Deuteronomy 21-23 World English Bible

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Settlement for an Unknown Murderer's Crime

21 1  If one be found slain in the land which Yahweh your God gives you to possess it, lying in the field, and it isn’t known who has struck him; 2  then your elders and your judges shall come forth, and they shall measure to the cities which are around him who is slain: 3  and it shall be, that the city which is nearest to the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take a heifer of the herd, which hasn’t been worked with, and which has not drawn in the yoke; 4  and the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer to a valley with running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley. 5  The priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them Yahweh your God has chosen to minister to him, and to bless in the name of Yahweh; and according to their word shall every controversy and every stroke be. 6  All the elders of that city, who are nearest to the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley; 7  and they shall answer and say, “Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. 8  Forgive, Yahweh, your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and don’t allow innocent blood to remain in the midst of your people Israel.” The blood shall be forgiven them. 9  So you shall put away the innocent blood from the midst of you, when you shall do that which is right in the eyes of Yahweh.

Various Laws

10  When you go forth to battle against your enemies, and Yahweh your God delivers them into your hands, and you carry them away captive, 11  and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you have a desire to her, and would take her to you as wife; 12  then you shall bring her home to your house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; 13  and she shall put the clothing of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in your house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that you shall go in to her, and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. 14  It shall be, if you have no delight in her, then you shall let her go where she will; but you shall not sell her at all for money, you shall not deal with her as a slave, because you have humbled her.

15  If a man have two wives, the one beloved, and the other hated, and they have borne him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers who was hated; 16  then it shall be, in the day that he causes his sons to inherit that which he has, that he may not make the son of the beloved the firstborn before the son of the hated, who is the firstborn: 17  but he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the hated, by giving him a double portion of all that he has; for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.

18  If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, who will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and, though they chasten him, will not listen to them; 19  then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out to the elders of his city, and to the gate of his place; 20  and they shall tell the elders of his city, “This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.” 21  All the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones: so you shall put away the evil from the midst of you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. 22  If a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and you hang him on a tree; 23  his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him the same day; for he who is hanged is accursed of God; that you don’t defile your land which Yahweh your God gives you for an inheritance.

22 1  You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep go astray, and hide yourself from them: you shall surely bring them again to your brother. 2  If your brother isn’t near to you, or if you don’t know him, then you shall bring it home to your house, and it shall be with you until your brother seek after it, and you shall restore it to him. 3  So you shall do with his donkey; and so you shall do with his garment; and so you shall do with every lost thing of your brother’s, which he has lost, and you have found: you may not hide yourself. 4  You shall not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fallen down by the way, and hide yourself from them: you shall surely help him to lift them up again.

5  A woman shall not wear men’s clothing, neither shall a man put on women’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to Yahweh your God. 6  If a bird’s nest chance to be before you in the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the hen sitting on the young, or on the eggs, you shall not take the hen with the young: 7  you shall surely let the hen go, but the young you may take to yourself; that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days. 8  When you build a new house, then you shall make a battlement for your roof, that you don’t bring blood on your house, if any man fall from there. 9  You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest the whole fruit be forfeited, the seed which you have sown, and the increase of the vineyard. 10  You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. 11  You shall not wear a mixed stuff, wool and linen together. 12  You shall make yourselves fringes [1] on the four borders of your cloak, with which you cover yourself.

Laws concerning Chastity

13  If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and hates her, 14  and accuses her of shameful things, and brings up an evil name on her, and says, “I took this woman, and when I came near to her, I didn’t find in her the tokens of virginity;” 15  then shall the father of the young lady, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the young lady’s virginity to the elders of the city in the gate; 16  and the young lady’s father shall tell the elders, “I gave my daughter to this man to wife, and he hates her; 17  and behold, he has accused her of shameful things, saying, ‘I didn’t find in your daughter the tokens of virginity;’ and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity.” They shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. 18  The elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him; 19  and they shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver, and give them to the father of the young lady, because he has brought up an evil name on a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. 20  But if this thing be true, that the tokens of virginity were not found in the young lady; 21  then they shall bring out the young lady to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done folly in Israel, to play the prostitute in her father’s house: so you shall put away the evil from the midst of you. 22  If a man be found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both of them die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman: so you shall put away the evil from Israel. 23  If there is a young lady who is a virgin pledged to be married to a husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; 24  then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones; the lady, because she didn’t cry, being in the city; and the man, because he has humbled his neighbor’s wife: so you shall put away the evil from the midst of you. 25  But if the man find the lady who is pledged to be married in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her; then the man only who lay with her shall die: 26  but to the lady you shall do nothing; there is in the lady no sin worthy of death: for as when a man rises against his neighbor, and kills him, even so is this matter; 27  for he found her in the field, the pledged to be married lady cried, and there was none to save her. 28  If a man find a lady who is a virgin, who is not pledged to be married, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; 29  then the man who lay with her shall give to the lady’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has humbled her; he may not put her away all his days. 30  A man shall not take his father’s wife, and shall not uncover his father’s skirt.

Those Excluded from the Congregation

23 1  He who is wounded in the stones, or has his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the assembly of Yahweh. 2  A bastard shall not enter into the assembly of Yahweh; even to the tenth generation shall none of his enter into the assembly of Yahweh. 3  An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of Yahweh; even to the tenth generation shall none belonging to them enter into the assembly of Yahweh forever: 4  because they didn’t meet you with bread and with water in the way, when you came forth out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. 5  Nevertheless Yahweh your God wouldn’t listen to Balaam; but Yahweh your God turned the curse into a blessing to you, because Yahweh your God loved you. 6  You shall not seek their peace nor their prosperity all your days forever. 7  You shall not abhor an Edomite; for he is your brother: you shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you lived as a foreigner in his land. 8  The children of the third generation who are born to them shall enter into the assembly of Yahweh.

Laws of Sanitation

9  When you go forth in camp against your enemies, then you shall keep yourselves from every evil thing. 10  If there is among you any man who is not clean by reason of that which happens him by night, then shall he go outside of the camp. He shall not come within the camp: 11  but it shall be, when evening comes on, he shall bathe himself in water; and when the sun is down, he shall come within the camp. 12  You shall have a place also outside of the camp, where you shall go forth abroad: 13  and you shall have a paddle among your weapons; and it shall be, when you sit down abroad, you shall dig therewith, and shall turn back and cover that which comes from you: 14  for Yahweh your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you, and to give up your enemies before you; therefore your camp shall be holy, that he may not see an unclean thing in you, and turn away from you.

Laws of Human Relations

15  You shall not deliver to his master a servant who is escaped from his master to you: 16  he shall dwell with you, in the midst of you, in the place which he shall choose within one of your gates, where it pleases him best: you shall not oppress him. 17  There shall be no prostitute of the daughters of Israel, neither shall there be a sodomite of the sons of Israel. 18  You shall not bring the hire of a prostitute, or the wages of a dog, into the house of Yahweh your God for any vow: for even both these are an abomination to Yahweh your God. 19  You shall not lend on interest to your brother; interest of money, interest of food, interest of anything that is lent on interest: 20  to a foreigner you may lend on interest; but to your brother you shall not lend on interest, that Yahweh your God may bless you in all that you put your hand to, in the land where you go in to possess it. 21  When you shall vow a vow to Yahweh your God, you shall not be slack to pay it: for Yahweh your God will surely require it of you; and it would be sin in you. 22  But if you shall forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in you. 23  That which is gone out of your lips you shall observe and do; according as you have vowed to Yahweh your God, a freewill offering, which you have promised with your mouth. 24  When you come into your neighbor’s vineyard, then you may eat of grapes your fill at your own pleasure; but you shall not put any in your vessel. 25  When you come into your neighbor’s standing grain, then you may pluck the ears with your hand; but you shall not move a sickle to your neighbor’s standing grain.

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Footnotes

[1] 22:12 or, tassles

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