Deuteronomy 18

Provision for Priests and Levites

18:1 The Levitical priests1 – indeed, the entire tribe of Levi – will have no allotment or inheritance with Israel; they may eat the burnt offerings of the Lord and of his inheritance.2 18:2 They3 will have no inheritance in the midst of their fellow Israelites;4 the Lord alone is their inheritance, just as he had told them. 18:3 This shall be the priests’ fair allotment5 from the people who offer sacrifices, whether bull or sheep – they must give to the priest the shoulder, the jowls, and the stomach. 18:4 You must give them the best of your6 grain, new wine, and olive oil, as well as the best of your wool when you shear your flocks. 18:5 For the Lord your God has chosen them and their sons from all your tribes to stand7 and serve in his name8 permanently. 18:6 Suppose a Levite comes by his own free will9 from one of your villages, from any part of Israel where he is living,10 to the place the Lord chooses 18:7 and serves in the name of the Lord his God like his fellow Levites who stand there before the Lord. 18:8 He must eat the same share they do, despite any profits he may gain from the sale of his family’s inheritance.11

Provision for Prophetism

18:9 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, you must not learn the abhorrent practices of those nations. 18:10 There must never be found among you anyone who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire,12 anyone who practices divination,13 an omen reader,14 a soothsayer,15 a sorcerer,16 18:11 one who casts spells,17 one who conjures up spirits,18 a practitioner of the occult,19 or a necromancer.20 18:12 Whoever does these things is abhorrent to the Lord and because of these detestable things21 the Lord your God is about to drive them out22 from before you. 18:13 You must be blameless before the Lord your God. 18:14 Those nations that you are about to dispossess listen to omen readers and diviners, but the Lord your God has not given you permission to do such things.

18:15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you – from your fellow Israelites;23 you must listen to him. 18:16 This accords with what happened at Horeb in the day of the assembly. You asked the Lord your God: “Please do not make us hear the voice of the Lord our24 God any more or see this great fire any more lest we die.” 18:17 The Lord then said to me, “What they have said is good. 18:18 I will raise up a prophet like you for them from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth and he will speak to them whatever I command. 18:19 I will personally hold responsible25 anyone who then pays no attention to the words that prophet26 speaks in my name.

18:20 “But if any prophet presumes to speak anything in my name that I have not authorized27 him to speak, or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. 18:21 Now if you say to yourselves,28 ‘How can we tell that a message is not from the Lord?’2918:22 whenever a prophet speaks in my30 name and the prediction31 is not fulfilled,32 then I have33 not spoken it;34 the prophet has presumed to speak it, so you need not fear him.”

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