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Deuteronomy 21 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 If a dead body is found on the ground, this ground that God, your God, has given you, lying out in the open, and no one knows who killed him, 1 If a man is found slain, 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 leaders and judges are to go out and measure the distance from the body to the nearest cities. 2 your elders and judges shall go out and measure the distance from the body to the neighboring towns.
3 The leaders and judges of the city that is nearest the corpse will then take a heifer that has never been used for work, never had a yoke on it. 3 Then the elders of the town nearest the body shall take a heifer that has never been worked and has never worn a yoke
4 The leaders will take the heifer to a valley with a stream, a valley that has never been plowed or planted, and there break the neck of the heifer. 4 and lead her down to a valley that has not been plowed or planted and where there is a flowing stream. There in the valley they are to break the heifer's neck.
5 The Levitical priests will then step up. God has chosen them to serve him in these matters by settling legal disputes and violent crimes and by pronouncing blessings in God's name. 5 The priests, the sons of Levi, shall step forward, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister and to pronounce blessings in the name of the LORD and to decide all cases of dispute and assault.
6 Finally, all the leaders of that town that is nearest the body will wash their hands over the heifer that had its neck broken at the stream 6 Then all the elders of the town nearest the body shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley,
7 and say, "We didn't kill this man and we didn't see who did it. 7 and they shall declare: "Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it done.
8 Purify your people Israel whom you redeemed, O God. Clear your people Israel from any guilt in this murder." 8 Accept this atonement for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, O LORD, and do not hold your people guilty of the blood of an innocent man." And the bloodshed will be atoned for.
9 By following these procedures you will have absolved yourselves of any part in the murder because you will have done what is right in God's sight. 9 So you will purge from yourselves the guilt of shedding innocent blood, since you have done what is right in the eyes of the LORD.
10 When you go to war against your enemies and God, your God, gives you victory and you take prisoners, 10 When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives,
11 and then you notice among the prisoners of war a good-looking woman whom you find attractive and would like to marry, 11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife.
12 this is what you do: Take her home; have her trim her hair, cut her nails, 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails
13 and discard the clothes she was wearing when captured. She is then to stay in your home for a full month, mourning her father and mother. Then you may go to bed with her as husband and wife. 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.
14 If it turns out you don't like her, you must let her go and live wherever she wishes. But you can't sell her or use her as a slave since you've humiliated her. 14 If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.
15 When a man has two wives, one loved and the other hated, and they both give him sons, but the firstborn is from the hated wife, 15 If a man has two wives, and he loves one but not the other, and both bear him sons but the firstborn is the son of the wife he does not love,
16 at the time he divides the inheritance with his sons he must not treat the son of the loved wife as the firstborn, cutting out the son of the hated wife, who is the actual firstborn. 16 when he wills his property to his sons, he must not give the rights of the firstborn to the son of the wife he loves in preference to his actual firstborn, the son of the wife he does not love.
17 No, he must acknowledge the inheritance rights of the real firstborn, the son of the hated wife, by giving him a double share of the inheritance: that son is the first proof of his virility; the rights of the firstborn belong to him. 17 He must acknowledge the son of his unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double share of all he has. That son is the first sign of his father's strength. The right of the firstborn belongs to him.
18 When a man has a stubborn son, a real rebel who won't do a thing his mother and father tell him, and even though they discipline him he still won't obey, 18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him,
19 his father and mother shall forcibly bring him before the leaders at the city gate 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town.
20 and say to the city fathers, "This son of ours is a stubborn rebel; he won't listen to a thing we say. He's a glutton and a drunk." 20 They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard."
21 Then all the men of the town are to throw rocks at him until he's dead. You will have purged the evil pollution from among you. All Israel will hear what's happened and be in awe. 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.
22 When a man has committed a capital crime, been given the death sentence, executed and hung from a tree, 22 If a man guilty of a capital offense is put to death and his body is hung on a tree,
23 don't leave his dead body hanging overnight from the tree. Give him a decent burial that same day so that you don't desecrate your God-given land - a hanged man is an insult to God. 23 you must not leave his body on the tree overnight. Be sure to bury him that same day, because anyone who is hung on a tree is under God's curse. You must not desecrate the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.