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Deuteronomy Thirteen

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Deuteronomy 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,

Deuteronomy 13:2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;

Deuteronomy 13:3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Thou shalt not hearken. Even if a “prophet” or magician is allowed by God to make a true prediction or perform a genuine miracle, that is not sufficient proof of his authenticity as a man of God. He must also be using his ability to glorify the true God and confirm His word, not to undermine His authority and lead people into a false religion. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). This warning is as relevant today as it was in ancient Israel, especially in view of the wide resurgence of occultism, pantheism, and all kinds of paranormal phenomena—all opposing true Biblical Christianity.

Deuteronomy 13:4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

Deuteronomy 13:5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

Deuteronomy 13:6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;

serve other gods. The penalty in theocratic Israel for spiritual seduction to other gods than the true God was death by stoning (Deuteronomy 13:10), even if the guilty person was one's closest and dearest friend or relative. To the modern mind, this command sounds extreme and unwarranted, but if it had been obeyed Israel would never have turned away from God and the whole course of world history would have been different.

Deuteronomy 13:7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;

Deuteronomy 13:8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:

Deuteronomy 13:9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

Deuteronomy 13:10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

Deuteronomy 13:11 And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.

any such wickedness. While rejecting the true God of creation is not a capital crime in our Christian economy, these verses do show quite graphically how God feels about people today who commit the same sort of sacrilege, such as worshipping the great “god” Chance in evolutionism or the earth “goddess” Gaia in various “new-age “religions.

Deuteronomy 13:12 If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,

Deuteronomy 13:13 Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;

children of Belial. This is the first use of the epithet “Belial” in the Bible. See note on Judges 19:22.

Deuteronomy 13:14 Then shalt thou inquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;

Deuteronomy 13:15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.

Deuteronomy 13:16 And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.

Deuteronomy 13:17 And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and show thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers;

Deuteronomy 13:18 When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.