Deuteronomy 18 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Supporting the Priests and Levites
18 “The tribe of Levi will not get any share of land in Israel. The priests come from that tribe and they will eat the special sacrifices that are offered as gifts to the Lord. That is the share for the people from the tribe of Levi. 2 The tribe of Levi will not get any share of land like the other tribes. Their share is the Lord himself, as he said to them.
3 “When you kill one of your sheep or cattle for a sacrifice, you must give the priests these parts: the shoulder, both cheeks, and the stomach. 4 You must give the priests the first part of your harvest. You must give them the first part of your grain, your new wine, and your oil. You must give the Levites the first wool cut from your sheep. 5 This is because the Lord your God looked at all your tribes and chose Levi and his descendants to serve him as priests forever.
6 “Any Levite living in any town anywhere in Israel may leave his home and come to the Lord’s special place. He may do this anytime he wants. 7 And this Levite may serve in the name of the Lord his God, the same as all his brother Levites who are on duty before the Lord. 8 And that Levite will get an equal share with the other Levites, in addition to the share his family normally gets.[a]
Israel Must Not Live Like Other Nations
9 “When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, don’t learn to do the terrible things the people of the other nations there do. 10 Don’t sacrifice your sons or daughters in the fires on your altars. Don’t try to learn what will happen in the future by talking to a fortuneteller or by going to a magician, a witch, or a sorcerer. 11 Don’t let anyone try to put magic spells on other people. Don’t let any of your people become a medium or a wizard. And no one should try to talk with someone who has died. 12 The Lord hates anyone who does these things. And because these other nations do these terrible things, the Lord your God will force them out of the land as you enter it. 13 You must be faithful to the Lord your God, never doing anything he considers wrong.
The Lord’s Special Prophet
14 “You will force the other nations out of your land. They listen to people who use magic and try to tell the future. But the Lord your God will not let you do these things. 15 The Lord your God will send to you a prophet. This prophet will come from among your own people, and he will be like me. You must listen to him. 16 God will send you this prophet because that is what you asked him to do. When you were gathered together at Mount Horeb, you became frightened and said, ‘Don’t let us hear the voice of the Lord our God again! Don’t let us see that great fire or we will die!’
17 “The Lord said to me, ‘What they ask for is good. 18 I will send them a prophet like you. This prophet will be one of their own people. I will tell him what he must say, and he will tell the people everything I command. 19 This prophet will speak for me, and I will punish anyone who refuses to listen to my commands.’
How to Know False Prophets
20 “But a prophet might say something that I did not tell him to say. And he might tell people that he is speaking for me. If this happens, that prophet must be killed. Also a prophet might come that speaks for other gods. That prophet must also be killed. 21 You might be thinking, ‘How can we know if something a prophet says is not from the Lord?’ 22 If a prophet says he is speaking for the Lord, but what he says does not happen, you will know that the Lord did not say it. You will know that this prophet was speaking his own ideas. You don’t need to be afraid of him.
Deuteronomy 18 New International Version (NIV)
Offerings for Priests and Levites
18 The Levitical priests—indeed, the whole tribe of Levi—are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the food offerings presented to the Lord, for that is their inheritance. 2 They shall have no inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them.
3 This is the share due the priests from the people who sacrifice a bull or a sheep: the shoulder, the internal organs and the meat from the head. 4 You are to give them the firstfruits of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep, 5 for the Lord your God has chosen them and their descendants out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the Lord’s name always.
6 If a Levite moves from one of your towns anywhere in Israel where he is living, and comes in all earnestness to the place the Lord will choose, 7 he may minister in the name of the Lord his God like all his fellow Levites who serve there in the presence of the Lord. 8 He is to share equally in their benefits, even though he has received money from the sale of family possessions.
9 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the Lord your God.
14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so. 15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. 16 For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”
17 The Lord said to me: “What they say is good. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19 I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name. 20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”
21 You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.