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Deuteronomy - Chapter 9

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1 'Listen, Israel; today you are about to cross the Jordan, to go and dispossess nations greater and stronger than yourself, and cities immense, with walls reaching to the sky.

2 A people great and tall, these Anakim, as you know; you have heard the saying: Who can stand up to the sons of Anak?

3 Know then today that Yahweh your God himself will go ahead of you, destroying them like a devouring fire, and that he himself will subdue them before you so that you can dispossess and quickly make an end of them, as Yahweh has already said.

4 Do not think to yourself, once Yahweh your God has driven them before you, "Yahweh has brought me into possession of this country because I am upright," when Yahweh is dispossessing these nations for you, because they do wrong.

5 You are not going into their country to take possession because of any right behaviour or uprightness on your part; rather, it is because of their wickedness that Yahweh is dispossessing these nations for you, and also to keep the pact which he swore to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

6 Be clear about this: Yahweh is not giving you possession of this fine country because of any right conduct on your part, for you are an obstinate people.

7 'Remember; never forget how you provoked Yahweh your God in the desert. From the very day that you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebels against Yahweh.

8 At Horeb, you provoked Yahweh, and Yahweh was so angry with you that he was ready to destroy you.

9 I had gone up the mountain to receive the stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant that Yahweh was making with you. I stayed forty days and forty nights on the mountain, with nothing to eat or drink.

10 Yahweh gave me the two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God, exactly corresponding to what Yahweh had said to you on the mountain, from the heart of the fire, on the day of the Assembly.

11 After forty days and forty nights, having given me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant,

12 Yahweh said to me, "Get up, go down quickly, for your people, whom you have brought out of Egypt, are corrupting one another. They have been quick to leave the way I marked out for them; they have cast themselves a metal idol."

13 Yahweh then said to me, "I have seen this people, and what an obstinate people they are!

14 Leave me, I am going to destroy them and wipe out their name under heaven; and I shall make you into a mightier and more numerous nation than they are!"

15 'I went back down the mountain, which was blazing with fire, and in my hands were the two tablets of the covenant.

16 When I looked, I saw that you had been sinning against Yahweh your God. You had cast yourselves a metal calf; you had been quick to leave the way marked out for you by Yahweh.

17 I seized the two tablets and with my two hands threw them down and broke them before your eyes.

18 Then I fell prostrate before Yahweh; as before, I spent forty days and forty nights with nothing to eat or drink, on account of all the sins which you had committed, by doing what was displeasing to Yahweh and thus arousing his anger.

19 For I was afraid of this anger, of the fury which so roused Yahweh against you that he was ready to destroy you. And, once again, Yahweh heard my prayer.

20 Yahweh was enraged with Aaron and was ready to destroy him too; I also pleaded for Aaron on that occasion.

21 That work of sin, the calf you had made, I took and burned and broke to pieces; having ground it to the finest dust, I threw its dust into the stream that comes down from the mountain.

22 'At Taberah too and at Massah and Kibroth-ha-Taavah, you provoked Yahweh.

23 And when Yahweh, meaning you to leave Kadesh-Barnea, said, "Go up and take possession of the country which I have given you," you rebelled against the command of Yahweh your God and would not believe him or listen to his voice.

24 You have been rebels against Yahweh from the day he first knew you.

25 'So I fell prostrate before Yahweh and lay there those forty days and forty nights, Yahweh having said that he was going to destroy you.

26 And I pleaded with Yahweh. "My Lord Yahweh," I said, "do not destroy your people, your heritage whom in your greatness you have redeemed, whom you have brought out of Egypt with your mighty hand.

27 Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; take no notice of this people's stubbornness, their wickedness, and their sin,

28 so that, in the country from which you have brought us, it may not be said, 'Yahweh was not able to bring them to the country which he had promised them. He hated them; that was why he brought them out -- to slaughter them in the desert.'

29 But these are your people, your heritage, whom you yourself have brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm." '

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