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Chapter 12

1These are the statutes and the ordinances which you shall observe to do in the land which Yahweh, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess it, all the days that you live on the earth. 2You shall surely destroy all the places in which the nations that you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains, and on the hills, and under every green tree: 3and you shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their Asherim with fire; and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods; and you shall destroy their name out of that place. 4You shall not do so to Yahweh your God. 5But to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose out of all your tribes, to put his name there, even to his habitation shall you seek, and there you shall come; 6and there you shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and the wave offering of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock: 7and there you shall eat before Yahweh your God, and you shall rejoice in all that you put your hand to, you and your households, in which Yahweh your God has blessed you. 8You shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatever is right in his own eyes; 9for you haven’t yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which Yahweh your God gives you. 10But when you go over the Jordan, and dwell in the land which Yahweh your God causes you to inherit, and he gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety; 11then it shall happen that to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there, there shall you bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the wave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which you vow to Yahweh. 12You shall rejoice before Yahweh your God, you, and your sons, and your daughters, and your male servants, and your female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you. 13Take heed to yourself that you don’t offer your burnt offerings in every place that you see; 14but in the place which Yahweh shall choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you. 15Notwithstanding, you may kill and eat flesh within all your gates, after all the desire of your soul, according to the blessing of Yahweh your God which he has given you: the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle, and as of the hart. 16Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it out on the earth as water. 17You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain, or of your new wine, or of your oil, or the firstborn of your herd or of your flock, nor any of your vows which you vow, nor your freewill offerings, nor the wave offering of your hand; 18but you shall eat them before Yahweh your God in the place which Yahweh your God shall choose, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your male servant, and your female servant, and the Levite who is within your gates: and you shall rejoice before Yahweh your God in all that you put your hand to. 19Take heed to yourself that you don’t forsake the Levite as long as you live in your land. 20When Yahweh your God shall enlarge your border, as he has promised you, and you shall say, I will eat flesh, because your soul desires to eat flesh; you may eat flesh, after all the desire of your soul. 21If the place which Yahweh your God shall choose, to put his name there, be too far from you, then you shall kill of your herd and of your flock, which Yahweh has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your gates, after all the desire of your soul. 22Even as the gazelle and as the hart is eaten, so you shall eat of it: the unclean and the clean may eat of it alike. 23Only be sure that you don’t eat the blood: for the blood is the life; and you shall not eat the life with the flesh. 24You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the earth as water. 25You shall not eat it; that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, when you shall do that which is right in the eyes of Yahweh. 26Only your holy things which you have, and your vows, you shall take, and go to the place which Yahweh shall choose: 27and you shall offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of Yahweh your God; and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of Yahweh your God; and you shall eat the flesh. 28Observe and hear all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you forever, when you do that which is good and right in the eyes of Yahweh your God. 29When Yahweh your God shall cut off the nations from before you, where you go in to dispossess them, and you dispossess them, and dwell in their land; 30take heed to yourself that you not be ensnared to follow them, after that they are destroyed from before you; and that you not inquire after their gods, saying, How do these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 31You shall not do so to Yahweh your God: for every abomination to Yahweh, which he hates, have they done to their gods; for even their sons and their daughters do they burn in the fire to their gods. 32Whatever thing I command you, that shall you observe to do: you shall not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

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