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Deuteronomy 31:9-13

Context
The Deposit of the Covenant Text

31:9 Then Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the Levitical priests, who carry the ark of the Lord’s covenant, and to all Israel’s elders. 31:10 He 1  commanded them: “At the end of seven years, at the appointed time of the cancellation of debts, 2  at the Feast of Temporary Shelters, 3  31:11 when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God in the place he chooses, you must read this law before them 4  within their hearing. 31:12 Gather the people – men, women, and children, as well as the resident foreigners in your villages – so they may hear and thus learn about and fear the Lord your God and carefully obey all the words of this law. 31:13 Then their children, who have not known this law, 5  will also hear about and learn to fear the Lord your God for as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”

1 tn Heb “Moses.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons.

2 tn The Hebrew term שְׁמִטָּה (shÿmittah), a derivative of the verb שָׁמַט (shamat, “to release; to relinquish”), refers to the procedure whereby debts of all fellow Israelites were to be canceled. Since the Feast of Tabernacles celebrated God’s own deliverance of and provision for his people, this was an appropriate time for Israelites to release one another. See note on this word at Deut 15:1.

3 tn The Hebrew phrase הַסֻּכּוֹת[חַג] ([khag] hassukot, “[festival of] huts” [or “shelters”]) is traditionally known as the Feast of Tabernacles. See note on the name of the festival in Deut 16:13.

sn For the regulations on this annual festival see Deut 16:13-15.

4 tn Heb “before all Israel.”

5 tn The phrase “this law” is not in the Hebrew text, but English style requires an object for the verb here. Other translations also supply the object which is otherwise implicit (cf. NIV “who do not know this law”; TEV “who have never heard the Law of the Lord your God”).



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