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Deuteronomy 1; Deuteronomy 7; Deuteronomy 9; Deuteronomy 10; Deuteronomy 14; Deuteronomy 15; Deuteronomy 16; Deuteronomy 17; Deuteronomy 18; Deuteronomy 19; Deuteronomy 20; Deuteronomy 21; Deuteronomy 22; Deuteronomy 23; Deuteronomy 24; Deuteronomy 25; Deuteronomy 30 (Holman Christian Standard)

Introduction

1 These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Di-zahab. 2 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. 3 In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him [to say] to them. 4 This was after he had defeated Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth, at Edrei. 5 Across the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses began to explain this law, saying:

Departure from Horeb

6 "The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb, 'You have stayed at this mountain long enough. 7 Resume your journey and go to the hill country of the Amorites and their neighbors in the Arabah, the hill country, the lowlands, the Negev and the sea coast-to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon as far as the Euphrates River. 8 See, I have set the land before you. Enter and take possession of the land the Lord swore to give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their descendants after them.'

Leaders for the Tribes

9 "I said to you at that time: I can't bear [the responsibility for] you on my own. 10 The Lord your God has so multiplied you that today you are as numerous as the stars of the sky. 11 May the Lord, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand times more, and bless you as He promised you. 12 But how can I bear your troubles, burdens, and disputes by myself? 13 Appoint for yourselves wise, understanding, and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will make them your leaders. 14 "You replied to me, 'What you propose to do is good.' 15 "So I took the leaders of your tribes, wise and respected men, and set them over you as leaders: officials for thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, and officers for your tribes. 16 I commanded your judges at that time: Hear [the cases] between your brothers, and judge rightly between a man and his brother or a foreign resident. 17 Do not show partiality when rendering judgment; listen to small and great alike. Do not be intimidated by anyone, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too difficult for you, and I will hear it. 18 At that time I commanded you about all the things you were to do.

Israel's Disobedience at Kadesh-barnea

19 "We then set out from Horeb and went across all the great and terrible wilderness you saw on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, just as the Lord our God had commanded us. When we reached Kadesh-barnea, 20 I said to you: You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the Lord our God is giving us. 21 See, the Lord your God has set the land before you. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has told you. Do not be afraid or discouraged. 22 "Then all of you approached me and said, 'Let's send men ahead of us, so that they may explore the land for us and bring us back a report about the route we should go up and the cities we will come to.' 23 The plan seemed good to me, so I selected 12 men from among you, one man for each tribe. 24 They left and went up into the hill country and came to the Valley of Eshcol, scouting the land. 25 They took some of the fruit from the land in their hands, carried [it] down to us, and brought us back a report: 'The land the Lord our God is giving us is good.' 26 "But you were not willing to go up, rebelling against the command of the Lord your God. 27 You grumbled in your tents and said, 'The Lord brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites so they would destroy us, because He hated us. 28 Where can we go? Our brothers have discouraged us, saying: The people are larger and taller than we are; the cities are large, fortified to the heavens. We also saw the descendants of the Anakim there.' 29 "So I said to you: Don't be terrified or afraid of them! 30 The Lord your God who goes before you will fight for you, just as you saw Him do for you in Egypt. 31 And you saw in the wilderness how the Lord your God carried you as a man carries his son all along the way you traveled until you reached this place. 32 But in spite of this you did not trust the Lord your God, 33 who went before you on the journey to seek out a place for you to camp. He went in the fire by night and in the cloud by day to guide you on the road you were to travel. 34 "When the Lord heard your words, He grew angry and swore an oath: 35 'None of these men in this evil generation will see the good land I swore to give your fathers, 36 except Caleb the son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land on which he has set foot, because he followed the Lord completely.' 37 "The Lord was angry with me also because of you and said: 'You will not enter there either. 38 Joshua son of Nun, who attends you, will enter it. Encourage him, for he will enable Israel to inherit it. 39 Your little children whom you said would be plunder, your sons who don't know good from evil, will enter there. I will give them the land, and they will take possession of it. 40 But you are to turn back and head for the wilderness by way of the Red Sea.' 41 "You answered me, 'We have sinned against the Lord. We will go up and fight just as the Lord our God commanded us.' Then each of you put on his weapons of war and thought it would be easy to go up into the hill country. 42 "But the Lord said to me, 'Tell them: Don't go up and fight, for I am not with you to keep you from being defeated by your enemies.' 43 So I spoke to you, but you didn't listen. You rebelled against the Lord's command and defiantly went up into the hill country. 44 Then the Amorites who lived there came out against you and chased you like a swarm of bees. They routed you from Seir as far as Hormah. 45 When you returned, you wept before the Lord, but He didn't listen to your requests or pay attention to you. 46 For this reason you stayed in Kadesh as long as you did.

Israel to Destroy Idolatrous Nations

1 "When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess, and He drives out many nations before you-the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and powerful than you- 2 and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you and you defeat them, you must completely destroy them. Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy. 3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 because they will turn your sons away from Me to worship other gods. Then the Lord's anger will burn against you, and He will swiftly destroy you. 5 Instead, this is what you are to do to them: tear down their altars, smash their standing pillars, cut down their Asherah poles, and burn up their carved images. 6 For you are a holy people belonging to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be His own possession out of all the peoples on the face of the earth. 7 "The Lord was devoted to you and chose you, not because you were more numerous than all peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But because the Lord loved you and kept the oath He swore to your fathers, He brought you out with a strong hand and redeemed you from the place of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know that Yahweh your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His gracious covenant loyalty for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commands. 10 But He directly pays back and destroys those who hate Him. He will not hesitate to directly pay back the one who hates Him. 11 So keep the command-the statutes and ordinances-that I am giving you to follow today. 12 "If you listen to and are careful to keep these ordinances, the Lord your God will keep His covenant loyalty with you, as He swore to your fathers. 13 He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will bless your descendants, and the produce of your soil-your grain, new wine, and oil-the young of your herds, and the newborn of your flocks, in the land He swore to your fathers that He would give you. 14 You will be blessed above all peoples; there will be no infertile male or female among you or your livestock. 15 The Lord will remove all sickness from you; He will not put on you all the terrible diseases of Egypt that you know about, but He will inflict them on all who hate you. 16 You must destroy all the peoples the Lord your God is delivering over to you and not look on them with pity. Do not worship their gods, for that will be a snare to you. 17 "If you say to yourself, 'These nations are greater than I; how can I drive them out?' 18 do not be afraid of them. Be sure to remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and all Egypt: 19 the great trials that you saw, the signs and wonders, the strong hand and outstretched arm, by which the Lord your God brought you out. The Lord your God will do the same to all the peoples you fear. 20 The Lord your God will also send the hornet against them until all the survivors and those hiding from you perish. 21 Don't be terrified of them, for the Lord your God, a great and awesome God, is among you. 22 The Lord your God will drive out these nations before you little by little. You will not be able to destroy them all at once; otherwise, the wild animals will become too numerous for you. 23 The Lord your God will give them over to you and throw them into great confusion until they are destroyed. 24 He will hand their kings over to you, and you will wipe out their names under heaven. No one will be able to stand against you; you will annihilate them. 25 You must burn up the carved images of their gods. Don't covet the silver and gold on the images and take it for yourself, or else you will be ensnared by it, for it is abhorrent to the Lord your God. 26 You must not bring any abhorrent thing into your house, or you will be set apart for destruction like it. You are to utterly detest and abhor it, because it is set apart for destruction.

Warning against Self-Righteousness

1 "Listen, Israel: Today you are about to cross the Jordan to go and drive out nations greater and stronger than you [with] large cities fortified to the heavens. 2 The people are strong and tall, the descendants of the Anakim. You know about them and you have heard it said about them, 'Who can stand up to the sons of Anak?' 3 But understand that today the Lord your God will cross over ahead of you as a consuming fire; He will devastate and subdue them before you. You will drive them out and destroy them swiftly, as the Lord has told you. 4 When the Lord your God drives them out before you, do not say to yourself, 'The Lord brought me in to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.' Instead, the Lord will drive out these nations before you because of their wickedness. 5 You are not going to take possession of their land because of your righteousness or your integrity. Instead, the Lord your God will drive out these nations before you because of their wickedness, in order to keep the promise He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 6 Understand that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people.

Israel's Rebellion and Moses' Intercession

7 "Remember and do not forget how you provoked the Lord your God in the wilderness. You have been rebelling against the Lord from the day you left the land of Egypt until you reached this place. 8 You provoked the Lord at Horeb, and He was angry enough with you to destroy you. 9 When I went up the mountain to receive the stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant the Lord made with you, I stayed on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights. I did not eat bread or drink water. 10 On the day of the assembly the Lord gave me the two stone tablets, inscribed by God's finger. The exact words were on them, which the Lord spoke to you from the fire on the mountain. 11 The Lord gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant, at the end of the 40 days and 40 nights. 12 "The Lord said to me, 'Get up and go down immediately from here. For your people you brought out of Egypt have acted corruptly. They have quickly turned from the way that I commanded them; they have made a cast image for themselves.' 13 The Lord also said to me, 'I have seen this people, and indeed, they are a stiff-necked people. 14 Leave Me alone, and I will destroy them and blot out their name under heaven. Then I will make you into a nation stronger and more numerous than they.' 15 "So I went back down the mountain, while it was blazing with fire, and the two tablets of the covenant were in my hands. 16 I saw how you had sinned against the Lord your God; you had made a calf image for yourselves. You had quickly turned from the way the Lord had commanded for you. 17 So I took hold of the tablets and threw them from my hands, shattering them before your eyes. 18 Then I fell down like the first time in the presence of the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights; I did not eat bread or drink water because of all the sin you committed, doing what was evil in the Lord's sight and provoking Him to anger. 19 I was afraid of the fierce anger the Lord had directed against you, because He was about to destroy you. But again, the Lord listened to me on that occasion. 20 The Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him. But I prayed for Aaron at that time also. 21 I took the sinful calf you had made, burned it up, and crushed it, thoroughly grinding it to powder as [fine as] dust. Then I threw it into the stream that came down from the mountain. 22 "You continued to provoke the Lord at Taberah, Massah, and Kibroth-hattaavah. 23 When the Lord sent you from Kadesh-barnea, He said, 'Go up and possess the land I have given you'; you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. You did not believe or obey Him. 24 You have been rebelling against the Lord ever since I have known you. 25 "I fell down in the presence of the Lord 40 days and 40 nights because the Lord had threatened to destroy you. 26 I prayed to the Lord: Lord God , do not annihilate Your people, Your inheritance, whom You redeemed through Your greatness and brought out of Egypt with a strong hand. 27 Remember Your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Disregard this people's stubbornness, and their wickedness and sin. 28 Otherwise, those in the land you brought us from will say, 'Because the Lord wasn't able to bring them into the land He had promised them, and because He hated them, He brought them out to kill them in the wilderness.' 29 But they are Your people, Your inheritance, whom You brought out by Your great power and outstretched arm.

The Covenant Renewed

1 "The Lord said to me at that time, 'Cut two stone tablets like the first ones and come to Me on the mountain and make a wooden ark. 2 I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets you broke, and you are to place them in the ark.' 3 So I made an ark of acacia wood, cut two stone tablets like the first ones, and climbed the mountain with the two tablets in my hand. 4 Then, on the day of the assembly, the Lord wrote on the tablets what had been written previously, the Ten Commandments that He had spoken to you on the mountain from the fire. The Lord gave them to me, 5 and I went back down the mountain and placed the tablets in the ark I had made. And they have remained there, as the Lord commanded me." 6 The Israelites traveled from Beeroth Bene-jaakan to Moserah. Aaron died and was buried there, and Eleazar his son became priest in his place. 7 They traveled from there to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land with streams of water. 8 "At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the Lord's covenant, to stand before the Lord to serve Him, and to bless in His name, as it is today. 9 For this reason, Levi does not have a portion or inheritance like his brothers; the Lord is his inheritance, as the Lord your God told him. 10 "I stayed on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights like the first time. The Lord also listened to me on this occasion; He agreed not to annihilate you. 11 Then the Lord said to me, 'Get up. Continue your journey ahead of the people, so that they may enter and possess the land I swore to give their fathers.'

What God Requires

12 "And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you except to fear the Lord your God by walking in all His ways, to love Him, and to worship the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul? 13 Keep the Lord's commands and statutes I am giving you today, for your own good. 14 The heavens, indeed the highest heavens, belong to the Lord your God, as does the earth and everything in it. 15 Yet the Lord was devoted to your fathers and loved them. He chose their descendants after them-[He chose] you out of all the peoples, as it is today. 16 Therefore, circumcise your hearts and don't be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God, showing no partiality and taking no bribe. 18 He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreign resident, giving him food and clothing. 19 You also must love the foreigner, since you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. 20 You are to fear the Lord your God and worship Him. Remain faithful to Him and take oaths in His name. 21 He is your praise and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome works your eyes have seen. 22 Your fathers went down to Egypt, 70 people in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of the sky.

Forbidden Practices

1 "You are sons of the Lord your God; do not cut yourselves or make a bald spot on your head on behalf of the dead, 2 for you are a holy people belonging to the Lord your God. The Lord has chosen you to be His special people out of all the peoples on the face of the earth.

Clean and Unclean Foods

3 "You must not eat any detestable thing. 4 These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, 5 the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope, and the mountain sheep. 6 You may eat any animal that has hooves divided in two and chews the cud. 7 But among the ones that chew the cud or have divided hooves, you are not to eat these: the camel, the hare, and the hyrax, though they chew the cud, they do not have hooves- they are unclean for you; 8 and the pig, though it has hooves, it does not [chew] the cud- it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses. 9 "You may eat everything from the water that has fins and scales, 10 but you may not eat anything that does not have fins and scales-it is unclean for you. 11 "You may eat every clean bird, 12 but these are the ones you may not eat: the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture, 13 the kite, the various kinds of falcon, 14 every kind of raven, 15 the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the gull, the various kinds of hawk, 16 the little owl, the long-eared owl, the white owl, 17 the desert owl, the osprey, the cormorant, 18 the stork, the various kinds of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat. 19 All winged insects are unclean for you; they may not be eaten. 20 But you may eat every clean flying creature. 21 "You are not to eat any carcass; you may give it to a resident alien within your gates, and he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. For you are a holy people belonging to the Lord your God. You must not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.

A Tenth for the Lord

22 "Each year you are to set aside a tenth of all the produce grown in your fields. 23 You are to eat a tenth of your grain, new wine, and oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, in the presence of the Lord your God at the place where He chooses to have His name dwell, so that you will always learn to fear the Lord your God. 24 But if the distance is too great for you to carry it, since the place where the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far away from you and since the Lord your God has blessed you, 25 then exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place the Lord your God chooses. 26 You may spend the money on anything you want: cattle, sheep, wine, beer, or anything you desire. You are to feast there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice with your family. 27 Do not forget the Levite within your gates, since he has no portion or inheritance among you. 28 "At the end of [every] three years, bring a tenth of all your produce for that year and store [it] within your gates. 29 Then the Levite, who has no portion or inheritance among you, the foreign resident, fatherless, and widow within your gates may come, eat, and be satisfied. And the Lord your God will bless you in all the work of your hands that you do.

Debts Canceled

1 "At the end of [every] seven years you must cancel debts. 2 This is how to cancel debt: Every creditor is to cancel what he has lent his neighbor. He is not to collect [anything] from his neighbor or brother, because the Lord's release of debts has been proclaimed. 3 You may collect [something] from a foreigner, but you must forgive whatever your brother owes you. 4 "There will be no poor among you, however, because the Lord is certain to bless you in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance- 5 if only you obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow every one of these commands I am giving you today. 6 When the Lord your God blesses you as He has promised you, you will lend to many nations but not borrow; you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.

Lending to the Poor

7 "If there is a poor person among you, one of your brothers within any of your gates in the land the Lord your God is giving you, you must not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. 8 Instead, you are to open your hand to him and freely loan him enough for whatever need he has. 9 Be careful that there isn't this wicked thought in your heart, 'The seventh year, the year of canceling debts, is near,' and you are stingy toward your poor brother and give him [nothing]. He will cry out to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty. 10 Give to him, and don't have a stingy heart when you give, and because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you do. 11 For there will never cease to be poor people in the land; that is why I am commanding you, 'You must willingly open your hand to your afflicted and poor brother in your land.'

Release of Slaves

12 "If your fellow Hebrew, a man or woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, you must set him free in the seventh year. 13 When you set him free, do not send him away empty-handed. 14 Give generously to him from your flock, your threshing floor, and your winepress. You are to give him whatever the Lord your God has blessed you with. 15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you; that is why I am giving you this command today. 16 But if your slave says to you, 'I don't want to leave you,' because he loves you and your family, and is well off with you, 17 take an awl and pierce through his ear into the door, and he will become your slave for life. Also treat your female slave the same way. 18 Do not regard it as a hardship when you set him free, because he worked for you six years-worth twice the wages of a hired hand. Then the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.

Consecration of Firstborn Animals

19 "You must consecrate to the Lord your God every firstborn male produced by your herd and flock. You are not to put the firstborn of your oxen to work or shear the firstborn of your flock. 20 Each year you and your family are to eat it before the Lord your God in the place the Lord chooses. 21 But if there is a defect in the animal, if it is lame or blind or has any serious defect, you must not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. 22 Eat it within your gates; both the unclean person and the clean [may eat it], as though it were a gazelle or deer. 23 But you must not eat its blood; pour it on the ground like water.

The Festival of Passover

1 "Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, because the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night in the month of Abib. 2 Sacrifice to the Lord your God a Passover animal from the herd or flock in the place where the Lord chooses to have His name dwell. 3 You must not eat leavened bread with it. For seven days you are to eat unleavened bread with it, the bread of hardship-because you left the land of Egypt in a hurry-so that you may remember for the rest of your life the day you left the land of Egypt. 4 No yeast is to be found anywhere in your territory for seven days, and none of the meat you sacrifice in the evening of the first day is to remain until morning. 5 You are not to sacrifice the Passover animal in any of the towns the Lord your God is giving you. 6 You must only sacrifice the Passover animal at the place where the Lord your God chooses to have His name dwell. [Do this] in the evening as the sun sets at the [same] time [of day] you departed from Egypt. 7 You are to cook and eat [it] in the place the Lord your God chooses, and you are to return to your tents in the morning. 8 You must eat unleavened bread for six days. On the seventh day there is to be a solemn assembly to the Lord your God, and you must not do any work.

The Festival of Weeks

9 "You are to count seven weeks, counting the weeks from the time the sickle is first [put] to the standing grain. 10 You are to celebrate the Festival of Weeks to the Lord your God with a freewill offering that you give in proportion to how the Lord your God has blessed you. 11 Rejoice before the Lord your God in the place where He chooses to have His name dwell-you, your son and daughter, your male and female slave, the Levite within your gates, as well as the foreign resident, the fatherless, and the widow among you. 12 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt; carefully follow these statutes.

The Festival of Booths

13 "You are to celebrate the Festival of Booths for seven days when you have gathered in [everything] from your threshing floor and winepress. 14 Rejoice during your festival-you, your son and daughter, your male and female slave, as well as the Levite, the foreign resident, the fatherless, and the widow within your gates. 15 You are to hold a seven-day festival for the Lord your God in the place He chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, and you will have abundant joy. 16 "All your males are to appear three times a year before the Lord your God in the place He chooses: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Booths. No one is to appear before the Lord empty-handed. 17 Everyone [must appear] with a gift suited to his means, according to the blessing the Lord your God has given you.

Appointing Judges and Officials

18 "Appoint judges and officials for your tribes in all your towns the Lord your God is giving you. They are to judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 Do not deny justice or show partiality [to anyone]. Do not accept a bribe, for it blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. 20 Pursue justice and justice alone, so that you will live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.

Forbidden Worship

21 "Do not set up an Asherah of any kind of wood next to the altar you will build for the Lord your God, 22 and do not set up a sacred pillar; the Lord your God hates them. 1 "You must not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or sheep with a defect or any serious flaw, for that is detestable to the Lord your God.

The Judicial Procedure for Idolatry

2 "If a man or woman among you in one of your towns that the Lord your God will give you is discovered doing evil in the sight of the Lord your God and violating His covenant 3 and has gone to worship other gods by bowing down to the sun, moon, or all the stars in the sky-which I have forbidden- 4 and if you are told or hear [about it], you must investigate it thoroughly. If the report turns out to be true that this detestable thing has happened in Israel, 5 you must bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing and stone them to death. 6 The one condemned to die is to be executed on the testimony of two or three witnesses. No one is to be executed on the testimony of a single witness. 7 The witnesses' hands are to be the first in putting him to death, and after that, the hands of all the people. You must purge the evil from you.

Difficult Cases

8 "If a case is too difficult for you-concerning bloodshed, lawsuits, or assaults-cases disputed at your gates, you must go up to the place the Lord your God chooses. 9 You are to go to the Levitical priests and to the judge who presides at that time. Ask, and they will give you a verdict in the case. 10 You must abide by the verdict they give you at the place the Lord chooses. Be careful to do exactly as they instruct you. 11 You must abide by the instruction they give you and the verdict they announce to you. Do not turn to the right or the left from the decision they declare to you. 12 The person who acts arrogantly, refusing to listen either to the priest who stands there serving the Lord your God or to the judge, must die. You must purge the evil from Israel. 13 Then all the people will hear [about it], be afraid, and no longer behave arrogantly.

Appointing a King

14 "When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, take possession of it, live in it, and say, 'We want to appoint a king over us like all the nations around us,' 15 you are to appoint over you the king the Lord your God chooses. Appoint a king from your brothers. You are not to set a foreigner over you, or one who is not of your people. 16 However, he must not acquire many horses for himself or send the people back to Egypt to acquire many horses, for the Lord has told you, 'You are never to go back that way again.' 17 He must not acquire many wives for himself so that his heart won't go astray. He must not acquire very large amounts of silver and gold for himself. 18 When he is seated on his royal throne, he is to write a copy of this instruction for himself on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to remain with him, and he is to read from it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to observe all the words of this instruction, and to do these statutes. 20 Then his heart will not be exalted above his countrymen, he will not turn from this command to the right or the left, and he and his sons will continue ruling many years over Israel.

Provisions for the Levites

1 "The Levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi, will have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They will eat the Lord's fire offerings; that is their inheritance. 2 Although Levi has no inheritance among his brothers, the Lord is his inheritance, as He promised him. 3 This is the priests' share from the people who offer a sacrifice, whether it is an ox, a sheep, or a goat; the priests are to be given the shoulder, jaws, and stomach. 4 You are to give him the firstfruits of your grain, new wine, and oil, and the first sheared [wool] of your flock. 5 For the Lord your God has chosen him and his sons from all your tribes to stand and minister in the Lord's name from now on. 6 When a Levite leaves one of your towns where he lives in Israel and wants to go to the place the Lord chooses, 7 he may serve in the name of the Lord his God like all his fellow Levites who minister there in the presence of the Lord. 8 They will eat equal portions besides what he has received from the sale of the family estate.

Occult Practices versus Prophetic Revelation

9 "When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not imitate the detestable customs of those nations. 10 No one among you is to make his son or daughter pass through the fire, practice divination, tell fortunes, interpret omens, practice sorcery, 11 cast spells, consult a medium or a familiar spirit, or inquire of the dead. 12 Everyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and the Lord your God is driving out the nations before you because of these detestable things. 13 You must be blameless before the Lord your God. 14 Though these nations you are about to drive out listen to fortune-tellers and diviners, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do this. 15 "The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. 16 This is what you requested from the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, 'Let us not continue to hear the voice of the Lord our God or see this great fire any longer, so that we will not die!' 17 Then the Lord said to me, 'They have spoken well. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. 19 I will hold accountable whoever does not listen to My words that he speaks in My name. 20 But the prophet who dares to speak in My name a message I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods-that prophet must die.' 21 You may say to yourself, 'How can we recognize a message the Lord has not spoken?' 22 When a prophet speaks in the Lord's name, and the message does not come true or is not fulfilled, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.

Cities of Refuge

1 "When the Lord your God annihilates the nations whose land He is giving you, so that you drive them out and live in their cities and houses, 2 you are to set apart three cities for yourselves within the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess. 3 You are to determine the distances and divide the land the Lord your God is granting you as an inheritance into three regions, so that anyone who commits manslaughter can flee to these cities. 4 "Here is the law concerning a case of someone who kills a person and flees there to save his life, having killed his neighbor accidentally without previously hating him: 5 If he goes into the forest with his neighbor to cut timber, and his hand swings the ax to chop down a tree, but the blade flies off the handle and strikes his neighbor so that he dies, that person may flee to one of these cities and live. 6 Otherwise, the avenger of blood in the heat of his anger might pursue the one who committed manslaughter, overtake him because the distance is great, and strike him dead. Yet he did not deserve to die, since he did not previously hate his neighbor. 7 This is why I am commanding you to set apart three cities for yourselves. 8 If the Lord your God enlarges your territory as He swore to your fathers, and gives you all the land He promised to give them- 9 provided you keep every one of these commands I am giving you today and follow them, loving the Lord your God and walking in His ways at all times-you are to add three more cities to these three. 10 In this way, innocent blood will not be shed, and you will not become guilty of bloodshed in the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. 11 But if someone hates his neighbor, lies in ambush for him, attacks him, and strikes him fatally, and flees to one of these cities, 12 the elders of his city must send [for him], take him from there, and hand him over to the avenger of blood and he will die. 13 You must not look on him with pity but purge from Israel the guilt of shedding innocent blood, and you will prosper.

Boundary Markers

14 "You must not move your neighbor's boundary marker, established at the start in the inheritance you will receive in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess.

Witnesses in Court

15 "One witness cannot establish any wrongdoing or sin against a person, whatever that person has done. A fact must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 16 "If a malicious witness testifies against someone accusing him of a crime, 17 the two people in the dispute must stand in the presence of the Lord before the priests and judges in authority at the time. 18 The judges are to make a careful investigation, and if the witness turns out to be a liar who has falsely accused his brother, 19 you must do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from you. 20 Then everyone else will hear and be afraid, and they will never again do anything evil like this among you. 21 You must not show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, and foot for foot.

Rules for War

1 "When you go out to war against your enemies and see horses, chariots, and an army larger than yours, do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you. 2 When you are about to engage in battle, the priest is to come forward and address the army. 3 He is to say to them: 'Listen, Israel: Today you are about to engage in battle with your enemies. Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, alarmed, or terrified because of them. 4 For the Lord your God is the One who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.' 5 "The officers are to address the army, 'Has any man built a new house and not dedicated it? Let him leave and return home. Otherwise, he may die in battle and another man dedicate it. 6 Has any man planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy its fruit? Let him leave and return home. Otherwise he may die in battle and another man enjoy its fruit. 7 Has any man become engaged to a woman and not married her? Let him leave and return home. Otherwise he may die in battle and another man marry her.' 8 The officers will continue to address the army and say, 'Is there any man who is afraid or fainthearted? Let him leave and return home, so that his brothers' hearts won't melt like his own.' 9 When the officers have finished addressing the army, they will appoint military commanders to lead it. 10 "When you approach a city to fight against it, you must make an offer of peace. 11 If it accepts your offer of peace and opens [its gates] to you, all the people found in it will become forced laborers for you and serve you. 12 However, if it does not make peace with you but wages war against you, lay siege to it. 13 When the Lord your God hands it over to you, you must strike down all its males with the sword. 14 But you may take the women, children, animals, and whatever else is in the city-all its spoil-as plunder. You may enjoy the spoil of your enemies that the Lord your God has given you. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are far away from you and are not among the cities of these nations. 16 However, you must not let any living thing survive among the cities of these people the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. 17 You must completely destroy them-the Hittite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite-as the Lord your God has commanded you, 18 so that they won't teach you to do all the detestable things they do for their gods, and you sin against the Lord your God. 19 "When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it in order to capture it, you must not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can get food from them. You must not cut them down. Are trees of the field human, to come under siege by you? 20 But you may destroy the trees that you know do not produce food. You may cut them down to build siege works against the city that is waging war with you, until it falls.

Unsolved Murders

1 "If a murder victim is found lying in a field in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed him, 2 your elders and judges must come out and measure [the distance] from the victim to the nearby cities. 3 The elders of the city nearest to the victim are to get a cow that has not been yoked or used for work. 4 The elders of that city will bring the cow down to a continually flowing stream, to a place not tilled or sown, and they will break the cow's neck there by the stream. 5 Then the priests, the sons of Levi, will come forward, for the Lord your God has chosen them to serve Him and pronounce blessings in the Lord's name, and they are to give a ruling in every dispute and [case of] assault. 6 All the elders of the city nearest to the victim will wash their hands by the stream over the heifer whose neck has been broken. 7 They will declare, 'Our hands did not shed this blood; our eyes did not see [it]. 8 Lord, forgive Your people Israel You redeemed, and do not hold the shedding of innocent blood against them.' Then they will be absolved of responsibility for bloodshed. 9 You must purge from yourselves the guilt of shedding innocent blood, for you will be doing what is right in the Lord's sight.

Fair Treatment of Captured Women

10 "When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God hands them over to you and you take some of them prisoner, and 11 if you see a beautiful woman among the captives, desire her, and want to take her as your wife, 12 you are to bring her into your house. She must shave her head, trim her nails, 13 remove the clothes she was wearing when she was taken prisoner, live in your house, and mourn for her father and mother a full month. After that, you may have sexual relations with her and be her husband, and she will be your wife. 14 Then if you are not satisfied with her, you are to let her go where she wants, but you must not sell her for money or treat her as merchandise, because you have humiliated her.

The Right of the Firstborn

15 "If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved bear him sons, and if the unloved wife has the firstborn son, 16 when that man gives what he has to his sons as an inheritance, he is not to show favoritism to the son of the loved [wife] as his firstborn over the firstborn of the unloved wife. 17 He must acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved wife, by giving him a double portion of everything that belongs to him, for he is the firstfruits of his virility; he has the rights of the firstborn.

A Rebellious Son

18 "If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father or mother and doesn't listen to them even after they discipline him, 19 his father and mother must take hold of him and bring him to the elders of his city, to the gate of his hometown. 20 They will say to the elders of his city, 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he doesn't obey us. He's a glutton and a drunkard.' 21 Then all the men of his city will stone him to death. You must purge the evil from you, and all Israel will hear and be afraid.

Display of Executed People

22 "If anyone is found guilty of an offense deserving the death penalty and is executed, and you hang his body on a tree, 23 you are not to leave his corpse on the tree overnight but are to bury him that day, for anyone hung [on a tree] is under God's curse. You must not defile the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.

Caring for Your Brother's Property

1 "If you see your brother's ox or sheep straying, you must not ignore it; make sure you return it to your brother. 2 If your brother does not live near you or you don't know him, you are to bring the animal to your home to remain with you until your brother comes looking for it; then you can return it to him. 3 Do the same for his donkey, his garment, or anything your brother has lost and you have found. You must not ignore [it]. 4 If you see your brother's donkey or ox fallen down on the road, you must not ignore it; you must help him lift it up.

Preserving Natural Distinctions

5 "A woman is not to wear male clothing, and a man is not to put on a woman's garment, for everyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord your God. 6 "If you come across a bird's nest with chicks or eggs, either in a tree or on the ground along the road, and the mother is sitting on the chicks or eggs, you must not take the mother along with the young. 7 You may take the young for yourself, but be sure to let the mother go free, so that you may prosper and live long. 8 If you build a new house, make a railing around your roof, so that you don't bring bloodguilt on your house if someone falls from it. 9 Do not plant your vineyard with two types of seed; otherwise, the entire harvest, both the crop you plant and the produce of the vineyard, will be defiled. 10 Do not plow with an ox and a donkey together. 11 Do not wear clothes made of both wool and linen. 12 Make tassels on the four corners of the outer garment you wear.

Violations of Proper Sexual Conduct

13 "If a man marries a woman, has sexual relations with her, and comes to hate her, 14 and accuses [her] of shameful conduct, and gives her a bad name, saying, 'I married this woman and was intimate with her, but I didn't find [any] evidence of her virginity,' 15 the young woman's father and mother will take the evidence of her virginity and bring [it] to the city elders at the gate. 16 The young woman's father will say to the elders, 'I gave my daughter to this man as a wife, but he hates her. 17 He has accused her of shameful conduct, saying: 'I didn't find [any] evidence of your daughter's virginity, but here is the evidence of my daughter's virginity.' They will spread out the cloth before the city elders. 18 Then the elders of that city will take the man and punish him. 19 They will also fine him 100 silver [shekels] and give [them] to the young woman's father, because that man gave an Israelite virgin a bad name. She will remain his wife; he cannot divorce her as long as he lives. 20 But if this accusation is true and no evidence of the young woman's virginity is found, 21 they will bring the woman to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city will stone her to death. For she has committed an outrage in Israel by being promiscuous in her father's house. You must purge the evil from you. 22 "If a man is discovered having sexual relations with [another] man's wife, both the man who had sex with the woman and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel. 23 If there is a young woman who is a virgin engaged to a man, and [another] man encounters her in the city and has sex with her, 24 you must take the two of them out to the gate of that city and stone them to death-the young woman because she did not cry out in the city and the man because he has violated his neighbor's fiancée. You must purge the evil from you. 25 But if the man encounters the engaged woman in the open country, and he seizes and rapes her, only the man who raped her must die. 26 Do nothing to the young woman, because she is not guilty of an offense deserving death. This case is just like one in which a man attacks his neighbor and murders him. 27 When he found her in the field, the engaged woman cried out, but there was no one to rescue her. 28 If a man encounters a young woman, a virgin who is not engaged, takes hold of her and rapes her, and they are discovered, 29 the man who raped her must give the young woman's father 50 silver [shekels], and she must become his wife because he violated her. He cannot divorce her as long as he lives. 30 "A man is not to marry his father's wife; he must not violate his father's marriage bed.

Exclusion and Inclusion

1 "No man whose [testicles] have been crushed or whose penis has been cut off may enter the Lord's assembly. 2 No one of illegitimate birth may enter the Lord's assembly; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, may enter the Lord's assembly. 3 No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the Lord's assembly; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, may ever enter the Lord's assembly. 4 This is because they did not meet you with food and water on the journey after you came out of Egypt, and because Balaam son of Beor from Pethor in Aram-naharaim was hired to curse you.#fn 5 Yet the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam, but He turned the curse into a blessing for you because the Lord your God loves you. 6 Never seek peace or friendship with them as long as you live. 7 Do not despise an Edomite, because he is your brother. Do not despise an Egyptian, because you were a foreign resident in his land. 8 The children born to them in the third generation may enter the Lord's assembly.

Cleanliness of the Camp

9 "When you are encamped against your enemies, be careful to avoid anything offensive. 10 If there is a man among you who is unclean because of a bodily emission during the night, he must go outside the camp; he may not come anywhere inside the camp. 11 When evening approaches, he must wash with water, and when the sun sets he may come inside the camp. 12 You must have a place outside the camp and go there [to relieve yourself]. 13 You must have a digging tool in your equipment; when you relieve yourself, dig a hole with it and cover up your excrement. 14 For the Lord your God walks throughout your camp to protect you and deliver your enemies to you; so your encampments must be holy. He must not see anything improper among you or He will turn away from you.

Fugitive Slaves

15 "Do not return a slave to his master when he has escaped from his master to you. 16 Let him live among you wherever he wants within your gates. Do not mistreat him.

Cult Prostitution Forbidden

17 "No Israelite woman is to be a cult prostitute, and no Israelite man is to be a cult prostitute. 18 Do not bring a female prostitute's wages or a male prostitute's earnings into the house of the Lord your God to fulfill any vow, because both are detestable to the Lord your God.

Interest on Loans

19 "Do not charge your brother interest on money, food, or anything that can earn interest 20 You may charge a foreigner interest, but you must not charge your brother interest, so that the Lord your God may bless you in everything you do in the land you are entering to possess.

Keeping Vows

21 "If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to keep it, because He will require it of you, and it will be counted against you as sin 22 But if you refrain from making a vow, it will not be counted against you as sin. 23 Be careful to do whatever comes from your lips, because you have freely vowed what you promised to the Lord your God.

Neighbor's Crops

24 "When you enter your neighbor's vineyard, you may eat as many grapes as you want until you are full, but you must not put [any] in your container. 25 When you enter your neighbor's standing grain, you may pluck heads of grain with your hand, but you must not put a sickle to your neighbor's grain.

Marriage and Divorce Laws

1 "If a man marries a woman, but she becomes displeasing to him because he finds something improper about her, he may write her a divorce certificate, hand it to her, and send her away from his house. 2 If after leaving his house she goes and becomes another man's wife, 3 and the second man hates her, writes her a divorce certificate, hands it to her, and sends her away from his house or if he dies, 4 the first husband who sent her away may not marry her again after she has been defiled, because that would be detestable to the Lord. You must not bring guilt on the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. 5 "When a man takes a bride, he must not go out with the army or be liable for any duty. He is free [to stay] at home for one year, so that he can bring joy to the wife he has married.

Safeguarding Life

6 "Do not take a pair of millstones or an upper millstone as security for a debt, because that is like taking a life as security. 7 "If a man is discovered kidnapping one of his Israelite brothers, whether he treats him as a slave or sells him, the kidnapper must die. You must purge the evil from you. 8 "Be careful in a case of infectious skin disease, following carefully everything the Levitical priests instruct you to do. Be careful to do as I have commanded them. 9 Remember what the Lord your God did to Miriam on the journey after you left Egypt.

Consideration for People in Need

10 "When you make a loan of any kind to your neighbor, do not enter his house to collect what he offers as security. 11 You must stand outside while the man you are making the loan to brings the security out to you. 12 If he is a poor man, you must not sleep in [the garment] he has given as security. 13 Be sure to return it to him at sunset. Then he will sleep in it and bless you, and this will be counted as righteousness to you before the Lord your God. 14 "Do not oppress a hired hand who is poor and needy, whether one of your brothers or one of the foreigners residing within a town in your land. 15 You are to pay him his wages each day before the sun sets, because he is poor and depends on them. Otherwise he will cry out to the Lord against you, and you will be held guilty. 16 "Fathers are not to be put to death for [their] children or children for [their] fathers; each person will be put to death for his own sin. 17 Do not deny justice to a foreign resident [or] fatherless child, and do not take a widow's garment as security. 18 Remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. Therefore I am commanding you to do this. 19 "When you reap the harvest in your field, and you forget a sheaf in the field, do not go back to get it. It is to be left for the foreign resident, the fatherless, and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 20 When you knock down the fruit from your olive tree, you must not go over the branches again. What remains will be for the foreign resident, the fatherless, and the widow. 21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you must not glean what is left. What remains will be for the foreign resident, the fatherless, and the widow. 22 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt. Therefore I am commanding you to do this.

Fairness and Mercy

1 "If there is a dispute between men, they are to go to court, and the judges will hear their case. They will clear the innocent and condemn the guilty. 2 If the guilty party deserves to be flogged, the judge will make him lie down and be flogged in his presence with the number [of lashes] appropriate for his crime. 3 He may be flogged with 40 lashes, but no more. Otherwise, if he is flogged with more lashes than these, your brother will be degraded in your sight. 4 "Do not muzzle an ox while it treads out grain.

Preserving the Family Line

5 "When brothers live on the same property and one of them dies without a son, the wife of the dead man may not marry a stranger outside [the family]. Her brother-in-law is to take her as his wife, have sexual relations with her, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law for her. 6 The first son she bears will carry on the name of the dead brother, so his name will not be blotted out from Israel. 7 But if the man doesn't want to marry his sister-in-law, she must go to the elders at the [city] gate and say, 'My brother-in-law refuses to preserve his brother's name in Israel. He isn't willing to perform the duty of a brother-in-law for me.' 8 The elders of his city will summon him and speak with him. If he persists and says, 'I don't want to marry her,' 9 then his sister-in-law will go up to him in the sight of the elders, remove his sandal from his foot, and spit in his face. Then she will declare, 'This is what is done to a man who will not build up his brother's house.' 10 And his [family] name in Israel will be called 'The house of the man whose sandal was removed.' 11 "If two men are fighting with each other, and the wife of one steps in to rescue her husband from the one striking him, and she puts out her hand and grabs his genitals, 12 you are to cut off her hand. You must not show pity.

Honest Weights and Measures

13 "You must not have two different weights in your bag, one heavy and one light. 14 You must not have two differing dry measures in your house, a larger and a smaller. 15 You must have a full and honest weight, a full and honest dry measure, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 16 For everyone who does such things and acts unfairly is detestable to the Lord your God.

Revenge on the Amalekites

17 "Remember what the Amalekites did to you on the journey after you left Egypt. 18 They met you along the way and attacked all your stragglers from behind when you were tired and weary. They did not fear God. 19 When the Lord your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget.

Returning to the Lord

1 "When all these things happen to you-the blessings and curses I have set before you-and you come to your senses [while you are] in all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, 2 and you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and all your soul by doing everything I am giving you today, 3 then He will restore your fortunes, have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. 4 Even if your exiles are at the ends of the earth, He will gather you and bring you back from there. 5 The Lord your God will bring you into the land your fathers possessed, and you will take possession of it. He will cause you to prosper and multiply you more than [He did] your fathers. 6 The Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the hearts of your descendants, and you will love Him with all your heart and all your soul, so that you will live. 7 The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. 8 Then you will again obey Him and follow all His commands I am giving you today. 9 The Lord your God will make you prosper abundantly in all the work of your hands with children, the offspring of your livestock, and your soil's produce. Indeed, the Lord will again delight in your prosperity, as He delighted in that of your fathers, 10 when you obey the Lord your God by keeping His commands and statutes that are written in this book of the law and return to Him with all your heart and all your soul.

Choose Life

11 "This command that I give you today is certainly not too difficult or beyond your reach. 12 It is not in heaven, so that you have to ask, 'Who will go up to heaven, get it for us, and proclaim it to us so that we may follow it?' 13 And it is not across the sea, so that you have to ask, 'Who will cross the sea, get it for us, and proclaim it to us so that we may follow it?' 14 But the message is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, so that you may follow it. 15 See, today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and adversity. 16 For I am commanding you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands, statutes, and ordinances, so that you may live and multiply, and the Lord your God may bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you do not listen and you are led astray to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I tell you today that you will certainly perish and will not live long in the land you are entering to possess across the Jordan. 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, 20 love the Lord your God, obey Him, and remain faithful to Him. For He is your life, and He will prolong your life in the land the Lord swore to give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
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