Deuteronomy 12


The laws which begin here are called The Book of the Covenant
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.1 ¶ These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.
.2 Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: 
 3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. 
 4 Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God.
  1 - Ye shall observe The laws continue through the end of chapter 26. Rules had been given earlier but were easily forgotten. Also de0601.
  2 - Green The Hebrew word specifies verdant growth more than color. The worship places were to have been destroyed.
  3 - Overthrow The temptation was great enough without the altars. Perhaps lottery tickets would be a modern parallel. The powers of evil probably helped some of the wishes come true. Of course all who deal with the evil one become losers usually in this life and certainly in eternity. The immorality that was part of this worship would have been a great temptation, too. Compare 1ki1423, 2ki1604, is6507, je0313, ez1811, ez2209.
  3 - Pillars Single-stone objects of worship. Also translated as "image/s." ex2324, le2601, de1622, 1ki1423 (linked above), ho0304.
  4 - Ye shall not Later they did. 2ki1710, ho0413.
.5 ¶ But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:
.6 And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks:
 7 And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.
.8 Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.
  5 - Put his name He would specify His special dwelling places. ps04803, ps07601. But see on 2ch0104.
  6 - Tithes See de1422.
  6 - Heave offerings Offerings from the first of crops to be harvested nu1811.
  8 - Whatever is right Not all the stipulations could be followed until the people were settled in the promised land. See de1318.
 9 For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the LORD your God giveth you.
.10 But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;
.11 Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD: 
 12 And ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you.
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 13 Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings in every place that thou seest:
 14 But in the place which the LORD shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee.
 15 Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee: the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the roebuck, and as of the hart.
 16 Only ye shall not eat the blood; ye shall pour it upon the earth as water.
  13 - In every place Certainly not in places used for heathen worship.
  15 - All thy gates The rule had been that animals were to be slaughtered for food only at the door of the tabernacle. In the land of promise it would be different. le1703.
  16 - Not eat the blood This stipulation was given when meat was permitted after the flood ge0904.
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Texts often includes more than the first verse indicated in the link.
 17 Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand:
.18 But thou must eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto.
 19 Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth. 
 20 When the LORD thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.
  19 - Levite The people needed to be impressed with this because the Levites lived from the tithe. Paul wrote of the principle 1co0913.
 21 If the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the LORD hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.
 22 Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat them: the unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike.
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.23 Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh. 
 24 Thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it upon the earth as water.
 25 Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD.
  23 - Be sure Literally "Become thou strong in thy not eating the blood." There is no other option.
  23 - Life See on ge0904, Also le1711, le1714, 1sa1432.
  24 - Go well There were several types of laws which God gave to Moses: ceremonial, civil, and health. We may see this one as for health as well as for spiritual implications. Does this apply to blood transfusions? No, for several reasons: The text gives two specific actions that are wrong: we must not eat the blood or pour it on the ground. It also says "that it may go well with thee...." According to the physiology of bodies that God gave us, there would be more deaths by refusing blood. That would not be "going well." I have not seen statistical records.
 26 Only thy holy things which thou hast, and thy vows, thou shalt take, and go unto the place which the LORD shall choose:
 27 And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the LORD thy God: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the LORD thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh.
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 28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.
 29 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; 
.30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 
.31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. 
 32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
  28 - Good and right Happiness depended on seriously following the commands of the Lord de0618.
  29 - Cut of the nations See de1901, jos2304.
  30 - Be not snared [trapped] Ancient people considered it essential to worship the gods of regions they passed through 2ki1726. Thus God's people would be tempted. Worshipping only the true God was their security from the depravity of the people they were to throw out de0716, de0725.
  31 - Sons and ... daughters ... burnt in the fire le1821, le2002, 2ki1731, je0731, je1905, je3235. Child sacrifices have been confirmed. It would have been a way of handling unwanted births from temple prostitution.
  The practice was apparently carried into Europe. See below and on ez0814.
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Passing through the fire, seen in a church festival
Quoting from Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop

    "The Feast of the Nativity of St. John [the Baptist] is set down in the Papal calendar for the 24th of June, or Midsummer-day. The very same period was equally memorable in the Babylonian calendar as that of one of its most celebrated festivals. It was at Midsummer, or the summer solstice, that the month called in Chaldea, Syria, and Phenicia by the name of 'Tammuz' began; and on the first day that is, on or about the 24th of June one of the grand original festivals of Tammuz was celebrated. [cited from Sabaean Philosophy by Stanley, p.1065].
    "For different reasons in different countries, other periods had been devoted to commemorate the death and the reviving of the Babylonian god; but this, as may be inferred from the name of the month, appears to have been the real time when his festival was primitively observed in the land where idolatry had its birth. And so strong was the hold that this festival, with its days were devoted to the great events connected with the Babylonian Messiah. . . .
    "When the Papacy sent its emissaries over Europe, towards the end of the sixth century, to gather in the Pagans into its fold, this festival was found in high favour in many countries. What was to be done with it? Were they to wage war with it? No. This would have been contrary to the famous advice of Pope Gregory I., that, by all means they should meet the Pagans half-way, and so bring them into the Roman Church [Bower,  Lives of the Popes, vol. ii. p. 523]. The Gregorian policy was carefully observed; and so Midsummer-day, that had been hallowed by Paganism to the worship of Tammuz, was incorporated as a sacred Christian festival in the Roman calendar."
    . . .
    "To make the festival of the 24th of June, then, suit Christians and Pagans alike, all that was needful was just to call it the festival of Joannes; and thus the Christians would suppose that they were honouring John the Baptist, while the Pagans were still worshipping their old god Oannes [note the similarity of this name to Jonnaus], or Tammuz. . . . The fête of St. John begins exactly as the festal day [of Tammuz] began in Chaldea [where Babylon was].
    "Now, if we examine the festivities themselves, we shall see how purely Pagan they are, and how decisively they prove their real descent. The grand distinguishing solemnities of St. John's Eve are the Midsummer fires. These are lighted in France, in Switzerland, in Roman Catholic Ireland, and in some of the Scottish isles of the West, where Popery still lingers. They are kindled throughout all the grounds of the adherents of [the church of] Rome, and flaming brands are carried about corn-fields. . . .  Every fête is marked by distinct features peculiar to itself. That of St. John is perhaps, on the whole, the most striking. Throughout the day the poor children go about begging contributions for lighting the fires  of Monsieur St. Jean, and towards evening one fire is gradually followed by two, three, four; then a thousand gleam out from the  hilltops, till the whole country glows under the conflagration. Sometimes the priests light the first fire. . . .
    "Seats are placed close to the flaming piles for the dead, whose spirits are supposed to come there for the melancholy pleasure of listening once more to their native songs. . . . Fragments of the torches are preserved as spells against thunder and nervous diseases. . . .
    'On that great festival of the Irish peasantry, St. John's Eve,' says Charlotte Elizabeth, describing a particular festival which she had witnessed, 'it is the custom at sunset to kindle immense fires throughout the country, built like our bonfires. . . .  When the fire burned for some hours and got low, an indispensable part of the ceremony commenced. Every one present of the peasantry passed through it, and several children were thrown across the sparkling embers. . . . Here . . . was the old Pagan worship of Baal, if not Moloch too, carried openly and universally in the heart of a nominally Christian country, and by millions professing the Christian name!'" (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, pp. 114-116, 1916, 1943, 1959 - not copyrighted). See on v31 above.