When men have a legal dispute, let them go to court; the judges will decide between them, declaring one innocent and the other guilty.
If the guilty one deserves punishment, the judge will have him prostrate himself before him and lashed as many times as his crime deserves,
but not more than forty. If you hit him more than forty times, you will degrade him to something less than human.
Don't muzzle an ox while it is threshing.
When brothers are living together and one of them dies without having had a son, the widow of the dead brother shall not marry a stranger from outside the family; her husband's brother is to come to her and marry her and do the brother-in-law's duty by her.
The first son that she bears shall be named after her dead husband so his name won't die out in Israel.
But if the brother doesn't want to marry his sister-in-law, she is to go to the leaders at the city gate and say, "My brother-in-law refuses to keep his brother's name alive in Israel; he won't agree to do the brother-in-law's duty by me."
Then the leaders will call for the brother and confront him. If he stands there defiant and says, "I don't want her,"
his sister-in-law is to pull his sandal off his foot, spit in his face, and say, "This is what happens to the man who refuses to build up the family of his brother
- his name in Israel will be Family-No-Sandal."
When two men are in a fight and the wife of the one man, trying to rescue her husband, grabs the genitals of the man hitting him,
you are to cut off her hand. Show no pity.
Don't carry around with you two weights, one heavy and the other light,
and don't keep two measures at hand, one large and the other small.
Use only one weight, a true and honest weight, and one measure, a true and honest measure, so that you will live a long time on the land that God, your God, is giving you.
Dishonest weights and measures are an abomination to God, your God - all this corruption in business deals!
Don't forget what Amalek did to you on the road after you left Egypt,
how he attacked you when you were tired, barely able to put one foot in front of another, mercilessly cut off your stragglers, and had no regard for God.
When God, your God, gives you rest from all the enemies that surround you in the inheritance-land God, your God, is giving you to possess, you are to wipe the name of Amalek from off the Earth. Don't forget!
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)