Israel’s Past, Present, and Future

[a]These are the terms of the promise [b] that the Lord commanded Moses to give to the Israelites in Moab. This was in addition to the promise the Lord gave them at Mount Horeb.

Moses summoned all the people of Israel and said to them:

You’ve seen with your own eyes everything that the Lord did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials, and to his whole country. You also saw those terrible plagues, those miraculous signs, and those spectacular, amazing things. But to this day the Lord hasn’t given you a mind that understands, eyes that see, or ears that hear. For 40 years I led you through the desert. During that time your clothes and shoes never wore out. You ate no bread and drank no wine or liquor. I did this so that you would know that I am the Lord your God.

When you came to this place, King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan came out to fight us, but we defeated them. We took their land and gave it to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half of the tribe of Manasseh as their property. Faithfully obey the terms of this promise. Then you will be successful in everything you do.

10 All of you are standing here today in the presence of the Lord your God. The heads of your tribes,[c] your leaders, your officers, and all the men of Israel are here. 11 Your children, your wives, and the foreigners who cut wood and carry water in your camp are also here. 12 You are ready to accept the terms and conditions of the promise that the Lord your God is giving you today. 13 With this promise the Lord will confirm today that you are his people and that he is your God. This is what he told you, and this is what he promised your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with an oath. 14 You aren’t the only people to receive this promise and its conditions. 15 It is for those of you who are standing here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God and also for those who are not here today.

16 You know how we lived in Egypt and how we passed through other countries on our way here. 17 You saw their disgusting gods and idols made of wood, stone, silver, and gold. 18 Make sure there is no man, woman, family, or tribe among you today who turns from the Lord our God to worship the gods of those nations. Make sure that no one among you is the source of this kind of bitter poison.

19 Someone may hear the conditions of this promise. He may think that he is so blessed that he can say, “I’ll be safe even if I go my own stubborn way. After all, ⌞the Lord would never⌟ sweep away well-watered ground along with dry ground.” 20 The Lord will never be willing to forgive that person, because the Lord’s burning anger will smolder against him. All the curses described in this book will happen to him. The Lord will erase ⌞every memory of⌟ that person’s name from the earth. 21 And the Lord will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for disaster based on all the conditions of the promise written in this Book of the Teachings.

22 Then the next generation of your children and foreigners who come from distant countries will see the plagues that have happened in this land and the diseases the Lord sent here. 23 They will see all the soil poisoned with sulfur and salt. Nothing will be planted. Nothing will be growing. There will be no plants in sight. It will be as desolate as Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, cities the Lord destroyed in fierce anger. 24 Then all the other nations in the world will ask, “Why has the Lord done this to their land? Why is he so angry?”

25 The answer will be, “Because they abandoned the promise of the Lord God of their ancestors. He made this promise to them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They worshiped other gods and bowed down to them. These were gods they never heard of, gods the Lord didn’t permit them to have. 27 So the Lord became angry with this land and brought on it all the curses described in this book. 28 In his fierce anger and fury the Lord uprooted these people from their land and deported them to another country, where they still are today.”

29 Some things are hidden. They belong to the Lord our God. But the things that have been revealed in these teachings belong to us and to our children forever. We must obey every word of these teachings.


  1. 29:1 Deuteronomy 29:1–29 in English Bibles is Deuteronomy 28:69–29:28 in the Hebrew Bible.
  2. 29:1 Or “covenant.”
  3. 29:10 Syriac, Greek, Targum; Masoretic Text “your heads, your tribes.”