12:5 But you must seek only the place he 1 chooses from all your tribes to establish his name as his place of residence, 2 and you must go there. 12:6 And there you must take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the personal offerings you have prepared, 3 your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. 12:7 Both you and your families 4 must feast there before the Lord your God and rejoice in all the output of your labor with which he 5 has blessed you.
12:11 Then you must come to the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to reside, bringing 6 everything I am commanding you – your burnt offerings, sacrifices, tithes, the personal offerings you have prepared, 7 and all your choice votive offerings which you devote to him. 8 12:12 You shall rejoice in the presence of the Lord your God, along with your sons, daughters, male and female servants, and the Levites in your villages 9 (since they have no allotment or inheritance with you). 10 12:13 Make sure you do not offer burnt offerings in any place you wish, 12:14 for you may do so 11 only in the place the Lord chooses in one of your tribal areas – there you may do everything I am commanding you. 12
1 tn Heb “the
2 tc Some scholars, on the basis of v. 11, emend the MT reading שִׁכְנוֹ (shikhno, “his residence”) to the infinitive construct לְשָׁכֵן (lÿshakhen, “to make [his name] to dwell”), perhaps with the 3rd person masculine singular sf לְשַׁכְּנוֹ (lÿshakÿno, “to cause it to dwell”). Though the presupposed nounשֵׁכֶן (shekhen) is nowhere else attested, the parallel here with שַׁמָּה (shammah, “there”) favors retaining the MT as it stands.
3 tn Heb “heave offerings of your hand.”
4 tn Heb “and your houses,” referring to entire households. The pronouns “you” and “your” are plural in the Hebrew text.
6 tn Heb “and it will be (to) the place where the Lord your God chooses to cause his name to dwell you will bring.”
7 tn Heb “heave offerings of your hand.”
9 tn Heb “within your gates” (so KJV, NASB); NAB “who belongs to your community.”
11 tn Heb “offer burnt offerings.” The expression “do so” has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
12 sn This injunction to worship in a single and central sanctuary – one limited and appropriate to the thrice-annual festival celebrations (see Exod 23:14-17; 34:22-24; Lev 23:4-36; Deut 16:16-17) – marks a departure from previous times when worship was carried out at local shrines (cf. Gen 8:20; 12:7; 13:18; 22:9; 26:25; 35:1, 3, 7; Exod 17:15). Apart from the corporate worship of the whole theocratic community, however, worship at local altars would still be permitted as in the past (Deut 16:21; Judg 6:24-27; 13:19-20; 1 Sam 7:17; 10:5, 13; 2 Sam 24:18-25; 1 Kgs 18:30).