Penalties for Enticing to Idolatry. 1Every word that I command you, you shall be careful to observe, neither adding to it nor subtracting from it.

2a If there arises in your midst a prophet or a dreamer* who promises you a sign or wonder, 3saying, “Let us go after other gods,” whom you have not known, “and let us serve them,” and the sign or wonder foretold to you comes to pass, 4do not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer; for the LORD, your God, is testing you to know whether you really love the LORD, your God, with all your heart and soul.b 5The LORD, your God, shall you follow, and him shall you fear; his commandments shall you observe, and to his voice shall you listen; him you shall serve, and to him you shall hold fast.c 6But that prophet or that dreamer shall be put to death, because, in order to lead you astray from the way which the LORD, your God, has commanded you to take, the prophet or dreamer has spoken apostasy against the LORD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst.d

7If your brother, your father’s child or your mother’s child, your son or daughter, your beloved spouse, or your intimate friend entices you secretly, saying, “Come, let us serve other gods,” whom you and your ancestors have not known, 8any of the gods of the surrounding peoples, near to you or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: 9do not yield or listen to any such person; show no pity or compassion and do not shield such a one,e 10f but kill that person. Your hand shall be the first raised to put such a one to death; the hand of all the people shall follow. 11You shall stone that person to death, for seeking to lead you astray from the LORD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 12And all Israel shall hear of it and fear, and never again do such evil as this in your midst.g

13If you hear it said concerning one of the cities which the LORD, your God, gives you to dwell in, 14that certain scoundrels have sprung up in your midst and have led astray the inhabitants of their city, saying, “Come, let us serve other gods,” whom you have not known, 15you must inquire carefully into the matter and investigate it thoroughly. If you find that it is true and an established fact that this abomination has been committed in your midst,h 16i you shall put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, placing the city and all that is in it, even its livestock, under the ban. 17Having heaped up all its spoils in the middle of its square, you shall burn the city with all its spoils as a whole burnt offering to the LORD, your God. Let it be a heap of ruins forever, never to be rebuilt. 18You shall not hold on to anything that is under the ban; then the LORD will turn from his burning anger and show you mercy, and in showing you mercy multiply you as he swore to your ancestors, 19because you have listened to the voice of the LORD, your God, keeping all his commandments, which I give you today, doing what is right in the sight of the LORD, your God.

* [13:2, 4, 6] Dreamer: a false prophet who pretended to have received revelations from God in a dream; cf. Jer 23:2532; 27:9; Zec 10:2. But dreams could also be a means of true prophecy (Nm 12:6; Jl 3:1) and of genuine revelations (Gn 20:3, 6; 31:11, 24; 37:5, 9; Mt 1:20; 2:12, 13, 19; etc.).

a. [13:219] Dt 6:4, 1415; 17:27.

b. [13:4] Dt 8:2, 16.

c. [13:5] Dt 6:45; 10:20; 11:22.

d. [13:6] Dt 17:7, 12; 19:19; 21:21; 22:2122, 24; 24:7; Jer 28:16; 29:32.

e. [13:9] Dt 7:16; 19:13, 21; 25:12.

f. [13:1011] Dt 17:57; 21:21; 22:2024; Jos 7:2526; 1 Kgs 21:1314.

g. [13:12] Dt 17:13; 21:21.

h. [13:15] Dt 17:4; 19:18.

i. [13:1617] Dt 20:1618; Jos 6:17, 24; 7:2526; 8:28.

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