Deuteronomy 1 Moses talks to the Israelites
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1These are the commands that Moses gave the Israelites while they were in the Jordan Valley, in the desert east of the Jordan River. This was across from Suph, between the desert of Paran and the cities Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab. 2The trip from Mount Horeb through the mountains of Seir to Kadesh Barnea takes only eleven days. 3But it was 40 years from the time the Israelites left Egypt until the time they came to this place. On the first day of the eleventh month of the 40th year, Moses spoke to the people and told them everything the Lord commanded. 4This was after he defeated Sihon and Og. (Sihon was the king of the Amorites and lived in Heshbon. Og was the king of Bashan and lived in Ashtaroth and Edrei.) 5The Israelites were in Moab on the east side of the Jordan River when Moses began to explain what God had commanded: 6“At Mount Horeb the Lord our God spoke to us. He said, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. 7Go to the hill country where the Amorites live and to all the neighboring areas in the Jordan Valley, the hill country, the western slopes, the Negev, and the seacoast. Go throughout the land of Canaan and Lebanon as far as the great river, the Euphrates. 8Look, I am giving you this land. Go and take it. It is the land that I, the Lord, promised to give to your ancestors—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I promised to give this land to them and to their descendants.’ Moses Chooses Leaders 9“At that time I told you, ‘I can’t take care of you by myself. 10And now, there are even more of you. The Lord your God has added more and more people, so that today you are as many as the stars in the sky. 11May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, give you 1000 times more people than you are now! May he bless you as he promised. 12But I cannot take care of you and solve all your arguments by myself. 13So choose some men from each tribe, and I will make them leaders over you. Choose wise men with experience who understand people.’ 14“And you said, ‘That is a good thing to do.’ 15“So I took the wise, experienced men you chose from your tribes, and I made them your leaders. In this way I gave you leaders over 1000 people, over 100 people, over 50 people, and over 10 people. I also gave you officers for each of your tribes. 16“At that time I told these judges, ‘Listen to the arguments between your people. Be fair when you judge each case. It doesn’t matter if the problem is between two Israelites or between an Israelite and a foreigner. You must judge each case fairly. 17You must treat everyone the same when you judge. You must listen carefully to everyone—whether they are important or not. Don’t be afraid of anyone, because your decision is from God. But if there is a case too hard for you to judge, bring it to me and I will judge it.’ 18At that same time I also told you everything you must do. The Spies Go to Canaan 19“So we obeyed the Lord our God. We left Mount Horeb and went to the hill country of the Amorites. You remember that big, terrible desert that we walked through. We came as far as Kadesh Barnea. 20Then I said to you, ‘You have now come to the hill country of the Amorites. The Lord our God will give us this country. 21Look, there it is! Go up and take the land for your own. The Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you to do this, so don’t be afraid or worry about anything.’ 22“But all of you came to me and said, ‘Let’s send some men to look at the land first. They can spy out the land and come back and tell us the way we should go and which cities we will come to.’ 23“I thought that was a good idea. So I chose twelve men from among you, one man from each tribe. 24Then they left and went up to the hill country. They came to the Valley of Eshcol and explored it. 25They took some of the fruit from that land and brought it back to us. They told us about the land and said, ‘The Lord our God is giving us a good land.’ 26“But you refused to go into the land. You refused to obey the Lord your God. 27You went to your tents and began to complain. You said, ‘The Lord hates us! He brought us out of the land of Egypt just to let the Amorites destroy us. 28Where can we go now? The men we sent have frightened us with their report. They said, “The people there are bigger and taller than we are. The cities are big and have walls as high as the sky. And we saw giants1:28 giants Literally, “Anakites,” descendants of Anak, a family famous for tall and powerful fighting men. See Num. 13:33. there!”’