Deuteronomy 15-18 Amplified Bible (AMP)
The Sabbatical Year
15 “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release (remission, pardon) from debt. 2 This is the regulation for the release: every [a]creditor shall forgive what he has loaned to his neighbor; he shall not [b]require repayment from his neighbor and his brother, because the Lord’s release has been proclaimed. 3 You may require repayment from a foreigner, but whatever of yours is with your brother [Israelite] your hand shall release. 4 However, there will be no poor among you, since the Lord will most certainly bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, 5 if only you will listen to and obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all these commandments which I am commanding you today. 6 When the Lord your God blesses [c]you as He has promised you, then you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.
7 “If there is a poor man among you, one of your fellow Israelites, in [d]any of your cities in the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not [e]be heartless, nor [f]close-fisted with your poor brother; 8 but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend to him [g]whatever he needs. 9 Beware that there is no wicked thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of release (remission, pardon), is approaching,’ and your eye is hostile (unsympathetic) toward your poor brother, and you give him nothing [since he would not have to repay you]; for he may cry out to the Lord against you, and it will become a sin for you. 10 You shall freely and generously give to him, and your heart shall not be resentful when you give to him, because for this [generous] thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings. 11 For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy, and to your poor in your land.’
12 “If your fellow Israelite, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, and serves you for six years, then in the seventh year you shall set him free [from your service]. 13 When you set him free, you shall not let him go away empty-handed. 14 You shall give him generous provisions from your flock, from your threshing floor and from your wine press; you shall give to him as the Lord your God has blessed you. 15 And you shall remember and thoughtfully consider that you were [once] a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore, I am commanding you these things today. 16 Now if the servant says to you, ‘I will not leave you,’ because he loves you and your household, since he is doing well with you; 17 then take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he shall [willingly] be your servant always. Also you shall do the same for your maidservant.
18 “It shall not seem hard to you when you set him free, for he has served you six years with double the service of a hired man; so the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.
19 “You shall consecrate (set apart) to the Lord your God all the firstborn males that are born of your herd and flock. You shall not work with the firstborn of your herd, nor shear the firstborn of your flock. 20 You and your household shall eat it every year before the Lord your God in the place [for worship] which the Lord chooses. 21 But if it has any defect or injury, such as lameness or blindness, or any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. 22 You shall eat it within your [city] gates; the [ceremonially] unclean and the clean alike may eat it, as [if it were] a gazelle or a deer. 23 Only you shall not eat its blood; you are to pour it out on the ground like water.
The Feast of Passover
16 “Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 You shall sacrifice the Passover [lamb] to the Lord your God from the flock or the herd, in the place where the Lord chooses to [h]establish His Name (Presence). 3 You shall not eat [i]leavened bread with it; instead, for seven days you shall eat the Passover with unleavened bread, the bread of affliction (for you left the land of Egypt in haste); [do this] so that all the days of your life you may remember [thoughtfully] the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. 4 For seven days no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory, and none of the meat which you sacrificed the evening of the first day shall remain overnight until morning. 5 You are not allowed to sacrifice the Passover [lamb] in any of your cities which the Lord your God is giving you; 6 but at the place where the Lord your God chooses to establish His Name (Presence), you shall sacrifice the Passover [lamb] in the evening at sunset, at the time that you came out of Egypt. 7 You shall cook and eat it in the place which the Lord your God chooses. In the morning you are to return to your tents. 8 For six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a celebration to the Lord your God; so you shall do no work [on that day].
The Feast of Weeks
9 “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; you shall begin to count seven weeks from the time you first put the sickle to the standing grain. 10 Then you shall celebrate the [j]Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with a tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give [to Him] just as the Lord your God blesses you; 11 and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite who is within your [city] gates, and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are among you, at the place where the Lord your God chooses to establish His Name (Presence). 12 You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to obey these statutes.
The Feast of Booths
13 “You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles) seven days, when you have gathered in [the grain] from your threshing floor and [the wine] from your wine vat. 14 You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are within your city. 15 Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.
16 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover) and at the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) and at the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles), and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. 17 Every man [k]shall give as he is able, in accordance with the blessing which the Lord your God has given you.
18 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your cities (gates) which the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. 20 You shall pursue justice, and only justice [that which is uncompromisingly righteous], so that you may live and take possession of the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
21 “You shall not plant for yourself an [l]Asherah of any kind of tree or wood beside the altar of the Lord your God, which you shall make. 22 You shall not set up for yourself a sacred pillar which the Lord your God hates.
Administration of Justice
17 “You shall not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or sheep with a blemish or any defect, for that is a detestable thing to the Lord your God.
2 “If there is discovered among you, within any of your cities, which the Lord your God is giving you, a man or a woman who does evil in the sight of the Lord your God, by transgressing (violating) His covenant, 3 and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the heavenly host, [doing these things] which I have commanded not to do, 4 and if it is told to you and you hear about it, then you shall investigate thoroughly [all the charges]. If it is confirmed [m]beyond doubt that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, 5 then you shall bring that man or that woman who has done this evil thing to the gates [of your city] and you shall stone the man or the woman to death. 6 [n]On the evidence of two or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the evidence of [only] one witness. 7 The hand of the witnesses shall be the first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall remove the evil from among you.
8 “If any case is too difficult for you to judge—between one kind of homicide and another, between one kind of lawsuit and another, between one kind of assault and another, [o]being controversial issues in your [p]courts—then you shall arise and go to the place which the Lord your God chooses. 9 So you shall come to the Levitical priests or to the judge who is in office at that time, and you shall consult them and they will declare to you the [q]verdict in the case. 10 You shall act in accordance with the terms of the verdict which they declare to you from that place which the Lord chooses. You shall be careful to act in accordance with all of their instructions. 11 You shall act in accordance with the law which they teach you and the judgment which they tell you. You shall not turn aside from their verdict, to the right or to the left. 12 The man who acts presumptuously and insolently by not listening to the priest who stands there to serve the Lord your God, nor to the judge, that man shall die; so you shall remove the evil from Israel. 13 Then all the people will hear and be afraid, and will not act presumptuously again.
14 “When you enter the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and you take possession of it and live there, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’ 15 you shall most certainly set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses. You shall set a king over you from among your countrymen (brothers); you may not choose a foreigner [to rule] over you who is not your countryman. 16 Further, he shall not [r]acquire many [war] horses for himself, nor make the people return to Egypt in order to acquire horses [to expand his military power], since the Lord said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ 17 He shall not acquire multiple wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away [from God]; nor [for the same reason] shall he acquire great amounts of silver and gold.
18 “Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 And it shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear [and worship] the Lord his God [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect], by carefully obeying (keeping foremost in his thoughts and actively doing) all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 so that his heart will not be lifted up above his countrymen [by a false sense of self-importance and self-reliance] and that he will not turn away (deviate) from the commandment, to the right or to the left, so that he and his sons may continue [to reign] for a long time in his kingdom in Israel.
Portion of the Levites
18 “The Levitical priests, the entire tribe of Levi, shall own [privately] no portion [of land] or inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the Lord’s offerings by fire and His portion. 2 They shall have no inheritance [of land] among their countrymen (brothers, brethren); the Lord is their [s]inheritance, as He promised them.
3 “Now this shall be the priests’ portion from the people, from those offering a sacrifice, either an ox or a sheep: they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. 4 You shall also give him the first fruits of your grain, your new wine [the first of the season], and your [olive] oil, and the first sheared fleece of your sheep. 5 For the Lord your God has chosen him, him and his sons from all your tribes, to stand and serve in the name of the Lord forever.
6 “Now if a Levite comes from any of your cities throughout Israel where he resides, and comes whenever [t]he wishes to [the sanctuary] the place which the Lord chooses; 7 then he shall serve in the name of the Lord his God, like all his fellow Levites who [u]stand there before the Lord. 8 They shall have [v]equal portions to eat, except what they receive from the sale of their fathers’ estates.
9 “When you enter the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable (repulsive) practices of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire [as a sacrifice], one who uses divination and fortune-telling, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts a charm or spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or a necromancer [who seeks the dead]. 12 For everyone who does these things is utterly repulsive to the Lord; and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God is driving them out before you. 13 You shall be blameless (complete, perfect) before the Lord your God. 14 For these nations which you shall dispossess listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners and fortune-tellers, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so.
15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a [w]prophet like me [Moses] from among you, from your countrymen (brothers, brethren). You shall listen to him. 16 This is according to all that you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb (Mount Sinai) on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear the voice of the Lord my God again, nor see this great fire anymore, so that I will not die.’ 17 The Lord said to me, ‘They have spoken well. 18 I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him [and there will be consequences]. 20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods—that prophet shall die.’ 21 If you say in your heart, ‘How will we know and recognize the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ 22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord and the thing does not happen or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
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