Assemble the people, the men, those who are opposite of men,

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those who walk with tripping gait,

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and the foreigners within your gates, so they will continue to hear, and continue to learn,

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and as a result, to completely fear

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YHVH your ELOHIM (read Adonai your Elohim),

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and in order to completely guard all the words of this Torah

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in order to do them.


Assemble all the people, men, women, children and foreigners in your midst, so that they may continually hear, and continue to learn how to honor THE ETERNAL AND PERSONAL GOD, who is YOUR OWNER AND RULER, in order to maintain the validity and honor of the covenantal stipulations of these instructions, in order to put them to practice.



Usually translated “women,” this word is a variation of the word for man, and basically means “the one who is opposite a man,” either because she is not a man, or because she is attached to a man through marriage and compliments him, giving him two dimensions, not just one.


This word means “to walk with tripping gait;” we would call them “toddlers” because they “toddle.” However, the word seems to be broader than our use of toddlers, therefore it is usually translated “children.”


The verbs “hear” and “learn” are in the Imperfect tense, which is different from our common understanding of an Imperfect verb. In Hebrew there are two major types of action, either completed action regardless of the timing, or incomplete action regardless of past, present, or future timing. Imperfect verbs like the ones used here, indicate incomplete action in Hebrew. For that reason I have conveyed the action of hearing and learning as ongoing. Their listening and learning are not complete yet, so they need to keep doing more of it. The reason I bring up the tense of these verbs is that the verb tense changes for the next two verbs which are both Perfects.


This verb “fear” and the next one, “guard or keep,” are both Perfect verbs, indicating complete action, regardless of past, present, or future timing. For that reason I have rendered these verbs as indicating a complete level of fear and keeping, with the use of an adverb in English. Often translators will render these verb tenses in ways that make the most sense in English, which is not altogether wrong because Hebrew verbs are very similar to Jell-O, they don’t stay the same, they are very flexible, and they are hard to nail down (have you ever tried nailing Jell-O to a wall?). Some would say I am making too big an issue of these verb tenses, however, I believe there was a reason for the change from Imperfect verbs to Perfect verbs, and I tried to communicate that difference in my translation and paraphrase.


The Hebrew uses a different form of the name Elohim, the name for God you are probably familiar with. This one means “Your God.” I have written it as Elohim so everyone would recognize it.


“The Torah” is the word used here, and it means “instruction or direction,” as well as “law.” The way you interpret this word depends on whether your focus is on the intent of the instruction, or the communication method used to convey that intent (laws).