix them to three (things), against thy chest,[4] against the pillars of thy house, and against thy gates: that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied on the land which the Lord sware to your fathers to give you, as the number of the days that the heavens abide over the earth.


For if you diligently keep every commandment that I command you to do it, to love the Lord your God, and walk in all the ways that are right before Him, and cleave unto His fear, then will the Word of the Lord drive out all these nations from before you, and you shall possess the heritage of nations greater and stronger than yourselves. Every place where the sole of your foot shall tread will be yours, from the wilderness and the mountain; (among) your mountains shall be the house of the sanctuary, and from the great river, the River Phrat, unto the ocean sea, whose waters are (old as) the creation, on the western side shall be your limit. Not a man will be able to stand before you; but the Lord your God will set the fear and dread of you upon the faces of all the inhabiters of the land that you tread upon, as it hath been told you. [JERUSALEM. Not a ruler nor a prince shall stand before you; but your terror and your fear.]

[1] Vide Palest. Targ. on Exodus xxxii.

[2] Compare the Samaritan text.

[3] Or, rolls,” megiltha.

[4] Tekey, theca.