All the people, 1 rulers, 2 leaders, and judges were standing on either side of the ark, in front of the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord. Both resident foreigners and native Israelites were there. 3 Half the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim and the other half in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the Lord’s servant had previously instructed to them to do for the formal blessing ceremony. 4
So let my lord the king now listen to the words of his servant. If the Lord has incited you against me, may he take delight in 1 an offering. But if men have instigated this, 2 may they be cursed before the Lord! For they have driven me away this day from being united with the Lord’s inheritance, saying, ‘Go on, serve other gods!’
Now, O Lord, God of Israel, keep the promise you made to your servant, my father David, when you said, ‘You will never fail to have a successor ruling before me on the throne of Israel, 1 provided that your descendants watch their step and serve me as you have done.’ 2
Now, O Lord God of Israel, keep the promise you made to your servant, my father David, when you said, ‘You will never fail to have a successor ruling before me on the throne of Israel, 1 provided that your descendants watch their step and obey my law as you have done.’ 2
When all this was over, the Israelites 1 who were in the cities of Judah went out and smashed the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherah poles, and demolished 2 all the high places and altars throughout Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh. 3 Then all the Israelites returned to their own homes in their cities. 4
And now, though we share the same flesh and blood as our fellow countrymen, 1 and our children are just like their children, 2 still we have found it necessary to subject our sons and daughters to slavery. 3 Some of our daughters have been subjected to slavery, while we are powerless to help, 4 since our fields and vineyards now belong to other people.” 5
“If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and becomes another man’s wife, he may not take her back again. 1 Doing that would utterly defile the land. 2 But you, Israel, have given yourself as a prostitute to many gods. 3 So what makes you think you can return to me?” 4 says the Lord.
For 1 the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 2 says, ‘If you go to Egypt, I will pour out my wrath on you just as I poured out my anger and wrath on the citizens of Jerusalem. 3 You will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example of those who have been cursed and that people use in pronouncing a curse. 4 You will never see this place again.’ 5
Instead we will do everything we vowed we would do. 1 We will sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the goddess called the Queen of Heaven 2 just as we and our ancestors, our kings, and our leaders previously did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and had no troubles. 3
“When a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I set an obstacle 1 before him, he will die. If you have not warned him, he will die for his sin. The righteous deeds he performed will not be considered, but I will hold you accountable for his death.
How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while you yourself don’t see the beam in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Instead, you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven. You brought before you the vessels from his temple, and you and your nobles, together with your wives and concubines, drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone – gods 1 that cannot see or hear or comprehend! But you have not glorified the God who has in his control 2 your very breath and all your ways!