Deuteronomy – Chapter 18

The Bible – Old Testament



Chapter 18


«The whole priestly tribe of Levi shall have no share in the heritage with Israel; they shall live on the oblations of the LORD and the portions due to him.


Levi shall have no heritage among his brothers; the LORD himself is his heritage, as he has told him.


The priests shall have a right to the following things from the people: from those who are offering a sacrifice, whether the victim is from the herd or from the flock, the priest shall receive the shoulder, the jowls and the stomach.


You shall also give him the first fruits of your grain and wine and oil, as well as the first fruits of the shearing of your flock;


for the LORD, your God, has chosen him and his sons out of all your tribes to be always in attendance to minister in the name of the LORD.


«When a Levite goes from one of your communities anywhere in Israel in which he ordinarily resides, to visit, as his heart may desire, the place which the LORD chooses,


he may minister there in the name of the LORD, his God, like all his fellow Levites who are in attendance there before the LORD.


He shall then receive the same portions to eat as the rest, along with his monetary offerings and heirlooms.


«When you come into the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you, you shall not learn to imitate the abominations of the peoples there.


1 Let there not be found among you anyone who immolates his son or daughter in the fire, nor a fortune-teller, soothsayer, charmer, diviner,


or caster of spells, nor one who consults ghosts and spirits or seeks oracles from the dead.


Anyone who does such things is an abomination to the LORD, and because of such abominations the LORD, your God, is driving these nations out of your way.


You, however, must be altogether sincere toward the LORD, your God.


Though these nations whom you are to dispossess listen to their soothsayers and fortune-tellers, the LORD, your God, will not permit you to do so.


2 «A prophet like me will the LORD, your God, raise up for you from among your own kinsmen; to him you shall listen.


This is exactly what you requested of the LORD, your God, at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let us not again hear the voice of the LORD, our God, nor see this great fire any more, lest we die.’


And the LORD said to me, ‘This was well said.


I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kinsmen, and will put my words into his mouth; he shall tell them all that I command him.


If any man will not listen to my words which he speaks in my name, I myself will make him answer for it.


But if a prophet presumes to speak in my name an oracle that I have not commanded him to speak, or speaks in the name of other gods, he shall die.’


«If you say to yourselves, ‘How can we recognize an oracle which the LORD has spoken?’,


know that, even though a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if his oracle is not fulfilled or verified, it is an oracle which the LORD did not speak. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously, and you shall have no fear of him.

1 [10-11] Immolates his son or daughter in the fire: to Molech. See note on ⇒ Lev 18:21. Such human sacrifices are classed here with other pagan superstitions because they were believed to possess magical powers for averting a calamity; cf ⇒ 2 Kings 3:27. Three other forms of superstition are listed here: augury (by a fortune-teller, a soothsayer or a diviner): black magic (by a charmer . . . or caster of spells); and necromancy (by one who consults ghosts and spirits or seeks oracles from the dead).
2 [15] A prophet like me: from the context (opposition to the pagan soothsayers) it seems that Moses is referring in general to all the true prophets who were to succeed him. But since Christ is the Great Prophet in whom the prophetic office finds its fulfillment and completion, this passage was understood in a special Messianic sense both by the Jews (⇒ John 6:14; ⇒ 7:40) and by the Apostles (⇒ Acts 3:22; ⇒ 7:37).