Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20

Deuteronomy chapter 29, verse 9 to chapter 30, verse 20


Moses is continuing to give  his final address to the Children of Israel before they enter into the Land of Israel.  He tells them that they are standing before God in order to enter into the covenant with God.  The fulfills the promise God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Moses also tells them that this covenant is not just made with them, but with all the Israelites that are not present, in the past as well as in the future.

Moses describes a future time when the Israelites turn away for God.  God will be angry and punish them, and make them as an example for other nations to see what happens to a people that turns away from God.  They will be spread throughout the nations. Moses predicts that the Israelites will eventually return to the covenant and God will have compassion on them.  God will bring them back to their homes. God will punish their enemies, and the Israelites land will be fruitful.

Moses goes on to say that the teaching of God is not difficult or far away.  It is near each person, in their mouth and in their heart. The people have a choice between life and death; good and evil.  Moses urges them to choose to live by God’s commandments so that they and their descendants will live and love God.

Torah Portion in English

9) You stand this day, all of you, before the Lord your God—your tribal heads, your elders and your officials, all the men of Israel, 10) your children, your wives, even the stranger within your camp, from woodchopper to waterdrawer— 11) to enter into the covenant of the Lord your God, which the Lord your God is concluding with you this day, with its sanctions; 12) to the end that He may establish you this day as His people and be your God, as He promised you and as He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 13) I make this covenant, with its sanctions, not with you alone, 14) but both with those who are standing here with us this day before the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here this day.

15) Well you know that we dwelt in the land of Egypt and that we passed through the midst of various other nations through which you passed; 16) and you have seen the detestable things and the fetishes of wood and stone, silver and gold, that they keep. 17) Perchance there is among you some man or woman, or some clan or tribe, whose heart is even now turning away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations—perchance there is among you a stock sprouting poison weed and wormwood. 18) When such a one hears the words of these sanctions, he may fancy himself immune, thinking, “I shall be safe, though I follow my own willful heart”—to the utter ruin of moist and dry alike. 19) The Lord will never forgive him; rather will the Lord‘s anger and passion rage against that man, till every sanction recorded in this book comes down upon him, and the Lord blots out his name from under heaven.

20) The Lord will single them out from all the tribes of Israel for misfortune, in accordance with all the sanctions of the covenant recorded in this book of Teaching. 21) And later generations will ask—the children who succeed you, and foreigners who come from distant lands and see the plagues and diseases that the Lord has inflicted upon that land, 22) all its soil devastated by sulfur and salt, beyond sowing and producing, no grass growing in it, just like the upheaval of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in His fierce anger— 23) all nations will ask, “Why did the Lord do thus to this land? Wherefore that awful wrath?” 24) They will be told, “Because they forsook the covenant that the Lord, God of their fathers, made with them when He freed them from the land of Egypt; 25) they turned to the service of other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they had not experienced and whom He had not allotted to them. 26) So the Lord was incensed at that land and brought upon it all the curses recorded in this book. 27) The Lord uprooted them from their soil in anger, fury, and great wrath, and cast them into another land, as is still the case.”

28) Concealed acts concern the Lord our God; but with overt acts, it is for us and our children ever to apply all the provisions of this Teaching.

Getting to Know my Parasha

What Does my Parasha Say?

  1. Who did Moses call together at the beginning of this parasha?
  2. What was the purpose of this covenant?
  3. To whom was the promise originally made to?
  4. What happens if the people refused to follow the commandments?
  5. Was there hope for the people at all?
  6. Moses said that the laws were not too hard for the people to follow or too far away.  Where were they?