New Living Translation

Deuteronomy 1

Introduction to Moses’ First Address

1These are the words that Moses spoke to all the people of Israel while they were in the wilderness east of the Jordan River. They were camped in the Jordan Valley[a] near Suph, between Paran on one side and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Di-zahab on the other.

Normally it takes only eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai[b] to Kadesh-barnea, going by way of Mount Seir. But forty years after the Israelites left Egypt, on the first day of the eleventh month,[c] Moses addressed the people of Israel, telling them everything the Lord had commanded him to say. This took place after he had defeated King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon, and at Edrei had defeated King Og of Bashan, who ruled in Ashtaroth.

While the Israelites were in the land of Moab east of the Jordan River, Moses carefully explained the Lord’s instructions as follows.

The Command to Leave Sinai

“When we were at Mount Sinai, the Lord our God said to us, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on. Go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all the neighboring regions—the Jordan Valley, the hill country, the western foothills,[d] the Negev, and the coastal plain. Go to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, and all the way to the great Euphrates River. Look, I am giving all this land to you! Go in and occupy it, for it is the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to all their descendants.’”

Moses Appoints Leaders from Each Tribe

Moses continued, “At that time I told you, ‘You are too great a burden for me to carry all by myself. 10 The Lord your God has increased your population, making you as numerous as the stars! 11 And may the Lord, the God of your ancestors, multiply you a thousand times more and bless you as he promised! 12 But you are such a heavy load to carry! How can I deal with all your problems and bickering? 13 Choose some well-respected men from each tribe who are known for their wisdom and understanding, and I will appoint them as your leaders.’

14 “Then you responded, ‘Your plan is a good one.’ 15 So I took the wise and respected men you had selected from your tribes and appointed them to serve as judges and officials over you. Some were responsible for a thousand people, some for a hundred, some for fifty, and some for ten.

16 “At that time I instructed the judges, ‘You must hear the cases of your fellow Israelites and the foreigners living among you. Be perfectly fair in your decisions 17 and impartial in your judgments. Hear the cases of those who are poor as well as those who are rich. Don’t be afraid of anyone’s anger, for the decision you make is God’s decision. Bring me any cases that are too difficult for you, and I will handle them.’

18 “At that time I gave you instructions about everything you were to do.

Scouts Explore the Land

19 “Then, just as the Lord our God commanded us, we left Mount Sinai and traveled through the great and terrifying wilderness, as you yourselves remember, and headed toward the hill country of the Amorites. When we arrived at Kadesh-barnea, 20 I said to you, ‘You have now reached the hill country of the Amorites that the Lord our God is giving us. 21 Look! He has placed the land in front of you. Go and occupy it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you. Don’t be afraid! Don’t be discouraged!’

22 “But you all came to me and said, ‘First, let’s send out scouts to explore the land for us. They will advise us on the best route to take and which towns we should enter.’

23 “This seemed like a good idea to me, so I chose twelve scouts, one from each of your tribes. 24 They headed for the hill country and came to the valley of Eshcol and explored it. 25 They picked some of its fruit and brought it back to us. And they reported, ‘The land the Lord our God has given us is indeed a good land.’

Israel’s Rebellion against the Lord

26 “But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God and refused to go in. 27 You complained in your tents and said, ‘The Lord must hate us. That’s why he has brought us here from Egypt—to hand us over to the Amorites to be slaughtered. 28 Where can we go? Our brothers have demoralized us with their report. They tell us, “The people of the land are taller and more powerful than we are, and their towns are large, with walls rising high into the sky! We even saw giants there—the descendants of Anak!”’

29 “But I said to you, ‘Don’t be shocked or afraid of them! 30 The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt. 31 And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.’

32 “But even after all he did, you refused to trust the Lord your God, 33 who goes before you looking for the best places to camp, guiding you with a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day.

34 “When the Lord heard your complaining, he became very angry. So he solemnly swore, 35 ‘Not one of you from this wicked generation will live to see the good land I swore to give your ancestors, 36 except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see this land because he has followed the Lord completely. I will give to him and his descendants some of the very land he explored during his scouting mission.’

37 “And the Lord was also angry with me because of you. He said to me, ‘Moses, not even you will enter the Promised Land! 38 Instead, your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will lead the people into the land. Encourage him, for he will lead Israel as they take possession of it. 39 I will give the land to your little ones—your innocent children. You were afraid they would be captured, but they will be the ones who occupy it. 40 As for you, turn around now and go on back through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.[e]

41 “Then you confessed, ‘We have sinned against the Lord! We will go into the land and fight for it, as the Lord our God has commanded us.’ So your men strapped on their weapons, thinking it would be easy to attack the hill country.

42 “But the Lord told me to tell you, ‘Do not attack, for I am not with you. If you go ahead on your own, you will be crushed by your enemies.’

43 “This is what I told you, but you would not listen. Instead, you again rebelled against the Lord’s command and arrogantly went into the hill country to fight. 44 But the Amorites who lived there came out against you like a swarm of bees. They chased and battered you all the way from Seir to Hormah. 45 Then you returned and wept before the Lord, but he refused to listen. 46 So you stayed there at Kadesh for a long time.

Notas al pie

  1. 1:1 Hebrew the Arabah; also in 1:7.
  2. 1:2 Hebrew Horeb, another name for Sinai; also in 1:6, 19.
  3. 1:3 Hebrew In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month. This day in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in January or February.
  4. 1:7 Hebrew the Shephelah.
  5. 1:40 Hebrew sea of reeds.

Amplified Bible

Deuteronomy 1

Israel’s History after the Exodus

1These are the words which Moses spoke to all [a]Israel [while they were still] beyond [that is, on the east side of] the Jordan [River] in the wilderness [across from Jerusalem], in the Arabah [the long, deep valley running north and south from the eastern arm of the Red Sea to beyond the Dead Sea] opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel and Laban and Hazeroth and Dizahab (place of gold). It is [only] eleven days’ journey from Horeb (Mount Sinai) by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea [on Canaan’s border; yet Israel [b]wandered in the wilderness for forty years before crossing the border and entering Canaan, the promised land]. In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the children of Israel in accordance with all that the Lord had commanded him to say to them, after he had defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived at Ashtaroth in Edrei. Beyond (east of) the Jordan in the [c]land of Moab, Moses began to explain this law, saying,

“The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, ‘You have stayed long enough on this mountain. Turn and resume your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites, and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland (the Shephelah), in the Negev (South country) and on the coast of the [Mediterranean] Sea, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. Look, I have set the land before you; go in and take possession of the land which the Lord swore (solemnly promised) to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their descendants after them.’

“I spoke to you at that time, saying, ‘I am not able to bear the burden of you alone. 10 The Lord your God has multiplied you, and look, today you are as numerous as the stars of heaven. 11 May the Lord, the God of your fathers, add to you a thousand times as many as you are and bless you, just as He has promised you! 12 How can I alone bear the weight and pressure and burden of you and your strife (contention) and complaining? 13 Choose for yourselves wise, understanding, experienced, and respected men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as heads (leaders) over you.’ 14 And you answered me, ‘The thing which you have said to do is good.’ 15 So I took the leaders of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and made them leaders over you, commanders of thousands, and hundreds, and fifties, and tens, and officers (administrators) for your tribes.

16 “Then I commanded your judges at that time, saying, ‘Hear the matters between your brothers [your fellow countrymen], and judge righteously and fairly between a man and his brother, or the stranger (resident alien, foreigner) who is with him. 17 You shall not [d]show partiality in judgment; you shall hear and pay attention to the [cases of the] least [important] as well as the great. You shall not [e]fear man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you [to judge], you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’ 18 I commanded you at that time [regarding] all the things that you should do.

19 “Then we set out from Horeb (Sinai), and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw on the way to the hill country of the [f]Amorites, just as the Lord our God commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea. 20 And I said to you, ‘You have come to the hill country of the Amorites which the Lord our God is about to give us. 21 Behold, the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up and take possession of it, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has spoken to you. Do not fear or be dismayed.’

22 “Then all of you approached me and said, ‘Let us send men [into the land] before us, so that they may explore and search the area for us, and bring back to us word regarding the way we should go, and the cities we should enter.’ 23 The plan pleased me and I took twelve of your men, one man from each tribe. 24 They turned and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshcol and spied it out. 25 Then they took some of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us; and they reported back to us, and said, ‘It is a good land which the Lord our God is about to give us.’

26 “Yet you were not willing to go up [to take possession of it], but rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. 27 You murmured and were ill-tempered (discontented) in your tents, and said, ‘Because the Lord hates us He has brought us from the land of Egypt to hand us over to the Amorites to destroy us. 28 Where can we go up? Our brothers (spies) have made our hearts melt [in fear] and demoralized us by saying, “The people are bigger and taller than we; the cities are large, and fortified [all the way up] to heaven. And besides, we saw the [giant-like] sons of the Anakim there.”’ 29 Then I said to you, ‘Do not be shocked, nor fear them. 30 The Lord your God who goes before you will fight for you Himself, just as He did for you in Egypt before your [very] eyes, 31 and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried and protected you, just as a man carries his son, all along the way which you traveled until you arrived at this place.’ 32 Yet in spite of this word, you did not trust [that is, confidently rely on and believe] the Lord your God, 33 who went before you along the way, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to seek a place for you to make camp and to show you the way in which you should go.

34 “And the Lord heard the sound of your words, and He was angry and took an oath, saying, 35 ‘Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore (solemnly promised) to give to your fathers, 36 except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and to his children I will give the land on which he has walked, because he has followed the Lord completely [and remained true to Him].’ 37 The Lord was angry with me also because of you, saying, ‘Not even you shall enter Canaan. 38 Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter there. Encourage and strengthen him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. 39 Moreover, your little ones whom you said would become prey, and your sons, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter Canaan, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it. 40 But as for you, turn around and set out for the wilderness by way of the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds).’

41 “Then you answered and said to me, ‘We have sinned against the Lord. We will go up and fight, just as the Lord our God has commanded us.’ So you [g]equipped every man with weapons of war, and regarded it as easy to go up into the hill country. 42 But the Lord said to me, ‘Say to them, “Do not go up and do not fight, for I am not among you [because of your rebellion]; otherwise you will be [badly] defeated by your enemies.”’ 43 So I spoke to you, but you would not listen. Instead you rebelled against the command of the Lord, and acted presumptuously and went up into the hill country. 44 Then the Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you and chased you as bees do, and struck you down in Seir as far as Hormah. 45 And you returned and wept before the Lord; but the Lord would not listen to your voice nor pay attention to you. 46 So you stayed in Kadesh; many days you stayed there.

Notas al pie

  1. Deuteronomy 1:1 In general, sons (children) of Israel or Israel or Israelites refers to all the people (males and females) of the various tribes descended from the twelve sons (Gen 35:23-26) of Jacob (later renamed Israel by God). In verses concerning things such as warfare or circumcision sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites usually refers only to the males. Tribes of ancient people were identified by the name of their founding ancestor. Therefore, this same general rule applies when referring to individual tribal groups, e.g. sons of Reuben, Reuben, Reubenites and so throughout.
  2. Deuteronomy 1:2 God punished the children of Israel for their lack of faith (Num 14:1-3), their disobedience, and their worship of false gods at Mount Sinai (Ex 32:1-6; Deut 9:12, 16); however, God also used this time to teach the Israelites, through Moses, exactly what was expected of them once they possessed their promised land.
  3. Deuteronomy 1:5 This area is now part of the modern-day Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. In ancient times it was a strip of mountainous land on the eastern side of the Dead Sea. Moab, forefather of the Moabites, was the son of Lot, through his elder daughter (Gen 19:30-38).
  4. Deuteronomy 1:17 Lit recognize faces.
  5. Deuteronomy 1:17 Lit fear because of the face of.
  6. Deuteronomy 1:19 A tribal people descended from Canaan the son of Ham the son of Noah. The Amorites were so prominent that “Amorite” is sometimes used interchangeably with “Canaanite” to refer to all the people living in Canaan.
  7. Deuteronomy 1:41 Lit girded.