Deuteronomy 17 (New Living Translation)

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1 "Never sacrifice a sick or defective ox or sheep to the LORD your God, for he detests such gifts." 2 "Suppose a man or woman among you, in one of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, has done evil in the sight of the LORD your God and has violated the covenant 3 by serving other gods or by worshiping the sun, the moon, or any of the forces of heaven, which I have strictly forbidden. 4 When you hear about it, investigate the matter thoroughly. If it is true that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, 5 then that man or woman must be taken to the gates of the town and stoned to death. 6 But never put a person to death on the testimony of only one witness. There must always be at least two or three witnesses. 7 The witnesses must throw the first stones, and then all the people will join in. In this way, you will purge all evil from among you." 8 "Suppose a case arises in a local court that is too hard for you to decide -- for instance, whether someone is guilty of murder or only of manslaughter, or a difficult lawsuit, or a case involving different kinds of assault. Take such cases to the place the LORD your God will choose, 9 where the Levitical priests and the judge on duty will hear the case and decide what to do. 10 The decision they make at the place the LORD chooses will always stand. You must do exactly what they say. 11 After they have interpreted the law and reached a verdict, the sentence they impose must be fully executed; do not modify it in any way. 12 Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. 13 Then everyone will hear about it and be afraid to act so arrogantly." 14 "You will soon arrive in the land the LORD your God is giving you, and you will conquer it and settle there. Then you may begin to think, 'We ought to have a king like the other nations around us.' 15 If this happens, be sure that you select as king the man the LORD your God chooses. You must appoint a fellow Israelite, not a foreigner. 16 The king must not build up a large stable of horses for himself, and he must never send his people to Egypt to buy horses there, for the LORD has told you, 'You must never return to Egypt.' 17 The king must not take many wives for himself, because they will lead him away from the LORD. And he must not accumulate vast amounts of wealth in silver and gold for himself." 18 "When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy these laws on a scroll for himself in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 He must always keep this copy of the law with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the LORD his God by obeying all the terms of this law. 20 This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. This will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel."
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