The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Deuteronomy
Here follow the laws and decrees you must observe in the land which the Lord God of your fathers means to give you, if you are to have lifelong enjoyment of it.
The nations you will dispossess have gods of their own, and build shrines for these on some high mountain, some hill, under the first green tree they can find. All these shrines you must overthrow,
demolish their altars, break their monuments, burn their sacred pillars, hew down their idols, and abolish the very memory of them from the places where they stood.
It is not such worship as this that you will offer to the Lord your God;
the Lord your God will choose out one tribe among you, and one place in that tribe, to be the sanctuary of his name, the shrine of his presence; to that place you will go,
when you would bring burnt-sacrifice and offering, tithe and first-fruits of your labour, vowed gifts and unvowed, first-born of cattle or of sheep.
There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your households shall eat, glad at heart, what your own hands have reaped with his blessing to aid them.
No, it will not be for every man, there as here, to worship when and where he pleases.
So far, you have not reached your resting-place, that secure way of living which the Lord your God will then grant you.
But when you have crossed Jordan, and are living in the land he has destined for your home, looking round you with fearless eyes, no enemy to molest you,
then the Lord your God will choose a place to be the sanctuary of his name. There you will present before him all that I now enjoin, burnt-sacrifice and offering, tithe and first-fruit and choice things vowed to his honour.
There you shall regale yourselves in the Lord’s presence, with sons and daughters, men-servants and maid-servants, and the Levites, too, that dwell in your cities, with no part and lot of their own such as you have.
No, do not present thy burnt-sacrifice in the first place that offers;
bring thy victims to one place, in one tribe, of the Lord’s own choosing, and there carry out all that I enjoin upon thee.
Wouldst thou eat meat? Slay, then, and eat, there in thy own city, whatever the bounty of the Lord thy God has given thee. Marred by blemish or by wound, whole, unblemished, and fit for sacrifice, it is all one; eat boldly as thou wouldst eat the flesh of red deer or roe,✻
so long as thou dost not eat it with the blood; that must be poured out like water on the ground.
But where tithes of corn or wine or oil are in question, or the first-born of herd and flock, gifts to the Lord vowed or unvowed, or the first-fruits of thy crops, these thou mayest not eat in thy own city.
Take them to the place the Lord thy God has chosen and eat them there in his presence; make good cheer and regale thyself, there before the Lord thy God, with all the good things thy labour has earned; let son and daughter, man-servant and maid-servant, share it, and the Levite, too, that has his dwelling in thy city;
never neglect the Levite, all thy days on earth.
Wide lands the Lord thy God means to give thee, as he has promised; and often thou wilt be fain to indulge appetite, and eat flesh-meat,
when the place the Lord has chosen for his name’s sanctuary is far away. Slay, then, and eat what beasts thou wilt, out of thy herd or thy flock, there in thy own city as I bid thee. Have no scruple;
eat such meat as if it were the flesh of red deer or roe, let the undefiled and the defiled alike be thy guests;
only do not eat it with the blood, it is the blood that animates living things, and this life of theirs must not be eaten with the flesh,
but poured out like water on the ground.
So shall it be well with thee and with thy sons after thee; thou hast done all the Lord requires of thee.
But all that thou hast consecrated or vowed to the Lord thou must take with thee to the place the Lord has chosen,
and make due offering, of flesh and blood both, on the altar of the Lord thy God; all the blood of thy victims thou must pour away on the altar, and be content with the flesh for thy food.✻
All these commands of mine thou shalt remember and obey; well for thee and for thy sons in perpetuity, if thou dost ever what is the Lord thy God’s good pleasure.
When the Lord thy God has routed the nations thou art to dispossess, and they give way before thee, and thou art dwelling in the land that once was theirs,
do not imitate the folk thou hast conquered; do not hanker after their observances, and say, Why may I not worship as these worshipped before me?
Not so shalt thou approach the Lord thy God; all that the Lord hates most, these did, very abominably, sacrificing their own sons and daughters by fire to these gods of theirs.
In worshipping the Lord, thou shalt do only what I bid thee, neither more nor less.
The Holy Bible