GOD'S WORD® Translation
1One of your people, claiming to be a prophet or to have prophetic dreams, may predict a miraculous sign or an amazing thing. 2What he predicts may even take place. But don't listen to that prophet or dreamer if he says, "Let's worship and serve other gods." (Those gods may be gods you've never heard of.) 3The LORD your God is testing you to find out if you really love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4Worship the LORD your God, fear him, obey his commands, listen to what he says, serve him, and be loyal to him. 5That prophet or dreamer must be put to death because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and freed you from slavery. He was trying to lead you away from following the directions the LORD your God gave you. You must get rid of this evil.
6Your own brother, son, or daughter, the wife you love, or your best friend may secretly tempt you, saying, "Let's go worship other gods." (Those gods may be gods that you and your ancestors never knew. 7They may be the gods of the people around you, who live near or far, from one end of the land to the other.) 8Don't be influenced by any of these people or listen to them. Have no pity on them. Don't feel sorry for them or protect them. 9You must put them to death. You must start the execution. Then all the other people will join you in putting them to death. 10Stone them to death because they were trying to lead you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of slavery in Egypt. 11All Israel will hear about it and be afraid. Then no one among you will ever do such a wicked thing again.
12You may hear that the residents in one of the cities which the LORD your God is giving you to live in 13have been led away from the LORD your God by worthless people. You may hear that these people have been saying, "Let's worship other gods." (Those gods may be gods you've never heard of.) 14Then make a thorough investigation. If it is true, and you can prove that this disgusting thing has been done among you, 15you must kill the residents of that city with swords and destroy that city and everyone in it, including the animals, because they are claimed by God. 16Gather their goods into the middle of the city square. Then burn their city and all their goods as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. It must remain a mound of ruins and never be rebuilt. 17Don't ever take any of the things claimed for destruction. Then the LORD will stop being angry and will show you mercy. In his mercy he will make your population increase, as he swore to your ancestors. 18The LORD your God will do this if you listen to him, obey all the commands that I'm giving you today, and do what he considers right.