Search Engine

Provide a keyword or phrase below to find blog entries relevant to your search:

Results For

No Results


< Return to List


Chapter 13:1-5 (ESV)

Posted on February 24, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 13:1-5 (ESV) - “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.”

Question to consider: Why would there be false prophets arising among them telling people to worship these pagan gods?

While the advice from Moses may seem repetitive, it’s worth pointing out that his points are building on one another. So in renewing the covenantal vows with this generation of faith who was entering the land, Moses has been describing how the first table of the Law (love of God) was to be carried out. The people were to love and serve God by purging all remnants of the gods of the nations, teaching their children God’s ways, and refraining from idolatry.

The love of God was the first and greatest command so even their love of neighbor had to be framed by their love of God. Otherwise, in loving their neighbor, they would be tempted to affirm them in their idolatry instead of commanding the nations to repent and turn to the God of Israel.

This chapter is dedicated to dealing with the different ways that idolatry could creep into their midst. The initial perpetrators of idolatry they would have to deal with were those who would profess to have divine insight. A prophet would be considered someone who claims to speak for God, and a dreamer of dreams would be someone who professed to have some kind of divinely inspired vision.

It should be noted that these prophets and dreamers of which Moses spoke would arise from among the Israelites. He didn’t need to talk about the prophets and dreamers of the nations because Moses had already given them instruction that everything and everyone associated with the gods of these nations needed to be completely wiped out.

It’s actually kind of a creepy thought that after a nation had been purged from their idolatry, there would be ones from among the Israelites who would rise up and give prophecies and visions that come to pass while they try to convince the people to worship these pagan gods. It just goes to show that even in destroying the earthly artifacts of these gods, they would not be able to destroy the demons behind them.

According to Moses, God would allow such things to test them so they could see the extent in which they loved God and were willing to obey Him. Would they purge the evil from among their own even if they were able to show them signs and wonders?

While we look at this from the perspective of the pagan gods of the nations, it’s worth noting that this chapter came to mind for the religious leaders at the time of Christ. Everyone was wowed by His prophetic voice and His signs and wonders. People were willing to listen to Him until He equated Himself with God. Ordinarily, they would have been right to pick up stones and stone Him as someone who encouraged people “to go after other gods”, but all of the types and shadows that pointed to Messiah in the scriptures were revealed in Jesus. They should have been able to recognize that He was indeed the Son of God.


Dear heavenly Father, please help us to know Your word well enough to recognize when someone says false things about You and tries to perform miracles in Your name. Help us to stick to the truth even when it proves difficult and to continue to call out false teachers so that people may repent and turn to You in spirit and in truth. Amen.