December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- "At that time the LORD said to me, 'Cut two tablets of stone like the former; then come up the mountain to me. Also make an ark of wood.
- I will write upon the tablets the commandments that were on the former tablets that you broke, and you shall place them in the ark.'
- So I made an ark of acacia wood, and cut two tablets of stone like the former, and went up the mountain carrying the two tablets.
- The LORD then wrote on them, as he had written before, the ten commandments which he spoke to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly. After the LORD had given them to me,
- I turned and came down the mountain, and placed the tablets in the ark I had made. There they have remained, in keeping with the command the LORD gave me.
- (The Israelites set out from Beeroth Bene-jaakan for Moserah, where Aaron died and was buried, his son Eleazar succeeding him in the priestly office.
- From there they set out for Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah for Jotbathah, a region where there is water in the wadies.)
- "At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to be in attendance before the LORD and minister to him, and to give blessings in his name, as they have done to this day.
- For this reason, Levi has no share in the heritage with his brothers; the LORD himself is his heritage, as the LORD, your God, has told him.
- "After I had spent these other forty days and forty nights on the mountain, and the LORD had once again heard me and decided not to destroy you,
- he said to me, 'Go now and set out at the head of your people, that they may enter in and occupy the land which I swore to their fathers I would give them.'
- "And now, Israel, what does the LORD, your God, ask of you but to fear the LORD, your God, and follow his ways exactly, to love and serve the LORD, your God, with all your heart and all your soul,
- to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD which I enjoin on you today for your own good?
- 1 Think! The heavens, even the highest heavens, belong to the LORD, your God, as well as the earth and everything on it.
- Yet in his love for your fathers the LORD was so attached to them as to choose you, their descendants, in preference to all other peoples, as indeed he has now done.
- 2 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and be no longer stiff-necked.
- For the LORD, your God, is the God of gods, the LORD of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who has no favorites, accepts no bribes;
- who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and befriends the alien, feeding and clothing him.
- So you too must befriend the alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.
- The LORD, your God, shall you fear, and him shall you serve; hold fast to him and swear by his name.
- He is your glory, he, your God, who has done for you those great and terrible things which your own eyes have seen.
- Your ancestors went down to Egypt seventy strong, and now the LORD, your God, has made you as numerous as the stars of the sky.
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1  Even the highest heavens: literally, "and the heavens of the heavens"; compare the phrase, "the third heaven," in 2 Cor 12:2.
2  Circumcise your hearts: cf Deut 30:6; Jeremiah 4:4; Romans 2:29. The "uncircumcised heart" (Lev 26:41; Jeremiah 9:25; Ezekiel 44:7, 9) is closed and unreceptive to divine grace and guidance, just as "uncircumcised ears" (Jeremiah 6:10) are closed to sound, and "uncircumcised lips" (Exodus 6:12, 30) do not open well in speech.
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