18 1The Levitical priests—that’s the entire tribe of Levi—don’t get any land–inheritance with the rest of Israel. They get the Fire–Gift–Offerings of God—they will live on that inheritance. 2But they don’t get land–inheritance like the rest of their kinsmen. God is their inheritance. 3This is what the priests get from the people from any offering of an ox or a sheep: the shoulder, the two cheeks, and the stomach. 4You must also give them the firstfruits of your grain, wine, and oil and the first fleece of your sheep, 5because God, your God, has chosen only them and their children out of all your tribes to be present and serve always in the name of God, your God. 6If a Levite moves from any town in Israel—and he is quite free to move wherever he desires—and comes to the place God designates for worship, 7he may serve there in the name of God along with all his brother Levites who are present and serving in the Presence of God. 8And he will get an equal share to eat, even though he has money from the sale of his parents’ possessions. 9When you enter the land that God, your God, is giving you, don’t take on the abominable ways of life of the nations there. 10Don’t you dare sacrifice your son or daughter in the fire. Don’t practice divination, sorcery, fortunetelling, witchery, 11casting spells, holding séances, or channeling with the dead. 12People who do these things are an abomination to God. It’s because of just such abominable practices that God, your God, is driving these nations out before you. 13Be completely loyal to God, your God. 14These nations that you’re about to run out of the country consort with sorcerers and witches. But not you. God, your God, forbids it. 15God, your God, is going to raise up a prophet for you. God will raise him up from among your kinsmen, a prophet like me. Listen obediently to him. 16This is what you asked God, your God, for at Horeb on the day you were all gathered at the mountain and said, “We can’t hear any more from God, our God; we can’t stand seeing any more fire. We’ll die!” 17And God said to me, “They’re right; they’ve spoken the truth. 18I’ll raise up for them a prophet like you from their kinsmen. I’ll tell him what to say and he will pass on to them everything I command him. 19And anyone who won’t listen to my words spoken by him, I will personally hold responsible. 20“But any prophet who fakes it, who claims to speak in my name something I haven’t commanded him to say, or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die.” 21You may be wondering among yourselves, “How can we tell the difference, whether it was God who spoke or not?” Here’s how: 22If what the prophet spoke in God’s name doesn’t happen, then obviously God wasn’t behind it; the prophet made it up. Forget about him.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About