Deuteronomy Chapter 21  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Deut 21
Atonement for Unsolved Murders

1“If one be found slain in the land that Yahweh your God gives you to possess it, lying in the field, and it isn’t known who has struck him,
  2then your elders and your judges must come forth, and they must measure to the cities that are around him who is slain;
  3and the city that is nearest to the slain man, even the elders of that city are to take a heifer of the herd that hasn’t been worked with and that has not drawn in the yoke,
  4and the elders of that city will bring down the heifer to a valley with a continually flowing stream that is neither plowed nor sown, and will break the heifer’s neck there in the valley.
  5The priests, the sons of Levi, will come near, for them Yahweh your God has chosen to minister to him and to bless in the name of Yahweh; and according to their word is every controversy and every stroke to be.
  6All the elders of that city who are nearest to the slain man will wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley,
  7and they will answer and say, ‘Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it.
  8Forgive, Yahweh, your people Israel whom you have redeemed, and do not allow innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel.’ The blood will be forgiven them.
  9So you must put away the innocent blood from the midst of you when you will 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 carry them away captive
  11and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you have a desire to her and would take her to you as wife,
  12then you are to bring her home to your house; and she must shave her head and pare her nails;
  13and she must put the clothing of her captivity from off her and must remain in your house and bewail her father and her mother a full month, and after that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she will be your wife.
  14If you have no delight in her, then you are to let her go where she will; but you must not sell her at all 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 beloved and the other hated, and they have borne him children, both the beloved and the hated, and if the firstborn son be hers who was hated,
  16then in the day that he causes his sons to inherit what he has, he may 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 must his father and his mother lay hold on him and bring him out to the elders of his city and 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.’
  21All the men of his city will stone him to death with stones, so you must 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 be 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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