Deuteronomy Chapter 21  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Deut 21
Atonement for Unsolved Murders

1“If a corpse is found on the soil that Yahweh your God is giving you to possess, lying in the field, and it is not known who has struck him down,
  2then your elders and your judges must go out, and they must measure to the cities that are around the one who was slain.
  3And the city that is nearest to the slain man—the elders of that city—are to take a heifer of the herd that has not been put to work and that has never pulled a yoke,
  4and the elders of that city are to bring down the heifer to a valley with a continually flowing stream that has never been plowed or sown, and are to break the heifer’s neck there in the valley.
  5Then the priests, the sons of Levi, will come near, for Yahweh your God has chosen them to minister to him and to bless in the name of Yahweh; and by their word every controversy and every assault is to be settled.
  6And all the elders of that city who are nearest to the slain man are to wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley,
  7then they will answer and say, ‘Our hands have not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it.'
  8Forgive, O Yahweh, your people Israel whom you have redeemed, and do not put the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel.’ Then they will be atoned for the blood,
  9and so are you to purge the innocent blood from the midst of you, for you are to do what is right in the eyes of Yahweh.

Marrying Female Captives

10“When you go out to battle against your enemies and Yahweh your God delivers them into your hands and you take them away captive
  11and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire her and would take her for yourself as a wife,
  12then you are to bring her home into the midst of your household, and she must shave her head and trim her nails.
  13She is to take off the clothing of her captivity from off her and must remain in your house and weep for her father and her mother a full month, and after that you may go into her and be her husband, and she will be your wife.
  14And if you are not pleased with her, then you are to let her go where she wants; but sell, no, you are not to sell her for money, you must not deal with her as a slave because you have humbled her.

The Right of the Firstborn

15“If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other hated, and they bear him sons, both the beloved and the hated, and if the firstborn son is hers who is hated,
  16then in the day that he causes his sons to inherit what he has, he must not make the son of the beloved the firstborn before the son of the hated, who is the firstborn;
  17but he must acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the hated, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.

A Rebellious Son

18“If a man have 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,
  19then his father and his mother are to lay hold on him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his place,
  20and they will tell the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’
  21Then all the men of his city are to stone him with stones so that he dies. So you are to put away the evil from the midst of you, and all Israel will hear and fear.

Displaying of Executed People

22“If a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is put to death and you hang him on a tree,
  23his body is not to remain all night on the tree, but you are to surely bury him the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land that Yahweh your God gives you for an inheritance.”

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