[And if You] Obey [These Rules]
Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25
Translation from The Torah: A Modern Commentary (CCAR Press)

Eikev Deuteronomy English translation7:12] And if you do obey these rules and observe them carefully, the Eternal your God will maintain faithfully for you the covenant made on oath with your fathers: 13] [God] will favor you and bless you and multiply you—blessing your issue from the womb and your produce from the soil, your new grain and wine and oil, your calving from the herd and your lambing from the flock, in the land sworn to your fathers to be assigned to you. 14] You shall be blessed above all other peoples: there shall be no sterile male or female among you or among your livestock. 15] The Eternal will ward off from you all sickness; [God] will not bring upon you any of the dreadful diseases of Egypt, about which you know, but will inflict them upon all your enemies.

16] You shall destroy all the peoples that the Eternal your God delivers to you, showing them no pity. And you shall not worship their gods, for that would be a snare to you. 17] Should you say to yourselves, “These nations are more numerous than we; how can we dispossess them?” 18] You need have no fear of them. You have but to bear in mind what the Eternal your God did to Pharaoh and all the Egyptians: 19] the wondrous acts that you saw with your own eyes, the signs and the portents, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm by which the Eternal your God liberated you. Thus will the Eternal your God do to all the peoples you now fear. 20] The Eternal your God will also send a plague against them, until those who are left in hiding perish before you. 21] Do not stand in dread of them, for the Eternal your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God.

22] The Eternal your God will dislodge those peoples before you little by little; you will not be able to put an end to them at once, else the wild beasts would multiply to your hurt. 23] The Eternal your God will deliver them up to you, throwing them into utter panic until they are wiped out. 24] [God] will deliver their kings into your hand, and you shall obliterate their name from under the heavens; no one shall stand up to you, until you have wiped them out.

25] You shall consign the images of their gods to the fire; you shall not covet the silver and gold on them and keep it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared thereby; for that is abhorrent to the Eternal your God. 26] You must not bring an abhorrent thing into your house, or you will be proscribed like it; you must reject it as abominable and abhorrent, for it is proscribed.

8:1] You shall faithfully observe all the Instruction that I enjoin upon you today, that you may thrive and increase and be able to possess the land that the Eternal promised on oath to your fathers.

2] Remember the long way that the Eternal your God has made you travel in the wilderness these past forty years, in order to test you by hardships to learn what was in your hearts: whether you would keep the divine commandments or not. 3] [God] subjected you to the hardship of hunger and then gave you manna to eat, which neither you nor your ancestors had ever known, in order to teach you that a human being does not live on bread alone, but that one may live on anything that the Eternal decrees. 4] The clothes upon you did not wear out, nor did your feet swell these forty years. 5] Bear in mind that the Eternal your God disciplines you just as a householder disciplines his son. 6] Therefore keep the commandments of the Eternal your God: walk in God’s ways and show reverence.

7] For the Eternal your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with streams and springs and fountains issuing from plain and hill; 8] a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey; 9] a land where you may eat food without stint, where you will lack nothing; a land whose rocks are iron and from whose hills you can mine copper. 10] When you have eaten your fill, give thanks to the Eternal your God for the good land given to you.

11] Take care lest you forget the Eternal your God and fail to keep the divine commandments, rules, and laws which I enjoin upon you today. 12] When you have eaten your fill, and have built fine houses to live in, 13] and your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold have increased, and everything you own has prospered, 14] beware lest your heart grow haughty and you forget the Eternal your God—who freed you from the land of Egypt, the house of bondage; 15] who led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its seraph serpents and scorpions, a parched land with no water in it, who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock; 16] who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had never known, in order to test you by hardships only to benefit you in the end— 17] and you say to yourselves, “My own power and the might of my own hand have won this wealth for me.” 18] Remember that it is the Eternal your God who gives you the power to get wealth, in fulfillment of the covenant made on oath with your fathers, as is still the case.

19] If you do forget the Eternal your God and follow other gods to serve them or bow down to them, I warn you this day that you shall certainly perish; 20] like the nations that the Eternal will cause to perish before you, so shall you perish—because you did not heed the Eternal your God.

9:1] Hear, O Israel! You are about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and more populous than you: great cities with walls sky-high; 2] a people great and tall, the Anakites, of whom you have knowledge; for you have heard it said, “Who can stand up to the children of Anak?” 3] Know then this day that none other than the Eternal your God is crossing at your head, a devouring fire; it is [God] who will wipe them out—subduing them before you, that you may quickly dispossess and destroy them, as the Eternal promised you. 4] And when the Eternal your God has thrust them from your path, say not to yourselves, “The Eternal has enabled us to possess this land because of our virtues”; it is rather because of the wickedness of those nations that the Eternal is dispossessing them before you. 5] It is not because of your virtues and your rectitude that you will be able to possess their country; but it is because of their wickedness that the Eternal your God is dispossessing those nations before you, and in order to fulfill the oath that the Eternal made to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

6] Know, then, that it is not for any virtue of yours that the Eternal your God is giving you this good land to possess; for you are a stiffnecked people. 7] Remember, never forget, how you provoked the Eternal your God to anger in the wilderness: from the day that you left the land of Egypt until you reached this place, you have continued defiant toward the Eternal.

8] At Horeb you so provoked the Eternal that the Eternal was angry enough with you to have destroyed you. 9] I had ascended the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the Tablets of the Covenant that the Eternal had made with you, and I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights, eating no bread and drinking no water. 10] And the Eternal gave me the two tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God, with the exact words that the Eternal had addressed to you on the mountain out of the fire on the day of the Assembly.

11] At the end of those forty days and forty nights, the Eternal gave me the two tablets of stone, the Tablets of the Covenant. 12] And the Eternal One said to me, “Hurry, go down from here at once, for the people whom you brought out of Egypt have acted wickedly; they have been quick to stray from the path that I enjoined upon them; they have made themselves a molten image.” 13] The Eternal further said to me, “I see that this is a stiffnecked people. 14] Let Me alone and I will destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven, and I will make you a nation far more numerous than they.”

15] I started down the mountain, a mountain ablaze with fire, the two Tablets of the Covenant in my two hands. 16] I saw how you had sinned against the Eternal your God: you had made yourselves a molten calf; you had been quick to stray from the path that the Eternal had enjoined upon you. 17] Thereupon I gripped the two tablets and flung them away with both my hands, smashing them before your eyes. 18] I threw myself down before the Eternal—eating no bread and drinking no water forty days and forty nights, as before—because of the great wrong you had committed, doing what displeased and vexed the Eternal. 19] For I was in dread of the fierce anger against you which moved the Eternal to wipe you out. And that time, too, the Eternal gave heed to me.— 20] Moreover, the Eternal was angry enough with Aaron to have destroyed him; so I also interceded for Aaron at that time.— 21] As for that sinful thing you had made, the calf, I took it and put it to the fire; I broke it to bits and ground it thoroughly until it was fine as dust, and I threw its dust into the brook that comes down from the mountain.

22] Again you provoked the Eternal at Taberah, and at Massah, and at Kibroth-hattaavah.

23] And when the Eternal sent you on from Kadesh-barnea, saying, “Go up and take possession of the land that I am giving you,” you flouted the command of the Eternal your God—whom you did not put your trust in nor obey.

24] As long as I have known you, you have been defiant toward the Eternal.

25] When I lay prostrate before the Eternal those forty days and forty nights, because the Eternal was determined to destroy you, 26] I prayed to the Eternal and said, “O Eternal God, do not annihilate Your very own people, whom You redeemed in Your majesty and whom You freed from Egypt with a mighty hand. 27] Give thought to Your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and pay no heed to the stubbornness of this people, its wickedness, and its sinfulness. 28] Else the country from which You freed us will say, ‘It was because the Eternal was powerless to bring them into the land promised to them, and because of having rejected them, that [their god] brought them out to have them die in the wilderness.’ 29] Yet they are Your very own people, whom You freed with Your great might and Your outstretched arm.”

10:1] Thereupon the Eternal One said to me, “Carve out two tablets of stone like the first, and come up to Me on the mountain; and make an ark of wood. 2] I will inscribe on the tablets the commandments that were on the first tablets that you smashed, and you shall deposit them in the ark.”

3] I made an ark of acacia wood and carved out two tablets of stone like the first; I took the two tablets with me and went up the mountain. 4] After inscribing on the tablets the same text as on the first—the Ten Commandments that the Eternal addressed to you on the mountain out of the fire on the day of the Assembly—the Eternal gave them to me. 5] Then I left and went down from the mountain, and I deposited the tablets in the ark that I had made, where they still are, as the Eternal had commanded me.

6] From Beeroth-bene-jaakan the Israelites marched to Moserah. Aaron died there and was buried there; and his son Eleazar became priest in his stead. 7] From there they marched to Gudgod, and from Gudgod to Jotbath, a region of running brooks.

8] At that time the Eternal set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the Ark of the Eternal’s Covenant, to stand in attendance upon the Eternal, and to bless in God’s name, as is still the case. 9] That is why Levi has received no hereditary portion along with its kin: the Eternal is its portion, as the Eternal your God spoke concerning it.

10] I had stayed on the mountain, as I did the first time, forty days and forty nights; and the Eternal heeded me once again: the Eternal agreed not to destroy you. 11] And the Eternal One said to me, “Up, resume the march at the head of the people, that they may go in and possess the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.”

12] And now, O Israel, what does the Eternal your God demand of you? Only this: to revere the Eternal your God, to walk only in divine paths, to love and to serve the Eternal your God with all your heart and soul, 13] keeping the Eternal’s commandments and laws, which I enjoin upon you today, for your good. 14] Mark, the heavens to their uttermost reaches belong to the Eternal your God, the earth and all that is on it! 15] Yet it was to your ancestors that the Eternal was drawn out of love for them, so that you, their lineal descendants, were chosen from among all peoples—as is now the case. 16] Cut away, therefore, the thickening about your hearts and stiffen your necks no more. 17] For the Eternal your God is God supreme and Lord supreme, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who shows no favor and takes no bribe, 18] but upholds the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and befriends the stranger, providing food and clothing.— 19] You too must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

20] You must revere the Eternal: only your God shall you worship, to [God] shall you hold fast, and by God’s name shall you swear. 21] [The Eternal] is your glory and your God, who wrought for you those marvelous, awesome deeds that you saw with your own eyes. 22] Your ancestors went down to Egypt seventy persons; and now the Eternal your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.

11:1] Love, therefore, the Eternal your God, and always keep God’s charge, God’s laws, God’s rules, and God’s commandments.

2] Take thought this day that it was not your children, who neither experienced nor witnessed the lesson of the Eternal your God—

God’s majesty, mighty hand, and outstretched arm; 3] the signs and the deeds that [God] performed in Egypt against Pharaoh king of Egypt and all his land; 4] what [God] did to Egypt’s army, its horses and chariots; how the Eternal rolled back upon them the waters of the Sea of Reeds when they were pursuing you, thus destroying them once and for all; 5] what [God] did for you in the wilderness before you arrived in this place; 6] and what [God] did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab son of Reuben, when the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them, along with their households, their tents, and every living thing in their train, from amidst all Israel—

7] but that it was you who saw with your own eyes all the marvelous deeds that the Eternal performed.

8] Keep, therefore, all the Instruction that I enjoin upon you today, so that you may have the strength to enter and take possession of the land that you are about to cross into and possess, 9] and that you may long endure upon the soil that the Eternal swore to your fathers to assign to them and to their heirs, a land flowing with milk and honey.

10] For the land that you are about to enter and possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come. There the grain you sowed had to be watered by your own labors, like a vegetable garden; 11] but the land you are about to cross into and possess, a land of hills and valleys, soaks up its water from the rains of heaven. 12] It is a land which the Eternal your God looks after, on which the Eternal your God always keeps an eye, from year’s beginning to year’s end.

13] If, then, you obey the commandments that I enjoin upon you this day, loving the Eternal your God and serving [God] with all your heart and soul, 14] I will grant the rain for your land in season, the early rain and the late. You shall gather in your new grain and wine and oil— 15] I will also provide grass in the fields for your cattle—and thus you shall eat your fill. 16] Take care not to be lured away to serve other gods and bow to them. 17] For the Eternal’s anger will flare up against you, shutting up the skies so that there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its produce; and you will soon perish from the good land that the Eternal is assigning to you.

18] Therefore impress these My words upon your very heart: bind them as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead, 19] and teach them to your children—reciting them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up; 20] and inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates— 21] to the end that you and your children may endure, in the land that the Eternal swore to your fathers to assign to them, as long as there is a heaven over the earth.

22] If, then, you faithfully keep all this Instruction that I command you, loving the Eternal your God, walking in all God’s ways, and holding fast to [God], 23] the Eternal will dislodge before you all these nations: you will dispossess nations greater and more numerous than you. 24] Every spot on which your foot treads shall be yours; your territory shall extend from the wilderness to the Lebanon and from the River—the Euphrates—to the Western Sea. 25] No one shall stand up to you: the Eternal your God will put the dread and the fear of you over the whole land in which you set foot, as promised.

Translation from The Torah: A Modern Commentary, copyright (c) 2016 by CCAR Press. All rights reserved. Translation of Exodus; Leviticus; Numbers; Deuteronomy from NJPS © 1962, 1985, 1999; CJPS © 2006. Used and adapted by CCAR Press with permission from The Jewish Publication Society and the University of Nebraska Press. No part of this translation may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, distributed, or be transmitted without express written permission from the Central Conference of American Rabbis. For permission, please contact CCAR Press.