21 1-8 If a dead body is found on the ground, this ground that God, your God, has given you, lying out in the open, and no one knows who killed him, your leaders and judges are to go out and measure the distance from the body to the nearest cities. The leaders and judges of the city that is nearest the corpse will then take a heifer that has never been used for work, never had a yoke on it. The leaders will take the heifer to a valley with a stream, a valley that has never been plowed or planted, and there break the neck of the heifer. The Levitical priests will then step up. God has chosen them to serve him in these matters by settling legal disputes and violent crimes and by pronouncing blessings in God’s name. Finally, all the leaders of that town that is nearest the body will wash their hands over the heifer that had its neck broken at the stream and say, “We didn’t kill this man and we didn’t see who did it. Purify your people Israel whom you redeemed, O God. Clear your people Israel from any guilt in this murder.”
8-9 That will clear them from any responsibility in the murder. By following these procedures you will have absolved yourselves of any part in the murder because you will have done what is right in God’s sight.
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10-14 When you go to war against your enemies and God, your God, gives you victory and you take prisoners, and then you notice among the prisoners of war a good-looking woman whom you find attractive and would like to marry, this is what you do: Take her home; have her trim her hair, cut her nails, and discard the clothes she was wearing when captured. She is then to stay in your home for a full month, mourning her father and mother. Then you may go to bed with her as husband and wife. If it turns out you don’t like her, you must let her go and live wherever she wishes. But you can’t sell her or use her as a slave since you’ve humiliated her.
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15-17 When a man has two wives, one loved and the other hated, and they both give him sons, but the firstborn is from the hated wife, at the time he divides the inheritance with his sons he must not treat the son of the loved wife as the firstborn, cutting out the son of the hated wife, who is the actual firstborn. No, he must acknowledge the inheritance rights of the real firstborn, the son of the hated wife, by giving him a double share of the inheritance: that son is the first proof of his virility; the rights of the firstborn belong to him.
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18-20 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, his father and mother shall forcibly bring him before the leaders at the city gate and say to the city fathers, “This son of ours is a stubborn rebel; he won’t listen to a thing we say. He’s a glutton and a drunk.”
21 Then all the men of the town are to throw rocks at him until he’s dead. You will have purged the evil pollution from among you. All Israel will hear what’s happened and be in awe.
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22-23 When a man has committed a capital crime, been given the death sentence, executed and hung from a tree, don’t leave his dead body hanging overnight from the tree. Give him a decent burial that same day so that you don’t desecrate your God-given land—a hanged man is an insult to God.
22 1-3 If you see your kinsman’s ox or sheep wandering off loose, don’t look the other way as if you didn’t see it. Return it promptly. If your fellow Israelite is not close by or you don’t know whose it is, take the animal home with you and take care of it until your fellow asks about it. Then return it to him. Do the same if it’s his donkey or a piece of clothing or anything else your fellow Israelite loses. Don’t look the other way as if you didn’t see it.
4 If you see your fellow’s donkey or ox injured along the road, don’t look the other way. Help him get it up and on its way.
5 A woman must not wear a man’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing. This kind of thing is an abomination to God, your God.
6-7 When you come across a bird’s nest alongside the road, whether in a tree or on the ground, and the mother is sitting on the young or on the eggs, don’t take the mother with the young. You may take the babies, but let the mother go so that you will live a good and long life.
8 When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof to make it safe so that someone doesn’t fall off and die and your family become responsible for the death.
9 Don’t plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard. If you do, you will forfeit what you’ve sown, the total production of the vineyard.
10 Don’t plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.
11 Don’t wear clothes of mixed fabrics, wool and linen together.
12 Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you use to cover yourself.
13-19 If a man marries a woman, sleeps with her, and then turns on her, calling her loose, giving her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I slept with her I discovered she wasn’t a virgin,” then the father and mother of the girl are to take her with the proof of her virginity to the town leaders at the gate. The father is to tell the leaders, “I gave my daughter to this man as wife and he turned on her, rejecting her. And now he has slanderously accused her, claiming that she wasn’t a virgin. But look at this, here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” And then he is to spread out her bloodstained wedding garment before the leaders for their examination. The town leaders then are to take the husband, whip him, fine him a hundred pieces of silver, and give it to the father of the girl. The man gave a virgin girl of Israel a bad name. He has to keep her as his wife and can never divorce her.
20-21 But if it turns out that the accusation is true and there is no evidence of the girl’s virginity, the men of the town are to take her to the door of her father’s house and stone her to death. She acted disgracefully in Israel. She lived like a whore while still in her parents’ home. Purge the evil from among you.
22 If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both must die. Purge that evil from Israel.
23-24 If a man comes upon a virgin in town, a girl who is engaged to another man, and sleeps with her, take both of them to the town gate and stone them until they die—the girl because she didn’t yell out for help in the town and the man because he raped her, violating the fiancée of his neighbor. You must purge the evil from among you.
25-27 But if it was out in the country that the man found the engaged girl and grabbed and raped her, only the man is to die, the man who raped her. Don’t do anything to the girl; she did nothing wrong. This is similar to the case of a man who comes across his neighbor out in the country and murders him; when the engaged girl yelled out for help, there was no one around to hear or help her.
28-29 When a man comes upon a virgin who has never been engaged and grabs and rapes her and they are found out, the man who raped her has to give her father fifty pieces of silver. He has to marry her because he took advantage of her. And he can never divorce her.
30 A man may not marry his father’s ex-wife—that would violate his father’s rights.
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23 No eunuch is to enter the congregation of God.
2 No bastard is to enter the congregation of God, even to the tenth generation, nor any of his children.
3-6 No Ammonite or Moabite is to enter the congregation of God, even to the tenth generation, nor any of his children, ever. Those nations didn’t treat you with hospitality on your travels out of Egypt, and on top of that they also hired Balaam son of Beor from Pethor in Mesopotamia to curse you. God, your God, refused to listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing—how God, your God, loves you! Don’t even try to get along with them or do anything for them, ever.
7 But don’t spurn an Edomite; he’s your kin.
And don’t spurn an Egyptian; you were a foreigner in his land.
8 Children born to Edomites and Egyptians may enter the congregation of God in the third generation.
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9-11 When you are camped out, at war with your enemies, be careful to keep yourself from anything ritually defiling. If one of your men has become ritually unclean because of a nocturnal emission, he must go outside the camp and stay there until evening when he can wash himself, returning to the camp at sunset.
12-14 Mark out an area outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourselves. Along with your weapons have a stick with you. After you relieve yourself, dig a hole with the stick and cover your excrement. God, your God, strolls through your camp; he’s present to deliver you and give you victory over your enemies. Keep your camp holy; don’t permit anything indecent or offensive in God’s eyes.
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15-16 Don’t return a runaway slave to his master; he’s come to you for refuge. Let him live wherever he wishes within the protective gates of your city. Don’t take advantage of him.
17-18 No daughter of Israel is to become a sacred prostitute; and no son of Israel is to become a sacred prostitute. And don’t bring the fee of a sacred whore or the earnings of a priest-pimp to the house of God, your God, to pay for any vow—they are both an abomination to God, your God.
19-20 Don’t charge interest to your kinsmen on any loan: not for money or food or clothing or anything else that could earn interest. You may charge foreigners interest, but you may not charge your brothers interest; that way God, your God, will bless all the work that you take up and the land that you are entering to possess.
21-23 When you make a vow to God, your God, don’t put off keeping it; God, your God, expects you to keep it and if you don’t you’re guilty. But if you don’t make a vow in the first place, there’s no sin. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Keep the vow you willingly vowed to God, your God. You promised it, so do it.
24-25 When you enter your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat all the grapes you want until you’re full, but you may not put any in your bucket or bag. And when you walk through the ripe grain of your neighbor, you may pick the heads of grain, but you may not swing your sickle there.