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Deuteronomy 17 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 And don't sacrifice to God, your God, an ox or sheep that is defective or has anything at all wrong with it. That's an abomination, an insult to God, your God. 1 Do not sacrifice to the LORD your God an ox or a sheep that has any defect or flaw in it, for that would be detestable to him.
2 If you find anyone within the towns that God, your God, is giving you doing what is wrong in God's eyes, breaking his covenant 2 If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the LORD gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God in violation of his covenant,
3 by going off to worship other gods, bowing down to them - the sun, say, or the moon, or any rebel sky-gods - 3 and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars of the sky,
4 look at the evidence and investigate carefully. If you find that it is true, that, in fact, an abomination has been committed in Israel, 4 and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel,
5 then you are to take the man or woman who did this evil thing outside your city gates and stone the man or the woman. Hurl stones at the person until dead. 5 take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death.
6 But only on the testimony of two or three witnesses may a person be put to death. No one may be put to death on the testimony of one witness. 6 On the testimony of two or three witnesses a man shall be put to death, but no one shall be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.
7 The witnesses must throw the first stones in the execution, then the rest of the community joins in. You have to purge the evil from your community. 7 The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. You must purge the evil from among you.
8 When matters of justice come up that are too much for you - hard cases regarding homicides, legal disputes, fights - take them up to the central place of worship that God, your God, has designated. 8 If cases come before your courts that are too difficult for you to judge--whether bloodshed, lawsuits or assaults--take them to the place the LORD your God will choose.
9 Bring them to the Levitical priests and the judge who is in office at the time. Consult them and they will hand down the decision for you. 9 Go to the priests, who are Levites, and to the judge who is in office at that time. Inquire of them and they will give you the verdict.
10 Then carry out their verdict at the place designated by God, your God. Do what they tell you, in exactly the way they tell you. 10 You must act according to the decisions they give you at the place the LORD will choose. Be careful to do everything they direct you to do.
11 Follow their instructions precisely: Don't leave out anything; don't add anything. 11 Act according to the law they teach you and the decisions they give you. Do not turn aside from what they tell you, to the right or to the left.
12 Anyone who presumes to override or twist the decision handed down by the priest or judge who was acting in the Presence of God, your God, is as good as dead - root him out, rid Israel of the evil. 12 The man who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the LORD your God must be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel.
13 Everyone will take notice and be impressed. That will put an end to presumptuous behavior. 13 All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not be contemptuous again.
14 When you enter the land that God, your God, is giving you and take it over and settle down, and then say, "I'm going to get me a king, a king like all the nations around me," 14 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, "Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,"
15 make sure you get yourself a king whom God, your God, chooses. Choose your king from among your kinsmen; don't take a foreigner - only a kinsman. 15 be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite.
16 And make sure he doesn't build up a war machine, amassing military horses and chariots. He must not send people to Egypt to get more horses, because God told you, "You'll never go back there again!" 16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, "You are not to go back that way again."
17 And make sure he doesn't build up a harem, collecting wives who will divert him from the straight and narrow. And make sure he doesn't pile up a lot of silver and gold. 17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.
18 This is what must be done: When he sits down on the throne of his kingdom, the first thing he must do is make himself a copy of this Revelation on a scroll, copied under the supervision of the Levitical priests. 18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites.
19 That scroll is to remain at his side at all times; he is to study it every day so that he may learn what it means to fear his God, living in reverent obedience before these rules and regulations by following them. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees
20 He must not become proud and arrogant, changing the commands at whim to suit himself or making up his own versions. If he reads and learns, he will have a long reign as king in Israel, he and his sons. 20 and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.