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Deuteronomy 12 (Devarim)

Deuteronomy 12

Deuteronomy 12 (Devarim) Summary

Deuteronomy 12 (Devarim) begins with “statutes and the ordinances” that are to be observed in the land. The Children of Israel are instructed in how to destroy the gods of the people in the land. The first mention of a place with YHWH name placed in a chosen place.

Instructions are given concerning the burnt-offerings, sacrifices, offering of your hand, tithe, vows, and freewill offerings. Celebrate your work. This is a major change to the way they are living outside of the land. There is a promise of rest and safety.

Once more the place of where YHWH places his name is mentioned. Also, the presentation of the burnt-offerings, sacrifices, offering of your hand, tithe, vows, and freewill offerings is mentioned again. Instruction on the whole household celebrating. The Levi is mentioned too.

Warning about offering burnt offerings. Then explanation of killing food and eating inside the cities. Forbidden to eat blood.

The location and what to eat before YHWH. The whole household is to celebrate. Don’t forget the Levite.

Permission to eat flesh as you desire is given. Both the clean and unclean person are able to eat within the cities.

Again, eating blood is forbidden and instruction on what to do with the blood is given. The promise is given that things will go well if you do what is right before YHWH.

Again, the holy things and the mention of blood of the animals are mentioned again in relation to where YHWH name resides. Again, the promise is given that things will go well if you do what is right before YHWH.

Warning about following the practices of the people in the land and how they worship their gods. They are told not to mix their practices with the worship of YHWH. Moses states the practices are an abomination to YHWH.

Chapter ends with the instruction of don’t add to take away from YHWH’s teachings.


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Deuteronomy 12 (Devarim) Outline

Deuteronomy 12 (Devarim) can be navigated in three possible ways. (1) Jewish tradition of daily reading called Torah Portions. (2) Rabbi Johnathan Sacks proposed treaty (covenant) layout and finally (3) theme based verses.

Click to see Deuteronomy 12 Links

Torah Portions:

  1. First Reading vv. 1-10
  2. Second Reading vv. 11-21
  3. Third Reading vv 22-38

Treaty (Covenant):

  1. Stipulations – Special Provisions – V1 – The details of the law, with special reference to how they are to be carried our by the people as a whole in the Land of Israel.

Verses Topics:

  1. v.1 – The statutes and the ordinances for the land
  2. vv.2,3 – How to destroy the gods of the people and their places of worship.
  3. vv.4-7 – The place of worship for YHWH and what gifts to bring to Him.
  4. vv. 8-14 – The promise to find rest in the land. Again, the place and gifts of worship of YHWH is mentioned. Whole household is to celebrate.
  5. vv.15,16 – Eating animals within the cities granted but blood is forbidden.
  6. vv.17-19 – Things forbidden to eat within the cities and the instruction of don’t forget the Levite
  7. vv.20-22 – Permission to eat what you wish within the cities. What if the distance is too far away to give gifts to YHWH.
  8. vv.23-25 – The eating of blood is forbidden and what you are to do with it.
  9.  vv. 26-28 – Handling the holy things and the promise of things going well with you and your children.
  10. vv.29-30 – The forbidden practices of those in the land.
  11. v.31 – Forbidding to add practice or remove practice from YHWH’s instructions.

Deuteronomy 12 (Devarim) Verses

Parsha Re’eh #47
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→ Stipulations – Specific Provision

1 These are the statutes and the ordinances, which ye shall observe to do in the land which the LORD, the God of thy fathers, hath given thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.

Notes on Deuteronomy 12:1

Deuteronomy 12:1

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2 Ye shall surely destroy all the places, wherein the nations that ye are to dispossess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every leafy tree. 3 And ye shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their Asherim with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods; and ye shall destroy their name out of that place.

4 Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God. 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 the offering of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill-offerings, and the firstlings of your herd and of your flock; 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.

Notes on Deuteronomy 12:7

Deuteronomy 12:7

* and you shall rejoice וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם root word is שָׂמַח simha, joy – This word appears once in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers; I only found it once in Lev.23:40.  However, it appears 12 times in Deuteronomy; I found only eleven times. It is a key term. According to Rabbi Sacks until this point in time the life of the Israelites has been one of suffering, rebellion and dissension. “Yet Moses makes it eminently clear that joy is what life of faith in the land of promise is about.” (pg. 125) Below are the seven times it appears in parsha Re’eh.

  1. Dt 12.7 – The central Sanctuary, initially Shilo
  2. Dt. 12.12 – Jerusalem and the Temple
  3. Dt. 12.18 – Scared food that may only be eaten in Jerusalem
  4. Dt. 14.26 – The second tithe
  5. Dt. 16.11 – The festival of Shavuot
  6. Dt. 16.14 – The festival of Sukkot
  7. Dt. 16.15 – Sukkot again


The other 5 times it appears; I found only four times.

  1. Dt. 26.11 – And thou shalt rejoice in all the good which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thy house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is in the midst of thee.
  2. Dt. 27.7 – And thou shalt sacrifice peace-offerings, and shalt eat there; and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God.
  3. Dt. 28.47 – because thou didst not serve the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, by reason of the abundance of all things;
  4. Dt. 33.18 – And of Zebulun he said: Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out, and, Issachar, in thy tents.

Rabbi Sacks states “Simha is usually translated as joy, rejoicing, gladness, happiness, pleasure, or delight. In fact, simha, has a nuance untranslatable into English. Joy, happiness, pleasure, and the like are all states of mind, emotions. They belong to the individual. We can feel them alone, Simha, in contrast, is not a private emotion. It means happiness shared. It is a social state, a predicate of “we” not “I”. There is no such thing as simha alone.” (pg 127) Covenant & Conversation Commentary

8 Ye shall not do after all that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes; 9 for ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the LORD your God giveth thee. 10 But when ye go over the Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God causeth you to inherit, and He giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;


11 then it shall come to pass that the 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 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 men-servants, and your maid- servants, and the Levite that is within your gates, forasmuch as he hath no portion nor inheritance with you.

Notes on Deuteronomy 12:12

Deuteronomy 12:12

* and you shall rejoice וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם root word is שָׂמַח simha, joy -See note on Deuteronomy 12:7

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 within all thy gates, after all the desire of thy soul, 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 gazelle, and as of the hart. 16 Only ye shall not eat the blood; thou shalt pour it out upon the earth as water.

17 Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thine oil, or the firstlings of thy herd or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill-offerings, nor the offering of thy hand; 18 but thou shalt 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 man-servant, and thy maid-servant, and the Levite that is within thy gates; and thou shalt rejoice* before the LORD thy God in all that thou puttest thy hand unto.

Notes on Deuteronomy 12:18

Deuteronomy 12:18

* and thou shall rejoice וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם root word is שָׂמַח simha, joy -See note on Deuteronomy 12:7

19 Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon thy land.

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 desireth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, after all the desire of thy soul. 21 If the place which the LORD thy God shall choose 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 within thy gates, after all the desire of thy soul. 22 Howbeit as the gazelle and as the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat thereof; the unclean and the clean may eat thereof alike.

23 Only be stedfast in not eating the blood; for the blood is the life; and thou shalt not eat the life with the flesh. 24 Thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it out 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 eyes of the LORD.

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 against the altar of the LORD thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh.

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 eyes of the LORD thy God.


29 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest in to dispossess them, and thou dispossessest them, and dwellest in their land; 30 take heed to thyself that thou be not ensnared to follow them, after that they are destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying: ‘How used these nations to 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 do they burn in the fire to their gods.

32 (13:1) All this word which I command you, that shall ye observe to do; thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

Deuteronomy 12 (Devarim) Verses

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דברים  מז 47

Deuteronomy 12 (Devarim) ברים Hebrew Verses

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ראה מז 47

יב Chapter 12

א אֵלֶּה הַֽחֻקִּים וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁמְרוּן לַֽעֲשׂוֹת בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נָתַן יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֶיךָ לְךָ לְרִשְׁתָּהּ כָּל־הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר־אַתֶּם חַיִּים עַל־הָֽאֲדָמָֽה:

ב אַבֵּד תְּאַבְּדוּן אֶֽת־כָּל־הַמְּקֹמוֹת אֲשֶׁר עָֽבְדוּ־שָׁם הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם יֹֽרְשִׁים אֹתָם אֶת־אֱלֹֽהֵיהֶם עַל־הֶֽהָרִים הָֽרָמִים וְעַל־הַגְּבָעוֹת וְתַחַת כָּל־עֵץ רַֽעֲנָֽן:

ג וְנִתַּצְתֶּם אֶת־מִזְבְּחֹתָם וְשִׁבַּרְתֶּם אֶת־מַצֵּבֹתָם וַֽאֲשֵֽׁרֵיהֶם תִּשְׂרְפוּן בָּאֵשׁ וּפְסִילֵי אֱלֹֽהֵיהֶם תְּגַדֵּעוּן וְאִבַּדְתֶּם אֶת־שְׁמָם מִן־הַמָּקוֹם הַהֽוּא:

ד לֹא־תַֽעֲשׂוּן כֵּן לַֽיהוָֹה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶֽם: ה כִּי אִֽם־אֶל־הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־יִבְחַר יְהוָֹה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם מִכָּל־שִׁבְטֵיכֶם לָשׂוּם אֶת־שְׁמוֹ שָׁם לְשִׁכְנוֹ תִדְרְשׁוּ וּבָאתָ שָּֽׁמָּה:

ו וַֽהֲבֵאתֶם שָׁמָּה עֹלֹֽתֵיכֶם וְזִבְחֵיכֶם וְאֵת מַעְשְׂרֹתֵיכֶם וְאֵת תְּרוּמַת יֶדְכֶם וְנִדְרֵיכֶם וְנִדְבֹתֵיכֶם וּבְכֹרֹת בְּקַרְכֶם וְצֹֽאנְכֶֽם:

ז וַֽאֲכַלְתֶּם־שָׁם לִפְנֵי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם בְּכֹל מִשְׁלַח יֶדְכֶם אַתֶּם וּבָֽתֵּיכֶם אֲשֶׁר בֵּֽרַכְךָ יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ:

ח לֹא תַֽעֲשׂוּן כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר אֲנַחְנוּ עֹשִׂים פֹּה הַיּוֹם אִישׁ כָּל־הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינָֽיו: ט כִּי לֹֽא־בָאתֶם עַד־עָתָּה אֶל־הַמְּנוּחָה וְאֶל־הַֽנַּֽחֲלָה אֲשֶׁר־יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָֽךְ:

י וַֽעֲבַרְתֶּם אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן וִֽישַׁבְתֶּם בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יְהוָֹה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם מַנְחִיל אֶתְכֶם וְהֵנִיחַ לָכֶם מִכָּל־אֹֽיְבֵיכֶם מִסָּבִיב וִֽישַׁבְתֶּם־בֶּֽטַח:

[שני] יא וְהָיָה הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם בּוֹ לְשַׁכֵּן שְׁמוֹ שָׁם שָׁמָּה תָבִיאוּ אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר אָֽנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם עוֹלֹֽתֵיכֶם וְזִבְחֵיכֶם מַעְשְׂרֹֽתֵיכֶם וּתְרֻמַת יֶדְכֶם וְכֹל מִבְחַר נִדְרֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר תִּדְּרוּ לַֽיהוָֹֽה:

יב וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם לִפְנֵי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם אַתֶּם וּבְנֵיכֶם וּבְנֹתֵיכֶם וְעַבְדֵיכֶם וְאַמְהֹֽתֵיכֶם וְהַלֵּוִי אֲשֶׁר בְּשַֽׁעֲרֵיכֶם כִּי אֵין לוֹ חֵלֶק וְנַֽחֲלָה אִתְּכֶֽם:

יג הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ פֶּֽן־תַּֽעֲלֶה עֹֽלֹתֶיךָ בְּכָל־מָקוֹם אֲשֶׁר תִּרְאֶֽה:

יד כִּי אִם־בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־יִבְחַר יְהוָֹה בְּאַחַד שְׁבָטֶיךָ שָׁם תַּֽעֲלֶה עֹֽלֹתֶיךָ וְשָׁם תַּֽעֲשֶׂה כֹּל אֲשֶׁר אָֽנֹכִי מְצַוֶּֽךָּ:

טו רַק בְּכָל־אַוַּת נַפְשְׁךָ תִּזְבַּח ׀ וְאָֽכַלְתָּ בָשָׂר כְּבִרְכַּת יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר נָֽתַן־לְךָ בְּכָל־שְׁעָרֶיךָ הַטָּמֵא וְהַטָּהוֹר יֹֽאכְלֶנּוּ כַּצְּבִי וְכָֽאַיָּֽל:

טז רַק הַדָּם לֹא תֹאכֵלוּ עַל־הָאָרֶץ תִּשְׁפְּכֶנּוּ כַּמָּֽיִם: יז לֹֽא־תוּכַל לֶֽאֱכֹל בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ מַעְשַׂר דְּגָֽנְךָ וְתִירֽשְׁךָ וְיִצְהָרֶךָ וּבְכֹרֹת בְּקָֽרְךָ וְצֹאנֶךָ וְכָל־נְדָרֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר תִּדֹּר וְנִדְבֹתֶיךָ וּתְרוּמַת יָדֶֽךָ:

יח כִּי אִם־לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ תֹּֽאכֲלֶנּוּ בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בּוֹ אַתָּה וּבִנְךָ וּבִתֶּךָ וְעַבְדְּךָ וַֽאֲמָתֶךָ וְהַלֵּוִי אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ וְשָֽׂמַחְתָּ לִפְנֵי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכֹל מִשְׁלַח יָדֶֽךָ: יט הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ פֶּֽן־תַּֽעֲזֹב אֶת־הַלֵּוִי כָּל־יָמֶיךָ עַל־אַדְמָתֶֽךָ: ס

כ כִּֽי־יַרְחִיב יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶֽת־גְּבֻֽלְךָ כַּֽאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר־לָךְ וְאָֽמַרְתָּ אֹֽכְלָה בָשָׂר כִּֽי־תְאַוֶּה נַפְשְׁךָ לֶֽאֱכֹל בָּשָׂר בְּכָל־אַוַּת נַפְשְׁךָ תֹּאכַל בָּשָֽׂר:

כא כִּֽי־יִרְחַק מִמְּךָ הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לָשׂוּם שְׁמוֹ שָׁם וְזָֽבַחְתָּ מִבְּקָֽרְךָ וּמִצֹּֽאנְךָ אֲשֶׁר נָתַן יְהוָֹה לְךָ כַּֽאֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִךָ וְאָֽכַלְתָּ בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ בְּכֹל אַוַּת נַפְשֶֽׁךָ:

כב אַךְ כַּֽאֲשֶׁר יֵֽאָכֵל אֶֽת־הַצְּבִי וְאֶת־הָאַיָּל כֵּן תֹּֽאכֲלֶנּוּ הַטָּמֵא וְהַטָּהוֹר יַחְדָּו יֹֽאכֲלֶֽנּוּ:

כג רַק חֲזַק לְבִלְתִּי אֲכֹל הַדָּם כִּי הַדָּם הוּא הַנָּפֶשׁ וְלֹֽא־תֹאכַל הַנֶּפֶשׁ עִם־הַבָּשָֽׂר:

כד לֹא תֹּֽאכְלֶנּוּ עַל־הָאָרֶץ תִּשְׁפְּכֶנּוּ כַּמָּֽיִם:

כה לֹא תֹּֽאכְלֶנּוּ לְמַעַן יִיטַב לְךָ וּלְבָנֶיךָ אַֽחֲרֶיךָ כִּי־תַֽעֲשֶׂה הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָֹֽה: כו רַק קָֽדָשֶׁיךָ אֲשֶׁר־יִֽהְיוּ לְךָ וּנְדָרֶיךָ תִּשָּׂא וּבָאתָ אֶל־הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־יִבְחַר יְהוָֹֽה:

כז וְעָשִׂיתָ עֹֽלֹתֶיךָ הַבָּשָׂר וְהַדָּם עַל־מִזְבַּח יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וְדַם־זְבָחֶיךָ יִשָּׁפֵךְ עַל־מִזְבַּח יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וְהַבָּשָׂר תֹּאכֵֽל:

כח שְׁמֹר וְשָֽׁמַעְתָּ אֵת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר אָֽנֹכִי מְצַוֶּךָּ לְמַעַן יִיטַב לְךָ וּלְבָנֶיךָ אַֽחֲרֶיךָ עַד־עוֹלָם כִּי תַֽעֲשֶׂה הַטּוֹב וְהַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ: ס

[שלישי] ט כִּֽי־יַכְרִית יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת־הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה בָא־שָׁמָּה לָרֶשֶׁת אוֹתָם מִפָּנֶיךָ וְיָֽרַשְׁתָּ אֹתָם וְיָֽשַׁבְתָּ בְּאַרְצָֽם:

ל הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ פֶּן־תִּנָּקֵשׁ אַֽחֲרֵיהֶם אַֽחֲרֵי הִשָּֽׁמְדָם מִפָּנֶיךָ וּפֶן־תִּדְרשׁ לֵאלֹֽהֵיהֶם לֵאמֹר אֵיכָה יַֽעַבְדוּ הַגּוֹיִם הָאֵלֶּה אֶת־אֱלֹהֵיהֶם וְאֶֽעֱשֶׂה־כֵּן גַּם־אָֽנִי:

לא לֹא־תַֽעֲשֶׂה כֵן לַֽיהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ כִּי כָל־תּֽוֹעֲבַת יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר שָׂנֵא עָשׂוּ לֵאלֹהֵיהֶם כִּי גַם אֶת־בְּנֵיהֶם וְאֶת־בְּנֹתֵיהֶם יִשְׂרְפוּ בָאֵשׁ לֵאלֹֽהֵיהֶֽם:

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Covenant & Conversation Commentary – The Late Chief Rabbi Johnanath Sacks’ last published commentary on the Torah.

The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon – One of the most used Hebrew and English Lexicons among serious Bible students.

Pentateuch & Haftorahs, By. Dr. J.H. Hertz – The Late Chief Rabbi of the British Empire was renowned for his writings and teaches. By many he is considered a must read. In the Preface Dr. Hertz calls this “a People’s Commentary”.

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According to the Masoretic Text
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[1917] – Public Domain