English Revised Version

Deuteronomy 21

The expiation of an uncertain murder.

Deuteronomy 21:1 If one be found slain in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath smitten him: Deuteronomy 21:2 then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain: Deuteronomy 21:3 and it shall be, that the city which is nearest unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take an heifer of the herd, which hath not been wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke; Deuteronomy 21:4 and the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a valley with running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer's neck there in the valley: Deuteronomy 21:5 and the priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them the LORD thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the LORD; and according to their word shall every controversy and every stroke be: Deuteronomy 21:6 and all the elders of that city, who are nearest unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley: Deuteronomy 21:7 and they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. Deuteronomy 21:8 Forgive, O LORD, thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and suffer not innocent blood [to remain] in the midst of thy people Israel. And the blood shall be forgiven them. Deuteronomy 21:9 So shalt thou put away the innocent blood from the midst of thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD.

The usage of a captive taken to wife.

Deuteronomy 21:10 When thou goest forth to battle against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God delivereth them into thine hands, and thou carriest them away captive, Deuteronomy 21:11 and seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and thou hast a desire unto her, and wouldest take her to thee to wife; Deuteronomy 21:12 then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; Deuteronomy 21:13 and she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. Deuteronomy 21:14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not deal with her as a slave, because thou hast humbled her.

The firstborn is not to be disinherited upon private affection.

Deuteronomy 21:15 If a man have 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 that was hated; Deuteronomy 21:16 then it shall be, in the day that he causeth his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved the firstborn before the son of the hated, which is the firstborn: Deuteronomy 21:17 but he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the hated, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.

A stubborn son is to be stoned to death.

Deuteronomy 21:18 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 though they chasten him, will not hearken unto them: Deuteronomy 21:19 then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; Deuteronomy 21:20 and they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a riotous liver, and a drunkard. Deuteronomy 21:21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

The malefactor must not hang all night of a tree.

Deuteronomy 21:22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree; Deuteronomy 21:23 his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt surely bury him the same day; for he that is hanged is accursed of God; that thou defile not thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

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