Deuteronomy 21:18-23

A Rebellious Son

18 If someone 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 take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town.
20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.”
21 Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.
22 If someone guilty of a capital offense is put to death and their body is exposed on a pole,
23 you must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse. You must not desecrate the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.

Deuteronomy 21:18 in Other Translations

KJV
18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
ESV
18 "If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them,
NLT
18 “Suppose a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or mother, even though they discipline him.
MSG
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,
CSB
18 "If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father or mother and doesn't listen to them even after they discipline him,

Deuteronomy 21:18-23 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO DEUTERONOMY 21

This chapter treats of the beheading of the heifer, for the expiation of unknown murder, and the rules to be observed in it, De 21:1-9 of a beautiful captive woman an Israelite is desirous of having for his wife, and what methods he must take to accomplish it, De 21:10-14, of giving the double portion to the firstborn, which he must not be deprived of in favour of the son of a beloved wife, De 21:15-17 and of the stubborn and rebellious son, who remaining so must be put to death, De 21:18-21 and of burying a person hanged on a tree the same day he is executed, De 21:22,23.

Deuteronomy 21:18-23 In-Context

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 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 If someone 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 take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town.
20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.”
21 Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.
22 If someone guilty of a capital offense is put to death and their body is exposed on a pole,
23 you must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse. You must not desecrate the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.

Cross References 11

  • 1. Psalms 78:8; Jeremiah 5:23; Zephaniah 3:1
  • 2. Proverbs 30:17
  • 3. S Genesis 31:35; Proverbs 1:8; Isaiah 30:1; Ephesians 6:1-3
  • 4. S Leviticus 20:9
  • 5. Deuteronomy 19:19; 1 Corinthians 5:13*
  • 6. S Deuteronomy 13:11
  • 7. Deuteronomy 22:26; Matthew 26:66; Mark 14:64; Acts 23:29
  • 8. Joshua 8:29; Joshua 10:27; John 19:31
  • 9. Ezekiel 39:12
  • 10. Ezra 6:11; Esther 2:23; Esther 7:9; Esther 8:7; Esther 9:13,25; Isaiah 50:11; Galatians 3:13*
  • 11. S Leviticus 18:25; Numbers 35:34
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