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Deuteronomy 21 (Lexham English Bible)

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1 "If someone slain is found in the land that Yahweh your God [is] giving to you to take possession of it [and] [is] lying in the field, [and] it is not known who {killed him},a 2 then your elders and your judges shall go out and shall measure [the distance] to the cities that [are] around the slain one. 3 {And then}b the nearest city to the slain one, the elders of that city shall take a heifer of the herd that has not been worked with [in the field], that has not pulled a yoke, 4 and the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a {wadi that flows with water all year}c and [that] has not been plowed and has not been sown; [then] {there they shall break the neck of the heifer in the wadi}.d 5 Then the priests, the descendantse of Levi, shall come near, for Yahweh your God has chosen them to bless in the name of Yahweh, and every legal dispute and every [case of] assault will be {subject to their ruling}.f 6 And all of the elders of that city nearest to the slain person shall wash their hands over the heifer [with] the broken neck in the wadi.g 7 And they shall declare, and they shall say, 'Our hands did not shed this blood, and our eyes did not see [what was done]. 8 Forgive your people, Israel, whom you redeemed, Yahweh, and [do] not {allow}h the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel, and let them be forgiven [with regard to] blood.' 9 And [so] you shall purge the innocent blood from your midst, because you must do the right thing in the eyes of Yahweh. 10 "When you go out for battle against your enemies, and Yahweh your God gives them into your hand, and you lead the captivesi away, 11 and you see among the captivesj a woman beautiful in appearance, and you become attached to her and you want to take her as [a] wife, 12 then you shall bring her into your household, and she shall shave her head, and she shall trim her nails. 13 And she shall remove the clothing of her captivity from her, and she shall remain in your house, and she shall mourn her father and her mother {a full month},k and after this {you may have sex with her},l and you may marry her, and she may {become your wife}.m 14 And then if you do not take delight in her, then you shall let her go {to do whatever she wants},n but you shall not treat her as a slave, since you have dishonoredo her. 15 "If a man has two wives, [and] the one [is] loved and the [other] one [is] disliked and the one loved and the one that is disliked have borne for him sons, if it happens [that] the firstborn son {belongs to the one that is disliked},p 16 [nevertheless] {it will be the case that}q on the day of bestowing his inheritance upon his sons, he will not be allowed to treat as [the] firstborn son the son of the beloved [wife] {in preference to}r the son of the disliked [wife], [who is] the firstborn [son]. 17 But he shall acknowledge the firstborn son of the disliked [wife] {by giving}s him a double portion of {all that he has},t for he [is] the firstfruit of his vigor;u to him [is] the legal claim of the birthright.v 18 "{If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son}w [who] {does not listen to}x the voice of his father and to the voice of his mother, and they discipline him, and he does not obeyy them, 19 then his father and his mother shall take hold of him, and they shall bring him out to the elders of his city and to the gate of his {town},z 20 and they shall say to the elders of his city, 'This our son [is] stubborn and rebellious; {he does not obey us},aa [and] he is a glutton and a drunkard.' 21 Then all the men of his city shall stone him with stones and let him die; and so you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all of Israel will hear, and they will fear. 22 "And {if a man commits a sin punishable by death},bb and [so] he is put to death and you hang him on a tree, 23 his dead body shall not hang on the tree, but certainly you shall bury him on that day, for cursed by God [is] one that is [being] hung; so you shall not defile your landcc that Yahweh your God [is] giving to you [as an] inheritance."
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