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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 18

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1The levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi, are to have no holding of ancestral land in Israel; they are to eat the food-offerings of the LORD as their share. 2They will have no holding among their fellow-countrymen; the LORD is their holding, as he promised them.

3This is to be the customary due of the priests from those of the people who offer sacrifice, whether a bull or a sheep: the shoulder, the cheeks, and the stomach are to be given to the priests. 4Give them also the firstfruits of your grain and new wine and oil, and the first fleece at the shearing of your flock. 5For it was they whom the LORD your God chose from all your tribes to attend on the LORD a 18:5 on the LORD: so Samar.; Heb. omits. and to minister in the name of the LORD, both they and their sons for all time.

6When a Levite from any settlement in Israel where he may be resident comes to the place which the LORD will choose, if he comes in the eagerness of his heart 7and ministers in the name of the LORD his God, like all his fellow-Levites who attend on the LORD there, 8he is to have an equal share of food with them, besides what he may inherit from his father's family.

9After you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the abominable practices of those other nations. 10Let no one be found among you who makes his son or daughter pass through fire, no augur or soothsayer or diviner or sorcerer, 11no one who casts spells or traffics with ghosts and spirits, and no necromancer. 12Those who do such things are abominable to the LORD, and it is on account of these abominable practices that the LORD your God is driving them out before you. 13You must be undivided in your service of the LORD your God. 14These nations whose place you are taking listen to soothsayers and augurs, but the LORD your God does not permit you to do this.

15The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; it is to him you must listen. 16All this follows from your request to the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly. There you said, ‘Let us not hear again the voice of the LORD our God, nor see this great fire again, or we shall die.’ 17Then the LORD said to me, ‘What they have said is right. 18I shall raise up for them a prophet like you, one of their own people, and I shall put my words into his mouth. He will declare to them whatever I command him; 19if anyone refuses to listen to the words which he will speak in my name I shall call that person to account. 20But the prophet who presumes to utter in my name what I have not commanded him, or who speaks in the name of other gods—that prophet must be put to death.’

21If you wonder, ‘How are we to recognize a word that the LORD has not uttered?’ 22here is the answer: When a word spoken by a prophet in the name of the LORD is not fulfilled and does not come true, it is not a word spoken by the LORD. The prophet has spoken presumptuously; have no fear of him b 18:22 fear of him: or fear of it. .

Notes:

a 18:5 on the LORD: so Samar.; Heb. omits.

b 18:22 fear of him: or fear of it.

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