Moses’ Last Counsel
1So Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. 2And he said to them, “I am a hundred and twenty years old today; I am no longer able to come in and go out [as your spiritual and military leader], and the Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not cross this Jordan.’ 3It is the Lord your God who will cross ahead of you; He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who will go across before you [to lead you], just as the Lord has said. 4The Lord will do to them just as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them. 5The Lord will hand them over to you, and you shall do to them in accordance with all the commandments which I have commanded you. 6Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble in dread before them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.”
7Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all [the people of] Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you will go with this people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you will give it to them as an inheritance. 8It is the Lord who goes before you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
9So Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel. 10Then Moses commanded them, saying, “At the end of every seven years, at the time of year when debts are forgiven, at the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles), 11when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses, you shall read this law before all [the people of] Israel so that they may hear. 12Assemble the people, the men and the women and children and the stranger (resident alien, foreigner) within your cities, so that they may hear and learn and fear the Lord your God [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect], and be careful to obey all the words of this law. 13Their children, who have not known [the law], will hear and learn to fear [and worship] the Lord your God, as long as you live in the land which you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
Israel Will Fall Away
14Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, the time for you to die is near; call Joshua, and present yourselves at the Tent of Meeting, so that I may commission him.” So Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the Tent of Meeting. 15Then the Lord appeared in the tent in a pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud stood beside the doorway of the tent. 16The Lord said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down [in death] with your fathers; and this people will arise and play the prostitute (commit apostasy) with the foreign gods [of the people] of the land, where they go to be among them. They will abandon (turn away from) Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. 17Then My anger will be kindled and burn against them in that day, and I will abandon (turn away from) them and hide My face from them. They will be devoured, and many evils and troubles will come on them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have come on us?’ 18But I will certainly hide My face [from them] in that day because of all the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods [to worship lifeless idols, to honor handmade relics].
19“Now then, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the sons of Israel; put it in their mouth, so that this song may be a witness for Me against the sons of Israel. 20For when I bring them into the land which I have sworn to their fathers, a land [of plenty] flowing with milk and honey, and they have eaten and are satisfied and become prosperous, then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and despise and reject Me and break My covenant. 21Then it shall come about, when many evils and troubles have come on them, that this [sacred] song will confront them as a witness; for it will not be forgotten from the mouth of their descendants. For I know their inclination which is developing even now, before I bring them into the land which I have sworn to give them.” 22So Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it to the children of Israel.
Joshua Is Commissioned
23Then He commanded and commissioned Joshua, the son of Nun, and said, “Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the sons of Israel into the land which I have sworn to give them, and I will be with you.”
24And when Moses completely finished writing the words of this law in a book, 25he commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying, 26“Take this Book of the Law and put it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, so that it may remain there as a witness against you. 27For I know your rebellion and contention and your stubbornness; behold, while I am still alive with you today, you have been rebellious against the Lord; how much more, then, after my death? 28Assemble before me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, so that I may speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth as witnesses against them. 29For I know that after my death you will behave corruptly and turn from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will come upon you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger with the work of your hands.”
30Then Moses spoke in the hearing of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended: