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Deuteronomy Chapter 18 | Parsha: Shofetim

1The levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi, shall have no territorial portion with Israel. They shall live only off the Lord‘s offerings by fire as their portion, 2and shall have no portion among their brother tribes: the Lord is their portion, as He promised them.

3This then shall be the priests’ due from the people: Everyone who offers a sacrifice, whether an ox or a sheep, must give the shoulder, the cheeks, and the stomach to the priest. 4You shall also give him the first fruits of your new grain and wine and oil, and the first shearing of your sheep. 5For the Lord your God has chosen him and his descendants, out of all your tribes, to be in attendance for service in the name of the Lord for all time.

6If a Levite would go, from any of the settlements throughout Israel where he has been residing, to the place that the Lord has chosen, he may do so whenever he pleases. 7He may serve in the name of the Lord his God like all his fellow Levites who are there in attendance before the Lord. 8They shall receive equal shares of the dues, without regard to personal gifts or patrimonies.

9When you enter the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to imitate the abhorrent practices of those nations. 10Let no one be found among you who consigns his son or daughter to the fire, or who is an augur, a soothsayer, a diviner, a sorcerer, 11one who casts spells, or one who consults ghosts or familiar spirits, or one who inquires of the dead. 12For anyone who does such things is abhorrent to the Lord, and it is because of these abhorrent things that the Lord your God is dispossessing them before you. 13You must be wholehearted with the Lord your God. 14Those nations that you are about to dispossess do indeed resort to soothsayers and augurs; to you, however, the Lord your God has not assigned the like.

15The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet from among your own people, like myself; him you shall heed. 16This is just what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb, on the day of the Assembly, saying, “Let me not hear the voice of the Lord my God any longer or see this wondrous fire any more, lest I die.” 17Whereupon the Lord said to me, “They have done well in speaking thus. 18I will raise up a prophet for them from among their own people, like yourself: I will put My words in his mouth and he will speak to them all that I command him; 19and if anybody fails to heed the words he speaks in My name, I myself will call him to account. 20But any prophet who presumes to speak in My name an oracle that I did not command him to utter, or who speaks in the name of other gods—that prophet shall die.” 21And should you ask yourselves, “How can we know that the oracle was not spoken by the Lord?”— 22if the prophet speaks in the name of the Lord and the oracle does not come true, that oracle was not spoken by the Lord; the prophet has uttered it presumptuously: do not stand in dread of him.

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