The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Deuteronomy
These are the terms of that covenant which the Lord would have Moses make with the sons of Israel, there in the country of Moab, in addition to the covenant he made with them on mount Horeb.
Moses gathered all Israel round him, and said to them, Your own eyes have witnessed, in the land of Egypt, the Lord’s dealings with Pharao and his court and all his kingdom;
the challenge of all those wonders and portents, plain to your view.
But to this day the Lord has not enlightened your hearts; yours are blind eyes, yours are deaf ears still.
Has he not been your guide all through those forty years in the desert? And all that time the garments that covered you did not wear out, the shoes on your feet did not perish with age;
you had no bread with you, no wine or strong drink, but you ate and drank your fill; and can you doubt that you have the Lord your God to protect you?✻
And here, at our journey’s end, it is still the same; Sehon King of Hesebon and Og king of Basan came out to give us battle, but we conquered them,
and divided up their territory between Ruben and Gad and half the tribe of Manasses.
Hold fast, then, to the terms of this covenant, and fulfil them if you would order your lives as wise men do.
You stand here, all of you, in the presence of the Lord your God, for a single purpose, leaders of tribes with their tribes around them, elders, counsellors, the whole assembly of Israel;
your children, your wives, and the aliens that share your camp; servants, too, that hew wood and draw water at your bidding.
It is to enter into a covenant with the Lord your God, a sworn covenant he would make with you this day;
he would make you his people, and be himself your God; such is the promise he has made to you, such was the oath he took to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
And it is not only with you that I ratify this covenant, this oath;
it is with others, too, that are not here to make it.
Ours is a race, as you know, that has dwelt in Egypt; since then, we have made our way through the midst of many peoples, and as we passed
you saw detestable and shameful sights, saw how they worshipped idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold.
Pray God there may be no man or woman here, no household or tribe, that is false at heart to the Lord our God, ready to forsake him and serve those other, alien gods. From such a root as that, gall and wormwood must needs spring.
Does such a man, listening to the terms of this oath, flatter himself with the thought that all will be well with him, and that he can go on in his perverse ways, till the damp ground imparts its moisture to the dry?✻
Then the Lord will not spare him. The divine anger will burn high in indignation against such a man, and all the curses of which this book makes mention will fall upon him, till the Lord has effaced his memory among living men,
singled him out among the whole people of Israel for a miserable end, for every curse that gives this law and covenant its sanction.
A warning that land will be, which the Lord so visits with plague and affliction; a warning to the next generation, and their children after them, and to strangers who come from far off to see it.✻
Here is a land he has burnt up with brimstone and salty fumes, till it is sown no more and no green thing grows there, overwhelmed as he overwhelmed Sodom and Gomorrha, Adama and Seboim, when his anger raged fierce against them.
And all will ask, Why has the Lord treated this land so? What means this anger, this terrible vengeance of his?
And the answer will come, It was because they forsook the covenant which the Lord had made with their fathers when he rescued them out of the land of Egypt;
because they enslaved themselves to the worship of alien gods unknown to them, gods that were no gods of theirs.
That is why the Lord’s vengeance fell heavy on this land, and he brought on them all the curses which the book of his law contained,
so hot his anger burned, so fierce his indignation; dispossessing them of their own land and banishing them into a country of strangers, for all to see.
The Lord our God keeps his own secrets; what he will reveal, he has revealed to us, and to our children in perpetuity; ours to live by this law and by all the terms of it.
The Holy Bible