Deuteronomy 19; Deuteronomy 20; Deuteronomy 21; Mark 13:21-37

1 Once the LORD your God has eliminated those nations—whose land the LORD your God is giving you—and you displace them, settling into their cities and their houses, 2 you must designate three cities for your use in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess. 3 Mark out the roads to them and divide the regions of the land the LORD your God is apportioning to you into three parts. These cities are the places to which a person who has killed can escape. 4 Here is the rule concerning a person who killed someone and is permitted to escape to one of these cities and live: If it is someone who killed his neighbor accidentally, without having hated that person previously; 5 or if someone goes into the forest with a neighbor to chop some wood, and while swinging an ax to cut down the tree, the axhead flies off its handle and hits the neighbor, who subsequently dies—these kinds of killers may escape to one of these cities and live. 6 Otherwise, the blood avenger will chase after the killer out of rage and—especially if the distance to one of these cities is too far—might catch and kill him, even though a death sentence was not in order because the killer didn't have prior malice toward the other. 7 This is why I am commanding you as follows: Designate three cities for your use. 8 Now if the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he swore to your ancestors—and he will give you all the land he swore to give to them 9 as long as you keep all this commandment that I am giving you right now by doing it, by loving the LORD your God, and by always walking in his ways—you can add three more cities for your use along with the first three. 10 Innocent blood must not be spilled in the land the LORD your God is giving to you as an inheritance, or it will be bloodshed that will be required of you. 11 But if someone does hate a neighbor and ambushes him, rising up against him and attacking him so he dies, and then escapes to one of these cities, 12 elders from the killer's hometown will send word, and the killer will be sent back from there. They will then hand him over to the blood avenger, and he will be executed. 13 Show no mercy to such killers. Remove innocent bloodshed from Israel so that things go well for you. 14 Now in the land the LORD your God is giving you, in your allotted property that you will receive there, you must not tamper with your neighbor's property line, which has been previously established. 15 A solitary witness against someone in any crime, wrongdoing, or in any sort of misdeed that might be done is not sufficient. The decision must stand by two or three witnesses. 16 Now if a spiteful witness comes forward against someone, so as to testify against them falsely, 17 the two persons who have a legal suit must stand before the LORD, before the priests, and before the judges that are in office at that time. 18 The judges will look into the situation very carefully. If it turns out that the witness is a liar—that the witness has given false testimony against his fellow Israelite— 19 then you must do to him what he had planned to do to his fellow Israelite. Remove such evil from your community! 20 The rest of the people will hear about this and be afraid. They won't do that sort of evil thing among you again. 21 Show no mercy on this point: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
1 When you march out to battle your enemies and you see horses, chariots, and a fighting force larger than yours, don't be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, the one who brought you up from Egypt, is with you. 2 As you advance toward the war, the priest will come forward and will address the troops. 3 He will say to them: "Listen, Israel: Right now you are advancing to wage war against your enemies. Don't be discouraged! Don't be afraid! Don't panic! Don't shake in fear on account of them, 4 because the LORD your God is going with you to fight your enemies for you and to save you." 5 The officials will also say to the troops: "Is there anyone here who has just built a new house but hasn't yet dedicated it? He can leave and go back to his house; otherwise, he might die in the war and someone else would dedicate the house. 6 Or is there anyone here who has planted a vineyard but hasn't yet put it to good use? He can leave and go back to his house; otherwise, he might die in the battle and someone else would use the vineyard. 7 Or is there anyone here who is engaged but not yet married? He may leave and go back to his house; otherwise, he might die in the battle and someone else would marry his fiancée." 8 The officials will continue to address the troops, stating: "Is there anyone here who is afraid and discouraged? He can leave and go back to his house; otherwise, his comrades might lose courage just as he has." 9 Once the officials have completed their speech to the troops, the army commanders will assume leadership of the forces. 10 When you approach a city to fight against it, you should first extend peaceful terms to it. 11 If the city responds with peaceful terms and surrenders to you, then all the people in the city will serve you as forced laborers. 12 However, if the city does not negotiate peacefully with you but makes war against you, you may attack it. 13 The LORD your God will hand it over to you; you must kill all the city's males with the sword. 14 However, you can take for yourselves the women, the children, the animals, and all that is in the city—all its plunder. You can then enjoy your enemies' plunder, which the LORD your God has given you. 15 That's what you must do to all the cities that are located far away from you—specifically, those cities that don't belong to these nations here. 16 But in the case of any of the cities of these peoples—the ones the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance—you must not spare any living thing. 17 Instead, you must place these under the ban: Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—just as the LORD your God commanded you. 18 Then they can't teach you to do all the detestable things they did for their gods, with the result that you end up sinning against the LORD your God. 19 Now if you have been attacking a city for some time, fighting against it and trying to conquer it, don't destroy its trees by cutting them down with axes. You can eat from those trees; don't cut them down! Do you think a tree of the field is some sort of warrior to be attacked by you in battle? 20 That said, if you know that a tree is not a food-producing tree, you are allowed to destroy it, cutting it down and using it in the siege against the city that is fighting against you until it falls.
1 If a corpse is found on the ground the LORD your God is giving you to possess, lying in a field, and the identity of the killer is unknown, 2 your elders and judges must come out and measure the distances to the cities nearest the body. 3 Once it is determined which city is closest to the dead body, its elders must take a young cow that hasn't been used or yet pulled a plow, 4 and those elders will take the cow down to a ravine with a flowing stream—one that has not been plowed or planted—and they will break the cow's neck right there in the river valley. 5 Then the priests, the descendants of Levi, will step forward because the LORD your God selected them to minister for him and to bless in the LORD's name, and because every legal dispute and case of assault is decided by them. 6 All the elders of the city closest to the corpse will wash their hands over the cow whose neck was broken in the river valley. 7 They will then solemnly state: "Our hands did not shed this blood. Our eyes did not see it happen. 8 LORD, please forgive your people Israel, whom you saved. Don't put the guilt of innocent bloodshed on your people Israel." Then the bloodguilt will be forgiven them. 9 But you must remove innocent bloodshed from your community; do only what is right in the LORD's eyes. 10 When you wage war against your enemies and the LORD hands them over to you and you take prisoners, 11 if you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you fall in love with her and take her as your wife, 12 bringing her into your home, she must shave her head, cut her nails, 13 remove her prisoner's clothing, and live in your house, mourning her father and her mother for one month. After that, you may consummate the marriage. You will be her husband, and she will be your wife. 14 But if you aren't pleased with her, you must send her away as she wishes. You are not allowed to sell her for money or treat her as a slave because you have humiliated her. 15 Now suppose a man has two wives—one of them loved and the other unloved. Both wives bear children, but the oldest male is the unloved wife's child. 16 On the day when the man decides what will go to each of his children as an inheritance, he isn't allowed to treat his loved wife's son as the oldest male rather than his unloved wife's son, who is the real oldest male. 17 Instead, he must acknowledge the unloved wife's son as the oldest male, giving to him two-thirds of everything that he owns, because that son is the earliest produce of his physical power. The oldest male's rights belong to that son. 18 Now if someone has a consistently stubborn and rebellious child, who refuses to listen to their father and mother—even when the parents discipline him, he won't listen to them— 19 the father and mother will take the son before the elders of that city at its gates. 20 Then they will inform the city's elders: "This son of ours is consistently stubborn and rebellious, refusing to listen to us. What's more, he's wild and a drunkard." 21 Then all the people of that town will stone him until he dies. Remove such evil from your community! All Israel will hear about this and be afraid. 22 Now if someone is guilty of a capital crime, and they are executed, and you then hang them on a tree, 23 you must not leave the body hanging on the tree but must bury it the same day because God's curse is on those who are hanged. Furthermore, you must not pollute the ground that the LORD your God is giving to you as an inheritance.
21 “Then if someone says to you, ‘Look, here's the Christ,' or ‘There he is,' don't believe it. 22 False christs and false prophets will appear, and they will offer signs and wonders in order to deceive, if possible, those whom God has chosen. 23 But you, watch out! I've told you everything ahead of time. 24 “In those days, after the suffering of that time, the sun will become dark, and the moon won't give its light. 25 The stars will fall from the sky, and the planets and other heavenly bodies will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Human One coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. 27 Then he will send the angels and gather together his chosen people from the four corners of the earth, from the end of the earth to the end of heaven. 28 “Learn this parable from the fig tree. After its branch becomes tender and it sprouts new leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 In the same way, when you see these things happening, you know that he's near, at the door. 30 I assure you that this generation won't pass away until all these things happen. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away. 32 "But nobody knows when that day or hour will come, not the angels in heaven and not the Son. Only the Father knows. 33 Watch out! Stay alert! You don't know when the time is coming. 34 It is as if someone took a trip, left the household behind, and put the servants in charge, giving each one a job to do, and told the doorkeeper to stay alert. 35 Therefore, stay alert! You don't know when the head of the household will come, whether in the evening or at midnight, or when the rooster crows in the early morning or at daybreak. 36 Don't let him show up when you weren't expecting and find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to all: Stay alert!"
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