ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 312


omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums
or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these
things is detestable to the Lord. It is because the other nations have done
these detestable things that the Lord your God will drive them out ahead
of you. But you must be blameless before the Lord your God. The nations
you are about to displace consult sorcerers and f­ortune-­tellers, but the
Lord your God forbids you to do such things.”
Moses continued, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet
like me from among your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. For this
is what you yourselves requested of the Lord your God when you were
­assembled at Mount Sinai. You said, ‘Don’t let us hear the voice of the
Lord our God anymore or see this blazing fire, for we will die.’
“Then the Lord said to me, ‘What they have said is right. I will raise up
a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words
in his mouth, and he will tell the people everything I command him. I
will personally deal with anyone who will not listen to the messages the
prophet proclaims on my behalf. But any prophet who falsely claims to
speak in my name or who speaks in the name of another god must die.’
“But you may wonder, ‘How will we know whether or not a prophecy is
from the Lord?’ If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not
give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and
need not be feared.
“When the Lord your God destroys the nations whose land he is giving
you, you will take over their land and settle in their towns and homes. Then
you must set apart three cities of refuge in the land the Lord your God is
giving you. Survey the territory, and divide the land the Lord your God
is giving you into three districts, with one of these cities in each district.
Then anyone who has killed someone can flee to one of the cities of refuge
for safety.
“If someone kills another person unintentionally, without previous hostility, the slayer may flee to any of these cities to live in safety. For example,
suppose someone goes into the forest with a neighbor to cut wood. And
suppose one of them swings an ax to chop down a tree, and the ax head
flies off the handle, killing the other person. In such cases, the slayer may
flee to one of the cities of refuge to live in safety.
“If the distance to the nearest city of refuge is too far, an enraged avenger
might be able to chase down and kill the person who caused the death.
Then the slayer would die unfairly, since he had never shown hostility

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