Deuteronomy 9 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
Why the Lord Gave Canaan to Israel
9 Israel, listen to me. You are now about to go across the Jordan River. You will take over the land of the nations that live there. Those nations are greater and stronger than you are. Their large cities have walls that reach up to the sky. 2 The people who live there are Anakites. They are strong and tall. You know all about them. You have heard people say, “Who can stand up against the Anakites?” 3 But today you can be sure the Lord your God will go over there ahead of you. He is like a fire that will burn them up. He’ll destroy them. He’ll bring them under your control. You will drive them out. You will put an end to them quickly, just as the Lord has promised you.
4 The Lord your God will drive them out to make room for you. When he does, don’t say to yourself, “The Lord has done it because I am godly. That’s why he brought me here to take over this land.” That isn’t true. The Lord is going to drive out those nations to make room for you because they are very evil. 5 You are not going in to take over their land because you have done what is right or honest. It’s because those nations are so evil. That’s why the Lord your God will drive them out to make room for you. He will do what he said he would do. He made a promise to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 6 The Lord your God is giving you this good land to take as your own. But you must understand that it isn’t because you are a godly nation. In fact, you are stubborn.
Israel Worshiped the Golden Calf
7 Here is something you must remember. Never forget it. You made the Lord your God angry in the desert. You refused to obey him from the day you left Egypt until you arrived here. 8 At Mount Horeb you made the Lord angry enough to destroy you. 9 I went up the mountain. I went there to receive the tablets of the covenant law. They were made out of stone. It was the covenant the Lord had made with you. I stayed on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights. I didn’t eat any food or drink any water. 10 The Lord gave me two stone tablets. The words on them were written by the finger of God. All the commandments the Lord gave you were written on the tablets. He announced them to you out of the fire on the mountain. He wrote them on the day you gathered together there.
11 The 40 days and 40 nights came to an end. Then the Lord gave me the two stone tablets. They were the tablets of the covenant law. 12 The Lord told me, “Go down from here right away. The people you brought out of Egypt have become very sinful. They have quickly turned away from what I commanded them. They have made a statue of a god for themselves.”
13 The Lord also said to me, “I have seen these people. They are so stubborn! 14 Do not try to stop me. I am going to destroy them. I will wipe them out from the earth. Then I will make you into a great nation. Your people will be stronger than they were. There will be more of you than there were of them.”
15 So I turned and went down the mountain. It was blazing with fire. I was carrying the two tablets of the covenant law. 16 When I looked, I saw that you had sinned against the Lord your God. You had made for yourselves a metal statue of a god. It looked like a calf. You had quickly turned away from the path the Lord had commanded you to follow. 17 So I threw the two tablets out of my hands. You watched them break into pieces.
18 Then once again I fell down flat in front of the Lord with my face toward the ground. I lay there for 40 days and 40 nights. I didn’t eat any food or drink any water. You had committed a terrible sin. You had done an evil thing in the Lord’s sight. You had made him angry. 19 I was afraid of the Lord’s great anger. He was so angry with you he wanted to destroy you. But the Lord listened to me again. 20 And he was so angry with Aaron he wanted to destroy him too. But at that time I prayed for Aaron. 21 I also got that sinful calf you had made. I burned it in the fire. I crushed it and ground it into fine powder. Then I threw the powder into a stream that was flowing down the mountain.
22 You also made the Lord angry at Taberah, Massah and Kibroth Hattaavah.
23 The Lord sent you out from Kadesh Barnea. He said, “Go up and take over the land I have given you.” But you refused to do what the Lord your God had commanded you to do. You didn’t trust him or obey him. 24 You have been refusing to obey the Lord as long as I’ve known you.
25 I lay down in front of the Lord with my face toward the ground for 40 days and 40 nights. I did it because the Lord had said he would destroy you. 26 I prayed to him. “Lord and King,” I said, “don’t destroy your people. They belong to you. You set them free by your great power. You used your mighty hand to bring them out of Egypt. 27 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Forgive the Israelites for being so stubborn. Don’t judge them for the evil and sinful things they’ve done. 28 If you do, the Egyptians will say, ‘The Lord wasn’t able to take them into the land he had promised to give them. He hated them. So he brought them out of Egypt to put them to death in the desert.’ 29 But they are your people. They belong to you. You used your great power to bring them out of Egypt. You reached out your mighty arm and saved them.”
Deuteronomy 9 New International Version (NIV)
Not Because of Israel’s Righteousness
9 Hear, Israel: You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky. 2 The people are strong and tall—Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: “Who can stand up against the Anakites?” 3 But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the Lord has promised you.
4 After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you. 5 It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 6 Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.
The Golden Calf
7 Remember this and never forget how you aroused the anger of the Lord your God in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against the Lord. 8 At Horeb you aroused the Lord’s wrath so that he was angry enough to destroy you. 9 When I went up on the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant that the Lord had made with you, I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water. 10 The Lord gave me two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God. On them were all the commandments the Lord proclaimed to you on the mountain out of the fire, on the day of the assembly.
11 At the end of the forty days and forty nights, the Lord gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant. 12 Then the Lord told me, “Go down from here at once, because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have become corrupt. They have turned away quickly from what I commanded them and have made an idol for themselves.”
13 And the Lord said to me, “I have seen this people, and they are a stiff-necked people indeed! 14 Let me alone, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven. And I will make you into a nation stronger and more numerous than they.”
15 So I turned and went down from the mountain while it was ablaze with fire. And the two tablets of the covenant were in my hands. 16 When I looked, I saw that you had sinned against the Lord your God; you had made for yourselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. You had turned aside quickly from the way that the Lord had commanded you. 17 So I took the two tablets and threw them out of my hands, breaking them to pieces before your eyes.
18 Then once again I fell prostrate before the Lord for forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water, because of all the sin you had committed, doing what was evil in the Lord’s sight and so arousing his anger. 19 I feared the anger and wrath of the Lord, for he was angry enough with you to destroy you. But again the Lord listened to me. 20 And the Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but at that time I prayed for Aaron too. 21 Also I took that sinful thing of yours, the calf you had made, and burned it in the fire. Then I crushed it and ground it to powder as fine as dust and threw the dust into a stream that flowed down the mountain.
22 You also made the Lord angry at Taberah, at Massah and at Kibroth Hattaavah.
23 And when the Lord sent you out from Kadesh Barnea, he said, “Go up and take possession of the land I have given you.” But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. You did not trust him or obey him. 24 You have been rebellious against the Lord ever since I have known you.
25 I lay prostrate before the Lord those forty days and forty nights because the Lord had said he would destroy you. 26 I prayed to the Lord and said, “Sovereign Lord, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed by your great power and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 27 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Overlook the stubbornness of this people, their wickedness and their sin. 28 Otherwise, the country from which you brought us will say, ‘Because the Lord was not able to take them into the land he had promised them, and because he hated them, he brought them out to put them to death in the wilderness.’ 29 But they are your people, your inheritance that you brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm.”