Execute anyone promoting idols
When a prophet needs to die1 Let’s say a prophet shows up and performs a miracle of some kind. Or maybe it’s a person who has vivid dreams about the future and who shows you a sign or a marvel. 2 And let’s say the prophet or the dreamer tells you that you need to worship a god you have never worshiped. 3 Don’t do it. Think of it as a test of your love for the LORD your God. If you love the LORD your God with all your heart and soul, you’ll ignore what the prophet or the dreamer said. 4 Stick with the LORD your God. Respect him. Follow his law. Listen to what he says. Worship him. Stay close to him. 5 As for any prophets or dreamers who try to mislead you, execute them. They want to lure you away from the LORD your God who freed you from slavery in Egypt. They want you to do the opposite of what God tells you to do. They’re evil. You’ve got to get rid of that evil.
Don’t even spare your family6 Let’s say your brother or sister, born to your very own mother, tries to lure you away from God. They say, “Let’s try worshiping some other gods.” Maybe it’s your spouse who says this, the love of your life. Or it could be your closest friend and soulmate. 7 I’m talking about gods you and your ancestors have never worshiped. They might be gods from among the neighboring nations or from nations here to the ends of the earth. 8 Do not listen to any of these people trying to lure you away. Don’t pity them, either. Don’t protect them. And don’t hide what they’ve done. 9 For what they’ve done, execute them. Your hand will strike the first blow. Then everyone else will join in.
10 Stone the person to death. This person is guilty of trying to take you away from the LORD your God who freed you from slavery in Egypt and brought you safely here. 11 When you do this, everyone in Israel will certainly hear about it. Then, the people will be too afraid to do such an evil thing again.
Don’t spare an idol-worshiping town12 You’re going to settle in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. 13 When you do, let’s say some troublemakers in one of your towns starts a campaign against God. They tell people, “Why don’t we go ahead and try worshiping some of the other gods.” These are gods you and your ancestors have never worshiped. 14 Launch a thorough investigation into charges against those people and the town that enables them. If you can verify that the complaint is true, then that town is guilty of committing a despicable crime. 15 You need to treat that town like you will treat the Canaanite towns. Treat them to the sword. Kill everyone and everything that lives. Kill all the people and their livestock. 16 After they’re all dead, pile their belongings in the marketplace and set fire to everything in the city that can burn. Turn that town into a sacrificial offering of devotion to the LORD your God. Leave the city in ruins, never to be rebuilt.
17 When the LORD designates anything for complete destruction like this, keep it complete. Don’t take anything for yourself—no prizes, no souvenirs. Then the LORD will reward you with kindness and prosperity, just as he told your ancestors he would do. 18 But you have to listen to what the LORD your God says and always obey him. You have to follow the law that I’m giving you today. You have to do the right thing.
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