Devarim (Deuteronomy): Vaetchanan > Ch 4

Moses tells Israelites to follow G-d’s commandments without adding or diminishing from them.

  • And now, O Israel, hearken to the statutes and to the judgments which I teach you to do, in order that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord, God of your forefathers, is giving you.
  • Do not add to the word which I command you, nor diminish from it, to observe the commandments of the Lord your G-d which I command you.
  • Your eyes have seen what the Lord did at Baal Peor, for every man who went after Baal Peor, the Lord your G-d has exterminated from your midst. But you who cleave to the Lord your G-d are alive, all of you, this day. Behold, I have taught you statutes and ordinances, as the Lord, my G-d, commanded me, to do so in the midst of the land to which you are coming to possess.
  • And you shall keep [them] and do [them], for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the eyes of the peoples, who will hear all these statutes and say, "Only this great nation is a wise and understanding people." For what great nation is there that has G-d so near to it, as the Lord our G-d is at all times that we call upon Him? And which great nation is it that has just statutes and ordinances, as this entire Torah, which I set before you this day?


Moses reminds Israelites that they heard the voice of G-d telling them the 10 Commandments, but did not see an image and must not create one

  • But beware and watch yourself very well, lest you forget the things that your eyes saw, and lest these things depart from your heart, all the days of your life, and you shall make them known to your children and to your children's children, the day you stood before the Lord your G-d at Horeb, when the Lord said to me, "Assemble the people for Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children. And you approached and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire up to the midst of the heavens, with darkness, a cloud, and opaque darkness. The Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of the words, but saw no image, just a voice. And He told you His covenant, which He commanded you to do, the Ten Commandments, and He inscribed them on two stone tablets.
  • And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances, so that you should do them in the land to which you are crossing, to possess. And you shall watch yourselves very well, for you did not see any image on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire. Lest you become corrupt and make for yourselves a graven image, the representation of any form, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the heaven, the likeness of anything that crawls on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters, beneath the earth. And lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, which the Lord your G-d assigned to all peoples under the entire heaven, and be drawn away to prostrate yourselves before them and worship them.
  • But the Lord took you and brought you out of the iron crucible, out of Egypt, to be a people of His possession, as of this day. And the Lord was angry with me because of you, and He swore that I would not cross the Jordan and that I would not come into the good land the Lord, your God, is giving you as an inheritance. For I will die in this land; I will not cross the Jordan. You, however, will cross, and you will possess this good land.


Moses tells that if the Israelites provoke G-d, He will perish them from the land and they will be a small number scattered among nations and worshiping idols until they seek G-d with all their heart.

  • Beware, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your G-d, which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image, the likeness of anything, which the Lord your G-d has forbidden you. For the Lord your G-d is a consuming fire, a zealous G-d. When you beget children and children's children, and you will be long established in the land, and you become corrupt and make a graven image, the likeness of anything, and do evil in the eyes of the Lord your G-d, to provoke Him to anger, I call as witness against you this very day the heaven and the earth, that you will speedily and utterly perish from the land to which you cross the Jordan, to possess; you will not prolong your days upon it, but will be utterly destroyed. And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will remain few in number among the nations to where the Lord will lead you. And there you will worship gods, man's handiwork, wood and stone, which neither see, hear, eat, nor smell. And from there you will seek the Lord your G-d, and you will find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.


Moses says that G-d will not let Israelites be destroyed and He will not forget the covenant. G-d chose the Jewish people and performed great miracles to show them that He is G-d and there is no other

  • When you are distressed, and all these things happen upon you in the end of days, then you will return to the Lord your G-d and obey Him. For the Lord your G-d is a merciful G-d; He will not let you loose or destroy you; neither will He forget the covenant of your fathers, which He swore to them.
  • For ask now regarding the early days that were before you, since the day that G-d created man upon the earth, and from one end of the heavens to the other end of the heavens, whether there was anything like this great thing, or was the likes of it heard? Did ever a people hear God's voice speaking out of the midst of the fire as you have heard, and live? Or has any god performed miracles to come and take him a nation from the midst of a[nother] nation, with trials, with signs, and with wonders, and with war and with a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great awesome deeds, as all that the Lord your G-d did for you in Egypt before your eyes?
  • You have been shown, in order to know that the Lord He is G-d; there is none else besides Him. From the heavens, He let you hear His voice to instruct you, and upon the earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words out of the midst of the fire, and because He loved your forefathers and chose their seed after them, and He brought you out of Egypt before Him with His great strength, to drive out from before you nations greater and stronger than you, to bring you and give you their land for an inheritance, as this day. And you shall know this day and consider it in your heart, that the Lord He is G-d in heaven above, and upon the earth below; there is none else. And you shall observe His statutes and His commandments, which I command you this day, that it may be well with you and your children after you, and that you may prolong your days upon the earth which the Lord your G-d gives you forever.


Moses separates 3 cities on the East side of Jordan so that involuntary murderers can flee there

  • Moses separates three cities on the east side of the Jordan, so that those who accidentally murder someone can escape there from revenge. Bezer in the desert, in the plain country of the Reubenites, Ramoth in Gilead of the Gadites, and Golan in the Bashan of the Menassites.


 
Research & Analysis
  • And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will remain few in number among the nations to where the Lord will lead you...then you will return to the Lord your G-d and obey Him. For the Lord your G-d is a merciful G-d; He will not let you loose or destroy you; neither will He forget the covenant of your fathers, which He swore to them. These stunning prophecies have already come true.
 

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