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Deuteronomy Chapter 1 | Parsha: Devarim

1These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel on the other side of the Jordan.—Through the wilderness, in the Arabah near Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Di-zahab, 2it is eleven days from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by the Mount Seir route.— 3It was in the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, that Moses addressed the Israelites in accordance with the instructions that the Lord had given him for them, 4after he had defeated Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon, and King Og of Bashan, who dwelt at Ashtaroth [and] Edrei. 5On the other side of the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to expound this Teaching. He said:

6The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying: You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7Start out and make your way to the hill country of the Amorites and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, the hill country, the Shephelah, the Negeb, the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and the Lebanon, as far as the Great River, the river Euphrates. 8See, I place the land at your disposal. Go, take possession of the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to assign to them and to their heirs after them.

9Thereupon I said to you, “I cannot bear the burden of you by myself. 10The Lord your God has multiplied you until you are today as numerous as the stars in the sky.— 11May the Lord, the God of your fathers, increase your numbers a thousandfold, and bless you as He promised you.— 12How can I bear unaided the trouble of you, and the burden, and the bickering! 13Pick from each of your tribes men who are wise, discerning, and experienced, and I will appoint them as your heads.” 14You answered me and said, “What you propose to do is good.” 15So I took your tribal leaders, wise and experienced men, and appointed them heads over you: chiefs of thousands, chiefs of hundreds, chiefs of fifties, and chiefs of tens, and officials for your tribes. 16I charged your magistrates at that time as follows, “Hear out your fellow men, and decide justly between any man and a fellow Israelite or a stranger. 17You shall not be partial in judgment: hear out low and high alike. Fear no man, for judgment is God’s. And any matter that is too difficult for you, you shall bring to me and I will hear it.” 18Thus I instructed you, at that time, about the various things that you should do.

19We set out from Horeb and traveled the great and terrible wilderness that you saw, along the road to the hill country of the Amorites, as the Lord our God had commanded us. When we reached Kadesh-barnea, 20I said to you, “You have come to the hill country of the Amorites which the Lord our God is giving to us. 21See, the Lord your God has placed the land at your disposal. Go up, take possession, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, promised you. Fear not and be not dismayed.”

22Then all of you came to me and said, “Let us send men ahead to reconnoiter the land for us and bring back word on the route we shall follow and the cities we shall come to.” 23I approved of the plan, and so I selected twelve of your men, one from each tribe. 24They made for the hill country, came to the wadi Eshcol, and spied it out. 25They took some of the fruit of the land with them and brought it down to us. And they gave us this report: “It is a good land that the Lord our God is giving to us.”

26Yet you refused to go up, and flouted the command of the Lord your God. 27You sulked in your tents and said, “It is because the Lord hates us that He brought us out of the land of Egypt, to hand us over to the Amorites to wipe us out. 28 What kind of place are we going to? Our kinsmen have taken the heart out of us, saying, ‘We saw there a people stronger and taller than we, large cities with walls sky-high, and even Anakites.’”

29I said to you, “Have no dread or fear of them. 30None other than the Lord your God, who goes before you, will fight for you, just as He did for you in Egypt before your very eyes, 31and in the wilderness, where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you traveled until you came to this place. 32Yet for all that, you have no faith in the Lord your God, 33who goes before you on your journeys—to scout the place where you are to encamp—in fire by night and in cloud by day, in order to guide you on the route you are to follow.”

34When the Lord heard your loud complaint, He was angry. He vowed: 35Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land that I swore to give to your fathers— 36none except Caleb son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and his descendants will I give the land on which he set foot, because he remained loyal to the Lord.

37Because of you the Lord was incensed with me too, and He said: You shall not enter it either. 38Joshua son of Nun, who attends you, he shall enter it. Imbue him with strength, for he shall allot it to Israel. 39Moreover, your little ones who you said would be carried off, your children who do not yet know good from bad, they shall enter it; to them will I give it and they shall possess it. 40As for you, turn about and march into the wilderness by the way of the Sea of Reeds.

41You replied to me, saying, “We stand guilty before the Lord. We will go up now and fight, just as the Lord our God commanded us.” And you all girded yourselves with war gear and recklessly started for the hill country. 42But the Lord said to me, “Warn them: Do not go up and do not fight, since I am not in your midst; else you will be routed by your enemies.” 43I spoke to you, but you would not listen; you flouted the Lord‘s command and willfully marched into the hill country. 44Then the Amorites who lived in those hills came out against you like so many bees and chased you, and they crushed you at Hormah in Seir. 45Again you wept before the Lord; but the Lord would not heed your cry or give ear to you.

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