Deuteronomy Chapter 21 |
1If, in the land that the Lord your God is assigning you to possess, someone slain is found lying in the open, the identity of the slayer not being known,
2your elders and magistrates shall go out and measure the distances from the corpse to the nearby towns.
3The elders of the town nearest to the corpse shall then take a heifer which has never been worked, which has never pulled in a yoke;
4and the elders of that town shall bring the heifer down to an everflowing wadi, which is not tilled or sown. There, in the wadi, they shall break the heifer’s neck.
5The priests, sons of Levi, shall come forward; for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister to Him and to pronounce blessing in the name of the Lord, and every lawsuit and case of assault is subject to their ruling.
6Then all the elders of the town nearest to the corpse shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the wadi.
7And they shall make this declaration: “Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it done.
8Absolve, O Lord, Your people Israel whom You redeemed, and do not let guilt for the blood of the innocent remain among Your people Israel.” And they will be absolved of bloodguilt.
9Thus you will remove from your midst guilt for the blood of the innocent, for you will be doing what is right in the sight of the Lord.
10When you take the field against your enemies, and the Lord your God delivers them into your power and you take some of them captive, 11and you see among the captives a beautiful woman and you desire her and would take her to wife, 12you shall bring her into your house, and she shall trim her hair, pare her nails, 13and discard her captive’s garb. She shall spend a month’s time in your house lamenting her father and mother; after that you may come to her and possess her, and she shall be your wife. 14Then, should you no longer want her, you must release her outright. You must not sell her for money: since you had your will of her, you must not enslave her.
15If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved have borne him sons, but the first-born is the son of the unloved one— 16when he wills his property to his sons, he may not treat as first-born the son of the loved one in disregard of the son of the unloved one who is older. 17Instead, he must accept the first-born, the son of the unloved one, and allot to him a double portion of all he possesses; since he is the first fruit of his vigor, the birthright is his due.
18If a man has a wayward and defiant son, who does not heed his father or mother and does not obey them even after they discipline him, 19his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his town at the public place of his community. 20They shall say to the elders of his town, “This son of ours is disloyal and defiant; he does not heed us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” 21Thereupon the men of his town shall stone him to death. Thus you will sweep out evil from your midst: all Israel will hear and be afraid.
22If a man is guilty of a capital offense and is put to death, and you impale him on a stake, 23you must not let his corpse remain on the stake overnight, but must bury him the same day. For an impaled body is an affront to God: you shall not defile the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.