The Covenant in Moab
29 These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the sons of Israel in the land of Moab, in addition to the covenant which He made with them at Horeb (Sinai).
2 [a]Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his servants, and to all his land; 3 the great trials [of Pharaoh] which your eyes have seen, the signs and those great wonders. 4 Yet to this day the Lord has not given you a heart and mind to understand, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear. 5 I have led you in the wilderness forty years; your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet. 6 You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or strong drink, so that you might know that I am the Lord your God [on whom you must depend]. 7 When you reached this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon and Og the king of Bashan came out to meet us in battle, but we defeated them; 8 and we took their land and gave it as an inheritance to the tribe of Reuben, the tribe of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. 9 So keep the words of this covenant and obey them, so that you may prosper and be successful in everything that you do.
10 “All of you stand today before the Lord your God—your chiefs, your tribes, your elders and your officers, even all the men of Israel, 11 your little ones, your wives, and the stranger (resident alien, foreigner) who is in your camps, from [b]the one who chops and gathers your firewood to the one who draws your water— 12 so that you may enter into the covenant of the Lord your God, and into His oath and agreement which the Lord your God is making with you today, 13 so that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God, just as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
14 “It is not with you alone that I am making this covenant and this oath, 15 but with those [future Israelites] who are not here with us today, as well as with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God 16 (for you know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we passed through the nations along the way; 17 and you have seen their detestable acts and their [repulsive] idols of wood and stone, [lifeless images] of silver and gold, which they had with them), 18 so that there will not be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the [false] gods of these nations; so that there will not be among you a root [of idolatry] bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood (bitterness). 19 It will happen that when he (a renegade) hears the words of this oath, and he [c]imagines himself as blessed, saying, ‘I will have peace and safety even though I walk within the stubbornness of my heart [rejecting God and His law], in order that the watered land dwindles away along with the dry [destroying everything],’ 20 the Lord will not be willing to forgive him, but then the anger of the Lord and His [d]jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him; the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven. 21 Then the Lord will single him out for disaster from all the tribes of Israel [making an example of him], according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this Book of the Law.
22 Now the next generation, your children who come after you and the foreigner who comes from a distant land, when they see the plagues of this land and the diseases with which the Lord has afflicted it, will say, 23 ‘The whole land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it; it is like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in His anger and wrath.’ 24 All the nations will say, ‘Why has the Lord done this thing to this land? Why this great outburst of anger?’ 25 Then people will say, ‘It is because they abandoned (broke) the covenant of the Lord, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt. 26 For they went and served other gods and worshiped them, [false] gods whom they have not known and whom He had not allotted (given) to them. 27 So the anger of the Lord burned against this land, bringing on it every curse that is written in this book; 28 and the Lord uprooted them from their land in anger and in wrath and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.’
29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things which are revealed and disclosed belong to us and to our children forever, so that we may do all of the words of this law.
- Deuteronomy 29:2 Ch 29:1 in Hebrew.
- Deuteronomy 29:11 This probably refers to a permanent slave population (Josh 9:27).
- Deuteronomy 29:19 Lit blesses himself in his heart. That is, the renegade imagines that the agreement is one-sided, requiring God to bless him no matter what he does.
- Deuteronomy 29:20 I.e. intolerance of unfaithfulness.